Vacations can be of great fun if you can couple it with some amazingly fun activities. Apart from visiting the places, you can also club it with other activities around to experience the true aura of that place. All throughout the summer, there are several festivals that take place all around India. And, planning a trip keeping those in mind is a fantastic idea to get the best of your trip. India is land of rich culture and heritage. And, needless to say, every festival is celebrated with huge fervor to showcase their best. The month of June witnesses several of such festivities all around the country that can give you a glorifying glimpse of the religious and cultural heritage that is otherwise difficult to savor. Here we bring you a list of five festivals across the country that will leave you with some unforgettable memories to cherish all your life. Listed below are some of the famous events to attend in June 2017:
1. Shimla Summer Festival, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Start Date: 1st June 2017
End Date: 9th June 2017
If you are planning your trips to the hills, then Shimla is the place to be during the first and second week of June. Shimla offers a great relief from the sultry summer of the plains long with the Summer Festival that opens a plethora of exciting things to enjoy during your vacation. Shimla Summer Festival is one of its kinds, and offers an enriching experience with a host of cultural activities Shimla spread around it. While on one hand you have amazing flower show, and harvest festivities to enjoy, on the other there are several cultural programmes lines up to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Himachal Pradesh as a whole. This vivid and vibrant festival of the hills is a treat to your sense. So if you are heading the Northern part of India, then don’t miss this colourful extravaganza, and plan your trip to Shimla during these days. You will have an experience of a life time!
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2. Ambubachi Mela at the Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati, Assam
Start Date: 22nd June 2017
End Date: 25th June 2017
Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam is famous as one of the Shakti Peeth’s in this country. Ambubabchi is an annual religious occasion that happens from 22nd June to 25th June every year in the premises of the temple. It is believed that during these days Ma Kamakhaya undergoes her annual cycle of menstruation. It is also believed that the small water inside the temple turns red with her blood. The temple is completely closed during these three days and no rituals or farming is performed. Only on the fourth day, this temple is reopened for the devotees only after some elaborate religious ritual by the priests. This festival is one of its kinds in India, and is thronged by thousands from across the country. Ambubachi is considered to be one of the main religious ceremonies of the ‘tantric’ sect.
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3. Rath Yatra, Puri, Orissa
Start Date: 25th June 2017
End Date: 3rd July 2017
Rath Yatra, also known as Chariot or the Car Festival of Puri is famous all across the world. The festival will commence on 25th June and the Return Car Festival also called the ‘Bahuda Jatra’ is scheduled on 3rd July 2017. During this festival, Lord Jagannath with his elder brother Balabhadra and their sister Devi Subhadra are taken to the Shri Gundicha Temple, which is said to be their aunt’s house. There the deities enjoy a nine days stay. On return the idols are again placed back to the temple. The preparation of the festival begins months back when devotees get along to decorate and prepare the three chariots on which the idol of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are placed. On the day of the festival, this chariot is pulled by strings by thousands of devotees who thronged the temple to witness this beautiful and mesmerising journey of the Lord. The rath or the chariot of Lord Jagannath is 45.6 feet high, and comprises of 18 wheels and is referred as Nandighosa. Balabhadra’s chariot is made 45 feet high with 16 wheels and is called Tala Dhvaja. And, lastly the chariot of Subhadra has 14 wheels and is 44.6 feet high and is known as Devadalana. All these chariots are decorated with flowers and exquisite artistry by some of the best artisans in the business.
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4. Saga Dawa, Gangtok, Sikkim
Start Date: 15th June 2017
End Date: 15th June 2017
Till now, if you thought that Sikkim is worth a visit only for the beautiful and mesmerizing landscapes, you were wrong. Saga Dawa is one festival that you must witness to get a glimpse of the rich and unusual cultural heritage of Sikkim. Saga Dawa is predominantly a religious festival that specially belongs to the Mahayana Buddhists. During Saga Dawa, masked dance which is a specialty of Sikkim and other cultural programmes are displayed that lends richness and vibrancy to this festival. Saga Dawa is considered as the most sacred religious event of Sikkim. During this festival, Mahayana Buddhists, who consider Lord Buddha as their supreme Lord, pray to their Lord. The devotees come together and light a lamp to show their reverence and gratitude to the Lord for holding their hands amidst all the worldly worries of their life, and enlighten their path. This ceremony is then followed by a convoy that moves all around Gangtok city after starting from Tsuklakhang Monastery. During this, Monks also move along with Holy Scriptures, and chants hymns.
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5. Sindhu Darshan Festival, Shey Manla, Leh, Ladakh
Start Date: 12th June 2017
End Date: 14th June 2017
Unlike other religious festival that are celebrated all across the country, Sindhu Darshan Festival in Shey Manla, Leh, is unique in its own way. Celebrated on Guru Poornima every year on the banks of the Sindhu River, this festival is celebrated to promote unity and communal harmony in the country. Moreover, this festival is celebrated to honour the brave soldiers who have laid down their lives to safeguard this country. In the picturesque beauty of Ladakh, Sindhu Darshan Festival is one particular festival that attracts thousands of tourists every year. Since summer is a great time to visit Leh, this festival offers a perfect timing to participate in the festivities and also enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of Ladakh. According to senior Lamas who conduct the ceremony, during this festival, people bring water from the river of their region in clay pots and immerse them into the Sindhu River. This symbolizes unity in diversity, endorsing the basic ethos of our country.
Sindhu Darshan festival was first celebrated in the year 1997. In the year 2000, the then Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, inaugurated the Sindhu Darshan Festival with a lot of funfair, and since then it has become a festival to reckon with.
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