Vautha Fair is the largest animal fair held in Gujarat, which involves wholesome trading of camels, donkeys and other animals. Held on the grounds of Sangam Tirtha, it is considered very auspicious and important by many communities.
For some people this fair is even more important than Diwali. Sangam is considered as holy as the seven holy river waters mixed here: the Vatrak merges with the Meshwo, Hathmati, Shedhi, Majum and Khari before it then meets the Sabarmati, so the locals call it Saptasangam (meeting of seven).
For participation in the fair people are seen coming on trucks, tractors, camels, jeeps and other wide ranging means of transport. The animals bought for trading are beautifully decorated, ornamented and cleaned to look their best.
According to the Hindu mythology,
Kartikeya the son of Lord Shiva visited this place on the full moon night of Kartik (Kartik Purnima). Kartikeya was on a trip covering the entire earth. It was on Kartik Purnima that he stopped at this culmination of rivers and performed some austerities. Also the city of Dholka in the Ahmedabad district is considered to be the‘Virata Nagar’ of the Mahabharata
where the Pandavas spent the last year of their exile in disguise.
Thousands of people and visitors
visit Sangam during the month of kartik and especially during the Vautha Fair. The most important religious act performed by numerous devotees coming here is the purifying bath on the Sangam tirtha which is supposed to be reliever of all past sins.
All people from nearby villages and districts lock their houses and come to attend the fair which lasts for about five days. A number of tents are erected that are used by visitors of the fair to accommodate. Nearly 25,000 people house in about 2000 tents every year and enjoy the grand spectacle of the Vautha fair.
Visitors are seen preparing elaborate sweets and food dishes throughout for the five days of fair. The fair generally ends with the preparation of Ladoos
and the most popular and appreciated dishes are khichu and kachariyu.
One of the most significant features of the fair is the trading of animals.
Numbers of merchants are seen selling a wide variety of products right from trinkets to machinery. In the evenings, numerous small lamps are set afloat in the river by devout pilgrims,
producing a shimmering dance of faith and beauty.
Over the years the Vautha fair has gained tremendous importance and popularity.
Presently over 500000 visitors are seen participating in the fair over five days of the Fair. Many pastoral groups are seen participating in the fair especially the “Jath Vanjara” community.
Initially the fair was only attended by Hindus; now Muslims are seen participating in large numbers.
Time of Celebrating the Vautha Fair
The Vautha fair is held in the month of November every year which lasts for about five days. According to the Hindu calendar the fair is celebrated in the month of Kartik
. The ceremony of holy bath is performed on the full moon day of Kartik Purnima.
Dates in Upcoming Years:
14th to15th November 2016 (Monday-Tuesday)
4th to 5th November 2017 (Saturday-Sunday)