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Celebrated on the second lunar day of the Shukla Paksha in the Kartika month, Bhai Dooj is said to be quite similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. It is celebrated during the time period of Diwali and in Southern India, the festival of Bhai Dooj is known as Yama Dwitiya.  

It is a festival that seems to celebrate the relationship between a brother and sister who, when the time comes, act as each other’s protectors. So, typically on the occasion of this festival, the sisters pray for the longevity, prosperity and well-being of their brothers. It is believed that a sister putting tilak on his brother’s forehead ensures that he never comes across any kind of hardships and also gets protection from all kinds of deceit and hindrances in his life. 

History of Bhai Dooj

Also known as Bhai Teeka, Bhai Pota and Bhau Teej this festival is celebrated with great fervour in the Hindu community. It is on this day that the women folk invite their brothers to their home to celebrate this festival. The sisters apply tika or what is known as tilak on the forehead of their brothers and wish for their prosperity and well-being. 

Also Read: This intense and heart warming festival is celebrated for a period of five days and is a combination of cultural attractions and folk performances

Like any other festival, there are a couple of legends associated with Bhai Dooj as well. According to one such legend Lord Krishna, after killing the demon king Narakasura visited his sister, Goddess Subhadra's house. And she welcomed him in a very gentle and sweet way. To ensure a warm welcome to him, she prepared special sweets for him and welcomed him with flowers and also applied tilak on his forehead as a symbol of emerging victorious in the battle against evil. And since that day, the festival of Bhai Dooj came into being. 

The second legend depicting the origin of Bhaiya Dooj states that the God of death, Yama had visited his sister Yami on the second day of the new moon. She prepared and fed him delicious food and sweets. This moved Yama and in return, he offered her with a gift signifying his love and affection for his sister. Not just that, the God of Death, Yama also declared that if a brother received tilak and aarti from his sister he need not be afraid of death anymore. And this came to be known as the festival of Yamadwitheya all across the ancient land. 

Another legend has been stated in Jainism according to which when Mahavir, the founder of Jainism attained Nirvana and cut off from his family; at that time, his brother Nandivardhan was in great grief and was quite disturbed with his decision. In these disturbing times, it was his sister Sudarshana who helped him in recovering and getting back to normal life. 

How is Bhai Dooj Celebrated

On the day of Bhai Dooj celebrations which is quite similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan, the sisters invite their brothers to their homes for the purpose of ritual ceremony. They place a tika on their brother’s forehead which consists of vermillion, dahi, and rice. Then the sisters worship the hands of their brother by applying a paste of rice and sindoor. After this, the sisters offer flowers of kaddu, beetle nut and beetle leaves in the palm of their brothers while chanting mantras and pouring water on their palm. Then they tie a kalawa on it for the well-being of their brothers. A lamp is also lit which is put facing the south direction. And returning this affection, the brothers generally give their sisters gifts showcasing their affection for them. And if a sister doesn't have any brother then, in that case, they celebrate this particular occasion by offering their prayers and worshipping the Hindu God Moon.  

Popular Food and Clothing of Bhai Dooj

In Indian households, during the festive time of Bhai Dooj festival, the typical dishes prepared are Moong Dal Halwa, Rasgullas, Gulab Jamuns, Pista Sandesh and Kesar Burfi. 

And in terms of clothing, on the occasion of this festival, women generally wear regular salwar suits and sarees that depict the taste of Indian culture. On the other hand, men prefer to wear regular shirts and pants. However, if they like they can also go with kurta and pajama. 

How to Reach 

Haryana is a great place to explore the desi culture and traditions of India. Haryana has good connectivity with other Indian cities and is situated at a distance of around 125 km, 2,250 km, 1,624 km, 1,483 km from Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Mumbai. Let’s discuss how you can travel to Haryana via the following routes. 

By Air. One of the best options to reach Haryana is via airways. The nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). It is spread over an area of around 5,106 acres and is located at an approximate distance of about 15 km from New Delhi Railway Station.

Many airlines like Air India, Go Air, Air Asia operate to and fro Delhi from various Indian cities. After you deboard at the airport, you can either take a cab, bus, metro or even a train to reach Haryana at your respective destination.

By Road.  Haryana has good overall connectivity via road network as well. From cities like Delhi, you will need to cover a total distance of 124 km via NH9, from Noida you will need to cover 205 km via NH9, from Jaipur you will need to cover a total distance of 327 km via NH 48, from Agra you will need to cover a total distance of 328 km via NH 19 or Taj Express Highway. Apart from travelling via a cab or your own vehicle you can also opt for interstate buses as well.

By Train. The nearby and important railway stations from Haryana are Kalka, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Hissar, Panipat, Jakhal etc. However, Rewari is considered as the largest train junction in Haryana. Thus, it won’t be wrong to say that travelling via train to Haryana would be a hassle-free experience for you due to the fairly good railway connectivity of trains.

From Jaipur, you will need to board  AII CDG G RATH from GETOR JAGATPURA and deboard at Panipat. From Ludhiana, you can board ASR AII EXP, ASR AJMER EXP from Ludhiana Junction and deboard at Rewari.  From Ahemadabad, you can board ADI SVDK Express, ALA Hazrat Express, and CDG Sup Fast from Ahemadab Junction and deboard at the Rewari Junction. After that, you will need to cover the remaining distance by some means of public transportation like a cab, auto or a bus to reach your respective destination.

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here

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    16 November 2020

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