The Tarnetar Mela: A Vibrant Celebration of Love and Hindu Marriage

Posted by srikanth pasupuleti on October 16th, 2019

Indians have been doing single mixes since before it was cool. The Tarnetar Mela held in Saurashtra region of Gujarat is an example of such a custom conserved over the years through fair and traditional tribal festivals. Held at the 8th century historic and sacred Trineteshwar Temple, the mela is a modern swayamvara of sort which is focused around helping young tribal men and women find love and a life partner. Everyone dresses up in vibrant embroidered ethnic dresses and dance to the rhythm of the every flowing beat as several group get on and off it like a train as they flirt with a potential partner for marriage.

The Tarnetar Mela is a tribal Guajarati fair which has its origins in the Hindu Epic Mahabharata as it was the Trineteshwar Temple where Arjuna won the heart of Draupadi by performing the difficult task of shooting an arrow through a circling fish’s eye ball. Arjuna married her at this temple after courting her by taking a near-impossible shot looking at its reflection in the water. The mela is held in celebration of their union and as a swayamvaram for the local tribes. Young men and women express their availability as well as attract a potential partner by expressing themselves through art embroidered into their colorful shiny clothes.

However, the mela is not limited strictly to those looking for potential spouses. It is attended by tourists from all over the world who flock to see this modernish tradition. Tarnetar Mela is the most important event in the Saurashtra region and is attended by over 50000 people every year. They come to see colorful young men and women who perform various traditional tribal dances like rahado and rasada while dressed in embroided colorful costumes. The Kolis has the started the trend of embroidered umbrellas with colorful artwork and handkerchiefs hanging around its edges.

This colorful and ancient tradition was revived about 250 years ago at the temple of the three-eyed god, Trineteshwar Mahadev. But the old temple built in 8th century was destroyed. The current temple was built in its place by the Gaekwads of Vadodara during the 19th century. There are also many things to do as the mela also features a number of stalls selling handicrafts, ethnic jewelry, idols of deities and other ethnic wear. There are also other fun and entertaining activities to do in Tarnetar Mela like tattoos parlors, amusement rides, photo stalls, cattle fairs, and magic shows etc.

How to reach Tarnetar Mela?

The vibrant Tarnetar Mela is held in Surendranagar District which is only 8 kms away from the nearest railway station at Thangadh town, which is located on the Ahmedabad-Hapa broad railway line. There are so many state run public busses available from almost all nearby towns and cities. The nearest airport for travelling from various parts of India is Rajkot Domestic Airport. For tourists interested in flying to Tarnetar Mela festival, the nearby airport that receives international flights from all over the world is the Ahmedabad International Airport.

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srikanth pasupuleti

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srikanth pasupuleti
Joined: October 16th, 2019
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