Celebrated In: India
GThe Sheetla Mata Fair of Chaksu, Rajasthan is dedicated to Sheetla Mata, goddess of epidemic diseases such as measles, chicken pox, etc. The fair is organized on an annual basis in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April), on Krishna Paksh. The venue of the Rajasthan Sheetla Mata Fair is village Seel-ki-Doongri, 5 km from Chaksu and 35 km from Jaipur. The temple of Sheetla Mata is located on top of hillock in this village, known as Doongri. The duration of the fair is one day only.
The Sheetla Mata Fair takes place in the month of March-April (Chaitra on Krishna Paksh). The word 'Sheetla' is derived from sheetal which means calm and composed. The fair is held in Seel-Ki-Doongri village in Jaipur. It lasts for only 24 hours in which pilgrims visit to pay homage to Sheetla Mata.
It is believed that if due to any reason, Sheetla Mata, the goddess of epidemics loses her temper then the area is expected to be affected by dangerous epidemics. That’s why, the fair is organized to keep her mood cheerful and offerings of different type of fruits, sweets and cash is placed at the feet of Sheetla Mata. A beautiful red stone placed inside the temple is an embodiment of the deity. People who come to attend the fair are supposed to take food only after visiting the sacred shrine of Sheetla Mata.
In this fair, the cattle fair also occur simultaneously. Due to plethora of colorful activities happening in the fair, the atmosphere becomes truly joyful. Cattle breeders decorate their animals beautifully and take them to the fair. Finally the best breeder is awarded with a prize.
The shrine of Sheetla Mata houses a red stone representing the deity. Legend has it that it is the rage of Sheetla Mata that leads to epidemics. So, in order to calm and placate the Mata, devotees pray to her and make offerings. Devotees from across the miles come to visit this fair and pray to Sheetla Mata. At the time of the fair, a temporary market comes up. The villagers are seen doing business for various items like shoes, clothes, foodstuff, utensils, agricultural implements, etc. Another attraction is a cattle fair organized during the fair.