Visit the gorgeous Pushkar Mela

Rajasthan is known for its vibrant colours, festivals, culture and fairs that showcase the rich heritage of the place. Throughout the year, Rajasthan celebrates several fairs that brighten up what is an otherwise dreary and hard life for the village folk in this desert region.

Pushkar festival is among the most colourful and popular fairs in the Thar desert, which starts on 23rd October and goes on till 4th November this year. If you’re planning to head to Pushkar this year, we highly recommend booking a Jaipur to Pushkar taxi. The fair coincides with the brighter half of the moon ending with the full moon day. Folklore has it that the festival is celebrated as an obeisance to Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe, according to Hindu mythology.

The Pushkar festival is celebrated around the Pushkar Lake which is about 11 kilometres away from Ajmer. Pushkar is surrounded on all three sides by hills, and the fourth side has sand dunes. Thus, Pushkar is a fascinating location with a befitting backdrop for the annual fairs. Colourful veils of women and equally colourful turbaned headgear of men bring this arid desert space to life. For the duration of the festival, village women dress in their finest clothes.

There are about 400 temples surrounding the Pushkar Lake and 52 ghats bind this lake. During the festival days, this lake which remains tranquil otherwise gets engulfed in religious fervour. Several thousand devotees congregate at the lake and take a dip in it. Sadhus and saints descend from the Himalayas, and everyone prays to attain salvation in the midst of chanting of verses from Holy scriptures that fill the air.  During the afternoons, people assemble around the stadium where horses, camels and, cows are paraded. Camels are also traded here during the fair.

Trading in livestock is, in fact, a major part of the fair itself and camels traded in large batches take centre stage. The large crowds during the fair make it difficult to drive any automobile, so walking or using a camel becomes the only option available to visitors. On a conservative estimate, about 25,000 camels are traded here during the fair. Visitors should also remember that this is a religious fair and hence non-vegetarian food, as well as alcohol, is strictly prohibited all around the town and neighbourhood. If you’re planning to drive down from Delhi just for the festival, we suggest you book a cab from Delhi to Pushkar.


For Hindus across the world, Pushkar is a unique destination because there is no other temple for Lord Brahma anywhere in India. According to legends, Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor who was also a devout Muslim had little tolerance for other faiths and religions. Once during his reign, he headed to Pushkar with the idea of getting all the temples demolished. On arriving there, he went to wash his face in the Pushkar Lake, and his reflection in the waters startled him. What he saw in the water was the haggard face of an old man. He saw it as a bad omen and gave up the thought of demolishing the temples and returned to Delhi which was his capital.

The nearest airport is Sanganer airport in Jaipur located at a distance of 146 km. Ajmer railway station which is well-connected with other parts of the country is situated barely 11 km from Pushkar. Connecting trains to Pushkar from Ajmer are available. Pushkar is also connected to other major cities via the highways of Rajasthan. You can hire a private taxi after arriving at any major city such as Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, etc.

Planning on exploring more of Rajasthan after your trip to Pushkar? Here’s a complete guide of what to do in Jaisalmer.

Happy Vacationing!

Golu Celebrations in Tamil Nadu

Navaratri festival in Tamil Nadu is celebrated to praise and pray to the Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. The tenth day which is the tenth lunar day in Hindu calendar is celebrated as the “Vijayadashami” or Dussehra. For anyone who has never witnessed the fervour and celebrations of Dusshera down South, the entire experience of the Golu celebrations can leave you enchanted.

When Is Navaratri Celebrated In Tamil Nadu?

Navaratri is celebrated from the next day of the new-moon day (Mahalaya Ammavasai) in the Tamil month of Puratasi. It starts with puja for Goddess Durga, Lakshmi, and followed by Saraswati. After the Saraswati Puja Day, Navaratri ends with Ayudha Pooja and Vijayadashami.

Why Is It Celebrated?

Navaratri is celebrated to remember the victory of Goddess Parashakti over the evil King Mahishasura. The festival is a representation of victory of good over evil. The tenth day of Navaratri is celebrated to remember the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana.

How Is It Celebrated?

People in TN place a Kalash on the first step of the Golu as a representation of Goddess Parashakti. The Kalash is filled with rice and dal and a coconut coated with turmeric is placed above the Kalash. People place dolls of gods and goddesses in 3/5/7/9 steps arrangements along with the Kalash. It is believed that the dolls are the court of Goddess Shakti as well as the representation that everything is her creation. The Dolls are collected over many years and are often passed on through generations.

 Pujas and Offerings

During the nine days of the festival, women perform various pujas and fast during the day. It is believed that performing prayers during this period is stronger than any time of the year. Every day after the puja and aarti, people offer “Sundal” made from one of the Navadhanyams (9 grains) for the goddess and distribute the offerings to kids and women in the neighbourhood.

Celebrations

Evenings are the most pleasant part of the day during the “Golu” festival. Devotees dress up for the occasion and visit each other’s Golu decorations at home as well as in temples. They sing songs & bhajans and pray to the goddess. Visitors are offered with beetle leaves, banana, coconut, and Vermillion along with gifts during Navaratri. In order to make things creative, these days people decorate their houses with models of parks, zoo, cricket ground, hills, sometimes even flyovers and city structures.

Doll Arrangements (Golu)

Mylapore one of the prominent Hindu community localities in Chennai is known for its year-on-year Golu decoration competitions. People bring the best of their creativity with innovative ideas each year for these competitions. Some of the notable doll decorations that you can find in every household include the Dasavatara (10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu), Asta-Lakshmi (8 incarnations of Goddess Lakshmi),”Durga Lakshmi Saraswati”, Families of Lord Shiva, Vishnu, Rama, Raas Leela enchanted /Krishna Leela and more.

Other notable and most important doll arrangements include dolls of great saints, gurus, Alwars and Nayanmars (to praise humanity), dolls of birds and animals (to praise other creations), “Chettiyar Thatha and Paati” set along with pulses, vegetables, kitchen things (to praise the trading community), and other dolls that represent the Hindu culture.

Popular Beliefs

It is believed that worshipping Goddess Saraswati by placing books in front of her will help us gain good knowledge. During the Saraswati Puja day, people do not take their books out and read as it is considered inauspicious to take the books placed before the goddess.

Ayudha Pooja day is considered to be auspicious to start any new business, buy new vehicle or tools. During this day people perform puja of their cars, bikes, and instruments used at work by thanking them for being useful in their life and praying for a better future. During the Vijayadashami day, parents send their kids for the first day of school. It is considered as the best day to start any new learning activity.

Popular Temple Celebrations In TN

  • Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple
  • Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Mylapore
  • Mutharamman Temple, Kulasekharapattinam

These temples along with many other local temples in each town/city grandly celebrate the Navaratri festival. The temples are open throughout the day during all nine days.

Celebrate Durga Pujo in the Magnificent Kolkata

The Durga Pujo or Durgotsava or Durga Puja is celebrated with immense joy and magnificence by the Bengali community in India. Though it’s a predominantly Bengali festival, everyone joins the celebration without any restrictions on religion, caste, creed or age. The Durga Puja is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil King Mahishasura. It is also celebrated to welcome the union of the Goddess with her sons, Ganesh & Kartikeya and husband, Lord Shiva.

Why is Durga Puja Celebrated?

According to historical scriptures, Mahishasura engulfed in the arrogance of his boon of invincibility, used to trouble all humans as well as Gods. To put an end to this evil, all gods created Goddess Durga with ten hands from clay and offered her each of their most powerful weapons. Goddess Durga, on her Lion (Simhavahini), defeated Mahishasura on the tenth day of the Bengali month Asvin. Hence, Durga Puja is rejoiced for ten days, from the day of creation of Goddess Durga (Panchami) to the day of slaying Mahishasura (Vijayadashami). It is also said that Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Durga before going to war with Ravana.

Preparations and Grandeur of Durga Puja

Preparations for the festival start 2-3 months before the Durga Puja. Sculptors start making idols of Goddess Durga with her sons using Clay and Straw. Painting the eye of the Goddess (Chokkhudaan) is considered very auspicious, and it is done in the dark, alone by the sculptor. The whole arrangement is called Chala. The Chala is placed in huge decorated pavilions called the Pandals. Carpenters in the city construct these magnificent Pandals with bamboo and cloth. “Pandal-hopping” is a common practice, where people go to different Pandals to check out its grandeur and worship the goddess. People also join the celebrations at home. If you’re looking to experience pandal-hopping first hand in Kolkata, we recommend you book a cab so you can explore celebrations across the city.

Puja Bhog and New Dresses

Other specialities of Durga Puja include new dresses and mouth-watering delicious food varieties. One can witness the craftsmanship and weaving in the authentic Bengali silk and jute dresses that go for sale during Durga Puja. When it comes to food, Durga Puja is the best time of the year to taste authentic Bengali dishes. All through the six days of the festival, afternoon meal called puja bhog is served to everyone. The puja bhog is a pure vegetarian offering consisting of delicious dishes like Khichuri, Labdah, Beguni, Chutney, and Payesh or Mishti for dessert. Although most Bengalis refrain from consuming onions, non-vegetarian foods, wheat, grains and alcohol, during the last four days of Durga Pooja, you can still get the best seafood in town during these days. If you’re planning to go on a shopping spree in Kolkata, book a Savaari cab and explore the city.

Fish, Kathi Rolls, and Sweets

Stalls in the Pandals offer delightful fish delicacies like fish fry, fish chops, pabda, fish orly, chingri, Ilish Mach, Macher Jhal and more. One must try the chicken, mutton, fish and egg Kathi rolls of popular brands like Bijoli Grill and Dilli Haat in Kolkata. Vegetarian food lovers can relish the street foods like Kolkata chaat, puchkas, luchi, jhaal muri, Aloo Tikki, Mughlai Parantha and more. When in Kolkata, you cannot miss the mouth-watering Bengali sweets. You can binge on Malpoa, Mishti Doi, Payesh and Sandesh during Durga Puja celebrations.

 Rituals and Practices during Durga Puja

It is an incredible sight to witness the evening aarti during the six days of celebrations. Some important rituals include the Ashtami Pushpanjali, Kumari Puja, Sindhur Khela and Finally Vijayadashami Visarjan. People pray with diyas, collars, flowers, loud music and fragrance on all days. The Dhunuchi dance is so mesmerising that you would not know when you became a part of it. On the tenth day of Vijayadashami, the idols are taken from the Pandals and immersed in the local rivers marking the end of the festivities.

End of the year Holiday Offer: Assured Cashback from Paytm

savaari-bucket-list-2016

Hello Travel-Lover!

2016 is almost coming to an end and we are sure that there are many items on your travel bucket list that are pending. We’ve all been there, and before you know it 2017 will be upon us and you’ll look back at the year gone by with much regret. So what are you waiting for- rent a cab with Savaari and hit the road!

If that wasn’t motivational enough>>

*drumroll*

Savaari Car Rentals is pleased to offer you exclusive assured cashback of upto 50% on all bookings made using your paytm wallet.

Alright, you better start making those end of the year plans by heading to Savaari Car Rentals.

We urge you to read the detailed Terms & Conditions before availing the offer:

  1. All bookings made with Savaari Car Rentals using a paytm wallet stand a chance to win upto 50% cashback on paytm. While the cashback is assured, the exact amount will be determined solely by paytm depending on your order amount.
  2. Savaari Car Rentals is not responsible for determining the cashback amount or resolving disputes related to the cashback.
  3. The offer is applicable on all successful bookings, regardless of the transaction amounts
  4. Maximum cashback is capped at Rs. 2500
  5. Cashback is applicable on trips starting between 9th Dec to 20th Dec 2016
  6. The Cashback will be credited within 3 working days
  7. Cash back will be cancelled in case of full refunds or cancellation of bookings made with Savaari
  8. In case of partial refund, a proportionate amount of cashback will be rolled back
  9. Your Mobile number needs to be verified to be eligible for cashback

So choose the best destinations to travel for Christmas and New year holidays!

Christmas in India: Three Blessedly Beautiful Destinations

Look past the crowded beaches of Goa, to these 3 destinations for a Christmas and New Year that will leave you with warm, fuzzy memories to power you through 2016!

Shillong

Celebrate a Christmas like no other in, Shillong, the Scotland of the East. The city has a large Christian population and is perfect destination during this festive season. Hire a Savaari Car and drive down 100 kms from Guwahati and soon you are in the hilly capital of Meghalaya. Walk along Laitumkhrah, go for a boat ride on picturesque Wards Lake, or attend midnight mass at one of the oldest churches in the North East, The Cathedral Church. You will certain avoid the usual touristy crowds, especially if you choose to stay in a traditional homestay, like this 70 year old bungalow in the heart of the city. The spirit of the season is everywhere with carol singing, markets bustling with shoppers, pine trees piled up in the Fire Brigade Field, and lip-smacking Bengali, Chinese and Khasi fare that will leave you warmly stuffed and satisfied.

courtesy India TV
courtesy India TV

Kochi

Hire a Savaari Car and drive down NH7 and the Salem – Kochi – Kanyakumari Highway and 10 hours later you are in Kochi. The last few weeks of December are especially festive in this Kerala coastal town, which hosts The Cochin Carnival. A year end procession featuring regal elephants, fireworks, fun games, dirt bike races and more, the carnival is a throwback to Portuguese New Year celebrations, and has been revived in the 1980s. You can be enthralled by local Kathakali and Mohiniattam performances, watch folk musicians or witness the famed Indira Gandhi Snake Boat Race, also held at the same time of the year. If you are a history buff this centuries-old port town will not disappoint with heritage churches and synagogues. And the celebrations truly taken on a special meaning if you are lucky enough to be part of the congregation at midnight, on Christmas eve, at St. Francis Church. Built by the earliest European traders, the Church traces its history back to the early 16th Century, and is sure to transport you to a different world and time

Kolkata

Christmas Tree
Courtesy Indian Roots

Head to the grand old city of Kolkata for a colourful Christmas and New  Year. The Bengalis are known to celebrate festivals in style, and this season is no exception. Treat yourself to some decadent cakes and pastries at legendary bakeries like Flurys. Visit the city’s last Jewish Confectionary, Nahoum and Sons, who began serving customers just over a century ago in 1902! Go on a guided photo walk through neighbourhoods that will open your eyes into forgotten ways of living, and the diversity of the city’s culture. Get a glimpse into Anglo-Indian life in Bow Barracks as they celebrate their Bada Din on 25th December. Visit Chinatown, Portuguese and Armenian Churches all in Kolkata. And round off your visit with a visit to Allen Park where the Kolkata Christmas Fair comes to life. Browse through food stalls, listen to live music, join the gospel singers and admire the string of street lights and nativity scenes that celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Peace Out – 3 Serene holidays to truly relax and unwind this winter

We go on vacations for some peace and quiet. For a change from the routine. To breathe in some fresh air and get away from the madding crowd. But nowadays, with more Indians taking vacations than ever before, there is no guarantee your vacation destination will be an oasis of calm. If you want to avoid places that are likely to be overrun by bus loads of tourists, lots of hawkers, and really need to peace out…check out these 3 destinations for a serene holiday!

Dhauli, Bhubaneswar

Aren’t you curious to pay a visit to the place that caused emperor Ashoka to have a change of heart and give up his violent ways for good? It is a little hard to believe that this sleepy little hill was where the bloody Kalinga War took place. But the bloodshed that turned river Daya red caused Ashoka to repent for all the unnecessary violence of war. Later, he became an emissary of peace. Today, you can book a Savaari Car and drive down in just 7 hours by road from Kolkata, to Dhauli.

Shanti Stupa, Dhauli, Odisha
Shanti Stupa, Dhauli, Odisha

Visit the calming, white Shanti Stupa built by Japanese Buddhist organizations in the 70s, pass by the daya river, check out the edicts of Ashoka on the road leading up to a hill with green all around…and soak in the air of tranquility. A short drive from the capital and temple town of Bhubaneswar, enroute to the beautiful beaches of Konark, and not too far away from the millenia old city, Cuttack, there is much you can do and see in underrated Odisha. Shop for beautiful silver filigree jewellery, be awed by the Sun Temple, try your hand at surfing at Puri or visit the vast Chilika Lake. We highly recommend Odisha for a peaceful, offbeat holiday.

Auroville, the ‘City of Dawn’

Auroville
Auroville

How about meditating in silence at the Matrimandir in Auroville, and see the golden structure lit up in the rays of the gentle morning sun, in winter. If that sounds too intense, you could always engage yourself in a bamboo jewellery making workshop, try organic farming, quilling, pottery making, or even yoga, with any of the practitioners and life-time residents of this experimental township. Auroville, a drive from Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu, and accessible via the beautiful ECR, is certainly a place like no other. A little over 6 hours from Bangalore and 3 hours from Chennai, it retains a laidback vibe, and if you are seeking a calming holiday, it may just be the place to recharge your batteries. Curious about the idealistic principles that drive this global community? Take a half day tour led by one of its longtime residents. You can stay in Pondicherry 12 kms away, or see if you can spend a few days in one of the guesthouses in Auroville. Once there, you can cycle or drive to the many restaurants that dot the area, for some raw vegan food, some handmade pizza, french cuisine and more. Or visit their store for some fabulous handmade paper, organic soaps, incense sticks and other goodies to bring back to your friends and family.

Seek the White Sands of the Rann of Kutch

rann

Seeking a place to gaze at the stars on a full moon night? Want to pretend to be royalty with your own well-appointed tent in the middle of a desert? Head to the beautiful and desolate salt-marshes Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. The area hosts the famed Rann Utsav, in the winter months, beginning in December. The state government hosts visitors in luxurious tents. The festival is designed to give tourists a taste of authentic local hospitality, cuisine and make them familiar with the region’s attractions. 80 odd kilometres from Bhuj, Dhordo and Hodka are entry points at the edge of the desert. Bhuj is a 5 hour drive from Ahmedabad, or a good 800+ kms from Mumbai. Tourists can witness folk dance and musical performances, shop for famed Kutchi handicrafts, and go on special sightseeing tours. You can walk along the historical Hamisar Lake in Bhuj, take a moonlit safari, be enchanted by the flame pink flamingoes who descend on Narayan Sarovar during the winter months, or walk through the Banni Grasslands. The holiday is also perfect for the devout and spiritually inclined, because you can visit the Koteshwara Temple or the Ashapura Mata temple, nearby.

 

Spectacular Indian Road Trips this Durga Puja


Durga Puja, Dussehra, Navaratri, Golu, Dasara or Dasain, the festival goes by many names. Some honour Goddess Durga vanquishing demon Mahishasur, some celebrate the end of the 13 year long agyatwas (time spent incognito) by the Pandavas, others mark the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana and his evil brothers. The festival has multiple interpretations and multiple names, but all around India it means the same thing- a time for family and friends to get together, pray, play dress up, eat and make memories to remember.

And what better way to make memories than travel? This Durga Puja holidays Savaari Car Rentals is giving you a unique opportunity to make the festival extra special. Book an outstation holiday and get Rs 550/- off just by using coupon code FEST550. Click here or Call 0 90 4545 0000 to beat the last minute holiday rush.

Here is our guide to fabulous destinations from some major cities in India

If you live in the South:

Karnataka’s state festival or Nada Habba is here! And there is no grander spectacle than the centuries old, royal, 10-day long Mysore Dasara. A quick 2.5 drive from Bangalore, and just under 500kms from Chennai, Mysore is where it all happens during this time of the year. Hop into one of our chauffeured Savaari Car Rentals for a day trip or plan on an extended stay in the former capital of the state!

Mysuru Dasara

Because there is plenty to see and do. Wrestling matches, the Dasara exhibition, music and dance performances by world renowned artists take place everyday. Also, the Mysore Palace is all lit up with over 1 lakh lights and the grand elephant led procession of Goddess Chamundi on Vijayadashami attracts visitors from the world over. You can book a Savaari Car to go sightseeing to the Lalit Mahal Palace, Chamundi Hill, go bird watching in the beautiful Ranganathittu sanctuary or pay your respects to Lord Vishnu at the Sri Ranganatha temple at Srirangapatnam as well.

From Delhi/UP/Punjab:

If you live in Delhi, Chandigarh or anywhere in Punjab, hit NH22 to experience the glories of the Kullu Dussehra which begins on Oct 22nd, Vijayadashami Day. Else, drive 500 kms from Delhi to Kota for the Dussehra Mela in Rajasthan where 75 feet tall effigies of Raavan, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath are set alight. The famed Rajasthani hospitality, food and folk performances are sure to take your breath away. Else, take a short 5 hour drive from Lucknow to Varanasi, for an authentic, theatrical Ram Nagar Ramlila where Sadhus or Ramayanis recite the Ramayan in a tradition that predates Emperor Akbar’s times.

From Kolkata:

Drive 170kms out of Kolkata to the unspoilt beach at Mandarmoni or take a dekko at the famed terracotta temples of Bishnupur. Go road tripping 250 kms from Bhubaneshwar to the hot springs and rolling green hills of Taptapani. Or break the routine by going pandal hopping in a brand new city…

durga

Whatever be your choice, Savaari Car Rentals is here to make this grand time of the year extra special. Use discount code FEST550. Click here or Call 0 90 4545 0000 to book your holiday now!

Kullu Dussehra: A mountain festival like none other

Himanchal Pradesh
Himanchal Pradesh

Most of us don’t really need a reason to escape the confines of the city to drive down to the mountains. But travel to Delhi, or if you are lucky enough to live in the capital just hop into a car courtesy Savaari Car Rentals and drive down to Kullu, in October, where you can witness the famous Kullu Dussehra. Make the best of the Oct 22nd (Thursday) holiday and hire a car from Delhi to Manali for a 500 kms long journey like none other.

The roads are in great shape; the route post Chandigarh is quaint and scenic. On the Chandigarh – Manali section of the journey there is plenty to do. Dig into some hearty paranthas at Giani Da Dhaba at Dharampur, or stopover at Chail to take in the glories of the palace. On your way to Manali, every village and hamlet offers a photo op. If you time your travel right, during Dussehra, you will come across loads of smiling people dressed in full costume, as Ram, Lakshman and Ravan, headed to the local Ramlila celebration. Driving through a part of India still unsullied by aggressive development, you will truly be transported to a different time and space, as you witness first-hand, how festivals bring the community together.

Kullu does not celebrate Dussehra with the traditional burning of the effigies of Ravan and Kumbhakarn, but the town promises a historical spectacle like none other. When the rest of the country is winding down celebrations, Kullu hosts a glorious week long festival that begins on Vijayadashami day or Oct 22nd 2015. Every night visitors from all over the world are treated to folk dances and music festivals. You can shop for traditional handicrafts at the various stalls set up in the main Dhalpur Maidan. Or get yourself invited to the home of a local resident from any of the villages by the beautiful Beas river for a traditional Gaddi meal. But the highlight of the Kullu Dussehra has to be the rath yatra that carries the beautiful idol of Raghunath Ji from his abode in the Sultanpur Temple. The resident Goddess Hadimba is also brought down from Manali in a grand procession through the city. The idols of countless other Gods and Goddesses mounted on colourful palanquins join the festivities as well.These rituals date back to 1637 AD when Raja Jagat Singh was the ruler of the valley, and installed the idol of Raghunath Ji on the throne, to atone for his sins against a poor subject, Durgadatta. And till today, the Himachalis and the erstwhile royals of the state preserve this age old tradition. So plan a roadtrip to Kullu this October so you can celebrate Dussehra in unforgettable style.  

Ziro and Ladakh-Two Festivals in Far Flung Corners of India

September is a perfect month to travel in India. With the monsoons receding from most parts of our country and temperatures being neither too cold nor hot, road trips take on a charm of their own.

We have curated two festivals that celebrate local music, dance, food and culture in very different ways. Each of these marquee events attracts curious travellers from around the world. How lucky we are, then, to be able to hire Savaari Car Rentals  to take in these sights first hand, with none of the visa hassles and at a fraction of the cost!

Ladakh Festival

Ladakh Festival
Ladakh Festival – Will Leave you Mesmerized 

Ladakh is on the bucket list of many a intrepid traveller. Book Savaari Car Rentals  from Chandigarh, Manali, Srinagar, or from Delhi and head out for a glorious road trip to witness the famed Ladakh Festival, first hand. This year’s festival will take place between 20th and 26th September, in Leh and adjoining villages. Last year’s festival was cancelled due to the floods in J&K, and this year’s event, after a gap of 2 years is expected to be grander than ever.

Time your visit so you can be there for the inaugural and closing ceremony, where cultural troupes in full costumed glory, sing and play traditional musical instruments. This week in September also offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness Chhams Performances, or mystical, delightful, masked dances, performed by tantric monks, across many viharas.

The six day festival promises many other attractions, like musical concerts, archery and polo demonstrations. Those interested in seeing and buying local art can visit exhibitions of Thangka Paintings and Handicrafts. Thangka paintings that are beautifully detailed are considered to be an object of reverence, offering a path to enlightenment to its practitioners, and patrons alike.

Ziro Festival of Music, Arunachal Pradesh

Ziro -One of the biggest Music Festival in Arunanchal Pradesh
Ziro – One of the biggest Music Festival in Arunanchal Pradesh

Billed as, India’s Greatest Outdoor Music Festival, the 4th edition of the Ziro Festival of music is back from 24th-27th September. The festival takes place in the Ziro Valley, 4 hours by cab from Guwahati. You can hire Savaari Car Rentals to ferry you from Guwahati, or make this a stop over, as a part of a larger North East itinerary. Just make sure you have an Inner Line Permit or ILP in hand before you head out for this journey of a lifetime.

The Ziro festival attracts some of the best bands on the indie band circuit, and features performances from local North Eastern musicians and folk artists as well. But even if you have never heard of Ska Vengers, or the Whirling Kalapas, if you have only a passing acquaintance with the sounds of Shaa’ir n Func…Ziro promises to be an unforgettable experience.

The music festival offers you a chance to camp out in the midst of nature. One of the oldest towns in Arunachal Pradesh, Ziro is located 5500 feet above sea level and is surrounded by remote, misty mountains and pine trees. This World Heritage area is home to the Apatanis, a tribe known to cultivate paddy and fish using traditional irrigation methods, in knee deep water. If you are lucky, you may spot the Indian Bison or Mithun while going about your day, or score an invitation to a local’s home for a traditional meal!