India Diary - 21 October 2001

Dipak and I traveled north today to Balugra and Magarwaba where the Magarwaba Vir festival was taking place. The village was a superb treat with some wonderul characters. Most of the folks where none to keen to have their photo taken, until they realised that I could instantly show them the results. There was no stopping ater that, I must have rattled off about twenty shots (I've only put up a couple!) and I was still being asked for more.

Two Distinguished Gentlemen

Traditional Village Attire

The Magarwaba Vir was a very crowded confusing affair. I won't pretend to know exactly what was going on, but I'll do my best, basez on my understanding of the excellent explanation given to me by Dipak. Put briefly the festival is Jain, but it has been hijacked by commercialism and is now celebrated by any and everyone.

The religious part of the festival involves providing offerings to the diety in the form of coconuts and gee (clarified butter) that are burnt in a large havan (fire) outside the temple. Other offerings of sweets are also provided and shared amongst friends and family. After the formalities of the religious duties have been completed, it's time to go to the fair! There are merry-go-round, ferris wheel and other rides to choose from (all man powered) as well as a plethera of food stalls.

Havan (fire)

To tomorrow...

Created by Dan Leigh 22/10/01