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Shekhawati Festival

by Madhav Srinivasan 1717 days ago

Every year in February, the Shekhawati region in Rajasthan comes alive to the sound of dance, music and merriment. It’s the time when the region celebrates its deep rooted culture and heritage and the entire world seems to descend on Shekhawat.

The Shekhawati Festival is jointly organized by the State department of tourism and the Morarka Foundation. The district administrations of Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu are also actively involved in the staging of this massive event. The festival is scheduled to be held from February 9th to 12th this year. The Shekhawat Festival has had a long, colorful and successful run for the last 17 years.


The main functions of the festival are held at the Surya Mandal Stadium at Navalgarh. However, various activities associated with the festival area held in areas of Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu. The festival was initially organized with the intention of letting tourists – both domestic and international – get a feel of life in rural India. But over the years, it has expanded and today encompasses both the arts and crafts of the region, local sports as well as a much appreciated organic food festival.

The Shekhawat region is an ideal place to showcase life in rural Rajasthan. The area is dotted with havelis that bring back memories of a bygone area. These havelis with their characteristic architecture have lovely frescoes that date back to the 18th and 19th century. There are plenty of temples and forts that add to the atmosphere of the region. In addition, Shekhawat is also the place where organic farming has taken a strong foothold and the festival focuses on this aspect of India’s agrarian festival.

Happenings at the Shekhawati Festival

The inauguration of the festival sees the entire region come alive and buzz with non-stop activities. Some of the regular happenings at the festival are:

Organized tours: The Shekhawat region has a rich architectural and cultural heritage. The havelis and old mansions of the area are an awe-inspiring sight. During the festival, these heritage buildings are thrown open to the public and tourists can sign up for the organized tours. Interested tourists can also book rooms in these havelis during their stay in Shekhawat.

Arts and crafts: The Shekhawati festival is the perfect opportunity for the locals to give outsiders a glimpse into the prodigious talent. There are arts and crafts exhibitions and sessions as well as various cultural programs. Various rural games and sporting events are also held. Seminars and workshops give visitors to the festival an insight into the arts and crafts of the region.

Cattle fair: The cattle fair is one of the biggest attractions of the Shekhawati festival. In fact, people come from across the state to buy and sell cattle during the festival days. The fair with its rustic atmosphere, noise and bluster provides a totally unique sight and experience for tourists.

Organic food court: This is one of the highlights of the festival. The food court has nearly 50 stalls that provide organic food to all the visitors and the participants at the fest. In fact, only organic food is available during the Shekhawati food festival. Organic lunches are organized and visitors are given an opportunity to understand the entire process of growing and cultivating organic food.

Awards ceremony: One of the main organizers of the festival, the Morarka Foundation, also presents achievement awards to selected persons from the local community. This includes awards for meritorious students and brave servicemen from the region.

The Shekhawati festival is definitely one of the more vibrant events in the Indian tourism calendar. The crowds that throng here over the years are testimony to its success. 

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