We’ve narrowed down a list of festivals that you can experience this season. Each of these brings its own unique variety of elements to the table; plan ahead, your winter is going to be full of life.

Magnetic Fields Festival


Set against the magnificent Alsisar Palace in Rajasthan, Magnetic Fields is India’s most inclusive and culturally immersive festival- seamlessly blending music, art and culture. With musicians coming in from all over India and the world, expect a plethora of electronic tunes, supplemented by installations of art, secret parties {hosted in their 17th century dungeons this year}, yoga sessions and merchandise- local or otherwise.

When: 18th Dec-20th Dec 2015

Where: Alsisar Mahal, Rajasthan

Festival highlights: International artists, the secret parties and the royal setting

Find out more here.

Hornbill Festival


Named after the bird, this festival, apart from being the biggest crowd puller, pays homage to the 16 tribes of Nagaland. A confluence of music, food {oh, the food} and dance, it takes place at the Kisama Heritage Village {near Kohima, the capital} surrounded by rich green hills. Day time sees ancient rituals, chilli eating contests, and car and bike rallies. The setting of the sun shifts the attention to the regional food, rock and metal acts- some of the region’s best.

When: 1st Dec- 10th Dec, 2015

Where: Naga Heritage Village, Kisama {12 km from Kohima}

Festival highlights: The food, the traditional practices of the tribes, the regional bands

Find out how to get there, here

Find out more here

Rann Utsav


The endless white sand of the Rann comes to life every winter with the Rann Utsav, a festival that celebrates the food, handicrafts, dance and music of the region. There are camel rides, hot-air balloon rides, and dune biking for when you’re looking for action, an artisans bazaar with traditional Kutchi embroidery items, jewellery and hand-block printing. All of this set to the tunes of folk music and dance.

When: 1st Dec 2015- 23rd Feb 2016

Where: Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

Festival highlights: The traditional handicrafts and the folk dances

Find out more here

Pushkar Camel Fair

Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan, India. Jagdish Rabari and his extended family (from Bavasia village in Nagaur district, Rajasthan) eat breakfast alongside a few of the 70 camels they have brought to the fair to sell this year. They have so far sold only 25 camels and complain that sales are poor this year (see below). The fair began straight after Diwali (around 7th November) and culminates with a religious ceremony on the banks of Pushkar Lake on the full moon day on the Hindu month of Kartik (around 21st-22nd November). The largest camel fair in India and believed by many to be the largest in world, the fair attracts hundreds of 'Rabadi' herdsmen who buy and sell many thousands of camels here each year. However because of rain in recent days many sellers are reporting that trade is worse than usual and that many farmers who would-be buyers have apparently chosen to remain with and protect  their freshly harvested crops (in Rajasthan typically groundnut, and 'Bajra' - millet) rather than travel sometimes very long distances to the fair. Wholesale merchants who bring anywhere from 15 to 70 camels to sell at the fair can travel for up to 2 weeks from across Rajasthan. The buyers typically come from across the northwestern states of India.  These days many more female camels are being sold at the fair. The higher prices that they command compared to the male camels is due to increased demand for camel milk in India as well as their added value in breeding terms. The fair takes place annually and also incorporates horse and cattle trading, as well as being an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus. Pushkar Rajasthan India By David Levene 14/11/10

Essentially a camel and livestock fair, the Pushkar fair brings a host of other elements to the table, making it one of those festivals that must go on your bucket lists. Apart from the fact that it brings life to the desert through colour, food and nature, there are glorious visual feasts, whether it’s the range of animals and their owners or the multiple handicraft corners. Contests like the ‘Longest Moustache’ and ‘Camel Beauty’ only add to its charm.

When: 14th Nov- 23rd Nov, 2015

Where: Pushkar, Rajasthan

Festival highlights: Camel beauty contest and the environment {great for photography}

Find out more here

Jodhpur Riff


Image courtesy Kavi Bhansali

A partnership project of Mehrangarh Museum Trust and Jaipur Virasat Foundation {but not for profit}, Jodhpur Riff is one of the country’s biggest international music festivals. Set in Rajasthan, it sees Indian, British, Australian and West Asian {to name a few} musicians, and perfectly marries culture and art. There are also documentaries that run through the day.

When: 23rd Oct- 27th Oct, 2015

Where: Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Festival highlights: Desert Lounge and Riff Dawns {find more here}

Find out more here