Mass Effect: India’s 10 Great Gatherings
India is a country of epic proportions. Be it people or animals, mega-meetings are the norm across the land. The Maha Kumbh Mela is the largest congregation of any kind anywhere in the world, but it isn’t the only time people come together to eat, pray and celebrate.
Shravan Mela: 21 July to 21 August 2013
Kodava Family Hockey Festival: 14 April to 12 May 2013 - According to a local saying, a Coorg boy is born with a gun in one hand and a hockey stick in the other. Recognised by the Limca Book of Records, the month-long ‘family’ festival in April and May sees hundreds of far-flung Kodava families converge to represent their clan.
Hornbill Festival: 1-7 December
Kabini elephant congregation: May and June - Groups of up to 500 Asian elephants—otherwise scattered through the dense forests of Nagarahole, Wayanad, Bandipur and Mudumalai—congregate to graze and bathe here in their quest for water in the dry season.
Kila Raipur Sports Festival: First weekend of February
Saurath Mela: 20-29 June 2013 - Every year, the tiny village of Saurath in North Bihar’s Mithila region hosts a mass marriage. A unique congregation of Maithil brahmins, Saurath Sabha Gachchhi is held in an orchard donated by the Darbhanga Maharaj.
Snake boat races of Kerala: August and September
Winter migrations: January to February - Spot painted storks at the tiny village of Kokarebellur near Mysore or flamingos at Mumbai’s mudflats, Chennai’s Pallikaranai marsh and Sambhar, India’s largest inland saline lake.
Pushkar Mela: 9 to 17 November 2013
Joydeb Mela, Kenduli: Mid-February - Held around Sankranti on the last day of Poush till the second day of Magh to celebrate the birth anniversary of the poet-saint Jaydev, the festival draws baul singers, kirtanias and wandering minstrels of Bengal.
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