India has encouraged artists from all disciplines and backgrounds for centuries. Many of their works can still be seen in temples, mausoleums, and even caves across the country. So it’s no surprise that modern India also welcomes artists from all heritages. Here are some of the best arts festivals across the sub-continent.
Held only every second year the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an event not to be missed. This blockbuster arts event has something from everyone. International artists show alongside young local arts students, demonstrating the diversity of the arts. There are lectures, residencies, hands-on events and even special programmes to get kids involved in the arts. All of this is set amidst the backdrop of beautiful Fort Kochi in Kerala. The next Kochi-Muziris Biennale starts on 12th December 2016 and runs until 27th March 2017.
The largest free literature festival in the world, Jaipur Literature Festival is renowned both in Asia and globally. Local and international writers, readers and celebrities flock to the Rajasthan capital each January to participate in the lectures, debates and glittering parties. Everyone from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to Oprah Winfrey to Salman Rushdie have attended this fantastic event. The next Jaipur Literature Festival will be held from 19 to 23rd January 2017.
Held in Delhi annually, India Art Fair is the largest contemporary art fair in Asia. Local and international exhibitors display their curated artwork covering a range of mediums from painting to sculptures to installations. The focus is on highlighting the works of South East Asia and India, covering a diverse range of artists and experiences. The next India Art Fair will be held in Delhi from 2nd to 5th February 2017.
Mumbai‘s pre-eminent arts precinct is Kala Ghoda. So it’s no surprise that Kala Ghoda hosts one of the city’s most vibrant and interesting festivals. Over nine days the best in literature, visual arts and theatre flock to town. There is also a popular street market with crafts from accross the country. And the nearby galleries including Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, Jehangir Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Modern Art all have interesting exhibitions to explore. The next Kala Ghoda Arts Festival will be held from the 4th to 12th February 2017.
India’s Signature festival, Delhi International Arts Festival is one of the country’s most prestigious art festivals. Held over several venues across the capital, it aims to highlight a diverse range of arts. Education is also an important part of the festival, with its own Children’s film festival and School and College Initiatives to encourage up and coming artists. The next Delhi International Arts Festival will be held in November 2017.
Harmony is the focus of the Bengaluru International Arts Festival. In keeping with its theme the festival brings together artists from around the world. They not only display their crafts, but also work together to build partnerships between public and private enterprises and raise funds for artists in need. The next Bengaluru International Arts Festival will be held in September 2017.