Jhapan Mela – Snake Festival Bishnupur West Bengal
The most important Snake festival of West-Bengal is Jhapan Mela. It is celebrated in the month of Shravan Maas (July-August) at Bishnupur village in Bankura district, which is approx- 130 kilometres from Kolkata. Annually organised, all over India to worship Goddess of Snake- Manasa and the serpents around, this year, Jhapan Mela would fall on 17th of August as per Hindu calendar. This is one of the renowned Snake festivals of West-Bengal, cheerfully admired among the local tribe residents and has an agrarian-tribal origin. Local snake-charmers- Jhampanias fetched numerous varieties of snakes and serpents in and around Kolkata villages, especially- Bishnupur to play wisely with the tricks to outwit these reptiles such as- cobras, pythons, vipers and more.
Jhapan Mela – Snake Festival :- The Queen of Snakes: The Goddess of Fertility:
It is said that Goddess-Manasa is worshipped uniquely and dominates all the large serpents on this earth with her ultimate power and authority over. She is being greatly admired and the rituals of religious veneration and devotion followed by various tribal- folks are magnificently different. On this Snake festival- Jhapan Mela, the devotees, especially women observe a strict fast and offer milk to snakes in their religious vicinities or the temples nearby. Fishermen take snakes for a traditional bathe at their nearby river along with a procession of Manasa Devi deity (made up of clay) by chanting mantras and singing sacred songs Mother Manasa is esteemed as the Goddess of curing Snake bites and other hazardous diseases and illnesses such as- small pox, chicken pox etc and is also honoured for opulence and fertility in Kolkata and other villages.
Jhapan Mela – Snake Festival :- The veneration without an idol of Goddess:
In the Chaturmasia (the first four months of the rainy season), the snakes become vigorous and lively, as compared to other season or months. Goddess Manasa is reverenced by the local tribes as a branch of a tree, a snake mural on the walls and the paintings of the serpent on the clays. It is also observed to endow respect to the snake enchanters– the Jhampanias, who are famed to show dupe in public to beguile snakes. This Snake Festival (Jhapan Mela) has a mythological story which dates back to the fourteenth century. Manasa is said to be the daughter of Lord Shiva. She was born when Lord Shiva’s semen touched a statue carved by the mother of snakes ‘Kadru’. This incident gave birth to her as Shiva’s daughter but not Parvati’s. She was mistreated by her step-mother- Parvati since she thought her to be Shiva’s secret wife and later on, rejected by her own father and husband as well.
A belief says: Manasa once saved Lord Shiva after he consumed poisonous elixir of the milk-ocean during the “Samandar Manthan”or “Amrit Manthan”.
Jhapan Mela – Snake Festival :- A monsoon experience to enjoy with the snakes and tribal people:
The very famous heritage monuments and the temples at Kolkata and Bishnupur are sightseeing attractions for the tourists, who crave for visiting West-Bengal in the monsoon season. These prominent festivals of West-Bengal attract thousands of devotees and the avid admirers every year and thus organise a glamorous Fest or Fair with much fervour and devotion for the celebrations. However, if you are a passionate holiday-maker and wish to visit Bengal on this seasonal carnival, then initiate by collecting a customized itinerary for you and your family for these perfect locations on unique festivals. Rgyan manages Free itineraries for your flawless trip and helps you understand the routes of India better.