Dhinga Gavar - A unique festival of Jodhpur

Jodhpur, the largest city of Marwar area of Rajasthan is popular for its many unique festivals and traditions other than tourist places. Dhinga Gavar festival is unique in the sense that women have the most prominent role to play in it and unlike most of the festivals, it begins post midnight and continues till the sunrise.

Rajasthan is a place where most of the days of the year are celebrated in one form or other. There are so many festivals and traditions observed during the year that it is tough to keep an account of them. Marwar area especially Jodhpur has its own unique set of festivals and traditions that can hook anybody. After the end of Chaitra Navratras (as per Hindu calender), a one of its kind festival is celebrated in the walled city of Jodhpur. This festival is completely women oriented and men have no role to play in it except for getting beaten up by the sticks if they come in the ladies' way. This festival, which is known as Dhinga Gavar, is celebrated exclusively in Suncity. The festival is celebrated after midnight only and huge crowd & clamor is witnessed in the narrow lanes inside city. Large groups of ladies in different get-ups and makeup wander from one place to another, seeking blessings from the statues of Gavar. It is celebrated with loads of zing and enthusiasm by the females of the Suncity.

Dhinga Gavar is one of the most prominent examples of a festival entirely dedicated to women empowerment. It may be described as an extension of traditional Gangaur festival. Images made out of metals and decorated with the ornaments are placed in different areas of the walled city. The ladies (called Tijania in the local dialect) come to seek the blessings of these images in different attires during midnight. The colourful attires and makeup worn by the females is one of the biggest attractions of this festival .The ladies impersonate different characters - from dacoit to Inspector General of police. The popular roles are of king and queen, Krishna-Rukmini, Krishna-Kans, Gavar-Ishar, Ram-Laxman-Sita etc. For this Tijania do all sorts of preparations & even approach makeup men for their desired getup. Many ladies book makeup men in advance. Most of the time they go for such a disguise that even their family members find it difficult to recognize them. Most of the ladies opt for the attire of deities and mythological characters like Goddess Durga, Kali, Radha, Arjun, and Shivaji as well as Jat-Jatni. The Gavars are placed in the inner areas of the city like Sunaron Ka Baas, Sunaron ki Ghati, Hatadion Ka Chowk, Pura Mohalla, Kabootaron Ka Chowk, Jalap Mohalla, Aada Bajar, Hathi Chowk, Hanuman Chowk, Pungalpara etc to name a few.

It is believed that any bachelor getting beaten up by the sticks of Tijania gets married soon. That is why men also enjoy this festival in an indirect way. Many ladies, who do not prefer getting into disguises, perform Gavar Poojan. The event is so much popular among ladies that many have been participating in this event since many years and few have been doing so for past few decades.


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