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BHAVNATH FAIR

According to legend this was the place where the holy garment of lord Shiva and Parvati fell when they are travelling over Girnar hills making the Kund and fortunate site for Shiva worshipers,Bhavai theatre, folk dances and music performed at the site and offering made to deities at the temple. Before going to the fair, many pilgrims do a parikrama of the holy hills of Girnar, a journey of about 7 km. Visitors are served free meals by the organizers. On the moonless night when it is believed Lord Shiva performed his tandava, a great Mahapuja is performed. naga bavas, or naked sages, seated on colourfully decorated elephants decked in ornaments, arrive holding flags and blowing conch shells, tungis, and turis, the sounds of which reverberate through the entire space that added attraction for the tourist. Devotees believe that Shiva himself visits the shrine on this occasion.
                              This fair is beautiful but at the same time passionate and intense, so we caution first time visitors to move in groups, not alone. The Bhavnath Mahadev temple is a shrine ensconced in myths and legends of the Puranic era. About one lakh people from different regions of India, the Ahirs and Mers of the Junagadh district are the most striking among them. Even today, the naga bavas are known to bathe in the holy Mrigi Kund before joining the Mahashivaratri procession. The naga bavas gather for a ritual involving a blend of dance and martial arts at akhada, next to the temple. The fair is organized by local people, sadhus, police and forest department officials. The pilgrimage on foot, formerly 12 miles which is now curtailed to 6 miles since 150 years ago, takes 4 days. Special stalls sell idolrosaries brought from Ayodhya and Mathura, and delicious sweets.

HISTORY


Thousands of devotees from all over india congregate at the Bhavnath Mahadev temple at the base of Mt Girnar for a five-day celebration around Mahashivaratri, the moonless night on which Shivaperformed the Tandava,his cosmic dance of destruction and creation. The puja for Shiva takes place at midnight on the day of Mahashivaratri, When naga bavas (nude sadhus ) ride elephants decked in ornaments and lead a procession to the temple, marking the commencement of the reliligious ceremony. Devotees Belive that Shiva himself visits the shine on this occasion. The festival is failed with dance,Bhavai and music performances.

WHERE


The Bhavnath Mahadev Mela (Bhavnath fair) is heldat the Bhavnath Mahadev Temple, situated near Damodar Kund at the foot of Mount Girnar in the city of Junagadh. Rajkot is the nearest airport around 100 km and Ahmedabad is 350 km far from Junagadh.

WHEN


The fair during Mahashivaratri is held for five days commencing from the Hindu calendar date of Magh Vad 11, during the Gregorian months of February-March. The Mahapuja (Prayers) of Lord Shiva takes place at midnight in this temple on the 14th day of the dark half of the month of Magh, as per the Hindu calendar. (February - March).

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