Are you planning to travel around the country this winter? If so, make your travel plans to coincide with some the most amazing and unique festivals. Winter is almost here and the month of December is around the corner, which makes it one of the best months to travel and explore India.
One can give a miss to the large crowds who make their way to popular tourist destinations by being part of some of these festivals which happen in different parts of the country. Let's say the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland or the Rann Utsav of Kutch, the month of December is full of celebrations. Make your choice amongst any of these festivals and plan your holidays accordingly.
1. The Winter Festival, Mount Abu
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The Winter Festival is an annual event which happens at Mount Abu and is organised by the Rajasthan Tourism and Municipal Board. The vibrant festival showcases a cultural treat of traditional dance forms, concerts, poetry readings, fairs and much more along with a mind-blowing firework show. One would come across cultural performances, such as Sufi Kathak, Daph, Ghoomar and Gair along with sporting activities, such as kite flying, hot air ballooning, gilli danda and many others.
2. Perumthitta Tharavad Kottamkuzhy, Kasaragod
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Theyyam is a ritualistic dance form which is very popular in the northern regions of the state. Theyyam is performed in homes, shrines and during various events in the region; one such event is the 10-day-long festival at the temple of Perumthitta Tharavad Kottamkuzhy in Kasaragod.
The dance showcases several mythical and historical characters to the audience. The artisans enact the role of various heroes and ancestral spirits, which induces a sense of wonder amongst the onlookers. There are several forms of Theyyams and popular ones amongst them are Chamundi, Muthappan, Elayoor, etc.
3. Galdan Namchot, Leh
Galdan Namchot is celebrated in the region to commemorate the birth and the Buddhahood of a Tibetan saint and scholar, Tsongkhapa, who founded the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhism in the 14th century. During the festival, the entire region is lit up and is truly a sight which one must not miss.
The festival also marks off the New Year celebration of the region and the festivities go on until the month of February. The New Year is welcomed by artisans who put up a show of light and fire by spinning flaming torches in the air and then throwing them away.
4. Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav, Pune
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The Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav celebrates Hindustani classical music for more than six decades. The festival was started by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, in memory of Pandit Sawi Gandharava and has opened up its stage to a large number of legends like Zakir Hussain, Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Jasraj and many more since its inception and continues to bring in more.
5. Rann Utsav, Kutch
The Rann of Kutch removes its monochrome appearance of white to embrace the various colours of the Rann Utsav every winter. The festival, goes on for a period of three to four months and has already started on 1st November. Tents are set-up at the edge of the salt desert and visitors get a hands-on experience of the local culture, cuisine, hospitality and much more from the loving people of Kutch.
The festival offers one a grand treat of folk dance and music performances, adventure sports, food stalls and much more. Watching the full moon rise over the large expanse of the salt desert would indeed give you memories for a lifetime.