To commemorate the Jalwa Pujan of the new-born Lord Krishna when he was given a sacred bath in a waterbody, Jaljhulani Ekadashi is celebrated on Bhadra pad Shukla Ekadashi. Idols of Lord Vishnu are taken to different lakes in Udaipur in processions for a holy dip. During the reign of the Maharanas on this occasion the idols of Gyanraiji and Pitambar Raiji, incarnation of Vishnu used to be seated in silver Viman and taken to water bodies for a bath in a splendid procession. The Maharana himself and his close relations carried the Viman on their shoulder to Toranpol. In the procession there used to be Umraos and dancing girls. At Pagda Ki Hathni in Rajmahal, the Maharana would ride a horse and follow the procession upto Rajghat. The public used to welcome the procession warmly. The Rajpurohit would perform ‘Aarti’ of the idol at Rajghat and then it was brought back to Rajmahal. Cannons were fired when the procession started and returned. Idols of other temples also joined the procession. Prasad was distributed among Sardars and Paswans. Later on, the Maharana used to accompany the procession only upto Tripoila of Rajmahal.
Now idols of the different incarnations of Lord Vishnu from several temples in the town are taken out in processions that are organized by a large number of religious ‘Samajs’. In the late afternoon, the main area of the city gets crowded. Devotees Shower flower petals on the ‘rewadis’ and ‘gulal’ and ‘abeer’ are also sprinkled lavishly. With the loud chanting of ‘Hathi Ghoda Palki, Jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki’, the atmosphere becomes emotionally charged. People enjoy watching the procession from vantage points of houses and steps of Jagdish Mandir. At Jagdish Chowk the ‘rewadis’ stop for a while and special items are presented that are watched by a big crowd. Not to be left behind foreign tourists also dance,sing and take photographs of the highly memorable event. After a holy dip in Lake Pichhola at Gangaur Ghat the idols return to their temples where ‘Aarti’ is performed.
Most of the idols are taken to Gangaur Ghat with great pomp and show while for some of them the destination for the holy dip is Swaroopsagar. For the sacred bath, idols from areas like Sundarwas are taken to Gangoudhbhav Kund in Ayad and those from Goverdhanvilas to Goverdhan Sagar.
Mounted on a silver chariot, the beautiful idols of Dwarkadheesh and Shaligram from Asthal Ashram are taken in a procession accompanied by bands and drums. Ladies can be seen singing ‘mangal bhajans’ and dancing with great enthusiasm. Various amazing feats performed by ‘akharas’ is a special attraction. Enroute the procession is welcomed heartily by devotees. When the procession returns after the performance of ‘jalwa pujan’ with recitation of mantras, devotees perform ‘aarti’ at several spots. At the Asthal Ashram ‘Karpur aarti’ is waved by the Mahant and ‘prasad’ is distributed. Watched by a huge crowd of devotees, Thakurji does ‘jal vihar’ at the Baijiraj ka kund, Delhi gate. At Jagdish Mandir, ‘panchamrit abhishek’ and ‘aarti’ are performed and the attractively decorated idol is taken to Gangaur Ghat in a procession.
With great enthusiasm is celebrated this festival in the whole of Mewar. The idol of Ganesh in the Eklingnath Mandir is taken in a silver ‘rewadi’ to Indra Sarovar in a huge procession joined by devotees from neighboring places. Some traditional rituals are performed there. There is a scintillating display of fireworks on the hills nearby. At Charbhuja Mandir at Gadbor, the idol is taken out in a golden Palki for a holy bath in Doodhtalai. The famous Sanwalia Seth Mandir on Udaipur, Chittorgarh road is witness to a three-day ‘mela’ in which cultural programmers and firework displays are big attractions.
The homes, temples and the whole area through which the procession wends its way and the banks of the water bodies become full of festive fervor.