Indian Festivals

India is always a vibrant destination — and that’s especially true during its festivals.

Time your visit with Diwali, Holi, Durga Puja, or a number of other popular events, and you’ll experience the Subcontinent at its most lively. These 15 inspiring images capture all the color, revelry, and energy of the most widely celebrated Indian festivals. From fireworks and dance performances to riverside rituals and incredible costumes, India’s celebratory side is beautiful to behold.

1. It’s no mystery why Holi, celebrated each spring, is known as the “festival of colors.”

Indian Festivals | Holi


2. Every autumn, billions commemorate Diwali — and mark the festival of lights by illuminating celebratory diyas.

Indian Festivals | Diwali

© PamelaJoeMcFarlane/iStock

3. Held at the end of October, the Pushkar Camel Fair is one of the world’s biggest (and most spectacular) livestock fairs.

Indian Festivals | Pushkar Camel Fair

© f9photos/iStock

4. The goddess Durga, and her triumph over evil, are celebrated during the annual Durga Puja festival.

Indian Festivals | Durga Puja

© Vingeran/iStock

5. Visit Varanasi at sundown and be rewarded by this incredible sight: the daily Ganga Aarti ritual, held at the Dashashwamedh ghat.

Indian Festivals | Ganga Aarti

© travelwayoflife/Flickr

6. Local to Rajasthan, Gangaur is one of the most vibrant Indian festivals.

Indian Festivals | Gangaur

© OSTILL/iStock

7. Fireworks are a key element of Diwali’s luminous festivities.

Indian Festivals | Diwali Fireworks

© katjajemec/iStock

8. Hindus celebrate the birth of Krishna during the annual Krishna Janmashtami festival.

Indian Festivals | Krishna Janmashtami

© HarjeetSinghNarang/iStock

9. An incredible festival of dance, Navratri is a spectacle like no other.

Indian Festivals | Navratri Festival

© Gujarat Tourism

10. The 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival honours the elephant-headed god, Ganesha.

Indian Festivals | Ganesh Chaturthi

© aluxum/iStock

11. During the Keralan festival of Oman, Pulikkali artists dress up as fearsome tigers.

Indian Festivals | Onam

© Bobinson K B/Flickr

12. Held at the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, the World Sacred Spirit Festival is one of India’s most beguiling celebrations.

Indian Festivals | World Sacred Spirit Festival

© World Sacred Spirit Festival

13. Rangoli decorations — intricate patterns made of dyed powder, rice, or flower petals — are a traditional element of Diwali.

Indian Festivals | Diwali Lights

© SoumenNath/iStock

14. Kerala’s many temples host dozens of festivals and celebrations throughout the year.

Indian Festivals | Kerala Temple Festival

© randomclicks/iStock

15. Time your trip around India’s joyous festivals to experience a different side of local life.

Indian Festivals | Holi Crowd

© Mlenny/iStock

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