Royalty and glory – these two words sum up the essence of Rajasthan. Though this royal state of India has embraced the modernity to trudge along well with the evolving times, its roots are steeped in grand history, art, culture and architecture. Besides the majestic forts, vast desert and modest people, Rajasthan is also known for its various fairs and festivals, which showcase the colourful and vibrant culture of Rajasthan. There isn’t a better way to enjoy the hospitality and warmth of the people of Rajasthan than by attending their fairs and festivals. Each and every colour of joy and fervour can be experienced during these festivals, which define the very spirit of Rajasthan. If you are planning a trip to Rajasthan, it is better to keep these fairs and festivals in mind, which can make it a memorable experience for you. Let us talk about the festivals, which are organized during the months of January, February and March in Rajasthan.
Organized by the Department of Rajasthan Tourism, Kumbhalgarh festival is a great initiative to promote the art and culture of the region. This is a must-attend festival if you like to enjoy the live shows of some of the India’s finest classical artists, musicians and dancers performing against the backdrop of the majestic Kumbhalgarh Fort. While adults can enjoy the captivating performances, children can play many games in the vicinity. Other attractions include a turban tying competition and a heritage walk. This festival is named after its creator Maharana Kumbha, who was a connoisseur and promoter of the Indian martial and fine arts, and architecture. This festival also provides a great platform to local artists, who can showcase their talent to a wider audience. This festival is divided into two parts – day time and evening time activities. Folk dances are performed during the day time, while evening belongs to the light and sound shows, which enhance the overall beauty of the fort to a great extent.
When: January 28-30 every year
Where: Kumbhalgarh Fort, near Udaipur
Jaisalmer Desert Festival
The Jaisalmer Desert festival is a well-devised and a fruit bearing effort of the Department of Rajasthan Tourism. This three-day event has emerged as one of the major attractions for the foreign travellers to Rajasthan. In this event, you get the opportunity to understand and experience the various exotic facets of the Rajasthani culture and its people. Encircled by the colossal swathe of golden sand, this festival is organized against the backdrop of the Jaisalmer Fort, which creates a fascinating panorama, oozing with beauty and grandeur. This festival provides a soul-stirring experience to the visitors, as they get familiar with the various interesting facets of the local culture. Besides folk dance performances, other main attractions of this festival are: camel races, puppet shows, polo matches, men with long moustaches, and turban tying competitions among other.
When: 20 -22 February 2016.
Where: Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer
Dotted by the undulating hills of the Aravali mountains range – the Shekhawati province of Rajasthan holds a great value in the history and culture of Rajasthan. This is the reason why it is also called the world’s largest open air art gallery. Located about 125 kms from Jaipur, Shekhawti region is hugely famous for the annual Shekhawati Festival, which is considered as one of the most important events in Rajasthan for promoting rural tourism. This mega event is jointly organized by the Rajasthan Tourism and the Morarka Foundation. In fact, other district administrations of Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu also help in organizing this event. Some of the main attractions of this festival are: exhibitions of arts and crafts, cattle fair and cultural performances among others.
When: January 12-14 February 2016
Where: Nawalgarh, Shekhwati
World Sufi Spirit Festival Jodhpur
Sufism is based on the philosophy of personal enlightenment and salvation. This message is eulogized through various forms of expressions including, the mystical poetry, music and dance, which transcend beyond the boundaries of religion and rituals. The World Sufi Spirit Festival Jodhpur brings together renowned artists from India and the world to create three days of magic, full of music and poetry. These artists perform on a stage, which is erected inside the incredible Mehrangarh fort to make it a truly memorable experience for you.
When: 26-28 February 2016.
Where: Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
World Living Heritage Festival
The World Living Heritage Festival is organised by the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF), Udaipur in association with UNESCO India Office, New Delhi. This festival is part of the initiatives taken to preserve the incredible heritage of erstwhile Mewar. A comprehensive plan is developed to fulfil this responsibility by ensuring the proper maintenance and care of all the heritage buildings in Udaipur and also by promoting the local culture through different platforms. This festival showcases the best of Mewar heritage and culture to the world in order to create interest and curiosity among the visitors. The main attractions of this festival are: heritage exhibition, music concert, conference, and workshops.
When: 19-23 March, 2016
Where: The City Palace, Udaipur
Jaipur Elephant Festival
Elephants have been remained an important part of the Indian royalty because of their value in religious events, marriage ceremonies, and processions. During olden days, these massive animals were an important part of the royal armoury in a battlefield. This festival pays homage to elephants and it is organised on the full moon day of the Phalgun Purnima, a day before holi, the Indian festival of colour, which is celebrated all over India. A majestic spectacle is created in this festival. Elephants are nicely clothed and adorned with velvets rugs, parasols and jewellery including anklets and bells. One can see all sorts of intricate and traditional Indian motifs on the bodies of these elephants. The festival kicks off with an amazing procession of the elephants, which are painted with different colours and adorned with ornaments and embroidered clothes. The main attraction of this festival is Elephant polo and the tug-of-war between the elephants. Notable musicians and dancers also perform in this event.
When: 22 March, 2016
Where: Jaipur Polo Ground, Jaipur
This festival is organised by the District Administration of Pali and the Department of Tourism Rajasthan to promote the culture of the region and to attract tourists. This festival showcases the sparkling traditions and culture of Rajasthan through various dance and music performances. Various notable singers and dancers participate in this festival which is organized for three days in the city of Ranakpur, which is also popular for its rural settlement and remarkable Jain Temples. Other main attractions of this festival are: bullock cart rides, horse race, and turban tying competition among others.
When: 21-22 March, 2016
Where: Mana Hotels, Ranakpur, Rajasthan.
Jodhpur Flamenco and Gypsy Festival
The Jodhpur Flamenco and Gypsy festival is all about celebrating the magic of music and nuance of gypsy culture. Interestingly, the Gypsy culture of India was originated in Rajasthan. It is a three-day event, where world-renowned musicians come together on a single stage to play together in the historically significant Mehrangarh Fort. New and progressive music is played by a diverse group of performers to showcase and celebrate the various aspects of Gypsy tradition. This festival is a must-visit event for those who want to experience the best of progressive music.
When: 18-20 March, 2016
Where: Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur