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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ?
Shilpgram Utsav has been the most awaited festival for not just the locals of Udaipur but also for the tourists flocking to the city. And there’s absolutely no reason to not get enticed with this cultural fiesta.
Shilpgram Utsav is a 10-day long fête which showcases the art and culture of different parts of the country through various performances, exhibitions, and artistry. The Utsav is organized by West Zone Cultural center and since the year 1991, the event is organized every year by the end of December. The festival has become one of the most popular and admired cultural festivals of the city.
Throughout the 10 days of the event, cultural performances which include various craftsmen and artisans from all over the country showcase their talents during the cultural program which takes place every day in the evening. A vibrant bazaar for all the shopaholics is set up that starts around 12 noon which includes mouthwatering traditional food such as ‘Makki ki papdi, Makki ki raab, nutty milk, etc. along with handloom, handicraft, jute, silk, pashmina, pure wool, Kashmiri clothes, and many more attractive items.
Every year, new elements are being added to the festival. Last year, a special Gavri area was set up with a number of Gavri artists from different regions of the country.
If you happen to be here in Udaipur during this time, Shilpgram fest is definitely a must visit.
हमारे देश में त्यौहार, समय अनुसार मनाये जाते हैं। उदयपुर के लोग राजाओं-महाराजाओं के काल से ही उत्सव-जलसे बड़े धूम-धाम से मनाते आए हैं। उन्ही त्योहारों में से एक है, गणगौर। गणगौर का त्यौहार चैत्र महीने के शुक्ल पक्ष की तीज पर आता है। 18वी शताब्दी अर्थात महाराणा सज्जन सिंह जी के काल में गणगौर के इस त्यौहार का विस्तृत वर्णन कुछ इस प्रकार किया गया है- “नवीन वर्ष आरम्भ होते ही सभी ज्योतिष-गण उत्तम वस्त्र और आभूषणों से सुसज्जित होकर, महाराणा की सेवा में उपस्थित होते है तथा शुभकामनाओं के साथ महाराणा को नवीन पंचाग भेंट करते है। गणगौर इसके अगले दिन मनाया जाता है। गणगौर के दिन सभी स्त्रियाँ सुन्दर वस्त्र और आभूषण पहनकर बाग़-बावड़ियाँ में जाती है। महाराणा के आदेश पर राज्य भर में जश्न होता है। ये जश्न किसी धूम-धाम से कम नहीं होता। दिन के ठीक तीन बजे पहला नगगाड़ा बजता है, उसके बाद दूसरा और फिर तीसरे न पर महाराणा घोड़े पर विराजमान होते हैं। एकलिंगगढ़ पर 21 तोपों की सलामी दी जाती है। बड़ी पोल से त्रिपोलिया घाट तक दोनों तरफ़ लकड़ी के बड़े खूटे लगा दिए जाते है और उन पर रस्सियाँ बाँध दी जाती है। इन खूटों के आसपास पुलिस के जवान पहरा देते हैं। इन पर बाँधी गयी रस्सी के भीतर राजकीय अधिकारियों के अलावा अन्य व्यक्ति नहीं आ सकता है। जब महाराणा की सवारी महल से रवाना होती है तब सवारी के बाद सबसे आगे मेवाड़ के राजकीय निशान से चिन्हित हाथी चलते हैं, उनके पीछे के हाथियों पर सरदार, पासवान और अन्य अधिकारी होते है।
सवारी में जंगी घुड़सवारों के साथ साथ अँग्रेज़ अफ़सर भी शरीक होते है। विदेशी बाजा बजता हुआ निकलता है और उसके पीछे निकलते है सोने चाँदी के हौदे जो ख़ास हाथी पर कसे हुए होते है। इसके साथ ही राज्य के बड़े-बड़े प्रतिष्ठित लोग, उमराव, सरदार और चारण घोड़ों पर आते है। इस कारवाँ के पीछे जरी व सोने-चाँदी से सुसज्जित घोड़े रहते है।” महाराणा की सवारी का दृश्य कुछ इस प्रकार होता है- “मधुर, सुरीला बाजा बजता रहता है, उसके पीछे महाराणा अच्छी पोशाक, ‘अमर शाही’, ‘आरसी शाही’ और ‘स्वरूप शाही’ पग़डियो में से एक किस्म की पगड़ी, जामा और नाना प्रकार के हीरे मोतियों के आभूषणों को धारण किये और कमर बंध व ढाल लगाए हुए घोड़े पर विद्यमान रहते है। महाराणा के पीछे दूसरे सरदार, जागीरदार, पासवान व जंगी सैनिक रहते है और सबसे पीछे हाथी चलते है। सवारी के दोनों तरफ छड़ीदारो की बुलंद आवाज़ और आगे वीरता के दोहो का गायन करने वाले ढोलियो की आवाज़े सवारी के आनंद को दोगुना कर देती है। इसी ठाठ बाट के साथ महाराणा धीरे-धीरे त्रिपोलिया घाट पर पहुंचते है और वह घोड़े से उतर कर नाव पर सवार होते है। इनमें से एक नाव के ऊँचे गो खड़े पर लगभग दो फुट ऊंचा सिंहासन रहता है, उस पर चार खम्बो वाली लकड़ी की एक छतरी होती है। सिंहासन और छतरी ज़र्दोजी और ज़री से सुशोभित होती है। सिंहासन के चारो तरफ, नीचे के तख्तो पर शानदार पोशाकों व गहनों से सज्जित सरदार, चारण व पासवान अपने दर्जे के मुताबिक बैठते है और कितने ही अन्य लोग आसपास खड़े रहते है। महाराणा के पद के नीचे के सभ्यगण उसी के समीप जुड़ी हुई नाव में सवार होते है। नाव की सवारी धीरे-धीरे दक्षिण की तरफ बढती है और बड़ी पाल तक जाने के बाद फिर लौट कर त्रिपोलिया घाट पर आती है। दक्षिण के तरफ बढ़ते हुए आतिशबाज़ी चलाने का हुक्म दिया जाता है, तालाब के किनारों तथा कश्तियो पर से तरह-तरह की रंग-बिरंगी आतिशबाज़िया होती है। ये सब देखने में बहुत आनंद आता है। इस अवसर पर बहुत से लोग सवारी को देखने दूर-दूर से आते है, क्योंकि उदयपुर के गणगौर के जलसे की दूसरे राजपुतानों में बड़ी तारीफ़ होती है। तालाब के किनारे देखने वाले लोगो की बड़ी भीड़ रहती है, इतनी की भीतर घुसना भी बहुत कठिन हो जाता है। इसके बाद महल से गणगौर माता की सवारी निकलती है, जिस के साथ नाना प्रकार की सुन्दर पोशाकों और सोने-चाँदी के गहनों से सुसज्जित दासियो के झुंड साथ चलते है। एक स्त्री के सिर पर लगभग 3 फुट ऊंची, सोने चाँदी के गहनों से शोभायमान, लकड़ी की बनी हुई गणगौर माता की मूर्ति रखी होती है। सवारी के आगे और पीछे, सवारी के लाज़मी हाथी घोड़ों पर पंडित व ज्योतिष लोग विद्यमान रहते है। त्रिपोलिया घाट पर सवारी के पहुंचते ही महाराणा अपने सिंहासन से खड़े होकर गणगौर माता को प्रणाम करते है, फिर गणगौर माता को फर्श युक्त वेदिका पर रखकर, पंडित व ज्योतिषी लोग पूजन करके महाराणा साहिब को पुनः देते है। इसके बाद दासिया गणगौर माता के दोनों तरफ बराबर खड़े हो कर, प्रणाम के तौर पर झुकती हुई, “लहुरे” (एक तरह का गाना) गाती है। यह जलसा देखने लायक होता है। यहाँ राज्य में लकड़ी की बनी गणगौर की बड़ी मूर्ति के अलावा मिट्टी की बनी हुई गणगौर और दूसरे भगवानों की छोटी मूर्तियां भी देखी जा सकती है। बाकी शहर में दूसरे भगवान और गणगौर की मूर्तियां साथ ही निकाली जाती है। राजपूताना की कुल रियासतों में इस त्यौहार को एक बड़े उत्सव के तौर पर मनाया जाता है। इस देश में ऐसी कहावत है कि दशहरा राजपूतो के लिए और गणगौर स्त्रियों के लिए बड़ा त्यौहार है। यहाँ महादेव को ईश्वर और पार्वती को गणगौर कहते है। फिर गणगौर माता को जिस तरह जुलुस के साथ लाते है, उसी तरह फिर से महल में पहुंचाया जाता है। इसके बाद उसी फर्श पर दसियों द्वारा घूमर नृत्य और गाना-बजाना होता है। रेजिडेंट लोग भी नावों में सवार होकर इस जलसे को देखने के लिए आते है। आखिर में महाराणा रूप घाट पर नाव से उतर कर तामजान में सवार हो महल में पधार जाते है जहां कीमती गलीचे- मखमल का फर्श, ज़रदोज़ी के शामियाने व सोने चाँदी से बने हुए सिंहासन व कुर्सियां इनका इंतजार कर रही होती है और इस तरह यह जलसा पुरे 4 या उससे भी ज़्यादा दिन के लिए इसी तरह चलता रहता है”
उपरान्त दृश्य की परिकल्पना मात्र ही आनंदमय लगती है। उस ज़माने की बात ही कुछ और थी। उम्मीद है आपको ये सब पढ़कर अच्छा लगा होगा। हम आगे भी कुछ ऐसे त्योहारों के बारे में आपको बताएँगे। तब तक के लिए अलविदा।
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.
On the 1st day of the 56th edition of Maharana Kumbha Sangeet Sammelan, there were performances by two reputed artists- young flute player Paras Nath of Varanasi and Hindustani classical singer and eminent Raghunandan Panshikar. In his welcome speech Dr Yashwant Kothari, Hon. Secretary, Maharana Kumbha Sangeet Parishad said that the Parishad had been organizing this three-day big music event for the last 56 years without even a single break. The music lovers of Udaipur and of places near and far get a golden opportunity to be enthralled by the recitals of top artists. Paras Nath began his performance with Lai Japtael in Raj Kirwani. At the end of his performance, he carried away the listeners with him by singing Thumak Chalal Ramachandran, Mohe Panghat Pe Nandlal, Govind Bolo, Hari Gopal Bolo etc. He was accompanied by Duajai Bhaumik on tabla.
The second artist Raghunandan Panshikar began his performance with Rag Ragesh. He sang Meera’s Bhajan Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo and then a Marathi Bhajan on public demand. He was accompanied on tabla by Bharat Kamath, on harmonium by Suyoga Kundalkar and on tanpuri by Amardeep Sharma.
On this occasion, Panshikar was honoured with M.N Mathur Award and given ‘uparna’, memento and cash.
The second evening of the Sangeet Sammelan started with the performance by Sonia Roy of Kolkata who had come to Udaipur for the first time. She began with Rag Puria Kalyan and impressed the audience deeply.
In the second session, Pandit Purbayan Chatterjee won the applause of the listeners with his quality sitar vadan.
In the concluding third session of the Samaroh at open-air theatre of Shilpgram, the country’s first women Strishakti Band captivated the audience with its nuances. Appearing on the stage for the first time in Udaipur, the President Award winner Anuradha Pal greeted the audience with Khamma Ganni.
With her unique style, Kathak dancer Richa Jain with her party mesmerized the audience. She began her programme with 16 Lilas of Lord Krishna with Kavit Natvari Bol and Gat Bhav.
Sonia Roy has received extensive training from Smt. Shanti Sharma, a renowned name among Indian classical musicians and the torch bearer of the illustrations Indore Gharana.
Noted for amalgamating traditional Indian classical music with contemporary world music genres, Purbayan Chatterjee is a sitar maestro. He has learned sitar from his father Parthapratim Chatterjee. His music is inspired by the sound of Nikhil Banerjee. He has performed as a solo artist and as a part of the groups, Shastriya Syndicate and string struck. He is also a vocalist with Shankar Mahadevan.
Paras Nath comes from an eminent family of musicians of Varanasi who have been in the field for over 250 years. His grandfather Pandit Shiv Nath Prasad, the Indian Shahnai Maestro introduced the flute in his family for the first time as well in his Gharana that otherwise is known as Shahnai players Paras had an opportunity to learn from his grandfather, his mother Meena Nath as well as his uncle Dinesh Kumar. He is the younger son of Pandit Amar Nath, one of the top flutists of India and a great composer known for Vadya Vrinda or Chestra.
He has also given background music in Bollywood films such as Oh My God, Sarabjeet, Dangal, Padman and Tare Zameen Par. He has been associated with several tv shows.
Born in 1963 in a family of Sanskrit scholars and classical musicians and son of the eminent Marathi stage actor and producer Prabhakar Panshikar, Raghunandan’s aptitude for music was fostered and recognized at an early age.
Daughter of pharmaceutical doyen, Devinder Poland painter-writer Illa Pal, Anuradha Pal started her table training under Shri Manikrao Popatkar and Pt. Madan Mishra, both of Benares Gharanas and finally became a disciple of Allah Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain of the Punjab Gharana. She is a ‘tabla’ virtuoso, multi-percussionist and music composer who has been described as the first professional female table player in the world.
A dedicated young Kathak dancer, Richa Jain started her formal training in Kathak at the tender age of three years under the guidance of her parents – Kathak exponents Guru Shri Ravi Jain and Guru Smt. Nalini Jain. She has the unique quality of dancing and singing simultaneously while presenting expressions on Thumri, Dadra, Ghazals, Geet etc.
To create awareness about Indian classical music and dance among people, especially the youth, and to acquaint them with the big contribution of the great Maharana Kumbha to this art, Maharana Kumbha Sangeet Parishad Udaipur, named after the great Rajputana ruler, organizes an eagerly awaited three-day music fiesta every year.
Schedule of the Music Fest
Music and dance lovers of not only Lake City but also of places near and far are going to enjoy the presentation by noted artists on 16th and 17th March at Sukhadia Rang Manch, Town Hall and on 18th March at Muktakshi Rang Manch of Shilpgram. The program would open with a bang on the first day with flute recital by the reputed Pandit Parasnath of Mumbai.
This is to be followed by classical singing by well-known Raghunandan Panshikar. The on March 17th is to have classical music by the famous Sonia Roy of Kolkata.
The second artist on the second day would be the famous sitar player of Kolkata, Pandit Purbayan Chatterjee.
The final day me on 18th March at Shilpgram would have the performance of the famous artist of Mumbai, Pandit Anuradha Das and country’s first novel women classical music band.
This is to be followed by a special form of Kolkata dance by the well-known artist Richa Jain and party including the accompanist, the would have 40-50 artists this year. It will be for the first time that a band would be performed in this Sangeet Samaroh. According to Vice- President of the Parishad, Dr. Prem Bhandari, a noted ‘ghazal’ singer and former HOD, Music, MLSU, Udaipur his team spends 2-3 months to select the artists every year as it listens to a number of CDs. The three forms viz, music dance and instruments. Both the well-known and upcoming artists are given a chance to perform.
A special feature of this national level event that is famous all over the world is that it is being organized for the last 5.6 years without a single break in spite of difficult situations of various kinds.The idea of setting up an organization in the name of Maharan Khumbha a rare among the rarest kings of Mewar who a great ruler and warrior was not only but also a great musician himself, came up in 1962. Maharana Kumbha wrote Sangeetraj an authentic and original treatise consisting of 16,000 Sanskrit ‘Sholks’ dealing with all the three ‘Vidhas’ of Indian classical music. This earned him the title of ‘Vogeykar’ that means one who writes poems and composes music. This great work lay dormant for over 500 years before it was discovered due to light by the research done on it by Premlata Sharma, a disciple of Thakur.
The motivation came from Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, a legend in the world of music.
The first Sangeet Sammelan was inaugurated with a recital by this great maestro. The importance of the Sammelan can be ganged from the galaxy of artists who have performed in it. Even now artists consider it as an honor to get an opportunity to perform here and pay their homage to Maharana Kumbha.
The huge number of artists who performed in the event during its history of over (1962,1963) Pandit Ramnaryan (1962). Pt. Ravi Shankar (1977), Ut. Ali Akbar Khan (1975), Shri Purushottam Das (1962), Pt. Kumar Gandhar (1968,1979), Ut. Abdul Halim Zafar Khan (1969,1976), Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma (1984), Ut. Allah Rakha (1977), Pt. Chatulal (1962), Pt. Shamta Prasad (1970, 1979), Pt. Kishan Maharaj (1965), Pandit Jasra (1967,1981,1986,2002), Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia (1983), Ut. Zakir Hussain (1983), Ut. Shahid Parvez (1979,2008), Pt. Birju Maharaj (2009), Smt Parween Sultana (1978,2009), Dr. Sonal Mansingh (1980), Pt. Rajan Sajan Misra (1993,2003), Ut. Rashid Majumdar (2004), Pt. Visva Mohan Bhatt (1983,1998,2003) to name a few.
Another unique feature of the Sangeet Sammelan is that the entry to it is free of charge.
It has been possible due to the support of agencies such as Art and Culture Ministry Govt. of India, Govt. of Rajasthan, Vedanta Hindustan Zinc Ltd., State Bank of India, Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Corporation, Singhal Foundation Western Zone Culture Centre, Udaipur. The members of the Parishad also try their best to minimize the expenses. This year S.S College of Engineering is providing free bus services to and from Shilpgram. To create interest in classical music among students, some schools and colleges are sending their students to attend this event.
According to Dr. Yashwant Kothari, Hon. Secretary of the Sangeet Parishad, every year two awards are given to two artists who perform in the Samarohviz Murli Narain Mathur Award and Yashwant Kothari Kumbha Samman the latter was started last year. Well-known classical music singer Pandit Raghunandan Panshikar is to receive M.N Mathur Award while Yashwant Kothari Samman goes to famous ‘tabla’ player Pandit Anuradha Pal this year. The latter one was won by Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt last year.
To create interest in classical music among people, especially the youth, a new feature has been introduced this year. Those who attend the Sangeet Samaroh on all the three days are to get lucrative gifts.
A gala event, this Samahroh has become highly enjoyable not only for music lovers of Lake City but also outsiders who prefer to tour the city on this occasion. It also draws a large number of foreign tourists. According to Dr. Yashwant Kothari, a big lover of classical music Kalyan Banerjee President, Rotary International is coming all the way from Mumbai to attend the Samahroh.
The Parishad is actively engaged in the promotion of classical music. Last year it organized a Dhrupad, Samaroh that is a pure classical form of Indian music in collaboration with Akashwani. The held in the memory of the two maestros Ustad Zia Moinuddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Farirrudun Dagar was telecast on Doordarshan Channels. Both the Dagars were born and brought up in Udaipur and had the patronage of Mewar Rajgharana.
Dagar Gharana is known all over the world. The Parishad has a building with an auditorium and a small library of rare books. For the encouragement of young artists of the town and other places concerts, seminars etc. are organized every month. The daily evening classes are attended by a large number of music students.
Rajasthan is a land of colors and festivals. Every day is a fiesta here and every region has a number of fests, fairs, and processions which add to the culture and heritage of the entire state. A heritage and culture-filled city like Udaipur gives its visitors a lot to carry with themselves – an array of colorful memories. Not just that these are pleasing to the eyes, these fests and fairs are also great for capturing, if you’re a photo enthusiast.
These festivals are especially celebrated in Rajasthan (Udaipur). Obviously, there are a lot of nationally celebrated festivals.
One of the most colorful festivals of Udaipur is the Gangaur Festival. This fest is held two weeks after Holi every year and is visited by a large number of tourists from various parts of the world. The word ‘Gangaur’ is made up of two words- ‘Gana’ is another name for Lord Shiva and ‘Gaur’ is synonymous with Gauri or Goddess Parvati which symbolizes marital bliss.
The conviction behind the festival carries the ceremony in which the unmarried women worship ‘Gauri’ for bestowing them with a good husband, while married women do so for the welfare, health, and longevity of their husbands and a buoyant married life.
The festival begins on the first day of Chaitra, the day following Holi and continues for 18 days, typically in the month of March and April. This year it started on 2nd March and the main event is on Tuesday, 20 March 2018.
After the monsoons, in the months of September and October, the forty-days-festival “GAVRI” is celebrated by Bhil tribe in Udaipur, Rajsamand and Chittor districts of Rajasthan. The entire males of the community, even children participate in this dance-drama symbolizing a healthy environment and it intends to ensure the well-being of the community and the village.
Until Gavri concludes, these people don’t consume green-colored food, non-vegetarian food, and alcohol. In the performance, they pray to Lord Shiva and his wife, and each day the performance is set up at different locations for 5-6 hours.
When the rain comes down, spirits soar high in celebrations. Song and dance mark the gaiety of the Teej festival in the city. It is held every year during the Hindu month of Shravan and marks the advent of the monsoons. The religious significance of Teej festival lies in the devotion of Goddess Parvati for her husband Lord Shiva. It was on this day that the divine couple Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati reunited with each other after hundreds of years.
On strolling through the streets, one will find the sweet smell of “Ghevar” and “Malpuas”, these mouthwatering dishes are special in Teej revels. Women clad in Lehariya and Green sarees visit Shiva temples with extreme devotion towards their husbands.
Two days after Sheetala Ashtami, the women of Mewar observe the festival of Dashamata. On this day women deck up in traditional ornaments and clothes and adore Peepal Tree, from very early in the morning and the poojan activities stretched till afternoon.
They relate the tale of Dashamata to each other and pray for health and wealth of their family.
The festival of Sheetala Ashtami falls on the eight days of Chaitra (March) month i.e. first month in Hindi calendar. As per conventional approach, the day is generally observed on the seventh day, but at many places, it is celebrated on the eighth day of the month.
This festival is celebrated with the belief that this would prevent people from the deadly epidemics. To have more info about Sheetla Ashtami Click Here
Janmashtami is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) in the month of Sravana i.e. the birthday of Natkhat Gopal. The Jagdish Mandir and Asthal Mandir are crowded with queues of devotees waiting eagerly to have a look of Lord Krishna. The most exciting event is “Matki Fod” at Jagdish Chowk.
The Dahi Handi event at Jagdish Chowk has become a prolonged custom; the Janmashtami celebration is accompanied with colorful cultural activities where many localities and foreign tourists take active participation. These activities include cultural dance, singing performances which ends with the Dadhika Matki Phod. The special attraction here at the Jagdish chowk is the performances by the tourists across the globe who sing and perform on Rajasthani Songs.
Other the mythological festivals, there are some public fests like:
Udaipur Lake Festival is planned by Rajasthan Tourism, UIT, & Municipal Corporation. This initiative of a festival was taken at the helm by seeing the immense growth in tourism. In this context only, it was decided to develop various activities in and around lakes to highlight the unique benefits of the water reservoirs.
Udaipur has witnessed three consecutive years of Lake Festival and people are excited about the coming years.
World Music Festival
From past three years, Udaipur is experiencing the Udaipur World Music Festival (UWMF) in the month of February. The festival is a three-day extravaganza and people from the entire globe flock to Udaipur to enjoy great international as well as national artists.
Conceptualized and produced by Seher, the event is free, that means no entry ticket is there. It is held, every year, at 3 different locations. The first year, people of Udaipur experienced Papon, the second year Kailash Kher and this year people experienced the music of Shankar, Ehsan, and Loy.
Udaipur has many fairs held in the city, let us have a look at some of the most famous ones.
Hariyal Amavasya Mela
‘Hariyali’ refers to greenery and ‘Amavasya’ refers to a no-moon day thus it is festival which is celebrated on a no-moon day to welcome the month of monsoon.
In the month of July-August, a fair for men and women is held for two days, the last day of the fair is usually reserved for women, at the banks of Sahelion-Ki-Bari and Fatehsagar. Shops displaying varied crafts and swings are put up; boating is organized by the municipal corporation. Women wear green colored dresses and join the festivals. The famous dish of Rabri Malpua is available in plentiful. Historically, it is believed that Maharana Fateh Singh was the first to set up this fair.
This year the tentative date of the mela is August 11 (Saturday) 2018.
Systematized by the Udaipur Municipal Corporation, this fair run for a full-fledged 10 days. The fair witnesses many cultural programs and activities at night. The fair is held before Diwali which is one of the biggest festivals of India. The fair has hundreds of shops which sell handicrafts and other products. Food stalls present in the arena give mouth-watering snacks that people can relish while at the fair. There is also a section for swings and other amusement rides.
The Diwali-Dushera Mela is held at the Town Hall for many years and the city people gather in a huge number to enjoy the fair.
To promote Khadi Gram Udyog this fair is held for 29 years and has received a considerable boost because of the continuous exhibition. It is a 15-day Khadi exhibition cum sale which is held in the Town Hall Udaipur, every year. Craftsmen and traders from across the country participate in this. This fair is a smaller one if compared to the Diwali-Dushera Mela. It witnesses almost 130 stalls and the products are dissimilar from the aforementioned fair.
Products found in the fair include leather goods, spices, woolen khadi, besides suiting-shirting, dari, jajam, khas, blankets, saris, salwar suits and so much more.
Mega Trade Fair
The Mega Trade Fair is held for 10 days every year. The fair is organized by Rajasthan Patrika around Navratri and it has a great craze among the local people. Haryana’s handloom, woolens of Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir, Saharanpur’s furniture, crockery, decorative items, terracotta items, jewelry, cosmetic products, toys and basic items of daily needs are available in this grand fair.
Earlier the venue for the fair was BN College Ground but it is now changed to Fateh High School Ground since a couple of years.
Inaugurates every year on the 21st of the month of December, this ten-day long Shilpgram Utsav witnesses over 600 folk artists from 18 states and 400 artisans who display their handicrafts over shops and stalls. The bazaar starts around 12 noon where craftsmen showcase handloom, handicraft, jute, silk, pashmina, pure wool, Kashmiri clothes, eco-friendly items and so much more.
You can have more knowledge about the Shilpgram Mahotsav Here
Processions are a part of festivals. There are some of the major processions that line the city roads, every year.
Jagannath Rath Yatra
Every year the grand Rath-Yatra is held on the Ashaad Shukla Dwitya of Vikram Samvat, as per the Hindu calendar. Udaipur holds the distinction of holding the 3rd largest Rath Yatra in India. The city has two Rath Yatras on the same day at different locations.
A wooden chariot weighing 21,000 kg including the 51kg silver plating carrying an idol of Lord Jagannath, Subhadra (his sister), Balram (his friend) is pulled by the devotees of Lord Jagannath. The Rath Yatra starts from the Jagdish Temple, near the City Palace and is moved in Jagdish Chowk, Mochiwada, Bhadbhuja Ghati, Bada Bajar, Ghanta Ghar Mandi, Marshall Chauraha, Jhiniret Chowk, Bhattiyani Chohatta, Santoshi Mata Mandir, Asthal Mandir, R.M.V.
Eid Milaad-un- Nabi or the Birthday of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is a mass celebration, consisting of a colorful procession. Milad-un-Nabi is also known as Barawafat or Mawlid.
The Birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) is remembered on 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal of the Islamic lunar calendar every year by all Muslim communities. More than 1 Lakh people gather and cover almost 10-15 Km of Udaipur every year. Read more about Eid Milad Here
In Udaipur, the Taziya procession, on the 10th day of Muharram is one of the most essential events that occur in Udaipur every year. Taziyas are replicas of Imam Hussain’s mausoleum and are made of wood and paper.
The first ever procession of Taziya began in Udaipur in the year 1559. Since then the procession is organized where Taziyas from several locations are carried through the city and submerged in the water. Though, since a couple of years, this ritual of submerging Taziyas is prohibited from keeping the lakes of the city clean.
Celebrated by the Keralite Hindus, the two-day long Makarvilakku festival was observed on on 13th and 14th January 2018. Normally, it coincides with three other festivals that are Makar Sankranti by Hindus, Lohadi by Sikhs and Lal Loi by Sindhis. Makarvilakku festival is related to Lord Ayyappa and his temple in Sabarimala.
The holy outing or procession of Lord Ayyappa starts from the temple in New Jyoti Nagar, Shobhagpura and wends its way through CPS school road, Bansi Pan Chouraha, Court Chouraha, Delhi Gate, Shastri Circle, Ashok Nagar, Ayad Puliya, 100 feet road and returns to the temple.
These were some of the major fairs, festivals, and processions in the City of Lakes. However, if we have missed any fair or festival or procession; you can let us know by mentioning that in the comment section below.
“Mhaaro Rang Rangeelo Rajasthan” is truly blessed with vivacious cultures, royal heritages, holy traditions, communities living in harmony and enchanting nature. It is also, literally and in every sense, the “Land of Kings.” This time we are here to tell you the difference between two major regions of Rajasthan that are the Mewar Province and the Marwar Province. Mewar and Marwar are pretty much similar on the basic level, but when scrutinized, they have some contrasting features. Let’s find out more about the
‘two regions with a sole soul.’
“Territories of the “Land of Kings”
Mewar, the south-central region of the state of Rajasthan includes:
➤Tehsil Pirawa of Jhalawar District,
➤Neemuch and Mandsaur districts of Madhya Pradesh
➤and some parts of Gujarat.
Marwar region includes:
➤and parts of Sikar.
“What’s in a name they say, but then everything has a name”
The word “Mewar” is loosely extracted from the word ‘Medapata’ which is the ancient name of the region. ‘Meda’ refers to the Meda Tribe who used to reside in the region (now called Badnor) and ‘pata’ refers to the administrative unit.
The word “Marwar” comes from the word ‘Maru,’ a Sanskrit word, which means desert and from a Rajasthani slang‘wad’ which means a particular area. Marwar is basically known as ‘The Region of Desert’.
“The richest histories in the country”
History of both Mewar and Marwar is quite rich and somewhat similar as both were founded by Rajputs. On one hand, where Mewar has a history of wars, defeats, successions, and establishments, Marwar’s history is complex with no direct successions and Mughals and Rajputs ruling now and then.
After the establishment of both Mewar and Marwar, the timeline of monarchy witnessed a number of kings and Britishers as well.
Here we have a timeline of reigns of the famous monarchs of Mewar:
founder of Mewar
➤his reign is considered as the “golden period of Mewar”
➤Was the only Hindu king of his time in India
Maharana Udai Singh
➤Murdered his own father, Rana Kumbha and turned out to be an abominated king.
➤Was struck by lightning just before his daughter’s marriage and died on the spot.
Maharana Udai Singh II
➤Founder of Udaipur, the city of lakes
➤Only ruler to not give up in front of Mughals.
➤Fought the famous “Battle of Haldighati” against Akbar, the then Mughal ruler
Maharana Jagat Singh
➤57th ruler of Mewar
➤The famous Jagmandir Palace and Jagdish temple in Udaipur was built during his reign.
Maharana Swaroop Singh
➤Britishers started settling in India during his reign and he supported Britishers in every way possible.
Maharana Sajjan Singh
➤He did everything in his power for Udaipur and its environment
➤Udaipur became the second city in the country to have a municipality, after Bombay, under his rule
➤He built a beautiful monsoon palace in Udaipur, that is Sajjangarh Fort, to complement the beauty of Udaipur in the backdrop.
Maharana Bhupal Singh
➤Founded many colleges and schools, especially for girls and also worked towards the betterment of lakes and environment of Udaipur
Maharana Bhagwat Singh
➤Last ruler of Mewar
➤Sold off most of his properties like Fateh Prakash, Jagmandir and other architectures on the banks of Lake Pichola so that all of them are well maintained
➤Even though the financial situation of the Royalties was depleting, he worked towards the betterment of Mewar.
Marwar was established by the Gurjara Pratihara, a Rajput clan. They first settled their kingdom in the 6th century in Marwar with the capital at Mandore which is 9 km from Jodhpur.
Here we have the timeline mentioning famous rulers of Marwar:
➤first ruler to rule over Marwar from Rathore dynasty
➤Was helped by Sisodias of Mewar to rule over Marwar
➤Was assassinated on the orders of Rana Kumbha of Mewar.
➤Founder of Jodhpur
Maharaja Jaswant Singh
➤Fought the Battle of Dharmatpur against Aurangzeb
Maharaja Ajit Singh
➤Became ruler of Marwar after 25 years of war against Aurangzeb.
Maharaja Bakhat Singh
➤Fought the Battle of Gangwana against Mughals and Kachhawa
Maharaja Sir Hanwant Singh
➤Last ruler of Marwar before independence
9 June 1947-15 August 1947
During the famine of 1899-1900, Marwar suffered terribly and seeing the terrible fate Marwar underwent, Maharaja of Jodhpur decided to join the dominion of Pakistan but Lord Mountbatten warned him that majority of his subjects were Hindus and joining Pakistani dominion may create problems for him and the kingdom. In 1950, Rajputana ultimately became the state of Rajasthan.
Proud communities of Mewar and Marwar
Rajputs are a well-known warrior clan of Rajasthan. Their trenchant identity is usually described as “proud Rajput tribes of Rajputana”. Their lineage is traced from the Fire family, the Sun Family and the Moon Family.
The Sun Family includes:
➤ Sisodias of Chittaur and Udaipur
➤Rathores of Jodhpur and Bikaner and
➤Kachawas of Amber and Jaipur.
While the Moon Family includes the Bhattis of Jaisalmer.
The trading communities include Khandelwal, Agrawal, Maheshwari, Jains, and Gahoi of Marwar. Birlas, Bajajs, Goenkas Singhanias are some top business groups in India, who are famous Marwaris from Rajasthan.
The artisan’s communities like Sonar, Lohars, Bhils etc. are majorly found in Mewar.
“Reflection of valor- Mewari, and Marwari”
Mewari should not be confused with Marwari as both the languages are different. People who havebeen into both the regions can easily identify the boldness of Mewari and the Sweetness of Marwadi.
Mewari isinspired by Devanagari script while maximum words of Marwari are adopted from Sanskritlanguage and is traditionally associated with Mahajani language.
Mewari- 5 million speakers coming from Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, and Rajsamand districts of the state of Rajasthan.
Marwari- 20 million speakers (most-spoken)
“Aah, the food”
Dal Bati Churma is the signature dish that opts for both the kitchens of Mewarand Marwar. Although, very few people know that Mewar ’s cuisine includes both vegetarian and non-vegfood.
Whereas, Marwari cuisine generally follows vegetarian food. Some authentic disheslike
➤Laal Maas and Khad Khargosh
are non-vegetarian delights and are relished by the people of Mewar.
Whereas, the people of Marwarenjoys vegetarian delights such as:
➤Bajre ki roti
and many more fabulous recipes.
Apart from this, the richness in Mewari authentic Thali can be seen with the use of dried spices(Masalas) and dry fruits like cashews and almonds. Whereas the palette of Marwari food is a little dryreflecting the regional conditions.
Marwari Thali focuses more on ingredients like gram flour (Besan)and vegetables like Ker Sangri, Gavarfali, and more.
But, in both the culinary concepts, the common things are cookingtechniques, Spicy flavor and the use of ghee.
“The Great and Glorious Festivals”
Besides the culture and region, festivals can also let anyone recognize the distinctive feature ofboth the heritage. Whether it’s Diwali, Holi or Bhaidooj, all the festivals are significant in Rajasthan. Mewar festival, primarily known as ‘Gangaur,’ is celebrated with lots ofenthusiasm amongst women of the region.
And, considering the parts of Marwar, the festival which is widely celebrated by women of the region is “Teej.” which is celebrated in the monsoon season and determined by the cycle of the moon.
Despite these differences, a thing worth remembering is that both the regions and their cultures are blended so well that people always say, and forever say, that not Mewar or Marwar but Rajasthan is Enchanting!
In Mewar, as in the other parts of the state, there are more festivals than the days in a week, ‘saat vaar aur nau tyohar’. No exception is the month of March that started with a bang with the festival of Holi is followed by Sheetla Saptmi or Asthami, Kesariyaji Mela, Navratri, Dashamata, Chetichand, Gangaur, Mahavir Jayanti, Good Friday and Easter.
Eight days after Holi is celebrated Sheel Ashtami. Earlier the festival was celebrated on Saptami. But later on, as Maharana Bheemsingh’s birthday fell on this day, the festival began to be celebrated on the next day. But people were free to choose any one day.
The legend of Sheetla Mata Ashtami
Maharana Sangramsingh built a temple of Sheetla Mata near Rang Niwas close to Samore Bagh. On Asthami, in the morning, the Maharana would go in a procession to the temple for ‘darshan’ of the goddess. A ‘darbar’ was held in Rang Niwas. Then he used to go Navlakha or Samore Bagh where there was a lot of singing and dancing. On that day a ‘dawat’ banquet, was organized by Rajya Pradhan or senior officials in honor of the Maharana. All the Sardars and Umraos were invited to this feast. Floral garlands were offered to all the ‘durbaris’. Then the Maharana returned to his palace. After the death of Idarwali Rajmata Chhoti Rathore in 1892, the tradition of going to the house of the Pradhan stopped. Once Maharan Sajjansingh went for the ‘darshan’ of Sheetla Devi dressed in ‘bhagwa’ color clothes. To this play on Ashtami, ‘bhog’ is sent to the temple of the goddess from the royal palace.
The beliefs and rituals of Sheetla Mata Ashtami
In earlier times chickenpox was a deadly disease that was the cause of the death a large number of people. This disease spread wildly during March and April when the season changed. To appease Sheetla Mata who is considered to be a form of Ma Bhagwati Durga, she is worshipped on this occasion. The tradition is that fresh food is not cooked on this day. On the previous day, a lot of dishes such as sweet rice, pakode, kadi, halwa, and rabdi are cooked and are eaten cold on this day.
In Udaipur, in the morning women clad in gorgeous dresses with ‘puja thalis’ in their hands and singing merrily reach the Sheetla Mandir near Rang Niwas in groups. They worship the goddess reverently and offer her milk, curd and the eatables they have prepared the previous day. The ‘Katha’ of the Mata is related. The surroundings have a ‘mela’ like scene.
It is believed that worship of Sheetla Mata results in happy married life. She is also believed to be the goddess of cleanliness. She is also worshipped as Pathwari Devi, who shows people the right path, both literally and figuratively.
The reason behind eating cold meals at Sheetla Mata Ashtami
The eating of cold food on the occasion has scientific reason also. The festival falls in the transition period of two seasons – winter and summer. In winter, bacteria do not flourish in food and it remains fresh for a longer time whereas in summer it starts rotting soon. So, it is advisable to eat only fresh food after this festival.
For people in Mewar, Shivratri that was celebrated on Feb 13 has special importance as they and the rulers of Mewar have great reverence for Shaivism. All through the years, the Mewar & Maharanas have regarded Eklingnathji as the master and they just as ministers who carried out the Lord’s orders.
According to scriptures, Mahashivratri has a long history. During Sagar Manthan, churning of the ocean, by the gods and the demons, there emerged a pitcher full of poison that was so strong that it could destroy the whole universe. All of them were so frightened that for protection they went to Lord Shiv. the kind Lord agreed to drink the deadly poison and kept it in his throat that turned blue. Because of this miracle, Shiv is called Neelkanth. To commemorate this event, Mahashivratri is celebrated with great fervor.
On Mahashivratri, so important was the worship of Eklingnathji at Kailashpuri that the Maharana himself used to go there in a procession for Darshan. He offered five gold “Mohars” and rupees fifty to the Lord. After spending some time in the temple, he would go to the nearby places on the bank of Indra Sarovar for rest and listen to Shivratri Katha. At midnight he returned to the temple for worshiping and making offerings. As it was a day for fasting, he took only fruits. He would return to his place, after the mid-day puja. Sometimes, on this occasion, the Maharani would accompany him to Eklingnathji Mandir and present a dress to the Lord. The Maharana and his consort would attend two ‘pujas’, have darshan and make offerings. Mahashivratri was kind of a public festival on which the common man also observed fast and took part in worship.
A day before Mahashivratri, a grand procession was taken out that passed through the main roads of the city. It was led by elephants and horses. There were tableaux of the twelve Jyotirlinga’s on bullock carts. So also, those of Shiv Barat, Om Banna, Kallaji Bauji, Eklingnathji, Bharatmata, Chandra Shekar Azad and Subhash Chandra Bose. The Bahurupias and acrobatic feats were some of the other attractions.
On Shivratri, Feb 13th, a large number of devotees went to Eklingnathji and among them were those who walked all the way several ‘anusthan’, rituals, were performed in the famous Eklingnathji Mandir on Udaipur Nathdwara road. The special ‘puja’ was started at 10 pm that continued for 4 ‘praharas’ till 12:00. In each ‘prahara’ there were 13 ‘rudra-abhisheks’ that is 52 in all. In each ‘abhishek’, 9.25 kilo of milk, ghee, sugar, and honey was being special ‘Shringar’ was done. All through the period, the band of the royal palace was in attendance playing lilting tunes. Devotees were able to have ‘darshan’ till 11:30 am. Then the regular ‘trikal puja’ started. A special police force was deployed in the area for three days and special buses were run for the devotees.
Thronged by devotees on this auspicious occasion was the famous Mahakaleshwar Mandir on Rani Road, the biggest Shiv temple in the city. It was decked with flowers and special lights. With the recitation of Vedic ‘mantras’, the ‘sahestra abhishek’ was done by Brahmins. There was ‘mangala aarti’, ‘madhyan aarti’ and special ‘shringar puja’ and ‘mahaarti’ was performed in the evening. All through the four ‘paharas’ special rituals were performed.
Highly revered is the Mahakaleshwar Mandir as it is believed to be as old that of Eklingnathji temple at Kailashpuri. Another unique thing about it is that the idol is ‘Sayambhu’ that is it appeared on its own and was not brought from or made anywhere. So, it is considered to be highly auspicious. The Lord gives ‘darshan’ in different forms at different times of the day. In the morning during ‘mangla darshan’ the idol in its child form is white. It takes on the form of a teenager person with dark colour at noon and that of an old man in the evening. Devotees near Picchola lake worshipped the black stone idol of Shiv with three ‘netras’ at the Gadia Devra Mandir that often gets flooded during monsoon and people have darshan of the idol reflected in a mirror. The not so old idol of the Lord built of black stone in Badleshwar Mahadev Mandir located at Dhan Mandir near Delhi. It gets its name from the huge ‘Bad’ tree that stands in front of it. Also crowded was the ancient Shiv Mandir Gangodhara ‘talab’ near the cremation ground of the Rajputs in the Ahad area. Other Shiv Mandirs in the town such is Bheem Parmeshwar in Chandpole and Patelshwar also attracted a big number of devotees. At Hanuman Shiv Mandir in Ashok Nagar ‘prasad’ in form of ‘segari pakode’, kesar milk and fruits were distributed.
The Shiv Idol in the famous Ubeshwar Mahadev Mandir located behind Sajjangarh also attracted a large number of devotees. It is said that once when Maharana Pratap was worshipping there, the Mughal army reached the palace suddenly the ‘lingam’ burst, a huge flock of bees came out of it and drove the enemy away. Built by Mata Devkunwar, mother of Maharana Sangramsingh Second, Baijnath Mahadev Mandir in village Sisarama became the venue of worship by devotees of Shiv on Mahashivratri.
Nestled among hills on three sides, Amrakhji Mahadev Mandir at the foot of Chirwa valley and believed to be the venue of austerities performed by Ambreesh Rish attracted a big number of Shavites on Shivratri. So also, the ancient Vameshwar Mahadev temple at Paldi on Shivratri. So also, the ancient Vameshwar Mahadev temple at Paldi on Udaipur-Iswal route that had been a ‘math’ of the Lakuish sect and about 225-year-old Raj Rajeshwar Shivalaya situated near the Debari Dwar, the cast gateway to Udaipur had big crowd Mela was also held at Jargaji, a place full of scenic beauty among the lush green Aravali hills, about 90 km from Udaipur. It was an event that showcased the rich culture of Mewar and Marwar.
In Shri Kulum Ashram Segura Dhuni Shivratri was celebrated in a unique way. The five-day Shiv Parvati Vivah ceremonies started with the sending of Lagna Patrika when ladies from the bride’s side went to the groom’s house singing ‘mangalgeets’ and the pandit read it out without recitation of ‘mantras’.
In Gupteshwar Mahadev Mandir that is perched on a hilltop in Titardi area on Shivratri day flowers were shower from a helicopter in addition to the performance of other rituals and night long singing of ‘bhajans’.