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Festivals of Gujarat > Shamlaji Melo (Kartik Purnima Fair)

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Shamlaji, on the Ahmedabad-Delhi road, was once a town of great historical significance. It is 80 kms from Ahmedabad and 32 kms from Himatnagar. The Shamlaji Temple is a renowned Vaishnav shrine, and the deity housed therein is known by various names including Gadadhar - bearer of the mace - and Shaksi Gopal. Archaeologically, the temple is of importance, as it was built in the 11th century.

There are several other temples and shrines as well, all of great antiquity.

The Shamlaji Fair

This is also called the Kartik Purnima Fair and is held during the month of November, every year. It lasts for about two weeks . During this period, nearly 200,000 people of all communities and castes including the Garasias & Bhils, visit the fair. The visitors come from the adjoining districts and even from Rajasthan. The fair is also popular with the tribal people of the area, particularly the Bhils, who revere Shamlaji, the deity they refer to as 'Kalio Bavji', the dark divinity.

Apart from a darshan of the deity in the temple, a bath in the river Meshwo is. Considered essential. Visitors usually come in groups, and sing devotional songs, carrying religious banners.

Excursion :
Kesariaji, the Jain temple, which is about 48 km away;

Modasa, 29 km; Bhiloda 15 kms, Meghraj 48 km, and Ahmedabad 160 km are the places worth seeing.

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