Cholan Tours-South India  Festival Calendar 2024-2025

South India Festival Calendar 2024-2025

  • May 15, 2024

"Celebrations" are one of the basic human needs that cannot be denied. One of the main reasons people enjoy festivals is that they bring joy, enthusiasm, and excitement, and most importantly, they unite individuals from different cultures, customs, and even religions together.

India is sometimes referred to as the "land of festivals" because of the numerous colourful and cheerful celebrations held here. India holds a variety of fairs that highlight its rich culture, history, and traditions. People from various castes, cultures, and traditions live in different sections of the country. Each religion has its own set of festivals that reflect its religious beliefs. These Indian fairs, which range in size and significance, provide a view into the many facets of Indian civilization, including cultural, social, commercial, and religious components. Festivals honour India's rich heritage and vibrant traditions through music, dance, food, and religious rites. The oldest festivals in human history were associated with abundant harvests or the celebration of important regional or community events. They improve the general well-being of communities.

Festivals & Fair details of South India

Tamil Nadu

Disclaimer: In Tamil Nadu, festival dates are decided based on the moon calendar and the local traditions and customs. The festival dates given here are based on these. But there can be changes in the dates according to the customs and rituals associated with each place of worship. As such, these should be considered only approximate dates and must be confirmed with the local authorities. If you are looking for specific festival dates, please write to us. We shall reconfirm the same closer to the festival day.

Ooty Flower Show: 

Venue: Government Botanical Garden, Ooty

Date: 10th to 19th May 2024.

The flower show is a highlight of the month-long summer celebration in the Nilgiris district. It's an excellent opportunity to witness a spectacular display of flowers, with over 150 types and 52 varieties. Approximately 10,000 flowerpots are artistically placed to create a vibrant spectacle. It is a highly anticipated event that will take place from May 10th to May 17th at the Government Botanical Garden in Ooty, India. This year's show has been extended from 7 to 10 days. The show's highlights include flower arrangements, flower rangoli, vegetable sculptures, bonsai, and cut flower shops with a broad variety of blossoms.

Kodaikanal Flower Show

Venue: Bryant Park, Kodaikanal

Date: 26th May 24 to 02nd June 2024

The flower display at Kodaikanal is not a separate event, but rather part of the wider Kodai Vizha (Summer Festival), which takes place yearly in May and June. The flower exhibition, a festival highlight, takes place at Bryant Park in the middle of Kodaikanal. Beautiful floral displays showcase the creativity and talent of local horticulturists. The flower exhibit showcases a wide range of flowers, including towering gladioli, tiny pansies, fragrant roses, spicy marigolds, and many other local and exotic blooms. Summer Kodai festival also has vegetable sculptures, Rangoli competitions, cultural activities, food vendors, and boat races on Kodai Lake. The Summer Kodai festival provides an excellent opportunity to experience the beauty and culture of Kodaikanal.

Brahmotsavam & Chariot festival

Venue: Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram

Festival Date: 27th May 2024

The most prominent festival of Kanchipuram is Brahmotsavam, which lasts 10 days and takes place in May, every year. Utsavams are festivals celebrated at temples. According to legend, Lord Brahma initiated the festival and is said to preside over it, hence the name "Brahmotsavam". During the utsavams, the presiding deity and other neighbourhood temple deities are carried in procession around major streets, allowing people who are unable to visit the temple to receive blessings. The Varadaraja Temple in Kanchipuram hosts the celebration in honour of Lord Varadaraja. Garudotsavam is part of the Brahmotsavam Festival, which welcomes deities from adjacent temples to the Varadaraja Temple. The Temple Car celebration takes place on the ninth day of the celebration. Generally, Brahmotsavam is celebrated in all the temples big or small according to their monetary capacity. During this time Yagasala (fire rituals performed on special occasions by a Hindu Priest), Initializing the God in the Kalasam (Pot), 2 prayers in both the times mornings & evenings, every day 3 Abhisheka (Abhisheka is a method of prayer in which a devotee pours a liquid offering on the idol of a deity) for the 4 Moolavar (the main deity) with the Kalasa Jalam (water)and other rituals are performed which helps to purify the atmosphere.

Aani Thirumanjanam Festival: 

Venue: Thillai Natarajar or Chidambaram Natarajar temple, Chidambaram

Date: 12th July 2024

It is one of the most prominent celebrations held at Chidambaram Nataraja Temple. It is a magnificent ceremony that commemorates the sacred abhishekam (holy bath) of the famed Nataraja idol and Lord Shiva's cosmic dance. The celebration is held during the Tamil month of Aani (June-July), which coincides with the summer solstice. It is thought to have profound spiritual significance, representing soul purification and life regeneration. Aani Thirumanjanam is a week-long celebration, with the primary rites and abhishekam occurring on the full moon day of Aani. The activities begin with flag-raising and special prayers. The temple complex is decked with vivid decorations, and there is a strong sense of dedication in the air. On the day of the abhishekam, the Nataraja idol is ceremonially removed from the sanctum sanctorum and installed on a separate platform in the temple courtyard. Devotees come in great numbers to watch the sacred event. The abhishekam is thought to purify the idol and confer benefits to worshipers. A team of priests performs the abhishekam according to rigorous Vedic chants and rituals. The statue is immersed in a variety of sacred liquids, including milk, curd, honey, panchamrita (a blend of five nectars) and herbal concoctions. The priests also decorate the idol with sandalwood paste, flowers, and jewellery. Devotees eagerly collect the holy water falling from the idol, believing it to have incredible cleaning and healing properties. The Therottam (chariot festival) is a highlight of the celebration, with an imposing chariot carrying Nataraja's idol being carried through Chidambaram's streets. Thousands of followers crowd the streets to see this spectacle, generating an aura of zeal and devotion.

Sri Aurobindo’s Birth Anniversary: 

Venue: Shri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry

Date: 15th August 2024

Sri Aurobindo founded Integral Yoga, a spiritual practice, in Pondicherry, India. His vision focused on the transformation of human life into a divine life in a divine body. He believed in a spiritual awakening that not only emancipated but transformed human nature, allowing for heavenly life on earth. Sri Aurobindo's Birth Anniversary is commemorated every year through a celebration of his life work, vision, philosophy, and creative force for their relevance for the people of India and the world and in the life and realization of Auroville. On this day, devotees’ queue at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram starts early in the morning to visit Sri Aurobindo’s room.

The Puttu Festival (Meeankshi Amman temple is closed) 

Venue: Puttuthopu Thidal near Arappalayam at Madurai.

Date: 16th August 2024

It is a religious festival held in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. This festival is devoted to Lord Shiva, namely in his form as Puttu Sokkanathar. The event celebrates a narrative of Lord Shiva and a poor old woman who sold puttu, a type of steamed rice cake common in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. According to the legend, the elderly widow was struggling to make ends meet. One day, Lord Shiva came to her disguised as a labourer and offered to help her carry rice bags. After working hard, he became very hungry and devoured all the puttu she had made to sell. The elderly woman was originally upset, but then Lord Shiva revealed his actual form and blessed her, bestowing her moksha (freedom from the cycle of rebirth). The Puttu Festival is held yearly during the Tamil month of Avani, which corresponds to August or September on the Gregorian calendar. On the day of the Puttu Festival, Meenakshi Amman Temple will be closed. So please be aware that clients who arrive in Madurai on this day will not be able to visit the temple. They can, however, watch this festival on the same day at 6:00 p.m. at Puttuthopu Thidal, in Madurai.

Raja Raja Cholan Sadhaya Vizha: 

Venue: Brihadeeshwarar temple, Tanjore 

Date: 10th November 2024

The Great Chola King Raja Raja Cholan's birth anniversary is commemorated every year by celebrating "Sadhaya Vizha". The festival is typically observed in the Tamil month of Aippasi, which runs from mid-October to mid-November. The Brihadeeswarar Temple, also known as Tanjore Big Temple, hosts this celebration every year. The Raja Raja Chola was a brilliant ruler and administrator of the Chola Dynasty who constructed several temples. There are various wonders to be found inside the Brihadeeswarar temple. The Sathaya Vizha commemorates the celebration by adorning the statue of Raja Raja Cholan, which is located outside the temple, with silk robes. “Rajaraja Cholan brought the glory of the Chola empire to the world. This great temple is not only a spiritual place but also a place of art, culture, and tradition. The event is being organized to throw light on the great ruler’s outstanding contribution to the development of his subjects. The abhishekam (sacred bath) is done to the deity of Lord Peruvudaiyar. The deity, Lord Peruvudaiyar is God Shiva in the shape of a lingam. The Perundheepa vazhipaadu(waving of lamps) and Swami purappadu (holy procession of the deity) inside the temple are observed on the day of the festival. Each year, thousands of devotees congregate at this temple to lavishly celebrate this festival. A special 2-day festival with cultural events will be held in Thanjavur Periya Kovil (Big Temple) on Nov 9th & 10th.

Anna Abhishekam: 

Venue: Gangaikondacholapuram Temple

Date: 15th November 2024

Annabhishekam ritual and festival is an important ritual held in Lord Shiva Temples in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu. Annabhishekam is a ritual, dedicated to Lord Shiva that is performed for food security through the prosperity of the farmland and an increase in agricultural produce. It is usually performed after a harvest season and involves offering cooked rice to Lord Shiva. The rice is cooked in the temple premises and then it is carried around the temple. Priests chant mantras and musical instruments like Nadaswaram, drum etc are played. The cooked rice is then used to cover the Shiva Linga and it is referred to as Anna Linga. Various types of rice preparations like Pongal, curd rice, Sweet Pongal, tamarind rice, sesame rice, payasam and other sweets from freshly harvested rice are prepared and offered to Lord Shiva on the day. The food is then shared by people and is also given to domesticated animals and birds. The ritual is usually performed on the full moon day in the Tamil month of Aippasi (October - November). 

Karthigai Deepam (Maha Deepam) at Tiruvannamalai: 

Venue: Arunachala hill, Tiruvannamalai

Festival Date: 13th December 2024

Karthigai Deepam, or the "Festival of Lights," is one of Tamil Nadu's most important holidays. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil, as represented by the lighting of lamps with a large flame kindled atop Arunachala Mountain, which depicts the light of knowledge over darkness. In Tiruvannamalai, it is much more significant because a massive ghee (clarified butter) lamp is lit atop the Arunachaleswarar Temple, representing Lord Shiva's fiery appearance as a pillar of light. The celebration, known as Karthigai Brahmotsavam, lasts ten days. Throughout the ten days, the temple holds special pujas (worship rites) in honor of Lord Shiva. The festival's centerpiece is the lighting of the Maha Deepam (a massive ghee lamp) on top of the Arunachaleswarar Temple. The ritual finishes with the lighting of the Maha Deepam (Great Lamp) atop the temple. This lamp is lit in the evening, and the holy fire is said to have been obtained through a special yagna (fire rite) performed by temple priests. It's a breathtaking sight, visible for miles. Thousands of devotees gather to witness this spectacular display. Devotees commemorate Girivalam by circumambulating the holy Arunachala summit, just as they do during Maha Shivaratri. This is an essential spiritual practice for believers on Karthigai Deepam (the full moon day) and adds to the festive atmosphere. During the event, Tiruvannamalai's lodgings tend to fill up quickly.

Mahabalipuram Dance Festival: 

Venue: Near Arjuna Penance or Seashore temple complex, Mahabalipuram

Festival date: The date shall be finalized by the Department of Tourism & Govt. of Tamilnadu at the end of November or the first week of December. But it starts probably after 15th December 2024.

Duration: 30 days

The Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, organizes the Mamallapuram Dance Festival in Mahabalipuram each year in December and January. This 30-day feast is a visual treat for art enthusiasts. The stunning backdrop of the Shore Temple, combined with the vivid performances, creates a memorable experience. Indian classical dances, such as Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Mohini Attam, Odissi, Kathak, and others, are performed by well-known exponents of the art on an open-air stage against the magnificent backdrop of the Pallava rock sculptures. Folk dancers bring a local flavor to the celebration. The dance festival has grown to become one of the most popular cultural events in India's southern state. 

Bhagavan's Jayanti (Sri Ramana Maharshi's birthday):

Venue: Sri Ramana Ashram, Tiruvannamalai

Date: 30th December 2024.

Today marks the birth anniversary of Sri Ramana Maharshi, India's revered saint and philosopher. His teachings emphasized self-inquiry as a path to liberation (moksha). While there are no large-scale public celebrations, devotees all around the world observe this day with special pujas (prayers) and meditations dedicated to Sri Ramana. This day may be commemorated with special prayers or talks at the Sri Ramana Ashram in Tiruvannamalai. Special pujas (worship rituals) are planned, and devotees gather to chant songs and meditate in their honour. The ashram may also host seminars or other events commemorating Ramana Maharshi's life and teachings.

Music Festival – Chennai

Venue: Music Academies in Chennai.

Festival Date: Dates will be finalized only in December or January.

Every year in December and January, the music festival will be held in Chennai. Clients must reserve tickets in advance to attend performances held in various halls, sabhas, and music academies in Chennai. The show will feature a variety of vocalists, instrumentalists, and dancers. It's a feast for those who love music.

Vaikunta Ekadasi: Opening of Paradise Door at Sri Rangam Temple:

Venue: Sriranganathaswamy temple, Trichy

Date: 10th January 2025

This is one of the most important Ekadasis. This falls on the eleventh day of every lunar fortnight in the traditional Hindu calendar. This festival is being celebrated for 20 long days. The first 10 days are celebrated during the day and the next 10 days are celebrated during the night. Clients who stay at Trichy can witness this celebration during the day and night respectively as it will be interesting for them to watch the proceedings. Vaikunta Ekadesi festival is more elaborately celebrated by Vaishnavites. This is celebrated with great importance in Tirupati Balaji Temple & Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple. Apart from these temples, all the temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his incarnations in South India celebrate Vaikunta Ekadesi. The most important ritual on the day in temples is the opening of the Paradise door in Vishnu Temples. This door is only opened on the Vaikunta Ekadesi day and devotees can pass through it. Symbolically the door leads to the Vaikunta – the abode of Lord Vishnu. Clients can visit and walk through the paradise door if they wish. But they need to wait and go only in the queue which might take 2 hours. The Sanctum of Trichy Sri Rangam temple will be closed on Vaikunta Ekadesi day. Clients can have a great experience witnessing the celebration & the colourful crowd that visits the temple to take part in the festival. A couple of lakhs of people visit Sri Rangam temple on that day to take part in the celebration. Due to the huge crowd, vehicles will be stopped 1 km away from the temple for parking and everyone should walk at least a kilometre to reach the temple.

Arudra Darshan festival at Chidambaram: 

Venue: Thillai Natarajar or Chidambaram Natarajar temple, Chidambaram

Festival Date: 13th January 2025

Arudra Darshan, also known as Thiruvathirai, is a Tamil festival that commemorates Lord Shiva's cosmic dance, portrayed by his Nataraja form. It is a big event for the Shaivite community, who worship Lord Shiva as their principal god. It is a religious event celebrating Lord Shiva's cosmic dance. It is a Saivite event held on the full moon night during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January). The event is observed at all Shiva temples around the world, particularly in Chidambaram.

Float Festival (Meenakshi Amman Temple closed): 

Venue: Mariamman Teppakulam, Madurai

Date: 11th February 2025 

Every year, a float festival (known as the Theppam festival in Tamil) is held in January-February (on the day of the Poosam Star) on a full moon day at Shri Mariamman temple Theppakulam, a big tank. In a decked palanquin, the idols of Sri Meenakshi Amman and Lord Sundareswarar are transported to Theppakulam. Huge numbers of people visit this place to observe the celebration. As a result, Shri Meenakshi Amman Temple will be closed on that day, and people will be unable to visit the temple; nevertheless, they can attend the celebration at Shri Mariamman Tank/Temple.

The Mother’s Birth Anniversary: 

Venue: Shri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry

Date: 21st February 2025 

Mirra Alfassa, also known as The Mother or La Mère, was a French Indian spiritual guru, occultist, and yoga teacher who collaborated with Sri Aurobindo, whom he thought to be of equal yogic rank and referred to as "The Mother." Sri Aurobindo and the mother worked together to embody and incarnate this divine consciousness on earth, using the Ashram as the starting point. The Mother, together with Sri Aurobindo, established the seeds of a new way of existence based on this greater consciousness. Devotees queue at Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry to celebrate Mirra Alfassa's birth anniversary with special darshan. The day begins with a meditation around the samadhi. The Mother’s room in the ashram will be open for the devotees (this is one of the few special darshan days when devotees are allowed inside the rooms of The Mother or Sri Aurobindo).

Natyanjali Festival: 

Venue: Thillai Natarajar temple, Chidambaram,

Festival date: It starts 05 days prior of Maha Shivaratri, and the main festival falls on 26th February 2025. 

The Chidambaram Nataraja Temple has numerous festivals throughout the year, the most important of which is the Natyanjali Dance Festival. The Natyanjali Festival, which means "offering of dance," honours Lord Shiva in his guise as Nataraja, the cosmic dancer. It is a five-day spectacle that takes place during the Tamil month of Maasi (February-March), coinciding with the holy event of Maha Shivaratri, the night dedicated to Lord Shiva. The festival is a combination of art and faith, bringing together dancers from across India to demonstrate their skills and pay tribute to Lord Shiva. It's a stunning combination of artistic expression and spiritual commitment. Several ancient Indian dance genres, including Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathak, Mohiniyattam, and Chhau, are performed on a huge platform within the temple complex. The rhythmic feet, beautiful movements, and expressive narrative through dance create a captivating ambience. The nights are filled with Carnatic music concerts, including renowned performers who captivate audiences with heartfelt interpretations of devotional songs dedicated to Lord Shiva. It's a fantastic opportunity to discover Tamil Nadu's rich cultural legacy. The event aims to promote and appreciate the beauty and diversity of Indian classical dance traditions. For dancers, dancing during the Natyanjali Festival is a great honor and an opportunity to devote their artistic talents to Lord Shiva.

Maha Shivaratri at Tiruvannamalai: 

Venue: Sri Arunachaleshwarar temple, Tiruvannamalai.

Festival Date: 26th February 2025

Maha Shivaratri in Tiruvannamalai is a particularly unique and beautiful ceremony held between February and March since the city is revered as Lord Shiva's holy birthplace. The festivities last many days, with the main event being the night of Maha Shivaratri. The entire temple complex is decorated with exquisite lighting, thousands of lights, diyas (oil lamps), and flowers. Devotees pack the temple throughout day and night, performing puja (worship rituals) and chanting hymns. Throughout the night, a special abhishekam (holy bath ceremony) is performed for the Shivalinga, Lord Shiva's representative. These abhishekam employ sacred elements such as milk, ghee, and panchamrita (a blend of five nectars). One of the most impressive events is the massive procession of the 'Thanga Ther' (Golden Chariot) carrying Lord Shiva's statue through the streets on the day before Maha Shivaratri. Many devotees conduct the Girivalam (circumambulation) around the holy Arunachala hill, which is considered a sacred pilgrimage. This can be achieved on foot or by following walking pathways around the hill's base. It is a significant spiritual exercise for adherents of Maha Shivaratri. The entire town is infused with a religious and celebratory spirit. There will be street performers, religious music, and food vendors. People travel from all over India and even outside to participate.

Maha Shivaratri festival at Chidambaram Temple: 

Venue: Thillai Natarajar or Chidambaram Natarajar temple, Chidambaram

Date: 26th February 2025

Maha Shivaratri, also known as the Great Night of Lord Shiva, is celebrated with great devotion in Chidambaram during the Tamil month of Masi (February-March). Devotees gather at the Nataraja Temple to participate in rituals, prayers, and night-long prayers. Chants and hymns reverberate throughout the temple, creating a beautiful setting for spiritual reflection. The event honours Lord Shiva's marriage to Goddess Parvati, which represents the triumph of light over darkness.

Panguni Uthiram: 

Venue: Thiruparankundrum Murugan Temple, Madurai

Date: 10th March 2025.

Panguni Uthiram is a Tamil Hindu festival. It is marked on the full moon of the month of Panguni (March to April). It falls on the day the moon transits the nakshatra of Uttiram in the twelfth month of Panguni of the Tamil calendarLord Murugan's celestial wedding takes place every year in Tiruparangundram between March and April. Panguni Uthiram is a unique event for all Lord Murugan followers. The Tamil star Utharam in the Tamil month of Panguni is traditionally held as an extremely auspicious one for couples. Our temples reverberate with celebrations of these events during Panguni. Goddess Mahalakshmi’s celestial wedding to Mahavishnu took place on this day. Sita and Rama joined in holy matrimony on Panguni Utharam. Srivilliputtur Andal also married Ranganantha on this auspicious day. It is not only Vaishnavite literature that celebrates sacred weddings. Shiva married Parvati on Panguni Utharam. The marriage of Murugan and Deivayani is also celebrated on this day. On this day, God Sundareswarar and Goddess Meenakshi (Lord Murugan's parents) visit Tiruparankundram to host Lord Murugan's wedding to Devainai, his Consort. As a result, the Meenakshi Amman Temple remained closed today.

Kulumai Amman Kutty Kudi (Goat Sacrifice) Festival: 

Venue: Kulumaye Amman temple, Woraiyur, Trichy

Date: 11th March 2025

Kulumai Amman is a powerful village deity mainly for a particular community people in South India. A small Hindu temple dedicated to this Goddess is found near Uyyakondan in the Trichy region of South India. The festival is one of a kind, with the temple priest drinking the blood of a hundred goats to please the Goddess. In Tamil, 'Kutti Kudithal' means to taste lamb's blood. Thousands of people gather on the temple's grounds for the occasion. Kulumai Amman is a local God that primarily serves the Vellalar community people. During festival seasons, the site becomes extremely busy, with hundreds of goats and sheep being sacrificed. The highlight of the celebration is Marulali, the selected person to symbolize Goddess Kulumai Amman, who fasts for over a month in preparation for the rites. On the day of the Kutti Kudi festival celebration, Marulali accepts the goat sacrifice and drinks the gushing blood of the goats, which might often number over a thousand. Thousands of devotees from adjacent villages gather for the occasion. People love the festivities and the large feast that follows the ceremony. According to the organizers, devotees from diverse communities sacrifice approximately 1,200 goats each year during the Tamil month of Masi to seek the blessings of the Goddess Kuzhumayi Amman at the 'Kutti Kudi' event. The event lasts four days and includes the sacrifice of lambs on the third day. Devotees believe that the procedure will remove their curses and misfortunes. Many devotees carry the lambs to the celebration venue. The temple priest who is given the name Marulali for the event, dresses up as the village god Ondi Karuppu. He is then brought to the arena on two devotees' shoulders, where he accepts the 'offerings' by tasting the goat blood. Following the rite, he provides counselling to the devotees.

As a customary practice, every year, the ‘Kutti Kudithal’ begins with the offering of lambs by the district administration, HR and CE departments, and the police department.

Masi Mahotsavam at Kamakshi amman temple, Kanchipuram

Venue: Kamakshi Amman temple, Kanchipuram

Festival Date: 12th March 2025

Masi Magam is one of the most-awaited festivals observed in Tamil Nadu. It is celebrated with utmost devotion, dedication and a lot of pomp and grandeur. People believe that by observing Masi Magam, they can be relieved of all types of suffering and sinsMasi Mahotsavam, an annual 21-day celebration held at the Kamakshi Amman temple in February and March, is divided into two sections. The first half of the event lasts 12 days and features the deity being transported in various vehicles, followed by a 9-day second part.

Chariot Festival – Kapaleeshwarar temple

Venue: Kapaleeshwarar temple, Chennai

Festival Date: 09th April 2025

On this occasion, the idols of God Kapaleeshwarar and his consort Goddess Karpagamabal will be placed in two separate decorated chariots and taken in procession through Mylapore's main four streets, along with three other chariots dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Lord Karthikeya (also known as Subramaniya), and Lord Chandikeswarar. Devotees from many cities will attend this magnificent celebration, and a few will perform musical instruments and join in the parade. Due to the huge crowd, vehicles will be restricted and parked far away from the temple parking area, requiring people to walk for approximately 1.5 kilometres.

Arubathimoovar Festival:

Venue: Kapaleeshwarar temple, Chennai

Festival Date: 10th April 2025

63 Nayanmars are the Saivaite saints who throughout their lives praised and sang hymns in dedication to Lord Shiva. It is another famous festival in Mylapore. This festival honours the 63 saints who dedicated their lives to worshipping Lord Shiva. The event is held during the Tamil month of Panguni (March-April). On this day, all the 63 idols of Nayanmar (Shaivite Saints), the idol of God Kapaleeshwarar, the Goddess Karpagamabal, Lord Ganesha, Lord Karthikeya (also known as Subramaniya), and Lord Chandikeswarar are taken to the holy parade in a decorated palanquin. Approximately, the procession begins at 15:00 hrs and finishes at 22:30 hrs. Devotees from several cities will assemble to witness the festivity. Vehicles will be prohibited in this location; they will be parked far away from the temple parking area, requiring people to walk for approximately 1.5 kilometres.

Kerala

Disclaimer: In Kerala, festival dates are decided following the Malayalam calendar and the local traditions and customs. The festival dates given here are based on these. But there can be changes in the dates according to the customs and rituals associated with each place of worship. So the dates given here are estimated and must be confirmed with the local authorities. If you are looking for specific festival dates, please write to us. We shall reconfirm the same closer to the festival day.

Edathua Perunnal  

Venue: St. George's Church, Alappuzha District

Date: 27th April 2024 to 07th May 2024

The Edathua Church, located on the banks of the Pamba River in Alleppey, is known for its structural prowess and serves as a representation of God's own architectural heritage. It was built in 1810 and is dedicated to St. George. The yearly Perunnal (feast) of St. George draws enormous numbers. A gold-plated figure of the saint leads a procession to the basilica.

Puthupally Perunnal

Venue: St. George Orthodox Church, Kottayam District

Date: 05th to 07th May 2024

The famed Puthuppally Perunnal (perunal meaning feast) is a two-day festival full of magnificence and majesty. It is celebrated in the St. George Orthodox Church in Puthuppally. The big holiday parade, or Raza, sees the holy golden cross from the church brought to the neighboring Puthuppally intersection. The procession is visually stunning, featuring brightly colored ceremonial umbrellas, an orchestra, and the Holy Cross in wood, silver, and gold.

Vaishaka Mahotsavam

Venue: Kottiyoor temple, Kannur District

Date: 20th May 2024

A 28-day event is held in a deep forest next to a roaring river. The Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam takes place in Kannur's hills, and it is hosted by two temples: Akkara Kottiyoor and Ikkara Kottiyoor. It is one of Northern Kerala's most popular festivities, taking place on the banks of the great River Baveli. The venue is the Akkara Kottiyoor Temple, which is only open on festival days each year. It begins with the transport of a sword from Muthirerikavu to Wayanad. Another fascinating spectacle is the Rohini Aaradhana, in which the priest embraces the swayambhoo Shiva linga as part of the rite.

Kannambra Vela

Venue: Sree Kurumba Temple, Palakkad District

Date: 24th May 2024

It is considered the main event in this region and goes by the intriguing nickname 'Chakka Vela', which refers to a story about the harvest of jackfruits and mangoes. The holiday is celebrated with a grand elephant ceremony. A prominent event is the Vaalum Chilambum Ezhunnallathu, a colorful procession from the Sree Kurumba Temple to R. Mangalam Mannam that marks the goddess' arrival. The Eedu Vedi fireworks display starts at 12:00.

Ochira Kali

Venue: Ochira Parabrahma Temple, Kollam District

Date: 15th to 16th June 2024

The festival's highlight is a pretend battle between the former Kayamkulam and Ambalapuzha kingdoms, accompanied by drums, in a swampy field known as Padanilam. The event comprises boys and men divided into two groups who jump into the field for a pretend fight. Sticks are used instead of swords in this pretend fight, and participants splash muddy water at one another.

Champakulam Boat Race:

Venue: Champakulam, Alappuzha

Date: 22nd June 2024

It is the state's oldest snake boat race and marks the beginning of the boat racing season each year. This event takes place on the Pampa River in Champakulam, a village in the Alappuzha district. It draws tremendous crowds.

Palayur Church Festival:

Venue: St. Thomas Church, Thrissur District   

Date: 13th to 14th July 2024

The St. Thomas Church in Palayur is believed to be one of seven churches founded by St. Thomas, the apostle of Christ. Thousands of people attend the church's yearly festival, which lasts two days. The celebration is similar to Hindu festivities conducted in and around Thrissur, as it has lively pageants, an orchestra, and fireworks.

Aanayoottu at Vadakkumnathan Temple

Venue: Vadakkumnathan Temple, Thrissur District

Date: 16th July 2024

Elephants are brought inside the Vadakkumnathan Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and lined up in a single row. Thousands of people would face them, enduring the occasional showers and excitedly awaiting their time to feed the elephants. The elephants' unique diet consists primarily of sugarcane, rice, ghee, coconut, jaggery, and Ayurvedic medicines to improve their overall health. The event is also based on the notion that worshiping elephants and feeding them good and nutritious food is a method to honor Lord Ganesha, who removes barriers in one's life.

Njangattiri Aanayoottu

Venue: Njangattiri Bhagavathi Temple, Palakkaad District

Date: 19th July 2024

Elephants, too, benefit from the Ayurvedic rejuvenation traditions. During this celebration, elephants are lined up in a row on the temple grounds and served tasty and healthy food produced according to ayurvedic principles. People flock to the temple grounds to feed the elephants because it is auspicious.

Malabar River Festival:

Venue: Iruvanjhipuzha & Chalipuzha Rivers at Thusharagiri, Kozhikode 

Date: 25th to 28th July 2024

The Malabar River Festival is a white water kayaking championship held in Kozhikode district, Kerala. Kerala Tourism is hosting the seventh edition of South India's only extreme adventure competition, the Malabar River Festival (MRF), from July 25 to 28, 2024, in the Iruvanjhipuzha and Chalipuzha Rivers in Thusharagiri, Kozhikode district. This worldwide event will be organized by the Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society (KATPS) and the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) in Kozhikode, Kerala, India. Kayakers from over 15 countries will take part in the event. This year's International Race Series is set to feature some of the top whitewater athletes. The competition will be divided into three categories: extreme race, boater cross, and giant slalom. There will also be categories for intermediate and professional kayakers. Kayak Session Magazine, France, has named the Malabar River Festival (MRF) one of the world's top five white-water kayak festivals. Winners in several categories each receive a cash prize of one million Indian rupees.

Karkidaka Vavu Bali

Venue: All over Kerala

Date: 04th August 2024  

It is celebrated across Kerala. The Vavu Bali is a Hindu ritual that pleases ancestors. People execute specific rituals at home and in temples. Vavu Bali is celebrated as a mass event in select places of Kerala, the most significant of which take place on the banks of the Periyar at the Shiva temple in Aluva and on the Papanasam beach in Varkala.

Nehru Trophy Boat Race 

Venue: Punnamada Lake, Alleppey

Date: 10th August 2024

It is one of Kerala's premier snake boat races, and it is always a popular event during the Onam festival (the second Saturday in August). This magnificent race features giant 100-foot-long chundan valloms (snake boats) competing against one another to the music of traditional boat songs, accompanied by ceremonial water processions and stunning water floats.

Payippad Boat Race

Venue: Payippad Backwaters, Alleppey

Date: 21st August 2024 

Payippad Boat Race is the most anticipated of the various boat races that grace the waters of God's own nation. This festival takes place on the Payippad River in Alleppey and commemorates the installation of the idol at the Subramanya Swamy Temple. According to folklore, the residents of a secluded village were once advised to approach a whirlpool in a vision. When they arrived at Kayamkulam Lake, they spotted a lovely idol of Sree Subramanya, the Hindu deity. It is a truly delightful and exciting event, with the biggest number of boat races in the entire state.

Manarcad Perunnal or Ettunoyambu

Venue: St. Mary’s Church- Manarcaud, Kottayam

Date: 01st to 08th September 2024

The yearly feast of St. Mary's Cathedral in Manarcaud in Kottayam is marked by eight days of devotion and festivities. Thousands of devotees gathered on church grounds from morning to night to demonstrate their faithfulness and fasting. The event culminates in a procession carrying the sacred golden cross, known as "Rassa," on the last three days. Devotees holding muthukkuda (decorated parasols) join in the parade. It is also known as ettunoyambu (in Malayalam, ettu means eight, and noyambu means rapid).

Athachamayam:

Venue: Thripunithura, Ernakulam. 

Date: 06th September 2024. 

Athachamayam is a cultural fiesta that offers a rare opportunity to see almost all of Kerala's traditional art forms. It is a grand celebration which marks the beginning of the ten-day Onam Festival. The district's Onam celebrations begin with the ceremonial march of athachamayam. Thripunithura is renowned as the Land of Maharajas. Athachamayam was a successful march by the Maharaja of Kochi from Thripunithura to the Vamana temple at Thrikkakara. The procession features folk art forms such as Theyyam, Kummatti, Kolkali, Mayilattom, Karakattom, Kummi, Poykal, Ammankudam, Pulikali, Kathakali, Aatakavadi, Panjavadyam, Chendamelam, and more. Athagosham is widely accepted, as seen by floats depicting eternal moments from epics such as Mahabharatha and Ramayana, as well as the Bible and current societal issues. The parade was adorned with ancient myths and legends depicting gods and goddesses. There are also other competitions and various entertainment activities that takes place.

Feast of Holy Cross Shrine

Venue: Holy Cross Shrine – Mapranam, Thrissur.

Date: 14th September 2024

The Holy Cross Shrine at Mapranam in Thrissur is a popular pilgrimage destination in Central Kerala, known for its yearly Exaltation of the Cross celebration. The Exaltation of the Cross is celebrated with great pomp from September 12 to 15, with the octave (8th-day commemoration) taking place on September 21. The most fortunate day of the celebration is September 14. The historic occasion is commemorated with a variety of festivities. Among the primary events held here during the festival is the 'Thiritheliyikkel', which entails the burning of massive candles. On the same day, people around the world commemorate the feast.

Thiruvonam or Onam 

Venue: All over Kerala

Date: 14th to 17th September 2024

Onam, popularly known as the National celebration of Kerala, is the largest celebration in Kerala, with state vacations lasting four days from Onam Eve (Uthradom) to Onam Day. Onam is Kerala's major celebration, observed throughout the state without regard for caste or community. The Onam Carnival is a 10-day celebration of Kerala's culture and traditions. It occurs in the Malayalam month of Chingam (August-September) and commemorates the return of a mythological, honourable king, King Mahabali, whom Keralites still regard as their King, and brings people from all over the state together in unified celebrations with a variety of colours and flavours. Onam's Eve is referred to as Uthradom, and it is a day of great hurry. Onam's Eve is known as Uthradom, and it is a day for a mad rush for final Onam shopping, which is referred to as Uthradom Pachil (Uthradom Rush) in practically every section of the state. Nowadays, it is regarded as the largest shopping event in urban areas, particularly in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kozhikode. Homes are decorated with beautiful flower carpets (Pookkalam), and traditional arts and pastimes can be found everywhere. During this occasion, elaborate, beautiful feasts (Onasadya) can be prepared in any home, followed by scrumptious payasam (a Kerala dessert).

Pulikali

Venue: Swaraj Ground, Thrissur

Date: 15th September 2024

Pulikali also known as Kaduvakali, is a street performance done primarily in Thrissur on the afternoon of the Fourth Onam Day. It is a colourful recreational folk art from the state of Kerala. It is performed by trained artists to entertain people on the occasion of Onam. Pulikali is a folk art performed on the fourth day of Kerala's Onam festival, and the carnival takes place at Swaraj Ground in Thrissur. The painters paint their bodies with oil paints (very difficult to remove) to resemble tigers with stripes of yellow, red, and black, portraying the roles of tiger and hunter. They dance to the beat of traditional beating instruments including thakil, udukku, and chenda, and a crowd gathered to watch this great occasion.

Feast of Vallarpadathamma

Venue: Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom – Vallarpadam, Ernakulam

Date: 16th to 24th September 2024

In 1524, Portuguese missionaries established the Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom (National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom) in Vallarpadam, Ernakulam. They installed the Lady of Ransom artwork here, and the locals quickly attributed many miracles to it. The Feast of Vallarpadathamma is observed with great reverence from the 16th to the 24th of September. This week-long celebration is truly a feast for the eyes and souls of attendees.

Aranmula Boat Race

Venue: River Pampa, Aranmula, Pathanamthitta.

Date: 18th September 2024

The Aranmula Utthrittathi Vallamkali, also known as the Aranmula Boat Race, is Kerala's most ancient and revered boat race. It is well-known for its magnificence and unique history, taking place on the day of the Uthrittathi asterism in the Malayalam month of Chingam (15 August and 20 September). Aranmula is a heritage village located on the banks of the Pampa River in Pathanamthitta District. According to legend, a faithful Brahmin pledged to furnish all the requirements for the Thiruvona Sadya (feast performed on the Thiruvonam asterism). These were to be carried to Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy Temple by boat, the Thiruvona Thoni. During the cruise, opposing factions attacked the boat. However, snake boats from the surrounding area rescued it, and thus began the glorious tradition of the area's particular snake boat racing. The snake boat race itself is a sacrifice to Lord Krishna at Sree Parthasarathy Temple. The snake boats used in this event are known as Palliyodams. The design is credited to Lord Krishna, the presiding deity at the Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy Temple. He is claimed to have appeared on these shores in a raft composed of six bamboos, hence the village's name, Aranmula, or Six Bamboos.

Ayilyam Festival at Vettikode

Venue: Sree Nagaraja Swami Temple – Vettikode, Alleppey

Date: 28th September 2024 

It is an annual celebration held at Sree Nagaraja Swami Temple, an old shrine in Vettikode, Alappuzha district, dedicated to serpent gods. The celebrations begin seven days before the Ayilyam asterism, with unique ceremonies taking place on these days, the climax being a ceremonial march from the temple to Meppallil Illam, a historic Brahmin residence. In the evenings, a ritual known as Sarpabali is performed to please the serpent gods. The festival comes to an end with the daily ceremonies.

Neelamperoor Padayani:

Venue: Palli Bhagavathi Temple, Neelamperoor, Alappuzha

Date: 29th and 30th September 2024

Padayani, which means 'row of warriors', is believed to have been created by Kalaripayattu-trained warriors to demonstrate their might and chivalry to intimidate their foes in Travancore's south. Thus, this art style has its roots in the rich martial art history of Kalaripayattu. The annual Neelamperoor Padayani Festival, held at the Neelamperoor Palli Bhagavathy Temple, is one of the most colorful events in the Alappuzha area. It happens during the Malayalam month of Chingam (typically in August or September) and is one of the most unusual Padayani presentations in all of God's Own Country. Its distinctiveness stems from the Kettukazhcha custom, which involves the display of artistically adorned images. Massive images of swans and other mythical characters are brought in and erected locally using a process known as annamkettu. At night, a colorful procession carrying images of mythological characters like as Bhima, Ravana, and Yakshi sets the mood. The aura and magic surrounding this site and its traditions have captivated and inspired people for years, and it is without a doubt one of the most amazing events in the neighborhood.

Navarathri Sangeetholsavam

Venue: Navarathri Mandapam – East Fort, Thiruvananthapuram

Date: 03rd to 13th October 2024

To celebrate the auspicious time of Navarathri, the lights shine brightest at Thiruvananthapuram's historic Navarathri Mandapam in the Fort Palace complex. It holds the famed Navarathri Music Festival every year, a nine-day music extravaganza in which fans may see some of the classical music industry's biggest names. The main attractions are the magnificent kritis (compositions) of Swathi Thirunal, a famed composer and former monarch of Travancore. Oil lamps adorn the stage, illuminating the acts in a blaze of glory.

Panachikkadu Festival in Kottayam

Venue: Panachikkadu Saraswati Temple – Kottayam

Date: 03rd to 13th October 2024 

The Panachikkadu Saraswati Temple is one of the holiest venues for this ceremony, which takes place on the final day of the Navaratri Festival, Vijayadashami. The Dakshina Mookambika (Mookambika Temple of the South) honors Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge. Vidyarambham, which literally means 'beginning of education', is one of the most important rituals for Hindus throughout the state. A sacred temple rite introduces young children to the mystical world of letters, which is widely regarded as a watershed moment in their lives.

Oachira Kalakettu Ochira: 

Venue: Kollam

Date: 12th October 2024

It's one of the most memorable moments in God's Own Country. During the festival, decorated effigies of Nandi, the celestial bull, and Lord Shiva's vehicle make a magnificent appearance at the Oachira Parabramha Temple. Each sub-division of the Onattukara region takes their effigies to the temple for the parade, with the best receiving a prize.

Koratty Muthy Feast

Venue: St. Mary’s Forane Church – Koratty, Thrissur

Date: 13th October 2024

It is hosted in Koratty, a picturesque village in the Thrissur district. The St. Mary's Forane Church hosts a spectacular festival known as the Koratty Muthy Feast. The celebration honors the Virgin Mary, known locally as Koratty Muthy, and is highlighted by colorful spectacle and ceremonies. Poovan Kula (a type of plantain) is the primary dish here. The highlight here is the 'Thulabharam' with 'Poovan Kula' rite, in which devotees sacrifice their body weight in plantains. Koratty Muthy is also called Our Lady of the Poovan Bananas (Poovankula Matha).

Mannarasala Ayilyam

Venue: Sree Nagaraja Temple, Mannarasala, Alappuzha District

Date: 26th October 2024

It is a remote shrine in a forest glade, with over 30,000 snake figures adorning the paths and among the trees. This is the only Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple in Alappuzha District. The temple, which is dedicated to the Serpent Gods, is particularly unique in that its priestess is a Brahmin woman. The Ayilyam Festival is the main event here, taking place on the Ayilyam asterism in the Malayalam month of Thulam, which roughly corresponds to October and November.

Alpasi Utsavam

Venue: Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple – East Fort, Thiruvananthapuram

Date: 31st October 2024 to 09th November 2024

One such fantastic festival is the Alpasi Festival at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, which takes place in October or November. The main attraction is the spectacular Aarattu ceremony, which involves the deities taking a holy bath in the sea. A massive procession begins at the temple and proceeds to Shanghumugham Beach, with the head of the Travancore Royal Family leading the way, sword in hand. Caparisoned elephants, mounted police, and columns of armed police can be seen as thousands of loyal followers crowd the streets to witness this one-of-a-kind and historic event.

Parumala Perunnal

Venue: Parumala Church, Pathanamthitta District

Date: 02nd November 2024 

It is an annual feast commemorating the death anniversary of Bishop Mar Gregorios Metropolitan, the Malankara Orthodox Church of Kerala's first canonized saint. Devotees from all around the state gather on the church grounds to commemorate this momentous occasion. The feast day is highlighted by special services and a vibrant parade. On the ormaperunnal (commemoration day), the church offers special prayers.

Revathi Pattathanam

Venue: Tali Mahadeva Temple, Kozhikode District.

Date: 13th November 2024 

On the day of Revathi Pattathanam, the wisdom of the Vedas manifests itself abundantly. This ritual originated in the 14th century at the Thali Mahadeva temple, which is as old as the tale about Kerala's formation. The famed Revathi Pattathanam used to be a seven-day annual gathering of scholars overseen by Zamorins. This is an outstanding annual cultural and intellectual event in Kerala.

Kalpathy Ratholsavam: 

Venue: Sree Viswanatha Swamy Temple, Kalpathi, Palakkad

Dates: 13th to 15th November 2024

Kalpathi Ratholsavam (Kalpathi Chariot Festival)  is a yearly Hindu festival held at Kalpathi, Palakkad district, at the Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanatha Swamy Temple. The three-day festival conducted at Sree Viswanatha Swamy Temple situated at Kalpathi near Palakkad, Kerala draws thousands of devotees and tourists every year. Kalpathi is known as a Traditional Brahmin settlement in Kerala. The epicentre of the entire three-day festival is Lord Vishwanatha housed as the presiding deity in this 700-year-old temple.  The highlight of the festival is that the three chariots which are elaborately bedecked come on a procession around the village. On the first day of the festival, only one chariot is taken out and the number gets increased. On the third day, all three chariots are taken around with Vedic recitals and poojas everywhere. The temple is very near to the Palakkad Railway station.

Vettukadu Feast in Thiruvananthapuram

Venue: Madre-de-Deus Church, Thiruvananthapuram District

Date: 15th November to 24th November 2024

People from all walks of life flock to the 500-year-old Madre-de-Deus Church in Vettukadu, a coastal neighborhood of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala's capital city, to worship and spend some quality time in solitude. The annual 'Christ the King' Festival, which is said to have been visited by the famed missionary St. Francis Xavier between C.E. 1543 and 1547, is a major event in the area.

Vaikathashtami

Venue: Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, Kottayam District

Date: 23rd November 2024

The Vaikom Mahadeva temple, located on the shores of the Vembanad Lake in Vaikom (Vaikkom) and featuring exquisite Kerala-style temple architecture, is a sight to behold. The temple is referred to as Dakshinakasi of the South. The temple and its surrounds will be especially beautiful in December, when Vaikathashtami, the twelve-day yearly festival, takes place.

Puthari Thiruvappana

Venue: Sri Muthappan Temple, Parassinikadavu, Kannur District

Date: 01st December 2024

The Muthappan Thiruvappana (Puthari Thiruvappana) Festival is celebrated annually. Sri Muthappan is always accompanied by a dog, and dogs are regarded sacred here. When the Prasadam (offerings to the god) is ready, it is first offered to a dog who is constantly present within the temple compound.

Guruvayur Ekadasi

Venue: Thrissur District

Date: 11th December 2024

Ekadasi, the eleventh day of a lunar fortnight, is considered auspicious in Hinduism. Of the 24 Ekadasis in a year, the Vrishchika Ekadasi in the Malayalam month of Vrishchikam (November or December) is especially significant. The Ekadasi Vilakku (vilakku = lighted lamp) at the Guruvayur temple, whose presiding deity is Lord Krishna, begins one month before the Ekadasi day. This is done as an offering by devotees.

International Film Festival: 

Venue: Trivandrum

Date: 13th to 20th December 2024

Every year, devoted IFFK fans travel to Thiruvananthapuram to celebrate the magic of movies. The festival, billed as one of the country's largest cultural events, showcases the best films from modern international cinema, Indian cinema, and Malayalam cinema in venues throughout the city.

Niranam Valiyapally Perunnal

Venue: St. Mary’s Church, Pathanamthitta District

Date: 21st December 2024

The St. Mary's Church at Niranam in Pathanamthitta (popularly known as Niranam Valiya Pally) is one of Kerala's oldest churches, believed to have been founded by St. Thomas, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, in AD 54. The church is famous for its yearly feast, which is held on December 21st each year in remembrance of St. Thomas. The feast of the Assumption of St. Mary (Vaangipu Perunnaal) is observed on August 15, whereas the feasts of Mar Thoma II and Mar Thoma V are celebrated concurrently on May 10.

Beypore Waterfest

Venue: Chaliyar River, Kozhikode District

Date: 24th to 28th December 2024 (Tentative)

Beypore Waterfest is a one-of-a-kind water event held in Kerala that features a variety of interesting water sports and activities. The festival is primarily held along the Chaliyar River, also known as the Beypore River in Kozhikode. The water festival includes kayaking, paddle racing, parasailing, water skiing, boat races, rafting, canoeing, sailing, and a variety of other exciting water activities. It also features several specialties, such as Kerala's traditional snake boat races and the aquatic activities featured in the Olympics.

Cochin Carnival:

Venue: Kochi, Ernakulam

Date: 25th December 2024 to 01st January 2025

The Cochin Carnival is a seven-day festival that begins around Christmas and concludes on New Year's Eve with a magnificent procession through the city of Cochin. The Cochin Carnival is organized by the District Tourism Promotion Council. Throughout these seven days, a variety of events are held, including sports, cultural programs, treasure hunts, and so on. The Cochin Carnival reflects Fort Kochi's mixed past. Its roots run deep in Portuguese and British rule. The Portuguese New Year celebrations during the colonial era laid the groundwork for the Cochin Carnival. The Carnival was created during the International Year of Youth with the themes of 'Participation', 'Development', 'Peace', 'Adventure', and 'Environment'.

Kochi Muziris Biennale:

Venue: All across Kochi and its surrounding

Date: December 2024 to April 2025

The Kochi Muziris Biennale is an international contemporary art exhibition that takes place in Kochi, Kerala. It is a celebration of the contemporary art scene across the globe with displays of artworks of both Indian and International artists through a wide variety of mediums.  It is the largest art exhibition in the country and the biggest contemporary art festival in Asia. The purpose of this Kochi Biennale is to conserve heritage properties and monuments and uplift traditional forms of art and culture. The exhibition is set in several locations throughout Kochi and the adjacent islands. The Kochi Muziris Biennale aims to evoke the global essence of Kochi's present metropolis as well as its fabled heritage.

Arattupuzha Pooram: 

Venue: Arattupuzha Sree Sastha Temple, Thrissur District

Date: March – April (exact dates are to be advised) 

Every year for seven days, the Sree Sastha temple in Thrissur hosts the Arattupuzha Pooram (Mother of all Pooram festivals of Kerala), Kerala's oldest pooram. According to believers, all gods and goddesses congregate at this 'conclave' during the Pooram season. As many as 23 deities from various temples in Thrissur are brought here and worshipped, creating a beautiful spectacle in and of itself. Mighty elephants and their mahouts wander through the streets to the beats of the chenda (drum) and Kuzhal (wind instrument), which govern the tempo of the throng. Wave after wave of people flows around the venue, with a variety of folk-art performances taking place at the same time.

Malabar Kite Festival: 

Venue: Pallikkara Bekal Beach Park. Bekal, Kasargod.

Date: April – May (exact dates are to be advised)

The Malabar kite festival is a colorful event co-organized by the Kasargod District Tourism Promotion Council, Bekal Resort Development Corporation, and the Bakel Lions Club. Kite enthusiasts from all around the world and country demonstrate their skills by flying various types of kites. The lively celebration attracts hundreds of spectators and participants.

KARNATAKA

Disclaimer: As the festival follows Hindu calendar, its exact date as per English calendar doesn’t stay fixed. So, to know the exact dates, please contact us. We can check with the local authorities in Karnataka and assist you accordingly. 

Vitla Pindi: 

Venue: Udupi Krishna temple, Udupi

Date: 26th August 2024 

Vitla Pindi, also known as Mosaru Kudike is a popular festival in Udupi city, Coastal Karnataka. Vitla Pindi helps people recall childhood antics of Lord Krishna and is celebrated during Srikrishna Janmashtami, which falls during the month of August-September.

Mysuru Dussehra:

Venue: Mysore Palace, Mysore 

Date: 03rd to 12th October 2024

Mysuru lives up to its position as Karnataka's cultural capital with its magnificent Dasara celebration. Mysuru Dussehra, is also observed as a State festival - 'Nadahabba', because the celebration of the festival is steered by the Royal Family of Mysore. The royal family of Mysore performs special pooja on the occasion of Dasara. It is Karnataka's state festival that draws visitors from all over the world. It is a famous festival celebrated in Mysore during Navratri. The occasion lasts 10 days and is marked by a royal elephant procession, cultural events, fairs, and other grand celebrations. During Dussehra, there are also kite festivals, poetry meets, sand sculpting exhibits, and numerous sporting events such as wrestling. Dasara celebrations in Mysore commence at 9 a.m. on Thursday, 3rd October 2024 and the grand final day - Vijayadasami Day falls on Saturday, 12th October 2024. Jamboo Savari and Torchlight Parade, two major attractions on the final day.

Kaveri Sankaramana

Venue: Thalacauvery, Coorg

Date: 17th October 2024 

Kaveri Sankaramana is celebrated at Talakaveri, Kodagu district, in mid-October (the first day of Tula month according to the Hindu calendar). This festival marks the birth of the River Kaveri which originates at Talakaveri in Kodagu (Coorg). The Talakaveri temple's fountainhead is said to be the source of the river Kaveri. Thousands of devotees travel to Talakaveri and Bhagamandala to take holy baths in this water. Theerthodbhava is a phenomenon in which holy water appears at the Brahma Kundike (pot) or fountainhead of the pond in Talakaveri. This water is regarded sacred, and the villagers gather and preserve it, while hundreds of visitors take holy dips in the Kaveri River to be blessed. Kaveri Sankramana is celebrated with special poojas in temples and Kodava houses. Kaveri Jatre (fair) entertains guests.

Kambala Festival:

Venue: Coastal Karnataka Districts (over 45 different villages) 

Date: November 2024 to March 2025

Kambala is a prominent buffalo race event in Karnataka's coastal areas. Kambala is a stunning sporting and entertainment event for villages that is also popular among tourists and photographers. Kambala is performed on two parallel racetracks, filled with slushy water. Buffalo owners and farmers in the region take great care of their buffalos and the best of them are well-fed, oiled and nurtured for a race in Kambala. Buffaloes are usually raced in pairs during a Kambála buffalo race event, held together with ploughs and ropes. The best of Kambala Buffaloes can cover a 140-meter racetrack in less than 12 seconds. The jockey or Kambála runner is the man commanding the buffaloes and races along with them. The Kambala runner controls the buffaloes with a whip or ropes. The runner also entertains spectators by splashing water as high as possible during the race. Two teams of buffaloes along with their jockeys’ race towards the finish line on the two parallel racetracks. Race goes on all day and winners qualify for the next rounds. Besides reaching the finish line first, prizes are also given for splashing water high till a target is set above (known as Kolu). Kambala events begin after the paddy harvest is done, which is usually during October.

Basavanagudi Kadalekai Parishe (The Annual Groundnut fair / Peanut festival):

Venue: Bull Temple, Bangalore

Date: 09th December 2024

The Kadalekayi Parishe, also known as the groundnut festival, celebrates the harvest of the first groundnut crop. Every year, farmers from Karnataka come to the Bull Temple to seek blessings for a successful crop. Groundnuts of various sorts and quality grow in abundance near the Bull Temple, the Dodda Ganesha Shrine, and the Bugle Rock Park in Basavanagudi, one of Bengaluru's oldest suburbs. During Kadalekai Parishe, visitors buy groundnuts in bulk straight from farmers at lower prices than the market. During Kadalekai Parishe, the bull temple hosts special poojas and prayers. The decorated streets will offer plenty of retail options, food outlets, games, and toys for children. Locals look forward to the event and enjoy both celebrations and shopping. Basavanagudi Kadalekai Parishe takes place on the last Monday of Karthikai Month every year(a month in the Hindu Calendar). The celebration follows the Hindu calendar. Before Bengaluru's expansion, areas near Basavanagudi had multiple groundnut cultivation farms, and groundnut was a major producer each year. According to legend, every year, a roaring bull attacked groundnut crops as they were about to be harvested. To protect their harvest, farmers prayed to Basava (Nandi or Bull) and presented their first crop to the Lord. Kempe Gowda discovered an idol of Basava and built a temple around it in the 16th century, known as Basavana Gudi or Big Bull Temple. Kadalekai Parishe is centered on this temple and the belief that Basava, or Bull, will consume and bless farmers' groundnut gifts.

Nagamandala:

Venue: Coastal Karnataka

Date: December 2024 to April 2025 

Nagamandala, also known as Nagaradhane, is a multi-day celebration and worship ceremony in honour of the serpent god. The inhabitants of Dakshina Kannada undertake an elaborate ritual known as Nagamandala to please the serpent spirit. It is performed extravagantly throughout the night, with dancers known as the Vaidyas dressing up as nagakannikas and dancing the night away. Nagamandala ritual celebrates the union of male and female snakes. Rituals are performed by two priests, one enacts the male snake while the other female snake. Ritual involves rigorous dances and moves. Some of the rituals continue till the early morning hours. The Vaidyas dance around an ornate serpent design created in natural colours on the hallowed ground in a pandal particularly constructed in front of the temple. This nightly ritual is practiced from December to April.

Hampi Utsava

Venue: Hampi, Karnataka

Date: Date will be finalized & announced by Govt. of Karnataka during January / February

The ruins of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Karnataka, come alive with song and dance when the state government hosts the Hampi Utsava to recreate the grandeur of the former Vijayanagara Empire. It is thought that Utsava has been observed since the Vijayanagara Empire, making it one of India's oldest celebrations or festivals. Today, the Hampi Utsava, also known as Vijaya Utsava, was celebrated for a week and captured the grandeur, splendour, and glory of the Vijayanagara empire. The backdrop for the Utsava is Hampi and her ruins. The festival features the lighting of Hampi's notable monuments, the Jumbo Saavari (an elephant parade), performances by some of India's most celebrated singers, dancers, and performers, water sports, food courts, photography competitions, Rangoli/Mehndi competitions, and so on. Hampi Utsava attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world and is one of the most famous events in Karnataka, making Hampi one of the best destinations to visit in the state. Against the backdrop of the river Tungabhadra, the lit ruins of Hampi rise tall, setting off a billion sparks during the Hampi Utsava. Hampi Utsava honors the Vijayanagara Empire's history by highlighting the region's rich tradition and culture.

Special Remark: During these fairs and festivals, there will be traffic restrictions near the areas where the festival is held. Vehicles will be restricted to access the area & it will be parked far away from the parking area. Guests must walk for a few kilometres approximately. 

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