India is famous for its kind of festivals and fairs, most of the fairs held in India are religious fairs or seasons to celebrate the change. Several major fairs are held at important pilgrimage sites, including the world’s largest gathering Kumbh Mela held in three Holi cities in India.
The Calcutta Book Fair is the third-largest annual book fair in the world and the largest non-commercial book fair in the world. The famous Sonepur Cattle Fair near Patna is the largest cattle fair in Asia and the largest cattle fair in the world. India is a country of fairs and festivals. Festivals are held every month in different parts of India.
1. Kumbh Mela
Kumbh Mela is the biggest and the largest fair of Hindu Pilgrims. This fair was celebrated every twelve years. Kumbh Mela is celebrated at four holy places. The four holy places are Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik. This fair event was held by rotation on the banks of the river Godavari, Kashipura, Yamuna, and the Ganga. Hindus pilgrims celebrated this fair gather at the Ganga river for a holy bath. The main attraction of this fair is the procession of the Naga Sadhu people also known as the holy man of India. Kumbh Mela is the biggest religious fair in India.
One of the largest peaceful religious gatherings in the world takes place once every 12 years in one of four places in India – Haridwar on the Ganges in Uttarakhand, Shipra Ujjayi in Madhya Pradesh, Nasik in the Godavari in Maharashtra, or Sangam Prayagraj in the Ganges, Jamuna, and Saraswati in Uttar Pradesh. Millions of saints, explorers, worshipers, saints, and people of all walks of life can be seen in this Hindu pilgrimage.
The most important Kumbh Mela is the Maha Kumbh Mela (Great Kumbh Mela), which falls every 144 years or after 12 full Kumbh Melas and is held in Prayag. The Maha Kumbh Mela is considered to be very auspicious to many people and it is an occasion once in a lifetime. The Kumbh Mela held in 2019 was estimated to have had 150 million pilgrims.
2. Sonepur Mela
Sonepur Mela is also the biggest fair of India. The Sonepur Mela held in November month on the day of full moon in Bihar.This fair held on the confluence of river Ganges and Gandak. Sonepur Mela is also known as Harihar Chhetra Mela by local peoples.
This fair is one of its kind in the world. Sonepur Mela is one of the major attraction of the fair where elephants are used for sale. There is also another type of animals available for sale in this fair like buffaloes, donkey, and ponies. This is the largest animal fair in Indian attracts peoples from all around Asia.
3. Pushkar Mela
Pushkar Mela is the largest fair of a camel. This fair is held from October to November month. This fair is held in Pushkar city which is the oldest city of Rajasthan. This fair also attracts a large number of visitors from all over the world, especially from Israel.
The eighth lunar month (Kartik) of the Hindu calendar is considered a holy month and one of the external festivals of Rajasthan in this month is Pushkar, The Pushkar Mela, or Pushkar Camel Fair. Approximately 200,000 people bring about 50,000 camels, horses, and cattle each year. The fair or fair is attended by musicians, mystics, tourists, businessmen, animals, fans, and hundreds of photographers.
Pushkar Mela has also become very popular among international tourists. This is the biggest fair if Rajasthan held on the banks of the Pushkar Lake. Pushkar Mela is also an important tourist attraction. There are many types of competitions held in this fair like Matka phone, longest mustache, and the hot air balloon. This is an Experian able fair for tourists.
4. Chandrabhaga Mela
Chandrabhaga Mela is also known as Magha Saptami Mela by local peoples. This grand fair held in the month of February at Bhubaneswar (Orissa). This is an important fair celebrated every year during the full moon at chandrabhaga River. This fair held for seven days. During these seven days, thousands of pilgrims gather bath in the holy river.
There is a famous temple Konarak sun Temple also held near this fair. This is also a large Mela India. This is a festival fair. There are some modes of transportation available for reach Chandrabhaga Mela and experience the Mela.
5. Hemis Gompa Fair
The Hemis Gompa fair is a religious fair and one of the most special occasions for the Buddhist Community in India. The two days Hemis Festival is celebrated with great zeal and devotion. This grand fair held in the month of January and February. It is the world’s famous and biggest Buddhist Monastery located in Ladakh.
The famous Hemis Gompa is surrounded by mountain, rock and concealed inside the Hemis National park. Hemis Gompa festival celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava. People assemble at the beautiful monastery of Hemis Gompa to witness the colorful celebration of the festival
6. Hampi Utsav, Karnataka
The Hampi Festival celebrates the culture and ancient rich city of Hampi through cultural dance and musical instruments, carnivals, elephant safaris, puppet shows, traditional themed handicraft shopping markets, and mouth-watering. A three-day festival is held in the ruins of the ancient city of Hampi.
To attract more tourists, the government has recently included activities like water harbor, rock climbing, and rural indigenous games in the festival. In addition to the festival, Hampi is a place of interest and a beautiful place for every historian or archaeologist to dream of summer.
7. Goa Carnival Festival, Goa
Inoculated with liveliness and energy, the Goa Carnival has been held every year since the 18th century just 40 days before Panjim, showcasing the colors, energy, and spirit of Goa. Celebrated for three to four days, the alleys are decorated with colors, the streets are taken by beautiful parades and you can indulge in delicious Goan food while enjoying various musical bands which put an end to the dull mood.
8. Konark Dance Festival, Odisha
Fans of Indian classical music will never miss one of the best music festivals in India, featuring Indian history and various folk dances. Held every year in Konark, Orissa, the festival celebrates Indian classical music to its fullest. The open auditorium wakes up in the light and plays the flute in the background during sunset, creating an atmosphere of love, divinity, and magic. In addition to celebrating dance festivals like Bharatanatyam, Chou dance, Kathak, and others, the festival serves as a platform for artists and choreographers.
9. Torgya Monastery Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
Torgya Math is a three-day monastic festival celebrated on the 28th day of the 11th month of the lunar calendar every year in Arunachal Pradesh. The festival begins with the recitation of religious texts and the monastic dance. The festival is celebrated to welcome prosperity and drive away evil spirits.
In addition to the Ama Tihyabhai Sannyasi dance, Chham, Jamakatak Chak Khur Jur Gurpa ritual is also performed by the monks as part of the festival. The Tawang Valley should be part of your domestic tour package if you like nature, mountains, and exciting scenery, and try to visit the place during the festival to get a deeper insight into the culture and history.
10. Rann Utsav, Gujarat
Enjoy the Rann Utsav of Gujarat, the most popular and once-in-a-lifetime experience of white sand. The two adventurous brave, mysterious, romantic, and meditative experiences become one on a full moon night when the desert shines in the moonlight. Go for a walk, meditate, sit with your partner or just enjoy the beauty of nature at the war festival. Try to book it in advance because people from all over the world have never seen corrupt folk dances, music ideas, and artisans in the workplace before.
11. Hornbill Festival, Nagaland
Nagaland celebrates the various tribes and clans of the Nagas at the 10-day long Hornbill Festival held in Naga Heritage Village, Kisama in December. The festival is a symphony of various cultural events, art and craft exhibitions, music performances, games, motorsports, carnival, flower galleries, and mouth-watering. As well as enjoying and learning about the culture of Nagaland you will get to see the beautiful scenery of Kismat. Each naga represents them through their respective manga (male above).
12. Khajuraho Dance Festival, Madhya Pradesh
This five-day dance festival in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, is celebrated every year at the end of winter and the beginning of spring. This dance festival celebrates the diversity of Indian diversity and heritage in centuries-old dances including Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipuri, Odyssey, Manipuri.
These include mythological dance performances such as Shiva’s cosmic dance-tandav and Lord Krishna’s Ras Leela with the gopis. Against the backdrop of the glorious temples of Khajuraho, these performances are a sight to behold for anyone wishing to explore the culture of Indian classical music. Also, let us not forget that The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and must be visited.
13. Tarnetar Mela, Gujarat
One of the most interesting tribal fairs in India, the Tarnetar Mela is held every year in the village of Tarnetar in Gujarat. The festival is interesting for the simple reason that it is one of the largest “wedding marts” in India where tribal men come to the fair carrying the world’s most elaborate and beautifully embroidered umbrellas. Women choose their potential husbands based on their most beautiful umbrella. It is also a cultural event with folk music and dance performances for general entertainment.
14. Jaisalmer Desert Festival, Rajasthan
The Desert Festival held in the town of Red Sandstone in Jaisalmer in February is an interesting celebration for three days in the desert of Rajasthan. It is a festival that brings to life music, dress, and traditions of the nomadic life, folk culture of the Indian desert. One can be immersed in the pure magic of three days by performing folk tales, music, and dance. The most important animal of the desert, the camel, is one of the main attractions of this festival.
India is a country full of diverse cultures. For its diversity, one can find festivals in the country at any time of the year. Although we have already written about the popular festivals in India, we will now tell you about the fairs in India that you must not miss. Most of these fairs witnessed huge gatherings and were enthusiastically organized by the locals. The fair helps to keep the culture of India alive.
We have listed the biggest and best fairs in India. In a country of cultural and geographical diversity, one can enjoy and feel the diversity of cultures, fairs, and festivals and India is a symbol of such an experience. In a country where after every one hundred kilometers you are assimilated by a new cultural identity, you can enjoy different backgrounds, beliefs, and heritage.
These fairs and festivals are part of the cultural fabric of our society and a continuation of our tradition. It is in this spirit that we have brought to you some of the most vibrant, interesting, and beautiful fairs and festivals in India which are organized and celebrated all over the country.