Even as the New Year vigour recedes with the advent of the second month of the year, nothing keeps India from celebrating. February brings in pleasant weather and lots of festivities with it in almost all regions through the country!
1. Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai - Many international tourists arrive in Mumbai due to its connectivity with international destinations. Landing in February in India, gives you an opportunity to plunge in right into the myriad culture of the country but in an urban set up. The Kala Ghoda region of suburban Mumbai transforms into an energetic venue for various stall, photography exhibitions, theatre, street food stalls and artefacts from all over. It might be overwhelming but also gives a fine picture of modern India embracing its culture and trying to include it in their lives.
2. Taj Mahotsav, Agra – For many first timers, the Golden triangle circuit is a must do, thus touching the 3 main culture heavy cities of India – Delhi, Jaipur and home to one of the wonders of the world, Taj Mahal, Agra. If travelling in February, you can attend the Taj Mahotsav –a 10 day carnival to celebrate the brilliance of this monumental wonder! The festival is organised by the U.P Tourism and showcases the unique arts, crafts, dances and music of the state.
3. Konark Dance and Music Festival – The exquisite sun temples of Konark become the magnificent backdrop to the annual Dance and Music Festival, every year. Celebrated performers of the country congregate for a period of days to give the public an intimate exposure to classical forms like Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Kathak and Chau Dance. One can also hear may live concerts in an open air auditorium.
4. Goa Carnival – The otherwise laid back state of Goa comes alive in February with the Goa Carnival celebrated in various destinations. It marks the period of festivity before people start fasting for Lent. Enjoy the indigenous floats and parades through the towns, making wonderful photo opportunities. Don’t be afraid to shake a leg with the locals.
5. Delhi Garden Festival – The annual garden festival of Delhi has a legacy of over 7 years. Apart from showcasing a large variety of different flowers, this becomes a reason for the city to step out and enjoy the natural beauty around India. The President’s famous gardens are also opened to public during this period.
6. Khajurao Dance Festival – Khajurao defines Indian architecture with its exquisite representation of the culture in intricate sculptures. These beautiful temples form the backdrop to the annual dance festival, which is regarded as one of the most coveted venues for established artistes in India. Get a quick introduction the Indian cultural scene if you decide to make this part of the itinerary.
7. Maha Shivaratri – Shivaratri is considered one of the major religious festivals of the country is celebrated to commemorate Lord Shiva. One of the key destinations to watch all the fervour is Varanasi, which is considered to be the Lord’s haven. Temples are adorned with flowers and offerings and prayers go on till wee hours of the morning. With Shiva’s own approval on ‘bhaang’ (marijuana based concoction), the city sways in joy with careless abandon!
8. Jaisalmer Desert Festival – Rajasthan is replete with festivals giving a peek inside local life to tourists. The Jaisalmer festival is one of the famous ones, which gives patronage to Rajasthani art forms, showcasing camels and bringing the diversity of the state under one platform. Also, this is a great season to visit Rajasthan when the harsh winter has receded and pleasant weather beckons.
Please note that all festival dates are subject to change, so check the one you are interested in before visiting.
If you would like to join in with some Indian festivals yourself contact our reservations team who will be happy to help you plan a trip.
Homestays offer the perfect opportunity to get a local insight into festivals and your host family will be happy to provide guidance on the best way to experience the celebrations. Check out our Indian homestay collection.