Gangaur is one of the most important festivals of Rajasthan. This is also celebrated in many parts of Gujarat, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh. As expected, any festival in Rajasthan is bright and colorful, but this festival celebrated by the beautiful and traditionally attired Rajasthani women to worship the Goddess Gowri is a huge cultural treat.
Origin Of Gangaur
The Gangaur Festival is a celebration of the togetherness of the Godly couple Shiva and Gowri, as also the harvest season. The name Gangaur is a combination of Gana for Shiva and Gowri or Parvathi, signifying worship of both. This festival is carried on from centuries as per the Hindu traditions of the region. It is celebrated in all parts of the state with slight variations as per the local customs.
As per Gangaur Story or Gangaur Katha, Goddess Parvathi is the embodiment of devotion, and by her long penance and devotion, she was able to get Lord Shiva to marry her. During Gangaur, she goes to her parents' home to seek blessings and spend happy times with her parents, relatives, and friends. On the last day of the stay, she is fully dressed up and given a grand farewell to go back to her husband. It is in this context that the Gowri Pooja is celebrated in this region.
This is also an auspicious time to fix marriages. This is practiced even in the tribal areas when the girls choose their partners.
Celebration of Gangaur
This auspicious festival is celebrated on the second day from Holy on Chaitra Masa, Shukla PakshaTritiya day, as per the Hindu Almanac and is carried on for 16 days. The first day is a day of fasting, which is religiously observed by the women. All women, both unmarried and married, perform the Pooja. This is done for the conjugal happiness and also to seek the blessings of the Gods. The married women seek blessings for their husbands' health and welfare, and the unmarried women do the Pooja seeking blessings for getting suitable husbands.
The idols of Goddess Parvathi are normally made of clay. Some might use wooden images freshly painted, or a few may use just photos of the Goddess for the Pooja. Women start their preparations the previous night by applying Henna on their hands. They get up early in the morning of the festival, take an oil bath, get dressed in grand new silk clothes, and get ready for the Pooja. All the pooja items like flowers, turmeric, kumkum, fruits, coconuts, camphor, incense sticks, and others are kept ready. At the final stage of the Pooja, special festival delicacies which are favorite dishes of the Goddess are offered as Nivedyam and then taken as Prasadam.
Gangaur festival is notable for its celebrations in the cities of Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Nathdwara, and Bikaner.
Gangaur Ghat is the main ghat to celebrate this festival on the banks of Lake Pichola in Udaipur. This is a beautiful place to visit for tourists who come to this city to enjoy the festivities' cultural beauty. This place is brimming with locals and tourists during this festival season. Also, the Sunrise and sunset are divine sights worth watching from the ghat. During the last day of Gangaur, the city's attractively dressed women go in a procession with the decorated idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi for immersion in the Lake Pichola. The whole city is delightfully decorated and lighted up during this season. It also coincides with the Mewar festival in this city.
Highlights of the Festival
During the 16 day long festivities of the Gangaur Teej, several cultural programs are organized in all the cities and neighborhoods. Goddess Parvathi is also known as the Teej Matha in many parts of Rajasthan and elsewhere. Women visit each other, exchange sweet delicacies and gifts. It is a gala atmosphere during which women get dressed up with colorful clothes. The Newlyweds take up half-day fasting during this period, eating only one meal a day to fulfill their wishes from the Goddess Parvathi.
On the seventh day, young unmarried girls sing songs, carry earthen pots on their heads with a lamp lighted. They are presented with lovely gifts from their parents and elders and blessed.
On the last-but-day, married women are given gifts by their parents and brothers before returning to their husbands' homes. This is known as Sinjara, and the presents may include jewelry, clothes, and other items to the daughter and her family.
The last day of the festival sees the culmination of the long period of celebrations. The Gods' idols are taken in a procession to a public place, a lake, or well for Visarjan or immersion of the idols. Some people might do it in their homes if they have some facility for immersion.
The tourists can enjoy the festival atmosphere that includes great shopping and gastronomic experience. Numerous delicacies, including the famous Rajasthani sweets, will be available in all places. Ghevar is one of the most famous sweets in Rajasthan and is a special delicacy during this festival. The friendly people here make your stay enjoyable.
Rajasthan during the Gangaur festivities is a must-visit for those looking for a trip to experience the ancient Indian culture and festivities in different regions. You can trust redBus to take care of all your essential needs related to travel bookings, hotel bookings, and internal commute from your place of residence. You can download the redBus app or visit redBus, India website to book tickets and hotel accommodation.