In reverence to Lord Vishnu the famous and much thronged to Shamlaji Temple is located on the banks of the river Meshwo. The month of November or Kartik in the Hindu calendar brings scores of devotees together in the Shamlaji fair which is a cultural extravaganza for three weeks.
Events of the fair
Devotees come from far and wide on foot, camel back, bullock cart and various other forms of transportation to the fair. Sacred symbols embellished on flags and banners are carried to the fair. Prayers are offered to the god and worshippers partake of a holy bath in the sacred river Meshwo. Apart from disciples of Lord Vishnu 2 lakh tourists from the state of Gujarat and Rajasthan also descend upon the fair. The Bhils community of the Adiwasis in the region holds the festivities in high regard as they are totally dedicated to Lord Shamlaji whom out of love is referred to as Kaliyo Dev or Dark Divinity. Of great economical importance locally silver, metal, cloth, garments and household items are also traded by local traders and artisans.
History of the temple
This 500 year old temple with its walls covered in scenes from the Mahabharata is two stories high displaying excellent craftsmanship. Legend says Lord Brahma performed a thousand year penance here another says the architect of the gods, Vishwakarma built the temple overnight but as morning arrived he could not take it with him.
Shamlaji in the Sabarkantha district lies midway between Gujarat and Rajasthan. At a distance of 122 kms from Ahmedabad it the fair is easily accessed by rail air and road