After an early breakfast and check-out drive to Jhabua, the small town of the westernmost part of Madhya Pradesh. On arrival, drive to the village, where Bhil Bhagoria festival will be held.
Bheel Bhagoria festival held on the week of Holi – The festival of colour, which falls in the month of March of every year.
Bhagoria festival, is a unique festival which speaks of the multicultural base of modern India. The Bhagoria Haat in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh reminds us of the age old colorful traditions of the tribal, since this festival originated with the Bhil tribal of Madhya Pradesh. The fun filled nature of the festival is representative of the rich cultural heritage that India represents
The concept of the festival originates in the process of elopement seen from its nomenclature, of “bhaag”, which literally means “run” in Hindi. It is also something like the idea of “Swayambhara” where young partners elope, and are later sanctioned by the society predetermined by their customs. Usually the couple may have met before the fair several times, and hence the idea of eloping is rather a formalized process, more stylistic than real, and conforming to the laws of their traditional rules and regulations. The festival falls before Holi, another major Indian festival, and is also associated with agricultural harvest and fertility. Thus we see a rich harvest considerably increases the enjoyment of the entire community, since it becomes linked to the well being and prosperity of the entire community. As a prelude to Holi, the festival also uses “gulal” (dry colors) to select one's partner.
Among the tribes of the Bhils, the Bhagoria Haat, Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh is a series of fairs rather than being the occasion for one. Held in different villages on different market days and starting before the festival of Holi. The festival was also traditionally a ground for settling inter-communal disputes. However, now the administration has ensured that major brawls do not occur. For this purpose, the tribal groups and the common people who celebrate it are not allowed to enter armed into the fair.
Tourists who visit the state during March get a flavor of the ethnic richness of this tribal festival of India accompanied by singing, dancing and a general sense of revelry. The festival also highlights the genuine nature of democracy and liberation in all respects in tribal society, starting with the nuclear family which is specified in the amicable selection of partners.
After enjoying the festival, check-in at the hotel.
Overnight at Jhabua. (B,D)