Visitors looking to embrace the local culture in India’s Rajasthan region should be aware that this week sees the highly important Gangaur festival taking place.

Preparations for Gangaur are well underway in the Indian city of Jaipur, as the Hindu festival begins on Wednesday (April 6th), giving culture vultures one more reason to book flights to India.

The festival is one of the most important in the Hindu calendar for inhabitants of the Rajasthan region and celebrations include colourful processions and joyful music.

Gangaur commemorates the goddess of purity and patron of unmarried girls, Gauri, who underwent extreme penance before marrying Lord Shiva.

The goddess is depicted in brightly decorated images, which form the centrepiece of lively processions.

Traditionally this two-day festival is the time when young couples are most likely to meet their future partner and elope.

Meanwhile in Udaipur, the local women dress in their finest clothes to join the local procession, which reaches its finishing point at Lake Pichola with singing, dancing and an impressive fireworks display.

Written by Ruth Norris

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