Very few places in India recount the tales of medieval India as Rajasthan does. This state in western India is home one of the some of the best known warrior clans of the medieval ages. They were and still are, collectively called Rajputs. The forts and palaces of Rajasthan still stand with pride today, as guides take tourists around them, narrating the stories of valor and courage that have been passed on by the previous generations. The magnificent forts and the captivating beauty of the Aravalli hills are the chief draw of the tours of Rajasthan. However, the numerous fairs and festivals of Rajasthan are also among its tourist attractions. Millions of people, including thousands of tourists visit these fairs and festivals every year, helping the growth of tourism in Rajasthan. Some of these festivals and fairs provide unforgettable memories to the tourists, most of whom have never seen such sights and colors before.
The fairs and festivals of Rajasthan have been celebrated and organized in the state for centuries. These grand occasions preserve the cultural heritage of the region, and help the rapidly urbanizing residents keep in touch with their roots. A large number of fairs and festivals are held in Rajasthan. The most important of these have religious origins, while some others are related to the seasons and are, thus held in importance by the farmers and people dependent on the crops. Gangaur and Teej are examples of this. While the former celebrates a good harvesting season, Teej is held to appease the rain god, as rain is vital to the crops. Some other festivals, like the camel festival and the elephant festival are organized by the tourism department to lure tourists to the state at the same time preserving the traditional elements of Rajasthani society. Some cities have traditionally held festivals that have survived even today. Examples of these are Marwar festival in Jodhpur, Mewar festival in Udaipur, and the Desert festival of Jaisalmir.
The fairs held throughout the year in Rajasthan are equally important for the cultural fabric as well as tourism of the state. The most important and visited fairs are the Pushkar fair and the Nagaur fair. Along with the festivals of Rajasthan, these fairs are among the major tourist attractions of Rajasthan. These fairs are extensions of the traditional way of life, when pastoral and agricultural people would gather at a place to buy or sell cattle and most importantly, camels, which are the most important animals of the desert. Nowadays, these fairs have gained tremendous media coverage and international popularity. A large number of documentaries have been made on them and thousands of Indian and foreign tourists flock here to experience the amazing gathering of innumerable animals and people with a scenic backdrop provided by the arid landscape of Rajasthan.
The following are the major fairs and festivals of Rajasthan –
Touristplacesinindia.com provides online information about the fairs and festivals of Rajasthan and other tourist places in India.