One of the many Indian festivals that play a prominent role in reinstilling positive values in our society is Rakshabandhan. It is one of those much-loved festivals that is celebrated with great zeal across the nation. And the place, as well as the story with which people can mostly relate to here, is the historic legend of Maharani Karnavati of Mewar, Rajasthan.
This pious festival is celebrated on the very last day of the Hindu calendar, sometime in the month of Shravana, which is the month of August as per the Gregorian calendar.
As it suggests, the meaning of Raksha Bandhan lies in its name itself, according to which this festival is to celebrate the bond of protection and care.
The cultural significance of this festival is such that it gets various names like - Saluno, Rakri and many others in different parts of India where there are minute changes in the way people celebrate this day. For example, an interesting ritual associated with Saluno includes the sisters placing a few shoots of barley behind the ears of their brothers. The main purpose of such rituals is to ensure the well being of their brothers. However, the main crux of this incredible festival is to celebrate the bond of love and harmony among the siblings.
This year, Rakhi 2020 would be celebrated on August 3, the celebrations, however, might remain understated courtesy the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mythological history of Raksha Bandhan traces its roots back to the time of Mahabharata. Legend has it that once, while handling sugarcane, Krishna cut his finger and it started bleeding. Witnessing this scene, his queen Rukmani immediately sent someone for getting the bandages. Meanwhile, Draupadi, who was watching all this, came to his rescue. She tore a section of her saree and wrapped Krishna’s bleeding finger with it. It was then in return that Lord Krishna promised to protect her whenever required. And, when the unceremonious disrobing event with Draupadi was happening it was Lord Krishna who helped her save her honour.
Another legend says that the ritual of Raksha Bandhan was followed by Yama who is also known as the Lord of Death and Yamuna which is a river that flows in India. As per the legend, it is believed that when the Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama she was given the reward of immortality by the Lord of Death.
He also declared that any brother who offers to protect his sister on this day would also live a long life.
Among the many tell tales of Raksha Bandhan, it is the story of Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun which gets our attention the most, perhaps because it holds great historical importance.
It so happened that Maharani Karnavati was the regent of Mewar and was appointed to carry the administration duties after the death of her beloved husband, Ranga Sanga. And when Bahadur Shah attacked Mewar the second time; Rani Karnavati, fearing that her kingdom would be defeated and she will lose everything, reached out to other rulers for her kingdom's protection.
The Maharani also approached Humayun by sending a rakhi to him. This holy piece of thread signified a deep bond of affection which a sister shares with her brother. Seeing this gesture of the Queen, Humayun assured that he will be helping her on the battlefield. However, the Mughal emperor was himself stuck in the middle of another military campaign somewhere in Bengal, thus, he couldn’t reach on time to help the Queen and Maharani Karnavati lost the battle, consequentially giving herself to the fire of Jauhar.
Especially for this festival, the bazaars are decorated with great enthusiasm by the shopkeepers. Girls start shopping with the hope to purchase the best rakhi for their brothers looking for the most colourful and vivid rakhi pieces. Obviously, they also want a gift in return for their trust and bond of love.
Everyone wears new clothes on this auspicious day of Rakhi while enjoying fun family get-togethers. Raksha Bandhan rituals involve lighting a Diya in an earthen lamp. The main purpose of lighting the lamp is to represent the fire deity. Prayers for the well-being of the brothers are performed. The sister sweetly feeds a portion of sweet to the brother and then after the rituals are over rakhi is tied around the wrist of the brother by her sister.
Traditional Food. In our culture, every festival is associated with its specific food. And the celebration of Raksha Bandhan also calls for some really amazing & delicious Indian cuisine. Raksha Bandhan cuisine consists of many scrumptious food items like Vermicelli Kheer, Vegetable Pancakes, Pakoras, Mal Pua, Khoya Burfi, and Tamarind Rice.
How to Reach
Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is quite an amazing place which is all about exploring the culture of India. Udaipur lies at an approximate distance of 662, 765, 1,728, and 1,829 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata respectively. Arguably, the essence of India lies in the heart of Udaipur. Let’s discuss how you can reach Udaipur via the following routes.
By Air. The best option to reach Udaipur would be the Maharana Pratap Airport which is situated at an approximate distance of 20 km in Dabok. This airport is very well connected with other Indian cities and is spread in an area of over 500 acres with a single asphalt runway.
Various airlines like Air India, Vistara, IndiGo operate to and fro Udaipur at regular intervals. As you deboard at the airport, you will need to take a cab or some other means of public transportation to reach your destination.
By Road. Udaipur is well connected with other cities via road as well. Depending upon your location you can easily plan your trip to Udaipur. If you have your own vehicle then the fun just doubles. Here is the route that you can take to reach Udaipur from some of the Indian cities.
You can also consider travelling using interstate buses. All you need to do is book a bus online from RSRTC website.
By Train. The city of Udaipur has a very good railway network which connects it with various cities like Delhi, Indore, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Here is the route which you can take to reach Udaipur via train network.
After deboarding at the train station, you will need to use public transport to reach your destination.