Shivratri (Feb/Mar), Khajuraho. The celestial wedding of Shiva and Palvati is celebrated with colourful processions and an elaborate nightlong re-enactment of the wedding ritual in the Matangeshwar Temple.
Dance Festival (Feb/Mat), Khajuralao . During this week-long festival, India’s leading classical dancers perform in front of the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, The postures and grace of the dancers are echoed in the exquisite stone sculptures of apsaras in the temple.
Dussehra (Sep/Oct), Chhattisgarh. This ten-day festival in honour of Rama is celebrated with great gaiety in the Bastar tribal heartland of Chhattisgarh. Along with lively dramatized episodes from the Ramayana there are also colourful tribal fairs with dancing, cockfights and spirited bartering of goods.
Chaityagirl Vihara Festival (Nov), Sanchi. Buddhists from all over the subcontinent gather at Sanchi to view the relics of two of the Buddha’s closest disciples.
Tansen Music Festival (Nov/Dec), Gwalior. Named after the great musician Tansen, one of the “nine jewels” at the court of Mughal emperor Akbar, this festival brings together the best classical musicians and singers from all over the country.