June is the month when the sultry, scorching summers give way to the monsoons. Summer vacations are in their second leg and you have the choice of hill stations and monsoon destinations to choose from. This is also a great time to check out some annual festivals in various parts of the country.
Ganga Dussehra Festival
When: June 3, 2017
Where: Ganga ghats like Varanasi, Haridwar & Rishikesh
The river Ganga is considered to be one of most sacred rivers in India. Ganga Dussehra is a celebration of the river’s descent on earth from heaven. Pilgrims from across the country visit the major Ganga ghats to take a dip into the river on this auspicious day. Take a trip to cities on the banks of Ganga like Varanasi, Prayag, Haridwar and Rishiskesh to witness the spellbinding Ganga Aartis.
When: June 3 to July 2, 2017
Where: Purushwadi, Maharashtra
Imagine a beautiful summer night literally sparkling with nature’s fairy lights. Purushwadi in Maharashtra is home to literally millions of fireflies. Summer nights do not get better than this. Spend a magical weekend exploring the rustic village life and enjoying nature’s fascinating light show. Purushwadi is just a short drive from Mumbai and Pune.
Shimla Summer Festival
When: Early June
Shimla attracts tons of tourists looking for respite from the sweltering Indian summers. Plan a trip to the city during the early weeks of June to be part of the Shimla Summer Festival. It is an annual festival that has been held since 1960 in and around the Mall Road. Flower shows, cultural programs, sporting tournaments and just the jubilant atmosphere makes this festival a memorable event.
Sindhu Darshan Festival
When: June 12 to 14, 2017
Where: Shey Manla, Ladakh
The Sindhu Darshan festival is the annual celebration of the river Sindhu/Indus held in Shey Manla, to signify cultural harmony. The major attraction of the festival is the immersion of earthen pots brought by people from all over the country, filled with water from their local rivers, into river Sindhu. This is followed by the local folk performances and sightseeing tours. If you are planning a trip to Leh/Ladakh this year, this is a festival you must not miss.
Sao Joao or the feast of St. John the Baptist
When: June 24, 2017
Where: North Goa, particularly Bardez
This monsoon festival is held in honour of St. John the Baptist. The highlight of the festivities are the young men who drink lots of Feni and jump into ponds and streams. There are river-floats, boat races and overall a frenzy of merriment and joy across North Goa. If you are looking to experience a different side of Goa, this is a good time to visit.
Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra
When: June 25 to July 3, 2017
The 10-day Chariot Festival or Rath Yatra in honour of Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Devi Subhadra is a much-awaited festival celebrated across the world. It is the biggest attraction of the beach town of Puri in Odissa. The heavily decorated, awe-inspiring chariots of the three deities are pulled using stings on the streets of Puri by the devotees. The festival draws tourists, both foreign and domestic, who come to witness the colorful festivities.
*Featured Image Credit: xenmate