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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the famous festivals and fairs in Jodhpur?

Reema Bhalla DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

When it comes to celebrations and festivities, the sun city is definitely one of the major forerunners in this area. This historical city becomes even more resplendent during the festive season with tons of colours, music, folk-dances, bazaars, and of course a mouth-watering array of local delicacies and sweetmeats. If you like what you are reading, plan your trip around the months of September to October when major festivals like Navratras, Dussehra, Diwali and the local Marwar festival take place. Assuming that you know about the first three festivals, which are celebrated all over India, we’ll just concentrate on the local Jodhpuri affairs.

  • Marwar Festival (September to October)

    So we start with the biggest and the most popular festival celebrated here - The Marwar Festival or Maand Festival. Held on the eve of Sharad Poornima, in the grounds of the Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhavan Palace and Mandore, this two-day festival is celebrated as a tribute to the heroes of Rajasthan. The celebration is done mainly through music and dance performances by the local artists who have managed to keep alive the memories of the mighty and valiant rulers, and the battles fought by them on this great land. Masses of crowds gather to listen to the haunting melodies depicting the saga of these long lost warriors and watch the live performances of artists coming from the different corners of the country. Apart from this, you can also enjoy the Polo matches and the Camel Tattoo Show, which is a camel cavalry procession of the Indian Border Security Force.

  • Jodhpur International Desert Kite Festival (14th to 16th January each year)

    Well, this one is quite a new entry in the list of Jodhpur celebrations and quite a hit too! As the name suggests, it is a kite flying festival (more like a contest, really) where best kite flyers from all across the country (or even abroad) come to the Polo Grounds each year, to participate and show off their skills. The idea is to try and cut off your opponent’s kite while soaring higher into the sky. The higher you go without getting cut off by someone else, the better your chances are of winning. If flying kites is not your strong point, you still would have plenty of visual treats to take in. School children release hordes of colourful balloons in the sky and the Air Force helicopters spring out even more kites until the sky resembles a vast sea of multi-coloured splendour. A sight to behold, for sure!

  • The Jodhpur RIFF (September to October)

    Recently started in 2007, The Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), is all about musical extravaganza. It is endorsed by the UNESCO as a cultural celebration of Rajasthan. Renowned artists from all over Rajasthan and abroad come here to enthral the listener with their musical heritage. Even the artists from the deep interior parts of the state come here to exhibit beautiful folk dances and music forms. There are some interesting Indo-Western Jugalbandis (collaborations) and Jazz night, which are a treat to the ears and soul. Similar to the Marwar Festival, the RIFF is also scheduled around the major full moon of the season (Sharad Poornima) and takes place on the grounds of the Mehrangarh Fort .

  • Jodhpur Nagaur Fair (January  to February)

    This is the next big event after the Marwar Festival. Maharaj Umed Singh of Jodhpur founded this fair about 60 years back, in honor of Baba Ramdeo. Since then, this fair is held every year in Nagaur which is about 140 kilometers from Jodhpur and has become a huge tourist attraction in the last decade or so. Essentially, an animal trading market, this fair is more commonly known as the Cattle Fair of Nagaur. More than 70,000 animals are traded every year, decked up in dressy, colourful garbs. Not only animals, but the owners also arrive dressed in their fair share of bling-blings. This fair also showcases various puppet shows, jugglers, dancers, acrobats, local food and handicraft stalls, etc. Meandering through the masses of bullocks, cows, horses, sheep (there are more), one will come across one of the largest chilly markets or ‘Mirchi Bazaar’ of India. And we’re still not done! When you get tired of browsing through or shopping around the various stalls, you can sit and watch the different sports and animal races viz. tug of war, cock fights, camel races and so on.

  • Gangaur Festival (March to April)

    Celebrated all over Rajasthan and some parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, Gangaur festival is a very colourful and vibrant festival celebrated with great fervor and dedication predominantly by the women. The word ‘Gangaur’ is an amalgamation of the words ‘Gana’ (Shiva) and ‘Gaur’ (Gauri, Shiva’s consort). The festival is mainly dedicated to Gauri, who signifies marital bliss, purity and austerity. It is believed that during Gangaur, Gauri came to visit her parental home for 18 days to bless her friends with marital bliss. On the day of here departure, she gets a grand farewell and Shiva himself comes to escort her back to Kailash. Today thousands of unmarried women in Rajasthan dress up in colourful garbs and fast for 18 days (one meal a day) in the hopes of finding a suitable husband, while the married women worship Gauri and fast for the health and long lives of their husbands. During the final couple of days, colourful processions wind their way through the blue city accompanied by the local bands. There is a lot of singing and merriment involved. Apart from marital fidelity, Gangaur is also the celebration of spring and harvest. This 18 day festival usually commences the day after Holi.

Most of the competitions and activities mentioned above are open to all. Even if you are not an active participant, the whole atmosphere and energy present during this time, is sure to fill you with excitement and lift up your spirits. So, if you wish to be a part of these festivities, be sure to plan your dates accordingly when you visit Jodhpur.

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