There perhaps is no better way to feel the essence of Gujarat’s folk than attending Tarnetar Fair, which is mainly based on the legends of Draupadi’s swayamvara. The festival spans for three days and falls every year on the dates of Bhadarva Sud (Hindu calendar in the months of August and September). During the festival traditional music, dance, costumes and arts of Gujarat form the major highlight. It is mainly for young men and women in search of their significant other, but this is in no way mean that a person least interested in romance wouldn’t be able to have fun here. In fact, with the growing time the festival is only gaining more and more popularity and is attracting visitors not only from India, but beyond. Every year more than 50,000 people attend the festival.
Though there are many kinds of folks performed during the festival, but the most popular is raas. Also, many bhajanmadalis and sadhus sing in chorus. And some people indulge in shopping of local handicrafts that are rare in other regions. The shops sell ethnic jewellery, idols of gods, traditional attires etc. Children too have many slides, events, stalls and swings for their entertainments like merry-go-round, magic-shows and photographers stall. The Gujarat Tourism offer special packages and tented accommodation for people visiting Tarnetar Fair. So, make sure you keep an eye on them and grab the best of all.
When and Where:-
The Tarnetar Fair spans for three days and falls every year on the dates of Bhadarva Sud (Hindu calendar in the months of August and September). It takes place in Tanetar Village, which is located in Surendranagar District, just 8 km from Thangadh Town. There is easy connectivity via rail, air and roads.
History of the fair :-
As mentioned above, the festival is associated with Draupadi’s swayamwar. To get the bride, Arjun pierced the eye of a rotating fish by just looking at its reflection on the water. The fair is believed to have started sometime 200 or 250 years ago. It is held near the Triniteshwar Mahadev (the Three-eye-god), which was rebuilt in the 19th century by 19th century. This temple is the focal point of the Tarnetar Fair.
The Tarnetar Mela or fair is held at Tarnetar, near the town of Thangadh, Gujarat. It takes place along with the festival at the Trineteshwar Temple, celebrating the wedding of Arjuna with Draupadi. The fair is held at the grounds of Triniteshwar Mahadev temple. The old temple was ruined, but a new one was built in the 19th century and is situated on the bank of a rivulet and opens into a beautiful reservoir. The Triniteshwar Mahadev Fair is commonly called as the Tarnetar Mela and is celebrated in the first week of 'Bhadrapad' (August-September) according to the Hindu calendar.
The fair is a mixture of colors and lots of excitement. According to legend, the fair has been held here since ancient times and is linked with the tale of Draupadi's Swayamvar, where Arjuna executed the difficult task of piercing the eye of a rotating fish with an arrow, by looking at its reflection in the water and with this accomplishment he won her heart. But historically, the festival is assumed to have initiated about 200 to 250 years ago.