Fairs and Festivals
Festivals in India despite often being boisterous and noisy affairs, are colourful, vibrant and full of joy. Many are for religious purposes and follow the lunar calendar whilst others can be for other specific reasons ie: literature, trading (camel and horse fairs) and music. To visit a festival or fair is a unique experience that will remain with you long after your departure from India. They can be the sole purpose of your trip or included as part of your tailor-made tour. Below we list some of our favourites. Other than the main festivals of Holi and Diwali, you won’t just see the usual ‘fair’ suspects, we don’t visit the fairs which attract the hoards of tourists, rather the ones which remain pure to the original concepts.
These are just some of the fairs and festivals which take place. If you are interested in a fair that isn’t listed, contact us for details and we will be happy to arrange this for you.
World Sacred Spirit Festival – Venue: Jodhpur.
13 – 16 Feb 2020
“An amazing spiritual and musical journey in the splendour of the historical forts of Jodhpur and Nagaur” Not to be missed!
Nagaur Camel Fair India’s second biggest cattle fair where over 70,000 cattle, sheep and horses are traded. Also visit to the city of Nagaur which is a typical Rajasthan – vibrant and full of traditional life and colour.
30 January – 2 Feb 2020
Holi, The Festival of Colour – The Holi festival takes place throughout India with vibrantly coloured paint being thrown at random! Cover up (some paints are permanent!) and play along.
10 Mar 2020
Balotra Horse Fair – A fair specialising in local breeds of horses, held at Tilwara. A riot of colour, tradition, bartering and horse shows. Join a 10 day group ride on fabulous Marwari horses, culminating at the horse fair.
22 March – 2 April 2020
Hemis Festival, Ladakh – A cultural extravaganza, this festival is dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche) venerated as the Dance Performance at Hemis Monastery representative of the reincarnation of Buddha. The performers wear elaborate and bizarre costumes and brightly painted masks. It is a spectacle well worth seeing.
30 June – 1 July 2020
Onam Festival, Kerala – The festival lasts for ten days and is linked to many elements of Kerala’s culture and tradition. Intricate flower carpets, elaborate banquet lunches, snake boat races, Puli Kali, and the Kaikottikkali dance all play a part in this, the largest festival of Kerala.
22 August 2020
Durga Puja, West Bengal – Durga Puja is a celebration of the Mother Goddess, and the victory of the revered warrior Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. The best place to witness this is in Calcutta.
22 – 26 October 2020
Diwali, All India – Diwali also known as the “festival of lights”, is an ancient Hindu festival which spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. Largely celebrated with an abundance of fire crackers in the cities, off the beaten track destinations can often be the best to witness a calmer and quieter version of the festival.
14 Nov 2020
Hornbill Festival, Nagaland – Exploring the unexplored, the cultural treasures of the Land of the Nagas, known as the last head hunters, in the state of Nagaland, a hidden gem in the north-eastern part of India.
01-10 Dec 2020