Madhya Pradesh

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Fairs and Festivals of Madhya Pradesh


Madai Fair

 In the tribal villages of Bastar the Madai fairs record their social consideration as of vital importance to all the ethnic groups of the area. The Madai fairs of Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Dantewara and Dhanara, falls within February, March and April every year.

Khajuraho Festival of Dances

Every ancient monument has a fascinating story to tell. But few match the mystery wrapped around the temples of Khajuraho in central India. Once the capital of the great Chandela Kings, Khajuraho today is a quiet village of a few thousand people. It is also the setting of the Khajuraho Festival of Dances which draws the best classical dancers in the country every year, who perform against the spectacular backdrop of the floodlit temples. With international status under the Government of India programme categories, this seven-day extravaganza is a unique treat for connoisseurs from all over the world.

Tansen Music Festival, Gwalior

Madhya Pradesh occupies a special position in the history of Indian music. The Gwalior gharana is among the most prominent arbiters of the classical style. Raja Mansingh's patronage of Dhrupad singers is well known. A pillar of Hindustani classical music, the great Tansen, one of the 'nine jewels' of Akbar's court, lies buried in Gwalior. The memorial to this great musician has a pristine simplicity, and is built in the early Mughal architectural style. More than a monument, the Tansen Tomb is a part of Gwalior's living cultural heritage. It is the venue of the annual Indian classical festival held here in November-December. Renowned classical singers of the land regale audiences through five mesmerizing night-long sessions of the much-loved classical ragas.

The Fair of Nagaji

This fair or mela is a way of remembering and paying respect to Saint Nagaji who lived at the time of Emperor Akbar, nearly 400 years ago. Tribals flock to Porsa village in Murena district every winter and make merry for as long as a month. Earlier monkeys were sold at this fair, but now domestic animals top the charts. 


 Karam or Karma is the festival of the Oraon, Baiga, Binjhawar and Majhwar tribes. It occurs in the month of Bhadra. The centre of the ritual consists in the cutting of three branches of Karam tree (Gonds fetch branches of Kalmi or galdu tree) and their installation in the 'akhara' or dancing ground. The branches are called the 'Karam Raja'. The entry of the branches into the village is accompanied by dancing and after the installation Karam dancers revolve round the Raja through the night. The following morning the branches are garlanded and the Karam legend is recited. Flowers are then thrown over the Raja and offerings of curd and rice are made.  Red karan baskets full of grain are also put before the branches and some ceremonially nurtured barley seedlings are distributed among the boys and girls who put the yellow blades in their hair.  The blessing of Karam Raja is then sought and the branches are taken up and carried by women through the village.

 Laru Kaj

Laru Kaj is the festival of Gonds which is associated with the pig sacrifice. The ceremony is considered the pig's wedding in honour of Narayan Dev. This sacrifice is supposed to be done by every family once in nine or twelve years for prosperity, health and happiness. All the relatives come and stay at the host's house for several days. Invitation is sent to many persons in the village to join the ceremony. 'Laru' means bridegroom and 'Kaj' refers to a 'Solemn occasion'. It also means ceremony or marriage.



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