Dharamsala (arvind Sharma )
Minjar Fair started at Chamba
Traditional eight day long International Minjar Fair of Chamba town started Smt. Urmila Singh, Governor inaugurated International Minjar Fair by unfurling the customary Minjar flag at Chamba on Sunday .Speaking on the occasion, Smt. Singh said , “ Indian culture stands unique among all the cultures of the world because it has preserved its distinct identity over the years . Fairs and festivals were the identity of Himachal Pradesh which showcase the rich culture of ‘Dev Bhoomi’ in varied colours and added that people of the state deserve appreciation for preserving their rich cultural heritage in tac.”
She also inaugurated the sports competitions of Minjar fair and visited exhibition stalls put up by various Government departments, Boards and Corporations.
“Minjar Mela”, is the popular festival held in Chamba held on the second Sunday of the Shravana month, corresponding to the month of August in the Gregorian calendar. It marks the triumph of the Raja of Chamba over the ruler of Trigarta (now called as Kangra), in 935 AD and also celebrates the paddy and maize crops grown at this time of the year.The festival commences with offerings of ‘minjar’, consisting of a bunch of paddy plant and golden silk wrapped in red fabric. The offerings also include a rupee, a seasonal fruit, and a coconut.
This occasion is also celebrated with a flag hoisting ceremony at the Chaugan that initiates a week of cultural and social programmes.The image of the deity, Lord Raghuvira, and more than 200 other deities, are taken in a procession, in a chariot pulled by ropes. Folk dances and music performances known as ‘Kunjari Malhar’ are part of the festivities. On the last day of the festival, a parade is held from the Akhand Chandi Palace to Ravi River, where offerings are made to the river. This commemorates an event in which Raja Sahil Verman changed the course of the river, to make the Hari Rai temple accessible to all devotees.