The City of Lakes Udaipur in the Rajasthan state of India is rich with cultural heritage as well as some of the charming lake shores. On one such lakeshore, along the shores of the calm waters of Gangaur Ghat of Pichola Lake stands the majestic Bagore Ki Haveli, a 18th-century building which holds in it many traditional and heritage legends to spill out to the enthusiast visitors. The Bagore Ki Haveli is at a walking distance of 5 minutes from the magnificent Udaipur city palace and can easily be combined with the palace tour.
Bagore ki Haveli History
Built by Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar, the building will awe you with its splendid architecture featuring ornate carvings and colorful mirror work. After the death of Amir Chand Badwa, the mansion was an abode to Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore. The haveli was further expanded and embellished and named after as Bagore Ki Haveli (Mansion of Bagore).
The haveli was abandoned post-independence for around 50 years and then handed over to the West Zone Cultural Centre (WZCC). West Zone Cultural Centre worked on reviving its original royal glory and housed a museum in the haveli portraying the lifestyle and culture of the Mewar. A stroll in the Bagore ki haveli museum will walk you back in time with the well-preserved exclusive artifacts of the bygone times of Mewar.
Dharohar Dance Show
At dusk when the sun melts into the horizon the haveli lightens up with prismatic colors for the Rajasthan traditional dance and music performance. We bought our tickets and climbed the set of stairs leading to the terrace called Neem Chowk enclosed by illuminated building corridors and walls adorned with puppets.
Benches and beds were arranged for the visitors, beds already filled we took a seat on benches at the rearmost. The arches in the corridor shone its hues emanating a regal elegance making for a perfect ambiance to experience the royal heritage.
In the center, the traditional musical instruments waited to be heard with the traditional folk dance and songs. With the blowing of Conch and beating of drums, the program began. The men in traditional attire wearing colorful turban welcomed the guest with the popular ‘Kesariya Balam’ song.
The host Deepak Dixit welcomed everyone and provided an insight on the most awaited program Dharohar Dance Show. Dharohar means ‘Heritage’ and the program staged the folk dance of the traditional Rajasthani heritage. The hosting was both in Hindi as well as the English language.
The first dance of the evening was the ‘Chari Dance’. Everyone gasped in awe as the ladies dressed in bright traditional dresses entered the terrace with ignited brass pot on their head. It was amazing to watch how they balanced the pots while they danced with graceful movements and swirls.
‘Chari dance’ was followed by popular Rajasthani folk dance ‘Gorbandh Dance’. Camel plays a prominent role in the lives of the people in the desert and is known as the ‘Ship of the Desert’. The Gorbandh Dance illustrates how the women of the house take pride and enjoy the process of designing and decorating their camels. The women danced in sheer bliss while a man in the background played the camel puppet.
The series of dance performance was followed by ‘Gavri Dance’ a play depicting a fight between the demon and the incarnation of goddess Durga. By now Chhavi was in deep slumber there was definitely something magical in the vibe of the aura.
After the play, the group of women dressed in traditional attires and face covered with the veil was back for the graceful ‘Ghoomar Dance’. The women moving in rhythmic circles in festive spirit flaunted their colorful Ghaghara (traditional skirts) adorned with embroidery and glasswork. As the women twirled to and fro in circles their ghagharas flowed along creating graceful and captivating flares. This splendid view was being enjoyed by the spectators as much as the dancers themselves.
Terah Taal Dance is one of the skilled and complex forms of Rajasthani folk dance. The women tie thirteen manjeeras (little brass disc) on various parts of the body and ring it with the one in their hands. The women balancing pot on their head illustrated various household chores like grass cutting and cooking through dance. It was an awe-inspiring sight to behold.
Next performance was all time favorite Puppet Show. The puppeteer danced the puppets to the beats of the traditional music controlled by the strings and accompanied by a sharp shrill sound produced by the puppeteer with a bamboo reed. The show was full of humor and fun and was enjoyed by the spectators.
The last and the most exhilarating performance of the evening was the Bhavai Dance. The Bhavai Dance symbolizes the custom of women in the deserts of Rajasthan who walk for miles to collect water in their pots. The dance started with two pots and subsequently, the pots kept piling up until there were eleven pots. It was amazing to behold the balancing skill and the grace with which the women danced.
The women also danced standing on the edges of a metal plate and on glass pieces. It’s amazing to know that this woman recently celebrated her 70th birthday. The crowd was elated and could not stop cheering the women. To add to the delight of the audience the women ended the dance with a couple of favorite Sufi numbers including ‘Duma Dum Mast Kalandar’.
Dharohar Dance program takes place every evening from 7 pm to 8 pm. There are separate tickets for entrance and camera. Check details here. After the program, we spend some peaceful time at the Gangaur Ghat on the shores of Lake Pichola. The entrance gate to the Gangaur Ghat has intricate and remarkable carvings and artwork.
The golden illumination of the buildings around the lake painted an entrancing pattern on the surface of the calm waters. A perfect spot for a romantic evening after the cultural dose!
Have you visited Bagore ki Haveli and experienced the Rajasthani heritage programs? We would love to your views on the culture and heritage programs.
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