Yesterday, when Ashley narrated me their experience at the “Bhimthadi Jatra” i was more than excited to visit it. Although convincing V was a tough task for me and i used one of my best strategy to convince him 😛 So there we were at the College of Agriculture ground, making our way through hundreds of bikes and cars on the road which were poured in for this Jatra. Finding parking was a nightmare and we had to work hard to get the one !
In olden days, the village fairs and the markets took place at the bank of rivers and hence organisers, women’s self-help groups (SHGs), thought of Bhimthadi, a market fair from the bank of river Bhima.River Bhima was named after the king,Bhimak, and the region on the banks of this Bhima river is known as “Bhimthadi”.
As we entered through this gate we were transported to a village, complete with Vaghya-Murali, Nadibailwala, Vasudeva and Gondhali, some of the traditional arts of Maharashtra which are now on the verge of extinction. This was the special wing for the cultural and folk arts in this fair.
Nandibail was the centre of attraction amongst visitors specially with kids.
The whole atmosphere was cheerful with the gondhali’s being singing “Aamhi Ambe che Gondhali..aamhi ambe che gondhali” Gondhal is a religious performing art of Maharashtra.It is the dramatic narration of mythical stories and folk legends forming a part of a ritual dedicated to different divinities. In some areas of the state, it is practiced as a religious rite.It is generally performed on special days, particularly during the birth of a child. In earlier times, it was a performance acted before the Amba Devi shrine.
These bullock cart rides were another major attraction at the fair.
Apart from the cultural aspects this fair was also a treat for the foodies,Kolhapuri mutton, Konkani fish curry, solkadhi, Zunka-Bhakari, Khandeshi mande and puran mande were dishes of the day. With stalls of artifacts made by SHGs from tribal areas, there was something for everybody here. We were more delighted to see all our favorite items available to eat at one place in one day 😉
The most impressive thing was the idea of Going eco-friendly, the organisers emphasized on use of paper bags. Paper bags prepared by the physically challenged children of Pune-based NGO Nirmalya were recommended for use. Was happy to see the awareness on the grass root level in our country !!