Maharana Pratap is the most revered Rajput iconwho gallantly fought the Mughals at the battle ofHaldighati in 1576. Mewar continuously defied foreign invaders and has a history of bloody battles until the British intervention in the nineteenth century when a treaty was signed to protect Udaipur. Upon independence, Udaipur merged with the union of India.
Rajasthan is home to many a tribes who have very interesting history of origin, customs and social practices. So much so that even today they are far distinct from the ‘civilized’ society around them. While a few tribes are medieval in their origin, mainly due to events in history, there are a few who date their origin back to one of the oldest prehistoric civilizations in world viz. the Indus valley civilization.
The history of these tribes dates back to around 1400 BC. At that time the Bhil and Mina tribes roamed and ruled the land. The Aryan invasion, represented by horse drawn chariots and superior bows and arrows, seems to have tyrannized tribal migration to the south and the east. Pushed into the natural hideout forests and the ancient and craggy Aravalli ranges, the Bhil and the Mina tribes survived more easily. The northern, nomadic ethnic intrusions continued into Rajasthan. They were respected by the Sakas, Kusanas, Abhiras, Hunas and others. Quite a large number of these invaders are now covered by the blanket term Rajput whose royal lineage stood upon the ruins of the Gurjara (Pratihara Empire). All too naturally, the warrior- invaders fitted the Aryan material caste of Kshatriyas which in time came to be divided into 36 Rajputs clans.
The camouflaged existence of Rajasthan’s original inhabitants certainly isolated them from the main stream, keeping them unaware of the changes. Today, they may be considered a backward people but that does not, in anyway, call for any pejorative interpretations of their primitivism.
The most prominent tribes of udaipur are:
- Gaduliya lohars
FESTIVALS OF UDAIPUR
The city of Udaipur celebrates all the fairs and festivals with equal fervor. The important fairs and festivals that are closely associated with Udaipur are Mewar Festival and the Shilpgram Fair. The vigor of these desert people can be caught during these famous fairs and festivals.
Mewar Festival is celebrated consequently with the celebrations of Gangaur festival . The festival has its own religious importance and is celebrated with enthusiasm in Udaipur.
Shilpgram Fair is another fair that is organized to promote art and crafts of Rajasthan. And is held mainly at the end of the year i.e. last week of December
Hariyali Amavasya is celebrated as a fair at Udaipur’s favourite Fatehsagar Lake and Sahelion Ki Bari. The fair is organized for two consecutive days in which one day is wholly dedicated to women. Initially the reservoir was called Shiv Sagar and the dam was named after the Duke of Cannaunght, which was later renamed Fateh Sagar. To celebrate the achievement, a moonless night of the rainy season was chosen and since then this day is celebrated as a fair day in Udaipur near Saheliyon ki Bari.
Gangaur festivals is also one of the most significant festivals celebrated by the ladies where they perfom ‘Parvati pooja’. This is celebrated after the festival of Holi.
The other interesting festivals that form an inseparable part of the brilliant Udaipur cultural mosaic are Ashwa Poojan, Kartik Poornima, Holi, Shriji’s Birthday and Hariyali Amavasya.
Relish homemade sweetmeats, adorn bright folk attires, visit holy shrines and follow ritualistic traditions that have cascaded down over the generations. Participate in colorful fairs and folk fiestas that are organized with the pure white Udaipur glittering in all its glory in the backdrop.
Since the beginning Udaipur carries a rich and splendid heritage of art, sculpture, miniature painting, wooden and marble handicrafts which are embedded in the royal essence and high virtue of spirit of ‘Mewar’.
Painters of Udaipur have a specialization on the forms of miniature and rajwadi. Wooden and marble handicrafts and sculpture have earned a rich name worldwide.
The blue pottery, puppet, tattoos, leather items, mirror work and weaving embroidery also play a vital role in giving a high stand to the art specification of Udaipur and pave way to the epitome of artistic scenario.
Rajasthan is home to many rejoicing and lively dance forms. The Ghoomar dance is one of the most popular folk art form. Gait Ghoomar and Gait are local dance performed during the holi. The Chari dance is a form where the dancer dances with a pot or a chari on the head and then a lamp is placed in it. The Kachchi Ghodi is where the dancers perform on dummy horses. The Fire Dance, Drum Dance Teerah Tali , Pabuji ki Pach and Maand are also some exquisite form of dance.
Music has been in the airs and environment of mewar ever since the beginning of the historical era of Rajputana. The rulers have been die hard music lovers and have given respected places to the musicians of their times in royal court. The dwellers of Udaipur find solace in the melodious music of Morchang, Naad, Tanpura, Sarangi and many other instruments that used to echo the courts of Mewar rulers.