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10 festivals to look forward in February

Divya Hemnani | Updated on: 2 February 2018, 20:19 IST

It's February, and love is in the air. Pick your favorite destination to explore the wide range of music, performative arts, rich culture and self-indulgent fun to beat the summer blues.

Witness the Rann Utsav in Kutch, Gujarat

Have you ever experienced a vast chunk of salt marshes? It's the time of the year where you can experience the same in The Great Rann of Kutch located in the region called Kutch, in the state of Gujarat, India. The festival starts from November and ends in February where the desert triggers a riot of color as artisans, folk musicians, performers, and tourists gather to celebrate the region’s culture. Once the water subsides, the place is great to experience the monochromatic panorama and the rich legacy of the place. Spend the day enjoying folk music and dance performances, scan the handicrafts work such as Rogan art and Bandej textiles at the stalls.

Sula Vineyard in Nashik, Maharashtra

Just 180km from Mumbai in Nashik a place where one can experience India’s best-known winery is scheduled on February 3-4 this year. It's a 30-acre campus has many attractions like a tasting room, coffee shop, souvenir shop, amphitheater, restaurants, vineyards, and winery. Uncover the mystery behind wine-making including step-by-step process,  the equipment used, type of grapes and maturity process. Stay in camps to experience the feel of the festival. Experience the wine tasting skills: Swirl - Sniff -  See - Sip. This year the festival will highlight music acts including electro-jazz musician Parov Stelar, alongside a host of homegrown indie bands.

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai

From February 3 to February 11, Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda district will come alive with art installations, cultural performances, workshops and open-air craft stalls at the annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. Every February since 2011, Mumbai’s iconic Mehboob Studio has played host to renowned blues musicians from around the globe at the annual Mahindra Blues Festival. This year, on February 10-11, the legendary John Mayall is set to take the stage, along with other acts including Walter Wolfman and Indian band Blackstratblues.With several galleries and iconic heritage buildings, Kala Ghoda is an ideal location for a vibrant, open-air cultural festival that’s accessible to all. Attend a stand-up comedy gig, go on a heritage walk, and visit the David Sassoon Library for a selection of sketches on Kala Ghoda.

Join a parade at the Goa Carnival

The most popular Goa Carnival will take over the seats from February 10 to 13. The carnival began in the 18th century when it was celebrated as an occasion to eat, drink and make merry before the 40-day period of Lent began. This year the highlight of the festival will be 'King Momo' who will lead the festival in other major cities too. During the carnival time, every year a person is selected from the state who will play the role of King Momo who is a mythological character.

World Sacred Spirit Festival at Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Jodhpur’s grand Mehrangarh Fort is ready to host the annual World Sacred Spirit Festival (WSSF) from February 15-18. The audience will witness some of the amazing Sufi and folk music, qawwalis and ragas. The festival will bring fanatics from around the globe who will bring together world music and poetry. Performances will take place at phenomenal venues chhatris of the Jaswant Thada, or the Chokhelao Garden at the foot of the fort. You will also get a chance to witness some awe-inspiring performances by the children of the Manganiyar and Langa communities and witness some of the captivating folk tales connecting music and dance.

Khajuraho Dance Festival, Madhya Pradesh

Khajuraho Dance Festival is the most colorful and brilliant classical dance forms of India. The festival will start from  February 20 to 26 the UNESCO World Heritage temple complex at Khajuraho will witness some stunning backdrop from classical dance performances. Various performative art forms will take place like Kuchipudi, Kathak, Odissi, and Manipuri at the festival. Use the time to explore some fine intricately carved eastern and western group of temples, which were built by the Chandela rulers in the 9th century.

Watch turtles nest in Odisha

Have you ever come across turtles nest? Vist Odisha's beach to witness Olive Ridley sea turtles which takes place usually every year, between January and March. Watch hundred's of turtles swim in the green waters and experience an unforgettable journey. Its an hour- long process as the turtles religiously crawl up on the shore, dig a hole in the sand, lay a hundred or so eggs, cover them up, and finally head back out into the open ocean. Odisha’s Gahirmatha beach is one of India’s prime nesting sites for the species.

Explore the Borra Caves, Andhra Pradesh

The Borra Caves in Andhra Pradesh is a 150- million-year-old cave system Ananthagiri Hills of the Eastern Ghats, near the Araku Valley. Before the summer sets in explore the breathtaking natural phenomenon. The cave is deep enough to explore the illuminated interiors. Remember those school day geography lessons that taught about stalactites and stalagmites? The Gosthani River originates in these caves, has eroded the limestone to create fantastical shapes, such as the human brain, a mother, and baby, animals, and gods.

Learn to dive in the Andamans

A host of dive shops operate on Havelock and other islands, offering single dive trips for newbies to experience the underwater, as well as longer courses to master the skill. February is a great month to explore the Indian Ocean. The coral reefs thrive with colorful marine life. Visibility is best during this season, ideal to spot rare aquatic species.

Festival by the Taj Mahal, Agra

Visit the epitome of love this February, to explore and witness art, craft, music, the festival will begin from February 18 at Shilpagram near the Taj Mahal, Agra. The best time to explore the monument is when summer sets in.

First published: 2 February 2018, 20:19 IST