Shri Mahavirji Fair 2012 from 1st to 6th April

Shri Mahavirji Fair 2012 begins today, 1st April to 6th April. Shri Mahavirji fair is held from Chaitra Shukla Ekadasi to Baisakh Krishna Dwitiya (March-April) to commemorate the memory of Shri Mahavir Swami, the 24th tirthankara (saint) of the Jains, in Chandangaon. The Mahavirji temple is located in an enclosure known as 'katala' and houses the image of Mahavir Swami believed to have been dug out by a leather worker from Devta-Ka-Tila, a nearby hillock.There is a Man-Stambha (tower of glory) made of marble in front of the temple. The temple is maintained by the chief priest called Bhattarak and assisted by Brahmacharis (his disciples). The image of Mahavirji is washed followed by pujan and ashta-argha (eight oblations). In the evening aarti is performed. Lamps are lit by 'ghee' (clarified butter) and the offerings comprise of rice, white and yellow flowers, sandalwood, camphor, saffron, mishri (crystallised sugar), and dry fruits.
The major attraction is the Rath Yatra. The fair of Mahavirji reaches its peak on Baisakh Krishna Dwitiya when the image of the deity is taken to the bank of river Gambhiri in a grand procession for Kalash Abhishek. The golden chariot (rath) is drawn by bullocks. Four persons wave chanvars (fly whisks) over the image and the site resounds with "bhajans" and religious songs with intermittent slogans of 'Shri Mahavir Swami Ki Jai'. After the ceremony, the procession returns with the same grandeur and the image is restored to the temple. The pilgrims gather at the temple to worship, meditate and seek the blessings of the saint with folded hands. During the evening offering the temple is illuminated with lights. Permanent shops exist at the site, selling food grains, cloth and general merchandise. Temporary shops spring up at the fair and cater to the needs of the visitors. Lots of Rajasthan handicrafts are at a display during this fair.
How to Reach: Chandangaon, the site of the fair, is 6.5 Kms away from 'Shri Mahavirji' Railway Station of the Western Railway on the Delhi-Mumbai broad gauge line. It is 18 kms from Hindaun, 29 kms from Karauli and 176 kms from Jaipur. Buses are regular between Jaipur, Hindaun and Shri Mahavirji. Buses and tongas (horse drawn carriages) are the means of transport for the passengers to the temple.