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Do you want a new reason to visit Rajasthan? Here is another excuse to visit this colorful and vibrant state of India.  Abhaneri Festival is a three-day annual affair that brings tourists to Rajasthan, particularly to the Abhaneri village, in large numbers. Foreign expats are also visible here. This year the festival is scheduled from 10th September and 13th September.

The Abhaneri Village

Abhaneri is located in Dhundar region in the northern part of Rajasthan. It is an ancient village which came into prominence during the Gupta period in the 9th century.  It has been a source of beautiful sculptures that have now found their way to different museums across the world.  You can have a glimpse of one of these elaborate pieces, a Mahishasura Mardini Statue, at the Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur.

It was formerly Abha Nagari – the city of brightness.  This brightness dazzles one’s eyes especially during the annual 3 days Abhaneri Festival

Abhaneri Festival – Cultural festivities draped in myriad colors of Rajasthan

The Abhaneri Festival is held by Dausa District administration in association with the Department of tourism of the Rajasthan Government.  The aim of this festival is to promote heritage and rural tourism in and around this area.

Cultural Extravaganza

stepwell photo

Photo by Arian Zwegers

The main venue for most of the cultural performances is the ancient Abhaneri Step well. Popular artists are expected attend and perform here.  There will be performances of traditional folk dances such as Kalbeliya, Terahtali, Pad Dangal, Beharupia, Kachchi, Ghoomar, Chakri Dance, Bhavai and Ghori.  You can also enjoy Mayur dance, Lavang singing, Musical concerts, Kavi Sammelan, Shehnai performances, street plays called nukkad natak and puppet shows.

stepwell photo

Photo by piyush.k

If you are a shopping addict or an art and craft lover,  head straight to Art and Craft exhibition that has displays wares of craftsmen and artisans who come from different parts of Rajasthan.

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You also get to ride on a camel for a village safari.

Another way to enjoy this festival is to visit two main attractions in this village – the Harshat Mata temple and the Chand Boari Stepwell.

Chand Baori Stepwell also called Abhaneri step well

Abhaneri photo

Photo by SdosRemedios

The Chand Baori step was built by King Chanda of Nikumbh dynasty dedicated to Harsha matha – goddess of joy and happiness. It was a water storage unit during the dry months of the year.

It is the deepest and biggest stepwell in India. Features of this Stepwell:

  • 3,500 narrow double flight of steps with 13 stories and depth 30m (100ft into the ground)
  • Steps on three sides and one side has religious symbols and sculptures
  • Temperature is 5 to 6 degrees cooler than on top; a place for locals to gather during hot days.
  • Includes a pavilion and resting room that was used by royals in golden days

This place has featured in movies like Bhoomi and Bhool Bhulaiyaa. Even Hollywood film such as The Fall, Dark Knight rises and Best Exotic Marigold hotel have scenes showing this amazing place.

Harsha Mata temple

abhaneri photo

Photo by skjaidev

Harsha Mata temple is just opposite the Chand Baori.  Built in the 8 – 9th century by a Chauhan ruler, it is dedicated to Harsh Mata, the goddess of Happiness and joy.  The other deities in the temple are Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman.

The idol of the Goddess is protected by an Iron façade installed by the Department of Archeology.  The temple itself is famous for its wonderful craftsmanship.  The outer walls have Brahman Bahdra niches with images of various lesser Gods.  The upper parts of the temple also have various figures that add to its architectural marvels.

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How to reach there:

By Road: Abhaneri Village is about 95 kms from Jaipur. There are many local taxies, private cabs and buses plying to and fro on this route.

By Air: There two airports near the Abhaneri – The Jaipur airport and Sanganer airport.  Both are well-connected to major Indian cities.

By Rail: Jaipur railway station is the nearest rail station well connected to major cities of India.

Now you have an excuse….. Come September, pack your bags and set out to admire another shade of the Royal state of Rajasthan.

Featured Photo by Unseen Horizons

Abhaneri Festival – Another Reason To Visit Rajasthan

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