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Radiah A Bashrahil.
R K Premi
Prabhjot Gill
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Package Overview

Pushkar Fair, Rajasthan
Pushkar is a sacred town for Pushkar Fairthe Hindus, situated 11 kms. to the north-west of Ajmer. About 400 temples and shrines are located at Pushkar around its holy lake, which finds a mention in the Padma Purana. Legend has it that Lord Brahma in search for a spot to hold his &39yagna&39 (religious ritual), dropped the lotus from his hand, the three spots touched by this flower were turned into lakes. These are today known as the &39Jyeshtha Pushkar&39 (main Pushkar), the &39Madhyam Pushkar&39 (medium Pushkar) and the &39Kanishtha Pushkar&39 (little Pushkar). A temple dedicated to Lord Brahma is located at Pushkar; the other important temples are those of Gayatri, Savitri, Shiv and Badri Narayan.

PARIKRAMA
Most pilgrims perform the oblations at the Jyeshtha Pushkar while some opt to visit all the three Pushkar and this is called the Panch-Kosi-Parikrama. Many pilgrims visit all the shrines at Pushkar in seven days and this is called the Chaubis-Kosi-Parikrama.

FLOATING LAMPS ( DEEP DAN )
It is customary to float lighted earthen lamps after placing them on &39pattals&39 (plates made of leaves) on the waters of the lake. This creates a spectacular view in the evening when the sacred lake takes on a mystical tint sprinkled with twinkling spots of light. &39Aarti&39 is offered at the lake in the morning and evening.

CATTLE FAIR
In conjunction with the religious fair, a cattle fair is also organised in the month of Kartik at Pushkar Cattle-breeders bring a large number of cattle of various popular breeds such as Nagauri, Haryanvi, Mewati, Kankrej etc. to the fair to be sold to the rural folk who appreciate well-bred animals. The cattle are decorated by their owners during Pushkar fair and also participate in the races and are paraded on the sand dunes.

THE HOLY DIPS ( SNAN )
People consider the water of Pushkar Fairthe Pushkar Lake to be very sacred and the ritual of taking dips in the holy water is believed to bestow salvation. The holy dip is most auspicious on Kartik Poornima. Even before sunrise, people descend the ghats, aided by the &39pandas&39 (Brahmin priests) to take the sacred bath. Offerings of coconut, flowers, and cash are made to the lake and the priests.
Visiting the Temple
After bathing at the lake, people proceed to pay homage to the creator of the Universe, Lord Brahma, at the Brahma Temple.

PUSHKAR FAIR
The ancient town of Pushkar is transformed into a spectacular fair ground in the month of Kartik. The fair attracts a great number of tourists from far and wide. The fair-grounds reverberate with festivity, as rows of make shift stalls display a bewildering array of items that compete with each other for the visitors&39 attention. But the highlight of Pushkar fair is the trading in camels. Camels are bought, sold, decked up and paraded on the sand dunes, presenting a picturesque sight. The camel, horse and donkey races are events that draw huge attendance. Body tattooing is yet Horse race. Pushkar another favorite activity that attracts a large number of enthusiasts.

The Pushkar fair brings together a large number of villagers from different parts of the state. Some come here to sell. Some come here to buy. Some come here on a pilgrimage. Still others come here just to enjoy the festivities. The days are filled with fun and activity. The evenings are filled with music and dance. Come dusk, and the rich strains of haunting music are carried across the desert sands as the merrymaking continues deep into the night. The profusion of colours that run riot in the desert sands, the glee and the contagious enthusiasm of the village folk are a unique experience for every visitor.

On this special occasion, the Pushkar FairRajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) puts up a tourist village. The tourist village is self-sufficient and specially designed to complement the natural beauty of the site. It has a Coffee Shop and Dining Hall, which can cater to 1500 guests at a time.

The village is arranged in blocks of tents, each with its own identity, named after the famous dances of Rajasthan. The village also has huts with attached western style toilets and running water. One can also stay at Sarovar Hotel, Pushkar or in Ajmer at the RTDC Tourist Bungalow-Khadim.

Significance
Religious
The Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 flights of steps, called &39ghats&39, many having special legendary importance. Lord Vishnu is said to have appeared at the Varah Ghat in the form of a boar. Brahma took a bath here and performed Yajna at the Brahma Ghat, accompanied by Vishnu and Mahadev. Guru Govind Singh chose this site for reciting the sacred Guru Granth Sahib. The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed at the Gandhi Ghat, which was previously called Gau Ghat.

General Information

Timings
There is a steady flow of pilgrims throughout the year to Pushkar, which is among the five principal places of Hindu pilgrimage. It is, however transformed into a bustling fair-ground in the month of Kartik (October-November) when the annual Pushkar Fair and a cattle fair are held simultaneously. The fair starts from Kartik Shukla Ekadashi and goes on for 12 days, till Kartik Purnima. Both the religious fair and the cattle fair are now internationally renowned tourist attractions. A small fair is held in the month of Baisakh, which is primarily a local event.
Location: 11km North-West of Ajmer, Rajasthan.
Unique Features: Hindu Pilgrimage.
Main Attraction: Pushkar Lake, Brahma Temple, Cattle Fair.


Camel Festival in Bikaner
A lively and colourful event, the Camel Festival is organised by the Department of Tourism, Art & Culture, Rajasthan in Bikaner every year. January is just the right month for a desert spree, and Bikaner just the right place to see the Ships of the Desert. In the camel country Bikaner, these desert leviathans pull heavy cart loads, transport grain and even work at the wells. The Camel Festival begins with a colourful procession of bedecked camels against the red sandstone backdrop of the Junagarh Fort, the festivity advances to the open sand-spreads of the grounds, followed by the best breed competition, the tug-of- war contest, camel dance and acrobatics, etc. The camels display amazing footwork, dancing gracefully to the slightest direction of their trainers. Bridal bridles, bejewelled necks, jingling anklets and long, lanky camel shadows on dusky sands cast a magical spell. Hundreds of tourists and thousands of locals and dignitaries revel in this man-and-animal affair. The evenings close with a different tenor and tempo altogether: a traditional rendezvous of renowned artistes of Rajasthan and the local folk performers. The jubilant skirt-swirling dancers, the awe inspiring fire dance, and the dazzling fireworks light up the fortified desert city of Bikaner.

General Information
Location: Bikaner, Rajasthan.
Main Attraction: Best Breed Competition, Tug-Of- War, Camel Dance, Acrobatics.
Timings: January.


Summer Festival, Mount Abu
The Summer Festival is held Summer Festival, Mount Abu every year in the month of Aashadh (June). The steep rocks, tranquil lakes, picturesque locations and the pleasant climate of Mount Abu make it an ideal location for the festival.
The three-day festival is a feast of folk and classical music and a window to the tribal life and culture of Rajasthan The festival begins with the singing of a ballad, which is followed by Gair, Ghoomar and Daph folk dances, which enthrall the spectators. Sporting events such as the boat race on the Nakki Lake add variety to the festival. The Sham-e-Qawwali is a much-awaited musical extravaganza, as renowned qawwals regale the audience. The grand finale of the festival is a display of dazzling fireworks, which adds to the tourist&39s delight

General Information
Location: Mt. Abu, Rajasthan.
Main Attraction: Folk Dances, Boat Race On Nakki Lake.

Prime Attractions of Mount Abu
Mount Abu
The only hill station in Rajasthan, Mount Abu huddles among the rocks on a 1,220-m granite table mountain at the far southwestern end of the Aravalli hills. Mount Abu is also well known for the famous Dilwara temples and many more archaeological remains. more..

Dilwara Temples
This complex consisting of five marble Jain temples is one of the finest in Rajasthan, worth braving the queues and ferocious guards. These beautifully carved temples built between 11th & 13th century AD are sheer elegance in marble, dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras. The Vimal Vasahi Temple is the oldest of these, dedicated to the first Tirthankara. Built in 1031 AD (by Vimal Shah- a merchant and representative of the then Gujarat ruler), it is a superb example of temple architecture.


Desert Festival, Jaisalmer

Held in the months of January-February, the Desert Festival exudes Desert Festival, Rajasthan Travel Vacationa delightful spirit. For three days, the otherwise barren land of Jaisalmer comes to life and is clustered with hordes of colourfully dressed people. In fact during these days, Jaisalmer gets a chance to parade its exuberant charm to the world. Some chosen and cherished moments of the glorious and illustrious past and affluent culture are on display. The traditional dances backed by high pitched music take the folk dancers and the audience on an euphoric trip. The turban-tying competition and Mr. Desert Contest add a touch of excitement to the festive celebrations.
The famous Gair dancers and the traditional fire-dancers leave the crowds enchanted whenever they perform. The grand finale is a trip to the sand dunes where one can enjoy the pleasure of a camel ride and at times also view the musicians and dancers performing on the dunes. All arrangements are made by the Department of Tourism and RTDC.

General Information on Desert Festival
Location: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.


 
Gangaur Festivities at Various Places
Bikaner
In Bikaner, married women and maidens fast during the festival. They prepare sweet dishes, carry them to a well, make an offering thereof to the goddess, and return home distributing these as &39prasad&39 on the way.
Jaipur
In Jaipur, a sweet dish called &39ghewar&39 is characteristic of the Gangaur Gangaur Festival, Rajasthan Fair & FestivalFestival. People buy &39ghewar&39 to eat and distribute it among their friends and relatives. A procession, with the image of Gauri, forms at the Palace Gate known as Tripolia and moves on the city streets passing Chaugan and on to Talkatora. A vast gathering of the citizens of Jaipur and villagers from nearby areas witnesses the procession.

Jodhpur
The fair of &39lotias&39 is a distinctive feature of the Gangaur celebrations in Jodhpur. Early in the morning, thousands of maidens, clad in their best attire, singing melodious songs, bring water and &39durva&39 grass in silver or brass pots to a place known as Girdikot. The fair is witnessed by a large number of citizens who throng to the locality to be a part of the celebration.

Nathdwara
In Nathdwara, the procession of Gangaur lasts 7 days. Each day, a particular colour is chosen for the dress of the goddess. On the last day of the festival, the image of Gauri is dressed in black with golden lace work and women carrying the image too are dressed in a similar fashion. This indicates the final departure of Gauri.

Udaipur
The images of Isar and Gauri Lake Palace, Udaipur Travelsare taken in a procession to the Pichhola Lake, thereafter they go around the lake in a boat, for an hour and the ceremony comes to an end with a display of fireworks on the banks

Banswara
In Banswara, the procession is taken out from the Zenana Deorhi to Singhvashi Chowk, both are areas within the palace compound. Traditional religious ceremonies are performed here.

Celebration Trends And Rituals
The festival commences on the first day of Chaitra, the day following Holi and continues for 18 days. For a newly-wedded girl, it is binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage. Even unmarried girls fast for the full period of 18 days and eat only one meal a day.
Celebration Preparations & Decorations
Images and Paintings
Images of Isar and Gauri are made of clay for the festival. In some families, permanent wooden images are painted afresh every year by reputed painters called &39matherans&39 on the eve of the festival. A distinct difference between the idols of Teej and Gangaur is that the idol will have a canopy during the Teej Festival while the Gangaur idol would not have one.


Brij Festival
The Brij Festival takes place a Brij Festival, Rajasthan Fair & Festivalfew days before Holi, the festival of colours. Held in honour of Lord Krishna, this festival is marked by verve and zest. Villagers, in gay, multihued attire, can be seen singing and performing the Raslila dance-the immortal love-story of Radha and Krishna. All of Bharatpur comes alive to the sound of folk melodies on this festival held on the eve of Holi. Men and women, young and old, rich and poor-all are touched by the spirit of this festival. Boisterous revellers spare no one during this festival and delight in splashing colour on everyone around.

General Information
Location
Bharatpur, Rajasthan.

 

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