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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the popular festivals and events hosted in Chamba?

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Festivals are the times to celebrate life, no matter how and where it is celebrated. It is the time for happiness, laughter and family gatherings and to see tradition and culture at its colorful best. Chamba has a rich past and an even more glorious present, which is evident in the enthusiasm of the festivals and events celebrated here.
Chamba is quite well known for it two
melas or fairs which are known as Jatras in local language. One of the interesting feature of both these fairs is that the Chela or the subordinate of the deity being worshipped there goes into trance and answers the queries of the devotees.


  • Suhi Mata Mela

    Suhi Mata Mela is held annually in the month of March or April to pay tribute to the the Queen of Chamba who sacrificed her life to bring water in the town. The legend associated with this festival and the Sui Mata temple, built in memory of the queen (wife of Raja Sahil Varman), relates to the sacrifice she made to fulfill a prophecy in a dream, which said that water from the Sarota stream could only be accessed through an aqueduct if the queen or her son was sacrificed. Rather than sacrificing her own son, she sacrificed her own life for the town. To commemorate this event, women and children take a lead role in the festival. An image of Champavati, with banners of the Rajput solar emblem, are held by them in a procession, dancing and singing, through Chaugan to the Suhi Mata temple.

  • Minjar Mela

    Minjar Mela is held on the second Sunday of the Shravan month which usually corresponds with the month of August. It celebrates the victory of the king of Chamba over the ruler of Kangra in 935 AD. This time also coincides with the cultivation of paddy and maize crops. The festival is kicked off with the offering of paddy and silk wrapped in a red fabric along with a coconut, a rupee and a seasonal fruit. The hoisting of the flag at Chaugan marks the beginning of one week of festivities and cultural programmes. The idol of Lord Raghuveer and other 200 deities are taken out for a procession in a chariot pulled by ropes, by the devotees.
    Folk dances and music is the integral part of the festival known as
    Minjar Malhar. Several forms of masked dances are also performed in Chamba, such as the Chhatradhi Jatar. A solo dance or a dance of two people such as the Pharati or Khad-dumbi is commonly performed during the Nuwala ceremony and other important occasions, such as marriages, and the Dangri and Sikri are also quite popular. Popular male dances include the Gaddi and Gujjar dances, Dandaras, Nat, Ghorda, Nachan, Dharumsde, the Khad-dumbi and the Chhinjhati. Notable female dances include the Ghurei, Dangi and Kikli, whilst dances such as the Shain, Dhamal, Sohal, Sal Kukdi Nachan, Ratege and Til-Chauti are performed by both sexes.

  • Pathroru

    It is a month long celebration which is organized every year to celebrate the abundant harvest of the season. The locals worship Chira, which is a structure of wood and earth to which dry grass and flowers are tied, in the belief that it will destroy pests that come with the rains. It is also known as prithvi puja (or earth worship). A special dish called Pathroru , green leaves of yam coated with gram flour, rolled and steam-baked, is cooked.


Enjoy these colorful festivals which celebrate the abundant blessings of nature. This is the best way to see the flamboyant colorful life of the people of Chamba. Make sure you do not miss to take your camera along and you will preserve memories for a lifetime.

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