Come November India welcomes even more visitors from across the world, as the pleasant weather almost in all parts of the country make this the start of the peak holiday season. If planning your trip for November try and incorporate some of the exciting festivals and events to see India at it’s most colourful best.
Primarily a North Indian festival, Chhath is celebrated in parts of Bihar but is now gaining popularity in different parts of the country where smaller original communities have immigrated. Special feasts, hymns, folk songs and offering prayers to the Sun God mark this day.
Pushkar Camel Fair
Another jewel in the crown for Rajasthan tourism, the Pushkar Camel Fair is ‘go-to’ destination if visiting in November. Infact many travellers plan this as the main attraction from photography point of view. A small town Pushkar, just off Ajmer, has been the venue for a camel trading fair for decades. A colourful scene unfolds as locals as the desert is dotted with camels and their owners in this annual fair. For the past five years, Pushkar has adapted to becoming more tourist savvy with cafes, international food and bohemian stay options – a perfect milieu for travellers. Don’t forget to pack your camera for this one.
Kapil Muni Fair
Bikaner, a city in Rajasthan, celebrates its biggest cattle fair in this month. Like Pushkar, the town is speckled with all types of cattle and a vibrant local environment.
The banks of River Ganga are always bustling with pilgrims due to its divine status, and that becomes reason to celebrate many festivals in places like Benares, Allahabad and Haridwar. The Ganga Mahotsav is celebrated with fervour in Benares with cultural dances and songs. The most enchanting site is the trail of million lamps that are left in the water by pilgrims, in the backdrop of hymns and devotional songs. This is one of the few festivals where the evenings are spectacular to click.
Guru Nanak Jayanti
India has always known to be one of the most secular countries which celebrates all religious festivals. Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism and this day celebrates his birth. Widely celebrated in Punjab, the Golden Temple is at its festive best. The Holy Book is carried out in a huge procession amidst drums and music and the temple is illuminated by lights.
Diwali or Deepawali
While this year Deepawali fell in October it is often in early November so check the calendar when planning your travels. It is unarguably India’s most universally celebrated and biggest festival. Celebrated to commemorate Lord Rama’s homecoming after an exiled life of 14 years, laps are lit in each house. Ofcourse, like any other festival in India, new clothes and sweets are an important part of the day. It also welcomes Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity and wealth. During the festival you can see houses glittering with strings of lights and crackers breaking the silence of the nights.
When stopping over at cities try and get a local guide to list out cultural events of the month and don’t miss some of the specific theatre and art events of your stop-over city.
If you would like to join in with some Indian festivals in November yourself contact our reservations team who will be happy to help you plan a trip.
Homestays offer the perfect opportunity to get a local insight into festivals and your host family will be happy to provide guidance on the best way to experience the celebrations. Check out our Indian homestay collection.
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.