Planning a trip in 2016? Make sure you check out our India Travel Calendar for 2016 to plan your holidays in advance. There’s always plenty of action and events happening every month and we have put what we think are the most exciting events and places you might want to be at.
The calendar will be updated at frequent intervals to include more events and festival dates, so do come back to check out all the latest updates.
India Travel Calendar for 2016
The nippy air in January makes it a fantastic time to plan your trip as the cool air and lukewarm sunshine makes your journey a delightfully cozy one.
Pongal: South India celebrates the festival of Pongal from January 14th and a visit to the heartland of Tamilnadu should be a sheer delight. Places to visit include Madurai, Thanjavur, Pollachi, Salem and Coimbatore.
Thyagaraja Aradhana : Carnatic musicians from all over the country descend at Thiruvaiyaru, the final resting place of India’s great saint and composer Thyagaraja to honor him with brilliant musical performances. If you love Indian classical music, catch the event from the 24th of the month to the 28th.
Jaipur Literature Festival : Come Jan 19th, the world’s biggest literary minds descend on Jaipur, Rajasthan for 5 days to do readings and do debates and discussions at the beautiful Diggi Palace. If you want to meet the world’s biggest thinkers and writers, be there!
Carnival Float Festival : Head over to Goa from the 14th to the 17th of February to enjoy music, dancing, revelry, sports competitions, parades, good food and lots of drinking. The hotspots where the events are happening this year are Panjim, Mapusa, Margoa and Vasco da Gama.
Khajuraho Dance Festival : Come spring, the town known for its erotic sculptures, Khajuraho comes to life with the scintillating classical dance festival. The weeklong extravaganza begins 20th Feb and ends on the 26th.
Kala Ghoda Arts Festival : This two week long art festival is held from Saturday February 6th to 17th 2016 within one of the most beautiful and historic precincts of Mumbai, The Kala Ghoda Art District. The event will feature music, dance, theatre, literature, food, street stalls, cinema, workshops, visual arts, urban design and architecture and heritage walks. Learn more about the event here.
Jaisalmer Desert Festival : This 3 day festival is a cultural extravaganza showcasing the rich and colorful heritage of Rajasthan. You can enjoy song and dance performances from folk artists, traditional acrobatics performed by the nomads, turban tying competition, longest moustaches competitions, fire dancing, puppet shows and more. The festival will be held between 20th to 22nd February.
Adventure Bike Ride: This is a fun car rally organized by the rotary club of Pondicherry port in aid of charity. Participants must find locations hidden in clue sheets and discover the city’s heritage and architecture. Event date: 14th Feb 2016.
India Bike Week: If you happen to be in Goa for the Carnival, head to Arpora on the 19th & 20th February, 2016 to catch a glimpse of India’s biggest biker carnival. Events include survival of the fittest at Hard Enduro, classic bikes at Vintage Bike Concours, the prestigious Biker Buildoff and a biker themed Film Festival. More details are available here.
17th International Yoga Festival : This year’s event is held in Uttarakhand at the largest ashram in Rishikesh, Parmarth Niketan. Greatest Yoga Masters from the Eastern and Western lineages of Yoga come tother to share their practices to hundreds of people around the world. You can find more details about the event at their official website.
Dhulandi Festival : Enjoy Holi celebrations with colors and water in Jaipur on the 24th of March when the Department of Tourism organizes an event meant especially for foreign tourists. The event is held on the lawns of the Khasa Kothi hotel where Rajasthani folk music is performed by local artists.
The Kumbhalgarh Festival : This festival promotes India’s vast treasure of traditional and rare performing arts and is to be held on the 4th, 5th and 6th March 2016 at The Kumbhalgarh Fort in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Meditative musical hours, yoga, painting, photography and Safa tying competitions, puppet shows and various dance and musical performances will be conducted during the 3 day festival.
Hola Mohalla : This festival is celebrated the day after Holi by Punjabi Sikhs to show off their physical strength and prowess. The event held from 25–27th March 2016 will showcase dare-devil acts like bareback horse-riding, standing erect on two speeding horses, mock encounters, and tent pegging along with competitions in the field of music and poetry among others. Religious lectures are also conducted in a number of durbars and volunteers cook and serve food for pilgrims.
Kasauli Rhythm & Blues Festival : Baikunth Resorts in the village of Chabbal, in Himachal Pradesh is the venue of the Kasauli Rhythm & Blues Festival which brings established and upcoming music artistes of India to perform in support of the critically ill under-privileged and orphan children in the care of Genesis Foundation. This year’s festival will be held during Easter weekend from March 25 – 27, 2016. For more details visit at http://genesis-foundation.net/kasaulirnb/
Strawberry Festival : Mapro short for Mahabaleshwar Products holds an annual four-day Strawberry Festival every year during the Easter weekend when over 250 farmers from nearby villages open their farms to tourists. Tourists get access to different varieties of strawberries grown in the region and can try many of the lip smacking dishes made with the juicy fruit. Live orchestras play Bollywood music and folk dancers do the Lezim dance to entertain crowds. Tourists are also invited to scroll through the farms, pick strawberries and pop as many as they like into their mouths. No Questions Asked.
The World Culture Festival : Celebrate The Art of Living’s 35 years of service to humanity, spirituality and human values in New Delhi on March 11-13, 2016.People from over 155 countries are expected to commune on the banks of the Yamuna to enjoy world music and dance incluing the samba, the bhangra and tango among others. Learn more at TheWorldCultureFestival.
Simhastha Kumbh : The city of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh turns into a sea of sadhus as the holy men from across the country come to take a dip in the holy waters of Kshipra. Not for the faint hearted and not a festival to be missed either, this year’s event begins on April 22nd and continues all the way to the 21st of May. You can learn more about the event here.
Kuari Pass Trek : This short 5 day trek is for the adventurers who want a sneak peek of the majestic peeks of the Himalayas and the peaks that extend into Tibet. You can find more details about the trek here.
Ooty Flower Show : Ooty is the best place to be during the steaming hot month of May as the cool weather and beautiful arrangement of flowers delights the mind and the body. There are plenty more places to visit while you’re there, so be sure to check other attractions you can visit during your stay.
Coorg Sky Adventures : Escape the heat of the summer with a trip to cool Coorg nestled between the eastern ghats in South India. Trekking is one of the most popular activities but if you are the really adventurous kind, you can check out the view from above with Coorg Sky Adventures.
Mussoorie : Another great place to go during the pre-monsoon period is the beautiful hill station of Mussoorie. Go camping, trekking, horse riding, fishing or enjoy scenic views of the valley on a cable car ride. This tip is all about unwinding ad chillaxing!
Nehru Boat Race : Held on the second Saturday of August every year, this fiercely contested boat race regatta draws lakhs of visitors and tourists to the houseboats of Alappuzha in Kerala.
Motor Bike Expedition to Ladakh : The 2 week long ride starts off from Delhi and winds its way to Leh through narrow and long winding mountain roads sprinkled with blind curves, deep gorges and ravines all along the way. You’ll enjoy the sights and sounds of the local hotspots, get a tour of the more popular touristy ones and enjoy the breathtaking view all along. Check Adventure Nation for more details.
Jodhpur Marwar Festival: The two day festival is held every year between September and October. The main attraction of this festival is the folk music that is focused on the romantic lifestyle of Rajasthan’s rulers. Other attractions at the festival include the camel tattoo show and polo. The events are mostly held at the famous Umaid Bhawan Palace and Mandore and Mehrangarh Fort.
Mysore Dassara: Enjoy Navratri festivities and cultural events in the state sponsored Mysore Dassara from Oct 1st to Oct 11th 2016 in Mysore, Karnataka. There’s music, dancing, processions, trade fairs, torchlight parades and jumbo safaris just to name a few of the activities that are planned during the period. You can find more info here.
Pushkar Camel Fair: One of Rajasthan’s most spectacular events, the Pushkar camel fair runs from 8th to 14th November 2016. camping, trading, sporting events, cultural activities and bazaars take over the desert landscape with events concluding with a religious pilgrimage.
Winter Festival – Mt. Abu : The annual Winter Festival held at Mount Abu from Dec 29 to Dec 30th is a reflection of the rich culture and tradition of Rajasthan. Sporting and entertainment events, such as kite flying, rowing competitions and poetry reading sessions are held. A grand procession marks the beginning of the festival concluding with the lighting of hundreds of diyas (earthen lamps) are setting them afloat in the water and a stunning display of fireworks.
Keep checking in as we update the India Travel Calendar for 2016.1