Marking its presence in the springtime, which is also the time for reaping Rabi Crops; Gudi Padwa is celebrated as the Maharashtrian New Year for Konkani and Marathi Hindus. Observed on the first day of Chaitra month as per the lunisolar calendar and in the month of March or early April according to the Gregorian calendar, this festival is celebrated with great pomp and show.
Throughout the occasion, one can see colorful rangolis, people joyfully roaming on bikes and cars wearing sunglasses as well as carrying Gudi flags with them. The Gudi flag is considered to be the flag of Lord Brahma as per Brahma Purana. It is believed that it was on this particular day that Lord Brahma created time and the universe. This flag is generally thought of as a symbol of good luck that wards off evil and negativity.
Apart from this, there is a procession that includes various programs and activities as well. In the procession, one can see various tableaus of historical and mythical characters like Subhash Chandra Bose, Lord Shiva, and many others. These tableaus constitute an essential part of the procession.
Womenfolk can be seen playing the cymbals with great joy. With the blend of all this, the overall vibe of Gudi Padwa depicts nothing but dripping happiness. It is a kind of festival that is quite mature and at the same time very fun too.
Historically speaking, this festival goes by the name of Samvatsar Padvo and signifies the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana i.e. victory of good over evil. And as we all are aware that the symbol of victory is always held high in every religion, so is the Gudi flag during Gudi Padwa.
According to Anne Feldhaus, an eminent professor of religious studies, Gudi Padwa has always been linked to Lord Shiva’s dance as well as the coming together of the Hindu community personifying unity in diversity.
Talking about the word Padava or Padwa, it has been taken from the Sanskrit language word Pratipad which is considered as the first day when the moon appears after the Amavasya night.
Gudi Padwa begins with an oil bath by the people, which is then followed by offering prayers. People also consume neem leaves during the puja. The best part is when various individuals can be seen carrying the Gudi flag and hoist it on their houses, and bikes.
This flag is made up of bright and colorful silk cloth which is tied atop the bamboo stick. This stick is also capped with a silver or bronze pot or Kalash that again signifies the victory of good over evil.
With the onset of Gudi Padwa, people start the day by cleaning their homes with great devotion. Everyone wears new traditional attire. Especially, the women folk dress very beautifully in their traditional clothes which mainly include Paithani and Nauvari sarees. Talking about food, people generally celebrate this day by preparing scrumptious dishes like Shrikhand, Poori, and Pooran Poli.
Celebrated throughout Maharashtra, Gudi Padwa is a one-of-its-kind festival. Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra is situated at a distance of 1,416, 980, 2,225, 712 km from Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Hyderabad respectively. Let’s see how we can reach here by the following means of transportation.
By Air. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM), earlier known as the Sahara International Airport is the major airport serving Mumbai and its nearby areas. It is the second busiest airport in India after Delhi airport. This airport has two terminals - Terminal 1 and 2.
Terminal 1 is Santa Cruz used for handling domestic flights and the second one - Terminal 2, handles international flights.
Many airlines operate to and fro this airport from various Indian cities. This terminal is known for handling about 40 million passengers. Here is how you can reach Mumbai by air.
By Road. Depending upon your location, you can also consider traveling via road. The road networks connecting Mumbai are very well-maintained. Here is how you can reach here by road.
You can also consider traveling via interstate buses to reach Mumbai. The Mumbai Central Bus Station is the primary bus terminus situated in the center of Mumbai. From this terminus, you can easily board buses (luxury, semi-luxury, passenger, or express) of MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation).
By Train. The main train station is the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus. A few years ago, it was known as the Victoria Terminus. It is no less than a historic train station and did you know that it is even considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
The city of Mumbai is very well connected by the train network. If you are coming from the Central, Western, or Eastern Part of Mumbai, then you should be deboarding at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. However, if you are traveling here from the northern side, then you must consider deboarding here at the Mumbai Central Station. After you deboard at the station, you will need to cover the further distance by cab to reach your respective destination.