Dombivli: Colourful Shobha Yatra Heralds Gudi Padva

Report and Pictures by: Dr Eugene D’Souza, Dombivli
Daijiworld Media Network - Mumbai

Mumbai, Apr 6: In the cool weather of early morning, the expectations of thousands of people gathered at the Bhagshala Maidan, Dombivli (West) and on both sides of the main roads, in anticipation of the traditional ‘Shobha Yatra’  heralding the Maharashtrian New Year, the Gudi Padva were amply rewarded. 

The ‘Shobha Yatra’ commenced at 6.45 AM with drum beats and lezim players showing their skills. A bullock cart, the symbol of India’s tradition was at the head of the procession followed by young ladies dressed in traditional saris on scooters. Many social, cultural, religious, educational and public organizations like the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) had their floats conveying their messages. For example, the MSEB displayed posters requesting the people not to steal electricity and pay the bills in time.

Besides a large number of people in their traditional dresses, some of the Marathi film and stage actors, political and community leaders actively participated in this colourful ‘Shobha Yatra’. After winding through the main streets, the procession proceeded to the Nehru Maidan in East Dombivli where cultural programmes were organized.

Gudi Padva is celebrated  as the New Year Day in Maharashtra, the first day of the first month (Chaitra) of the Hindu Lunar Calendar. In Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka the New Year Day is celebrated under the name of Ugadi. This day also marks the beginning of the Spring Season (Vasant). To those from Maharashtra's Konkan coast, Gudi Padwa brings the smell of the surangi flower and the overwhelming fragrance of the mango and jackfruit in bloom.


There are a number of mythological explanations for this day.  According to the ‘Brahma Purana’ the Universe was created by Brahma after the deluge and the time began to be counted from this moment. It also marked the beginning of the Age of Truth and Justice (Satyug). On this day, Lord Vishnu believed to have been incarnated as Matsya (Fish). Another auspicious event associated with this day is that of Lord Ram returning to Ayodhya victoriously after having killed Ravana. In Maharashtra this day is associated with the return of the triumphant Maratha armies of Chatrapati Shivaji. 

Gudi Padva or Ugadi is one of the three and a half days in the Indian Lunar Calendar whose every moment is considered auspicious. Thus, many people start new ventures, purchase gold, silver, property and other household articles and even perform house-warming pujas.


On Gudi Padva day people clean their houses and decorate the entrance with intricate rangoli designs and mango leaves and marigold flowers. They also raise a gudi (banner) with a swastika-marked pot and silk cloth at prominent spot in front of their houses. The gudi is viewed a symbol of victory and to ward off evil forces.


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Comment on this article

  • Dr Eugene D'Souza, Dombivli

    Tue, Apr 08 2008

    I thank Mr Vinay Soman and Mr Vikram N Walawalkar for pointing out the lapse in may report on Gudi Padva. I fully agree with them that Gudi Padva is the 'Hindu New Year Day' and not a mere 'Maharashtrian' New Year.

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  • Vikram N. Walawalkar, Shivaji Udyan, Dadar

    Tue, Apr 08 2008

    Namaskar, Happy new year to all. This is very good report with pics. Thanks to Mr. Eugene D'Souza. If I am not mistaken, Mr. D'Souza writes History text books for Colleges. THE ONLY THING IS, Gudhi-Padwa is not mere Maharashtrian new year, but is a HINDU NEW YEAR and is celebrated throught Bharat, and hence is a Bharateeya Nav Varsh in real sence.

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  • Rons Bantwal, Mumbai

    Mon, Apr 07 2008

    Dear Dr.Eugene D’Souza, Nice Photographs keep it up Jai daijiworld Rons Bantwal

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  • Vinay Soman, Mumbai

    Mon, Apr 07 2008

    I must thank Dr Eugene D’Souza for such a wonderful report and photographs. But one thing I would like to mention is, The Gudhi Padwa is not only 'Maharashtrian' new year. It is supposed to be The Hindu New Year.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

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