Category Archives: Festivals

Jodhpur RIFF 2017 Begins Today

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Jodhpur RIFF 2017 Begins Today

The 5 day annual cultural extravaganza, Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) starts today. The festival is organized to coincide with Hindu festival Sharad Purnima which is a full-moon night. The imposing Mehrangarh Fort of Sun City Jodhpur is the venue of the event like every year. Jaswant Thada will also host some of the events.

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2017 is the UK and India cultural year. To celebrate this, The Spree (Paisley) Twins will perform tomorrow. Many foreign artists are collaborating with local performers to present never seen before acts. More than 350 international artists will grace the event with their unforgettable performances. Traditional folk music by Bhil tribe will be one of the highlights.

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Today, the festival started with a Children’s Folk Morning which was meant for school groups only. The real fun will begin at opening night tonight. Tonight you will get to witness traditional Rajasthani folk performances from 8:30 pm to 10 pm.

Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF 2012)

The weekend is close so don’t miss this much awaited folk festival!RIFF4

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The Grand Dussehra Celebrations at Kota

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The Grand Dussehra Celebrations at Kota

Dussehra is celebrated with great fervour in many parts of India. Each celebration has something different but dussehra celebrations in Kota city of Rajasthan are the most well-known. In Kota Dussehra is celebrated for 25 days every year. At the occasion, a fair is organized which starts on the first day of Navratri and goes on till a day before Dhanteras festival which marks the beginning of Deepawali.

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The tradition of Dussehra fair was started in 1723 AD by Maharao Durjanshal Singh Hada. Those days, the celebrations used to last 3 days. Maharao Ummed Singh II (1889-1940 A.D.) was the one who made Dussehra Mela what it is today.

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The effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarana and Meghnad are more than 75 feet tall here. A child dresses as Lord Ram does the honour of burning the effigies with an arrow of fire. Cultural programmes are organized and popular artists from all over India come to perform at the fest. Not only locals, but people from other parts of the country also come to witness the grand celebrations. International tourists also come to immerse in Dussehra Mela in Kota.

You can also become a part of this well-known celebration of victory of good over evil. Here’s the schedule-

kota dussehra mela

 

 

Immerse in the nine days of Navratri festivities in Rajasthan

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Navratri Festival

Navratri begins tomorrow!
Pujas and nine days rituals at home,  holidays on the cards, so many typical traditional outfits, dandiya & garba plans, fasting for peace and prosperity and a lot more is what these nine days indeed promise. When it comes to celebrating traditions and making the most out of these happy times one should never lag behind.

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Navratri is a festival devoted to the worship of Goddess Durga. The word ‘Navratri’ literally means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit; Nav – Nine and Ratri – nights. And hence the merriment takes place for 9 days. All through the nine nights and ten days, various forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped.

This year, Navratri is commencing from Thursday, September 21st and will end on Friday September 29th. On Saturday September 30th  Dusshera will be observed to celebrate the victory over evil.

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Each of the 9 days in Rajasthan will start with first seeking blessings from the goddess and then moving on to celebration. Several places in Rajasthan will be lit up during this time with everybody gushing with energy throughout. People get dressed in colorful attires and participate in Garba folk dance and Dandiya-Raas in which people match their steps to the rhythm of music and dance using dandiya (wooden sticks) with their partners.

 

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Navratri festival does bring people closer to each other and soak everyone in its joyous colors! This festival is especially popular among tourists because it gives them an opportunity to get closer to the rich culture of Rajasthan.

So, now that the festival is this close, get ready to participate this year in the enthusiastic and vibrant festival of Navratri! After all this is the exact time to meet locals of town and know more about the state’s culture ;). You just have to know the right place to be!

‘Jaipur By Night’ concludes on the glittering notes

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Jaipur by Night 2017_2

The 5th edition of the three-day cultural festival ‘Jaipur by Nite’ concluded on Saturday late night with a unique night marathon. Around 1500 runners participated in the marathon. It was flagged off by brand ambassador for the marathon Maharaja Padmanabh Singh of erstwhile Jaipur royal family at 10 pm.

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‘Jaipur By Nite’ was jointly organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Young Indians (YI), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and the Department of Tourism (DOT), Government of Rajasthan. Rajasthan Khadi & Village Industries Board and the Department of Archaeology & Museums also supported the initiative.

On the occasion Swaraag Band performed the musical programme while Ms. Neela Singh performed scintillating ‘Zumba’.

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The unique night marathon began from the City Palace. There were two categories – for 10 kms run (with timing chip) and for 5 kms (without timing chip). The route for the 10 kms run was from City Palace to Gandhi Circle on JLN Marg and back and that for the 5 kms run was from City Palace to SMS Hospital Gate No. 6 and back. The marathon, like last year, was a distinct activity and unique initiative wherein the participants joined from various parts of the country to witness and promote beauty and heritage of Pink City at night. Ambassadors of Fiji, Poland; three senior diplomats from Greece; diplomats from Kongo and Uganda as well as participants from Indore, Gurgaon, Mumbai and many other places took part. IAS officer Kuldeep Ranka and his wife Poornima Ranka participated in the 10 km marathon while Ashwani Bhagat and his wife participated in the 5 km run.

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The winner of the 2nd edition of Jaipur By Nite Marathon was Mr. Ajay Kumar (34.39) while Mr. Abhimanyu Gurjar (36.22) and Mr. Shivendra Singh (36.47) finished second and third, respectively. In female category, Ms. Kiranjeet (51.02) finished first.

Jaipur by Night 2017_5

Members of the Indian National Polo team Mr. Angad Kalan, Sidhant Sharma, Pranav Kapur including National Coach Uday Kalan and Fitness Coach Ajay Singh also participated in the marathon.

The two-day food festival entitled ‘The Bite Fest’ concluded yesterday. The fest had stalls from Burger Farm, Decked up by ‘Garden Café’, Fat Lulu’s, Crunchy Gourmet, TGIH, Papa Cream, Keventers, What a Patty, Liquido, Zarpar, Clarks Amer, Hilton and Chokhi Dhani.

The other attractions for the evening were Rajasthani troupe performances like Kachhi Ghodi, Bhope Bhopi, Dhol wale, Ghoomar dancers, Kaalbelia, astrologer and mehendi artists,etc.

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Festivities of Eid-al-Fitr in Jaipur

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Eid Jaipur Beat

You can smell festivity in the air and devotion on faces because it is the festival of Eid after the month long fast of Ramzan! Observed annually by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm), Ramzan is followed by the entire Muslim community in order to get closer to God and to remind them and live the life of the less fortunate ones.

Did you know that the word Ramzan comes from a translated version of Ramadan, which is derived from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, which means scorching heat or dryness ? Because the time right now is of peak summer and that makes this fasting even more difficult and challenging to follow.

Though Ramzan is followed and celebrated in all the areas of Jaipur, the festival’s real sheen is seen in the walled city, especially Ramganj Bazaar. The market was named Ramganj after Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II who was the one to bring modernization in the architecture of Jaipur. The name Ramganj, Ram + Ganj (meaning area) reaffirms that this area is the soul of the city as it houses the oldest mosques that smoothly blend in the wise architecture of the walled city of Jaipur. Along with a plethora of mosques, the city’s most authentic Mughal cuisines are found in Ramganj Bazaar and the nearby lanes (galiyan). Ramganj Bazaar is equivalent to the Char Minar of Hyderabad & Jama Masjid of Delhi.

But how exactly do they go about the fasting?

Every Muslim, mostly after he/she turns 12, considers it their farz (duty) to fast during Ramzan but are excused in case of special circumstances like illness, pregnancy, travel etc. Ramzan is the ninth pillar of Islam and is practiced in reverence of Allah. The month generally consists of 29-30 days depending on the visual sightings of crescent moon and all the followers follow the timetable of Mecca. They eat before 4 a.m. and post that, they don’t eat or drink anything throughout the day, including water. The meal that they have in the morning is called Sehri. As the day proceeds, they recite namaaz at mosque (masjid) in the evening and at around 7:15 i.e. after sunset, they open their fast with something natural like fruits, dates (khajur), milk, water – basically anything which isn’t cooked over fire. Dates are popularly eaten to open the roza for their distinguishing quality of providing instant energy after a day full of fasting. The meal served in the evening is called Suhoor or Iftaar.

After Iftaar, the devotees visit Masjid at around 9 p.m. where Quran is recited for around 1.5 hours and all the people sit there listening to it. After 29 or 30 days, i.e today, the Eid-Al-Fitr celebrations are in full swing when mosques are decorated, the lanes are dazzling in lights and folks visit each other to wish and exchange sweets especially Sevayian Kheer as it’s also known as Meethi Eid. The night of spotting the moon and ending the fasts is known as ‘Chaand Raat’ or the night of the moon 🙂

Sevayian Kheer Jaipur Beat

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Eid Mubarak 🙂

Behold the colourful extravaganzas of Gangaur Festival in Rajasthan

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Behold the colourful extravaganzas of Gangaur Festival in Rajasthan

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Vibrant clothes, mehandi designed hands, sounds of folk music, temple hymns and decorated streets! Gangaur festival offers a beautiful blend of religious and colourful extravaganzas in the culturally rich state of Rajasthan. It is among the most enthusiastically celebrated fairs and festivals of Rajasthan. Celebrated across the state, Gangaur reserves a remarkable seat in Jaipur. It is held in the months of March or April. This year’s dates are 30th and 31st March.

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Gangaur festival in Rajasthan is also considered as a celebration of ‘Martial Fidelity‘. Onlookers, especially tourists, find it exciting to watch the various ceremonies and activities of the festivals and show keen interest in learning about the culture.

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You’d love to catch a glimpse of groups of womenfolk, who are the main participants of the festival. They enthusiastically adorn the idols of Eesar (Lord Shiva) and Gaur (Goddess Gauri), the consort of Lord Shiva. The intensity of faith that is manifested as clay idols of Eesar and Gaur is worth admiring. Another noticeable thing would be the women, who beautifully adorn themselves with vibrant outfits and traditional jewellery. The festivals add spark to Rajasthan tourism by attracting people from foreign lands who are inclined towards culture.

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The belief working behind the Gangaur festival is  the hope that the worship would bring harmony in the lives of married women. Serving as the well-known Rajasthan attractions, the festival is equally important for unmarried girls as they get a good husband.

Gangaur Festival Rajasthan

The Gangaur festival in Jaipur is celebrated with great fervor in the royal families of Rajasthan as well. Magnificent human size idols of Eesar Gangaur are placed in the City Palace and other royal houses for worshiping. The royal women also get mehandi (Heena) applied on their hands by expert professionals.

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The most exciting part of the festival is when women take out the Gangaur processions on the street, followed by immersing these idols in river or lake. The euphonic voice of ladies while singing the traditional songs, dedicated to the Gods is mesmerizing.

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Pic: Google

While in Rajasthan, especially Jaipur, don’t miss to sweeten your tongues with finger licking “Ghewar”, a sweet dish that specially being distributed on the occasion.
Ghewar

2nd UDAIPUR WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL- a  promise of more zing and fervor

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udaipurfest

Udaipur World Music Festival is a three day event which brings together more than 150 artists from across sixteen countries including United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa, Senegal, Canada, Armenia, Turkey, Macedonia, Mozambique, Norway, Iran, Cuba, Switzerland and India among other nations to multiple venues across the city of Udaipur.

The festival featuring a diverse mix of music from different continents and regions coming together in one of the best Tourist destinations of India turns Udaipur into a much more culturally vibrant destination during these three days. It is an annual event where International and domestic travelers flock to Udaipur to witness the magic of music.

Programme Details- February 10-12, 2017

The first day of the festival, this year will take off from Gandhi Ground where Iranian American Singer Azam Ali will introduce us to the spiritual world of Electro Sufi World Music with her music partner Niyaz and the very famous Kailash Kher & Kailasa will croon Sufi numbers. For an international spin, the collective of musicians from Mozambique, Norway, Sweden and Zimbabwe—Monoswezi—will hypnotise the crowd with their fresh spin of traditional African songs.

On the second day, Fateh Sagar Paal lake of Udaipur will echo with the magical poetic renditions of Ablaye Cissoko from Senegal who will collaborate with the Constantinople Ensemble from Canada for the first time in India. Music lovers will also witness band Kabir Café celebrating the great Saint Kabir’s writings. In the evening, Gandhi Ground will come alive with smashing rock numbers of Indian band Parvaaz and South African World Music band Hot Water. The day will conclude with a high-energy performance by Bangalore based folk/fusion band, Swarathma.

The third and final day will be one filled with a lot of novelty like trance and gospel music which seldom come on a big platform like this. The day will commence at Fateh Sagar Paal with Brazilian songs, Afro-Cuban rhythms and Jazz renditions of the vivacious Swiss-Cuban musician Yilian Canizares. The festival will end in the evening at Gandhi Ground with three performances—Italian band Officina Zoe will introduce you to the world of trance with the Trance Therapy Music of Taranta; guitarist and composer Dhruv Ghanekar’s new project Dhruv Voyage will join force with some of the exciting musicians in the country and London Community Gospel Choir will give the festival a fitting spiritual finale.