Elephant Festival

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             Elephant Festival - Jaipur


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                                                                               Elephant festival,Jaipur
Introduction of Elephant Festival

Elephants have always held a significant place in the Indian society, Lord Ganesha , the Hindu deity with the head of an elephant is very much respected and is the lord master of all ceremonies and happy beginnings. Elephants are part of a lot of major religious ceremonies, processions and even marriage ceremonies, all primarily ceremonial roles as the period of the war elephant is now long over.

The Elephant Festival is an annual event held every year at Jaipur the capital city of Rajasthan. The Elephant Festival Jaipur is arranged according to the Indian calendar on the full moon day of Phalgun Purnima (February/March), this day also go along with day of Holika Dahan, just a day before Dulendhi, when the Indian festival of colour and joy Holi is celebrated all over India revolving cities and towns into a riot of colour, fun and frolic. If you are planning to visit India, are somewhat adventurous and eager to experience and discover a variety of aspects of India, this could certainly be a ideal time. The weather is pleasant and the light good for photography.

Centre of Attraction of the Elephant  Festival

As the name suggests elephants are the centre of attraction at the Elephant Festival Jaipur. Pachyderms are washed, decorated and groomed in all ceremonial dress by their loving grooms or Mahouts as they are called in India. Elephants are specially ornamented for the elephant festival, with fatty elephant jewellery, large anklets decorated with bells charm their feet, their bodies are painted with traditional Indian motifs, gold embroidered velvet rugs grace their backs along with silver and gold plated Howdahs and gold embroidered velvet parasolís . The large ears of the elephants are decorated with ear danglers and brightly coloured brocade scarfs. Even their tusks are ringed with gold and silver bracelets and rings. Richly embellished head-plates adorn the Elephants foreheads. The mahouts are also all dressed up in their brocade jackets and bright coloured Safaís or turbans. There is a prize for the best ornamented Elephant and its Mahout at the Jaipur Elephant festival.

At the Elephant Festival the elephants are dressed in all best clothes and paraded for being judged as the best ornamented Elephant at the festival. The Elephant Festival Jaipur provides the best opportunity to look at these majestic Giants in all their best clothes.

Where Elephant Festival is Celebrated

The Jaipur Elephant festival is planned by Rajasthan Tourism and is now a part of its annual eventís calendar. Earlier the Elephant Festival was held at the Chaugan Stadium in the walled old city area of Jaipur however due to the increased fame of the event and the large crowds it attracts now the venue since 2011 has been shifted to the Jaipur Polo grounds near the Rambagh Hotel opposed to the Sawai Man Singh Stadium.

The Elephant Festival Jaipur offers the ideal opportunity to see these royal and royal creatures in all their brilliance as they show off before you to the beating of the Nagara and the blowing of the Bankiya, followed by rows of decked up camels, horses with lanced Riders, Horse drawn chariots, cannon carts and porters carrying palanquins followed by performances of the folk dancers all creating a scene suggestive of the past and celebrating the splendor of the Elephant and the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan.

Main Attractions of the Festival

The festival begins with a fixed procession; while musicians play folk tunes and dancers revolve in a flurry of colours, richly caparisoned elephants march along in a procession This is followed by a 'most excellent ornamented elephant' competition, games of elephant polo, elephant races, a special 'elephant decoration' exhibition and a tug-of-war between humans and an elephant. No prizes for guessing who wins.

All Elephants, are in graceful attire, full with glitter and gold. All the elephants attract the audience with their grand processions and ornamented trunks and tusks.

The most visible feature of this festival is Elephant polo where, the players wear saffron and red turbans, sit on the elephants, and try to score goals with long sticks and a plastic football. Only female elephants take part in this festival. The Festival also provides platform for the folk custom of Rajasthan. The festivities finish with performances of folk dances; with a liberal splashing of Holi colours on all and various and a fantastic display of fireworks.
Come to the festival and watch Jaipur come alive!

The game of polo forms the emphasize of the Elephant Festival of Jaipur. Dressed in saffron and red turbans, the teams try to score goals with long sticks and a plastic football. Finally, the tourists are invited to mount the elephants and play Holi. Participants dance with great vigor-the excitement rising to a crescendo.

Strangely, most of the participants are female elephants. The mahouts (elephant keepers) take great care to decorate the elephants - painting their trunks, foreheads and feet with floral motifs and decorating them from tusk to tail with exciting ornaments. The mahouts were employed in the Phil Khana, the department of elephant in the royal management. They played an important role until the princely state was incorporated into the Union and the department became surplus. They, however, have continued their connection with the elephants.

Best Time to visit Rajasthan

Festival time is the best time to travel to Rajasthan than any other time. The Elephant Festival of Jaipur is an distinctive event which is annually organized in the capital of the north Indian state of Rajasthan. To indicate the advent of Spring,the elephant festival is Held during Holi, the festival of colors, the Jaipur Chaugan or polo field is brought alive with elephants, dancers, musicians and onlookers from all the sphere. Groomed to perfection, sparkling in gold, row upon row of elephants walkway before an enthralled audience. The elephants move elegantly in procession, run races, play the royal game of polo.
The deep sound of the bankiya (trumpet) fills the atmosphere. A ceremonial procession is recreated with caparisoned elephants, lancers on horses, chariots, camels, cannons, and palanquins. The huge animal is the center of attraction in the many races and beauty contests.

The Elephant Festival is the specialty of the state of Rajasthan. Like the Desert Festival of Jaisalmer, the Elephant Festival of Jaipur has become a major draw for the tourists during their travel and tour. Given the importance of the elephant in the socio-cultural milieu of the state of Rajasthan, tourists can rest assured that they are in for some great Indian festivities and fun in Jaipur.

Dates of Elephant Festival

Dates vary every year. It coincides with the festival of Holi that is based on Hindu calender.

                             Decorated Elephant                            Elephant Festival Rajasthan
                         Elephant Festival of Jaipur                            Elephant Festival of Jaipur
                       Elephant Festival of Jaipur                               Elephants in Elephant Festival  

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