As the heat of summer approaches, the number of events in India dwindles. However, there are a few festivals that will be a highlight of your trip.
Here's the best of what's on in India in April (listed by date).
- When: March 30-April 1, 2014.
- Where: Mana Hotels, Ranakpur, Rajasthan.
In contrast to many of Kerala's temple festivals where the focus is on elephants, the Attuvela Mahotsavam is a delightful water carnival. During the festival, a procession of warmly illuminated canoes carry huge temple replicas through the water towards the temple. They're accompanied by lots of colorfully decorated small canoes and temple percussion music.
- When: April 1, 2014.
- Where: Elankavu Sree Bhagavathy Temple, Vadayar, Kottayam District, Kerala.
The Aoling Festival of the Konyak Tribe
- When: April 1-6 each year.
- Where: Mon district of Nagaland in North East India.
Spring is when Kashmir is at its most picturesque, and is also the season for flowering tulips. This special time of year is beautifully captured by the Tulip Festival in Srinagar, home to Asia's largest tulip garden. As well as the arresting sight of more than a million blooms, the festival features daily cultural programs, Kashmiri folk songs, sale of local handicrafts, and traditional Kashmiri cuisine.
- When: First two weeks of April each year.
- Where: Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Srinagar, Kashmir. It's located in the foothills of Zabarwan range, overlooking Dal Lake.
- Cost: Entry to the Tulip Garden is 50 rupees for adults and 20 rupees for children.
One of the most important festivals in Rajasthan, Gangaur is all about honoring the goddess Gauri. A manifestation of Parvati (Lord Shiva's wife), she represents purity and austerity. This festival is predominantly for women. Colorful processions of bejeweled images of the goddess Gauri wind their way all over cities and villages, accompanied by local bands.
- When: April 2-3, 2014.
- Where: All over Rajasthan, however the festivities in Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, and Nathdwara are the most notable.
The Mewar Festival welcomes the arrival of spring. At Gangaur Ghat on the banks of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, images of goddess Gauri are transferred onto boats amidst much singing and celebrating, and taken out onto the Lake. The festival continues with a plenty of singing, dancing and cultural programs, and finishes off with a huge display of fireworks. It's a fantastic opportunity to see a range of traditional musical instruments being played.
- When: April 2-4, 2014.
- Where: Udaipur, Rajasthan.
The festival of Ram Navami marks the birthday of Lord Rama. It's celebrated in a religious manner all over India.
- When: April 8, 2014.
- Where: Religious celebrations and processions take place at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh (there's a popular ceremonial wedding of Ram and Sita), and Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.
Yet another Kerala temple festival this month, the Arattupuzha Pooram is a particularly large elephant pageant featuring around 60 elephants bearing brightly colored silk parasols. It's one of the oldest temple festivals in Kerala. Legend has it that on the day of the festival, 101 gods and goddesses from the neighboring villages visited Sree Ayyappan, the presiding deity of the Arattupuzha Temple.
- When: April 11, 2014.
- Where: Arattupuzha Temple, in the Thrissur district of Kerala.
Baisakhi is a harvest festival, a Punjabi new year festival, and commemoration of the founding of the Khalsa (Sikh religion brotherhood) all rolled into one occasion. It's celebrated with a great deal of feasting, bhangra dancing, folk music, and fairs. Major celebrations are organized at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, and it becomes carnival-like outside. There's also a street procession.
- When: April 13-14 every year.
- Where: Throughout the state of Punjab, particularly in Amritsar.
- When: April 14-16, 2014.
- Where: Assam.