Cultural Coups | Verve Magazine
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Screen + Sound + Stage
October 30, 2014

Cultural Coups

Text by Nittal Chandarana

Take off on a journey to India’s quirky festivals. Let wanderlust lead the way

Winter is coming. And so is a host of festivals across the country. Fulfil that wanderlust and make your way through the country hopping from one festival to another.

1. Cheat Treat: Pushkar Festival, Pushkar, Rajasthan
Type: Cultural
Ask for Leave: October 30 – November 6
Indulge: It’s a camel and livestock trade festival happening by the sacred Pushkar Lake where over 50,000 animals are brought in and exchanged or sold. The festival borders on bizarre as camels are decked up, entered into beauty contests and ultimately traded. Folk music, dance and art bazaars are set up. Did we mention that there’s also a moustache competition?

2. Cheat treat: Dharamshala International Film Festival, Dharamshala
Type: Film
Ask for Leave: October 30 – November 2
Indulge: Travel to the beautiful land of Dharamshala for the third edition of this indie film offering. All films will be screened at the Tibetan Institute for Performing Arts because this place does not have movie halls; only video game parlours that make a living of screening pirated films! Line-up includes Killa, Bringing Tibet Home, Citylights, Liar’s Dice and Court.

3. Cheat treat: NH7 Weekenders: Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, New Delhi
Type: Indie Music
Ask for Leave: Nov 1 – 2 (Kolkata), Nov 8 – 9 (Bengaluru), Nov 21 – 23 (Pune), Nov 29 – 30 (New Delhi)
Indulge: Every place has its own set of acts. We’re going to list down our favourites.
Kolkata: Ankit Trivedi, Indian Ocean’s Tandanu, Mutemath, Pentagram
Bengaluru: Cloud Control, Scribe, Spud In The Box, Dualist Inquiry Band
Pune: All India Bakchod, Bhayanak Maut, Namit Das + Anurag Shankar, The Raghu Dixit Project
New Delhi: Monica Dogra, The Ganesh Talkies, Goldspot, Barmer Boys

4. Cheat treat: International Film Festival of India, Goa
Type: Film
Ask for Leave: Nov 20 – 30
Indulge: It’s the 45th edition of this festival featuring international as well as some very interesting regional cinema. Amitabh Bachchan has been invited to inaugurate the event. Line-up includes much-spoken-about Marathi films Yellow and Killa and Rajat Kapoor’s Ankhon Dekhi.

5. Cheat treat: Hornbill Festival, Nagaland
Type: Tribal Culture
Ask for Leave: December 1 – 10
Indulge: This one’s held to promote relations among the tribes and increase sensitivity to their culture. Songs, games, dances, shows are held over a period of ten days. Highlights: Traditional archery, Indigenous games, Naga wrestling and the arts and crafts festival.

6. Cheat treat: International Sand Art Festival, Konark, Orissa
Type: Art
Ask for Leave: December 3 – 5
Indulge: Held at the Chandrabhaga Beach, coinciding with the Konark Festival, here, spectators get the opportunity to see some breathtaking artwork made exclusively out of sand. Happening side by side are some lovely dances as part of the Konark Festival.

7. Cheat treat: Goa Lit Fest
Type: Literary
Ask for Leave: December 4 – 7
Indulge: Speakers this time around include Janice Pariat, Naresh Fernandes, Mamang Dai, Rabi Thapa.

8. Cheat treat: Enchanted Valley Carnival, Lonavala, Maharashtra
Type: EDM Music
Ask for Leave: December 19 – 21
Indulge: Pitch tent (literally) at Aambey Valley to be a part of EVC. Live in perpetual eat-sleep-rave-repeat mode. Line-up includes David Guetta, Alien Chutney, Kohra, Marcus Schulz and Ferry Corsten among others.

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