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Rajasthan Tours – Fairs & Festivals of North India

Travel to Rajasthan and be awed by the splendid beauty of its landscape and culture. Some of the most recommended Rajasthan travel destinations are Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Pushkar, Bikaner and Bharatpur. It is always proclaimed that Rajasthan is a traveler’s seventh heaven especially for those travelers who love and appreciate legacy. Rajasthan doesn’t only offer sightseeing of forts and palaces but also colorful and vibrant fairs and festivals in which an outsider is always welcomed with honor. From its people with their vibrant clothes to the gorgeous sand dunes of the Great Thar Desert, Rajasthan is a place with sights that may seem ethereal and fresh to one’s eyes. This destination reveals and unravels its history and heritage through its various art-forms like music, dances, story-telling and even puppetry. You can shop for beautiful ethnic arts and crafts in various Rajasthani towns. To stay in Rajasthan is as much a pleasure as traveling around the colorful locations.

The majestic heritage structures serve as palace hotels today as they make all the difference between ordinary events to an extraordinary experience. During the discovery of Rajasthan, the tourists can explore the land of the shimmering sand by enjoying a ride on a camel’s back in the Thar Desert. Rajasthan is a vibrant state with signs of royalty everywhere. For instance at the Pushkar valley that is one of the most fascinating Hindu pilgrimages a huge number of tourists from all over the world come to witness the elaborate occasion of the holy bath in the Pushkar Lake. This is just one of the many such events that one can enjoy with the Rajasthani locals as part of different colorful festivals of the state. Rajasthan is also often called a shopper’s paradise with beautiful goods found at low prices. Famous for textiles, semi-precious stones and eye-catching handicrafts items like wooden furniture and handicrafts, carpets, blue pottery are very inviting to shoppers. Known for its traditional, colourful art, tie and dye prints, the block prints, Bagaru prints, Sanganer prints, Zari embroidery are promising export products from Rajasthan.

Endowed with natural beautiful habitats and a splendid history, tourism is a growing industry in Rajasthan that is welcomed by locals gracefully. The palaces of Jaipur, lakes of Udaipur, and forts amidst deserts of Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer are sites amongst the preferred destinations. All these important tourist cities are connected by road, rail and air.

Rajasthan, though a desert land by topography is one of the most colorful regions across the world because of its vibrant fairs and festivals. Here is a list of the popular festivals of Rajasthan.

Festivals of Rajasthan:

Camel Festival – Every year starts with the Camel festival at Bikaner. The entire town turns colorful with bright colors and vibrant with lively music. One will be fortunate to see camels decorated in the most striking colors race each other, camel dances and various other events.

Desert Festival – This popular festival of Jaisalmer happens during the full moon in February. The desert livens up with a range of Rajasthani dances like Gangaur, Ghoomer and many others. The highlights are the turban tying competition and the Mr. Desert contest after which the festival concludes with a sound and light show.

Elephant Festival – The Elephant Festival takes place at Jaipur. These mighty animals take the center stage and gait majestically parading their colorfully decorated trunks and tusks followed by folk dancers. This is the occasion when Ganpathi, the elephant god is worshipped.

Gangaur spring festival – Rajasthan’s popular festival, the spring festival of Gangaur is celebrated in March/April. This festival of women is celebrated for 18 days for good fortune for their husbands. A grand procession is taken out of the Jaipur City Palace and Goddess Gauri is carried in a colorful chariot led by decorated animals.

Mewar Festival – The Mewar Festival of Udaipur welcomes spring, with a beautiful display of Rajasthani culture through songs, dances, processions and displays.

Urs Ajmer Sharif – In memory of Khwaja Moinuddin Christi, this festival is held as per the lunar calendar. As he was the helper of the unprivileged this festival is celebrated at Ajmer as one of the biggest Muslim festivals in India.

Marwar Festival – Originally known as the Maand Festival is a centered around the dreamy lifestyle of Rajasthani rulers, the festival recreates the royal charm and graceful dances of the desert. It is held during the full moon in October for two days.

Pushkar Fair – Celebrated at Pushkar (Snake Mountain) which is on the edge of the desert. The town clings to the small but beautiful Pushkar Lake. During the fair, Rajasthani tribals, Indian pilgrims and even filmmakers from around the world unite here.

Witnessing these few of the many festivals in Rajasthan, this place of color and vibrancy one needs no reason to celebrate.

London 2012 Olympic Progress Report

The centre piece of both the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will be the London Olympic Stadium, located in Stratford. This has an 80,000 capacity that comprises 25,000 permanent seats plus accommodation for a further 55,000 people in a temporary lightweight steel and concrete upper tier. Construction has been simplified by having no food outlets within the arena and providing toilet facilities in pods that can be removed after the Games.

The Olympic Village is to provide 17,000 beds for athletes and officials. Once the Games are over, it will be converted to 3,500 homes, 30% of which will be affordable housing, with open spaces, parks and transport links. Added to these two main developments are the Aquatics Centre, Velodrome, BMX Track, Basketball Arena, Handball Arena, White Water Centre, International Broadcast Centre, Main Press Centre, improvements to Stratford Regional Station and other developments.

Public investment for the work of the Olympic Development Authority was agreed in spring 2008 and the Authority maintains that the project remains within the original budget. Progress has been controlled through a series of milestones that have been set for each of the four years that followed.

The initial set of ten milestones was known as ‘Demolish, Dig, Design’ and carried the project through to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. These focused on preparing the site for construction for the main venues and infrastructure for the Games well as the legacy after 2012.

The next set of ten milestones ran through to 27th July 2009 and was known as ‘The Big Build: Foundations’. These concentrated on putting in place the foundations of the main venues and the infrastructure within the Olympic Park. The next phase ran to 27th July 2010 and provided ten milestones referred to as ‘The Big Build: Structures’. These covered the construction of the main venues and infrastructure.

The latest set of ten milestones is known as ‘The Big Build: Completion’. All milestones are due to be achieved by 27th July 2011, one year from the opening ceremony, and cover the completion of all the main venues and facilities. By this date, the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre, Velodrome, Handball Arena, Basketball Arena and White Water Centre will be complete and ready to hand over. The International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre should be ready for occupation while Eton Manor and the Royal Artillery Barracks should be on track for completion in spring 2012. The external structure of the Olympic Village should be complete and internal fit-out of most blocks finished. Construction of all bridges will be complete, utilities will be operational, landscaping will be well underway and construction work at Stratford Regional Station will have finished.

By the end of 2010, the Olympic Stadium’s roof was completed, floodlights had been switched on and seats were being fitted. Most of the other venues were well advanced and the White Water Centre was the first new venue to be completed. Progress has been ensured through an increase in the workforce, which was set to rise from 3,000 to 6,000 during 2009 and then to 9,000 in 2010 as the project entered its busiest phase. The work has been spread across 800 firms who have contracted for £3.5 billion of work.

Rajasthan Cultural Tour As Never Experienced Before!

Known as the Land of Kings and also popularly called as the city of Forts and palaces, Rajasthan peculiarly offers vibes of royalty and a rich history laden with fables of legends and Kings and queens, the legacy of which still continues in some Rajput families in the state.

Different landscape features in the state adorn with them a unique different set of customs, attire, cuisines, and languages etc which lend a very colorful diverse variety to Rajasthani culture.

Folklore, folk music and dance of each region in Rajasthan are special in their style and content. Large variety of musical instruments such as dholaks, manjira, flutes, trumpets etc are used in these areas which make the songs more titillating and interesting to listen. The rich folk songs are usually ballads and narrate myriad sagas of various mythical stories, current issues, heroic deeds of warriors, love stories etc. Similarly the folk dance comprises of eye catching forms and movements helped with colorful props. Flowery and stylistic woven bright attractive costumes and accessories of dancers make the whole experience worthwhile. The Ghoomar dance of Udaipur, Kalbeliya dance of Jaisalmer, Bhavai, Chari, Fire Dance of Jasnathis etc are world famous. Some of the traditional communities pass on their dancing and music skills to succeeding generations.

Puppets or kathputlis are another form of entertainment unique to this State where hand woven stuffed animal or human like figures are attached to strings with their different body parts and moved by the puppeteer.

The cuisines here are made with rich variety of ingredients and spices found locally. Due to lack of water in this to and dry state most of the dishes are made with buttermilk, milk and ghee. As cereals form the staple diet of the local residents, most of the cuisines have wheat, millets etc an important main ingredient in them. Delicacies like gatte ki sabzi, khata, pakodi are made of gram flour. The tangy flavor of the food items makes one yearn for more.

The annual fairs and festivals in Rajasthan are celebrated with grand pomp and vigor attracting crowd from far and wide across the State and country. Some of the important ones are Pushkar Fair, Elephant Festival, Gangaur, Desert Festival, Teej etc.

A very important feature of festivals and fairs here is the involvement of adorned and decorated animals like elephant, camels, cows etc. All the different religions in the state celebrate the spirit of their festivals by praying to deities performing spectacular rituals. Most of the magnificent temples in the state belong to Jains like Dilwara temples though Hinduism is also one of the main religions in the State. Muslims are also present in large numbers.

Another breathtaking aspect of Rajasthan rich culture is the art which can be seen on the splendid textiles, handicrafts and paintings. The hand block printing, tie and die technique of coloring fabric, bagaru prints, zari embroidery etc are the major techniques to prepare clothes with beautiful patterns and designs. Handicraft items like wooden animal figures of camels, elephants etc, furniture, carpets, and potteries are some of the main export items of this state. As far as paintings are concerned, they can be found on the walls of palaces, forts and the house structures of common people. They exquisitely depict Lord Krishna’s legends and other princely tales.

The colorful attire of the people comprises of full sleeved shirts with matching turbans on men’s heads and Ghagra choli by women adorning their eyes with surma, mehndi on palms, large nose ring, ear rings and necklaces making them superbly beautiful.

Hence, all these factors make it imperative to definitely go on just cultural tour to Rajasthan.