India is a vast and fascinating country with a rich heritage and culture, however, most people only see a small part of this fabulous destination. If you want a unique experience and want to get away from the more traditional tourist experiences, why not try something a bit different for your trip. Below is a guide to some of the different experiences that await you on your trip to India.
1. Celebrate Holi in Vrindavan
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Holi is one of the biggest festivals in India; it is the festival of colours and love and is celebrated across India in many different forms. Although you can see Holi celebrations in most parts of the country, it is Holi in Vrindavan which is particularly popular. As Holi is a festival of colour, you will see a lot of Gulaal – an organic coloured powder which the participants throw at each other creating a wonerful array of colours. At Vrindavan Holi is celebrated for a week, starting with Barsana, one week before the actual festival date. Barsana is famous for its Lathmaar where the women hit men with a stick. Banke Bihari temple is the best place to celebrate Holi in Vrindavan. So stand back and enjoy the wonderful colours and sounds of Holi in Vrindavan with a cup of Bhang.
2. Kumbh Mela
Kumbh Mela is a Hindu Pilgrimage and represents the world’s largest gathering of people in any one place. In February 2014 about 80 million people visited the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. Kumbha is held at four places in India: 1. Allahabad, 2. Ujjain, 3. Haridwar and 4.Nasik on a rotational basis. Mauni Amavsya, which is the second day of Kumbha Mela happens after every 12 year at Allahabad and the day of Shahi Snan (Royal Bath) is by far the most crowded day. So for something different, why not visit the awe inspiring Kumbha Mela and take a royal bath with millions of people and saints including Naga Baba – the experience of a lifetime.
3. Attend a Royal Wedding in Rajasthan
Rajasthan is well known for its royalty and their weddings are one of the main attractions. From the fabulous, opulent and intricate clothing to the lavish food and feasting, a royal Rajasthan wedding is an event not to be missed – that is if you are lucky enough to get the chance of course.
4. Garba Dance in Vadodara (Baroda):
The Garba is a folk dance from the state of Gujarat which usually takes place during the nights of Navratra (Nine Nights: nine sacred days of fasting for Hindus). Many hotels and clubs organise the Garba Dance for locals and guests alike where girls and boys dance with small sticks to the beat of the drum.
5. Watch a Snake Boat Race in Kerala
Known as Chundan Vallam in Kerala organized in Festive season of Onam in Indian State of Kerala. In This race long bots (about 100 to 138 feets) participate, each bot represent a village, in each bot there are 64 (sometime 128) oarsmen in tow rows. Front portion of bot is raised as a snake hood so when many such bots run in different lane it looks like snakes are swimming. Believe me this bot race make your trip.
6. Try the Ayurvedic Massage in Kerala
Ayurveda is widely regarded as the most ancient healing therapy in the world. Its popularity rests on the fact that it will not only cure your body but also your mind and soul. Kerala, which is known as God’s own country is a pioneer of Ayurveda. Take a full body massage such as Abhyangam or Potly performed using special oils made of extracts of Ayurvedic herbs and natural oils, It will leave your body feeling refreshed and relaxed and will clear your mind!
7. Try the food at Chandni Chowk
Chandni Chowk is like a pilgrimage for food lovers. At Chandni Chowk your taste buds will get a real treat with delicious sweets such as Namkken (which is both spicy and salty), a myriad of snacks and many different dried fruits amongst many other delicacies. If you are lucky enough to make it to Chandni Chwok then you should consider visiting the Chawri Bazar and Paranthe Wali Gali for some spicy foods, At Paranthe Wali Gali you can taste different varieties of Parantha (bread made wiith stuffed vegetables). Some of the most popular destinations for food lovers are the Karim Hotel, Babu Ram Devi Dayal Paranthe Wale, Old Famous Jalebi Wala, Kake Di Hatti, Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala and many others.
8. Take a Camel Safari in the Thar Desert
Travel like Lawrence of Arabia and take a camel ride in the desert of Thar. In the evening, experience the cold sand on your bare feet and soak up the desert atmosphere with music, dance, food and an unforgettable experience
9. Watch the Republic Day Celebration: On 26th January:
Republic Day is celebrated throughout India and on the day the main ceremony is celebrated on Janpath, a road linking the President’s House to the India Gate. Here you can get a snapshot of all of Indian culture, history and arts performed by Indian soldiers along with a stunning air show and many other celebrations and activities.
10. Rafting in Rishikesh
If you are a lover of adventure, you should consider a trip to Rishikesh for rafting and camping. These days it is one of the most popular places in India for adventure travellers. At Rishikesh you can enjoy a wide range of high-octane adventure activities including bungee jumping, rock climbing, x-paint ball with white water rafting and camping.