Have you ever experienced the vibrant culture of Rajasthan? The Matsya Festival, a lively event in Alwar, is a perfect showcase of this. Alwar, surrounded by the Aravali Hills, is a historic city close to New Delhi and Jaipur. Founded in 1770 by Rajput Pratap Singh, Alwar is known for its majestic forts and palaces. The two-day Matsya Festival celebrates Alwar's history and culture, attracting tourists worldwide. It's set against the stunning backdrop of Alwar's architectural wonders, making it a visually splendid experience.
The festival, usually held annually, offers a glimpse into local customs and traditions. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities like traditional games, music performances, and tours of Alwar (Alwar Darshan). Competitions and cultural events like roomal jhapatta (a game), teerandazi (archery), rassakashi (tug of war), and shehnai wadan (music) are highlights. The festival is a bridge connecting visitors to the rich heritage and lively social fabric of Alwar. Read on to learn more!
History of Matsya Festival
The name Matsya means fish and is derived from the Sanskrit word Matsya. As per Hindu Mythology, Lord Vishnu took Matsya’s avatar to save Manu, the first person on Earth. During the Vedic period, an Indo-Aryan clan that resided on the west side of the Yamuna Nagar named its kingdom, Matsya Mahajanapada. The present day Alwar, Bharatpur, and some parts of Jaipur city are located on the same spot as Matsya Mahajanapada. The historical significance of this place has led to the naming of the festival as Matsya Festival. Since the events of the Matsya festival, Alwar is held at different historical, ancient, and cultural spots in the city, people can gather information about and explore these wonders while enjoying the festival. Indira Gandhi Stadium, Siliserh Lake, Nangli Circle, Mahal Chowk City Palace, and Fateh Jung Gumbad are a few popular places where events of the festival are planned.
Date, Time & Venue of Matsya Festival 2024
The Matsya Festival is a two-day event celebrated every year in the last week of November. The weather is pleasant during this time of the year, thus attracting a large number of tourists to the city. The event takes place at multiple locations in the city, including Indira Gandhi Stadium, Siliserh Lake, Nangli Circle, Mahal Chowk City Palace, and Fateh Jung Gumbad.
Major Attractions Of the Matsya Festival 2024
The two-day Matsya Festival is one of the major events planned and celebrated in the Alwar City. There is a lot of axcitement and anticipation among the locals who welcome visitors with typical warm Rajasthani hospitality. The celebration of heritage, legacy, and culture help to retain and conserve it for the future generations to enjoy and feel a connection with their roots. A lot of fun-filled activities are organized throughout the event with active participation of the visitors. Have a look at some of the major attractions of the Matsya Festival that make the event more enjoyable and interesting.
1. Adventure Sports
Trekking, parasailing, and hot air balloon rides are the major attraction of the Matsya Festival. The locals and tourists participate with great enthusiasm. Besides these sports, people can also participate in fun games such as tug of war, Rumal Jhapatta (handkerchief snatching), and Teerandazi (archery).
The festival also features an exhibition ‘Dharohar’ wherein handmade craft items are displayed. One can also witness ancient artifacts that have been extracted in excavations by ASI.
3. Alwar Darshan
Tourists can also opt for Alwar Darshan which is organized by the government during the Matsya Festival. The excursion tour will take you to several forts, palaces, wildlife sanctuaries, and lakes located in Alwar.
Day 1 Activities. The first day of this Rajasthani festival will begin with an aarti in the Shree Jagannath Ji Temple. The aarti will be followed by many fun activities such as eco trekking, hot air balloon ride, sand art performance, paddleboat race, along with folk music, and dance performances.
Day 2 Activities. It has a lot more to offer as one may participate in a mehndi rangoli competition, a painting competition, and more.
4. Roomal Jhapatta
It is a friendly, competitive match played between two people. There is a handkerchief in their middle, paid on the ground and one of the players has to pick it up first. Its a quick thinking, speed-based game that is played amidst a lot of cheers from onlookers.
It is the game of archery where the bows and arrows are made up of materials sourced from local areas. It was the game played by erstwhile royals and is one of the most popular games played during the event.
The game of strength, Rassakashi or tug of war is played by women wearing traditional costumes, making it interesting to watch. The grit and determination of these women is tested in this highly competitive game. The game displays feminine energy and power.
7. Shehnai Wadan
The melodious sound of Shehnai played by the local artists fill the atmosphere with auspicious notes. Listening to this soul-stirring sound evokes sentiments and emotions that feel visitors connected to the rich legacy of the land.
Places to Visit in Alwar During Matsya Festival
When visiting Alwar to attend the famous Matsya Festival, do enjoy exploring the city and its amazing attractions. Alwar is bestowed with amazing natural beauty and magnificent monuments that gives a deep insight into the erstwhile regal times. Here are some of the major attractions worth visiting in Alwar.
The Alwar Fort
This majestic fort forms a backdrop to the city. It stood 1,000 feet above the city and was constructed in 1550 AD by Hasan Khan Mewati. After the Mughals, the Marathas, and then the Jats captured it. Finally, it was captured by the Kachhwaha Rajputs. The fort is around 5 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide and has six entrances.
These ruins are reminiscent of the kingdom that once existed here. The ruins date back to 1631, and the structure was constructed by Madho Singh, the younger brother of Man Singh of Ajmer. Mystery still surrounds the town, which had 10,000 homes suddenly abandoned for no reason.
Vijai Mandir Palace
This majestic Palace boasts 105 ornately decorated rooms, a beautifully landscaped garden, and a well-maintained lake. There is even a Ram mandir that people can visit.
Moosi Maharani ki Chhatri
This mausoleum is the final resting place of Maharaja Bakhtawar Singh and his queen, Rani Moosi. It is a double-storied structure, standing in pillars of sandstone. The upper story is made from marble. The interiors are highly decorated, with beautiful murals.
This beautiful palace was constructed between 1892 and 1900 as a place for the royal family to set up camp during a hunting expedition. Today, the palace is a hotel, and it is a convenient place to visit the Sariska Tiger Reserve.
Sariska Tiger Reserve
This reserve is just 40 kilometers from Alwar. It has undulating terrain and some plateaus. It is spread across 320 square miles and is the best place in India to see tigers, leopards, hyenas, nilgai, chinkara, monkeys, and birds.
How to Reach Alwar for Matsya Festival 2024
Matsya Festival in Alwar attracts a lot of visitors from all over the country who love witnessing the rich cultural heritage of the city on display. A variety of fun-filled activities keep them engaged and make their trip to this lovely city a memorable one. The city can be accessed through diverse modes of transport. Have a look at these options that can help you reach the destination to attend the festival.
By Air. The nearest airport to reach Alwar for Matsya Festival is Sanganer Airport or Jaipur Airport. Many domestic and international tourists arrive at the destination to enjoy the charming attractions of Alwar. Hire a taxi or a cab to arrive at the destination.
By Train. There is good connectivity of train routes from Alwar Railway Junction to all parts of the country. Tourists can take a cab or an auto to the Destination from the Railway Station.
Distance from Alwar Railway Junction. 2 km
By Road. Depending on your geographical location, you can consider traveling to Alwar by road. The overall road network, which includes national highways, is well-maintained and easily accessible. As per your convenience, you can choose to travel by state-run buses, cabs, or by your personal vehicles as well.
The Matsya Festival is a vibrant celebration of Rajasthan's rich heritage. It's an opportunity to immerse oneself in the traditional lifestyle and enjoy various cultural activities. The festival not only entertains but also educates visitors about the history and customs of Alwar, making it a memorable experience
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Frequently Asked Questions About Matsya Festival 2024
Ques 1. What is unique about the Matsya Festival?
Ans 1. Matsya Festival is a two-day festival celebrated with great excitement and enthusiasm in Alwar. It showcases vibrant culture and rich heritage of the city.
Ques 2. When is Matsya Festival organized?
Ans 2. Matsya Festival is a 2-day annual festival celebrated in the last week of November every year.
Ques 3. Which is the closest airport to use to attend Matsya Festival?
Ans 3. The nearest airport to reach Alwar to attend Matsya Festival is Sanganer or Jaiour Airport in Jaipur.
Ques 4. What are the major attractions of the Matsya Festival?
Ans 4. The two-day Matsya Festival is one of the major events planned and celebrated in the Alwar City. There is a lot of axcitement and anticipation among the locals who welcome visitors with typical warm Rajasthani hospitality. The celebration of heritage, legacy, and culture help to retain and conserve it for the future generations to enjoy and feel a connection with their roots. A lot of fun-filled activities are organized throughout the event with active participation of the visitors.
Ques 5. What activities can visitors participate in during the Matsya Festival?
Ans 5. Visitors to the Matsya Festival can engage in various activities showcasing Rajasthani culture. These include traditional games like roomal jhapatta and teerandazi (archery), cultural performances, and tug of war (rassakashi). There's also shehnai wadan (music) and Alwar darshan (city tours).