Gair festival to make a comeback on Rangpanchmi after a two-year hiatus due to COVID

Gair festival to make a comeback on Rangpanchmi after a two-year hiatus due to COVID

Downward trend in Indore allows the authorities to organise Gair festival

The annual procession of Gair will take place in Indore this year on Tuesday, March 22. After a gap of two years owing to COVID-19 restrictions, people will gather in the Rajwada area for Gair or Phaagyatra this Rangpanchmi. Decreased risk of infection has led the administration to allow and make arrangements for the celebration on an equally large scale as pre-COVID times. This yatra will cover areas from Bada Ganpati via Malharganj to Rajwada in a grand manner amidst the shower of gulal.

A tradition that dates back to the Holkar Rule

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This elaborate Rangpanchmi celebration in the city dates back to when rulers from the Holkar Dynasty used to mingle and celebrate with their subjects during the festivities. Similar to how people are showered with flowers, coloured water and gulal today using trucks and motor pumped tankers, bullock carts were loaded with flowers and gulal back in the day.

Another aspect of Gair that hasn’t changed over the years is the conclusion of the procession in front of the Rajwada Palace. Additionally, in an attempt to make the entire festival smooth, the city traffic police, with its 350 strong workforces would be seen guarding the streets against rash and reckless drivers. At least 50 checkpoints will also be set up in different areas.

New route decided for Gair

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A couple of weeks ago officials gathered on-site and decided the final route for this year’s Gair festival. The procession will start at Tori Corner and reach Rajwada Square through Itwariya Bazaar, Cloth Market, Gorakund Square and Khajuri Bazaar. With minor changes, the route is now 500 metres long.

To make sure there are no obstructions in the way of the procession, roadwork has been in progress. As instructed by the IMC Commissioner, patchwork and road widening (from Bada Ganpati Square to Krishnapura Chhatri) is being done along the route of Gair. Apart from having the pits filled, electric poles are also being shifted from Gorakund Square to Khajuri Bazaar.

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