Ujjain: Century old musical tradition comes alive during Shravan

Ujjain: It is said music is the best means to convey the deepest feelings of devotees. A fine example of this practice, is a host of enthusiastic faithful who sing with utter devotion during the procession of Lord Mangleshwar, on Tuesdays, come the sacred month of  Shravan.

This group play traditional musical equipments like harmonium, dholak, tambourine, cymbals and turangal (an indigenous musical instrument) creating devotional harmony in the town of Barnagar.

These unnoticed musicians mainly belong to the working class group. They are not professional musicians, but do their job efficiently when it comes to an ear soothing ‘aarti’ of the deity throughout the procession. The choir sings ‘bhajans’ admiring Hindu Gods and Goddesses along with fifty ‘aartis’ of the deity, but their joy knows no bounds each time they sing prayers during the procession. The choir is led by Mehant Maheshdas Chakradhari while Suresh Veradiya plays the turangal. Bharat Bhati and other young enthusiasts add glitter to the choir.

This saga has continued for almost 125 years since the inception of the procession in the town.  The exclusiveness of the procession is that they produce music with the basics. A simple go-cart with a music set comprising two speakers and a mike on which the choir sings the soothing devotional numbers is all they have, The viewers on the way to the procession love to join this choir and get drowned in the worship of the deity of Mangleshwar Mahadev.

The melodious music played by this choir is the talk of the town that conveys to denizens a message that reverence to divinity is best done by solemn means adopted by Mangaleshwar Mitra Mandal to please their favourite deity.  Amidst this highly competitive and complicated world, this group has managed the legacy laid down by the patron Late Shyamlal Chakradhari. He was the maestro of a dozen musical instruments. The procession comprises a tableau having the replica of the deity adorned with marvelous ornaments of flowers and other accessories. The procession commences from the Balaji Mandir at Juna Shehar and moves around the town for six hours and concludes at the same place.

 “We have been holding the invaluable legacy handed over to us by our patrons for more than a century . Even after a long period of the time, we have not disturbed the fundamental structure of the procession. Mangleshwar Temple is almost 1000 years ancient and people have strong belief in the deity.” –Mehant Maheshdas Chakradhari

“The procession depicts the various incarnations of the deity. The group works rigorously to make the event a success by displaying their team work. We believe that worship of the Lord should be serene and pleasant for one who witnesses it.”- Kanheyalal Waghela, former president Mangleshwar Mitra Mandal.

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