The people of Uttarakhand are very cheerful and so are their festivals. They are an amalgamation of various social and cultural factors. The adoration for hues and blissful celebrations can be seen in the natives throughout. Being the Earthly Abode for Gods the state celebrates few festivals that are exclusive to the state.
Here are some colorful fairs of Uttarakhand–
1. NANDA DEVI MELA–
A vital holy fair in the Kumaon Region of Uttarakhand, Nanda Devi Mela is a process to worship the esteemed Goddess of the state and is an apt location to get a sight of the rustic traditional art and craft. Nanda Devi Mela is mainly organized in regions of Almora, Nainital, Bageshwar, Bhowali, and Kot along with the distant villages of Johar. Every year the fair is organized in the month of September. Almora can be said as the central hub, where the main fair is held and is celebrated for 5 to 7 days. Nanda Devi Mela, also known as Nanda Devi Mohatsav has been celebrated since the Chand kings ruled the place.
According to the ancient mythology, Nanda Devi was the family Goddess of The Chand Kings, monarchs of The Kumaon Region. King Dyot Chand, in the 17th century, built the temple of Nanda Devi in Almora. Thus, from then onwards, Nanda Devi Fair is organized to worship the Goddess of Kumaon, every year. Nanda Devi signifies the lucrative and cultural prosperity of the region. Masses engage themselves in the procession which carries the dola (palanquin) of Nanda Devi and her sister, Sunanda. Devotees from both Garhwal and Kumaon regions are seen in the fair, which is held near the Nanda Devi Temple.
2. PURNAGIRI MELA–
This scintillating and spiritual festival memorializes Goddess Sati and is held in the famous Shri Purnagiri Temple in Uttarakhand. The fair is organized at Annapurna Peak which is vibrantly cheerful and offers a bird’s – eye view of the surrounding Himalayas. Annapurna Peak is raised at a height of 1676m above the sea level, this is the place where the temple of “Shree Purnagiri” is situated and the fair is organized. The place where the temple is established has been assumed to be the location where the navel portion of Sati and Savan Prajapati was cut down by Vishnu Chakra. It is a sheer paradise enjoying the ‘Mela’ with the stimulating view of the ranges. The temple is somewhat near Tunya and Tanakpur. Tunya is located 17 km away from the temple whereas Tanakpur is located 20 km away from the temple whereas Tanakpur is located 20 Km away established on the right bank of the Kali river of Champawat District of Kumaon Region. The esteemed temple is one of the 108 “Siddha Peethas” and hence it is observed as a hub of devotees, during the Navratri Festival.
3. GAUCHAR MELA–
Gauchar Mela of Uttarakhand acts as a magnet to attract so many locals, tourists, traders, and merchants from every corner of the region. The fair usually starts on 14th November every year and lasts for 6-7 days. Elementarily an industrial fair, Gauchar Mela is widely attended by tourists and inhabitants of the state. It serves as a platform for the local artists to showcase their talent.
Local dances and songs of the cultural programs remain the center of attraction of the whole event in Uttarakhand.
4. MAGA MELA–
Organized once a year on the occasion of Makar Sankranti (January) in Uttarkashi, Maga Mela is another kind of adrenaline rush for the natives. It is a major event of the Uttarkashi district. This fair holds a cultural, religious and commercial importance in that region. The fair is held on the banks of Bhagirathi River in Uttarkashi.
People from various areas of Kumaon, Garhwal and other parts of Uttar Pradesh take part in the mega event of Uttarakhand. The mela attracts spiritual souls from all over the world. This event has a unique bathing ritual which begins on a full moon day and lasts for 15 days to a month. If organized after twelve years this Mela is called KUMBH MELA and after six years, it is known as ARDH KUMBH.
5. UTTARAINI MELA–
Uttaraini Mela of Uttarakhand is held around many locations including Sult Mahadev, Bageshwar, Rameshwar, Chitrashila (Ranibagh), Hameshwar etc.
It is another festival organized on the day of Makar Sankranti (Uttarayani day). Traders from Tibet and Nepal come to the fair to earn quick profits. Blankets, Baskets, Casks, Durries, Mats, Mattresses, Cane, Bamboo Articles, Iron and Copper Pots, Carpets, Blankets, herbs, Spices, and many more exotic things are available for the sale.