Woohooo! It’s festival time in India

November 19, 2013 Multi-cultural festivals of India @TheRoyaleIndia 1088 0 0

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And no, we’re not talking about the religious ones but the ones which will allow you to witness the multi-cultural facet of this diverse nation.

Here’s presenting you to a detailed list of top festivals that you must not miss in the coming months. Travel geeks, get packing, it’s not everyday that you get to see destinations like Rajasthan, Nagaland, Goa, Gujarat and Cochin come alive, blending its cultural roots with a distinct touristy flavour.

Pushkar Camel Fair - sometime between October End and early November.

Pushkar Camel Fair @TheRoyaleIndia

The five day Pushkar Fair is primarily a trade event in Pushkar, Rajasthan, which has, over the years, turned into a major tourist attraction. People from nearby villages come to sell their livestock comprising of cows, camels goats and sheep. Seeing so many animals being traded off at one go is quite a sight, especially for city dwellers, for whom this is a novel experience. One can also shop for local artifacts at the fair. There are plenty of stalls selling clothes, bangles and traditional Rajasthani footwear here.

Don’t miss: The fair kick starts with a camel race which is the highlight of the entire fair, especially if you’re not attending to trade in livestock. The longest mustache competition is a travel photographer’s delight, while the ‘matka phod’ (earthen pot breaking) competition is for those with a good aim. In an attempt to boost tourism, the fair has now introduced a cricket match that is played between a local Pushkar club and westerners or visitors. It’s a lot of fun and visitors often walk away feeling satisfied that they have experienced local Pushkar culture.

Hornbill Festival, Nagaland – December

Hornbill Festival in December at Nagaland @TheRoyaleIndia

If you want to have a closer understand of the North East culture of India, especially Nagaland, then plan a visit during the Hornbill (named after the large and colourful forest bird) Festival. Almost all of Nagaland’s tribes participate in this festival, displaying their rich and unique culture to the entire world. Food fairs, games, ceremonies and a variety of traditional performances are the highlight of the festival.

Don’t miss: Though there are a variety of programmes at the Hornbill Festival, the most popular sub segments are the Naga wrestling competitions, musical concert and the fashion show.

Sunburn, Goa: December

Anushka at Annual Sunburn Festival in Goa @TheRoyaleIndia

Looking for the perfect venue to let your hair down? Your search ends at the annual Sunburn Festival in Goa, which only keeps getting bigger each year. It’s a haven for those who love electronic music and are often complaining about the sad state of the art in India. The three day event plays host to top DJs from India and abroad too. The festival was held at Candolim beach till date, but buzz is that the organisers are contemplating a new venue because of massive traffic issues, with about 30,000 people attending!

Don’t miss: The after parties, famously called as the AfterBurn parties at several clubs in and around Goa.

Rann of Kutch, Gujarat – December

Rann of Kutch Festival in December @TheRoyaleIndia

Rann of Kutch is one of the largest salt deserts in the world and nothing like a festival to liven up a trip to this marvelous destination. A vibrant vibe takes over Dhordo Village here what with colourful people, handicraft stalls and folk dances that keep visitors on their toes. One can also take excursions to nearby places; a tour guide will always be a shout out away during the festival days. The best part is that one doesn’t have to shell out big bucks to enjoy an outing here. Many backpackers like to visit the festival because it’s easy to find accommodation and food at affordable prices. And if it’s luxury that you seek, there are government run luxury tents with facilities such air conditioning and a private washroom as well.

Don’t miss: Hire a local guide and take a jeep safari to explore the nearby salt pans or alternatively take a bullock cart ride and interact with locals. Kutch is home to several species of migratory birds so if you’re an early riser go on a bird watching spree.

Cochin Carnival – Cochin – December

Vibrant Cochin Carnival in December @TheRoyaleIndia

Fort Kochi is gets a makeover every December as it plays host to the famous Cochin Carnival. The 10 day festival (usually held during the last 10 days of the month) marks a string of merrymaking and a lot of tourists plan their visit to Cochin to coincide with this festival. Not many know this but the Portuguese New Year was celebrated with much fanfare in Cochin during the colonial days. The present day Carnival is, in fact, held in remembrance of the same colonial revelry.

Don’t miss: Cochin Carnival is a haven for adventure lovers. You can see a lot of high octane activities like dirt bike races, beach volleyball, dance shows, masked revelers, street shows, people with faces painted as tigers and lions and much, much more. Get hold of the itinerary for the day and attend programs that interest you.

Given the number of events that are clamoured in the last month of the year, December surely looks like a hectic time for explorers. You may complain of fatigue by the end of it all, but never of a dull moment!

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