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.
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.
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.
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.
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.