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Sheetla Mata Fair

Sheetla Mata fair is a famous tribal fair held in village Seel-ki-Doongri of Rajasthan state of India. The fair is held in the month of Chaitra (as per Hindu calendar) means during the March – April months for a period of seven days. This shrine fair is devoted to the Hindu deity, Sheetla Mata who is considered a deity of ghosts, sores, pustules and epidemic diseases.

Sheetla basically means ‘Smallpox’ in Sanskrit and this Goddess is worshiped under several names in India. The deity is more often termed as ‘Maa’ or ‘Mata’ (means Mother) by Hindus as well as by some Buddhists and other tribal communities where Sheetla Mata is worshipped widely. Moreover the deity is mentioned widely in Puranic as well as Tantric literatures in India.

Sheetla Mata is oftenly accompanied by the fever demon, Jvarasura, the deity of cholera, Olai Bibi/Olai Candi, the deity of skin diseases,Ghentukarna, the sixty-four epidemics, the Causatti Rogas and the deity of blood infections, Raktavati. Sheetla Mata is symbolized as a young maiden who is crowned with a winnowing fan, holding a short broom (either to dust off or even spread germs) and riding an ass, and holding a pot full of cold water (symbolizing the healing tool) or pulses (representing the viruses). The Sheetla Mata fair is celebrated by people to pray for long healthy life that is safe from all kinds of health problems and to pray for longevity of health trouble free life.

The Fair

Sheetla Mata fair is organized every year. The fair is celebrated for seven days in the months of March and April in the Seel-ki-Doongri village that is almost 5 km away from Chaksu while 35 km from Jaipur. The fair is arranged near the temple of deity Sheetla Mata which is situated on the top of small hill of this village, which is locally termed as Doonrgi. The fair is held with a purpose, as per legends, to please the goddess Sheetla Mata who is considered the deity of epidemics. So annual worship and offering are done through this fair in order to please her so that she does not get angry and bring several scourges and endemics to people.  

Worship and Offering

According to legends, Sheetla Mata is the deity who leads to plagues and epidemics when angry. So to please her and calm her down, devotees pray before the deity and make several offerings as per the customs. Devotees across the country come to visit the temple of the Sheetla Mata and to attend the fair. People prepare various kinds of foods on this auspicious day, termed as Sheetla Asthami and make a visit to offer their prayers and Puja to the deity on this fair.

Daily Aarti, the prayer is done to the deity that is performed by the local Pujaris, Brahmins. The food is offered to the goddess and this food is termed as Prasad and includes Rabri, Bajra and curd. These three are the core requisites of the Prasad and as per local lingo; it is referred to as Baseda. There are also numerous rituals as well as religious activities that take place during the fair. People give food to old & some needy people to seek their holy blessings.

Cultural Programme or Activities in Sheetla Mata Fair

During this fair, a temporary yet large bazaar comes up in the village. The local villagers are seen doing some trade for a variety of items like clothes, shoes, foodstuff, agricultural implements, utensils, and many more. Another cultural attraction of this festival is a Cattle Fair that is arranged during the fair. Moreover some musical events are also arranged by some tribal communities. In this event, participants from various groups display their admirable talent. The other thing to enjoy is local food.

How to Reach

The Sheetla Mata Fair is held in Seel – ki - Doongri village that is just 35 km away from Jaipur, the pink city. So to reach to the fair, one has to simply reach Jaipur and from there one can opt for some personal cab or bus to reach Seel – ki - Doongri village.

By Air

Nearest airport is in Jaipur, at Sanganer city. From here one can opt for bus or taxi to travel ahead.

By Road

Rajasthan Roadways have bus services from Jaipur that are well connected to almost all major cities.

You can also choose to travel by private car or taxi.

By Rail

Nearest Railway station is at Jaipur itself which is well connected to all the other major cities of India via railways.

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