Cultural Festivals

India’s culture, thousands of years old and one of the world’s earliest, has had time to develop a unique degree of cultural diversity. The best proof of this is to be found in India’s folk arts and its classical music and dance.

Chennai Music December | RIFF | World Sacred Sufi Spirit Festival | Udaipur World Music Festival | Modhera Dance Festival | Onam | Aranmula Boat Race | Pulikali, tiger dance | Kite festival | Udaipur lake festival | Desert festival | Pushkar Camel Fair | Marwar Festival |

Bombay Jayashri (Vocal), H.N. Bhaskar (Violin), V.V. Ramanamurthy (Mridangam), Giridhar Udupa (Ghatam)Chennai Music Festival

The annual “Maargazhi Music and Dance festival” or “December Season” in Chennai (the former Madras), which overlaps between December and early January, is said to be one of the world’s largest cultural events. More than a thousand performances are given, with almost as many artists. For anyone who enjoys Indian classical music, this is indisputably the place to be…


riffRIFF Festival

The Rajasthan International Folk Festival or RIFF is held yearly in Jodhpur, at Sharad Purnima (the brightest full moon of the year), and lasts four days. It draws considerable crowds of world music fans, both Indian and foreign. The festival promotes the art of Rajasthani music while also bringing in international acts…


jodhpur sufi festivalWorld Sacred Spirit Festival

A festival of Sufi-inspired devotional music set in the magical and prestigious sites of Ahhichatragarh in Nagaur and Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. The World Sacred Spirit Festival brings together eminent musicians from all over the world to explore the sacred through different forms of art from music and chant to dance and poetry…


Oum MOROCCO (Moroccan Saharan Soul)Udaipur World Music Festival

The World Music Festival in Udaipur, city of lakes, achieved its goal at its first edition in February 2016: it is henceforth a reference in South Asia and a must-go event for fans of World Music. The idea behind the festival is to make Udaipur a must-go destination on the World Music scene…


modheraModhera Dance Festival

This festival is set against the backdrop of Modhera’s majestic sun temple, dressed in its best suit of lights for the occasion. The Modhera Dance Festival or Uttarardh Mahotsav is organised by the Gujarat Tourism Corporation. It brings together dance troupes and solo performers from all over India, offering a panorama of India’s many dance styles…



Onam is Kerala’s biggest festival. It falls in the month of Chingam (August-September) and marks the return to Earth of the legendary king Mahabali. It is the occasion for colourful festivities that spotlight all that’s best in Kerala culture. Onam is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm by all communities throughout Kerala…


La course de snake-boat d'AranmulaAranmula Snake-Boat Race

If there is one imperishable memory to be brought back from a trip to Kerala it is the fascinating Aranmula regatta. The snake-boats glide gracefully and majestically along the River Pampa and the hypnotic chanting of the oarsmen will echo in your mind like a happy refrain long after the race is over…


tiger-dansePulikali, Tiger Dance

In Thrissur, the Onam celebrations end in high style with hordes of portly human tigers thronging the streets, dancing to the hectic rhythm of the percussion. The Pulikali or “tiger dance”, deeply rooted in Kerala culture, is a unique event and a good-humoured, convivial moment of entertainment…


kite-festival-ahmedabadUttarayan Kite Festival

Uttarayan, the time of year when the sun starts its northward journey, is celebrated in Gujarat state with a kite festival that’s totally poetic. All day long thousands of multi-coloured kites drift endlessly across the sky, and when night falls the firmament is lit by a myriad paper lanterns…


floating market and view on UdaipurUdaipur Lake Festival

In February the romantic town of Udaipur celebrates its lakes with a two-day Lake Festival highlighting the natural and architectural assets of the royal city. Floating markets and stimulating concerts are part of the festivities…


desert festival jaisalmerDesert festival

Tattooing and camel races, moustache contests, moonlight concerts among the dunes: for three days in January Jaisalmer, golden city of the desert, becomes a colourful showcase of Rajasthan folk culture exuding good humour and a friendly atmosphere…


camel decorationPushkar Camel Fair

The Pushkar Mela, better known as the Pushkar Camel Fair, is one of the biggest such fairs in India, attracting tourists and photographers from all over the world.The cameleers cover hundreds of miles on foot to sell their livestock here, staying in canvas tents on a broad esplanade. There is frenzied activity and the bright colours so emblematic of Rajasthan are everywhere….


marwar festival jodhpurMarwar Festival Jodhpur

The popular festivities of the Marwar Festival take place once a year in Jodhpur, the blue city and Osian, the gateway to the Thar desert. The festival’s main theme is the music and dance of the Marwar region. ..


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