January 
 

Festival / Date

City / State

Description

Bikaner Festival Bikaner / Rajasthan Dedicated to the indispensable 'ship of the desert', the festival starts off with a magnificent procession of bedecked camels. There are displays and competitions together with all the color, music and rhythm unique to a fair in Rajasthan.
Calcutta Festival Calcutta / West Bengal Held every year in the centrally located maiden area of the city of Calcutta. Ethnic food stalls displaying Bengali Cuisine and cultural events make this a lively occasion.
Float Festival Madurai / Tamil Nadu On the night of the full moon, ornamented icons of Goddess Meenakshi and her consort are taken out in a colourful procession to the huge Mariamman Teppakulam. The icons are floated in the tank on a raft decked with flowers and flickering lamps.
International Kite Festival Ahmedabad / Gujarat On these festival kites of all colours, patterns and dimensions soar into the sky. Special kites with little paper lamps fill the night sky with a myriad flickering lights.
Kerala Village Fair Kovalam / Kerala Every year, in the lush village around Kovalam (18 km from Thirauvananthapuram), mid-January is the time for cultural event. The traditional thatch houses are decorated during this ten day long festival and are the venue for folk dances, music and festivities.
Mamallapuram Dance Festival Mamallapuram / Tamil Nadu Once the ancient port of the Pallavas, Mamallapuram plays host to a vibrant festival of dance. Exponents of Bharat Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak and Kathakali perform against the magnificent backdrop of the Pallava rock sculptures.
Pattadakkal Dance Festival Pattadakkal / Karnataka Delicately carved temples rich in detail stand still at Pattadakkal, the ancient capital of the Chalukyan kings. A festival of dance celebrates this marvelous heritage.
Pongal Tamil Nadu Pongal is the festival of harvest. It is celebrated for three days. First day is an occasion for festivities at home. On second day flavored rice is offered to the Sun God. On third day village cattle are bathed and decorated and cattle races enliven village Festivities.
Republic Day Delhi And State Capitals Commemorating the day India became a republic  (26th January ), the Republic Day is celebrated in Delhi with a splendid parade- a colourful affair with soldiers marching in unison, followed by folk dancers, school children and floats from various states.
The Great Elephant March Kerala While caparisoned elephants go out in procession, boat raves on the backwaters and cultural events lend colour to the festivities.
February 

Festival / Date

City / State

Description

Chapchar Kut Mizoram A lively festival in Mizoram celebrates the arrival of spring. It is an occasion for dance, music and feasting.
Deccan Festival Hydrabad / Andra Pradesh Every year gracious Hyderadbad come alive during Deccan Festival. There are cultural programmes with gazals nights, qawalis and mushairas, typical of the city. A pearl and bangle fair displays creations in lustrous pearls and multi-hued bangles that are local specialties.
Desert Festival Jaisalmer / Rajasthan A three day long extravaganza of colour, music, and festivity at the golden city of jaisalmer. Gair and fire dancers swaying to traditional tunes, a turban-tying competition and a Desert contest are a part of the fun of the occasion.
Elephant Festival Mumbai / Maharashtra This festival is held across the Mumbai harbour, on the Elephanta Island, near the world renowned Elephanta Caves (A World Heritage Site).
Garden Festival Delhi A spectacular flower show held at delhi, where varieties of flowers and exotic plants are on display. This annual event is indeed a horticulturist's delight.
Goa carnival Goa The exuberant Goa Carnival is an annual feature here. Held in mid February, just before Lent, the week long event is a time for lively processions, floats, the strumming of guitars and graceful dances.
International Yoga Week Rishikesh / Uttar Pradesh Detailed lectures and demonstrations of various asanas by prominent exponents of Yoga are the major highlights of the Yoga Week.
Island Tourism Festival Port Blair / Andaman & Nicobar A ten day long festival of dance, drama, and music. Exhibition, displaying art and crafts, flora and fauna and marine life, are part of the event. Aqua sports, telegames and parasailing are added attractions.
Nagaur Fair Nagaur / Rajasthan Nagaur bustles with life during its annual cattle fair which is one of the largest in the country. Exciting games and camel races are of the festivities.
Rose Festival Chandigarh The biggest Rose show in the country is held in the famous Rose Garden at Chandigarh. Varieties of magnificent roses are on display during this two-day festival.
Surajkund Craft Mela Surajkund / Near Delhi A delightful handloom and handicrafts fair is held annually at Surajkund. Handicrafts from all over the country are displayed in a typical setting of a rural Indian marketplace.
Taj Mahotsav Agra / Uttar Pradesh India's extensive arts, crafts and culture are on display during this festival of ten days. Folk music, shayari and Clssical dance performances along with elephant and camel rides, games and food festival, all add to the excitement of the occasion.
Vasant Panchami North India And West Bengal The ceremonial welcome to spring when, people, colourfully attired especially in bright shade of yellow, dance, sing and make merry.
March 

Festival / Date

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Description

Elephant Festival Jaipur / Jajasthan A festival where elephant are the centre of attraction. The festival begins with a procession of elephants, camels and horses, followed by lively folk dancers. The spectacular event of this festival is the elephant races, and interesting tug of war between elephants and men.
Ellora Festival Aurangabad / Maharashtra The magnificent rock-cut caves at Ellora-34 in number were excavated between 600 and 1000 AD. They include Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves. Every March, a festival of dance and music is organized here with the caves forming a splendid backdrop.
Good Friday All Over India Good Friday is observed by Christians nationwide with special service in the churches.
Hoysala Mahotsav Belur-Halebid / Karnataka The dance festival held at Belur and Halebid is a magnificent event. The splendid Hoysala temples with their sculptural extravaganza, make the perfect venue for this cultural feast.
Holi All Over North India In, March during spring, comes Holi - the festival of colours. Celebrated all over North India, Holi is a time to make merry. People smear each other with coloured powder. Singing and dancing add to the gaiety of the occasion.
Jhansi Festival Jhansi / Uttar Pradesh This week-long annual event is a display of the art, craft and culture of a splendid city - Jhansi. The cultural programmes include folk songs, dances, mushairas and gazals.
Khajuraho Dance Festival Khajuraho / Madhya Praresh The thousand year old  temples at Khajuraho, built by the Chandella kings, are majestic structures sculpted  in stone. Only 22 of these temples remain today, to bear testimony to the craftsmanship of chandella builders. Every year in March, these splendid temples came alive during the week-long festival of classical dances.
Pataliputra Mahatsava Patna / Bihar Patna, an ancient city with a glorious past, celebrates its rich heritage with this lively festival.
Shivratri All Over India All over the country, Shivratri is observed as the night, when Lord Shiva danced the 'Tandav'- his cosmic dance. Fasts and prayer the day and devotees throng the teples. The major Shaivite temples at Varanasi, Kalahasti (Andhra Pradesh) and Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu) are noted for their special celebrations.
FestivalShivratri Natyanjali FestivalShivratri Natyanjali Shivratri is the occasion for a five day long festival of classical dance and music at Chidambaram. The magnificent temple dedicate to Lord Shiv, built a thousand years ago, provides a beautiful backdrop for the event
April 

Festivals / Date

City /State

Description

Baisakhi All Over India The Hindu New Year finds expression in this exuberant festival, celebrated throughout India. Baisakhi celebrations in Punjab are spectacular, as this is very special day for the Sikhs. In Kerala the festival is known as Viahnu. 'Vishnu kani' - a display of grain, fruits, flowers, new cloths and money, is viewed early in the morning to ensure a prosperous year ahead.
Gangaur Rajasthan The most important local festival in Rajasthan is celebrated for eighteen days. The festival is celebrated by girls and married women throughout Rajasthan. This is also an auspicious day for young people to select their life partner.
Mahavir Jayanti All Over India The birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir, the founder of Jainism. Special prayers are offered at temples and shrines.
Mewar Festival Udaipur / Rajasthan An exhilarating welcome to spring, this festival is a visual feast with Rajasthani songs, dances, processions, devotional music and firework display.
Ramnavami All Over India The anniversary of lord Rama's birth is celebrated as Ramnavami by Hindus. The epic 'Rammyana' is read for eight days preceding the festival.
May

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Description

Buddha Purnima North India This festival commemorates the birth of Lord Buddha - 'the enlightened one'.
Id-ul-Fitr All over India The festival marks the end of 'Ramzan' - a month when Muslims fast throughout the day and eat only at night. Prayers, family get-togethers and feasts are the major highlights of the celebrations.
International Flower Festival Gangtok / Sikkim A rare of exotic varieties of flower, orchids and other plants native in Sikkim. River rafting and Yak safari are added attractions. People from all over India are attracted by this spectacular festival.
Pooram Thrissur / Kerala The colourful Pooram festival is held in Thrissur at its fine Vadakkumnathan Temple. Procession of beautifullycaparisoned elephants provides a magnificent spectacle. The festival is rounded off at night by dazzling firework displays.
Summer Festival Major Hill Festival The advent of summer in the major hill resorts ushers in colourful festivity. Lively cultural events, flower shows, regattas and exhibitions brighten the summer season at the picturesque hill stations of Ooty, Shimla,Darjeeling, Mount Abu, etc.
Urs Ajmer / Rajasthan The Urs are held every year at the dargah of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, commemorating his symbolic union with God. Pilgrims from all over the world gather here to pay homage. Qawalis and poems are presented in the saint's honor.
June

Festival / Date

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Description

Hemis Festival Leh / Ladakh The courtyard of Hemis- the biggest Buddhist monestery in Ladakh, is the stage for the famous 'Hemis' Festival, that celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava.Splendid masked dances are performed to the accompaniment of cymbals, drums and long horns.
July

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Description

Id-ul- Zuha (Bakr-Id) All Over India This Muslim festival is celebrated all over the country. Prayers are offered in the mosque and special delicacies are prepared served among family and friends on the occasion.
International Mango Festival Delhi Savor innumerable varieties of mango - the king of fruits, at the unique Mango Festival in Delhi. Cultural programmes make this a lively event.
Rath Yatra Puri / Orissa This spectacular chariot is held at the famous Jagannath Temple at Puri. Images of Lord Jagannath - the Lord of the Universe, his sister Subhadra and brother Balbhadrs are taken out in procession in three immense chariots to Gundicha Mandir, a temple 1.5 km away.
August

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Description

Amarnath Yatra Jammu & Kashmir In the month of Shravan, thousand of pilgrims make an arduous trek up to the Amarnath cave in the Kashmir Himalayas. They come to worship the sacred ice lingam - a symbol of Lord Shiva, which is a natural phenomenon.
Indepence day All Over India Commemorating the day India attained freedom (15th August), Independent day is celebrated with flag hosting ceremonies and cultural programmes in the state capitals. The Prime Minister's speech at the Red Fort in Delhi is the major highlight.
Janmashtami All Over India The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great fervor all over the country. In Mathura and Brindavan - where Lord Krishna spent his childhood and youth, the Janamashtami celebrations are quite elaborate. The Krishna Leela - stories of his eventful youth are enacted.
Nag Panchami Wesrt bengal, Maharashtra, And South India This festival, usually is celebrated in West Bengal, Maharashtra and South India, venerates snakes.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race Kerala Alappuzha is famous for its annual boat race, held on the second Saturday of August every year. The long elegant snake boats, with crews of over hundred men trying to win the coveted trophy, attract spectators from all over.
Onam Kerala The decorating of houses with carpets of flowers, a sumptuous lunch and songs in praise of the golden region of Mahabali, mark the tendays long festivities. A major attraction of the Onam celebrations is the famed snake boat races along the backwaters at Champakulam, Aramula and Kottayam.
Raksha Bandhan North India Brothers and sisters reaffirm their bonds of affection on this day. Sisters tie colourful thread or rakhis on their brother’s wrists. The brothers in turn promise to protect their sisters and give them gifts.
Teej Rajasthan And Chandigarh .This swing festival welcomes the advent of the monsoon. Swings are hung from trees and decorated with flowers. Women, colourfully attired, swing on them and sing songs in celebrations.
September

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Description

Ganesh Chaturthi Maharashtrsta, Tamil nadu Andra Pradesh, Karnataka This day is dedicated to the Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God of all good beginnings and success. Held annually, this festival is a ten day long event. The images of Lord Ganesha are installed and worshipped and on the last day these are taken in processions to be immersed in flowing water. The sea front at Mumbai, packed with people, is a spectacular sight.
Ganesh festival Pune / Maharastra Thia cultural feast is held to coincide with Ganesha Chaturthi. With classical dance and music performances, a theatre and film festival and folk dances, this is the most popular in Pune.
Tarnetar Mela Saurashtra The fair is a kind of marriage market for the local tribes - the Kolis, Bharwads and Rabaris. The traditional customs, exquisite jewellery and lively foke dances - garba, ras, haro, are the special attractions of the fair, not forgetting the wonderful Tarnetar "Chhatris" - umbrellas with intricate embroidery and mirror work.
October

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Description

Diwali All Over India This festival of lights is the prettiest and the most eagerly waited 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.
Dussehra All Over India Celebrated to mark the defeat of Ravana by Lord Rama, Dussehra symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. The Ramlila - 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. 
Gandhi Jayanti All Over India The birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi - the 'Father of the nation' (2nd Oct). The President and Prime Minister, along with other eminent political leaders, pay homage at Raj Ghat - the samadi of Mahatma Gandhi.
Marwar Festival Marwar / Rajasthan The festival celebrates the 'Maand' style of folk music - and 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.
Muharram  All Over India Commemorates the martyrdom of the Profit Mohammed's grandson - Imam Hussein. Tazias, glittering replicas martyr's tomb, are carried in procession through the streets.
Rajgir Mahotsav Rajgir / Bihar This colourful festival of dance and music is held at Rajgir, the ancient capital of the Magadha Kings - the land where the Buddha meditated and preached.
November

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Description

Guru Purab All Over India The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak - the first guru of the Sikhs, is celebrated with great fervor. The 'Akhand Path' - recitation of the Guru Granth Sahib, is held in gurdwaras all over the country. Taking the holy book out in processions is also an integral part of the celebrations.
Hampi Festival Hampi / Karnataka The magnificent ruined city of Hampi, once the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, comes alive once again during this lively festival of dance and music, held in the first week of November.
KPomblang Nongkrem Shillong / Meghalaya The most important festival of the Khasis in Meghalaya. This five day long festival, held annually near Shillong, is an occasion for thanksgiving for a good harvest and the time to pray for peace and prosperity. Khisi men and women, dressed in traditional splendor, performed the famous Nongkrem dance.
Luknow Festival Luknow / Uttar Pradesh This festival celebrates Luknow's living culture. Exciting events like ekka races, kite flying, cock fighting and other traditional village games recreate an atmosphere of Avadh's nawabi days.
Pushkar Mela Pushkak / 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 attraction of this colorful 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.
Sonepur Mela Sonepur / Bihar Asia's biggest cattle fair is held at Sonepure, on the bank of the river Ganga. During this month - long fair, cattle, decorated for the occasion, throng the venue.
December

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Description

Christmas All Over India Christmas is celebrated in India with great fervor. All the major Indian cities wear a festive look. Shops and bazaar are decorated for the occasion and offer attractive bargains. Coral singing, get-togethers and the exchanging of gifts enhance the Christmas sprit. Christmas parties launch off celebrations for the New Year, thus retaining the festive mood for at least a week.
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 splendor 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 marvelous craft mela, with a variety of handicrafts and delectable cuisine, adds to the festive mood.
Kurukshetra Festival Kurukshetra / Haryana The festival coincides with Gita Jayanti, signifying the birth of the Srimad Bhagvad Gita. Pilgrims gather here to take a dip in the sacred tanks of Brahma Sarover. Week- long Bhagwad katha, dance, dramas and 'deep daan' are part of the religious festivities.
Shilpgram Craft Mela Udaipur / Rajasthan Some of the magnificent crafts of Rajasthan are on display at a colorful festival, held in the royal city Udaipur.
Vishnupur Festival Vishnupur / West Bengal The festival celebrates the rich heritage of the town of Vishnupur, noted for its beautiful terracotta temples and elegant silk sarees