Lavi Fair in Himachal Pradesh

With winter just about to come in the months of November, the age-old Lavi fair fills Rampur with a burst of activity.

The famous ‘International Lavi Trade fair’ is one of the unique examples of the glorious, social, cultural, economic history and legacy of Himachal Pradesh. It is the biggest trade fair of the greater Himalayas, which is held at Rampur Bushahr, about 130 kms from Shimla from 11th to 14th November every year. Rampur Bushahr, which is popularly know as the gateway of tribal District Kinnaur is situated on the left bank of river Sutlej and is one of the oldest town on Hindustan Tibet road.

In ancient times, Tibet and Kinnaur had good trade relations and Lavi fair is the outcome of business interest of both sides. Even today, the tradition is as vibrant as ever. By the churning waters of the river Sutlej, a variety of goods including wool, dry fruits and horses are bartered and sold.

People from other areas in general and tribal belt in particular participate in this fair with horses, mules, pashminas, colts, yaks, chilgoza, namdas, pattis, woolens, raw semi-finished wool and other dry fruits produced in the state are brought for selling. It is three hundred years old fair and also a state fair.

During day time, hectic trade activities are witnessed all over the town. Large number of traders came to the fair to sell quilts, utensils and other consumer goods. At night, folks dances and music around small bonfires are organized. It continues for three days.

Efforts have been made to restore the old glory of the fair, which recently has been given a modern touch.

In spite of the spread of education, better communication links and upliftment in the socio-economic conditions of the people of the area they continue to believe firmly in strong social bonding which is the hallmark of the rich cultural traditions of the State. Rampur is important commercial centre. During the last three decades, this fair has also gained cultural significance. The fair has already been recognized as an International fair.

With the culmination of four days extravaganza, the people return with sweet memories to meet again next year on the occasion of Fag mela to be celebrated in the month of April.

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