Indian Classical Music Festivals in India And Abroad

Features, Music Festivals / by Kanisha Modi / Jul 03, 2016

These are the Indian Classical Music Festivals in India and Abroad are few occasions where you will understand that Indian Classical Music will drive you closer to your soul. Explorers across the globe have an aloof place for music in their life. Some are very fascinated about the different cultures of different countries they are visiting or preparing to visit. Someone rightly said that music has no language, it speaks the language of heart and barring any religion. So, if you are a music freak and planning to travel through India you might be interested to attend below listed Indian Classical Music Festivals in India And Abroad.

The custom of Music in India is century old; however the exact beginning of Indian music is still unidentified. But, singing and playing music has become an integral part of Indian culture over the period of time. India is known for its classical music and classical singers all over the world. Some (Indians) treat music as an expression of devotion and unconditional love for God.

Numerous Music festivals are organized throughout the year. These festivals are presented to pay respect to people who have made amazing input in developing, elevating and promoting Indian music. It also provides a platform for fledgling singers and musicians to work partnering with the eminent clan of the music industry to showcase their talent.

Following are popular Indian Classical mMusic festivals of India

Chembai Music Festival

Chembai Music Festival - Indian Classical Music Festivals

  • Venue: Trivandrum, Kerala | Time: September | Duration: Eleven days
  • Highlights: Performances by world-renowned artists

Trivandrum, Kerala is the host to the Chembai Music Festival. It also happens to be a popular tourist destination in southern India. The reason of choosing 11 days duration in September because it is hosted on the occasion of Ekadashi (11th day of Hindu Calendar), the festival lasts for 11 days. The festival is devoted to Chembai Vaidyanath Bhagawathar, who was a passionate devotee of Lord Sree Guruvayurappan.

The festival is systematized by Chembai Memorial trust and it is believed that each year almost 2000 Carnatic musicians attend it. The whole city booms with variety of old and new melodies and engrossing performances in Indian classical music. The songs of saint Thyagaraja’s ‘Pancharatna Krithis’, sung on the tenth day are the main attraction of this festival. On last day of the festival you’ll get to hear five most favorite songs of Chembai, namely ‘Vadapiganapatim’ on raag Hamsadhwani, Mamava sadaajanani on raag Kanada, ‘Rakshmamsaranagatam’ on raag Natta, Karuna Cheivan entu thamasam Krishna on raag Yadukula kamboji, and Paavanaguru pavanapuradeeswara on raag Hamsanandi.

Dover Lane Music Festival

The Dover Lane Music Festival - Indian Classical Music Festivals

  • Venue: Nazrul Mancha Auditorium in South Avenue, Kolkata | Time: December – January
  • Duration: Six days | Highlights: Performances by maestros in the field of music

One of the prime Indian Classical musical conferences whispered in India is Dover Lane Music Festival. Hosted in Kolkata, this festival is a happening place since five 5 decades. Originated just as a get together of some musicians; now its evolution has resulted to one culturally most important musical event of the year. It is a platform where young flairs can showcase their potential and capabilities in front of thousands of people gathered. It is a six days long event beautified by maestros in the field of music every year. The exact venue of the festival is the Nazrul Mancha Auditorium in the South Avenue of Kolkata. The main aim of behind the initiation of the Dover Lane Music Festival was to attract younger generation towards music and other art forms. Over the period of time they have successfully promoted various arts and have provided all the necessary support to the upcoming artists.

Gunidas Sangeet Sammelan

Gunidas Sangeet Sammelan - Indian Classical Music Festivals

  • Venue: Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi | Time: End of November or December beginning

This festival went on track in 1977 and was first open under the aegis of Maharashtra Lalit Kala Nidhi by the legendary Hindustani classical vocalist Pandit C. R. Vyas in memory of the famed classical music doyen of the Agra gharana, Pandit Jagganathbuwa Purohit. Top classical musicians of India, both vocalists and instrumentalists perform in this festival. One of the most patronized and popular sangeeta sammelans, it started in Mumbai and now is held in Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi every year.

ITC Sangeet Sammelan

ITC Sangeet Sammelan - Indian Classical Music Festivals in India And Abroad

  • Venue: Different parts of India | Duration: Varied
  • Highlights: Showcases best talents of classical music in India

ITC Sangeet Sammelan is another very standard musical event being hosted in India. It is organized every year at a different location within India. You can already guess the name of the organizers from the name of the music festivals – Yes, it is organized by corporate giant ITC. Invented in 1971 at Delhi, it has become one of the most prestigious events of classical music and also one of the most important cultural events of the country.

Saptak Music Festival

Saptak Music Festival - Indian Classical Music Festivals

In Indian Classical Music Festivals, Saptak Music Festival has a special holds a special place. The first musical event of the year is Saptak Music festival, which is celebrated in the first week of January in Ahmedabad. Pandit Ravi Shankar inaugurated this festival in 1980. The festival persists for a period of 11 days and is accomplished by a public charitable trust which runs the Saptak School of Music. “Saptak also tries to keep alive the fading traditions of vocal music like Thumri and Dhrupad, and instruments like Sarangi and Pakhawaj by inviting the older generation of artists specializing in these fields.” The festival features both emerging talents and established performers. Besides pure classical music, it also includes performances of folk music, classical dance forms, and semi-classical forms such as thumri.

Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav

Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav Indian Classical Music Festivals















  • Time: December | Duration: 3 days | Location: Pune
  • Highlights: Masters as well as practicing artists gather to showcase their talent.

Another very popular music festival of I
ndia organized in the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune. The festival was first organized in the year 1953 to observe the first death-anniversary of Sawai Gandharva. Arguably the largest, most popular, and sought-after Indian Classical music festival in the world, the festival is presented by the Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal (ASPM) and introduced by Pt. Bhimsen Joshi as a honoring music conference memorializing the life and work of Pt. Joshi’s guru, Pt. Sawai Gandharva alias Rambhau Kundgolkar, the festival’s namesake. Since its inception, the festival has grown into a prominent cultural soiree for Pune’s musical connoisseurs, featuring the foremost musicians of traditional Indian musical forms. Among Indian Classical Music Festivals, Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav is one of the most renown music festival.

Tansen Music Festival

Tansen Music Festival - Indian Classical Music Festivals

  • Time: November-December every year | Duration: Five nights | Venue: Tansen memorial at Gwalior
  • Highlight: Musicians and singers gather from all over the country and regale the audience with their awe inspiring musical performances

Gwalior Gharana, one of the oldest and prestigious gharana in the Indian music industry and Tansen was an integral part of this gharana. This festival is organizes in the memory of Tansen, a legend in the Indian classical Music. The exact venue of the festival is near the tomb of Tansen at Behat, Gwalior in the month of November/ December every year.

Thyagaraja Music Festival

Thyagaraja Music Festival - Indian Classical Music Festivals in India And Abroad













  • Time: January every year | Venue: Thiruvaiyaru in Tamilnadu | Duration: 8 days
  • Highlight: It is celebrated in the memory of the great saint Tyagraja

Organized in the memory of a saint cum musician Thyagaraja. He expended most of his life in Thiruvaiyaru, Tamilnadu and this is the venue where this music festival is hosted every year in the month of January. The main attraction of this festival is the group performance by legendary musicians of the Pancharathna Krithis. This is also one of the well attended among the Indian Classical Music Festivals.

These were the few Indian Classical Music Festivals you cannot give a miss!

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Kanisha Modi
A Klicker (photographer) by passion and blood, by profession an educator. I enjoy film making & writing to build stories… I enjoy travelling and music!

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