Gangaur Festival, Jaipur
festival devoted to Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. Ishar & Gangaur
are the divine male and female ho embody marital love. Dedicated to goddess Gauri
(Parvati), the festival commences on Holi/ Young girls pray for rooms of their
choice while married women seek a long life for their husbands. rhe ladies decorate
their hands and feet )y drawing designs with Mehendi (Myrtle Jaste).
the evening of the 7th day after -ioli, unmarried girls go around singing songs
of ghudlia (earthern pots with numerous holes all around with a lamp lit aside)
carrying the pots on their hands. )n their way they collect small presents ,f
cash, sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc. The women do these while chanting hymns
to the Goddess.
Festivities continue for 18 days culminating with the arrival
of Lord Shiva to escort his bride home. A grand process Ion with the ideal of
Gauri in beautifully decorated gold and silver a palanquin caparisoned elephants,
camels, horses, dances, drummers & joyous children, goes through the city
streets. In Jaipur procession forms at the Palace Gate known as Tripolia and moves
on the city streets on to Talkatora.
A vast gathering of jaipurites &
villagers from nearby areas witness the procession. A sweet dish called Ghewar
characteristic of the Gangaur festival is distributed among friends & relatives.
In Jodhpur early in the morning thousands of maidens, clad in their best attire,
singing melodious songs, bring water and durba grass in silver or brass pots to
a place known as Girdikot.
In Udaipur the images of Isar & Gauri are
taken in a procession to the Pichola lake there after in a boat for an hour they
go around the lake and the ceremony comes to an end with a display of fireworks
on the banks. The Girasia tribe eligible boys & girls in Sirohi, Mount Abu
region during Gangaur festival select their life partners & elope with them.
This form of marriage has the sanction of the community.