Experiences in India that you cannot have anywhere elseAn India trip is always a unique experience. We offer you a list of experiences in India that you will not find anywhere else in the world.
An India trip is always a unique experience. We offer you a list of experiences in India that you will not find anywhere else in the world
Yoga in Rishikesh
Rishikes famous as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’. It attracts some of the best yogis and is home to yoga schools that come with their cult followings. A trip to Rishikesh might as well be your first step in the world of yoga, while you can have some of the most coveted yoga teacher certifications from Rishikesh.
Kalaripayattu classes in Kochi, Trivandrum
Kalaripayattu, or the ‘Mother of all martial arts’ as the world calls it, is one of the most ancient defence art forms in the world. It has its origin in the Indian state of Kerala, a place that also houses some of the best schools to learn it from. Mentions of kalaripayattu can be found in ancient texts, including the four vedas. If you are ready to kick some ass, it is time to enroll yourself for classes at a kalaripayattu school in Kerala; Trivandrum and Kochi being the top favourites.
Vipassana retreat in Dharamsala
There really is no missing this one, for we are all in for some spiritual pursuits as well. While the setting of Dharamsala, right in the Dhauladhars, is enough to quieten frenzied minds, the place has more. Dharamsala (Mcleodganj) is where you should head to if practising vipassana looks like your cup of tea. An intense meditation practice, it has followers spread around the world. But since, the practice has its roots in India, what better place than the Indian Himalayas to go for this retreat. And, of course, Dharamsala is where you will find the best ones.
Cheesemaking in Kashmir
Indian experiences that you cannot have anywhere else.
While we all swear by the cheese varieties of Switzerland, France, Spain and Italy; but, do you know about the cheesemaking excellence that prevails in the Indian state of Kashmir. For those into food, learning the art of cheesemaking here, is a lifetime’s experience. Unlike any other class, this will make you visit and stay with the Bakarwals, a shepherd community. Chris Zandee, a Dutch, has led to this cheese revolution in the state, and a bite is enough to make you swoon in delight and marvel at the craft.
Volunteering in a Karnataka rainforest
Hidden by the Western Ghats in India, there sprawls a rainforest that is so rich in flora and fauna that you will be knocked off your feet. The good news is that you can visit it and work as a volunteer. Yes, I am writing about the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station in Karnataka. They, usually, accept volunteers from May to November every year, and provide meals and accommodation for a nominal sum. If helping in preservation efforts of the forest and its life, including the much famous King Cobras, feels like something you will enjoy, this is it.
Frozen river trek in Ladakh
We can rightly term this one as one of the most thrilling adventures in the Indian Himalayas. An absolute experience for those chasing thrill, there is nothing that can come close to the experience of walking down a frozen Himalayan river in the dead of winter. It has a pilgrimage-like status with the lovers of the Himalayas and has people thronging the Ladakh region every year in the months of January and February. Tick this off your bucket list, especially if you are into adventure photography as well.
Bouldering in Hampi
A well-kept secret of a rather famous destination, bouldering is known only to the ardent ones in Hampi. You would be surprised to know that Hampi is where Pilgrimage, a much acclaimed movie about bouldering, was shot. The very landscape will leave you awestruck; more so if you wish to exercise your muscles and spend hours bouldering in the movie-like landscapes by River Tungabhadra.
Growing a forest in Auroville
This is a must-do for those who bleed green. And yes, you can help in growing a forest, transforming the once arid, highly eroded land into a belt of lush green. The Sadhana Forest is where you should go volunteering if nature is what excites you; the forest is spread over 70 acres and aims to work closely with the locals while vying for environmental sustainability and renewal of sources. A typical day at Sadhana comprises of mulching, pruning, composting and other agricultural practices, a total of 25-30 hours of work in a week. Those interested must note that the food served here in entirely vegan.
The art of Madhubani paintings in Bihar
The Madhubani school of painting (also famous as Mithila) is so famous that most people know the district of Madhuban in Bihar majorly because of the paintings! A form of wall art, it will stun you with bright colours, beautiful geometric patterns, and brilliant storytelling. It is spread across five different styles, namely, bharni, katchni, tantrik, godna and kohbar, practised and preserved by women. The Mithila region of Bihar is where you can learn this art; special mention to Vaidehi and Benipatti in Madhubani and the Gram Vikas Parishad in Ranti.
Tattoo art in Arunachal & Nagaland
If a trip to an India that is largely unexplored has captured your fancy, visit the north-eastern states. Another adventure will greet you on this offbeat journey, the experience of learning and getting awed by the tattooing skills of the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. While Nagaland has the famous tattooed headhunters, the last of their kind, Arunachal is home to tribes that excel at the art. Wanchos, one of the many tribes in Arunachal, are quite famous for their excellent designs and geometric patterns. While visiting the tribes was out of bounds till a few decades back, they happily take tourists in and teach the skill, and have been featured on national and international media as well.
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