It's Festival Time In India!
Discover India|September - October 2021
The richness of a culture is often reflected in its festivals, and that stands true in india, the land of festivals. Many of its celebrations go unnoticed under the all-encompassing blanket of popular events, such as holi and diwali. Here are 10 unique gems that guarantee a mesmerising experience.
Shrimayee Thakur

CHAMPAKULAM BOAT RACE, KERALA

The oldest boat race in the country, the Champakulam Boat Race, held in late June or early July on the Pampa River, kicks off the annual boat racing season in Kerala. A riot of colours in the form of boats decked with beautiful parasols precedes the race, which is held in different stages for different categories of boats, with the most popular one being the snake-boat race. These long, narrow vessels are indeed an awe-inspiring sight, with each boat stretching over 30 metres in length, with raised prows and seating up to 100 rowers. Once the race begins, paddles swish furiously through the water as oarsmen attempt to get ahead of other competitors, all the while singing Vanchippattu, folk songs unique to Kerala.

GETTING THERE: Fly to Cochin International Airport from any major Indian city. From there, Champakulam is about an hour-and-a-half (71 km) away by road.

STAY: Step back in time at the Kumarakom Lake Resort, where rooms, villas, and suites have been built to emulate manas—16th-century, traditional homesteads of Kerala (starts from 19,500/USD259; kumarakomlakeresort.in).

BIHU, ASSAM

Bihu is traditionally a set of three festivals: Rongali celebrated in the middle of April, Kongali celebrated in October, and Bhogali celebrated in January. Rongali Bihu, which means colour and festivity, is celebrated with great spirit and zeal over the course of seven days. It is also known as Bohag Bihu and is the most important of the three, signifying the beginning of the Assamese New Year and the arrival of spring. The joyful atmosphere and people clad in traditional dresses dancing to the bright tunes of the gogona and toka (Assamese musical instruments) reel you in, while the community feasts and commemorative fairs offer opportunities to immerse oneself in the rich culture of the state. Assam’s largest city, Guwahati is a great place catch all the action.

GETTING THERE: Guwahati’s Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport is well connected to major cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. Dispur, the state’s capital, is located just seven km from Guwahati.

STAY: Radisson Blu Hotel Guwahati is the epitome of luxury, and is situated close to attractions such as the Deepor Beel Wildlife Sanctuary and Assam State Museum (starts from 5,440/USD72; radissonhotels.com).

GOA CARNIVAL, GOA

Usually celebrated during the months of either February or March, before Lent begins, the Goa Carnival is a one-of-a-kind celebration that has been around since the 18th-century introduction of Roman Catholic traditions during the Portuguese conquest of Goa. Much like Mardi Gras, its famous counterpart in Rio, the Goa Carnival is presided over by someone from the state chosen to play the Carnival King Momo. The King’s decree of ‘kha, piye, aani majja kar’ (eat, drink and be merry) kickstarts a grand celebration with spectacular parades in the cities of Panaji, Margao, Vasco, and Mapusa, featuring dancers, musicians, fire-breathers, jesters, acrobats, clowns, and brass bands. Don’t forget to treat yourself to the sumptuous feasts prepared by restaurants across the state, as tradition demands.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Goa International Airport, in Dabolim. From there, head to Panaji via road, which takes around 40 minutes (28 km).

STAY: The Taj Resort & Convention Centre, Goa is a resort paradise that offers everything—comfort, luxury, and a breathtaking view of the sea (starts from 16,400/ USD218; tajhotels.com).

HOLLA MOHALLA, PUNJAB

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM DISCOVER INDIAView All

It's Festival Time In India!

The richness of a culture is often reflected in its festivals, and that stands true in india, the land of festivals. Many of its celebrations go unnoticed under the all-encompassing blanket of popular events, such as holi and diwali. Here are 10 unique gems that guarantee a mesmerising experience.

9 mins read
Discover India
September - October 2021

Culture beyond Borders

A trip to the northernmost frontier of Ladakh warrants a visit to the unique Balti Museum, where you will discover a culture that has survived despite wars and shifting borders.

4 mins read
Discover India
September - October 2021

A Mouthful of South

South Indian cuisine gets a new lease of life at Savya Rasa Delhi—the restaurant pleasantly surprises with its sophisticated flavours and originality.

2 mins read
Discover India
September - October 2021

Far From Home

Singapore-based Patricia (@oneoceanaway) visited India twice in the same year with her husband, Michael. And though the second sojourn was a few days before the pandemic forced the world into a lockdown, this Spanish wanderer has nothing but happy memories and happier images of their adventure in India.

3 mins read
Discover India
September - October 2021

Abode of the Goddess

Steeped in legend and jasmine aroma, Madurai draws the bulk of its tourists with ornate temples. But go deeper and you’ll discover that the city holds a unique allure for everyone.

7 mins read
Discover India
September - October 2021

Into the Unknown

Embark on a 10-day road trip across eastern and central Arunachal Pradesh to find fresh perspective and a world that abounds in pristine beauty.

8 mins read
Discover India
September - October 2021

Au Naturel

AINDRILA MITRA experiences the charm of a luxe farm stay amid wilderness at Mihir Garh, a boutique property near Jodhpur.

4 mins read
Discover India
September - October 2021

HIGH on HERITAGE

In the brief lull between two waves of the raging pandemic, a trip uncovered assorted treasures in Madhya Pradesh: from the ornate palaces of Orchha to the iconic temples of Khajuraho, and the wild denizens of Panna Tiger Reserve.

6 mins read
Discover India
September - October 2021

HOME is where the PUJA is

As preparations crescendo for this year’s Durga Puja, experience the humble pandals of Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, and traditional family’s annual rituals.

5 mins read
Discover India
September - October 2021

The DAWN is NIGH

Varanasi may be best known for its ethereal ghats and boat rides on the River Ganga, but its svelte lanes are brimming with culinary specialties and unique silk saris. Set out on a fine morning to sample these and discover just how much the pandemic has affected local businesses.

5 mins read
Discover India
September - October 2021
RELATED STORIES

12 Stays of Christmas

Walking in a winter wonderland takes on a whole new meaning when you and your dog spend the holiday season at one of these Fido-friendly hotels.

6 mins read
FIDO Friendly
Fall/Winter 2019

Holiday Gift Guide

The hottest holiday gift ideas to keep your mopar happy during the holidays

3 mins read
Mopar Muscle
January 2020

जुए में न करें जेब खाली

कहते हैं जुए की लत में जर, जोरू और जमीन, सब दांव पर लग जाते हैं. महाभारत से ले कर आज के भारत में जुए की गंदी लत ने न जाने कितने घरों को बरबाद किया है, कितने घरों में अशांति फैलाई है. क्या आप भी इस की लत में सबकुछ खोने को तैयार हैं?

1 min read
Mukta
October 2021

बजट में ब्यूटी शौपिंग टिप्स

त्योहारों में ब्यूटी प्रोडक्ट्स की खरीदारी करने से पहले यह जानना आप के लिए बेहद जरूरी है...

1 min read
Grihshobha - Hindi
October First 2021

फैस्टिव मेकअप लुक

इस त्योहार अपनी खूबसूरती से लोगों की तारीफ बटोरना चाहती हैं, तो यह जानकारी आप के लिए ही है....

1 min read
Grihshobha - Hindi
October First 2021

त्योहारी बिक्रीः बड़ों की चुस्त, छोटों की सुस्त

नवरात्रि के साथ 7 अक्टूबर को शुरू हुए और शनिवार को भाई दूज के साथ संपन्न हुए महीने भर चलने वाले इस त्योहारी मौसम ने वैश्विक महामारी के बाद भारत में संपन्न और कम संपन्न उपभोक्ताओं के बीच बढ़ते अंतर को मजबूत किया है। अमीरों ने कारों, मोबाइल फोन और टेलीविजन से लेकर वॉशिंग मशीन और रेफ्रिजरेटर तक हर बड़ी चीज को लपकते हुए अपनी जेब ढीली कर दी। महामारी से तबाह हुए कम संपन्न लोग गायब ही रहे। बढ़ती महंगाई, विभिन्न उत्पाद श्रेणियों में कीमत वृद्धि और दबावग्रस्त घरेलू बजट के बीच ये खरीदार पारंपरिक बने हुए हैं।

1 min read
Business Standard - Hindi
November 08, 2021

टाटा मोटर्स की सेल्स में हुआ 30% का इजाफा

फेस्टिवल सीजन के बीच प्रमुख ऑटो कंपनियों ने अक्टूबर महीने के लिए अपने आंकड़ें जारी करना शुरू कर दिया है। देश की प्रमुख ऑटो मेजर टाटा मोटर्स को इस दौरान जबरदस्त फायदा हुआ। टाटा मोटर्स ने इस दौरान 30 फीसदी अधिक वाहन बेचे। वहीं देश की सबसे बड़ी ऑटो मैन्यूफैक्चरर कंपनी मारुति सुजुकी की सेल्स इस दौरान 24 फीसदी गिर गई।

1 min read
Hari Bhoomi
November 02, 2021

बाजारों में उमड़ रही भीड़ पर सख्ती बढ़ाएगी पुलिस

त्योहारों और कोरोना के मद्देनजर पुलिस आयुक्त ने ली बैठक, मार्केट एसोसिएशन से भी सहयोग मांगा

1 min read
Hindustan Times Hindi
November 01, 2021

Shopping Small This Festive Season

As the Christmas spirit starts to manifest, here’s how to support independent creatives and small businesses – and reap the many benefits on offer

4 mins read
Mollie Makes
Issue 135

ट्रेंडी और ट्रेडिशनल भी हो आपका अंदाज

त्योहार का मतलब है फैशनेबल और खूबसूरत कपड़े, जिनकी चाह दिवाली जैसे त्योहार में पूरी होती है। ऑउटफिट को लेकर महिलाओं की पसंद काफी अलग होती है, जिसमें फैशन का ध्यान रखना तो सबसे ज्यादा जरूरी है।

1 min read
Grehlakshmi
October 2021