For many Dhinga Gavar is nothing more than a folk deity. This is said to be a humorous take on Gangaur who is Shiva’s better half. Dhinga Gavar is called the festival of Gangaur. It begins on the day after the famous spring festival of Holi. Holi always falls on a full moon day in the Phagun month according to the Hindu calendar. A number of women including new brides, married women as well as unmarried women worship Gangaur. These women dress in a customary Rajasthani costume and they then worship the wooden or clay statues of Shiva or Isar and Gangaur or Parvati. They pray to them for marital bliss. They believe that the love shared between Shiva and Parvati is something that all couples should be blessed with.
The festival of Dhinga Gavar brings out the fun side in the relationship and women believe it helps them get closer to their partner and also gives them an equal status in the relationship.
Celebration Of Dhinga Gavar
The festival of Dhinga Gavar lasts for an amazing sixteen days starting from the first day of the new moon in the Phagun month right till the third day of no moon that falls in the Chaitra month. This festival also highlights the tithi shortfall that is prevalent in the lunar calendar. On the final day of the festival, large images of Shiva that are well decorated are taken out in a procession through the lanes and markets of the city. These streets are lined up by devotees praying to these images. You will also see the images of Ganaur without Isar and this is known as Dhinga Gavar. These will be seen at eleven critical streets within the walls of the Jodhpur fort. This image is worshipped by all women whether they are widows, married or unmarried.
Dhinga Gavar Function
The Dhinga Gavar function begins only once the sun has set and all the images and statues of Dhinga Gavar are set across the 11 important streets in Old Jodhpur. Each of the Dhinga Gavar statues is decorated with traditional Rajasthani costume and gold ornaments between 5 kilos and 30 kilos. The offerings given to Dhinga Gavar are made of powdered dry fruits and cannabis and they are known as moi.
All the women from the Pushkarna Brahmin dress in a fancy costume and try to look like Hindu Gods and Goddesses or anything else like saints, tribal’s and even dacoits. Then women even carry a stick along with them and they roam the streets of Jodhpur and protect all the statues of Dhinga Gavar from any miscreants. Any man that tries to come near these women will get hit by a stick and will also be married off to a girl. This stick is also known as baint in the Hindi language and therefore this festival is also called Baintmar Teej. Through this festival, equal rights of men and women are celebrated. This festival also allows widows to participate.
Featured Photo: La déesse Gangaur (musée du Fort Meherangarh, Jodhpur) by dalbera under CC BY 2.0