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Gangaur Procession in Jodhpur

Gangaur procession in the streets of Jodhpur

Highlights are where and when you do not expect them, aren’t they? I honestly had never heard of Gangaur, so when we stumbled upon a group of Indian ladies, young and old, in traditional dresses, in the streets of Jodhpur, we had no idea what it was all about… Well, the explanations given over the hours that followed created more confusion than anything else… We somehow understood that they took care of idols praying for a “good husband” (whatever that means…).

We started following the procession to take a few pictures, were invited to join the group (I was, with the 2 drummers, the only man in the group, and we were the only foreigners by and large) not only in the streets but also in a ceremony hall where we were catered for.

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Only when we looked for further information did we find out what Gangaur actually was and what we had just witnessed. Let’s have a quick look at Wikipedia (I simplified):

Gangaur is one of the most important festivals in Rajasthan. “Gan” is a synonym for Shiva & “Gaur” stands for Goddess Parvati, his wife. Gangaur celebrates the union of the two and is a symbol of conjugal & marital happiness. Gangaur is celebrated in the month of Chaitra (March-April), the first month of the Hindu calendar (as the Holi Festival of colors, by the way). This month marks the end of winter & the onset of spring.

This festival is celebrated by women, who worship clay idols of “Gan” & “Gauri” in their houses (and are taken for processions on the streets). These idols are worshipped by unmarried girls who seek the blessings of Gan & Gauri for a good husband, while the married women pray for the good health and long life of theirs”.

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