Surkhanda Devi Mela
This fair is held on the occasion of Ganga Dussehra at the Surkhanda Devi Temple dedicated to Goddess Durga.Situated 20km.from Mussoorie, the temple is an important pilgrimage centre & can be reached by a 2 km. trek from Kaddukhal via Dhanolti on the road to Chamba. The worship of the Goddess is the main attraction of the fair. In addition to folk music and dance, traditional handicrafts are also on display.
Roopkund is the venue for a pilgrimage known as ‘Nanda Raj Jaat’or ‘Jatra’. It is held every twelve years. This auspicious Yatra takes place when a four-horned sheep is born. This sheep leads the Yatra from Nauti village near Karna prayag and ends at Homkund beyond Roopkund, where the sheep disappears in wilderness. This is said to be the spot where Shiva married Nanda. Roopkund situated in the interior of the Chamoli district is a mysterious lake. However, it is one of the most popular treks in the Garhwal division as it abounds in spectacular mountain scenery.
This fair is held at a number of places including Bageshwar, Rameshwar, Sult Mahadev, Chitrashila (Ranibagh), Hanseshwar etc. on Uttarayani day. At Pancheshwar the dola of Chaumu comes down to the temple. Merchants from far off distances like Tibet and Nepal come to the fair for brisk trading. Among the things bought and sold are blankets, durries, cane and bamboo articles.
Nanda Devi Mela
A fair of great religious and cultural significance, it is held at Nanda Devi Temple in Septembar to commemorate the memory of Goddesses Nanda and Sunanda. It is said to have started in Kumano during the reign of Raja Kalyan Chand in the 16th century.
Nanda means prosperity and well-being. Nanda Devi Mela is held as a symbol of prosperity, both material and spiritual, of the hill regions.The Nanda Devi Melas are held at Almora, Nainital, Nauti, Dandidhara, Munsyari & Ranikhet, of which the Almora and Roopkund fairs are the most famous.
UJauljibi & Thal Fairs
Held every year on Makar Sankranti at Jauljibi, 68 km from Pithoragarh, the confluence of the rivers Kali & Gori. People come even from Nepal to this fair to sell horses, ghee foreign goods & take back foodgrains, jaggery etc. A similar fair is held at Thal on Vaishakh Sankranti (14 th April).
Celebrated on the Vishuwat Sankranti day commemorating an ancient victory. The festival is held at Syalde Pokhar in the old town of Dwarahat. Enchanting music, songs & dance mark the occasion.
Held on the day of Raksha Bandhan at the Varahi Devi temple. Devidhura is situated at the trijunction of Almora, Pithoragarh & Nainital districts. A unique feature of the fair is the image of the goddess, kept in a locked brass casket. This casket is taken in a procession to a near by mountain spring where a blind folded priest ritually bathes the image and replaces it in the casket. The whole night the goddess is worshipped and the next morning the exciting “Bagwaal” fair is celebrated. Two groups of men duly purified, fight a “battle” in front of the temple flinging stones at each other. While thousands gather to watch.
The Somnath (Masi) Fair (Fish Festival)
This fair, also on Vishuwat Sankranti day is held in the Shiva temple at Masi, Almora. It is a famous fair of Pali Pachhaun. Brisk business takes place during the fair and animals, specially bullocks & calves are sold. The villagers bearing tumra come with jaal, fatyav and hathiya to the river to catch fish. The fish festival is locally known as Dahau.
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