Major Art Festivals in India
India, a beautiful potpourri of cultures, always remains a fascinating and captivating beauty for travelers of all age groups. Whether it is its breathtaking panorama of hill stations, architecturally adorned cities, sacred destinations with the buzz of celestial mantras or the fun-and-frolic beaches, every attraction of the country has its own shade and glitter. But in so much diversity, the one thing that unites the country as a string of pearl is its colourful and interesting festivals. Depicting every culture, religion and region, the festival tourism in India brightens the land’s enormity through a VIBGYOR canvas.
Make your festive holidays in India more interesting and colourful with these upcoming major festivals in 2014 that are soon going to be held at various destinations in the country.
Ajanta Ellora Festival
Portraying a very rhythmic way to celebrate the rich heritage of Indian art, Ajanta Ellora festival offers a very interesting and exciting way to explore centuries-old architectural heritage imbibed in the historical structures of Aurangabad. It was earlier known as ‘Ellora festival’ and was held in the magnificent Ellora Caves. But since 2002, the venue of the festival has been shifted to Soneri Mahal. Now, Ajanta Ellora festival is a major festival in India and provides a world-class platform for hundreds of Indian classical and folk dancers and instrumental and vocal musicians. It alsopromotes Indian handicraft richness in Kalagram. The aim of this colourful annual festival is to support rich talents of Indian artists and is conducted by the Tourism Department of Maharashtra government.
15th January 2014
Venue: Soneri Mahal, Aurangabad
India Art Fair
It has been only six years (2008) since India Art Fair first emerged as a festival tourism in India. But thenceforth, the art event has made its presence on an international level, witnessing the participation of not only regional artists but also of curators, art collectors, gallery owners, museum directors and media from world-wide. Thus, making it one of the leading art fairs in South Asia that focuses on the contemporary and modern art forms. Till date, this internationally known event of Delhi has been attended by more than 300,000 art enthusiasts.
Event Date: 30th January–2nd February 2014
Venue: NSIC Exhibition Ground, New Delhi
Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
While speaking of Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, it may be genuine that the name appears as unknown among the major Indian fairs and festivals. But this new art event is celebrating its 16th edition this year after completing 15 successful years. Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is a communal arts celebration event held in the precincts of the historical Kala Ghoda District of South Mumbai. The area is dotted with several art museums and galleries including the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Prince of Wales Museum. The 9-day long art event organizes numerous musical shows, street plays, dance performances, literature fests and workshops apart from displaying theatre and visual art works of artists from all over the country.
Event Date: 1st February – 9th February 2014
Venue: Several locations in Kala Ghoda District
Surajkund Crafts Mela
The mood-setting rural ambience, foot-tapping music, wide-ranging art and craft and energetic folk dancers from all over India welcome travelers in a sensuously traditional way to Surajkund Crafts Mela. Since 1981, the fair displays a fine collection of handloom items, paintings and art work made of stone, ivory, terracotta, cane and grass. Along with these colourful exhibits, the craft fair also hosts musical shows in the evening, magical and acrobat performances and theater workshops for the complete leisure of the visitors. There are also several food stalls where you can relish varied mouthwatering regional dishes of India. It is an annual event organized by the Tourism Department of India along with the Department of Haryana Tourism.
Event Date: 1st February –15th February 2014
Venue: Faridabad, Haryana
Your festive holidays in India are incomplete without an expedition to Taj Mahotsav, one of the most colourful and most-sought after art festivals in India. This 10-day long annual festival offers wonderful opportunities to have a glimpse of country’s vibrant culture, arts and crafts. Started in 1992, the festival is thronged by a large number of Indian nationals and foreign tourists. From stone and wood figurines of Tamil Nadu to bamboo and cane art work of the North-eastern states and from Kantha stitch embroidery from west Bengal to pottery art of Khurja, more than 300 artisans showcase their talents in the festival. Along with exquisite art and craft collections, one can also enjoy a fun fair and varieties of regional dishes and folk dance performances from Uttar Pradesh at Taj Mahotsav.
Event Date: 18th – 27th February
Venue: Shilpgram, Agra
Be a part of 3-day non-stop fun at Goa Carnival! If you want to enjoy the real richness and hues of festive holidays in India then Goa Carnival is a good start. Celebrated with great enthusiasm two days after Easter, the carnival is a much-awaited event, the preparations for which begin in December itself. Offering a glimpse of the state’s culture in the most vibrant and colourful way, musical parades,vibrant carriage processions, street plays, dances and regional songs are the major highlights of the carnival. Adding much glamour to this cultural–cum-art fair are the contestants dressed up in beautiful and bright costumes along with intricate masks.
Event Date: Two-days after Easter
Venue: Throughout Goa
Rajasthan International Folk Festival
If you ever got a chance to witness Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), then you will definitely want to attend it again. Such is the magic and beauty of this annual festival held amid the golden sand dunes of Thar Desert and attended by hordes of music lovers and folk artists. Revealing the treasure of India’s musical art on a global platform, this musical event is an experience to cherish forever. Thanks to its rustic appeal and foot-tapping music performances. For the complete leisure of participants and visiting guests, the festival also organizes several workshops in the morning phase of the day, exhibiting a collection of several musical instruments used in India. In short, RIFF is an excellent event to witness the perfect blend of India’s musical and cultural heritage richness.
Event Date: 8th – 12th October 2014
Venue: In and around Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
International Film Festival
Dedicated to visual art performers, International Film Festival in India (IFFI) is one of the biggest event of art festival tours of India. First conducted in 1952, the event is organized by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry of India in collaboration with Goa’s state government. It is a yearly event that focuses on providing a common platform for film makers and artists of all genres from the world of cinema. Along with screening of several world-class movies, IFFI also provides excellent opportunities to young and talented artists to showcase their skills. It also honours the contribution of noted personality from the cinematic world not only of India but also from all across the world.
Event Date: Not yet declared
Venue: Panaji, Goa
Delhi International Arts Festival
Delhi International Arts Festival made its debut in the month of December, 2007 and since then the festival has emerged as a symbolic art and cultural festival of India. Lasting for 10-20 days, the event is an annual affair held at different places of the national capital city. The first of its kind, the event is based on the mutual collaborations of government and non-government agencies and corporate and civil societies. Attracting thousands of writers, artists, experts and art enthusiasts from all across the globe, Delhi International Arts Festival is adorned by exhibitions, literature events, western classical music performances, sufi and youth festivals and visual art, folk and Indian classical dance shows.
Event Date: 8th – 23rd February 2014
Venue: Multiple places in Delhi
Bengaluru International Arts Festival
Whether you like to have a good laugh on the hilarious acts of comedians from Chennai or want to tap your foot on the musical notes of any foreign dance troupe like Sri Lanka or Norway, Bengaluru International Arts Festival is an excellent way to catch the art talent of not only India but also of the world. The event is an initiative of Artists’ Introspective Movement (AIM) founded by Dr. Suma Sudhindra, renowned Veena exponent, and Veena Murthy Vijay, famous Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancer. It is right to call the festival a melting pot of lively dance, blissful music, folk culture, inspiring theatrical art and many more. Along with Indian art forms, visitors can also enjoy various contemporary dance and other art-based performances of foreign artists. People eagerly wait for this annual event and it is one of the major upcoming festivals in 2014.
Event Date: Not yet declared
Venue: Bengaluru/Bangalore, Karnataka