Other than the regular festivals, the Government of India, Department of Tourism with the state governments is highlighting aspects of Indian celebrations through a unique programme of theme festivals. A selection of these is detailed here...
Desert Festival Jaisalmer, Rajasthan This popular festival celebrates the colourful dances and the music of the desert with the Golden Fort as its impressive backdrop.
International Kite Festival Ahmedabad, Gujarat Makar Sankranti is a time when competitive kite flying marks the occasion all over India. But in Ahmedabad, the sky is aswarm with kites, there are demonstrations of overseas kites, a display of the rich crafts of the state, and a simultaneous regional food festival.
Goa Carnival February heralds the carnival at Goa. For three days and nights, the legendary king Momo takes over the state and the streets come alive with colour. The week long event is a time of festivity. It occurs on three days in February or early March. Meant to be a festing-drinking-merrymaking orgy just before the 40 days of Lent. It is Goa`s most famous festival and has been celebrated since the 18th Century.
Konark Festival Konark, Orissa A celebration of the art forms of the state, and particularly the dance form of Odissi, against the spectacular backdrop of the Sun Temple. Lucknow Festival Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh The lifestyle of Lucknow-erstwhile Avadh is leisurely, with its formal mannerisms, its rich cuisine, with a tradition of appreciation for verse, dance and music. An exposition of these is put together in this unusual festival.
Festival Of Dances Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh To the magnificent backdrop of the Khajuraho temples, the celebrated dancers of India entertain a discriminating audience with riveting performances.
Kochi, Kerala (April) Kerala is India's spice capital, and its rich variety of spices will be celebrated by means of educational seminars, tours to spice growing areas as well as a food festival.
International Flower Festival Gangtok, Sikkim (April/ May) It is the peak flowering period in Sikkim and you will have a good chance of seeing several of its 400 species of orchids, 240 varieties of ferns, 240 species of birds and 150 kinds of gladioli. And you also have the promise of flower arrangement demonstration, nature photography, driftwood sculpture and a choice of treks.
International Mango Festival Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh (July) India grows over 500 varieties of this king of fruits, and they will be on display here with a food festival, cultural shows and river rafting too!
Indian International Trade Fair
New Delhi (November) Held at the prestigious Pragati Maidan exhibition grounds, the best of national and international technology along with crafts is on display. Traditional celebrations, film shows and contemporary entertainment abounds.
Pushkar Mela Ajmer, Rajasthan On the occasion of one of Rajasthan's oldest religious and commercial fairs, visitors can participate in the music and dance shows, the exciting shopping, and unusual cultural events. Accommodation is in tented camps.
Shekhavati Festival Rajasthan (December) The Shekhavati region in Rajasthan is famous for its frescoes. This festival will focus attention on these wall paintings with special tours, through the music and dance of the desert, and with the help of local crafts and cuisine.
International Seafood Festival Goa's unique rhythm and beat will get a fillip with this festival that celebrates its seafood cuisine, both regional as well as international specialties, embellished with an array of Goan wines. Song, dance and laughter, and watersports by the beach make it a not to be missed event.