Top ChoiceHindu Festival in Gokarna


A chariot bearing a statue of Lord Shiva and his lingam is pulled through the streets by hundreds of pilgrims to conclude this nine-day festival.

Cultural in Mysuru (Mysore)


Mysuru is at its carnivalesque best during the 10-day Dussehra (locally spelt ‘Dasara’) festival. During this time Mysuru Palace is dramatically lit up every evening, while the town is transformed into a gigantic...

Religious in Tirumala & Tirupati


Initiated by Brahma himself, this nine-day festival sees the Venkateshwara Temple adorned in decorations. Special pujas and colourful chariot processions are a feature of the festivities, and it’s considered an...

Wine in Nashik


Sula Vineyard's SulaFest, which takes place the first weekend of February, is Nashik's biggest party and one of India's best boutique music festivals. The winery swarms with revellers, hyped up on juice and...

Religious in Hyderabad


Muharram is the first month of the Islamic year and commemorates the martyrdom of Mohammed’s grandson Hussain with mass mourning and all-night sermons. Shiites wear black in mourning, and throngs gather at...

Sports in Alappuzha (Alleppey)

Nehru Trophy Boat Race

The most renowned and fiercely contested of Kerala’s boat-race regattas, held annually on the second Saturday of August since 1954. Thousands of people, many aboard houseboats, gather around the starting and...

Religious in Kerala


Kerala’s biggest cultural celebration, when the entire state celebrates the golden age of mythical King Mahabali for 10 days.

Cultural in Mumbai (Mumbai)

Ganesh Chaturthi

Mumbai gets totally swept up by this 10- to 12-day celebration of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh. On the festival’s first, third, fifth, seventh and 11th days, families and communities take their Ganesh...

Cultural in Pune

Ganesh Chaturthi

Celebrated with fervour all across Maharashtra in August/September. Pune goes particularly hysteric in honour of the elephant-headed deity with a tide of festivities across the city. It provides a fantastic...

Religious in Old Goa

Feast of St Francis Xavier

A celebration of Goa’s patron saint; a nine-day novena precedes the feast day, when Old Goa's churches are packed. Once every 10 years, the saint is given an exposition, and his body hauled around Old Goa before...

Literature in Hyderabad

Hyderabad Literary Festival

A well-established three-day annual event that celebrates literature and the local tradition of mushaira (poetry recital). Held at locations including Lamakaan.

Dance in Madikeri (Mercara)


The Kodava community celebrates the start of the harvesting season with ceremony, music, traditional dances and much feasting for a week.

Religious in Bylakuppe

Tibetan New Year

Lamas in Tibetan refugee settlements in Bylakuppe take shifts leading nonstop prayers that span the weeklong celebrations.

Religious in Panaji


A four-day festival kicking off Lent; the party’s particularly jubilant in Panaji.

Performing Arts in Siolim

Zagor Festival

Held annually on the first Sunday and Monday after Christmas, Siolim’s Zagor Festival offers a glimpse into the peaceful coexistence of Goa’s diverse religious communities. Taking place on the Christian feast day...

Religious in Madurai

Teppam Festival

A popular 12-day event held on the full moon of the Tamil month of Thai, when Meenakshi Amman Temple deities are paraded around town in elaborate procession and floated in a brightly lit 'minitemple' on the huge...