Kolayat is one of the important pilgrimage destinations in Rajasthan for Hindus. The small town lies 51 kilometers from Bikaner and is known for the holy Kolayat lake. The temple complex in the town draws locals as well as devotees from distant places. The town is popular for the annual Kolayat Fair.
According to legend, Kapil Muni, the advocate of Shankya yoga, was fascinated by the peacefulness of Kolayat. He had interrupted his journey to the northwest and stopped here to carry out a ‘tapasya’ (penance) for the improvement of the world. As history says, the place of Kolayat is also regarded as Kapilayatan. Moreover, these names are also found in the holy scriptures of Puranas.
Kolayat is mainly a pilgrimage town. There are several temples near the lake and the most famous one is dedicated to the sage Kapil Muni. To celebrate the fact that the pious Muni stopped at the place, an annual fair is conducted with great excitement every year.
The Kolayat Fair has a great importance in the life of the people of the tehsil. It is one of the largest fair of Bikaner, in India’s desert state of Rajasthan. The fair is celebrated on an expansive scale during Kartik Purnima, full moon night between the month of October and November. The folklore of the fair is not the only attraction in fact it also has a great religious significance. It is believed that a holy dip can provide them respite from all the sins they have done. It is believed that a day’s stay at Kolayat is equivalent of spending 10 years at any other holy sacred place.
During the Kolayat Fair all the 52 ghats of Kolayat Lake are beautifully decorated. A cattle fair is held in conjunction with the Fair. Buffaloes, camels, horses and cattle are traded. Certificates and prizes are given away to the best breeders at the fair. Devotees offer prayers along with sweetmeats, milk pudding and sugar drops. Deep Malika is performed in the evening where devotees float clay lamps in the sacred lake as part of the ritual.
Enjoy the charm of Rajasthan in Kolayat. Marvel at the sights and do attend the fair. The people are affable as they open their hearts and homes for guests.