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Colourful Traditions - Gangaour Fair - Jaipur - Rajasthan

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Travel to Rajasthan and discover a whole new way to celebrate life as you take part in the proceedings of the Gangaur festival that is accompanied by a grand Gangaur Fair that is the focal point of all celebrations. The Gangaur festival is dedicated to goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva and is observed all throughout Rajasthan

During this festival, young girls dress up in all their finery and observe rituals for a husband of their choice while the married women pray for the well being of their husbands. The people take out a colorful procession in honor of Parvati, complete with horses, elephants, camels, palanquin bearers and musicians. Dancing and singing becomes the order of the day and the festivities carry on late into the evening. In fact the beautifully dressed women and their varied rituals infuse such a lively spirit and warmth into the Gangaur Fair that every single visitor is left enthralled.

Another interesting aspect of the Gangaur Festival is that the tribal men and women take it as a good opportunity to interact with each other and marry by eloping. If you want to be a part of this colorful event next year, make sure that you are in Jaipur between 21st and 23rd of March (2007). Rest assured, it is going to be one of the best experiences of your life.

Posted by rsnamli 23:00 Archived in India Comments (0)

Colourful Traditions - Mewar Festival - Rajasthan

sunny 20 °C

The Mewar Festival is celebrated with much splendor to mark the beginning of the spring season. Held in the honor of Goddess Parvati, the Mewar Festival is a major crowd puller. Travel to Udaipur where you will see women dressed in their finest sarees and laden with jewellery, carrying idols of Isar and Gangaur that are later immersed in the beautiful tranquil waters of Lake Pichola.

Even though the Mewar festival has religious overtones, merriment and celebration are not left far behind. Once the religious rituals are over, music and dancing become the order of the day. You can enjoy a host of cultural programmes and shows that are sure to enthrall you with their liveliness and color. The grand celebration culminates in an excellent display of fireworks that light up the entire sky. It is a sight that would remain embedded in your consciousness for a long time.

If you want to be a part of this beautiful celebration of life, don't forget to visit Udaipur during the next edition of the Mewar festival that is going to be held on the 16th March 2007.

Posted by rsnamli 23:00 Archived in India Comments (0)

Colourful Traditions - Elephant Festival - Rajasthan

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Come home to Rajasthan and witness the exotic flavor of the region whose culture is as unique as it is distinct. Adding a little razzmatazz to the daily life of the people are the exotic fairs and festivals of Rajasthan. The Elephant Festival is one such event, which draws hordes of crowds that is healthy mixture of locals and tourists to Jaipur, where this joyous festival is held, just days before Holi.

On the day of the Elephant Festival every road in Jaipur seems to lead to the famous Polo Ground. The festival is flagged off by a huge procession of elaborately decorated elephants, camels and horses followed by a band of folk performers. Music, dancing and color becomes the order of the day with multitudes of people descending upon the venue of the most awaited festival in Jaipur Going by Rajasthan's long-standing association with elephants, the gentle beast leads the proceedings of the festival with aplomb. It is by far the most important guest of the festival. Visitors at the Elephant Festival are treated to a rare elephant beauty pageant, which is one of the favorite attractions of the fair. Add to it colorful dance performances, races and tug of wars. But the polo match played by colorfully dressed men on elephants is by far the most important attraction of the Elephant Festival. Also, you may just get a chance to enjoy an elephant ride in Rajasthan

The Elephant Festival of Jaipur has enthralled many so far. If you also want to be a part of this exciting event next year, make sure that you are in Rajasthan on the 3rd of March (2007) and be a part of an event that is sure to change your conventional way of looking at fun and relaxation.

Posted by rsnamli 00:00 Archived in India Comments (0)

River Brahmaputra and Kaziranga

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A rare window onto one of the world's most exciting ecosystems, replete with many mega-charismatic and often globally endangered species; exceptional opportunities for seeing and photographing fabulous numbers of large mammals and birds—elephants, water buffalo, rhinoceros, waterbirds, and eagles.

Located on the south bank of the mighty Brahmaputra River, Kaziranga's mosaic of marshes, vast reed-beds, riverine woodlands, and lowland subtropical forests literally teem with birds and big mammals.

Kaziranga provides a rare window into what wild Asia must once have looked like. On our previous tours to this reserve we have recorded more than 230 species of birds and a large number of very spectacular mammals, including multiple close studies of great one-horned rhinoceros, Asian elephant, and the evocative-sounding hoolock gibbon. The photographic opportunities on this tour are outstanding. We will stay at the delightful Wild Grass Lodge where the comfort and service of the accommodations has added immeasurably to the overall enjoyment and success of our time in Kaziranga.

Some of the bird and mammal highlights from our previous tours to Kaziranga National Park include hundreds of the globally threatened Spot-billed Pelican flying in to roost; a lingering, close study of the richly colored Cinnamon Bittern; six species of stork including the severely endangered Greater Adjutant and the impressive Black-necked Stork; Pallas's Fish-Eagle bugling from its nest; four species of vultures at a kill, including four Eurasian Griffons; point-blank looks at the globally threatened Swamp Francolin; incredible views of two male Bengal Floricans, yet another globally endangered species; mouthwatering views of a male Red-headed Trogon; a gigantic Great Hornbill perched obligingly; an exquisite male Little Niltava; a surprise pair of stunning, migrant Siberian Rubythroats singing in full view; and, perhaps most astonishing of all, a male Grey Peacock-pheasant working right in front of the entire group in response to our tape.

On previous tours our groups were the first birders to ever see the rare, virtually unknown, and spectacular Black-breasted Parrotbill. We also enjoyed sensational views of the similarly little-known Jerdon's Babbler. All this was to the accompaniment of trumpeting herds of Asian elephants, indignant at our close proximity to their young, and hoolock gibbons ululating through Panbari forest, raising the hairs on everyone's necks. Common and nonchalant great one-horned rhinos, capped langurs, and giant squirrels beguiled even the most focused birder. And there is so much more! Tiger, fishing-cat, Wreathed Hornbill…the list is seemingly endless.

In addition, we have added a couple of days at the lovely, but little-known Nameri reserve where, in addition to many of the species mentioned above, we will seek out several very special birds such as Black and Jerdon's bazas, the irrepressible Sultan Tit and, with luck, the rarely encountered White-winged Duck.

Accommodations include the attractive Wild Grass Lodge and the equally attractive walk-in tented camp at Nameri; travel by coach and largely by jeep; some moderate walking on level terrain; weather at this time of the year is delightful and ideal for photography.

Posted by rsnamli 00:00 Archived in India Comments (0)

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