Jaipur being the capital of the desert state of Rajasthan is usually associated with camels. But one trip to this Pink City and you will know that it holds elephants in equal reverence. At places like Amber Fort and Jal Mahal (counted amongst the major Jaipur attractions), it is the elephant ride which is the biggest draw and, to an extent, also eclipses the popularity of a humped-back camel. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise if we tell you that the tourism of Jaipur maintains an annual calendar schedule for this so-called Elephant Festival. The festival which witnesses grand parade of the giant tuskers is observed on or around the day of the Holi in the month of March. The exact date varies every year.
The 2013 edition of the festival took place amongst fanfare and excitement. But the next edition (to be held on 16th March 2014) is not far away and is likely to see a huge flock of tourists and locals partaking in the merriment. So, if you are not making a winter trip this December/January, it would be ideal to look for Jaipur holiday packages for the third week of March.
The Jaipur Elephant Festival used to be observed at the Old City’s Chaugan Stadium. However, as the word-of-mouth publicity amongst the tourists spread, the festival began to witness sharp increase in traffic count every year. This prompted the authorities to shift the official venue at the more spacious and conveniently located Jaipur Polo Ground (located on the opposite flank of the cricket ground Sawai Man Singh Stadium).
During the festival, a herd of elephants is decked up with colorful clothes and other accessories before they are made to sashay down the city’s popular streets and into the stadium where an opulent parade is witnessed by hundreds. Interestingly, a number of contests and events are also organized. They all add spice to the festival.
There are no hard-n-fast rules and even the tourists are allowed to ride/touch the mighty beats or even smear Holi colors on the forehead of the animal. The post-sunset hours are usually reserved for a magnetic display of fireworks.
With cost-friendly Delhi weekend packages, you may find yourself walking trunk-to-hand with an elephant next year. So be ready, the Jaipur Elephant Festival should be up next on your must-do list!