Abhaneri Festival - Here's What To Look Forward To

Rajasthan proudly carries the badge of being one of the most vibrant states of India boasting of untamed and rarest of wildlife, world-class heritage hotels, luxury trains, vintage museums, rich culinary scene and a host of fairs and festivals that bring forward the indigenous culture, arts and practices on the world stage. Abhaneri festival is one such festival that has gained popularity since its inception in 2008 by Rajasthan tourism and is a huge tourist attraction along with other fairs such as Pushkar, Teej and Camel festival.

Read on to know more about Abhaneri Festival:

abhaneri festival
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Significance and History of Abhaneri Festival

In the northern part of Rajasthan, Dhundar is a small district of Dausa under which a tiny village by the name of Abhaneri, dating back to 9th century, is located. Although minuscule in its size, it carries immense social and historical significance. It carries the heritage of post-Gupta and medieval eras. Sculptures from this place are now housed in prominent museums across the world. However, the village is most famous for its Chand-Baori or Abhaneri step-well and Harshat Mata temple. The baori or the well has 2500 steps built in a neat symmetry and descend 20 metres to the bottom of the well. These wells were made strategically to provide water to the dry areas of the village and nearby.

abhaneri festival
Beautiful Sculpture at Harshat Mata Temple (Source)
                            

When is Abhaneri Festival Celebrated?

Abhaneri festival is celebrated in the period between Kajli Teej and Marwar festival of Jodhpur, usually in September and/or October. It can last for 2-4 days. This year (2017), it was celebrated on 21-22 September. Following are the dates for the upcoming years:

2018: 10-13 October

2019: 29-30 September

2020:  17-19 September

Series of Events in Abhaneri Festival

This festival is perfect for planning a short getaway especially from Delhi and neighbouring areas to experience the colour, vibrancy and richness of Rajasthan. The range of attractions here will immerse you in their rustic charm and engulf you in its warm hospitality. Look out for the following:

Kalbelia Dance

This traditional snake-charmer dance is performed to make any joyous occasion in Rajasthan. Sensuous moves, rhythmic beats and an exotic aura is sure to make you tap a few steps to its tunes.

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Langa Singing

Performed by the Manganiyars with their lyrics speaking of the stories of valour of Alexander the Great, the rajas and maharajas of Rajasthan, Langa singing of Rajasthan is world renowned. Singers, poets and musicians invoke the blessings of Krishna to play enthralling music on percussion instruments, ghungroos and sarangi.

abhaneri festival, langa singing
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Kachhi Ghodi Dance

How can one miss this famous folk dance of Rajasthan, performed by male dancers on dummy horses? They carry naked swords in their hands, sing of the heroic deeds of Bavaria bandits of Shekhawati region and even perform acts of daredevilry such as playing with fire. The upbeat vibe of the drums at this festival is sure to enliven up even the most mundane of times.

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Bhawai Dance

The Bhawai folk dance of Rajasthan has skilled women dancers in bright ghagra-cholis and silver neckpieces and armlets, performing twirling dance while balancing a pile of pots. It is a must-watch while visiting Abhaneri festival.

abhaneri festival, bhawai dance
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Raas Leela

Varied performances on the lives of Radha and Krishna are depicted through Raas Leela.

abhaneri festival, raas leela
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Puppet Shows

Puppetry is an art which is widely practised in Rajasthan for quite long. Witness interesting stories enacted through expressive puppets with their animated movement and gestures.

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Flower decoration/Art and Crafts Exhibition

Abhaneri festival usually has a grand arts and crafts exhibition where you can shop for ethnic curios and handicrafts of Rajasthan. The venue is beautifully decorated with flowers and rangolis, which in itself is a sight to behold.

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Camel Cart Rides

Lastly, how would a trip to a Rajasthani fair be complete without a camel ride? This one is equally enjoyable for adults and kids and a picture-perfect activity to give you postcard memories.

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Planning Ahead/How to Reach

The detailed day-wise itineraries are made available on the internet as well as in newspaper advertisements ahead of the festival. Attractions include qawwali performances, food stalls, visit to Harshat Mata temple and folk music and dance performances. The architecture of the temple, as well as the scientifically and aesthetically brilliant steps at the baori, are unmistakenly marvellous.

Abhaneri village is located at a distance of 90 km from Jaipur towards Agra. Numerous government and private buses ply from Jaipur, Bikaner, Agra and Alwar. It is connected by rail through Bandikui, 8 km from Abhaneri.

abhaneri festival
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Gear up to immerse yourself in the kaleidoscopic beauty of Rajasthan and explore its folk charms through this offbeat and somewhat lesser-known festival that is sure to give you a multi-sensory experience. With all the colours, music and action around you, you could be sure of getting amazing picture-perfect memories to last you for long!

This post was published by Girija Suri

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