Manali: The spring Karjan Mela on Friday started with much fun and fare. The weather relented as it was a bright day as cloudy skies bringing rain and snow in the previous week was proving to be a dampener for movement of people. People from all over converged upon the village to celebrate the festival.
In the village square, the festival preparations begin with full swing. What a stunning location it was for a traditional village festival. A circular park had a temple of deity capped with forests in the background. On one side was Docha mocha Temple. A vast ground that has recently been cemented is in front of the temple where the fair is to be held.
Devtas of nearby villages are hosted at small platform bang in the middle of the ground and a constant stream of devotees come forward to pay their respects. It was especially amazing at the elaborate palkis of the devtas. Men and women wore their traditional clothes and as festive spirit prevailed. Television and movies have made the hill people aware about usual city life and there were also kids playing areas in area of Karjan village.
Temporary structures were erected close to the temple and the festival ground had been surrounded by shops of all kinds. There were food stalls, shops selling garments and jackets, some shops selling kids wear, a few selling shoes while makeshift tents were all selling fast-food like golgappas, aloo tikki,pakros and Jlbis and which are a huge hit with the locals!
The intimate mountain life of small villages and what a better place to experience a traditional village festival in Kullu valley (valley of Gods, where every village has its own deity).
The locals invited each other to their homes for chai, It was inquisitive about the course of action and the programs to be held during the mela. Kids were having a ball in the playing area that had been erected in the grounds away from the festival square. There was even an ice-cream seller also
According to Joginder Rana resident of Karjan told Hill Post that as a starting ceremony of the festival, the procession of the devtas was first. 4 deities in their palanquins had been carried on people’s shoulders accompanied with trumpets and cymbals to Karjan square and this is time to see one of the most famous performances of every festival across Himachal Pradesh.
He added another fascinating thing during the procession is that the devtas met each other and exchanged greetings. It was a surreal moment to see a traditional Kullvi ceremony in the small village of Karjan close to Nagger heritage village and it was ecstatic.
He said then the Gur (Messenger of God) arrives and was clad in traditional brahmin attire, and the music and the procession stops. He added that he prayed before the devta and after beating himself with the chains that he carried on his shoulder, he was ready with his predictions. It was a very charged up atmosphere and was very nervy indeed, hair stood on end, in anticipation.
Joginder added after a tense minute or two, the Gur finally starts speaking. He spoke urgently. The villagers stood with folded hands in reverence to the deity and the gur.
He further disclosed that the festivities started again when the Gur had his say and the devtas were dismounted from their palanquins and were kept again in the structure in the middle of the ground. Now it is time for another performance to unravel! Hitherto. Rana futher said the pahari naati songs in shared cabs and only the ladies dance in pahari naati.
Thereafter the men to performed pahari naati dressed in colourful clothes. Joginder further disclosed Pahari naati is a slow form of dance with measured movements where the participants make a round circle and perform steps with music. The villagers watched in rapt attention