Everything you need to know about Marwar Festival of Jodhpur 2019
Rajasthan is a state known for its grand palaces and forts, rich history, colorful attires, warm and welcoming people and mouth watering cuisines. Like any other prominent Indian state, Rajasthan also has its unique collection of eclectic and colorful festivals all year round; one of the most striking of all of them is the Marwar Festival celebrated in the city of Jodhpur. It was initially known as ‘Maand’ and is a festival to celebrate the valor of Rajasthan’s warrior kings and princes.
When And Where Is Marwar Celebrated?
Marwar is the annual music and dance festival, which usually takes place either in the month of September or October as per the Gregorian calendar. This year it will be celebrated on 12th Oct to 13th Oct 2019. Like most Hindu festivals the date of the festival is appointed as per the Hindu calendar and falls in the holy month of Ashwin, which may coincide with either of the two aforementioned English months. The festival goes on for two days and Jodhpur being the capital of the Marwar state of the bygone days is the centre of action. The festival is celebrated during the full moon days of Sharad Poornima in remembrance of Rajput heroes of its glorious princely past.
How Marwar Is Celebrated?
The main attraction of the festival is the folk music and dance centered on the romantic lives of Rajasthan’s bygone rulers and kings. The folk singers and dancers native to the land adorn themselves in colorful traditional attires of Rajasthan and offer live entertainment in celebration. The popular palaces and first like the Umaid Bhawan, Mehrangarh Fort and Mandore are the main stages where folk performances are delivered.
Apart from the folk dance and music, which forms the main attractions of the festival there are other celebratory cultural events like the camel tattoo show and Polo matches. Colorful large turbans that seem customary to men’s attire in Rajasthan are also important cultural icons for the people of the state and an integral part of their rich history and livelihood, given the harsh climate. This custom is commemorated in the event with a dedicated turban tying competition, winners of which are awarded special prizes and revered as it is a dying art thriving with in the modern cosmopolitan.
Things to do and Top Attractions to Enjoy on Marwar
Tourists from all over the nation and around the globe find themselves at Jodhpur to attend this unique celebration of life, art, music and dance. The festival is also home to one of the largest fairs in Rajasthan that also goes on till the full span of the festival. So, if you are keen on some of the finest Rajasthani handicrafts, artifacts and souvenirs then this is the place to be. Rajasthani handicrafts and traditional dresses are known for vibrant colors and unique designs for both men and women.
If you have a knack for adventure then there is a unique activity that you can partake in – zip lining. Jodhpur is one of the few places in India that offers grounds for this exhilarating activity that will fulfill your hunger for speed and thrill. Each circuit takes around 90 minutes to be complete and offers the ride of a lifetime.
Yet another activity that few take part in, but comes in highly recommended from travel enthusiasts is to have a picnic at the large artificial lake Balsamand. It is a mesmerizing sight during the golden sunshine of the dusk and with the perfect company of loved ones can make for a memorable day.
Performances and Attires of the Festival
The festival being a celebration of folk art, music and dance gives utmost important to the colorful costumes of the performers. They are traditional costumes of Rajasthan that form an important element of every performance. Along with the unique costumes, there is a specific line of traditional performances that take place at the festival as it is customary. Here’s the most iconic ones:
1. Dandi Gair
This is a variation of the popular Gair dance that is the traditional folk dance of the native Bhil tribe of Rajasthan. Both men and women partake in this dance form and this forms one of the chief attractions of the festivals.
As discussed the costumes are also integral to these performances, the women are adorned in bright colored skirts that is paired with equally bright colored bloused and have dupattas (long veils), draped on their heads that flow towards the back. The men wear striking red tunics that flow out into flaring skirts, creating a unique effect during the circular dance moves. This is coupled with red traditional churidar pants and large saffron colored turbans.
Yet another attraction of the festival that shouldn’t be missed is the Kalbelia dance that is traditionally performed by the local snake charmer community of the region. The women dance while pretending to charmed by the snake charmer men and emulate snake-like movements celebrating their unique livelihood.
The ladies as customary are draped in lehenga cholis in black color base. But a number of striking embellishments on their attire add unique shimmer to them including those colored in bright red, yellow and green. There are other glittering embellishments that create a mirror effect, which decorated with traditional ‘gota patti’ work. The women also adorn themselves in a number of silver jewelry and enamel bangles. The men usually wear long shirts that go below the waist, coupled with traditional dhoti bottoms.
One of the most popular dance forms of Rajasthan also depicted on the silver screen and iconic to the celebration is the main attraction of the Marwar festival. The word itself describes what the dance form depicts; ghoomar means ‘to spin’. While seemingly simple being a dance form that comprises of stepping in repeated circular patterns, the main beauty of the dance is in the flair of the large and colorful skirts of the women that shimmer with light when light falls on the flared skirts embellished with shining gold and silver embroidery. The women also were colorful glass bangles that form an important part of the festival.
Some other popular dance forms include – Bhavai and Chari. Bhavai is more of gymnastic dance form where women balance large numbers of glassware and swords on top of their heads. Chari celebrates the life of women in the desert land of Rajasthan as they depict through dance their long search for drinking water in the arid land, balancing brass pots on their heads that shimmer with their dance moves.
Things to shop in Marwar Fair
The best place to sample some of Rajasthan’s finest handicrafts and traditional artifacts, the Marwar fair offers great grounds to choose unique gems and traditional jewelry, along with traditional colorful kurtas, sarees, suits and kurtis for women.
An iconic form of print is the colorful bandhini tie-dye dupattas and turbans that are available aplenty at the fair. Knick-knacks and artifacts for home décor and souvenirs are also available at the festival. These days with fusion fashion many modern renditions of traditional wear are available at the fair that form a major attraction for the fashion-forward youth.
The festival also forms the perfect ground to sample some of Rajasthan’s finest snacks and savories.
How To Reach
The two days of the festival witnesses the height of tourist activity in the city of Jodhpur, so it will be prudent to reach earlier to avoid the rush. The city of Jodhpur is well connected to major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Udaipur and Jaipur with direct flights available frequently.
By road one can reach Jodhpur by driving from any of the major Rajasthani cities like Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Udaipur and Ajmer. Direct buses plying to and from Jodhpur are also available from Delhi and Ahmadabad and Agra.
By rail Jodhpur falls under the North – Western Railways and is well-connected to all major cities. Direct trains are available from major cities like Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore etc. The popular royal carriage Palace on Wheels and Maharaja Express also runs along this direction and stops in the Blue city of Rajasthan.
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