Fairs /mela are an ineluctable part of rural life. They provide recreation, are usually linked to auspicious cycles in the year, and induce economic activity. In Chhattisgarh in particular they are organized throughout the year, and in many ways knit the region in identifiable ways.
The mela at Rajim is linked to the auspicious day of Magh Purnima and extends to Shivratri which falls at the end of the lunar cycle. It is held at the confluence of three rivers, and is also known for the medieval Rajiv Locan temple. Rajim is a part of sacred pilgrimage sites of Hinduism. According to a local legend, the name of the site derives from a telin (oil presser women) who recovered the main image at the temple.
The Rajim mela is one of the most popular and well attended fairs in Chhattisgarh, and is primarily Hindu in character. This module provides a documentation of the fair - people attending it, practices and rituals associated with it. It was earlier called the Kumbh Mela and has now been renamed Punni/ Rajim mela to indicate greater regional identity. The documentation combines previous documentation with that of the present year, to notate shifts in appearance and attendees.
This content has been created as part of a project commissioned by the Directorate of Culture and Archaeology, Government of Chhattisgarh, o document the Cultural and Natural Heritage of the state of Chhattisgarh .