Attending 3 Regional Festivals with India Holiday Packages

India is a spiritual country, full of traditions and customs portraying the history of the country. It might take a few hours or days for tourists to explore and experience its various sacred places and colourful festivals. It hosts a massive celebration of some events marked in the calendar and some devoted to deities. You can have a wonderful travel experience with cheap India holiday packages in the bustling cities of the nation that celebrate religious events with great vigour. Following are the three such dazzling occasions when the country unites:

Navratri (In September/October)

The history of the festival is attached with many myths and legends, making it popular amongst different cities. People gather to celebrate the feminine power, Shakti – the Goddess Amba in nine different forms. Every state has its way of celebrating the occasion; including Gujarat, where people perform Garba to the beats of their regional songs in shimmery chaniya cholis.  The energetic Garba and Dandiya are performed around a small Goddess shrine made by each community on the first day of the Hindu month, Ashwin. The tenth day or the last day is called Dussehra, which is another important Hindu festival depicting the defeat of King Ravana. Travellers can visit Gujarat on India tours to witness this joyful and energetic dance fair.

Durga Puja (In September/October)

The last six days of Navratri are celebrated massively as Durga Puja in Kolkata, West Bengal. The city shines with bright lights on shops, streets and houses during this period. Fairs and carnivals are hosted in large grounds with gaming stalls and giant wheels. Durga Puja is one of the largest religious events for Bengali Hindus, who form and decorate huge figures of Goddess Durga, defeating Mahishasura, from clay. These idols are placed in temples for worship and later, immersed in local rivers of the city. The end of this occasion is considered highly auspicious for families to start something new.

Ganesh Chaturthi (In August/September)

Ganesh Chaturthi is the most revered festival of Maharashtra, the essence of which can be experienced with India tours. This 10-day colourful occasion honours the birth of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu deity. Elaborated idols of the God are made for worship and immersed in a waterbody on the last day. Singing and dancing are also performed by the local people.

In addition to the aforementioned, there are many other regional festivals that can be enjoyed with India holiday packages.

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4 Fun-Filled Activities to Enjoy during Sri Lanka Holidays

Located amidst the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is known for its sandy beaches and rich wildlife. This island nation is home to a number of intriguing flora and fauna species, therefore also a dream destination for every nature lover. Tourists from all around the globe come here in search of beauty and serenity. Sri Lanka holidays offer a chance to look into the lives of one of the most ancient civilisations in the world as well. Given below are four such activities that you should undertake to make the best of your vacation in this breathtaking realm.

Take a Tour of Nuwara Eliya

Known as Little England of Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya is where the world-famous Ceylon tea is grown. This erstwhile hill retreat of the colonisers resembles the picturesque sceneries of rural England. Take a tour through the lush plantations on the misty hills to experience one of the best feelings of holidaying in this island nation. You can also enjoy a steaming cup of flavoursome tea while marvelling at the surreal surroundings.

Explore the Marvellous Cave Temples of Dambulla

The splendid Royal Rock Temple complex is located in the southern region of Dambulla. When availing a tour package to Sri Lanka, make sure to visit this extraordinary site. The complex is made of five caves that contain over a hundred spectacular statues and paintings of Lord Buddha, dating back as far as around 2000 years. This historical site is also a great vantage point to enjoy the surrounding countryside vistas.

Try Snorkelling at Pigeon Island National Park

Located around one kilometre offshore in Nilaveli region, Pigeon Island is home to rock pigeons. Its velvety sand, clear-blue pools and shimmering corals make it a sight to behold. The area is suitable for snorkelling with shallow reefs that make it possible for you to explore the awe-striking underwater world and all its wonders. It is a must-do activity as Sri Lanka holidays are incomplete without enjoying a few water sports.

Revel in the English Charm of Adisham Monastery

A Benedictine Monastery, Adisham once belonged to an English planter who had settled in Sri Lanka. In order to recreate his own lifestyle in a foreign land, the planter developed some enchanting country cottage gardens, frequently seen in the villages of England. Visitors can see the library and living room inside the idyllic monument and also buy fresh produce of the gardens maintained around the monastery.

3 Best Seasons to Spend Holidays in India

When deciding on a destination to spend a holiday, what all things can be done there is one of the topics of deliberation. Sometimes, a different season can give one place a varying charm. And, when plans for Cheap holidays in India are being charted out, the weather can play a huge role in deciding what to do or see. Here is a description of the activities that can be done and places seen in the nation in summers, winters and monsoons.

Summers

Though summers in most parts of the country are quite hot, there are few places where they are not. The Himalayan parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh experience moderate weather in the otherwise hot months. Hill stations, such as Manali, Shimla and Nainital can be visited to see their colonial heritage. Other parts of the Himalayas are apt for adventure sports like hiking, mountaineering, rafting or paragliding. Summers are also perfect for wildlife spotting as the heat draws animals from the cover of trees, luring them in the open towards ponds and rivers.

Winters

In general, winter is the ideal time for availing India tour packages if sightseeing is the first thing on the to-do list of travellers. People can see the historical Red and Old forts and Qutb Minar, and shrines, such as Birla Mandir, Lotus Temple and Akshardham Temple in Delhi. Another incredible thing, which can be done in October, November, December and January, are watersports in Mumbai and Goa. During this time, many hill stations transform from sightseeing spots into places to have fun with snow. The Gulmarg, Auli, Narkanda, Kufri and Solang ski resorts welcome skiers from across the world between December and January.

Monsoons

Monsoons or the rainy season is the best time to embark on holidays in India for all those, who like to view nature in its full glory. During the monsoon, the landscape is greener than in any other time of the year. This is most clearly visible in the Western Ghats, one of the most significant biodiversity hotspots on earth. Same is the case with the Valley of Flowers, where flowers in all colours bloom between July and October. The hills of Northeast India contain numerous waterfalls that swell up during the rains.

Apart from the above-mentioned activities, a lot more can be done by picking India tour packages in summers, winters and monsoons.

3 Festivals to Attend during Bhutan Holiday Tours

The happiest country in the world, Bhutan is renowned for its immense natural beauty. While its mountainous topography beckons loads of adventure lovers, its monasteries and stupas invite sightseers. One of the best things to do during Bhutan holiday tours is partaking in its culture. It can be done by interacting with the warm-hearted locals or attending music and dance performances. Another thing, which can help tourists get an insight into the long-held traditions, is festivals. Described below are three of the most significant festivals, celebrated all around the country.

Tsechu

Tsechu is dedicated to the deity, Padmasambhava, who founded the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. To restore the health of the local king, the deity performed a set of dances that are now known as Cham dances. Some of these performances also depict incidents from the life of other saints. Most Tseshus stretch for four days, during which such performances, some with swords and masks, are held. The festivities conclude with the unfurling of a huge scroll painting, called Thongrel, depicting Padmasambhava with his consorts.

Matsutake Festival

Culinary enthusiasts can visit the approximately 10170-feet high Ura Valley in the dzongkhag of Bumthang during their Bhutan vacation tours to attend the Matsutake Festival. The celebration signals the start of the harvesting season for Matsutake, a type of wild mushroom. Organised in the last weekend of August, the event can help travellers combine their love for food and trekking. They can hike through the spruce and fir forests of the valley along with its inhabitants to pick the mushrooms. The locals can tell globetrotters how to find and identify them. Apart from this, traditional dance and music performances can be attended and delicious mushroom dishes can also be tasted here.

Nomad Festival

One of the unique celebrations to attend during Bhutan holiday tours is the annual Nomad Festival. Hosted in Bumthang, it brings together migrant communities from the Haa, Gasa, Thimphu, Paro, Wangduephodrang and Tashigang dzongkhags. This way, Bumthang becomes a melting pot and exhibition ground of various cultures. While here, holidaymakers will get an insight into the pastoral life, the nomads have been living for ages. They can even dress up like these migrants in attire, made exclusively of yak wool. Sitting around a hearth with crossed legs and eating traditional dishes is another thing tourists can do.

Attending these festivities during Bhutan vacation tours will give visitors a glimpse into the local culture.

On a Food Journey in Amritsar during Holidays in India

Amritsar, which is anonymous with the revered Golden Temple, receives thousands of visitors on a daily basis. While the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) becomes the first and the most important stop during a trip to this city, there are other places too that people can visit. These include the infamous Jallianwala Bagh, Durgiana Temple, Wagah Border and Gobindgarh Fort. If you are spending your holidays in India, then you should definitely plan a tour to this place, the cultural and spiritual centre of the Sikh religion.

Food for the Soul

Another aspect of the city that is simply hard to resist is the variety of delicacies on offer here. However, the best of the lot is undoubtedly the platter served at Guru Ka Langar. Known as Kada Prasad, this fare is prepared in the premises of Harmandir Sahib and is served to more than 40000 people, each day.

Food makes for a really important aspect of holidays in India, and Amritsar is probably the best place to start exploring it. This city, in many ways, is the heart of Punjab. Thus, you can expect to taste the best of Punjabi cuisine here. If Makki Ki Roti with Sarson da Saag will make your taste buds craving for more at Bharawan Da Dhaba, then Chicken Tikka Tandoori with Keema Naan at Beera Chicken Corner will make you dance with joy. During your food expedition in the city, ask any local for Adarsh Meat Shop, which is famous for its meat delicacies, with Mutton Chaap being the top favourite. If you are still looking more spicy stuff, then head straight to Mame Da Dhaba to relish on some Bheja Fry or to Pal Da Dhaba for a delicious serving of Paya.

If you are a sweet tooth, then you are in for a treat in the city. All you need to do is to head to Hall Bazaar, and you can taste the best Jalebi and Gajar Ka Halwa you are likely to come across ever. This is not all, Pinni, Kulfa and Lassi are a few more desserts that you cannot simply miss-out on.

Similar to Amritsar, there are many other places in the country that are known for their food delights. If you wish to taste these wonderful delicacies and explore the country at the same time, then look for the best tour packages in India on different travel websites.

3 Sports to Play with Classical India Tour Packages

The word, classical, refers to something, which is exclusive or well known in comparison to other things in its category. Same is the case with classical India tour packages, with which people can experience something, which characterises an aspect of the country in the best possible way. One such aspect is sports that have the power to unite people of all castes, creeds, regions and faiths. By playing with locals, not only can tourists have fun and keep themselves fit, but also interact with them to learn about their life and culture. Here are three sports that are known throughout the country and can be played by travellers when here.

Cricket

For a true cultural venture during their holidays in India, globetrotters can engage in a friendly game of cricket. Most Indians play it not at world-class stadiums, but wherever they find space like streets, public parks, courtyards, alleys, terraces and even balconies. Localities in villages or cities often have their own special set of rules that are many times a result of the layout of the area. Attending a match at a stadium can be an exhilarating experience, with fans waving flags, banners and charts, and screaming at the top of their voice.

Kabaddi

Kabaddi, one of the most popular local games, is believed to have been in existence since ancient times. In it, a rectangular court is divided into two halves like a badminton or tennis court. The goal is to send one team member to the court of the opposition. He or she then touches a member of the opponent group and tries to return to the home court without being caught. All this while, the person, who goes to the other court, has to hold his or her breath until returning. In contemporary times, its fame has grown manifold, and a domestic competition, called the Pro Kabaddi League, is organised every year.

Hockey

Another sport to play with Classical India tour packages is hockey, which is also the national game of the country. It is played proudly by the people of Punjab, especially the Sikhs, and most players in the national team too come from here. Though it is played on a synthetic surface at the international level, in villages and towns, the hockey pitch is made of grass as matches are held in grounds and public parks.

These are the three essential sports that tourists can play during their holidays in India for a comprehensive cultural experience.

A Wonderful Vacation in Manali with India Holiday Packages

India is bestowed with immense natural beauty, and to witness it, tourists can head to any of its innumerable hill stations. One such hill station, where the beauty is in abundance is Manali, which lies in the state of Himachal Pradesh. This picturesque hill town lies at an approximate altitude of 2050 m above sea level in the Beas River Valley. This popular hill station serves as the gateway to other hill destinations in the northern part of the nation as well. It is situated at a distance of about 270 km from the state capital, Shimla. Owing to its scenic landscape and pleasant climate across the year, it attracts a number of tourists, who come here courtesy various India holiday packages.

Attractions to Explore in the Town

There are a number of attractions to explore in this fantastic destination, and two of the must-visit ones are:

Manali Sanctuary – This sanctuary is home to Himalayan wildlife species, including brown bear, musk deer, snow leopard and leopard. In summers, flocks of migratory Ibex birds can be seen here. spread over an approximate area of 32 sq km, this area was declared as a sanctuary in 1954. With India travel packages, tourists can easily explore these attractions.

Hidimbi Devi Temple – This ancient cave temple, built in 1553, is devoted to Hidimbi Devi, who was the sister of Hidimba, a character in the much-read Hindu epic Mahabharata. Located amidst a cedar forest, this temple is popular for its picturesque setting.

How to Reach

Reaching Manali is not an issue as it is well connected to rest of the country by roadways, railways and airways. By road, it can be easily reached from the national capital, New Delhi. The total road distance between these two places is approximately 592 km. Both buses as well private taxis can be availed to travel on this route. The nearest broad-gauge railheads to this town are in Chandigarh, Kalka and Pathankot. The closest airport to this place is Bhuntar Airport, which is about 50 km away. Many domestic carriers offer their services to this airport.

Tourists who wish to come to Manali for a vacation are advised to look for those India holiday packages that include transfer to the town as well as local sightseeing, for a more hassle-free experience.