World ? Asia ? India

Banganga Fair

May 2009 (annual)
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Celebrating the full-moon day (purnima) of Vaishakh season, the annual Banganga Fair near Jaipur's historical town of Bairath attracts thousands of worshippers to its Radha-Krishnaji Temple. With devotees engaging in rituals and blessings, pilgrims are kept busy and spirits high.
For Hindu worshippers from far and wide, the event holds much significance, and a visit to the holy site is believed to purify the soul. Devotees gather at the temple singing bhajans (devotional songs) to glorify the deities and then bathe at the ghats (a flight of steps leading to the water) of the Banganga river, proceeding to the nearby shrines of Hanuman and Ganga Bihari, the Mahadev temple and the Math of Goswamiji.

In addition to the religious worship, traders of different communities arrive at the fair to sell their wares, hawking articles ranging from simple rural ornaments to toys and household items. The buying and selling adds to the hustle and bustle, while giant wheels and merry-go-rounds are on hand to thrill the children (as well as the grown-ups).

Please note: this holiday occurs at the May/June full moon, and sources differ as to whether this is 19 or 20 May in 2008. Please check with the local tourist office before making travel arrangements.
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