So far, I am sure you would have come to know about my love for Uttarakhand. It is one of my favorite traveling destinations. From romantic to thrill you can enjoy any kind of experience in Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand has many festivals all year around celebrated on a massive scale and it’s well worth a traveler’s time to be a part of them. Here is a list of the top 10 festivals of Uttarakhand with their details to entice you further.
1. Most Significant Human gathering- Kumbh Mela – One of the oldest and the most widely known festivals is the Kumbh Mela. It is a phenomenon and not just a place. The Kumbh Mela sees the largest congregation of pilgrims in the world and it involves taking tips in the holy Ganges to wash away one’s sins. You don’t have to be a devotee in order to participate in this phenomenon. Several onlookers and tourists flock to this three-month-long festival in order to witness the Kumbh’s grandeur. This Mela is a three-month-long festival that rotates between Allahabad, Ujjain, Haridwar, and Nasik. This is the most significant human gathering in the world.
2. The festival of Colours-Holi: is a very big occasion for the people of India and obviously of Uttarakhand. Holi is celebrated with an immense zeal in the Kumaon region and the celebrations here are longer than just one day. As per the scriptures, Holi marks the victory of good over evil. Holi brings together a spectacular amount of colors, food, music and community spirit together. It is truly a sight to behold especially in the
3. Learn the art of Meditation- The International Yog Festival (IYF) is held in the first week of March in Rishikesh and is co-organised by the Parmarth Niketan Ashram and Uttarakhand Tourism. This festival is the most peaceful and sometimes life-altering festivals one may come across. Several yogis and spiritual leaders flock to this festival and do yoga together in the ashram. The sheer spectacle of a huge group of people doing Yoga and meditating is a sight to behold. Participate in this fest and it may have a way to spirituality or be an onlooker. In any case, The International Yog festival is not a place, it’s a state of mind.
4. Grand puja- Magh Mela- This is a week-long festival that is held in mid-January and usually coincides with another popular Indian festival of maker Sankranti. Devotees carry miniature deities of Hindu Gods and Goddesses to the main temple in Uttarkashi where the grand puja is held.
5. Festival of flow of lights- Ganga Dusshera, also called Dassar, celebrates the flow of the river Ganga from the heavens. This festival falls in the month of Jyeshtha (May) and is a ten-day long celebration. One can be a part of the festivities along the Ghats of Ganga at Rishikesh and Haridwar.
6. Festival of harvested crops- Bhitauli and Harela – Bhitauli celebrates the beginning of the rainy season and is celebrated by the people of Kumaon in July-August. This festival also celebrates the great Indian Lord Shiva and Parvati. Devotees make miniature deities of
7. Festival of prosperity- Bat Savitri – This famous festival is celebrated all over Uttarakhand. On this day, married women fast for their husband’s health, wealth and prosperity for an entire day and offer prayers to the deity Savitri and a Banyan Tree. It is a very peaceful and engaging festival.
8. Festival of change- Basant Panchmi – This festival celebrates the advent of Basant or spring. It is an important festival celebrated all over Uttarakhand. This festival marks the end of winter which is considered the source of decay and is celebrated is the month of January or February. The goddess worshipped is Saraswati and the locals all dress in yellow colored clothes.
9. Festival of songs- Kale Kauva or Ghughutia – This festival follows several cute little traditions. The locals prepare sweets made from deep-fried flour in the shapes of knives and swords and feed the crows and migratory birds so that they come again the next year. The children also participate in this festival by singing songs in order to attract the migratory birds.
10. Tapkeshwar Mahadev Mela – Held on Mahashivratri which is a big festival celebrating the great Lord Shiva, this festival takes place in the shrine housed inside the cave temple of Tapkeshwar Mahadev which is 6 kilometers from Dehradun.
India is a land of different traditions, cultures and to understand its fully, festivals are one of the main things. The festivals of Uttarakhand are unique in its way and defines its rich culture and tradition which is not to be missed.