India: Jaipur Elephant Festival -- March 28, 2010

by Backpacking Tips Asia
(Oslo, Norway)

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

The Elephant Festival of Jaipur is an annual event held in the month of March, one day before the festival of Holi. This festival highlights the importance of the majestic animal, elephant. Dance and music performances liven up the Elephant Festival of Jaipur that attracts Indian and foreign tourists.

The commencement ceremony of the festival includes elephants festooned with beautiful glittering ornaments and embroidered velvets. After that, there is a series of violent elephant fights.

A traditional procession of the elephants is also a part of the Jaipur Elephant Festival. In this procession, the scenes from the royal past of Rajasthan are recreated with caparisoned elephants, chariots, lancers on horses, camels, cannons, and palanquins. A number of races, beauty pageants, etc of the elephants add to the excitement of the festival.

However, what takes the cake is the game of elephant polo. The players who wear saffron and red turbans, sit on elephants and try to score goals with long sticks and a plastic football.

Mostly female elephants participate in the Elephant Festival of Jaipur. These elephants present a wonderful sight with their trunks, foreheads, and feet ornamented with floral motifs and trinkets adorning them from tusk to tail. The Elephant Festival was initiated a decade ago. It was conceptualized keeping in mind the tourists coming to the city, so as to familiarize them with the royal past of the state.

Organizer: Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, Jaipur, India

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