Fairs and Festivals in Gujarat
Coinciding with Makar Sankranti, which falls on January 14 each year, this colourful festival fills the sky over Gujarat with thousands of beautifully crafted kites. Since 1989, this regional highlight has been turned into an International Kite Festival that attracts kite enthusiasts from all over the world.
Modhera Dance Festival
The 11th century Sun Temple at Modhera is the impressive setting for the 3-day annual festival of Indian classical dance.
Gokulashtami or Janmashtami is a special and very joyous occasion for Gujarat. On this day all the major temples dedicated to lord Krishna - Akshardham, Dwarka and Dakor - are decked up to welcome dancing pilgrims into its fold.
This unique matchmaking mela sees prospective grooms promenading the fairgrounds holding colourful umbrellas as young women wearing multi-pleated skirts swirl around in dance. A girl indicates her preference by approaching a youth for chat, leaving the elders to settle the matrimonial details. Tarnetar is a small village about 75 km from Rajkot I Saurashtra.
Navrathri festival is the most colourful and prominent festival in the State. Men, women and children participate in the Garba dance to the accompaniment of chorus and beating of the drums. There are Garba competitions in major cities and towns.
It is held on Sharad Purnima, after Navrathri. This festival showcases the beauty of Kutch, its embroidery and decorative clay work on the mud houses known as Bhungas.
Among other fairs and festivals one can attend are Rann Utsav at Surendranagar, Shivratri celebrations at Bhavnath in Junagadh, Six Gaon Parikrama at Palitana, Summer Festival at Saputara hill station in the Sahyadri's range (Dangs district), Vautha Fair and Tanariri Festival at Vadnagar.