When 24-year-old Ankit Narang was travelling to the Gulmarg Winter Festival last month, he faced many basic problems along the way. From lack of transport, to not being able to find any proper stores to buy snow gear, Narang’s trip was quite stressful. And that’s when he decided to create an online guide for festival enthusiasts like himself.
“It was strange. There was no useful information about the area (Gulmarg) online, and these are real issues that any visitor has to deal with. That’s how my college friend, Ayush Bhalotia, and I ended up putting together this site,” says Narang.
With a massive database of more than 60 multi-arts and cultural fests held around the country, festivalsherpa goes beyond just being an online repository of information. “We’re not promoting a particular gig or a certain culture. Our effort is to showcase how there is so much to do in India alone,” reasons Narang.
Besides the usual popular events, the site also lists information about niche and lesser-known fests such as Ooty’s MAD Festival of dance and music, and Basanta Utsav in Purulia, West Bengal, which is organised by the local community to promote folk art and culture. The Tamara Confluence in Coorg is another such event that advocates eco-consciousness. “We provide basic information, while our users and visitors generate the photos, questions and notes,” explains Narang.
Some frequently asked questions on this site also ask why hoardings with names of popular artistes like DJ Skazi and DJ Jayant sometimes have the word ‘live’ next to them. Laughing, Narang says, “Travellers have some silly yet significant questions, which most sites can’t always answer. So those queries can be directed here.”