Rajasthan isn't just all about camels and camel festivals! The Jaipur Elephant Festival is a great opportunity to see the sturdy symbol of Rajput royalty, the elephant, at its finest.
When is the Jaipur Elephant Festival::
The Jaipur Elephant Festival takes place on Holi eve each year. What better way to commence Holi celebrations! Note: this event was canceled last year due to pressure from animal rights groups and my be canceled again this year. If this happens, it may take place without the presence of elephants.
Where is the Jaipur Elephant Festival Held::
The Jaipur Elephant Festival is held at Jaipur's Chaugan Stadium, usually in the early evening from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Chaugan Stadium is right in the middle of the Old City of Jaipur, to the north of Tripolia Gate and the City Palace. Entrance is free!
How is the Jaipur Elephant Festival Celebrated::
The festival gets underway with a traditional procession of decorated elephants though the streets of Jaipur towards the Stadium. There, the elephants proudly parade up and down, like catwalk models, to an appreciative crowd. Elephant beauty contests, folk dances, and tug-of-war between elephants, locals and foreigners are all regular events. If you're lucky, you might even get to play Holi while riding an elephant. In the evening, fireworks light the sky. Sadly though, the amusing game of elephant polo has been missing from the festival in recent years.
Jaipur Elephant Festival Tips::
- The tourist seating area does get packed, so arrive at the venue early to get a good seat in the shade.
- The elephants walk through the streets of the Old City to get to the venue. They usually start out from Ravindra Manch, close to Ram Niwas Garden and opposite Sanganeri Gate, at around 10.30 a.m.
- It's good to stroll through the streets of the Jaipur Old City after the festival, and enjoy the sights of roadside holika fires. Walking Tour of the Jaipur Old City.