4 Feb 2014

A Host of Festivals

Time is galloping well ahead of us and even before we knew it, the first month of the New Year is already history. But there is always something to look forward to in February. The shortest month of the year has a long calendar of events and festivals. Here are some destinations you can travel to soak in the celebrations.

1. Kala Ghoda Festival, Mumbai
Mumbai is celebrating and how! The streets are filled with installations, it is rocking with music, there are films being screened and heritage walks held across the city. The festival is slowly moving beyond South Mumbai and it is also enveloping all aspects of heritage and culture. So make your date with Mumbai this year as the festival is on from February 1-9.

2. Sula Fest
Kick-start February with a dash of spirit. Sula Fest 2014 is on at Nashik at very first weekend of February on 1 and 2. And it’s more than just wine. Live music, fashion, food and shopping – all presented to you in the amphitheatre at Sula Vineyard. And if the atmosphere is not enough, there is a tent city being prepared for accommodation. Raise your glass and join in.

3. Goa Grape Escapade
More good news for oenophiles. From February 6 to 9, get high on wine in Goa. It is the official festival to get intoxicated. There are more than 20 wineries pouring out wine into your glass to taste and, then of course, there is the traditional Grape Stomping.  Jazz up your day with some music and dance as well and liven up your spirits. After all, this is Goa.

4. Rajasthan - Desert Festival and Khuri Festival
The silent sands of the Thar Desert come alive with music, culture and folk performances during the Desert Festival held in Jaisalmer from February 12-14. Musicians compete with each other with their throaty voices as they pour out ballads of courage and sacrifice, while puppeteers and jugglers entertain you. As a spin-off, there is an all-night festival of music and adventure at the Khuri sand dunes from February 13-16 where all you have to do is to camp in the desert, gaze at the moon, and lose yourself in the magic of the atmosphere. Believe me, this is not a mirage.

 5. Shekhawati Festival,  Rajasthan
Rajasthan is celebrating the famous havelis of Shekhavati, their artisans and their skills. A festival of colour and culture, this is held from February 8-10 in Nawalgarh. Besides the touristy camel safaris,you can interact with locals, besides touring the famous havelis and seeing the paintings in this region. A crafts bazaar, organic food court, sporting activities and contests and competitions are in store.

6. Neralu Tree Festival, Bangalore
Bangalore celebrates its first-ever citizen-driven, crowd-sourced festival on trees. Once famed for its green cover, Bangalore is slowly losing its trees to urbanisation and all that can be showcased are the two heritage parks – the Cubbon Park and Lal Bagh. The latter alone is home to over 1,500 species of flora. The festival is held from February 8-9 at Cubbon Park and there are several heritage walks, talks, photo exhibitions, storytelling sessions and film screenings in store.

7. Taj Mahotsav
At Shilpgram, near the Eastern Gate of the Taj Mahal, step back in time and invoke the days of Mughal India. A procession of elephants and camels led by drummers kick-starts the festival as you engross yourself in a world of arts and crafts. A carnival lasting for about ten days, Taj Mahotsav begins on February 18 and goes on till February 27.

8. Khajuraho Dance Festival
There is more to Khajuraho than just erotic sculptures for this is a place in which you would fall in love. There is romance in the air and the stone sculptures just give expression to the amorous atmosphere. Adding to it, against the backdrop of the magnificent temples of Vishwanatha and Chitragupta temples, is the live performance of traditional Indian dancers. Livening up the ambience and adding to the charm is the Khajuraho dance festival that takes place between February 26-28 every year.

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