Known literally as the Bhadrapad Ambaji Mela, this festival is a religious celebration in the state of Gujarat in India. As the name suggests, it is a fair that takes place at the Ambaji village, right at the centre of it, outside the main Ambaji temple premises. The Ambaji village is located in the Danta taluk, which comes under a district called Banaskantha, located right at the border of the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
As per the traditional Hindu calendar, every year the Bhadrapad Ambaji Mela takes place in the month of Bhadrapad, which as per the Gregorian calendar falls in the month of August or September, and this year in 2017, the fair will take place on the 6th of September. There are thousands of pilgrims and saints who gather from far off places in the village of Ambaji during this festival time, often on foot to be a part of this religious and vibrant fair. The fair takes place right after the monsoon season reasonably subsides, and thus, there’s lush greenery around, with sparkling waters and a rich landscape.
Pilgrims during their stay at the Ambaji village for the festival, spend their time by participating in all religious and devotional activities, prayers and offerings, followed by visiting some holy shrines that are situated nearby from the main Ambaji temple. Some pilgrims also opt to attend the readings of the Saptashati; which is 700 verses written in praise of Goddess Ambaji, who is the central subject of this village as well as fair. Other than all this, the fair dons a conventional look of a congenial fair, with stalls put up showcasing eateries, toys, games, as well as shops showcasing idols, articles, and amulets of Goddess Ambaji. For recreation purposes, merry go rounds as well as ferri wheels are put up and acrobatics are also performed for cultural enjoyment. Folk music and dances are also performed during the fair, as cultural events.
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