Bada Mangal, an important Hindu festival celebrated mainly in Lucknow, India’s capital city, has immense cultural and religious importance. This big event attracts the whole town into a joyful celebration of devotion, community engagement, and acts of generosity. Let us delve into the essence of Bada Mangal, learning about its traditions, customs, and the distinctive features that distinguish it.
The Significance of Bada Mangal:
Bada Mangal is a Hindu temple devoted to Lord Hanuman, a Hindu god noted for his strength, devotion, and protection. The event is thought to have been started when , Begum Janab-e-Alia, the second wife of the third Nawab of Oudh Kingdom (of which Lucknow was a part), Shuja-ud-Daulah (1753-1775 A.D.), dreamt of a divine presence commanding her to build a temple honouring Lord Hanuman.The dream pointed the Nawab’s wife to a specific site where an idol of Hanuman was buried.
Accordingly, the Begum ordered the excavation of the site and when the idol was found, she made arrangements for transporting it back to Lucknow on an elephant. The Begum inferred this as another divine sign and ordered the erection of a temple at this spot in present day Aliganj.
Since then, every year, devotees not just from UP but also other parts of the country congregate at this Hanuman temple in Lucknow in large numbers on the four Tuesdays of Jyestha.Bada Mangal has now become a crucial component of the city’s cultural fabric, with people from all walks of life actively partaking in its festivities.
Celebrations and Rituals:
Bada Mangal is celebrated for four weeks on all Tuesdays throughout the Hindu month of Jyeshtha (May-June). The festivities begin with the placement of Lord Hanuman’s idol in various temples and makeshift shrines throughout Lucknow. Devotees flock to these temples to seek the deity’s blessings and to offer prayers, flowers, and sweets.
The tradition of “bhandara,” or communal feasts, is unique to Bada Mangal. Devotees and community organisations make elaborate plans to provide free food, known as “prasad,” to all visitors. Puri (fried bread), sabzi (curry), halwa (sweet semolina pudding), and lassi (sweetened yogurt-based drink) are typical vegetarian prasad foods. This act of self-less service, offered to people of all backgrounds, symbolises the spirit of the of unity and compassion associated with Bada Mangal.
Special Attractions of Bada Mangal:
Bada Mangal witnesses a lively and joyful environment across Lucknow. Several cultural events are planned, including folk dances, bhajan (devotional song) recitals, and dramatic plays based on Lord Hanuman’s life. Temples become centres of activity, with devotees igniting lamps, partaking in religious communicates through and sharing anecdotes of Lord Hanuman’s divine accomplishments.
The festival also draws lots of street vendors and creators who sell a variety of things such as toys, clothing, jewellery, and religious items. The local markets are filled with hustle and bustle, and people are eager to shop, lending to the cheerful atmosphere.
Bada Mangal symbolises faith, service, and community connection, bringing the people of Lucknow together in an integrated celebration of devotion. The festival’s unique customs, such as the giving of free food and the tying of sacred threads, combined with the cultural events and vibrant atmosphere, make it a unique occasion that showcases the city’s rich heritage and religious zeal. Bada Mangal continue to serve as a vital part of the city of Lucknow cultural calendar, uniting people from various backgrounds together while encouraging a sense of unity and generosity.