Month-long Sawan festivities set to begin in UP’s Agra

Published on Jul 18, 2022 01:17 AM IST

After two years, the Taj city is all geared up for Sawan fairs

File photos of devotees offering prayers at Shiva temples in Agra during Sawan fair on Mondays . (Ht file photo)
File photos of devotees offering prayers at Shiva temples in Agra during Sawan fair on Mondays . (Ht file photo)

After two years, the Taj city is all geared up for Sawan fairs.

The first of these would be organised at the Rajeshwar temple here on Monday.

These fairs will usher in month-long celebrations, with the last one scheduled at Prithvinath temple on the fourth Monday of Sawan month.

For two years, no celebrations were held due to Covid.

“This is an age-old tradition. It is said that in the 19th century, this part of the country witnessed a plague epidemic and the elders decided to perform ‘parikrama’ (circumambulation) of four temples located in four directions on the outskirts of the city. Fairs were organised at these temples one after another, and the tradition continued,” said Mahant of Mankameshwar temple Yogesh Puri.

“The first fair is organised at Rajeshwar temple of Lord Shiva on the first Monday of the Sawan. The next is held at Balkeshwar temple on the banks of Yamuna. The third fair, usually the grandest in scale, is organised at Kailash Mahadev temple near the Agra-Delhi national highway. The festivities conclude with the Prithvinath temple fair,” he said.

“These four temples are believed to be saviours of the city, keeping away natural calamities from the people who live here. Located in the heart of the city is Mankameshwar temple, where special prayers are offered on all Mondays of Sawan month,” he added.

Mahant said that as a practice, devotees walk to the Shiva temples in night before the fair. “So, they arrive at the temple during the fair when ‘aarti’ and ‘Rudra-abhishek’ are being performed,” said Mahant Puri.

“The month of sawan is about rains lashing the city after the intense heat of May and June. These fairs add to the mood. The most popular fair has been the third one which is held at Kailash temple on banks of the river Yamuna. In the past, residents used to travel to the temple located on the outskirts of the city, riding on tongas,” said Dr Neville Smith, a veteran Agra-based journalist.

Preparations at Rajeshwar temple

The Rajeshwar temple mela was inaugurated on Sunday. Police and district administration officials have been busy giving final touches to the preparations for the first Sawan mela. CCTV cameras have been installed at various points and police personnel have been deployed to ensure smooth festivities.

Kiosks have been set up in the vicinity of the temple. A large number of devotees are expected to be present during the ‘aarti’ at 5 am on Monday. Officials said parking arrangements were in place and traffic would be regulated to facilitate smooth movement of vehicles on the day.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Hemendra Chaturvedi is based in Agra serving as a Principal Correspondent, covering districts of Agra and Aligarh division of western Uttar Pradesh. He has been with HT since 1992 and has completed 25 year of association with HT.

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