INDIALINE
Complete India Travel Guide

"Rajasthan is land full of valourous and romantic stories. All these stories lend plenty of colours to this otherwise arid state. Adding more colourful charm are the festivals of the state, some being celebrated since long while others designed lately to promote tourism. Be a part of these festivals and enjoy yourself thoroughly during your vacations."
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Rajasthan Fairs & Festivals

Samode Palace, Rajasthan
Camel Festival - Rajasthan

Festivals hold an unusual lure for the Rajasthanis, and they find any number of reasons to celebrate. While some of these are traditional festivals, there are also a large number that have been recently introduced by the tourism department to showcase the heritage of a region. Chances are, when travelling in the state, you will come across any number of local fairs and festivities in which you can participate. However, some of the larger and more important celebrations are listed below. (This list does not include those festivals that are common to all parts of the country such as Holi, Diwali and Dussehra).

Famous Fairs & Festivals
Camel Festival

Pushkar Fair

Desert Festival Elephant Festival
Other Famous Fairs & Festivals

Baneshwar Fair, Dungarpur

A religious fair held in Jab-Feb every year, at the confluence of the Mahi and Som rivers. The Bhil tribal-community in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh assemble at the confluence for holy dips, to immerse the mortal remains of dead relatives or to offer prayers at this auspicious spot. The festival is dedicated to Kalki, the 10th incarnation of Lord. Vishnu. Festivities include magic shows, acrobatic, dances and songs. A procession carrying a silver image of Kalki on horse back, is taken around the village.

Time : Jan - Feb

Nagaur Fair, Nagaur

Nagaur hosts one of the largest cattle fairs in the country in late January or early February. It is a week long fair organised by the Animal Husbandry Department of the Government of Rajasthan, which also controls the trading of this huge cattle market. Thousands of horses, cattle, camels and other livestock are brought to Nagaur for buying and selling, from places as far away as Punjab and Haryana. As many as 2,00,000 livestock are brought and sold by some 80,000 farmers. Once the trading is over for the day, the evenings are spent in fun and games like tug of war, and camel races. Folk dances and songs are also performed.

Time : Jan-Feb

Brij Festival

Staged a few days before Holi (March) in the Brij area around Bharatpur, it celebrates the festival of spring with spontaneous expressions of music and dance.

Time: March

Chaksu Fair

A gathering of people from Jaipur’s rural packets collects here in almost all forms of transport – laden into tractor trolleys and jeeps – at what must be one of the most colourful events on the Rajasthani fair calendar.

Time: March - April

Gangaur Festival, Jaipur

Gangaur is an 18-day festival celebrated by women all across Rajasthan. Married women pray for the long lives of their husbands while unmarried girls pray for a good match. The festival celebrates the love between Shiva and his consort Gauri or Parvati The festival commences on Holi. Women gather flowers and draw water from selected wells while chanting hymns in praise of the goddess. At the end of 18 days, the festivities culminate with the arrival of Lord Shiva to escort his wife back home. A grand procession, symbolic of a marriage procession, carries a beautifully decorated idol of Gauri in a gold and silver palanquin through the city. The procession includes elephants, camels, horses, dancers, drummers and joyous children.

Time: March-April

Mewar Festival, Udaipur

The Mewar festival at Udaipur is held in March-April every year and welcomes the spring season. The festival is dedicated to goddess Gauri (Parvati). A procession carrying the idols of Gauri and Shiva, is taken around the city to the Gangaur Ghat at Lake Pichola. The entire city turns in their colourful traditional costumes. A stately boat procession then starts from the lake. The occasion is marked by traditional dancing and singing. Boat races are also organised.

Time : March - April

Summer Festival, Mount Abu

The summer festival is held in June every year at Mount Abu, the hill resort in Rajasthan. The three day festivities include classical and traditional folk dances and music.

Time : June

Teej Fair, Jaipur

Teej is celebrated in the Hindu month of Shravan, corresponding with July-August every year and marks the advent of the monsoons, a time of joy and respite in Rajasthan. The festival is extremely popular with Rajasthani women. It is dedicated to goddess Parvati, the consort of Shiva. Married women dress up in all their bridal fineries, they apply henna on their palms and swing on flower-decorated swings as they sing traditional songs. They pray to goddess Parvati for the long lives of their husbands.

Time : July - August

Navratri

The nine days preceding Dussehra are marked by fasting, and one ritual meal a day. In the case of the martial Rajputs, a goat is sacrificed as food for consecration, and the worship of their weapons is obligatory. Usually in September-October, it is a private celebration with no public fanfare.

Time: Sept - Oct

Marwar Festival, Jodhpur

The Marwar festival at Jodhpur is a two-day festival held in October every year. It is devoted mainly to traditional dances and drama from the Marwar region.

Time : October

Kolayat Fair

The sacred site where Kapil Muni is supposed to have meditated, a fair is held here on the banks of its lakes, and the air bristles with excitement. Kolayat can be visited from Bikaner.

Time : Oct - Nov

Chandrabhaga Cattle Fair, Jhalarpatan (Jhalwar)

The Chandrabhaga cattle fair is held on the last day of the Hindu month of Kartik (corresponding with Nov-Dec). People from all over, come here for livestock trading and to take holy dips in the river. Chandrabhaga is considered the holiest river in this part of Rajasthan.
Time : Nov-Dec

Sitla Mata Fair

A large fair is held to propitiate the goddess of war whose wrath can be the terrible scrouge of smallpox unless appeased by her followers. Consecrated food on this day consists of stale food left out the previous night. The fair is held in and around the temple dedicated to the goddess in Amber, Jaipur.

Urs Ajmer Sharif, Ajmer (According to Lunar Calendar)

Held in the memory of the revered Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti, the Urs at Ajmer Sharif is an occasion for thousands of believers to congregate at the shrine and offer their prayers. All of Ajmer seems to take on a festive air and several programmes are organised to mark the festivals.

 


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