Category : Guest Post
India is quickly becoming the must-visit destination for travelers all over the world, what with its rich history and abundance of culture to be experienced. Here are six ways to get involved with the Indian culture during your holidays.
Visit historical landmark
You can’t visit India without seeing some of its most famous landmarks. The Taj Mahal is an essential trip, sitting majestically on the south bank of the Yamuna river. Although it does understandably get busy during the day, it’s a must-visit site for its cultural value – arrive as soon as the sun starts to rise for the quietest crowds.
For a sight that not many tourists have yet discovered, head to the Great Wall of India. The second longest wall in the world (only behind its Chinese counterpart), it protects an ancient complex of ruins and temples in the depths of Kumbhalgarh. It’s relatively uncharted, so you’ll have to watch out for traps and dangerous terrain, but it’s one of the most intriguing – and unspoiled – landmarks in the country.
Stay in Kolkata
Being one of India’s biggest cities, it’s understandable that Kolkata would have an abundance in the way of cultural value. But pay a visit to the city and you’ll still manage to be surprised – for a city, it’s surprisingly laidback and drifting. Visit at the right time and you may be able to experience its renowned book and film festivals, attracting people from across the entire world.
There’s a wealth of history to be discovered here in Kolkata, too. Head to the Marble Palace, where the family of its architect still resides. Constructed with 26 different types of Italian marble, it’s understandably magnificent.
Try the street food
Travelling through India will likely bring you at least one encounter with street food. Don’t shy away from a quick dish – street food is often some of the most delectable in the world. Everything from fiery Indian curries to a quick bite of paneer is available to try, giving you an authentic insight into the country’s cuisine.
Even vegetarians will be spoilt for choice when it comes to Indian street food – consider trying a quick bite of paratha with a side of fragrant chutney, or a unique breakfast in the form of the rice-based chura matar.
Experience Holi festival
Perhaps the best and most exciting way to experience Indian culture is to participate in one of its many renditions of Holi. Delhi is arguably home to the best of the bunch, including the spirited and massive Holi Cow Festival on the city’s outskirts. It’s here you’ll be able to watch the country’s biggest musical acts in the midst of coloured powders and celebrations.
Head into smaller towns and communities, however, and Holi festival will feel very different – albeit still as fun. The sense of friendship and togetherness is inclusive of locals and tourists, and you’ll be welcomed with gifts, smiles and plenty of colour.
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Walk upon the Himalayas
Visit Darjeeling for the chance to traverse some of the highest points of the Himalayas. Situated near the towering peak of Kanchenjunga, itself reaching heights of over 8500m, the hill station provides countless trails and hiking opportunities that will take you through the mountain range with spectacular panoramas of the surrounding landscape – one of the highlights being the small, cliff-top plateau of Tiger Hill.
To get to Darjeeling, there’s really only one way to do it – the toy train, one of the highlights of the Himalaya. The Himalayan Railway ascends the mountains through tunnels and hill stations, passing right through Darjeeling’s centre once you arrive. For a chance to see the views without the hiking, this is the way to do it.
Consider a homestay
And for perhaps the most authentic way to experience Indian culture, consider a homestay. Head to Kerala and you’ll be able to stay with local families, who will include you in everything from cooking to storytelling in the evenings. It’s a fantastic way to get involved with the culture, providing a unique and unforgettable experience.
The town of Kerala itself is one of the best in the country, with rustic architecture giving way to some of the most beautiful natural sights in the entirety of India. If you stay here, be sure to explore its every corner.
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