It is believed that every year on the day following Holi festival, Gauri or Parvati (wife of Lord Shiva) who symbolizes Saubhagya (marital bliss) comes to her mother’s house for 16 days. During the time Parvati is away from her husband, all the married and unmarried women eat only one meal a day for the welfare, health and long life of their husbands and happy married life. All these days are the called for the fervour and devotion to Parvati and Shiva and this period of worship is called Gangaur. The festival comes to its climax on the last three days. The idol of Parvati is dressed up by unmarried women. On the last two days, a possession is taken out on the city streets marking the time to bid farewell to Parvati and hoping to come next year.
This year Jaipur seemed to be managed better on the two day Gangaur Festival (13th and 14th April) . Information regarding traffic deviations were given in advance and the crowd in and around the possession path was well controlled with tight security. The possession passed its usual route starting from Tripolia Bazaar then to Choti Chaupar, Gangauri Bazaar and winded up at the Talkatora stadium in the Walled City. The three popular bands in the city namely Sundar Band, Taj Band and Jea Band all performed songs continuously during the entire 90 mins of possession. The Jea Band surely deserves a special mention for their rendition of Madhuban Mein Radhika Nache Re.
However, the grandeur of the festival was somewhat missing due to the absence of elephants. Like the Jaipur Elephant Festival this year, the authorities had to bow down to the arguments of animal rights activists and NGO and only one elephant was part of the prossesion. The elephants were replaced by camels in the possession this year. Following are the photos of the celebrations this year.
Listen to the superb performance by Jea Band on the song Madhuban mein radhika nache re.