Visit India in January and you'll be able to enjoy popular musical and dance events, as well as traditional festivals and parades. Kites, camels, and cattle are just some of what's on offer! Also see the popular Orissa music and dance festivals that are happening in January too.
Here's the best of what's on in January in India (listed by date).
This hugely popular and much anticipated month long festival, which is often described as the world's largest cultural event, serves up a plethora of traditional south Indian Carnatic music, dance, and other arts. Over 1,000 performances take place during the festival, along with music related seminars, discussions, and demonstrations.
- When: Mid December to January each year.
- Where: Music halls all over Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
2. Mamallapuram Dance Festival
The open air Mamallapuram Dance Festival is held against a background of rock sculptures in the beach town of Mamallapuram, just south of Chennai. It runs for a month and showcases a range of classical and folk dances from all over India.
- When: December 27, 2012 to January 26, 2013. Daily from 6-8 p.m.
- Where: Arjuna's Penance, Mamallapuram, near Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
This festival showcases a range of talented artists representing traditional rural forms of Indian art. Throughout the day, there are exhibitions and sales of Patachitra art and Madhubani art. You can interact with the artists, and learn the process. In the evenings, folk performances of various dance styles are held. This year, there are two added attractions -- the Oriental West Choir from Copenhagen and Talking Drums led by Carlos Gonsalves. All events are free.
- When: January 9-11 at Art Escape, Benaulim. January 11-13 at Open Air Theater at Kala Academy, Panjim.
- Where: Goa.
See millions of brightly colored kites take over the sky from sunrise until sunset at this festival, which marks the occasion of Makar Sankranti (the transition of the sun into the northern hemisphere) and celebrates life and fertility. The event attracts kite flyers from many different countries. In addition to kite flying, there's aerial acrobats, kite painting competitions, and kite making workshops. Great fun for kids!
- When: January 14 every year.
- Where: Ahmedabad, Gujurat. Also at Jaipur and Jodhpur.
5. Kenduli Mela
For an unforgettable dose of West Bengal folk music don't miss the Kenduli Mela, where the mystical wandering Baul musicians gather to perform. Dressed in saffron robes, and playing a distinctive instrument called the Ektara, they sing uniquely about life's philosophy.
Pongal, a huge harvest festival in southern India, is India's equivalent of Thanksgiving. The most important part of the festival is cooking the Pongal dish, made out of boiled milk and rice, on the auspicious second day. Families gather to feast and dance.
- When: January 14-17 every year.
- Where: Tamil Nadu.
- When: January 14 (official inauguration) to February 25, 2013.
- Where: Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Dance, drama, music, puppet shows, fireworks, and spectacular processions all take place against the ruins of Hampi at this lively festival. The idea behind the festival is to recreate the grandeur of the time when Hampi was the capital of Vijayanagar, one of the greatest Hindu kingdoms in India's history.
- When: January 18-20, 2013. (To be confirmed).
- Where: Hampi, Karnataka.
This week long Kerala temple festival is devoted to the deity of the Shiva Temple in Ernakulum. It features a flag hoisting ceremony, parading and bathing of the temple god, fireworks, and numerous decorated elephants. Temple arts are also promoted during the festival and you'll be able to see music and dance performances, as well check out as local handicrafts.
- When: January 18-25, 2013.
- Where: Shiva Temple in Ernakulam, Kochin, Kerala.
Lovers of literature shouldn't miss this fantastic opportunity to meet with renowned national and international authors and listen to them speak -- and all for free! The Jaipur Literature Festival is an annual event that's considered to be one of the most important literature events in Asia. A festival program and details of attending authors are available on the event's website. The list is extensive and impressive.
- When: January 24-28, 2013.
- Where: Diggi Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan.