It's festival time across India. And that means this is the best time to get close to the diverse cultures of the land. We give you a list of five places across India which will reverberate with the festive fervor this September.
1) Dasara at Mysuru
Mysuru is just a hop skip and jump away from Kerala. Dasara in Mysuru is a celebration of the victory of good over evil and it lasts ten days. The city will be decked up, the Palace illuminated and there will be a festive air about town. Sign up for one of the many tours that Karnataka Tourism Development Corporation offers at www.karnatakaholidays.net
2) Go pandal hopping in Kolkata
It is that part of the year when the City of Joy gets an extra shot of adrenaline. And there is no Durga Puja without the pandals. Pandals are the halls or places where they put up a display of the goddess. And at times, they are built around themes. It is here that people gather for the songs, the dance and the fun activities. Pandal hopping has its own charm, especially when you meet old friends. For women, it is that time of the year to dress up in all their finery.
Where? Across West Bengal
3) A vibrant Gujarat
Navaratri is the time when you dance your way well into the nights. The sounds of laughter and music echo from every corner. People both young and old dance to the garba and dandiya.
Where? Across Gujarat
4) Festival time at Ziro
It is always a pleasure to explore Arunachal Pradesh. And Ziro Valley comes alive with music and rice beer during the four-day music festival. Indie rock, pop, folk and gigs featuring artists from Nepal and Israel adds to the charm. You can camp out at the festival venue. And, keep an eye out for the band called Thalavattom, that has links to Kerala, who are all set to rock the show.
Where? Ziro Valley
5) Festival time in Ladakh
The dates are not confirmed yet, but September marks the end of summer and winter is not really the best time to make a trip to this land high up in the hills. The chaam dances, the thangka painting, and polo matches will introduce you to a whole new culture and tradition. Explore the bazaars and hike up the hills for some peace and quiet.
Where? Leh, Ladakh
Bonus : A feast of flowers at Kaas Plateau
It's that time of the year when the flowers bloom across a major part of the plateau earning this place the moniker Maharashtra's valley of flowers. Only 3000 visitors will be allowed on a single day. You can see a lot of flowers including orchids and carnivorous plants at this biodiversity hotspot. Kaas is about 280km away from Mumbai. Follow the Mumbai - Bengaluru Highway till Satara and take the exit for Kaas.