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August 28, 2010

Royal procession on Teej in Bikaner

Bikaner:As part of the concluding ceremonies of the Teej festival, a traditional royal procession in honour of Goddess Parvati was taken out by people here in Rajasthan this Friday. The procession was part of an ancient royal tradition dating back to almost 400 years. The rally comprised royal guards dressed in their official attire and carrying an idol of the goddess while the royal band was being played, in a parade with camels and horses which were taken out from Junagarh fort around the city. Women, dressed in bright colourful traditional attire, came out on the streets to witness the procession and take blessings of the goddess, who is believed to bless all a blissful marital life. Devotees participating in the religious procession spoke about the significance of Teej and the annual religious parade. "Today, even we, like Goddess Parvati, fast for a prosperous marital life. Unmarried girls fast to get a good groom and blissful marital life," said Madhu Sathla, a devotee. Residents of the city spoke about the history of the traditional procession. "The procession is being carried out in order to honour the goddess of Teej (Goddess Parvati) since many years by the kings. Maharaja Rai Singh established Junagarh around 450 years ago, and since then, this traditional procession is taken out, in which the respected people of the area and representatives of old state forces and army used to participate wearing their ceremonial dresses. This was done to honour the goddess of Teej, as it is believed that the city will be peaceful and flourish," said Devnath Singh. "It is a very nice, colourful festival, much more colours than Germany, and very different from anything that I have seen before. And I think you have a really nice culture, it's amazing," said Philip, a German tourist. The Teej festival is a three-day-long celebration.

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