The three-day Shoolini fair began after a colourful procession of Goddess Shoolini here on Friday.
The fair began with traditional pooja and yajna of the goddess at a temple on the Shilly road. The pooja was performed by prominent people, including family of erstwhile ruler of Baghat estate.
The goddess's palanquin was received by social justice and empowerment minister DR Shandil along with former health minister Rajeev Bindal and Congress leaders Ajay Singh Chauhan, Arun Sharma, Sardar Singh Thakur, Amlendu Tripathi, Surender Sethi, Arvind Gupta chairman and vice-chairman of local municipal council Kul Rakesh Pant and Pawan Gupta, DC Meera Mohanty, SP Ramesh Chhajta and others after paying obeisance at old sabzi mandi at chowk bazzar area in the afternoon.
In the morning, colossal crowds of devotees had assembled in front of the temple of the goddess, considered embodiment of goddess Durga.
Similar enthusiasm was witnessed throughout the area. Soon after the yajna was completed, the idols of the goddess were placed in a palanquin after which a procession was carried out through the main bazaars from the temple to the deputy commissioner's office chowk, enabling devotees to seek blessings of the goddess.
The fair would conclude after Goddess Shoolini would return to her abode at Shilly road area on Sunday after staying with Goddess Durga at Ganj Baazar. During the three-day long fair, cultural nights would be organised in which Punjabi folk singers and Himachali artistes would regale the audience. Besides, thoda (traditional Himachali archery), wrestling and exhibition of various government departments and private companies would be organised during the fair.