The Uttarayani Fair, established under the Chand dynasty, epitomises Kumaon's rich cultural heritage. Celebrated during the Makar Sankranti Festival on January 14th, this grand event in Bageshwar District showcases traditional performances by folk artists, including enchanting renditions of Jhoras, Chancharis, and Bairas. Serving as a vital means of communication, it attracts a large audience and provides a platform for political messages. With its array of entertainment, culinary delights, and artisanal crafts, the fair is a highlight of Uttarakhand's cultural calendar, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the region's vibrant traditions and festivities.
History of Uttarayani Fair
The Uttarayani Fair is being organized for years. Earlier, when technology was not advanced and people did not have TV, radio, etc, this fair was used to communicate information and important news.
That is not all. The Uttarayani Fair also played a major role during India’s freedom fight. It has witnessed several political and social revolutions. In Bageshwar itself, several activists, including Pandit Badri Datt Pandey, revolted for the elimination of Coolie Beggar (Bonded Labour) in 1921.
During the fair, local artists perform regional songs and display several folk dance forms such as Chholiya, Jhoras, Chancharis, and many more.
Chholiya is a folk dance form that belongs to the Kumaun region of Uttarakhand. It is performed by a group of men and women dressed in colorful attire.
It is also named Kumaoni Jhora which is a Pahari Jhora dance form performed by a group of women while singing their folk songs in Kumaoni languages.
4. Shopping at Uttarayani
If you are at Uttarayani Fair, you will get insights into the locals’ lifestyle and one of the major things to explore is the local shops at the fair. Different household and handicraft items are sold here. Some of them are casks, bamboo items, baskets, copper pots, and many more.
5. Bagnath Temple
This ancient temple is one of the most popular temples in Uttarakhand. Every year, the temple witnesses a huge number of Hindu devotees, seeking blessings from Lord Shiva. It is situated at the confluence of Sarayu and Gomati river. The architectural marvel is designed in basic North-Indian Nagar architecture. During Shivaratri, the temple looks more enthusiastic and cheerful.
6. Fun Activities
The Uttarayani Fair, besides its cultural aspects, also has the perfect fun element for you. You can enjoy amazing food here, as there are multiple food stalls offering a variety of delicacies and common street food. Some fun and adventurous rides are set here too, such as roller coaster, merry-go-round, etc.
How to Reach Uttarayani Fair 2024
Bageshwar is an adorable town situated in Uttarakhand. Its lush beauty and the misty hills enhance its overall charm and aura. It is located at an approximate distance of 442, 1,831, 2,359, 1,481 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata respectively. Here is how you can reach here by the following means of public transportation.
The nearest airport is the Pantnagar Airport which is located in the Kumaon Region. From there you will either have to catch a taxi or get some other means of transportation to reach your destination.
The Uttarakhand railways department is maintaining 16 big and small railway stations alike that connect Uttarakhand with major cities. However, the nearest railway station is the Kathgodam station. From the station, you will need to cover the remaining distance by some means of public transportation.
The connectivity via road network is quite good. The well-connected highways are NH 108, NH 109, NH 121, etc. Both buses and taxis are available at regular intervals. You can also travel via your own vehicle.
The Uttarayani Fair stands as a testament to Kumaon's vibrant culture and heritage. From its historical roots under the Chand dynasty to its modern-day celebration during the Makar Sankranti Festival, the fair captivates visitors with traditional performances and artisanal crafts. It serves as a cherished opportunity for locals to showcase their traditions and for visitors to immerse themselves in the region's rich cultural tapestry.
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Frequently Asked Questions Related to Uttarayani Fair
Q1. When is the Uttarayani Fair held?
A1. The Uttarayani Fair is held annually during the Makar Sankranti Festival, typically on January 14th.
Q2. Where does the Uttarayani Fair take place?
A2. The Uttarayani Fair is held in Bageshwar District of Uttarakhand, primarily in the Kumaon region.
Q3. What activities can visitors expect at the Uttarayani Fair?
A3. Visitors can enjoy traditional folk performances, cultural exhibitions, local cuisine, and shopping for handmade crafts.
Q4. What is the significance of the Uttarayani Fair?
A4. The Uttarayani Fair celebrates Kumaon's rich culture and heritage, providing a platform for locals to showcase their traditions and for visitors to immerse themselves in the region's cultural
Q5. How can one participate in the Uttarayani Fair?
A5. Visitors can participate in the Uttarayani Fair by attending the festivities, exploring the cultural exhibits, enjoying the performances, and supporting local artisans by purchasing their crafts.