It’s no surprise, the colorful state of Rajasthan in India is well known to be a cultural gem. Sometimes called as The Land of The Kings, it is an among the best places in India to discover the diversity of the country. There is no wondering why so many tourists plan to visit Rajasthan. The state have a rich history and is home of beautiful desert landscapes, majestic forts, camels, tigers and… numerous fairsand festivals! Indeed, one of the best ways to experience Rajasthan is to enjoy one of the festivals. There are so many that you might have difficulties to pick. To help you, here is the list of the 20 best colourful festivals in Rajasthan.
1. International Kite Festival
Who said kites were only to entertain children? Take part of this unique festival where locals and tourists fly colourful kites in the sky. You will be amazed by all the colours and all the shapes. It is celebrated every year around Maker Sankranti (January 14th), one of the most important harvest day in India, and you can enjoy it in Jaipur or in Jodhpur.
2. Jaipur literature festival
If you are a literature lover or a poetry enthusiast, you do not want to miss the Jaipur Literature Festival, also considered as one of the greatest literary show on Earth. This might be your favourite festival during your whole trip in India. Every year, some of the best writers’works as well as amateurs’ works are being showcased during this show. It’s also a nice platform to meet other traveler to share your passion with.
3. Desert festival
As you know, the best desert destinations in India is Rajasthan. You will be happy to know that in Jaisalmer, also known as the Golden City, you can enjoy a fun cultural carnival called desert festival. Be ready to be amazed by the sand dunes of the Great That Desert and the folk shows including dance, music and so much more. This is a one-of-a-kind experience where you can see camel races and a unique moustache twirlers contest, the Mr Desert contest.
4. Nagaur Cattle Fair
Around 70,000 camels, bullocks and horses are traded every year during cattle trading fair in Nagaur. Not only animals are traded, but also spices. This is your chance to see men colourfully dressed with impressively long moustaches. Since you are around, make a stop to the largestred chilli market in India, Mirchi Bazaar.
5. Baneshwar fair
This popular tribal and cultural festival is taking place in Dungarpur, located in the south of the state. You can enjoy the famous puppet dances of Rajasthan and some animal shows. The Bhil tribes come here to take a holy bath where the Mahi and Som rivers meet.
6. Elephant festival
During your trip in India, you are most likely expecting to see elephants. Making a stop to the Elephant Fair of Jaipur during Holi Festival should then be on your bucket list. You will see colourful and well decorated elephants, races and competitions. Welcome to one of the best festivals in Rajasthan! Note that it is taking place at the Jaipur Polo Ground.
Actually, this festival is taking place somewhere during march and april. You can celebrate it all around the state although many people choose to go to Jaipur, the pink city of Rajasthan. During this festival, people are honouring Shiva and Parvati’s love. If you are looking for a strong cultural celebration related to Hinduism, you do not want to miss Gangaur.
8. Mewar Festival
Celebrated in the beautiful city of Udaipur, one of the most romantic destinations in India. Mewar Festival is similar to Gangaur and it is also celebrated between march and April. This is a cheap option as most cultural events are free. Not to mention it is considered as the world’s second living heritage festival. With the views over the magnificent lakes, this colourful festival will for sure impress you.
9. Brij Holi
You may already know it, but Holi is one of the most important festivals in India. You might not know though that Rajasthan is among the best places to celebrate Holi. Few days before it, in Bharatpur, is also celebrated Brij Holi. This unique celebration worship Lord Krishnawith dances and music. Just like Holi, vibrant colours are also being splashed in the air.
Note that depending on the year, Gangaur and Mewar festival are sometimes celebrated during april.
10. Summer festival
Located in Mount Abu, a very unique hill station in Rajasthan, the summer festival is a great place to have fun. During three days, you can enjoy cultural concerts as well as horses, skating and boat races. Some live bands are also playing sometimes. It is normally taking place on the day of Buddha Poornima. This is a great way to enjoy Rajasthani folk culture.
11. Teej Festival
Are you looking for the best festival in Rajasthan? That might be it! Teej festival honours the arrival of the monsoon in august, the Goddess Teej and Shiva and Parvati’s marriage. You can guess that it’s a very big celebration. You will see decorated and very colorful elephants, horses, and camels, moreover you will be able to enjoy some of the best Rajasthani traditional music and dances and to admire the women traditional dresses. Go to Bundi or Jaipur to celebrate it.
12. Dussehra Mela and Kota adventure festival
Althought it is celebrated all around India, the city of Kota in Rajasthan is among the best places to celebrate Dussehra Mela. This fair commemorates the victory of the good against the bad, Rama against Ravana. This impressive festival with leave you speechless with some handcraft 22 meters tall effigies. These are stuffed with firecrackers and are then being burned. Since Rajasthan is well known for being so colourful, you won’t regret choosing Kota as your destination to celebrate Dussehra Mela. During that same time is also celebrated Kota Adventure Festival, the greatest festival for adventure seekers. This the the perfect spot to practise your favourite thrilling sports in india.
13. Rajasthan International Folk Festival
Head to the blue city of Rajasthan, Jodhpur, and celebrate Rajasthan International Folk Festival. Fun guaranteed! Music, dance and jazz nights are some of the many activities that will entertain you during this carnival. Held during the brightest full moon of the year(Sharad Purnima), you will be immersed into the best of Rajasthani culture. It is considered by UNESCO as a peoples platform for creative and sustainable development.
14. Marwar Festival
The most popular festival of Jodhpur though remains the Marwar Festival. One day is celebrated in Jodphur and the other day in Osiam. The festival honours Rajasthani heroes through music and dance. Many activities are offered during the week of the festival such as moustache and turban tying contests. For tourists, this is an amazing celebration to be introduce to the best of India.
15. Pushkar Camel Fair
Although it is sometimes held in November, the Camel Fair of Pushkar belongs to the top festivals of Rajasthan. Many tourists and pilgrims meet there to enjoy traditional music and dance. Thousands of Camels are being traded, but also horses and cattles. This fair could easily be considered as the best festival in Rajasthan, or at least, as the most traditional one.
16. Kolayat Fair (Kapil Muni Fair)
Be prepared to see beautiful ghats decorated as well as cute oil lamps floating during Kolayat Fair near the Holy Kolayat Lake of Bikaner district. You will certainly sense the rich cultural heritage of the place. Spiritual rituals are performed by devotees and sweets are distributed. You might see people taking a bath in the lake to wash away all their sins.
17. Bundi Festival
Held in Bundi, this 3 days cultural celebration is another of the many ways to experience the best of Rajasthani culture. The folk dances, music, as well as the impressive traditional dresses are some of the reasons why this carnival is a must-see in India. Fun contests such as turban tying, moustache and bridal makeup are also taking place. You can expect to see camel races as well.
18. Matsya Festival
This festival is another great one for adventure enthusiasts as well as families, locals and foreigners. Held in Alwar, this is two days of celebration that you are not going to forget. Among the many activities possible, you can enjoy parasailing, hot air balloon and yoga classes.
19. Chandrabhaga Fair
Located right on the banks of Chandrabhaga river, this fair welcomes many people from all around the world. Travellers as well as locals are enjoying this religious festival. Held in Jhalawar, this is mostly where pilgrims come to wash their sins away, but you will also see many traders of camels, horses and cattles.
20. Winter festival
Also located in Mount Abu, the winter festival, just like the summer festival, is a lot of fun. If you enjoy art crafts and artisan work, you will be happily pleased with this festival and the many handicraft stores. This is also a nice time to enjoy some of the best food of Rajasthan, stunning fireworks and inspiring poetry sessions. Rowing competitions are also taking place.