R a j a s t h a n
F a i r s & F e s t i v a l s
All Over Rajasthan.
Consort of Lord Shiva
Time of the
March to April
The Gangaur Festival is the most important local
festival of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the state with great
fervour and devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri, the consort of Lord
Gan is a synonym for Shiva and Gaur, which
stands for Gauri or Parvati who symbolises 'saubhagya' (marital bliss).
Gauri is the embodiment of perfection and conjugal love, which is why the
unmarried women worship her for being blessed with good husbands, while
married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their spouses
and a happy married and long life of their life.
Rites and Ritual
The festival commences on the first day of Chaitra, the day following Holi
and continues for 18 days. For a newly-wedded girl, it is binding to
observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her
marriage. Even unmarried girls fast for the full period of 18 days and eat
only one meal a day.
Images and Paintings
Images of Isar and Gauri are made of clay for the festival. In some
families, permanent wooden images are painted afresh every year by reputed
painters called 'matherans' on the eve of the festival. A distinct
difference between the idols of Teej and Gangaur is that the idol will
have a canopy during the Teej Festival while the Gangaur idol would not
The ladies decorate their hands and feet by drawing
designs with 'mehandi' (myrtle paste). The figures drawn range from the
Sun, Moon and the stars to simple flowers or geometrical designs.
Ghudlias are earthen pots with numerous holes all around and a lamp lit
inside them. On the evening of the 7th day after Holi, unmarried girls go
around singing songs of 'ghudlia' carrying the pots with a burning lamp
inside, on their heads. On their way, they collect small presents of cash,
sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc. This continues for 10 days i.e. upto the
conclusion of the Gangaur Festival when the girls break their pots and
throw the debris into a well or a tank and enjoy a feast with the
This ritual is performed on the occasion of
Gangaur as a reminder of the triumph of Rao Santhal, ruler of Jodhpur,
over Mir Ghudley Khan, who had carried away 140 maidens who were
celebrating the festival of Gangaur, in 1548 AD. The burning lamp
signifies the valour and chivalry of the Maharaja.
The festival reaches its climax during the last three days. The images of
Gauri and Isar are dressed in new garments especially made for the
occasion. Unmarried girls and married women decorate the images and make
them look like living figures.
At an auspicious hour in the afternoon, a procession is taken out to a
garden, tank or a well with the images of Isar and Gauri, placed on the
heads of married women. Songs are sung about the departure of Gauri to her
husband's house. The procession comes back after offering water to the
image of Gauri, which faces backwards on the first two days. On the final
day, she faces in the same direction as Isar and the procession concludes
with the consignment of all the images in the waters of a tank or a well.
The women bid farewell to Gauri and turn their steps homewards with tears
in their eyes and the Gangaur Festival comes to an end.
GANGAUR FESTIVITIES AT
In Bikaner, married women and maidens fast during the festival. They
prepare sweet dishes, carry them to a well, make an offering thereof to
the goddess, and return home distributing these as 'prasad' on the way.
In Jaipur, a sweet dish called 'ghewar' is characteristic of the Gangaur
Festival. People buy 'ghewar' to eat and distribute it among their friends
and relatives. A procession, with the image of Gauri, forms at the Palace
Gate known as Tripolia and moves on the city streets passing Chaugan and
on to Talkatora. A vast gathering of the citizens of Jaipur and villagers
from nearby areas witnesses the procession.
The fair of 'lotias' is a distinctive feature of the Gangaur celebrations
in Jodhpur. Early in the morning, thousands of maidens, clad in their best
attire, singing melodious songs, bring water and 'durva' grass in silver
or brass pots to a place known as Girdikot. The fair is witnessed by a
large number of citizens who throng to the locality to be a part of the
In Nathdwara, the procession of Gangaur lasts 7 days. Each day, a
particular colour is chosen for the dress of the goddess. On the last day
of the festival, the image of Gauri is dressed in black with golden lace
work and women carrying the image too are dressed in a similar fashion.
This indicates the final departure of Gauri.
The images of Isar and Gauri are taken in a procession to the Pichhola
Lake, thereafter they go around the lake in a boat, for an hour and the
ceremony comes to an end with a display of fireworks on the banks
In Banswara, the procession is taken out from the Zenana Deorhi to
Singhvashi Chowk, both are areas within the palace compound. Traditional
religious ceremonies are performed here.
Gangaur among the Girasias
The Girasia tribe, who live in Sirohi-Mount Abu region, celebrate Gangaur
as a continuation of festivities from Holi to Akshaya Tritiya - lasting
for more than a month. They go from village to village singing, dancing
and extending invitations while carrying the images of Gangaur. The images
are brought back to the village from where they started. During the
festival, eligible boys and girls of the tribe select their life partners
and elope with them. This form of marriage has the sanction of the
Festival Tour Packages
Mewar Festival Rajasthan
14 Nights & 15 Days
Destination Covered :
Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Pushkar, Ajmer, Delhi
Camel Fair Pushkar
Duration : 20 Nights & 21 Days
Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar, Ranthambore, Kota,
Bundi, Chittaurgarh, Bijaipur, Udaipur, Khumbalgarh, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer,
Bikaner, Mandawa, Delhi
Desert Fair Jaisalmer
Duration :14 Nights & 15 Days
Destination Covered :
Delhi, Mandawa, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur,
Pushkar, Ajmer, Delhi