Shimla, Jul 27 (UNI) The week-long international Minjar fair got off to a colourful start today at temple town of Chamba with customary unfurling of Minjar flag by Governor Prabha Rau.
Speaking on the occasion, the Governor said fairs and festivals were the identity of Himachal Pradesh and the people of the state must keep their traditional culture alive inspite of onslaught of modernisation.
Ms Rau said such celebrations not only uphold our traditional values but also strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and fraternity besides infusing zeal and happiness among the people.
The fair was attracting tourists from all over the country and abroad and was promoting tourism activities in the district, she said and added that the folk artists were real cultural ambassadors and promoted the unique culture of the state across the globe through their performances.
She also inaugurated the sports competitions of Minjar fair at Police Ground Chamba and an exhibition organised by various Government departments and Boards and Corporations depicting the achievements of the present Government.
The Minjar Fair of Chamba, celebrated with great enthusiasm and traditional fervour from time immemorial, was originally linked with the maize crop as people used to worship the Gods for good crop and with passage of time it developed into a historic International fair.
As soon as the monsoon sets in, the people of Himachal Pradesh, especially of Chamba district and adjoining areas of Punjab and Jammu&Kashmir eagerly wait for the fair.
There were different beliefs regarding the origin of the festival and some believed that it was celebrated to worship Varuna, the God of air.
According to another legend the river Ravi flowed through Chamba town during the tenth century, while Champawati temple stood on the right bank of the river and Hari Rai temple on the left bank.
At that time, a saint who lived in Champawati temple, used to swim across the river every morning to perform worship at Hari Rai temple and the Raja and the inhabitants of Chamba asked the saint to make arrangements to enable them to visit the sacred Hari Rai temple.
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