Immense possibilites to discover
Art & Culture In Delhi
Art and culture are synonymous with New Delhi and the country's capital is the culture capital too. Check your daily newspaper for events that you may be interested in. Delhi offers you many avenues to explore and experience art forms. Don't miss out on any local festivals that you might have a chance to experience during your visit.
October to March happen to be the main months where cultural events take place in the city and you can look forward to various events related to arts and culture. The performances include classical dance, music and displays of major arts exhibition from the country.
Lohri (13th January) :

Traditionally, Lohri marks the end of winter and is celebrated with bonfires and singing.

Kite-Flying Festival :

The day is called Makar Sankranti and once can see the skyscape filled with numerous kites of different colours and shapes. A wonderful festival best seen on the green lawns above Palika Bazaar, Connaught Place, this colourful extravaganza attracts national as well as international participants.

Republic Day (January 26) :

The Republic Day is a very important day in Delhi and is marked by a parade on Rajpath leading to India Gate and Rashtrapathi Bhavan. A spectacle to watch

Basant Panchami :

Basant Panchami is a day to welcome the spring. This is the season when the prestigious Mughal gardens behind Rashtrapati Bhavan are opened to public for a month.

Thyagaraja Festival :

An enthusiastic display of south Indian music and dance, opposite Jawaharlal Nehru University in Vaikunthnath temple.

MahaShivRatri :

It’s a special day for one of the gods of the Hindu trinity – Shiva. Nightlong worship and fasting through the day are part of this festival.

Muharram :

It is an Islamic festival commemorating the martyrdom of Hussain, the younger grandson of Prophet Mohamed. It is also the first month in the Islamic calendar.

Holi :

Holi is a festival of colour, a festival that ushers in spring and prosperity along with it. It is celebrated with pomp and splendour.

Baisakhi (13th April) :

The sun begins to get fierce, and its time to begin harvest. It is also the beginning of a new Year in India. Baisakhi is a traditional festival all across North India. South Indians celebrate their new year around this time too.

Good Friday and Easter :

One of the most important occasions in the Christian Calendar, Good Friday and Easter are celebrated as everywhere in the world.

Buddha Jayanti :

Lord Buddha’s birth and Nirvana are celebrated on the first Full moon night of the Visakha month, that coincides with the first full moon night in May. Prayer meetings are held at Buddha Vihar, Ring Road and Buddha Vihar, Mandir Marg.

Mahavir Jayanti :

The birth of Lord Mahavira, who founded Jainism, is celebrated around this time of the year with prayers and processions.

International Mango Festival :

A peculiar event, with over five hundred types of mango on show, usually in Talkatora Stadium. Tourists can enjoy free tastings and a cultural programme to sample.

Raksha Bandhan :

A significant festival to celebrate the brother – sister relationship, Raksha Bandhan requires the sister to tie a thread around her brothers wrists as a seal of affection.

Independence Day(August 15th) :

Being the National capital, Delhi hosts one of India’s grandest Independence Day parades, along Rajpath.

Shri Krishna Jayanti :

The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great joy and food.

Ganesh Chaturti :

Ganesh – the elephant-headed God in the Hindu pantheon is a favourite of the masses and his birthday is celebrated with processions on the road.

Onam :

The biggest event in Kerala, a south Indian state, which marks the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali is called Onam. Onam is like a carnival that happens for 10 days in Kerala. Keralites in Delhi celebrate Onam in style.

Dussera and Durga Puja :

One of the biggest and most colourful events in North India is festival of Durga Puja, followed by Dussera – the 10th day. The festival reminds people of the victory of good over evil and is often refresented with Rama slaying Ravana – depicted as Ramlila. Don’t miss the festivities on the banks of the river Ganges around this time.

Phoolkwalon-ki-Sair – The Flowerseller’s Procession :

The Phulwalon-ki-Sair or the Flower Sellers Procession, which originated in the 16th century is a festival where people carry decorated floral fans in procession to the shrine of the 13th century Sufi saint, Khwaja Utb-ud-din Bakhtyar Kaki and the Hindu temple of Jogmaya, both in Mehrauli. The procession ends with a formal ceremony at the Jahaz Mahal, a 16th century pleasure resort by the side of a lake.

Qutub Festival :

The popular Qutub Festival is organised in October. Musicians and dancers perform at night by the city's 12th century landmark, the Qutub Minar.

Diwali :

Diwali is a festival of lights and one of the most significant festivals in India. It’s a time to enjoy the victory of good over evil, and a time for great food and greater celebrations.

Guru Purab :

Guru Purab is the celebration of the birth of first of the ten Sikh gurus, Guru Nanak. 'Nagar Kirtans' are taken out through the streets and in the Gurdwaras, 'Granthees' recite verses from the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs.

Pushkar Fair : Rajasthan

The Pushkar Fair, or Pushkar ka Mela, is the annual five-day camel and livestock fair, held in the town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan, India.

IdulFitr :

Commonly known as Id, this festival is celebrated by the muslim community that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Christmas (25th December) :

Christmas Eve and Chrismas celebrations go in full awing at all restaurants and hotels in the city. Midnight mass and services at all churches are done.

New Year's Eve (31st December) :

Its time to wind up the year, and New Delhi does it in great spirit. Special food, drink and partying mark the New Year celebrations.

For an Art Connoisseur, Delhi is a haven. The city is home to many art galleries and many world renowned artists.

The National Gallery of Modern Art, the Lalit Kala Academy and the Sanskriti Kendra at Anandgram are some of the main arts and crafts centers in Delhi where artists live and work.

The Lalit Kala Academy is one institution which has been developed on the designs of the ‘city of art’ in Paris. These studios are called Garhis and artists are provided with studios and lodgings.

Some of the prominent art galleries in Delhi are: Art Heritage, Vadhera Art Gallery, Triveni Art Gallery, Sridharani Gallery, LGT Gallery, Gallery Romain Rolland, Max Mueller Photo Gallery, the Village Gallery, AIFACS, Dhoomi Mal Art center and Khirkee Gallery.
Handicrafts can be found at Delhi Haat, at the state emporiums in Baba Khadak Singh Marg and the Crafts Museum in Pragati Maidan.
Pottery, the art of makingwooden toys and kites are legacies of the city’s past. One can also find exclusive carpets in Delhi, woven in the Persian style, a craft that was handed over through generations.
One can find exquisite fashionable jewelry, bangles and necklaces at the Matia Mahal’s Pahadi Bhoja. These shops are run by the descendants of ancestral artists who specialized in ivory craftsmanship. However, with the ban on ivory, these craftsmen use bones of buffaloes and camels as alternatives.
Embroidery is yet another popular craft and Zardozi work (use of golden thread in embroidery) is very famous.
The Meenakari work – embossing paint on gold and silver, giving the effect of precious stones, is yet another impressive craft.
Incense sticks made of attars (perfumes) also make great gifts for people back home.

In Delhi, the common man enjoys performing arts and film as much as the Art connoisseur.

In Hindustani Music (a style of Classical Music representative of North India), the city even boasts of its own gharana (family tradition) of music.

Indian classical music - Hindustani or Carnatic and the ghazals thrive well in Delhi.

Shankarlal, Dhrupad and Tansen Festivals (February and March) attract top musicians from all over the country. Another event to look forward to is the Vishnu Digamber Festival in August.
Delhi is home to internationally renowned dancers like Yamini Krishnamurthy, Uma Sharma and Birju Maharaj among others.
The main auditoriums hosting musical and dance performances are: FICCI Auditorium, Kamani Auditorium, Chamber Theater at Triveni Kala Sangam, Sri Ram Center, Siri Fort Auditorium, the India International Center, LTG Auditorium and Auditoriums at Pragati Maidan.
The Month of October is famous for Qutab Festival held at the famous Qutab Minar in Delhi. One can witness great musical and dance performances with a beautiful backdrop.
The National Film Festival and Bi-Annual International Film Festival, held in the month of January are important events in the international film world.
Theatre is again very active and the centre of this focus is the National School of Drama located in Delhi.
Culture is about sharing, giving and most importantly letting the senses soak in harmony.
All festivals or gatherings in the Indian context move towards the elevation of the senses, thus making one reach a high level of awareness.
A person who does not appreciate music, art or dance is equivalent to an animal which has lesser senses. – A Sanskrit Proverb
Today’s New Delhi has discos for youngsters to swing their body throughout the night, however the city’s essence lies in the innumerable sounds of music that fill the air night and day.
Soak in the culture of Delhi until you too can touch one of its immense possibilities.
© Indira Gandhi International Airport.