Rajasthan Festivals hold an unusual lure for the Rajasthani, and they find any number of reasons to celebrate. While some of these are traditional festivals, there are also a large number that have been recently introduced by the tourism department to showcase the heritage of a region. Chances are, when traveling in the state, you will come across any number of local fairs and festivities in which you can participate. However, some of the larger and more important celebrations are listed below.
Baneshwar Fair – Camel Festival, Rajasthan Fairs & Festivals Held at Baneshwar at the time of Shivratri (January-February), this is a tribal fair on the banks of the Mahi and Som rivers in the forested area around the border of Rajasthan that it shares with Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Bhil tribals from all three states gather here to worship Shiva, and set camp in colorful groups.
Brij Festival – Staged a few days before Holi (March) in the Brij area around Bharatpur, it celebrates the festival of spring with spontaneous expressions of music and dance.
Camel Fair – Held in Bikaner in January, this celebration is a recent introduction in the desert city with the only camel breeding farm in the country. Not unexpectedly, most of the events are staged around this beast, with camel races and camel dances. There are also several folk performances, and this may also be your chance to experience the rare fire dance staged late at night.
Chaksu Fair – A gathering of people from Jaipur’s rural pockets collects here in almost all forms of transport-laden into tractor trolleys and jeeps- at what must be one of the most colourful events on the Rajasthani fair calendar.
Desert Fair – Jaisalmer exercises immense char, but with the staging of the annual Desert Festival (January-February), it has also become one of the more important events on the annual calendar. Essentially, it is a chowcase of the performing arts of the region on the stretching sands around this desert citadel. A number of amusing events at the stadium include turban tying competitions and camel races.
Elephant Festival – On the occasion of Holi in Jaipur, this festival of pachyderms includes several interesting attractions including elephant polo. The caparisoned elephants, their bodies painted with floral decorations by the mahouts, are asight to behold.
Gangaur Fair – Idols of Issar and Gangaur, manifestations of Shiva and Parvati, are worshipped by women, and particularly those unmarried who pray for a consort of the like of Shiva. Celebrated all over Rajasthan, it has women taking out processions through the streets of towns, carrying images of the divine couple. The festival is especially colourful in Jaipur, Udaipur and at Mandawa in the Shekhawati region.
Kolayat Fair – The sacred site where Kapil Muni is supposed to have meditated, a fair is held here on the banks of its lakes, and the air bristles with excitement. Kolayat can be visited from Bikaner.