Tag Archives: Holi

Gangaur

The Idol

Gangaur is one of the most important festivals of Rajasthan.The word, Gangaur, is derived from joining the two words ‘Gan’ meaning Lord Shiva and’Gauri’ meaning Goddess Parvati, his consort.

As per lore, it is believed that Gangaur is celebrated ever since  Goddess Parvati returned to her father’s home first time after her marriage to Lord Shiv &  her friends welcomed her home.

Gangaur Procession Preparations

This is a festival of the unmarried girls and  married women where the girls celebrate the festival to gain a worthy husband & wish for his long life & the  married women wish for a  long life for their  husbands.
The rituals for this festival start on the day of the Holi dahan ( day before the Holi, the festival of colors). When ashes are collected from the Holi Fire to plant seeds of wheat and barley in it.
During the next sixteen days 16  Goddesses are worshiped. And on the 3rd day of Navratra ( new year according the Indian Vikram samvat Calendar) , Gangaur festival is held. When the Idol of Gauri  is taken out in a procession accompanied by horses, elephants, camel carts and brass bands playing maudlin tunes.It is said, in Jaipur, in olden times the idol of Gauri was accompanied with the idol of her husband,Isar. But one year ruler of Kishangarh state took it away with him forcefully & since then only the idol of Gauri is taken out in procession.

Gangaur Procession Preparations

What festival worth its name does not have a sweet associated with it? The traditional sweet of this festival is ‘Ghevar‘. The sweet shops of Jaipur make different varieties of ‘Ghevar’ and the people of Jaipur consume them in large quantities.

For more than 257 years,  Helakhyal sangeet dangal is held on this occasion in Lalsot near Dausa. This is when the performing  parties educated & inform the public about the societal mores  & also inform the  administration about their displeasure with current policies.

Gangaur Procession Preparations

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Basant

The 6 seasons of the Indian year are as follows:

Grisham- Summer-April & May are Dry & Hot.

Varsha- Monsoon- June & July are Wet and Humid.The landscape around Jaipur turns  green.

Sharad August & September are less hot

Hemant- October & November are the start of winter

Shishir – December & January are Cold. Winter has set in.

Basant-Spring – February & March Not too hot not & too cold.

A Mustard Field in Full Bloom

Basant officially starts after Basant Panchmi or Rishi Panchmi ( 5th day of the Magh month), the day  when  goddess Saraswati was born and  is worshiped with  Lord Sri Krsihna and Kamdev and his wife Rati .Goddess Saraswati is the goddess  of  knowledge, art  & music. The goddess is dressed in white and her vahan are white swan and peacock. In her hands She holds a veeana, a book and a string of beads.She is worshipped in three roops, Maha Sarawati,Maha lakshmi and Maha kali.These are the three roops worshiped in the caves of  Vaishno Devi. People dress up in yellow to worship her and offer her yellow sweets and flowers and lotus.  It is the most auspicious day  to get married also. And people do so too in large numbers.

Basant  is the king of all  seasons. This is when nature rejuvenates itself. Taking a cue from nature hearts of all  men and women sing the joyous songs of life. Suffice it to say here that great  writers and poets in India and abroad have written panegyric after panegyric in praise of this season, in particular. Bihari and Padmakar,two poets from Jaipur, writing in Brijbhasa, have outdone themselves in describing basant.

On this day the idols in the Govind Dev Ji’s Temple wear yellow also.

Holi is its  main festival.

It was Rishi Panchmi when Lord Sri Ram graced  Shabri mata’s hut with his presence. He was on his way to find Goddess Sita.

In 1192 A.D. on Basant Panchami Prithviraj Chauhan and poet Chandbardai stabbed each other to death after a blind  Prithviraj Chauhan had killed Mohammed Gahori  in his own citadel.

In 1872 on Basant Panchami Guru Ram Singh Kuka was  apprehended by the British Forces and  sent to Burma to be incarcerated till death in 1885  in the Mandalay Prison.

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Lalsot-Some Interesting Facts

In this small town near Dausa, about 90 km from Jaipur- Shunga relics related to the Buddhist faith have been found. ASI has cordoned off, behind barbed wire, five feet high pillars-having square base and octagonal center.These pillars were found outside the present local Dak Bungalow.

For more than 257 years now,every year on the second day of Gangaur, Hella Khayal Sangeet Dangals are held in Lalsot. Every year thousands attend the event.Relatives of the villagers come from all over India. Consequently there is a Deepawali like atmosphere during these two days.

Presently about six groups are performing the art through which they inform the public about current affairs and issues, put forth their problems to government officers ,or comment on social, political and economic issues.(In old days, religious and folk themes were popular with the public.)The program is performed according to the Turra Kalangi Khayal singing of Karauli and Sawaimadhopur area.

Every year after Holi ( The festival of Colors),Gangaur is celebrated with great fanfare in praise of the Goddess Gauri.She is the goddess of purity and of unmarried girls.She is generally considered to be the unmarried Parvati who underwent great penance to attain the glory of marrying Shiva.