The colourful country never ceases to take us by surprise, always presenting us with opportunities to see something new and wonderful
Indian Carnival 2014January 7, 2014 335 0 0
India is known for its religious festivals across the world. But what most people still don’t know is that there is more to the country than just that. From literature festivals to mud festivals and even a vineyard festival, India is all set to show visitors a good time.
Jaipur Literature Festival: 17 - 21 January
What began as a humble, unassuming festival way back in 2006, achieved such phenomenal success that it became a must attend event by literary big wigs across the world in the following years. Jaipur Lit Fest, as it is commonly known as, has had VIP guests like Oprah Winfrey and award winning foreign writers such as Abraham Verghese, Mohammad Hanif and Andrew Solomon attend and talk to an eager audience here. Book launches and book stalls are a common sight and you can expect to bump into famous names at every nook and corner during the festival. January is also the best season to visit Rajasthan and enjoy camel rides and go shopping.
Don’t miss: Celebrity book signing sessions at the festival. You can interact with your favourite author and learn a lot of behind the scenes stuff relating to the book too. But if you’re a true blue book lover, it’s not the celebrities or good weather, but the joy of being surrounded by so many books that will draw you to the festival.
Kala Ghoda: 1- 9 February 2014
The festival primarily began as an attempt to make Kala Ghoda the Art District of Mumbai and its success has helped in achieving that goal to a large extent. There are a lot of sub-festivals that make up the Kala Ghoda Festival. Famous names in visual arts, stand-up comedy, dance, theatre, movies, literature and the like come together and host seminars, workshops and even programmes in their respective fields for the audience. Entry to the events are free and are mostly held in restaurants, cafes or in the open at Kala Ghoda. The Jehangir Art Gallery, National Gallery of Modern Art, K.R Cama Institute, David Sassoon Library and even the street area of Rampart Row turn into top class venues for various activities during the festival. People from across the city and even country come down to surround themselves with the goodness of talent at Kala Ghoda at this time of the year.
Don’t miss: There are a variety of street stalls that are the lifeline of Kala Ghoda. You’ll find a lot of regular things with a quirky twist to them by young and upcoming artists. Books, lamps and even fashion is given an artistic twist to it and if you look around, you’re sure to stumble upon a lot of treasures here.
Sulafest, Nasik: 1 - 2 February 2014
A party in a vineyard! How cool is that! Sula Vineyards is host to one of the most looked forward to events by the young and young at heart. Grape stomping is a big part of the festivities and revelers love to roll up their denims and stomp tubs full of grapes. It’s a stress buster of a different kind. The amphitheater (Yes, an amphitheater in a vineyard. Sula is one of the hippest vineyards and they make no bones about it) is converted into a rock n roll stage with top bands in the country entertaining a large crowd.
Don’t miss: Wine tasting sessions. You’ll be having a lot of wine at the event anyway. It’s always nice to at least be able to talk a few lines about it, no?
Mud Rush: Spring and Monsoon editions
Mud Rush is a relatively new festival in India and its success has prompted the organisers to host two editions in a single year. As the name suggests, it’s about embracing mud, but not in a manner that you’re probably imagining. There will be a plethora of activities and hurdles placed across the venue and crossing them will require the participants to fall in, splash and bathe in a lot of mud! The last two editions were held in Kolad and Fort Jadhavgadh in Pune, Maharashtra. The USP of this festival is that the venue keeps changing and participants get to see off beat locations during the course.
Don’t miss: The awesome Sun Down party that follows a hard day of mud rushing, which sees international DJs spin some cool electronic music.
Snake Boat Races, Kerala: August-September
The boats are referred to as snake boats because of their long and slender shape and rest assured, it has nothing to do with the reptile itself! Watching a snake boat festival, live and in action is a cherishable experience, to say the least. The high energy levels of the teams rowing the traditional boat (chundan vallam) is infectious and the crowd gathered cheers on for their favourite teams. Several villages in Kerala gather to take part in this annual festival which is held along the lakes and rivers of the region, in boats that are typically 100 to 120 feet long! There is a grand prize too for the winning team but more than anything, it’s the sentiment of winning that holds more weight than the prize for the village that bags the trophy.
Don’t miss: Aranmula Boat Race. Though there are many snake boat races held in various parts of Kerala, the Arnamula Boat Race is considered to be the best and the biggest of them all.
Don’t know about you, but I’m already adjusting my calendar to make sure that I don’t miss out on any of these awesome festivals.
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