Celebrations and merriments boast an extraordinary temptation for the inhabitants of Rajasthan. Also, in the vibrant state of Rajasthan one can come across the locals who try to find immeasurable reasons to rejoice and have fun in the form of diverse bright festivals. Every region of Rajasthan has its individual festival. The Seel-Ki-Doongri village that is on the Jaipur-Kota road in close proximity to Jaipur has its own exclusive festival to worship the deity, Sheetla Mata. Sheetla Mata is considered to be the deity of the Small Pox. The deity is worshipped on the Sheetla Ashtami which falls on March 24 this year (2014). This festival is conducted to diminish the visitation of a small pox outbreak in the settlement. This Sheetla mata fair is a rustic festivity and is very popular in the interior parts of Rajasthan. Sheetla mata fair is also well liked among overseas visitors owing to the compelling exhibit of pastoral life and shades. This year, the most admired Sheetla Mata fair is conducted at the Seel-Ki-Doongri, a rural community in Jaipur district. This rural community has a place of pilgrimage devoted to the Sheetla Mata. The temple is on a small hill, known as Doongri in the neighboring idiom. The current shrine is well thought out to have been created by the Jaipur Maharaja, Madho Singh.
Sheetla Mata Fair, Chaksu:
The Sheetla Mata Fair is conducted between March-April exactly during the Chaitra month on Krishna Paksh, in the Seel-Ki-Doongri Township. Doongri is a small hill above which the holy place of Sheetla Mata is placed. The fair is conducted in the admiration of the deity for 1 day annually. The fair exert a pull on masses of visitors from all over the place. People consider that the outbreaks spread owing to the rage of Sheetla Mata and therefore they worship the deity and make contributions so that the deity shall be placated. There is a red stone that stands for the divinity.
An impermanent market crops up at the fair and the pastoral folk shall be seen selling in wares like clothes, shoes, groceries, agricultural implements and utensils. A cattle fair is also prearranged throughout the event. It is believed that if the rage of Sheetla Mata was free, then broadened the outbreak. This fair occurs to make contributions and reverence of the deity in his good turn and keep her pacified. In the refuge, a red stone symbolizes the deity. Thousands of devotees visit the fair and it is expected to prepare their own food and eat the food after donating food to the divinity at the place of pilgrimage. A tiny stock fair is also structured where awards are offered to breeders who have the most excellent quality domestic animals. The rustic inhabitants shall be seen trading on clothes, shoes, utensils, tools and food.
Loads of aficionados of Sheetla Mata come from far and near in their brilliantly bedecked the bullock-carts. The carts and their vibrant occupants accumulated at the base of the hill crowned by the place of pilgrimage offers a brilliant sight of glorious Rajasthan. With the exception of bullocks, the pastoral traders also trade in cattle, horses, camels and other wares. The atmosphere at the fair bestows a tremendous intermingle of culture and shades of Rajasthan to take pleasure in beyond times.
Devotion and Donation:
In accordance with tales, Sheetla Mata is the divinity who leads to plagues and outbreaks when angry. So to gratify her and pacify her down, devotees entreat sooner than the deity and make more than a few offerings on the word of the customs. Devotees across the country come to visit the shrine of the Sheetla Mata and to attend the fair. People practice an assortment of types of foods on this fortunate day, named as Sheetla Asthami and make a visit to put forward their prayers and Pooja to the goddess on this fair.
The Daily Aarti is performed to the goddess that is performed by the neighboring Pujaris (Brahmins). The food is given to the divinity and this food is called as “Prasad” and takes account of Rabri, curd and Bajra. These 3 are the core prerequisites of the Prasad and on the word of local lingo. It is named as the Baseda. Also, there are abundant rituals and spiritual activities that come to pass during the fair. Devotees offer food to elderly and a few deprived people to search for their consecrated blessings.
Artistic Events in Sheetla Mata Fair:
All through the Sheetla Mata Fair, a transitory yet great bazaar will be displayed in the rural community. The neighboring villagers will look to perform a few businesses for an assortment of items such as garments, shoes, provisions, farming equipments, utensils, and many more. Another cultural attraction of this festival is a Cattle Fair that is arranged during the fair. What is more, countless musical events were also conducted by some tribal group of people. In this event, participants from diverse groups exhibit their commendable endowment. One more interesting thing to benefit from the fair is the neighborhood food.
The Sheetla Mata Fair is conducted in Seel- ki- Doongri Township that is about 35 km afar Jaipur. In order to get to the Sheetla Mata fair, a person has to first reach Jaipur and from there he can choose to take a personal cab or a bus to arrive at the Seel – ki – Doongri village.