Somvati Utsav (Bhandara Festival) in Jejuri Featured in
Somvati Utsav, also known as the Bhandara Festival, is a unique festival of golden turmeric powder (Bhandare) dedicated to a local deity Khandoba who is often considered to be a family deity. A newly married couple must come to the Khandoba temple in Jejuri to celebrate their wedding. Among believers, Khandoba is also known as the god of fertility that’s why some couples visit the temple to make a wish for a baby.
Khandoba temple in Jejuri is the main center of worship for Khandoba. By the way, there are actually two Khandoba temples. The older one, situated on a mountain, is quite inaccessible, and a newer one is where the Somvati Utsav happens and is best visited during the event, although it can be visited throughout year as well.
Jejuri is also known as “Sonyachi Jejuri” (which means Golden Jejuri). The reason is simple: a golden hue of this turmeric play during the festival. Somvati Utsav is unique not just because of turmeric veil in the air, but also because of no fixed date, season or month. The only reason for the festival has to be the new moon day falling on a Monday. And that can happen many times a year and at any time of the year. So the best way is to track the dates of the Somvati Amavasya (no moon's day that falls on Monday).
Khandoba, regarded as the “God of Jejuri”, is probably the most versatile and widely acknowledged deity being worshipped across many casts, religions, and communities. The god is also considered to be a non-vegetarian, so many devotees offer him a goat flesh.
During the festival adherents perform a lot of different religious rituals, practicing self-torture and coming out of it uninjured. In such manner, they show that under the trance they become insensitive to all kinds of pain.