Our trip to Udaipur was made with the sole intent to experience the colors and flavours of the famous Mewar festival of Udaipur. Little did we know how enchanted we would be with the myriad colors and customs of this charming festival.
The festival is all about ushering in the new spring of the year and also co-incides with the Gangaur festival of Rajasthan. Gangaur is traditionally dedicated to Shiv and Parvati where in the women folk pray to the goddess for marital bliss. The women folk deck up in all their finery and carry similarly decked idols of goddess Parvati on their head. The entire street procession is an extremely colorful and gala affair.
With child like enthusiasm, we rushed to the Jagdish temple chowk where a crowd was already gathering to witness the procession which had started from the clock tower. It halted at the foot of the Jagdish temple where street performances were held by male dancers and young boys alike. Our attention was immediately caught by the dancers, swirling in their colorful tunics and moving to the beats of a dhol. They carried long wooden poles and were bedecked in flowing robes of a rich orange hue with gold work. We couldnt resist getting ourselves clicked with them.
Young boys were dressed up as gods like Shiva, Vishnu and Brahama and looked so adorable in their costumes.
Another gang of young boys were dressed as monkeys and performed with various props. The entire scene was straight out of a circus.
The crowd was unbelievable – hordes of locals mixed with the foreign tourists and others could be seen jostling for space. The entire procession travelled up and down narrow lanes to the Gangaur ghat and yet the crowd management was painless. Kudos to the Udaipur administration for all the preparations for the festival.
And what was even more surprising that despite so much crowd, not a single grope or lechy comment anywhere. Infact, people were helping us “squeeze” in from tight gaps to join them on a higher perch without a grumble. The locals were obliging all the shutterbugs by posing freely; most of the young girls were tickled pink by all the attention.
At the ghat, the idols were placed in line on a step near the water line. Then the women queued up and paid obeisance to the idols one by one. The setting sun sprinkled beautiful light over the water of the lake and made for a very pretty picture. There is a boat procession too on the lake which we missed out on seeing.
This gaiety continue for three days and culminates with an impressive display of fireworks over the lake Pichola. We were lucky enough to be dining on a charming roof top restaurant when the fireworks started. The display continued for quite sometime and was very colorful and festive. We tried to capture as many shots as we could of the firebursts.