The northeastern state is set to host its annual Hornbill Festival from 1 to 10 December. The Heritage Village of Kisama, 10 kilometres from the capital Kohima, is transformed into a vibrant venue with mock-ups of tribal huts and numerous handicrafts stalls selling distinctive souvenirs. Revel in the glorious culture of indigenous warrior tribes displayed in the folk dance and music performances, and traditional games. Take a swig of rice beer or chow down on local dishes. For those who may dare, there are also chilli eating and pork eating competitions.
(Entry free. Find out more on tourismnagaland.com)
Head to the coastal state to be a part of the Feast of St. Francis Xavier on 3 December. Mingle with revellers from around the world who come together to mark the death anniversary of the patron in Old Goa’s Basilica of Bom Jesus, about 10 kilometres east of Panjim. Masses begin as early as 4 a.m. and as the day progresses, a carnival-like atmosphere ensues. Old Goa comes alive with fairs and processions marching to peppy music, and street stalls—operational from the start of Novenas (special prayer services) on 21 November—sell a wide range of items from handmade trinkets to mouth-watering festival treats.
(Entry free. Find out more)
NH7 comes to Pune between 8 to 10 December with an eclectic line-up of stand-up comedy and music gigs. Performances will include three-time Grammy winner Steve Vai and punk rock icon Marky Ramone along with metal legends Textures and The Dillinger Escape Plan, who are on their final tours. While American ambient pop band Cigarettes After Sex will make its Indian debut, the multi-talented Vishal Bhardwaj will give his debut live performance. There will also be the soulful melodies of singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad, and actor-comedian Vir Das’s comedy rock band Alien Chutney. The comic line-up looks promising with comedians Rohan Joshi, Azeem Banatwalla, Kanan Gill, Kautuk Srivastava, Kaneez Surkha and a few others set to tickle your bones.
(Tickets Rs2,250- Rs3,250. Book here)
The most sought after cosplay event is back with its Delhi edition between 15 to 17 December. Channel your inner Thor or unleash the Wonder Woman in you and meet fellow comic geeks. Interact with Dan Parent of Archie Comics; Ryan North, the creator and author of Dinosaur Comics, Singapore-based Sonny Liew, best known for his work The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye; and Abhijit Kini, illustrator for TINKLE and founder at Abhijeet Kini Studios among others. Bonus: Tonnes of geeky, cool souvenirs.
(NSIC Exhibition Grounds, Okhla from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tickets Rs499-Rs1,299. Book here)
Rajasthan’s art and musical jamboree, the Magnetic Fields Festival, is back with its fourth edition at Jaipur’s palatial heritage hotel, Alsisar Mahal between 15 and 17 December. Drop by to witness a gala featuring a host of Indian and global artistes. Sway to the tunes of English post-rock and electronic musician Four Tet; go old school with the American three-piece band Khruangbin that draws its influence from 1960’s Thai funk; throw your hands in the air for New Delhi-based The Ska Vengers and watch out for Jivraj Singh of Indian indie band Parekh & Singh.
(Ticket Rs10,000. Book here)
If adventure sports and music give you an equal rush, then Arunachal Pradesh’s Orange Festival is for you. Move past Ziro and scout the quaint town of Dambuk where the festival’s third edition will take place between 15 and 18 December. Get the adrenaline pumping with activities like zip lining, motocross and white-water rafting and keep the high going with some power-packed performances. Swedish metal guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen; American musician Richie Kotzen; Kolkata based singer-songwriter Neel and guitarist Zico; lead singer and founder of Indian rock band Indus Creed, Uday Benegal; and local singer-songwriter Carolina Norbu are part of the festival’s line-up.
(Ticket Rs1,000-Rs4,000; excluding adventure sports. For more information and tickets check orangefestivaldambuk.in. Visitors from outside the state will need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) and applications can be made here www.arunachalilp.com)
Ever wanted to spend the night under a starlit sky? Here is your chance to marvel at celestial wonders and watch meteor showers light up the night. On 16 December, city exploration group Awestrich in collaboration with an astronomy group Space Geeks Mumbai will organise a meteor shower observation only an hour away from Mumbai. Marvel at Geminids and Quadrantids, share your knowledge on celestial wonders and discuss interstellar travel with fellow space geeks over cups of tea.
(Ticket Rs1,499. Book here)
Back with its second edition, Serendipity Arts Festivals will bring together the finest of culinary, visual and performing arts between 15 and 22 December at eight venues along the Mandovi River in Panjim. New Delhi-based photographers Dinesh Khanna and Prashant Panjiar as well as contemporary poet Ranjit Hoskote, and artist and sculptor Riyas Komu will showcase their photographs and visual art projects. The Culinary Arts chapter of the festival will be curated by executive chef and entrepreneur Manu Chandra of Monkey Bar, The Fatty Bao and Olive Beach fame, and food historian, critic and TV host Odette Mascarenhas. There will also be performances by leading contemporary dancer and choreographer Tanusree Shankar, actor Lillete Dubey, singer Shubha Mudgal and Indian film score composer Ranjit Barot.
(Register for free. Find out more here)
Pooja Naik is Senior Sub-Editor at National Geographic Traveller India. She likes to take long leisurely walks with both hands in her pocket; channeling her inner Gil Pender at Marine Drive since Paris is a continent away.