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Eklavya Sanskrit Academy's Sanskrit Garba enters in 13th year - Creative Yatra

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Eklavya Sanskrit Academy's Sanskrit Garba enters in 13th year

Now in its 13th year Eklavya Sanskrit Academy continues to connect the people of Ahmedabad with one of the oldest languages – Sanskrit  using the medium of ‘Garba’. Through the ‘Sanskrit Garba’  the academy provides Navratri revellers a unique opportunity to dance to the same tunes, but in a different language.


Sanskrit Garba Ahmedabad

Being an integral part of our ancestral legacy, Sanskrit is one of the earliest recorded languages in the world. But, somewhere down the line, we have detached ourselves from it. As generations pass by, and with Indians getting well versed in global languages like English, Sanskrit is left behind, with only 14,000 people who claim it as their mother language.

Across the country there are a handful of academies and institutes who continue to nurture the language through academic and research based interventions. Eklavya Sanskrit Academy (ESA) of Ahmedabad is one among them. The Academy apart from the conventional means, attempts to use creative means to popularise the language among newer generations. And what better way than doing it with popular culture!! The Eklavya Sanskrit Academy in association with Sanskrit Sahitya Akadami, organises a ‘Sanskrit Garba’ event since past 13 years. Popular Gujarati garba songs are translated into Sanskrit and are played at the event every year during Navratri.

This year’s ‘Sanskrit Garba’ is scheduled on September 29 at the Core House in Ambavadi area. More than 1000 people are expected to participate and it is claimed that this will be world’s first Sanskrit Garba that goes on till 3 to 4 hours. The idea for this event was thought of 13 years ago. In 2008, when Dr. Mihir Upadhyay, Director of the Eklavya Sanskrit Academy, arranged a small gathering of Baitha Garba (sitting garba) with his students to celebrate the commencement of Navratri with some Sanskrit garba tracks, people were swayed by the music and could not resist dancing to them. It was here that he developed the idea to organise a garba evening solely played to Sanskrit songs.

“We came up with few translated tracks in our initial years. But now we have compiled 55 songs that can run for 6 hours straight. This year it will be the first time that we will be doing this event at such a magnitude. We started with about 30 people and now we have reached 1500, and still more people are very interested in attending the event,”said Dr. Upadhyay.

From the low tempo tracks like ‘Tara vina shyam to energetic songs like ‘Sannedo’, the collection of 55 tracks has been sung by professional singers. The organisers envision to re-connect people with Sanskrit. This definitely sounds like fun. Sample this, ‘Pankhida re udi jaajo’ – in Sanskrit becomes – ‘Pakshin re Pakshin re..udiyantam paavagadham re, mahakalye kathyathu garva ramtam re.’

“Garba is a language or medium that connects all the Gujaratis,” says Dr. Upadhyay, “So, we thought why not introduce them to the traditional and historical way in which garba used to be played, along with Sanskrit language. We don’t want it to be a commercial thing but, through this event, we want to convince people about the beauty of Sanskrit language. We are also planning on conducting a Sanskrit Natya Mohotsav”. Apart from Garba, ESA also conducts Sanskrit Club as well as Filmy Dialouges in Sanskrit events – all of it with the same objective of popularising Sanskrit language.

The Sanskrit Garba will take place at the Core House in Ambawadi on Sunday, September 29th from 8 – 12 p.m. So, mark the dates for a traditional and Sanskrit-filled Navratri night. The event is open for all and all tradition lovers can participate in the rare event.

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