Devotees used to bring spear and sword to Rajgir Makar Mela, used to cook food with water from the pond, it will start from January 14.

Makar Sankranti 2024: Makar Sankranti has a historical and deep connection with Rajgir. The eight-day Makar Mela is going to start here from January 14. But when and by whom was this fair organized for the first time? No one knows this exactly. But people say that Makar Sankranti fair has been organized in Rajgir since ancient times. A large number of people from the districts of Magadha gather in this fair. People of all ages take bath in the famous hot springs and ponds. Devotees avail the benefits of donations by offering prayers in the Lakshmi Narayan temples here.

Earlier the Chief Minister had organized the official event of the fair.

After independence, the government event of Makar Mela was started by the first Chief Minister of the state, Dr. Shri Krishna Singh. Over time this fair became a victim of government neglect. The administration stopped organizing the fair. Despite this, the local people made every effort to keep the tradition of Makar Mela alive.

CM Nitish Kumar gave the status of Government Makar Mela

On the day of Makar Sankranti, former Education Minister Surendra Prasad Tarun along with some colleagues used to offer prayers in the Vedic culture in the youth hostel and discuss the importance of Makar Sankranti for hours. Later, on the demand of the local people, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, assessing its spiritual and historical importance, not only revived the dormant Makar Fair of Rajgir but also gave it the status of State Makar Fair. Now from 2018, Makar Mela is being organized by the government again in Rajgir.

District administration is preparing for the fair

Preparations for this eight-day fair starting from January 14 are being done by the district administration. The fair preparations are being monitored by DM Shashank Subhankar himself. The main cultural pandal is being constructed in the youth hostel (Mela police station) premises here. For the first time in the history of Makar Mela, a German hangar pandal is being constructed.

These programs will also be organized in the fair

Apart from this, milch cattle exhibition, agricultural product exhibition, departmental exhibition, Gramshree fair, cuisine fair, athletics, agricultural fair, quiz and debate competition, painting competition, drawing competition, rangoli competition, kabaddi, dangal, cricket, volleyball, football etc. Preparations for the programs are being done rapidly. Stalls are being constructed rapidly at different places for various programs.

Earlier devotees used to come on foot and bullock cart

Elders tell from when the Makar Sankranti fair is held. This is not the correct address. But earlier too the crowd used to come in large numbers. For Makar Snan, people used to come to Rajgir on foot and with the help of bullock carts. Apart from men, there were also a considerable number of women and children in those groups of villagers. Along with clothes, food etc. people also kept weapons. It contained spear, spear, mace, sword, gun etc.

People used to carry kerosene, lantern, petromax

Kerosene, lantern and petromax were also kept in the bullock cart. This was all a trick to protect against miscreants and thieves. Someone sitting on the bullock cart would sing the lines of a song and everyone sitting along would repeat it. As people reached near Rajgir, the convoy became larger. People used to camp under a tree and enjoy the fair to the fullest.

Used to cook food in pond water

After taking bath in hot water springs and ponds, the villagers used to eat traditional food of curd, chuda, bhura, tilkut along with potato and dum vegetable. Next day we would cook khichdi and eat it. The taste of food prepared from pond water is different. The villagers used to enjoy the fair and also visit the mountains.

Farmers meet with saints and sages

Sudhir Kumar Upadhyay, spokesperson of Rajgir-Tapovan Tirtha Rakshaartha Panda Samiti, says that along with the sages and saints of Magadha region, farmers-laborers, young men and women and students also reach the Makar Sankranti fair in large numbers.

Earlier, the monks used to spend Kalpavas in the caves of Panch hills during the Sankranti period. Used to take bath in the ponds here. The spiritual atmosphere of Rajgir remains at its peak on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. A glimpse of the unique confluence of Sanatan culture can be seen on this occasion.

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