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Benazir Khan Jan 20 2014

How are the various Elephant Festivals celebrated in India?

Reema Bhalla Jan 20 2014
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

With a myriad of festivals and events that India has all round the year, it is very difficult to define all of them in one way. Some celebrate the existence of god or religious rituals while others seek rejoice in celebration of nature and human life, while some are totally unique in their context much like the Elephant Festivals in India. The festival celebrates the very existence of this majestic animal which is a symbol of grace and royalty and is decked up in the most creative manner in vibrant colors for this special day.

Elephant Festival in Jaipur

Every year in March, the beautiful pink city comes alive with a colorful celebration of life in a pre- Holi bash which is centred around Elephants. While camels are definitely the symbol of this beautiful desert, gliding in a uniform rhythm over its sand dunes but when it comes to a representation of Rajput royalty the charm of Elephants is unbeatable. While Bikaner celebrates the Ship of the Desert, Jaipur celebrates through the festival of Elephant which matches truly with the city’s majestic personality. There are a lot of interesting activities during this festival, organised every year by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation at its official venue, the Rambagh Polo Ground in Jaipur and attracts a lot of locals and tourists alike. The festivities begin with a traditional procession with musicians playing folk tunes and dancers swaying away in vibrant colors displaying the best of Rajasthani culture in the parade showcasing the best of the dance forms in Jaipur.

Photo of Elephant Festival in Jaipur (by Faraz Usmani)

The highlight of the festival are events like the 'best decorated elephant' competition, games of elephant polo, elephant races, a special 'elephant decoration' exhibition, and a tug-of-war between humans and an elephant. The festival marks as an interesting platform for folk arts as well and ends with the splash of Holi colors and a spectacular display of fireworks which brings the city to life and is one of the major festivals in Jaipur. It is truly a fascinating affair with colors and glittering sparkle with grand parades and decorated trunks and tusks. Keeping the traditions of the royalty intact the Elephant Polo, in which the players wear saffron and red turbans and score goals with long plastic sticks seated on the elephants. It is interesting that only female Elephants take part in the festival. For more information check out ixigo’s Jaipur Travel Guide.

When: March 5, 2015
Where: Jaipur, Rajasthan

Elephanta Festival in Mumbai

The Elephanta Festival organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation exhibits the best of culture in Mumbai. This renowned festival celebrated in Elephanta Island, adjacent to the Elephanta Cave, a World Heritage Site. Interestingly the name was given to this cave when an engraved Elephant was found on its surface. The festival is dedicated to various dance and music forms of India. It celebrates the art forms of India and its various sculptures.

Photo of Elephant Festival (by spisharam)

The illuminated Maheshmurti located in the cave is the main highlight of the festival which gives an amazing backdrop of the entire setting. The temple with its huge pillars which are beautifully carved forms adds glory to the ambience. The folk tunes, the sheer visual delight of folk dances and aesthetic decoration with festive lighting and the decorated idol of Lord Shiva make a spectacular sight. A dance performance by the local fisherman marks the beginning of the festivities.

Where: Elephanta Island, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Kaziranga Elephant Festival

The Kaziranga Elephant Festival is an annual event held in Kaziranga National Park in Assam held with an aim to protect and conserve the Asiatic elephants. It promotes eco-tourism as it attracts a lot of tourists and highlights the struggle this majestic species has to face with the human race to have their own share of resources. It is jointly organised by the forest department and Tourist department in Assam. The prime highlight of the festival is definitely the beautifully decked up elephants which take part in the procession, indulge in various games and competition and is a complete enthralling experience for the audience, who are totally besotted at this amazing spectacle.

Photo of Kaziranga Elephant Festival (by Digantar Talukdar)

Where: Kaziranga National Park

The various Elephant Festivals in India celebrate not only the rich culture of the country but also integrate a lot of fun activities ranging from folk dances to fun competitions making it a very memorable cultural activity showcasing the best of the country!
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