The vibrant landmass of India never misses a chance to reveal its ethnicity and rich heritage. The traditional forms of art and culture, blended with a deep-rooted regard for the different shades of nature is what makes the country a big celebration of its own! If you’re contemplating an Indian trip, here are a few of the best events your itinerary should entail.
1. Pushkar Mela, Rajasthan
Each year, the land of Rajasthan invites admirers of its sand and songs to one of world’s biggest camel and livestock fairs, in the humble town of Pushkar. With classical music being played along the banks of the Pushkar Lake, thousands of villagers, pilgrims and tourists participate in this festival. From camel races to cattle trades, longest moustache titles to bridal competitions, the Mela undoubtedly captures the essence of rural India.
2. Konark Dance Festival, Odisha
India’s limitless diversity in art and folk culture is translated through its enchanting performances scattered in every nook and corner of the country. The Konark Dance Festival is a celebration of some of the most mesmerising classical dance forms, like Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathak and Mohiniattam to name a few. The exquisite Sun Temple in Odisha lends its stage to several artists and welcomes thousands of dance and music enthusiasts.
3. Hornbill Festival, Nagaland
All of India’s north eastern states are gifted with an abundance of artistic and folk legacies. The Hornbill Festival is a mega event that engages in the confluence of various tribal cultures and art forms. The tribes across the Nagaland come together to put forth a high-spirited show of dance, music, art, craft, sports, food, fairs and games with an unparalleled flamboyancy and energy.
4. Hemis Gompa Fair, Jammu and Kashmir
The stunning landscapes of Ladakh have captivated hearts in a way no other region in India has. The serenity of the meandering roads and picturesque backdrops perfectly compliment the calmness many Buddhists bring along with them. The biggest of its kind, the famous Hemis Gompa Monastery hosts the Hemis Gompa Fair as a dedication to Lord Padmasambhava. The fair is a lavish convergence of spirituality and devotion with a strong cultural bedrock. Large numbers of people gather to watch the extravagant performances, vibrant masks, costumes and deafening drum beats.
5. Rann Utsav, Gujarat
As the vast salt deserts spreading across the Rann of Kutch shimmer in the Full Moon night, Gujarat welcomes tourists from all over the world to be a part of the Rann Utsav. The fairs, music, dance, safaris and culinary experiences during the days of the Utsav attract tourists, especially photographers in enormous numbers. Held during the Indian winters, the festival amalgamates the beauty of nature with the colours of tradition.
When: November To February
6. Kumbh Mela, Multi-city
No description of India is complete without the mention of the world’s largest religious gathering. The Kumbh Mela is a gigantic event and a pilgrimage of faith, wherein an unfathomable number of sadhus, pandits and devotees unite on the banks of Sangam, a union of the three holy rivers – Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. The mela is held in Nashik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar by a rotation of every three years. The mela witnesses a spectacle of processions, prayers and age-old rituals.
When: Days and locations vary every year
7. Goa Carnival, Goa:
Drawing inspiration from the Mardi Gras, the Goa Carnival sets its foot into India’s most vivacious destination just before the 40 days of Lent begin. Lasting for a couple of days at a stretch, the carnival makes Goa a hotspot for tourism, magnetising a sea of people each year. With decorative costumes, lavish feasts and majestic parades, the celebration unleashes the wild spirit of every party-goer.