Gorakhpur, Gorakhnath Temple of Gorakhpur. It is also considered the headquarters of the Nath Peetha (Gorakshpeeth). The current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath is the Peetadheeshwar of this bench. Khichdi fair, which lasts for a month from the day of Makar Sankranti in the temple premises, is the main event here. It is included in large events in North India. During this time, lakhs of people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Nepal and other places come here to offer khichdi to Guru Gorakshanath.
As the Peethadhishwar, the first khichdi is offered by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. After this, khichdi sent by the King of Nepal climbs. After this, it comes to the common people. Then does it get rained in the midst of Guru Gorakhnath’s cheer. This tradition of offering khichdi to Baba Gorakshnath is centuries old. It is believed that during the Treta Yug, Siddha Guru Gorakshanath went to Jwala Devi temple in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh while begging. The goddess appeared here and invited Guru Gorakshanath to dine. Seeing the Tamasi food there, Gorakshanath said, “I accept only rice and pulses found in alms.” On this Jwala Devi said, I heat water to cook rice and dal. You begged and brought rice and lentils.
Guru Gorakshanath reached Gorakhpur situated on the foothills of Himalayas while begging from here. At that time there were dense forests in this area. Here he placed his Akshaya beggar at a captivating place at the confluence of the Rapti and Rohini rivers and became absorbed in spiritual practice. Meanwhile, the festival of Khichdi came. Seeing a brilliant yogi working for the people, people started adding rice and pulses to his beggar, but he did not fill the Akshaypatra. People were overwhelmed by considering it a miracle of a Siddha Yogi. Since then, the tradition of offering khichdi to Guru Gorakhnath continues in Gorakhpur.
On this day every year, devotees from far-flung areas of Nepal-Bihar and Purvanchal come to offer khichdi in Guru Gorakshanath temple. First they bathe in the sacred Bhima Sarovar of the temple. Khichdi fair lasts for a month. Every Sunday and Tuesday during this period has special significance. These days a large number of devotees visit the temple.
Be aware that India has a long and varied tradition of fasting and festivals. Among them, Makar Sankranti has special significance. It is basically a festival of Suryopasana. According to Rigveda, Sun is the soul of this world. According to astrology, the Sun transits in all 12 (zodiac signs) throughout the year. The entry of the Sun from one zodiac to another is called Sankranti. In this sequence, when the Sun enters Capricorn from Sagittarius, then the auspicious period of Makar Sankranti comes. Bath-donation has special significance in it. Different regions of the country celebrate it with different names.
Makara Sankranti is considered the best period in Hindu tradition. From this day, the Sun enters Uttarayan from Dakshinayan and all the 12 zodiac signs sign Sagittarius from Capricorn. In Hindu tradition, it is considered as the best period to start all auspicious works. Even Bhishma Pitamah waited for this time for his euthanasia. Before the auspicious work, the mind is cleansed by bath and body by donations.
Girish Pandey, a senior journalist who has covered every activity in Gorakhpur for nearly two decades, says that the Khichdi fair in Gorakhpur has a special significance. Apart from other states of India, people from neighboring country Nepal also come in large numbers to enjoy the fair. Not only this, this fair is also very special from the point of view of business. Stalls from many states take place in this fair which takes up to a month. They provide employment to people.