Travel in Rajasthan, India
A Rajasthani Kid is playing "Ek Tara"
Thar Desert Jaisalmer in Background, Rajasthan, India

Experiences of Rajasthan - Festivals & Fairs

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Festivals & Fairs

The Rajasthan is love for color and joyous celebrations is proved by the elaborate rituals and the gay abandon with which he surrenders himself to the numerous fairs and festivals of the region. In addition to the festivals celebrated by the Hindus, Muslims and others, there are also the traditional fairs.

There are animal fairs, there are religious fairs and there are fairs to mark the changing seasons. In fact, celebrations occur almost round the year and are a splendid opportunity for the visitor to gain an insight into the life of the Rajasthani. Other than the traditional fairs, recently established festivals, which involve elephants, camel races, dance and music, have been specially organized for the tourists. Among the better known fairs of Rajasthan are:

Nagaur Fair, Nagaur (January - February)
Essentially an animal fair, it provides an opportunity to participate in some of the local sports.

Desert Festival, Jaisalmer (January - February)
One of the most popular of all festivals, it is a journey into the heart of the desert, the golden city of Jaisalmer that has a charm of its own. A true show on the sands, which attracts even the much traveled visitor.

Baneshwar Fair, Baneshwar (January-February)
A religious festival with simple and traditional rituals. This fair is the centre of attraction of a large number of tribals from the neighboring states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat who join their brethren from Rajasthan in offering prayers to Lord Shiva.

Gangaur, Jaipur (March - April)
A festival devoted to Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. It is time for young girls to dress up in their finery and pray for grooms of their choice while the married women pray for the well-being of their husbands. This 18-day festival is laced with various activities and culminates in a grand procession marking the arrival of Shiva to escort his bride home.

Mewar Festival, Udaipur (March - April)
A festival to welcome the spring season. There is song, dance, processions, devotional music and fireworks where almost everybody participates.

Elephant Festival, Jaipur (March - April)
A festival to celebrate Holi, this is a great occasion for the visitor to watch several elephant sports and also play this festival of colors. A show is organized with the elephants turning out in their best finery.

Urs Ajmer Sharif, Ajmer (According to Lunar calendar)
Held in the memory of the revered Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, it is an occasion for thousands of believers to congregate at the shrine and offer their prayers. All of Ajmer seems to take on a festive air and several programmes are organized to mark the festivals.

Summer Festival Mt. Abu (June)
Organized in the only hill station of Rajasthan, this is the coldest place at this time of the year. Folk dances and a general atmosphere of gaiety prevails in this tiny hill resort and the tourist has ample time to relax and enjoy himself.

Teej, Jaipur (July-August)
A festival, to mark the advent of monsoon. Processions, women dressed in bright colors and a lot of merriment prevails during Teej. Essentially a women's festival, it is interesting to watch them enjoying in groups and at various bazaars where they turn up to shop in all their finery.

Marwar Festival, Jodhpur (October)
A festival devoted mainly to the music and dance of the Marwar region. This is a festival that allows the visitor to understand and enjoy the folk traditions of this part of the state.

Pushkar Fair, Ajmer (November)
The well-known and marked with largest participation of all the festivals of Rajasthan, Pushkar is an important

Pilgrimage as well as the venue of mammoth, cattle fair. Bazaars, auctions, music and sports are highlight of this event.

Camel Festival, Bikaner (January)
An enchanting desert city, which comes alive with music and dance. It is fast gaining popularity as the visitor finds an opportunity to see some unusual folk performances, camel race, camel dance etc. here.

Kite Festival
14 January is celebrated in India as Makar Sankranti - heralding the transition of the sun into the Northern hemisphere. It is also a big kite day in most parts of India when children from 6 to 60 can be seen with their heads turned to the sky. In Jaipur kites virtually blot out the sky. Everyone joins in this riotous celebration and shouts of " Woh Kata Hai !" reverberate from rooftops to the accompaniment of drums as adversaries’ kites are cut down. And everyone’s an adversary! Any kite in the sky is fair game.

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