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Stunning Festivals of Karnataka You Must Not Miss

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India is the land of festivals and no other place in the world can compare to the grandeur of our nation around the festive season. From celebrating the change of seasons to as simple as honouring the appearance of the new moon, we have a festival for everything and this vivacity of ours, sets us apart from the rest of the world.

Every state of India has their own festivals, a grand showcase of its culture and traditions. And today we’ll peek into the rich culture of Kannadigas and the grandiosity of their festivals. Just like all the other states, Karnataka has a number of festivals. Each festival of Karnataka reflects the values and beliefs of the Kannada people and is celebrated pompously with grand celebrations, fairs, and carnivals.

People from all around the world visit Karnataka to witness the fervour and gaiety of some of the famous festivals of Karnataka. Many travellers even customise their tour package to Karnataka in such a manner that they are able to experience all the traditional festivals of Karnataka.

Let’s have a look at all the famous festivals of Karnataka that must not be missed when you are in Karnataka:

Makar Sankranti

Also known as Pongal, Makar Sankranti is one of the main harvest festivals of Karnataka. This 3-day long festival marks the onset of the harvest season in January. The first day of the sun’s transit into Makara Rashi, which is known as Boghi celebrate the end of Agrahayana. On the main day of this Karnataka festival, people decorate their houses, make rangolis at the entrance, wear new clothes, and make special dishes such as Chakkara Pongali, Sweet Pongal, Puliyogare, Ullundu Vadai, etc. Experiencing Sankranti in Karnataka can be one of the most enriching experiences. If you happen to visit Karnataka during Sankranti, you may be able to witness some of the traditional rituals.


Ugadi is one of the traditional festivals of Karnataka and also one of the main festivals of Karnataka. Also known as Gudi Padwa, Ugadi is the New Year for the Kannadigas. As the legend goes, Lord Brahma commenced the creation of the universe on the day of Gudi Padwa. Ugadi is typically celebrated in the month of April and is another famous festival in Karnataka. Another reason why Ugadi is one of the most celebrated festivals in Karnataka is that Kannadigas consider the month of Ugadi auspicious to start something new. They make sure that the time of Ugadi is celebrated with all enthusiasm. An assorted range of Ugadi dishes is prepared in all homes such as Ugadi Pachadi, Poornam Boorelu, Paal Payasam, etc. If you wish to enjoy Ugadi, then plan a visit to the rural regions of Karnataka where they still celebrate Ugadi in its rawest form. However, do take the help of your tour planner to experience it better.

Hampi Festival

Another famous festival in Karnataka, Hampi Festival is also called Vijaya Utsav and is celebrated in Hampi which is a UNESCO world heritage site. Hampi Festival commemorates the birthday of the poet Purandaradasa, an ancient Hampi resident. This famous Karnataka festival is celebrated for 3 days in the first week of November. People from all over the world visit Karnataka to enjoy the fairs and carnivals in Hampi during the festival. The best part is, the celebrations for this Karnataka festival are organised by the state government itself with grand dance and music shows, fireworks. Hampi festival boosts tourism in Hampi during these three days of festivities. The ruins of Hampi are decorated with lights and the entire Hampi becomes one spectacular phenomenon during the Hampi festival. Usually Visiting Hampi during the Hampi festival can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you must not miss it.

Pattadakal Dance Festival

Another festival of Karnataka recognised by the state government, Pattadakal Dance Festival is organised in the Pattadakal village in a grand manner by the Karnataka Government. It is held in the month of January to honour all famous temples in the village. These temples are some of the well-built structures, a perfect place for people seeking a glimpse into bygone times. Dancers from all around the country visit Karnataka to showcase their talent, artisans have their creations on the display, and vendors sell authentic Kannadiga dishes. Overall, Pattadakal Dance Festival can be the window to some of the ancient forms of art and a wholesome experience for travellers.

Karnataka Rajyotsava

As the name suggests, this Karnataka festival celebrates the state itself. This is the state festival of Karnataka and is celebrated every 1st November. The official flag is hoisted by the chief minister of Karnataka and all the important people are addressed. A grand cultural fest is organised and individuals are awarded at this festival of Karnataka. The Rajyotsava Award is handed out by the Chief Minister to meritorious individuals. With a declared holiday, Karnataka Rajyotsava is an important festival for the Kannadigas.

There are magnificent beaches, bountiful jungles, serene countrysides, bustling cities, and majestic hills in Karnataka but if you wish to experience the real Karnataka, witness the culture and heritage of the place at its finest, visit Karnataka during festivals. Thank us later!

Festival, Karnataka, Travel Guide

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