Fairs and Festivals
Fair & Festivals of Rajasthan (2009-2010)
|Camel Fair, Bikaner||(30 - 31 Dec, 2009)|
|Kite Festival, Jaipur||(14th Jan, 2010)|
|Nagaur Fair, Nagaur||(22 - 25 Jan, 2010)||Read more|
|Baneshwar Festival||(26 - 30 Jan, 2010)|
|Brij Festival||(2- 4 Feb, 2010)||Read more|
|Sheetala Ashtami||(8 March, 2010)|
|Desert Festival||(28 - 30 Jan, 2010)||Read more|
|Elephant Festival||(28th Feb, 2010)||Read more|
|Gangaur Fair||(18 - 19 March, 2010)||Read more|
|Mewar Festival||(18 - 20 March, 2010)||Read more|
|Summer Festival||(26 - 28 May, 2010)||Read more|
|Teej Fair||(12 - 13 Aug, 2010)||Read more|
|Urs Ajmer Sharif||(July, 2010)|
|Dusshera Mela||(15 - 17 Oct, 2010)||Read more|
|Marwar Festival||(21 - 22 Oct, 2010)||Read more|
|Pushkar Fair||(13 - 21 Nov, 2010)|
Also called as the Cattle Fair, is the 2nd largest animal fair of India. Thousands of animals are gathered at the cattle fair for trading. Traders come to buy and sell cows, bullocks (Nagauri breed is renowned), oxen and camels.
Various games are organized during this four day festival. Tug-of-war, camel races, cock fights etc. provide entertainment to the tourists and visitors. As the sun goes down, a joyous atmosphere is created by the folk music and dance, whose voices echo far and wide across the tranquil desert sand.
It was bestowed upon Balban as his jagir in 1242. Sher Shah captured Nagaur in 1542 A.D. Nagaur was a sarkar of Ajmer subah during Sur empire and later in Mughal empire. Emperor Akbar built the mosque here, and there is a shrine of the disciple of Mu'inuddin Chishti of Ajmer.
Badal Mahal, Sheesh Mahal & Hadi Rani Mahal are worth seeing. All three have exquisite 18th century frescos on the ceilings. There is also fascinating medieval air cooling system and an ornate old hammam, or bath.
By Bus & Rail
You will get regular buses from Jodhpur to Nagaur. Nagaur is also connected by bus from other cities of Rajasthan. You can also take private taxi from Jodhpur.
These time RTDC is not having Royal Tent Accommodations.
This eight days fair held every year during the month of Jan-Feb, is popularly known as the Cattle fair and is the second largest in Rajasthan. Nagaur Town is the most picturesque of Rajput townships. Nagaur is a sea of animals, trading over 70,000 bullocks, camels and horses every year. The bullocks are known for their fleetness. Not only are the animals lavishly decorated, even their owners flaunt wearing colourful turbans and long moustaches.
Sports like tug-of-war, camel races, bullock races and cock fights; jugglers; puppeteers, story-tellers; and exciting campfire evenings are held to entertain the tourists. Folk music of the Jodhpur variation echoes the tranquil desert sand. Nagaur is well connected to the major cities by road and rail. Nearest airport is Jodhpur, some 135kms away.
|How to Reach||Bharatpur is well connected by road and rail with Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and other cities and towns of North India.|
|Significance||In the honor of Lord Krishna|
|Highlights||Raslila Dance, illustrating the eternal love story of Radha Krishan.|
The Brij Festival is held in the month of March, a few days before the festival of colors, Holi. This festival is held in the commemoration of Lord Krishna. The main attraction point of the Brij Festival of Bharatpur, Rajasthan is the Raslila Dance, illustrating the eternal love story of Radha Krishan. The villagers of Bharatpur perform this dance, dressed in bright and colorful costumes. Throughout Bharatpur, the sound of folk songs fills the air and mesmerizes people. All the people, men or women, young or old, participate in the Rajasthan Braj Mahotsav and drown in its spirit. Whole of the place is painted in bright colors and no one is spared from being splashed with colors.
A lively and colourful event, the Camel Festival is organised by the Department of Tourism, Art & Culture, Rajasthan in Bikaner every year. January is just the right month for a desert spree, and Bikaner just the right place to see the Ships of the Desert. In the camel country Bikaner, these desert leviathans pull heavy cart loads, transport grain and even work at the wells.
The Camel Festival begins with a colourful 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 the best breed competition, the tug-of-war contest, camel dance and acrobatics, etc.
The camels display amazing footwork, dancing gracefully to the slightest direction of their trainers. Bridal, bridles, bejewelled necks, jingling anklets and long, lanky camel shadows on dusky sands cast a magical spell. Hundreds of tourists and thousands of locals and dignitaries revel in this man-and-animal affair organised especially for the tourists.
The evenings close with a different tenor and tempo altogether: a traditional rendezvous of renowned artistes of Rajasthan and the local folk performers. The jubilant skirt-swirling dancers, the awe inspiring fire dance, and the dazzling fireworks light up the fortified desert city of Bikaner.
Bikaner is connected by rail and road with all the major cities. The nearest airport is at Jodhpur (243 kms.).
Desert Festival, Jaisalmer
|Date||28-30 Jan||16-18 Feb||5-7 Feb||23-25 Feb||12-14 Feb||1-3 Feb|
Once a year in winters and on the middle of the continually rising and falling stark yellow sands of the great Thar Desert, the empty sands around Jaisalmer come alive with the brilliant colour, music and laughter of the Desert Festival. The festival is organised by the tourist authorities as tourist entertainment around January-February.
The very rich and colourful Rajasthani folk culture is on show here for a few days. Rajasthani men and tall beautiful women dressed in their brightly costumes dance and sing lingering ballads of valour, romance and tragedy. Traditional musicians attempt to outdo each other in their musical superiority.
The high points of the festival are - snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, folk performers do rapid trade. Camels, the lifeline of the desert, play a foremost role. Proud moustached villagers, dressed in their ethnic best come astride their picturesquely caparisoned camels to join in the camel dances and competitions of camel acrobatics, camel races and décor, camel polo, tug of war and the like.
The tourist dances, turban tying competitions and tug of war are big draws and laughter. The Mr Desert competitions, which are focused around the length of moustaches by and large, attract many hopefuls.
|Time||January / February|
|How to Reach||Jaisalmer is well connected by road and rail network with most cities and towns of Rajasthan.|
|Significance||The Desert festival displays the rich and colorful culture of Rajasthan.|
|Highlights||Performances by fire dancers, snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, folk artists, etc.|
The Desert Festival is organized in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, usually in the month of January or February. The duration of the festival is three days and it comes to an end on Poornima, the full moon day. The main purpose of the Rajasthan Desert Festival is to display the rich and colorful culture of the state. Dressed in vibrant and colorful attire, the people of Rajasthan dance to the tunes lingering ballads of heroism, romance and tragedy of the local heroes.
The major attractions of the Desert Festival of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan include snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, folk performers, etc. Especially, the Gair and Fire dancers, in their vibrant and colorful costumes, capture your heart. However, amongst all these, the ship of the desert, camel does not loses its special place. Apart from the camel rides that are quite popular, camels take part in a number of events. Of them, the most famous and unique ones are camel polo and camel dance.
Other events include the turban tying competition and a display of the most glorious moustaches. Turbans and mustaches are deemed to be the symbols of honor in the state of Rajasthan. Then, there is a Mr. Desert contest that further adds to the enjoyment. With the fascinating Jaisalmer Fort and the sand dunes serving as the backdrop, the celebrations gain an added advantage. There are also brilliant performances by the folk artists, dancing elegantly to the tunes of the folk music. Traditional handicrafts of Rajasthan are also traded at the fair.
|Time||Hindu Month of Chaitra (July-August).|
|Venue||All over Rajasthan|
|Significance||Dedicated to Gauri (Parvati), the companion of Lord Shiva.|
|Highlights||Unmarried females pray for good husbands while the married ones worship to be blessed with a happy married life.|
Gangaur Festival is celebrated throughout the state of Rajasthan. It is one of the most colorful and most important festivals of the state. The Gangaur Festival of Rajasthan is dedicated to Gauri (Parvati), the companion of Lord Shiva. All across the state, the womenfolk with great enthusiasm and dedication observe the festival. Gangaur Festival takes place in the Hindu month of Chaitra (July-August).
The word Gangaur is used to signify Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The first part of the word Gan means Lord Shiva and the second part Gaur signifies Goddess Gauri or Parvati (symbolizing marital bliss). Goddess Gauri is considered to be an epitome of marital love. Unmarried females pray to her to be blessed with good husbands. At the same time, married women worship her to be blessed with a happy married life and to seek good health and a long life for their husbands.
Starting from the first day of the Hindu month Chaitra (the day following Holi), the festival goes on for 18 days. For a newly married girl, fasting for full 18 days of the first Gangaur festival after her marriage is absolutely compulsory. During the Gangaur Festival females apply mehendi (henna) on their hands and feet. On the seventh day after Holi, the unmarried girls spend the evening carrying ghudlias (earthen pots with a number of holes all around) on their heads with a lamp burning inside them and singing songs. Roaming around in the streets, they collect small presents of cash, sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc.
The ritual of carrying ghudlias in the evening goes on for 10 days i.e. till the end of the Gangaur Festival. On the last day, girls break their pots and throw the debris into a well or a tank. The high point of the festival is during the last three days. Womenfolk (both married as well as unmarried) beautify the statues of Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri (Parvati). In the afternoon, a procession is taken to a garden, tank or a well, at an auspicious hour. In the procession, the married women carry the images of Isar and Gauri on their heads.
The Gangaur Festival is the colourful and most important local festival of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the State with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva during July-Aug. It is the celebration of monsoon, harvest and marital fidelity in Jaipur.
Gan is a synonym for Shiva and Gaur which stands for Gauri or Parvati who symbolises saubhagya (marital bliss). Gauri is the embodiment of perfection and conjugal love which is why the unmarried women worship her for being blessed with good husbands, while married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their spouses and a happy married life.
The festival commences on the first day of Chaitra, the day following Holi and continues for 18 days. For a newly-wedded girl, it is binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage. Even unmarried girls fast for the full period of 18 days and eat only one meal a day.
Images of Isar and Gauri are made of clay for the festival. In some families, permanent wooden images are painted afresh every year by reputed painters called matherans on the eve of the festival. A distinct difference between the idols of Teej and Gangaur is that the Idol will have a canopy during the Teej Festival while the Gangaur idol would not have a canopy.
The ladies decorate their hands and feet by drawing designs with mehendi (myrtle paste). The figures drawn range from the Sun, Moon and the stars to simple flowers or geometrical designs. Ghudlias are earthen pots with numerous holes all around and a lamp lit inside them. On the evening of the 7th day after Holi, unmarried girls go around singing songs of ghudlia carrying the pots with a burning lamp inside, on their heads. On their way, they collect small presents of cash, sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc. This continues for 10 days i.e. upto the conclusion of the Gangaur Festival when the girls break their pots and throw the debris into a well or a tank and enjoy a feast with the collections made.
The festival reaches its climax during the last three days. Unmarried girls and married women decorate the images and make them look like living figures. At an auspicious hour in the afternoon, a procession is taken out to a garden, tank or a well with the images of Isar and Gauri, placed on the heads of married women.
Kajli Teej, Bundi
|Date||26-27 Aug||15-16 Aug||4 Aug||22-23 Aug||12-13 Aug||31 Aug - 1 Sep|
Teej festival, the celebration of the monsoons (July-Aug), is celebrated all over the state with each region having its own unique touch. Kajli Teej of Bundi is different in several ways-while Teej is celebrated on the third day of the month of Shravana, in Bundi it is celebrated on the third day of the month of Bhadra. The festival starts with the procession of goddess Teej in a decorated palanquin from the beautiful Naval Sagar. It passes through the main bazaars and terminates at Azad Park. The procession has decorated elephants, camels, bands, performing artists and colourfully dressed people.
This is the time to renew the ties of fidelity for married couples in Rajasthan, and special sweetmeats, and swing rides are characteristic of it. The people who gather here from surrounding areas also get to watch and participate in the cultural programmes that are organised in the evenings. It provides a very good chance to see performances by local artists from Hadoti region.
Though the main function of Teej is held only on two days, the celebrations continue upto Janmashtami, which marks the birth of Lord Krishna.
Kajli Teej Festival
|Time||Hindu month of Bhadra (July-August)|
|How to reach||The nearest airport is at Jaipur. Bundi has its own railway station with regular trains to all the major cities. It is also well connected by road with Ajmer, Kota and Jaipur.|
|Significance||The Kajli Teej festival is held to commemorate Goddess Teej. The married couples pray for restoration of commitment and devotion.|
|Highlights||A procession of the Goddess in a decorated palanquin and performances by Hadoti artists.|
Unlike the Teej Festival celebrated throughout the state of Rajasthan, Kajli Teej Festival is celebrated in the city of Bundi. This festival is organized in the Hindu month of Bhadra (July-August). Rajasthan Kajli Teej Festival starts on the third day of the month of Bhadra and lasts for two days. The festival is held to commemorate Goddess Teej. A procession of the goddess in a decorated palanquin marks the beginning of the Kajli Teej Festival of Bundi, Rajasthan. The procession starts from the beautiful Naval Sagar, passes through the main bazaars and comes to an end at the Azad Park.
Kajli Teej Festival is the time for the married couples to restore their ties of commitment and devotion. Characterizing this renewal of marital bonds are special sweetmeats and swing rides. The attractions of the festival include amazing performances by Hadoti artists and cultural programs organized in the evenings. People from surrounding areas also come to this festival and participate in the programs. Although the main Kajli Teej Festival takes place for two days only, but the festivities continue till the festival of Janmashtami (birth anniversary of Lord Krishna).
|Date||18-20 Mar||6-8 Apr||25-27 Mar||13-15 Apr||2-4 Apr||22-24 Mar|
The Mewar Festival is celebrated to welcome the advent of spring. It coincides with the festival of Gangaur in Udaipur, and has a unique charm about it. The women folk 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 at Lake Pichhola. Here, the images are transferred to special boats amidst much singing and festivity.
Once the religious part of the festival is over, it is time for cultural events where Rajasthani culture is portrayed through songs, dances and other programmes. The festival culminates with an impressive fireworks display.
|Time||Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April)|
|How to Reach||Udaipur is well connected by road with various cities and towns of Rajasthan. Rail network connects Udaipur with Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Chittorgarh. The city also has a domestic airport, serviced by almost all the major airlines.|
|Significance||It marks the beginning of the spring season.|
|Highlights||A procession carrying the images of Isar and Gangaur. There are also Rajasthan folk songs, dances, along with a remarkable display of fireworks.|
The Mewar Festival is celebrated in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April). It is organized to mark the beginning of the spring season. Rajasthan Mewar Festival overlaps with the Gangaur festival. A procession carrying the images of Isar and Gangaur, ornamented and dressed in colorful attire, is taken at the time of the festival. The procession goes through the various areas of Udaipur and comes to an end at the Gangaur Ghat of Lake Pichola. Thereafter, the images are moved on to special boats. After this whole process is over, cultural events take over the celebration of the festival. Rajasthan folk songs, dances and other programs take the center stage. The festival concludes with a remarkable display of fireworks.
Sonar Kila or Jaisalmer Fort
Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur
Moti Mangri, Udaipur
Amer Fort, Jaipur
Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
"Travel and change of pace impart new vigor to the mind" - Seneca