Festival - Minjar: Must See India
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Minjar

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Minjar Mela is a week-long fair held at the Chamba valley of Himachal Pradesh every year. It starts during the last week of July, and the fair and festivities continue for a week. The fair and festival derive their name from the flower of the maize crop, which is known as Minjar.

It is said that once the River Ravi flowed between two great temples in this area, making it difficult for people to reach them. A Yajna was conducted, and a colourful Minjar of silk threads was prepared for the ceremony. At the end of the Yajna, the river changed its course miraculously, and the Minjar festival is said to mark this occasion.

Minjar Festival is also a harvest festival as the maize and paddy crops begin to emerge during this period.

Traditions


A huge fair is organized in the Chamba Valley and it goes on for a week. The idol of Lord Veera Raghava of the Hari Rai temple is taken out in procession to the River Ravi along with the idols of local deities from temples in the surrounding region. The idols are immersed and bathed in the river and then taken back in a grand procession back to the temples. People gather in huge numbers for this ceremony, and devotees throng the Hari Rai temple during the Minjar Mela.

Men and women dress up in colourful clothing and tie silk tassels symbolizing the Minjar flower to their clothes. They celebrate the occasion with song and dance performances including the famous Kunjar Malhar performances.

Tourist Essential


The Minjar Mela is a religious festival and a colourful fair combined together. The festival is started off by the hoisting of the Minjar flag. Large numbers of devotees come to the Chamba Valley region to attend this festival and to visit the Hari Rai Temple. The ceremonies at the River Ravi attract thousands of Pilgrims.

Minjar Mela is also a colourful agricultural festival. It marks the emergence of the Maize and Paddy crops, and the farming community celebrates it joyfully. The Minjar Fair or Minjar Mela is recognized as an international Fair. Chowgan, the heart of the Chamba region, is converted into a lively and busy market place selling various wares. This fair attracts a large number of tourists to the region.

Photos

by Kapil
by Kapil
 

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