9 Uber Cool Indian Festivals You Cannot Afford to Miss in 2015

VIP passes and entry tickets are not required for these events. These modern Indian festivals are free-of-charge. And they offer an extraordinary experience to its young-at-heart audience. Long story cut short, you just can’t afford to miss them! These are the perfect places to meet interesting people, visit scenic locations and soak in the local culture. We at Tripoto have listed down seven of these modern events for your bucket list 2015.

1: Kite Festival, Gujarat

All you have to is climb on a roof to make the most of this colorful Indian festival. The thrill and excitement of kite flying reaches another level in GujaratMakar Sankranti (Kite Flying Day) marks the end of a long winter with the return of the sun to the Northern Hemisphere. Individuals from all walks of life take to the stairs, fly kites and make merry from early morning to late in the night.

When: January 14

2: Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Kerala

The Nehru Trophy boat race is arguably the most popular festival in Kerala.  The pick of the event takes place on Chundan Vallams snake boats. Thus, the race is widely known as snake boast race. You have to be there to feel the energy and vibe of the place.

When: Second Saturday of August

3: Jaipur Literature Festival, Rajasthan

Held in the historically rich city of Jaipur, this egalitarian literature festival has taken the world by storm. It now occupies the mantle of the largest free festival on Earth. Thus, you can walk in and out of the venue, Diggi Palace, as per your whims and fancies. Noble laureates, debut novelists, artists come under one roof for five days of debates, discussion and plenty of entertainment.

When: 21-25 January

4: Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai

This Indian festival, more than any other, turns Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda neighbourhood into an open exhibition space. The street festival, now in its 16th year, is a kaleidoscope of music, dance, theatre, literature, street stalls, and workshops for both adults as well as children.

When: 7-15 February

5: Khajuraho Dance Festival, Madhya Pradesh

The famous Khajuraho temples, a Unesco Heritage site, provide a mesmerising backdrop for India’s biggest classical dance festival. The performances come in Khathak, Khuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri and many other dance styles. The festival entry is free for all temples of Eastern and Southern parts whereas a minimal fee is charged for temples located in the western section.

When: 20-26 February

6: Kila Raipur Rural Olympics, Ludhiana

This desi version of Olympics comes with the same adrenalin rush as its western counterpart. The bullock cart race is the pick of the events and comes with a big spoil. You can also find some off beat athletic skills such as people lifting bicycle with their teeth and other daredevil stunts.

When: 29-1 February

7: Dharamshala International Film Festival, Himachal Pradesh

This Indian festival is held in the picturesque hill town of Dharamshala  and it brews a heady mix of Indian as well as global culture. There are special screenings, master classes and workshops that encourage local film making. A visit to Mcleodganj, Dalai lama’s residence, is priceless.

When: 11-13 June

8: Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan

50,000 camels and countless humans converge in the holy town of Pushkar for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The livestock fair is a riot of colours, spectacles and carnivals with an array of magicians, dancers, acrobats, snake charmers ready to enthrall the crowd.

When: 14-21 November

9: Hornbill Festival, Kisama Village Nagaland

Named after the large and colorful bird, Hornbill is known as the festival of festivals. It is held in Nagaland, a place still untouched by modernisation. The far flung tribes of Nagaland showcase their culture and heritage to eager spectators. A melange of cultural performances from crafts, dances to food fairs are part of the experience. The celebration takes place at Kisama Heritage Village, around ten kilometres from Kohima (capital of Nagaland).

When: 1-7 December

Read: A Fusion of Culture and Fun – Hornbill Festival

There is no dearth of offbeat festivals across India. If you think we have missed out on any Indian festivals leave a comment below. We would like to hear about your experiences at such unique locations and share them with the Tripoto community. Discover amazing travel stories and itineraries on Tripoto or share your own stories and inspire millions of travelers around the world.

5 thoughts on “9 Uber Cool Indian Festivals You Cannot Afford to Miss in 2015

  1. Written very well with amazing pictures. You could add one more. Rongali Bihu festival in Assam. The five day festival witnesses cultural festival (music, dance and singing) at different places of the state. There are renowned stages (or Bihutolis) which organises various song and dance programmes. Not to forget Bihu dance is the prime focus there. One interesting thing of this festival of Assam is that these stage shows goes on for a month even after the end of Bihu.

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