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Rajasthan: Fairs & Festivals

The people of Rajasthan live life to the hilt and nobody can really match the gay abandon with which the Rajasthani surrenders himself to the numerous fairs and festivals that are celebrated here.

There are animal fairs, to mark the chanting seasons. In fact, celebrations occur almost round the year and provide the visitor with a splendid opportunity to gain an insight in to the life of the Rajasthani. There is dancing, singing, drama, devotional music and other community activities that can enthrall the visitor.

Some of the more important fairs and festivals are the Desert Festival of Jaisalmer (held in January- February), Pushkar Fair, held in Pushkar, near Ajmer (November), Gangaur Festival, Jaipur (Murch- April ), Elephant Festival, Jaipur (March- April ), Marwar Festival, Jodpur (October), Camel Festival, Bikaner(January), Mewar Festival, Udaipur.

Listed here is a very small selection of the countless number of exciting events that are held in Rajasthan throughout the year.

Nagaur Fair,Nagaur
(Jan-Feb.): Essentially an animal fair, it provides an opportunity to participate in some of the local sports.

Desert Fair, Jaisalmer

Desert Festival,Jaisalmer
(Jan-Feb.): One of the most popular of all festivals it is a journey into the heart of the desert,the golden city of Jaisalmer that has a charm of its own. A true show on the sands which attracts even the much traveled visitor.

Baneshwar Fair,Baneshwar
(Jan-Feb.): A religious festival with simple and traditional rituals. This fair is the centre of attraction of a large number of tribals from the neighboring states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat who join their brethren from Rajasthan in offering prayers to Lord Shiva.

Gangaur Festival, Jaipur

(March-April): A festival devoted to Goddess Parvati,the consort of Lord Shiva. It is time for young girls to dress up in their finery and pray for grooms of their choice while the married women pray for the well-being of their husbands. This 18-day festival is laced with various activities and culminates in a grand procession marking the arrival of Shiva to escort his bride home.

Mewar Festival
,Udaipur (March-April): A festival to welcome the spring season. There is song, dance, processions,devotional music and fireworks where almost everybody participates.

Elephant Festival
,Jaipur (March-April): A festival to celebrate Holi, this is a great occasion for the visitor to watch several elephant sports and also play this festival of colours. A show is organised with the elephants turning out in their best finery.

Urs Ajmer Sharif
,Ajmer (According to Lunar Calendar): Held in the memory of the revered Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti, it 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.

Summer Festival
, Mt.Abu (June): Organised in the only hill station of Rajasthan,this is the coldest place at this time of the year. Folk dances and a general atmosphere of gaiety prevails in this tiny hill resort and the tourist has ample time to relax and enjoy himself.

, Jaipur (July-August): A festival to mark the advent of monsoon.Processions,women dressed in bright colours and a lot of merriment prevails during Teej. Essentially a women’s festival, it is interesting to watch them enjoying in groups and at various bazaars where they turn up to shop in all their finery.

Pushkar Fair

Marwar Festival
,Jodhpur (October): A festival devoted mainly to the music and dance of the Marwar region. This is a festival that allows the visitor to understand and enjoy the folk traditions of this part of the state.

Pushkar Fair,
Ajmer (November): The well-known and marked with largest participation of all the festivals of Rajasthan,Pushkar is an important pilgrimage as well as the venue of a mammoth cattle fair. Bazaars,auctions,music and sports are highlight of this event.

Camel Festival
,Bikaner (January): An enchanting desert city which comes alive with music and dance. It is fast gaining popularity as the visitor finds an opportunity to see some unusual folk performances,camel, race camel dance etc. here.