The Kaila Devi Fair is an annual event held in the Karauli district of Rajasthan, India, in honor of the Kaila Devi temple, one of the most revered temples in the state. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and attracts thousands of devotees from all over the country. In this article, we will explore the history, significance, and various aspects of the Kaila Devi Fair.
Date and Timing Of Kaila Devi Fair
The Kaila Devi Fair is an annual festival held at the Kaila Devi Temple, located in the Karauli district of Rajasthan, India. The Kaila Devi Fair is held during the months of March-April, according to the Hindu calendar. The exact dates of the festival vary each year, as they are determined by the lunar cycle.
During the festival, the Kaila Devi Temple is beautifully decorated with flowers and lights, and is visited by thousands of devotees from across India. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Kaila Devi, who is believed to fulfill the wishes of her devotees.
History and Significance of Kaila Devi Fair
The Kaila Devi temple, situated on the banks of river Kalisil, is believed to have been built in the 8th century AD by the Yadav dynasty. The temple is dedicated to Kaila Devi, a form of Goddess Durga, and is considered one of the 51 Shaktipeeths, or places of worship where the body parts of the Hindu deity Shakti fell.
Groups of Mina tribesmen arrive in a spirit of gaiety dancing, singing and creating a lively atmosphere. The spacious courtyard becomes the venue for dances and songs sung in praise of the guardian deity. The Kaila Devi Fair is held every year during the Navratri period, a nine-day festival celebrated in honor of Goddess Durga. The fair is believed to have started during the reign of Maharaja Gopal Singh of Karauli in the 17th century. It was initially a small gathering of devotees who came to offer prayers and seek blessings from the deity. However, over the years, the fair has grown in scale and popularity and has become an important cultural event in Rajasthan.
Preparations and Festivities
The Kaila Devi Fair begins on the seventh day of the Navratri festival and lasts for two weeks. The preparations for the fair start months in advance, and the entire town of Kaila Devi is decorated with lights and colorful banners. The fairground is set up outside the temple, covering an area of about 5 kilometers, and is filled with food stalls, shops, and amusement rides.
The first day of the Kaila Devi Fair is marked by the arrival of the deity’s idol from the nearby Madan Mohan temple, which is carried in a grand procession accompanied by music and dance. The idol is then placed in a beautifully decorated palanquin and taken around the town in a procession.
The Kaila Devi Fair attracts a large number of traders and vendors who sell a variety of goods, including handicrafts, clothes, and jewelry. The food stalls offer a range of delicious delicacies, including Rajasthani cuisine, sweets, and snacks. The evenings are filled with cultural programs, including folk music and dance performances.
Rituals and Beliefs
The Kaila Devi Fair is a unique blend of religious rituals and cultural festivities. Devotees come from far and wide to offer prayers and seek blessings from the deity. The temple priests perform special puja and aarti ceremonies during the fair, which are attended by thousands of devotees.
One of the most unique rituals of the Kaila Devi Fair is the “Kanak-Dandoti” ceremony, where devotees roll on the ground from the temple’s main gate to the idol’s sanctum. It is believed that this act of self-mortification brings good luck and fulfills their wishes.
Top Attractions Of Kaila Devi Fair
Here are some of the top attractions of Kaila Devi Fair
Kaila Devi Temple: The Kaila Devi Temple is the main attraction of the fair and is dedicated to the goddess Kaila Devi, who is believed to fulfill the wishes of her devotees. The temple is beautifully decorated during the fair, and devotees offer prayers and seek blessings from the goddess.
Cultural Programs: The Kaila Devi Fair is known for its vibrant cultural programs, which include traditional music, dance, and drama performances. The performances showcase the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan and are a must-see for visitors to the fair.
Shopping: The fair also offers a wide range of shopping opportunities, with vendors selling traditional Rajasthani handicrafts, clothing, jewelry, and food items. Visitors can shop for souvenirs and gifts while enjoying the festive atmosphere of the fair.
Rides and Games: The fair also offers a range of rides and games for visitors, including Ferris wheels, swings, and other traditional fairground attractions. These activities are popular with families and children and add to the overall fun and excitement of the fair.
Food: No fair is complete without delicious food, and the Kaila Devi Fair is no exception. Visitors can enjoy a variety of traditional Rajasthani dishes and sweets, including dal baati churma, ghevar, and lassi.
How to reach?
Transportation Options to Reach Kaila Devi Temple
There are three main modes of transportation available to reach Kaila Devi Temple: by air, by train, and by road.
The closest airport to Kaila Devi Temple is Jaipur International Airport, which is approximately 165 km away. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Kaila Devi Temple. However, this option can be expensive and time-consuming.
The nearest railway station to Kaila Devi Temple is Bharatpur Junction, which is approximately 36 km away. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach the temple. There are several trains that run between Bharatpur Junction and major cities in India. This option is relatively affordable and convenient.
Kaila Devi Temple is well connected by road to major cities in Rajasthan. There are several buses and taxis available from Jaipur, Delhi, Agra, and other nearby cities. The roads leading to the temple are in good condition, and the journey is relatively comfortable.
Local Transport Options
Once you reach Kaila Devi Temple, there are several local transport options available to explore the area.
Taxis are the most convenient and comfortable way to explore the area. You can hire a taxi for a day or half-day to explore the nearby villages and attractions. However, this option can be expensive, and you may need to negotiate the price with the driver.
Local buses are the most affordable way to explore the area. There are several buses that run between Kaila Devi Temple and nearby villages and towns. However, the buses can be crowded and uncomfortable.
Auto-rickshaws are a popular mode of transport in the area. They are relatively affordable and can take you to nearby villages and towns. However, they can be uncomfortable and not suitable for long distances.
FAQs About Kaila Devi Festival
When is the Kaila Devi Festival held?
The Kaila Devi Festival is held annually during the months of March-April, according to the Hindu calendar.
Where is the Kaila Devi Festival held?
The Kaila Devi Festival is held at the Kaila Devi Temple, which is located in the Karauli district of Rajasthan, India.
What is the significance of the Kaila Devi Festival?
The Kaila Devi Festival is celebrated to honor the goddess Kaila Devi, who is believed to fulfill the wishes of her devotees. The festival is also an occasion to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan.
What are the main attractions of the Kaila Devi Festival?
The main attractions of the Kaila Devi Festival include the Kaila Devi Temple, cultural programs, shopping, rides and games, and delicious food.
How can I reach the Kaila Devi Temple?
The Kaila Devi Temple can be reached by road or rail. The nearest railway station is Gangapur City, which is about 35 kilometers away from the temple. From there, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temple.
What should I wear to the Kaila Devi Festival?
It is recommended to wear comfortable and modest clothing to the Kaila Devi Festival, as it is a religious event. Visitors should also remove their footwear before entering the temple.
Is there an entry fee for the Kaila Devi Festival?
There is no entry fee for the Kaila Devi Festival, and visitors are welcome to participate in the celebrations.
Are there any accommodation options near the Kaila Devi Temple?
Yes, there are several accommodation options near the Kaila Devi Temple, including guest houses and hotels. It is advisable to book in advance, especially during the festival season.