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Elephant Festival of Jaipur gets underway in the month of Phalgun
(March) on the eve of Holi, the festival of colors. The Elephant
Festival of Jaipur is a unique event held annually in the capital of
the north Indian state of Rajasthan. Held during Holi, the festival
of colors, to herald the advent of Spring, the Jaipur Chaugan or
polo field is brought alive with elephants, dancers, musicians and
onlookers from all the globe.
The mahavats or owners proudly decorate their elephants with bright
colors, jhools (saddle cloth) and heavy jewellery. Female elephants
are made to wear payals or anklets which tinkle as they walk. Prizes
are given for the most beautifully decorated elephant. , the
Elephant race, the tug-of-war between Elephant and 19 men &
Women.Strangely, most of the participants are female elephants.
The game of polo forms the highlight of the Elephant Festival of Jaipur. Dressed in saffron and red turbans, the teams try to score
goals with long sticks and a plastic football. Finally, the tourists
are invited to mount the elephants and play Holi. Participants dance
with great vigor-the excitement rising to a crescendo.
The Elephant Festival is the specialty of the state of Rajasthan.
Like the Desert Festival of Jaisalmer, the Elephant Festival of
Jaipur has become a major draw for the tourists during their travel
and tour. Given the importance of the elephant in the socio-cultural
milieu of the state of Rajasthan, tourists can rest assured that
they are in for some great Indian festivities and fun in Jaipur.