India is a land of festivals. The harmony of different cultures and traditions is best experienced during festivals in the country. During Navratri for 9 nights people gather in open spaces to celebrate and perform Ras Garba. One can experience ‘Unity in diversity’ during Dussehra celebrations that take place in every state of the country. Whichever part of the country you are in you will experience a different Dussehra altogether. Join ACTC to see the three distinctly different celebrations of same festival beginning in Gujarat , Western India, Bengal in the East and Karnataka in the South– Architecture, Ancient History, Tribal’s, Handicrafts, Royalty & MORE.
Gujarat, India’s westernmost state has varied terrain and numerous off the beaten track attractions. Lothal, near Ahmedabad and Dholavira, near Kutch are sites of a Harappan (Indus) civilization, which are older than 4000 years. Well known for the Stepped Wells, Jain Temples, Asiatic Lion, wild ass and migratory birds, the countryside however holds most of its treasures. Traditional artisans in tribal villages weave, embroider, dye and print some of India’s finest textiles, and pristine parks harbor unique wildlife, including migratory birds, wild asses and the last remaining prides of Asiatic lions. State’s colorful festivals burst with a cornucopia of culture.
Navratri, meaning ‘nine nights’, is the world’s longest dancing festival. Entire state erupts into a circle of ecstasy that throbs nonstop nine day and night celebration. In villages and cities alike, people gather in open spaces to celebrate and perform ras garba. Interesting feature of Navratri is the “garba “, a circular dance performed by women around an earthenware pot called a “garbo “, filled with water. As the dancer’s whirl around the pot, a singer and a drummer provides the musical accompaniment. The dance usually starts slowly; it gets faster and faster as the music too gets more rapid. Another dance which is also a feature of Navratri is the ” dandia – ras ” or ‘ stick dance ‘, in which men and women join the dance circle, holding small polished sticks or Dandias together, adding to joyous atmosphere.
West Bengal in eastern India is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse states of India. It offers a remarkable range of destinations and experiences within a single state. One can still recapture the colonial era in its relics. Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), retains architectural and cultural remnants of its past as an East India Company trading post and the capital of the British Raj. There’s also a vibrant art scene, delectable cuisine and a genuinely hospitable population where friends are easy to make and hard to lose.
Durga Puja: Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) has a long tradition of lavishly celebrating the Durga Puja, an annual Hindu festival that reveres the goddess Durga. It is the biggest and most popular festival in the state of West Bengal, where elaborate stage decorations, known as “pandals,” draw huge crowds. During the nine-day festival, thousands of pandals are constructed in almost every neighborhood in the city. Over the years, they have become a popular display of creativity and grandeur.