is a colourful desert. The unconvincing Thar Desert and with it all the
barren land of Rajasthan has much to offer through the plethora of
celebrations. Festivals and fairs, music and dances, turns the land to a
creative fertile basin. Season heralded with a festive fervour and
cattle marts turn into delightful fairs.
Festivals hold an unusual lure for the Rajasthanis and they have any
number of reasons to celebrate. Pageantry is in the form of weddings or
rituals, or to promote trade. Each region has their own form of Folk
entertainment, own Traditions, own dialect adding to the Indian
diversity. Pushkar Fair, Desert festival, Elephant Festival and Camel
festival are internationally famous and are not to be missed.
These festivals born out of age-old traditions, adorns the golden land
and unveils the best with vulnerable colours. Colours that are alive and
unrestricted, and unifies each soul who visits this magic land. There's
a rhythm, there's a jest, a passion, a spirit of romance, a valour, a
feel of being one with the blonde landscape. This spirit of celebration
is like Desert Rains, hidden in the Aravalli bosom, unfolding its
feather with each festival.
(Bikaner, January) A unique celebration highlighting camel & cultural
heritage of northern Rajasthan. The camel festival begins with a
colourful procession of bedecked camels against the red sandstone
backdrop of the Junagarh fort, the festivity advances to the open sand
spreads of the grounds, followed by the best breed competition, the tug
of war contest, camel dances & acrobatics. The camels dance gracefully
to the slightest direction of their trainers their bejeweled necks,
jingling anklets cast a magical spell.Glorious Gorbandh dance, local
folk performs and dazzling fireworks offer a different tenor & tempo
(Nagaur. Jan.-Feb.) Essentially an animal fair is one of the largest in
the colmtry. The fair is renowned for the trading in cows, bullocks,
camels & horses Mirchi Bazar is the main attraction and wooden items,
iron craft & leather accessories are available in plenty during the
fair. As the Sun goes down, a joyous atmosphere is created by the folk
musicians whose voices echo far & wide across the tranquil desert sand.
Nagaur is well connected to the mal or tourist centers of Rajasthan. The
nearest airport is Jodhpur (135 Km.).
(Jaisalmer, Jan.-Feb.) A unique three day show on the sands, when the
desert blooms with the riotous colour of Rajasthan 's desert heritage.
The traditional dances (famous Gair & Fire dances) backed by high
pitched music take the folk dances and the audience on an Euphoric trip.
The turban tying competition & Mr. Desert contest coupled with camel
race & acrobatics add a touch of excitement to the celebrations. One can
enjoy the pleasure of a camel ride to the sand dances and view musicians
& dancers performing.
(Baneshwar Dungarpur,Jan.-Feb.) A religious festival with simple &
traditional rituals. Quaint rhythms conjure up the tribal cultural
identity of the Bhils of Rajasthan, Gujarat & M.P. Baneshwar means the
master of the delta and this name was given to the Shiva linga. The
Beneshwar fair is held at a small delta formed by the river Som & Mahi &
prayers are offered toLord Shiva locally named as Baneshwar. The fair
resounds with the gaeity of traditional folk songs, folk dances, Raslila,
animal show, magic shows acrobatic feats. Adding to the excitement are
me joy ride." on merygo rounds & swings.
(Jaipur, March) A magnificent spectactle, it unveils the majesty and
grandeur of elephants celebrated around Holi. The Mahavats or owners
proudly decorate their elephants with bright colours, jhool., (saddle
cloth) and heavy jewellary. A royal procession of decorated elephants, a
match of elephant polo, an elephant race and playing Holi on elephants
are main events.
(Bharatpur, March) Held on the eve of Holi in honour of Lord Krishna,
this festival is marked by verve & east Villagers, in gay, multitude
attire can be seen singing and performing the Raslila dance the immortal
love story of Radha & Krishna.
(Jaipur, MarchApril) A festival devoted to Goddess Parvati, the consort
of Lord Shiva. Ishar & Gangaur are the divine male and female ho embody
marital love. Dedicated to goddess Gauri (Parvati), the festival
commences on Holi/ Young girls pray for ;rooms of their choice while
married women seek a long life for their husbands. rhe ladies decorate
their hands and feet )y drawing designs with Mehendi (Myrtle Jaste). On
the evening of the 7th day after -ioli, unmarried girls go around
singing songs of ghudlia (earthern pots with numerous holes all around
with a lamp lit aside) carrying the pots on their hands. )n their way
they collect small presents ,f cash, sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc. The
women do these while chanting hymns to the Goddess. Festivities continue
for 18 days culminating with the arrival of Lord Shiva to escort his
bride home. A grand process Ion with the ideal of Gauri in beautifully
decorated gold and silver a palanquin caparisoned elephants, camels,
horses, dances, drummers & joyous children, goes through the city
streets. In Jaipur procession forms at the Palace Gate known as T
ripolia and moves on the city streets on to Talkatora. A vast gathering
of jaipurites & villagers from nearby areas witness the procession. A
sweet dish called Ghewar characteristic of the Gangaur festival is
distributed among friends & relatives. In Jodhpur early in the morning
thousands of maidens, clad in their best attire, singing melodious
songs, bring water and durba grass in silver or brass pots to a place
known as Girdikot. In Udaipur the images of Isar & Gauri are taken in a
procession to the Pichola lake there after in a boat for an hour they go
around the lake and the ceremony comes to an end with a display of
fireworks on the banks. The Girasia tribe eligible boys & girls in
Sirohi, Mount Abu region during Gangaur festival select their life
partners & elope with them. This form of marriage has the sanction of
(Udaipur, MarchApril) Coinciding with the festival of Gangaur the Mewar
festival is celebrated to welcome the advent of spring. Once the
religions part of the festival is over it is time for potrayal of
Rajasthani culture through songs, dances and other programmes. The
festival culminates with an impressive fire works display.
Kaila Devi Fair
(Mt. Abu, June) The steep rocks, tranqillake, mango grooves, bauhinia
trees & thickets of wild berries cover this hilly mount. The three day
festival is a feast of folk & classical music and a window to the tribal
life & culture of Rajasthan. Cail; Choomar & Dhap folk dances enthrall
the spectators. Sporting events such as the boat race on the Nakki lake
add variety to the festival. Udaipur (185 Kms.) is the nearest airport
and Abu Road (29 Kms.) is the nearest Railway station and, there is a
good network of bus services connecting Mount Abu to Jaipur, Jodhpur,
Udaipur & Ahmedabad.
(Jaipur , July-August) The festival celebrating the reunion of Shiva &
Parvati, is celebrated at the onset of the onsoon. Teej is the festival
of swings. Young girls & women dressed in green clothes sing songs &
swing in celebrating the advent of the mansoon. An elaborate procession
is taken out in Jaipur for two consecutive days with ornately dressed
elephants, horses & camels, bands, performing artists & coluorfully
dressed people Goddess Parvati is invoked to bless her worshippers with
conjugal harmony & bliss.
Excitement, gaiety and a keen sense of competition fill the air as the
long journey to Pushkar begins. The only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma
(the creator) is located at Pushkar. The Pushkar lake is surrounded by
52 flights of steps called ghats. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu
appeared at the Varah ghat in the form of a boar. Brahma took a bath
here and performed yagna at the Brahma Ghat accompanied by Vishnu &
Mahadev. The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi (Father of the Nation) were
immersed at the Gandhi ghat. Pushkar is among the five principal places
of Hindu pilgrimage. People consider the water of the Pushkar lake to be
very sacred and the ritual of taking dips in the holy water IS believed
to bestow salvation. It I s customary to float lighted eastern lamps ed
on pattals (plates made of leaves) on the waters of lake. This creales a
spectacular view when the sacred lake takes on a mystical tint sprankled
with twinkling spots of light. In conjunction with he religious fair, a
cattle fair is also organised. The ancient town of Pushkar is
transformed into a spectacular fair ground. The fair grounds reverberate
with festivity and woman folk shop for bangles, clothes, utensils,
sundry household items & leather goods. The highlight of the Pushkar
fair is the trading in camels. The camel, horse & donkey races are
events that draw huge attendance. Body tatooing is yet another favourite
activity. Come dusk, and the rich strains of haunting music are carried
across the desert sands as the merrymaking continues deep into the
(Ajmer) The urs, acommomerative celebration is held in the solemn memory
of Khwaja Muin-nddin Chisti, a prighly respected sufi saint fondly
revered as the benefactor of the poor, popularly known as Gareeb Nawaz.
The Dargah Sharif in Ajmer, is the place where the Saints mortal remains
lie burried and is the site of the largest Muslim Fair in India. Chadar;
Ghilaph & Neema which are votive offerings for the tomb are offered by
several hundred thousand devotees. Mehfils & Qawwalis are held and mass
prayer calls for the eternal peace of the mankind. An interesting ritual
is the looting of Kheer (Milk Pudding) which is cooked in two large
cauldrons called Degs and distributed to the devotees as tabarruk
Rajasthan is where all the country's similes and metaphors appear to
have come together. Sand dunes, wooded hills and amazing lakes, palaces
and rugged forts, men and women in colorful turbans and skirts, bustling
towns and quiet villages, camels, elephants and tigers, harsh sunlight
and the cool evening breeze - are all there in abundance.
But they form only part of an intricate tapestry. Beneath the surface,
expect to find many contradictions. Where ever you travel, particularly
when you escape from the popular tourist destinations you will come
across the unexpected, whether it is a local fair or breathtaking view.
The mood and the rhythm of the country side changes from one region to
another, and from season to season. It is a land of surprises; it is a
land of amazing natural beauty that can fascinate even the most seasoned
A magical sojourn reverberating with age old culture and traditions, the
state enfolds in its lap a diverse kaleidoscope of breathtakingly
beautiful and fascinating art-de-facts. The range is unparalleled even
while it is sophisticated in its simplicity.
It has something for almost every kind of traveler, revealing a vast
range of arts and crafts, which is a treat for the visuals and are ready
to be picked. The Bazaars spill with products and there is a magnificent
glow of colours all over.
Intricate work carved on handicrafts or the wonders of gems and stones,
it has it all and even more like the colours dancing on the textiles and
fabrics with silver or gold threads settings and complimented with the
variety of Silk-threads, Beads, Gota, Zari, Zardosi, Banarasi, etc.
designed by the age old families of skilled artisans.
The amazing use of clay in the form of sculpture and decorative arts,
the paintings from different schools like Miniature, Mughal and the
different Rajasthani shailis (school of art) and more are piled up,
revealing the medieval splashes and recording historic and dramatic
events. Almost capturing the senses!