Hello Friends….Happy Navaratri to all of you. Being a Gujarati, I am always waiting for this festival. This year it is not possible for me to travel all long to my hometown and attend this festival…so I think why not to share my memories of Baroda during navaratri festival and let you all people know that why Gujarati people are mad after garba.”Ae halo re halo…”
I am from the city which is also known as the cultural capital of Gujarat. Yes I am from Vadodara. One can say that Vadodara is cultural heritage of Gujarat. It means that it’s all about festivals, food, languages and lovely people of the city. You all agree that there is one distinct matter of joy to celebrate festivals in our hometown but when it comes to Navaratri…people just remember Gujarat and people like me specifically Vadodara. I still remember how we friends start planning about the Navaratri before 2-3 months and start saving our money to buy dresses of our choice. We are that mad that we want to wear 9 different sets of clothes for all the 9 days with 9 different jewellry sets.
One can feel masti and enthusiasm in the winds of Vadodara during these nine days called Navaratri. You can see most of the Barodians dressed with traditional clothes on Garba grounds. All the Garba grounds are crowded. So many NRI’s and foreigners visit Vadodara especially on this festival. One of the famous garba ground is the united way of Baroda Garba round. This garba ground has the largest crowd during navaratri festival. It is world’s biggest garba. You can see in the video given below that around 45000 people are playing garba in a one ground. Isn’t it amazed you!!??
You can see all the girls dressed in beautiful traditional attire looks like a stunning Bollywood actresses. Ok boys…don’t feel bad…but I must say that boys and not behind here… they also look like heroes.
More places to visit during navaratri is Maa shakti Garba, Sandesh Garba, Arkee Garba, Mahesana Nagar garba, you even like to see the Sheri Garba….which is the tradition of the city and you can see these Sheri Garba in the older part of city like Raopura, Lal Court area, Amba Mata ni Pole, Khaderao Market Garba.
Out of hundreds of garba grounds, the ethnic garba organised at the fine arts ground of the MSU has always been a major attraction for the garba fans.
If you like to see the real beauty of Garba, you must visit the college of fine arts garba. The traditional garba of Fine Arts College is the major attraction for all the garba lovers. You won’t believe but they do garba on through instrumental music and no singing without speakers, one which your ears like to listen and on this music the garba played by student lives you speechless. These instruments include dholak, Nasik dhol, drumset, kansi-joda, ghugharis, conch (shankh), and temple bells. The entireshow goes on without a single microphone. The fusion of drum and kansi-joda tunes add It is like unbelievable thing to watch. Their clothes, their appearances are just amazing… I have no words to describe them. Majority of the Garbas sung at the fine arts faculty are belongs to the ancient songs. This ground has given many singers to Vadodara city including Atul Purohit, who is famous for United Way of Baroda Garba.
With the name of Garba people having perception to see elaborately dressed men and women do garba together. But now I am going to disclose about Harisiddhi garba. Vadodara has a special place where only male participants are allowed to play garba, they dressed in simple clothes and play garbas simply out of devotion to worship the goddess Ambaji. Men, who play garba here, tie the sacred chunri offered to Mataji around their necks. They play in front of a collection of lamps that represent the Goddess. If you want to visit the place, it is performed at Amba Mata temple near Mandvi.
The temple, which is believed to be over 2,000 years old, has been hosting traditional garbas ever since. Only males have been participating at this garba since time immemorial. Girls and boys below 15 years of age are also allowed to play garba at this venue.
During the nine-day festival, child participants are given milk with dry fruits after the garba every night. The temple authority also gifts the saris and chunris offered to Goddess Amba on the ninth day to the participants as ‘prasad’.
No one can stop a garba lover to do garba dance during these 9 days. We people literally dancing with our umbrella during navaratri and what a fun we had doing this!! You can see that people are dancing in rain with their umbrella in this video.
Moreover one can visit places like ahemedabad, Surat during Navaratri. The famous garba venus in Ahmadabad are Mirchi Rock N’ Dhol, Friends Garba, Shahibaug Club, Manechowk. You can visit pleace like Shankus Dandiya, TImes Club Navarati at Sarsana Exhibition center, Tapi Ramzat In Surat.
You don’t need to think about different shopping place for navaratri, there is only one place for both man and woman to do their shopping for navaratri… the famous Nava Bazar located in old city area.one can get the things at reasonable rates at this bazar but if u have good bargaining skills than it is even much better for you. You can also visit Mandvi and Mangal Bazar for shopping stuffs.
And yes how one can forget about the food masti after garba. Pani puri, Kachori, Surti locho, Pavbhaji and list is going on. I still remember that before some years we used to play garba all night without any restriction and I remember the 9th day because when we were finished with 9th day garba we had already started celebrating dusherra. In the early morning we ate fafda – jalebi and then after reaching home (around morning 7 am) we washed our vehicles and went to long sleep.
Garba lives in the heart of every Gujarati. A Gujarati person can do garba on any occasion, even you can play any song and they can show a garba dance on it….!!!
So friends I hope you like and really want to enjoy Navartri. May goddess Ambaji brings happiness, peace and prosperity in everyone’s life. Happy Navratri!!!