Nauchandi Fair in MeerutKnown for its diverse culture and traditions, Meerut is the city that reflects the eclectic mix of cultural practices. Festivals of all religions are celebrated in great pomp and gaiety, fairs and melas are a part of such religious activities that generally coincide with some festivals. People gather in great numbers during the days of melas. One such popular fair that attracts people from all over is the Nauchandi fair in Meerut. This fair is held annually at Sardhana near Meerut during the week that follows Holi festival. The practice has been incessantly followed since then, where people of all religions take part in the celebrations and has now become an integral part of Meerut cultural celebrations.
Godess Chandi, who is considered to be a reincarnation of Godess Parvathi is offered prayers during this festival and marks the beginning of the event. Kavi sammelan, Urdu poetry recitals, live dance and musical performances is a part of this event. The mela is organized by the Local Municipal Corporation at the Nauchandi ground and attracts nearly 50,000 people every day. Thousands of stalls exhibiting arts, artifacts and collections from artisans from all over the country are displayed here. Merriment and amusement facilities such as giant wheel, octopus, tora tora and numerous food stalls are also the part of this fair.
Historical Significance of Nauchandi Fair in MeerutThis festival has deep-rooted history, the origin of which can be traced back to 1672 when it was held as a one day celebration mainly for cattle traders. As per the legends, Mandodari, Ravan's wife was born to a family of devils in Meerut. She was, however, a devout worshiper of Chandi and constructed the temple in her honor. This marks the beginning of the Nauchandi fair.
During the early 19th century, the then collector of Meerut used this as an opportunity where thoroughbred stallions were sold and used this as a revenue collection centre. During the 1857 Indian War of Independence, Nana Sahib and other nationalist leaders motivated the local populace to revolt against the British. They put up posters of the nationalist leaders to raise an arm against the British, hence playing a noteworthy role during the freedom struggle too. With changing times, the mode of celebration has undergone a sea change. In present times, this fair is held for over a period of two weeks following the festival of Holi and continues to be a mark of communal harmony as Hindus as well as Muslims participate in the celebrations of the event with gaiety and galore.