Photo Galleries

Gavari Galleries
Scenes and aspects of Mewar's electrifying Gavari festival
Invocations & Possession

Bhil Bhopa (shamans) must ritually invoke the goddess or the environment’s feminine energy to perform a Gavari cycle – initially to even permit the performance and then daily thereafter to possess and inspire the players. They call Her spirit forth with incense, fire, erotic symbols, incantations, and hypnotic music. Bhopa and players may tremble uncontrollably when She arrives and sensitive bystanders can also be seized with ecstasy and healed by Her energies.

The Many Faces of Budia

Half-demon/half Siva, Budia is a central Gavari figure distinguished by his dramatic horse hair-fringed mask, magic staff and twin Rai devi consorts. He is seen as a sacred guardian and either circles the arena to protect the numinous energy the shamans & dancers are invoking or sits at its edge with his consorts to distribute blessings and accept offerings.

Every Gavari village has its own iconic Budia mask and some date back several generations. Different village mask makers have different visions of his being ranging from stern & frightening to bemused & reproving.

Men of Gavari

Unforgettable faces from the Gavari trail…

Gavari's Children

Gavari performances transfix all generations in the villages, especially the young. Since there are no Gavari scripts, books or classes, children can only learn its arts & stories by apprenticeship and traveling with a troupe. However, new "Gavari truancy bans" at gov schools mean only dropouts can now learn the tradition without punishment.

Ghati Village Journal

For hundreds of years, Gavari was only known or practiced in Mewar's villages and they are its true home and proper venue. Japanese socio-economist & gifted photographer Ryuichi Fukuhara visited many such rural ceremonies in 2016 and contributed his stunning images to our collection. This set is from the Ghati Village region near Jaisamand Lake, a timeless picture perfect setting to experience Gavari's magic.