An integral part of the life of people in Mewar, fairs and festivals like the one at Eklingji, Kailashpuri, add to their religious faith and fervour. Held on Shivaratri every year, it is one of biggest religious fairs of the region.
All through the ages, the Maharanas of Mewar have reverently considered Eklingnathji as the Master and they themselves as Diwans who carried out the Lord’s orders. So on Mahashivaratri, so important for them was the worship of Eklingnathji that the Maharana himself used to go there in a procession for ‘darshan’. He used to offer five gold ‘mohurs’ and rupees fifty to the Lord. After spending some time in the temple, he would visit some places on the bank of Indra Sarovar for rest and for listening to Shiva ratri Katha. At midnight, he came back to the temple for ‘puja’ and making offering. As it was a day for fasting, he would take only fruits. The next day he returned to his palace after performing the mid-day ‘puja’. Sometimes on this festival, the Maharani would also accompany him to Eklingji to present the Lord a dress. The Maharana and his consort would take part in two ‘puja’s, have ‘darshan’ and make offering.
A large number of devotees from Udaipur and neighbouring areas visit the temple on this auspicious occasion. Quite a few of them walk all the way in the form of Padyatra, singing ‘bhajans’ and reciting ‘mantras’ that echo in the ancient Chirwa valley. All along the route, individuals and organizations provide snacks, cold drinks etc. to the ‘yatris’. Special rituals like ‘snan and abhishek’ start at 10 P.M. on Shivaratri and go on till the next day.
Celebrated with great fervour, the Eklingji fair is a big event.