Once you have arrived there will be plenty to keep you busy, but depending on the time of year, here are a few events taking place…
Cool Season (October – March)
Camels, decorated cattle, unusual competitions, meditating saints, colourful stalls and more with the stunning backdrop of the deserts of Rajasthan in Pushkar.
The Bikaner festival is held annually in celebration of the “ship of the desert” the camel. Colourful processions, camel races, camel milking, fur cutting design, the best breed competition, camel acrobatics and camel bands entertain the crowds. Music and fire-dancing combine with dazzling fireworks to light up the fortified Desert City.
Jaisalmer Desert Festival
The Jaisalmer Desert festival showcases the stunning culture of the region and is held against the striking backdrop of the Jaisalmer fort. Snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, musicians, dancers, camel races and turban tying competitions all vie for your attention and the festival closes with a light and sound display set against the moonlight sky.
This three day festibal is an extravaganza of colour, noise and excitement held annually in the state of Goa. With the distinct Portuguese flavour the streets are filled with music, dancing, food, drink, theatre, floats and processions.
Valley of Flowers Trek
See millions of rare flowers including the Blue Poppy Cobra Lily Bloom amongst thousands of herbs and plants endemic to the area. Valley of flowers was declared a national park in 1982 and is now a world heritage site. The legend goes that the valley is inhabited by fairies, and why not, a place of such astounding beauty has to be the abode of fairies.
This is the Hindu festival of harvest and fertility when the streets of Delhi are overrun with people bombarding each other with brightly coloured powder and water. The event begins the previous night when bonfires are lit all over the city to symbolise the victory of good over evil. The day itself is marked with general feasting and celebration.
Hot Season (April – June)
Dubbed the festival of all festivals, the annual Thrissur Pooram is a spectacular event that attracts travellers from miles around. The event dates back to the reign of Sakthan Thampuran and was a means for the two main geographical regions of the town to display their strength. To this day, the festical still includes two teams of richly adorned elephants, live music, processions, lots of food and drink and huge fireworks display.
This hindy festival celebrates the birth of Lord Rama with processions, music, reading rand reenactments of scenes of the Ramayana.
International Flower Festival
Usually held in the month of May when the gardens are in full bloom, visitors are invited to the Gardens of Gangtok to enjoy the visual feast of flowers and plants. The gardens are famed throughout India for their beauty and attract thousands of visitors. At this time of year the gardens explode into a riot of colour and smells as they are in full bloom.
Also known as Vesak Day, this day celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha. Events and celebrations take place in Buddhist temples all over India but none so big as the celebrations at Bodh Gaya near Varanasi.
Sindhu Dashan Festival
This festival celebrates the mighty Sindhu River or Indus River which gives India its name. The event attracts devotees from miles around, many of whom bring water from their local river to tip into the Sindhu River. The festival is a lively affair that includes live music, dancing, street theatre and craft fairs.
Monsoon Season (July – September)
A two day festival celebrating the ubiquitous Indian Mango fruit with quizzes competitions, mango tasting and over 400 varieties of the fruit on display. India is one of the world’s biggest producers of mangoes and during this event in Delhi, the Dilli Haat, which is constructed in the form of a traditional market place with a host of people selling arts, crafts and speciality foodstuffs is turned over almost exclusively to the humble fruit, in its many shapes and forms.