12-Jun-2024
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Bada Mangal: A Unique Celebration of Unity in Lucknow 

In Lucknow, Bada Mangal festival unites Hindus and Muslims for four Tuesdays in May-June, celebrating shared faith and cultural harmony.

In the heart of Lucknow, a city famous for its rich Nawabi culture, a unique festival called Bada Mangal brings together Hindus and Muslims in a celebration of faith and harmony. This festival, held on four Tuesdays in the Hindu months of Jyeshtha (May-June), has its roots in a fascinating story that blends Hindu and Muslim traditions. 

The Divine Dream of a Nawabi Begum: 

The story goes back to the time of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah, who ruled Oudh (including Lucknow) from 1753 to 1775. His second wife, Janab-e-Alia, had a dream where a divine presence told her to build a temple for Lord Hanuman at a specific place. Following the dream’s instructions, she found a buried Hanuman idol. When she tried to move the idol to Lucknow on an elephant, the animal stopped at a certain point. Taking this as a divine sign, she built the temple right there, in what is now Lucknow’s Aliganj area. 

A Festival of Shared Joy: 

Every year during Bada Mangal, Lucknow’s streets come alive with joy. Both Hindu and Muslim residents prepare for weeks. They clean and decorate Hanuman temples, especially the old Aliganj Hanuman Temple, with flowers and lights. In the old city’s narrow lanes, Muslims and Hindus set up stalls together to give out prasad (holy food) like puris, halwa, and boondi to devotees. 

On the festival days, the city wakes up to temple bells and bhajans (devotional songs). A big procession starts from the Aliganj Hanuman Temple, with thousands joining in. As it moves through the streets, people from all communities offer flowers and wave flags. Muslim families set up stalls to give water and snacks to the devotees. Muslim artists also help make beautiful decorations for the festival. 

Unity in Diversity: 

Bada Mangal shows how Lucknow’s people respect each other’s faiths. A local vendor, Aslam Khan, sets up a stall near the Aliganj temple every year. He says, “This festival is about love and service. We may pray differently, but our hearts beat together for Lucknow.” His words sum up the spirit of Bada Mangal – a festival that goes beyond religion to celebrate the unity and kindness that make Lucknow special. 

For detailed story, please visit: Awaz the voice

Also Read: The Sacred Pause: Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra and the Mazar of Salabega 

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