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Festivals of India 2016

Festivals of India 2016

India is a land of exotic flavours, vivid colours and rich cultural traditions, epitomised by the many spectacular festivals held across the country. Bonfires roar and crackle, fireworks paint the sky and ceremonial dancing abounds. From the myriad lights of Diwali to the frolicking colour-fights of Holi, the festivals of India capture the sublime magic of its people and history.

Interested? This list of some of our favourite Indian festivals might just provide the inspiration you’re after.

Ardh Kumbh Mela


2016 is your chance to attend the incredible Ardh Kumbh Mela, a celebration that only takes place every six years. Pilgrims throng in the streets as millions of Hindus come to bathe in the holy waters of the great rivers, life blood of the Indian subcontinent. The great city of Haridwar is one of the most spiritual places on the planet, known in Hindu scriptures as the gateway to heaven. It is here that the waters of the Ganges emerge from the Himalaya, and where hundreds of thousands of devotees will gather to bathe and worship in the waters this year.

The Ganges: Ardh Kumbh Mela – 4 March 2016



The Hindu Festival of Colour is one of the world’s most euphoric ritual celebrations. Symbolising the arrival of spring after winter and the triumph of life over death, the festival is a rainbow explosion of vibrant colours and joyous gambolling. Festival-goers first chase then plaster one another with coloured powders and water balloons; the result is striking. This kaleidoscopic tradition has spread far and wide, with people from all over the world flocking to see it in all its glory.

Taking you there:

Highlights of Northern India – 9 March 2016
North India Explored – 15 March 2016, 11 March 2017
Colours of Rajasthan – 19 March 2016, 4 March 2017
Classic Rajasthan- 11 March 2016
Delhi to Kathmandu – 19 March 2016, 11 March 2016
Northern India Food Adventure – 10 March 2016



As autumn fades to winter, Hindus throughout India take time to celebrate this most significant of religious festivals. Symbolising the spiritual triumph of good, light and hope over evil, darkness and despair, Diwali is a huge part of the country’s culture – the “Festival of Lights” dates back to the ancient people of India celebrating the end of the summer harvest. Whether you’re intoxicated by the sumptuous foods and blissful dances, or the ornamental lanterns and fireworks spewing colour and light into the night sky, witnessing Diwali is a memory you’ll always treasure.

Taking you there:

Classic Rajasthan – 22 October 2016, 14 October 2017
Highlights of Northern India – 27 October 2015, 14 October 2017
North India Explored – 15 October 2016, 7 October 2017
Colours of Rajasthan – 22 October 2016, 14 October 2017
Delhi to Kathmandu – 29 October 2016, 14 October 2017
Northern India Food Adventure – 28 October 2016, 13 October 2017
Cycling through Rajasthan – 21 October 2016



Thikse Festival is a riot of colour, noise and joyous celebration. Masked dancers hold centre stage for two days, dressed in elaborate ceremonial masks and costumes performing traditional mystical dances, a surreal celebration of spirituality set to hypnotic, percussive rhythms. Each dancer represents a god or goddess, and their dance celebrates the timeless tale of good over evil.

Taking you there:

Festivals & Villages of Ladakh – 13 November 2016, 2 November 2017

Pushkar Camel Fair


Among the largest camel fairs on the planet, Pushkar is a monumental five-day event, drawing huge crowds to the banks of Pushkar Lake, where livestock, jewellery, clothing and fabric are sold. Aside from the lure of the camels themselves, there are many contests and events to entertain visitors, including a cricket match and a longest moustache competition – the atmosphere is invariably buzzing with energy and excitement.

Taking you there:

Classic Rajasthan – 14 November 2015
Colours of Rajasthan – 5 November 2016, 21 October 2017
Cycling through Rajasthan – 13 November 2015

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