Weather has its impact on festivals in India. As summer sets in, festivals in India are rare to experience. However, one can still make it to Rajasthan and a few other parts of India in March, to immerse in the cultural festivities of the country. If you are looking for festivals in March in India, here are some of the important festivals celebrated in March.
International Yoga Festival – Rishikesh (1-7 March 2012)
If you are a yoga enthusiast, this is the festival for you. A large number of people from different parts of the world participate in the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh, which takes place at Parmarth Niketan Ashram. The yoga festival provides yoga classes from world class Yoga teachers, evening discussions with some of India’s leading spiritual leaders, and other events including vegetarian cooking classes and the Yoga Aid Challenge charity fundraiser. For more information, you can get in touch with Parmarth Niketan Ashram (http://www.parmarth.com/home.html).
Elephant Festival – Jaipur (7 March 2012)
Rajasthan is among the few states in India, where you can witness a festival dedicated to a number of domestic animals. In Bikaner, you have the Camel Festival; Pushkar Fair is all about goats, camels, horses and other domestic animals; and in Jaipur you have the Elephant Festival. Elephant polo and tug of war between elephants and people are a few highlights of the Jaipur Elephant Festival.
Gangaur Festival – Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Nathdwara, Bikaner (25-26 March, 2012)
Celebrated in honour of Gauri, lord Shiva’s consort, Gangaur is celebrated all over Rajasthan. Gangaur is celebrated by women in Rajasthan. During the Gangaur festival, one can witness the colorful processions of goddess Gauri wind their way all over cities and villages, accompanied by local bands.
Mewar Festival – Udaipur (25-27 March, 2012)
Celebrated to welcome the arrival of spring, Mewar Festival takes place at Gangaur Ghat on the banks of Lake Pichola. The idol of Goddess Parvati is taken with much fanfare with singing, dancing and cultural programs.
Thirunakkara Arattu – Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple, Kottayam (15 -24 March)
Kerala is well known for its temple festivals and Thirunakkara Arattu is one of the famous temple festivals in Kerala. A procession of caparisoned elephants remains the highlight of the 10-day Thirunakkara Arattu festival. Kathakali and other folk dances are also performed during the Thirunakkara Arattu festival. The festival takes place at Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple.