Fairs and festivals in Uttar Pradesh have always been a moment to be cherished. Uttar Pradesh being an example of the confluence of religions, culture, creed and caste in India represent its traditions at the hour of its fairs and festivals. The artists exhibit their talent in the most professional manner inviting the viewers to participate. The snake charmers, fortunetellers, jugglers and the magicians are the common sight of these festivals. And the aroma of dishes being prepared at the roadside dhabas (hotels) is the most tempting to counter with. The artisans from the far off land display their art and craft at these festivals is a pleasure to experience. Definitely, no one can shy away from the simple but enthralling charm of the U.P's festive season.
The festivals and fairs in Uttar Pradesh are well attended by the artisans from all over the country where they trade, products belonging to their culture and traditions and hence giving visitors a chance to experience other cultures under one roof. Over the years, Taj Mahaotsav held in February at Agra has proved to be one of such fairs attracting thousands of tourists from all over the globe. Watching the renowned musicians and dancers performing under the moonlight engulfed by the warmth of Taj Mahal is the best opportunity offered by the fair.
Bateshwar fair held in the month of October and November at Bateshwar, the spiritual and cultural center and is located 70 kilometers from Agra. It is a place to purify your soul by worshipping to Lord Shiva and taking a holy dip in river Yamuna. Participating in the livestock trade is a thrilling experience.
Kailash Fair another religious fair held at Kailash 12 kilometers from Agra is celebrated in the month of August and September. The fair is celebrated in the honor of the Lord Shiva, who had believed to be appeared at the place in the form of stone lingam.
Ganga Festival, Varanasi
Ganga festival is celebrated on the banks of the river Ganga at Varanasi to worship the river. Festival held in the month of October- November. Lucknow festival held for 10 days in the month of November - December, captures the everlasting splendor of the Nawabs with their cuisine, qawwali, thumri and the events like kite flying, chariot race and pigeon flying presents the perfect festive environment. This is the best time to alternate your tour program to explore other fairs and festivals in Uttar Pradesh.
The Kumbh Mela
The Kumbh Mela is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Hinduism. The word Kumbh has been derived from the Sanskrit word Kumbh meaning 'pot' or 'pitcher' and Mela means 'festival' that is why it is known as "the pitcher festival". The history of Kumbh Mela is older as the civilization itself , it is believed that the gods and demons fought for the pitcher of nectar, the fight ensued for twelve days and twelve nights during which four drops spilled from the pitcher on to four places of this earth Prayag (now Prayagraj), Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain. Kumbh mela occurs four times in twelve years and rotates among these four places. Each twelve-year cycle includes a Grand Mela, called Maha Kumbh Mela and is held at Prayagraj.
In Nasik, Mela is held during the month of Phalgun and Chitra (February, March and April), at Ujjain in Vaishska (May) and at Nasik in Shravana (July). Participation of the devotees from all over the country as well as abroad has made it world's biggest gathering. The highest religious authorities and the astrologists determine the appropriate date of Maha Kumbh astronomically after studying the positions of the sun, moon and the Jupiter.