The 2023 Bucket List 5 Storytelling Festivals Across India To Attend

Planning a holiday itinerary Try designing one around these storytelling festivals
Shadow puppetry at a storytelling festival
Shadow puppetry at a storytelling festival

Storytelling is not mere child&rsquos play as most of us are likely to think. It is an art. It has immense therapeutic values. A trip through India often reveals how storytelling has been intertwined with the culture of the country. From Pandavani to Chitrakathi, from the carvings on temples to the designs on Baluchari sarees, are a few examples.

An increasing number of festivals are being held based on India&rsquos many forms of&nbspindigenous storytelling. It is well-known that India has a rich history and tradition of oral&nbspstorytelling &ndash from the old narratives of the Panchatantras and Jataka tales to the regional folk forms propagated by potochitrakars, bauls, harikatha and burrakatha storytellers.

So the next time you are looking for a unique India itinerary, try storytelling festivals. 

Kathakaar Festival

This festival started in 2011 and hosts immersive sessions by seasoned storytellers across the world. Organised in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, the last Kathakar festival was held at pristine environment of Sunder Nursery in Delhi. The festival gives a common platform for storytellers from India and abroad to come together and share stories from around the world. 

More here.

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This festival explores and reimagines the art of storytelling through oral traditions, music, theatre, dance and puppetry along with various other art forms. The annual event travels through India with workshops, performances and storytelling and storytellers from all around the world. Keep tabs on their Insta page for the dates. 

Udaipur Storytelling Festival

The Udaipur Tales International Storytelling Festival attempts to promote the oral custom of narrating. It envisions a stage where the young and old can take part and appreciate narrating and develop wealth in values and experience. It was established by Sushmita Singha and Salil Bhandari who are firm believers in bringing back the craft of narrating. The festival sees narrators from across the globe covering stories on history, mysticism, mystery. A liberal mix of individual craftsmanship shows add to the captivating aura.

More here.

Chennai Storytelling Fest

If you want to know or hear some of the best storytellers from around the globe, then join the Chennai Storytelling Festival which is billed as &lsquoA teaching and learning festival about storytelling&rsquo. This year is the festival's 11th edition. It takes place&nbspover four weekends in Chennai.Organised by the World Storytelling Institute, in association with the Chennai Storytellers group and other organisations and individuals, the festival has workshops, storytelling and resonations sessions, dream-sharing sessions, healing story circles, discussions, and a chance to interact with some of the global storytellers. Chennai-based World Storytelling Institute has been co-founded by Magdalene Jeyarathnam and Dr Eric Miller, who has a PhD in Folklore, and MSc in Psychology. 

More here.


The first edition of Gaatha Mumbai International Storytelling Festival is happening in 2023. It is being presented by Mumbai Storytellers Society in collaboration with Somaiya Vidyavihar University and has a stellar line-up of master storytellers.

More here.

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