Jhiri Mela- a tribute to a legendary farmer is an annual fair held in Jammu every year in the months of October-November. The fair is celebrated to salute the courage of a farmer, his sacrifice for the liberation of the farming community. The Samadhi of Baba Jit Mal, popularly known as Baba Jitto at Shama Chak Jhiri, about 22 km from Jammu. He had laid down his life after he was cheated by the Kardar of the area.
Lakhs of tourists from all over the India gather during the Jhiri Mela to pay tribute to the Samadhi of this legendary farmer.
HistoryAccording to an ancient legend, there was an honest, truthful and uncomplicated farmer called Baba Jitu. A Brahmin and devotee of Mata Vaishno Devi and Raja Mandalik Jitu used to live in Aghar village near Katra, Vaishno Devi.
He worked hard day and night and transformed the barren land into lush green fields. His dream was realized when he had a luxuriant yield. As soon as, Bir Singh got the news regarding the good yield, he arrived at the fields along with his men and asked them to lift three fourth of the crop and leave only a quarter with Jitto.
However, Baba Jitto prayed to follow the terms of the agreement but all his requests fell on deaf ears. Most of the farmers from nearby areas, who gathered could not stop Mehta due to fear of the King’s men.
Left with no solution and no means of help, he committed suicide leaving all surrounding grains red with blood.
CelebrationsPeople from all over India come to Jammu during the time of Jhiri Mela to pay homage to Baba Jitu and his holy soul.
During the fair exhibitions are organized that cater to diverse variety of articles ranging from Pottery, vases, utensils and toys to books on Baba jitu.