name Baneshwar is derived from the revered Shiva Linga
which is kept in the Mahadev temple in Dungarpur. "Baneshwar"
means the 'master of the delta' in the local Vagdi language and
this name was given to Shiva Linga.The Baneshwar fair is held at
a small delta formed by the river Som and Mahi, from Magh Shukla
Ekadashi to Magh Shukla Poornima during Shivratri.
The Baneshwar fair, in its present form is actually a merger of
two fairs: one which used to be held in honour of Baneshwar
Mahadev (Lord Shiva) and another fair which started after
the construction of the Vishnu temple by Jankunwari,
daughter-in-law of Mavji, a highly revered saint considered to
be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
The Baneshwar fair is predominantly a tribal fair with more than
half of the congregation consisting of Bhils. They revere
Baneshwar Mahadev as well as Mavji. The majority of the
gathering is from the Districts of Dungarpur, Udaipur and
The temple of Baneshwar Mahadev remains open from 5.00 a.m. to
11.00 p.m. during the fair. In the morning, saffron is applied
to the Shiva Linga after it is bathed and an aarti of burning
incense is waved before it. In the evening, bhabhut (ash) is
applied to the Linga and an aarti with a fine-wick lamp
is waved. Devotees offer wheat flour, pulses,
rice, jaggery, ghee, salt, chillies,
coconut and cash.
The Bhils attending Baneshwar Fair sing traditional folk songs
in high pitched voices sitting around a bonfire every night.
Groups of villagers are also invited to participate in the
programme. The fair resounds with the gaiety of songs, folk
dances, magic shows, animal shows and acrobatic feats.
Adding to the excitement are the joy rides on merry-go-rounds
The fair site is at a distance of 6.5 kms from Sabla, a
village on the Udaipur-Banswara-Dungarpur bus route which
is at a distance of 123 kms from Udaipur 53 kms from Banswara 45
kms from Dungarpur and 22 kms from Aspur, the Tehsil
headquarter. On normal days, one has to reach Sabla from
Baneshwar on foot or on private carts. However, buses go right
up to the bank of the river Som during the fair.