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From the Kubha Mela, an event held every four years and attended by millions of people from all around the world, to the festival of Holi in Uttar Pradesh, these are without a doubt some of the best festivals to be present at in India. Read on t know more.
A melting pot of varied ethnicities, religions, languages, cultures - The splendor of India is unmatched. We are blessed with a bag of festivals, each giving us an experience so unique- like none other. Each festival has its own history and will have you uncover a part of the country, its age-old traditions and a plethora of sentiments that come along with it.
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Whether it's glittering elephants, camel parades or covering each other in colored dust, these festivals are sure to take you on a journey that will stay etched in your memory forever. Whether you are a photographer looking for inspiration, a traveler who wants to touch as much soil as possible, or just an enthusiast who wants to explore- the Indian festivals are a unique way of finding your inlet into the story of this glorious nation.
Having the world's second-largest population at around 1.2 billion people. There are many occasions worthy of celebration in India, and here’s a starting list- that’s sure to satiate your Indian travel itinerary
The notorious Holi of Uttar Pradesh
A festival of colors known as Holi, which is already well-known on a global scale, is celebrated all over the country in March, immediately after the full moon of that month. However, the celebration that takes place in Uttar Pradesh is completely different and one of a kind. The festival celebrated most-commonly through the west has a special place for the inhabitants of Mathura, Vrindavan, and Banaras in UP.
You are in Vrindavan, thus Krishna's Leela is a must-see! And during the festival of Holi, Krishna's Leela gets even more animated. People from the surrounding area gather at Gulland Kund in Braj (which is close to Govardhan Hills) to reenact the legends of Krishna's youth, including scenes of him playing Holi with his pals. On the joyous occasion of Holi, it will be a wonderful adventure to go to all of the plays and musicals that are being presented. The ambiance of the vibrant celebration of Holi is characterized by the open-ended fun and pranks played that bring people across ages together, leaving behind their inhibitions. Holi is also known as the Festival of Colors, and Jaipur, Vrindavan, and Mathura are three of the greatest places in India to celebrate the holiday with parties, bonfires, and fireworks. The Holi Festival is not only the most widely celebrated Indian holiday in the west but also in India itself. A festival that is as joyful as it sounds.
We strongly suggest that you visit a few days before the official day of Holi and continue to stay beyond that date if you want to get the most out of the celebration. In addition, the photography enthusiasts are sure to have a field day as the city submerges in beautiful shades of red, yellow, and orange.
The holy town of Pushkar’s camel fair
Think of the Pushkar Camel Fair Celebration as being full of color, music, livestock, and the tranquil sanctity of Pushkar. The Pushkar Camel Fair hailed as India's largest tribal gathering, draws hundreds of camels and their riders to this remote Rajasthani town. For a travel and culture aficionado, attending the festival in Pushkar is satiating. You can experience unique sightings like camel beauty pageants and races during the day. At this fair, the camels are adorned in regal garb. They participate in parades, shaving competitions, and other interesting games. Several multicolored camels are visible as contenders with the most gorgeous, fashionable clothing and body prints. Gorgeous presents are bestowed to the camel that has been decked up with the greatest glitz. Nights in Pushkar are made of tribal desert entertainment- a mélange of storytelling, recitals and song dances besides the dessert bonfire.
The good times don't stop here; there are plenty of amusing things to see at the fair, including the Matka Phod, wedding competition, longest mustache contest, and many other activities that are scheduled throughout the day to keep visitors entertained. The first few days of the fair are when the action happens. Make sure to arrive early to experience the enchantment of this strange yet spectacular fair firsthand. Travelers and photographers from all over the world converge to see the gathering as everyone is dressed in their brightest attire.
Turning back pages of history reveals a plethora of majesty, magnificence, and magnanimity in the festivities and fairs conducted throughout the nation. The Pushkar Camel Fair is one of the remnants of our wonderful past that have survived the passage of time and the liberation of the contemporary era, even though these patterns of organizing such bizarre pleasure fairs have faded away. A unique experience in India, a genuinely distinct country.
The religious grandeur at Kumbh Mela, Haridwar
Millions of people from all around the world attend “The Kumbh” event every four years. Without a doubt, this is the largest and most vibrant fair or festival in all of India and maybe the whole globe. The greatest gathering of sages, naga sadhus, yogis, worshipers, holy men and women to take a dip at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna which makes for a fascinating sight. Consequently, it gained notoriety as the greatest religious gathering in the world. If it is considered worthy of inclusion on UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, then its greatness can only be imagined.
Kumbh Mela is the place to go if you want to see the nation at its greatest.
Bejeweled elephants, people painted like tigers, and a snake boat race on the Pampa River are just a few of the highlights of this festival, which has its roots in Hinduism but is enjoyed by people of all faiths and backgrounds. An influx of people from all over the world, including journalists and photographers since the host city will be a melting pot of cultures and beliefs. In addition, there's music, floats, parades, and folk dancing to enjoy, as well as 13 classic foods to sample.
The Kumbh Mela is a religious festival with strong ties to the Hindu god Vishnu but an uncertain origin. Kumbh Mela is the place to go if you want to get to the heart of the rich Hindu traditions.
Massive crowds of worshippers and curious onlookers gather on the banks of the Ganges to see the ceremony. Do not miss out on this opportunity.
Ladakh's enchanting Hemis festival, a fiery profusion of color
Ladakh is already renowned as a vacation destination because of its breathtaking terrain, but the Hemis festival is set to increase the region's allure as a tourist hotspot.
At Ladakh Gompa, they have a celebration every year on the tenth day of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar. Also being commemorated is the birthday of Tantric Buddhism's founder, Guru Padma Sambhava. The Hemis festival, held annually in June against the background of the Himalayas, is a rare chance to experience the customs and traditions of the locals of Ladakh.
The whole of Ladakh bursts into vibrant color as Buddhists from all over the world attend the celebration. Guests choose eye-catching costumes, and stage acts dazzling in front of audiences while wearing colorful masks. The festivities are accompanied by traditional music played on longhorn drums and cymbals.
Two days of celebration amid the beautiful scenery of Ladakh. Tourists from all over the globe go to Hemis to experience the festival's varied traditions, which include dancing in traditional dress. Get ready for some fascinating and visually stunning Cham dance performances set to the music of some unique Ladakhi instruments, with dancers who wear masks and garb that will take your breath away.
The magical Rann Utsav of Gujarat's pristine white desert
Gujarat's beautiful desert of Kutch comes alive during the enchanted Rann Utsav festival. Annually, during the last full moon of January, the Great Rann Of Kutch in Gujarat, India, hosts a festival known as the Rann Utsav. Heaven of Kutch, as the White Desert is often known, is a cultural and historical hotspot. Photographers, eco-tourists, and newlyweds may all enjoy the sunset, which is reflected beautifully in the salt crystals.
Kutch is home to both a salt desert that sparkles in the winter and marshy wetlands teeming with unusual fauna, both of which are honored during the festival. Kutch's diverse population and history of cross-cultural exchange have resulted in a rich tapestry of art and craft that has been celebrated here. There have been years without rain and severe earthquakes, yet the inhabitants of this region have always managed to emerge like the phoenix.
From November through January, you may enjoy this celebration.
Enjoy camel rides on the beaches, cultural activities, dance performances, shopping hubs, camping in the white desert, a music carnival, and much more at the Rann Utsav, a beautiful cultural event with natural beauty and majesty. An outdoor circus amid the white desert
Spending the night in the White Desert looking up at the stars above the Rann is a must if you want to appreciate the mystic charm of this place. At sunset, the sky turns into a riot of color, with gorgeous shades of orange, purple, pink, and red. The Rann of Kutch is the ideal site in Gujarat to see both the morning and evening sun. To see the area at its brightest, plan your visit during dawn. The finest part is around sunset when the sky becomes a brilliant array of colors—orange, pink, purple, and red—over the white desert. This is not something you can see just anywhere. Watch the moon and brighten up the wonderful location as the sun lowers into the night.
The Rann of Kutch is recognized for its tranquil beauty of nature and wonderful night. This event will allow you to enjoy the white desert like no other.
India is a wonderful country that celebrates variety in its purest form since its culture, language, lifestyle, and other qualities are constantly evolving from one state to the next. As one of the world's most religiously and ethnically diverse nations, India is a great destination for those who want to experience a wide range of cultural celebrations. The festivals of India are a sensory extravaganza. From the dazzling displays of cultural diversity to the mouth-watering delicacies, there is something for everyone.
(Edited by : Jerome Anthony)