FAIR & FESTIVALS
Agra is a beautiful city, which is visited by a crazy number of travelers from all around. Fair and festivals in Agra are quite colorful. If you visit the Mughal City during the celebrations, it is an ideal time to get a sneak-peak into the culture and traditions of the region. Following are some of the most popular fairs and festivals in Agra:
One of the most famous festivals in Agra, Taj Mahotsav is an annual event, which is organized in the month of February for 10 days. Close to the Taj Mahal, the Crafts Village or Shilpgram is the venue of the festival. The festival is organized by Uttar Pradesh Tourism to promote the art and craft of the region, made painstakingly by local craftsmen. The festival is a display of art, crafts, culture, traditional variety of food, and folk performances. Ghazal and Mushairas (poetry) performances is the other highlight. For children, there are camel and elephant rides.
The festival welcomes the spring season with zeal. The Mahotsav starts with a grand procession that has decorated camels and elephants, folk artists, accompanied by drumbeaters. Some of the best attractions at Taj Mahotsav include Chikankari from Lucknow, handmade carpets from Badohi, wood carvings from Saharanpur, silk from Varanasi, blue pottery from Khurja, Sapera dance from Rajasthan, Nautanki from Uttar Pradesh, Lavani from Maharashtra, and so on.
The town of Bateshwar is located at a distance of just 70 km from Agra. It is named after the presiding deity, Bateshwar Mahadeo. This town is known for its cultural as well as spiritual significance as it has 108 temples of several Hindu gods and goddess. An annual fair is organized here in the months of October/November, dedicated to Lord Shiva. During this month-long event, thousands of devotees of the Lord take a dip in the holy waters of River Yamuna. Livestock and Cattle Fair is a part of this fair. The festivities can be seen in Agra too.
Organized before Dussehra, Ram Barat is the special marriage procession of Lord Ram, which is organized every year in Agra. It is a part of Ramleela, which ends on the day of Dussehra, when Lord kills Ravana. At a special venue the palace of the Goddess Sita, Raja Janak, ‘Janakpuri’ is set-up. One of the highlights is the bedecked ‘jhankis’. This venue becomes the base for the fair, which is visited by thousands of devotees of the Lord who come to witness the royal wedding.
The procession of Ram Barat commences from Lala Channomalji Ki Baradari, traversing through the lanes of the city, to arrive at Janakpuri venue. The idol of Lord Rama, along with his brothers on elephants, is kept on special chariot decorated with silver leaves. Their bejeweled headgears look fabulous. The role of female characters are played by the local teenaged boys.
Organized at a location, just 12 km away from Agra, Kailash Fair is held at Kailash temple for paying homage to Lord Shiva. The festival is organized in the month of August/September for celebrating the appearance of Lord Shiva as a stone lingam. Devotees from nearby places attend this fair.