7 Offbeat Winter Events Across India that You Must Attend to Inject Novelty in Your Life

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You deserve more than just Holi and Diwali.

1. Hornbill Festival (Dec 1-10)

Photo Credits: Vikramjit Kakati on Wikimedia

Photo of Kohima, Nagaland, India by Prateek Dham

Addressed as the "Festival of Festivals," Hornbill is one of the most awaited events on the Northeastern itinerary each year. It is celebrated to encourage the inter-tribal interactions in Nagaland because the state is home to a lot of different tribes.

Why You Should Attend: To experience the authentic flavours of the northeast in all its glory. Details here.

2. Poush Mela (Dec 22-31)

Photo Credits: Poush Mela

Photo of Birbhum, West Bengal, India by Prateek Dham

Fantastic live performances from the the Bengali folk musicians and dancers (especially Baul music), vendors selling products that they put their heart and sweat into, and a great variety of cultural diversity on display – you don't need more reasons to visit the mela.

Why You Should Attend: If you think you have already witnessed the spirit of Bengal during the Durga Pujas, you're in for a big surprise at the Poush Mela. Details here.

3. Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav (Dec 8-11)

Photo Credits: Sawai Gandharva Pune

Photo of Pune, Maharashtra, India by Prateek Dham

If you call yourself a classic music connoisseur, then you already know the big deal with the Sawai Gandharva Festival in Pune. One of the earliest classical music festivals in the country (it began in 1953), the three days in December witness the who's who of Indian classical music performing their hearts out.

Why You Should Attend: This is the perfect place to witness the finest music ustaads under one roof. Details here.

4. Enchanted Valley Carnival (Dec 17-18)

Photo Credits: Enchanted Valley Carnival

Photo of Aamby Valley, Maharashtra, India by Prateek Dham

There is no dearth of traditional music festivals in the country any m0re, but once in a blue moon there comes a contest that completely ups the game – the Enchanted Valley Carnival is one such event. Not yet very popular amongst the music aficionados, this actually adds up to its cult status. Big music acts headline the event, while you can camp at night in the sublime Aamby Valley.

Why You Should Attend: Ever wondered what Woodstock was like? Experience it here. Details here.

5. Sula Fest (Feb 3-5)

Photo Credits: Sula Vineyards

Photo of Nashik, Maharashtra, India by Prateek Dham

This event in the beginning of February most definitely needs your attention. If you're one of the fortunate few who pursued their education in Pune, you would definitely understand the kind of excitement the mention of Sula Fest generates. But to the rest of India, it's still an unheard of event. The Sula Vineyards are arguably the best indigenous vineyards here and Sula Fest is a grand 3-day event where one can indulge in pomp and show living inside the luxurious vineyard. There's music, there's food, and there's the best wine available.

Why You Should Go: Make your own wine and drink it too. Details here.

6. Nariyal Paani (Jan 21-22)

Photo Credits: Nariyal Paani

Photo of Alibaug, Maharashtra, India by Prateek Dham

Move over the Sunburns and Weekenders of the world, the Nariyal Paani Festival promises to be the next big thing in our country in the festival circuit. Yes, the traditional biggies have some great acts headlining each year, but if you're of the opinion that music is more about the experience and not merely about the performance, then this is the perfect bet for you.

Why You Should Visit: Beaches, coconuts, camping under the starry skies and great music. Details here.

7. Magnetic Fields Festival (Dec 9-11)

Photo Credits: Magnetic Fields Festival

Photo of Alsisar, Rajasthan, India by Prateek Dham

If you've ever wondered where your trance music-loving friends disappear to in the winters, wonder no more, because the answer is the historic Alsisar Fort. Rajasthan is decadent and grand and hence the magical connections are easier to make during the 3-day extravaganza called the Magnetic Fields Festival. Wonderful DJs and singers come together to perform at this one-of-a-kind event.

Why You Should Visit: Never a better place and time for trance than Rajasthan in December. Details here.

Well, where are you heading to next for enlightenment? Do let us know in the comments section below.

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