Vautha Fair & Festival
This fair is a largest livestock fair of Gujarat. Tens of thousands donkeys, lot of livestock and heard of camels are brought to the fairground, at the joining together of seven tributaries of the river Sabarmati, for trading and auction. Kartikeya, the son of lord Shiva, visited this site on Kartika Purnima during his journey round the earth, and performed severities at the meeting point of the rivers. The most important ceremony is a sacred bath in the holy river on Kartika Purnima, the full moon night, which is said to release one from all sins. The donkeys are painted in the range of colours and decorated to suit the occasion. Camels are also colourfully decorated and sold on the sand dunes by the river coast. This fairs offers to experience the cultural of rural groups like the Jath community. The village of Vautha is small, with only 2000 inhabitants. Yet this fair brings mutually more than 500,000 visitors through the five days of the fair. People generally arrive here on tractors, buses, chhakdas, camels, jeeps and other varied means of transport. For some this place is as divine as the sangam in Allahabad, and many communities even regard as this fair more important than Diwali. Seven holy rivers mix waters here: the Vatrak combine with the Meshwo, Hathmati, Shedhi, Majum and Khari before it then meets the Sabarmati, so the locals call it saptasangam. Hundreds of families from even nearby villages lock up their homes and move into tents to enjoy the fair for five days. They cook different sweets for each day, often ending with laddoos on the last day of festivity. However, the preferred foods here are the khichu and kachariyu.
The magnificent Vautha fair is held Vautha near Dholka (Vautha 80 KMS from Ahmedabad), where two rivers, the Sabarmati and the Vatrak meet. The Vautha Mela (fair) site is 3 square miles in area.
This fair is held during Kartika Purnima, one of the most important full moon days of the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar, corresponding roughly to the month of November. It lasts for five days.