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The culture calendar: Events not to be missed in the coming months

Hornbill Festival

To encourage inter-tribal interaction and promote the cultural heritage of Nagaland, the state government organises Hornbill Festival in the first week of December every year. Nagaland suffuses in a carnival-like atmosphere and basks in all its traditional tribal glory. Visitors are in for a medley of colourful cultural performances, craft exhibitions, sports, food fetes and games during the 10-day celebration. Those who love to shop, can indulge in bamboo products and beaded jewellery. Traditional art forms, including paintings, wood carvings and sculptures, are put on display. Festival highlights include herbal medicine stalls, flower shows, wrestling competitions, musical concerts, and much more.

Where: Naga Heritage Village, Kohima
When: December 1-10

Jodhpur RIFF

The Jodhpur Rajasthani Folk Festival seeks to celebrate folk music like no other. It attracts visitors from across the country and globe who come together to take part in oral storytelling by way of poetry and music. What makes this carnival so different is the way it is crafted to ensure that originality is not lost in transition. Organised in the picturesque Mehrangarh Fort, the Jodhpur RIFF this year promises to bring over 250 artistes together. The festival will also see Rajasthani and Irish artistes collaborating for the first time ever.

Where: Jodhpur, Rajasthan
When: October 10-14

Comic Con India

One of the most popular global cultural events, Comic Con India is dedicated to giving fans a platform to celebrate their passion for comics and pop culture. The event caters to fans of not only comics, but gaming, movies and television as well. Cosplay has become a major part of the event over the years. Fans can solve riddles and take part in quizzes centred around Marvel, Game of Thrones, DC.

Where: Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai
When: Oct 12-13 (Hyderabad), Nov 16-17 (Bengaluru), Dec 7-8 (Mumbai), Dec 20-22 (Delhi)


The annually organised festival offers an exciting opportunity to experience the Great Rann of Kutch at its colourful and exotic best. Tourists can regale in the folk tunes of Kutch in the form of dance and music performances. Artisans from across the state and country join in to display their work, most of which can be bought directly at the festival. Many high profile dignitaries including Gujarat's chief minister Vijay Rupani are slated to grace the festival. Nearly 32 cultural troupes from across Gujarat are likely to participate in the white salt desert's carnival.

Where: Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
When: October 28-February 23, 2020

Pushkar Fair

The Pushkar Fair, also known as Pushkar Ka Mela, is a celebration of the pride and beauty of the "ship of desert", camel, and other cattle. It is visited by foreigners and Indians alike in November. Back-to-back camel races are the main attraction of the event, which also includes a number of musical performances, folk dance shows, art exhibitions. The mela brings together villagers, farmers and traders from all over Rajasthan.

Where: Pushkar, Rajasthan
When: November 4-12

Dharamshala International Film Festival

Over the years, the festival has attained a cult status among Indian and international audiences as it brings quality films and talented film-makers from around the world to Dharamshala to entertain communities that inhabit the area.

Where: Mcleodganj, Dharamsala
When: November 7-10

Mahindra Kabira Festival

The fourth edition of the Mahindra Kabira Festival will once more give an experience of sublime music while celebrating the life and works of mystical poet-saint Kabir. Varanasi, the poet's birthplace and a city unparalleled for its soul and history, is set to come alive with Kabir's teachings on the ghats of the Ganga. Conceived by the Mahindra Group and performing arts firm Teamwork Arts, the event will feature grassroots artistes and renowned names. The day of the festival will involve a soul-cleansing morning music programme, featuring Kabir veterans performing on Guleria Ghat. Contemplative literary discourses will form part of the rest days, complete with Benarasi breakfast and kullad chai by the ghats. Celebrated Meghwal singer Mooralala Marwada, three-time Grammy nominee Pandit Ajay Shankar Prasanna, and acclaimed author Purushottam Agrawal, are among those slated to perform at the festival.

Where: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
When: November 22-24

International Film Festival of India

India’s most prestigious film festival is aimed at promoting Indian cinema globally while providing a common platform to movies across the globe. The 50th edition this year will showcase the best of cinema in Goa. Russia will be the international partner for the festival this year. Films from 70 nations are slated to be screened at IFFI this year.

Where: Goa
When: November 20-28

Serendipity Arts Festival

This interdisciplinary arts festival aims to promote the evolving arts community and create value for fine arts. It will include indoor and outdoor activities in Goa's Panaji. This year's edition will feature over 80 art projects and see a new panel of curators, including Rahaab Allana and Ravi Agarwal (photography), Kristine Michael and Pramod Gupta (craft), etc.

Where: Goa
When: December 15-22

Jaipur Literature Festival

The Jaipur Literature Festival in Rajasthan has gained a reputation as the literary event of the year. From Nobel laureates and local language writers to Booker Prize winners and debut novelists, the best of minds and most remarkable authors come together for reading and panel discussions at the Diggi Palace in Rajasthan's capital. The event is free for all.

Where: Diggi Palace, Jaipur
When: January 23-27, 2020

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

The festival is a kaleidoscope of music, dance, theatre, street stalls and workshops, among others. It is a community celebration of art within one of the most beautiful and historic precincts of Mumbai, the Kala Ghoda Art District. The festival has sections like visual art, food, literature, films and a children's section as well.

Where: Mumbai
When: February 1-9, 2020

India Art Fair

India Art Fair is a leading platform to discover modern and contemporary art from South Asia and is a portal to the region's cultural landscape. It brings the best art galleries in the subcontinent and beyond under one roof. The event provides a platform not only to established international galleries, but also emerging talent from the region.

Where: New Delhi
When: Jan 30-February 2, 2020