Fairs And Festivals

The religious, social and cultural urges of the people of Uttarakhand find an expression in various fairs, which are in turn closely linked to the economic activities of the region. Various folk songs and dances have been kept alive because of these fairs. 

In older times, when means of transport were not so good these fairs was an opportunity for friends and relatives to meet regularly. Despite of all the changes in our society, the tradition of fairs has been kept up by the people. The fairs of Jauljibi, Thal and Bageshwar have been closely linked with the trading activities of the people of this region, while the fairs at Dwarahat, Syalde and Devidhura are important from the religious and cultural point of view.

Maha Kumbh festival held after every 12 years in the city of Haridwar on the coast of the sacred river the Ganges attracts devotees all over the world. The fairs and folk festivals of Uttarakhand are very colorful and distinctive and are the blend of various natural, social and cultural factors.

The people of Uttaranchal also celebrate all the major Indian festivals. Basant Panchami, Bhitauli, Harela, Phooldei, Batsavitri, Ganga Dusshera, Dikar Puja, Olgi or Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Ghuian Ekadashi and Ghughutia are some of the major festivals of Uttarakhand. The daily lives of Uttaranchali women are crowded with a never-ending succession of festivals, most of them involving fasts and the preparation of special foods.

Posted by: eUttaranchal/ Brijmohan Bisht
Bagwal – Devidhura Fair

1. Bagwal – Devidhura Fair

Bagwal Fair is celebrated at Maa Varahi Devi Temple in Devidhura located at a distance of 45 km from Lohaghat in the Champawat district of Uttarakhand. Devidhura also marks the trijunction of Almora, Pithoragarh, and Nainital districts and is famous for its rich cultural heritage. Bagwal Fair is one such cultural fair that is celebrated with great zeal and devotion.

Bagwali Pokhar Fair

2. Bagwali Pokhar Fair

Bagwali Pokhar Fair is religious fair of Kumaon, Uttarakhand celebrated on Yam Dwitiya (Bhai Dooj). It is celebrated in October/November, depending on the dates of Bhai Dooj.

Basant Panchami

3. Basant Panchami

The festival of Basant Panchami celebrates the coming of the spring season. This festival, which also signals the end of winter, is generally celebrated during Magh (January - February). 

Bat Savitri

4. Bat Savitri

The Bat Savitri Festival is basicall a Vrat (fasting eveng) in which married women observe fast from the morning. They offer their prayers to Savitri Devi, the legendary heroine and Bat or Banyan tree and pray for the welfare of their husbands. Women observe fast in honour of Savitri and Satyavan and remember how Savitri through her intense devotion saved her husband from the claws of death.

Baurani Fair

5. Baurani Fair

Baurani Fair is a popular fair celebrated at Baurani in Pithoragarh town located in the Kumaon region. Baurani fair is celebrated 15 days after Diwali at the open space outside Saimdevta temple in Baurani. The fair has great religious significance and used to be a hub for commercial purpose in earlier days.

Budi Diwali

6. Budi Diwali

Budi Diwali is an important festival celebrated in the hilly regions of Uttarakhand and is the main feature of Jyotiparva festival. Budhi Diwali is celebrated exactly 15 days after Diwali.

Chaiti Fair

7. Chaiti Fair

Chaiti Mela is a popular fair held every year during Navaratri at Kashipur, located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. The fair goes on for 15 days during which circus, fun activities, shopping stalls, and buying and selling of animals are held.

Chandrabadni Fair

8. Chandrabadni Fair

The people of Uttarakhand are known for their high cultural values and ethics. Many fairs take place in the state that is dedicated to various holy deities. One of the famous fairs that takes place in Tehri district region of Uttarakhand is Chandrabadni fair.

Chaupakhya Festival

9. Chaupakhya Festival

Chaupakhya Festival is celebrated during Navratris at Chaumi Devta Temple in Rayansi, a small village located in the Pithoragarh district in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.

Chhipla Jaat

10. Chhipla Jaat

Chhipla Jaat is basically a yatra (travel event) which expresses different aspects of human faith. The bare foot journey to Chipla Kedar, worship, bath, collective food, songs and dances and the possession of the body of Bonia by the folk god are the essential parts of Chhipla Jaat.Get the complete details of Chhipla jaat Yatra

Dhaulinag Utsav

11. Dhaulinag Utsav

Dhaulinag Temple is a temple dedicated to Nag Devta located at Bageshwar town in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. There are several Nag Devta temples located in this area. A fair is held in the day of Nag Panchami in Bhadrapad month (mid Aug- Sept) and in the night of Ashwin Shukla Panchami. The fair is commonly known as Dhaulinagotsav.

Dudhiyal Devi Fair

12. Dudhiyal Devi Fair

Dudhiyal Devi Fair is celebrated every 12 years at Paunada village located in the Budha Kedar region of Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand.

Gabladev Fair

13. Gabladev Fair

Gabladev Fair is celebrated every year as a religious fair by the inhabitants of Darma Valley which is situated at an elevation of 4000mts in the Pithoragarh district in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.

Gaindi Khagoti Fair

14. Gaindi Khagoti Fair

Gaindi Khagoti Fair is celebrated in Chwicha village in the Pauri district of Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. The fair begins on Vasant Panchami and continues till Baisakhi. Gaindi Khagoti Fair holds immense cultural significance and used to be one of the most awaited fairs. However, just like other cultural fairs, its significance has been decreasing with time.

Gananath Fair

15. Gananath Fair

Gananath Fair is a famous fair held at Gananath Temple located about 47kms from Almora. Gananath Temple is an ancient temple known popularly for its caves and Shiva temple.

Ganga Dusshera Or Dasar

16. Ganga Dusshera Or Dasar

Ganga Dusshera is celebrated on the Shukla dasami of the Jyestha (May - June). The sacred Ganga is worshipped on this day and Dusshera posters (dwarpatras or dasars), which have various geometric designs on them, are put up on the doors of houses and temples. These posters, once hand written by brahmins, are now printed. On this day people bathe in the holy rivers.

Gauchar Mela

17. Gauchar Mela

Gauchar Mela is an annual trade fair held on 14th November in the hilly town of Gauchar, located in the left bank of Alaknanda River in the Chamoli district of Uttrakhand. Gauchar falls en route Badrinath Temple. Gauchar Fair is one of the largest trade fairs of Uttarakhand wherein regional products produced from the cottage industries of Uttarakhand are showcased and traded. Along with trade

Gendua Fair

18. Gendua Fair

Located in the Purola region of Uttarakhand, Singtur Range (Patti) is famous for its traditional rituals, fairsand festivals. One such fair celebrated at the time of Makar Sankranti is Gendua Fair.The villages in Singtur Patti is divided into two regions- Pansai and Sathi. Pansai represents the Pandavas and Sathi represents the Kauravas. In this region, the number of Kauravas are believed to be 60

Ghandiyal Devta Raaj Jaat

19. Ghandiyal Devta Raaj Jaat

Uttarakhand is a state that is not only renowned for its tranquil natural beauty but also for its rich ethnicity. People with high enthusiasm celebrate various festivals and fairs in Uttarakhand. Ghandiyal mela is one of them that is been celebrated since time immemorial in Tehri.

Guru Kailapeer Fair

20. Guru Kailapeer Fair

Guru Kaila Peer Fair is one of the oldest cultural and traditional fair in Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Famous as the oldest and holiest fair among the locals, this fair is conducted every year in the memory of local diety of Budakedar, Dev Guru Kail Peer. The fair showcases the famous holy run of people with diety idol, Ramleela of Girls and Magsheer Diwali celeberations.

Haatkalika Fair

21. Haatkalika Fair

On the ashtami (eighth day of the month) of the Chaitra and Bhado, a fair is held in the Kalika temple at Gangolihat. People come with drums and flags to pay homage to Goddess Kalika.

Harela And Bhitauli

22. Harela And Bhitauli

On the first day of the navaratris (nine day holy period) of the month of Chaitra women fill baskets with soil and sow seven types of grains in them. The grains germinate symbolizing the future harvest. These yellow leaves, called Harela, are cut on the tenth day and people put them on their heads and behind their ears.During the month of Chaitra (March-April) brothers send presents to their siste

Harela Festival

23. Harela Festival

Harela is one of the most auspicious festivals of Kumaon region celebrated on the first day (KarkSankranti) of Shravan. Harela literally means ‘green leaves’ and is celebrated to mark the onset of monsoon and the beginning of the sowing season of crops.

Harin Chital

24. Harin Chital

Harin Chital means ‘spotted deer’. Celebrated in the Pithoragarh district of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, Harin Chital is a folk drama with a cultural and religious significance. The folk drama is held every year usually on the 8th day of Bhadrapad month (late August) where 3-4 men dress up and represent themselves as a deer and perform various dances and acts.

Hilljatra

25. Hilljatra

The Hilljatra, which is being celebrated in some parts of Pithoragarh district, is essentially the festival of pastoralists and agriculturalists. In the developmental process, the aathon (eighth day of bhado) and Gawra Visarjan also became the part of Hilljatra. The festival, which basically came to the Sor valley from the Sorar (Mahakali) region of West Nepal, was first introduced in Kumaour

Jagda Festival

26. Jagda Festival

Jagda Festival - A joyous festival of Jaunsar-Bawar region. Every year, the people of Jaunsar-Bawar region celebrate Jagda Festival with great zeal and excitement. The festival is celebrated in honour of Mahasu Devtaon the 3rd and 4th day of Bhadrapad month which coincides with the auspicious festival of Ganesh Chathurthi.

Jageshwar Fair

27. Jageshwar Fair

This fair is held on the fifteenth day of the month of Baishakh (late March or early April) at the Shiva temple in Jageshwar. 

Janopunyu

28. Janopunyu

Janti Fair

29. Janti Fair

Pandukeshwar Festival, locally known as Janti Fair or Janti Mela is celebrated every 6 years in Pandukeshwar Temple situated on the left banks of Vishnuganga River. The fair which lasts for 9-11 days begins during Magh Sakranti. Janti Fair is an event of great happiness and devotion to the people.

Jauljibi Mela

30. Jauljibi Mela

Jauljibi Fair is a cultural and commercial fair held every year from 14th-21st November at the place of confluence of Kali and Gori rivers, situated 10kms from Askot. Askot is situated in the Dharchula Nagar-panchayat of Pithoragarh district. The confluence of Kali and Gori rivers is the meeting place of three different cultures of Shauka, Nepali, and Kumaoni.

Kalika Fair, Bungkhal

31. Kalika Fair, Bungkhal

Kalika Fair, popularly known as Bungkhal Mela is a famous religious fair celebrated every year at Kalika Devi Temple located in Chaurikhal village in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. The fair is attended with great zest by the people of nearby villages of Dhaijyuli, Bali Kandarasyu, Karadsyu, Ghurdaursyu, Chaupdakot, Chauthan, and others.

Kalsin Fair

32. Kalsin Fair

Kalsin fair is a one-day fair held every year near Shyamlatal located 5 km ahead of Sukhidhang which lies in the Tanakpur-Champawat highway.

Kamleshwar Fair

33. Kamleshwar Fair

Kamleshwar Fair is a religious fair held every year on the 14th day of Kartik month (early November) which is known as “Vaikuntha Chaturdashi”.

Kandali Festival

34. Kandali Festival

Kandali Festival, also known as Kirji Festival is celebrated every 12 years by the Joutiya or Jainila people during August-September in the Chaudans region of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. The festival celebrates the defeat of Zorowar Singh’s army from Ladakh which attacked the region in 1841. The victory is celebrated by singing and dancing in folk songs and uprooting the Kandali pl

Khatarua

35. Khatarua

Khatarua is essentially the special festival of pastoral- agricultural society and celebrated on the first day of the month of Ashwin in mid September, and signifies the beginning of the autumn. 

Kot Ki Mai Fair

36. Kot Ki Mai Fair

Kot ki Mai Fair is a grand three-days fair celebrated every year from Panchami to Ashtami of Navratris (5th – 8th day of Navratris) in the month of Chaitra (March/April). The fair is celebrated in honour of Bhramri devi and Nanda devi.

Kumaoni Holi

37. Kumaoni Holi

The uniqueness of the Kumaoni Holi lies in its being a musical affair, whichever may be its form, be it the Baithki Holi, the Khari Holi or the Mahila Holi. The Baithki Holi and Khari Holi are unique in that the songs on which they are based have touch of melody, fun and spiritualism. 

Makar Sankranti – Ghughutia

38. Makar Sankranti – Ghughutia

Also known as Ghughutia, Uttarayani, Makraini, Makrain, Gholda, Ghowla, Chunyatyar, Khichdi Sangrand, Pusyodiya, this festival is celebrated on the day of Makar Sankranti every year. According to the Hindu religious texts, on the day of Uttarayani, the sun enters the Zodiacal sign of 'Makar' (Capricon) from the Zodiacal sign of the Kark (Cancer), i.e. from this day onward the sun becomes 'Utt

Maun Mela

39. Maun Mela

Adorned with surreal beauty, Uttarakhand is a state that’s vibrant culture and traditions will leave you in awe. The customs & traditions followed at the festive events are different and will surprise you. One such festival is Maun festival of Uttarakhand.

Nanda Devi Fair

40. Nanda Devi Fair

Goddess Nanda Devi is the daughter of the Himalayas and the wife of Lord Shiva. The people of Uttarakhand worship Nanda Devi with deep faith and you will see numerous shrines and temples dedicated to Nanda Devi in this region. Along with temples, there are several festivals and functions devoted to Nanda Devi, the most significant of them being the Nanda Raj Jat held in Nauti and Nanda Mahotsav (N

Olgia (Ghee Sankranti)

41. Olgia (Ghee Sankranti)

Different antique festivals are celebrated in the state of Uttarakhand. Each festival carries the touch of traditional cultures of the state. One of the important festivals celebrated in Uttarakhand is Olgia also known as Ghee Sankranti. This is a well-known festival that is been celebrated in various regions of the state since ages.

Purnagiri Fair

42. Purnagiri Fair

Every year Purnagiri fair is held on Vishuwat Sankranti and this attracts a large number of pilgrims. After the Holi festival, the longest fair of Kumaon (for about 40 days) starts at Purnagiri. Thousands of people visit the shrine these days.

Rameshwar Fair

43. Rameshwar Fair

Rameshwar Fair is an eventful fair with great religious and cultural significance held during Makar sakranti. The events during the fair which includes singing, dancing, and games continues all night long.

Sameshwarotsav

44. Sameshwarotsav

Sameshwarotsav or Sameshwar Utsav is an annual fair held during the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (August-September) at Uprikot village in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It is a three-day fair starting normally from 15th August till 22nd August.The main attraction of Sameshwarotsav is the practice of certain rituals by the shaman during the fair. In the course of the three days, the shaman en

Saton- Athon Festival

45. Saton- Athon Festival

Saton-Athon Festival is one of the most important festivals of the Pithoragarh region of Kumaon. On this day, it is crucial for every member of the family to wear new clothes and celebrate the festival.

Selku Fair

46. Selku Fair

Celebration of various fairs & festivals in Uttarakhand showcases the high religious spirit and traditional values that people of Uttarakhand have. From small to big all the fairs & festivals are very vibrantly celebrated by people of Uttarakhand. Selku Fair is one of them.

Somnath (Masi) Fair

47. Somnath (Masi) Fair

Somnath Fair or Masi Fair is held every year in the small village of Masi, located in Ranikhet tehsil of Almora district in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. The fair is held at Someshwar Mahadev Temple.

Syalde Bikhauti

48. Syalde Bikhauti

It is celebrated on the Vishuwat Sankranti day and commemorates an ancient victory. On this day, the Bagwal is held at Syalde Pokhar in the old town of Dwarahat. 

Tapkeshwar Fair

49. Tapkeshwar Fair

Tapkeshwar fair takes place at a very grand level in honor of the great Mahadeva. Devotees throng to the Tapkeshwar temple in large number and show their affection towards Lord Shiva. The annual Tapkeshwar fair takes place on the prosperous occasion of Shivratri around the Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple in Dehradun.

Thal Mela

50. Thal Mela

Held in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, Thal Fair or Thal Mela is one of the most important commercials fairs after Jauljibhi Fair. Thal Mela is held every year during Baisakhi at the small town of Thal in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. The small town of Thal is situated on the banks of Ramganga about 50kms northwest to the district headquarters.

Uttarayani Fair

51. Uttarayani Fair

Uttrayani fair is held in a number of places including Bageshwar, Rameshwar, Sult Mahadev, Chitrashila (Ranibagh) and Hanseshwar etc. on Uttarayani day. At Pancheshwar the dola of Chaumu comes down to the temple. 

Vishuvat Sankranti/ Bikhoti Festival

52. Vishuvat Sankranti/ Bikhoti Festival

Bikhoti or Vishuvat Sankranti is a traditional New Year’s festival of Hindus also known by the names of Bikhoti, Vaishaki, and Mesh Sankranti. Just like in other parts of India, Uttarakhand also celebrates the beginning of the New Year’s with great zeal and excitement.

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