Fairs and Festivals in India | Fairs in India | Festivals Tours

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A country of many climates, many languages and many beliefs, Indians are constantly celebrating a festival or a fair. Some mark the passing of seasons; there are six seasons and each one is ushered with festivities in different ways in the many parts of India. Local faiths being many - festivals in India are many too. The land being ancient - old customs, traditions continue to be followed and culminate in celebrations of varied order. The varied fairs and festivals of India add color and integrity to this beautiful land of culture. More

Its' people speak a total of 1,652 dialects and has 15 officially recognized languages with a cuisine that undergoes changes every 200 km. Lifestyles and customs vary every few hundred kms. Each state promotes its tourist wonders. It has myriad festivals, in rhythm with the cycle of the seasons, with sowings and harvesting. Elsewhere, around them have grown legends most depicting the victory of good over evil. Before Independence, many persons counted their age or an important event in their lives connecting them with particular festivals during their birth years! These were the punctuation marks in the story of their life.

Fairs are the focal point of socio, economic activities and attract people from far and near - a camel to be sold – like the Pushkar camel cattle fair, a land deal to be negotiated, a marriage to be fixed- a meeting place is necessary & fairs are ideal!

Two cycles of the moon per month, 365 days in a year - there is a fair, a festival in some isolated corner, perhaps unnoticed elsewhere - all the same a celebration! Some of these functions make a pleasant interlude for visitors who chance upon them, while others are worth the effort of a special trip!

The Indian calendar is a long procession of festivals in India; if you can find yourself in the right place at the right time; it is possible to go through your visit with a festival each day! Pongal, the harvest festival of the South India the immersion of Ganesh in Mumbai, Ratha Yatra, the car festival of Puri, snake-boat races in Kerala, Republic Day celebrated in Delhi & all the regions, every faith has something to celebrate. Let us look at them month wise. Less

Amarnath Yatra
Destination: Kashmir

Duration: 28 Jun 2018 - 26 Aug 2018

In the month of Shravan, thousands of pilgrims make an arduous trek up to the Amarnath cave in the Kashmir Himalayas. They come to worship the sacred ice Lingam – a symbol of Lord Shiva, which is a natural phenomenon.

The legend about the importance of Amarnath ji cave is chosen by Bhole Shankar for narrating the secrets of immortality and creation of Universe to Maa Parvati Ji. The story goes like this. Centuries ago Maa Parvati Shiv Ji to let her know why and when he started wearing the beads of heads (Mund Mala). Bhole Shankar replied whenever you are born I add one more head in my beads. Maa Parvati said, "My Lord, my body is destroyed every time and I die again and again, but you are immortal. Please let me know the secret of this. "Bhole Shankar replied that it is due to Amar Katha.

When to take up Yatra: The Amarnath Yatra is organized every year and the registration is done by the J&K Govt. during the month of Sharavan July the dates however, vary every year looking at the weather conditions and according to Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) in the month of Sharavan (Vikrama Samwat). Yatra to Baba Amarnath Holy Cave for which one has to trek a height of about 14500 Ft. is full of thrill and joy.

Ayurveda Jhansi Mahotsava
Destination: Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh

Duration: 21 Oct 2018 - 27 Oct 2018

Ayurveda Jhansi Mahotsava is a weeklong festival organised to showcase the arts and crafts of Jhansi. It is a perfect place for poetry lovers to pay their tributes to the famous poets of the region. Cultural programs organised at the festival include folk songs, dances, mushairas and ghazals.

Jhansi Mahotsava also promotes Ayurveda and use of Ayurveda for well being, hence the festival is known as Ayurveda Jhansi Mahotsava.

Destination: Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh

Duration: 21 Sep 2018 - 30 Sep 2018

Tirumala Brahmotsavam is a Hindu festival celebrated annually at Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. According to Hindu mythology the history behind this Festival traces to Lord Brahma (Creator of universe). It is believed that Lord Brahma worshipped Sri Balaji on the banks of the holy Pushkarini in Tirupati. Lord Brahma wanted to thank Sri Balaji for Balaji’s protection of mankind.

Thousands of devotees every year gather to witness this grand Festival, participate in the rituals, and receive the blessings of Sri Venkateswara swami. The complete 9 day Festival is a memorable experience for all tourists and devotees. The feeling of complete bliss and heavenly connect is often termed as “Vaikunth anubhav”.

On the first day of the Festival Garudadhwaja (flag with the emblem of a black garuda) is hoisted near the Srivari Alaya Dhwajasthambham. A procession then proceeds of Lord Venkateswara on the Pedda Seshavahana proceeds around four streets of the main temple for two hours until midnight.Ankurarpana and Senadhipati Utsavam are celebrated on the day just before the first day of Brahmotsavam. In the Brahmotsav celebrations, the powerful snake transforms itself as the vehicle for god. The moral behind the prayers that are offered during Garodtsav, is to pray to God for a living with high values and morals.

Bundi Utsav
Destination: Bundi, Rajasthan

Duration: 6 Nov 2018 - 8 Nov 2018

This annual function at Bundi is celebrated in the month of November/December. The city virtually comes alive to festivities with several cultural performances by well-known artists.
Sir Rudyard Kipling's destination Bundi in Rajasthan is the first destination, in the Hadoti region (named after the Hada kings) comprising of Bundi, Jhalawar, Kota and Baran that is accessible from Jaipur by road. Set in a narrow encircling gorge, the palaces and fortress of Bundi have a fairy tale like quality about them. Few other places in India have such a picturesque location. Isolated and independent, the entire township appears like a miniature painting, frozen in time. The ethereal beauty and grandeur of Bundi architecture is vividly brought out in the “Palaces of India”. ”The rulers who built these palaces must have had terrific egos, a great sense of style and humour.” The little town once famous for its Baories (reservoirs) and miniature paintings attract the traveler and from the highway it seemed as if the city itself was a miniature painting frozen in time.
The Chambal river, flowing through rock gorges and forests, provides ideal locales for the perfect water adventure. The exotic landscape of the Chambal dominated Bundi district of the Hadoti region is so diverse and challenging that it captivates numerous adventure lover's to its surroundings. The ravines, different from the arid ambience have always attracted the wanderer as a fascinating destination. The zone with the lush green widespread jungles, the vast stretches of forests and wildlife, the sprawling rocks and ravines makes it a paradise for adventure lovers.
Bundi is one of the few places in India which can lay its claim to an authentic school of painting. The splendid paintings in the Chitrashala in the Bundi fort are excellent and can be compared with probably the best anywhere in the world. Kipling had commented “The Taragarh Fort must have been built by goblins not men". The Bundi Palace, built of locally quarried stone, presents one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture. Intricately carved brackets, pillars and balconies and sculpted elephants are used liberally. Of special interest here are the Diwan-I-Am, Hathi Pol and the Naubat Khana. Also located in the palace is the famous Chitrashala which provides a colorful glimpse of history - the walls and ceiling of this palace are completely covered with paintings of the Bundi school. Hunting and court scenes, festivals, processions, animal and bird life and scenes from Lord Krishna’s life are still in very good condition.
Bundi has other palaces and hunting lodges like the Ramgarh and Shikar Burj. Each palace has its own historical importance. Phool Sagar houses a collection of murals: done by the Italian prisoners of war who were held here; Sukh Mahal Palace evokes memories of Rudyard Kipling who not only stayed here but is believed to have found inspiration for his famous work Kim from the scenes that he saw here. Bundi is also known for its baolis or step-wells. Unique to Rajasthan and Gujarat, the step-wells served as water reservoirs during the months of summer when there was a scarcity of drinking water. At one time, there were over fifty such wells in Bundi but most of them have suffered the ravages of time. One very good example still to be found in the heart of the town is called Raniji-ki-Baori. It has exquisitely carved pillars and ornate archways - even the simple function of drawing water from the well becomes a special occasion for the womenfolk, when they dress up in their finery to visit these elaborate structures.
"Bundi Utsav", a pageant of resplendent heritage of the much esteemed Hadoti has made the place even more famous. An extraordinary effort to present the culture ,folklore ,traditions and craft of the region along with the artistes from the adjoining areas for the guests to see and believe in the treasure that lies ahead to explore and savour. The programme includes: a colorful Shobha Yatra , Arts & Crafts Fair, Ethnic Sports, Cultural exhibition ,DEEP DAAN ,Folk/Classical Music & Dance Programmes, Sight Seeing, Traditional Rural Sports, Turban competition, Bridal Attire, Musical Band Competition, Folk /Classical Music & Dance programme & sparkling fireworks display etc. The small township of nearby Keshorai Patan wears the look of a little 'Pushkar' on the night of the full moon in the month of Kartika. Early in the morning, the banks of the river Chambal witness a colorful scene of men and women, clad in fantastic costumes mirrored in the crystal clear waters of the river. Women float lighted diyas (lamps prepared by them from flour dough), into the river and seek boons with prayers. The temple and the scenic beauty arrest the attention of visitors and speak of its grandeur and glory in silence.
The historic city Keshorai Patan is set ablaze with the scintillating cultural displays in the soft caress of the moonlight during the annual Bundi Utsav due soon. The soft silver deluge flooding the banks of the auspicious chambal presenting an exotic setting for the aspiring tourist. The villagers dress up to exhibit the folklore and the beautiful season once again rises up to greet yet another festive moment Keshorai patan is also known as the "Mini Pushkar” of Hadoti .

How to reach: Bundi is around 210 km by road from Jaipur and about 110 kms from Sawai Madhopur. Kota is connected on the broad gauge railway line on the Delhi-Mumbai route. Bundi, Baran and Jhalawar are all easily accessible by road from Kota. Nearest airport is Jaipur. The post monsoon period and the winter season are the best time to visit this destination.

Chandrabhaga Fare
Destination: Jhalrapatan

Duration: 3 Nov 2018 - 5 Nov 2018

Festival Dates
•  16-18 Nov, 2013
•  05-07 Nov, 2014
•  24-26 Nov, 2015
•  12-14 Nov, 2016

The Chandrabhaga fair is held every year at Jhalrapatan (6 kms from Jhalawar) in the month of Kartik (Oct-Nov).
The River Chandrabhaga runs here and is considered holy by the people residing in this part of Rajasthan. On the Full moon night of 'Kartik Purnima', thousands of pilgrims take a holy dip in the river. The fair, held on the last day of Kartik, attracts devotees who bathe in the holy waters at this spot which is known as Chandravati.
Big cattle fair which blends religion with commerce is held here. Livestock like Cows, horses, buffaloes, camels and bullocks are brought from distant parts for sale. Traders from various parts of Madhya-Pradesh and Maharashtra converge here and brisk trading takes place. The fair provides an opportunity for the tourists to acquaint themselves with the people of this region and their rituals and traditions.
Ramganj Mandi is the nearest Railway Station (25kms). Jhalawar is well connected to Kota, Bundi and Jaipur. National Highway No.12 passes through Jhalawar. Buses are available from all major cities.

Destination: All Over India

Duration: 25 Dec 2018

The birth anniversary of Jesus Christ is celebrated by the Christians throughout India and holy mass held in all Churches. Christmas is observed in much splendor and festivity in carol singing, dances and balls.

Christmas is celebrating in India with great fervor. All the major Indian cities wear a festive look. Shops and bazaars are decorated for the occasion and offer attractive bargains. Carol singing, get together and the exchanging of gifts enhance the Christmas spirit. Christmas parties launch off celebrations for the New year, thus retaining the festive mood for at least a week.

After the mass, people head off home on this hallowed night, and children gambol on their way back, burning sparklers and bursting loads of crackers. Everyone sleeps with a peaceful easy feeling, as the next morning brings with it, the Big Day! On Christmas Day, people get ready for the biggest feast. Relatives and friends visit and wish each other a ‘Happy Christmas’ or a ‘Merry Christmas’ and eat the ‘haute cuisine’ especially prepared for the occasion. Many towns hold special carnivals and circus shows on the 25th and the entire community gets together to have a jolly good time. Young people organise excursions, go out to watch films and shows and generally live it up. Thus, all to soon, Christmas comes to an end but each year, it leaves the people with more memories to cherish.

Ganesh Chaturthi
Destination: Ranthambhore

Duration: 13 Sep 2018

Ganesh Chaturthi marks the birth of Lord Ganesha and is celebrated all over the country. This is also symbolic of the advent of all festivals dedicated to other Indian Gods.
Holds a special place in Ranthambhore and Sawai Madhupur and is celebrated to commemorate the origin of Lord Ganesh, who is said to have been born on this day. The Ganesha temple in the fort of Ranthambore is one of the most eminent Ganesha temples of Rajasthan. On this day, thousands of devotees visit the temple. There are songs and 'bhajans' praising Lord Ganesha. The area has its own share of markets where you can find general merchandise and small trinkets to shop for.
It is preferable to approach Ranthambhor from Sawai Madhopur, which lies on the main Delhi-Mumbai railway line and is also connected to Jaipur by rail. A road link with Jaipur exists as well.

Gogaji Fair
Destination: Ganganagar, Rajasthan

Duration: 4 Sep 2018

Gogaji Fair is held in the memory of a popular hero of the area who is known as Goga Veer among the Hindus and Jahar Peer among the Muslims. The Kayam Khani Muslims claim descent from him and regard him as a peer (saint). Staunch believers have faith that invoking Gogaji will help to cure a snake biteor other diseases. Many visit the Gogaji Fair to make a wish or for expressing their gratitude when their wishes come true. This annual fair lasts for 3 days in the month of Bhadrapada

The ‘samadhi’ is a marble structure with two minarets and fortified by a boundary wall. The idol of Gogaji is seated on a blue horse with a snake coiled around the neck. An inscription in Persian can be seen at the main entrance which describes Mahmud Ghazni's regard for Gogaji. In fact, he had arranged for the renovation of the memorial as a token of gratitude when his wish was fulfilled. 

The main mode of worship is burning incense at the ‘samadhi’. Offerings of coconuts, batashas (sugar drops) and cash are made at the ‘samadhi’. Priests are engaged for conducting special prayers in which songs sung in praise of Gogaji are sung. The atmosphere inside the hall is serene and sanctified. Fragrance and incense heighten the feeling of purity and devotion. 

Outside the main hall, Nath priests can be seen carrying whips (replicas of Gogaji's chabuk), which are considered lucky, and offerings are made to them. Many people can be seen singing and dancing, carrying multicolored flags called ‘nishans’ in their hands. Drums and gongs provide rhythm to the hymn-

Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti - First Sikh Guru Birthday
Destination: All Over India

Duration: 15 Apr 2018

The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the first teacher and founder of Sikh faith is celebrated by the sikhs with the "Akhand Path" or the continue reading of the "Granth" - the holy book. The "Granth", martial displays and floats are taken out in processions November 05.

Guru Nanak Sahib (the First Nanak, the founder of Sikhism) was born on 15th April, 1469 at Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi in the present distrect of Shekhupura (Pakistan), now Nanakana Sahib. The Birthday of Guru Nanak Sahib falls on Kartik Puranmashi i.e. full moon day of the month Kartik. On this day the Birthday is celebrated every year. The Shrine (Gurdwara) repsesenting the home of Baba Kalu (Father) and Mata Tripta (Mother) is called Gurdwara Janam Asthan, situated at Rai-Bhoi-di-Talwandi in the present district of Shekhupura (now Nanakana Sahib in Pakistan). The Sikhs from all over the world gather here and celebrate the Gurupurab every year with great devotion and enthusiasm

Id-ul-Zuha (Bakr-Id)
Destination: All Over India

Duration: 21 Aug 2018 - 22 Aug 2018

Depends on lunar dates which change every year, celebrated by Muslims, this occasion commemorates the offering made by Prophet Ibrahim to God. Prayers and the ceremonial slaughter of a lamb and greetings mark this festival throughout India.  

The Festival of Id-ul-Zuha or Bakr-Id is celebrated with great enthusiasm among Muslims all over the world. The day normally starts with men and women dressing in the best outfits and proceeding towards Mosque.

On Id-ul-Zuha, special `Dua` (prayer) is recited by thousands of Muslims for peace and prosperity. The wealthy are expected to sacrifice one animal per family and distribute two-thirds of the meat among poor. Those who cannot afford it, one animal per family can be offered. Very poor, seven or seventy families together offer one animal. A full-grown camel, cow, goat or sheep, free from disease, is considered the best offering. The sacrifice can be offered at any time before the afternoon of the third day. In India, too, goats and sheep are sacrificed all over the country and prayers are offered.

Followed with the food sacrifice and charity to poor Muslims greet each other with “Eid Mubarak” and visit the houses of relatives and friends. Special delicacies are prepared and served among family and friends on the occasion. Gifts are also exchanged on this auspicious day.

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