NAGAUR FAIR, NAGAUR (JAN-FEB).
Nagaur awakens to bustling life every year with the thronging of cattle, horses and camels accompanied by theirturbanedowners and eager buyers. This cattle fair held annually is supposed to be one of the largest in the country. The Nagaur bulls are renowned for their fleet-footedness and therefore, attract buyers from all over. The day starts with buyers and sellers engaged in earnest bargains. Once the prince of a horse, bullock or probably a camel has been settled, the day draws to a close with fun and festivity. Games, tug of war, camel races and strains of ballads create a joyful atmosphere with the setting sun in the background.
DESERT FESTIVAL. JAISALMER (JAN.-FEB.)
†For three days Jaisalmer gets a chance to parade its charms to the worlds. Some chosen and cherished moments of its glorious past and† rich culture are on display. The traditional dances accompanied by high-pitched music on instruments take the folk dancers one step back into time.
The famous Gair dancers and the fire-dancers steal the show whenever they perform. There is further excitement afoot with the turban-tying competition and Mr. Desert contest. The grand finale is a trip to the sand dunes at Sam where one can enjoy and have the pleasure of a camel ride and at times also view the musicians and dancers performing on the dunes. Jaisalmer Tour Packages
BANESHWAR FAIR, BANESHWAR (JAN.-FEB.)
Held in the Dungarpur district of Rajasthan, the fair derives its name from the reversed Shiva Linga of that area. Predominantly a tribal affair with more than half the congregation being Bhils, thousands gather near the confluence of the Mahi and Som rivers to worship, sing and dance. A silver image of Mavji, a reincarnation of Kalki, an avatar of Lord Vishnu is brought on horse back.
Magic shows, acrobatic displays and merry-go-rounds add fun and frolic to the religious celebrations.
GANGAPUR FESTIVAL, JAIPUR (MAR.-APR.)
†Gangaur is the most important local festival in Rajasthan. It is dedicated to Gauri, a manifestation of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva and the symbol of conjugal bliss and marital happiness. A festival of maidens and married women, it begins on the day following Holi and is celebrated for eighteen days.
Colorful wooden images of Gauri are beautifully dressed and bejeweled. Offerings are made in each home. The women add to the excitement of singing and dancing.
Processions are taken out with the town band playing. Escorted walk alongside their horses, followed by elaborate palanquins.
In Jaipur the procession starts with the image of Gauri from the palace gate, known as Tripolia, through the main street.†
The festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in Bikaner, Jodhpur, Nathdwara and Jaisalmer. During the festival, in the Hadoti region of Bundi, Kota and Jhalawar, the field is covered with blossoming poppy flowers. Maidens go forth to collect these flowers to make wreaths for the Goddess.
The Garasia tribes who live in the Sirohi-Mount Abu region, celebrate Gangaur for a complete month . An unusual feature of their celebration is the procession of the Gangaur image from village to village. The tribal youth havean opportunity of meeting freely and during this time, they select partners and marry by† eloping. A romantic but strange custom, sanctioned by society. Jaipur Tour Packages
MEWAR FESTIVAL, UDAIPUR (MAR.-APR.)
This festival welcomes spring, offering the best overview of† Rajasthani culture through songs, dances, processions, devotional music and firework displays.
The evenings are made colorful with Gangaur processions. The grand climax is seen when groups of women dressed in rainbow hues of scarlet, yellow, green and purple carry images to the Gangaur Ghat of Lake Pichhola, and a stately boat procession†† starts on from the Lake Palace.†
ELPHANT FESTIVAL JAIPUR (MAR.-APR.)
A festival when the mighty mammals claim the center stage. They stride majestically parading their decorated trunks and tusks. The festival begins with a procession of elephants, camels and horses, followed by folk dancers at their entertaining best.
Spectators are enthralled with the elephant-polo matches. The sight of these heavy animals running to win the famous elephant race is truly amazing. The most hilarious highlight of the festival is a tug of war between elephant and men. A special show is also held after which† a prize for the best decorated elephant is announced.
†URS AJMER SHARIF, AJMER
†Held, according to the Lunar Calendar, in the memory of the saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, it is one of the biggest Muslim fairs in India. The six-day time that the saint is said to have gone into seclusion, to shed his mortal coil off and free his soul, are dedicated to his memory. Rajasthan Tour Packages
Pilgrims from all over the world gather here to pay homage.Quawwalisare sung and poets recite verses specially composed in the saintíshonour.Kheer, a milk pudding is cooked in the vast sixteenth century cauldrons, placed within the premises of the outer court.