A quick guide on unravelling the major festivals in autumn

Getting to understand India starts with experiencing its festivals. The month of October and November host the major festivals.

Vacationing combined with the best of culture can only be experienced in the fall. This season bring ultimate joy and satisfaction to celebrate the biggest festivals of India.

For Indians living in any part of the world, this is the auspicious one.

Whether it’s a romantic getaway or returning back home, missing these festivals is a big no-no for Indian living anywhere. Booking of flights to India in huge numbers this time is the shining proof of it.

Let’s take a tour of India and discover what India offers in this period of festivity-

Navratri: The major festival marking the peak of autumn

Not many people know but Navratri in India is a whole new level of frenzy. Held with skyrocketing excitement and religious fervor, Navratri in India is celebrated in multiple forms- Dandia Raas in the West, Ramlilas, and fasting and revering the Goddess and Lord Rama in the North. In the East, Durga Puja and in the South Bathukamma (Telangana) and Thiruvullakavu marks the beginning of the 9-day festival.  

Dandia and Garba in Gujrat (Navratri)

Garba played in Gujrat by a couple

In Gujrat, Navratri reaches a whole new pinnacle of festivity. The entire 9 days, people dress up in their finest traditional attires and dance their heart out. Fasting regime along with Garba and Dandia dances display a vibrant fiesta. To honor the 9 forms of the goddess, each day is celebrated with equal excitement and festive spirit. Book flights to Ahmedabad, Surat or any other major city of Gujrat to see it for yourself.

Celebration dates: 29th September to 8th October.

Thiruvullakavu Festival in Kerala (Navratri)

Thrissur Sree Dharmasastha Temple decorated in night

Celebrated in Sree Dharmasastha Temple in Thrissur, this festival is the South equivalent of Navratri in the North. However, this festival is known for its Vidyarambham ceremony (initiating reading and writing) for kids. Locals bring their young children to the temple for blessings. And models replicas of tongue or pen (made of silver or gold) are gifted to god as offerings. Catch cheap flights to Kochi as it is the nearest city to land in.

Celebration dates: 29th September to 8th October.

Durga Puja in Bengal (Navratri)

Durga Puja Pandal during Durga Puja

While the goddess is worshipped in Shakti form in the North, in the East she is invoked as the Mother as well. She arrives with her sons and sisters to receive the Puja.

It is a grand state of affairs in Bengal. Every locality comes up with theme pandals of its own. The best ones are awarded as well. But what does seem surreal is the excitement of Bengalis celebrating it. They wait for it the entire year.

Illustrious and glittering pandals, priests conducting long ceremonial pujas, people in crowds doing pandal hopping, and the variety of street food defines Durga Puja in its entirety. Book any of the flights to Kolkata and let the Dhaak buzz your ear with the Pujo.

Celebration dates: 4th to 8th October

Bathukamma in Telangana (Navratri)

Women celebrating Bathukamma with flowers

Representing the unique culture and traditions of Telangana, this festival is another way of revering the eternal Goddess Shakti. Women observe fasts and pray for their prosperity, health, and achievements. Beautifully adorned, the flowers are designed and decorated as the goddess. It is in this form that the Goddess is worshipped. It is an occasion to make young girls learn the art of household duties as well. It is also celebrated to get a husband of choice. Getting in of the cheap flights to Hyderabad is the first thing you need to do.

Celebration dates: 29th September to 8th October

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Dussehra: The tenth day after Navratri

Celebrated pan India, Dussehra marks the victory of good over evil. The most popular festival in India after Diwali, Dussehra is all about enjoyment. Ramlila comes to an end on this day. Effigies of Ravana, Kumabhakarna, Meghnath are burned (Ravan Dahan) to honor the good and just prevailing over cruelty, ignorance, and evil.

Kullu Dussehra in Himachal

Procession of gods in day time during Kullu Dussehra

Famed for International Folk festival, Naina Devi Fair, and Kullu Fair, the 10 days in Kullu is no less than a spectacle. People throng in lakhs in the 4-5 days event. Lord Rama in the form Lord Raghunath is worshipped with great devotion and fervor. Here burning of effigies do not take place. Instead, the entire Lanka is burned in the form of wood. Book any of the cheap flights to Chandigarh from US as it is the nearby airport to witness the event.

Celebration dates: 4th to 8th October.

Kota Dussehra in Rajasthan

Ravan, Meghnath and Kumbhkarna effigies in night

Rural and rustic, Kota Dussehra is known for its beautiful fairs and organizing handicraft selling stalls. A captivating procession from the Royal palace to the ground makes for an enthralling sight. The majestic effigies with fair and crowds meandering are no less than moving stories. Get on any of the flights to Jaipur and join in the fun.

Celebration dates: 8th October

Mysore Dussehra in Karnataka

Mysore Dussehra procession in front of Mysore Palace

Honoring Goddess Chamundeshwari (a form of Devi Durga) is the primary hallmark of this lavish cultural display. On the tenth day, Goddess killed the demon Mahishsasura. And Mysore leaves no stones unturned to make this occasion a grand spectacle. Procession of the Goddess, torch-light parade, and illuminating of the Mysore Palace with 1 lakh bulbs are the main highlights of the event. Book flights to Bangalore India from USA to be a part of the regal culture.

Celebration dates: 29th September to 8th October.

Bhandara Festival: The spirit of Khandoba immersed in turmeric

Devotees of Khandoba playing with turmeric in temple premises and on roof

Held on Somwati Amavasya (New Moon Monday), this festival is celebrated two to three times in a year. Smearing of turmeric and taking blessings from Lord Khandoba is what defines the festival of Bhandara in Pune. Imagine playing Holi but with turmeric only. The devotees do it because turmeric is offered to Khandoba. Getting Cheap flights to Pune is what you need to do first before you visit.

Celebration dates: 28th October

Diwali: The major festival of India

Earthen pot lightened in night during Diwali

This is the festival for which most Indians wait for the entire year. Similar to Navratri, Diwali is also celebrated in different forms and names.

While in the North it is the day of Lord Rama returning home after the exile, in the East (Bengal mainly), Goddess Kali is worshipped on this day. Down South, Naraka Chaturdashi forms the basis of the major celebrations. The killing of demon Narkasur by Lord Krishna marks the festive spirit.  

Celebration dates: 27th October

These festivals are the cultural identity of Indians all over the world. And till date, these bring people closer to each other and send out the message of humanity and cooperation.

Pre-book your flight tickets from USA to India and get to feel India in its completeness.

Happy traveling!

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