Archive for category festivals fairs rajasthan

Gangaur 2010 – an Important and Colorful Festival for Women of Rajasthan

Gangaur is one of the most important festivals in Rajasthan.

gangaur-rajasthan

It is celebrated in the month of chaitra (March-April), the first month of the Hindu calendar. This month marks the end of winter and the onset of spring. This year Gangaur festival will be on 18 March, 2010.

Honoring the Goddess Gauri

Gangaur is all about honoring the goddess Gauri. A manifestation of Parvati (Lord Shiva’s wife), she represents purity and austerity.

The word ‘Gangaur’ is literally made up of two words, ‘Gana’ and ‘Gaur’. ‘Gana’ is synonymous with Lord Shiva and ‘Gaur’ which stands for Gauri or Parvati.

It’s believed that Parvati returned to her parental home during Gangaur, to bless her friends with marital bliss. On the last day, Parvait was given a grand farewell by her loved ones and Lord Shiva arrived to escort her home.

The festival is predominantly for women, who dress up in their best clothes pray for a husband of their choice, or the welfare of their husbands.

Traditional Procession of Gangaur in Jaipur

A traditional procession of Gangaur commences form the Zanani- Deodhi of the City Palace, passing through Tripolia Bazaar, Chhoti Chaupar, Gangauri Bazaar, Chaugan stadium and finally converges near the Talkatora. The procession is headed by a colorful pageantry of elephants, old palanquins, chariots, bullock carts and performance folk artistes.

In Jaipur, a sweet dish called ghewar is popularly distributed amongst friends and relatives.

Boat procession in Udaipur

In Udaipur, there’s a boat procession on Lake Pichola, and fireworks. Women balance several brass pitchers on their heads add to the interest. The occasion ends with fireworks on the banks of the lake.

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Holi Celebration in Rajasthan – Festival History and Folk Traditions

Holi, also called the Festival of Colours, is a popular Hindu festival celebrated in India.  ‘Holi’ falls on the full moon, in the month of Phalgun, which spans the end of February and the beginning of March on the calendar. This year(2010) Holi falls on 1st March.

History About Holi

The legend of King Hiranyakashipu is associated with the festival of Holi. This legend signifies the victory of good over evil, of devotion surpassing ambition.

The proud King was enraged by Prahlad’s (his son) disobedience and decided to punish him severely. He asked his sister Holika for help. It was believed that Holika was immune to fire and would never be burnt, so the King asked Holika to sit in the centre of a bonfire with Prahlad on her lap, so that the fire could devour him. The bonfire was lit, and young Prahlad sat in Holika’s lap, in its centre, praying to Lord Vishnu.

His devotion saved him, leaving him untouched by the flames, but Holika was burnt to ashes. To mark this legend, huge bonfires are lit on the eve of Holi.

Holi Celebration in Rajasthan

The colourful state of Rajasthan plays Holi much the same way as Mathura. A night before the full moon, crowds of people gather together and light huge bonfires to burn the residual dried leaves and twigs of the winter. People throw coloured water and powders (gulal and kumkum) at each other and make merry. Singing, dancing and the traditional beats of dhol add to the gaiety of the occasion.

Folk Traditions on Holy  in Rajasthan

Mali Holi :

The colourful festival of Holi is played in many different ways. The ‘mali’ or gardener community of Rajasthan has a unique style where the men colour the women with water and women retaliate by hitting them with sticks or long pieces of cloth

Gair at Godaji:

Men from 12 villages collects at Godaji village near Ajmer in Rajasthan to play gair a few days after holi. Each village brings his own drummer and gair troupes. The picturesque location for it is a valley surrounded by hills on all sides. Thousands of onlookers and close to hundred players make a wonderful sight and a fond memory.

Dolchi Holi at Bikaner:

In Bikaner district, members of  ‘Vyas’ communities have been celebrating Holi by throwing water at one another with force for the past more than 300 years. A specially designed vessel called ‘dolchi’ made from camel skin is used for the purpose. But the water is thrown only at the back of an individual.

We have SPECIAL OFFERS running for HOLI Celebration, Mail your tour inquiry to jaipurhoteldeals@gmail.com or use our Rajasthan Tour Inquiry Form

Image Source – Wikipedia

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Elephant Festival 2010 in Jaipur – Explore Traditional Elephant Procession, Folk Dance, Matka Race for Tourists

The Elephant Festival is one of the most popular fairs of rajasthan.  It has its own charm and is celebrated every year on the occasion of Holi, the festival of colors. This year it will be organized on 28 February, one day before Holi.

elephant festival in jaipur

Decorated Elephants  – Center of Attraction

Jaipur Elephant Festival is perhaps the only festival where Elephants are given prime importance. Here, as you would expect from the name of the Festival – Elephants are the center of attraction.

The famous Chaugan ground of Jaipur makes the perfect venue for the occasion. It commences with a parade of decorated Elephants marching towards the ground and beautifully decked with floral motifs, make ultimate picture for the tourists. Being the time for Holi, tourists play Holi mounting on these painted Elephants.

History about Elephant Festival

The Rajput kings, treated elephants  with special enthusiasm as they not only during War times but also during royal festivities use the best which is Nishan-ka-hathi (the flag carrier) to lead the procession.

After the procession, King selects one elephant who entertain with their fights and other games in front of the royal guests including famous personalities of the British era and Maharajas of Indian dynasties. Latter, the flag carrying elephant rides up to Amber Palace.  Now this tradition is carried on till today as Rajasthan Tourism revived the tradition by including the Elephant Festival in the cultural calendar.

Attraction of Elephant Festival 2010

According to organizing committee, for grand finale this year, five elephants would enter the stadium from different entrances with their mahouts carrying a mashaal (torch).

They would then congregate at the center to form a chaupar and play Holi which would be a prelude to the fireworks. Beside this, five private bands have been invited which would lend archetypal Holi music with drums etc.

The festival will be running from 4 pm till 7 pm and will also see the traditional elephant procession, folk dance Chang’, matka race for the tourists, tug-of-war between locals and foreigners and the folk dance of Brij.

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Chandrabhaga Fair in Jhalawar Rajasthan – Attracts Pilgrims From Across India

Jhalawar or the land of the Jhalas, is situated on the banks of the holy river Chandrabhaga.

Chandrabhage Fair in Jhalawar

Chandrabhage Fair in Jhalawar

A three day fair is celebrated every year in the month of Kartik (Nov) at  Jhalarapatan 6 kms from Jhalawar in Rajasthan when an air of celebration pervades  the whole area. This year, Chandrabhaga Fair is being celebrated on 1-3 Nov 2009.

Activities and Celebrations at Chandrabhaga Fair

Chandrawati, located on the river bank is considered the most sacred spot by the devotees. Thousands gather on the full moon night of Kartik Purnima to take a holy dip in the river.

A big cattle fair which blends religion eith commerce is held here.  Livestock include cows, buffaloes, camels and bullocks. Traders from as fas as Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra converge here and brisk trading takes place.  The fair provides ample opportunity to the tourists to acquaint themselves with the people of this region, their culture and traditions.

Places of Interest in Jhalawar

Jhalawar exudes a special charm as seen in its pre-historic cave printings, formidable forts, forests and exotic wildlife. One of important place of interest around Jhalawar is Chandrabhaga temples which are situated 7 km from the main town. Sculptures here consist of the best examples of early temple architecture in Rajasthan.

Othe places worth a visit are : Jhalarapatan (6 kms), Gagron Fort (14kms), Buddhist Caves and Stupas (95 kms), Jhalawar fort and Government Museum.

How to Get There

Ramganj Mandi is the nearest Railway Station (25kms). Jhalawar is well connected to Kota, Bundi and Jaipur. National Highway No.12 passes through Jhalawar. Buses are available from all major cities.

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Karwa Chauth – A Traditional Hindu Festival For Married Women

Karwa Chauth is a traditional  Hindu and Barelvi  festival of Hindu women. It is celebrated all over India.

Karwa Chauth festival in Rajasthan

Karwa means clay pot and Chauth means fourth night after full moon.  It has great significance in the state of Rajasthan. The fast of Karwa Chauth is kept nine days before Diwali.

Married women fast one whole day without food and water for the long life of their husbands. The rituals signifies extreme love and devotion to the husband as evidenced by wife willingness to suffer for his well being.

CUSTOM

It is celebrated on chaturthi tithi after ful moon in the month of kartik in the Hindu calendar.

Married women start their fast at night just after the appearance of the moon within the sight of their husband. Then they wait until next night’s moon to begin their fast breaking cremonies without consuming any food and drink.

During the day the wife paints her hands with heena, dress generally in red apparel and in her hair she smear vermilion powder.

On the sightining the moon they look and offer prayers and worship to it and then receive their first bite of food and water from their husband. Thereafter women consume their special meal prepared for the occasion.

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Dussehra in Rajasthan – Victory of Good Over Evil

It is a unique festival celebrated all over India. It is very important for Hindus. It is also known as Vijaydashmi (Vijay means victory and Dashmi means tenth day) as it  is believed that it was on that day that lord Rama killed the demon king Ravana and rescued to his abducted wife Sita. It is victory over evil.

SIGNIFICANCE

Ramila an enactment of Lord Rama is held during the nine days preceding Dussehra. On tenth day larger  than life effigies of Ravana, his son and brother Meghnadh and Kumbhakarna are set to fire. This way people are asked to burn the evil within them and follow the path of truth and goodness bearing in mind the instance of Ravana.Dussehra in Rajasthan

Bengalis celebrates  Dussehra as part of their main festival Durga puja. Vijaydashmi is dedicated to mother Goddess Shakti who incarnated in form of goddess Durga ,a combined manifestations of combined energies of holy trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. On this day statues of Goddess Durga  are submerged in river waters. The puja is performed with turmeric which makes water purified for farmers and yield better crops.

PURPOSE

Many houses perform Aditya Homas as  Shanti Yajna and recites Sunder kandan of Shri Ramayan for 9 days.

The purpose of performing these homas is also to kill and sacrifice  ten bad qualities which are represented by ten heads of Ravana are as :

Krodh (Anger)
Moha(delusoion)
Lobha(Greed)
Mada (Overpride)
Matsara(Jealousy)
Manas (Mind)
Buddhi(Intellect)
Chitta(Will)
Ahankara(Ego)
Kama Vasana

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Navaratri – Worship of Nine Forms of Hindu Deity ‘Durga’

Goddess Durga - Hindu Deity - Navaratri Celebrations

Goddess Durga - Hindu Deity - Navaratri Celebrations

Navaratri is a hindu festival of worship and dance. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in sanskrit. Nava means nine and Ratri means nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of shakti/devi  female divinity are worshiped.

Tradition of Navaratri

There are five Navaratris devoted to the worship of shakti out of which only three are being celebrated now:

SHARAD NAVARATRI

This is the most important of Navaratris and is simply called Mahanavaratri. It is celebrated during sharad (beginning of winter , sept-oct). It celebrates the slaying of Mahishasura by Goddess Durga. It is celebrated all over India.

VASANT NAVARATRI

It is celebrated during Vasantritu (spring season-March-April).  It is celebrated in Northern India.

ASHADA NAVARATRI

This Navaratri is particularly important for all Upasakas of Varahi celebratd in July -August. It is called Guhiya Navaratri in Himachal Pradesh.

The various nine forms of shakti worshiped are:

DURGA
BHADRAKALI
AMBA OR JAGDAMBA
ANNAPURN
SARVAMANGALA
BHAIRAVI
CHANDRIKA
LALITA
BHAVANI
MOOHAMBIKA

In Rajasthan, Navaratri is celebrated with zeal by fasting on all nine days and worshipping the mother Goddess.
The Chaitra navaratra culminates in Ramnavami and Sharad navaratri culminates in Durga puja and Dussehra.

In the state of Rajasthan and Gujarat the Navaratri is celebrated with a famous Garba and Dandiya dance.

The nine days  puja  are distributed to different deities as follow:

First 3 days – Durga devi (destroy all impurities)
Second 3 days – Lakshmi devi(wealth)
Third 3 days – Saraswati (Goddess of  wisdom)

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Sri Krishna Janmashtami – Lets Celebrate The Birth of Hindu God Krishna

Shri Krishna Janmashtami - Celebrating The Birth of God

Shri Krishna Janmashtami - Celebrating The Birth of God

Janmashtami celebrates the birth of one of the most famous Gods of Hindu religion, Bhagwan Krishna, on the eighth day (Ashtami) in the month of Sravana or Savana. Lord Sri Krishna was born on the ‘Rohini’ nakshatram (star).

It is generally celebrated in the month of August-September according to the Christian Calendar. According to the legends, Sri Krishna was born on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and atrocities of his maternal uncle, Kansa.

How is Janmashtami Celebrated?

Special pujas are held in Sri Krishna Temples around the world. Special poojas and rituals are also held at midnight – the time of Krishna’s birth. Processions with tabloids depicting various episodes from the life of Shri Krishna enacted by children are a major highlight of the festival.

At every temple of lord krishna, this Janmashtami festival is celebrated with a great charm, people dance with bhajans, they offer pooja to lord. Social groups organise competitions like “Matki fod Pratiyogita”. Women and little children goes to lord Krishna’s temple for darshan and pooja.

People put Lord Krishna’s idol in the decorated little cradles. Singing bhajans like jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki, Madan Gopal ki, devotees offer prayers to Lord Krishna. They also chant mantras of Lord Krishna.

Devotees observe fast for the entire day and it is broken after the birth of the Lord at midnight. Only milk and milk products are preferred by them, as these were the favorites of Lord Krishna.

Sri Krishna Janmashtami is known by various names such as Krishnashtami, Gokulashtami, Saatam Aatham, Ashtami Rohini, Sri Krishna Jayanti and Sree Jayanthi.

Janmashtami Celebrated for over Two Days

Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated for over two days as “Rohini” nakshatra and Ashtami may not fall on the same day. The first day known as Krishnashtami, as the birth of Bhagwan Krishna falls on the eighth day after Raksha Bandhan, which generally falls in the month of August. The second day is known as Kalashtami.

Famous Krishna Temples in India

Some of the famous Krishna Temples in India where Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated with much importance includes Krishna Janma Bhoomi Mandir in Mathura, Banke Bihari Mandir in Vrindavan, Srinath Temple in Rajasthan, Dwarkadhish Temple in Gujarat, Guruvayur Temple in Kerala, Udupi Sri Krishna Temple in Karnataka, and ISKCON Temple in Tirupati.

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Teej Festival in Rajasthan – Reflecting The Magic of Rainy Season

Festivals are the very essence of life for the people of Rajasthan. Every season is marked with a series of fairs and festivals except the summer months when the blazing sun scorches the earth. With the arrival of the monsoons the festival season is unleashed. And the most important festival to herald the monsoons is the Teej – reflecting the magic of the rainy season.

Teej – Most Widely Celebrated Festival of Rajasthan

Teej Festival in Rajasthan

Teej Festival in Rajasthan

Teej is one of the most widely celebrated festivals of Rajasthan. Swings, traditional songs and dancing are some of unique features of Teej celebrations in Rajasthan.

Teej Festival Attractions

Teej is essentially a women’s festival. At the time of Teej, women dress up like a newly wed. They wear green, red and yellow attires, decorate their hands and feet with fascinating mehndi designs.

Girls engaged to be married receive gifts from their future in-laws a day before the festival. The gift called shrinjhara derived from the word Shringar (adornment) consists of henna, lac bangles, a special dress of laharia (tie and dye fabric) and a sweet called ghewar.

Religious Significance of Teej

It is said that on Teej day goddess Parvati was united with Lord Shiva after a penance of a hundred years – making them a symbol of an ideal marriage. Invocation of Parvati’s blessings on this day results in continued marital bliss.

Teej Procession in Jaipur

Teej procession in Jaipur not just attracts visitors from India but also lures a large number of international tourists. High point of Teej procession is the magnificently decorated idol of Goddess Parvati which is kept on a palanquin and carried through walled city of jaipur.

Thousands of devotees throng the procession which is carried out for two consecutive days. Antique gilt palanquins, bullock carts pulling cannons, chariots, caparisoned elephants, camels, bands, and dance groups form a part of the grand Teej procession.

Lots of Teej songs are sung when the procession moves further. Folk artists and performers enchant the crowd with their splendid performance. Some people even dress up like Gods and Goddesses and play various musical instruments.

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Kalbeliya Sapera Dancers – Famous Dancer Gulabo From Rajasthan

One of the most fascinating dance forms of Rajasthan, performed by the Kalbeliya snake-charmer’s community is Sapera Dance or you can say it Kalbeliya Dance.

Kalbeliya Dance Attractions

Kalbeliya Snake Dance of  Rajasthan

Kalbeliya Snake Dance of Rajasthan

In this Dance sapera dancers wear long, black skirts embroidered with silver ribbons. As they spin in a circle, their body moves very acrobatically. It is impossible to believe that they are made of anything other than rubber.

Vigorous and Zestful Display of Rajasthani Art

Kalbeliya Dancers are attired in traditional black accompaniment of pungi, dufli and plaintive notes of the ‘been’ – the wooden instrument of the snake charmers.

Two or three women sing in a high-pitched, free flowing voice, while others join in the dance. The vigorous and zestful display of their perfect movements to the enchanting tune of musical instruments is a treat to the eyes.

The Kalbelia Dancers perform in the time of any big festival or any cultural dance program all across the world.

Gulabo  – Famous Kalbeliya Dancer

Gulabi Sapera is famous in india as “GULABO – THE KALBELIYA DANCER FROM RAJASTHAN”.

The Kalbeliya Dance became a Rajasthan exclusive because of Gulabo. She is part of the international culture and music circuit,  jazz bands and have been a performer in films too.

Check out some of the Videos on Dance Performance by Gulabo

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