A large number of devotees arrive to the Shamlaji fair on foot or on camel carts, singing devotional songs, some even dancing and carrying banners bearing sacred symbols. They go to worship the deity and bathe in the sacred waters of the Meshwo river. Among the Adivasis, the Bhil community has incredible faith in the powers of Shamlaji who they lovingly refer to as Kaliyo Dev (Dark Divinity). The fair is an important trade destination for people to buy silver ornaments, metalware, cloth and garments, along with many other annual household items.
The temple of Shamlaji stands on the banks of the river Meshwo, in veneration of Lord Vishnu. The river Meshwo meanders over its rocky bed in the valley immediately below, and the waters of a splendid natural lake, of great beauty sparkle amid the well-wooded hills.
It is believed that this shrine has existed for at least 500 years. Built of white sandstone and bricks, it has two storeys supported on rows of pillars. It is profusely carved and episodes from sacred epics of the Ramayana and Mahabharata are engraved on the outer walls. It’s beautiful domed ceilings and a traditional north Indian spire over the main shrine add to the magnificence of its open courtyard accompanied by the carving of a life-size elephant.
Sakshi Gopal or Gadadhar is a black representation of Lord Vishnu worshipped at the Shamlaji Temple. This is one of the rare temples of Lord Krishna in which cow idols are also worshipped depicting his childhood as a cowherd. For the Vaishnavites, Shamlaji is one of the hundred and fifty four most important places of pilgrimage in India.Interesting Facts
Numerous temples in ruins, ancient brick-work and scattered idols are found at Shamlaji which show that since ancient times it has been a popular and important center of pilgrimage on the highway between Gujarat and Rajasthan. Its antiquity has been further proved by the recent finds of a Buddhist stupa and a vihar at Dev-ni-Mori about a mile and a half from Shamlaji. The stupa is considered a sharir stupa i.e., one containing a fragment of the mortal remains of the Buddha.
Remains of shrines of different religions show that the whole area around Shamlaji was once not only prosperous but an important center of civilization and culture. Also, there is a small shrine on the way from the Shamalaji Temple to the Meshwo river, where an image of a late-Gupta standing Ganesha which is still worshiped.History
There are three very interesting legends behind the creation of this temple.
Polo Forest, Idar. Kesariaji, a Jain shrine in Rajasthan about 30 kms away from the border of Gujarat. Modasa – 29 kmsCalender for next five years
06th to 10thNovember 2011 (Sunday-Thursday)
24th to 28thNovember 2012 (Saturday-Wednesday)
13th to 17thNovember 2013 (Wednesday-Sunday)
03th to 06thNovember 2014 (Monday-Thursday)
22nd to 25thNovember 2015 (Sunday-Wednesday)
Disclaimer: You are requested to check the exact dates with Gujarat Tourism office before finalising your travel plans for this festival.When
The Shamlaji Mela lasts for about three weeks, around the month of November. Kartik Purnima (Full moon night) is the most important day for the fair.Where
The Shamlaji Mela is held at Shamlaji situated in the Sabarkantha district near the border between Gujarat and Rajasthan on the National Highway No. 8. Formerly included as a part of Idar, it is approximately 122 kms from Ahmedabad and around 32 kms from Himmatnagar.Who Comes
The fair is attended by more than 2 lakh people from different parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan, especially by the Garasia and Bhil community who attend this fair in large numbers.