The Elephant Festival of Jaipur is an inimitable event, held annually. Groomed flawlessly, rows of elephants do a catwalk before an enthralled audience liked best fashion models to make this festival an amazing one. The elephants move with poise in pageant, run races, play the regal game of polo, and finally participate in the spring festival of Holi. It is festival time with elephants typically celebrated one day before the Holi, Indian festival of colors.
Staged at Jaipur Chaugan Stadium elephants put up a variety programme
and the arena is brought alive with musician and dancer. The crowd,
which includes sizable presences of foreign and Indian tourist,
electrifies the atmosphere. The festival starts with an impressive
procession of the majestic animals lovingly painted and tastefully
attired with glittering ornaments and embroidered velvets. There are
deadly and fierce elephant fights. A ceremonial procession is recreated
with caparisoned elephants, lancers on horses, chariots, camels,
cannons, and palanquins. Elephant is the centre of attraction in the
many races and beauty pageants.
Most of the participants are female elephants. The mahouts (elephant
keepers) take great care to decorate the elephants painting their
trunks, foreheads, and feet with floral motifs and adorning them from
tusk to tail with interesting trinkets. Female elephants wear anklets
with and make music as they walk. The game of polo forms the highlight
of the festival. Dressed in saffron and red turbans, the teams try to
score goals with long sticks and a plastic football. Finally, the
tourists are invited to mount the elephants and play Holi. Participants
dance with great vigor and the excitement rising to a crescendo.