Fairs & festivals are the spirit of Indian Culture. Just like many other states of India, Madhya Pradesh also have list of unique fairs and festivals, celebrated in state with high spirit. Here we have tried to prepare list of popular fairs & festivals which are unique in nature and associated with particular tourist destination. These festivals are now identity of those tourist destination. Certain festivals are traditional means celebrated through centuries but there are many other festivals introduced by MP Tourism or some group with intention to promote tourism in certain destination. These fairs & festivals are nothing but a way to get introduced to regional culture, rituals, scenic beauty. Let us check them, one by one.
The exponents of the popular of the popular classical dance forms are invited from every part of the country to perform during this week long festival. Classical Indian dance forms like Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Mohiniattam are performed by outstanding exponents. Classical Hindustani music is used for accompaniment in most of these dance forms. It is considered to be a privilege by Indian Dancer to perform during the Khajuraho Dance Festival.
Bhagoria Haat is the multi hued festival of the Bhils and the Bhilalas. This festival is held chiefly in the district of West Nimar and Jhabua and the ‘haat’ is celebrated essentially in the nature of a mass ‘Swayamvara’ or a marriage ceremony. it is held a week before the Hindu festival of colours, Holi. Men and women celebrate it with traditional dancing to the beat of drums and thalis and the melodious voice of shehnai and bansuri (flutes). Bhagoradev or the god of dance is worshiped on this juncture. The most respected village elder supervises over the ceremony and offers sweet meals to the god.
It is a popular leisure festival, celebrated in Oct-Nov month, in order to promote tourism in Hanuwantiya or Hanumantiya island destination. It is a new destination, developed & promoted by MP Tourism Department. Jal Mahotsav gives us chance to visit this magnificent water tourism destination with variety of amusement activity & adventure games. Here temporary tented township was established for certain period, decided by tourism department.
This cultural festival is dedicated to the pillar of Indian Classical music, the great Tansen. The place where this great musician lies buried, Tansen Tomb, in Gwalior is the venue of a music festival held annually in November-December. Gwalior is the place that has retained the rich classical music tradition & Tansen devotion to music laid to the foundation of what is known as the Gwalior gharana style with its unique Dhrupad classical form. Khayal was also refined from the Gwalior gharana only.
Tansen festival organized by Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad & it’s an event that goes 4 day long for music lovers. The most prestigious Tnsen Honour (Samman) for the long time devotion & contribution to Hindustani classic music is also awarded on this occasion.
The Madai Festival is celebrated in the third or fourth week of the month of February every year. The most imperative feature of this festival is that it is always celebrated in a large ground where it is possible to have a huge gathering where relatives from far and wide come together to laugh, to make merry and to share the joys. Narayanpur in Bastar is the most admired destination for this festival. Goats are sacrificed by the devotees and carried around the whole village. Madhai is the corroborator of various music and dance forms that are performed by the tribal people. A lot of singing is done and the beating of the drum is a vital activity.
A great number of shops and eateries are set up on the juncture of the Madhai Festival. At night also the merry making continues in full dynamism. The men guzzle intoxicating drinks and dance on the tribal tunes. The vista of this unrestrained merry making is very enjoyable and it is difficult to defy the desire to be one of them and participate in the revelry. The ambiance is very cheerful undeniably.
Ameer Khan Festival at Indore proffer a stage where the old and the new cohort of Indian classical music come together to allure and captivate the audience with their soulful renditions. People who have experienced performances at Ameer Khan Festival converse highly about the quality of performances. One can say that this Ameer Khan Festival, is the perfect venue to relish Indian classical music performances by many stalwarts. This venue also offers an ideal stage for the introduction of many musicians. Music aficionados from across the sphere come to Indore charmed by this Ameer Khan Festival of Indore. Ameer Khan Festival is a gesture of respect towards Ameer Khan Sahab who is regarded as the founder of the solicitous and compelling style of the Indore Gharana.
Kumbh Mela is one of the most sacred of all the pilgrimages. Thousands of holy men and women (monks, saints and sadhus) grace with their presence, and the auspiciousness of the festival is in part attributable to this. The sadhus are seen dressed in saffron sheets with plenty of ashes and powder dabbed on their skin as per the requirements of ancient traditions. It is organized in Ujjain, at the bank of Shipra river. During this time, large number of Hindu Saints and devotees gather in Ujjain, from all over India.
The Fair of Nagaji is celebrated every year in winter season in the months of November and December. Basically it’s a fair which is organized in order to memorize and pay respect to the Saint Nagaji who resides at the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar, about 400 years ago & in the Fair of Nagaji, the tribal people congregate to Porsa village in Murena district. They carry on their festivity for as long as a month and indulge in various communal activities that bring about lot of conviviality and merry making. Beforehand monkeys were sold at this fair. Presently, domestic animals are high on sale.
Malwa Utsava in Ujjain and Indore is one such classical dance program poised with vocals derived from compositions of Tansen, the famous court musician of Akbar. The festival indicates the richness of Indian culture, with a regular gesture of invaders trying to establish their preeminence in India, an indispensable need was felt to secure the culture of Indians and also keep it away from the torrential flow of infiltrators. Malwa Utsava is another cultural program that is held in the state with great deal of enthusiasm. It is one of the most elegant festivals which glisten with the bright ornaments of the performers. Facial expressions and body movements are integral part of dance as much as the ornamentation required here. It is said that all the dances are centered round nine rasas. They are hasya (happiness), shoka (sorrow), krodha (anger), karuna (compassion), bhibasta (disgust), adhbhuta (wonder) bhaya (fear), vikram (courage) and shanta (serenity). However it is a lively cultural fiesta that provides a strong base for self expression.
Ijtima at Bhopal: Alami Tablighi Ijtima held every year for three days at Bhopal, one of the world's largest religious congregations. The event conclude with offering prayers by more than 12 lakh Muslims & it carries some of the greatest spiritual messages, not only for the Muslims but also for the non- Muslims around the world. Muslim pilgrims from various places of India gather in Bhopal on this occasion. This happening of Bhopal is perhaps the second largest gathering of the Muslim community in the world that does not have any political affiliation, though, Hajj is the biggest one. The 3 days religious happening of Ijtima was earlier held at Taj-Ul-Masajid but now it has been shifted to Ghasipura near the city of Bhopal & that is accompanied by a dazzling fair.
It is celebrated in the month of Kartik (roughly September-October), on a full moon night i.e. on i.e. November 25th to November 27th 2007 & it is rejoiced on the banks of the River Narmada. Kartik is a month of festival and merriment in India. People look forward to this month filled with enthusiasm. Nimar Festival is one of the rare festivals in the country, which is planned at the banks of river Narmada to signify the old age culture, which flows through such rivers in the country. The three days Nimar Festival is a comprehensive feast of music, dance, drama, boating and canoeing.
The Samaroh is held every year in the month of February at Maihar in which music lovers and entertainers from all over the country and even abroad accumulate and partake. The Samaroh has assumed countrywide appreciation and gratitude and it is one of the most prominent programs of the academy. The happening is to venerate the memory of the great music whiz of the 20th Century Padma Vibhushan late Baba Alauddin Khan Saheb, the samaroh has continuously been celebrated since 1970-80. In this happening, moreover an esteemed chain of renowned vocal and instrumental musicians performs in the style of late Baba Khan Saheb, a number of other talented artists, both the young and the veteran, also present classical music and dance in order to pay their musical accolade to the maestro Baba Alauddin Khan.
Gandharva Samaroh is commemorated during the birth anniversary of the great vocalist, Pt. Kumar Gandharva on 8th April. At Dewas, the convention of celebrating his birthday continues from 1992. From that time onwards, the saga has been on a move towards better cultural shows and modernization of newer talents. With the unique blend of folk songs and classical music the performers try to perk up the maestro's attempt to coalesce these two in harmony. The most interesting part of this cultural event is innovation of nascent talents and providing them a stage for better performance.
Bhopal is a land of ethnicity & religious conviction. During the promising hour of Republic Day, Lokrang Samaroh in Bhopal is usually held & it’s not only confined to a single day but for 5 consecutive days it carries on. This festival is celebrated in Bhopal for the last 19 years. Lokrang Samaroh, Bhopal, tries to conjecture each of the numerous heritage cultures in this country. Every year it is celebrated with a definite purpose. Sometimes it ponders on West Indian cultures and portrays Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan's heritage while at others it ponders on the North Indian cultures and focuses on Jammu Kashmir and Himachal heritage.
Although it is basically believed that Durga Puja is a festival of West Bengal and mainly celebrated by Bengal community but if you got the chance to be in Madhya Pradesh then please visit Jabalpur city. Due to presence of Government factories, since British India period, many Bengali workers, large number of Bengali employees were living in the city and thus since last 80 years, Durga Puja was celebrated with high spirit. Now a days, local people are more involved in this celebration by making different groups at different locations of city.