India is well known for being a cultural treasure with colourful traditions. One of the best way to experience the country is to take part of a festival. Indeed, India is home of many festivals and fairs, some related to culture, many related to spiritual beliefs. The month of March, most particularly, is full of festivals to enjoy. If you are planning on visiting the country during this month of the year, then you should definitely make the most of it and participate in one of them. Here are the some of the best festivals of March in India to put in your agenda for 2017.
When you are thinking of March festivals in India, it is impossible not to think of the very colourful Holi. Celebrated all around the country, this Hindu festival honours the victory of the good against the bad. You will certainly have a lot of fun to witness the celebrations of Holi and even more if you participate. The streets and the parks become a playground where people throw colours at each other, which also explains why it is sometimes referred as being the Festival of Colours.
When: March 13th 2017
Where: All over India, but if you can, try to go to Jaipur or Mathura.
2. Jaipur Elephant Festival
Another very colourful festival of India is Jaipur Elephant Festival. Taking place in Jaipur, the pink city of Rajasthan, and celebrated during Holi, this festival honours elephants. One of the most important Gods of Hinduism, Lord Ganesha, is represented as an elephant which explains why this animal is worshipped. Expect to see many of the animals painted and decorated with jewels as well as different kind of competitions like Elephant races.
When: March 13th , 2017
3. Matho Nagrang
If you happen to be in Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir) during March, try to make a stop to the picturesque city of Leh to celebrate Matho Nagrang. This festival is celebrated in a monastery and is part of Tibetan culture. Mask dances and shows are performed by monks and two oracles make their appearance after being isolated during a full month, meditating. They then make their predictions for the future of the village and the people.
When: March 11th and 12th 2017
Where: Matho Monastery
4. Chinakkathoor Pooram
Celebrated in Kerala, Chinakkathoor Pooram Festival is a lot of fun for locals as well as for tourists. Among the many activities taking place, you will see decorated elephants, shadow puppet shows, Panchavadyam (Kerala orchestra) and other cultural shows in the streets. It is also a great festival to appreciate local art.
When: Chinakkathoor Bhagavathi Temple, Palappuram, Kerala
Where: March 11th and 12th, 2017
5. Thirunakkara Arattu
Also taking place in the amazing state of Kerala, known as God’s Own Country, Thirunakkara Arattu is a ten days festival honouring Lord Mahadeva. Traditional Kerala dances are performed by colourfully dressed and masked dancers. On the last day, nine elephants are beautifully decorated to conclude the festival with the bathing ceremony of Lord Mahedava.
When: March 15th to 24th, 2017
Where: Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple, Kottayam District, Kerala
6. Malanada Kettukazcha
Last but not least festival of Kerala listed here is Malanada Kettukazcha. This festival is truly impressive with its huge decorated structures called Iduppu Kala and Eduppu Kuthira, part of a competition between people of different villages. They are carried around on people’s shoulders or on chariots. Traditional orchestra of drums are playing and cultural programs are taking place at night.
When: March 24th, 2017
Where: Poruvazhi Maladana Temple, Kerala
You may already know that Goa is a wonderful destination in India to celebrate and to have fun. If you happen to be in the state during the month of March, you should definitely take part of Shigtmotsav, a colourful festival that is just as vibrating as Goa. Celebrating the season changing, this festival has many activities to enjoy such as local dances, parades and drums.
When : March 24th to April 7th, 2017
Where : Different towns in Goa including Panjim
8. Godwar Festival
The three days Godwar Festival is a fun festival to enjoy if you want to see the best of Rajasthani Culture. Folk dances and folk music are part of the festivities as well as local handicrafts and arts. Some interesting and unique competitions are also taking place such as turban tying and camel races. During the same period of time, you can also enjoy horse shows, horse races and horse safaris.
When: March 29th and 30th, 2017
Where: Pali, Rajasthan
9. Mewar Festival
Another way to enjoy the culture of Rajasthan is to take part of the Mewar Festival. Celebrated in Udaipur, one of the most romantic city in India, this festival marks the beginning of spring. As part of the celebrations, women assemble images of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and carry them around the city until the Lake Pichola. Folk dances and music, various performances as well as fireworks are part of the sights.
When: March 29th to 31st, 2017
Where: Udaipur, Rajasthan
10. International Yoga Festival
Also known as the Capital of Yoga, Rishikesh is among tourists’ favourite destination in India, especially for the hippies and the spiritual seekers. One unique festival is taking place in this very peaceful and relaxing city, and it is called the International Yoga Festival. Obviously, if you are a fan of yoga, it is the perfect moment to go to Rishikesh. Special classes and special discussions sessions with well known spiritual leaders of India are among the activities offered. It is also a good moment to share your passion for yoga with travelers from around the world.
When: March 1st to 7th 2017
Where: Rishikesh, at Parmarth Niketan Ashram
11. Turtle Festival
Not too far from Mumbai is taking place a very unique festival in India, the Turtle Festival. This march, this is your chance to live a different experience in India and to witness one of the cutest thing nature has to offer. You will see tiny baby turtles coming out of their eggs and then try to find their way to the sea. This festival is part of a turtle conversation movement taken in charge by the villagers of the eco-village of Velas.
When: March 18th-19th and 25th-26th 2017
Where: Velas Beach, Maharashtra