Did you know of this amazing Rajasthan festival of donkeys?
Surprised? Then read on…!
The amazing Rajasthan festival of donkeys
Though there are several well known Rajasthani fairs and festivals like the Pushkar Fair, Bikaner Camel Fair etc, the festival of asses takes the cake.
Want to know where this queer festival is held?
Head over to the Goner Road and stop at the Luniyawas village. This small hamlet is just 10 kilometers away from Jaipur. It is quite accessible too. A little distance from Luniyawas is another village, Bhavgarh Bandhya.
The word Bandhya refers to a small dam between two small hills.
Patronised by many communities like the kumhars, malis,khatiks etc, this festival is dedicated to Khankhani Devi, the presiding deity of the village.
In fact, many places of tourist interest in Rajasthan are easily accessible.
History of this festival
Like many other Indian festivals, this one too has an amazing history.
It is said that many many years ago, the Devas had given a contract to a Rakshas architect to dig a pond and that too at night. One of the conditions was that the work had to be done silently as the Devas were very very tired after a long war with their cousins, the Asuras.
It was bad luck for Bhima, the Rakshas, that one night, the Devas were disturbed by his digging. When they woke up, the Devas cursed Bhima that his pond will be useless for mankind.
The Devas did not stop at that. They cursed the unfortunate architect once more.
‘Henceforth, this pond will be the home of donkeys for four days in a year’, they cursed.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is how this amazing Rajasthan festival of donkeys started in this part of the State.
This story is no less weird.
More than a thousand years ago, one day, the king of Amer visited this place. He was hunting game actually and his horse steered off the main course and came to this village.
This king, whose name was Alan, was struck by a very strange site. He saw a small boy asleep in the sun but was shielded from its rays by a hooded cobra!
While Alan stood, transfixed by this sight, the mother of the small boy arrived at the spot. She introduced herself as the Queen of the Kachhwaha Rajputs. She was on bad times actually and was on the run from her enemies.
Moved by her plight, Alan gave the lady refuge and that is how the mother and son began living in Amer.
But a few years later, this woman again ran into bad luck.
One day, a Brahman predicted that the young boy, Dulahrai, will become the king of Amer.
Obviously, the king Alan panicked. Now he began plotting the murder of Dulahrai.
Plotting the murder
Alan ordered Dulahrai to go to Mehrauli with a few sacks full of gold as a tribute to the Tomar ruler.
This was a ploy to trap the young Dulahrai because those bags were filled with stones and dirt. Alan knew that the Tomar king of Delhi would become angry at the young Dulahrai after finding stones rather than gold.
Dulah, however, was aware of this plan but could do nothing. He did one thing rather that changed his fortunes and saved his lfe too.
On way to Delhi, he visited the temple of Khankhani Devi and prayed for the success of his mission.
After the prayers, the young boy again hit the road to Delhi.
What happened in Delhi?
Upon reaching the Tomar capital, Dulahrai presented himself to the king and showed him the ‘tribute’ from Alan.
Fully convinced that the bags were full of sand and stones, Dulahrai now braced for death.
But, he was astonished to find that the sacks indeed carried gold and not stones!!!!
The Devi had saved the life of the young man, finally.
The Donkey Fair
Once back to his city, Dulahrai made a promise to hold an annual fair of the donkeys in the Bhavgarh village. He wanted to pay his gratitude to the donkey that had saved his life.
Since then, donkeys in this village are worshipped, decorated and fed with the choicest foods. The villagers dress their animals in the choicest clothes and also tie a black thread around their necks. This thread is supposed to ward off evil from these beasts of burden.
That is it all, folks.
I hope you liked this article on the amazing Rajasthan festival of donkeys.
Bye for now.
Interested to know about the other festivals of Rajasthan? Click here> https://www.thrillophilia.com/fairs-of-rajasthan