Dasara, Durga Puja and Navratri
When: October 5-14
Where: Mysore (Karnataka), Kolkata (West Bengal), Ahmedabad (Gujarat)India will come alive with dance, music, festive customs, feasts and joy. Most Bangaloreans know well the pomp and grandeur with which Dasara is celebrated in Mysore. The Palace here is decked up and the elephant parade is to watch for. Away in the east, Kolkata will rejoice to the sound of the dhaak, rush for pushanjali and gorge over food during Durga Puja. The pandals and their artistic themes spur many to go pandal-hopping. In Ahemdabad, the clicks of dandiya sticks and the clap of hands to latest Navratri numbers will keep the city alive through the nine nights of Navratri. The colours of ethnic wear, the thrill of community dance and the city’s famed food streets will be worth travelling for.
When: October 16-18
Where: Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Those who are intrigued by drama, the culture and times of Rajasthan of yore, this is the festival to attend. Held over two days of a full moon, the Marwar Festival features music and dance that celebrate local legends along with horse riding, polo and camel tattooing.
Delhi Photo Festival
When: On till October 11
Where: New Delhi
Shutterbugs can pack for the capital city where the biennial Delhi Photo Festival is currently on at India Habitat Centre. Themed this year on ‘grace’ as a tribute to Prabuddha Dasgupta, the late photographer, its schedule is choc-a-bloc with exhibitions, events, workshops and portfolio reviews which will be held at various locations around Delhi. Organised by Nazar Foundation, 41 printed photographs and 50 digital exhibits selected out of 2,350 entries from the world over are on display.
Rajasthan International Folk Festival
When: October 17-21
Where: Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Little can beat the romance of being indulged by Rajasthani folk communities with their songs, dances, instrumentalists and storytellers while you are inside a fort.
When: November 14-17.
Where: Benares, Uttar Pradesh.
Cultural outings of dance and music are held by the banks of Ganga. The most magical event though is the floating of lit diyas at dusk on the last day.
Mumbai Film Festival
When: October 17 - 24
With over 200 films from over 65 Countries to be screened, Mumbai Film Festival is a must-attend event for all film lovers. The festival will celebrate world cinema with special focus on Spanish, Cambodian, French and Afghan cinema. The festival will also witness a one of a kind panel discussion organised by the Academy of Motion Picture arts and sciences, with eminent guests in attendance.
When: November 17 - December 2
Where: Sonepur, Bihar.
The festival takes place along the Ganga with cattle being traded, devotees thronging for a holy dip and stalls selling knick knacks to build the atmosphere.
When: December 27- 29
Back for it’s 7th edition, Asia’s biggest electronic dance music event is almost around the corner. Promising to be the biggest show to date, the organisers are yet to release the line-up, but have announced that they will showcase several of the most renowned artistes in dance and music, hand-picked from around the globe, alongside artistes from India.
When: December 1-7
Where: Kisama Heritage Village (near Kohima town), Nagaland
Hornbill Festival is a celebration by indigenous warrior tribes and features traditional arts, dances, folk songs, games and music concerts in the evenings.
When: October 25 and 27
Where: Ooty, Tamil Nadu goMAD is 3 days of music, arts, dance and camping set in the enigmatic and soulful wilderness of the Nilgiris. It’s an annual music festival dedicated to an eclectic group of artistes. From fusion rock to pop, electronica to metal, from whirling dancers to art installations, goMAD is a unique annual festival with no headlining acts - only a pure celebration of the arts. This year’s line-up includes artistes like Parikrama, Noori, Agam, Peter Cat Recording Co, Live Banned, Clown with a Frown, Lagori, The Bicycle Days, Bevar Sea, The F 16s and many more.
Dharamshala International film Festival
When: October 24-27
The second Dharamshala, International Film Festival takes place over four days, in the vibrant hills of Dharamshala. Renowned for its natural beauty and its ancient Hindu temples, Dharamshala is also world famous as the home of the Dalai Lama and the centre of the Tibetan community in exile. Showcasing the best of recent Indian and world cinema, both fiction and documentary, the second edition of DIFF will feature movies like Gulabi Gang, Pussy Riot, Lasting, Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry, Fandry, Never Let The World In and more.
When: December 1-5
Where: Natamandir, near Konark Temple, Odisha
The festival throws a spotlight on Indian classical dances ranging from Odissi, Bharathnatyam, Manipuri and Kathak to Chau. Alongside, traditional art and craft and sand art are also exhibited.
Kapil Muni Fair
When: November 9-17
Where: Bikaner, Rajasthan
This is a cattle fair and the biggest event in Bikaner. Also known as Kolayat Fair, buffaloes, camels, horses and cattle are traded here. The event also has a religious touch to it, as visitors revere the lake here where they take a holy dip.
Pushkar Camel Fair
When: November 9-17
Where: Pushkar, Rajasthan
Firmly placed on the international travellers map, the Pushkar Camel Fair is a grander version of the Bikaner one. Thousands of camels, are traded in, dressed up, paraded and raced. The last few days, also include religious festivity.
When: November 20-21
Where: Bundi, Rajasthan.
Rajasthan is divided into several cultural regions, each of which has its own culinary styles, traditions and culture. In Hadoti is Bundi where the festival takes off with a procession. Events featuring local sports, music, dance, arts and crafts, including a turban competition take on thereon.
When: October 18 - 20
Where: Pune, Maharashtra
The fourth edition of the ‘happiest music festival’, the NH7 Weekender, kicks off in October. Starting in Pune, the festival also travels to Bangalore (November 23, 24), Delhi and Kolkata. The festival is famous the alternative music scene with all kinds of musical genres being featured, from EDM to dubstep, from metal to singer/songwriters, and from indie rock to folk and soul acts.
When: December 15-17
Where: Dhordo Village, Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
Enjoy the desert with folk dances and music, traditional sports, handicrafts and excursions into Rann of Kutch. Special tents are put up by the government for tourists.
When: December 22 to January 1
Where: Fort Kochi, Kerala
The Carnival celebrates Portuguese new year and harks back to the days when the seaside town was colonised by Portugal. Competitions, games, beach sports, dirt bike races, dancing and fireworks are the attractions to look out for.