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| Last Updated:: 12/09/2023










Kolayat is a town in the Bikaner district of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Kolayat is an historical centre of pilgrimage where the Vedic sage, Kapila is believed to have shed his body under a Peepul tree. Kolayat has a series of marble temples, sandstone pavilions and 52 ghats - bathing places - built around a large artificial lake which never goes dry.


Sage Kapila is considered as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to a legend, Kapil Muni, the advocate of Shankya yoga, was fascinated by the peacefulness of Kolayat. He had interrupted his journey to the northwest and stopped here to carry out a ‘tapasya’ (penance) for the improvement of the world. As history says, the place of Kolayat is also regarded as Kapilayatan. Moreover, these names are also found in the holy scriptures of Puranas.


According to the pilgrimage tradition of Kolayat, one can attain moksha by bathing in the sacred lake. Next to the lake is the temple of Kapila. The fact that the priest of this temple cannot be a householder is said to indicate that some of Kapila's sanctity is still present in Kolayat. Close to the temple lies what is claimed to be Kapila's Samadhisthana.


This temple dedicated to sage Kapila is the venue for an annual Kolayat fair which is organized on the Purnima day of the Kartik (Oct-Nov) month. During this festival storytellers sing and tell the stories about Kapila, and thousands of devotees of the Sankhya philosophy gather to take a dip in the holy waters of Kapil Sarovar.



A livestock fair, especially the trading of camels, is part of the festivities. National and international tourists experience a memorable time as the event is celebrated on a large scale. The Kolayat Fair has a great importance for the locals of Bikaner. The fair is also known as ‘Kapil Muni Fair.’ During the Kolayat Fair all the 52 Ghats are beautifully decorated. Attractive lights render a great look to the ghats. One can witness the various rituals performed by the devotees who offer prayers as well as offer sweets, milk pudding and sugar lumps to the deity. In the evening, Deep Puja is performed where devotees float clay lamps in the sacred lake as part of the ritual. The thousand of clay lamps floating in the lake is a mesmerizing sight.