With winter just a hop and skip away, the age-old Lavi fair
fills Rampur with a burst of activity. The town was once a major entering
spot on the old trade routes to Kinnaur, Tibet,
Ladakh and Afghanistan.
Even today, the tradition is as vibrant as ever. By the churning waters of the river Satluj, a variety of goods including wool, dry fruits and horses are bartered and sold.
The fair is famous for the wide range of native handicrafts, 'Pashmina' wool, agricultural produce and dry fruits. The surefooted 'Chaumkhi' horses are also brought here from the tribal areas for sale.
Hundreds of tribals camps here during the fair to sell their woollen 'pattoos', dry fruits, 'kala zira' since the restoration of trade links with China via Tibet. Few years' back, many Chinese articles were also brought here for sale. These included Chinese jackets, track suits, crockery etc. Mention of the Lavi fair is found in the records of the erstwhile Bushair State.
During the regime of Raja Kesar Singh of Bushair, a trade treaty was signed between Bushair State and Tibet. Horses and swords were exchanged between the two states as a token of friendship. It was also decided that friendship between them would continue till the time the Satluj went dry or crows became white. Traders from Tibet and Kinnaur used to throng the fair in large numbers, but after the Chinese occupation of Tibet, trade came to standstill.
Efforts have been made to restore the old glory of the fair, which recently has been given a modern touch. Large number of traders came to the fair to sell quilts, utensils and other consumer goods. The fair has already been recognised as an International fair.