This Rajasthan festival honors an ancient astrologer who had predicted that water will be sold in bottles, and lamps will be lit by electricity wires.
Nothing special, isn’t it?
But, what if I told you that this astrologer lived more than 300 years back!
Aha, now you have my attention, and I am loving it.
Which is this Rajasthan festival?
The Beneshwar Dham festival is held every year in the Hindu month of Magh ( roughly January-February). The venue is 70 kilometers from Dungarpur in Rajasthan.
This festival is organized at the junction of Som, Jakham, and Mahi rivers. There is a Shiva temple at this place which is the focal point of this fair.
Don’t miss the Vishnu temple here which is associated with Sant Mavji, who is considered to be an ‘avatar’ of Lord Vishnu. He had meditated here several centuries back and had acquired some mystical powers.
The main attraction of this Rajasthan festival is the congregation of Bhils for four days. Members of this community come to Beneshwar Dham from various parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.
They come here decorated in various colorful clothes, attractive headgear, and are also armed with spears and bows and arrows.
Men and women bathe in the tri-junction of the three rivers and later enjoy much singing and dancing. The whole atmosphere is electric and you can escape the overall sense of enthusiasm.
Remembering the Dead
This is an occasion for mourning the dead members of the families. Many people come here with the ‘phool’ or bones of their dead relatives and later immerse them in the river.
It is believed that by doing so, their dead relatives achieve ‘ Moksha’ or salvation from the cycle of birth and death.
The Beneshwar Dham festival has an economic reason as well. Many poor people find it expensive to travel to Haridwar, Kashi or Prayag to observe the last rites of the dead. Coming to this festival is convenient for these people. However, the Bhils have to wait for one full year for their rites and customs.
There are some Bhils who bury their dead. In such cases, the nails and hair of the dead relatives are clipped and later stored in a small pot. Late this pot is immersed in the river.
An interesting aspect of this fair is that the Bhils remember their spiritual guide, Sant Mavji on this occasion.
He was born more than 300 years back and had made an island in the river as his home. He was a pious soul and did several good things for the Bhils.
Sant Mavji is remembered even today for his good deeds and also for his mind-boggling predictions. For example, he had predicted that there would come a day when people would buy water, and electricity would light up our lives. Sant Mavji had also foretold his people that the world would be squished between the ideologies of Communism and Capitalism. Indeed, many of his predictions have indeed come true.
This year, the Beneshwar Dham Festival was held in January. Check with me in case you are planning to attend it in next year.
How to reach
Dungarpur is easily accessible from Udaipur and Ahmedabad. You can book a cab from either of the two cities and reach Dungarpur.
For accommodation ideas, please check the Rajasthan Tourism website.
That’s it folks for now. I hope you liked this post on this amazing Rajasthan festival of Beneshwar Dham.
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