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Pushkar Fair to begin from 4th November 2019

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Pushkar Fair to begin from 4th November 2019

There’s nothing like Pushkar Camel Fair. It’s a celebration of the uniqueness of Rajasthan and experiencing the festival is the dream of every traveler. This is the time when Pushkar comes truly alive with multiple hues. The small sleepy town comes out of its hibernation mode and becomes the playground of people from the world over.

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The history of Pushkar Fair is a hundred years old but the festival keeps not only that historic spirit alive but also has new age elements to it now. This year the much-awaited fair will begin on 4th November and will culminate on 12th November on the day of Hindu festival Kartik Purnima.

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Apart from the buying and selling of livestock, the fair has become an important tourist attraction. Competitions such as the ‘matka phod’, ‘longest moustache’ and ‘bridal competition’ are the main draws for this fair, which attracts thousands of tourists. In recent years, the fair has also included an exhibition cricket match between the local Pushkar Club and a team of foreign tourists. Pushkar Camel Fair has so many events and activities that your day will be full but we advise you to take out a little time to stroll in the narrow lanes of the town. Also, don’t forget to try local foods and do indulge in retail therapy. Spend some time at the famous Brahma Temple and watch the evening Aarti at Pushkar Lake too.

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For your convenience, here’s a tentative impression of the flow of events at Pushkar Camel fair 2019.

4th to 9th November – Cattle Trading
Cattle trading is at its peak during these days along with a variety of cattle contests.

10th to 11th November –  Cultural Galore
These two days will see some cultural activities like dance shows, music performances sponsored by the Rajasthan State Government.

12th November – Holy Dips
This is the Holy Day when people take dips in the Pushkar Lake, and other religious ceremonies take place.

Why do tourists love to visit Jaipur during Diwali?

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Why do tourists love to visit Jaipur during Diwali?

The Pink City of Jaipur is extensively known for its culture and beauty. It is considered to be one of the most touristy places in the country & was even labelled as ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO in July 2019. The royal city of Jaipur is loaded with world-class architecture & monuments which is why it is a classic example of the Indian folklore.

But do you know, Diwali – The festival of lights also known as India’s biggest festival – is one of the best seasons to visit Jaipur is during the festivities of Diwali? Here’s why:

Diwali Decorations

During Diwali, the city gets decked up in the most unique manner, resembling a bride, with the make up being warm glowing lights. The decorations look astonishingly ravishing because all the malls and markets compete to win the ‘Best Decoration’ prize. From the old market to new streets, literally every corner looks unimaginable! As soon as you’d step here, you’d feel the festive spirit and would want to become a part of this celebration. The glowing monuments offer countless photo opportunities.

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Staying in Heritage Hotels

Heritage hotels of Jaipur arrange for exclusive Diwali celebration, with diya-lighting ceremonies, prayers and blessings. One can settle down to witness a vivid firework display blaze across the Jaipur skyline while immersing into the royal life and culture. The heritage hotels are not only lavishly decorated during the festival, but they organise events in which you can actively participate and feel like a member of the family– an experience that you will cherish forever.

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Indulge in Traditional Delicacies

There is no celebration without the celebration of food and when its Diwali, it plays a major role. From the traditional Dal Batti to the exotic delicacies, there are hundreds of varieties to treat your taste buds during this time of the year. All you have to do is just walk into the sweet shops and there’s absolutely no way of escaping them. They are a must try!

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Live like Locals

The Jaipurites celebrate every festival with full of zeal and vigour. The women love to adorn colorful outfits such as lehenga and odhani while the men love to adorn traditional outfits such as safas and pagdis. They also love to flaunt their elaborate jewellery. The exhibition of such a rich culture is a sight to behold. To dress like them, you can buy traditional outfits from the local markets quite easily. Not only that, you can get a picture clicked to flaunt it on the social media for the world to see.

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Feels like Home 

The first concern while travelling to a new city is safety. During the festival, all families in Jaipur go on tours for seeing the lighting in the walled city which is why you’d see people everywhere. There’s nothing shady about this city!

You’d get a very homely vibe here because we truly believe in ‘अतिथिदेवो भवः’ i.e., ‘The guest is God’.

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Roadside Markets set up

For y’all shopaholics, roadside markets and stalls that are set up during the festival are the perfect places where you can spend some money on buying typical Rajasthani stuff. These markets not only sell items for Diwali Puja such as diyas and flowers, but also for home décor such as artefacts and potteries and traditional clothes. The best part about these markets is that even though the items are very cheap, they manage to maintain a relatively good quality standard.  You will definitely love the warmth of the vendors.

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Last but not least, Witness the spellbinding view from Nahargarh

This is probably one of the best reasons for you to visit Jaipur! The view from Nahargarh Fort, which stands out on the hills of Aravali, is out of this world (no exaggeration!). During Diwali, you can see the whole of Jaipur figuratively looking like it is made of gold. It is so beautiful that you cannot take your eyes off it. It is definitely a rare sight that is worth visiting for!

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The Spirit of Rajasthan’s Unchartered Territory: Momasar Utsav

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The Spirit of Rajasthan’s Unchartered Territory: Momasar Utsav

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Rajasthan’s majority of parts comprises of the desert and bare land. With a vibrant splash of colors and vigorous display of cultural galore, Fairs and festivals of Rajasthan infuse life in these barren surroundings.  Ranging from dance music festivals, camels shows to techno-electric events and literature gala, Rajasthan is the royal host to marvelous showcase of the art, performing arts and culture.

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Unlike the regular yearly festivals, this year we came across this interesting festival called, “Momasar Utsav” Situated in Shri Dungargarh district of Bikaner, Momasar is a tiny hamlet which is popular for its wood handicraft and Papad Mangodi.

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Momasar hosted a two days folklore of art, craft, performing arts and shopping on 19th and 20th October in the village. Momasar Utsav offered an opportunity to the tourists to visit this uncrowded village which is not yet touched by the touristy vibes.

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The festival was a truly inclusive and barrier-free festival that welcomed people from all backgrounds and beliefs while showcasing the unadulterated culture, heritage, stories, art and cuisine of the local communities of Momasar.

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The visitors of Momasar Utsav got an opportunity to connect with rural folks as well as performing artists. This festival brought together over 200 folk artists and artisans from seven cultural regions in Rajasthan. During these two days, they found their own space as they lose themselves to the unalloyed traditions of this rich land. The concerts, congregations, and exhibitions were organized at unpretentious venues – a haveli (traditional mansion), an old temple of village deity and an open field next to a traditional water harvesting structure. The festival was so structured that visitors mingled freely with artists and local residents, enriching experience for all of them.

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The artists who performed at Momasar Utsav can be undoubtedly called as the torch-bearers of indigenous music and craft forms of Rajasthan. In fact, a lot of these are the last few men and women practicing these arts, on the verge of being lost forever.

Until next year, let’s flip over these interesting moments from this year’s Momasar Utsav 2019

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Image credits: Sanjay Kaushik : https://bit.ly/31K8fnX

 

Timings changed for Elephant Safari in Amer

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Timings changed for Elephant Safari in Amer

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The Rajasthan forest department has asked the archaeology department to change the timing of elephant safari at elephant village and Amer Fort, amid complaints that the elephants were being used for taking tourists on a tour throughout the day. The new timing will be from 8 am to 12 pm. There will be no elephant safari thereafter.

The officials said that currently the elephants are being used for safaris throughout the day at Amber Fort as well as the Elephant Village.

“The animals have no time for rest, so they become aggressive. We have seen some instances of tourists getting hurt during elephant safaris. These incidents are few and far between, but they are definitely avoidable,” said a forest department officer.

He added that the elephant safari will not be allowed between 12 pm and 3 pm at Amber Fort and Elephant Village.

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When tourists and tour agencies can’t get an elephant safari at Amer Palace, they go to the Elephant Village and pay mahouts for a safari on the village premises.

“This practice should be discouraged. We have written to the archaeology department to check in on this practice on Amer Fort premises as it exhausts the elephants. We will make sure that the new timing is enforced strictly at Elephant Village,” said the officer.

Rajasthan government gifts free air travel to senior citizens.

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image via Google

Senior citizens of Rajasthan will now be able to travel abroad under the Senior Citizens Pilgrimage Scheme. Senior citizens will be able to travel to Kathmandu, Pashupatinath in Nepal by air. Devastation Minister Vishwaendra Singh has sealed the decision at a meeting of the state level committee at the tourism hall. This year, 5,000 passengers will travel on pilgrimage by air and 5,000 by rail.

Two new circuits have been added in rail travel and three in air travel. In the Dehradun-Haridwar-Rishikesh circuit, the pilgrims will be airlifted to Dehradun and from there by buses. In the Gangasagar-Southeshwar Kali-Velur Monastery-Kolkata circuit, devotees will be airlifted to the shrines by air and from there by bus. In the Pashupatinath Kathmandu circuit, the passengers will fly to Kathmandu by air and will be taken by bus to Pashupatinath from there.

In fact, earlier air travel included 6 circuits, which have been increased to 9. Meanwhile, two additional circuits have been added to the proposed Senior Citizens Pilgrimage Scheme. The rail journey includes Shri Govardhan-Nandgaon-Barsana-Mathura-Vrindavan circuit and Ajmer (Dargah of Moinuddin Chishti), Delhi (Dargah of Nizamuddin Auliya) and Fatehpur Sikri Agra (Dargah of Sheikh Salim Chishti) circuit.

Ranakpur Jain Temple- a striking destination of wonderful architecture

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Ranakpur Jain Temple- a striking destination of wonderful architecture

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It’s Mahaveer Jayanti today, and we are reminded of the most beautiful Jain temple in Rajasthan i.e Ranakpur Jain Temple!
Ranakpur Jain temple is a beautiful destination to experience the marvels of architecture in Rajasthan. The famous Jain temple is located near Sadri town in Pali district of Rajasthan.

The main attraction of the Ranakpur Jain temple is its architectural excellence and fine carvings on the walls. The major attraction of this temple is the Chaumukha marble temple.

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The temple comprises of 1444 pillars, each unique in architecture and design. These pillars in the temple are completely carved in a different manner without any similarities. Carvings of pillars are the peak level of architectural skills in this temple. Other than the pillars, the mesmerizing multi-curved ceilings catch the visitors’ attention. Ceilings of this temple are beautifully carved and designed with miniature designs, geometric designs. Not just the pillars and ceilings of the temple, some other beautiful carvings like Marble elephant are also the attractions of Ranakpur temple.

Ranakpur temple

So many sculptures and different fine carvings are the symbol of architectural style and preaches of Jainism. This temple is the best and unique place to experience the legends Jainism. The deities that are worshipped here are the Adinath, Neminath, Parshvanath, Surya, and Amba Matha. Among them, the Adinath temple means Chaumukha is visited by a maximum number of devouts.

Sheetla Ashtami in Rajasthan

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The amazing flavor of fairs and festivals in Rajasthan has its own charm. These fairs and festivals prove to be the best opportunity for the guests to peep into and understand the cultural and traditional aspects of the land of royal figures more closely.

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One of the small and grand festivals is the Sheetla Ashtami festival, which is celebrated in Rajasthan. Sheetla Ashtami is celebrated during the spring season in the month of March or the beginning of April, right after seven days of Holi. Festivals hold an unusual lure for the Rajasthanis and here you can find the locals up with many reasons to celebrate and make merry in the form of different colourful festivals. Each part of Rajasthan has its own unique festival and the village of Seel-Ki-Doongri lying on the Jaipur-Kota road near Jaipur has its own unique festival to worship Sheetla Mata.

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Image via google

It is a very important Hindu festival in Rajasthan. It is commonly known as Basoda बसोडा or like many people may call it Sheetla Ashtami शीतला अष्टमी.  Sheetla Mata, believed to be the Goddess of Small Pox, is worshipped on Sheetla Ashtami which is falling on 28th March 2019 to control the visitation of a smallpox epidemic in the town. This fair is a rural celebration and is quite popular in the interiors of Rajasthan. The fair is also popular among foreign visitors because of the charismatic display of rural life and colors. Sheetla mata is worshipped on this day. Cold and stale food is offered to Sheetla Devi after the puja. This food is known as Basauda. The same food is consumed by the devotees and distributed among everyone.

It is a common belief among all the people that worshiping Sheetla mata on Sheetla Ashtami would prevent them from the deadly outbreak of diseases.

Wish everyone a very Happy Sheetla Ashtami !