Art is an element that bonds us as a country and a society. One of the most awesome things about Indian winters is that there are may fests that fill our lives with good vibes.
Here are ten of the ‘Must-attend’ festivals for you to know more about. Let us know which ones you have attended or intend to!
The desert. Music. Camping. And a life you don’t get to live the rest of the year. Yes, I am talking about Ragasthan. To be held in Jaisalmer from February 11 to 14 in 2016, the event also has open-air screenings, bonfires, hammocks, and an extensive range of activities. I know, this just keeps being too good to be true, but it is! True, I mean. If you want, you can park yourself in your car or you have the options of the dormitory or the tent. The ticket you buy would be a pass for the four days and will give you access to everything including the activities, workshops, music and everything else there is to offer!
Details on how to reach here, the programs and activities at the event, what all to pack, the precautions to take, maps and every little detail can be seen at the official website – http://www.ragasthan.com/
Just, follow the sun.
- Hornbill Festival
Held in the beautiful and culturally rich state of Nagaland, the Hornbill Festival takes you close to the state and its roots. There is not one dull moment in the ten day festival with so much to learn about the heritage of the Nagas. You get to enjoy the performances of traditional dance and music. The Hornbill Music Festival and the Hornbill International Rock Contest are the main attractions of this event which could possibly be the longest musical event in India. There is a contest between rock bands and you get to witness some excellent performances.
This festival is going on currently till the 10th of December, in Nagaland. If you have already missed it, you can prepare and pre-plan for the next year! More information is available at http://www.hornbillfestival.com/
- Dover Lane Music Conference
Kolkata and music are synonymous to each other. For Kolkata residents, the year begins with an annual festival of Indian classical music at Nazrul Mancha and in 2016 it will be held from 22nd Jan to 25th Jan. The festival is more than 6 decades old, having made its humble beginning in 1952. The festival has been through changes over time, but the base i.e. music and its appreciators, remains the same. What was started by a few music lovers on an impulse has become a ritual to begin the year with. Legendary musicians have performed on this stage, under the starlit winter sky and music lovers have witnessed the most beautiful musical extravaganza time and again. More information is available at http://www.doverlanemusicconference.org/
- Pushkar Camel Fair
Winters in India begin with the Pushkar Camel Fair. Held in the month of November, this epic fair has thousands of camels, horses and cattle, with lakhs of people visiting it. In 2016, it will be held from November 14 to 23.
You get to enjoy real Rajasthan, stay in camps, go hot air ballooning, enjoy horse safari, participate in a cycle tour to Pushkar and other activities. More information is available at www.pushkarcamelfair.com/
- Rann Utsav
The Rann Utsav is an experience of a lifetime. A festival which goes on for over 90 days, the white Rann gets more than 2 lakh visitors from more than 20 different countries. Over the area of 5 lakh square meters, 350 tents are put up across 9 clusters. You’d be surprised to know that it takes more than two months to set up this tent city and about 15,000 tons of materials. Among places to visit, you have the famous Swaminarayan temple, Mandvi beach, Vijay Vilas Palace, the Aina Mahal, little Rann of Kutch, Mata No Madh, Banni Grasslands, Narayan Sarovar, Koteshwar Mandir, and Kala Dungar. It is currently being held from 18th Nov 2015 and will continue till 23rd Feb 2016. More information is available at http://www.rannutsav.com/ and www.rannutsav.net/
Read more: All About Rann Mahotsava
- Jaipur Literature Festival
The world’s largest free literature festival is held every year at the Diggi Palace, Jaipur. In 2016, the dates for this festival are January 21 – 25. You can attend the event as a writer, a delegate, a speaker or an enthusiast. The festival celebrates writers from across the world. The festival’s directors are writers William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale. While some book lovers attend the festival primarily to get their books signed by their favourite authors, others attend to hear them speak. Dalrymple has promised the most astonishing line-up of speakers ever in 2016, so there is no reason why book lovers shouldn’t be packing up to attend this festival! More information and registration details are available in https://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/
- Kalaghoda Festival
It started in the year 1999 and since then has become a ritual with the sole objective of preserving the art and heritage district of south Mumbai. A hub of cultural activities, the Kala Ghoda Association has done of a lot of work in restoring the heritage of south Mumbai including restoration of the garden in David Sassoon library, restoring the exteriors of the Cama Hall, upgrading the garden at Horniman Circle, etc. The festival committee is made of five people – Brinda Miller, Maneck Davar, Shirin Bharucha, Taran Khubchandani and Geeta Castelino. The festival covers many sections including music, street stalls, children’s literature, heritage walks, dance, cinema, food, visual arts, theatre and urban design. It will be held from February 6 to 14, 2016. More information on the festival is available at www.kalaghodaassociation.com/.
- Konark Dance and Music Festival
First started at 1986 at the Konark Natya Mandap by founder director Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, the aim of this festival is to bring together as many artists under one roof as possible and create an international cultural family. Along with international performers, the festival has performers of Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam and Bharatnatyam dance styles, amongst others. The festival is held from February 19 to 23, every year. Workshops are also held during these days and you have a lot to learn from, based on your interest. More information is available at www.konarkfestival.com/.
- Khajuraho Dance Festival
A celebration of dance at a place most suitable. There is a lot of conjecture and curiosity associated with Khajuraho, along with peace and solitude that the place provides. The Khajuraho Festival of Dances, held under the starlit sky of a place right out of the pages of Hindu mythology, is a treat for the eyes, the mind and the heart. Entry to the festival is free and it is held from February 20 to 26, just when winter is about to give way to spring. More information is available at www.khajurahodancefestival.com/.
- International Kite Festival
The International Kite Festival, or as we commonly know, Uttarayan, is celebrated on the 14th of January. Visitors come from all over the country as well as from countries like Canada, Brazil, Australia, France, China, etc. More information is available at http://www.gujarattourism.com/fairs-festivals/cultural-festivals/international-kite-festival-uttarayan
Which of these festivals are you looking forward to? Tell us in the comments below and plan a trip with your friends!