During the Indian summer a series of monsoon festivals waft through the country in the month of July. Here are some of the July festivals in India that will be a definite trip highlight. If you can’t stretch yourself across the country, take your pick from one of the regions!
Ladakh – Hemis Festival
Ladakh is maybe best known for it’s overwhelming topography but there is also a strong cultural tradition deep rooted in the region. The Ladakhis showcase their rich culture in an array of festivals through the year. The month of July brings with it the colourful Hemis festival.
Just off the Leh town, the ancient Hemis Monastery commemorates the birth of Guru Padmasambhava of Tibet. Colourful masked dancers, local craftsmen and food stalls take over the otherwise serene landscape. A photographer’s delight, plan your Ladakh trip with a slight twist and add to this to your itinerary if you are visiting in mid July.
Orissa – Rath Yatra Festival
If heading to the East, Orissa is a novel destination to explore. Off the radar for many travelling into India, the Rath Yatra Festival of Puri is a burst of colour and culture.
A ten day extravaganza, the festival sees Lord Jagannath with his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra be brought out of the temple’s sanctum with hysterical reverence from the locals. Orissa offers a variety of experiences to the traveller so build time into your itinerary to see the wildlife sanctuaries, monuments of great historical relevance and smaller fairs and festivals that the region has to offer.
The Guru Purnima and Ganga Dusherra festival in Rishikesh has a strong local flavour that immerses you in it. Watch hordes of devotees come into the town in caravans and take over the streets of Haridwar and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. Chants, devotional songs and prayers resonate in the streets. The banks are packed with people who want to take a holy dip. So if you are looking to absolve your sins, take a plunge into the religious mayhem!
Kerala – Snake Boat Races
‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala throws up its unique culture towards the end of the month with the start of the famous Snake Boat Races.
The Pampa River is the first to witness the battle amongst the villages that put their entire pride at stake. More than 100 seater boats line up on the calm waters of the Pampa River for the Champakulum Race at the end of July. Regarded as one the most prestigious races in Kerala, centuries have passed but the fervour has not paled at all, here is a slice of authentic Kerala! For one of the best vantage points for the Champakulum Race stay at the Akkarakalam Memoirs homestay, which is situated at the banks of the Pampa River. Your host Jobin will be happy to help you understand the subtleties of the race right from his backyard.
Have a wonderful and festive July!
If you would like to experience some of the July festivals in India contact our reservations team who will be happy to help you with your plans. There is currently 50% discount on selected homestays so it’s the perfect time to travel!
Find out about the homestay experience and don't forget to check out our ideas on things to do in India or browse our India homestays.