Elephant Festival in Jaipur 2020 – All You Need to Know
Elephants have been an integral part of the Indian culture since time immemorial as they are considered to be sacred by the Hindus. They are also associated with Buddhism and Jainism. The Indian mythology has a deep rooted connection with this animal.
Ganesh or the elephant headed God is revered and worshipped through out the country as he is believed to be the remover of obstacles, also the elephant is considered to be one of the Navratnas extracted during the sammudra manthan.
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History of Elephant Festival
Rajasthan has been a home to many royal figures of the past. During their reign, elephant fight would be conducted in order to entertain the royalty. Ever, since the festival was introduced, it has managed to attract many tourists and guests. In recent times the venue was changed from Chauhan Stadium to Jaipur Polo Group grounds due to the increasing popularity.
In the recent times, due to the pressurization of the Animal Welfare group, the Rajasthan Tourism group was forced to cancel the festival for two consecutive years 2012 and 2014. The members of the Welfare group were concerned about the safety of the elephants as they were sprayed with a chemical colour.
They also concluded that the elephant procession fell under the category of Animal performance which in turn needed the elephants to be registered with the Welfare group. The host group had failed to do so and as a result had to rename the festival as Holi festival.
When Elephant Festival is Celebrated??
The elephant festival is held on the occasion of phalgun purnima in the month of February/March on the eve of the festival of colours, Holi.
Well groomed and decorated with huge velvet rugs and parasols and other huge jewellery like anklets and bells, the elephants parade up and down proudly like a model cat walking across the stage to an applauding audience. The mahouts embellish them intricate Indian motifs, ear danglers and coloured brocade scarves to adorn their ears and necks. Their tusks and foreheads too get jewelled up. The mahouts too dress themselves up in shinning brocade jackets and heavy turbans.
Timings of Elephant Festival
This year it will be held on 10 March 2020.
How it is Celebrated?
Different types of musical instruments like the nagadas and the bankiya are blown in order to announce the entry of the heavily gauded elephants assisted by their mahouts. The procession is then carried out by female elephants which is enjoyed by a large crowd.
Elephant race, tug of war, elephant polo,live performance of dancers and musicians are some of the special features of the Festival. The procession is also comprised of palanquins, chariots and Lancers on horses and camels.
There are no signs of Elephant Festival returning back to Jaipur, any sooner. However, a few service providers have taken up the legacy and provide interesting fusion of Holi and Elephant celebration in Jaipur. The best of all is the Eleholi Fest.
This is a local celebration of Holi with Elephants, which is conducted closer to Amer Fort of Jaipur, inside Eleday Elephant Park. There are two types of packages in Elepholi Fest.
Holi Festival in Eleholi Fest
You can choose to enjoy Holi without the elephants and with music, dance, food, Indian games, and so on. This includes just feeding elephants. The cost for this package is around INR 1,500 per head.
Holi with Elephants
The most common package of Eleholi Fest is the one with elephants, where you can paint the elephants with colors (organic and harmless), bathe the animals, feed them, ride them, and so on. The activity includes all the activities that are covered under Holi festival of Elepholi Fest, too. The cost for this package goes a little more than INR 4,000 per head
This event is conducted since 2011 and the team has 30 elephants, which were rescued. Now, numerous experienced mahouts are training them. Some of the elephants belong to the royal families too.
Apart from Eleholi, you can enjoy numerous other activities with elephants during Holi in Jaipur like,
- Visiting elephant parks like Elefantastic and others
- Taking an elephant ride in Amer Fort for exploration
Cost for Elephant Festival in Jaipur
Elephant festival is free for everyone. There are no charges and also there are no eligibility criteria. So, enjoy the festival without any cost.
If you want to enjoy the Elephant Festival than pack your bags and travel with the Palace on Wheels Train Rajasthan which is the famous luxury train in India. Fares of Palace on Wheels train are cost-effective and based on the Occupancies such as Single or double.
So, book the Palace on Wheels train and explore the various regions of Rajasthan along with the Elephant festival.
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Q: When is Elephant Festival celebrated in Jaipur?
A: Elephant Festival falls on Holi Festival. In 2020, Jaipur Elephant Festival falls on March 10th, Tuesday.
Q: Is Elephant Festival celebrated in 2020?
A: No, the official Elephant Festival is banned. However, you can find private Holi celebrations with Elephants like Eleholi Fest, and others.
Q: Why was Elephant Festival celebrated in India?
A: Elephants were indicators of royalty and wealth. To celebrate this culture, Rajasthan celebrated Elephant Festival in Jaipur. This also included animals like horses and camels.
Q: Where is Elephant Festival celebrated in India?
A: Elephant Festival was celebrated in Jaipur of Rajasthan until 2011.
Q: What are the other festivals of Rajasthan?
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