Elephant festival is celebrated annually in Jaipur. It is a local festival celebrated on a full moon day. In 2019, Elephant Festival will be at 6:30 AM on Thursday, March 21. This is the festival for those who love to enjoy unique rituals, elephants and more elephants. The elephants are an integral part of the culture and lifestyle of ancient Jaipur residents. Even today, they recognize these mighty mammals with this festival.
During this festival, the elephants are groomed and decorated with rugs, anklets, jewelry and some are even painted. The keeper of the elephant, Mahouts are also dressed in royal attire. The procession of such elephants is the best part of the festival. The mahouts thump their sticks on the ground to create sounds during the procession. Other musical instruments are also used for a lively procession. Only female elephants take part in this procession.
After procession, you can find many elephant based games like elephant polo, elephant tug-of-war, elephant race and so on. Apart from elephant performances, you can also find live local dance and music celebrations throughout the day. GajShringar exhibition takes place in the same ground during the festival. This is the place for buying souvenirs, ornaments and tasting local cuisine and street food.
History of Elephant Festival
The festival was introduced during the ancient times as a celebration of traditions. According to mythology, when Gods and demons churned the ocean, nine gems emerged out of the ocean and one of those gems represent elephant. During kings’ reign, the strongest elephant is recognized during this festival. Elephants were allowed to fight against each other for people’s entertainment. Today, the entertainment is ensured with dance, race, procession and so on. Until 2011, the festival was celebrated in Chaugan Stadium. With increasing popularity of the festival, the stadium was not able to hold the large crowd of audience and the venue has been shifted to Jaipur Polo Ground.
How to Reach
The celebration takes place in the Jaipur Polo Ground, which is located right opposite to Sawai Man Singh Stadium. You can find cabs, buses and autos from various parts of the city to the ground.
Entry Timing and Fee of Elephant Festival
There is no entry fee for enjoying the festivals. Anyone can visit the festival grounds. However, separate stalls might have different fee structures for activities and entertainment features. The festival takes place on the full moon night of February or March. The exact day of the festival changes from year to year. It is usually celebrated on the day of the color festival, Holi.
The festival starts at 4 in the evening and ends by 7 in the evening.
Other festivals to celebrate in Jaipur
This also the day of Holi. You can enjoy Holi festival along with the locals. Other festivals to enjoy in Jaipur are :