Celebrate Gudi Padwa in Mumbai with Girgaon Shobhayatra

Mumbaikars, get ready to celebrate Gudi Padwa with Marathi dhol tasha, bike rallies, and chants of Jai Bhavani! Jai Shivaji! Keep scrolling, as Local Samosa is here to tell you about the upcoming Girgaon Shobhayatra.

Aditi Nag
New Update

On the occasion of the Hindu New Year, the city is awash in orange. The entire city of Mumbai dances to the beats of the Dhol during none other than the Girgaon Shobhayatra.

'Yatra' is derived from Sanskrit and translates as 'journey' or 'procession' in Indian religions such as Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. It usually refers to a pilgrimage to holy locations. Speaking of Shobha Yatras, it is a procession that takes place during festivals, where chariots are pulled through the streets and many artists perform stunts, wear unique outfits, etc.


This year, the Marathi New Year, known as Gudi Padwa, will be held on the 9th of April. Mumbai is all set to welcome the New Year as rehearsals for the processions started two months ago. According to the Hindu tithi, the day falls on the first date of the lunar month of Chaitra. "Gudi" refers to the victory flag flown above residences, while "Padwa" (derived from the Sanskrit word "Pratipada") denotes the first day after the full moon.

With great pomp and celebration in Mumbai, this day is popularly known for its Shobha Yatras. It generally takes place in the whole of Girgaon and starts in the morning around 7:30, continuing for five hours and covering areas such as Padke Ganesh Mandir, Sikkanagar, Girgaon Church, Thakurdwar Naka, and Chira Bazaar. The small lanes of Girgaon are bustling with thousands of people fully dressed in traditional Marathi attire. This procession is participated in by both men and women, not only Maharashtrians but also by other communities, carrying orange flags known as 'Kesari Dhwajh' and wearing big decorated turbans called 'Safa.' It gives a glimpse of the rich Marathi culture.

Gudi Padwa is one of the rare Indian celebrations where guests are served a special concoction made from neem and jaggery, in contrast to most other festivals where prasad usually consists of something sweet. This blend is significant because it represents the fundamental nature of life, which is a mixture of bitter and sweet flavors—jaggery is sweet, and neem is bitter. People are reminded while ingesting this concoction that life is a combination of positive and negative events and that each needs to be handled with equal enthusiasm.


Homes decorated with rangolis and flowers, along with the streets of Girgaon painted in colors, give off pure festive vibes. The processions feature performances by men and women wielding swords, dand-pattas, and other weapons, showcasing their talents. Huge statues of Bhawani Mata, Mahishasur Mardini, and Kali Mata are part of the Yatra. Men and women carrying the Kesari Dhwajh chant loudly, 'Jai Bhawani, Jai Shivaji!', illuminating the streets.

The over-excited crowd is dressed in traditional Marathi attire. Men and women wear colorful decorated Safa. Men in Kurta Pyjamas or Dhotis, and women in nine-yard sarees or 'nauvari' slay elegantly and effortlessly, adorned with traditional jewellery. The 'nath' or nose accessory adds charm to the attire. Children dress up as Shivaji Maharaj and saints, while young girls adorned in nauvari look mesmerizing.


Taking lezims (a Maharashtrian dance, with a traditional musical instrument with jingling cymbals) in hand, and with the non-stop beats of the dhol, one couldn't stop themselves from dancing. Some artists dress up in unique attire and showcase their talents. These stunts and special art forms are performed by well-trained artists and performers

The prime attraction of the Yatra is the bike rally led by women adorned in nauvari and safas. Sporting vintage aviator sunglasses to shield themselves from the intense April heat and projecting a badass and 'Jhakaas' cool vibe, they ride their bikes with style. Women not only lead this rally by riding bikes but also by carrying and playing heavy and huge musical instruments like the Dhol (a large drum) and the classic Tasha (a smaller version of the drum).

This Gudi Padwa, plan to start your day by being a part of this Shobhayatra and witnessing the wonders of Mumbai.

Picture Credits: Monu Prajapati

mumbai Gudi Padwa Girgaon Shobhayatra Padke Ganesh Mandir Sikkanagar Girgaon Church Thakurdwar Naka Chira Bazaar Marathi New Year Nauvari Safa nath