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 Festival Held:
The Jaipur Elephant Festival happens 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. A cultural program was held in its place, without the elephants. It's been confirmed that elephants will again be absent from the celebrations in 2014 (see news report). A similar cultural program will occur instead.
Should the Jaipur Elephant Festival be Canceled? Read more and vote in the poll.
Where is the Festival Held:
It takes place at the Rambagh Polo Ground on Bhawani Singh Road, near the Taj Rambagh Palace hotel, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Entrance is free!
How is the Festival Celebrated:
It gets underway with a traditional procession of decorated elephants. They 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. The amusing game of elephant polo has been missing from the festival in recent years though. In the evening, fireworks light the sky.
Jaipur Elephant Festival Tips:
- The tourist seating area does get packed, so arrive at the venue by 2 p.m. if you want to get a front row seat.
- 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 Photo Tour of the Jaipur Old City.