Even as the country celebrates Holi on Monday, the 40-day celebrations unique to this town ended here on Sunday. The festivities began on Basant Panchmi on February 4.
Throughout the day, local residents celebrated by throwing gulaal (dry colour) at each other. In the morning, they had gathered at the palace of the erstwhile local ruler Maheshwar Singh, also the local member of legislative assembly, at Sultanpur to celebrate with him.
Groups of people visited all the houses in the towns singing, dancing and playing trumpets and drums, and greeted each other with gulaal.
This celebration starts on Basant Panchmi and colours are put on the idol of Lord Raghunath over the next 40 days. After a special ritual at a temple, devotees pull his chariot to a temporary camp at Dhalpur amid the sounds of drums and trumpets. Devotees surround the camp to pay obeisance to Lord Raghunath and Raja Maheshwar Singh, the main chhadivardar (presiding priest) of Lord Raghunath.
The 40-day tradition began in 1660, when Jagat Singh, the ruler at that time, had brought the idol of Lord Raghunath from Ayodhya and installed it at Sultanpur.