India is known as the land of colors & festivals. A small town in Maharashtra lives up to this recognition. Bhandara festival , also known as the turmeric festival takes places at Jejuri in Maharashtra.
It happens 2-3 times a year in devotion to Lord Khandoba , celebrated at Khandoba temple , Jejuri. Lord Khandoba is a renowned folk diety who lived around 9th century AD & popularly worshipped in Maharashtra & Karnataka.
The temple premises is known as 'Sonyachi Jejuri' or 'The golden Jejuri' because of the turmeric which is used by devotees there at jejuri on the occasion of Bhandara. People throw turmeric all each other & the whole sky is filled with turmeric above the temple. Devotees sing & dance invoking the deity to their prayers.
The palki or palanquin is the main attraction at the festival , the plaki is carries the deities for a holy bath from the temple to the hills of Karha River.
Many rituals takes place within the temple premises one of them is getting harmed by the hunter rope which is a hard thing to watch , but it has a very significant message to show the power of their (devotees) devotion for Lord Khandoba.
Significance of Turmeric at the festival:
For the devotees turmeric signifies gold , & throwing the turmeric around symbolizes the gold & riches Lord Khandoba will bless them with. Some also believe the festival as the wedding ceremony of Lord Khandoba & his wife Malsha & as in Indian Rituals the turmeric is used for the bride & groom , here the same concept is followed.
How to Reach Khandoba Temple , Jejuri : Take a train from pune , which will take around 1.5 hours to reach jejuri.
Things to Remember:
The festival starts around 9-10 AM & the palki rally goes till evening so plan your visit accordingly , so that you don't miss any of the celebrations.
Carry a camera cover along with your gears , as the turmeric may damage your equipments.
Dates for the Festival :
3rd June , 2019
28th October , 2019
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