India hosts one of its most colourful and enjoyable festivals and events next month in the beautiful city of Shimla.
The atmospheric Shimla Summer Festival (June 1-9) is a thanksgiving event much loved by holidaymakers on group tours who enjoy the flavour of eastern parties.
Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh - the so-called "Land of the Gods" - in northern India.
It suffers some of the country's harshest winters, so at this time of year it comes alive again and rejoices, thanking the gods for the rich harvest and requesting another one for the following year.
Tourists on city breaks there next month can join in the wide mix of festivities, whether sampling Himachali cuisine - which majors on lentils, broth, rice, vegetables and bread - or buying from local handicraft exhibitions.
Star concerts, fashion, vibrant flower shows, folk singers and dancing also add to the mix and each day a different famous personality is called to perform on-stage.
Photography and poster-making competitions are a great favourite and there's also a sports tournament with a large variety of events.
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