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Navratri Festival

Navratri is celebrated for nine nights, beginning on the first day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month Ashwin, roughly corresponding to dates in the Gregorian calendar in September/October. This also usually coincides with the end of the rainy season. Dasara/Vijayadashami, is the tenth day of Ashwin. Each night the village or urban neighborhood gathers to perform a puja to one of the nine forms of Goddess.

The nine nights are also broken up into sections of three; the first is for Durga, the goddess who destroyed an evil force represented by the demon Mahishasura, and who destroys human impurities; the second is for Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity; the third is for Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and art. It is a time to celebrate fertility and the monsoon harvest, represented by a mound of fresh soil in which grains are sown.

International Kite Festival

Uttarayan is celebrated every year on 14th January, known as Makar Sankranti in other parts of north India, and Pongal in Tamil Nadu, and continues on the 15th.

Uttarayan is celebrated across Gujarat, with major centers of kite-flying in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Nadiad, among others. The International Kite Festival is held in Ahmedabad. For information on how to get here for the festival, see the ‘Tourism Hubs’ pages for the place you want to fly your kites this year.

Bhadrapad Ambaji Fair

The fair is held in the Hindu month of Bhadrapad (around August-September) at Ambaji, during a time which is particularly suitable for farmers, when the busy monsoon season is about to end.

The Bhabrapad fair is held at Ambaji which is in the Danta Taluka of Banaskantha district, near the Gujarat-Rajasthan border. The walk from the bus station to the temple is less than one kilometer, under a roofed walkway. Direct buses are available from many places, including Mount Abu (45 kms away), Palanpur (65 kms away), Ahmedabad and Idar.

Modhera Dance Festival

The exclusive three day Modhera Dance Festival is held every year during the third week end of January after the conclusion of Uttarayan festival.

The environs of the Sun Temple in Modhera act a venue and host of this enchanting festival. Modhera is located in the South-west of Mehsana District and is 25 km away from the town of Mehsana.

Lili Parikrama Fair

The fair held on the Hindu calendar date of Kartik Sud 11 to 15, during the months of October-November.

It is celebrated in the Junagadh district at the foothills of Mount Girnar (the tallest mountain of Gujarat which is 6 kms from the Junagadh city). It commemorates from the Bhavnath temple. The journey takes 4 days and ends at the Bhavnath temple.

Rann Utsav

A plethora of varied hues, profusion of design, superfluity of culture, cornucopia of music and dance, all together in the arid lands of Kutch creates a mosaic of exquisiteness which reflects the identity and spirit of the region. Kutch, one of the most ecologically and ethnically diverse district of the state is a celebratory land of art, crafts, music, dance, people and nature. During the full moon night of the winters amid the awe-inspiring and contrasting landscape each year a three day festive extravaganza brimming with hospitality, vigor and traditional flavor of the area is hosted and known as the Kutch or Rann Mahotsav.

The celebratory festival begins in the Bhuj city and goes around the district with a grand finale again being held at the preliminary destination.

Shamlaji Fair

The Shamlaji Mela lasts for about three weeks, around the month of November. Kartik Purnima (Full moon night) is the most important day for the fair.

The Shamlaji Mela is held at Shamlaji situated in the Sabarkantha district near the border between Gujarat and Rajasthan on the National Highway No. 8. Formerly included as a part of Idar, it is approximately 122 kms from Ahmedabad and around 32 kms from Himmatnagar.

Tarnetar Fair

The fair is held for three days every year during the Hindu calendar dates of Bhadarva Sud – 4th, 5th and 6th (during the Gregorian calendar months Aug.-Sept)

The Tarnetar fair is held 8 km from the town of Thangadh, in Surendranagar District. This is the nearest railway station, on the Ahmedabad-Hapa broadgauge line. The nearest town with road transportation to other places is Chotila, 25 km from Thangadh, which is connected by ST buses from Rajkot (75 km), Jamnagar (162 km), Ahmedabad (196 km) or Porbandar (252 km.) From Bhavnagar, Chotila can be reached either via Rajkot, a trip of 264 km, or via Botad, a shorter journey of 190 km. Chotila, Thangadh and Tarnetar are well connected by ST buses and other mode of transportation. The nearest airport is Rajkot, 75 km away. Private bus companies serving Tarnetar Fair can be found at Tarnetar.com

Tanariri Festival

Tana Riri festival honours the story of Tana and Riri, two singers from Vadnagar who were Naagar sisters. It is said that the famous court musician of Emperor Akbar, Tansen, sang Deepak Raag so fervently that the unlit lamps were lit and he was affected with a burning fever. Knowing that only hearing the pure rendering of the Megh Malhar Raag, he headed for Vadnagar where Tana and Riri sang for him and brought him back to health.

Inspired by this quality of singing, Akbar summoned them to his court but owing to the conservative norms of the community and society, rather than refusing or disobeying Akbar’s summon, these two sisters immolated themselves at Vadnagar. A samadhi is created in Vadnagar called Tana Riri Samadhi and the annual classical music festival is held near this Samadhi