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   Fairs & Festivals                                                                                            Itinerary

The fairs and festivals of India are as diverse as the land and the people. Observed with enthusiasm and gaiety, festivals are like gems, ornamenting the crown of Indian culture. 

They are round the year vibrant interludes inTak Tak Festival - Ladakh the mundane routine of life.The rich tradition, warm and hospitable people, a landscape of breathtaking variety and beauty - all combine to pack each year with a variety of fairs, festivals and celebrations. Every season brings along new festivals, each a true celebration of the bounties of nature. 

And that's not all! The birthdays of gods and goddesses, saints and prophets, the great historical happenings and the advent of the New Year, all find expression in colorful festivities. 
The same festival, though celebrated differently in the various parts of the country, exhibits an eternal harmony of spirit. Packed with fun and excitement, festivals are occasions to clean and decorate houses, to get together with friends and relatives and to exchange gifts. 

From religion to trade, from season to sports - month by month - is a joyous celebration of life
Following are a few of the main festivals of INDIA:                                                             
Itineraries for any one or more fairs are available on request

January

Festival / Date

City / State

Description

Bikaner Festival

Bikaner / Rajasthan

Dedicated to the indispensable 'ship of the desert' , the festival starts off with a magnificent procession of bedecked camels. There are displays and competitions together with all the color, music and rhythm unique to a fair in Rajasthan.

Calcutta Festival

Calcutta / West Bengal

Held every year in the centrally located maidan area of the city of Calcutta.Ethnic food stalls displaying BengaliCuisine and culturalevents make this a lively occasion.

Float Festival

Madurai / Tamil Nadu

On the night of the full moon, ornamented icons of Goddess Meenakshi and her consort are taken out in a colourful procession to the huge Mariamman Teppakulam. The icons are floated in the tank on a raft decked with flowers and flickering lamps.

International Kite Festival

Ahmedabad / Gujarat

On this festival kites of all colours, patterns and dimensoins soar into the sky. Special kites with little paper lamps fill the night sky with a myriad flickring lights.

Kerala Village Fair

Kovalam / Kerala

Every year, in the lush village around Kovalam ( 18 km from Thirauvananthapuram ), mid-january is the time for cultural event. The traditional thatch houses are decorated during this ten day long festival and are the venue for folk dances, music and festivities.

Mamallapuram Dance Festival

Mamallapuram / Tamil Nadu

Once the ancient port of the Pallavas, Mamallapuram plays host to a vibrant festival of dance. Exponents of Bharat Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak and Kathakali perform againts the magnificient backdrop of the Pallava rock sculptures.

Pattadakkal Dance Festival

Pattadakkal / Karnataka

Delicately carved temples rich in detail, stand still at Pattadakkal, the ancient capital of the Chalukyan kings. A festival of dance celebrates this marvellous heritage.

Pongal

Tamil Nadu

Pongal is the festival of harvest.It is celebrated for three days.First day is an occasion for festivities at home.On second day flavoured rice is offered to the Sun God . On third day village cattle are bathed and decorated and cattle races enliven village Festivities.

Republic Day

Delhi And State Capitals

Commemorating the day India became a republic  (26th January ), the Republic Day is celebrated in Delhi with a splended parade- a colourful affair with soldiers marching in unison, followed by folk dancers, school children and floats from various states.

The Great Elephant March

Kerala

While caparisoned elephants go out in procession, boat raves on the backwaters and cultural events lend colour to the festivities.

February

Festival / Date

City / State

Description

Chapchar Kut

Mizoram

    A lively festival in Mizoram celebrates the arrival of spring. It is an occasion for dance, music and feasting.

Deccan Festival

Hydrabad / Andra Pradesh

    Every year gracious Hyderadbad come alive during Deccan Festival. There are cultural programmes wiyh gazals nights, qawalis and mushairas, typical of the city. A pearl and bangle fair displays creations in lustrous pearls and multi-hued bangles that are local specialities.

Desert Festival

Jaisalmer / Rajasthan

    A three day long extravaganza of colour, music, and festivity at the golden city of jaisalmer. Gair and fire dancers swaying to traditional tunes, a turban-tying competition and a Mr Desert contest are a part of the fun of the occasion.

Elephant Festival

Mumbai / Maharashtra

This festival is held across the Mumbai harbour, on the Elephanta Island, near the world renowned Elephanta  Elephanta Caves (A World Heritage Site).

Garden Festival

Delhi

 A spectacular flower show held aaat delhi, where varieties of flowers and exotic plants are on display. This annual event event is indeed a horticulturist's delight.

Goa carnival

Goa

The exuberant Goa Carnival is an annual feature here. Held in mid February,just befpre Lent, the week long event is a time for lively processions, floats, the strumming of guitars and graceful dances.

International Yoga Week

Rishikesh / Uttar Pradesh

Detailed lecturse and demonastrations of various asans by prominent exponents of Yoga are the major highlights of the Yoga Week.

Island Tourism Festival

Port Blair / Andaman & Nicobar

A ten day long fwstival of dance, drama, and music. Exhibition, displaying art and crafts, flora and fauna and marine life, are part of the event. Aqua sports, telegames and parssailing are added attractions.

Nagaur Fair

Nagaur / Rajasthan

Nagaur bustles with life during its annual cattle fair which is one of the largest in the country. Exciting games and camel races are of the festivities.

Rose Festival

Chandigarh

The biggest Rose shiw in the country is held in the famous Rose Garden at Chandigarh. Varities of magnificient roses are  on display during this two-dat festivel.

Surajkund Craft Mela

Surajkund / Near Delhi

A delightful handloop and handicrafts faur is held anually at Surajkund.Handicrafts from all over the country are displayed in a typical  setting of a rural Indian marketplace.

Taj Mahotsav

Agra / Uttar Pradesh

India's extensive arts, crafts and culture are on display during this festival of ten days.Floak music ,shayari and Clssical dance performances along with elephant and camel rides, games and food festival, all add to the excitement of the occasion.

Vasant Panchami

North India And West Bengal

The ceremonial welcome to spring when, people, colourfully attired especially in bright shade of yellow, dance, sing and make merry.

March

Festival / Date

State / City

Description

Elephant Festival

Jaipur / Jajasthan

    A festival where elephant are the centre of attraction. The festival begins with a procession of elephants , camels and horses, followed by lively folk dancers.The spectacular event of this festival is the elephant races, and inteesting tug of war between elphants and men.

Ellora Festival

Aurangabad / Maharashtra

  The magnificient  rock-cut caves at Ellora-34 in number, were excvated between 600 and 1000 AD. They include Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves. Every March, a festival of dance and music is organised here with the caves forming a splendidbackdrop.

Good Friday

All Over India

Good Friday is observed by Christians nationwide with special service in the chruches.

Hoysala Mahotsav

Belur-Halebid / Karnataka

The dance festival hld at Belur and Halebid is a magnificiant event. The splendid Hoysala temples wiyh their sculptural extravaganza, make the perfect venue for this cultural feast.

Holi

All Over North India

In, March during spring, comes Holi - the fetival of colours. Celebrated all over North India, Holi is a time to make merry. People smear each other with coloured powder. Singing and dancing add to the gaiety of the occasion.

Jhansi Festival

Jhansi / Uttar Pradesh

This week-long annual event is a display of the art, craft and culture of a splendid city - Jhansi. The cultural programmes includes folk songs, dances, mushairas and gazals.

Khajuraho Dance Festival

Khajuraho / Madhya Praresh

The thousand year old  temples at Khajuraho, built by the Chandella kings, are majestic structures sculpted  in stone.Only 22 of these temles remain today, to bear testmony to the craftsmanship of chandella builders.Every year in March, these splendid temples cme alive during the week-long festival of classical dances.

Pataliputra Mahatsava

Patna / Bihar

Patna, an ancient city with a glorious past, celebrates its rich heritage with this lively festival.

Shivratri

All Over India

All over the country, Shivratri is observed as the night, when Lord Shiva danced the 'Tandav'- his cosmic dance. Fasts and prayer the day and devotees throng the teples. The major Shaivite temples at Varanasi, Kalahasti (Andhra Pradesh) and Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu) are noted for their special celebrations.

FestivalShivratri Natyanjali

FestivalShivratri Natyanjali

Shivratri is the occasion for a five day long festival of classical dance and music at Chidambaram. The magnificiant temple dedicate to Lord Shiv, built a thousand years ago, provides a beautiful backdrop for the event

April

Festivals / Date

City /State

Description

Baisakhi

All Over India

The Hindu New Year finds expression in this exuberant festival, celebrated throughout India. Baisakhi celebrations in Punjab are spectacular, as this is very special day for the Sikhs.In Kerala the festival is known as Viahnu. 'Vishnu kani' - a display of grain, fruits, flowers, new cloths and money, is viewed early in the morning to ensure a prosperous year ahead.

Gangaur

Rajasthan

The most important local festival in Rajasthan,is celebrated for eighteen days. The festival is celabrated by girls and married women throughout Rajastha. This is also an auspicious day for young people to select their life partner.

Mahavir Jayanti

All Over India

The birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir, the founder of Jainism., is observed by the Jain community. Special prayers are offered at temples and shrines.

Mewar Festival

Udaipur / Rajasthan

An exhilarating welcome to spring, this festival is a visual feast with Rajasthani songs, dances, processions, devotional music and firework display.

Ramnavami

All Over India

The anniversary of lord Rama's birth is celabrated as Ramnavami by Hindus. The epic 'Rammyana' is read for eight days preceding the festival.

May

Festivals / Date

City /State

Description

Buddha Purnima

North India

This festival commemorates the birth of Lord Buddha - 'the enlightened one'.

Id-ul-Fitr

All over India

The festival marks the end of 'Ranzan' - a month when Muslims fast throughout the day and eat only at nignt. Prayers, family get-togethers and feasts are the major highlights of the celebrations.

International Flower Festivel

Gangtok / Sikkim

A rare of exotic varieties of flower, orchids and other plants native in Sikkim. River rafting and Yak safari are added attractions.People from all over India are attracted by this  spectacular festival.

Pooram

Thrissur / Kerala

The colourful Pooram festival is held in Thrissur at its fine Vadakkumnathan Temple. Procession of beautifullycaparisoned elephants provide a magnificieant spectacle. The festival is rounded off at night by dazzling firework displays.

Summer Festival

Major Hill Festival

The advent of summer in the major hill resorts ushers in colourful festivity. Lively cultural events, flower shows, regattas and exhibitions brighten the summer season at the picturesque hill stations of Ooty, Shimla,Darjeeling, Mount Abu, etc.

Urs

Ajmer / Rajasthan

The Urs are held every year at the daegah of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, commemorating his symbolic union with God. Pilgrims from all over the world gather here to pay homage. Qawalis and poems are presented in the saint's honor.

June

Festival / Date

City / State

Description

Hemis Festival

Leh / Ladakh

The courtyard of Hemis- the biggest Buddhist monestery in Ladakh, is the stage for the famous 'Hemis' Festival, that celebratesthe birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava.Splendid masked dances are performed to the accompaniment of cymbals, drums and long horns.

July

Festivals / Date

City / States

Description

Id-ul- Zuha (Bakr-Id)

All Over India

This Muslim festival is celebrated all over the country. Prayers are offered in the mosque and special delicacies are prepared served among family and friends on the ocassion.

International Mango Festival

Delhi

Savour innumerable varietes of mango - the king of fruits, at the unique Mango Festival in Delhi. Cultural programmes make this a lively event.

Rath Yatra

Puri / Orissa

This spectacular chariot is held at the famous Jagannath Temple at Puri. Images of Lord Jagannath - the Lord of the Universe, his sister Subhadra and brother Balbhadrs are taken out in procession in three immense chariots to Gundicha Mandir, a temple 1.5 km away.

August

Festivals / Date

City / State

Description

Amarnath Yatra

Jammu & Kashmir

In the month of Shravan, thousand of pilgrims make an arduous trek up to the Amarnath cave in the Kashmir Himalayas. They come to worship the sacred ice lingam - a symbolof Lord Shiva, which is a natural phenomenon.

Indepence day

All Over India

Commemorating the day India attained freedom (15th August), Indepence day is celebrated with flag hosting ceremonies and cultural programmes in the state capitals.The Prime Minister's speech at the Red Fort in Delhi is the major highlight.

Janmashtami

All Over India

The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great fervour all over the country.In Mathura and Brindavan - where Lord Krishna spent his childhood and youth, the Janamashtami celebrations are quite elaborate. The Krishna Leela - stories of his eventful youth are enacted.

Nag Panchami

Wesrt bengal, Maharashtra, And South India

This festival, usually is celebrated in West Bengal, Maharashtra and South India, venerates snakes.

Nehru Trophy Boat Race

Kerala

Alappuzha is famous fpr its annual boat race, held on the second Saturday of August every year. The long elegant snakeboats, with crews of over hundred men vying to win the coveted trophy, attract spectators from all over.

Onam

Kerala

The decorating of houses with carpets of flowers , a sumptuous lunch and songs in praise of the golden region of Mahabali, mark the tendays long festivities. A major attraction of the Onam celebrations are the famed snake boat races along the backwaters at Champakulam, Aramula and Kottayam.

Raksha Bandhan

North India

Brothers and sisters reaffirm their bonds of affection on this day. Sisters tie colourful thread or rakhis on their broyhers wrists. The brothers in turn promise to protect their sisters and give them gifts.

Teej

Rajasthan And Chandigarh

.This swing festival welcomes the advent of the monsoon. Swings are hung from trees and decorated with flowers. Women, colourfully attired, swing on them and sing songs in celebrations.

September

Festivals / Date

City / States

Description

Ganesh Chaturthi

Maharashtrsta, Tamil nadu Andra Pradesh, Karnataka

This day is dedicated to the Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God of all good beginnings and success. Held annually, this festival is a ten day long event. The images of Lord Ganesha are installed and worshipped and on the last day these are taken in processions to be immersed in flowing water. The sea front at Mumbai, packed with people, is a spectacular sight.

Ganesh festival

Pune / Maharastra

Thia cultural feast is held to coincide with Ganesha Chaturthi. With classical dance and music performances, a theatre and film festival and folk dances, this is the most popular in Pune.

Tarnetar Mela

Saurashtra

The fair is a kind of marriage market for the local tribals - the Kolis, Bharwads and Rabaris. The traditional customs, exquisite jewellery and lively foke dances - garba, ras, haro, are the special  attractions of the fair, not forgetting the wonderful Tarnetar "Chhatris" - umbrellas with intricate embroidery and mirror work.

October

Festival / Date

City / states

Description

Diwali

All Over India

This festival of lights is the prettiest and the most eargerly awaited occasion in India. It  celebrates the return of Lord Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayana, to Ayodhya after a fourteen year exile. The flickering lights of the traditional clay lamps or 'diyas' illuminate the houses and fireworks resound through the night.

Dussehra

All Over India

Celebrated to mark the defeat of Ravana by Lord Rama, Dussehra symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. The Ramlila - an enactment of the life of Lord Rama, is held during the nine days preceding Dussehra.On the tenth day, larger than life effigies of Ravana, his son and brother - Meghnath and Kumbhakarna, are set alight. 

Gandhi Jayanti

All Over India

The birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi - the 'Father of the nation' (2nd Oct). The President and Prime Minister, along with other eminent political leaders, pay homage at Raj Ghat - the samadi of Mahatma Gandhi.

Marwar Festival

Marwar / Rajasthan

The festival celebrates the 'Maand' style of folk music - and evolved classical style that describes the romantic life of Rajasthan's rulers. Held during Sharad Purnima, the folk artistes bring alive the legends and folklore of earlier times.

Muharram 

All Over India

Commemorates the martyrdom of the Profit Mohammed's grandson - Imam Hussein. Tazias, glittering replicas martyr's tomb, are carried in procession through the streets.

Rajgir Mahotsav

Rajgir / Bihar

This colourful festival of dance and music is held at Rajgir, the ancient capital of the Magadha Kings - the land where the Buddha meditated and preached.

November

Festivals / Date City / States

Description

Guru Purab All Over India The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak - the first guru of the Sikhs, is celebrated with great fervour. The 'Akhand Path' - recitation of the Guru Granth Sahib, is held in gurdwaras all over the country. Taking the holy book out in processions, is also an integral part of the celebrations.
Hampi Festival Hampi / Karnataka The magnificient ruined city of Hampi, once the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, comes alive once again during this lively festival of dance and music, held in the first week of November.
Ka Pomblang Nongkrem Shillong / Meghalaya The most important festival of the Khasis in Meghalaya. This five day long festival, held annually near Shillong, is an occasion for thanksgiving for a good harvest and the time to pray for peace and prosperity. Khisi men and women, dressed in traditional splendour, performed the famous Nongkrem dance.
Luknow Festival Luknow / Uttar Pradesh This festival celebrates Luknow's living culture. Exciting events like ekka races, kite flying ,cock fighting and other traditional village games recreate an atmosphere of Avadh's nawabi days.
Pushkar Mela Pushkak / Rajasthan Tranquil Pushkar is transformed into a spectacular fair ground for twelve days in the month of Kartik. Trading of cattle, camel races and dazzling displays of bangles, brassware, clothes, camel saddles and halters are the major attraction of this colorful event. Devotees come in their thousands to take a ritual dip in the lake on the day of the Kartik Purnima and to worship at the Brahma temple.
Sonepur Mela Sonepur / Bihar Asia's biggest cattle fair is held at Sonepure, on the bank of the river Ganga. During this month - long fair, cattle, decorated for the occasion, throng the venue.

December

Festivals / Date

City / States

Description

Christmas

All Over India

Christmas is celebrated in India with great fevour. All the major Indian cities wear a festive look. Shops and bazar are decorated for the occasion and offer attractive bargains. Coral singing, get-togethers and the exchanging of gifts enhance the Christmas sprit. Christmas parties launch off celebrations for the New Year, thus retaining  the festive mood for at least a week.

Konark Dance Festival

Konark Orissa

The Sun Temlple - a magnificent structure designed as the chariot of the Sun God, drawn by seven exquisitely carved horses, stands in solitary splendor on the beach at Konark. This is the venue of a joyous festival of classical dance and music which is held annually. A host of celebrated dancers from all over the country perform in the open air auditorium. The sound of ghungroo bells, flute and pakhauj fill the air and a marvelous craft mela, with a variety of handicrafts and delectable cuisine, adds to the festive mood.

Kurukshetra Festival

Kurukshetra / Haryana

The festival coincide with Gita Jayanti, signifying the birth of the Srimad Bhagvad Gita. Pilgrims gather here to take a dip in the savred tanks of Brahma Sarover. Week- long Bhagwad katha, dance, dramas and 'deep daan' are part of the religious festivities.

Shilpgram Craft Mela

Udaipur / Rajasthan

Some of the magnificent crafts of Rajasthan are on display at a colorful festival, held in the  royal city Udaipur.

Vishnupur Festival

Vishnupur / West Bengal

The festival celebrates the the rich heritage of the town of Vishnupur, noted for its beautiful terracotta temples and elegant silk sarees

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