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Home > India Fair & Festival Tours > Elephant Festival of Jaipur
Elephant Festival of Jaipur

Date : 05 March, 2015
Highlights - Elephant Procession, Bedecked Elephants Competition, Elephant Race, Tug of War, Musical and Cultural Shows

Jaipur, the capital city of desert state of India, Rajasthan is one of the most visited cities in India. In addition to thebeautiful and historic attractions that the city boasts off, one of its most famous attractions is the annual Elephant festival. This unique festival is held in the months of February/March, on a fullmoon day, a day before the festival of colours, Holi. Elephants find a mention in all the royal battles fought over the ages in ancient India as well as considered to be auspicious. In Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha, the God with the elephant head, is considered to be the harbinger of good and vanquisher of evil. Hindus, always invoke the blessings of this God before new beginnings in any area of their lives for good luck and no obstacles. In this context, elephants are also revered in this festival.
The festival is a riot of colours, pomp and pageantry. One gets to see the humble looking elephants decked up to the hilt with intricately embroidered, rich rugs, head dresses, parasols and heavy jewellery like anklets and bells. Necks, ears and trunks are adorned too. Their handlers, called mahouts deck up as well in rich robes and the entire sight takes one back to the times when royals held away over their kingdom and these sights were the most awaited spectacles for the commoners.

The festival commences with a procession of these royal elephants with their mahouts
riding them. Loud music accompanies them, heralding them with nagadas (Indian drums) and bankiya (a local musical instrument). Elephants who participate in this procession are all females and there are games played by them as well which makes for an engaging sight. Games like tug of war between an elephant and 19 men and women is a highlight, not to be missed. Other games like elephant polo, elephant race and competitions for selecting the most appealing elephant are good fun. The procession is marked by dances with other animals joining in too like camels and horses.

The festival is well attended by foreigners and locals alike. This festival is a praiseworthy initiative taken by the Rajasthan Tourism Department to create a right mix of culture and tradition.