Jaagra is an annual festival celebrated in almost every village of the remote Shimla district worshipping Mahasu Devta.
It starts with an oracle dance after which the ornaments of the deity are washed in the village spring and displayed to the general public. The oracle dances with a sword on a rope tied across the village ground.
Later that night an animal sacrifice is made and a huge torch in the form of a bonfire is lit and people sing a special type of devotional songs known as birsu throughout the night and perform a special dance called Naati, where they dance in circles holding hands till the morning.
Khashdhar village of Chwara valley in Chirgaon, Rohru, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
Houses on a hilltop in Khashdhar village.
People gather right next to Chalda Mahasu temple during the Jaagra celebration.
A rope being tied few feet above the village ground for the temple oracles to dance on.
People walking towards the village ground during the Jaagra celebration.
The oracle of the deity dancing on a rope with a sword in his hand during the Jaagra celebration.
Women in traditional attire posing during the jaagra celebration in Khashdhar village.
Men conversing in the village temple complex.
Women with folded hands offering money to the deity during the Jaagra celebration in Khashdhar village.
A group of village men incharge of cooking during the Jaagra celebration, frying Poldu in Khashdhar village.
Women of Khashdhar village.
Idols of the Chalda Mahasu Deity kept to dry after getting washed in the village stream.
Women greeting each other during the gathering of Jaagra celebration in Khashdhar village.
Post box of Khashdhar village.
Village priests performing CHIDA POOJAN as they climb on top of a raised platform on which the fire is to be lit for the night during Jaagra celebration
Jaagra celebration in Khashdhar village of Chwara valley in Chirgaon, Rohru, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
Portrait of a man wearing a Bushehri Topi during the Jaagra celebration in Khashdhar village.
Chalda Mahasu Devta dancing during the Jaagra celebration in Khashdhar village.
Women watching the people dance during the Jaagra celebration in Khashdhar.
Village people performing the dance of Naati throughout the night during the Jaagra celebration in Khashdhar.