Top Places to visit in November
One of the world’s largest camel and cattle fairs, the Pushkar Mela (8–14 November 2016) also packs in animal races, bridal dress-up contests, handicrafts, and contests as quirky as the longest-moustache-wins. Get a bird’s-eye-view from a hot-air balloon . Stay at The Green House, a boutique hotel in the heart of Pushkar; you can do the fair on day trips from Fort Barli, a heritage property in Ajmer, or from Savista, a two-storeyed haveli on NH8.
It’s a unique atmosphere at the Golden Temple on Guru Nanak Jayanti (14 November 2016). First, the Guru Granth Sahib is read non-stop for 2–3 days prior to the occasion. Then, the actual day of the festival is marked by early-morning prayers, lectures, community meals (langar), and in the end, bhangra and gidda performances.
How often do you get to see Indian Ocean, Nucleya, The Raghu Dixit Project and Farhan Akhtar take the stage in one festival? The line-up for the Bacardi NH7 Weekender (5–6 November 2016) also includes Arjun Vagale, Anish Sood, Dualist Inquiry, Skrat, Bhayanak Maut and Vir Das’ Alien Chutney.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Immerse yourself in Kabir’s profound teachings at the Mahindra Kabira Festival (5–6 November 2016), featuring music (Ajoy Chakrabarty, Prahlad Tipanya and Vidya Shah, among others), heritage walks, literature, food and meditation workshops . Then, there’s Dev Diwali (14 November 2016), two weeks after Diwali, which will see thousands of lamps lit along the ghats and fireworks painting the sky. The sight will repeat at the Ganga Mahotsav (22–24 November 2016), when classical-music masters will create soulful magic.
The capital will host the first edition of the Electric Daisy Carnival (12–13 November 2016), one of the biggest electronic-music festivals on Earth, executed Vegas-style. Many of your favourite artistes are part of the line-up: Nucleya, Afrojack, Lost Stories, Anish Sood, Arjun Vagale, Dualist Inquiry, Steve Aoki and DJ Shaan, among others
Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Soar over the monument of love with the Taj Balloon Festival (25–30 November 2016). Then, prepare to be awed—even more—by a glow concert in the evening, where balloons will be used to create spectacular visual effects, accompanied by music.
The start-up city is hosting the Echoes of Earth music festival (26–27 November 2016), with a line-up of 40+ Indian and international artistes, performing rock, jazz, classical, fusion, electronic, etc. These include Submotion Orchestra (UK), Beardyman (UK), Zoya (India), Susheela Raman (UK) and Franca (Germany), among others
You know what it’s like in December here, so go now and make the most of the balmy weather, the now-open shacks and the boisterous parties, minus the dense crowds. Get your fix of adrenalin with water sports and hot-air ballooning and then satiate the resulting appetite with any of these 50 best meals.
Tour the Periyar Tiger Reserve without the Christmas hordes. Don’t limit your search to the big cat, though—also look out for rare species such as the Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque, gaur, Nilgiri langur and Malabar giant squirrel. Up the adventure with camping, elephant safaris, bamboo rafting, border hiking, boat rides and a jeep ride to the 1,000-year-old Mangaladevi Temple, located within the park.
The cool clime and lower humidity levels this month means you can get active sans the discomfort. Pick from swimming, boating, parasailing, banana rides, water skiing, and surfing on Serenity Beach, 10km north of town.