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.

Udaipur- Then, Now and Further

On this day, 18 April, The Foundation Day of Udaipur- let us know about our beautiful city of lakes. Udaipur- Then, Now and Further!

Then-

We all know that Maharana Udai Singh II founded Udaipur in 1553 but do you know how? In the 16th century, Maharana Udai Singh II wanted to move his capital from Chittaurgarh due to ongoing attacks of Mughal. One day while hunting in the foothills of the Aravali Range, Udai Singh Ji came upon a monk who blessed him to build a palace at a spot which is now Pichola. He rejected the idea of building it at Ayad as it was the flood-prone area at that time. Further, to protect Udaipur from the enemies he built a six-kilometer-long wall with main gates known as Surajpole, Chandpole, Udiapole, Hathipole, Ambapole, Brahmpole and so on. The area within the wall is still known as the old city. Udaipur remained safe afterward as it was a mountainous region and it was difficult for the Mughals to carry their heavy weapons and horses up there.

Udaipur- Then, Now and Further
Source: Wikipedia

Our ancestors put in great mind in the making of Udaipur. The majestic beauty and safety of the city were all in their brains back then. There’s a reason why there are so many man-made lakes in Udaipur. In ancient times, people of Udaipur had no source of water apart from rainwater. To solve this problem man-made lakes were formed which made a lake system with seven lakes. All these lakes were interconnected to each other so that in case of heavy rainfall, the water can travel further and doesn’t drown the city. The lake system comprises of Lakes Pichola, Rang Sagar, Swaroop Sagar, Fateh Sagar, Badi, Madar and Udai Sagar. All the lakes of Udaipur form a chain in the saucer-shaped Udaipur valley.

Timeline of Udaipur

1553 – Founded by Udai Singh II and Ruled by Sisodia clan of Rajput for next 265 years.

1678 – Fateh Sagar Lake built by Maharana Jai Singh which was improvised later by Maharana Fateh Singh.

1818 – Became the British princely states under British rule.

1884 – Ruled by 73rd Rana when Udaipur saw major development with railway, college, schools, hospitals, and dispensaries all established.

1947 – After independence, the Maharaja of Udaipur granted the place to the government of India. Mewar was merged into the state of Rajasthan.

Udaipur- Then, Now and Further
Photographer: Lala Deen Dayal
Udaipur- Then, Now and Further
Source: Udaipurbeats.com

Now –

After Independence, Udaipur is constantly developing and now has become the dream destination of every tourist in the world. Udaipur, also known as ‘The City of Lakes’ or ‘Kashmir of Rajasthan’ is the romance fantasy for all the couples out there. The city has also been excelling in its massive historic forts and palaces, museums, galleries, natural locations and gardens, architectural temples, as well as traditional fairs, festivals, and structures.

Udaipur- Then, Now and Further
Photographer: Lala Deen Dayal
Udaipur- Then, Now and Further
Source: Udaipurbeats.com

 

And further 

After the smart city mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 June 2015, there has been latest changes and developments that all the Udaipurites can see:

  • New public parking constructed at various places like townhall, Nagar Nigam parking near Gulab Bagh, etc.
  • Many tourist spots have been renovated lately. If you have noticed Fatehsagar has been renovated completely in last few years.
  • Place similar to Fatehsagar is been constructed around Daiji footbridge near gangaur ghat where you can enjoy your evenings by simply walking and pleasuring your eyes with the amazing view.
  • Udaipur is also developing itself with the comforting hospitality that it provides. The city is filled with all kind of hotels and places where a tourist can find peace and enjoy his journey.

Now that you know all about Udaipur, go and please your body and soul in the charm of the city.

Should Udaipur have a Film City?

In the year 2010, Mukesh Madhwani theorized the idea of establishing a Film City in Udaipur. Since then he has been working actively to turn his dream into reality. Recently, his concept has taken a new turn in its journey.

Eminent personalities of the state have come up supporting this idea as it has several benefits. Home Minister, Gulab Chand Kataria has stated that a detailed plan about the project should be made and requirements in terms of finance and land must be proposed through the PPP (Public-private partnership) Mode.  Similarly, Udaipur’s M.P., Arjun Lal Meena has said that the project has huge prospects in Lake City.

Higher Education Minister, Kiran Maheshwari U.D.H. Minister, Shrichand Kriplani Tourism Minister, Krishnendra Kaur Deepa Local M.L.A.’S Divisional Commissioner, Bhawani Singh Detha Shriji, Arvind Singh Ji City Mayor, Chandra Singh Kothari U.I.T. Chairman, Ravindra Shrimali Deputy Director, Tourism Department, Udaipur, Sumita Saroj and many others have supported the idea of establishing a Film City in Udaipur.

As per Mukesh, Lake city has been a venue for big events related to weddings, parties of big industrialists, political leaders, film actors etc. So, it can easily support investment from different quarters.

He also adds, that because of its unmatched natural ambiance, historical buildings and distinct culture it is already a favorite spot for film shooting. During the last 40 years over 500 Bollywood, Hollywood, South Indian and Rajasthani films and numerous serials and ads have been shot here.

mukesh madhwani

Keeping in mind the pros like having good neighboring states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh with a decent connectivity with roads, rails, and airways add to the benefits. Also, not forgetting the scenic beauty for which the city is known for, Udaipur is indeed the first choice of tourists as well as filmmakers.

Apart from these, building a Film City shall also bring employment opportunities, boost tourism and open new gates to world-level exposure.

“One can never do enough for Udaipur,” says Mukesh Madhwani upon asking why he wants to set up a Film City in Udaipur.

Truly, one can never settle with such a zeal to serve!

If a Film City opens in Udaipur, would it be a feather in the city’s cap? What are your thoughts about the opening of a Film City in Udaipur? Tell us in the comments below!

Happy Birthday Udaipur!! Celebrating Heritage and Rising

“ Aravali Ki Wadiyon Mein Janma, Sabhyata Ke Rango Mein Saja,

Itihaas Ke Panno Mein Lipta, Maharajao Ke Panth Mein Bandhaa,

Mewar Ki Rajdhani, Sundarta Se Sanjoya.

Sheher Kuch Anokha Sa, Pyaar Se Hai Piroya.”

udaipur is not a desert
Photo by: Tim Makins

Our beautiful Wonderland, Udaipur has turned 463 Years old. And, no wonder it’s the time of happiness and celebration for every native as our city has not only been through a lot of phases in all these years but it has also gained a lot of popularity in many sense.

When it comes to culture, heritage, traditions, and modernization, Udaipur has always shown its significance amongst everyone. Justifying its name meaning ‘Rise’, our city has always been open for all type of revolution.

And, on this special occasion, we would like to share a glimpse of information that probably everyone should know when it’s about Lake City:

History Pick-up

Founded in 1559, by Maharana Udai Singh II, Udaipur was established as the new capital of the Mewar Kingdom. And, behind the settlement of Udaipur, it was a sudden meet of Maharana Udai Singh with a hermit while hunting in the foothills of the Aravali Range. Their hermit blessed him and guided him to build a palace on the spot, assuring him it would be protected. Then, Udai Singh II consequently acknowledged a residence on the site. In 1567, Mughal emperor Akbar laid siege to the venerated fort of Chittor. At that time, to protect Udaipur from external attacks, Maharana Udai Singh built a six-kilometer long city wall, with seven gates, namely Surajpole, Udiapole, Chandpole, Hathipole, and so on. In today’s time, the area within these walls is known as the old city or walled city. And, being in the mountainous region, Udaipur always remained safe from Mughal influence despite extreme pressure.

Regarding other historical aspects, many other changes were seen before independence as well. As when it’s a catch of tourism, many foreign traders and personalities like Edward, Prince of Wales (1921), Lord Minto, Viceroy of India (1909), and several others visited Udaipur.

Udaipur’s Famous Catches

Known for its scenic locations, Udaipur is amongst the popular travel destinations to witness growing tourism each and every day. Astounding people through its cityscapes, Udaipur houses many beautiful places to look for like Lakes (Fateh Sagar, Udai Sagar, Swaroop Sagar, etc.), Palaces (City Palace, Monsoon Palace, etc.), Temples (Jagdish Mandir, Sahastra Bahu Temple, Eklingji, etc.), and much more.

In part of an economy, our city has a diversified base that includes Handicrafts Markets, Tourism, Metal & mineral industries, Agriculture and Retail sources.

In the scene of culture, our city has kept a balance between preserving the rituals and traditions of the past while influencing modern lifestyle and advancements. Dance forms like Kalbelia, Ghoomar, Kachchhi Godi, Bhavai, etc. are still performed in tribal communities.

And, when it comes to art, miniature paintings are amongst the most famous developed here. To display the forms of Rajasthani tradition, some local festivals like Gangaur, Hariyali Amavasya, Jagannath Rath Yatra, etc. are celebrated enthusiastically.

And, when it’s a part of entertainment and events, Udaipur is a city that is often recognised by many Indian and Foreign nationals for Royal Destination Weddings, Movie Shoots, Lake Festival, World Music Festival, etc.

Apart from all, it also justifies education by serving IIMU (Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur), CTAE (College of Technology and Engineering), and several other colleges and private universities.

Lastly, we can say, our Udaipur is a diamond, and we are proud of our city that has been an incredible land in its own.

Cheers to our mains!! Cheers to all of us…. WE LOVE UDAIPUR 🙂