Love culture and travel? These destinations are for you
People travel for different reasons. Some seek rest and relaxation while others look for adventure. There is a third group that travels for the sole purpose of experiencing and learning about new cultures. If you belong to this breed, you’ve come to the right place. Club Mahindra helps to bring alive the culture and heritage from the four corners of India.
The noble north
On the slopes of the towering Himalayas lie the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Haryana, plus the National Capital Region of Delhi and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. These formally comprise the northern states of India. Rajasthan, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh also contribute to the culture and heritage of the north.
The north is rich in culture, heritage, and monuments. Some must-visit places include the over 400-year-old Golden Temple in Amritsar built by the fourth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Ram Das. The Qutb Minar in Delhi and the Taj Mahal in Agra are world heritage sites that simply must not be missed. You could take a holy dip in the Ganga at Rishikesh and visit the pilgrimage towns of Haridwar and Varanasi.
The temples of Badrinath and Kedarnath – two of the Char Dham (four holy places) – also lie in north India. They are in the Himalayas, and the approach road is blocked for most of the year except during the months of May-June and September-October when the temperature rises enough for the snow to melt and the road to be thrown open.
You can take a day trip to most of these places from Club Mahindra’s hill resorts in the north.
Rice, fish, and coconut constitute the staple food of Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, which make up the bulk of south India. Other states in the region are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, the Union Territory of Puducherry, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Andaman Sea. Lakshadweep, an archipelago, lies in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Kerala.
From Hampi, which subsumes the ruins of Vijayanagar and is an important historical site, you could move on to the Chalukya temples at Aihole, Badami, and Pattadakal, or head south to see Chola temples and monuments at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. The architecture of these temples and monuments must be seen to be believed.
The state of Kerala is renowned for its ayurvedic medicines and massages, which are said to cure a host of diseases and conditions. Take a houseboat cruise through the backwaters or trek through a tea plantation with the locals.
At the southern tip of India, in Kanyakumari, is the Gandhi memorial mandap where you can pay your respects to the great leader and other patriots. Off the coast of Rameshwaram, you can glimpse Ram Setu, the bridge that Lord Rama is said to have built with the help of monkeys to rescue his consort, Sita.
Stay in the comfortable and cool climes of Mahindra hill resorts while you explore and learn about the culture and heritage of southern India.
Beauty and the beast – you have them both in the eastern states of India, where you can experience the beauty of nature in Darjeeling or Shillong and spot the Bengal Tiger in the Sundarbans. Participate in the festivities of Durga Puja while in West Bengal and experience the art and architecture of the region in its historical monuments. The east encompasses the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Meghalaya, Sikkim, and West Bengal. Safaris, temples, architecture, museums, art – the region has it all.
A host of cultures and cuisines influences the east. West Bengal was home to the great poet and author of the national anthem of India – Rabindranath Tagore. Rabindra Sangeet is heard in every temple and monument in the state. Sample the local fish preparations in West Bengal and Odisha, and you will be surprised at how varied Indian cuisine can be.
Club Mahindra at Gangtok and Baiguney in Sikkim offer you a comfortable stay and a taste of the local delicacies while you explore the eastern states.
From the colourful festivities of Gujarat to the golden beaches of Goa, western India offers you a variety of cuisines and cultures. If you happen to visit Maharashtra during August-September, check out the Ganpati festival that’s held in honour of the elephant god. In October, you have the Navaratri festival during which Gujarati folk perform the Garba around an earthen pot.
Shop for a silk tie in Surat, bandhani textiles in the state of Gujarat, or a nauvari saree in Maharashtra. Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai is a must-visit during the Ganpati festival when it is decorated and lit up. Panhala fort in Kolhapur, Shaniwar Wada and Aga Khan Palace in Pune, Ajanta and Ellora caves near Aurangabad, and Elephanta caves near Mumbai are all examples of the fine sculpting skills of ancient Indians.
Club Mahindra resorts welcome you with open arms and offer you luxury and comfort as you explore and learn about the cuisines and cultures of western India.