Champa Shasthi, also known as Chamba Sasti, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is observed on the 6th day of the Shukla Paksha in the month of Margashirsh in Maharashtra and Karnataka. A sixday festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva, especially an incarnation of Lord Shiva who is known as Khandoba or Khanderao. The day has great significance in Maharashtra especially at Khandoba Temple in Jejuri near Pune. In 2017, the date of Chamba Shasti is on 25th November. A large number of devotees choose to fast on all the six days starting from Amavasya and conclude their fasting on the Champa Sashthi. The Shashthi Tithi begins at 07:04 a.m. on 24th Nov, 2017 and the Shashthi Tithi ends at 09:27 a.m. on 25th Nov, 2017. The central highlight of the Champa Sashthi puja is visiting the temple of Khandoba during early morning on all the six days from no moon day to Champa Sashti. Lord Shiva destroyed two demons named Mani and Malla on Champa Sashti.
Significance of Champa Shashti:
Observing Champa Sashthi confers positive energy on the devotees for a prosperous life. It is said the sins of the past births are washed away. The devotees also attain the happiness to move ahead in their life without any hurdles and challenges. Hence, the devotees walk to the temple on foot and worship Lord Khandoba to seek his blessings on this auspicious day.
Celebrations and Rituals:
The devotees of Khandoba observe fasts during the six days of the festival. On all the six days, an oil lamp known as Nandadeep is lit in front of the Khandoba idol and is made to burn continuously. On the day of Champa Sashti, worshippers and devotees offer turmeric powder, fruits, and vegetables to Lord Khandoba. A variety of offerings are made to the Lord including turmeric powder, Rodaga (wheat based dish) and Thombara (prepared from multi-grains flour). Devotees fast on all the six days starting from no moon day and conclude their fasting on the Champa Sashthi after consuming the Prasad of the Lord. Arthi is also performed at the temple on all the six days.
Champa Shasthi Story:
Legend has it that once upon a time two demons named Mani and Malla became powerful by performing intense Tapas dedicated to Brahma. With unimaginable power, Mani and Malla started harassing human beings, sages and demigods. Sages then approached Lord Shiva for help. Shiva took the form of a fierce warrior Khandoba to fight Mani and Malla and went to Manichurna Mountain. The battle began on Amavasya (no moon day) in the month of Margasirsha. Mani and Malla fought hard for six days. Finally they were killed. This happened on the sixth day of Margashirsh and is observed as Chamba Shasti. It is believed Lord Shiva decided to stay here in the form of a Swayambhu lingam after defeating the demons.