Friday, March 08, 2019
Tucked away in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, the charming hamlet of Mashobra hides many sights and sounds away from the prying eyes of the city dweller. Among these are the Presidential Retreat at Chharabra and Craignano, the site of Chevalier Peliti’s magnificent villa, both of which perfectly blend into the sleepy mountainscape. However, for brief spells through the year, Mashobra’s quiet streets and secluded nooks erupt into ceremony and celebration. Here are four famous festivals and fairs that take place in Mashobra through the course of the year:
Lohri, signalling the end of the winter solstice, is a colourful festival celebrated in many states of North India. In Mashobra, Lohri is accompanied by crackling bonfires and prayers for fertility and prosperity through the year. Also known as Maghi Sankrand, Lohri is enthusiastically celebrated by the denizens of Mashobra, who wear colourful outfits, exchange locally produced sweets, and participate in the various cultural activities that take place throughout the day.
Come April, the festival of Baisakhi is celebrated with great pomp in Mashobra to usher in the New Year. During Baisakhi, jhalra, a pile of dry twigs in a bamboo basket, is set on fire and people subsequently sing and dance around it. Wrestling, archery, and various other village sporting events also take place, which are typically followed by purifying dips in nearby mountain streams or Tattapani, near Shimla.
The Village of Sihpur, near Mashobra, becomes a site of much festivity and fanfare in the month of May. The Sipi Fair takes place in honour of Lord Seep, an indigenous deity, and sees an assortment of cultural activities, acrobatics, and feasting. Many itinerant traders descend on Sihpur at this time and set up their stalls, hawking local handicrafts, toys, Himachali clothing, and pahadi snacks. The Sipi Fair creates an atmosphere of fervid excitement in the region, which is a far cry from the usual quietude of the setting.
Adding to the merrymaking days of May is the festival of Mahasu Jatara, which draws scores of local inhabitants to the neighbouring village of Mahasu. It is inaugurated and celebrated in front of the Durga Devi Temple for two days with a good deal of festive zeal. Mahasu Jatara is celebrated in honour of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, and the festival dates back to several centuries. Accompanied by natti dances, local ballads, and animal sacrifice, this colourful festival presents a veritable slice of the region’s folk heritage.
Perched on the idyllic slopes of Mashobra is Fortune Select Cedar Trail - a comfortable, full-service hotel that is perfectly suited for travellers interested in sampling the natural wonders and vibrant festivals of the region. Offering peerless service, unrivalled hospitality, and state-of-the-art rooms and amenities, our hotel in Mashobra is a splendid choice for families, honeymooners, and solo travellers alike.