Most Important Indian Festivals in July 2021. Photo: TripSavvy
Most Important Indian Festivals in July 2021. Photo: TripSavvy

Visiting India in July—regardless of what region—means you're in the thick of monsoon season. But if you don't mind braving the relentless downpours, July is a great time to visit India because travel is cheaper, the landscape is greener, and there are plenty of festivals happening around the country to keep you busy. From religious pilgrimages to elephant feeding rituals, you should have no problem finding some type of celebration to enhance your trip to India. Here's the best of what's on in July 2021 in India (listed by date).

Indian Festivals in July 2021 Guide:

1 Kala Ashtami, Kalashtami 01 July 2021 (Thursday)
2 National Doctors' Day 01 July 2021 (Thursday)
3 Van Mahotsava Day (Forest Day) 01 July 2021 (Thursday) - 07 July 2021 (Wednesday)
4 Kharchi Puja 02 July 2021 (Friday)
5 Masik Karthigai 05 July 2021 (Monday)
6 Yogini Ekadashi 05 July 2021 (Monday)
7 Rohini Vrat 07 July 2021 (Wednesday)
8 Masik Shivaratri 08 July 2021 (Thursday)
9 Darsha Amavasya 09 July 2021 (Friday)
10 Ashadha Amavasya 10 July 2021 (Saturday)
11 World Population Day 11 July 2021 (Sunday)
12 Rath Yatra 12 July 2021 (Monday)
13 Vinayaka Chaturthi 13 July 2021 (Tuesday)
14 Skanda Sashti 15 July 2021 (Thursday)
15 Dakshinayana Sankranti 16 July 2021 (Friday)
16 Karka Sankranti 16 July 2021 (Friday)
17 Masik Durgashtami 17 July 2021 (Saturday)
18 Bakra Eid (Eid al-Adha) 20 July 2021 (Tuesday)
19 Devshayani Ekadashi 20 July 2021 (Tuesday)
20 Gauri Vrat 20 July 2021 (Tuesday)
21 Jayaparvati Vrat 22 July 2021 (Thursday)
22 Simha Sankranti 22 July 2021 (Thursday)
23 Kokila Vrat 23 July 2021 (Friday)
24 Guru Purnima 24 July 2021 (Saturday)
25 Vyasa Puja 24 July 2021 (Saturday)
26 Parent's Day 25 July 2021 (Sunday)
27 Shravan Somwar Vrat 26 July 2021 (Monday)
28 Sankashti Chaturthi 27 July 2021 (Tuesday)
29 Mangala Gauri Vrat / Puja 27 July 2021 (Tuesday)
30 Ker Puja 31 July 2021 (Saturday)
31 Kala Ashtami, Kalashtami 31 July 2021 (Saturday)

1. Amarnath Yatra (July 1 to August 21)

Photo: DNA India
Photo: DNA India

The famous Amarnath cave temple, one of the top caves in India, houses a Shiva lingam made out of ice — an important piece of iconography in Hindu beliefs. It's one of the toughest pilgrimages in India to complete, as the five-day journey entails inclement weather, slippery paths, and very high altitudes. To embark on this treacherous pilgrimage, it's necessary to complete a health check and register online in advance.

Where: The trek navigates Mount Amarnath, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Srinagar in Kashmir. There are two routes to the shrine: 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Baltal in Ganderbal, and the traditional 45 kilometers (28 miles) Pahalgam track in Anantnag district that's three to four hours from Srinagar by car.

2. Dree Festival (July 4-7)

The Dree Festival is an agricultural festival of the Apatani tribe in Northeast India. It's celebrated by sacrificial offerings and prayers to the gods who protect the crops. Folk songs, traditional dances, and other cultural performances have also become a part of the modern-day program. There's even a "Mr. Dree" contest, billed as the ultimate platform for men to show their strength, agility, stamina, and intelligence.

Where: Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India.

3. Delhi Tourism Mango Festival (July 9–10)

It's mango season in India! Don't miss sampling the 500 varieties of mangoes on display at this popular, long-running annual three-day festival organized by Delhi Tourism to celebrate the much-loved "king of fruits," along with various mango products such as mango jam. A mango eating competition also provides entertainment: Contestants attempt to consume 3 kilograms of mangoes in three minutes.

Where: Dilli Haat in Janakpuri, Delhi. A free shuttle service is provided from Tilak Nagar Metro station to Dilli Haat.

4. Rath Yatra: Indian Festivals 2021 (July 12)

Rath Yatra or the Chariot festival is one of the holiest and oldest festivals of India. It is held at Puri, Odisha. Rath Yatra takes place in India and across the world. It celebrates the return of Krishna with his brother and sister Balarama and Subhadra to Vrindavan. The idol of Lord Jagannath, Balarama, and Subhadra are taken out in a procession. It marks Lord Jagannath’s annual visits to the Gundicha Temple (Aunts Home) home near Balagundi Chhaka, Puri for nine days.

5. Behdienkhlam (July 11)

Photo: Rgyan
Photo: Rgyan

The most important festival of the Pnar tribe of Meghalaya, Behdienkhlam is celebrated after agricultural sowing is over. Khlam means plague and beh dien means to drive away with sticks. Hence, the festival is held to drive away any negative forces that may affect the crop. The festivities take place over three days and culminate with a procession of chariots and ceremonial tree trunks (khnongs) to a sacred pool full of water. Another highlight of the occasion is a football match between locals. The winner is believed to have a bumper harvest.

Where: In and around Jowai, Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya, in Northeast India.

6. Bonalu - Ashada Jatra Utsavalu (July 11-26)

The over 200-year-old Bonalu festival is a celebration of the Mother Goddess and Shakti (female energy). Rituals, dedicated to Goddess Mahakali, take place on Sundays during the Hindu month of Ashadha. Bonalu means feast in Telugu, and it signifies the offerings—rice cooked in milk and jaggery sugar—presented to the goddess in return for fulfillment of vows. Women carry decorated clay pots on their heads to the temple.

The festivities are first held at Mahakali Temple in Golconda Fort. The next main celebration is at Ujjaini Mahakali Temple in Secunderabad, with Rangam (predicting the future for the forthcoming year) and Ghatam (a procession of the goddess) the following day. The final (and biggest) event happens at Simhavahini Sri Mahakali Temple of Lal Darwza in the Old City of Hyderabad on the last Sunday. Rangam and Ghatam procession takes place the next day.

Where: Secunderabad and Hyderabad, Telangana, twin cities located in South India.

7. Puri Ratha Yatra (July 12-23)

The exuberant 12-day Ratha Yatra festival sees Lord Jagannath (a reincarnation of lords Vishnu and Krishna), along with and his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra, venture out of their abode in Puri's Jagannath Temple. The gods are transported on massive towering chariots that are a spectacle in themselves. It's Odisha's most popular festival.

Where: Jagannath Temple, in Puri, Odisha.

8. Vadakkumnathan Aanayoottu - Elephant Feeding Ritual (July 17)

Photo: Medium
Photo: Medium

Elephants are usually seen decorated and paraded around during temple festivals in Kerala. However, during this elephant feeding ritual, they remain unadorned. The elephants are taken inside the temple grounds and given a delicious feast of sugarcane leaves, coconut, jaggery, Ayurvedic medicines, and other local produce by people who come to worship them. The ritual aims to please Lord Ganesh, for the removal of obstacles and fulfillment of wishes. About 60 elephants from various parts of Kerala are present at the occasion.

Where: Vadakkumnathan temple, Thrissur town, Kerala.

9. Njangattiri Aanayoottu - Elephant Feeding Ritual (July 23)

The Malayalam month of Karkkidakam is regarded as a month of Ayurvedic rejuvenation in Kerala, and it's extended to temple elephants as well. This elephant feeding ritual takes place at a temple in the central part of the state, north of Thrissur.

Where: Njangattiri Bhagavathi temple, Pattambi, Palakkad district, Kerala.

10. Guru Purnima (July 24)

This full moon day is celebrated in remembrance of the ancient sage Vyasa, who wrote many important holy Hindu scriptures. However, the idea behind Guru Purnima extends further than that. It's also a day for giving thanks to anyone who's taught you spiritual lessons in life. Many people simply spend some time reviewing all the knowledge they've acquired in the last year, and the way it's helped transform them.

Where: All over India, particularly in spiritual centers such as Rishikesh. One of the largest Guru Purnima festivals is held at Goverdhan, near Mathura.

11. Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey

Photo: India Car News
Photo: India Car News

The Himalayan Odyssey sees motorcycle riders travel across some of the most challenging trails, on an epic journey through some of the highest mountain passes in India. More than 50 riders from all over the world are expected to participate, including about 20 female riders.

When: To be announced.

Where: The ride stretches from Chandigarh to Ladakh, including the Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake.

12. Malabar River Festival

South India's only extreme adventure competition, the Malabar River Festival, has been drawing daring kayakers since 2013. Held by Kerala Tourism, it has been nominated as one of the five best whitewater kayak festivals in the world by Kayak Session Magazine in France. It brings together top whitewater athletes from around the world, with kayakers from more than 15 countries expected to participate in Extreme Race, Boater Cross, and Giant Slalom categories.

When: To be announced.

Where: Kayakers navigate the Iruvanjhipuzha and Chalipuzha rivers at Thusharagiri in Kozhikode district, Kerala.

Top Popular Festivals and Important Holidays in October around the World Top Popular Festivals and Important Holidays in October around the World

It seems every country has one major event on the annual calendar that claims to trump all others. Check out this article to get the ...

Most Important Holidays and Popular Festivals in November around the World Most Important Holidays and Popular Festivals in November around the World

Events, celebrations, awareness events, saint's days, annual campaigns - UK and global festivities happening in November 2021. We've got all of festivals and holidays on ...

Top Popular Festivals and Important Holidays in September around the World Top Popular Festivals and Important Holidays in September around the World

Knowinsiders has rounded up some of the top best festivals & most popular holidays and and special days around the world in September, to help ...