In Rajasthan visitors find themselves welcomed by warm heartfelt hospitality, a burst of colours, undying focus on food and a host of things that provide a cultural insight into the real India. This month, we celebrate the vibrancy of Jaipur, its capital!
There will not be one dull moment in Jaipur! The royal lineage of the city is present in its every fold. The city is dotted with impressive palaces & monuments, immediately transporting one to regal times. And when you need a break from historical buildings, Jaipur is a haven for shoppers – silver ornaments, a variety of fabric and Indian memorabilia line the streets.
The spirit of Jaipur is best experienced during one of its festivals and in August, you can get a more intimate experience of the local festivals. Teej and Nag Panchami are the two most unadulterated festivals here, which are celebrated without inclination towards tourism.
Teej is celebrated by married women in reverence of the marital bond shared by Lord Shiva and Goddess, Parvati. Processions of brightly dressed women take to the Old city’s streets for two days in the month of August. Fine clothing and jewellery is brought out of closets and the women indulge in traditional folk songs and dances.
In more remote villages, rope swings are hung from trees and women take chances to swing while the village fills with melodious songs. It’s easy to get immersed in this long established tradition. Feel free to join in the dance and singing and don’t forget to carry your camera! The colourful clothes, elegant dancing and some playful banter make for great photo opportunities.
This kind of a festival has very strong family traditions and you can get an upclose view of how Teej is celebrated right where you are staying, if you have stay at a homestay, sharing the culture and lifestyle of your hosts.
Another festival to look out for at this time is ‘Nag Panchami’! The snake is a much revered part of Hindu mythology and this festival is dedicated to the Snake God. Gods like Vishnu, Krishna and Shiva have a strong association with snakes and this unassailable creature gets its fair share of respect.
Besides making offerings of milk, sweets and prayers to the Snake God (especially the cobras), women keep fasts and draw pictures of snakes with white powder outside their houses for protection and respect as part of an age old custom.
One venue that should be part of your itinerary during August is the Hardevja Temple. Snakes are specially caught and fed with a healthy diet of rats and milk for the occasion. Many village folk carry snakes on pots and visit the temple to pay respect. This festival is certainly not for the faint hearted as you will certainly see a large variety of snakes during the celebrations.
Apart from the two exciting festivals in August, Jaipur stands as gateway into the state of Rajasthan and its many other wonders. Its proximity from Delhi (all of 4 hours by car or bus) is the biggest advantage for many travellers. Enjoy the splash of colours, festivals and local essence in the desert capital of the country!
If you would like to experience August festivals in Jaipur yourself contact our reservations team who will be happy to help you plan a trip.
Homestays offer the perfect opportunity to get a local insight into festivals and your host family will be happy to provide guidance on the best way to experience the celebrations. Check out our Jaipur homestay collection.