Famous Festivals and Events Celebrated in January in India in 2019

India is very famous for its colorful festivals and rituals. Every year, thousands of tourists visit India to be a part of these festivals. The festivals are the best time to enjoy interesting performances, delicious delicacies, rituals, unique shopping experience and others. Overall, during a festival, the country becomes more beautiful and entertaining.

Here are the top festivals and events that you ought to look forwards in India in January.

1. Rann Utsav

Date – From 1st December to 20th February

Rann Utsav

Rann Utsav

This festival runs for three months but it is best visited on full moon nights. This festival takes place at different destinations at the same time in the desert. Many tour agents provide packages that include this festival. There are plenty of interesting activities to enjoy during this festival. The list of attractions differ with the location. Starting from para-motoring to meditation, you can enjoy a lot of activities here.

  • LocationRann of Kutch, Gujarat
  • Nearest international airport – Ahmedabad
  • What – Desert Festival

Top activities to enjoy during the festival

  1. Luxury tent camping.
  2. Enjoying the cuisine of the land.
  3. Enjoying folk dance and music, adventure sports and others.
  4. Exploring the villages around the desert to enjoy the lifestyle of the land and for souvenir hunting. Rann Utsav is considered as one of the top shopaholic’s festivals in India (Source:).
  5. Camel safari and jeep safari to explore the salt desert.

Reaching the destination

The best way to reach Rann of Kutch is via Bhuj. The nearest airport to Kutch is located in Bhuj. From Bhuj, you can find cabs, which would take you to Kutch. You can also choose to ride the Ala Hazrat express, the direct train from Delhi to Kutch. The train travel takes 19 hours and thus, people prefer the air route.

Travel information about Gujarat – 

Must Read: Holidays Ideas for Kids Under 10 Years in India

2. Chennai Music Festival

Date – Mid-December to Mid-January

Chennai Music Festivals

Chennai Music Festivals

This festival takes place at many music halls around the city. The exact venue of the festival changes with time. Tickets to these events will be sold online. More than 600 artists perform in this festival this includes instrumental, dance forms, drama and others. Tickets will be sold for every day separately. Top attractions of this festival are Chennaiyil Thiruvayyaru and Brahma Gana Sabha.

  • Location – Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • Nearest international airport – Chennai
  • Famous for – music performances

Top activities to enjoy during the festival

  1. Enjoy music and dance related celebrations and performances.
  2. Art demonstration, discussions, music related seminars and other workshops by masters of the field.

Reaching the destination

Chennai has an international airport within its city limit. Chennai is connected with all the important states of the country and many international destinations. If you cannot find a direct flight to Chennai, choose to enter India via Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad or Trivandrum airports and reach Chennai via the connecting flights.

Suggest article: Exploring Jaisalmer – Top 20 Places to Visit

3. Mamallapuram Dance Festival

Date –  25th December to 15th January

Mamallapuram Dance Festival

Mamallapuram Dance Festival

This open-air performance festival takes place in Mamallapuram at Arjuna’s Penance. You can find dance forms of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and other states of the country. Top dance forms to watch are Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Bharata Natyam and others. Dancers from different parts of the country perform in this festival for an audience of people from different parts of the world. The performances start at 6 in the morning and ends by 8 in the evening.

  • Location – Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram
  • Nearest international airport – Chennai
  • Famous for – Dance festival

Top activities to enjoy during the festival

  1. Watch dance performances of various traditional dances like Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Kathak, Kuchipudi and others.
  2. Explore the monuments of the region, beaches and others.
  3. Hunt for souvenirs in the stalls installed around the region.

Reaching the destination

From any part of the country, it is easier to reach Chennai via road, rail and air route. Chennai is also directly connected to a few international locations. After reaching Chennai, you can hire cabs, buses or private vans from the airport to Mahabalipuram.

Suggested Tour Packages:

  1. 6 Nights / 7 Days – South India Tour (exclusive temple tour)
  2. 10 Nights / 11 Days – South India trip from Chennai

Read More: Top 10 Places to Visit in Tamil Nadu

4. Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthanam

Date – 28th December 2018 to 1st January 2019

Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthanam

Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthanam

This festival is celebrated inside Kanathoor Nalvar temple. 400 different ritual dances are related to this festival. The dancers perform these dances with interesting body painting to express mythological stories. You can find many purification rituals in many temples during this festival. The village has bare amenities and attractions. On every day, the dance performance starts and ends at different timings. On January 1st, the celebration starts at 9 am in the morning and ends by 11 pm in the evening. The start and end time of the ritual depends on the opening and closing time of the temple.

  • Location – Kanathoor village, Kerala
  • Nearest international airport –Mangalore airport
  • Famous for – Religious festival

Top activities to enjoy during the festival

  1. Shopping at local bazaars.
  2. Ritual dances, religious rituals, body painting and others.
  3. Listening to mythological stories.

Reaching the destination

Located in Northern Kerala, this village does not have railway station or airport. The nearest railway station is located in Mangalore, which is just 58 km away from Kanathur. From the railway station, you can find numerous transportation to reach the village.

Suggested Tour Packages:

  1. 12 Nights / 13 Days – Kerala tour (all Kerala attraction)
  2. 6 Nights / 7 Days – Private Kerala tour
  3. 16 Nights / 17 Days – South India tour Including Kerala

You can also enjoy to explore Kerala Travel Guide:

Also Read: Gangaur Festival, Rajasthan-Learn about the Festival of Marriage and Love

5. International Kite Festival

Date – 6th to 14th January

International Kite Festival

International Kite Festival

Makar Sankranti is celebrated to enjoy the transition of sun to the northern hemisphere. This is the time of fertility and harvest. People from various parts of the world visit this festival for photography, sightseeing and kite flying. Best place to enjoy this festival is at Sabarmati riverfront of Ahmedabad.

  • Location – Gujarat and Jaipur
  • Nearest international airport – Ahmedabad (for Gujarat) and Jaipur
  • What – regional festival or harvest festival

Top activities to enjoy during the festival

  1. Kite flying.
  2. Kite painting.
  3. Kite making workshops.
  4. Aerial acrobats and other entertainments.

Reaching the destination

The nearest airport and railway station are located in Ahmedabad. From the airport, railway station or bus stand, you can find cabs, buses and other transportation to reach the riverfront. Ahmedabad is a major city and thus, reaching Ahmedabad from any part of the country is quite easier.

Explore: 5 Star Hotels to Stay in Jaipur

Suggested Tour Packages:

6. National Street Food Festival

Date – 12th to 15th January

National Street Food Festival

National Street Food Festival

This event takes place every year in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. This annual festival brings street food of all Indian destinations to one place. This event is strictly for foodies.

Delhi Travel Guide –

Explore some Tourist attractions in Delhi such as Red Fort, Hazrat Nizamuudin Dargah, Lotus Temple, Qutub Minar, Gurudwara Bangla Shahib, Connaught Place and few more.

  • LocationDelhi
  • Nearest international airport – Delhi
  • What – Food fiesta

Top activities to enjoy during the festival

  1. Tasting street foods of different regions.
  2. Buying cookbooks, spices and other ingredients from stalls.

Reaching the destination

Delhi is quite the easiest destination to reach in India. Delhi has an international airport, which connects the land with numerous international destinations. If you are traveling from other parts of the country, you can always find transportation to reach Delhi via roadways, railways and airways.

Suggested Tour Packages

  1. 17 Nights / 18 Days – Delhi Agra Jaipur with Kerala
  2. 15 Nights / 16 Days – Unforgettable India tours
  3. 3 Nights / 4 Days – Golden Triangle tour

Read Also: Top 15 Rajasthani Foods to try when you are Travel in Jaipur

7. Mylapore Festival

Date – A week after Pongal. In the second week or third week of January

Mylapore Festival

Mylapore Festival

This started as a simple kolam contest in 2001 and gradually became an extravaganza that holds 30 different events in many places of Mylapore. More than 300 competitors meet head to head in this festival attracting hundreds of tourists and locals every year. Top venues of the festival are Sri Kapaleeswarar temple and Nageswara Rao Park.

  • Location – Mylapore, Chennai
  • Nearest international airport – Chennai
  • What – cultural celebration

Top activities to enjoy during the festival

  1. Heritage walk.
  2. Kolam competition.
  3. Classical music performances.
  4. Folk art exhibition and competition.
  5. Craft zones.
  6. Workshops.
  7. Stalls for souvenir shopping.

Reaching the destination

Reaching Chennai is easier as it holds a busy international airport and the city is connected to numerous other Indian destinations via road, rail or air. Once you have reached Chennai, it is very easier to find buses, cabs and autos to take you to Mylapore.

Read On: Chennai The Best Places To Visit In Summer

8. Pongal Festival

Date –  15th to 18th January

Pongal Festival

Pongal Festival

This festival takes place for three days. On the first day, people worship the Sun God and make Pongal (a delicacy made with milk, jaggery and rice). On the second day, people decorate their cows and enjoy many cow related activities. If you visit any village, you can witness many desi village competitions. On the third day, people enjoy picnics at various tourist destination near to their locality. Each state enjoys its harvest festival in a separate manner.

  • LocationTamil Nadu
  • Nearest international airport –Chennai, Madurai, Tuticorin and others
  • What – Harvest festival

Top activities to enjoy during the festival

  1. Tasting delicacies.
  2. Watching bull fights.
  3. Picnic.
  4. Souvenir shopping.
  5. Cultural activities.
  6. Special rituals in temple.

Reaching the destination

Top regions to enjoy the celebration are Chennai, Tuticorin and Madurai. You can find buses, cabs and trains from any part of the country to these destinations. Madurai and Chennai have airports, which connect the land with numerous other destinations.

Suggested Tour Packages:

  1. 14 Nights / 15 Days – South India tour (Best of South India)
  2. 8 Nights / 9 Days – Madurai Kerala tour (Temple and backwater special)

Explore: Top 5 Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park in Tamil Nadu

 9. Bikaner Camel Fair

Date – 12th and 13th January 

Bikaner Camel Fair

Bikaner Camel Fair

Top attract people many events that are related to camels were added from time to time. It is also the best time to enjoy shopping. You can find camel leather articles, camel milk and many other souvenir items in the stalls near the fair area.

  • Location – Bikaner, Rajasthan
  • Nearest international airport – Jaipur
  • What – Camel trading festival

Top activities to enjoy during the festival

  1. Camel trading.
  2. Camel race.
  3. Camel beauty contest.
  4. Camel dancing.
  5. Folk dance and music performances.
  6. Shopping for camel skin articles.
  7. Tasting delicacies made with camel milk.

Reaching the destination

The nearest airport to Bikaner is located in Jodhpur. The airport is 251 km away from Bikaner. From the airport, you can find buses and cabs to reach Bikaner. You can also find direct buses to Bikaner from Kota, Agra, Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Jodhpur and others.

Must Read: Top Tourist Places in Bikaner

10. Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Date – 17th to 19th February

Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Jaisalmer Desert Festival

This event takes place three day in prior to full moon. Celebrated in the Sam dunes of Thar Desert in Jaisalmer, this is one of the most interesting festivals in India. The people set on camel’s back to stay in the middle of the desert for three days to enjoy many cultural events. Top attractions are fire dance, folk music recital, folk concert, parachuting, cricket match and others. You can find many stalls selling interesting souvenirs.

Nearest international airport – Jodhpur airport

What – Cultural Festival

Things to do – Desert Camel Safari, Dance, Luxury Camping, Moustache Competition, Turban Competition, Desert Moonlit Dinner, Rajasthani Cuisine and others.

These are just a few festivals and events that take place in January. Other honorable mentions are Mukteshwar dance festival of Orissa, Modhera dance festival of Modhera, Nagaur fair of Jodhpur, Jaipur literature festival, Republic day parade in Delhi, Thaipoosam of Palani and many others.

Read more – Famous Colourful Fairs and Festivals of Rajasthan

Suggested tour packages to explore India in this festive season –

Suggested article – Top 10 Vacation Destinations to visit in India in March

Read more about the Famous Festivals of Mumbai – Ganesh Chaturthi

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