1. Kashmiri Ancient Basket Fishing FestivalMen, women and children of the land, line up along the river banks; wicker baskets at the ready.
The baskets are dunked and pulled out from the water with numerous fish along with weeds, hence cleansing the water in the process.Where: KashmirWhen: Third week of May
2. Shoonya FestivalThe festival invites artists, healers, meditators, travellers, gypsies, professionals, shamans, explorers, and those looking for magic in silence.Where: Jibhi, Himachal PradeshWhen: June
3. Madai FestivalThe festival comprises various folk activities that are dedicated to Goddess Kesharpal Kesharpalin Devi, one of the tribal deities, in an attempt to please her.Where: Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada, Madhya PradeshWhen: December to March
4. Bani FestivalAs the legend goes, two demons — Mani and Mallasura — would trouble the noblemen in the Devaragattu region.
To honour the act of driving away the demons, locals hit each other lightly on the head during the festivities.Where: Andhra PradeshWhen: October/November
5. Made SnanaPeople roll on banana leaves on which food had previously been served to ‘Brahmins’.Some go through the rolling practice to cure a skin condition, whereas others do it to purify themselves of sins.Where: KarnatakaWhen: November
6. TheyyamSeveral daring stunts are performed during the festival.These include dancing while wearing a crown of hair of length 10-12 metres, walking on fire embers and more.Where: KeralaWhen: April
7. Sufi FestivalAs the sun goes down in Rajasthan, and the palaces and heritage homes are bathed in a wonderful orange glow, the air seems almost electric with the harmony of Sufi music.Where: RajasthanWhen: February
8. Holla Mohalla Anandpur SahibInitiated by the 10th Sikh leader Guru Gobind Singh in the 10th century, this festival is celebrated by the Sikh warrior order in Punjab
Numerous campsites are set up across the state and community kitchens are organised, wherein large batches of food are prepared.Where: PunjabWhen: March
9. Tarnetar MelaResembling a fair, the festival is a tribute to Draupadi’s swayamvar, and in fact, a wonderful opportunity for young men and women who are looking for partners.Where: GujaratWhen: August to September
10. Agni KeliA daring celebration, the agni keli or firefight is commemorated by bare-bodied devotees hurling flaming palms at each other.The one to get burnt first is then sprayed with water.Where: MangaluruWhen: April