Mumal India Travel
Rajasthan
Fairs and Festivals

Sun IconPushkar FestivalCamel Festival

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

The Pushkar Fair, is the annual five-day camel and livestock fair, held in the town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is one of the world's largest camel fairs, and apart from buying and selling of livestock it has become an important tourist attraction and its highlights have become competitions such as the "matka phod", "longest moustache", and "bridal competition" are the main draws for this fair which attracts thousands of tourists.

Thousands of people go to the banks of the Pushkar Lake where the fair takes place. Men buy and sell their livestock, which includes camels, cows, sheep and goats. The women go to the stalls, full of bracelets, clothes, textiles and fabrics. A camel race starts off the festival, with music, songs and exhibitions to follow. Between these events, the most waited for is the test of how the camel is able to bring the items. In order to demonstrate, the men go up on the group of camels one after another.



Sun IconDesert FestivalDesert Festival

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

During your Rajasthan travel experience the vibrancy of the Thar. The desert pulsates with a myriad of Rajasthani dances: Ghoomer, Gangaur, Gair Dhap, Moria, Chari and Tehratal The Gair and the Fire dances are the special attractions of the festival. Folk performers and the artists dressed in brilliantly hued costumes, the people of the desert dance and sing haunting ballads of valor, romance and tragedy. The fair has snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats all exhibit their traditional skills.

Camels are the integral part of the desert life and the camel events during the Desert Festival confirm this fact. There are exciting camel dances, camel acrobatics, camel races, and camel polo, competitions for the best decorated camel. Other interesting competitions on the fringes are Mr. Desert contest, tug-of-war between musclemen, the moustache and turban tying competitions, which not only demonstrate a glorious tradition but also inspire its preservation. Both the turban and the moustache have been centuries old symbols of honor in Rajasthan.

Desert Festival held against the backdrop of the awesome Jaisalmer fort is one of its kind in the world. Evenings are meant for the main shows of music and dance. Nearly all the variations of performing arts of these desert people are displayed. The number of spectators swells up each night and the grand finale, on the full moon night, takes place by silvery sand dunes. Fireworks displays at night light up the area, makes the Desert Festival at Jaisalmer not-to-be missed event.



Sun IconThe Elephant FestivalElephant Festival

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

The Elephant Festival is one of the most popular festivals of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Elephant festival has its own charm and is celebrated every year in March on the occasion of Holi, the festival of colors. The colorful festival of Holi is celebrated throughout India, but the festival gets some more spice added to it, when it combines with the Elephant festival of Jaipur, Rajasthan. The Elephants become the major attraction of this festival in their classy attires.

The famous Chaugan ground of Jaipur makes the perfect venue for the occasion. Elephant Festival commences with a parade of decorated Elephants marching towards the ground. Different competitions are organized to enjoy the festival to its full. Elephants engaged in races, polo-matches and tug-of-war with men make the spectators spellbound. Here one can enjoy seeing Elephants at their best. The Elephant keepers (mahouts) decorate their Elephants from head to toe with an exceptional care. The 'Best Decorated Elephant' contest is another feature of this cultural fest.

It is a festival time for Elephants, so they enjoy the festivity by dancing and playing. Live Folk dances and music programs are also arranged for the overall entertainment of people. This festival of Elephants revives the royalty of Jaipur, when people enjoy the glorious Elephant ride in the ground. The Elephants beautifully decked with floral motifs, make ultimate picture for the tourists. Being the time for Holi, tourists play Holi mounting on these painted Elephants. Elephant Festival of Jaipur is unusual, something different and definitely a special treat for the tourists.



Sun IconGangaur FestivalGangaur Festival

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

Gangaur is a significant festival of Jaipur, especially meant for the women. The word Gangaur is derived from two words, 'Gan' and 'Gauri' which are synonyms of 'Siva' and his consort 'Parvati' respectively. The festival of Gangaur starts with the subsequent day of Holi and persists for about 2 weeks. Gangaur is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Gauri, who is considered as the symbol of virtue, devotion, fertility and a perfect married woman. The womenfolk of Rajasthan worship Gauri with all the means of devotion, for the well-being of their husband, while the unmarried girls worship the goddess to get the husband of their choice. The festival begins with the custom of gathering ashes from Holika Dahan (Holi Fire) and burying the seeds of barley in it. After it, the seeds are watered everyday awaiting the germination.

The ritual is performed with the praiseful songs for Isar (Siva) and Gauri. The women apply henna on their hands to celebrate the auspicious festival. They carry painted matkas (water pots) on their heads. They also make images of Gauri and Isar with clay. On the seventh evening after Holi, unmarried girls assemble and take out a procession with 'Ghudlia' (an earthen pot with holes around and a lamp inside) on their heads. The ceremony continues for a fortnight. The girls are gifted with sweets, ghee and cash by the elders. During the last days of the festival, the celebration reaches to its height. On the final day, lively images of Gauri are taken out in procession escorted by traditionally dressed camels, bullock carts, horses and elephants decorated in traditional finery.. Songs are sung about the departure of Gauri to her husband's home. The procession is wrapped up with the breaking of pots and throwing the trash into a tank or pond. This traditional festival of Gangor is celebrated in Jaipur from ages and forms a special attraction for any visitor.

Another unique characteristic of this colorful festival is that on this occasion, tribal men and women have an opportunity to meet and interact freely. They can select a life partner of their choice and marry only by eloping.