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.
Where is Jagda Festival celebrated?
Mahasu Devta is highly revered in different regions of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The festival is celebrated in the temples of Mahasu Devta located in Jaunsar-Bawar region.
The Mahasu Devta Temple of Hanol on the bank of Tons River is the most significant temple of Mahasu Devta in the area.The temple was built in the 9th century and is also included in the Archaelogical Survey of India’s list of ancient temples.
Other significant temples in the region are Thaina Temple, Lakhbad Temple, Koti Bawar Temple, Raigi Temple, Bisoi Temple, Bulhar Temple, Kota Taplad Temple, and Laksyar Temple.
Significance of Mahasu Devta
Mahasu Devta is considered to be the God of Justice and worshipped as a form of Lord Shiva. Mahasu Devta actually refers to the four Mahasu brothers- Botha Mahasu, Pabasik Mahasu, Basik Mahasu and Chalda Mahasu, who are worshipped colloquially as “Mahasu Devta”.
The word “Mahasu” is a distorted version of the word “Mahashiva”.
Legend of Mahasu Devta
Legend has it that at the beginning of Kaliyuga, demons wandered over in large numbers and destroyed villages and killed people throughout Uttarakhand. The most powerful demon, Kirmir had killed all the seven sons of a righteous Brahmin named Huna Bhatt.
Kirmir desired to own the wife of Huna Bhatt, Kritika and had an evil eye on her. Frustrated by Kirmir’s actions, Kritika prayed to Lord Shiva to protect her and Lord Shiva accepted her prayers and blinded the demon. Huna Bhatt and Kritika escaped from the demon and then started praying to Hatkeshwari Devi of Hatkoti for blessing their people.
The goddess appeared and advised the couple to go to Kashmir Mountains and pray to Lord Shiva there. They did so and pleased with their devotion, Lord Shiva blessed that soon all evil will be killed. He advised them to go back to their village and worship the goddess by performing certain rituals.
They did as they were told. The goddess was pleased with them and told Huna Bhatt to plough a part of his field with plough made with gold and silver. The bullock to be used in ploughing would have to be one which has never been used for ploughing before. This had to be done for 6 Sundays and on the 7th Sunday, the Mahasu brothers would arrive with their ministries and save the people from the demons.
Huna Bhatt did as told by Devi and on one Sunday, the Mahasu brothers appeared one by one from the furrows of the plough. From the first furrow appeared Botha Mahasu, from the second appeared Pavasi Mahasu, from the third appeared Vasik Mahasu, and from the fourth appeared Chalda Mahasu. Their heavenly mother, Devladli Devi and their ministries appeared from the fifth furrow. The Mahasu killed all the demons and peace was restored in the entire region.
Be part of Jagda Festival celebration
During Jagda Festival, a palanquin containing the idol of Mahasu Devta is carried by the people and taken across the villages. People gather in large numbers and walk while singing folk and devotional songs, and dancing on the beats of music.
The entire Jaunsar-Bawar region is filled with celebration with magnificently decorated temples and enjoyable cultural programmes. Artists, musicians, and folk dancers from Dehradun and other areas participate in the fair.
Jagda Festival is attended by highly respected officials and leaders and is one of the most anticipated festivals of the region.
Visit JaunsarBawar and be a part of this wonderful festival where you’ll not just enjoy the celebration but get to know the expansive culture and traditions of the region.