Elephant Festival 2009, Jaipur Mar 2009
Elephants have long been associated with the royalty of India. They have been used as Royal careers for centuries. The animals have thus come to be associated with royalty and have been loved and respected by everyone. The Elephant Festival held in Jaipur, is organized by the Tourism Department of Rajasthan during the time of Holi Festival. Jaipur is the ideal location being the state capital and one of the most important erstwhile princely states of Rajasthan. This popular and vibrant festival is a famous fair & festival of Rajasthan State.
The one day Jaipur Elephant Festival coincides with Holi, the Indian festival of colors. Depending on the Lunar Calendar, usually this festival is held in the month of March. The handlers or mahouts decorate their elephants in regal attire, and make them walk in procession at the start of the day. The procession heads to Chaugan, the vast ground in Jaipur where this festival is hosted. The procession is watched by thousands of tourists and locals. After reaching Chougan, the popular events are kicked off. The most important events are the elephant pageant, polo match, elephant race, and tug-of-war. The elephant pageant showcases the best elephants of the city. These magnificent animals are dressed up elegantly in regal garb, much as in the old days when such processions were part of everyday life of the city. The gallant elephants walk up to the judges much like fashion model divas do on a ‘ramp’ at a beauty contests. The elephants are observed up close by the spectators and the judges. The best elephant wins the coveted ‘best decorated elephant’ shield. Although Elephants the main focus, there is a lot of other activities like cultural songs and dance performances as well as this being around the time of Holi lot of colour throwing and fun with surprises. This year the event was held on 10th March, 2009.
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