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The history of Rajasthan dates back to the time immemorial. Archaeological and historical evidences reveal that 100, 000 years ago there was human habitation in this area.  

Between the 7th and the 11th century AD, several dynasties surfaced in the region. Among them, Rajput strength reached its peak at the beginning of the 16th century.

During the Mughal period, Emperor Akbar brought the Rajput states into the Mughal Empire. By early 19th century, they allied with the Marathas.

Later, the British established supremacy in the region. Rajasthan soon became the nerve center of Indian freedom struggle.

When the new constitution was introduced in 1950, Rajput princes surrendered their powers to the Indian Union and with that Rajsthan became a state of India.

Arts & Craft :

Rajasthan offers a breathtaking variety of arts & crafts that make it a state with a distinct identity. Jaipur- the capital of Rajasthan is famous across the world for its semi precious and precious stones & gems. It also enjoys a reputation of being the finest center that offers breathtakingly beautiful prints-specially on cotton fabric.

Jaisalmer is famous for premium quality mirror work, embroidered articles, woolen pattu and various other items. It also offers a comprehensive range of wooden boxes, trinkets and silver jewelry.

Other examples of the rich arts & crafts tradition of Rajasthan include tie-and-die fabrics and sarees, sanganer prints, brocades; marble statuettes, ivory carving, stone-set and semi precious jewelry, enamel work… and countless others.



The rural Rajasthan offers the best of its rich cultural tradition. It is said that the soul of Rajasthan lives in the villages that represent the most basic form of civilization. People make huts and cover the walls with plaster of clay, cow dung and hay, making the hut termite free. Women make decorative facades with bright colors on the huts that add to their attraction.

The Rajasthan society is a closely-knit unit where betrothals, marriages and even deaths are occasions for entire community to share each other's moments of joy and sorrow. Other social occasions for the villagers are the fairs in which they participate wearing dazzling costumes.

The common people in Rajasthan are religious but belong to different ethnic groups. There is a separate room in every home where they offer their prayers before the images of gods.




Fairs & Festivals in Rajasthan

A variety of fairs & festivals in Rajasthan present a breathtaking extravaganza. A unique blend of color, rhythm and melody, these are the occasions when the common mass in Rajasthan takes a break from the chaos of daily life and enjoy the colors of festivity.

Fairs & Festivals in Rajasthan carry a totally distinct charm. Various cattle fairs especially the Pushkar Fair is totally unique and enjoys a distinct identity among all the fairs held in India. Some of the major Fairs & Festivals in Rajasthan include:


Elephant Festival

Place: Jaipur
Time: March (Phagun), on the eve of Holi
Rites & Rituals: Elephant Festival attracts visitors from every nook and corner of the world. The festival begins with a procession of elephants, camels, horses and folk dancers. Attractively decorated mighty jumbos striding majestically is a sight to behold. Female elephants are made to wear anklets, which tinkle as they walk. There are prizes for the most beautifully decorated elephant.

In addition to this, several other exciting events also take place including elephant race, the tug-of-war between elephant and playing of Holi on elephant back.


Gangaur Festival


Place: The festival is observed throughout the state
Time: March (Chaitra), the day following Holi
Rites & Rituals: The festival holds a special place among the newly wedded girls in Rajasthan. For them, it is binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage. The ladies decorate their hands and feet by drawing designs with mehendi (myrtle paste).

Images of Isar and Gauri are made of the clay for the festival. On the evening of the 7th day after Holi, unmarried girls go around singing songs of ghudlia carrying pots with a burning lamp inside, on their heads. The festival reaches its climax during the last three days when women, carrying the idols of Gauri, take out processions and bid farewell to Gauri in the end.



Nagaur Fair

Place: Nagaur
Time: January-February
Rites & Rituals: The picturesque town of Nagaur stirs to life with the arrival of Nagaur Fair. The cattle fair here is reputed as the second largest in Rajasthan and offers some of the best sight of Rajasthan. The fair attracts visitors from all corners of the world for the trading in cows, camels and horses.

Various games are organized during this four day festival that include tug-of-war, camel races, cock fights and countless others. It offers tourist a memorable extravaganza of fun and frolic. As the sun goes down, the folk musicians, whose voices echo far and wide across the tranquil desert land, create a joyous atmosphere.


Camel Festival

Place: Bikaner
Time: January
Rites & Rituals: Camel Festival is just the right place to see and admire the Ships of the Desert. It begins with a colorful procession of bedecked camels against the red sandstone backdrop of the Junagarh Fort. The festivity advances to the open sand-spreads of the grounds followed by a variety of competitions including war contest, camel dance and acrobatics.

The camels display spellbinding footwork, dancing gracefully to the direction of their trainers. The jubilant skirt swirling dancers, the awe-inspiring fire dance and the dazzling fireworks light up the fortified Desert City. The festivities reach to the peak with a different tenor as the renowned artists display a medley of folk dances and songs.

Pushkar is a serene and mellow town in rural Rajasthan and is believed to be the first place created by Brahma. It has a surfeit of bathing ghats whose beauty can only be seen. Its claim to fame rests on the Brahma temple, which is the only one devoted to Lord Brahma, the God of Creation.

In Pushkar, however, it is the Pushkar Fair that draws the maximum crowds. Held annually in November, it is one of India's largest and most flamboyant festivals. A visit to India is incomplete if the magical spell of this unique fair leaves you untouched.

The fair falls on the full moon of Kartik Purnima according to Hindu chronology. It is the time when this sleepy town comes alive with the assemblage of camels, horses and cattle. Each year, up to two million people flock to Pushkar fair for a shopping spree, a get together and cattle trade. They all enjoy the fair, dressed in dazzling traditional costumes.

The four-day long festival is full of fun and frolic. Some of the major events that give this festival a completely distinct look include camel race, tug-of-war, weightlifting competition, horse and camel dealing and various religious ceremonies.

It is an event not to be missed for the local people as well as many live stock traders. At the time of the fair the town overflows with tribals, pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. It provides them with an opportunity to search for some respite from the tumult of daily life.

There are numerous opportunities for a tourist in the fair. You can shop in the open-air market of the fair that offers some of the most exquisite items reflecting the rich handicraft tradition of Rajasthan. The colorful bangles, embroidery and brassware items will surely draw your attention while the acrobats, jugglers, snake charmers and fire-eaters will leave you mesmerized with their skilled performances.

You can also cruise on camel safari or enjoy the Rajasthan dance program that is performed by the local dancers clad in colorful traditional costumes. The music of the itinerant 'Bhil' and 'Langa' minstrels and the performance of the children in the programs are things you will remember for a long time to come.

The fair gives an edge to the consumer product marketing in rural India. The improved facilities in the fair have made it an international attraction. There is an arrangement of spacious tent houses, equipped with all the necessary facilities that can accommodate a large number of tourists. Camel carts are available from the tent camp for your journey to and from the fair.




Place: Ajmer
Time: 25th day of the sixth lunar month
Rites & Rituals: The urs is one of the most important religious occasions for the Muslims especially for those belonging to South Asia. It is initiated by the hoisting of a white flag on the dargah by the Sajjada Nashin (successor representative) of the Chishtis. The ceremony takes place on Jamadi-ul-Akhir with the accompaniment of music.

At night religious assemblies called mehfils are held in the mehfilkhana, a large hall meant for this purpose. Qawwalis are sung and a large number of devotees gather to witness the occasion. Separate places are reserved for women who attend the mehfil that terminates late in the night with fatiha.

The looting of kheer (milk pudding) is an occasion not to be missed. The kheer is distributed among the devotees as tabarruk (blessed food).



Place: Jaipur
Time: August
Rites & Rituals: Teej is the festival of swings. Dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, it marks the advent of the monsoon, which is the season of drizzling raindrops. Swings are hung from trees and decorated with flowers. Young girls and women dressed in green clothes sing songs in celebration of the advent of the monsoon.

Goddess Parvati is worshipped by seekers of conjugal bliss and happiness. An elaborate procession is taken out on the streets of Jaipur for two consecutive days on the festive occasion.


Mewar Festival in

Place: Udaipur
Time: April
Rites & Rituals: The festival is held to welcome the arrival of spring. Though it coincides with the Gangaur Festival in Udaipur, yet it has a charm of its own. The festival holds a very prominent place among the women of Rajasthan. They dress up in traditional clothes and perform various religious activities.

They gather to dress the images of Isar and Gangaur and then carry them in a ceremonial procession through different parts of the city. The procession winds its way to the Gangaur Ghat where images are transferred to special boats amidst singing and festivity. Once the religious part is over, it is time for cultural events where Rajasthani culture is portrayed through dance, culture and other programs.



Desert festival


Place: Jaisalmer
Time: January-February
Rites & Rituals The otherwise barren
land of Jaisalmer comes to life and displays some cherished moments of its illustrious past and affluent culture. Traditional dances backed by high-pitched music create an out-of-this-world environment. The Turban Tying Competition and Mr. Desert contest give a totally distinct touch to the festival.

The famous Gair dancers and the traditional fire dancers leave the crowd enchanted and asking for more. The festival ends with a trip to the sand dunes where you can enjoy the pleasure of a camel ride while viewing dancers and musicians displaying their skills. It will be a time that you will cherish for years to come.


Baneshwar Fair

Place: Dungarpur
Time: February
Rites & Rituals: Baneshwar Fair is predominately a tribal fair. It provides a unique opportunity to the local tribes to take a break from their routine and appreciate the various colors of the 'Mela'. In the morning, saffron is applied to the Shiva Linga in the temple of Baneshwar Mahadev. After that it is bathed and an aarti of burning incense is waved before it. Devotees offer wheat flour, pulses, rice, jaggery, ghee, salt, chilies, coconut and cash.

The major attractions of the fair include acrobatic feats by the skilled jugglers, traditional songs and folk dances, magic shows and animal shows. A variety of joyrides including giant wheel, merry-go-round and others add to the excitement. The large number of shops in the fair provides an opportunity for buying and selling of essential goods and fancy articles.


Summer Festival

Place: Mount Abu
Time: June
Rites & Rituals: Rites & Rituals: If you think Rajasthan is all about ruined palaces, ancient forts and colorful fairs & festivals, think again. For a first hand experience of a distinct face of Rajasthan, come to Mount Abu during Summer Festival and savor the experience. The steep rocks, tranquil lakes, picturesque locations and pleasant climate make it an ideal location for the festival.

The three-day festival begins with the singing of ballad followed by Gair, Ghoomar and Dhap folk dances that enthrall the spectators. Sporting events such as the boat race on the Nakki Lake add variety to the festival. The festival comes to end with a dazzling display of fireworks.



Marwar Festival in Jodhpur

Place: Jodhpur
Time: September-October
Rites & Rituals: Marwar Festival showcases the best of Rajasthan's culture and lifestyle. The festival starts with a bash and for two days the city of Jodhpur reverberates with various festivities. Originally known as the Maand Festival, it features folk music centered on the romantic lifestyle of Rajasthan's rulers.

The festival offers a variety of attractions including camel tattoo show and polo. The various competition take place in and around the impressive Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mandore Fort, Mehrangarh Fort the symbolize the might and valor of this royal land.


Ritual and ceremonies


Ritual and ceremonies in Rajasthan
Rajasthan- the royal land of splendour and vivacity is a treasure trove of many rituals and ceremonies that are performed here. The majestic land of mystic charm exhibits countless traditions that mark their entire lives.

Jhadula- the haircut ceremony
People of Rajasthan perform this ceremony at the shrines of Shiva. Popularly known as Jhadula, this ceremony has a religious significance. Newborns are brought to the shrines of Shiva- Bhaironji for the haircut.

Marriage- the unification of two souls
Marriages are made in heaven but are celebrated on the Earth. Keeping this belief in view, Rajasthani weddings are celebrated with a style befitting the royals. Following all customs and rituals, the marriage provides a nice opportunity for families to come close and celebrate a splendid occasion. After setting a date for the wedding, the groom's family sends bridal dress and necklace that she must wear for the ceremony. Her face is kept veiled all the time and seven 'feras' rounds are taken, vows are exchanged and a feast is organised for the grooms' side.

Kajli Teej
Kajli teej is celebrated on the third day of the month Bhadra (July/August). Goddess Parvati is worshipped in this festival. The festivities last for only eight days, finally coinciding with Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna.








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