Jaipur, Mar 1 (ANI): On the eve of 'Holi', the city of Jaipur played host to a special elephant carnival with dozens of colourfully caparisoned jumbos thrilled hundreds of tourists during the event.
The Elephant Carnival is an annual fare dating back to royal times.
Ten beautifully decorated elephants formed part of the traditional event held at the Chaugan Stadium.
The well-groomed and adorned elephants walked past thousands of fascinated audience comprising both Indian and foreign tourists.
The elephants also ran races and played the regal game of polo to entertain the visitors.
On their part, the tourists were a delighted lot after witnessing the elephant carnival.
Emma, an Irish tourist said, "We don't have elephants in our country. We feel very good after witnessing elephants with colours, the music and everything. I like the elephant with all the colours, their coloured trunks."
The annual event is looked forward to by elephant owners. They start their preparations literally a month in advance.
Elephant owners said they want to popularise elephant rides in the world.
The President of the Elephant Owners Association, Haji Abdur Rasheed, said: "The main purpose of organising this festival is to popularise elephant ride. We want to tell how elephants were maintained during the princely states rule. We take care of elephants in the same manner as they were maintained in the past."
A variety of cultural programmes were also organised.
After the celebrations, tourists were invited to play Holi astride the decorated elephants.
Many tourists, the foreigners in particular, were seen enjoying the experience as they threw colours at one another.
Holi is associated with the uninhibited expression of love and affection and brings together people from all classes and age groups, who distribute sweets and take out processions, dancing to tunes of drums in a melange of colours. (ANI)