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Reema Bhalla Jul 08 2013

Which are the main festivals and events celebrated in Chhattisgarh?

Reet Cheema Jul 08 2013
2 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

The cultural heritage of Chhattisgarh reflects in its festivals. Some of the main festivals and events celebrated in Chhatisgarh are as follows.


One of the longest-running Dussehra festivities in India is held in the tribal enclaves of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region. Beginning on amavasya (dark moon) in the month of Shravan , it spans over 75 days. While all over India Dussehra is celebrating the joyous return of the exiled Lord Rama to Ayodhya, in Bastar the local Goddess Ma Sri Danteshwari Mai is given a joyous welcome of massive proportions.

Just half an hour away from district headquarters Jagdalpur lies Dantewada, the home of the ebony-hued, gold-eyed Goddess Sri Danteshwari Mai, tutelary deity of the Bastar rajas. Legend has it that Annam Deo, (the Kakatiya king Pratap Rudra's brother), fleeing from his capital Warangal (Andhra Pradesh) after its invasion was guided by the Goddess through perilous jungles into a new land (Bastar) to establish a new kingdom. The celebrations are conducted at Jagdalpur’s legendary Danteshwari temple.

The temple is one of India’s 51 Shaktipeeth shrines, as the tooth of the Goddess Shakti is said to have fallen here. It was in the 15th century that Maharaj Purushottam Deo, the fourth Kakatiya ruler, launched these festivities. The entire round of festivities are deeply rooted in tribal traditions. For 10 days the king abdicates in favour of the Goddesses rule during the Dussehra celebrations. Bastar Dussehra begins at the Temple of Kacchhingudi, seeking the Goddess’ approval of the festivities.

The construction of the rath which will draw her in the procession is traditionally done by the Saoras of Odisha. The Khaki tribe blesses it before the journey. The Parja provide the ropes that pull the rath which is dragged by the Marias. Members, specially chosen from the Halba community, are enthroned in the palace Darbar Hall to mete out justice. The celebrations end with a formal farewell to all the deities.


The celebrations of the unique Madai festival are carefully planned by the village headman of the host village along with other community members. Special invitations are sent to the deities from the neighbouring villages in the form of coconut and rice. The neighbouring villagers have to walk for many kilometres, sometimes 80-100, accompanying the “special invitee” (deity) to the host village amidst great ceremony.

The astonishing congregation of deities is a colourful and dramatic affair. The festivities are carried out in a huge open ground and begin with a procession of the host deity. The prayers are initiated by the village shaman (priest-cum-medicine man) who plays an important part in the rituals. He is empowered by the spirit of the chief deity, and is quickly joined by his fellow mediums. The entire show takes on the proportions of a great mela.

Held around the tribal villages all over Bastar and Kanker regions, the Madai mela is a popular event. It takes place annually from December to March. The next morning the deities return, after a colourful farewell, to the their homes, but the mela continues. One of the most popular Madai festivals is the one held at Narayanpur.


Located along the banks of the Sankari river in the Satpura hills, in Kawardha district, the beautiful Bhoramdeo temple was constructed by the Nag king Ramachandra. The annual Bhoramdeo Festival held against the backdrop, is one of the much looked-forward-to events on Chhattisgarh’s festival calendar.


Narayanpur is a major cultural hub and one of the most important ceremonies held here is in the month of February. With the end of the Dussehra celebrations at Jagdalpur, several Bastar tribals get together, along with their deities, and join in the exuberant Narayanpur mela to worship the deities.


Called Maati Ti'aar in central Bastar and Beeja Pandum in South Bastar is a beautifully celebrated pastoral fair — the Earth Festival. This annual affair is one of the most important tribal rituals in this tribal belt. One of the central rituals is that the seeds preserved for sowing in the coming season are fertilised through rituals and sacrificial blood. Though dates tend to vary, it is generally held during the Chait Navratri in March-April.


The Ustad Allaudin Khan Sangeet Academy and the Chakradhar Lalit Kala Kendra spearhead this annual music and dance festival held in the memory of Maharaja Chakradhar Singh, who had developed a new form of Kathak and established the Raigarh Gharana. The king was an accomplished tabla player and dancer himself. He even wrote many books on music and dance.


The Ramgarh is the First Open Air Theatre of the country. It is here where the first performance of Kalidasa Meghdutam was held. This is located in Sarguja district, rich in local traditions and historical importance. The site is marked by a scattering of several ruins of old temples. The theatre is also known as Gammat. Pandavani is one of the lyrical forms of this theatre. It is one of Chhattisgarh’s most prominent folk ballad traditions. The central theme revolves around the Pandavas.

Narration takes two forms: Vedamati and Kapalik. The first entails a simple narrative conducted by the lead artist who is seated throughout the performance. The latter involves the artist being more theatrical during the entire narration. The performances are conducted by a lead artist, supported by accomplished musicians and singers. Present-day performances are also inspired by several plays by Habib Tanvir.

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