Festivals and Events in India in October 2020

Durga Puja

SoumenNath/Getty Images


October is a very exuberant time in India. The monsoon rain has eased in most places, and the festival season is in full swing! Come to India in October and take part in events filled with lights, music, and dance. Here's the best of what's on in October in India (in date order).

01 of 12

Ramnagar Ramlila

Varanasi (Benares), Uttar Pradesh State, India Credit:
John Henry Claude Wilson / robertharding /Getty Images.

The world's oldest Ramlila, which reenacts the story of the Hindu epic the Ramayana, has been running for nearly 200 years. It commences with the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Rama, to save humanity from demon king Ravana. The Ramilia takes place over a month every year from Anant Chaturdashi and ends on the full moon night.​

  • When: September 1 to October 2, 2020 (to be confirmed).
  • Where: Ramnagar, on the banks of the Ganga River opposite Varanasi.
02 of 12


Rajesh_India/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The state festival of Telangana in South India, Bathukamma is a flower festival that celebrates life and the Mother Goddess during Navaratri. It's devoted to Goddess Maha Gauri, an incarnation of Goddess Durga that's considered to be the life-giver and goddess of womanhood. She's worshiped in the form of Bathukamma, a floral arrangement stacked to resemble a temple tower. The festival ends on the occasion of Durgashtami. Women sing old folk devotional songs and take the Bathukammas out in procession to immerse them in water on the last day.

  • When: October 17-24, 2020.
  • Where: Hyderabad, Telangana.
03 of 12


People dancing during Navaratri.

Dushyant Thakur Photography/Getty Images

Navaratri is a nine night festival that celebrates the Mother Goddess or Shakti in all her manifestations, including Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Worship and fasting take place in the daytime, while the nights are reserved for feasting and dancing. The festival culminates with Dussehra, the victory of good over evil, on the tenth day. In Delhi, the feature of Navaratri celebrations are the Ramlila plays that take place all over the city. The festival is celebrated as Golu, with the display of dolls, in South India. In Kolkata, it's Durga Puja.

  • When: October 17-25, 2020.
  • Where: Across India.
04 of 12

Mysore Dasara

Mysore Dasara.

santhosh_varghese/Getty Images


The annual 10-day Dasara festival is the feature of Navaratri and Dussehra celebrations in Mysore, in Karnataka. The festival has royal origins and can be traced all the way back to 1610, when it was started by Wadiyar King, Raja Wadiyar I. It honors the Goddess Chamundeswari (another name for Goddess Durga) of Chamundi Hill, who killed the powerful demon Mahishasur. The royal family is still involved in celebrating it. Mysore Palace is illuminated with thousands of dazzling lights. There's an elaborate regal procession, fireworks, light shows, and even food festivals and vintage automobile shows as well.

  • When: October 17-26, 2020.
  • Where: Mysore, Karnataka.
Continue to 5 of 12 below.
05 of 12

Durga Puja

Durga Puja


SoumenNath/Getty Images

In honor of mother goddess Durga, beautifully handcrafted statues of the goddess and her children are installed in podiums in almost every lane of the city during this festival. People flock to the streets to view the displays amid mesmerizing light shows, drumming, and aromatic food stalls. On the last day of the festival, the statues are paraded around the city before being submerged in the river. Read more about the Durga Puja festival and the best ways to experience Durga Puja in Kolkata.

  • When: October 22-26, 2020.
  • Where: Kolkata, West Bengal. Durga Puja is also widely celebrated in neighboring Odisha.
06 of 12

Ashwa Poojan

Ashwa Poojan

Eternal Mewar


Known as the Worship of the Horse, this unique Rajasthani festival is grandly celebrated by the Mewar royal family of Udaipur on the last day of Navaratri. It honors the special relationship between warrior and horse. See the royal horses being worshiped by the current head of the royal family, accompanied by the palace band. A highlight of the festival is the mouthwatering Rajasthani cuisine.

Complement the celebration by staying at the Shiv Niwas Palace hotel or Fateh Prakash Palace hotel in the Udaipur City Palace Complex.

  • When: October 25, 2020.
  • Where: Udaipur City Palace, Rajasthan. 
07 of 12


Jagdish Agarwal/Getty Images

The day after the Navaratri festival is known as Dussehra. It widely commemorates the defeat of the demon king Ravan by Lord Ram. Huge effigies of Ravan go up in smoke all over India. However, there are other more unusual celebrations of the festival too. Some start at the beginning of Navaratri, such as Mysore Dasara, while others kick-off on the main day of Dussehra and continue on for weeks. Not all are associated with Lord Ram and Ravan. Some are tribal and some are regal. Goddess Shakti is worshiped in various forms too. See ways and places to celebrate Dussehra in India and photos of the Dussehra festival.

  • When: October 25, 2020.
  • Where: Across India but particularly in northern India.
08 of 12

Rajasthan International Folk Festival

India, Rajasthan, Jodhpur. Within one of Mehrangarh Forts many courtyards, a troupe at the Rajasthan International Folk Festival, perform a traditional martial dance.
Amar Grover / Getty Images

This eclectic festival, which is the first of its kind in India, showcases regional roots music and the arts. It's a heady fusion of interactive educational events, staged performances, and late night jam sessions. Performers include singers, dancers, instrumentalists and storytellers from various Rajasthani folk communities, as well as nationally and internationally recognized artists. The festival has an outstanding location in and around the imposing Mehrangarh Fort.

  • When: October 29 to November 2, 2020.
  • Where: Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Continue to 9 of 12 below.
09 of 12

Marwar Festival

Marwar festival folk dance.
Dinodia Photo/Getty Images

The Marwar Festival recognizes the culture of Rajasthan's Marwar region. It's held for two days over the full moon, in memory of the state's medieval heroes. The highlight of the festival is classic folk music and dance, which brings alive the myths and legends of the area. The festival also includes horse riding, horse polo -- and bizarrely -- camel tattooing.

  • When: October 30-31, 2020.
  • Where: Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
10 of 12

Kabir Yatra

Kabir Yatra

Kabir Yatra


Back for the fifth edition this year, the Kabir Yatra is a traveling folk music festival in Rajasthan. It will feature more than 50 artists from across India who will perform music from different genres. Attendees will also be able to listen to poetry from Bhakti and Sufi saints such as Kabir, Mira, and Bulleh Shah. The festival will showcase the work of painters, sculptors and photographers inspired by this tradition as well.

  • When: To be announced.
  • Where: Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner. 
11 of 12

India Music Summit

Performers at India Music Summit

India Music Summit

The three-day India Music Summit returns for its fourth edition this year. Started by a group of India's top music professionals, this event provides an outstanding opportunity for music lovers and musicians to engage with music from diverse genres. It's a wonderfully immersive event with morning baithaks (informal performances/gatherings), masterclasses, concerts, conversations and night sessions.

  • When: To be announced.
  • Where: The Fairmont, Jaipur, Rajasthan.
12 of 12

Tawang Festival

Performance at Tawang.

travelgame/Getty Images


The annual Tawang Festival is organized by the Arunachal Pradesh Tourism Department to showcase the culture of the state and promote adventure tourism. Highlights include a huge fair, chanting by the monks of Tawang Monastery, and folk and tribal dances.

  • When: To be announced.
  • Where: Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh.
Was this page helpful?