Cities across the country are ringing in 2023 with the most exciting set of affairs. We’re talking art showcases, chocolate fests, and a gin festival that’s complemented by eclectic musical acts. Here’s a look at events in India that are on our radar for the month.
With the lull of the pandemic long forgotten – India has truly embraced the spirit of celebration. How else would we explain the string of music festivals – featuring the likes of Post Malone and Steve Aoki – raising the roof of major cities or the sea of delicious pop-ups that now underline a typical weekend afternoon for most. And let’s not forget all the art installations, movie screenings, and fashion shows that continually light up cultural spaces.
This month will have you doing all that and more, just in the span of a few weekends. Not only will they have you embracing culturally cool experiences but are also a far departure from the usual wine-and-dine affair. Not to mention, they’ll compel you to channel your inner photographer and hop on the Instagram train. If you’ve yet to
Taste India’s art and culinary culture at these events in January
Mumbai Urban Art Festival
St + art India and Asian Paints have painted maximum city in bright hues. The occasion? The Mumbai Urban Art Festival (MUAF). The three-month-long endeavour – featuring murals, experiential exhibitions, and immersive installations (amongst others) – aims to make art accessible to a diverse audience. As such, it has explored spots like Sassoon Dock, Bandra, Mahim East, Churchgate Station, and Jindal Mansion. A colourful collaboration between artists (local and international) and diverse practitioners – this is the perfect opportunity to rediscover Mumbai like never before. For more information, head here.
When: until February 22, 2023
Where: Multiple locations across Mumbai
Maruti Suzuki Devils Circuit
One of India’s largest sporting events and its first-ever obstacle running series – Devil’s Circuit began with Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad last year. And on the heels of a successful run (pun intended) in Pune, the event is set to take Mumbai by storm this month – followed by Jaipur (February 19) and Mohali (March 5), culminating in Delhi-NCR (March 19). The fifth race in maximum city will feature a range of activities – bringing together athletes, Indian armed forces, gym-goers, college students, homemakers, corporate professionals, and senior citizens. We’ve got the 5 kilometre muddy obstacle race on our radar, in association with Morpheus Brandy (Radico Khaitan Limited) – the amber that’s known to be bold. For more information, head here.
When: January 26-28
Where: Multiple locations across Mumbai
The Gin Explorer’s Club
The country’s largest celebration of Juniper berry goodness – Gin Explorers Club has made it to the maximum city after raising the roof in Bangalore. The theme – mythical paradise – celebrates all things fantasy, revving up the imagination. Expect plenty of copa glasses with exciting gin cocktails – courtesy of homegrown and international brands like Beefeater, Bulldog, Greater Than, Hendrick’s, Jade Forest, Jaisalmer, Malfy, Monkey 47, Tamras, Tanqueray, and more. Not to mention, delicious bites and musical acts featuring artists like The Lojal Experience, NIDA, Stalvart John + Farhan Rehman, Blurry Slur x Orbs & Zen, amongst others to go with them.
When: January 7,8
Where: Jio Garden, BKC
A celebration of cultures – this event in India brings together a community of artists that span specialties like tattoos, performing arts, graffiti, gaming, music, and more under one roof. This includes names like Sunny Bhanushali (Alien’s Tattoo) who spotlights photo-realistic inks; Kiss Nuka, a live-wire performer; Jason Dsouze, a piercing pioneer; and Wild Wild Women, the country’s first all-female hip hop collective. Expect a day of exchanging ideas, emotions, art and more.
When: January 12-15
Where: Nesco Exhibition Centre
Tao Art Gallery – Unstructured Pursuit of Perspectives
Art afficionados, this event in India is the place to head to this month. One of the leading galleries in the city has collaborated with HIMS Academy Germany to present a weekend of all things contemporary art and music. On display are works by artists Rajesh Wankhade and Smita Kinkale – both of whom break conventional structures – including notions of time and space – to prompt parallels of perspective in the minds of the beholder. Curated by Sanjana Shah, the Creative Director – the show opens as a part of the four-day preview at Mumbai Gallery Weekend 2023. Complimenting this is a performance by Staatskapelle Berlin, a string quartet.
When: January 12-31; 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Where: Tao Art Gallery, 165, The View, Dr Annie Besant Rd, Worli
Payal Singhal & Tyaani Jewellery
An all glam affair – courtesy of fashion designer Payal Singhal’s ‘Painterly’ edit as well as jewellery designer Maheep Kapoor’s ‘Glow,’ by Tayaani Jewellery – this event in India promises to be a shopping extravaganza. Spotlighted are resort wear as well as a destination wedding collection that are underlined by multi-hued brush strokes and abstract art featuring Mughal paintings – half lehengas, ruffled louses, pre-draped saris, and more. Elegant, handcrafted 18 and 22kt gold as well as natural uncut diamonds complement these.
When: January 7; 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Where: Jolie’s, Birla Centurion, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Worli
Interdimensional Hypnosees’ by Demsky, Method Kalaghoda
Art aficionados, one of Mumbai’s finest art galleries is kickstarting the year with a unique presentation that explores neo-futurist themes. Led by Spanish visual artist Demsky – who specialises in future aesthetics – the exhibit will explore notions of time and space to answer the question – ‘Can a sliver of the future be brought back in time and presented to us today?’ Don’t miss out! For more information, head here.
When: Until February 12, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Where: Method Kalaghoda, 86, Nagindas Master Rd, Kala Ghoda, Fort
Photography Retreat with Ravi Dhingra ft. MharoKhet and Kaner Retreat
Shutterbugs, this one’s for you. MharoKhet – a sustainable, experiential farm featuring a range of native and exotic cops – has teamed up with Kaner Retreat – India’s first desert botanical resort – to capture the Thar Desert like never before. Leading the way is acclaimed lifestyle photographer Ravi Dhingra. Capture the food, landscape, and culture of the region -within a few days – at just INR 65,000 (single occupancy.) We can’t think of a better way to get acquainted with Rajasthan. If you’ve always wanted to explore India through your lens – this event is perfect. Head here.
When: February 2-5
Cocktail Wars at Felix
Adding to Goa’s bustling nightlife, popular restro-bar Felix has a cocktail celebration in store this month. Featured are locals – Malavika Manay of Earth Mama and Ankur Kedia, a renowned DJ – who will take over as guest bartenders – crafting concoctions in a delicious competition. 50 percent of the proceeds from the evening will go to a charity of the mixologist’s choice. In this case, these are Goa Outreach and Angels for Animals. Combine this with the space’s stunning open garden seating, Portuguese-style villa and eclectic, globally inspired menu – think beef hamburger, steak, and roasted pork loin – and you’ve got yourself an evening worth remembering.
When: January 18, 9:00 pm onwards
Where: Felix Anjuna, Anjuna Mapusa Road, Mazal Waddo
Kashmiri food festival ‘Sair-e-Kashmir”
Bringing the flavours of the valley to New Delhi’s culinary platter – Srinagar’s chef Tariq Ahmed is making magic at The Westin this month. The 12-day celebration of flavours – which will take place at the all-day dining restaurant Seasonal Tastes – will spotlight the finest ingredients including spices like cardamom, cinnamon, chilli, and saffron. Delicacies include Rista (meatballs in a fiery gravy), Tabak Maaz (lamb ribs with with yoghurt), Waza Chicken (chicken cooked whole), Rogan Josh (tender lamb), Mutton Yakhni (delicately spiced yoghurt mutton curry). There’s plenty of vegetarian options – Chok Wangan (eggplant in yoghurt), Dum Kashmiri Aloo (potatoes cooked in yoghurt gravy). Wrap things up on a sweet note with the fragrant Zafrani Phirni. There’s plenty of Kahwa to go around as well.
When: January 24 – February 4
Where: Seasonal Tastes at The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi
Bar Takeover: Sidecar, Delhi x Cobbler & Crew Pune
One of Pune’s finest cocktail bars meets India’s finest bartender to offer cocktail aficionados a night of the most delicious concoctions. Spotlighted are the revered bartender Yangdup Lama, Mayur Marne, head mixologist at Cobbler & Crew, and Holly Graham, cocktail specialist. The menu features options like Feeling Good with Roku gin and fennel; Autumn Leaves with Jim Beam bourbon and butterscotch, and Midnight Blues with Jim Beam bourbon and palo santo. Need we say more?
When: January 16, 8:30 pm onwards
Where: Sidecar, Greater Kailash, Part 2 Market, New Delhi
Fresh Cut – an Art Fete
Popular neighbourhood bar Church Street SOCIAL is playing host to an all-day art fete for the very first time. On offer are thought-provoking works by contemporary visual artists, courtesy of Nrtya Culture – which seeks to promote and diversify the spectrum of all things art and music in the country. Best part? Entry is free. For more information, head here.
When: Sunday, January 22, 2:00 pm onwards
Where: Church Street SOCIAL, Church Street, Bangalore
Revelation & Reverences – Gallery G
One of the city’s most inclusive art spaces, Gallery G is celebrating the history of Indian art this month. On display are rare oil paintings, litho stones, terracotta dolls, and other artefacts that tell the tale of the country’s cultural evolution from the mid 19th century to Independent India. Featured are works by Raja Ravi Varma, M.V. Dhurandhar, J.B. Dikshit, C. Kondiah Raju, G.V. Venkatesh Rao, K. Kesavayya, and more.
When: Until Feb 28, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Where: Gallery G, 38 Maini Sadan, 7th Cross Lavelle Road, Shanthala Nagar, Ashok Nagar
Chocolate Tasting with Trove Experiences and Cobbler & Crew
If you love all things cacao – this event in India is for you. An evening of appreciating and tasting a whooping 10 varieties of chocolate is on the cards – complete with an understanding of aromas, textures, and flavours. You also get to interact with an expert to understand how best to savour every bite, where beans are grown, and how history shapes each bar. Also on the itinerary? A chocolate-based cocktail on the house. Book here.
When: January 8, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Where: Cobbler & Crew, Kalyani Nagar
Where are you headed this weekend?
All images: Courtesy Shutterstock/Brands