India is popular all around the world as the land of celebrations. The fairs and festivals of India are a display of the rich heritage, tradition and culture of the country, which attract a huge number of travelers from all around the globe. Apart from these yearly fairs and festivals, India also plays host a number of Mashotsav that are again a splendid celebration of diverse art and crafts, religion, cuisine and culture of India. The blog enlists top 12 famous and colorful Mahotsav in India:
3-day annual festival of Gujarat, the Rann Mahotsav is a cultural event that is a wonderful display of the authentic culture and feel of the mighty Rann of Kutch. Also known of Rann Utsav of Kutch, it has a number of highlights such as traditional folk dance and song performances, Thar Desert safari and so on.
This mahotsav is organized in the month of December and is one of the main attractions of Gujarat. This carnival is the celebration of the cultural ethnicity of the Kutch region and offers opportunity to the craftsmen, artisans and other artists to show their talent.
When- On full moon nights in December
Where- Kutch, Gujarat
[ Read More about Rann Utsav in Gujarat ]
The 5-day annual event of Ganga Mahotsav is organized in Varanasi or Banaras, the oldest inhabited city of India, which is located on the banks of the holy river of Ganga. This festival is a reflection of cultural heritage, tradition, cuisine, art and customers of the holy city of Varanasi. All the Ganga ghats/banks in Varanasi are lit with numerous lamps during magnificent festival that is celebrated at the time of Kartik Poornima
A Shilp Mela is also organized at the time of Ganga Mahotsav. Visitors take a dip in the holy waters and soak-in the divinity flowing in the air. Performances of Indian classic music and dance by top-shots of the field as well as activities like boating, swimming, wrestling are the prime highlights.
Where- Sant Ravi Das Ghat, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
The very popular Lucknow Mahotsav, also known as Lucknow Festival is a 10-day long event, which is organized to encourage art, culture and tourism of Uttar Pradesh.
This festival is a sparkling showcase of Awadhi splendor through traditional Indian classical Kathak dance performances, art and crafts, performances by musical Gharanas, theatre, and more. Visitors can binge on vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies of Lakhnawi cuisine, served in a huge variety.
Where- Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Held yearly in the month of November, Raas Mahotsav, also called Majuli Raas Mahotsav is nice experience of knowing the cultural heritage of the region. Organized in Howly town of Majuli Island, this mahotsav offers the visitors a chance to witness the traditions of the people of Majuli and the culture around the mighty Brahmaputra River. This is the best time to observe the folk dances, art and crafts and the culture of Assam.
This 4-day festival starts on the Raas Purnima Day. Raas Leela of Lord Krishna is performed by the local artists who start preparing for its several days for it. The stories of Krishna’s life are depicted through dance, chants, songs, puppets, masks and more. This festival is a show of Bhakti Rasa/devotional feelings for Lord.
Where-Howly, Majuli, Assam
The annual 10- day Taj Mahotsav of Agra takes place near the Taj Mahal, displaying the magnificent art and craft, music, dance, cuisine and culture of Agra along with the other states of the country. Artists from all around India come here to showcase their talent.
During the spectacular Taj Mahotsav, you can get your hands on some amazing stuff like paintings, jewellery, folk dresses, maps, furniture, show pieces, linen and other knick-knacks. Do not miss relishing delicacies of various states of India. This event is attended by world-famed artists, dancers, musicians and chefs.
Where- Agra, Uttar Pradesh
[ Read More about Taj Mahotsav Festivals in Agra ]
Kalinga Mahotsav or Dhauli Kalinga Mahotsav, organized every year in Bhubaneshwar is the national festival of martial art dance of Orissa. This 2-day mahotsav attracts martial art artists from all over the country.
The cause behind this celebration is the victory of peace over war and the inspiration lies behind the Kalinga war that took place during the reign of King Ashoka of Maurya Dynasty. Visitors can see thrilling martial art performances like Kalaripayattu from Kerela, Chhow and Paika from Odisha, Thang Ta from Manipur and more that involve use of swords, sticks, various acrobatics movements etc.
Where- Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Organized in the last week of the month of March each year, Bhoramdeo Mahotsav is celebrated in the very well-known Bhoramdeo Temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is placed in Kawarda, in India’s tribal state Chattisgarh.
Famed as Khajuraho of Chattisgarh, this old temple is sandwiched between Maikal ranges and thick forests. This mahotsav is an excellent opportunity to witness the dance and performing arts of the tribal people of the region.
Where- Kawardha, Chhattisgarh
Also known as the Desert Festival of Rajasthan, Maru Mahotsav is a 3-day fest that is famed all around the world for a colorful display of rich folk culture of Rajasthan. Held every year in the month of February, this festival receives heavy footfall from all around the world.
The festival includes various exciting competitions and events such as camel rides, matka race, visit to forts and havelis, best facial hair, turban tying, tug of war and more. One of the major highlights of the festival is a colorful process of decorated horses and camels that starts from Sonar Quila and ends with thrilling performances at the Sand dunes of Jaisalmer.
Where- Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
[ Read More about Folk Sounds of Rajasthani Music ]
A celebration of the traditional cultural glory of the Malabar region, Malabar Mahotsav is a captivating amalgam of musical and dance performances, organized in Calicut, now Kozhikode. Organized from 13th to 16th January, this mahotsav is an exhibit of rituals, cuisines, classical dance and music, literature, drama, folk, art and culture of Malabar.
Organized by the Kozhikode District Tourism Promotion Council from the year 1992, this festival is held at either the beach or Mananchira ground. Art forms such as Thira, Theyam, Koothu and classical dances like Ottanthullal, Mohiniyattom, Kathakali are the major attractions.
When- 13th to 16th January every year
Where- Calicut (Kozhikode), Kerala
Celebrated in the first week of July, Van Mahotsav is the annual day when trees are planted. Celebrated all around the country, this mahotsav involves plantation of tree on the sides of the roads to make the India green and conserve forests. Started in Indore in the Madhya Pradesh, it slowly involved the whole country and is attended by all with great enthusiasm.
Where- Madhya Pradesh
A stimulating display of the food, rituals, culture, dance and music of the Braj region of Mathura and Vrindavan, Braj Mahotsav is celebrated in the honor of Lord Krishan, mainly before Holi, the festival of colors. Organized every year The Braj Foundation, this festival till date since 2005 has been held at different locations such as Vrindavan, Barsana, Jaipur, Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad and this year in Bharatpur.
One of the main events is Raas Leela by popular folk artists of the region, wherein they enact several stories of Lord Krishna’s life. Apart from music and dance, this mahotsav involves theatre, painting, cuisine, literature and even paintings.
Where- Mathura-Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
Buddha Mahotsav (Tawang Mahotsav)
Also known as Tawang Mahotsav, Buddha Mahotsav is a 5-day long festival, which is organized on the event of Buddha Poornima. A celebration of cultural practices and traditional customers of the Buddhist followers, this festival is also celebrated at other places like Ladakh, Bodhgaya, Kushinagar and Sarnath. Along with the celebration of the teachings and life of Lord Buddha, one of the main causes of this festival is the promotion of spiritual tourism of Arunachal Pradesh.
Where- Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
[ Check Out some of the most famous Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites in India ]
Fair & Festivals in India in January
Fair & Festivals in India in February
Fair & Festivals in India in March
Fair & Festivals in India in October
Fair & Festivals in India in November
Fair & Festivals in India in December