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The Elephant Festival in Jaipur

Aug 17, 2007
The Rajasthan Tourism Board has revived the Holi Tradition by adding Elephants to the colorful celebrations.

Lisbon 5th March 2007 - The Elephant Festival, in Jaipur, precedes the Holi Festival and is celebrated during the month with processions, games, competitions and different events.

The animals are all painted according to the Holi Season Tradition and Parade every year, offering the tourists an unforgettable experience in India.

All the Elephants glamorously walk in the Procession, well bejeweled within the Indian tradition.

About the Elephant Festival

This annual festival of Jaipur is unique in its concept. A number of beautifully bejewelled and bedecked elephants march gloriously in a grand procession that savours of royal tastes and participate in several competitions and events at the time of Holi.

The giant pets run races and play polo at Chaugan in Jaipur, the venue of the Elephant Festival, with their long trunks during the Festival. There are dancers, musicians and a large number of onlookers who come there to witness this majestic event. The painted Elephants covered with richly embroidered velvets look grand and cute at the same time.

The Procession is accompanied by booming sound of trumpets and besides the elephants there are lancers on horses, chariots, camels, cannons and palanquins lending their own grandeur to it. There are beauty pageants for the elephants in which mostly female elephants participate and are groomed industriously by their 'mahouts' (elephant keepers) for that very purpose.

Their trunks, foreheads and feet are painted with floral motifs and trinkets are attached to them from tusk to tail. At the end of the day, a winner is declared. The highlight of the festival is the game of polo forms where elephants compete with each other wearing saffron and red turbans to score goals with long sticks and a plastic football.

Tourists particularly love to mount these elephants and play Holi and watch them dance as dexterously as they can. Previously, the royalty and their guests used the elephants as a mount. Rajasthan Tourism revived the tradition by introducing the Elephant Festival to promote cultural tourism in the state. It is said that inspiration for introducing the game of Polo in the Festival was taken from a cartoon in Punch Magazine that showed the Indian Polo team atop an Elephant after its success in all the international tournaments.

Source: Jaipur

About Jaipur

Jaipur, also popularly known as the Pink City, historically sometimes rendered as Jeypore, is the capital of Rajasthan state, India. Jaipur is also the capital of Jaipur District. Jaipur is the former capital of the princely state of Jaipur. Founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, Jaipur was the first planned city in India and in 2003, after only 276 years, the population reached approximately 2.7 million.

Built of pink stucco in imitation of sandstone, the city is remarkable among pre-modern Indian cities for the width and regularity of its streets which are laid out into six quarters separated by broad streets 111 ft (34 m) wide. The urban quarters are further divided by networks of gridded streets. Five quarters wrap around the east, south, and west sides of a central palace quarter, with a sixth quarter immediately to the east.

The Palace quarter encloses a sprawling palace complex (the Hawa Mahal, or palace of winds), formal gardens, and a small lake. Nahargarh Fort crowns the hill in the northwest corner of the old city. Another noteworthy building is Sawai Jai Singh's observatory, Jantar Mantar. Jaipur, with its rich and colourful past, resplendent with tales of valour and bravery is now one of the most important heritage cities in India, and is a must-see for tourists coming to India.

Jaipur is considered by many urbanists to be one of the best planned cities. Almost all Indian towns of that period presented a chaotic picture of narrow twisting lanes, a confusion of run-down forts/temples/palaces and temporary shacks that bore no resemblance at all to the principles set out in Hindu architectural manuals, which call for strict geometric planning. Thus, for Sawai Jai Singh II and the Bengali Guru Vidyadhar (who belonged to the 'Shaspati' order of Hindu Priest Architects), the founding of Jaipur was also a ritual and a golden opportunity to plan a whole town according to the principles of Hindu architectural theory. The town of Jaipur is in fact, built in the form of a nine-part Mandala known as the 'Pithapada'.

In the 19th century the city grew rapidly and became prosperous, with a population of 160,000 in 1900, and the city's wide boulevards were paved and lit with gas. Its chief industries were in metals and marble, which are fostered by a school of art, founded in 1868. There was also a wealthy and enterprising community of native bankers. The city had three colleges and several hospitals.

Source: Wikipedia

About Rambagh Palace

Become a Maharaja in the Pink City.

Through the 47 acres of lush green and ornamental gardens, one can glimpse Jaipur's Rambagh Palace in India, a Palace that offers its guests a taste of royal living. A luxury and extravagance that was once a sole preserve of kings.

The interior of the Palace was refurbished in keeping with its historical heritage, providing a glimpse into the lifestyle of the royals. The richness of the design, the high ceilings and the paintings on the walls stand out and reflect an architecture that seamlessly blends the best of Moghul and Rajput influences.

About Taj Lake Palace

Relax, Meditate and Float in this Dream Palace.

In Udaipur, India, inserted into an idyllic setting with the Aravali Mountains as backdrop and enveloped by the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola, the Taj Lake Palace emerges, a majestic Palace of mosaics and white marble.

Built on a small island in the mid 18th century the Palace still retains to this day the inheritance and traditions of the rulers of the region. It is difficult not to marvel at the corridors, patios, lakes, gardens and fountains that welcome us with the memories, luxuries and extravagances of an era gone-by.

About Umaid Bhawan Palace

A Majestic Palace where the West and the East Merge.

The imposing Umaid Bhawan Palace and its vast gardens emerge like an oasis atop Jodhpur. It is one of the last great Palaces of India and one of the largest residences in the World.

The architecture, conceived by Henry Lanchester, fuses western and eastern influences, with special mention due to the central dome with a Renaissance spirit or the Rajput influenced towers. The interiors honour the tradition of luxury associated to Indian Palaces and the decor follows the Art Deco style of the time.
About the Author
Jose Felix is the Marketing and Communications Manager for ARTEH?, the Best Independent Hotel Chain - Publituris Awards.

To visit the Hotels or make your reservations please go to ARTEH? - Hotels and Resorts.
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