My favorite childhood memories go back to the fairs I had attended as a kid. The colorful shops & playing on the rides or enjoying the food at the fests! The child in me still enjoys these fun fares & cultural festivals. Here is my list of must-see cultural fests in India.
SurajKund Mela, Faridabad
It is the largest crafts fair in the world organized in February each year. The festival showcases national & international handicrafts. There are cultural evenings where renowned artists perform. Each year the festival is celebrated in partnership of another country & is themed around an Indian state. This year’s partner nation was Kyrgyzstan & Uttar Pradesh was chosen as theme. I have been visiting it since last two years and always enjoy the rich diversity of arts & food it provides. I had tasted the best Pita Bread & humus here at a Turkish food joint last year.
How to reach – You can reach Surajkund District, Faridabad from Delhi by taking private cabs or your own vehicle.
KalaGhoda Festival, Mumbai
This festival was started with an objective to preserve the heritage & art district of South Mumbai. It is also organized in the month of February when the weather is pleasant and one can enjoy long hours outdoor. Here also a large conglomeration of handiwork & recycled art pieces from all over the country is present. Also, there is a different section for children to enjoy and exhibit their arts.
How to reach – You can reach venue of Kalaghoda Festival from CST station or Churchgate station either by foot or shared taxis.
Chitra Santhe, Bengaluru
It is a single day Arts festival organized by the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in month of January. If you are looking for paintings, caricatures and murals or home decorations items then this is definitely a to go destination. The festival is spread across a single road & it is cordoned off for traffic for the day.
How to reach- Bengaluru is well-connected by rail, road & air to different parts of the country.
HornBill Festival, Nagaland
It is held in December each year. Nagaland has a tribal rich heritage which depend mostly on agriculture. The festival is organized by the government to promote the cultural heritage of Nagaland & increase inter-tribe communications. You can be a part of the Nagaland culture and enjoy their food, songs & dance. I have not visited it yet & it’s a part of my to-do list!
How to reach – You need to travel to Naga Heritage Village located in Kisama, approximately 12 km from the state capital Kohima.
Tawang Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
It is an extravagant festival organized in month of October by the government of Arunachal Pradesh. The start of festival is marked by Sebang – the religious rally of monks from the Tawang monastery to the festival site. It showcases the Buddhist religious functions & traditional dances. The Buddhist influence attracts me to this festival & I intend to visit it this year.
How to reach – You can reach Tawang from Tezpur by road. Tezpur also has an airport so you can either reach by both air or road here.
Lucknow Mahotsav, Lucknow
This festival is closest to my heart as I have been visiting it since childhood. It is organized each year in winters and highlights the Nawabi Culture of Lucknow. There are stalls for showcasing art, craft and culture of the city. From buying Chikan clothes to enjoying Chicken delicacies – you can do it all. It was an annual ritual from us to visit Lucknow Mahotsav with family & friends. Even today I try to plan my vacations around the same time frame so as to enjoy this festival.
How to reach- Lucknow is easily reachable by rail, road & air travel from all parts of the country.
Have you visited any of these festivals? Which of them is your favorite. Do share your fondest memory of a cultural fest with us!
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