In the spirit of an avid traveller and the fondness for Gujarat Tourism- The fame of this fair has put the state on an international platform I decided to visit this fair again (I had visited Tarnetar previously in 2011) and my cousin tagged along.
My journey started from my hometown Nadiad at 6:30 in morning in a State Transport bus. I must say, bus tickets were quite expensive- 125rs.
After 4 long hours it dropped us at Chotila (a small town near Tarnetar). Still 27 kilometers to go, we hired a local vehicle. It dropped us at a nearby village from where we had to travel another 10 kilometers to reach our destination.
In those 10 kilometers we saw lots of trucks and pickup vans. It was the last day of the 3 days fair and people were packing. We were terribly late. We heard our driver saying “Its the last day of the fair why did you came such a long way?” But, we were determined.
Finally, at 1 pm in noon we reached Tarnetar. The place was happening. It was only the vendors and traders who were leaving otherwise locals were busy shopping. The main street of the fair was crowded.
Rather than hitting at any stalls we decided to visit the main temple of Shiva (Trinetranetrashwar Mahadeva) the fair is known for. It was splendid.
LEGEND OF TARNETAR:
One of the five Pandavas in Mahabharata, Arjuna won Draupadi here at Trinetrashwar Mahadeva temple. Arjuna is known to be as an excellent archer. Arjuna succeeded in aiming the eye of a fish mirrored in water.
The original temple of Trinetreshwar Mahadeva-‘three eyed Shiva’ (built centuries ago) stood here. It was dismantled around the year 1898 in order to built the present one. But the surrouding ‘kund’ is original.
LEGEND OF TARNETAR
In order to maintain the sanctity of this place, the new temple was built with same archeology which typifies early 20th century temple building skills. Its a heritage site under Gujarat Monuments and Archaeological Sites Act 1965.
The word ‘TARNETAR’:
If you break this word into pieces, then
1.’TAR..’ means ‘tri’ (three)
2.’NETRA..’ means ‘netra’ (eyes)
3. ‘..AR)’ means ‘ishwar’ (lord)
TARNETAR means Tri-netra-shwar (three eyed lord), here Mahadeva(Shiva)
Later, we moved to another place. A big beautiful, colorful and decorated umbrella. The signature of this fair. This glass studded umbrella is the main attraction here.
THE DECORATED UMBRELLA STANDS TALL BEHIND WITH A BEAUTIFUL PEACOCK ON IT.
Then, we moved to a lake by the venue. Its a beautiful and serene place, but all the plastic trash dumped alongside the lake was stinking. I couldn’t stand that awful smell. No less, we took some pictures and then took off from that place. Also, we went at some guest houses built for VVIPs. Obviously, the place was deserted.
We came back at the main street and decided to bid a farewell to Tarnetar. (see you next year). I along with my cousin hired an auto rickshaw (‘suttle’ as they call) and reached a nearby village. But, the driver dropped us at a different point from we were supposed to be.
Now we were lost in an unknown town. The cousin asked a couple of people who guided us towards the main city. After walking almost 5 kilometers finally we found a local vehicle for Chotila. It was around 5 pm.
But not so soon, the driver halted midway at BapaSitaram ashram for a prasad. As for them(the locals), it was kind’o mandatory to have the prasad as you pass any ashram your way. Prasad included unlimited khichdi, sabji, boondi(sweet sugary marbles) and buttermilk. We had nothing but some snacks on our way here. We were famished.
Later, from Chotila, an hour of bus ride to Limdi and a half hour journey in train from Limdi to Ranpur. Ranpur- home to the eldest cousin in my family. Hasubhai.
The next day it was a trip to Salangpur. A 26 kilometers ride, Salangpur is famous for it has one of the largest temple of Lord Hanuman. It was quite a trip.
Now, surprisingly, Ranpur has only one bus directly connecting Nadiad. Thusly, we boarded the bus at 6 in the evening and reached Nadiad safely.
All in all, Tarnetar 2015 was some experience. Meet you after Vautha fair(November) & Rannutsav 2015-16 ( December-January). Thanks for reading.