Rajasthan boosts not only in its history and heritage but its beauty reflects in its sparkling deserts, monuments and colorful festivals. On this note, we will take you to one of the most beautiful festivals of Rajasthan – GANGAUR, which truly embodies the spirit of diversity.
Gangaur is one of the most colorful & auspicious festivals of Rajasthan – celebrating spring, harvest & marital fidelity. While ‘Gana‘ is another name for Lord Shiva, ‘Gaur‘ symbolises Gauri aka Parvati, his wife, also an epitome of marital bliss. The 18-day festival is observed by both married & unmarried women where they fast, women dress up in red bandhani sarees and turban clad men worship the clay idols of Isar & Parvati.
When the bright skies have ushered in the festive season of spring, the remote town of Shahpura, located 65 km from the capital Jaipur, came culturally alive when the pious deities of Isar Maharaj & Gangaur Mata were regally taken around the streets and worshipped with vigour & devotion by both men and women. The Shahpura Gangaur Festival, hosted at Shahpura Haveli was organized by Rani Ratna Kumari Foundation in association with the Rajasthan Tourism Department.
On the day of Gangaur, the celebration began with the married & unmarried woman; all dressed in colorful Rajasthani attires worshipped idols of Isar Maharaj & Gangaur Mata at the Shahpura Haveli. It was a spectacle to see the idols being gloriously taken to Rawla Moti Mahal, where the great Gangaur Mahotsav was organised. The major attractions of Shahpura Gangaur Festival were the cultural performances of local artists & folk musicians of Rajasthan, several kinds of regional nritya (dances) like Mayur, Nritya, Masak Nritya, Behpang Nritya, magician performance, horse show, and other traditional games & competitions. Artists from various parts of the country namely Udaipur, Deeg, Jodhpur, Haryana, Punjab performed magnificently oozing talent with their euphonic tunes and twinkle toes. The royal family of Shahpura also participated in the festival. The Rani Ratna Kumari Foundation Trust, which works for the upliftment of the downtrodden sections of this small village of Shahpura also felicitated the local artisans in a ceremony.
Pic courtesy- Anudeep Mathur
The grand procession of Isar Maharaj & Gangaur Mata began with all its regal pomp and pageantry at 5 p.m. from Rawla Moti Mahal. Both men & women could be seen beaming in colors of Rajasthan. The procession passing through the vivid markets of the town, encompassed horses, camels, traditional folk dancers, brass bands from Punjab, lancers etc. along with the pious deities of Gangaur Mata ji and Bhagwan Isar ji Maharaj, finally converging at the newly restored Gopinath Temple. The town was seen teeming with both foreign nationals and domestic tourists rejoicing the festivities.
Pic courtesy: Anudeep Mathur
Celebrated with great pomp and show, Shahpura Gangaur Festival gave visitors and tourists a spectacular opportunity to observe Rajasthan’s magnificent culture from close quarters. We are already waiting for next year to witness such a splendid event in a all its royal glamour. Are you?