As 2018 tangos in, it brings with it a bouquet of events, each as vibrant and colourful as the other. So, if you’re backpacking across India or looking to plan a memorable break, consider attending one or more of these fun-filled events.
This desert festival is like a kaleidoscope that offers travellers a chance to experience and explore the culture of the Rann of Kutch. The days of this festival, which spans from December to February, are packed with music and folk dance, handicrafts and food stalls, adventure sports and excursions to the surrounding areas. With lots of luxury tents for visitors set up right beside the white salt desert, the Rann Utsav is a treat for the eyes and the soul, especially on a full-moon night, when the moonlight makes the white salt look almost ethereal.
When: Till February 20, 2018. Best to visit on January 2, on a full-moon night
Where: Great Rann of Kutch, Dhordo, Gujarat
Book Your Flight to Bhuj
International Kite Festival
If you’ve always enjoyed sending up a paper kite into the blue skies, then head to the International Kite Festival, on the Sabarmati River Front in Ahmedabad. On Makar Sankranti – a festival that celebrates life and fertility, the sky here is teeming with hundreds and thousands of bright and beautiful kites, from the time the sun rises till it sets. Kite flyers and travellers throng to the city from across the country and the world to take part in this eclectic festival. There are also kite-making workshops, kite painting competitions and aerial acrobats that notch up the fun at the festival.
When: January 14-16, 2018
Where: Sabarmati River Front, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Book Your Flight to Ahmedabad
What began in 2001 as a kolam (patterns made on the ground with rice powder) contest, has now grown in to a full-fledged four-day festival with more than 300 artists and 30 events spanning 12 venues. From heritage and craft walks to classical music and dance shows, to exhibitions and an opportunity to sample the traditional food, this festival is sure to give you a taste of the culture of Chennai.
When: January 4-7, 2018
Where: Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple and Nageswara Rao Park, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Bikaner Camel Fair
If you thought camels are boring ol’ creatures that just plod through the desert, then visit the Bikaner Camel Fair. At this two-day festival, you’re sure to see camels strutting their stuff in camel-only beauty pageants, run for their lives at camel races, and even dance to a beat. Dressed to the nines in their finest decorative attire, the camels here promise to charm you out of your minds. The grand finale is the entertainment put up by Rajasthani folk artists and the fireworks that light up the sky.
When: January 13-14, 2018
Where: Bikaner, Rajasthan
Book Your Flight to Chennai
Republic Day Parade
You can’t be in Delhi and not visit the grand Republic Day Parade on the 26th of January, on the Rajpath. The parade, which has various marching contingents from the Army, Air Force and Navy, as well as traditional dance troupes from the states of India and even, fly pasts by aircrafts from the defense services, is a spectacular and much looked-forward to event.
When: January 26
Where: Rajpath, New Delhi
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The architectural remains of the Vijayanagar dynasty – more than 500 monuments and ruins scattered across the stark landscape, is what makes Hampi so famous amongst avid travellers. An interesting place to visit, it’s even more fascinating during the annual Hampi Utsav, when music concerts and dance shows by renowned artists are held at the various monumental sites.
When: Dates yet to be confirmed
Where: Hampi Village, Vijayanagar, Karnataka
With the New Year, still shiny and freshly minted, why not pack your haversack and head of for a brand new trip to one of these celebrations or all of them?