Travel: Celebrate Holi, Heritage, Yoga And Dance At These Cultural Festivals In March

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Festival fever continues through February and well into the third month of the 2014, so if you’re looking for reasons to flee the city here are some of the country’s choicest offerings.
Meditation at the International Yoga Festival, image courtesy Hindustan Times
Meditation at the International Yoga Festival, image courtesy Hindustan Times
International Yoga Festival: 1st to 7th of March This annual festival, organized by Parmarth Niketan Ashram in the divine city of Hrishikesh promises a spiritual journey like no other. Over the course of one week, attendees can participate in over 70 hours of yoga classes from a variety of different teachers from all over the world. Multiple styles of yoga styles will be explored; everything from the energizing kundalini yoga to strenuous power vinyasa. The event will bring together renowned spiritual leaders like Sri Sri Ravishankar and Swami Asanganandji, celebrity yoga teachers like Deepika Mehta, nutritionists like Rujuta Diwekar and many more inspiring personalities of the health and wellness world. The location of the Ashram, at the banks of the river Ganga promises to make the event even more transcendent.
A riot of colour, image courtesy Hindustan Times
A riot of colour, image courtesy Hindustan Times
Goa Carnival: 1st to 4th of March While yogis cleanse their chakras in Rishikesh, Goa will be taken over by a riot of colour and celebration. The beautiful state of Goa is the only place where you can experience a festival of this kind. It certainly isn’t as showy as the famed carnival of Rio, but makes for a great excuse to sing, dance, drink and prance around the streets before the holy month of lent begins. The opening day parade begins at Panjim on the 1st and makes its way through other parts of Goa over the course of 4 days. Each float tries to outdo the other, with flashier costumes, louder music and eye-catching antics, all to win top spot in a competition. One of events to look forward to is a formal ball on the final day, where guests are expected to show up in formal red or black clothing.
Where dancers collaborate, image courtesy JGFFestival
Where dancers collaborate, image courtesy JGFFestival
Jodhpur Flamenco and Gypsy festival: 13th to 15th of March It is said that all gypsies can trace their origins to Rajasthan, from where they made their way to the Middle East and ultimately Europe. This three day festival attempts to join the dots and connect local Rajasthani musicians and dancers, with their European counterparts. Legendary flamenco and gypsy artists from all over the world are expected to attend this festival, which promises cultural education, creative energy and fascinating artistic collaborations. The Meghrangarh Fort serves as magnificent backdrop, befitting the historically potent nature of the event. Follow the link for tickets, you can choose to attend just a single day or all three.
Auroville Holi Tango Festival
Auroville Holi Tango Festival
Auroville Holi Tango Festival: 13th to 15th of March Bored of throwing gulal and water balloons at your neighbours like you do every year? This time celebrate Holi is a way that’s completely unique, by learning the most sensual dance form in the world – the Argentine Tango. The style is still relatively new to India and there aren’t learning opportunities; certainly none are rich as this one. Over the course of 5 days guests will get the chance to learn from a variety of different international teachers. Every day of learning will end in social gathering or a milonga. And all of these events will unfold in the midst of the South Indian forests, completely cut off from all worldly distractions! Visit this Facebook page for more information or write in to [email protected]
Holika Dahan at the City Palace, image courtesy Eternal Mewar
Holika Dahan at the City Palace, image courtesy Eternal Mewar
World Living Heritage Festival: 13th to 16th or March Maharana of Mewar Charitable Trust has taken on the responsibility of preserving the remarkable tangible and intangible culture of the Mewar region or Rajasthan. To do so, they will host four day festival where attendees will be introduced to local arts and crafts and local customs. Representatives from the UNESCO, local cultural authorities, scholars and social entrepreneurs will speak at the event. Music evenings and lavish banquets will enrich the event even further. The festival will end with a Holika Dahan at the City Palace of Udaipur, which will be attended by members of the royal family. A spectacle of fireworks will follow. For enquiries or registration please call 1800 180 2933/ 1800 1802944/ +91 294 2528016-9 or email [email protected] Also, this March, don’t miss out on the Konkan Turtle Festival – a conservation project which helps protect Olive Ridley Turtles that visit the coast of Maharashtra. The event starts in February but goes on well into the first half of March. That’s the best of what March has to offer. And if you’re busy work schedule doesn’t permit travel, what with the end of the financial year and all, stay tuned for the next monthly edition of our travel guide. Check out all our travel posts on our Beyond Mumbai channelBon voyage!   

Salonee Gadgil

Salonee Gadgil
I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.