Apart from numerous travelling destinations in the beautiful Indian state of Jharkhand, it is also popular for the different sorts of Jharkhand fairs and festivals. Bhadli Mela is one such event. Not just a fun fair, Bhadli Mela, in its core, is also a religious event that takes place every year during the time of Makar Sakranti in Itkhori, Jharkhand.
Such is the grandeur of Bhadli Fair that it attracts not only the locals but also people from the neighbouring states. The place also has a temple of Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva which is supremely significant, religiously.
History of Bhadli Mela
The festival has been celebrated since ancient times. No one really knows the religious origin of the festival or how it began. The huge religious aspect associated with this fair is enough for people to gather around and enjoy the joyous festivities.
The fair location, Itkhori, located in the Chatra district of the state, is also historically significant. It is believed that it has got its name from a Buddhist legend. According to the legend, it is believed that Lord Buddha once visited this place. As Gautama's relatives got to know of his whereabouts, they travelled here to coax him for coming home, dropping the idea to find the supreme and get acquainted with the life of a householder.
However, they were not able to distract the prince in any way, no matter how hard they tried. It was at this point, when one of his relatives uttered the words It Khoyi; which translates into lost him there. It was these words which eventually came out as Itkhori with the passage of time.
Major attractions of Bhadli Mela Festival
1. Worship of Deities. During Bhadli Mela, both Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva are worshipped in a ceremonious way.
2. Historic Attractions. The place is full of archeologic remnants and historic memoirs. Itkhori is perfect for inspiring the history buff in you.
3. The Fair. Bhadli Mela has all the ingredients of fun and frolic fair. From special festive feasts to dance performances, there is something for everyone.
4. Maa Bhadrakali Temple. This is one of the greatest historic attractions of the place. Built over 1200 years ago, this temple was constructed by the Gupta and Pala emperors. The statues it houses have praiseworthy and matchless workmanship.
How to Reach
By Air. The nearest airport to Itkhori is Gaya airport in Bihar. It is located about 61 km from the Bhadli fair location. From the airport, you can take a taxi or other public transport to get to the venue. This is an international airport serving Bihar. It also operates pilgrimage flights from Japan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Thailand. Since Gaya is the place where Gautham Buddha attained enlightenment, the airport is the undeclared gateway to the ultimate Buddhist pilgrimage site in the world.
Here is flight information of the airport from various major cities in India.
Delhi - Board Air India, IndiGo, Vistara, Spicejet flights from Indira Gandhi International Airport. The airfares start from Rs.6,000
Mumbai - Board Air India, Go Air, Spicejet from Mumbai Airport. The airfares start from Rs.8,000
Kolkata - Board Spicejet, Air India, Go Air flights from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. The airfares start from Rs.2,000
Chennai - Board Spicejet, Air India, IndiGo from Madurai airport. The airfares start from Rs.8,000
By Train. Although the state of Jharkhand has its own railway station, it is not very well connected to the major cities in India. However, the Gaya Junction, located in Gaya, Bihar operates trains frequently from all major cities. It is located 65 km from Itkhori.
The railway station started operating in 1879, about 141 years ago. It has a total of 9 platforms. It also has all the modern facilities like food plaza, computerized reservation facility, cafeteria, retiring rooms, bookshop, etc.
Delhi - Board Poorva Express from New Delhi Railway Station and deboard at the Gaya Junction
Mumbai - Board Kolkata Mail from C Shivaji Mah T and deboard at the Gaya Junction
Kolkata - Board Kolkata Rajdhani from Howrah Junction and deboard at the Gaya Junction
Chennai - Board MS Gaya Express from Chennai Egmore and deboard at the Gaya Junction
By Road. If you live nearby Jharkhand, travelling by road is a viable option. If you have your own vehicle or want to hire a cab/taxi to reach the Bhadli Mela location, following routes can come handy.