Right start from worshiping of snakes to giving milk to rats, India is filled with so many strange festivals that every tourist who visits this incredible country gets astonished by watching such curious rituals and astonishing festivals. During your Tour to India, you will get to visit so many places that celebrate such mysterious festivals that are unique in their own way and are renowned for their special celebration style.
We have brought to you a list of unusual regional festivals that will make your India tour package filled with vibrant memories and unexplained experience.
- Nag Panchami
- Gangaur Festival
- Karni Mata Festival
- Hemis Festival
1. Nag Panchami
What is Nag Panchami Festival?
Nag Panchami, evident to its name, it is a festival of snakes that is celebrated on the fifth day of bright half of Lunar month of Shravan. On this festival, people worship snakes and feed them with milk. Hindu mythology is filled with many stories related to snakes. Sheshnag of Lord Vishnu is considered as the chief of snakes. Then there is a snake wrapping around the neck of Lord Shiva. Lord Krishna also defeat Kaliya snake and abandon him from Yamuna River. With such mythological importance, there is no wonder why Indians worship snakes every year on this day.
Legend has that once a farmer accidentally killed little serpents and thereafter enraged mother took revenge by biting and killing the farmer and all his family. It was only one of the farmer’s daughters who lived as she was the devotee of snake queen. This act resulted in the revival of farmer’s family And thus Nag Panchami is celebrated every year. It is also believed that one should not plow a field on this day.
Nag Panchami Specials
- Snake Worship with sprinkling haldi and kumkum and putting the flower on its head.
- Traditional Dances and Music
- Snake feeding with a diet of fresh milk and rats.
Where Nag Panchami Celebrated
Though the festival is worship throughout the country Places like Nagpur, Maharashtra and Central India celebrate this festival with special zeal and enthusiasm. Nagpur derived its name from snakes only where Nag means Snake Pur means Place (Place of Snakes).
While your visit (Maharashtra) during Nag Panchami you can get a plethora of Hotels in Mumbai, Kolhapur, Sangil. You can also travel to Andhra Pradesh a place which is filled with plenty of accommodation places.
Read Also: 8 Most Famous Cultural Festivals In India
Suggested Tour: Mumbai Day Tours
2. Gangaur Festival
What is the Gangaur Festival?
Gangaur is one of the most prominent festivals of Rajasthan. The festival derived its word from two words ‘Gan’ that represents Lord Shiva and ‘Gaur’ that represents Goddess Gauri/Parvati. As Goddess Parvati is a Goddess of marital happiness and conjugal bliss. This festival is specially dedicated for maidens and ladies. On this day ladies worship her for good husbands and successful married life.
According to the legends, once Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva visit forests for spending some leisure time. There in the forest Goddess seen some girls worshiping her for a suitable life partner. Goddess Parvati got pleased with their penance and gave them the boon for a successful and happily married life. Ever since the Gangaur festival started celebrating.
- It is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra month according to Hindu festival.
- Celebrated from the day following Holi and continues for 16 days.
- Ladies keep fast and eat meals once a day.
- People make clay idol of Isar(Lord Shiva) and Paravati and worship them.
- Ghewar, a traditional Rajasthani sweet dish is the specialty of this festival.
Where Gangaur Celebrate
Gangaur is famous in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Along with it, Gangaur is also celebrated within Gujarat, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh. Believed it or not in Kolkata has celebrated 100 years of Gangaur in the year 2016. If you are planning to take part in this festival you better book your Hotels in Rajasthan from now. There are also many Kolkata Hotels that suits your pocket and enhance your stay.
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Suggested Tour: 13 Nights 14 Days Cultural Rajasthan Tour
What is the Onam Festival?
Celebrated as a 10 days festival Onam is one of the most prominent festivals of Kerala. Onam is celebrated as a harvest festival with all joy and zeal. The festival is celebrated at the beginning of the month of August which in the local language is called ‘Chingam Month’. This festival is celebrated as the harvesting festival and people worship Lord Vishnu’s 4th incarnation of Vamana.
Once upon a time, there was might demon king named Mahabali. He brought a golden age in Kerala. Everyone in his kingdom was happy and prosperous. Even though he was benevolent and did good deeds but there was only one shortcoming in him that is, he was egoistic. His egoistic drawback was used by Gods against him and which came to an end to him and his kingdom. However, his good deeds make Gods grant him a boon that he can visit his near and dear ones once in a life. So it is the visit of Mahabali that is celebrated as Onam every year, ever since. There is another legend according to which a Vishnu’s 5th incarnation Lord Parshu Ram when restored Kerala from the deep of the sea by throwing his ax, the day is considered to be observed as Onam to mark this magnificent mythological incidence.
- One can witness the best of Kerala’s rich culture and heritage during these 10 days.
- Center of the attraction of this festival is the grand feast called Onasadya, prepared on Thiruonam. It is served on banana leafs and comprises approx 13 diets in it.
- Onam also has Snake Boat Festival –‘Vallamkali’.
- A household in Kerala keeps flower mats in front of their houses to welcome King Mahabali.
Read Also: Famous India Festivals in April Month
Suggested Tour: 5 Nights 6 Days Simply Kerala Tour Package
4. Karni Mata Festival
What is this festival about?
There is a famous temple dedicated to Karni Mata in the city of Bikaner in Rajasthan. One of the most amazing features of this temple is that it is a house more than 1000 rats and more interesting part is that they are also considered sacred and people worship rats here and feed them with fresh milk and sweets. More than 600 years old this festival, organizes a festival to celebrate the deity of the temple Goddess Karni. Thousands of people on Rajasthan tour package visit this temple to watch the glory of this festival.
Karni Mata festival organizes twice in a year. The first festival happens around March or April and the second one is celebrated around September or October.
Legend has that Karni Mata who possesses supernatural powers was prayed and worshiped by the locals. She lived her life serving poor and needy people. One day she mystically disappeared and in her memory locals established a temple to worship her. People worship and pray her for protection and good health. People visit this temple with the first cut of hairs to seek blessings for them. Rats here are considered to be sacred and offered milk and protections. Karni Mata is also considered as the incarnation of Goddess Durga.
Karni Mata Festival Special
- It is celebrated twice in a year. Especially near the Navratra festival.
- During the festival, the temple’s doors open at 4. Am.
- Food is offered to the deity
- Rats are worshiped and feed with a fresh diet of milk and Prasad.
Suggested Tour: 13 Nights 14 Days Rajasthan Temple Tours
5. Hemis Festival
A beautiful way of depicting the ancient tails, Vibrant colored dresses, differently designed masks based on ancient mythological characters and thousands of people cheering and enjoying their time, it is the scene of Hemis Festival. The most significant festival of Leh Ladakh has been a major center of attractions for locals as well as tourists. This is a two days festival that celebrated every year on the 10th day of the Tibetan lunar month. The biggest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh Hemis Gompa is the major center stage for this festival.
This festival is celebrated as the birth festival of Buddhist guru Padamsambhava. Guru Padmasambhava is the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. People during this festival decorate a seat with fancy silk and gemstones and offer prayers around it. Legend has that guru Padmasambhav bravely fought off followers of evil and protect the land to get submerged in the pit of evil.
Hemis Festival Special
- One of the best festival when you would be on your North India Tours.
- Magnificent celebrations.
- Dalai Lama himself present in this festival.
- Many different souvenirs are on sale and also put on exhibition.
- Major attractions are masked dance, the unique lama music.
Suggested Tour: 5 Nights 6 Days Shimla Manali Tour Package in North India