This ancient Rajasthan festival has a Mahabharat connection- what is the story?
The Banganga fair in Alwar is quite an interesting and ancient Rajasthan festival.
If you are planning to go to Jaipur from Delhi in April, then it would be a good idea to make a detour to the Banganga village which lies on the way.
Ancient Rajasthan festival -Banganga Fair
This fair is also considered to be very old. Some say that its origins can be traced to the Mahabharat War.
The story goes like this.
One day, as Bhishma lay on a bed of arrows during the War, his throat went dry. He could not get up and drink water because of his wounds.
He looked around and saw that the Pandavas and Kauravas were standing around him. Since Bhishma was greatly weakened because of the wounds, he could not speak loud enough to ask for water; he could just gesture about his thirst.
Only one man understood what the venerable Bhishma was saying, and that was Arjuna, his favorite great-grandson.
Arjuna stepped forward, took out an arrow, and shot it in the ground. The arrow went inside the ground with much force, and a few moments later, a very narrow stream emerged from the rocks below. Arjuna scooped up some water from this stream and offered it to his grandsire. Bhishma sipped this water with great satisfaction and silently blessed Arjuna.
This event, ladies, and gentlemen is celebrated by the locals as the Banganga Fair.
Meaning of Banganga
The word Banganga is made of two words, Ban (arrow) and Ganga ( holy river).
Therefore, over a period this stream became a holy river for many Rajasthanis and gave birth to a festival of sorts.
If you are interested to attend this festival, then plan your trip to the Bairath town on Vaishakh Poornima ( approximately April). Bairath is on the road that connects Shahpura to Alwar.
Shahpura falls on the main Delhi- Jaipur highway and once you reach this town from Delhi, take a left turn on the road leading toward Alwar. The venue of this festival is just one kilometer from the turn.
Bathe in this river, and you will get rid of your illnesses.
That’s it, folks.
Thanks for reading.