There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds… I had been seeing the world in black & white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor. — Keith Bellows, National Geographic Society
Just looking at a picture of Taj Mahal already hints of the majestic sight it would be for real and up close. It may even inspire a burning desire to travel to India to see it and as much of the many attractions the country boast of. But apart from the spectacular sights, dramatic landscapes, scenic tea plantations, and the superb cuisine, India is also home to some of the world’s most famous festivals that showcase its rich history as well as cultural and religious heritage. If you are lucky, you may even get to celebrate an Indian festival during your visit. In a nation known for its great festivals, here are just some of the best ones you will not want to miss.
Highlights: Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a famous Hindu festival celebrated every year around mid-October or mid-November. Houses are lit up with beautiful lights many using clay lamps or candles. The celebration also features spectacular fireworks displays that light up the night sky.
2. Ganesh Chaturthi
Highlights: For ten days, India celebrates the Hindu festival Ganesh Chaturthi. Some of this festivals top attractions are the Ganesh idols decorated in homes or in public spaces, the wide array of cultural activities, and the culminating event where people immerse a Ganesh idol in a lake or at the sea.
Highlights: Beautiful and colorful, the Festival of Colors is one of India’s best-known festivals. Holika bonfires are lit during the eve of Holi. People then gather around the bonfires to dance and sing. And during the day of Holi itself, people spend time outdoors playing with colors.