Festivals of India

India is a vast country with 28 states and seven Union Territories where over hundreds of sects and sub-sects reside. It is a land of gaiety and tradition. It is said that India celebrates one festival each day in some part of the land. If you look at the variants in its topography and rich cultural heritage then you can see that it is quite true. So this estimate is in fact a reality. Though from the month of October to December the grandest of festivals are celebrated in India which includes Navratri, Dusshera, Diwali, Christmas and finally the New Year arrival. But along with these grand festivals there are many more festivals and cultural events that are celebrated in India throughout the year.

GANGA MAHOTSAV (Varanasi)

The Ganga Mahotsav is celebrated coinciding with the Dev Diwali at Varanasi in the month of October. It marks the start of the marriage season. This festival is of five days which starts on the full moon day in the Hindu month of kartik.  According to the legends that on this day God descends on the earth to bath in the sacred water of river Ganga. This is the main reason for making this day a very auspicious day for the locals. It is believed that on this Dev Diwali Lord Krishna married Tulsi who was Rukmini in her previous birth. This is the reason for this day to be named as Tulsi Vivah and from this day the marriage season for Hindus starts.

Though Ganga is worshipped as a goddess in Hindus and Varanasi is specially famed for its Ganga River but the life of the ghats of Varanasi has a different life during the mahotsav. Vedic hymns are chanted and on the banks of the river earthen lamps are lit. In the wee hours hundreds of people bathe in the sacred water of Ganga and do Surya Namskar which gives a mystic look to the ghats.

In the Ganga Mahotsav you can see the promotion of Indian dance and music with cultural programmes. In the Mahotsav some of the best Indian maestros show their performance such as Ustad Bismillah Khan,Girija Devi, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and many more. These maestros add zest to the festival. This mahotsav is a good amalgamation of spiritual and cultural heritage of India.

CAPE FESTIVAL (Kanyakumari)

In the month of October the Cape festival is celebrated for three days at Kanyakumari, the southernmost part of India. This festival celebrates the Triveni Sangam of Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. Kanyakumari is also very famous for its natural exquisiteness. Here at the time of festival the colour of the three water bodies is clearest and it is considered to be very auspicious to take a dip in that Triveni Sangam during the festival.
During the festival the main attraction remains the dances and plays that depict Ram Yudh and you can also catch a glimpse of Ram Setu, which is a mythological bridge which was constructed by Hanuman with the help of Vanar Sena to help Lord Ram crossover to Sri Lanka.

PINJORE HERITAGE FESTIVAL (Pinjore, Haryana)

The Pinjore Heritage Festival is organized by the Government of Haryana in the month of October. It timing also coincide with the Diwali festival and this festival is developed by the Government to promote and showcase and highlight this Vedic town’s rich heritage, gardens and potential of tourism.
The Pinjore Heritage Festival is the great platform for the artist to exhibit their art. The festival is mostly a cultural flux and all sorts of arts and dance can be seen here performed by many artists from all over India. The main highlights of the festival are Garbas, folk dances, musical concerts, classical music performances and rock bands.
Yadavindra garden is the permanent venue for this festival. This garden is from the Mughal era and one of the oldest and well maintained Mughal gardens in the world.There is a seven descending levels of garden arrangement and this is its most unique and attractive feature. It is also said in the Hindu Mythology that during their exile Pandavas had resided at the Yadivindra Garden.

PURI BEACH FESTIVAL  (Puri)

The Puri Beach festival is celebrated every year in the month of November on the sandy beach of Puri, Orissa. Tourists gather in huge at this festival to witness some of the best sand sculptures in the world. Its sand sculptures competition is one of the main reasons for its immense popularity. Other than sand sculptures the other highlights of the festival are the fashion shows, cultural programmes and delicious cuisines.
The festival is organized by the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Orissa and it is co-sponsered by the Ministry of Tourism-Government of India, Commissioner of Handicrafts and the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata. The festival has gained immense popularity in the recent times and has an international stature. The festival not only highlights the local flavor but also the majestic picture of Indian Heritage.

ICE SKATING CARNIVAL( Shimla)

The Ice Skating Carnival commences in the month of December and lasts until the month of February at Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. Many people visit this beautiful hill station which is often called the ‘Abode of Gods’ owing to its pristine beauty, during this New Year time when the scenic beauty of this hill station is at its best. With its snow capped Himalayas and smooth glaciers during this time of the year makes this place a perfect time for the festival.

The skating rink at Shimla is very famous as it is the largest open-air rink in the country and it not only attracts Indians but foreigners too come to Shimla during this Ice skating carnival. This carnival has gained immense popularity in the recent years as Himachal is the only place which offers the environment for the mass celebration of this kind. Not only many professionals come from all over the world to participate in the carnival but many tourists come just to enjoy the whole carnival.

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