Some say India is a continent rather than a country and it’s true that it is as vast as it is versatile. Adventure and discovery are hiding behind every corner in a land that is steeped in culture, history and spirituality. The seventh largest country in the world, India occupies more than 3 million kilometres of landmass on the globe. That’s a lot of travelling.
Colourful clothing, alluring aromas and tantalising tastes are a small sample of the sensory delights that India have on offer. Legendary Moto Rides offer a land of colourful contrasts, and home to some of the most breathtaking scenery and architecture in the world. India is a huge country and has it all, beautiful beaches and quiet backwaters, arts, crafts and culture, fascinating peoples and religions and of course, incredible history and heritage. With over 30 World Heritage-listed sites in India alone, you can look forward to discovering one of the world’s most culturally, religiously and historically significant destinations. Assuming most first time visitors to India have 1-3 weeks to travel around, we recommend sticking with one area of the country. Join us on a journey through a region that has intrigued intrepid travellers for centuries and evolved over a recorded history of some 5,000 years
India is a destination which is known for its rich and diverse culture. The rich culture has been preserved in various forms – formidable forts, palaces and havelis, magnificent temples. Besides architectural uniqueness, innumerable numbers of fairs and festivals are also an integral part of Indian culture. Each festival celebrated in India is unique but enthusiasm, feasts and colour are common for all these fairs. India for travellers is at its best when visited during these celebrations of life as that is the time when you can experience most fascinating rich culture of India. We organize various fairs and festivals tour of India combined with special events to make your tour a memorable tour which you remain in your mind and soul forever.
Holi (All over India)
In March, during spring, comes Holi - the festival of colours. Holi is considered as one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India and it is celebrated in almost every part of the country. It is also sometimes called as the “festival of love” as on this day people get to unite together forgetting all resentments and all types of bad feeling towards each other. Holi Festival brings a lot of fun and enjoyment for people in India. The ritual starts by lighting up the bonfire one day before the day of Holi and this process symbolizes the triumph of good over the bad. On the day of Holi people play with colours with their friends and families and in evening they show love and respect to their close ones with Abeer.
Diwali (All over India)
The Indian Festival of Lights, is the most widely celebrated festival of the people from the Indian sub-continent and across the whole world. Deepavali means rows of lights, it is the festival symbolising victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.
Though there are many mythological explanations to this wonderful festival. One of the mythological reasons is to celebrate the return of Lord Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayana, to Ayodhya after a fourteen year exile. The flickering lights of the traditional clay lamps or 'diyas' illuminate the houses and fireworks resound through the night. The goddess of wealth and prosperity - Lakshmi, is worshipped on this day. Houses are white washed and elaborate designs drawn at the thresholds to welcome the goddess. The exchanging of gifts and sweets among friends and relatives and playing of games of chance at night, are all an integral part of the celebrations.
Pushkar Fair (Pushkar, Rajasthan)
The Pushkar Fair (Pushkar Camel Fair) or Pushkar Mela, as it is locally known as, is an annual weeklong camel and livestock fair held in the town of Pushkar between the months of October and November. It is one of the world's largest camel fairs. Apart from the buying and selling of livestock, it has become an important tourist attraction. Competitions such as the ‘matka phod’, ‘longest moustache’ and ‘bridal competition’ are the main draws for this fair which attracts thousands of tourists. In recent years, the fair has also included an exhibition cricket match between the local Pushkar Club and a team of foreign tourists.
Desert Festival (Jaisalmer - Rajasthan)
Once a year, the empty sands around Jaisalmer come alive with a mesmerising performance on the sand dunes in the form of the Desert Festival. The festival, organised by the Department of Tourism around January-February, goes on for three whole days and lets you enjoy the rich and colourful Rajasthani folk culture. You will get to see Cultural events, camel races, turban tying competitions, Rajasthani men and tall, beautiful women dressed in their best and brightest costumes dance and sing ballads of valour, romance and tragedy, while traditional musicians attempt to outdo each other to showcase their musical superiority etc. Attend the contests to judge the man with the best moustache. Everything is exotic in the Desert festival, amidst the golden sands of the Thar Desert. With a final musical performance by folk singers under the moonlit sky at the dunes in Sam, just outside Jaisalmer, the festival comes to its end. The rich culture of the region is on display during this three daylong extravaganza.
Marwar Festival (Jodhpur - Rajasthan)
The most popular festival in Jodhpur is the Marwar Festival. The two-day festival is held every year in the month of Ashwin (between September and October) in memory of the heroes of Rajasthan. It was originally known as the Maand Festival. The main attraction of this festival is the folk music centering around the romantic lifestyle of Rajasthan's rulers. The music and dance of the Marwar region is the main theme of this festival. The folk dancers and singers assemble at the festival and provide lively entertainment. These folk artists give you a peek into the days of yore, of battles and of heroes who live on through their songs. Among other attractions at the festival is the Camel Tattoo Show and various competitions like Moustache, Turban Tying, Tug of War, Matka Race, Traditional Dress Competition and many more. The venues of this festival include the famous Clock Tower & Osian’s sand dunes.
CAMEL FESTIVALS (Bikaner-Rajasthan)
Bikaner Camel Festival is an annual festival dedicated to the ship of the desert. Organised in the month of January, the celebrations include camel races, camel milking, fur cutting design, best breed competition, camel acrobatics and camel beauty pageants. The camels themselves are beautifully bedecked and form a colourful spectacle against the red backdrop of the Junagarh Fort. There's plenty of scope for eating, souvenir-shopping and photography at this festival. Other sights to watch out for include the skirt-swirling folk dancers, fire dancers and the spectacular fireworks show, that lights up the night sky above the fortified Desert City.
Hemis Festival (Leh - Ladakh)
Hemis Festival is one such prominent festival that attracts people from all parts of the world. The two day Hemis Festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and pomp all over the Ladakh region. The festival is organized in Hemis Gompa, which is one of the largest and richest Buddhist monasteries in the world. The only reason behind this festival is to celebrate the birth anniversary of the Buddhist leader Guru Padmasambhava. According to the Buddhist culture and tradition this festival marks the dominance of evil over good. As per the Buddhist culture their Guru fought against evil and saved his followers and hence people of this monastery celebrates their Gurus birthday in order to tribute him.
The main attraction during this festival is the masked dance performed by the Lamas of this monastery. This form of dance is also known as the Cham Dance of Ladakh. The unique feature of this dance form is that the dance postures are slow compared to other dance forms. The expressions involved in this dance form are twisted. The masks worn by the Lamas depict some special characters of the myth that they were depicting. The dance is a tribute to their Guru.
Kumbhalgarh Festival (Kumbhalgarh – Rajasthan)
The Kumbhalgarh fort, cradled in the Aravali Ranges, north of Udaipur, hosts the vibrant and colourful Kumbhalgarh Festival for three-days. The event is divided into two parts- day and night. In the daytime there is the folk performances by traditional artistes and competitions like turban tying and henna applying. On the other hand, the night is filled with impressive explosions of lights, sound, colours and dance. The Kumbhalgarh Festival is a must visit for ardent patrons of art, music and dance.
Ranakpur Festival (Ranakpur – Rajasthan)
This festival offers a unique insight into the local culture and heritage. With fun activities like yoga, nature walks at the foothills in forests of aravallis, visits to the Ranakpur Jain temple, hot air ballooning, interesting activities like: tug of war, beautiful decorations, cultural programmes, the open air amphitheater at Sun Temple showcases attractive folk and classical performances every evening and much more, the Ranakpur Festival is something you simply cannot miss. This festival is usually held on the 21st and 22nd of December every year, playing host to tourists from all corners of the globe, to immerse them in a colorful affair of cultural festivity.
Chandrabhaga Fair (Jhalawar-Rajasthan)
Every year, the Chandrabhaga Fair in Rajasthan welcomes thousands of visitors and participants from all over the nation. It is held at Jhalrapatan, situated at a distance of about six kilometres from Jhalawar, in the month of Kartik (October and November). This fair attracts travellers, pilgrims and explorers alike with rituals and traditions practiced in this region. A lot of pilgrims assemble on the banks of river Chandrabhaga during the fair and participate in this gala event. The festival, named after the river Chrandrabhaga, is considered very sacred by the people of Rajasthan. People travel from far just for a dip in the river as they believe this will purify their souls. A huge cattle fair is also organised here, where livestock such as cows, horses, buffaloes, camels and bullocks are purchased from various parts for resale. The fair includes several spiritual and traditional activities. During the fair, the Department of Tourism organises activities over a course of 3 days like traditional Deepdan, Shobha Yatra and various competitions as well as cultural evenings.
Bundi Festival (Bundi-Rajasthan)
The Bundi Festival is celebrated in the month of Kartik (October-November) and includes several spiritual and traditional activities. It is a remarkable cluster of traditional art, culture and craftsmanship and visitors are left charmed by its magnificence. The program includes a colourful Shobha Yatra, arts & crafts fair, ethnic sports, cultural exhibition, classical music & dance program, turban competitions, bridal clothing, musical band competitions, and a sparkling fireworks display. Early in the morning, after the full moon night of Kartik Purnima, women and men clad in attractive colourful costumes light diyas or lamps on the banks of River Chambal and seek blessings.
Nagaur Fair (Nagaur-Rajasthan)
The Nagaur Fair is the second biggest fair in India. Held every year between the months of January and February, it is popularly known as the Cattle Fair of Nagaur as this is where owners gather to trade animals. Approximately 70,000 bullocks, camels and horses are traded every year at this fair. The animals are lavishly decorated and even their owners dress up with colourful turbans and long moustaches. Besides cattle, sheep, horses and even spices are traded. Other attractions include the Mirchi Bazaar (largest red chilli market of India), sale of wooden items, iron-crafts and camel leather accessories. Several sports are also held during the fair. These include tug-of-war, camel races and bullock races. Nagaur fair is also famous for its jugglers, puppeteers, storytellers, etc.
PONGAL (Tamil Nadu)
A celebration of the harvest - Pongal is observed for three days in January, in Tamil Nadu. Bhogi Pongal - the first day, is an occasion for festivities at home. Flavoured rice is offered to the Sun God on the second day. Mattu Pongal, the next day, is celebrated in a more boisterous fashion. Village cattle are bathed and decorated and cattle races enliven village festivities.
International Kite Festival (Ahmedabad, Gujarat)
On 14th January, Ahmedabad is at its colourful best as kites of all colours, patterns and dimensions soar into the sky. Special kites with little paper lamps fill the night sky with a myriad flickering lights. Special Gujarati cuisine, exhibitions of handicrafts and folk art enhance the festive spirit.
International Yoga Week (Rishikesh – Uttarakhand)
A week-long event to promote Yoga is held in Rishikesh, a picturesque town in the foothills of the Himalayas. International Yoga Festival is grounded in the authentic origin of Yoga. Practice and learn from masters from the Traditional Yoga Lineages from India, as well as masters of International well known yoga schools & styles. During this one-week Festival, you will have the opportunity to participate in over 60 hours of Yoga classes from world-class Yoga teachers practicing multiple styles of Yoga including Kundalini Yoga, Power Vinyasa Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and Kriya Yoga. The participants will also be blessed with the presence, satsang and divine words of revered saints and spiritual masters from within India.
Float Festival (Madurai - Tamil Nadu)
This magnificent festival is celebrated in Madurai. On the night of the full moon, ornamented icons of goddess Meenakshi and her consort are taken out in a colourful procession to the huge Mariamman Teppakulam. The icons are floated in the tank on a raft decked with flowers and flickering lamps.
Kerala Village Fair (Kovalam-Kerala)
Kerala Village fair falls in the mid January around Kovalam every year. It is one of the colorful cultural events celebrated with great enthusiasm. It is ten long day celebration of tradition and culture of Kerala. Local people of Kerala call this festival as Garamam fair as well. The main objective of this fair is to replicate and re-create an entire gramam or village in the cultural and traditional colors of Kerala.
Goa Carnival (Goa)
Goa's 100 km coastline has some of the world's most beautiful beaches. The exuberant Goa Carnival is an annual feature here. Held in mid-February, just before Lent, the weeklong event is a time for lively processions, floats, the strumming of guitars and graceful dances.
Khajuraho Dance Festival (Khajuraho - Madhya Pradesh)
The thousand year old temples at Khajuraho, built by the Chandella kings, are majestic structures sculpted in stone. Only 22 of these temples remain today, to bear testimony to the craftsmanship of Chandella builders. Every year in March, these splendid temples come alive during the week-long festival of classical dances.
Shivratri (All over India)
All over the country, Shivratri is observed as the night, when Lord Shiva danced the "Tandav" - his cosmic dance. Fasts and prayers mark the day and devotees throng the temples. The major Shaivite temples at Varanasi, Kalahasti (Andhra Pradesh) and Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu) are noted for their special celebrations.
Gangaur is one of the most important festivals in Rajasthan. In some form or the other, it is celebrated all over Rajasthan. “Gan” is a synonym for Lord Shiva & “Gauri” or “Gaur” stands for Goddess Parvati, the heavenly consort of Lord Shiva. Gangaur celebrates the union of the two and is a symbol of conjugal & marital happiness. Gangaur is celebrated in the month of Chaitra (March-April), the first month of the Hindu calendar. This month marks the end of winter & the onset of spring. This festival is celebrated especially by women, who worship clay idols of “Gan” & “Gauri” in their houses. These idols are worshipped by unmarried girls who seek the blessings of Gan & Gauri for a good husband, while the married women pray for the good health and long life of their husbands. This worship which starts from the first day of the chaitra month culminates on the 18th day into Gangaur festival with a great religious fervor. On the eve of Gangaur festival, women decorate their palms and fingers with henna. The idols of Gan and Gauri are immersed in a pond or in a nearby lake on the last day of the festival. A traditional procession of Gangaur commences form the Zanani-Deodhi of the City Palace, passing through Tripolia Bazaar, Chhoti Chaupar, Gangauri Bazaar, Chaugan stadium and finally converges near the Talkatora. The procession is headed by a colorful pageantry of old palanquins, chariots, bullock carts and performing folk artists.
Janmashtami (All over India)
The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great fervour all over the country. In Mathura and Brindavan - where Lord Krishna sp-spent his childhood and youth, the Janmashtami celebrations are quite elaborate. The Krishna Leela - stories of his eventful youth are enacted. In Maharashtra, earthen pots of curd and butter are hung high up over the streets. Young men enacting an episode from Krishna's childhood form human pyramids by climbing on each others' shoulders and try to break these pots.
Elephant Festival (Jaipur-Rajasthan)
A festival where elephants are the centre of attraction. The festival begins with a procession of elephants, camels and horses, followed by lively folk dancers. Elephant races, elephant-polo matches and a most interesting tug of war between elephants and men, are all part of this spectacular event.
Kerala's most important festival is celebrated in the honour of the ancient asura king Mahabali. the occasion also heralds the harvest season. The decorating of houses with carpets of flowers, a sumptuous lunch and songs in praise of the golden reign of Mahabali, mark the ten day long festivities. A major attraction of the Onam celebrations are the famed snake boat races along the backwaters at Champakulam, Aranmula and Kottayam.
Hampi Festival (Hampi - Karnataka)
The magnificent ruined city of Hampi, once the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, comes alive once again during this lively festival of dance and music, held in the first week of November. Designed as the chariot of the Sun God, drawn by seven exquisitely carved horses, stands in solitary splendour on the beach at Konark. This is the venue of a joyous festival of classical dance and music which is held annually. A host of celebrated dancers from all over the country perform in the open air auditorium. The sound of ghungroo bells, flute and pakhauj fill the air and a marvelous crafts mela, with a variety of handicrafts and delectable cuisine, adds to the festive mood.
Christmas (All over India)
Christmas is celebrated in India with great fervor. All the major Indian cities wear a festive look. Shops and bazaars are decorated for the occasion and offer attractive bargains. Carol singing, get-togethers and the exchanging of gifts enhance the Christmas spirit. Christmas parties launch off celebrations for the New Year, thus retaining the festive mood for at least a week.
UDAIPUR WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL (Udaipur – Rajasthan)
The City of Lakes sings a different tune come February. Udaipur plays host to the fourth edition of the Udaipur World Music Festival. Organized by SEHER, this festival brings together global artists and ensembles from over 20 countries including Iran, Spain, Brazil, Senegal, France, Portugal, Italy and India, amongst other nations. The event is designed to cater to the music sensibilities of people across different ages and from all walks of life. An absolute once-in-a-lifetime experience, this one is a sheer treat for lovers of good music.
Taj Mahotsav (Agra-Uttar Pradesh)
A ten day event that starts on 18th February each year in Shilpgram, the Taj Mahotsav is a much awaited event. India's extensive arts, crafts and culture are on display. Folk music, shayari and classical dance performances along with elephant and camel rides, games and a food festival, all add to the excitement of the occasion.