Wondering if you should go to Rajasthan over the next few months? You should. Not only is it an awesome place, there’s plenty of festivals coming up over the next few months to make it even better.
Rajasthan, the princely state, comes to life as the weather cools at winter time and warms into spring. If you want to avoid the heat, November to April is to the time to take in the desert state.
Want to know what’s going on over the next three months, here’s the answers.
Kite Festival, Jaipur, 14 January
Fancy your chances flying kites and taking on the kids? You do. Well, the kite festival is for you.
Taking place right across Rajasthan, the epicentre of competition is in the capital Jaipur. If you fancy taking on the challenge, book you train tickets now and get practicing.
Camel Festival, Bikaner, 14th and 15th January
Up for camel racing or would you rather relax with a fresh cup of camel milk?
You’ll get this and more at this annual fair that celebrates the camel, the ship of the desert. It’s not only about camels, the fort is dressed for the occasion, there’s folk music and folk dancing and a bit of fire eating amongst other stuff.
The Jaipur Literature Festival, Jaipur, 19th – 23rd January 2017
The Jaipur Literature Festival celebrates its tenth birthday in 2017. It’s not your usual type of book festival, attracting an eclectic crowd of book lovers (and dilliwalahs who use it as an excuse to get out of the city and be wowed by Jaipur’s tourist sites, sounds and fabrics)
Nagaur Cattle Fair, Naguar, 1st – 4th February
This animal fair claims to be India’s second largest and sees around 70,000 bullocks, camels, horses and donkeys traded. There is more to this fair than animals (though animals are the reason it happen), there are also puppeteers, jugglers, magicians, storytellers and sporting events to be enjoyed. As well as all that, it’s home to India’s largest Red Chilli market. This is going to be hot.
Photography Festival, Jaipur, 7th February
You might be wondering how many festivals are taking place in the Jaipur early next year. The answer. A lot.
With its spectacular sights, colours and people, Rajasthan is the place for photographers. Jaipur celebrates this fact on the 7th of February with an outdoor photographic exhibition.
Jaisalmer Desert Festival, Jaisalmer, 8th – 10th February
Camels, more camels and camel racing. Polo matches, puppeteers, folk music and fire breathers come together in the Golden City for the Desert Festival.
Organised by the city tourism department (because Jaisalmer needed to host a festival during tourist season like the other cities in the state), the majestic fort, the cities vibrant colours, the dunes of the desert and skies littered with stars, make the golden city a place to go to. Oh and there’s also a turban tying competition and an event called Mr Desert.
Lake Festival, Udaipur, 11th – 14th February
This four day affair, taking place in a city coined the Venice of the East, has water based sporting activities, a water market, processions to the water side and a water based sound and light show. Music, merriment and Mewari food will make it fun for all the family.
This festival overlaps with the Udaipur World Music, from the 10th – 12th, which sees Indian and international artists collaborate with one another in a celebration of different cultures.
Sufi World Sacred Spirit Festival, Jodhpur and Nagaur, 13th – 19th February 2016
If attending a musical festival at two imposing Rajasthani forts is your idea of fun, then the Sufi World Sacred Spirit Festival in February 2017 will be right up your street.
First stop is the Ahhichatragarh Fort in Nagaur from 13th – 15th February, before the festival moves onto the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodphur from the 17th – 19th February. What to know more? The website is right here.
Holi, all over Rajasthan, 13th March
Falling on a Monday, Holi presents the perfect opportunity to take a long weekend break.
And where better to go than Rajasthan? Celebrated all over Rajasthan and most of India (not so widely in the Southern states) wherever you are, you’ll be playing colours and having a ball.
Mewar Festival and Gangaur Fair, Udaipur, March 2017
Celebrating the arrival of spring, the Mewar festival will see a procession of old palanquins, chariots, bullock carts and performance artists from the city palace to the Gangaur Ghat, Lake Pichola.
The procession to the ghat ends with the immersion of idols of Gana (Lord Shiva) and Gauri (Parvati, Lord Shiva’s wife. Unmarried women worship Gauri for the chance of a good husband and married women perform puja for the health, wealth and welfare of their husbands and for a happy marriage.
Gangaur is celebrated for 18 days with main days falling on the 30th and 31st March.
There’s so much more, but surely this is enough reasons to start planning a trip over the next three months.