Udaipur, the City of Lakes, wears a fresh new look as the monsoon season sets in that attracts everyone. The clouds of all shapes and hues floating over the towering Sajjangarh Palace that is also called Monsoon Palace provides a mesmerising scene. The reflection of velvet green hills in the glistening waters of Lake Picchola and Fatehsagar is simply enthralling. The view of the greenry of Chirwa Valley with the two new tunnels is extremely attractive. Seen to be believed, is the amazingly charming view of the waterfalls of the Arawali hills on both sides of the road leading to Ranakpur. No less attractive is the scene of the dense vegetation on the rain washed hills on the Ahmedabad road. No wonder the monsoon rejuvenates the whole Mewar region.
Shiv temples in and around the town become centres of attraction. The biggest one in the city, Mahakaleshwar Mandir on the south bank of Fatehsagar begins to be thronged by the devotees from early morning. The idol is bathed with water, milk, sugar, honey and curd in turn accompanied by recitation of sacred ‘mantras’. Flowers, ‘bilva patra’, ‘aak’, ‘dhatura’ etc. are offered. Then ‘aarti’ is waved with deep reverence. Devotees keep coming through out the day. Some of them spend time reciting various prayers to please the Lord. Other big and small temple in the town such as Hajareshwar temple, Pataleshwar Mahadeo, Badleshwar Mahadeo, Neelkanth Mahadeo, and Jawanrupeshwar Mandir reverberate with the sound of ‘Om Namah Shivaya’. Abodes of Shiv in the vicinity of Udaipur such as the famous Eklingji at Kailashpuri, Jhameshwar Mandir, Nandeshwar temple and Ubeshwar Mahadeo also hum with activity.
On Shrawan Somwar or Van Somwar when people go out in open places to enjoy themselves. On this occasion, one of the most crowded places in Lake city is the famous Gulabbagh. The festival that is also called Sakhian Somwar, a Monday to be enjoyed with friends, has a long tradition in Mewar when there used to be a ‘mela’ (fair) near Shitlamata Mandir. But after building of Gulabbagh, that is also called Sajjanniwas it was opened for the public by the erstwhile Maharana for this fair.
Udaipurity cannot resist the temptation of going out on picnics to natural spots in the vicinity of the town especially during weekends and holidays as the weather is pleasant and there is greenry all around Manikyalal Park, Deendayal Upadhya Park, Rajeev Gandhi Park and Sanjai Garden attract a lot of people. Places where there are running streams such as Nandeshwar, Ubeshwar, Jhameshwar, Amrakh Mahadeo and Jamudia Ki Nal are also thronged. While others prefer far off places like Sandol. The more adventurous ones choose Parshuram Mahadeo. People choose natural spots that also have religious importance.
Festivities recommence, after a long lull, beginning with Guru Purnima. On this auspicious day, people visit temples and ‘mutthas’ to pay their respect to their living guru by offering gifts and by doing ‘abhishek’ of the sandals of the departed gurus. The ‘mahants’ and ‘gurus’ shower blessings on their disciples. Special programmes of ‘puja’ are performed at the famous Eklingnath temple at Kailashpuri, near Udaipur under the auspices of Ekling Trust and Maharana Kumbha Sangeet Trust.
The last day of Shrawan is celebrated as Raksha Bandahn when sisters tie the sacred thread on the wrist, praying for their brother’s prosperity while brothers vow to protect their sisters.
Shrawan means ‘listening’ to some people and so they spend the month listening to scriptures like Bhagwad.
Chaturmas begin in Shrawan. The four months are devoted to intense worship and during this period ‘sadhus’ and saints do not travel but stay at one place and deliver discourses for the benefit of their devotees. In Udaipur a large of saints especially of Jain sects have their Chaturmas and their followers take advantage of their deep knowledge and spiritual experiences.
During Sawan, Udaipurites enjoy the blessings of mansoon, go gay and do intensive Sadhna.