Celebrated in the village of Chhapar, in Ludhiana district, Chhapar Mela is a nice blend of cultural ethos. In this fair, one would find everything to entertain themselves, right from delicious foods to fun games.
Observed on the fourth day of Bhadra month, this Punjabi fair is majorly held in the memory of Gugga Pir who is also known as Gogaji. He is a folk deity, mainly worshipped in the northern Indian states like Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu, Gujarat and few other places.
Gugga Pir is celebrated as a warrior-hero in local regions and is also revered as a saint or the snake-god.
According to the legend, once upon a time a snake and a boy were born together in an agricultural family residing in Chhapar village. It is said that both of them shared a very strong bond of love with each other. Once, it happened that the mother of the boy went to the fields for some work leaving him on the cot. To comfort the boy and provide him with some shade, the snake went stretching his hood on him.
At that moment, a local villager was passing by and seeing the snake hovering the boy like that, he killed it. As they shared a mutual bond of love, the boy also died a few moments after the snake's death.
After the deaths, the family members were advised by the village elders to worship Gugga for the well-being of the child and since then this fair is held in the saint’s memory.
According to the legends, it is believed that this fair came into being about 150 years ago by a few devotees of the Gugga Pir.
Every year, it is celebrated in the month of Bhado or Bhadra. According to the English calendar, the date of this event falls sometime in September. Lately, this fair has garnered too much attention for itself and the number of people attending this fair has risen to millions.
With the onset of this fair, you can witness and indulge yourself in various activities from playing games to devouring scrumptious food items. There are stalls for food, games and arts and crafts all around. The Punjabi people can also be seen dancing with a perpetual smile on their faces.
Overall, it is a nice blend of fun, music and dance. And from the past few decades, this fair has emerged to be one of the most popular and largest cultural gatherings of Ludhiana, Punjab.
The festival is celebrated in Chhapar village which lies in the Ludhiana district and can be easily accessed by tourists from anywhere in India. The Ludhiana airport and railway junction are very well-connected to many other major cities of India. One can also come to Chandigarh and then take a train or road transport to Ludhiana which hardly takes 2 hours.
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