“Mumbai’s Girgaon area welcomes Gudi Padwa, The Hindu new year (Specially Maharashtrian Community) with Shobha yatra, A procession featuring Women riding Royal Enfield Bullet Motorcycles. This Rally or Procession as said is a major attraction of Gudi Padwa festival day in Mumbai. What makes this festival special is the overall crowd wearing traditional Maharashtrian outfits like Kurta Pyjamas, Pheta and Pagdi as headwear. On this occasion female wearing Nauvari Saree, Nose, Ears and Neck accessories as they are the main leaders of rally. Let’s get into the loop and excitement of Girgaum (Girgaon) Gudi padwa rally that welcomes every new year in a perfect Mumbai style..”
All these Lovely Pictures Courtesy : Hemen Khatri (HK Shots).
Women Bike Rally Attractions
This is the biggest and oldest Shobha Yatra rally of Mumbai which is a combo pack of Fun, Excitement, Women Power and Cultural Procession as the roadshow is celebrated by Maharashtrian community people of Mumbai coming together in multiple groups from famous locations like Thane, Dombivli, Dadar and Suburban like Vile Parle and Malad, Joining rally forces of Women bikers in Girgaon which is the main attraction of this one-day event. It is a way to celebrate and welcome Marathi New Year with high energy fun rally and a positive message to city years after years.
The main attraction of this rally is the Women-centric approach, As leading this procession are groups of Maharashtrian women riding the Royal Enfield bikes by wearing the authentic Nauvari saree. Women of every age, From kids to teenager students to working-class gears up at the best of traditional outfits with varieties of headgears like Pheta and Pagdi that matches that saree. That’s not just all, Equally matching gold and artificial Jewellery like the traditional Nathnis (Nose Wear), Bangles, Earrings along with the classic aviator sunglasses to cut of that scorching heat of sun gives the bad-ass and ‘Jhakaas’ looks unmatched around the world.
Not just by riding those bikes, Women leads this rally for everything else too. They dance and play Lezim, Which is a special dance using the probe called ‘Lezim’. They are the one seen walking the Shobha Yatra rally carrying those heavy musical instruments like Dhol (A Huge Drum) and the classic Tasha (Its a smaller version of Drum played with 2 sticks and needs quickness to create that wow musical effect). The very Iconic performance of Maharashtra, ‘The Mallakhamb’ is on this roadshow by young kids. Ganesh Idol and Huge statues of Bharat Mata are seen, Great Maratha Warrior ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji’ look-alike with a perfect outfit can also be seen. This is just a few of the attractions to be listed, Yet the excitement of Shobha Yatra can be felt when one is with the moment there. So, If you really want to see how a Maharashtrian woman looks in the real traditional outfit of Nauvari Saree with a bundle of many other accessories, Girgaon is one of the only places for Gudi padwa festive occasion.
These bike riders aren’t just housewives, Professionals like doctors and engineers and many other from various fields practise riding bullets from January itself to look and perform at their best. Selfies and lovely colourful photographs go viral on Social media in no time. All male members like husbands, fathers and brothers of leading ladies wearing kurta pyjamas and plays a key supporting role to make this few hours event successful and feel proud looking at the ‘Nari Shakti’ of this rally. They walk along the side cheering up and motivating their family members, friends and wife.
Shobha Yatra Location, Timings & More
On the auspicious day of Gudi Padwa festival, Every year in March at about 7:00 Am to 7:30 Am, Groups from all over Mumbai and suburban starts gathering at Girgaon’s famous Phadke Ganesh Temple near Sikka Nagar (Nearest station being Charni Road), And after flagging up the Gudi the procession starts at around 8:00. Shobha Yatra then moves ahead to ‘Girgaon Church’ area further heading towards ‘Thakurdwar Chowk’ and finally reaches the destination ‘Chira Bazaar’ in mid-afternoon at around 3:00 Pm.
Women Biker leads the rally in groups, Dhol Tasha Players in Middle and Lezim dancers follows then with few decorated trucks showcasing the theme of the year and positive messages to spread around Mumbai city. Women empowerment and Clean and Green Mumbai was the focused theme for 2016 and 2017. Few goodies are also distributed free of cost to people joining the rally.
After 11:00 in the morning, The heat is not easy to move ahead on roadshow along with such heavy saree, dhol Tasha and dance performances. But the excitement is so high that nobody feels exhausted. Women have god gift to stand by strongly mentally as well as physically as and when required and the Women biker rally theme to celebrate this Hindu new year is the perfect idea that can be seen only in Girgaon. Proper arrangements are made for drinking water and other things which are needed during such rallies.
How to Take Part in The Rally ?
Organizers of Shobha Yatra rally has a set of rules to be followed and few forms to be filled to be part of the main attraction. Spectators along the procession need not require any formalities and get be with a crowd, enjoying and cheering up with the members.
Want to take part in Shobha Yatra 2021 ? I am going to upload details about form filling and organizers contacts soon.