About Vautha Fair
Vautha is a small village located in Dholka taluka of Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Throughout the year this sleepy village of 2000 odd inhabitants goes about its routine business but come Kartik Poonam and it readies for the grandest of festivities. This fair is a largest livestock fair of Gujarat. Tens of thousands donkeys, lot of livestock and heard of camels are brought to the fairground, at the joining together of seven tributaries of the river Sabarmati, for trading and auction. Decorated donkeys are the highlight of the festival. Other than donkeys, here one can see camels. Also, here are handicrafts and delicacies from all over the state. Vautha Fair brings together more than 500,000 visitors to drench in every bit of festivity.
When it is celebrated
This fair is held during Kartika Purnima, one of the most important full moon days of the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar, corresponding roughly to the month of November. It lasts for five days.
Where it is celebrated
The magnificent Vautha fair is held Vautha near Dholka (Vautha 80 KMS from Ahmedabad), where two rivers, the Sabarmati and the Vatrak meet. The Vautha fair site is 3 square miles in area.
Legends hold that on a full moon night Kartikeya, the son of Shiva, visited this site on Kartika Purnima during his journey round the earth, and performed austerities at the meeting point of the rivers. His paglas are still worshipped here. Dholka is also believed to be ‘Virata Nagar’ of the Mahabharata where the Pandavas spent the last year of their exile in disguise.
It is believed that seven holy rivers, Sabarmati, Vatrak, Majum, Khari, Meshwo, Shedhi and Hathmati confluence at this place. Lord Kartikeya visited this site on kartik Poonam during his journey around the earth and there is a Shiva temple to mark the spot known as the Siddhanath temple. His footprints remain here and are worshipped by devotees. Vautha is also believed to be the spot where seven sages practiced austerities. Bathing in the river at the confluence is believed to wash away sins and as many as 500000 pilgrims converge on this place on Poonam. There is also a belief that Dholka taluka in which Vautha is located was home to the Pandavas during the last year of their exile.
Thousands of donkeys, camels and cows change hands, and some 25,000 people – including many maldhari pastoralists – camp for several days of buying, selling, eating, dancing and puja (prayers). The owners paint their donkeys in bright hues and that adds a spot of color to the landscape. Vautha is the only place in Gujarat that holds an animal fair.
They also put up tents over an area of three miles and there are also stalls put up offering foods, handicrafts and entertainment for visitors. The most common snack is Khichu, made of rice flour and kachariyu, which is til seeds ground with jaggery.
The fair attracts people from the Jath Vanjara communities, as well as other pastoral groups. Villagers from surrounding agricultural areas of Bhal and Nalkantha in Ahmedabad district, and Charotar in Kheda district, are also seen in large numbers. It is good to see that although it was previously a fair frequented mostly by Hindus, now even Muslims visit it in fairly large numbers.
You can also get details of the other fairs….Click on the link below