This fair has a legendary background. Gautam Rishi used to go for a sacred bath in the river Ganga every morning. For him, this had become part of his everday life.
Once, the King of sub Gods (Devtas)- Indra asked Surya (Sun) as to who was the most beautiful woman on the earth. The Sun parried the question and said "Most of people are busy in their work, when I shine during the day and it is very difficult for me to judge as to who is ugly and who is beautiful". Indra asked the same question to Chandradev (Moon God), who said that Ahilya, the wife of Gautam Rishi resding at the confluence of Yamuna and Tamsa was the most beaytiful woman on the earth. Hearing this, Indra was overtaken by evil and lust and made up his mind to aquire Ahilya by hook or crook.
Unbecoming the King of sub Gods, as he was, Indra entered the Ashram (hermitage) of Gautam at midnight and mimicked the call of a cock. Unaware of the wicked designs of Indra, Gautam Rishi set out for bathing in Ganga as usual, mistaking it as dawn. Finding Ahilya alone at home as soon as the sage left, Indra knocked the door and impersonating as Gautam, tried to bluff her. Ahilya was a pious hearted lady. She sensed the evil designs of Indra and cursed him to be a leper with thousand eyes.
Meanwhile, Gautam reached Ganga and entered the holy water for bath. The river Goddess was pleased with the punctuality and devotion of Gautam. She asked him to return home immediately as his wife was in trouble. The Rishi turned back in a hurry, leaving his Kamandal (sacred pot) there. Later, the Goddess Ganga herself returned the Kamandal, filling it with holy water, which was set up in the Ashram in the form of a sarovar (tank). She also gave a boon that the tank's water will be equal in holiness to the actual Gangajal and those who have a holy dip in the tank will earn the same blessing as one who has a holy dip in the Ganga. Since then, this place, which is about 8 km on Dehradun-Saharanpur Road, is a holy bathing place of religious importance. Thousands of devotees visit the spot in April and October, when a big fair takes place here.
Surkhanda Devi Fair is held on the Ganga Dussehra day at Surkhanda Devi temple, located at a distance of 33 km from Mussoorie. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is an important pilgrimage centre. It can be reached by trekking about 2 km from Kaddukhal via Dhanolti on the road to Chamba. The worship of the Goddess is the main attraction of this fair. Besides folk music and dance, the traditional handicrafts are also on display.
This fair is held in October every year during Navratras at Narendra Nagar. Over fifty thousand people gather here to participate in various activities. Display of skills and strength by the youth, handicrafts and handmade articles are main attractions of this fair.
NOTE:- Liquor and non-vegetarian food are prohibited.
|Air :||Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, 101 km.|
|Rail :||Rishikesh is the nearest railway station.|
|Road :||Tehri is well connected by road to Dehradun, Mussoorie, Haridwar, Pauri, Rishikesh, Uttarkashi and other parts of the region.|