There’s something about the charm of small-town tourist festivals that still strikes a chord with us Indians. We have some of the fondest childhood memories, thanks to these vibrant festivals. While these festivals serve as great photo opportunities for tourists, for the locals, they are a way to unite and catch up. By Karan Kaushik
After the successfully held Bundi, Matsya, and Kumbalgarh festivals, Rajasthan is once again gearing up to welcome tourists at the myriad festivals that adorn its winter calendar. Winter is the best season to explore the desert state, which is why most of the grand festivals organised by the state’s tourism department are held between December and March.
If you are still brainstorming ideas for your winter holidays, and if culture, art, shopping, and food attract you, Rajasthan could be a great bet.
8 upcoming vibrant festivals in Rajasthan to make your winters memorable
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Scheduled to be held in Pali district’s Ranakpur from December 22, this festival will mesmerise you with romantic hot air ballooning, restorative nature walks, soulful yoga sessions, and more. You must also visit the famous Jain temples when here. Cultural programmes will also be held at the open-air auditorium inside the Sun Temple complex.
When: December 21-22, 2021
If you have already been to north Indian hill stations this year, give Mount Abu a chance. The only hill station in Rajasthan will be hosting the Winter Festival on December 30 and 31. The festival will kickstart with a grand procession featuring local artists. Be ready to bid adieu to this year by immersing yourself in this cultural extravaganza amidst the Aravallis.
When: December 30-31, 2021
Next in the lineup is the Chittorgarh Fort Festival, which will be held in January next year. From turban tying competitions and camel races to marathons and entertaining folk dance performances against the backdrop of the Chittorgarh fort, expect a fun time with your loved ones here. You could also club your trip with Udaipur.
When: January 2-4, 2022
Famous for its intriguing camel dance performances, Bikaner’s Camel Festival is one of the most colourful festivals of Rajasthan. It’s fascinating to see the king of the desert dance to the tunes of Rajasthani folk music. Expect parades, races, and folk-art performances, with fire dances being the prime attraction. Don’t forget to shop for the scrumptious Bikaneri bhujia before returning home.
When: January 8-9, 2022
Only a handful of destinations celebrate Makar Sankranti with as much fervour as Jaipur. The festival marks the entry of the sun into the Northern Hemisphere and the end of winter for Rajasthanis. Watching the Jaipur sky dotted with thousands of colourful kites and families enjoying the festivities at their rooftops with loud music is an experience, you will cherish forever.
When: January 14, 2022
Missed the Pushkar Fair? No worries. The cattle fair at Nagaur will give you similar vibes. Known for the trading of cows, oxen, camel, horses, and bullocks, the fair also witnesses engaging puppet shows and juggling performances. The prime attraction of the fair is the chilli bazaar, from where you can buy the famous fiery red chillies of Nagaur.
When: February 6-9, 2022
Head to Dungarpur if you want to witness the lifestyle of the tribal communities of Rajasthan up close and personal. Watch them enjoy the festivities as they sing folk songs around bonfires at night. Held at the Mahadeo Temple in Dungarpur, the fair is an ode to the Shivalinga here.
When: February 10-14, 2022
Picture folk artists dressed in their traditional best dancing against the backdrop of the imposing Sam sand dunes to the tunes of live music. It doesn’t get more Rajasthani than this. Aimed at showcasing Rajasthan’s rich cultural heritage, the festival will leave you in absolute awe of the golden city. For the love-smitten, this may well also be an opportunity to propose their special someone.
When: February 14-16, 2022