With the movement of people on the rise for numerous purposes, it is an imperative to classify types of tourism. Many research papers have established new forms, in terms of geography, economics, culture, health, etc. and have paved the path for sub categories in the umbrella term, tourism. India hosts travelers from around the world, in addition to the internal movement of tourists for all these purposes. One of the oldest and the most popular among these is festival tourism.
Festivals may be classified as purely religious, quasi-religious and secular in nature; and are popular in the same order. One of the largest human gatherings in the world at rotating locations is during the Kumbh festival. People travel to these locations not just from the whole country but from other parts of the world. But an interesting observation is that these travelers are not all motivated by religious sentiments, but also other aspects like business (stalls, literature, etc.), photography (no place better than the Kumbh to capture the quintessential spirit of India), research and documentation.
However, the last few years have seen an upward swing in tertiary festivals and their contribution in the tourism front. People are ready to measure long distances for literature festivals that are conducted at different pockets of the country. And with their growing popularity destinations like, Kolkata, Delhi and Jaipur see huge numbers of travelers during their designated dates of lit fests.
Among the popular festivals, the following draw most attention among tourists:
- Pongal – Tamil Nadu, Harvest Festival
- International Kite festival – Gujarat, Makar Sankranti
- International Yoga Week – Uttarakhand, Yoga
- Desert festival – Rajasthan, Music & Dance
- Taj Mahotsav – Uttar Pradersh, Arts Crafts & Culture