Festivals of Uttarakhand

Fair and Festivasl of Uttarakhand

Kumbh Mela

It is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage, which takes place at four locations of India. One of them is Haridwar in the state of Uttarakhand, where the river Ganga enters the plains from Himalayas at the confluence of three rivers Ganga (Ganges), Yamuna, and Saraswati.

Kumbh Mela of Uttarakhand takes place four times every twelve years at the above location. Every twelve-year cycle includes the Maha (great) Kumbh Mela at Haridwar and Prayag, which is the largest pilgrimage gathering in the world. It is attended by millions of people.


Baishaki is among the important festivals of Uttarakhand. Baishaki in Uttarakhand is celebrated during the month of April, which symbolizes the beginning of yet another year. After harvesting season, people in Uttarakhand mostly relax and spend their time in leisure. Therefore, to commemorate this free time they started the celebration of Baishaki.

At the period of transition, when the Sun moves from one constellation (Sankranti) to the other, fairs and festivals are observed by the people of Uttarakhand. In Uttarakhand, each sankranti is marked with a festival, namely Fooldeyi, Bikhauti, Harela, Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Holi Uttaraini, etc.

Devidhura Mela

Devidhura Mela is held in the compound of the Varahi Devi temple of Devidhura. Devidhura Mela is held every year on the auspicious day of Raksha Bandhan. The place Devidhura is situated at a junction of Almora, Pithoragarh, and Nainital districts. Devidhura Mela is famous for its enchanting dance and folk songs and also for its Bagwal.

Uttaraini Mela

Uttaraini Mela of Uttarakhand is held around many locations including Sult Mahadev, Bageshwar, Rameshwar, Chitrashila (Ranibagh), Hanseshwar, etc. It is held on Uttarayani day (Makar Sankranti). The dola of Chaumu comes down to the temple at Pancheshwar. Merchants from distant places like Tibet and Nepal come to Uttaraini Mela for brisk trading. Among the things available for sale are iron and copper pots, blankets, baskets, casks, durries, mats, mattresses, cane and bamboo articles, carpets, blankets, herbs, and spices.

Uttaraini Mela at Bageshwar attracts a lot of local people as well as tourists. It is an important place from the cultural, commercial, and political points of view.

Gauchar Mela

Gauchar Mela of Uttarakhand is a great attraction for the local people and the traders and mercahnts from every corner of the state. Held every year for a week starting from 14th November, Uttrakhand's Gaucher mela is fundamentally an industrial fair. It is attended widely by tourists and inhabitants of the state alike. The cultural programs like the local dances and songs always remains a major attraction of Gauchar mela at Uttarakhand.

Nanda Devi Mela

The Nanda Devi Mela is held at Almora, Kot (Dangoli), Nainital, Kichha Ranikhet, Bhowali, and in the rural villages of Lohar (like Milam and Martoli) and Pindar valleys (like Khati and Wachham). The Nanda Devi Mela of Uttarakhand at Almora and Roopkund are the most famous. In Nainital and Almora, many people take part in the procession carrying the dola (litter) of Nanda Devi. The fair at Saneti takes place every second year. Nanda Devi Mela in Uttarakhand is rich in folk expressions and many village products are available for sale.

Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra

Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra is a festival that stetches for whole three weeks. It is one such Uttaranchal festival that is globally famous. Innumerable people participate in Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra from the Garhwal-Kumaon region, the rest of the country, and abroad.

Goddess Nanda Devi is a popular deity at many places of Kumaon. Nanda Devi Raj Jat is organised once in every 12 years in Chamoli after royal priests' descendents and the Kunwar royal family make elaborate preprations in the village of Nauti and in Kansuwar respectively. It is primarily a religious pilgrimage spanning for 280 kilometer. The trek takes about 20 days to be completed.

Peerane Kaliyar

Peerane Kaliyar Festival is organised at Piran Kaliyar Sharif. This is located in Roorkee tehsil of Haridwar district. Lakhs of Jaireens from across the country and abroad participate in Peerane Kaliyar Festival. The festival spans for a period of about one month. It is organised on the basis of the Muslim calendar near Id-E-Milad.

Maga Mela

Maga Mela of Uttarakhand is held once in a year on the occasion of Makar Sankranti ( January) in Uttarkashi. It is an important event of the district of Uttarkashi from cultural, religious, and commercial points of view. The fair is held on the banks of Bhagirathi River in Uttarkashi. Many local people and tourists from different parts of Kumaon, Garhwal, and other parts of Uttar Pradesh participate in Maga Mela at Uttarakhand.

The mela attracts devout people from all over the world. It is actually a bathing ritual. It begins on a full moon day and lasts for 15 days to a month. Maga Mela in Uttarakhand attracts thousands of pilgrims, who come here every year to take a holy dip in Bhagirathi and have a darshan of the image of their village deity. Every twelfth year, this mela is called Kumbh Mela and every sixth year it is known as Ardh Kumbh.

Vishu Mela

Vishu Mela is organized at the Jhanda ground in the cantonment area of Chakrata block of the Dehradun district. It is held at a distance of about 3 kilometer from Chakrata. The fair reflects the tradition and cultural heritage of the Jaunsari tribe. A large number of people participate in Vishu Mela from nearby Uttarkashi, Trhri, and Saharanpur districts. The fair is organized to celebrate the harvesting season in the area. Therefore, Vishu Mela reflects the happiness of the local people.

Last Updated on 4 March 2013