Travel Category

Head to International Yoga Festival at Rishikesh the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’


Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, by the sacred River Ganges, Rishikesh is known as ‘Yoga Capital of the World’. Tucked away in Uttarakhand, the town has been dubbed one of India’s most spiritual hubs and a holistic wellness experience. The location plays a key part in contributing to the positive spiritual energy. Since the ancient times, it has been the abode of rishis, yogi and ascetics. Above all, the fresh air of the mountains and the soothing melody of the flowing river creates an ideal escape.

The best of wellness experiences in India, Rishikesh and the Yoga Festival has many compelling reasons to not miss out. The many ashrams, temples and the river banks are a notable spot for both first time and returning visitors to India. In fact, Rishikesh has earned a position among the most-sought tours in India.

Yoga Capital of the World

Since the dawn of civilization in India, Rishikesh has been home to many enlightened souls. Yoga is not merely for our bodies, but also for minds, and souls. Yoga literally means “Union”. The union of mind with the body transcending to union of the self with the divine. The ancient science leads to health in the body, peace in the mind, joy in the heart, and liberation of the soul. Yoga is one of the most sought reasons to travel to India.

International Yoga Festival -1st to 7th March at Parmarth Niketan Ashram

The International Yoga Festival held from 1st to the 7th March is an annual celebration of yoga. Every year this festival brings together yoga enthusiasts from all over the world. It is an opportunity to embrace every major style of yoga and learn from the world’s best enlightened Spiritual Leaders, Master Yoga Teachers, Evolutionary Thought Leaders, and Wellness Specialists. The weeklong event is an ideal getaway to awaken to the best version of self and ignite inner light.Experience Life of Yogi at an Ashram

In Rishikesh, the experience of life at an ashram is truly life-changing and a must-try. Stay at an ashram or join a yoga or meditation class to experience the yogic life. The best part about Rishikesh is that you do not need locking yourself away from civilization, everything about the holy town is spiritual bliss.  Go temple-hopping, visit the river ghats, interact with locals, and learn about the culture of India while add a unique spin of adventure.Temple Visit and Ganges Aarti ceremony

Spirituality and traditions are two sides of the same coin in India. Rituals are so closely entwined with the culture that one give insight into another. The ritual of Ganga Aarti is an insightful cultural experience. It helps understand the importance of Rishikesh and the Ganges. The holy River Ganges is worshipped as a Mother Goddess and every day for centuries the ritual of offering earthen lamps and flowers are practiced. In the evening, when the sun has set and lamps have been lit, make way to the river ghats to stroll. Hear the temple bells ring, hear the chants and watch the worship ritual.

A dose of adventure

With yoga, Rishikesh also elevates moods with a dose of adventure. The option to go white water rafting along the fast-flowing Ganges is an adrenaline-filled adventure. Camping at one of the riverside campsites too is therapeutic. The heavenly view of the starlit sky is a memory to cherish.Stay in the spiritual bliss of Rishikesh

While ashram life is the major appeal of Rishikesh, there are also amazing resorts in the town that imbibe the spirit of wellness. Prominent names include Ananda in the Himalayas, Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa, Dewa Retreat, Aloha by the Ganges and many more.

Khajuraho Dance Festival- Fiesta of Classical Dance Forms of India


The Khajuraho Dance Festival is a cultural extravaganza. Celebrating Indian classical dance forms, it is one of the most-anticipated of festivals in India organized by the Kala Parishad of the Madhya Pradesh. The 7-day festival is held against the backdrop of the charming Khajuraho Temples and the upcoming one is to be held from the 20th to the 26th of February 2020.

Poetry in Stone- Khajuraho Group of Temples

Known for the masterpieces of erotic sculptures, The Khajuraho Group of Temples in Madhya Pradesh were built by the rulers of the Chandela Dynasty somewhere between 950 and 1050 AD. Out of the original 85 temples only 25 survive today.

Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India, the Khajuraho temples are a matchless treasure. The temple sculptures represent the importance of Kama, or sexual desires, as an important part of the human life. These temples also impart a universal lesson that beyond the worldly pleasures lies the divine. While the temples are outwardly carved with erotic masterpieces the inner sanctuaries are bare and without much adornment, symbolizing a visitor needs to leave behind worldly pleasures to enter divine bliss. Approximately only 10 percent are erotic sculptures rest depict scenes from mythological stories, and some scenes from the daily life of a common man.

Celebrating dance

Dance is a quintessential part of Indian culture and history and even Mythology. Lord Shiva worshipped as Nataraja, the God of Dance is a prominent icon of the holy Hindu texts. Shiva’s Tandava, known as the dance of destruction, Krishna’s Raas-Leela with his Gopis and the dances of the beautiful Apsaras, like Meneka and Urvashi are the renowned dances in our culture. Aslo in the courts of great kings, it was a tradition of having a court dancer who was respected for her performances. In fact, every festival in our country is incomplete without dance and music.

The seven-day long dance festival celebrates Indian cultural heritage of classical dance forms. The promote dances include Kathak, Satiriya, Kathakali, Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Mohiniyattam. Renowned classical dancers perform in front of the Chitragupta (The Sun God’s Temple) and the Vishwanath Temple dedicated to the celestial dancer Lord Shiva. Traditionally bedecked dancers, the backdrop of beautiful temples, melodies of classical music and instrumental compositions leave a lasting impact.

The Khajuraho Dance Festival commences at seven in the evening and goes on till late at night and is free for everyone. The temples and the festival has earned a prominent position among India tour packages.

How to get there

The city is well connected by air, railways and road. There is a domestic airport which is just 12 kilometers away. The city of Khajuraho also has its own railway station. Taxis and other travel services are easily found in the vicinity of the airport as well as the group of temples.

The dance festival is bound to leave the travellers with an experience of a lifetime. While people are there to witness the dance festival, they can also explore the Khajuraho temples with an expert guide, Orchha, Panna Tiger Reserve, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhimbetka caves and Sanchi Stupa.

The Desert Comes to Life with Jaisalmer Desert Festival


Rajasthan captures the very essence of India teeming with history, heritage, culture and grandeur. The Thar Desert adds to the charisma. The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is a celebration of the desert. The annual event is a showcase of the colourful cultural heritage that has passed on through the generations of this state. The folk music, dance, attire, traditions, festivities and everything else are something to be cherished for a lifetime. Adding glamour to the Rajasthan tour packages, the festival is one of the best reasons to explore the desert in winters.

The Desert Festival is held amidst the beautiful dunes of the Thar Desert in the Sam Sand Dunes, 42 kilometers from Jaisalmer. The 3-day celebrations happen in Hindu month of Magh three days prior to the full moon. In 2020, the dates are from the 7th to 9th February. Romantic, remote and unspoiled, the desert comes to life with the Jaisalmer Desert Festival.

The roots of the festival are mostly unknown. The Tourism Department organizes the vibrant festival as an international event to lure visitors to the Desert City. The celebrations of this festival make the desert come alive with colors and excitements.

The Jaisalmer Desert Festival commences with a procession from the Jaisalmer Fort to the Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium on the first day in the morning of the festival. The grand parade displays Rajasthani arts, folk dance and music by local performers many of which are local tribes dressed in traditional and bright costumes. The parade has an amazing display of jugglery performances along with the famous dance forms like Gair and the folk fire dances. The star performers are the Kalabaz or the Nat’s, nomadic community, natives to Jaisalmer known for their gymnastic acts. Poignant folk music and recitals are the creations of Bhopa’s Langhas and Manganiars.

Other exciting activities include camel races, unique contests like the Turban tying contest, the longest moustache contest, Mr Desert pageant, etc. For those seeking for adventure, there are options of camel rides, polo matches, and desert safari ride on camel or jeep over the sand dunes. As the festival commences on the full moon night the folk music and dance performances celebrating the desert under the ethereal sky and the golden dunes is a memory to cherish.

Stay near the sand dunes in luxury camps on the desert equipped with all modern amenities enjoying the festivities closely. The desert festival is a hub for foodies as well as a shopper’s paradise. The delicious Rajasthani fare is a must try. Bargain for intricate handicrafts, handloom artifacts and exquisite pieces of attires and other creations of local craftsmen.

Jaislamer Desert Festival is one of the best times to explore the Thar Desert. Along with the Golden City, explore other cities of Rajasthan or combine the visit with a Golden Triangle Tour for the best memories.

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