Indian Festivals in March

As all the harvest festivals recede and the Indian landscape is touched by clearer weather, it’s time for some colour and fun in the month of March. The famous festival of colours, Holi, brings with it wide scale celebrations across the country.

Here are some of the places that you must keep in mind while planning a trip to India in March.

Holi
Almost all North Indian cities burst in colour and celebrations in the month of March, with the ‘festival of colour’, Holi. Dry and wet colours are thrown with the aid of balloons and sprinklers on each other. This joyous festival is a ‘no bar’ day when everyone’s threshold is challenged or rather soaked in colour. ‘Bhaang’, the wet residue of cannabis is used in drinks and foods to add more fun. The Holi of Varanasi, Barsana and Mathura are the most popular.

barsana_holi

Jaipur Elephant Festival
You can safely spend a fair amount of time in Rajasthan in the month of March. Around the same time as Holi, Jaipur also hosts a grand festival which displays its royal heritage in the form of an ‘elephant festival’. Splendid parades with elaborately decorated elephants and even tug of war games make for quite an entertaining spectacle for visitors.

Jaipur elephant festival

Paripally Gajmela
A month for elephants, this festival is held at the Paripally Kodimootil Sree Bhadrakaali Temple around an hour’s drive from Trivandrum in Kerala. 50 elephants are richly decorated and then paraded to make offerings at the temple. A photographer’s delight, it is one of the lesser known festivals to capture. It is likely to have more local participation over the well advertised festivals of Kerala which attract more tourists.

Kerala Elephants

Thirunakkara Arattu
Another elephant oriented festival in the month of March is celebrated in Kottayam district of Kerala. The 10 day Thirunakkara Arattu is held in the honour of the local temple. The procession of elephants is complemented by folk dances such as the Mayilattom (peacock dance) in the temple compound.

Thirunakkara arattu

The International Yoga Festival
India is the Yoga Mecca of the world and what could be better if you have an international festival which is a congregation of all yoga lovers in one place. The festival is held in the spiritual capital of the India, Rishikesh and has attendance from over 30 countries. Discussions, camps, cooking classes and a charity fundraiser are part of the event apart from classes for all the participants.

rishikesh-yoga-parmarth_niketan

Other festivals not to miss this month …
Some of the other festivals to look out for are the Mewar and Gangaur Festivals of Rajasthan. Another Kabir related festival of Sufi music starts in February but spills into March in the state. You can think of this month as a Rajasthan focussed visit to India.

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.

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