Popularising Rajasthan’s Ghoomar dance

Dancers performing the Ghoomar at the Mandore Garden.
Dancers performing the Ghoomar at the Mandore Garden.

Rajasthani women in colourful attire performed the Ghoomar, a traditional dance unique to the State, on the first day of the Marwar Mahotsav that attracts thousands of tourists each year. A synchronised group dance of Nakhrali Ghoomar by 1,760 women from all walks of life entered the India Book of Records, setting the historic venue, Mandore Garden, on fire with a spellbound show for 16 minutes.

Entirely conceived and executed by RC Jodhpur Sanskar, D 3053, its President Meghna Rajpurohit took the initiative to make a Ghoomar presentation to the District Collector Dr ­Ravikumar Surpur “who was impressed and wanted us to join hands with the administration and the Tourism Ministry for conducting the Marwar festival,” she says. An MoU was signed between the three entities for the grand mela.

Meghna explains that for the first time, Ghoomar was performed as a large group dance at Mandore Garden. “Till then it was confined to indoors and for family audiences during festivals and special ­occasions. And we liaised with the district administration to advertise the event and provide security.”

A positive spinoff of the Ghoomar show was the venue Mandore Garden has been taken up for renovation at a cost of ₹4 crore.

Radio jingles were played and an exclusive website — www.nakhralighoomar.com — and YouTube channel were created to make the event a grand affair. And their high-visibility campaign paid off with many women registering for the Ghoomar spectacle online as the event information spread through social media.

“To enhance the public image of Rotary we periodically host events with a cause such as the Heritage Walk through which we raise funds to preserve our cultural heritage,” she says. Other high-profile events like the Walkathon for a healthy heart; and Cyclothon with a message to adopt a healthy lifestyle are always preceded by an intensive campaign for a better turnout at the venue.

 

Reviving Mandore Garden

A positive spinoff of the Ghoomar show was that the venue, Mandore Garden that provided a scenic backdrop to the gala, got a new look and is beginning to draw tourists. “Before the event, this historic site was in shambles with weeds and thorny bushes all over the ancient structures. It has lawns, fountains, cenotaphs and temples, but the place was in dire state due to negligence,” Meghna recalls. Now, the district administration has taken up the renovation of this heritage garden at a cost of ₹4 crore.

While a couple of Italian visitors shot the dance performance for a documentary on Indian folk dance, the Ghoomar video has become viral throughout the world following which the Rajasthani Association in the US has started opening dance classes in American cities.

RC Jodhpur Sanskar President Meghna Rajpurohit (L) and District Collector Dr Ravikumar Surpur receiving the Certificate from the India Book of Records Adjudicator Rashmi Jain in the presence of DG Priyesh Bhandari (R).
RC Jodhpur Sanskar President Meghna Rajpurohit (L) and District Collector Dr Ravikumar Surpur receiving the Certificate from the India Book of Records Adjudicator Rashmi Jain in the presence of DG Priyesh Bhandari (R).

Over 10,000 people witnessed the dance at the inaugural of the Marwar festival which is hosted by the State government annually and was telecast live by local channels. Justice Nirmaljit Kaur of the Punjab and Haryana High Court was the chief guest at the festival.

Founded in 2016, the all-women’s club has 97 members who are united behind their president to uplift the life of the impoverished and make a difference to the community based on Rotary’s ideals. “Our projects make an impact in the fields of health, education and vocational training, thus enhancing the lives of women and children,” adds Meghna.

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