Himachal Pradesh, known as the land of Gods, is also renowned as the land of fairs and festivals. Every year many important fairs are held in Himachal. These events hold great significance in the culture and tradition of Himachal Pradesh as they offer a wonderful opportunity to showcase the local way of life. Among the various festivals, one that has gained international recognition is the renowned Minjar Mela in Chamba. The Minjar mela 2023 is going to start on 23rd of July. In this article, we will explore the fascinating International Minjar fair and delve into its various aspects.
The Minjar Mela, an internationally recognized fair, takes place in the charming town of Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, during the months of July or August. The vibrant Minjar Fair holds two significant purposes to commemorate the victory of the Chamba king over the Kangra king and to celebrate the upcoming maize and paddy crops. Spanning over a delightful duration of seven days, the Minjar Mela offers a unique glimpse into the lives of the people of Chamba, who eagerly await this festive occasion all year round.
One of the highlights of the Minjar Mela is the captivating sight of locals adorning themselves in traditional attire, which is sure to catch your attention. The fair also provides an excellent opportunity to indulge in shopping and relish the local cuisines of Chamba. Additionally, while attending this festival, you can explore the enchanting town of Chamba and visit its magnificent temples, which add to the allure of the festivities.
History of Minjar Mela / Why Minjar Fair is celebrated / Story of Minjar Fair
Why Minjar fair is celebrated ? this question has many stories, each believed to be true and carrying great significance. One version dates back to 935 AD when the king of Chamba returned victorious after defeating the king of Kangra. The people welcomed him with bundles of paddy and maize, and since then, the Minjar fair has been celebrated annually to honor this triumph.
According to another tale, the river Ravi used to flow between the temples of Champavati and Hari Rai, posing difficulties for people to cross. To address this, the king of Chamba invited Brahmins from Banaras who performed a sacred ritual called yagna to redirect the river’s course. During the intense yagna, they weaved a bundle of silk threads called “minjar” and cast it into the Ravi, resulting in the river changing its path. As a remembrance of this event, the Minjar mela is celebrated every year.
In a third story, an old lady once visited the king of Chamba but had nothing valuable to offer. She picked a maize flower from her field and presented it to the king. The king was deeply moved by her simple yet heartfelt gift and admired the purity of her thoughts. In honor of this incident, the king declared the celebration of Minjar mela on the same day each year.
These stories, passed down through generations, add to the enchantment and significance of the Minjar mela, making it a cherished festival for the people of Chamba.
How the Minjar fair is celebrated
Over time, the Minjar mela has evolved, embracing modernization while retaining its core substance. The Minjar fair begin with the conventional hoisting of the Minjar flag at the major Chowgan ground. The entire city of Chamba adorns a vibrant and various appearance as people dress up in their finest vesture. In the week-long show a range of activities are held icluding sports competitions and artistic programs which add an redundant cure of excitement to the fair.
The third day of the Minjar mela marks the zenith of joy, sprightliness, and enthusiasm. It’s during this time that the magnific Minjar procession takes place. The procession is a witching sight as the divinities are carried in a various cortege , accompanied by lively dancing troops, locals dressed in traditional vesture and traditional barrel beaters.
The procession commences its march from the grand Akhand Chandi Palace, creating a spectacle that attracts the attention and admiration of bystanders. The admixture of vibrant costumes, metrical music, and the godly presence of the divinities contributes to the gleeful atmosphere, leaving a lasting print on all who witness this vibrant festivity.
The principal guest, share in a emblematic ritual during the Minjar Mela. They throw immolations into the river, including a coconut, a rupee, a seasonal fruit, and a Minjar tied in a red cloth known as Lohan emblematizing gratefulness and reverence. Following this tradition, all the people present also throw their Minjars into the river as a way of partaking in the ritual. During this auspicious occasion, original artists sing the traditional Kunjari- Malhar songs, adding to the artistic uproariousness and musical air of the event.
It’s worth noting that until 1943, an intriguing custom took place where a live buffalo was pushed into the Ravi it was seen as an auspicious event, indicating that the immolation had been accepted if the buffalo was carried down and drowned. On the other hand, if the buffalo managed to cross the Ravi and reached the contrary bank, it was considered that the sins of the city were transferred to the other side of the river.
Significance of the Minjar mela
The Minjar mela holds immense significance for the people of Chamba and Himachal Pradesh. This vibrant fair serves as a way for them to remember their rich history and express gratitude to the divine for a bountiful harvest in the upcoming season.
Chamba district is known for its challenging terrain, and it is the ancestral home of the Gaddi tribe in Himachal Pradesh. The Gaddi tribe leads a nomadic life, herding their sheep in the remote mountains. However, during the Minjar Mela, they return to their homes, reuniting with their families and partaking in the week-long celebrations. This festival provides them a much-needed respite from their demanding lives as shepherds.
The Minjar Mela is not merely a fair; it is a platform for the people of Chamba to proudly showcase their rich heritage, traditions, culture, and way of life to the world. It becomes an opportunity for them to come together, revel in joy, dance, sing, and exchange warm greetings. This festive occasion allows the people to truly enjoy and celebrate, creating a sense of unity and camaraderie among the community.
Major attractions during Minjar mela Chamba/ Why is Minjar mela famous for
Every evening during the Minjar Mela, enchanting cultural nights take place. Renowned artists from various parts of India and Himachal Pradesh are invited to showcase their talent, contributing to the captivating ambiance of the fair. These cultural performances become a captivating highlight, enhancing the overall beauty and charm of the Minjar Mela.
The Minjar Mela features a range of thrilling sports events, including kabaddi, volleyball, football, wrestling, hockey, tug of war and more. Teams from both Punjab and Himachal Pradesh actively participate, creating a spirited atmosphere. The sight of enthusiastic crowds passionately cheering for their favorite teams adds an incredible sense of joy and excitement to the festivities. It is a delightful spectacle to witness the camaraderie and competitive spirit displayed during these sporting competitions.
Exhibitions by various Govt. Departments
The exhibitions arranged by various government departments during the Minjar Mela are a delightful sight to behold. These exhibitions serve as a platform to showcase the accomplishments of the departments and raise awareness about their upcoming initiatives and plans. They provide an opportunity for people to learn and appreciate the progress made by these departments while keeping them informed about future developments. These exhibitions contribute to the overall enriching and informative experience of the Minjar Mela.
Palanquins of the Deities
Witnessing the gathering of local deities in the historic Chamba chaugan is an absolute delight. Over 200 revered deities grace the Minjar Mela, creating a rare and extraordinary spectacle. This is a unique occasion where a multitude of deities congregate, offering devotees an extraordinary opportunity to seek their blessings. The sight of these divine entities coming together is truly awe-inspiring, and the chance to receive the blessings of multiple deities adds a profound spiritual dimension to the Minjar Mela experience.
Stalls of Chamba Chappal and Chamba Rumal
Chamba is renowned for its iconic Chamba chappal and the exquisite Chamba rumal. The Minjar Mela provides an excellent opportunity to explore numerous stalls offering these Geographical Indication (GI) tagged products. Visitors can indulge in the purchase of authentic Chamba chappals and rumals at incredibly reasonable prices. These traditional handicrafts are highly sought after, and acquiring them during the Minjar mela ensures a memorable and rewarding shopping experience.
Stalls of Chamba Chukh and pickles
Among the renowned specialties of Chamba, Chamba chukh holds a significant place. It is a flavorful sauce made from chillies and is available in two enticing variations: red chillie chukh and green chillie chukh. If you have a fondness for spicy flavors, indulging in this culinary delight is a must-try experience. The Chamba chukh adds a delightful kick to your taste buds and offers a unique taste of the region’s culinary heritage. Don’t miss the chance to savor this fiery delight during your visit to Chamba.
Staying options During Minjar Fair
Chamba Town offers a wide range of accommodation options for visitors. However, due to the significant influx of tourists during the Minjar Mela, it is recommended to book your hotel rooms in advance. To secure your accommodation during the Minjar Mela, please visit traveltohimachalpradesh. This website provides a convenient platform for booking your desired hotel in Chamba, ensuring a comfortable stay during this bustling festival.
How to reach Chamba ?
Chamba is accessible exclusively by road. The nearest railway station to Chamba is located in Pathankot, approximately 104 kilometers away. For air travel, the closest airport is Gaggal Airport in Kangra, which is around 125 kilometers from Chamba town. To reach Chamba, one must plan their journey accordingly, either by road from nearby cities or by arriving at the nearest railway station or airport and then continuing the remaining distance by road.
Oher places to explore near Chamba
Bhuri Singh Museum
Situated close to the historic Chaugan of Chamba, the Bhuri Singh Museum is a must-visit destination. Exploring this museum provides a captivating glimpse into the rich history and heritage of the Chamba kingdom. You will have the opportunity to admire various artifacts and remnants that offer insights into the glorious past of Chamba. Make sure not to miss this cultural treasure trove during your visit to Chamba.
Dalhousie, regarded as one of India’s most picturesque hill stations, exudes tranquility and charm. This serene town is nestled at a distance of 42 kilometers from the bustling Chamba town. With its breathtaking landscapes and peaceful ambiance, Dalhousie offers a perfect retreat for nature lovers and those seeking a respite from the hectic pace of city life. Discover the beauty of this enchanting hill station and immerse yourself in its serene surroundings.
Khajjiar, often referred to as “mini Switzerland,” is a stunning open meadow nestled amidst dense pine forests. This picturesque destination boasts a small lake at its center, enhancing its natural allure. Visitors can indulge in various activities such as horse riding, zorbing, and delight in the melodious tunes performed by local artists. Khajjiar’s serene beauty and captivating ambiance make it a must-visit location for those seeking a tranquil and enchanting experience amidst nature’s splendor.
Chamera dam and Bhalei mata temple
Chamera Dam, a magnificent man-made lake, offers a delightful boating experience for visitors. Situated at a distance of 37 kilometers from Chamba town, this serene location is perfect for enjoying a leisurely boat ride amidst the picturesque surroundings. Additionally, nearby, you can explore the Bhalai Mata Temple, which adds a spiritual touch to the visit. The combination of scenic beauty and the opportunity to engage in boating activities makes Chamera Dam a popular attraction for tourists seeking tranquility and a connection with nature.
Minjar mela 2023 Start Date
As per the official website, the Minjar Mela Chamba 2023 is scheduled to commence on the 23rd of July and will continue until the 30th of July. The vibrant cultural nights are set to kick off from the 24th of July, offering a series of captivating performances for attendees to enjoy. Mark your calendars and get ready to immerse yourself in the festive spirit and cultural extravaganza of the Minjar Mela in Chamba.
What is Minjar fair?
The Minjar Fair in Himachal Pradesh is an annual celebration held in Chamba. It serves as a tribute to the victorious triumph of the Chamba kingdom over the king of Kangra. Additionally, this vibrant fair is a way for the people to express gratitude to the divine for the anticipated bountiful harvest in the forthcoming season. The Minjar Fair is a joyous occasion that encompasses cultural festivities, traditional rituals, and a vibrant atmosphere that highlights the rich heritage and agricultural significance of the region.
When was minjar fair started?
According to local beliefs, the origins of the renowned Minjar fair can be traced back to 935 AD. It was during this time that the king of Chamba emerged triumphant in a decisive battle against the king of Kangra. To celebrate the victorious return of their beloved king to Chamba, the people joyously presented him with bundles of maize and paddy. This historic event marked the inception of the Minjar Fair, an annual festival that continues to be celebrated with great enthusiasm and reverence, commemorating the victory and fostering a sense of unity and gratitude among the people of Chamba.
Who Started Minjar Fair ?
Legend has it that King Sahil Varman, a prominent ruler of Chamba, initiated the Minjar Fair as a way to commemorate his victory over the Kangra kingdom. In recognition of his triumph, King Sahil Varman established the Minjar fair, which has since become an integral part of Chamba’s cultural fabric. This annual celebration serves as a joyful reminder of the king’s accomplishment, uniting the people of Chamba in a vibrant and lively festival that showcases their rich heritage and traditions.
Is Minjar an international Fair ?
The Minjar mela has attained the prestigious status of an international fair, as declared by the Himachal Pradesh government. This recognition was granted after witnessing the significant impact of the fair and its extensive coverage in both digital and print media. Being among the select few international fairs of Himachal Pradesh, the Minjar Mela holds a special place in the cultural landscape, attracting global attention and contributing to the promotion of Himachal’s rich traditions and heritage on an international platform.
How long does Minjar Mela last for?
In a recent update, it has been confirmed by the DC office in Chamba that the Minjar Fair in 2023 will be extended to eight days instead of the usual week-long duration. The fair is scheduled to commence on the 23rd of July and will conclude on the 30th of July. This additional day of festivities promises an even more immersive and enjoyable experience for visitors, providing ample time to partake in the vibrant cultural celebrations and explore the diverse attractions of the Minjar fair.
Where is the Minjar fair held?
The Minjar Fair takes place in the historical Chaugan of Chamba, situated in the town of Chamba itself. The town derives its name from the queen of Chamba, Champavati, adding a touch of regal charm to its identity. The Chaugan serves as the backdrop for the grand celebration of the Minjar Fair, providing a captivating venue where locals and visitors come together to revel in the festivities, showcase their culture, and create lasting memories.
Is Minjar the oldest Fair of Himachal ?
The Minjar Mela is widely believed to be one of the oldest fairs celebrated in Himachal Pradesh. It holds a significant place in the cultural and historical heritage of the region. However, it is important to note that there is another fair, Mahasu Jatar, which some people also consider to be one of the oldest fairs in Himachal Pradesh. While the exact origins and historical precedence of these fairs may vary in popular belief, both the Minjar Mela and Mahasu Jatar showcase the rich traditions, customs, and vibrant celebrations that have been cherished by the people of Himachal for generations.
In which month minjar fair is held ?
The Minjar Fair is traditionally celebrated in the month of Shravan, specifically on the second Sunday of that month. The Shravan month typically occurs in the late July to early August timeframe. This auspicious period is chosen for the Minjar Fair, aligning with the religious significance and cultural traditions associated with the Shravan month. Visitors can plan their visit accordingly to partake in the vibrant festivities of the Minjar Fair during this time of the year.
What is the main ceremony during the Minjar fair?
A significant highlight of the Minjar Fair is the ceremonial act of throwing the Minjar into the Ravi River as a gesture of reverence towards its mighty waters. This ritual holds great importance, symbolizing the deep connection between the local community and the bountiful nature surrounding them. Not only the chief guest, but also the local people enthusiastically participate in this tradition by casting their own Minjars into the Ravi, expressing gratitude to both nature and the divine for their abundant blessings. This collective act of tribute showcases the unity and gratitude of the people towards the river and its role in their lives.