From kite festivals to Kumbh Mela, January is chockablock with events
If you want to experience India, attend any of its festivals. According to a popular Hindi saying, India has saat vaar terah tyohar (seven days of a week and 13 festivals). Over the years, numerous festivals to celebrate art, culture and literature have also been included in the list of events.
From kite festivals to camel fairs, January is chockablock with events. Here’s the best of what’s on in January.
What: Island Tourism festival
When: January 5 – 15, 2013
Where: Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Island
Why: Ten-day festival showcases dance, drama, music, exhibitions, display arts and crafts. Organized by Andaman & Nicobar Administration, The Island Tourism Festival (ITF) is a treat for adventure enthusiasts. Besides aqua sports and parasailing, canoe race,
scuba diving competitions are also held.
What: International Kite Festival
When: January 14, 2013
Where: Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Why: The annual kite festival coincides with the Makar Sankranti festival across India. Kite makers from India attend the festival to showcase their kites and kite flying skills. Kite makers from USA and Southeast Asia have also participated in the past.
What: DSC Jaipur Literature Festival
When: January 24 to 28, 2013
Where: Jaipur, India
Why: Regarded as the Kumbh Mela of Indian and international writing, Jaipur Literature Festival has been drawing in writers and readers from across India and around the world. A few big names lined up to speak include Ben Okri, Chetan Bhagat, Farrukh Dhondy, Gulzar, Hari Kunzru, Michael Ondaatje and Oprah Winfrey. The 2013 event of the literary fest is themed on diversity of Indian language writing. Focus will also be on Russian literature and alternative sexuality
What: Pattadakal Dance Festival
When: January 25-27, 2013
Where: Pattadakal, Karnataka
Why: The three-day event aims to explore the cultural heritage of India. Performances are held against the backdrop of the magnificent temples at Pattadakal, the capital of Chalukyas. The dance fest is also known as the Chalukya Utsava. Some events are also held at Badami and Aihole. Good time to witness the dance art forms of India. A crafts mela is also held on the sidelines of the festival.
Artisans, from all over India, exhibit their skills and talents.
What: Bikaner Camel Festival
When: January 26-27, 2013
Where: Bikaner, Rajasthan
Why: A festival dedicated to the ships of the desert, some spectacular and unusual camel performances can be witnessed at the Camel Festival. Decorated in colorful bridles and saddles, the camels are a sight to behold. Also the place to try some unusual food like tea and sweets made of camel mare’s milk. Performance by folk singers and dancers and dazzling fireworks display are other highlights.
What: Kumbh Mela
When: January 27-February 25, 2013
Where: Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
Why: Largest and holiest of all melas, the Purna Kumbh is celebrated every 12 years. Held at Allahabad, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain, the Kumbh Melas held at Allahabad and Haridwar are considered very holy. Hindus believe a dip in the Ganges washes off all sins during the month long event and especially on the important bathing dates. The main bathing days are known as ‘Shahi Snans’ or ‘Royal Bathing Days’.