The Best 8 Indian Music Festivals
Travelers across the globe has a reserved place for music in their heart. They are fascinated about the culture of the country they are visiting or planning to visit. Someone rightly said that music has no language, it speaks the language of heart and is understood by all regardless of origin and religion. So, if you are a music buff and planning to travel through India you might be interested to attend below listed Music Festivals of India.
The tradition of Music in India is century old, however the exact origin of Indian music is still unknown. But, singing and playing music has become an integral part of Indian culture over the period of time. India is known for its classical music and classical singers all over the world. Some (Indians) treat music as an expression of devotion and unconditional love for God.
Several Music festivals are organized throughout the year. These festivals are hosted to pay homage to people who have made remarkable contribution in developing, enriching and popularizing Indian music. It also provides a platform for young singers and musicians to work in collaboration with the eminent fraternity of the music industry to showcase their talent.
Following is a list of popular music festivals of India
Chembai Music Festival
- Venue: Trivandrum, Kerala
- Time: September
- Duration: Eleven days
- Highlights: Performances by world-renowned artists
The Chembai Music Festival is hosted in the capital city of the Indian state Kerala. Trivandrum is a popular tourist destination in southern India. It is an annual festival hosted in the month of September. Because it is hosted on the occasion of Ekadashi (11th day of Hindu Calendar), the festival lasts for 11 days. The festival is dedicated to Chembai Vaidyanath Bhagawathar, who was a passionate devotee of Lord Sree Guruvayurappan.
The festival is organised by Chembai Memorial trust and it is believed that each year almost 2000 Carnatic musicians attend it. The whole city echoes with variety of old and new melodies and enthralling performances in Indian classical music. The songs of the songs of saint Thyagaraja’s ‘Pancharatna Krithis’, sung on the tenth day are the main attraction of this festival. On last day of the festival you’ll get to hear five most favorite songs of Chembai, namely ‘Vadapiganapatim’ on raag Hamsadhwani, Mamava sadaajanani on raag Kanada, ‘Rakshmamsaranagatam’ on raag Natta, Karuna Cheivan entu thamasam Krishna on raag Yadukula kamboji, and Paavanaguru pavanapuradeeswara on raag Hamsanandi.
How to Reach
- By Air: Trivandrum airport has direct flights to all the key cities in India.
- By Rail: Trivandrum railway station is well linked with the other parts of the country.
- By Road: A good network of road connects Thiruvananthapuram with the other cities in Kerala.
Dover Lane Music Festival
- Venue: Nazrul Mancha Auditorium in South Avenue, Kolkata
- Time: December – January
- Duration: Six days
- Highlights: Performances by maestros in the field of music
One of the largest Indian Classical musical conference held in India is Dover Lane Music Festival. It is hosted in the capital city of West Bengal , Kolkata. It is an annual event being carried on from past 5 decades. It started as a get together of some musicians and later turned into one culturally most important musical event of the year. It is a platform where young talents can showcase their potential and capabilities in front of thousands of people gathered. It is a six day long event graced by maestros in the field of music every year. The exact venue of the festival is the Nazrul Mancha Auditorium in the South Avenue of Kolkata. The main aim of behind the initiation of the Dover Lane Music Festival was to attract younger generation towards music and other art forms. Over the period of time they have successfully promoted various arts and have provided all the necessary support to the upcoming artists.
How to Reach
- By Air: The city of Kolkata has its own airport, with regular flights to all the major cities in India.
- By Rail: Kolkata has two railway stations, Howrah and Sealdah.
- By Road: A good network of national highways links Kolkata with the neighboring cities.
Gunidas Sangeet Sammelan
- Place : Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi
- Time: November end December beginning
This festival started in 1977 and was first presented under the aegis of Maharashtra Lalit Kala Nidhi by the legendary Hindustani classical vocalist Pandit C. R. Vyas in memory of the famed classical music doyen of the Agra gharana, Pandit Jagganathbuwa Purohit. Renowned singers and musicians take part in this festival every year.
ITC Sangeet Sammelan
- Venue: Different parts of India
- Highlights: Showcases best talents of classical music in India
- Duration: Varied
ITC Sangeet Sammelan is another very popular musical event being hosted in India. It is organized every year at a different location within India. as the name suggests, it is organized by corporate giant ITC. It was started in the year 1971 in Delhi. With time it has become one of the most prestigious events of classical music and also one of the most important cultural events of the country.
Saptak Music Festival
The first musical event of the year is Saptak Music festival, which is celebrated in the first week of January in Ahmedabad. Pandit Ravi Shankar inaugurated this festival in 1980. the festivals lasts for a period of 11 days and is managed by a public charitable trust which runs the Saptak School of Music. “Saptak also tries to keep alive the fading traditions of vocal music like Thumri and Dhrupad, and instruments like Sarangi and Pakhawaj by inviting the older generation of artists specializing in these fields.”
How to get there
- By Air : Sardar Vallabhai Patel International Airport is 10km north of the Ahmedabad city and has both national and international flights. I.A connect Ahmedabad with Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore, Madras, Jaipur, Indore and Calcutta. Air India had direct flights to UK and USA from Ahmedabad. East West Airlines also connects Ahmedabad with Bombay.
- By Rail : Ahmedabad is directly connected to Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, Madras, Trivandrum, Varanasi etc.
- By Road : Ahmedabad has a good road network. Ahmedabad to : Baroda (Vadodara) 113 km, Mt. Abu 228 km, Udaipur 252 km, Jaipur 657 km, Bombay 545 km, Delhi 1076 km, Gandhinagar 25 km, Modhera 110 km, Nal Sarovar 71 km and Lothal 80 km.
Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav
- Time: December
- Duration: 3 days
- Location: Pune
- Highlights: Masters as well as practicing artists gather to showcase their talent.
This is another very popular music festival of India organized in the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune. The festival was first organized in the year 1953 to observe the first death-anniversary of Sawai Gandharva.
How to Reach
- By Air: The nearest airport to this place is situated near Lohagaon at a distance of 12kms from Pune. The airport is connected to the major cities of India. From the airport, one can easily take taxis to reach the venue.
- By Rail: Pune is well-connected with all the towns & cities of India. From Railway Station, one can take buses or hire taxis in order to reach the venue.
- By Road: Pune has a brilliant network of roads, connecting the city with the all the major cities within Maharashtra and other states.
Tansen Music Festival
Time: November-December every year
- Duration: Five nights
- Venue: Tansen memorial at Gwalior
- Highlight: Musicians and singers gather from all over the country and regale the audience with their awe inspiring musical performances
Gwalior Gharana, one of the oldest and prestigious gharana in the Indian music industry and Tansen was an integral part of this gharana. This festival is organizes in the memory of Tansen , a legend in the Indian classical Music. The exact venue of the festival is near the tomb of Tansen at Behat, Gwalior in the month of November/ December every year.
How to get there
- By Air: Gwalior has its own airport, where regular flights are operated. The place is well connected to major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bhopal by air.
- By Rail & Road : There is a wide network of roads, so reaching Gwalior to attend the festival is not at all difficult. Gwalior is easily accessible from almost all the major cities within the country. The nearest railway station is at Gwalior.
Thyagaraja Music Festival
- Time: January every year
- Venue: Thiruvaiyaru in Tamilnadu
- Duration: 8 days
- Highlight: It is celebrated in the memory of the great saint Tyagraja
Organized in the memory of a saint cum musician Thyagaraja. He spent most of his life in Thiruvaiyaru, Tamilnadu and this is the venue where this music festival is hosted every year in the month of January. The main attraction of this festival is the group performance by legendary musicians of the Pancharathna Krithis..
How to get there
- By Air: The nearest airport to reach Thiruvaiyaru is at Tiruchirapalli, which is located at a distance of about 71 kms. Regular flights are operated from this airport. Thus, the place is well connected to the major cities of the country by air.
- By Rail: Nearest railway station is situated at Thanjavur, which is very well linked to the important cities such as Trichy, Madurai, Nagore etc.
- By Road: There is a direct bus service from Thanjavur, which lies at a distance of 13kms from Thiruvaiyaru.