Mewar Festival is celebrated to welcome the advent of spring. It
coincides with the festival of Gangaur in Udaipur, and has a unique
charm about it. The festival of Gangaur is very significant for women of
Rajasthan. It is a time for them to dress up in their best clothes and
participate in the festival.
They gather to dress the images of
Isar and Gangaur and then carry them in a ceremonial procession through
different parts of the city. The procession winds its way to the Gangaur
Ghat at Lake Pichhola. Here, the images are transferred to special boats
amidst much singing and festivity.
the religious part of the festival is over, it is time for cultural
events where Rajasthani culture is portrayed through songs, dances and
other programmes. The festival culminates with an impressive fireworks
display. Like other fairs and festivals celebrated throughout the state,
there is a lot of activity, which keeps the participants in a joyful
frame of mind, eager to enjoy every moment.Major events of
Singing, dancing, devotional music concerts
and firework displays. Procession of boats in the lake.
- Duration : One day
- Time : March - April
- Venue : Udaipur, Rajasthan.
Udaipur is the jewel of Mewar
kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years. The foundation of
the city has an interesting legend associated with it. According to it,
Maharana Udai Singh, the founder, was hunting one day when he met a holy
man meditations on a hill overlooking the Lake Pichhola.The hermit
blessed the Maharana and advised him to build a palace at this favorable
located spot with a fertile valley watered by the stream, a lake, an
agreeable altitude and an amphitheater of low mountains. Maharana
followed the advise of the hermit and founded the city in 1559 A.D.
Gangaur Festival is the colourful and most important local festival of
Rajasthan and is observed throughout the State with great fervour and
devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva
during July-Aug. It is the celebration of monsoon, harvest and marital
fidelity in Jaipur.
Gangaur was celebrated as the state
festival of the erstwhile state of Rajputana and each ruler took great
pride in celebrating the festival with pomp and pageantry. The farewell
given to Parvati on her last day was re-entered in the form of a
magnificent procession on the final day of the festival. This tradition
is still a part of the festivities of the Gangaur festival in the
is a synonym for Shiva and Gaur which stands for Gauri or Parvati who
symbolises saubhagya (marital bliss). Gauri is the embodiment of
perfection and conjugal love which is why the unmarried women worship
her for being blessed with good husbands, while married women do so for
the welfare, health and long life of their spouses and a happy married
life. The festival commences on the first day of Chaitra, the day
following Holi and continues for 18 days. For a newly wedded girl, it is
binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that
precedes her marriage. Even unmarried girls fast for the full period of
18 days and eat only one meal a day.
Images of Isar and Gauri
are made of clay for the festival. In some families, permanent wooden
images are painted afresh every year by reputed painters called
matherans on the eve of the festival. A distinct difference between the
idols of Teej and Gangaur is that the Idol will have a canopy during the
Teej Festival while the Gangaur idol would not have a canopy. The ladies
decorate their hands and feet by drawing designs with mehendi (myrtle
paste). The figures drawn range from the Sun, Moon and the stars to
simple flowers or geometrical designs.
Ghudlias are earthen
pots with numerous holes all around and a lamp lit inside them. On the
evening of the 7th day after Holi, unmarried girls go around singing
songs of ghudlia carrying the pots with a burning lamp inside, on their
heads. On their way, they collect small presents of cash, sweets,
jaggery, ghee, oil etc. The festival reaches its climax during the last
three days. When unmarried girls and married women decorate the images
and make them look like living figures. At an auspicious hour in the
afternoon, a procession is taken out to a garden, tank or a well with
the images of Isar and Gauri, placed on the heads of married women.