Navratri is a 9 day Hindu festival for Goddess Durga (Shakti). Navratri is one of the biggest festivals among Mumbai’s Gujarati community, which constitutes 19% of the population.
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Mumbai’s Most Famous and Best Navratri (Dandiya, Garba) Locations
Listed below are some of Mumbai’s biggest and most famous venues and organizers of “Dandya Raas” and “Garba”:
- Police Parade Ground, Ghatkopar East – Falguni Pathak and her Dandiya group “Ta Thaiya” will perform here in 2015. Seasonal Entry Pass cost Rs 2,280 and daily Garba ticket ranges from Rs 500 to Rs 1,140. 2015 Navratri Mahotsav Raas Garba is organized by Ghatkopar Gujrati Samaj.
- Somaiya College Ground, Vidyavihar (East) – Film singer Divya Kumar will perform here in 2015. Season Pass cost Rs 1,500 and daily ticket range from Rs 200 to Rs 400.
- Kora Kendra Ground, Haridas Nagar, Borivali (West) – Nilesh Thakkar and Chetan Gadhavi will perform here during 2015 Navratri. Organizer of Korakendra Navratri celebration is “Naidu Club” and the seasonal ticket is Rs 4,500 (VIP, AC lounge) and Rs 3,150 (Regular); daily ticket range from Rs 300 to 630.
- Pushpanjali Garden Ground, Borivali (West) – Sisters Preety and Pinky will perform in this new venue in 2015. 30,000 Garba dancers can dance at this venue. Dandiya Season Pass cost Rs 800.
- Kailas Ground, Mulund (West) – Garba artist performing at this venue in 2015 are Tushar Sonigra and his Dandiya band “Beats 16”, Umesh Barot, Manish Joshi, Teena Chheda, Kavita Nikam and Saurabh Mehta.
- Goregaon Sports Club, Link Road, Malad (West) – Organized by Sankalp Dandiya Navratri Group
- JVPD Ground, Juhu – Hindi film singer Bhomi Trivedi and Gujrati Folk singer Osman Mir will perform at this venue which can accommodate 10,000 Dandiya dancers. Seasonal ticket cost Rs 1,500 and daily ticket is Rs 350.
- MHADA Ground, Malvani, Malad West – Musa Paik Navratri Utsav
- Malpani Ground, Link Road, Borivali (West) – Meera Navratri Utsav
- Jasodha Rang Mandir, Vile Parle (West) – First Road Navratri Mahotsav
- EsselWorld, Madh Island
- Sahara Star, near Domestic Airport, Santacruz (East) – Popular Dandiya band, “The Beaterrz”, whose lead singer is Manisha Savla and band leader is Bipinchndra Chunawala, will perform at this 5-star hotel in 2015. Since this is an indoor venue, Garba dance can go on until 1:00 am. Daily ticket is Rs 1,000 and season pass is Rs 6,000.
- Bhavan’s College Ground, D N Nagar Road, Andheri (West)
- Police Hockey Ground, Near Eastern Express Highway, Ghatkopar (East)
- Ekta Ground, Borivali West
- Tulip Star Hotel, Juhu Tara Road
- Kamgar Krida Mandal, Babasaheb Ambedkar Nagar, Dadar (West) – Broadscope
- Cricket Club Of India, Churchgate
In addition to these venues, many housing societies in Mumbai organize Navratri celebrations in their buildings.
Famous Mumbai Navratri Dandiya Rass and Garba Singers, Performers
These are some of the most famous Dandiya and Garba Singers and Musicians who perform in Mumbai during Navratri.
- Falguni Pathak and her Dandiya band “Tha Thaiyaa”.
- Preeti and Pinky
- Manish Parekh and his band
- Devendra Joshi
- Bhumi Trivedi
- Tushar Sonigra and his Dandiya Band called “Beats 16”
- Nilesh Thakkar
- Chetan Gadhavi
- The Beaterrz, whose lead singer is Maneesha Savla
- Umesh Barot
- Manish Joshi
- Drummer Naitik Nagda
- Viju Shah
- Kirtidan Gadhvi
Navratri Festival Dates and Garba Timing in Mumbai
There are two Navratri festival in a year. “Chaitra Navratri” or “Vasant Navratri” is usually in March or April and its ninth day is Ram Navami. In Maharashtra, the first day of Chaitra Navratri is “Gudi Padwa”.
The second Navratri is called “Sharad Navratri” and it is usually in September or October. The day after Sharad Navratri is Dusshera. In Mumbai it is Sharad Navratri that is celebrated with fervour and passion and this article is mainly about Sharad Navratri.
- Navratri Festival Start Date in 2016: October 1, 2016 (Saturday)
- Navratri Festival End Date in 2015: October 10, 2016 (Monday). Dusshera is on October 11, 2016 (Tuesday)..
- Idols of Goddess Durga are immersed (Visarjan) on “Vijayadashami”, October 11, 2016 (Tuesday).
- Chaitra Navratri Festival Start Date in 2017: March 28, 2017 (Tuesday) (Gudi Padwa)
- Chaitra Navratri Festival End Date in 2017: April 5, 2017 (Wednesday) (Ram Navami).
- Mumbai has a 10:00 pm deadline for Dandiya Raas and Garba. On the last 2 days of Navratri, Garba and Dandiya organizers are allowed to play music up to 12:00 midnight.
- As per Mumbai rules, 55 decibels is the maximum level of noise allowed in residential areas before 10:00 pm. After 10:00 pm, the noise level should not exceed 45 decibel.
Activities and Prayers During Navratri Festival
Navratri is celebrated with the traditional Gujarati dances of “Garba” and “Dandiya Raas”. During the festival, devotees perform the following activities:
- Worshipers invite Goddess Durga (known as “Maa Amba” to Gujaratis) to their house by performing “Devi Sthapna” puja,
- Devotees visit temples and fast for Navratri’s nine days. Nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped, one for each day. The nine forms of Goddess Durga are Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri, Siddhidatri.
- Devotees light a lamp in a “Garbo” or “Ghatasthapana” (decorated earthen pot) for 9 days. The “Garbo” has holes in it and it represents the human body.
- In the evening, all family members celebrate the victory of Goddess Ambaji/Durga over Mahisasura by dancing “Raas Garba” and “Dandiya Raas”.
- “Dusshera” is celebrated on the day after the 9th day of Navratri.
- Durga Idol Visarjan (Immersion) is done on the 10th day.
Traditional Navratri Dances of Dandiya Raas and Raas Garba
In “Garba” the dancer moves his/her hands and feet to four beats; whereas in “Dandiya Rass”, dancers dance with sticks.
- The easiest and most popular Raas Garba dances are the “Be Taali” (2 claps) and “Traan Taali” (3 claps). Please see the below video for simple instructions on these Garba steps.
- Other popular types of Garba Rass Dance are “Butterfly” (clapping and moving in a circle like a butterfly), “Trikonyu” (make a triangle movement), “Hudo” (raise hands and clap with a partner after 4 beats), “Popatiyu” (clap after 2 steps forward and 4 steps back), “Dodhiyu” (forward and backward movement to 8, 10, 12 beats), etc.
Dandiya Rass Dance
- Dandia Raas is played with 2 decorated sticks which are touched with a partner’s sticks in a choreographed pattern. Usually, dancers form an inner and outer circle; one moves in a clock-wise and the other in a counter clock-wise direction. The inner and outer circle dancers partner each other in playing Dandiya Rass.
- Different types of Dandiya Raas dance are “Five Steps” technique, “Seven Steps”, etc. “5 Step Dandiya Raas” is the most popular Dandia and the below video has easy instructions on how to play 5 Step Dandiya Raas.
The original folk dances of Garba Rass and Dandia Raas started as a depiction of the 9 day battle between Goddess Durga (“Ambaji”) and Mahisasura. With this in mind, the “Dandiya” (sticks) and the “Garba” style of dance make a lot of sense.
Mahisasura was an “Asura” (Demon) who defeated Indra, the Hindu God of the “Devas” (Gods). Mahisasur threw out the Gods from Heaven. Since Mahisasura could not be defeated by any man, the Gods created Durga an avatar of Godess Parvati or Shakti. Maa Durga defeated the “Asuras” (Demons) and fought a long 9 day battle with Mahisasura, finally killing him on the tenth day.
Famous Navrati Dandiya Raas and Garba Rass Songs
Popular Navratri Garba and Dandya Raas songs are “Dholi Taro”, “Aavo Ramva Raas”, “Nagar Nand ji Na Laal”, “Hu tau Gai ti Mele”, etc
Clothes Worn for Navratri, Garba Raas Dance and Dandia Raas
Young girls and ladies wear colourful ethnic Gujarati style “Chaniya Choli”, “Ghagra Choli”, “Lehenga Choli” and sarees. Metal jewellery is often worn and so are white bangles on the forearms and biceps.
On top, boys and men wear the traditional Gujarati Kurta, called “Zabbho” or “Kedia” (“Kediya”) and on the bottom a Pajama or Dhoti called “Dhotiyu” or “Lehanghas”. Men also wear a “Pagdee” (Turban).
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- Image 1: Image by FrenchKheldar. Image licensed under Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
- Image 2: Garba dancers perform in Ambaji temple premises. Image by Anurag Agnihotri. Image licensed under Creative Commons license Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
- Image 3: Image by Restless mind. Image licensed under Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)