Many travellers avoid the sweltering summer while planning a visit to India. But this off-peak travel season has its own advantages and charms. Apart from great discounts on flight tickets and hotel packages, tourists get to enjoy a number of vivacious summer festivals that reveal India’s rich cultural diversity and interesting traditions, making one’s visit all the more worthwhile. Here we have handpicked some of the most popular and fascinating summer festivals in India.
Urs Fair Ajmer
The much-awaited Urs Fair is your chance to witness the grand spiritual significance of Dargah Sharif Ajmer, Rajasthan. Millions of devotees flock to this holy place to pay homage to the Sufi Saint Khwaja Mionuddin Chisti and enjoy the unique festivity of this annual event. Numerous cultural programmes are held outside the dargah precincts. The lively bazaars in Ajmer turn more vibrant, with shopkeepers and hawkers selling decorative veils and shawls, flowers, sandalwood paste, and delicious food. Urs Fair 2015 is scheduled to be held on 24th April.
Thrissur Pooram Festival, Kerala
Held in Thrissur Vadakkunathan Temple, the festival exhibits the interesting cultural heritage of Kerala. It features an array of music and dance performances, spectacular processions of ornamented elephants, and dazzling displays of fireworks that truly make for a sight to behold. This is one of the largest cultural festivals in India, and draws culture enthusiasts from far and wide. In 2015, Thrissur Pooram festival will be held on 28th April.
Summer Festival, Mt Abu
The rocky shores of the beautiful Nakki Lake, overlooked by the green Aravali hills, ensure a dream landscape for this annual summer festival, which will be held from 02 May to 04 May 2015. The carnival begins with ballad singing and a traditional procession on the lake, followed by music and dance performances. An array of competitions and sporting events including Skating race, Boat race, Tug-of-war, and Matka race add more thrill to the jubilation. The ‘Sham-e-Qawwali’ is a delightful programme for music-lovers. This is not all! The delicious Rajasthani and Gujarati cuisine will impress you too.
Hemis Festival, Ladakh
Surrounded by the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains, Hemis Gompa plays host to this much awaited festival in Ladakh. Hemis Festival commemorates the birth anniversary of the Buddhist spiritual leader Padmasambhava and is celebrated with great zeal and gusto. Traditional dances are performed by masked monks. The music is accompanied by the resonance of cymbals, drums, and trumpets, portraying the victory of good over evil. Outside the monastery, a number of stalls sell a variety of souvenirs and local delicacies. This two-day carnival will commence from 7th July, this year.