Rajasthan Festival Tours 2015-2016

Come and experience the vibrant Fairs and Festivals of Rajasthan during your royal journey aboard the Palace on Wheels. As the Palace on Wheels chugs through the heart of Rajasthan in the kind of royal style that only the Maharajas of yesteryear could have enjoyed, you not only experience the romance of old-fashioned rail travel, but also get to experience the splendid architecture, colourful bazaars, the rich culture, the myriad topography of the Thar Desert, the vibrant people and colourful fairs and festivals of Rajasthan.

Rajasthan is a vibrant, exotic state in India where tradition and royal glory meet in a riot of colors against the vast backdrop of sand and desert. Referred to as the Desert Jewel of India, Rajasthan shimmers with even more vibrancy during the time of its colourful fairs and festivals. The desert glitters with the colors of joyous celebration and gay abandon with every fair and festival of Rajasthan. There is a celebration for every religious occasion, every change of season and every harvest, all invariably a reflection of the genius of their arts and crafts and their ascetic refinement.

In fact, celebrations occur almost round the year and are a splendid opportunity for tourists to gain an insight into the life of the Rajasthan during their travel. Other than the traditional fairs, recently established festivals which involve elephants, camel races, dance and music have been specially organised for tourists. Among the better known fairs and festivals of Rajasthan are:

PUSHKAR FAIR

Place : Pushkar
Time : November

Pushkar Enjoyment : The fascinating Pushkar Fair offers all the things that bring smile on the face of an avid traveler. Reputed as the biggest cattle fair in the world, it offers a breathtaking spectacle of fun and frolic. During the fair, the otherwise quiet changes its color and becomes a happening place.

The fair attracts a number of cattle breeders from across the world. They bring a large number of cattle of various breeds to be paraded and sold here. The fair also attracts a large number of villagers from different parts of the state who come here to enjoy the peaks of festivity and fun.

A number of makeshift tents offering exquisite handcrafted items and other specialties of Rajasthan add to its attraction.

ELEPHANT FESTIVAL, JAIPUR

Place : Jaipur
Time : March (Phagun), on the eve of Holi

Rites & Rituals : Elephant Festival is the major festival observed in Jaipur. The colorful festival dedicated to the big mammal attracts tourists from every corner of the world. The fascinating spectacle starts with a huge procession of elephants, camels, horses and folk dancers. The other attractions of the festival include playing of Holi on elephant back, elephant race and the tug-of-war between elephant.

The sight of mighty elephants walking majestically is sure to leave any onlooker mesmerized. Prizes are given to the most beautifully decorated elephant.

GANGAUR FESTIVAL

Place : The festival is observed throughout the state
Time : March (Chaitra), the day following Holi

Rites & Rituals : For the married girls of Rajasthan, it is binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival. It is believed that by doing so, they will lead a happy and prosperous married life. The ladies decorate their hands and feet by drawing designs with myrtle paste. Women make the clay images of Isar and Gauri, which are revered as the major deities in Rajasthan.

The festival reaches its climax on the 7th day when spinsters go around singing traditional songs carrying pots on their head. On the last day of the festival, women carryout a huge procession and bid farewell to the Goddess Gauri.

JAISALMER DESERT FESTIVAL

Place : Jaisalmer
Time : January-February
Rites & Rituals : Desert Festival is the perfect occasion to take a glimpse into the royal past and affluent cultural heritage of Jaisalmer. The festival offers a breathtaking spectacle of folk dances, traditional songs and various competitions that virtually set the deserted land of Jaisalmer on fire. The festival exudes a delightful spirit and for three days the entire town is clustered with colorfully dressed people.

The major attraction of the festival include :
Gair dances
Turban tying competition
Mr. Desert Competition
Camel rides on sand dunes

BANESHWAR FAIR

Place : Dungarpur
Time : February

Rites & Rituals : Baneshwar Fair holds a significant importance among the tribal of Rajasthan. It offers a unique and much awaited opportunity to the rural mass to take a break from their routine and enjoy the various colors of the festival. The fair starts with a ceremony in which saffron is applied to the Shiva Linga in the temple of Baneshwar Mahadev.

The major attractions of the fair include :
Acrobatic feats by the skilled jugglers
Traditional songs and folk dances
Magic shows
Joyrides including giant wheel, merry-go-round

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

TEEJ FESTIVAL, JAIPUR (July-August)
A festival to mark the advent of monsoon. Processions, women dressed in bright colours 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.

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. Not to be missed during your Rajasthan tour and travel.

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