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Gangaur: Know about one of the vibrant Festivals of Rajasthan and its significance in Hinduism

The most notable celebrations take place in Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Nathdwara

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Gangaur Festival. Wikimedia

by Enakshi Roy Chowdhury (Twitter)

Sept 14, 2016:Gana” is another synonym for Lord Shiva; “Gaur” is Parvati or Gauri who symbolizes ‘Saubhagya‘ or marital bliss. “Gangaur” signifies both Lord Shiva and Parvati together.

Gangaur is one of the most important festivals in Rajasthan and is celebrated by the women folk with great ardor. It is believed that Parvati returned to her parental home during Gangaur, to bless her friends with marital pleasure. On the last day, Parvati was given a grand farewell by her loved ones and Lord Shiva had come to escort her back home. This year, it was celebrated on April 10 in India.

Women of Rajasthan celebrate Gangaur with great devotion to Parvati or Gauri, the companion of Lord  Shiva. The married women worship Gauri for the longevity and good health of their husbands, and unmarried women worship the deity to be blessed with a good husband.

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This festival initiates from the first day of ‘Chaitra‘ or from the next day of Holi and continues for the next eighteen days. The festival begins with the custom of gathering ashes from the Holi fire and burying the seeds of barley in it. It is obligatory for newly wed women to observe this ritual for complete eighteen days and keep the fast to ensure her marriage does well. The unmarried women are also said to fast for the full period of eighteen days with just one meal a day.

Women celebrating Gangaur Festival in Rajasthan, Flickr
Women celebrating Gangaur Festival in Rajasthan, Flickr

The most notable celebrations take place in Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Nathdwara. Udaipur has the privilege of having a dedicated ghat named after Gangaur, known as the Gangori Ghat which is situated on the waterfronts of Lake Pichola. There is  a boat procession on the Lake, and women balancing brass pitchers on their heads add to the interest. The Gangaur of Jaipur is famous all over the world. A sweet named ‘Ghewar‘ is a characteristic of the Gangaur Festival. Processions with the image of Gauri commence from the Zanani-Dheodi of the City Palace. It passes through Tripolia Bazaar, Chhoti Chaupar, Gangauri Bazaar, Chaugan Stadium and finally converges near the Talkatora.

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Clay idols of Parvati and Shiva which are worshiped during the festival are made by the local craftsmen. The celebrations begin almost a night before the festival. On the day of the festival, a group of women dress up in their best clothes and hold a procession from the town to various villages carrying colorful idols of Gauri. People from nearby villages come over to take part in the procession.

On the last day of the festival, the idols of Isar and Gauri are dressed in new attires especially made for those occasions. In the afternoon, the idols are taken by the married women, carrying it on their heads in a procession to a johad, bawdi or well. The idols are then immersed in the wells or tanks of water, by the women, bidding farewell to Gauri as she makes her way back to her beloved Lord Shiva.

  • Manthra koliyer

    Rajasthan is a festive state by itself!

  • Antara

    Indeed a colorful and grand celebration, worshipping Shiva and Parvati.

  • Anubhuti Gupta

    Yet another instance showing how colorful and vibrant India’s culture really is.

Next Story

Rajasthan’s Leading Properties Go Green To Follow The Sustainable Route

Once a warrior fort, the management of the heritage property also engages the villagers in tasks like organic farming.

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Famous Forts in India
Amer fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan (Pic Credits : Elene Machaidze)

From plastic straws to copper vessels, handmade lamps and bangles, Rajasthan’s leading hospitality players here are establishing new trends by engaging local artisans to showcase traditional artistry to guests and serving them locally-inspired cuisine amid green surroundings.

“We have initiated the use of paper-made straws; there is no use of plastic bags anywhere in the hotel property and the local-inspired food is being served to guests to ensure the locals have a regular source of income,” Binny Sebastian, General Manager, Bishangarh’s Alila Fort heritage hotel, some 50 km from here, told IANS.

Once a warrior fort, the management of the heritage property also engages the villagers in tasks like organic farming.

organic farming
Once a warrior fort, the management of the heritage property also engages the villagers in tasks like organic farming.

“Our association with the locals is quite strong. Working with them, we take our guests to the local temple. They also visit the artisans’ houses and sip tea there while watching them make pottery and weave carpet. In this way, we ensure that locals get a decent livelihood,” Sebastian added.

“We have started getting regular income since this property came up a year back. We have been showing our art to the guests here which gives us satisfaction as well as an income,” said Nizamuddin, a bangle maker.

Ashok S. Rathore, General Manager of the Rambagh Palace, said: “We have curtailed the use of plastic. There are no plastic straws being used on the property. We serve in glass bottles instead of plastic water bottles.”

This property is also adopting sustainable routes to ensure that the locals get decent income opportunities for their sustenance.

Famous forts in India
Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan (Wikimedia Commons)

“Our interiors are reminiscent of handmade interiors. Our suites are adorned with Thikri art, a rare gold-dipped miniature artwork of Rajasthan. But skilled artists are disappearing and it comes with a high cost of production,” said Rathore.

Also Read: Stop “Stereotyping” Northeast, States Hold Strong Cultural Harmony

Fairmont Jaipur has incorporated the fine craftsmanship and beauty of the local cultural heritage and artisans of Jaipur. The ceilings are hand-painted by local artisans with complex motifs.

“We associate with the local artisans to showcase their talent at the hotel in the form of the evening entertainment, the welcome experience and celebrate the local heritage of Rajasthan,” said Srijan Vadhera, General Manager, Fairmont Jaipur. (IANS)