In a sprawling nation of a billion people, India is a nation full of cultural abundance and eclectic activities. People from all over the country celebrate their interests and ideas through a number of events taking place throughout the year. Apart from the cultural festivities that take place, several themed events have also been transpiring, for instance, the Jaipur Litfest, International book fair etc. In a vibrant nation such as India, these events and activities bring together people across the countries, religion, and race, united by a common interest or love. There are great events which take place throughout the nation in the span of a year which attracts people from all over the world. Five of these most interesting events are listed here:
1. Jaipur Literature Festival, Rajasthan
Rather commonly known as the Jaipur Litfest, this festival takes place annually each January in the pink city of Jaipur, Rajasthan. This festival is one of its kind for being the largest free literary festival in the world. It began in 2006 and has continued to this day, bringing together the best writers of all genres together. It is heaven for an avid reader who will find their favorite authors walking by or reading a passage from a bestseller. It has attracted some great names over the years like William Dalrymple (who is one of the directors of the event), Salman Rushdie, Shobhaa De, Ian McEwan, J.M. Coetzee and Orhan Pamuk. Held over a period of 4 days, the festival is a must for those looking for some literary enthusiasm and to also catch a glimpse of the Nobel laureates in this field.
2. Khajuraho Dance Festival, Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho is well known for its ancient temples and meticulous sculptures of the Chandela dynasty constructed around 950 to 1050 AD. Intermingling with this beautiful architecture is the week-long dance festival that features different forms of classical dance styles. The performances are by the best artists in their styles be it Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Kathakali. Recently some contemporary dance performances have also begun. These performances along with the aura of the temple monuments and sculptures, give this festival a rich authenticity.
3. International Book Fair, Delhi
This annual book fair held in the National Capital Region of Delhi is the oldest book fair in India. Founded in 1972, this book fair has continued to this day for 41 years. Along with displaying thousands of books from different publishing houses around the world, conferences and book releases also occur during this fair. Over a period of 9 days here, one can find books on each and every minute subject in addition to periodicals and novels. Nine days spent here amidst the books will be a time you’ll never forget. It draws people from all parts of the country and the world to Delhi just for one single remarkable event.
4. Jaisalmer Desert Festival, Rajasthan
This is one of the few festivals where you get the full display of culture and life of people in Rajasthan. Jaisalmer or the “Golden City of Rajasthan” sits in the Thar desert with its old golden sandstone forts. Every year the city of Jaisalmer hosts this 3-day desert festival in the month of February. For three days the entire city turns from golden to every possible hue it can display. The markets fill up with shops trying to attract tourists who are curious about Rajasthani culture and want souvenirs to take back home. The events of the festival include camel polo, camel races, gymnastics on camel back, Border Security Force Camel Tattoo, turban tying, mustache contest, Miss Moomal and Mr. Desert competitions etc. The festival ends with a Rajasthani folk concert, cricket match, parachuting and a grand display by the Indian Air Force. Needless to say, delicious local cuisine is available at all times in the adjacent stalls.
5. Ziro Festival of Music, Arunachal Pradesh
This breathlessly beautiful city of Ziro in the state Arunachal Pradesh has been hosting a three-day music festival since last four years. This unique music festival attracts stars from around the world like Lee Ranaldo & Steve Shelley (SONIC YOUTH -USA), Lou Majaw, Indus Creed, menwhopause, Shaa’ir n Func, The Supersonics, Ganesh Talkies, Whirling Kalapas, Imphal Talkies, Ska Vengers, Street Stories, The Vinyl Records, Sky Rabbit, Peter Cat Recording Co, Yesterdrive, Omak Komut Collective, Digital Suicide, Sulk Station, Tetseo Sisters and Guru Rewben Mashangva. The backdrop of paddy fields in the sloping hills blended with perfect combination of music makes Ziro the best place to be for a vacation.
In a list of events and festivals that could’ve easily included ten more names, we combine the best events that occur annually throughout the country. All this attests to the fact that India is truly the place to visit for an ideal holiday.
Rohit Agarwal is a blogger and runs a travel blog and website called TransIndiaTravels. He, apart from his work as an architect, is always traveling up and down the country. His travelogues are worthy and must read.