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Chitra Vichitra Fair is named after the sons of Shantanu King, Vichitravirya and Chitravirya. This important festival of Gujaratis celebrated after Holi festival and is attended by large number of tourists and locals from all over globe. Also this fair is considered as the largest tribal fair. In village of Gunbhakhari and in district Sabarkanta of Gujarat, this Chitra Vichitra fair is organized. A large number of Garasia and Bhills tribal people visit this region in order to enjoy and celebrate it with great glory. These all people reside in the neighboring regions of Gunbhakhari village. Even many people living close to Sabarkanat district make plan to visit this village in order to participate in the Chitra Vichitra Fair. Tourists visiting this fair can even explore its magnificent temple that can be worshiped and resides near three rivers that are Akul, Sabarmati and Vyakul. In this fair people are found dressed in beautiful attires and they display their traditional customs too. This stuning festival provides an opportunity to go through the social customs of the Adhivasis or the tribal people.

The festival begins on the eve of the new moon when the women gather at the river and mourn for their dead through the night. The next day the fair sets off with a generous splashing of dazzling colors and drumming. The tribal men’s costume generally consists of a blue shirt, dhoti and a red or saffron fenta or turban. The woman don ghagharas which have a circumference of as much as 20 yards, and are covered from head to feet with ornate and heavy silver jewellery, and sometime also beautifully knitted rafia jewellery made from pale yellow or dyed crimson grass. They also use liquid kumkum or vermilion to color their cheeks and lips a brilliant red, while their eyes are outlined vibrantly with kajal.

Every group visiting the fair carries its own drum, so that the atmosphere comes alive with a nonstop beat of drumming. The women sing folk songs in shrill choruses, and everyone dances near the main temple. Over a hundred stalls hold food and drink, and sweets of various kinds. Silver ornaments and household items are out for sale. There is also a giant wheel and a merry-go-round. The dancing and drumming continue for hours until everyone is left exhausted.

WHEN

mostly in the month of March – April (It starts on the eve of the new moon (called Amavas), the time when the wheat crop is ready for harvest.)

HOW TO REACH

Chaitra Vichitra is a well known tribal fair that is celebrated with great pomp and show at Gujarat state of India. The Sabarkantha district lies close to Rajasthan state and adjoins the border area of Gunbhakhari village. Tourists or devotees can easily travel at this Gunbhakhari village as it is liked with railway station. The nearest railway head is located at Khed Brahma at a distance of 32kms. The picturesque site of the temple is situated at Triveni Sangam. This Triveni Sangam is considered as a sacred confluence of three rivers and even at the amid of the foothills of Aravalis. One can easily locate at this village as many state and local buses run from various districts of Gujarat and serve way for Chitra Vichitra temple that celebrates the fair.

WHERE

Poshina (Village Gunbhakhari) Sabarkantha Distt., Gujarat.

HISTORY

Chitra Vichitra Mela is one of the largest, purely Adivasi (tribal) festivals of Gujarat associated with the Garasis and Bhil tribes. It takes place every year in the village Gujbhakhari in Poshina block of the Sabarkantha District of Gujarat and is held a fortnight after Holi (the festival of colours) on the new moon day.

The fair sees a congregation of around 60000 to 70000 tribals showcasing their culture through their costumes, ornaments, dances and music. Men usually wear a blue shirt, dhoti and a red or saffron turban. Women wear ghaghras (embroidered skirts) and ornate silver jewellery. Liquid kumkum is used to colour the cheeks and lips a brilliant red while kajal is used for the eyes.

The mythological story behind this fair goes back to Mahabharatha times, when Chitravirya and Vichitravirya, sons of King Shantanu, on the advice of a saint, came to this triveni sangam (meeting place of three rivers; in this case, Sabarmati, Akul and Vyakul) to wash off their sins. They immolated themselves here and in memory of that the tribals mourn through the night before the festival, which is organized in their memory.

The fair also attracts tourists, researchers and scholars who wish to study tribal culture.

EVENT CALENDAR FOR THE NEXT YEARS

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NEARBY ATTRACTIONS


Disclaimer: You are requested to check the exact dates with Gujarat Tourism Online office before finalising your travel plans for this festival.

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