Category Archives: Rajasthan Fairs & Festivals

Rajasthan Tourism Beat at Ranthambore Festival in Nahargarh Palace

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After a spectacular run with more than 3000 attendees in January 2017, Ranthambore Festival returned to the magnificent Nahargarh Palace for a second edition this month and our team was invited as guests to attend the Festival. The music and wildlife conservation festival enthralled the attendees from January 19th to 21st but Rajasthan Tourism Beat decided to attend the first day of the festival as the following days had different reservations for us. We reached the Nahargarh Palace around 14.00 hrs when the beautiful open garden Bageechi was showcasing the film : Looking for Sultan by Gautam Pandey. Thus began our journey of the Ranthambore Festival at Nahargarh palace.

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If you think that its first edition showcased the richness of Rajasthani folk music and wildlife landscape, mind you the second edition marvelously returned with even newer sounds, fresh ideas and terrific activities. Picture an open theatre in the midst of an imposing palace, complete with manicured plants and shady trees. ‘Bageechi’ also played host to an informative Wine Tasting session by Grover Zampa.

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wine tasting

Now imagine, as the sun begins to set you are sitting surrounding a marble white step well swimming pool – “Book a Smile Hathikund” and listening to Bangladeshi musician Labik Kamal, international world music ensemble Trio Benares from Germany, and the live performance by actor and musician Farhan Akhtar and his band.The well-curated line-up of musical performances on all three days also included a soulful rendition by Ustad Ma Zila Khan.

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Numerous patrons of music, whatever is the genre of their preference appeared at Nahargarh Palace to sample the collective, ecstatic experience of a musical art form.

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The festival successfully showcased some of the best in Rajasthani folk music by providing a platform to little-known yet immensely talented folk artists and prominent wildlife conservationists, alike. A 12-person nagara ensemble led by Nathulal Ji Solanki (Ajmer), Kanha Ram (Gujarat) on ektara and khartaal, Mohan (Bhuj) on gadha gambhira, Ram Swaroop (Alwar) on bakri ki masak enlivened the First Stone Amphitheatre of Nahargarh Palace.

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The artists’ performances and the music made us stir from within while the amazing Drum Circle by Omkar Salunkhe was an experience unforgettable. However, what can easily be called the highpoint of the festival was a dazzling performance by 35-handpicked (by Abhimanyu Alsisar, himself) Rajasthani folk musicians.

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In addition to showcasing the rich musical traditions, Ranthambore Festival also hosted intriguing all day workshops like pottery making workshop by Dastkar, Block printing & Toy making workshop by Dhonk, lac bangle making by Shadab khan, Khartaal master classes by Imammuddin Khan and Bhapang master class by Yusuf and Mehmood Khan.

Given the immensely encouraging response received last year, the Souk experience at the Ranthambore Festival was even more elaborate and magical this time. It presented an eclectic blend of the most sought after brands in the country.

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This time around, Ranthambore Festival also extended a series of thrilling experiential activities like a heritage bicycle tour, naked-eye stargazing with local tribal interpretations, secret royal suppers and hot air balloon rides for the guests.

 

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The Den lastly came to life at night when the music lovers broke into a party mood, they drank, talked, laughed and danced till they dropped.

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The next day, out team had bid adieu to Ranthambore Festival and chose to hit the jungle for Ranthambhore Tiger Safari. We booked a private gypsy safari to avoid crowds and have a more intimate experience with the national park. Unfortunately, we did not see tigers on safari in Ranthambhore, but the entire feel of jungle and the experience was still amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kumbhalgarh Festival to Start on 1st December

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Kumbhalgarh Festival to Start on 1st December

The multi-hued culture of Rajasthan will be on full display during the upcoming Kumbhalgarh Festival at the majestic Kumbhalgarh Fort. The festival aims to enthrall the onlookers with everything that Rajasthan stands for. Various cultural performances and competitions are planned to give the participants a glimpse of the rustic side of the state.

Kumbhalgarh Fort

Kumbhalgarh Fort

Something new is on the cards this year as the festival will have a fusion of basic Indian classical like Odissi dance and Bharatnatyam and Rajasthani folk. There will be Kalbeliyas, Langas, Terahtaali and Kachchi Ghodi to name a few.

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Tourists will be able to participate in fun contests like turban tying competition and win prizes. Besides this, puppet shows will add more excitement to Kumbhalgarh Festival.

Kachchi Ghodi Dance

Here’s what to expect at this 3 day festival which will be held from 1st to 3rd December 2017.

1st December: Rajasthani Folk Fusion – Gair, Terahtaali, Langa, Kalbeliya, Kachchi Ghodi will be performed altogether on stage. After this Odissi Dance will be performed by Kavita Mohanti.

2nd December: Classical Dance fusion – Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, KuchiPudi, MohiniAttam. All artists will be on stage at the same time. The theme for this classical performance is based on “Vande Mataram”.

3rd December: Flute and Sarod – Bansuri Vadan by Ronu Majumdar and Sarod by Dev Jyoti Bose. These two eminent artists will present a jugalbandi on stage.

The programmes look exciting so make a plan to enjoy the next weekend at Kumbhalgarh Festival in Rajsamand near Udaipur.

Wonderflip, a Fun-Filled Extravaganza to be Held in Udaipur

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Wonderflip, a Fun-Filled Extravaganza to be Held in Udaipur

International and Indian DJs, folk-performances and live music, all this and more will amaze you in Wonderflip which will be organized from 9th to 12th November. The venue for this performing arts and music festival is Ravla Khempur, a haveli which is just a 45-minute drive away from Udaipur.

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The revelers will get to sway to the tunes of well-known DJs such as Patrice Baumel, Eagle And Butterflies and Ankytrixx. Gipsy Sound Revolution, Clown with a Frown and The Chizai Quartet are the live bands that will feature at the event. The themes of various performances include Vintage Circus, Salvador Dali and Fairyland.

Apart from music, the festival will feature experiential art, installations and dance parties. Klove Light Design’s room of reflection and illusion is another attraction of Wonderflip. For some adrenalin rush, witness daredevil stunts by professionals from Royal Enfield. Get your fashion-fix with capsule designer collections on display.

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The most appetizing food and luscious drinks will be served by the restaurants that will stay open at all times. If you are looking to experience Rajasthan, go for horse-safaris and off-road cycling. This one event Wonderflip has something for everyone so don’t miss!

The cost of tickets is Rs. 10, 500. You can also camp in a luxury tent for the complete duration of festival for rupees 26,500 for two people.

7 Resorts to Stay and Cherish Pushkar Camel Fair

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7 Resorts to Stay and Cherish Pushkar Camel Fair

Pushkar Camel Fair is the kind of event that everyone wants to be a part of. The whole feeling of this small city becomes magnetic and the charm of the fair is unavoidable. Being an attractive hotspot, Pushkar has hotels and resorts for every budget. Not only that, there is so much variety that you will be spoilt for choice. Resorts have outpaced regular hotels in terms of popularity and so we have put together a list of the Best Resorts in Pushkar for you-

1.Aaram Baagh

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The name literally translates to ‘Garden of Rest’ or ‘Pleasure Garden’. In old times, kings used to take a break and go to a secluded and beautiful place with their queens. This trip was meant for relaxation and the royals used to have all the luxuries there. Aaram Baagh is inspired from that. This is a very special resort as it lets you live the regal life of 4 different countries. There are Arabian, Egyptian, Greek and Persian themed villas to choose from. Pick whatever you fancy and get set for a unique experience at Aaram Baagh Pushkar.

Website- http://www.aarambaaghpushkar.com/

2.Pushkar Resorts

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Designed to reflect the various moods of the land of Brahma Temple, this is one of the oldest resorts in the city. There are 40 cottages at Pushkar Resorts surrounded by fruit orchards. The lush green landscape and view of Aravalli mountain range from the resort make the stay more appealing.

Website- http://www.sewara.com/

3.Westin Pushkar Resort and Spa

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Choose this if you are looking for modern vibes rather than traditional Rajasthani style. Here you will get all the comforts amidst the breathtaking Aravalli mountains.

Website- http://www.starwoodhotels.com/

4.Dera Masuda

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The fusion of Raj Days and contemporary chic at Dera Masuda in Pushkar make it an ideal destination for the luxury travelers. The property belongs to the erstwhile royals of Masuda and the imperial touch is visible here. Enjoy sundowners or relax by the pool-side in this resort overlooking the Savitri Temple.

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Website- http://deramasuda.com/

5.Ananta Spa and Resorts

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The resort promises to give you a fairy tale experience. The 5-star property has 52 contemporary cottages and 20 rooms. There are 2 outlets for in-house dining and you get a well-equipped recreational room for yourself and a kids’ activity area too. The resort also has a luxurious spa where you can indulge after a tiring day at the Pushkar camel fair.

Website- http://www.anantahotels.com/pushkar-hotels/pushkar.php

6.Jagat Palace

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Furnished in art-deco style, Jagat Palace has 82 rooms and all of them come with a balcony from where you can enjoy the view of the famous Naag Parbat. The comforts here are reminiscent of royal days; each room has Jacuzzi. When here, don’t miss the Kerala Ayurvedic Massage.

Website- http://hotelpushkarpalace.com/jagat-palace-rooms/

7.The Gateway Resort

Explore The Gateway Resort Ajmer

Though geographically located in Ajmer, the location of the resort at Pushkar bypass makes it pretty close to Pushkar. The resort is magnificent and each room has a balcony that comes with a swing so that you can unwind by swaying to the beats of nature.

Website- https://gateway.tajhotels.com/en-in/the-gateway-hotel-ajmer/

Where are you planning to stay at Pushkar this time?

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

7 things that make Saawan beautiful in Rajasthan

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Rajasthan is a land of many festivals. We enjoy our festivals with great pomp and fervor. As the state is all about colors, there is no wonder that it becomes even more vivid during festivals. Rajasthanis have a special place for Saawan in their hearts as the whole month is full of festivities. Saawan can be touted as the longest festival as every day is a celebration in this month. Besides sprinkles of rain, here are more reasons why we Rajasthanis love the season of Saawan-

1.Lehariya

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Saawan is the time when the lovely ladies of Rajasthan can show their love for lehariya every single day. Women adore this traditional print but cannot wear it all the time as no one wants to commit the fashion faux pas of repetition. Saawan is the perfect excuse to flaunt vibrant Lehariya prints every day.

 

2.Jhoola

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This month brings back Jhoola on trees. All of us love to swing high on the jhoolas and our inner child becomes really happy in Saawan. Swinging on decorated Jhoolas with friends makes this rainy month special.

 

3.Mehendi and Bangles

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The custom of henna comes back in Saawan. Hands adorned with fragrant orange colors look just beautiful. Every lady loves the jingling sound of bangles but hardly anyone wears them in today’s times. In Saawan, women get to indulge in their love for colorful bangles without having to worry about dress codes.

4.Picnics

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The weather turns cooler and there is greenery everywhere. This makes for the perfect setup for picnics with family and friends. So many well maintained, lush gardens in Rajasthan make picnics marvelous.

 

5.Ghewar

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Ghewar is a delicacy that makes Rajasthanis wait one whole year before they can gorge on it again. We love to gorge on the decadent flavors of this sweet every day in Saawan month.

 

6.Saawan Ke Geet

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Dancing on the tunes of Saawan Aayo Re is always fun in this rainy month. Songs related to Hindola (swings), teej, Sawan Ke Jhoole Pade flow in the air of the state throughout Saawan. Ladies sing these folk songs while enjoying rides on a swing.

 

7.Teej

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Teej brings all elements of Saawan together. The festival which pays tribute to Nature is all about women enjoying themselves. They dress up in lehariya, apply henna, bedeck themselves with jewellery and sing while swinging on beautiful jhoolas. Then there is teej procession which splashes cities with many more colors. The dances and other folk performances in teej procession lure not just Rajasthanis but people from every corner of the world.

What’s not to love about Saawan!

Makar Sankranti- The Festival of Kites, Holy Dips and Delicious Delicacies

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Festivals of India are globally popular for their rituals, customs and the fun element attached with them. One of the most popular festivals of India is Makar Sankranti! The festival of kites is best celebrated in the Jaipur City of Rajasthan.  We know you’re already charged up for the kite wars in sky while savoring a world’s supply of sesame and dal pakodis, but before you climb up the roof to cut your neighbor’s kite let us help you sneak into the festivities of Makar Sankranti celebrated with great enthusiasm in Jaipur 🙂

Significance

Most likely the Hindu festivals follow lunar calendar. Hence, the dates of festivals change every year. But Makar Sankranti is the only festival which falls on the same day i.e. 14th January every year as it follows the solar calendar. Predominantly known as the harvest festival, Sankranti is the day which officially marks the end of winter and beginning of spring – a transit symbolic of saying good bye to the season’s shivering struggle and the onset of a fresh new season with longer days and shorter nights!

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The day of Makar Sankranti in Jaipur starts with taking a holy dip in the Kunds (natural water springs) inside the Galtaji temple which is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Jaipur.

Soaring high on Pink City’s Sky

The Kite flying enthusiasts begin the preparations one night before the festival, then early morning innumerable colorful kites dot the skyline of Pink City- Jaipur to announce the festive beginning of the year. The Walled City enjoys kite flying on their houses’ terraces with high pitched music, Sankranti special delicacies in the company of their friends and family.  People from all age groups enjoy fluttering their kites. Not just the walled city homes, but the whole city is colorfully ornamented with different unique kites.  On a larger scale, special events are organized by tourism department on open grounds and the City Palace for the tourists and international kite flyers landed in Jaipur mainly for the Kite Festival. Jal Mahal Ki Pal becomes the epicenter of Kite festival in Jaipur, where kite flyers would challenge each other with their kites soaring high in the sky and the exciting duels with the winner taking it all!  Various cultural programmes like Rajasthani Dance performances, musical band and decorated kites exhibition enrich the whole Kite Festival experience in Jaipur.

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A transit from colors to lights

The special attraction since a couple of years is the sky balloon lantern. It appears as a million flickering fire flies dot the sky! As the sun begins to set, people release paper lamps from their terraces and the fascinating firework take over the sky by the late evening till night.

 

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Image courtesy google

Traditional Kite Markets of Jaipur

It’s not just the kite flying that grabs kite lovers’ attention during this season, but a vibrant and inviting canvas of colors and more colors that fetches everyone to these kite markets of Jaipur! Haldiyon Ka Rasta and HaandiPura are the nationally acclaimed markets that supply kites and Maanjha ‘the thread’ to other states too. A visit to these streets is a treat for eyes and you wouldn’t resist buying not few but so many kites and Maanjha.

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Indulgent Sankranti Delicacies

Indian festivals are incomplete without special food and festive delicacies. Hence, Sankranti too has its share of goodies. The most popular traditional Makar Sankranti sweets and delicacies of Jaipur are Til ke laddoo, chakki, Gajjak, fini, Jalebi and different kinds of pakodas!!

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As it happens to be a weekend as well to tempt you more, travel down to Jaipur and revel in the spirit of Makar Sankranti, which is celebrated by flying kites, victorious screams of ‘Wo Kaata’, holy dips, making merry and savoring delicious food!!

Happy Kite Flying !