Friday, October 06, 2017
One of India’s longest dance festival, Navratri, is celebrated with a lot of zeal and ceremony across the country. Spread over nine nights, Navratri sees devotees worship nine different forms of Durga, with the tenth day culminating into Dussehra or Vijayadashami. While the entire country celebrates this festival with much gusto, it is Gujarat that tops the list when it comes to the most majestic celebrations. From garba to dandiya nights with colourful outfits and groovy beats, the state is famous for putting up a truly compelling show.
One of the most popular stories behind the festival says that the demon Mahishasur was granted a boon by the God of Fire - Agni, which meant he couldn’t be destroyed by any weapon with a masculine name. As the demon spread terror and destruction, the gods sought help from Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva suggested the incantation of Shakti – the Goddess of Power. The gods prayed and thus a shine emitted from Shiva’s heart. With the bodies of each god, Shakti was born. She fought for nine days to kill Mahishasur, and on the tenth day, finally beheaded him. That is how the nine nights came to be known as Navratri and the tenth day as Vijaya Dashami.
In Vadodara, a popular form of dance called Garba is practised during the festival, wherein people form a circle and dance in synchrony, often clapping and twirling around. Popular artists are often invited to perform live music for the dance at various venues throughout the city. Dandiya is also another popular dance form for the festival, which involves people dancing in a circular motion with dandiya sticks. It is not uncommon to see Bollywood celebrities visiting Garba events in Vadodara, adding more life to an already vibrant celebration.
Navratri attracts many tourists to Vadodara from across the world. If you’re planning a vacation during Navaratri, you have to experience some of the best Dandiya nights in Vadodara. You could easily find a budget or luxury hotel in Vadodara for a comfortable stay. However, booking in advance is suggested since Navratri attracts a significant crowd to the city. Almost all popular grounds are packed - the famous ones being United Ways, Maa Aarkee, and Maa Shakti. A famous market called Nava Bazar is set up as the one-stop destination to buy colourful clothing and accessories.
One of the most popular Dandiya events in Vadodara is the United Way Garba, held at the Alembic Ground. It attracts a huge crowd owing to its impressive combination of a lively ambience and a troupe of popular singers. It is said that the event attracts close to 30,000 people each night!
The Vadodara Navratri Festival, held at the Navlakhi Garba Ground is another notable event in the city. Here you will be able to see seasoned dancers entertaining the audience in the perfect Navratri spirit.
So, head to this vibrant for a spirited Navratri this year and enjoy Navratri like you never have before!