Rajasthan is one of the most colorful and vibrant states of India that is famous for its cultural heritage, glorious monuments and fair and festivals. Most of the fairs and festivals of Rajasthan are associated with some legends or with Mythology. Baneshwar is one such religious festival celebrated in the Dungarpur city of Rajasthan. The term Baneshwar means the master of the delta in the local Vagdi language. This religious fair is held at the delta formed by the river Som and Mahi during the months of Shivratri (January-Februaruy). Earlier on two fairs were held at this same venue. One is held in order to adore Lord Shiva - the Baneshwar Mahadev and another fair was held after the Vishnu Temple was constructed by Jankunwari the daughter- in -law of Mavji a saint who was considered to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Now a day only Baneshwar fair is observed by merging both of them after every four years.
Huge congregations of Bhils community of not only from Rajasthan but from the neighboring states assemble at this place and offer their prayers to Lord Shiva. The temple of Baneshwar remains open from 5.00 am to 11.00 pm during the time of fair and people offer rice, jaggery, ghee, salt, chilies, wheat flour, pulses, coconut and money to their revered God. The whole atmosphere during this fair is filled with devotion, joy and enthusiasm. There are various cultural events that are organized and lot of activities like Raslila, animal shows, acrobatic performances swings, dance and music programs given by the Bhils are take place and are the major attractions of the fair.
The main purpose of this fair is to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva by offering prayers to Him in the ancient Baneshwar Mahadev Temple. During the time of fair the whole Dungarpur city can be seen flocked with people from all over the country. Visitors can also buy the handicrafts and souvenirs as a memento of Baneshwar Festival of Dungarpur.
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