Jaipur Elephant Festival: History, Date and Celebrations
Jaipur Holi Elephant Festival. Photo: tripsavvy

The Jaipur Elephant Festival was a great opportunity to see the sturdy symbol of Rajput royalty, the elephant, at its finest. The festival got underway with a traditional procession of decorated elephants. They proudly paraded up and down, like catwalk models, to an appreciative crowd. Elephant beauty contests, folk dances, and a tug-of-war between elephants, locals, and foreigners were all regular events.

The festival is organized on the full moon day of Phalgun Purnima (which falls in the month of February/March) as per the Indian calendar.

Now, as the name suggests, Elephant Festival is celebrated with elephants. The festival is concluded with a colorful parade that sees decorated elephants, as well as camels and horses wearing anklets, beautiful saddles, head plates, ear danglers, and other jewelry. The colorful procession also includes palanquins and chariots. People greet and sprinkle colors on them, and the best-decorated elephant takes away the award in the end, Indiatimes wrote.

History of the Elephant Festival, Jaipur

The Elephant Festival is considered one of the most popular and revered events in the city of Jaipur. Since the launch of the festival, the event has been able to attract various outsiders. Elephants symbolize royalty according to Rajasthan culture. Jataka stories of Buddha speak of Hastimangala (Elephant festival) tradition. A royal mountain since the commemoration, the elephant has been a symbol of power and wealth.

They introduced the festival in ancient times as a celebration of cultural traditions. According to legend, when the gods and the demons destroyed the sea, nine treasures appeared. One of these gems represents an elephant. Since then, they have regarded the elephant as a precious animal in Indian culture.

The state of Rajasthan was a favorite place for many royal figures. The kings and nobles of the time took elephant rides to the Amber Palace in Rajasthan.

How to Reach

The celebration takes place in the Jaipur Polo Ground, which is located right opposite Sawai Man Singh Stadium. You can find cabs, buses, and autos from various parts of the city to the ground.

Entry Timing and Fee of Elephant Festival

There is no entry fee for enjoying the festivals. Anyone can visit the festival grounds. However, separate stalls might have different fee structures for activities and entertainment features. The festival takes place on the full moon night of February or March. The exact day of the festival changes from year to year. It is usually celebrated on the day of the color festival, Holi, according to Travelogyindia.

What happens at the elephant festival?

Jaipur Elephant Festival: History, Date and Celebrations
Photo: visittnt

The elephant festival remembers the ancient culture of India. In this festival, many elephants participate with their mahouts. During this festival, the elephants get decorated with varieties of clothes and jewelry. They wear traditional clothes of Rajasthan as well as the embroidered clothes. The jewelry includes anklets, silver ornaments, rugs, etc. Most female elephants take participate in this festival.

As this festival is celebrated on Holi the elephants also get painted with different types of colors by the mahouts. Apart from the elephants the mahouts also get dressed in the traditional clothes and ornaments of Rajasthan. This creates a beautiful traditional look in the evening of the full moon day. A huge crowd gathers to view and enjoy the decoration of the animals.

At the beginning of the festival abroad, the elegant procession of the decorated elephants entertains the crowd. The mahouts in the royal attire on the elephants look very attractive and guide the elephants in the crowd. They also use musical instruments and sticks to produce sound during the procession. This procession is the main attraction of this festival and many people visit Jaipur every year to enjoy this procession. After the completion of the procession, the audience enjoys a variety of elephant games and makes their day memorable. The elephant based games such as elephant dance; elephant polo, elephant race, and elephant tug of war make the festival incredible. This creates an eagerness for the people to watch the elephant playing games like polo and racing.

The tug of war between an elephant and 19 men and women is one of the most beautiful attractions of this elephant festival that no one should miss. The elephants also spatter the colors and offer the garlands to the crowd. This festival also includes a ramp walk competition between the elephants. In that competition, a team of experts selects the best-decorated elephant of the festival. During this festival, the Gaj shrinkage exhibition also takes place where people can buy the traditional items of Rajasthan. People also can enjoy the local food and famous cuisines of Rajasthan during this festival. Many people from India and out of India visit Jaipur to witness the elephant festival every year in the month of March, according to Tusktravel.

When is the Elephant Festival, Jaipur, 2021?

They celebrate the Jaipur Elephant Festival on the previous day of the Hindu festival of Holi. The Holi Festival is scheduled for the full moon day of the month of Phalgun Purnima (to be held in February / March) as per the Indian calendar. Since the date of the festival is based on the traditional Hindu calendar, it does not occur at the same time as the Gregorian calendar year. However, it usually falls in March.

They will celebrate the next Jaipur Elephant Festival on March 28, 2021, in the city of Rajasthan, from 4 p.m.

Events of the Elephant Festival, Jaipur, 2021

Jaipur Elephant Festival: History, Date and Celebrations
Photo: indiaeve

Gaj Shringar: A display of ornaments, fabrics, and other ornaments related to elephants. The Mahouts are very proud to decorate their elephants for the event.

Live performances: Live performances of traditional dancers featuring Daph and Gair dances, both of which show the excitement of the Holi Festival.

Elephant Display: Elephants are holding a rally in front of the guests to compete for the most beautifully decorated prize.

Elephant Polo Matches: Dressed in saffron and red drums, teams of elephant riders try to score goals with long polo and soccer sticks.

Tug of War: Tug of War is a competition between elephants and men.

Playing Holi: You have the option to join festivals and celebrate Holi with other spectators, Bookingmentor reported.

Treatment of the Elephants

There are a number of elephant parks in Jaipur. Many people are worried about how the elephants are treated there. The reality is that the elephants are used to carry tourists up to Amber Fort. This helps generate income for their upkeep (it's expensive to feed an elephant!). However, Eleday is known to be one of the parks that take decent care of its elephants and treat them humanely. They're not harmed in any way and seem happy and well nurtured, Tripsavvy cited.

Essential Tips to Help You Enjoy the Elephant Festival, Jaipur 2021

  • If you want to enjoy the festival to the fullest, take part in the tug of war and join ten people in a battle with the biggest elephant.
  • The colors and joy of the festival exemplify the culture of Rajasthan. So, don’t forget to bring your camera accessories.
  • You can’t worry about color and dirt if you want to enjoy this festival. You have to be carefree.
  • Sometimes the colors do not wash off easily. Therefore, always wear old, dirty clothes or clothes that you do not know are dirty.
  • Make sure you are not color allergic. Cover your hair with hats or caps to protect yourself from shower bells.
  • Arrive at least 2 hours before the show has an uninterrupted view of the show.
  • Ask local people or your travel guides about specific showtimes.

See more festivals: https://knowinsiders.com/search_enginer.html?p=search&q=festival

Safety Concerns During the Elephant Festival, Jaipur 2021

  • When traveling with your children, be alert. They can get lost in the crowd.
  • Always try to stay with your group and avoid hours of memory.
  • Try to avoid bringing important things with you as they can be taken away.
  • Many visitors come to enjoy the festival, so space can be full.
  • As I said before, this place is not crowded during the festivities, so you should book your tickets with the hotel ahead of time.

Some Key Facts About the Elephant Festival, Jaipur

Taking part elephants are adorned with chunky jewelry such as anklets, bracelets, earrings, and head plates. They make the jewelry with silver and gold.

The elephant-headed goddess Ganesh, literally ‘king of the people’, is the first of all Hindu deities.

Elephants join the holy festival in their own way, remembering the victory of good over evil.

The spectacular display of elephants is accompanied by the playing of traditional instruments. These instruments are the Nagaras and the Bankiyas.

Decorated female elephants will dance, play, compete, and entertain visitors.

They treat visitors like kings, especially in Rajasthan. There they give the guests ride of elephants during festivals like this.

It associates live performances by artists and dancers with festivals, as do other animals, including camels and horses.

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