Beckoning a lot of tourists from different parts of the world, Rajasthan is a land of charm known for its breathtaking tourist attractions! From mesmerizing landscapes to magnificent havelis, exquisite palaces and majestic forts to glistening deserts and of course interesting culture and people! But there’s one more thing that Rajasthan is known for and that is for  its colourful festivals and fairs! Take away its interesting festivals and fairs and Rajasthan will just not be the same!

Home to many an interesting festival and fair, such as Chandrabhaga Fair, Karni Mata Fair, Pushkar Fair, Urs Fair and many more, one such fair that is of tremendous significance to the people of Rajasthan is the Banganga Fair, one of the most sought after events amongst the various fairs and festivals Rajasthan organizes!

An event of great historical importance, it is held every year in the town of Bairath that lies in Jaipur district on the day of full moon in the month of April-May (Hindu month of Vaisakh). A fair celebrated with full zeal and gusto amongst the locals as well as tourists visiting from across the globe.

According to legends this was the place where Arjuna shot an arrow into the earth, causing a spring to form to quench the thirst of Bhishma Pitamah, a great soldier who was injured fighting in the battle of Mahabharata. It is here that a lake was created. The word Banganga means a stream created by shooting an arrow, Ban meaning an arrow and Ganga the name of a river in India considered holy.

Held every year on Vaishakh Purnima (the full-moon day in the Hindu calendar) that usually falls in the month of May, this year on the 17th May 2011, the fair attracts thousands of devotees who assemble near the Radha Krishnaji temple in Bairath, approximately 85 kms away from Jaipur. This fair is of tremendous significance for Hindus devotees, as Hindus believe that by bathing in the holy waters of Banganga, their souls are purified.

While devotees come from across the country to worship and bathe in the rivulet, it is said that performing this ritual at the Banganga Fair of Jaipur, is considered to be a good omen. Devotees start the day by gathering at the temple of Lord Krishna in the morning, after which they take a dip in the Banganga River. The Temple of Ganga Bihari and Hanuman and also  the Shiva temple and the Goswamiji Math are also visited.

Where there are devotees and tourists present gathered in large numbers, can hawkers and vendors stay far away? Seizing the chance to sell of their wares, this fair also attracts merchants from all over the state selling items that range from household items and toys to simple rural ornaments. The buying and selling of articles adds to the hustle-bustle of the Banganga Fair. The fair is not only a joy for shopaholics  purchasing a range of items but also for children and adults alike easily and readily enjoy rides on the giant wheels and merry-go-rounds.

For global tourists heading to Rajasthan, this is a wonderful opportunity to pick up some ethnic pieces of jewellery. Some rural ornaments here include big chunky neckpieces, wristbands, dangling earrings, waistbands, anklets and more! Sounds interesting?

A carnival of sorts for the people of Jaipur, this fair is known to attract locals from other nearby cities, one can feel the excitement in the air, delighting one and all, from locals to tourists, merchants and traders, this 200 years old fair gives one an interesting insight to the royal lands of desert, Rajasthan.

A unique chance for tourists especially from across borders to experience a bit of India’s culture, this fair s said to be like a scene from a typical Bollywood movie, charming one and all who visit it! While a tour to Rajasthan normally involves palaces, havelis and forts, all a reminder of the glory and grandeur of a bye gone era, this fair is a welcome change where tourists get a chance to meet locals and enjoy their simple lifestyle!