India, the land of rich cultural heritage, is popular the world over for its colourful and lively festivals. The bright colours, traditions and vivacity that bind the people of India together, will make your visit an experience to remember. Let’s look at some Indian festivals that will make your visit here worthwhile.
5 Festivals You Should Not Miss When in India
- Kumbh Mela
One of the largest human gatherings, you should be a part of the Kumbh Mela at least once in your life. The Kumbh Mela is held once every 4 years in one of the pilgrimage sites like Haridwar (Uttarakhand), Prayag (Uttar Pradesh), Nasik (Maharashtra) or Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh).
Devotees from all over the world visit these sites on specific auspicious days to bathe in the sacred waters to attain wisdom and immortality. The colourful parades of yogis and first-hand interactions with holy people, will make your experience truly fulfilling.
Undoubtedly one of the most colourful festivals of India, Holi is the best way to discover the country’s cultural traditions and religious significance. Holi is usually celebrated in March and indicates the onset of Spring.
People celebrate this festival by putting “gulal” or colours on each other’s faces and splashing each other with coloured water using water guns known as “pichkaris”. A drink called “Bhaang” is prepared from several Indian ingredients and this liquid delicacy adds an extra zing to the festival of colours. Vrindavan in Mathura is one of the best cities to celebrate Holi in India.
- Ganesh Chaturthi
This is one of the biggest and most popular festivals celebrated during the months of August or September in the state of Maharashtra. People welcome Lord Ganesha in idol form and worship him majestically for 11 days. On the 11th day, these Ganesh idols are immersed in the sea, amid elaborate processions accompanied by energetic dancing and singing. The immersion procession, also locally known as ‘visarjan’, is quite a sight to behold.
Popularly known as the ‘Festival of Lights’, Diwali is another grand festival celebrated in India. Diwali is usually observed in the months of October or November and is a fascinating combination of spirituality and ancient Hindu mythology. People worship Goddess Laxmi, Lord Ganesha and even Goddess Kali in some parts of the country. Celebrations usually involve the lighting of ‘diyas’ or earthen lamps and bursting of firecrackers. Diwali accentuates the true spirit of India, filled with spirituality, fun and happiness.
- Durga Puja
This is an extravagant festival celebrated in the state of West Bengal. The colours, vibrancy and traditions associated with this festival make it one of the must-see celebrations for foreigners. It represents the divine feminine energy and power of Goddess Durga.
Beautifully decorated stages, idols of the Goddess, live music and, flavoursome foods, make this one of the ‘must-experience’ festivals of the country. The city of Kolkata in West Bengal is the best place to experience the ultimate fervour of Durga Puja.
These Indian festivals all boast of the country’s diverse culture and religious beliefs. So, revel in these festivals and experience the enthusiasm of this wonderful nation.