Fairs and Festivals in India | Fairs in India | Festivals Tours

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A country of many climates, many languages and many beliefs, Indians are constantly celebrating a festival or a fair. Some mark the passing of seasons; there are six seasons and each one is ushered with festivities in different ways in the many parts of India. Local faiths being many - festivals in India are many too. The land being ancient - old customs, traditions continue to be followed and culminate in celebrations of varied order. The varied fairs and festivals of India add color and integrity to this beautiful land of culture. More

Its' people speak a total of 1,652 dialects and has 15 officially recognized languages with a cuisine that undergoes changes every 200 km. Lifestyles and customs vary every few hundred kms. Each state promotes its tourist wonders. It has myriad festivals, in rhythm with the cycle of the seasons, with sowings and harvesting. Elsewhere, around them have grown legends most depicting the victory of good over evil. Before Independence, many persons counted their age or an important event in their lives connecting them with particular festivals during their birth years! These were the punctuation marks in the story of their life.

Fairs are the focal point of socio, economic activities and attract people from far and near - a camel to be sold – like the Pushkar camel cattle fair, a land deal to be negotiated, a marriage to be fixed- a meeting place is necessary & fairs are ideal!

Two cycles of the moon per month, 365 days in a year - there is a fair, a festival in some isolated corner, perhaps unnoticed elsewhere - all the same a celebration! Some of these functions make a pleasant interlude for visitors who chance upon them, while others are worth the effort of a special trip!

The Indian calendar is a long procession of festivals in India; if you can find yourself in the right place at the right time; it is possible to go through your visit with a festival each day! Pongal, the harvest festival of the South India the immersion of Ganesh in Mumbai, Ratha Yatra, the car festival of Puri, snake-boat races in Kerala, Republic Day celebrated in Delhi & all the regions, every faith has something to celebrate. Let us look at them month wise. Less

Gogaji Fair
Destination: Ganganagar, Rajasthan

Duration: 13 Aug 2020

Gogaji Fair is held in the memory of a popular hero of the area who is known as Goga Veer among the Hindus and Jahar Peer among the Muslims. The Kayam Khani Muslims claim descent from him and regard him as a peer (saint). Staunch believers have faith that invoking Gogaji will help to cure a snake biteor other diseases. Many visit the Gogaji Fair to make a wish or for expressing their gratitude when their wishes come true. This annual fair lasts for 3 days in the month of Bhadrapada

The ‘samadhi’ is a marble structure with two minarets and fortified by a boundary wall. The idol of Gogaji is seated on a blue horse with a snake coiled around the neck. An inscription in Persian can be seen at the main entrance which describes Mahmud Ghazni's regard for Gogaji. In fact, he had arranged for the renovation of the memorial as a token of gratitude when his wish was fulfilled. 

The main mode of worship is burning incense at the ‘samadhi’. Offerings of coconuts, batashas (sugar drops) and cash are made at the ‘samadhi’. Priests are engaged for conducting special prayers in which songs sung in praise of Gogaji are sung. The atmosphere inside the hall is serene and sanctified. Fragrance and incense heighten the feeling of purity and devotion. 

Outside the main hall, Nath priests can be seen carrying whips (replicas of Gogaji's chabuk), which are considered lucky, and offerings are made to them. Many people can be seen singing and dancing, carrying multicolored flags called ‘nishans’ in their hands. Drums and gongs provide rhythm to the hymn-

Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti - First Sikh Guru Birthday
Destination: All Over India

Duration: 15 Apr 2020

The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the first teacher and founder of Sikh faith is celebrated by the sikhs with the "Akhand Path" or the continue reading of the "Granth" - the holy book. The "Granth", martial displays and floats are taken out in processions November 05.

Guru Nanak Sahib (the First Nanak, the founder of Sikhism) was born on 15th April, 1469 at Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi in the present distrect of Shekhupura (Pakistan), now Nanakana Sahib. The Birthday of Guru Nanak Sahib falls on Kartik Puranmashi i.e. full moon day of the month Kartik. On this day the Birthday is celebrated every year. The Shrine (Gurdwara) repsesenting the home of Baba Kalu (Father) and Mata Tripta (Mother) is called Gurdwara Janam Asthan, situated at Rai-Bhoi-di-Talwandi in the present district of Shekhupura (now Nanakana Sahib in Pakistan). The Sikhs from all over the world gather here and celebrate the Gurupurab every year with great devotion and enthusiasm

Nagaur Cattle Fair
Destination: Nagaur, Rajasthan

Duration: 30 Jan 2020 - 2 Feb 2020

Amar Singh Rathore is the greatest hero of the region and was known for his chivalry and color. Once Salawat Khan, the brother in law of emperor Shahjahan, insulted him in the emperor’s court. Amar Singh immediately cut off his head and escaped from Agra Fort on his horse. He jumped from the ramparts of Agra fort whole riding the horse and fled, though the horse died on the spot. His daring and chivalrous deeds are still sung by the local people. The Muslim influence is clearly visible in the design of the fort, as parts of it were constructed by Amber and Shahjahan. Inside the fort are many royal apartments like Moti Mahal, Badal Mahal and Hawa Mahal. The Baradari or courtyard is painted with beautiful murals, which are a fine blend of Persian and Nagauri style. The frescoes of flowers and dancers also grace the walls of the Baradari, the havelies and palatial houses of the town are richly decorated with murals and paintings, with themes from Ramayana and Mughal-styled gardens still retain their beauty. The life and times of Lord Mahaveerji and Parasvanath are beautifully depicted in the Jain temples. Nagaur also has many old temples, mosques, dargahs and cenotaphs. The Muslim families of the town are well known for their expertise in dyeing and printing of saris and chunaris. The brassware of hardware’s of Nagaur is also very popular. The Multani Lohars (ironsmiths) are renowned in the region for their craftsmanship.
This eight-day fair held every year during the month of January - February, is popularly known as the cattle fair and is the second largest in Rajasthan. Nagaur Town is the most picturesque of Rajput townships. The town becomes a sea of animals, trading over 70,000 bullocks, camels and horses every year. The bullocks are known for their fleetness. Not only are the animals lavishly decorated, even their owners flaunt their colorful turbans and long moustaches.
From shearing sheep to handsome marwari horses to spices all compiled in one fair. Attractions include the ‘mirchi’ bazaar (largest red chilly market of India), wooden items, iron-crafts and camel leather accessories.
Sports like tug-of-war, camel races, bullock races and cockfights; jugglers; puppeteers, story tellers; and exciting campfire evenings are held to entertain the tourists. Folk music of the Jodhpur variation echoes the tranquil desert sand.
Nagaur awakens to bustling life every year with the thronging of cattle, horses and camels accompanied by their turbaned owners and eager buyers. This cattle fair held annually is one of the largest in the country. The Nagaur bulls are renowned for their fleet-footedness and therefore, attract buyers from all over the region.
The day starts with buyers and sellers engaged in earnest bargains. Once the price of a horse, bullock or probably a camel has been settled, the day draws to a close with fun and festivity. Games, tug of war, camel races and strains of ballads create a joyful atmosphere with the setting sun in the background.
Royal Camp Nagaur Fort Soaks in the surrounding ambience. Pitched within the fortifications of the splendid Nagaur Fort, the camp offers unique opportunity to participate in the rich traditions of Rajasthan and witness its vibrant culture. The camp is an ideal stopover for lunch for those who wish to visit the fort. The town of Khimsar and the sand dunes, which are only 55 kms away, are an added attraction.
Camp Offer Luxury tents with attached baths and water closets, Provision for lighting and generators, 24 hours security and room service, Multi-cuisine dining tent, Hot & Cold water, Doctor on call, Camp fire, folk dances and music, Credit cards and money exchange, Fans and hot air blower in tents.

Nagaur is well connected to the major cities by road and rail. Nearest airport is Jodhpur, some 135 kms away.

Nehru Trophy Boat Race
Destination: Alleppey, Kerala

Duration: 8 Aug 2020 - 8 Aug 2020

Nehru Trophy Boat race is a popular Vallam Kali held in the punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, kerala, India. Vallam Kali or Vallamkali literally means boat race. The most popular event of the race is the competition of Chundan Vallams (Snake Boats). Hence the race is also known as snake Boat Race Other types boats which participate in various events of the race are Churulan vallam, Odi vallam, (Vaipu Vallam), Vadakkanody Vallam and Kochu Vallam. The race conducted on the second Saturday of August every year is a major tourist attraction. 

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of Independent India visited Kerala in 1952. He was given a roaring reception by the people of alleppey, escorted by the huge snake-boats. Having gone through the tremendous excitement of sailing in a snake-boat Jawaharlal Nehru donated a rolling trophy to be awarded to the winner of the race. The trophy is a replica of a snake-boat in silver, placed on wooden abacus on which the following words are inscribed.

Pushkar Cattle Fair
Destination: Pushkar, Rajasthan

Duration: 22 Nov 2020 - 30 Nov 2020

Of singular importance is the annual fair held at Pushkar, near Ajmer. Tens of thousands of pilgrims come to bathe in the holy waters of the Pushkar lake. Legend has it that the lake appeared miraculously on the spot, where petals of a lotus blossom fell from the hands of Lord Brahma, the creator. As the site of a rare temple of lord Brahma, Pushkar has an atmosphere of an ancient religious town, peaceful and secluded. Holy men, called sadhus can be seen meditating.
But, for twelve days in the month of Kartik, it is transformed into a spectacular fair ground. This cattle fair is overwhelming in its magnitude and in its visual impact. Here traders set camp to strike deals for cattle, camels and horses. You can join in too, if only to share a glass of tea. Vendors peddle their dazzling range of wares in hundreds of stalls. Graceful camels raced and paraded are also bought and sold. Gaily canopied booths selling smacks, sweetmeats, ice crushes, bangles, brassware, cloth and camel saddles and hs are a photographer’s delight. In the evening, the entire atmosphere reverberates with the ringing of bells. Meanwhile, at the camel-camp, the silhouettes of camels against the sunsets are memorable.
At night, hundreds of small oil lamps placed on green leaves, set the lake alight floated by worshippers after the aarti puja, this act of worship is called “DEEPDAN

Facilities in Pushkar Fair
A special tourist village complex is set up by the Rajasthan Tourism Department to cater to the rush. This not only offers tented accommodation, but with lodging and boarding facilities provided in deluxe/ordinary tents and huts also has a round-the clock Coffee shop, Dining Hall, Tourist Information Counter, Foreign currency Exchange counter, Post office and Medical aid facilities. Offer combines also provide tented accommodation.
The tourist Village is self-sufficient and especially designed to complement the scenic beauty of the site. It has a coffee shop and a dining hall in the center. Only vegetarian food is allowed here and alcohol is totally prohibited. We put up a tourist village during the fair. This self-sufficient camp can cater to guest, all looked after with service and facilities like comfortable tents, coffee shop, post and telegraph and entertainment.
The Royal Camp captures the luxurious nostalgia of a bygone age of the Maharaja’s safari and shikar camps. The Camp consists of 80 custom made tents each with verandah, bedroom and bathroom. All amenities and fittings have been created for maximum comfort. There is a large dining tent serving the best of Rajasthani cuisine and a large open reception tent with seating areas. The campfire is the focal point for the evening entertainment programmed and rhythms of the Thar-music, dancing, magic shows, puppet shows, jugglers, flaming torches and camel parades. The experience of such fine camp living could be enjoyed at Pushkar and Nagaur.
Note that demand for accommodation during the fair is very high and tourists are advised to prebook their rooms much in advance.

Pushkar Fair Programme
The Pushkar Fair is no less than an encyclopedia on the tradition and culture of the state of Rajasthan. It is the event when a better population of the state can be found at one place and at one time. It seems as if the whole state has come alive at Pushkar to stand witness to its pulsating cultural heritage. Villagers gather from all around the state to enjoy and make merry, breaking all the barriers of hectic schedules of their lives. Colorful sights at the fair can touch and move even the sternest heart. Hindu pilgrims can be seen flocking the place to take a holy dip in the Pushkar Lake, washing away all the sins of the past. Devotees and worshippers can be seen surrendering themselves at the only Brahma Temple.
Pushkar is 15 km from Ajmer station and connected with Delhi – Ajmer Shatabdi Express.

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