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Fairs & Festivals

Pushkar Festival

Time of the Year: November-December
Places to Visit: Pushkar (Rajasthan)
Duration: Five Days

Pushkar Fair, is a five-day camel and herd fair.placed in the town of pukhkar city in the state of rajasthan. Its is one of the largest Pilgrims come to this festival to bathe in the holy waters of Pushkar's lake and be absolved of their sins. The two days around the full moon are considered to be the most auspicious time of the year for bathing in the lake. Those who bathe on the day of the full moon are said to receive special blessings.he sand dunes appear infested with camels as far as the eyes can see and the population of Pushkar swells to over 200,000 people, with an inflow of pilgrims, camel traders, and tourists.

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Desert Festival

Time of the Year: January / February (Purnima)
Places to Visit: Jaisalmer (Rajasthan)
Duration: Three Days

The Desert Festival of Rajasthan is a colourful, joyous celebration of the rich heritage of Rajasthan. Once a year in winters and on the middle of the continually rising and falling stark yellow sands of the great Thar Desert, the empty sands around Jaisalmer come alive with the brilliant colour, music and laughter of the Desert Festival of Rajasthan. You will never forget marvels like the famous Gair and Fire dancers that are the major attraction of the desert festival celebrations. Interesting contests including a tying competition and a Mr. Desert contest further enhance the fun of the occasion. A trip to the Sam sand dunes marks the grand finale, where you will enjoy camel rides and brilliant performance by the folk artist under the full moon against the backdrop of picturesque dunes. he three-day event stresses more on local elements and heritage. For example, this no-nonsense festival will only showcase Rajasthani folk songs and dance. These are presented by some of the best professionals of the art. Similarly, local customs such as Turban tying etc have been added to make it more exotic and colorful in its outlook. 'The moustache competition' is very popular among foreigners. This is simply because of the surprise value attached to this event. Foreigners can be seen posing for pictures with the winners. This is truly a moment worth preserving. You will never forget marvels like the famous Gair and Fire dancers that are the major attraction of the desert festival celebrations. Interesting contests including a tying competition and a Mr. Desert contest further enhance the fun of the occasion. A trip to the Sam sand dunes marks the grand finale, where you will enjoy camel rides and brilliant performance by the folk artist under the full moon against the backdrop of picturesque dunes. the sands around Jaisalmer are adorned with vibrant hues of music and dance of Rajasthan, accompanied with sounds of laughter and joy. The Jaisalmer Fort of Rajasthan provides an ethereal backdrop to the annual Desert Festival celebrating the traditional performing arts and creative crafts of Rajasthan. The otherwise barren landscape is splashed with vibrant colors marking the opening of the Desert Festival of Rajasthan. Over the years, the desert dwellers in their solitude have woven a fascinating tapestry with threads of music and rhythm and the Desert Festival of Rajasthan is a celebration of their heritage. It is a chance of a lifetime to see the folk art forms against the landscape of Rajasthan that has nurtured them for hundreds of years during your Rajasthan tour.

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Elephant Festival

Time of the Year: February / march (on Holi)
Places to Visit: Jaipur (Rajasthan)
Duration: Five Days

The elephant is one of the most revered animals in Indian mythology. It is in fact, believed to be one of the 9 jewels that emerged from the ocean as a result of the ocean-churning that occurred between the demons and gods to attain the elixir of life and immortality.

The Elephant Festival is held every year a day before Holi. The festival begins with a procession of elephants, camels, and horses, painted and tastefully attired with ornaments and embroidered velvet, followed by lively folk dancers. The elephants greet the visitors, offer garlands to the guests and walk past the ramp before a jury of experts and tourists who select the Best-decorated Elephant. Elephant races and elephant polo matches are special features.

All royal guests were taken to the famous Amber Fort on elephant back and special elephant fights were organized to provide entertainment for such guests. Jaipur in particular was preferred for honouring royal guests by riding them in parades atop elephants. Recognizing the importance of this cultural and historical legacy, the Rajasthan Tousrism department renewed the tradition, and because of this, a spectacular elephant festival is held hereelephants are the focus of the festival, other equally decorated animals like camels and horses are also present with their riders firmly in the saddles. The ceremonial procession is now recreated to perfection with all the original grandeur of the yesteryears as these elephants, horses, chariots, lancers, camels, cannons, and palanquins move one after another spell-binding the entire audience that watches. As the procession ends, tourists are also invited to mount the elephants and play along with the colours. These enthusiastic visitors join in the parade and gradually the entire atmosphere becomes thick with laughter and complete enjoyment. For a moment all the cares of the world seen to disappear and all that remains are these amazing creatures with their swirling trunks, a colour-filled stadium, the musical notes of folk performers and the age-old legacy of the grandeur of Rajasthani royalty!
This festival is enjoyed by a huge number of crowds including the visitors from different parts of India as well as abroad. This festival, organised by Rajasthan Tourism and has now become an important part of its' annual events calendar. In previous time, this festival was held at the Chaugan Stadium located in the old city area of Jaipur but due to the increase in crowds and fame, its venue got changed in 2011 and has been shifted to Jaipur Polo Ground which is opposite to the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

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Gangaur Festival

Time of the Year: March/ April
Places to Visit: Jaipur (Rajasthan)
Duration: Sixteen Days

Gangaur festival of Rajasthan is celebrated in the month of chaitra (March-April), the first month of the Hindu calendar. This month marks the end of winter and the onset of spring. The festival of Gangaur starts with the subsequent day of Holi and persists for about 2 weeks. The womenfolk of Rajasthan worship Gauri with all the means of devotion. The married women worship Gauri for the well-being of their husband, while the unmarried girls worship the goddess to get the husband of their choice. This is also an auspicious day for young people to select their life partners. A newly-wedded girl observes a fast for the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage. Even unmarried girls fast and eat only one meal a day. Colourful processions with the town band playing horses and elaborate palanquins make it a fascinating spectacle. This worship which starts form the first day of the chaitra month culminates on the 18th day into Gangaur festival of Rajasthan with a great religious fervour. The festival of Rajasthan begins with the custom of gathering ashes from the Holi Fire and burying the seeds of barley in it. After it, the seeds are watered everyday awaiting the germination.

Images of Isar and Gauri are made of clay for the festival of Rajasthan. In some families, permanent wooden images are painted afresh every year by reputed painters called 'matherans' on the eve of the festival of Rajasthan. A distinct difference between the idols of Teej and Gangaur is that the idol will have a canopy during the Teej Festival of Rajasthan while the Gangaur idol would not have one.

At an auspicious hour in the afternoon, a procession is taken out to a garden, tank or a well with the images of Isar and Gauri, placed on the heads of married women. Songs are sung about the departure of Gauri to her husband's house. The procession comes back after offering water to the image of Gauri, which faces backwards on the first two days. On the final day, she faces in the same direction as Isar and the procession concludes with the consignment of all the images in the waters of a tank or a well. The women bid farewell to Gauri and turn their steps homewards with tears in their eyes and the Gangaur Festival of Rajasthan comes to an end. The Gangaur of Jaipur is famous in all over the world. In Jaipur, a sweet dish called a ghewar is characteristic of the Gangaur festival. People buy ghewar to eat and distribute it among their friends and relatives. A procession, with the image of Gauri, commences from the Zanani-Deodhi of the City Palace. It then passes through Tripolia Bazaar, Chhoti Chaupar, Gangauri Bazaar, Chaugan stadium and finally converge near the Talkatora. People from all walks of life come to witness the procession.

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