To the south west of Karauli, Rajasthan, lies village Kaila which is renowned for its temple of Kaila Devi and the annual fair of Kaila Devi. The Goddess (Mahalakshmi) is known as the goddess of wealth and resides lavishly in her temple situated on the banks of Kalisil River. Every year, thousands of devotees from across the state cover the entire journey to reach the temple and celebrate and worship the Goddess.
Due to the magnificent scene during the festival here, Kaila attracts a lot of attention from tourists from across India as well as abroad. Another major attraction here is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman which is also referred to as ‘Languriya’ by the locals.
The festival takes place during the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April) and lasts over a fortnight. On an average, the festival easily attracts as many as 2 lacs devotees every year during the fair is organized.
Traditionally, the devotees travel their way to the goddess in a special way. Around 15-20 kms of distance before reaching the temple, the devotees cover the distance not by foot but rather by making lines using their hands while lying flat on the ground, only to cover the line drawn before they repeat the process until the entry to the temple. While most of them take pauses in between to relax and eat, there are still a lot of devotees who complete the entire procession this way without taking any break in between.
In addition, another tribal group in Rajasthan, Meena perform a different ritual whilst on their procession to the temple which involves lots of dancing, singing and displaying the tribe’s true spirit of liveliness. The fest decoration happens around the temple along with a lot of shops selling variety of artifacts, souvenirs and other items.