Matsya Festival – 2017

When: 25-26 November, 2017
Where: Alwar, Rajasthan
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The Matsya festival of Alwar held in November over two days is the foremost of all fairs and festivals of Rajasthan. It is celebrated to glorify the prosperity, traditional values and customs of the region. This festival is renowned for its colorful processions, cultural performances, an array of sporting events and impressive artistic exhibitions. The magnificence of Alwar’s numerous palaces and forts, lakes, hunting lodges, archaeological sites and thick forests, make it a delightful setting for a flamboyant celebration. The term ‘Matsya’ is a Sanskrit word for Fish and back in the time, Alwar was called ‘Matsya Desh’ or the Land of Fish while the inhabitants were known as ‘Matsyas’ therefore the name of the festival.


Festival Highlights

  • The Matsya Festival will be held on 25 – 26 November, 2017. For the visitors’ entertainment, several cultural programs will be organized at Sariska gate and the tourists will be given a tour from Sariska to Kankwari fort.
  • The event will start with the Maha Aarti at 5:30 am on 25 November at the Jagannath Temple after which the heritage walk will commence. The walk will include a tour of places like Tripolia, Mahal Chowk, Jagannath Temple, Mathuradheesh and Kishan Kund.
  • Moving on, there will be an open air Photo exhibition which will showcase pictures from ancient history, heritage, museums and wildlife of Sariska. For college and school students, there will be Rangoli and Mehndi competitions.
  • The event will also have a Kavi Sammelan where poets like Balveer Karun, Poonam Verma, and Vineet Chauhan will be reciting poetry.
  • The Indira Gandhi Stadium will have Hot Air Balloon adventure and other sports like Kho-kho, Kabbadi, and Tug of War.
  • There will also be a grand procession whereby various folk artists will take part along with Police Band, Horses and Scout Guide.
  • The cultural evening will be studded with artists performing dance forms from various states like Laavni from Maharashtra and Bihu from Assam. The local artists will also perform Bhapang Vaadan, Matka Bhavai, and Mayur Nritya. The entire event will be concluded by Sufi song performance by Artists Lakhwinder Wadali.


Day 1 (25 November 2017)

  • Maha Arti (5:30 am)
  • Heritage Walk (7:00 am)
  • Photo Exhibition (9:00 am)
  • Hot Air Balloon and Traditional Games (10:00 am to 5:00 pm)
  • Cultural Program (10:00 am to 2:30 pm)
  • Mehndi & Rangoli Competition (11:00 am)
  • Kavi Sammelan (7:00 pm)
  • Excursions to Kankwari Fort (7:00 am to 10:30 am and 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm)

Day 2 (26 November 2017)

  • Paddle Boat Race (10:00am)
  • Hot Air Balloon and Traditional Games (10:00 am to 5:00 pm)
  • ‘Lok Kala Sangam’ Cultural Program (11:00 am)
  • Traditional Procession (3:30 pm)
  • ‘Jhilmil’ Deep Maala (6:00 pm)
  • ‘Lok Rang’ Cultural Program (7:00 pm)
  • Excursions to Kankwari Fort (7:00 am to 10:30 am and 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm)

Mark your calendar! 


Sambhar and a sea of pink!

Visitors from afar: Greater Flamingos at Sambhar Lake arrive for their annual visit.

Representative image

Situated at about 60 kms to the west of Jaipur, Sambhar, popularly known as the Salt Lake City, is home to the largest saline lake in India as well as to some rare avian species. A quaint, yet picturesque town, the Sambhar Salt Lake’s wetland expanse attracts flamingos, cranes, pelicans and many other waterfowl. A major hub for production of salt, around 80 sq km of the lake is used for salt farming where the salt-evaporation ponds have been farmed for the past thousand years.

A recognized wetland of international importance, it is a key wintering area for birds that migrate from northern Asia, some from as far as Siberia. A day out to Sambhar Lake will turn out to be a brine-full of nature expedition to observe a good number of birds amid increasing growth of salt manufacturers all around this largest natural depression in India. Almost all the Northern Shovelers are in sub-adult plumage with hundreds of Pied Avocets, some Little-ringed Plovers, and a handful of Black-tailed Godwits — all found engrossed feeding at this shallow lake having a healthy aquatic vegetation. While the resident River Terns flow over them as if to provide aerial cover.

The Sambhar Lake was held by the British for long, and the adjoining township coveted by the kingdoms of Jodhpur, Jaipur and Kishangarh, have a recorded history of conservation. While the presence of 244 species of birds at this lake were recorded in the 70’s! For those wanting to savor a unique, outdoor experience, Sambhar gives you the opportunity to enjoy the vast expanse of the wildlife sanctuary and one can admire the famous view of the Salt Lake. The best time to visit the lake is between October to March.

Planning a visit to Sambhar lake? Tip: Carry a wide-angle lens, or your pictures will probably capture just about a fraction of the flock!

Amber Fort To Remain Closed Today

When: 18 November, 2017
Where: Amber Fort, Jaipur
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The Amber Fort will remain closed for tourists and visitors on 18 November, 2017 as the venue is to play host to the Indo-French Festival. While the main function will be held at the ‘Ganesh Pol’ within the premises of the fort, all the activities around the fort i.e elephant ride and the night tourism will also remain shut for the day. The fort is one of the key venues of the Indo-French Festival, part of which will be held at the Amber Fort today. Organised by the department of tourism in the state, this festival is being held in 33 cities across the country.

While the fort is going to be shut, a lot of changes will need to be made by travelers as it sees a lot of visitors, both domestic and foreign on weekends. Other alternatives that can be visited in Jaipur are The Nahargarh Fort & The Jaigarh Fort which are in the vicinity of Amber while other attractions that can be visited are Hawa Mahal, City Palace and Jantar Mantar.

Nahargarh Fort Gets A Sculpture Park

When: 10 December, 2017
What: Sculpture Park
Where: Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur
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In a first-of-its-kind effort, Rajasthan govt. announces the launch of a contemporary art space within the Nahargarh Fort grounds.


In an effort to turn the Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur into an art gallery, sculptures by top Indian and international artists will display their work at the palace. Artworks by 15 Indian and 9 international artists will be exhibited at the palace. Some of the artists include Subodh Gupta, Jitish Kallat, Thukral & Tagra. A first of its kind, the Government has collaborated with a range of private individuals to bring a contemporary edge to India’s heritage properties.

The initiative aims to promote India’s growing interest in contemporary art and culture whilst also embracing its important heritage breaking away from the ‘white-box’ exhibition space while artists from across the world want to come to India and display their works. The project involved in-depth research of the palace to ensure that no damage is done to the heritage property during the installation of the sculptures. The palace is more like a maze with several spots here and there. Although they wanted to bring the palace to life through art, a lot of decisions to display artworks were taken according to the availability of the space.

The exhibition which will be open to public from December 10, includes artist Jitish Kallat’s famous sculpture Annexation (2009) along with Karnataka-based sculptor L N Tallur’s Chromatophobia (2012) – a granite sculpture with wooden logs and coins, among others. A collection of seven sculptures – all in Hydrocal plaster, acrylic paint skins by American artist Arlene Schechet and a popular piece of art created by French-born American artist Arman, Fried Chicken (1984) will also be displayed at the gallery.

The first edition of the Sculpture Park will be open from December 10, 2017 up-to November 2018.

Wonderflip — a four-day performing arts and music festival

When: 09 – 12 November, 2017
What: Performing arts & music festival
Where: Khempur – Udaipur, Rajasthan
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Hosted on the grounds of Khempur, a 45 minute drive from Udaipur, the festival ‘Wonderflip’ is India’s first immersive performing arts and music festival where you will get the chance to meet characters out of fairy tales with a three day theme in the order of Vintage Circus, Salvador Dali and Fairyland. Get absorbed in a world of experimental art, witness some of the greatest live and electronic artists from around the world. A magical circus; Wonderflip is a world of performing arts circus mixed with a festival experience. There will be two music stages with ‘The Big Top’ and “The Marquee’ hosting various artists lining up for a live and electronic performance from India as well as abroad. The group of artists includes Patrice Baumel, Frankey & Sandrino, Eagles and Butterflies, ATMOS, DOP(live), Ankytrixx, Bullz eye and 8-Bit Culprit with live band lined up by performances from Gipsy Sound Revolution, Gaudi, the Funcolos, Hari and Sukmani and Gaurav Raina as GRAIN performing solo which is one-half of India’s biggest electronica export- the Midival Pundtiz.


The festival will have top international aerial, acrobatic and other circus acts. The festival will also witness Wonderflip Circus Bazaar that will offer gourmet food and drinks, as well as shops with exciting gear and specially curated festival merchandise. For those who want to stay at the site, can avail the Swiss tents offered by the festival, as well as hotels near the property. Visitors can also spent time horse riding, cycling around the country side, shopping at the circus bazaar along with witnessing live performances and experiencing the magic and vibe of the festival from within.

Four-wheel electric vehicles launched at Amber Fort, Jaipur

When: 01 November, 2017
Where: Amber Fort, Jaipur
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Four-wheeled electric vehicles with a slight vintage look have been inaugurated at the historic Amber Fort on Wednesday. With the introduction of these carts, tourists will be able to visit the Amber Fort in an eco-friendly way as these vehicles are battery-operated. The iconic monument, welcomes a large number of tourists and the introduction of these battery operated carts will add to its ever-growing charm. Prior to this, the Segway scooters and elephant ride’s have been extremely popular among the visitors. While the Segway scooters were introduced at the fort in July, 2017.

Cart at amber fort

The new vehicle has a heritage look adding to its overall appeal. These carts are to be used after the time for the elephant safari has elapsed i.e from 1100 hrs uptill evening. While the elephant ride in the afternoon slot i.e 1530 hrs to 1700 hrs has been suspended with immediate effect. At the moment 10 golf carts are being operated however the number is likely to witness a rise in coming months. The cart can accommodate 5 people in addition to the guide.


Bundi Festival – 2017

When: 06 – 08 November, 2017
What: Cultural Celebration
Where: Bundi, Rajasthan
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A picturesque location in the Hadoti district of Rajasthan, ‘Bundi Utsav’ is not only a major festival in the state but also an important festival of India. The otherwise isolated town becomes a bustling one during the festival. Integral to the month of November, the Bundi festival is a spectacular mix of traditional art and craft. A picturesque town, tucked away in a gorge, River Chambal flows along side it. Bundi’s palace alone justifies a visit, a splendid piece of Rajput architecture that houses the famous ‘Chitrashala’ paintings that are unique to the region.


The town fully comes to life during the 3-day Bundi Festival, held every year in November. A cultural event complete with traditional music, folk dance, kabaddi, horse riding and camel races, fireworks, a mustache as well as a turban-tying competitions bring the streets alive and draws locals from surrounding villages. The evenings during the festival are lit with little clay lights to celebrate a small version of the festival of light (Diwali – the victory of light over darkness). During this ‘Deepdan’ ceremony, men light the candles for women who then carry them to the river and let them float with prayer and chants.


The fair organized by the Rajasthan State Tourism Department captivates every traveler with its majestic charms of traditional customs associated with the event in the district. The Bundi fair Rajasthan program include a Shobha Yatra or procession, ethnic sports, cultural programs, fold dance performances, and bridal attire competitions. Sparkling fireworks display is the highlight of the evening. For any traveler en route through the southern Rajasthan, Bundi is a great stopover even outside the festival dates, as it houses some of the most gorgeous architectural wonders of the world.

Mark your calendar!