India is the land of Festivals and each festival has its own importance and rituals, this festival is full of energy and vibrancy. Some of the Famous and colorful festivals are like Holi, Pushkar and many others.
There are many other festivals in India which are not so famous but definitely are equally energetic. One of such is the Bhandara festival of Jejuri, at the temple of Lord Khadoba, one of the highest worshipped god in the Indian state of Maharashtra. He is also revered amongst the Dhangar tribe, herdsmen, shepherds, farmers and the nomads of the territory. His Idol is typically depicted with four arms, in one of which he holds a Bhandara-Patra or the bowl of turmeric powder. Bhandara in Marathi means turmeric.
Every Somvati Amavasya, when the no moon day comes on a Monday, the temple town of Jejuri in Maharashtra erupts in celebrations. Located at a distance of 50 kilometers from Pune, Jejuri is famous for its Bhandara festival, which draws close to six lakh devotees.
Amidst riotous showers of Bhandara, the colloquial term for haldi or turmeric, the deity Khandoba’s devotees makes their way up a steep hill to meet their lord at the top. The entire stretch of the winding path becomes yellow-tinted during the journey. A stranger’s hand will dart out of the crowd and daub your forehead with haldi. By the time the hundredth step to the temple comes into view, Khandoba’s pilgrims have showered turmeric on every passing person an idol.
The whole surrounding turns into gold by the yellow turmeric powder hence its also called “Sonyachi Jejuri” by the locals. “Yelkot Yelkot Jai Malhar” this chant can be heard all around. On the day of Somvati Amavasya, Palkhi is taken out from the main temple situated at the hilltop carrying the idols of Lord Khandoba and his wife Malsha. Immersed in turmeric, devotees sing and dance invoking the deity in their prayers. The procession sees thousands of devotees waiting to touch the palki or palenquin, which carries the deity for a bath from the temple on the hill to the Karha River.
During the festival adherents perform a lot of different religious rituals, practicing self-torture and coming out of it uninjured. In such a manner, they show that under the trance they become insensitive to all kinds of pain.
About Pankaj Narshana
Pankaj Narshana a businessman by profession and a passionate photographer as a hobby, I have no formal training in photography or any distinctions. My work is published in many photography magazines and also acclaimed by many photography groups on social media also on display in many recognized photography exhibition in India. I am a Mentor with the DCP Expeditions LLP taking street and travel workshops and photography tours. Love to show the world through my eye with a different perspective and with a story to tell.
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Thank you Mukund, I organise travel tours in India specially covering festivals and cultures.Do get in touch if interested
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Seeing world through camera
A different experience
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