Elephant Festival

Elephant Festival

Do you know elephant is one of the biggest mammals on earth, this wild animal has the symbolic relation with the humanity. It was used for wars, for the ceremonies, for transportation and various other purposes. The size, the aura of this creature has always fascinated the kids. Elephant has always been worshipped in the Hindu religion in the form of Elephant God – Ganesha. The legends say the first elephant was found during the ocean charming event in the form of Airavat which became the steed of lord India.

Elephants and the royalty : - King Alexander when he came to the banks of river Indus was amazed to see the gigantic, trained elephants of the army of his adversary king Porus. The elephants were specially trained for the warfare. Stature of a king was known by how many elephants he had in his army. The elephants even in peace time were a price possession. It is said king Akbar loved to see the tug of war between his war elephant. The elephants were decorated and adorned for festivals and other special occasions. Kings had special bejeweled howdas (caparison) the saddle cloths swaying to each site were specially made in expensive material. The tusks were also decorated and truncated. Some very old video are available on the you tube where you can see the elephant cavalcades of the erstwhile royals.

Today the number of elephants in India degreasing very fast and the urban areas are now devoid of this royal creature, you probably might not see a single elephant during your entire India tour. An opportunity today exists in Jaipur where very year an elephant festival is organised in the month of February/March. The day is of the full moon night it is also celebrated in india as festival of Holi.

This is the only occasion where you can see multiple decorated and caparisoned elephants. The festival starts with a procession of decorated elephants leading a cavalcade of camels and folk dancers. The trainer known as Mahaut is also geared for the occasion he can be seen sprinkling Gulaal (A Coloured Powder) on to the congregation of people underneath.

Female elephants are specially doused with amplest and special jewellery. The trunks and the wide fore heard are painted with multiple hues of colour. There are various enacts which are held, the ty of war with elephants on one side and people on the other, elephant polo and on elephants race. The winners are awarded and a special price is reserved for the elephant displaying best embellishment.

The festival few years back was organized at the chaugan stadium, owing to high popularity and large crowds now the venue has been shifted to the Jaipur polo ground. This festival offers you a race and a very special occasion where you can see the specially decorated tuskers along with their trainers.

Few years back as the animal rights organization became more vociferous and questions were raised for unethical treatment towards elephants leading to the festival not being celebrated for a couple of years later the festival was renames as holi festival and since then is being celebrated as the same.

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