With the starting of March the Pink City Jaipur emerge into a great celebration and preparation of pre-Holi festivals. As everyone knows very well that the Camel is the ‘ship of desert’ and the most perceptible symbol of Rajasthan, but when we think about the Rajputs and their royalty the first thing which stricks our mind is an Elephant.
In India an elephant is always being a sturdy symbol of royalty and while the Ship of the Desert festival is celebrates by Bikaner, the Pink City, Jaipur celebrates “The Elephant Festival”. This Festival is organized on the full moon day of Phalgun Purnima in the month of March a day before Holi, organized every year by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation at a definite venue i.e Rambagh Polo Ground. It is the most renowned of all the festivals celebrated in Rajasthan.
For this festival, The Mahouts, who are known as the caretakers of the elephants, give their elephants a bath then decorate their elephants with colourful and embroidered velvets rugs and canopy, with gold and silver head-plates as well as garnish their tusks by adorning them with gold and silver bracelets and rings. The owners proudly embellish their female elephants wearing anklets, which make a pleasant sound when the animal moves. It is quite a treat to see this huge animal with heavy ornaments and anklets decked with bells and vibrant colors, jhools (saddle cloth) and heavy jewellery.
Owners also painted on the bodies of their elephants with the traditional motifs of India, interesting patterns are drawn on the skin of the animal. At the end the most beautiful and decorated elephant is awarded.
It is immensely pleasing to see the animal playing a sport like Elephant races and polo which are the special features. Some other interesting events associated with the festival are ¬-The tug of war between elephants and 19 men and women is the most exhilarating highlight. In this war the strongest elephant play against the group of peoples. An exhibition name Gaj Shringar is also held here where all things about the animals kept like ornaments, paintings, food and other things. The festival is ends with the performances of folk dances, display of fireworks lighting the sky and speckle of Holi colours.
The other animals to participate in the festival include camels and horses.
It is believed that, Elephant is one of the nine jewels of “navratnas” came from the stirred of the ocean so; the elephant has been consider as a holy and valuable animal. Elephants are always a great part of the Indian society and the God Ganesha is an Elephant-headed God who is devotedly worshipped in all over India. From bygone era to present time elephants are always present in religious events, marriage ceremonies, processions and battle of Indians.
So come to the festival and enjoy watching this matchless event.
You can read about Elefantastic in Jaipur: