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Ludhiana Jarag Mela Martyr Fair

Jarag Mela is one of the most popular fairs of Punjab and is held every year in Jarag located in Payal village of Ludhiana. It is also celebrated in Malwa and Powad but the main fair is held in Jarag. Also known as the Beheria Mela, it is a fair that is celebrated with much pomp and gaiety in Punjab. The Mela attracts thousands of people from all over the country. The ritual involves gathering near a pond and digging a hole to scoop out earth to create a mound, which is worshipped as a form of the Hindu goddess Seetala. The message that is sent out through the fair and the ritual is that even a mould of mud can be a form of God, if you have unshakable faith.

The handmade hillock carved from the scooped mud is worshipped by the crowd and offered Prasad in the form of jaggery cakes called gurugulas in local dialect. After the Prasad is offered to the Goddess, it is then fed to donkeys considered the vahana or vehicle of the Goddess. The rest of the prasadam is then shared with the gathering. The fair sees a large number of multi-hued donkeys, which makes an impressive and rare sight.

Significance of Jarag Mela

The Jarag Mela is a time to reaffirm one’s faith in God and show that God exists in everything. The Mela’s theme is that unflinching faith can help people overcome adversities that look seemingly impossible to deal with. The importance of social communication is also highlighted through various rituals in the fair. The sight of the colorfully decked and bejeweled donkeys is indeed delightful. The Jarag Mela is a much awaited event among the local populace of Tehsil Payal Village and celebrated energetically. Simplicity is the theme that prevails in all the rituals conducted during the puja and the celebrations that happen later.

Date of Jarag Mela

Jarag Mela is celebrated in the Hindu month of Chaitra or in the months of March or April, according to the Christian calendar.

Celebration of Jarag Mela

The festival has a religious theme and devotees of Goddess Seetala celebrate Jarag Mela with lots of fun and enthusiasm. The mud of the pond from where the mud for the manmade hillock is scooped out is believed to have medicinal properties, which is another reason why people flock to the Jarag Mela. They hope to get rid of their diseases by placing their faith in the Goddess Seetala. After the main event, which takes place in the day, there are various cultural programs including dance and singing events. They are held in the evening to entertain large crowds. There are stalls lined up on one side of the ground that sell local handicrafts and traditional items made by artisans of Ludhiana. The colorfully-attired donkeys are definitely one of the main attractions of the Mela.

How to Reach the Mela

Ludhiana District is well connected by road and railways. The National Highway 1 connects it to Delhi and other important cities of Punjab like Amritsar and Jalandhar. Chandigarh is the nearest airport from Ludhiana. The station lies on the main broad gauge as it is a major junction.

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