Budhwa Mangal in Varanasi- An Ode to Lord Hanuman
A festival centered around Lord Hanuman, Budhwa Mangal is one of the brightest cultural fests in Varanasi. The first mention of the festival goes back 3 centuries and the people have kept the tradition alive even till now.
While it is one of the lesser-known festivals celebrated in Varanasi, it is one of the most enjoyable experiences for tourists and locals alike. So let us dive into the details about the fest and what makes it perfect.
The History and Legend
The history of Budhwa Mangal starts with the Ramayana when Lord Hanuman went to Lanka to rescue Sita Maa from Ravan. However, Ravan set Lord Hanuman’s tail on fire in retaliation. But to his dismay, Lord Hanuman grew in size and used that very fire, named Badvanal Agni, to set fire to Lanka.
It is a glorious event that marks a huge blow to Ravan and his evilness when Lord Hanuman used the fire to destroy his city. The name of the festival also comes from the word ‘Badvanal’ which became Budhwa, and Mangal signifies the Tuesday that the event took place on.
The day this event took place is the day when Budhwa Mangal is celebrated every year in Varanasi. To pay their respects to Lord Hanuman for his noble deeds, the people of Varanasi conduct pujas, musical pieces, and dances.
For the citizens of Varanasi, this festival holds special importance both religiously and culturally. The actual festival celebration began when the King of Varanasi started celebrating the festival yearly in front of his house at the ghat.
His love for art, music, literature, and so on led him to create a cultural program of festivities that everyone could celebrate. The debate still goes on about who initiated the festival, but what’s important is that it is a legendary time for the people to enjoy.
The festival is not only about worshipping Lord Hanuman but also cherishing the local artists and their art. The crowd of Varanasi eagerly waits for the festival to enjoy good music, good food, and such simple joys in life. Tourists also enjoy their time at such fests and learn more about the true culture of Varanasi.
How is Budhwa Mangal Celebrated?
Budhwa Mangal is one of the religious festivals that has been merged with musical and artistic approaches aside from just religion. Since the people and the king appreciated music so much, they gathered the top artists just to celebrate the occasion.
The actual program takes place on various huge boats that are tied together and set afloat in front of Assi Ghat in the Ganga river. These boats act as a stage for various performers, food vendors, and sometimes also some people who are attending the festival.
There is no lack of delicious traditional delicacies, folk music, and social interaction in this festival. The music and performances are the highlights of the show as the best artists from India come to play that day and you can witness such maestros’ performances at the ghat.
Why You Should Not Miss the Fest?
If you have traveled to an entirely new place before, you would have been curious about their culture and people as well. And what better way is there to find out about the culture of the city than through its festivals?
Festivals in India include worship, performing arts, food, and many other aspects that speak a lot about Indian culture. So if you want to dive into the history and culture of Varanasi, just attend a cultural fest. You will be able to enjoy yourself while also interacting with people and exploring the city better.
You can get the most delicious meals, soothing folk music, and other performances, which will make it a night worth remembering. And such underrated festivals in Varanasi are just as good, if not better than, the popular ones.
When and Where to Attend the Festivities?
Earlier, the show took place on boats, similar to now, but the boats moved from Ramnagar to Raj Ghat. However, now, you can visit and be a part of the festivities at the Assi Ghat where the stage gets set up.
Since Budhwa Mangal is a festival celebrated throughout North India, the dates of the fest differ from region to region. But if you are in Varanasi, then Budhwa Mangal would always fall on the second Tuesday after Holi. For the year 2022, Holi is on 18th March, so Budhwa Mangal will be on 29th March.
You must keep in mind that you need to reach the venue during the day since the ghat can get very crowded during the festivities. Especially if you want to watch the performances unfold, try to reach as soon as possible to secure a seat.
For tourists from India and abroad alike, attending local festivals is the perfect way to discover the culture. And an exemplary example of such fests is Budhwa Mangal which you can attend a few days after Holi.
The festival celebrates the beautiful harmony of religion with cultural activities and gives its guests a unique experience. It is a must-visit for tourists who are traveling to India in that duration to better understand the life and celebration of the citizens of Varanasi.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will Budhwa Mangal be celebrated in 2022?
In 2022, Budhwa Mangal will be celebrated on 29th March, on the second Tuesday after Holi.
Is entry to the festival free?
Yes, you do not need to pay any entry fee to reach the ghat, you can sit anywhere with ideal visibility. But you must try to reach early since the ghat gets crowded by locals and tourists at the festival.
Is Budhwa Mangal ideal for tourists also?
Although the fest originated from a religious excerpt, the festival has some of the best music and cultural programs. It is a fest you must not miss if you are a tourist to enjoy the folk music and culture of Varanasi.