The second-most populous state in India, Maharashtra is home to people from different cultures and walks of life. Being one of the biggest cosmopolitan states in India, the festivals of Maharashtra are colorful and draw a perfect example of cultural inclusivity in front of the world. In this multicultural state, communities are seen bonding and having a gala time together irrespective of religion, caste, or creed.
From commemorating the homecoming of their favorite Lord Ganesha to the most electrifying Holi celebrations and grand Iftar parties, of course, festivals are the greatest distraction for the busy people of the state. Catch sight of some festivals in Maharashtra that paint every street in the hues of festive spirit. These incredible festivals will definitely grab your attention. Take a dekko!
The most famous festival of Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi is a grand festival that marks the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha. Celebrated with grandeur, the festivity of Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra goes for 11 days and brings communities together. Beautifully sculpted Ganesh idols are installed in many houses and pandals where various rituals are performed with great devotion. On the last day of the festival, the idol is immersed in a large water body and a massive procession is carried out to bid farewell to Lord Ganesha. During this procession, people are immersed in the spirit of dance and music which depicts the vibrant culture of Maharashtra.
Another colorful and electrifying festival of Maharashtra is Janmashtami which is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. Also known as Gokul Ashtami, the festival of Janmashtami is celebrated with great pomp and shows in Maharashtra. Heartwarming rituals such as Dahi Handi is performed to honor the famous act of stealing butter by Lord Krishna.
A group of youngsters form huge human pyramids to reach up to the pots that are hung on great heights. Their attempts to break open these earthen pots filled with butter is a sight to behold. The entire state reverberates the spirit of festivity and joy during this festival that beautifully marks Krishna Leela.
The Harvest Festival of Maharashtra, Gudi Padwa marks the beginning of the new year according to the Hindu calendar. Considered one of the auspicious days, many processions are carried out in several parts during this traditional festival of Maharashtra. Special dishes are cooked, houses are decorated with garlands and rangolis, and a Gudhi - a symbol of victory is placed outside the home with a belief of attracting prosperity and good health into the family. This festival of Maharashtra is also considered to be an opportune time for starting a new venture, moving into a new home, and purchasing a car or other valuable items. Holding great religious significance, this festival is celebrated with gusto in many places of Maharashtra.
Makar Sankranti is a festival that is celebrated in all parts of India but with different names and traditions. Makar Sankranti in Maharashtra is a three-day festival that is marked with various rituals and customs that are peculiar to the state. The first day of this festival in Maharashtra is known as Bhogi and the second day is called Sankranti. This day holds immense significance for married women in the state as it is associated with an important ritual called Haldi-Kumkum. Married women dress up in ethnic wear and get-togethers are organized wherein women exchange small gifts as a token of love and apply vermillion and turmeric on each other's forehead. The tradition of Kite flying is also followed in many parts of the state. The last day of the festival is called Kinkrant which marks the defeat of Kinkarasur - a demon who was slayed by Maa Durga. During these three days, folks of the state are seen jubilant and immersed in merry-making.
One of the four grand Kumbh Mela’s, Nashik Kumbh Mela is considered to be the most sacred. Also known as Trimbakeshwar or Nashik Trimbak Kumbh Mela, this religious festival of Maharashtra is marked as a massive congregation of pilgrims, Sadhus, and tourists. Millions of pilgrims from all over the country visit Nashik during Kumbh Mela to take a dip in Kushawart and Ramkund reservoirs of the holy river Godavari. Happening once in 12 years, Kumbh Mela is considered to be the largest peaceful gathering in the world. Believed to cleanse all the sins, colorful processions, and holy dip during this imposing festival of Maharashtra sketches a vivid picture of strong faith and religious values.
Dedicated to the greatest ruler of Maharashtra - Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Shivaji Jayanti is celebrated on a large scale in the state. Every year, on his birthday various processions are carried out and the stories of his valor and greatness are narrated along with songs that speak of the kingship of the greatest ruler. On this special day, his values and beliefs are reminisced and also pledged. Having great reverence for the Great Maratha ruler, Shivaji Jayanti holds a special place for the people of Maharashtra.
Celebrated at one of the great historical sites in the state, Ellora Festival in Maharashtra is the celebration of Indian art and cultural heritage. Organized by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, the arrangement of this cultural festival of Maharashtra is really grand and inviting. Various classical music and dance acts are presented by renowned artists of the country on a huge stage with a backdrop of the majestic Ellora caves. The beautiful performances and a huge fair with stalls of food and handicrafts will surely leave you mesmerized. This festival brings together art connoisseurs and tourists from different walks to the historical site which is worth an experience.
The largest multicultural festival of India, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Maharashtra is a sight to behold. Organized in the month of February every year for nine days in a row, the festival attracts visitors in large numbers from all over the world. The festival is named after the black-colored statue of King Edward VII seated on a black horse that was located in the fort area of Mumbai. Every year a grand exhibition is held at the historic site of Kala Ghoda Art Fort in South Mumbai to celebrate theatre, music, films, comedy, world, and contemporary art forms. Artists from different genres take part and spread the message of saving rich and colorful Indian art forms.
Plan a visit to Maharashtra during the festive time as this is when people can catch a colorful side of the very busy state. It’s overwhelming and joyful to see people from different communities coming together lighting up the spirit of togetherness. Download App and get the best deals on flights, hotels, buses, tour packages, and more! With us, nothing is far!