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Gangaur Festival

Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Significance : Features Elephant Polo and Elephant Dance.

Time of Celebration : For eighteen days during Chaitra (according to the Hindu calendar, which usually falls in March or April.

Gangaur is one of the most important local festival in Rajasthan. In some form or the other it is celebrated all over Rajasthan. “gan” is a synonym for Lord Shiva and “gauri” or “gaur” stands for goddess parvati, the heavenly consort of lord Shiva. Gangaur celebrates the union of the two and is a symbol of conjugal and marital happiness.

Gangaur is celebrated in the month of chaitra (March-April), the first month of the Hindu calendar. This month marks the end of winter and the onset of spring.

Women dressed in colourful clothes sit on the edge of teh lake in Udaipur waiting for dance procession.This festival is dedicated to Gauri, a manifestation of Goddess Parvati; consort of Lord Shiva. Gangaur Festival is one of the most important local festival of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the state with great fervour. Girls and married women throughout Rajasthan celebrate the festival. The images of Gauri are ornamented and offerings are made.This festival is celebrated especially by women, who worship clay idols of “Gan” & “Gauri” in their houses. These idols are worshiped by unmarried girls who seek the blessings of Gan and Gauri for a good husband, while the married women pray for the good health and long life of their husbands.

This worship which starts form the first day of the chaitra month culminates on the 18th day into Gangaur festival with a great religious fervor. On the eve of Gangaur festival women decorate their polms and fingers with henna. The idols of Gan and Gauri are immersed in pond or in a near by lake on the last day of the festival.

A traditional procession of Gangaur commerces form the Zanani- Deodhi of the City Palace, passing through Tripolia Bazair, Chhoti Chaupar, Gangauri Bazar, Chaugan stadium and finally converges near the Talkatora. The procession is headed by a colorful pageantry of elephants, old palanquins, chariots, bullock carts and performance folk artists.