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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Rites & Rituals The otherwise barren
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 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.
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.
Place: Mount Abu
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
Marwar Festival in
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 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
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.