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

Bundi Utsav
Destination: Bundi, Rajasthan

Duration: 29 Nov 2023 - 1 Dec 2023

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.

Champakulam Boat Race
Destination: Alleppey, Kerala

Duration: 2 Sep 2023

Champakulam Boat Race is held every year at the Champakulam Lake in Alappuzha, Kerala. This is the first boat race of the harvest season of the state. The race is organized in the Malayalam month Midhunam on the moolam day, the day of the installation of the deity at the Sree Krishna Temple at Ambalappuzha. Champakkulam Boat Race is the most popular and oldest snake boat race of Kerala. This race is associated with a legend. On the advice of a royal priest, Maharaja Devanarayana of Chempakasseri built a temple at Ambalappuzha. But, just prior to the installation of the deity, the king came to know that the idol was inauspicious. The ministers of the king told a solution to the problem. They suggested to bring the idol of Shree Krishna, presented to Arjuna by the Lord Krishna himself, from the Karikulam temple of Kurichi. The ministers went to the place to bring the idol. While returning from the temple they spent a night at Champakulam to perform a puja. From there, boats of the entire area accompanied the idol in colorful, ceremonial procession through the lake to the temple. Celebrating that moment, the whole procession is enacted every year with the same enthusiasm. A line of boats festooned with colourful parasols and performing arts delights the spectators before the Champakulam Boat Race. After that, a proper race is organized in various stages for different categories of boats. The song of the oarsmen, the Vanchipattu, and the breathtaking Chundanvallom race are the other attractions of the event.

Chandrabhaga Fare
Destination: Jhalrapatan

Duration: 26 Nov 2023 - 28 Nov 2023

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 2023

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.

Destination: North India

Duration: 6 Sep 2023 - 7 Sep 2023

Birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated throughout the country, with great festivity and enthusiasm. A day of fasting for the devotees. At Mathura, his birth is symbolically enacted and at adjoining Brindavan, colorful song and dance dramas depicting the life of Lord Krishna are performed all day and night (Vaisnava) In Maharashtra, earthen pots of curd and butter are hung high up over the streets. Young men enacting an episode from Krishna’s childhood form human pyramids by climbing on each other’s shoulders and try to break these days.

It is only at midnight between the first and the second day that birth of Sri Krishna took place. The actual festivities begin during midnight in this 48 hour period. The celebration reaches its peak at midnight, with the birth of Lord Krishna, with lot of hymns, arti taking place and blowing of the Conch (shankh), rocking the cradle of Lord. The idol of lord is bathed with Panchamrit (A mixture of milk, ghee, oil, honey and Gangajal). The Panchamrit is later distributed as Prasad to the devotees along with other sweets. While some Fast on the first day and break it at midnight for others the fasting continues for both days. The period coincides with rainy season.

Kumbalgarh Festival
Destination: Kumbalgarh (Rajasthan)

Duration: 1 Dec 2023 - 3 Dec 2023

Maharana Kumbha was patron of all that was best in Indian martial and fine arts, architecture and Learning.
Rajasthan Tourism is an effort to promote Kumbhalgarh as a destination through arts started the Kumbhalgarh Classical Dance Festival. In line with the Maharana Kumbah’s dedication to promoting the arts, the festival brings together many of India’s finest performing artists with Classical Dance Recitals set against the back drop of the glowing citadel.
The festival is divided into daytime and an evening segment. Daytime highlights include folk performances by the folk artists of Rajasthan and also various attractive competitions for the tourists. The tone of festival during the evening is more serious but the scintillating, bedazzling explosion of sound, light, colour and dance create a spectacle unseen at Kumbhalgarh since the heyday of Maharana Kumbha, a lover of the arts.

Mamallapuram Dance Festival
Destination: Tamil Nadu (South)

Duration: 25 Dec 2023 - 15 Jan 2023

Mamallapuram is 75 kms of south of Chennai famous for shore temples. Mamallapuram once the ancient port of the Pallavas, Mamallapuram plays host to a vibrant festivals of dance. Exponents of world famous Indian classical dances including Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam, Odissi, Kathakali and Kuchipudi, are performed against the magnificent backdrop of the Pallavas rock sculptures, which is held annually, festivals every Saturdays and Sundays and also during holidays of the months of December and January. The festival is for 4 weeks and dancers all over the country participate and dance on the backdrop of the Arjuna’s penance. Classical dances, music, tribal dances and puppet shows also entertain the mass gathering. The Mahabalipuram Dance festival is an occasion when artists from all over the country come together to perform.

Mamallapuram Festival
Destination: Mahabalipuram

Duration: 25 Dec 2023 - 15 Jan 2023

Mamallapuram is 75 kms of south of Chennai famous for shore temples. Mamallapuram once the ancient port of the Pallavas, Mamallapuram plays host to a vibrant festivals of dance. Exponents of world famous Indian classical dances including Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam, Odissi, Kathakali and Kuchipudi, are performed against the magnificent backdrop of the Pallavas rock sculptures, which is held annually, festivals every Saturdays and Sundays and also during holidays of the months of December and January. The festival is for 4 weeks and dancers all over the country participate and dance on the backdrop of the Arjuna’s penance. Classical dances, music, tribal dances and puppet shows also entertain the mass gathering. The Mahabalipuram Dance festival is an occasion when artists from all over the country come together to perform.

Sonepur Fair
Destination: Bihar

Duration: 20 Nov 2023 - 5 Dec 2023

At Sonepur on the banks of river Ganga near Patna,the largest cattle fair in Asia, where thousands of cattle and hundreds of elephants are displayed for sale, the fair goes on for a month usually in November Asia’s biggest cattle fair is held at Sonepur, on the banks of the River Ganga. During this month- long fair cattle, decorated for the occasion throng the venue. Sonepur Mela is known world over for its cattle fair which is the largest one in the world. The mela happens in Sonepur on the banks of River Ganga.

Sonepur is not more than 25 Km from the capital city of Patna. The mela starts on the day of Karthik Purnima, in the month of November. The cattle fair attracts traders from not only India, but other countries in Asia. No where else will you see such a huge number of elephants at one place. The elephants are generally bought by forest department or traders into log business. Apart from elephants, there are cows, horses and camels that are sold here.

Winter Festivals
Destination: Mount Abu

Duration: 29 Dec 2023 - 30 Dec 2023

The Winter Festival is held every year during the last week of December. The festival celebrates the warmth and cheerfulness of the people of this quaint hill station, who welcome the tourist from the depth of their hearts. This three-day colourful festival is organized by the Rajasthan Tourism and Municipal Board of Mt. Abu.
The hospitality of the people, their colorful culture and exotic location make this festival a never-to-be-forgotten experience. The festival begins with a ceremonial procession, which starts from the RTDC Hotel Shikhar. The procession gathers at the Nakki Lake Chowk followed by folk performances of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana's folk artistes. The grand finale of the festival is made blefter by a display of dazzling fireworks on three days.

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