You brought in the New Year in Goa and spent part of your summer in Europe – how passé. The Secret Scouters turn travel agents today to save the rest of your 2011 from going down the same old route, with ten super events you should vacation at this year from Jodhpur to Kohima, Jalandhar to Bangalore. Ticket fans, rejoice!
Alappuza, Kerala – August 13: On the second Saturday of August this small, sleepy town in Kerala wakes up to a grand water festival, in the midst of which is the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race. Sit back and watch the largest team sport in the world, and don’t forget to put your hands together for their astounding synchronization.
Jodhpur, Rajasthan – August 13-15: Using the 400-year-old Mehrangarh Fort as a backdrop, Music in the Hills is booking performers such as Parikrama, Advaita and Mohit Chauhan to serenade you in the desert. Remember to bring along sun block!
Kolkata, West Bengal – September 2: And you thought you would have to save up until 2014 to catch the Argentinean soccer team in action. For a measly Rs. 2000, you can watch Messi and his boys play against the Venezuelan team in the City of Joy. Also, see bpb’s food guide to Kolkata!
Bangalore, Karnataka – September 23-25: It’s called the The Big Mushroom Cloud Festival – need we say anymore!? Featuring bands that promise to ‘help you transcend into a state of altered consciousness’ and held in a cave resort outside of Bangalore, it is guaranteed to be a crazy trip!
Jodhpur, Rajasthan – October 12-15: Rated amongst the top music festivals in the world, the Rajasthan International Folk Festival is a must-try desert. The good weather, majestic palaces and awesome food are just the icing on the cake.
New Delhi – October 28-30: Zoom into the Capital to watch India’s first Formula 1 race, inaugurated by – wait for it – Metallica. The band performs on October 28, followed by a practice session and the race over the weekend. See bpb’s guide to Delhi for more stuff to do while you’re there.
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala – November 18-20: Perfect for those who love letters. Hang with the likes of Shashi Tharoor and Vikram Seth at the Hay Festival, a Welsh literary event that came to India last year. Who knows, maybe Sting will drop in again for a surprise performance.
Pushkar, Rajasthan – November 18-27: Wash away your sins in the Ganges while witnessing the Pushkar Mela, the world’s largest camel fair which also features music, dancing, shopping and more. Heavenly!
Kohima, Nagaland – December 1-7: The Hornbill Festival highlights Northeastern culture through rock concerts and motor rallies. Going tribal is encouraged.
Jalandhar, Punjab – December 20-25: Started in 1875, the Harivallah Sangeet Mahasabha is the oldest festival of Indian Classical Music in the world. Boasting appearances by Pandit Zakir Hussain, Hari Prasad Chaurasia, and legendary Punjabi hospitality.
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