A good century and a quarter back, in 1889, during the Custodianship of Maharana Fateh Singh, a group of people called for a social fair on Sheetla Saptami and Ashtami (Hindu Calendar). Since then, every year, the festival of Kachi Gangaur is celebrated with immense devotion in the city of lakes.
Panna Lal Gaud, an artisan within the palace, was given the charge of organizing the first “Kachi Gangaur”, also called “Choti Gangaur”. He prepared a set of paired idols of Gangaur wherein the male side was dedicated to Lord Shiva and feminine part was that of Goddess Parvati. This ritual has since then been preserved and carried out by natives of the old town in the same fashion.
Interestingly, over this 125 year old period, the tradition of making Gangaur has stayed within the family of Panna Lal. First it was his son who took it up and has since then flowed down. The tradition is currently carried out by Devendra Kumar Gaud, the Great Grand Son of Panna Lal Gaud.
Choti Gangaur or Kachi Gangaur is made out of fine clay. Preparation for the same starts almost half a year back after Diwali, since clay idol take a long time to lose its moisture. Once the idol loses all its wetness, colors are applied on it after ‘Holi’.
Devendra Kumar says that he is proud of the ancestral tradition of making Gangaur and believes that the same will be carried forward by his son in coming years. He also mentioned that over years the tradition had seen a downward trend in terms of interest and fervor but the same has picked up very well over the past decade. He attributed the increased interest to interference of administration, positive word amongst masses and/or increasing devotion within individuals.