As far as wildlife is concerned, the Indian peninsula is a continent in itself where the sheer diversity of the wildlife astounds you with more than 350 species of mammals and 1200 avifauna species in the country.
The people want to do only one thing in the cities during the summers – they want to get away from it. They want a cool getaway in India itself where they can have some respite from the scorching heat of the plains.
Rajasthan is one of the most colorful and exotic destinations in India, where culture and tradition intermingle against a backdrop of sun soaked skies and desert. Rajasthan fair festivals are one of the ways in which the state celebrates its effervescent history and allows visitors to immerse themselves in an atmosphere of fun and frolic.
In Rajasthan, people celebrate and every religious occasion, every harvest, the changing of seasons, and all of them are a reflection of the aesthetic refinement that is seen in their arts, crafts, as well as handicrafts. All fairs and festivals, whether they be Camel festivals, Elephant festivals, Desert festivals, Camel fairs, etc are celebrated with a joyous abandon that is unsurpassed in all its glory.
Rajasthan fair, festivals are held throughout the year, and are a wonderful opportunity for tourists to gain deep insights into the life of the people of Rajasthan. Not only can visitors enjoy the traditional fairs and festivals of Rajasthan, but also the festivals that have been recently established that introduce tourists to spectacles like camel races, folk dances and folk music.
If you are planning a visit to Rajasthan, plan in a way such that you are able to attend at least some of the festivals like the kite festival, Pushkar festival, the Jaipur Teej festival, or even the Pushkar camel festival.
Some of the better known, not-to-be-missed festivals and fairs of Rajasthan are:
Pushkar Camel Festival and Fair
The Pushkar festival has earned renown as one of the biggest fairs and festivals of Rajasthan. The Pushkar festival which also includes the Pushkar camel festival sees one of the largest participations amongst all festivals of Rajasthan. The reason for this is not hard to find; Pushkar is an important place of pilgrimage and also hosts a cattle fair during this time. The highlights of the Pushkar festival are folk music, dances, camel auctions, and colorful bazaars.
Pushkar is one amongst the five principal Dhams or pilgrimage spots that are held in high regard by the Hindus; the other dhams being Dwarka, Rameswaram, Badrinath, and Puri.
Thousands of devotees, every year, make their way to Pushkar, in the month of October-November. Here, around the full moon day of Kartik Purnima they take a holy dip in the lake. It is during this time that the annual ‘Pushkar Fair’ is also held, which is very well-known for the camel trading that takes place here. People come here from all over Rajasthan to trade in camels and the sight of thousands of camels in one setting is indeed breath taking. However, the Pushkar camel festival is just one of the charms of this magnificent fair cum festival.
The range of activities at the Pushkar camel festival is unbelievable. You can dance to local folk music, taste the delectable traditional delicacies or can just sit back, relax and enjoy seeing some of the brightly clothed village folk taking part in the festivities.
The Elephant Festival in Jaipur is held to commemorate the festival of Holi. Held between March and April every year, the elephant festival is a unique way through which a visitor to Rajasthan can enjoy the festival of colors. Elephants have played a very important role in the socio-cultural milieu of Rajasthan, and were used for royal processions and took pride of place during various festivals
This is one elephant festival you can’t miss as rows upon rows of perfectly groomed and exquisitely adorned elephants, catwalk before a supremely captivated audience. The procession of elephant is the definitive word in grace and elegance and is an unforgettable experience for the viewer.
Other activities with elephants include races, playing the game of polo and even watching a tug of war between elephants and men. No surprises for guess the winner here! A very interesting feature of this festival is that most participating elephants are females.
The elephant festival is an important part of the cultural calendar of Rajasthan. Though it’s only a decade old, its popularity is immense and which can be gauged by the number of visitors who make their way to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, specifically to be a part of this spectacular jamboree.
A fortnight after Holi, between the months of March and April, Rajasthan once again erupts into a riot of celebrations. This is the time of the Gangaur festival, which is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over Rajasthan. The Gangaur festival takes pride of place for being one the most important festivals of this desert state.
The Gangaur festival is held in honor of the Goddess Gauri, a manifestation of the wife of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati. Essentially, the festival is celebrated by the married women and girls throughout the length and breadth of Rajasthan. Images and sculptures of the Godess Guari are ornamented and offerings are made to her. As a tourist you will be able to witness joyous processions that are accompanied by the town band, elaborate palanquins and horses. It truly is a fascinating spectacle!
If you want a taste of something special then visit either Jaipur or Udaipur during the time of the Gangaur festival. In Udaipur, you can feast your eyes on the boat procession being taken out on Lake Pichola. The gaiety of the celebrations in Udaipur is further enhanced by a procession involving rows of women who balance brass pitchers on their heads. In the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur, the size and the beauty of the processions is absolutely enthralling. You can select a comfortable vantage point and enjoy your procession from there.
In Rajasthan the Gangaur festival is a time of interaction between the various people of the state. People come from far and wide to celebrate this festival in a particular town or city. Tribal men and women meet and at times select their life partners during this festival. It is considered one of the most auspicious times for doing so.
It is yet another festival that lets you peep into the fascinating culture of Rajasthan. So celebrate the Gangaur festival in the state and experience a world of celebrations.