Minjar, a seasonal fair of Chamba
, commences on the last Sunday of
month (July-August) at historical Chamba Chaughan with traditional zeal and enthusiasm. Known as the ‘festival of rains’ different myths are associated with the background of this fair. People from different parts of Himachal Pradesh
come here to watch this week long celebration.
According to a legend this fair is believed to have been started by Raja Sahil Varman, the founder of Chamba around 10th century. It is believed that
Ravi River used to flow through the middle of Chamba, with the temples of Hari Rai and Champavati at the opposite banks. The River Ravi stood as an obstacle for worshippers who wanted to visit both the temples. A seer, after persuasion from the Raja, prepared a seven-colored rope having different colors for each day of the week and named it Minjar and a 'Havan' ceremony was performed for seven days continuously. To the peoples delight River Ravi changed its course and this marked the beginning of the celebrations of the Minjar.
The fair is a time for great amusement, and several folk dances are organized, of which the Gaddi dance is popular. On the closing day, a procession starts from the Akhand Chandi Palace and goes to the banks of the Ravi River. Here the Minjar is offered to the river Ravi. Minjar consists of a coconut, a coin, a fruit, and a few spike of paddy tied in a piece of red cloth.