In the month of March, the Pink City drifts into a jubilant festivity of life in reverence of animals. This carnival predominantly centres around the Elephant, which is a pre-Holi bash celebrated every year in the city of Jaipur. The Elephant Festival is one of the spectacular festivals in Rajasthan portraying the regal tradition of the state.
If you look into the Hindu mythology, animals are also worshiped in India during various carnivals, and they are always considered to be the deity of Lord Ganesha. Places like Assam and Kerala also celebrate such festival every year with great fervour. However, Jaipur Elephant Festival is the finest and unusual amongst all.
Considering the historic saga of Jaipur and royal castles associated with the city, it is quite startling to mull over the eminence of elephant instead of camel. To be very explicit on this, camel is always reckoned as the traditional symbol of Rajasthan, but when we talk about Rajput royalty, elephant leads the way symbolising the strength and wealth of Rajputs. Nevertheless, animals like camel and horse are also involved in this great festival of Jaipur.
Historic Tale of the Festival:
Since ancient times, elephants carry a regal saga of Rajput kings when they used to play a significant role not only during the combat, but also during the royal pageant of carnival. One massive elephant used to carry the flag leading the pageant. Many royal guests were also invited to be a part of several Rajput festivals that time. In order to amuse the presence of royal guests, special hunting programs and elephant fights were also organised in a spacious surface. Besides, many eminent British personalities were also invited by the Rajput Kings as the guest of honour. Further, they were taken till the Amber palace riding on the back of elephant. This historic tradition of Rajasthan is still sustained by the Rajasthan Tourism.
Jaipur, eminent as the Pink City has always been a popular tourist hub in India. A blend of traditional royal tale and architectural brilliance of imperial castles always pull numerous travellers in the city from India and overseas. If you are in Jaipur during Holi then don’t miss the great elephant festival of Jaipur, which is going to be unveiled on March 13, 2017. With a diverse range of activities and cultural showcases, every year this day long elephant festival is organised by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation at Rambagh Polo Ground, Jaipur.
The Key Attractions:
The Elephant Festival is one of the much waited festivals in Jaipur. In order to experience an electrifying elephant pageant and colourful ambience, tourists start flocking the Pink City days before the event. During the festival, the entire venue turns quite colourful and packed. The festival gets kicked-off with the legendary elephant procession followed by folk tunes wherein, dancers twirl in a flurry of colours. The ceremonial procession during festival turns more alluring with embellished camels, decorated palanquins, colourful chariots, lancers on horses and cannons.
On the day of festival, all the participating elephants are decorated by the mahouts. With great enthusiasm and cultural spirit, the mahouts paint the feet, trunks and foreheads of all the elephants. The elephants appear more appealing when decorated with trinkets and flowers. When brought amidst cheering spectators at Rambagh Polo Ground, the mahouts guide their respective elephants throughout the procession. An interesting fact about all the participating elephant is that they are female elephants, and tinkling anklets are tied, which sounds when the elephants stroll in the procession.
Apart from the richly caparisoned elephant’s parade, one more attraction of the festival is the game of Elephant Polo wherein, the participants are dressed in colourful turbans. Each team try to win the game by scoring more goals using long sticks and a plastic ball. It gives you immense pleasure to be a part of such festival with full of liveliness and rejoice.
In addition, a tug of war is also organised wherein, the strongest elephant compete against a group of ten participants. Furthermore, some of the thrilling activities like elephant races and colour splash on the visitors equally entertain the spectators during the festival. Thereafter, tourists are invited on the ground to ride on the elephant and play Holi.
Well, this is not the end. Jaipur Elephant Festival has lot more to offer for tourists. If you are a shopping freak, the festival offers you a great exposure to take home some of the souvenirs from festival shopping. There is also a Gaj Shringar exhibition showcasing various captivating items like paintings, ornaments and local crafts. The extravaganza of animals and colour comes more vibrant with delectable cuisines on the special occasion. At the end of the festival, the guest of honour awards the most embellished elephant of the event.
Having done with the festival of animal and colour, if exploring other sites of Jaipur is in your travel plan then don’t miss some of the important places like Hawa Mahal, Jaigarh Fort, Ganesh Pol, Govind Devji Temple, Jantar Mantar and City Palace.
How to Reach:
Being one of the richest heritage cities in India, Jaipur is frequently visited by travellers from across India and overseas. On inquiring how to reach Jaipur, the city has the following commuting options for you:
By Air: The nearest airport is Sanganer airport, which is located around 11Kms away from the Pink City. This airport is the gateway to both domestic as well international travellers. The flight connectivity from Jaipur to Delhi, Mumbai, Sharjah, Kuala Lumpur Dubai is quite convenient. From airport, you can hire a car or taxi to travel further and reach the destination.
By Train: Similar to air connectivity, Jaipur is well-connected to all major parts of India by train. Numbers of regular trains are there for Jaipur that run from the places like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Goa and Bangalore. Some of the popular trains to reach Jaipur are Adi SJ Rajdhani, Jaipur Express, Ajmer Shatabdi etc. Moreover, if you want to have a royal trip to the royal place, nothing could be better than Palace on Wheels. This train runs from Delhi.
By Road: A trip to Jaipur is always soothing. The reason being, it gives you some picturesque vista on the go. There are various buses that run under The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC). You can take bus from some of the places like Delhi, Gurgaon, Udaipur, Kota, Ajmer, Ahmedabad and Vadodara. In Jaipur city, the popular bus stoppage is Narayan Singh Circle. In addition to the cited places, Jaipur is also well-connected to many other adjoining cities by road. The following Table lists the distance between Jaipur and various other cities:
Having reached, next obvious inquest for travellers is to find a comfy staying option in the Pink City. Let’s have a look into some of the convenient places to stay in Jaipur.
Places to Stay:
Abundance of tourist places has already made the Pink City one of the preferred heritage hubs in India. Thus, plenty of tourists visit this city from all over the globe. Keeping in mind the mounting footfalls of visitors, various luxury and budget hotels are established here in Jaipur. Depending on the class of resort/hotel and the amenities you avail, the charges may range from INR 1000 to INR 5000 or more.
In order to cater you a relaxing stay in Jaipur city, some of the comfy accommodations are listed here:
Evershine Tower, Amrapali Circle, Vaishali Nagar
Jaipur India 30202016
#Hotel Om Tower
Church Road, M.I Road, Rajasthan
Jaipur India 302001
#Hotel Marigold Sitapura
It 20, Sitapura Industrial Area, Near Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Centre,
Sitapura, Tonk Road, Jaipur, India 302022
#The Fern – An Ecotel Hotel
Plot No 3, Airport Plaza, Tonk Road, Durgpura,
Rajasthan, Jaipur, India 302018
#Hotel Om Tower
Church Road, M.I Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Jaipur, India 302001
#Radisson Blu JaipurJaipur
Airport, 5-6, Airport Plaza, Tonk Road, Durgapura,
Jaipur, India 302018
Note: In order to avoid the last hour rush, tourists are requested to book hotels in advance. During Holi and Elephant Festival, it often becomes quite a thorny situation for visitors to get the right accommodation at right price. The reason being, during peak hours the hotel charges also climb up to a great extent.
So this Holi, plunge into the exquisiteness of the Pink City and witness one of the spectacular royal carnivals of Jaipur, the Elephant Festival. And don’t forget to share the experience of your colourful voyage in the heritage hub of India.
|Event Name||The Elephant Festival 2017, Jaipur|
|Date||March 13, 2017|
|Venue||Rambagh Polo Ground, Jaipur|
|Organiser||Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation|