The best thing about visiting India is that you will have vibrant fairs and festivals throughout the year to be a part of. If a flight to India is on cards for you soon, these top festivals might just be what you need for a fun trip:
Surajkund International Craftsmela, Faridabad
In its 33rd year, the Surajkund International Craftsmela (crafts fair) is one of the biggest celebrations of Indian art, culture, traditions, customs and cuisine. The fair is a crowd puller and is visited by hordes of travellers from around the world. In 2019, at least 20 Indian states will bring the best of their heritage and culture to Faridabad, a city in the neighbourhood of Delhi where the event is held every year. The Indian state of Maharashtra is the ‘theme state’ this year. A half day tour of the crafts fair from Delhi can be easily planned and will give you a wonderful opportunity to know about and be a part of the cultural diversity of india. The festival will be held from 1-17 February.
Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai
Started with the intention of preserving the art district of Kala Ghoda in south Mumbai, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, which is in its 20th year, has become instrumental in imparting understanding and appreciation of the street art scene. The festival will be held from February 2 – 10 and will have over 500 programmes held across 30 different venues including a range of art exhibitions, music and dance concerts, theatre, film screenings, visual arts and workshops. The heritage walks and heritage bus tours are great ways to explore this history-rich art precinct of Mumbai. This experience will help you understand the ethos of this amazing sub-precinct.
The SulaFest attracts wine and music lovers to the Sula Vineyards near the city of Nashik every year for a weekend of festivities. Famous musicians from India and around the world make appearance and entertain crowds with their electric performances. In its 12th edition, the Gourmet World Music Festival is all set to welcome the British soul & funk sensation – Jungle, an international hip-hop, Funk & Soul collective – Lucille Crew, award winning Rock band – Mother’s Cake along with a range of talented Indian and international musicians. The festival is scheduled to be held from 2nd to 3rd February.
Taj Mahotsav, Agra
Taj Mahotsav or Taj festival is held in Agra, the city of Taj Mahal, every year from 18 to 27 February in celebration of Indian music, dance, culture, customs, cuisine and more, especially from the rule of Mughals in the 18th and 19th centuries. A stunning display of Indian arts and handicrafts present excellent opportunities for souvenir shopping as well to learn about the India’s rich art and craft scene. The traditional dance performances from different regions of the country keep the visitors engaged and entertained whereas the best of Indian cuisine can be sampled throughout the course of the festival. A fair-like atmosphere, marked by the presence of roller coasters, merry-go-round, train-rides and Ferris wheel ensures that your whole family has a good time.
Carnival in Goa
The Portuguese may have left Goa a few years ago but the spirit of their vibrant culture remains alive in the city and is best experienced during the Goa Carnival. Celebrated as a precursor to Lent, the Carnival encourages indulgence, exorbitance and merry-making before the rigorous Easter fasting. Colourful and lavish floats, often making social commentary, parade the streets, singing and dancing continue for all 3 days, and sumptuous cuisine can be sampled at several places. For tourists, it’s an excellent opportunity to know Goa beyond beaches and to tour its hidden alleyways for a slice of local life. The festival will be held from 2-5 March in 2019.
Jaisalmer Desert Festival
Discover the grandeur of the Royal Rajasthan during the Jaisalmer Desert Festival where sights, colours and tunes of the Rajputana play out against the splendid backdrop of the Thar Desert. The 3-day long festival features traditional processions, camel races, puppet shows, turban tying competitions, acrobats and an array of folk performances. Tourists can explore astounding ‘havelis’, majestic forts and palaces and stunning temples of Jaisalmer by the day and witness soulful musical performances in the dunes under the moonlit sky by the night. The festival will be held from 17-19 February 2019.
Khajuraho Dance Festival
The magnificent Khajuraho temples in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh serve as the splendid backdrop for one of the biggest classical dance festivals, attracting some of the world’s most talented Indian classical dancers to MP– the Khajuraho Dance Festival. On display in the tasteful open-air auditoriums are beautiful dance styles such as Kathak, Bharathanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, and Kathakali. The festival will be held from 20- 26th February.