Krishna Janmashtmi 2019: Mewar’s way of Celebration

“नन्द के आनंद भयो, जय कन्हैया लाल की..!!”

“मुरली मनोहर श्री कृष्ण जी की जय..!!!”

With wide cultural diversity, religions, languages, and beliefs, we say India is not merely a country but a beautiful art piece blended with vibrant colours. In India, every other day is an event or a festival. One such festival is Krishna Janmashtmi, which is celebrated as birth anniversary of Lord Krishna and is observed with great vehemence. According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Krishna was born on the 8th day of Krishna paksha (called Ashtami) of Shravan month which usually falls in the months of August-September.

Krishna Janmashtmi

The story of Krishna is deeply embedded in the cultural fabric of India and the people of this land revere him as divine. Lord Krishna is considered to be the eighth incarnation (avatar) of Lord Vishnu who took birth in a human embodiment to end all the evils and injustices. Krishna was the eighth son of king Vasudeva and Devaki and was born in prison, since his parents were captured and imprisoned by his uncle, Kansa. When Kansa identified that his sister Devaki’s child Krishna would become the cause of his death, he wanted to kill him to eliminate the root cause. Hence, after his birth, he was secretly sent to Nanda and Yashoda who then brought him up as their child.

Birth of Krishna

Krishna is known for his mischievousness, and since his childhood, he was very fond of Makkhan (Butter). Ancient Hindu tales reveal that he used to steal butter from his neighbour’s place and thus also called with the name “Makhan Chor”. To commemorate the birth of Shri Krishna this festival is also recognized as Dahi Handi Parv. During Janmashtmi a Matki Phod event is held at places wherever it is celebrated; in which a group of individuals build a human pyramid to reach the matki (earthen pot) which is hung at a certain height. In India, it is celebrated zealously in Mathura and Vrindavan, the birthplace of Krishna and in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and northeastern states of Assam and Manipur.

Makhan Chor

In Mewar region, Vaishnavas consider it as the most important religious festival because it marks the victory of good over evil. In Udaipur, the festival is celebrated in a way that showcases the typical Mewari culture. Several cultural activities are performed in different regions of Udaipur, but the most prominent and renowned one is held at Jagdish Chowk. The Dahi Handi event at Jagdish Temple is the biggest and renowned not only among locals but also visitors. Since Udaipur is a famous tourist destination many foreigners also love to attend this fest and witness this phenomenal event.

Dahi handi at jagdish chowk

Dahi Handi Event

Dahi Handi Event

In Mewar region, people usually keep fast and open it the next day or after midnight because Krishna was born at midnight. Devotees believe that Krishna will be born at midnight and thus they should eat only after his birth. In India, you can’t say it’s a festival unless special sweets are prepared, and Chappan Bhog is one for which Krishna Janmashtmi is famous for. ‘Chappan Bhog’ is a cluster of 56 dishes which is offered to God on the following day, which is known as ‘Nanda Utsav.’ After the offering, the food or Prasad is then distributed and shared among devotees so they can end their fast. Lord Krishna is also known as ‘Makhan Chor’ or “Laddu Gopal” or “Baal Gopal” and called with numerous other names. Since he was very fond of butter and milk, the Bhog mainly include dishes of milk like Makhan mishri (milk cake), rabri, rasgulla, murabba, saag, khichdi, milk, dry fruits, etc.

Chappan Bhog

Idols of Lord Krishna is adorned with news clothes and ornaments. The idol is placed in a swing called “Jhulaa,” which is also a part of the ritual. Then it is placed in a cradle to symbolize his birth. Women also draw tiny footprints walking towards their house, as a symbol for Krishna’s journey into their homes.

The bustling crowd at Jagdish Chowk, the colorful attires, the chants of “Haathi Godaa Palki Jai Kanhaiya Laal Ki”, the sweets made of milk and cream, pink-colored Gulal in the air, everything you see around is so enticing that one could easily forget the troubles of life and embrace the festive vibes with both arms open.

  

Udaipurblog wishes a very happy and joyous Krishna Janmashtmi to all its readers!!!

जय श्री कृष्णा..!!!  

Hariyali Amavasya Mela 2019: Udaipur’s way of welcoming Monsoon

If you have ever heard about Udaipur, its culture and traditions, there are hardly any chances you haven’t heard about the Mela (fair) of Hariyali Amavasya. Hariyali means greenery while Amavasya refers to the no-moon day as per Hindi terminology. It is a festival to rejoice rains due to which the earth gets covered with a blanket of greenery. Every year this festival is celebrated with high energy and enthusiasm in the Mewar region. There are many rituals associated with this fest, and people in Northern states of India celebrates this with great fervor.

Hariyali Amavasya Mela 2019
Credits: Siddarth Nagar

 

As it is a known fact that rains are considered as blessings of God and to show gratitude towards nature and its blessings, people celebrate Hariyali Amavasya to welcome the onset of monsoon. Like Rajasthan it is also celebrated in other Northern states of India such as Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra. In Maharashtra it is celebrated as ‘Gatari Amavasya’, in Andhra Pradesh as ‘Chukkala Amavasya’ and in Orissa it is known as ‘Chitalagi Amavasya’. As with the names, the rituals and traditions vary in different parts of the country, but the spirit of celebrations remains same.

Hariyali Amavasya Mela 2019
Credits: Siddarth Nagar

Being an Udaipurite I still remember, how eagerly as kids we used to wait for this day. The chief thing that attracted us the most about this festival was the Mela (fair) and which still is. We eagerly used to wait for this day which was marked by a school holiday and it was customary to visit the fair to enjoy rides and food with family. Everywhere you could see, are the vibrant colors, the bustling crowd and the vendors shouting out loud. While the women folks mainly loved to shop at the fair stalls, however, we as kids would make it sure not to miss out any of the rides and food was ofcourse our motto of life. The interesting part is, still after so many years nothing has really changed except the climatic changes.

 

Hariyali Amavasya Mela 2019
Credits: Siddarth Nagar

Let’s know some interesting facts about this Mela:

  • It is believed that the first Hariyali Amavasya Mela was set up by Maharana Fateh Singh, to celebrate the completion of a reservoir near Dewali pond, which eventually became a tradition and is still continuing.
  • Hariyali Amavasya is a two day celebration where the last day is usually reserved for women.
  • Like any other festival, this festive fair is not confined to a particular religion but gathers people from all the religion, class and castes which is certainly a mark of cultural integration.
  • The famous dish of Rabdi-Malpua is the showstopper of this mela. Most people just visit to palate the renowned dish which is also considered as a monsoon cuisine by locals.
  • Public places such as Moti Magri, Saheliyon ki Baari etc which usually have an entrance fee during other days of the year are kept free for these two days.
  • The Mela is more of interest to the tribals and rural crowd near Udaipur region, who comes up in huge crowd in traditional costumes and jewelry.
  • Also elderly folks of this region have a strong belief, that it will definitely rain on the day of Hariyali Amavasya.
  • The wooden sword wrapped with colorful papers, a colorful feathered hat and small trumpets of paper called Poopadi in native language are the souvenirs which validate your presence at Mela.
  • Women collectively pray for good rainfall and bountiful harvest.
  • Green is the color of the day and ladies in the Mewar region wear green which represent their love for nature.
  • Several schools and social groups & organizations celebrate it a day before, organizing cultural programs.
  • It is considered auspicious to plant a sapling on this day which is also having religious significance as per Hindu community.

This year Hariyali Amavasya will be observed on 1st of August, which will also be a collector declared holiday for schools, colleges and all government organizations. Observing the increasing popularity of this festival among domestic and international tourists,efforts are also made by Municipal Corporation of Udaipur to have this historic fair registered in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Hariyali Amavasya Mela 2019
Credits: Siddarth Nagar

While the festival is the time to rejuvenate and rejoice, there is an increasing threat as well from past few year, about depleting rainfall and vanishing forests in the Aravali region. As true Udaipurites lets join hands to protect our environment and trees so that our future generations could also enjoy this historic Mela.

कितना जानते है आप उदयपुर की इस ऐतिहासिक 450 साल पुरानी रथ यात्रा के बारे में ?

उदयपुर शहर और इसके आस पास ऐसे तो काफी धार्मिक स्थल प्रसिद्ध है लेकिन शहर के बीचों-बीच स्थित प्राचीन जगन्नाथ मंदिर या जगदीश मंदिर की माया अद्भुत और निराली है.

जगदीश मंदिर का निर्माण सन् 1652 में तत्कालीन मेवाड़ के महाराणा जगतसिंह प्रथम ने करवाया था. मंदिर में श्री जगदीश स्वामी जी की मूर्ति की प्राण प्रतिष्ठा के बाद इसी मंदिर से भगवान जगदीश स्वामी की जगन्नाथ रथ यात्रा तत्कालीन महाराणा जगतसिंह जी प्रथम ने आषाढ़ सुदी द्वितीया पर निकाली. तब से जगन्नाथ रथ यात्रा विगत कई वर्षों से निकाली जा रही है. उसी समय से ठाकुर जी, लालन जी और अन्य देवी देवता नगर भ्रमण पर निकलते है. जगन्नाथ रथ यात्रा केवल एक यात्रा ही नहीं है बल्कि उदयपुर की ऐतिहासिक और सांस्कृतिक धरोहर को खुद में संजोए हुए है.

Credits: Siddharth Nagar

इस यात्रा के लिए विशेष रूप से भगवान जगदीश स्वामी, माता महालक्ष्मी, दाणिराय जी(कृष्ण भगवान), लालन जी और जुगल जोड़ी के विग्रह बनवाये  है.

जगन्नाथ रथ यात्रा की तैयारियां आषाढ़ मास की सुदी द्वितीया के 15 दिन पहले से शुरू हो जाती है. लालन जी, जगदीश स्वामी और जुगल जोड़ी यानि कृष्ण भगवान और राधा जी अपने शयन कक्ष से मंदिर के गर्भगृह मैं पधारते है. इस समय सभी देवी देवताओं को काढ़ा पिलाया जाता है और वो फिर से अपनी निद्रा अवस्था में चले जाते है.

ठीक 15 दिन बाद आषाण मास की कृष्ण एकम को सभी देवी देवता स्वस्थ होकर वापस से प्रस्थान करते है. उसी के अगले दिन यानि कृष्ण द्वितीया को भगवान जगदीश स्वामी, माता महालक्ष्मी और दाणिराय जी(कृष्ण भगवान) रजत रथ में और लालन जी, जुगल जोड़ी छोटे रथ में सवार होकर नगर भ्रमण पर निकलते है.

रथ यात्रा की सुबह सबसे पहले सभी देवी देवताओं को पंचामृत से स्नान करवाया जाता है और नए श्रृंगार एवं पौशाक धराये जाते है. फिर एक बजे रथ में बिराज कर सभी देवी देवता जगदीश मंदिर की परिक्रमा करते है. इस परिक्रमा में अलग अलग फेरे होते है, इन्हीं फेरों  के दौरान मंदिर में रथ विशेष और पारम्परिक कीर्तन एवं भजन गाये जाते है. नार्तिकायें अपने नृत्य से सभी देवगण को प्रसन्न करती हैं. जगदीश मंदिर में स्थित सूर्यनारायण भगवान की देवरी पर रथ रुकता है और भगवान को ऋतुफल जैसे अनार, जामुन, आम, आम की बर्फी और अन्य मिष्ठानो का भोग लगाया जाता है. रथ को खींचने वाले घोड़ो को चने की दाल जिमाई जाती है.

Jagannath Rath Yatra of Udaipur
Credits: Siddharth Nagar
Credits: Siddharth Nagar

फिर दोपहर 3 बजे सभी देवी देवता मंदिर से प्रस्थान कर अपने रथ में विराजमान होकर नगर भ्रमण पर निकलते है. ठाकुर जी एवं अन्य देवी देवताओं की शोडशो मंत्र उच्चार से आरती होती है और फिर ही भगवान जगदीश स्वामी, माता महालक्ष्मी और दाणिराय जी(कृष्ण भगवान) रजत रथ में और लालन जी एवं जुगल जोड़ी छोटे रथ में सवार होकर नगर भ्रमण के लिए निकलते है.

Jagannath Rath Yatra of Udaipur
Credits: Siddharth Nagar
Credits: Siddharth Nagar

जगन्नाथ रथ यात्रा एक अकेला ऐसा महोत्सव है, जहाँ पारम्परिक रीतियों के विपरीत भगवान स्वयं अपने भक्तों को दर्शन देने निकलते है. माना जाता है कि रथ यात्रा के दिन भगवान अपने भक्तजनों पर ढेर सारा आशीर्वाद लुटाते है. इस रथ यात्रा की विशेषता यह है की इसके दर्शन करने के लिए केवल उदयपुरवासी, राज्य या देश से नहीं, कही भक्तगण विशेष तौर से इसी महोत्सव में भाग लेने के लिए विदेश से आते है. 

जगन्नाथ रथ यात्रा जगदीश मंदिर से होते हुई घंटा घर – बड़ा बाजार – भड़भूजा घाटी – मोची बाजार – भोपालवाड़ी – चौखला बाजार – संतोषी माता मंदिर – धानमंडी – झीणी रेत – मार्शल चौराहा – RMV – गुलाब बाघ – रंग निवास से वापस जगदीश मंदिर आती है.

हर जगह रथ का पारम्परिक भजनों से विशेष स्वागत होता है.

वापस जगदीश मंदिर पहुंचने पर महाआरती एवं शयन आरती होती है पश्चात् सभी देवी देवता फिर मंदिर के गर्भगृह में स्थापित दिए जाते है.

साम्प्रदायिक सद्भाव बनाये रखती है ये विशेष रथ यात्रा:

जगदीश चौक में जन्मे कई संप्रदाय के लोग काफी लम्बे समय से रथयात्रा से जुड़े हुए हैंं जो अपने आप में एक साम्प्रदायिक सद्भाव की एक अलग मिसाल है. सभी संप्रदाय के लोग धर्मोत्सव समिति कार्यकर्ता के रूप में रथयात्रा व्यवस्था संभालने में अपना योगदान देते है इसमें झांकियों को क्रमबद्ध करवाना, रथयात्रा में आये  भक्तों को प्रसाद वितरण की व्यवस्था जैसे कार्य शामिल हैं. रथयात्रा किसी व्यक्ति विशेष, एक संगठन का नहीं बल्कि सभी समाजो के लिए बडे़ त्यौहार जैसा आयोजन है. इसमें सभी चाहे वो सनातन धर्म हो या कोई और, सभी इसमें बढ़ चढ़ कर भाग लेते है. सभी समाज के लोगो के साथ साथ सरकारी प्रशासन भी इस महोत्सव को सफल बनाने क लिए अपनी पूरी श्रमता से काम करते है.

Jagannath Rath Yatra of Udaipur
Credits: Siddharth Nagar

भगवान जगन्नाथ के रजत रथ की खासियत:

भगवान जगन्नाथ स्वामी की इस पारम्परिक रथयात्रा में लोगों का उत्साह और भागीदारी बढ़ाने के लिए कुछ वर्ष पूर्ण ही भक्तों के सहयोग और ठाकुरजी के आशीर्वाद से रजत रथ का निर्माण करवाया गया. पहली बार 12 जुलाई 2002 को प्रभु जगन्नाथ एवं देवताओं को रजत रथ में विराजित कर नगर भ्रमण पर निकाला गया था. इस रजत रथ के निर्माण के लिए असम से विशेष तौर से सागवान की लकड़ी मंगवाई गयी. यह रथ 18 फीट ऊंचा है और इसे तैयार करने में 50 किलो चांदी का उपयोग हुआ है.  इसमें श्री जगन्नाथ स्वामी की प्रतिमा के साथ बलराम, सुभद्रा और सुदर्शन चक्र भी विराजमान हैं.

तो क्या आप तैयार है 4 जुलाई को होने वाली इस भव्य जगन्नाथ रथ यात्रा के साक्षी बंनने के लिए ?

 

Gangaur 2019: Feel the essence of Mewar

One of the most colourful festivals of Mewar is around the corner, Gangaur is a festival full of zeal and devotion for goddess Gauri. About 25 years back celebration of Gangaur was extended for three days by Rajasthan Tourism department and hence, Mewar festival came into the picture. This creative approach to the local festival gave a chance to tourists to know regional rituals closely. Generations after generation youngsters from the city core are taking the legacy forward. Each year footfall and engagement of tourists are increasing for the celebration in parts of Rajasthan. This scene is a treat for everyone who’s visiting the city during this time of year. Gangaur is a perfect example of a different world inside a city heart.

 

Know the history of Gangaur and relive it in Udaipur where it was created:

This festival has quirky charm in the capital of Mewar. Udaipur has the privilege of having a dedicated Ghat named after Gangaur. Gangaur Ghat is one of the prominent shore of Pichola Lake that connects populated part of the city to Lake Pichola. This ghat is a prime location for the celebration of multiple festivals, including Gangaur festival. Traditional processions of Gangaur starts from the City Palace which is commenced by a royal family, and several other places, covering almost every part of the city.

gangaur festival

As per tales of the respective elderly people of Udaipur, Gangaur was also the festival when communities were visited by their royal family. As per the description from one side royals used to come in a boat with their Gangaur idols and on another side of shore people used to wait to celebrate the festival with their ‘Anndaata’. The legacy is continued and even today people representing royal family come in a boat with the processions. Women dressing in their best attire with hand made idols march towards the ghat and submerge the idols as a climax.

gangaur festival in Udaipur

The story behind Gangaur to give you feels:

Once upon a time, Lord Shiva(Gan), Parvati (Gauri) along with Sage Narad came upon a village. The news escalated real quick like the fire in the forest, the local women started preparing a feast for the God guests. Women from the upper class served, first. As a symbol of blessing, they were showered by holy water by the goddess Gauri. But they ran out of holy water when the women of lower class arrived with their offerings. Thus, Goddess Parvati cut her finger to sprinkle blood as the holy water.

gangaur fest Udaipur

Basically, during this festival Lord Shiva (Gan) and his wife goddess Gauri (Gaur) is worshipped. On this occasion, married women keep fast for their beloved husbands and unmarried ones also join in. The festival commences on the first day of spring according to the Hindu calendar and continues for 16 days. For a newly-wedded girl, it is binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage. Numerous folk tales are associated with Gangaur which makes this festival deeply rooted in the hearts of Rajasthan’s mass.

Gangaur festival 2019

The beliefs strengthen with each passing year, expecting the arrival of Gods next year hence every time it’s a happy ending. Rajasthan Tourism welcomes tourist population to join the festival, to witness the culture of Mewar more closely.

For breaking the ice a three day Mewar festival is organised with many creative events lined up. Best Rajasthani attire by a foreign couple is awarded free royal meals, plus to make things interesting different communities offer prizes to best Gangaur and Isar idols. Without Rajasthani folk music and dance, any festivals are incomplete, followed by art and cultural events.

So what are you waiting for? Add Gangaur to your checklist, put your dancing shoes on and be ready to get painted in the colour of Mewar.  Don’t forget to add Gangaur to your checklist if you are in the city from 8th to 10th of April 2019.

5 Off-beat ways to celebrate your Holi in Udaipur

The most popular and colorful festival of India is just around the corner and everybody is getting ready for their own kind of celebrations this Holi. Kids are getting ready with their pichkaris and color bombs while adults are busy making tasty treats like Gujiya, Dahi Vada, Chivda etc. Some are planning to visit their relatives for celebrations and many are inviting others for a get-together. Basically, everyone is pretty excited for enjoying Holi this year.

For those who are still wondering about how and where to celebrate Holi this year, we have listed down 5 best ways to enjoy Holi – the most colorful festival of India

  • Jagdish Chowk: Jagdish Chowk is very famous because of Jagdish Mandir, a 368 years old temple situated in the center of Udaipur. It has witnessed so many celebrations since then. Be it Durga Puja, Diwali, Jagannath Rath Yatra, Eid or any other festival, each one of them has a unique relationship with this historic chowk. It has its own kind of ‘Firangi’ celebrations. Visitors from all around the globe celebrate Holi in their own colors, so why not help them build some never-fading memories of Udaipur.
  • Celebrate it with Less-Fortunate: How about sharing your happiness with the underprivileged and less-fortunate this Holi?

Yes, you can also make this Holi special for many underprivileged and less-fortunate by sharing the joy and happiness you are blessed with. Get them some sweets, snacks, and colors because not everyone wishes for materialistic needs, all they want is just a family to celebrate their festivals with.

  • Holi Festivals:
  • Labhgarh Holi Festival: Get ready to celebrate your Holi in exclusive #LabhgarhStyle.

Take out your dancing shoes and get ready to show your best dance moves. Labhgarh Holi festival is featuring the famous Sunburn Fame ‘JULIA BLISS’, ‘DJ LOVENISH’, and Udaipur’s local ‘ARTH BAND’.

Live Music, Live Dhol, Color Bombs, Rain Dance, Unlimited Food, Organic colors and what not is waiting for you at Labhgarh so this event is something you don’t wanna miss out.

Buy your passes from: http://bit.ly/labhgarhholi2019

For any query contact: +91-9116126634, +91-9352856777

labhgarh holi festival udaipur

  • Holi Ka Jashn, Jalsa K Sang’: The Jalsa brings you a highly electrifying Holi festival of Udaipur ever. Create some of the most amazing and colorful memories in rain showers and pool parties.

Enjoy your Holi in natural colors and delicious food only at ‘The Jalsa’ Holi festival.

Venue: The Jalsa, Near Fatehsagar, Shilpgram Road, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001

For bookings, call us at +91 9828522427, +91 7821889999

Or buy your passes online at: bit.ly/jalsaholiparty

  • Spend quality time with your loved ones: Playing with colors is a ritual which is being followed since ages but in this icebreaker era, you can change your way of celebrations. Use this festival as a way to spend a nice and cozy time with your loved ones. Take them out to some exotic place, enjoy appetizing food because just being with them would solve many unheard problems they might have.

    Source: Investor clinic
  • A clean Holi: Holi with a social message, sure the idea sounds a little difficult to execute but as the world-famous proverb says,‘Where there is a will, there’s a way’

Opt for a green Holi this year. Plant a sapling around your neighborhood and take care of it. It bears you more fruits than any of your loved one ever could.

  • Celebrate Plastic-free Holi this year. Avoid use of color bombs made of plastic which gives pleasure for a day, but has a disastrous impact on nature in the long run.
  • Avoid unwanted wastage of water because

‘You never know the worth of each drop of water,

Until you have to ask for it ’

So, with the tips mentioned above, we hope that you enjoy your festival to the fullest and also contribute your part towards the society.

Happy Holi!!

If you like to share something or have feedback for us, Feel free to share with us on mohit@vivirmedia.com

 

Bikaner Camel Festival Celebrating the ‘Ship of the Desert’

It is believed that life in the desert would have been utterly difficult for the people if it were not for the devotion of the ‘Ship of the Desert’ – Camel. Initiated by the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, the Camel Fair at Bikaner is the most sought-after event in Rajasthan.

Source: Oh My Rajasthan!

 

The origin and importance of the festival

The camels of the Bikaner region are known for their strength and endurance as well as beauty. In ancient times, when there were no automobiles, this hardy animal became an essential source of transportation as well as a livelihood in the state of Rajasthan. But still, Bikaner has the most fascinating connection with the camel as during earlier times Bikaner was considered to be the one and only inimitable camel breeding region. These gentle beasts were also enrolled in the army where the camel corps was referred as ‘Ganga Risala’. The Camel army has loyally served in Indo-Pak wars and world wars.

The camel is still utilized by the Border Security Force to patrol on the international border where Rajasthan share it with that of Pakistan.

 

About the Camel Festival

The two day Camel festival will be conducted on 12th and 13th January in Bikaner. The festival is witnessed by thousands of tourists and locals and along with the festivities it also promotes camel breeding as well as the tradition of camel training and taming.

Source: Bikaner Camel festival

It begins with the parade of beautifully decorated Camels in traditional necklaces, anklets, and attires which will soothe your eyes against the backdrop of the spectacular Junagarh Fort. The parade comes to an end at Dr. Karni Singh Stadium where the procession of the festival begins. The first day is marked with the camel pageant where the camel owners show off their beautifully decorated camels. Other competition on the day includes camel milking and the best fur cutting designs.

Source: Oh My Rajasthan!

The day comes to an end by the much awaited cultural dance performances by the local artists which leave the audience spell bounded by the magic of their rhythms.

Source: camelfestival

The second day of the festival is mostly dedicated to the tourists and the locals of the festivals. It includes competition such as tug of war for male and female, the water pot race by the women, turban tying competition for the foreigners and the villagers wrestling competition and kabaddi display match. The magnificent camel festival comes to an end with cultural performances and breathtaking fireworks.

Source: Oh My Rajasthan!

Also, while you are there don’t miss the opportunity to try your hand on the local cuisine which includes Ker Sangri, Camel milk tea, Camel milk sweets, etc.

Booked your tickets yet?

Do you have any feedback regarding the article? Or want to share something? Then write to me at juhee@udaipurblog.com

Celebrate winters in the land of sand- Winter Festival at Mount Abu!

29th and 30th December 2018 will mark the celebration of an amazing and different festival organized at the ‘hill station’ of Rajasthan- Mount Abu Nr. Udaipur. This festival is known as the Winter Festival in Mount Abu. This festival pays tribute to the astounding culture and heritage of the state of royals, Rajasthan. So, without any further delay let us get to know this ‘much-talked’ about festival of Rajasthan.

winter festival at Mount abu, Udaipur
Source: Rajasthan Tour Planner

Winter Festival at Mount Abu:

The festival is an eclectic amalgamation of a unique effervescence of the culture of Rajasthan. It houses awe-striking handicrafts, folk dance performances including Daph, Ghoomar, Gair and authentic food options contributed by craftsmen and performers from every corner of the state. The festival will commence on 29th of December and will conclude on 30th December 2018- this two-day fest brings together the spirit of Rajasthan.

winter festival at Mount abu, Udaipur
source: Gets Holidays Blog

Besides the aforementioned, the Winter Festival at Mount Abu or Mount Abu Festival also hosts sports and other entertainment activities like kite flying, boat rowing and some creative activities like poetry reading sessions and many more.

A noteworthy point about the festival is that it is the only festival in Rajasthan where cricket has been introduced as a part the festival.

The commencement and culmination of the Winter festival:

A lavish procession through the city marks the beginning of the Mount Abu Festival. It ends at the very famous Nakki Jheel with a ceremony in the evening called the Deepdan.

winter festival at Mount abu, Udaipur
Source: rajasthandirect

In this Deepdan ceremony, hundreds of ‘Deep’ or Diya (earthen lamps) are let to float in the waters of Nakki Lake. The sight of these buoyant diyas is amazing to watch. The festival also highlights a series of processions organized by the local authorities.

How to reach Mount Abu:

The Udaipur Airport is the closest and is located 175 kilometers away from Mt Abu. You can also take a bus, cab or local transport to reach Mt Abu from Udaipur.

winter festival at Mount abu, Udaipur
Source: AbuTimes

Undoubtedly, these fair, festivals and processions make Rajasthan one of the richest state in terms of culture and heritage. So, if you are in Udaipur in the same time span, then you must visit the Winter Festival at Mount Abu or Mount Abu Festival and enjoy the glistening beauty and season of winter in Rajasthan. Trust me! It is truly incredible!!

If you like this piece of information or you wish to add more information to this article do mention your thoughts in the comment section below or drop a mail at fouzia@udaipurblog.com, I would be glad to hear from you!

आज है हरियाली तीज | जानिए इस त्यौहार के बारे में

आज हरियाली तीज के मौके पर हम आपको इसी के कुछ पहलुओं से अवगत करवाने वाले है। हरियाली तीज का त्यौहार प्रतिवर्ष श्रावण के महीने की शुरुवात में मनाया जाता। देवी पार्वती को समर्पित, तीज का त्यौहार देवी पार्वती और भगवान शिव के मिलन की स्मृति में मनाया जाता है। सावन का महीना और भगवान शिव और देवी पार्वती का पवित्र रिवायत इस त्यौहार का आधार है।

 

apkisaheli.com

                               

                            हरियाली तीज का इतिहास


हरियाली तीज का त्यौहार देवी पार्वती का भगवान शिव के प्रति अनंत निष्ठा व प्रेम का प्रतीक है। इस दिन भगवान शिव और देवी पार्वती, हज़ारों सालों के बाद, फिर से, एक हो गए थे। इस त्यौहार के रीति- रिवाज और परंपरा भी प्रेम और निष्ठा के अद्भुत संगम का आधार है। इसका का कुछ विवरण मेवाड़ के इतिहास की प्रसिद्ध किताब, महामहोपाध्याय कविराज श्यामलदास (महाराणा सज्जन सिंह जी के आश्रित कवि) द्वारा रचित  “वीर विनोद” में भी मिल जाता है। किताब का अंश कुछ इस प्रकार है-

“श्रावण शुक्ल 3 को तीज का त्यौहार मनाया जाता है। इस त्यौहार को राजपूताना में राजा व प्रजा सब मानते है, और महाराणा जगनिवास महल में पधार कर गोठ जीमते है और रंगीन रस्सों के झूलो पर औरते झूलती और गायन करती है। शाम के वक़्त महाराणा जुलुस के साथ नाव सवार हो कर राग रंग के किनारे पर पहुंचते है। यदि इच्छा हो तो वह से हाथी या घोड़े पर सवार हो कर सीधे महलो में पधार जाते है। पश्चात, जगनिवास महल और बाड़ी महल में वैसी ही तैयारियाँ होती है जैसी गणगौर के उत्सव में बयान की गयी है।”

News Nation


                                हरियाली तीज का महत्व


सावन का महीना त्यौहार मनाने योग्य ही तो है क्योंकि वर्षा का आगमन जो होता है भूमि पर। इस दिन, सभी वर्ग की औरते लहरिए-बांधनी साड़ी पहने, गेहेनो और मेहँदी से सज कर देवी पार्वती के दर्शन हेतु जाती है और बाघों में झूले लगाए जाते है।  “सावन के झूले” का प्रसंग काफी प्रसिद्ध है। तीज का त्यौहार झूलो के बिना अधूरा सा लगता है और इनकी सजावट भी कुछ राजस्थानी ढंग से की जाती है। चमकीले लाल-पीले-हरे रंग के घाघरा- चोली पहने सभी विवाहित महिलाएँ इन झूलो का आनंद लेती है और साथ ही साथ देवी पार्वती की भक्ति से सराबोर लोक गीत गाती है इसी आशा में की देवी पार्वती सदैव उन पर अपनी कृपा बनाए रखेंगी। सावन के गीत गाने की परंपरा भी काफी प्रचलित है। मेहँदी भी काफी प्रचलित और मान्य परंपराओं में से एक है। मेहँदी और चूडियो से सजे हाथ, तीज के पर्व की शोभा में चार चाँद लगा देते है।तीज के त्यौहार पर घेवर का राजस्थान में एक अलग महत्व है। यह पारंपरिक मिठाई मैदा, चीनी और अलग-अलग ड्राई फ्रूट्स सब मिलकर बनी होती है साथ ही साथ इसके ऊपर केसर का छितराव और चाँदी का वर्क चढ़ा होता है। इस मिठाई की आपको दस के आस-पास वैरायटी देखने को मिल जाएगी जिनमें केसर घेवर, पनीर घेवर, मलाई घेवर बहुत प्रसिद्ध  है। मिठाई पर घी की मोटी परत होने के बावजूद यह खाने में बेहद सुपाच्य मानी जाती है। तीज पर घेवर को शादीशुदा लड़की को देने का भी परंपरा है। सावन मैं घेवर बनाना उत्तम क्यों रहता है, इसके पीछे कारण यह है की यह सावन की नमी भरे वातावरण को पूर्ण रूप से सोख लेता है जिससे इसका स्वाद बना रहता है। ऐसा माना जाता है कि यह मिठाई वाजिद अली शाह द्वारा जयपुर लाई गई थी। इतने सालों के बाद आज भी घेवर राजस्थान के कई भागों में मिल जाता है।

 

सावन, हरियाली, लहेरिये, झूले, मेहँदी, घेवर, मालपुए यह सभी इस पर्व के पर्याय है और संस्कृति व श्रद्धा से परिपूर्ण यह पर्व आज भी उसी हर्षोउल्लास से मनाया जाता है और आशा यही है की इसकी गरिमा सदैव यूही बनी रहे।

कभी सोचा है मेवाड़ में हरियाली अमावस्या का मेला क्यों भरता है ?

आज हरियाली अमावस्या के इस मौके पर कई लोगों को रंग बिरंगे कपड़ों में अपने अपने घरों से निकलते हुए देखा होगा। स्कूल और कॉलेज में भी बच्चों को हरे रंग के कपड़े पहनने को कहा जाता है। लेकिन आज भी कई ऐसे लोग होंगे, ख़ास तौर पर बच्चे और जवान लोग, जो की इसका मतलब नहीं जानते होगे। तो इससे पहले हम इस त्यौहार के हर्षोल्लास में मन्न्मुग्ध हो जाये, आइये जानते है हरियाली अमावस्या के बारे में कुछ बातें।

क्यों मनाते है हरियाली अमावस्या?

हरियाली अमावस्या वह त्यौहार है जिसे हिन्दू सभ्यता के लोग ‘सावन’ की शुरुआत के तौर पर मनाते है। इसे अमावस्या के दिन मनाया जाता है जिसकी वजह से इसका नाम हरियाली अमावस्या पड़ा। हिन्दू कैलेंडर के हिसाब से इसे श्रावण महीने के ‘कृष्णा पक्ष’ में मनाया जाता है और ग्रेगोरियन कैलेंडर के हिसाब से यह दिन जुलाई-अगस्त तक में आता है। इस दिन शिव जी की बहुत ही श्रद्धा से पूजा होती है। इसके साथ इस मौके पर बारिश और हरियाली की भी पूजा होती है। बारिश फसल के लिए काफी ज़रूरी है। कई क्षेत्रों में पीपल के पेड़ की भी पूजा होती है।

हरियाली अमावस्या सिर्फ राजस्थान में ही नहीं बल्कि और भी कई जगहों पर मनाया जाता है। महाराष्ट्र में ‘गटरी अमावस्या’, आंध्र प्रदेश में ‘चुक्कला अमावस्या’, और ओडिशा में ‘चितालागी अमावस्या’ के नाम से इसे मनाया जाता है। इसके नाम ही की तरह, इसे मनाने के तरीके भी बदलते है लेकिन त्यौहार का मकसद वही रहता है – सावन और उससे मिलने वाली ख़ुशी।

उदयपुर में हरियाली अमावस्या का मेला

सहेलियों की बाड़ी से शुरू होता हुआ यह मेला फतहसागर तक भरता है। उदयपुर के कई लोग तो हरियाली अमावस्या को उसके मेले की वजह से ही जानते है। यह मेला दो दिन तक चलता है। खाना, मस्ती, कपडे, जेवर, झूले और दोस्तों के साथ ख़ुशी के कुछ पल, अगर सब कुछ एक जगह पर मिल जाए तो ना जाने की तो कोई वजह ही नहीं है।

इस मेले में ना केवल उदयपुर के लोग आते है बल्कि उदयपुर के आस पास के क्षेत्रों के जन जातीय लोगों का भी आना होता है। मेले की रबड़ी और मालपुए ही आधे लोगों को अपनी तरफ खींच लाते है। अलग अलग दुकान वालों का शोर-गुल, बच्चों का बाजे बजाते हुए चलना, जलेबी और कचोरी की सुगंध हर कोने से आती हुई, और झूलों पर सवार हस्ते खिलखिलाते हुए बच्चे इस मेले में जान डाल देते है।

 

मेवाड़ में इस मेले की शुरुआत कैसे हुई?

ऐसा माना जाता है की मेवाड़ में इस मेले की शुरुआत महाराणा फतेह सिंह जी ने की थी। उन्होंने देखा की देवाली के तालाब में बहुत सारा पानी बर्बाद हो रहा है। तो उन्होंने वहाँ एक जलाशय बनाने का सोचा जिससे लोगों की पानी की ज़रूरते पूरी हो सके। इस जलाशय के निर्माण के पूरे होने पर उन्होंने यहाँ अमावस्या के दिन एक मेला भरवाया। धीरे धीरे यह मेला आम लोगों के लिए भी खुला और तब से आज तक इस मेले का लुत्फ़ लोग उठाते आ रहे है।

हरियाली अमावस्या का यह मेला सावन की सबसे पसंदीदा जगह रहती है और इस मेले में जाकर सावन का आनंद हर एक उदयपुरवासी को लेना चाहिए।

क्या आपके पास भी कोई रोचक और दिलचस्प कहानी है जो आप लोगों के साथ बांटना चाहते है? तो वह कहानी मुझे भेजे juhee@udaipurblog.com पर।

Jagannath Rath Yatra in Udaipur

About the people of Mewar, it has been rightly said that they have saat vaar and nau tauhar that means that there are seven days in a week but nine festivals to celebrate. They are always so busy celebrating festivals that hardly does the din of one dies, preparations are afoot for celebrating the next one.

One such procession is the annual Jagannath Yatra that starts from the famous Jagdish Mandir. Related to the Yatra is a fascinating ritual. The idol of Bhagwan Jagannath, who is worshipped as a living being is bathed every day. However, on Jestha Shukla Poornima, he is bathed with water of 108 golden pitchers. He is also offered mango juice in big quantity. No wonder he gets sick. To keep him warm, he is shifted from his ‘Singhasan’ to a resting place in the same room. For the next fortnight, he is given ‘Kada’ by the priests and is looked after by sister Subhadra’s older brother Balbhadra and Sudharshan chakra. He is given only fruits to eat.

The devotees do not get his ‘darshan’. But they visit the temple regularly to find out how is he getting on. There is no ‘Puja archana’ with ringing of bells. When he gets well on Ashad Shukla Ekam, a big variety of food is offered to him. His mother Devki used to give him Dal & Bhaat (rice) and roti. He relished it. So his devotees bring these food items for him. Regular ‘pooja’ also starts on this day. The devotees waiting for a fortnight for darshan, the lord himself goes round the town to bless them.

According to Pandit Hukum Raj, the Mukhya Pujan of Jagdish Mandir, there is a long history of Jagannath Yatra. The tradition started about 365 years ago when the ‘Pran pratishtha’ of the Mandir was performed and the idol of the lord was taken only around the premises of the temple. When the state of Mewar was merged with greater Rajasthan, there were difficulties in the Yatra as earlier it took place in the presence of the erstwhile rulers. After the passing away of Maharana Bhupal Singh, efforts were made to revive it. Due to the efforts of Raghunand, the erstwhile ‘pujari’ of the temple, various sects of the Sanataris come forward together for the organization of the Yatri. The small beginning has now become a big event with the active participation of several communities. It was decided to take the procession around the city about twenty years ago. The old ‘rath’ (chariot) was taken down the stairs of the temple by Raghunandan which highly elated him and the idol mounted on a camel cart went round the various parts of the city.

Cleaning and beautification of the ‘rath’ started days in advance by a small team of specialists. The silver white chariot has wooden horses and this year, it was painted with color, oil paint. A couple of days before the yatra, after the ‘evening aarti’ and after sprinkling gangajal and goumutra and setting up Ganesh in Jagdish Chowk the chariot was brought there in parts.

This year for the lord’s ‘parikrama’ in the premises of the 300 year rath has been replaced by a new one and gifted by a devout couple of Udaipur. The ‘rath’ was taken out in a procession led by Goswami Vageesh Kumar of Dhwarkadheesh Mandir, Kankroli, Mahendra Singh Mewar and Vishwaraj Singh Mewar.

The ‘rath’ was mounted on a camel cart. Dhwarkadheesh Prabhu band was in attendance. Women dressed in saffron clothes, carrying pitchers on their head were part of the big procession. The colorful procession that started from Sheetlamata Mandir, Samore Bagh passed through Bhatiyani chohatta came to Jagdish mandir.

From Jagannath Dham located in Hiran Magri Sector 7 would start the Shahi Yatra of Jagannath Swami, Subhadara, Balbhadra and Sudharshan Chakra on the lines of the processing in Jagannath Puri, Odisha. It would start from the Mandir premises at 11 a.m and passing through Jodar Nursery, Savina chouraha, Phal-Subzi Mandir, Reti stand, Shiv Mandir, Macchla magra, Patel Circle, Kishan Pole, Rang Niwas and bhatiyani Chohatta join the main procession at Jagdish Chowk. There would be ‘aarti’ at different places including the Maha-aarti with 31,000 ‘dias’from 8:30 to 9:30 pm in Bapu Bazar, according to convenor Dr Pradeep Kumawat.

The preparation for the big event had started weeks in advance. Nimantran Patrika was prepared as the members of rathyatra samiti met the mahants of various sects. Political and social leaders and public in general to participate in the procession. The route of the yatra Ghantaghar, Bada Bazaar, mochiwada, Bhadbhuja Ghati, Bhopalwadi, Santoshi Mata mandir, teej ka chowk, Dhanmandi, Marshal chouraha, etc. has been decorated with flags. Several religious and social organizations would welcome the yatra at different places.

For the first time, a helicopter would shower 400 kg rose leaves at Jagdish chowk in 5 rounds. The yatra would be welcomed back at Jagdish mandir with aarti attended by thousands of devotees. Arrangement of mahaprasad for 8000 to 10,000 has also been made.


The eagerly awaited yatra not only brings about harmony among different sects but also provides an opportunity for worship that enhances the religious faith.