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Suggested Itineraries


Festivals of India


Dussehra (All over India) - Celebrated to mark the defeat of Ravana by Lord Rama, Dussehra symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. The Ramila - an enactment of the life of Lord Rama, is held during the nine days preceding Dussehra. On the tenth day, larger than life effigies of Ravana, his son and brother - Meghnath and Kumbhakarna, are set alight. 

In West Bengal, puja pandals have beautifully decorated images of the goddess Durga and people gather here in large numbers to enjoy the festivities.

ravana statue at dusshera festival

In South India, houses are decorated with displays of toys and clay images of gods. Relatives and friends visit each other to exchange greetings.

In Gujarat, the exuberant Navaratri celebrations include dancing the lively garba and dandiya ras.

In Himachal Pradesh, a week-long fair in the hill town of Kullu, is a part of the Dussehra celebrations. From the little temples in the hills, deities are brought in procession to the 'maidan' in Kullu, to pay homage to the reigning deity, Raghunathji.

Mysore - the city of palaces, celebrates the ten day Dussehra in a royal style. The Mysore Palace is illuminated with a myriad lights. Majestic processions, a torch light parade and dance and musical events enliven the tranquil city.

Marwar Festival (Marwar, Rajasthan) - The festival celebrates the 'Maand' style of folk music - an evolved classical style that describes the romantic life of Rajasthan's rulers. Held during Sharad Purnima, the folk artistes bring alive the legends and folklore of earlier times.

Diwali (All over India) - This festival of lights is the prettiest and the most eagerly awaited occasion in India. It celebrates the return of Lord Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayana, to Ayodhya after a fourteen year exile. The flickering lights of the traditional clay lamps or 'diyas' illuminate the houses and fireworks resound through the night. The goddess of wealth and prosperity - Lakshmi, is worshipped on this day. Houses are white washed and elaborate designs drawn at the thresholds to welcome the goddess. The exchanging of gifts and sweets among friends and relatives and playing of games of chance at night, are all an integral part of the celebrations.

diwali celebrations and lightings


Lucknow Festival (Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh) - This festival celebrates Lucknow's living culture. This capital city of Uttar Pradesh is alight with excitement during this ten day long event. Colourful processions, traditional dramas, Kathak dances in the style of the famous Lucknow gharana, sarangi and sitar recitals alongwith ghazals, qawalis and thumri create a festive atmosphere. Exciting events like ekka races, kite flying, cock fighting and other traditional village games recreate an atmosphere of Avadh's nawabid days. 

Pushkar Mela (Pushkar, Rajasthan) - Tranquil Pushkar is transformed into a spectacular fair ground for twelve days in the month of Kartik. Trading of cattle, camel races and dazzling displays of bangles, brassware, clothes, camel saddles and halters are the major attractions of this colourful event. Devotees come in their thousands to take a ritual dip in the lake on the day of the Kartik Purnima and to worship at the Brahma temple.

camel and horse ridings in pushkar


Shilpgram Crafts Mela (Udaipur, Rajasthan) - Some of the magnificent crafts of Rajasthan are on display at a colourful festival, held in the royal city of Udaipur.

konark dance festival

Konark Dance Festival (Konark, Orissa) - The Sun Temple - a magnificent structure designed as the chariot of the Sun God, drawn by seven exquisitely carved horses, stands in solitary splendour on the beach at Konark.

This is the venue of a joyous festival of classical dance and music which is held annually. A host of celebrated dancers from all over the country perform in the open air auditorium. The sound of ghungroo bells, flute and pakhauj fill the air and a marvellous crafts mela, with a variety of handicrafts and delectable cuisine, adds to the festive mood.

Christmas (All over India) - Christmas is celebrated in India with great fervour. All the major Indian cities wear a festive look. Shops and bazaars are decorated for the occasion and offer attractive bargains. Carol singing, get-togethers and the exchanging of gifts enhance the Christmas spirit. Christmas parties launch off celebrations for the New Year, thus retaining the festive mood for at least a week.


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