Fairs and Festivals in South India
India is a land of culture, color and celebration! In our opinion, the best time to visit any country would be during the time of a festival as that is one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in the culture of the country, get to know the locals, experience the best of their traditional cuisines and of course to get wonderful pictures of it all! When it comes to India, we celebrate all festivals from the start of the harvest cycle to the end of the lunar cycle. So it would be safe to say that the Indian festive calendar is the longest in the world. Thus any time and every time is a good time to visit the beautiful India!
Now, we do not want to discredit any festival by not mentioning it in our list, but some festivals are celebrated with so much grandeur that they simply cannot be left out! Here are some of the most famous Fairs and Festivals of South India that you must explore on your visit to India-
1. Tea and tourism Festival, Ooty
The Tamil Nadu government annually organizes the tea and tourism festival in January to promote tourism in Ooty that is lovingly known as the “Queen of Nilgiris”. The misty hill station of Ooty that is surrounded by rolling hills covered with terraced tea farms hosts this three day long festival where a number of cultural programs are held and varieties of tea brews are put on display for the tourists to taste and buy! Visiting Ooty in any of the months is an utterly soul refreshing experience, but we recommend all the tea lovers to especially head to Ooty in January to also pamper your taste buds with fresh brews!
2. Deccan Festival, Telangana
The five day long Deccan festival is celebrated in the tomb of Qutub Shahi to celebrate and give a stage to the rich Mughlai and artistic culture. During the festival, Qutub Shahi is decorated extravagantly all with a large stage for the poets, ghazal singers, folk dancers, mushairas and qawali performances! The Deccan festival is also a shopper’s paradise as there are numerous stalls set up that sell beautiful pearls and multi-hued bangles! No festival would be complete without food, and Hyderabad is known for its delectable Mughlai cuisine which is served during the festival! It is worth visiting Telangana during the Deccan festival to witness its rich culture in all its glory!
3. Teppam Festival, Madurai
A tradition started in the 17th century by a Tamil King is today one of the grandest festivals of Tamil Nadu. Teppam Festival also known as the Floats festival gets its name from the ritual of taking the Gods and Godesses of the temple for a boat ride in the Mariamman Teppakulam Lake which is located next to the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Before the boat ride, the deities are carried from the temple to mandaps set alongside the river bank in a procession which is joined by thousands and thousands of devotees! During the procession, religions chants are chanted and musical instruments are played. The devotees can then pay their respects and seek blessings from the Gods at the mandap after which they proceed to take the deities for a boat ride in the lake.
4. Pooram Festival, Kerala
To witness Kerala in all its glory, one must visit god’s own country during one of its festivals and the Pooram Festival of Trissur is one of the best as it is one of the largest festivals! The Trissur Pooram is a seven day long festival with the main procession happening on the sixth and seventh day. Thousands of people participate in this procession wherein people walk along with elephants that are decorated with vibrant clothes and ornate ornaments. This procession is organized by 11 temples of Trissur. The temples and the streets are extravagantly decorated with garlands and lights. One of the highlights of the procession is the ‘Chenda’ performance which is a musical instrument that is played together by a group of people.
5. Lumbini Festival, Hyderabad
The Lumbini Festival is celebrated by the followers of Buddhist religion. This festival is celebrated every year at the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam in Hyderabad. During this three day festival, Buddhist preachers preach the teachings of Gautam Buddha. Although the festival spreads the Buddhist teachings to the visitors, this is not a religious festival. The major purpose of the festival is to open up the arts, culture, crafts and the cuisines of the state to the tourists and also the youngsters in the local areas. Numerous handicraft stores are set up in the area where tourist can shop and later explore the surrounding natural beauty!
6. Champakulam Boat Race, Kerala
Snake boat race is an event which is a part of Kerala’s cultural identity. The boat race in Kerala is a famous festival celebrated in the backwaters of Champakulam. The festival sees beautifully crafted boats of different shapes and sizes which are made to compete in races to win prize money. InKerala boat race is not only a grand event, but also an emotion! The Snake boat race in the Kerala resonates across the state as they combine the natural beauty of the region with the energetic and exuberant people of Kerala! It is worth visiting Kerala during July, a rainy month that not only makes the entire state even more beautiful but you also get to be a part of the high energy charged race atmosphere!
7. Kambala Festival, Karnataka
Kambala festival is a two day long grand festival celebrated in Karnataka. The festival begins with a buffalo exhibition where farmers bring their buffaloes and decorate them with accessories in order to attract visitors. The main highlight of this festival which draws crowds from all over the world is a buffalo race that takes place in wet fields wherein about 130 farmers participate with their buffaloes! The sport is played with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm and is definitely quite thrilling to watch!
Festivals present wonderful opportunities to take pictures. Don’t forget to hire travel and vacation photographers from Travorapher to accompany you and make sure that your pictures capture the true essence of the festivities around you!