Top 10 Music Cities In India To Visit To Satisfy The Connoisseur in You 


They say that music is the only universal language, and in a country like ours which is brimming with more than 1500+ mother tongues, this art form is definitely responsible for bringing unity in diversity. Lately, a lot of international bands have been visiting our country and they've all gone back with great memories thanks to their mammoth following here. The best part is that Indians respect all genres of music with the same intensity and pride, and hence there are music festivals of all kind taking place all through the year.

Here are the top 10 music cities (in no particular order) in India to visit to satisfy the connoisseur in you:

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Pune, Maharashtra, India by Prateek Dham

If at all you really need another reason to visit Pune, then it's music. Besides the now ultra-popular Sunburn Festival, Pune is a musical paradise for lovers of genres other than EDM as well. Just go to this place, grab a beer, and listen to your favourite artists sweep you away with mesmerising melodies.

Find out more about Sunburn Pune here

Credits: Tauno Tohk

Photo of Ziro by Prateek Dham

Two words – Ziro Festival. And that's about enough, really. Though this outdoor music festival was started only in 2012, it has already attained a cult status thanks to the fantastic quality of independent rock bands it puts on stage and of course the beautiful Ziro Valley. The festival is usually four days long and takes place in late September, and is hosted by the indigenous people of the valley.

Read more about Ziro.

Credits: Ramnath Bhat

Photo of Pune, Maharashtra, India by Prateek Dham

Also known as the "Oxford of the East", Pune boasts of one of the youngest populations in the country thanks to it being home to various academic universities. The current internet generation is appreciative of all kinds of music and hence music festivals here witness crowds in great numbers. Also the fact that Pune is the true hub of Marathi arts and culture, the world's largest Indian Classical music festival – Sawai Gandharva – is also hosted by this city. That's some variety, eh!

Some Major Music Festivals Hosted: Sawai Gandharva Mahotsav (Indian Classical) in December, NH7 Weekender (various genres) in December.

Read more about Pune.

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Prateek Dham

Padharo Mhare Des, because Rajasthan offers music festivals in the most surreal locations imaginable. Jodhpur is at the very heart of the action by hosting world-class festivals such as the World Sufi Spirit and the Rajasthan International Folk Festival. Even if you don't like the music, you can safely come here for the entire experience and you'll go back a richer person.

Some Major Music Festivals Hosted: Rajasthan International Folk Festival (Folk) in October, World Sacred Spirit Festival (Sufi) in February.

Read more about Jodhpur.

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Arguably the fastest developing city of the country, Bengaluru is populated with the young IT corporate crowd that has grown up listening to the Pink Floyds and the Metallicas of the world and hence they really take their rock music seriously. Add to it a decent spending capacity and you get a city that prides itself on luring the best artistes from all over the world. Remember Iron Maiden, Metallica and Lamb of God, guys?

Some Major Music Festivals Hosted: Great Indian October Fest (Rock) in February, Summer Storm (Heavy Metal) in May, Puravankara Indigo & Blues Festival (Blues) in April, NH7 Weekender (various genres) in December, Fireflies Festival of Music (various genres) in February.

Read more about Bengaluru.

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of New Delhi, Delhi, India by Prateek Dham

Once you're in the capital, you can expect everything to be bigger and better (mostly). Although a couple of unfortunate incidents (read: the Metallica fiasco in 2011) might have put the city on a few bands' blacklists, but Delhi has continued to attract the biggest of international artistes ever since. While Mumbai might have enjoyed the Coldplay performance, but Chris Martin's underground live gig was witnessed by only Delhiites! ;)

Some Major Music Festivals Hosted: Holi Cow Festival (Trance) on Holi, Rang (Electronic) in March, NH7 Weekender (Various genres) in December, Sunburn (EDM) in November.

Read more about Delhi.

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Kohima, Nagaland, India by Prateek Dham

If you haven't heard about the Hornbill Festival, you're living in the dark. Having began in 2000, Hornbill is one of the oldest and biggest art and culture festivals in the country and music is a major part of it. Organised collectively by the art and culture department and State Tourism department, the festival takes place between December 1 and 7 every year. The usual belief that the Northeast is home to most of the best music scenes in the country only erupted from the exposure these artistes originally got at the Hornbill International Rock Festival here.

Read more about Kohima.

Credits: Barbara

Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Prateek Dham

In the deeper realms of music in Manali, everything is associated with Boom Shankar and getting high on life. Hence, the best music that soothes your soul in such a state is trance. Otherwise also known as a haven for honeymooners, there is a very thin line that separates the tourist's favourite hill station from the hippie paradise. Old Manali hosts a flurry of experiential festivals all year long that you really need to attend at least once.

Some Major Music Festivals Hosted: Kundalini (Trance) in May, Arudra (Trance) in June, Parvati Peaking Festival (Trance) in May, Shiva Squad (Various genres) in February.

Read more about Manali.

Credits: Istvan Berta

Photo of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by Prateek Dham

The 'Maximum City' is a melange of so many cultures and arts that art is given the utmost respect here. From blues to rock and from stand up comics to independent musicians, there's something for every artist in Mumabi. And that's precisely why Mumbai's yearly music calendar is always filled up to the brim. It's a wonderful place for music connoisseurs to be.

Some Major Music Festivals Hosted: Mood Indigo (various genres) in December, Mahindra Blues Festival (Jazz) in February, Independence Rock Festival (Rock) in November, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (various genres) in February, Ctrl Alt Delete (various genres) in February.

Read more about Mumbai.

Credits: Areta do Bem

Photo of Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Prateek Dham

I finish this article deliberately with a Northeastern city because it'll ensure that part of India continues to linger in your thoughts after you're done reading it. Shillong is a beautiful city where the underground music scene has always produced some sublime artistes that are original in their approach. And the fact that Bacardi decided to organise a Weekender in the city in 2016 only reinstated the fact that the music scene here is slowly but surely getting the recognition it's worthy of.

Some Major Music Festivals Hosted: Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival (Jazz) in Sept, NH7 Weekender (Various genres) in Oct.

Read more about Shillong.

So there you have it, musical travellers! I've just given you many reasons and options to check out the country and appreciate exemplary art. If you've already travelled far and wide to attend music festivals, do share your story on Tripoto! We'd love to share it around.

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