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Upcoming Festival

Bhagoria Tribal Festival, Madhya Pradesh
27 February - 05March 2015

“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.”

Romeo and Juliet: Annotated Balcony Scene, Act 2, Scene 2

Love and attraction have been a key source of motivation for one and all since time immemorial. Be it the love and bonding shared between Antony and Cleopatra, or the immortal admiration and love of Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved Queen Mumtaz Mahal; the feeling of Love has never quite subsided in the umpteen hearts that beat and yearn for someone …somewhere.

Every year thousands of young men and beautiful women gather in a festival which is purely meant for bringing prospective grooms and brides together in this mass congregation. This festival is called “Bhagoria” and is a colorful festival of the Bhils and Bhilalas, held particularly in the districts of West Nimar, Alirajpur and Jhabua, in the state of Madhya Pradesh. One gets to see the womenfolk in the crowd immersed in a wide range of colorful attire and men have an amazing variety of colors depicted on their turbans. Overall you feel as if you are looking at a live painting with colorful splashes of exuberance.

Bhagoria festival is synonymous to a mass Svayamvara (selecting spouse on own), being a marriage market which is usually held on the various market days falling before the Holi festival in March, typically seven days before Holi. As the name of the festival indicates, (bhag-to run), after choosing their partners, the young people elope and are subsequently accepted as husband and wife by society through predetermined customs. Treading this primrose path is not a cup of tea for the lawbreakers or hooligans, as a strict vigil is there by the village locals and anyone who misbehaves with women can be assured of a sound beating by the protective villagers.

Not always do the boys and girls intending to marry each other meet in this festival for the first time. In a majority of cases the alliance is already made between the two in past, and this festival acts as a catalyst and provides the institutionalized framework for announcing the alliance publically and solemnizing their relationship. As per the tradition the boy applies Gulal (red powder) on the face of the girl who he selects as his life partner. The girl, if willing, reciprocates similarly and applies Gulal on the boy's face. This may not happen immediately but the boy may pursue her and succeed eventually.

Here you see frenzied activities everywhere, which is indeed a visual delight amidst folk music and dance. The music here is very rhythmic and one can hear the pulsating beat of the maandhal, the clash of cymbals and the resonating dhol. You can sense in the air the bashfulness of the girls blushing behind their odhnis and the brimming delight of the Bhil boys as they woo by playing the flute. Eligible bachelors distinctively stand out owing to their colorful loops on their earrings. Some of them can be seen jiving, and carrying the Morlia puppet as a sign of bachelorhood. For all those food lovers out there, this festival offers fried bhajias, piping hot jalebis and other tempting sweets, snacks. Also, to beat the unbearable and scorching heat it offers kulfi, ice cream and baraf ka gola (Ice candy). Women are seen thronging the jewellery stalls and shops selling bindis and glass bangles. For the tribes who inhabit this area and live off the produce of the forests, the haat is a way of life. In earlier times, the Bhagoria Haat was also considered a place for truce where old disputes were settled; open invitations were sent to enemies challenging them for a dual and fight in the Haat. Bloody battles used to be a quite common sight in the past, but today police and administration do not allow people to go to the Haat armed. The Bhagoria Haat also coincides with the completion of harvesting, adding to it the dimension of being an agricultural festival as well.

Bhagoria is well connected by air, rail and road hence reaching this destination is not a challenge at all. The nearest airport is located at Indore.

Tappas Voyages presents luxury mobile tents for the guests to laze in and be entwined with the cozy feeling of warmth around a bonfire. Each of these luxury tents is well endowed from all respects and provides excellent view of the milieus afar much too elephantine and mesmerizing for us all. Here’s a destination that would undoubtedly ensure an adrenaline rush through your veins, enough to give you the ultimate ecstasy and elation to be cherished for a lifetime.