It’s time to add some colors to your wardrobe, pump up the garba music and to put on your dancing shoes because Navratri is here and while Mumbai and Kolkata celebrates Navratri in style, Gujarat celebrates it with all the grandeur and tradition which is deeply rooted in the history of Gujarat. Although, I am not very religious, I have always loved watching and dancing to the beats of garba and dandiya since my childhood. The colorful chaniya cholis and kedias that people wear for the event and that swirl around with the spinning motion in sync with the music offers a visual treat that you can only see in this time of the year. If you are passionate about dancing to the beats of traditional dandiya and garba rather than getting dragged into all the Bollywood glamour that happens during these nine nights, I would certainly recommend that you take a trip to Gujarat and witness one of the best dancing festivals and garba places you will find across western India.
United Way Navratri Mahotsav, Vadodara
If you want to feel the pulse of Gujarati folk dance and the madness that revolves around it, head to Vadodara also known as Baroda. United Way is basically an annual fund raising event and therefore they bring out the best dandiya and garba events that have already gained huge success and popularity across Gujarat.
As a Mumbai citizen, I always felt that Mumbai dandiya and garba destinations are the best but United Way kills the competition and you got to see it to believe it. Every year, United Way gets more than 35,000 participants both male and female that come here to dance to the tune of garba music and that certainly puts Mumbai dandiya and garba destinations to shame. To some extent it looks like a giant bash party where people from all walks of life come together to dance and enjoy and to support certain cause as well.
The registration fees are collected and used to solve problems of the community, for environment, women empowerment, child welfare, disability issues, and senior citizen issues and also for educating those who cannot afford education fees. United Way Navratri Mahotsav takes place at Navlakhi Ground, Rajmahal Road, Vadodara.
Maa Shakti Garba Mahotsav, Godhra
Godhra has remained one of the important religious places that has one of the four baithaks for Vaishnav Sampraday and it also has some of the most beautiful Jain temples that you can find across the state. This city also holds one of the best dandiya and garba events called Maa Shakti Garba Mahotsav that you should not miss out.
Maa Shakti Garba Mahotsav has been organizing some of the best garba events throughout Gujarat so you can always look out for the events that they host during these nine days. They also have their online site that can allow you to get more information about registration so you can register online as well. Believe it or not, Maa Shakti Garba Mahotsav has already registered itself in the Limca Book of World Records as the biggest garba group in the world with more than 40,000 participants that gathered together in the year 2004. So, be here to be a part of it this year.
Garba at GMDC Ground, Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad is the largest city in the Gujarat state and this city captures the essence of Navratri in its own style. You will find many small garba and dandiya events happening here across the city but if you are looking for something more spectacular head to GMDC Ground that takes the spirit of dandiya to the ultimate level.
The events here are usually hosted by the Gujarat Tourism Board rather than any particular organization or garba group. Here you will experience something so much more than just dandiya and garba happening. The ground also host exhibitions like handicrafts from various parts of Gujarat and kid shows and even state level garba competitions.
So, basically it’s a mega event with various smaller events happening in it. It has this mammoth stage right in the center of the ground that can put international rock band artists out of competition. Here you can also witness the Sheri Garba, another form of garba which is devoid of any Bollywood music or live orchestra. It also has a large food court to satisfy your taste buds after a long session of dance.
While these are some of the top Navratri dandiya and garba destinations in Gujarat you can enjoy you can also look out for countless other places across top cities like Surat, Gandhinagar, Rajkot and Kutch and Kathiyavad that offer you a glimpse of vibrant Gujarat that is developing faster than any other state in India, but still is deeply rooted in culture and traditions that defines India.