Where To Go in October: Say Cheers in Mumbai, Go Paragliding in Pushkar

Winter is yet to come. But October is almost here. Plan your getaways today.

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Revel in an evening of German delicacies, traditional folk music and finely brewed beer. Photo by: Peopleimages/Getty Images

Oktoberfest, Mumbai

Hydrate and head to Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Race Course. Because it’s that time of the year: Oktoberfest, beer-lovers, is just round the corner. In its eighth edition now, the three-day fest starts on October 4 and ends on October 7. Besides the brews, get ready to sample a slice of Munich in Mumbai. From German gastronomy to traditional music, there’s a lot to explore and indulge in. Dig into pork wiener, goulash lamb, bratwurst (hot dogs) and pretzels, sway to the tunes of Die Kirchdorfer, a folk music ensemble and the official Oktoberfest band, and guzzle down… you know what.
(Rs1,000 for one-day pass, Rs1,800-Rs2,500 for three-day pass. Book here.)


Rajasthan International Folk Festival, Jodhpur

Jodhpur RIFF

Performances at the Rajasthan International Folk Festival often offer scenic views of Jodhpur. Photo: Jodhpur RIFF/OIJO

Some venues truly uplift the appeal of a cultural fest. Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort does exactly that for RIFF. The 15th-century fort, carved from the same hill on which it stands, is all set to host the 10th Rajasthan International Folk Festival between October 5 and October 9. What’s best? This year the cultural extravaganza coincides with the brightest full moon in North India. So get set to savour the goodness of soothing morning ragas, groove to the beats of Mir musicians of the Bikaner region, enjoy the Rajasthani Dhun Dhora collaboration featuring the Dhol Drummers of Rajasthanand catch The Roadhouse Sessions—a Welsh-Indian collaboration of storytelling and music.
(Rs 5, 000 for a single-day pass, Rs 12, 500 for a full all five days. Book here.)


Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), Mumbai

The folks behind MAMI watching the trailer reel of the festival. Photo Courtesy: MAMI/Facebook

Team MAMI watches the festival’s trailer reel. To see what they’ve curated, book your passes now. Photo Courtesy: MAMI/Facebook

Netflix-and-chill is sure in. But nothing really beats the thrill of binge-watching on the big screen, especially when the line-up is as promising as this year’s MAMI220 films, from 49 countries, in 51 languages, all between October 12 and October18. Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkebaaz, a film on the life of a fictional boxer, is all set to debut here. Other films to look forward to include Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch, a satire on witchcraft, and Onur Saylak’s Turkish drama More, the story of a son who is disturbed by his father’s human-trafficking business. Hooked? Now slip into, or pack in, comfortable clothes, grab that popcorn tub or a plate of samosa and watch on.
(Rs 500 for a weekday pass, Rs1,200 for a weekend pass, Rs 2,000 for all days. Book here.)


Sunburn Weekend, Daman

Sunset strolls apart, get set to party in Daman. On the menu is yummy food and a vibrant flea market. Photo by: IP_Black/ India Picture

Sunset strolls apart, get set to party in Daman. On the menu is yummy food and a flea market. Photo by: IP_Black/ India Picture

Electronic, bass-heavy beats are set to create ripples in the coastal waters of Daman. American producer Skrillex is coming to Daman, so is Lean On fame Major Lazer. What’s the occasion? It’s a music show collaboration by Sunburn and musician Nucleya, which will feature a ‘custom-built stage with mystifying visuals’. Other EDM acts include Mumbai rappers DIVINE and Ritviz and Ketan Bahirat’s solo electronic project Oceantied. The two-day fest, from October 14 to October 15, will also host a pool party, multi-cuisine food stalls and a flea market. 
(Tickets Rs 1,000-Rs 2,000. Book here.


Pushkar Camel Fair, Pushkar

Take to the skies during the Pushkar Mela, which happens in November each year, for aerial views of undulating sand dunes, and crowds and camel at the festival.

Hot-air balloon rides are one way to see the spread of sand dunes below, dotted with camels and the revelry typical to Pushkar fair.

Camels here turn up in their finest. Some brandish henna; others trot around in outfits with pompoms, bells and mirrors. If there’s a time when you must visit Pushkar, it has to be during the Pushkar Camel Fair. Villagers travel for days on end to bring their cattle to trade and sell at this fair. Go between October 23 and November 4 to see rural India in all its glory. There are other add-ons too, like Ferris wheel joy rides and traditional folk performances. Hot air balloons and paragliding are also on the menu, so are cheesecakes and cheese blocks made using camel milk.
(No entry fee)


NH7 Weekender, Shillong

NH7 Weekender

There’s someThrow your hands in the air like you just don’t care at the NH7 Weekender music festival. Photo: Bacardi NH7 Weekender/Facebook

Music amidst Shillong’s misty hills is what makes NH7 Weekender’s eighth edition special. The credentials of the artistes, of course, match the prettiness of the place. Renowned American guitarist, Steve Vai, and India’s favourite rock band, Indian Ocean, are set to perform at this multi-genre music festival that starts on October 27 and ends on October 28. The line-up also includes Sahej Bakshi’s solo electronic dance project, Dualist Inquiry, and an act by New York-based Karsha Kale. Other interesting names include Polar Lights, an up-and-coming pop/rock band from Nagaland, and Shillong-based rap group, Khasi bloodz, known for their tracks that shine a light on the political instability in the Northeast and violence against women.
(Rs 1,250- Rs 2, 250 for both days. Book here.)


Spoken, Mumbai

The sole aim of this two-day festival is to celebrate the magic of spoken words, and its line-up, comprising poets, readers, lyricists, musicians and writers, does inspire faith. Head here to listen to recitals by Kalki Koechlin, Piyush Mishra and Swanand Kirkire and to watch Tess Joseph, Ankur Tewari and Raghu Dixit perform. Organised by Kommune, a story-telling platform launched by TV presenters Roshan Abbas and Gaurav Kapoor, who will both recite, the festival will be held on October 27 and October 28. Food stalls and beer-on-tap make it all the more enticing. Then of course there are writing workshops. Do carry a notebook and pen. What’s best is that this one might appeal to the entire family.
(Rs 999 for both days. Book 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.


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