Uttarayani Fair Bageshwar

Uttarayani is the biggest and the most celebrated festival and fair of Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand. It is observed on the occasion of Makar sankranti festival of Hindus which is celebrated with the utmost joy in both Garhwal and Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Most probably it comes on the 2nd week of the first month of the year on 14th of January. 

Being popular as the Uttarayani fair or ‘Uttarayani ka Mela’ fair is a mode to revive or represent the local culture of Kumaon. Uttarayani fair is always a great mode to depicts the rich culture, heritage, dances, songs and social issues by using its platform. However, many political leaders used it for their personal party benefits.

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Why Uttarayani Fair is so popular in Kumaon?

It is one of the oldest fairs of Kumaon also as the Makarsakranti or ‘sakrant’ or ' Uttarayani Kauthik Mela' in local dialects. When there was no mode of entertainment, malls, and big markets, the Uttarayani fair played a major role in representing the wide variety of cultural activities and local products in front of masses. 

Rich History Connected With Uttarayani Fair

Uttarayani fair played a vital role in the freedom fight. When there was no television in the villages, these big fairs were the only medium to share social messages and other important news with local dwellers. The Bageshwar itself played a vital role in eliminating the ‘Coolie and beggar' paratha or system of the British Empire. In 1921 Pandit Badri Dutt Pandey with other activists had given a call for the eventual eradication for this evil cause on the banks of Saryu and Gomti rivers of Uttarakhand. In 1929, Gandhi Ji has also visited Bageshwar because of its fighting spirit against the evil rules implemented on common man by Britishers.

The religious significance of Uttarayani fair

People from far-flung areas of Uttarakhand gathered here on the bank of Saryu and Gomti river to take a holy dip on the occasion of Sankrant or Makar Sankranti. It is believed that bathing on this day/festival is auspicious and it will wash away one’s sins.

Highlight of Bageshwar fair or Uttarayani Fair

  • Cultural events by local artists which represents the rich Kumaoni culture.
  • Traders & weavers from different places sell their products here. 
  • Food stalls and swings/rides.
  • The kumaoni music and dance performed by ‘choiliya’ dancers.

Things you can buy at Uttarayani fair are handmade blankets, shawl, bamboo articles, iron and copper utensils, mattresses, sleek carpets, spices, etc.

Ghughutiya Festival of Kumaon

On the day of Uttarayani (Makar Sankranti), the festival of Ghughutiya or Ghughute is celebrated in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. On this day, Ghughte of various shapes are prepared from dough and gur or sugar. The children wear a garland made of Ghughute. Puri and Ghughute are offered to the crows and the popular song "Kale Kawwa" is sung by children.

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