Medical Tourism In India
Introduction | Safaries | Forts & Palaces | Folk Music & Dance | Fairs & Festivals
Cities : - Jaisalmer | Jodhpur | Jaipur | Udaipur | Mount Abu | Ranthambore | Bikaner

Rajasthan Fairs & Festivals

The Rajasthanis Love for colour and joyous celebrations is provided 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. These are animal fairs, there are religious fairs and there are fairs to mark the changing seasons. In fact celebrations occur almost round the year are 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 involved elephants, camel races, dances and music have been specially organized for the tourists.

Desert Festival
In the midst of the endlessly undulating, stark yellow sands of the great Thar Desert, rises the golden sandstone city of Jaialmer, like a beautiful mirage, on top of the mythical Trikut hill. Once a year in winter, the empty sands around Jaisalmer come alive with the brilliant colour, music and laughter of the Desert Festival. The very rich and colourful Rajasthani folk culture is on show here for a few days. Handsome Rajasthani men and tall beautiful women dressed in their brilliantly hued picturesque costumes dance and sing haunting ballads of valor, romance and tragedy. The usual fair attractions are there - snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, folk performers do brisk business. Camels, the lifeline of the desert, play a major role. Proud moustached villagers, dressed in their ethnic best come astride their picturesquely caparisoned camels to join in the camel dances and competitions of camel acrobatics, camel races and décor, camel polo, tug of war and the like. The Langa and Manganiyar folk musicians, the brisk pace of Rajasthani folk dances like Gair, Dhyap, Gangaur, Ghoomar, Moria, Terathal, Rajasthani handicrafts are the other attractions at the festival.

Nagaur Festival
In the midst of the burning blowing yellow sands of the Thar Desert, 131 km from the city of Jodhpur and 45 km from Khimsar, is an inconspicuous little town called Nagaur. Once a year, usually when the winter climate tones down the fiery desert heat, a cattle fair is held here, one of the largest in India. Thousands of horses, cattle, camels and other livestock are brought in for buying and selling and rural folk from the neighboring areas depend on it for their livestock requirement of the year. The fair is organized by the Animal Husbandry Department and the Rajasthan Tourism Department also participates in it. Animal Husbandry Department controls the trading of this huge cattle market were as many as 2,00,000 livestock are brought and sold by some 80,000 farmers coming from as far as Punjab, Haryana. The star of the fair is the Nagauri cattle. Once the price of a horse, bullock or camel has been settled, the day draws to a close followed by the exciting games, tug of war, camel races and strains of ballads which create a joyful atmosphere.

Pushkar Mela
The biggest of Rajasthani's numerous fairs.Pushkar takes its name from the Pushkar lake near Ajmer where it is held annually. A dip in the holy waters of the lake is considered auspicious. The journey to the lake begins days in advance through the sandy wastes of Rajhasthan. The vehicles are myriad as the participants themselves - horses, bullock carts, camels, cars and jeeps. A huge cattle market is Pushkar's biggest draw where farmers and breeders buy and sell cattle, camels and horses in spirited bidding. A township of colourful tents transforms the arid landscape. Leather sales in whips, bits, shoes, embroidered animal covers and inlaid leather saddles predominate. For the women, it is a chance to bargain over bangles, cloths, pots, pans and other utensils. Necklaces of glass beads from Nagaur, Ivory work from Merta, printed cloth from Jodhpur and Ajmer, prized goods from far and near are bought avidly. The Pushkar Mela ends as it begins, in an endless stream of bullock carts, camels and jeeps.

Dusshera Festival
Tall effigies of the demons Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Meghnad are burnt on Dussehra day to symbolize the victory of good over evil. Dussehra in Kota is the beginning of a festive period when people gather here from their village to offer prayers to Lord Ram and celebrate his victory over Ravana, the ten headed demon king. Men, women and children in colourful dresses participate in the festival to the stains of traditional music, Rural markets and shopping arcades emerge from nowhere, resulting in brisk trading. The whole festival takes on the form of a big carnival.

Chandrabhaga Fair
Chandrabhaga is considered the holiest river in this part of Rajasthan. On Kartik Purnima (full moon) night, thousands of Hindus undertake a pilgrimage here for a dip in the holy waters of the river.

A big cattle fair, next only to the Pushkar Fair, is held here on this occasion, blending religion with commerce. Livestock brought here includes cows, bullocks, buffaloes and camels. The fair provides an opportunity to acquaint with the people of Hadoti and their culture rituals and traditions. Besides the people of this region a considerable number of people converge here from nearby areas of Madhya Pradesh.

Camel Fair
Unique celebration highlight camel and cultural heritage of northern Rajasthan. Dancing camels, glorious Gorbandh dances and camel safari expedition in the nearby desert invite many tourists to explore Bikaner and the surrounding places

Marwar Festival
Jodhpur is an ideal venue for celebration. The Mehrangarh fort and Umaid Bhawan Palace are symbols to the ingenuity, might and valor of the Rajputs of the Marwar region. The Palace recaptures proud monument. Spirited folk dancers ensemble performed with gusto introduce the audience to Rajasthani folklore.

Gangaur Festival
Ishar and Gangaur are the divine male and female who embody marital love. Dedicated to Goddess Gauri (Parvati), the festival commences on Holi. Young girls pray for grooms of their choice while married women seek a long life for their husbands. Primarily a festival for women, the celebrations include flower gathering and drawing water from selected wells. 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 procession, with the idol of Gauri in beautifully decorated gold and silver palanquin, caparisoned elephants, camels, horses, dancers, drummers and joyous children goes through the city street.

Mewar Festival
Welcoming the spring season, the festivities diverge into song, dance, rituals and fireworks. The best that Rajasthani culture can offer can be savoured here. This is also dedicated to Goddess Gauri (Parvati).

The evenings are made colourful with Gangaur processions. The grand climax is seen when group of women dressed in rainbow hues of scarlet, yellow, green and purple carry images to the Gangaur Ghat of lake Pichola and a stately boat procession starts from the Lake Palace.

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Introduction | Safaries | Forts & Palaces | Folk Music & Dance | Fairs & Festivals
Cities : - Jaisalmer | Jodhpur | Jaipur | Udaipur | Mount Abu | Ranthambore | Bikaner

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