The rich state of Gujarat is well known for its architectural wonders and its historic sites. It also has a rich culture that enhances the experience of its tourists. The lively place of Gujarat becomes even note energised at its fairs and festivals. It is her where you can truly embrace Gujarat, from its roots. Visit the following festivals and bask in the golden opportunities they provide.
1. Rann Utsav
The splendid white desert of Rann of Kutch comes to life at the Kutch festival that takes place from November to February. The festival epitomises Gujarat’s rich culture, with beautiful performances, both by artists and handicraft makers. Men with bright red turbans and a white attire fill the air with their melodious music and a feeling of joy. You can avail the delicious cuisine of Gujarat at this festival, while staying in tents in the desert for a heavenly experience.
2. Shamlaji Melo
Taking place over a glorious three-week period, at the Shamlaji temple, this festival is a cultural and religious experience for visitors. Devotees visit this temple for worshipping the dirty by singing and chanting religious songs. Besides the religious fervour, the festival is also an auspicious place to trade silverware, ornaments and cloth. You can experience an authentic cultural picture of Gujarat at this festival.
3. Vautha Mela
An animal trading festival, it is here that you will find animals and their owners dressed ornately and elaborately to attract buyers. Vautha Mela is a highly-revered affair, as holy rivers converge at its venue. People can set up tents near the fair and enjoy the delicious cuisine that is prepared; everyday a different menu is at your service. The place is brimming with activity as people graze over the beautiful handicrafts being sold as well as marvel at the decorated animals. As the night falls, the rivers light up, with deeyas floating on its surface, bringing the starry sky down on Earth.
4. International Kite Festival
A festival celebrating the free spiritedness in you, the Kite festival in Gujarat is an internationally acclaimed festival. It hosts kite lovers from all over the country and the globe, who bring kites of all colours and shapes for some friendly competitions and to simply experience this magnificent joy. Hundreds of these colourful jewels adorn the cloudy sky, making it a perfect backdrop to your internal happy state. Everyone in Gujarat is taken by the kite fever and kites can be seen in every nook and corner in the month of January.
5. Modhera Dance Festival
Held at the architectural marvel of Sun Temple, the Modhera Dance Festival opens the doors to the rich classical dances of India for its visitors. Professional dancers, dancing with skill, precision and expression will leave you inspired and refreshed. Added to that, the beautiful Sun Temple can also be explored at this festival. The festival showcases the local history of the vicinity, and the beautifully lit premises with the mesmerising dances take you back to the past.
6. Bhavnath Mahadev Fair
A fun and frolic fair, dedicated to Lord Shiva is a significant event for the people of Gujarat. At Bhavnath Mahadev Fair, which lasts for five days is started with a procession of majestically decorated elephants. The entire fair is filled with people enjoying the religiosity in the air, with stalls selling idols, sweets, other offerings. The festival even has dance and music performances.
The birth date of Lord Krishna is celebrated with much gusto in Gujarat. Janmashtmi is marked by the energising dahi handi breaking event, where a human pyramid is prepared for the apex human to break open a pot containing Krishna’s favourite delicacy. Besides this the festival is an enthusiastic affair, with dances and theatrics prepared, dedicated to life stories of Lord Krishna. The temples are also decorated beautifully to celebrate the birthday of the beloved Lord.
8. Bhadra Purnima Fair
A religious festival, the Bhadra Purnima Fair is dedicated to the Goddess Ambaji and is held at Ambaji temple on the full moon day of August or September. During the festival, devotees recite the Saptshati, a 700 verses prayer. The festival also houses a number of folk dance performances and cultural music evenings. This is one of the most celebrated festival in Gujarat and hundreds of people descent at the Ambaji Temple to pay their homage.
A typical scene for Gujarat, straight out of your imagination, comes alive in Navratri. The only catch being, it is brighter, bigger and more lively than your fancy. People dressed in traditional attire of Gujarat, and dancing on the melodious and upbeat tunes will keep your senses overfilled with activity. Garba and dandiya are the popular folk dances during this time, in addition to the traditional music to keep you entertained. Although this festival is celebrated throughout the country, Navratri is Gujarat is a different experience altogether. Be sure to visit it once in your lifetime.
10. Beach Festival
Organised at the Tithal beach, the beach festival is an upbeat affair that is a fun event for tourists and locals alike. In the festival, the beach is decorated with twinkling lights and it hosts a number of activities, ranging from water sports to music events. There are also magic shows and volleyball competitions organised to keep the attendees entertained. Nights are filled with dancing and musical fests, that will leave you wanting for more.
Enrich yourself by experiencing the culture of Gujarat in its full force at its festivals. These festivals will push you to dance, sing, gaze at the sky or enjoy heavenly performances right here on Earth.