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Cultural Experiences?

Discussion in 'Itinerary' started by jnorth88, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    What are the parts of Indian culture a visitor must experience? It is great to see the countryside, landmarks, to visit the cities and have good meals, but the greatest aspect of India is the culture, or cultures of the country. What should be seen, or done? What are the key or amazing holidays? I want to see first hand the color festival, and would like to know other things like it.

  2. tabby

    tabby Member

    I was just looking into the cultural experiences that can be had in India and one of the things that was mentioned was the Diwali. According to one site, this is a 5-day festival representing the start of the Hindu New Year.
    Also called the "Festival of Lights", you can expect fireworks, small clay lamps, and candles lit during the celebrations to represent victory of good over evil. This festival is said to fall in either October or November each year, depending on the cycle of the moon. This year, it will fall on October 30 and October 19 in 2017.
    Holi, or the Festival of Colors, as you mentioned, is also another festival to look forward to; celebrating the abundance of the spring harvest season.
    Ganesh Chaturthi is also another cultural experience on can have. Imagine this is an 11-day event honoring the birth of Lord Ganesha, a Hindu elephant-headed god.
    daniel john likes this.

  3. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    Depending on what time of the year you go to India will depend on what types of experience you'll have. In most major travel brochures and even on this site you'll be able to find out about what types of different festivals there are going on throughout the year for a tourist to experience.

    If you first decide what date you plan on going, and to what part, then you can plan your trip according to what's on around there at that time.
  4. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    I must agree, experiencing the culture in a country is the best way to truly understand it. You will make the most of your visit if you can experience their culture. Here's a few cultural experiences or festivals in India that I can recommend:
    • Chennai Musical Festival or Madras Music Season. It is held annually in Chennai from December to January. It features Carnatic Music, which dates back to the 15th century. It is India's version of Classical Music. Over 1,000 musical performances are featured in this festival.
    • Kathakali Performances. In the Cochin Cultural Center, you'll find performances of the Kathakali. The dancers wear unusual costumes with very bold makeup. The movements tell the story of a mythological story. It is a very old dance-drama that dates back in ancient times.
    • Unusual Festivals. In Thrissur, one festival has men dressing up as tigers. Then there's the renowned elephant festivals in Kerala as well.
    • Art Fair in New Delhi. It features young and upcoming artists of India.
    I hope this helps!
  5. juno

    juno New Member

    Thing with India is that each region has its own culture. Holi and Diwali are the big holidays. However, you can also see what the Muslim Indians do on Eid. You can also head to the South for many traditions or the North and Punjab and see a Sikh festival. It all depends on when you are going to be there and what you can catch. I would get in touch with the temples and mosques to see what activities they are holding during the time you are there.
  6. integrity101

    integrity101 Member

    If you want to see an unforgettable display of color and pomp in India, especially in northern part, visit the country during the Diwali festival which celebrates the start of a new Hindu year. It's like your traditional new year's eve ten times over.
  7. daniel john

    daniel john New Member

    I'd like to be able to get out into the countryside and see the side of India that is away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Does anyone have any advice for which region is the best to visit for this kind of thing? I'll be spending a few months over there soon, and I hope to travel about a lot, so any suggestions would be great! Thanks.
  8. tabby

    tabby Member

    I got interested in your post, too. Since I have not been in India myself I hit Trip Advisor and search for that countryside experience in India. From that site, it seems people have good reviews on Deep Roots Retreat. According to their site, they can provide a glimpse of life in rural India. Perhaps you might want to look into that. Most say that it will offer you authentic Punjab experience.
  9. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    It's one thing visiting a country and sticking to the tourist areas, but to truly get a feel of what the place and the people are truly like, then you have to visit the areas that are set in the more rural areas.

    I think a lot of people that go to India won't get a true reflection of what it's like because they will be afraid to venture further afield and that shouldn't be the case.
  10. Elaine Lat

    Elaine Lat Member

    First off since I'm new to yoga, I would definitely want to take a class from the very people who started the practice. There are yoga reatreats scattered all over the country. I'll head on over to Rishikesh or Haridwar for this experience. India's beaches like the Marina Beach and Chowpatty would be the places to be. Visiting the national parks is a good way to see India's exotic wildlife species. Mumbai also happens to be the birthplace of Bollywood. Maybe I'll get the chance to done up a costume and sing and dance as well :D.
  11. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Member

    I suggest backpacking through the different cities, as you would be able to mingle with the local folk as well as partake in their culture, instead of just riding from one place to another, where you are missing out on a lot of things that you can only see by directly talking to the locals. It's a lot more rewarding, and it will make your travel a lot more memorable when you do this, as you will have lots of experience meeting new people, seeing new places, and experiencing new things.
  12. Danny Luke

    Danny Luke Member

    In my humble opinion, the best way to fully experience the cultural traditions of India is to just immerse yourself in the environment, both rural and urban. If you see a public market near you, just go in and experience the sights and sounds. Try to interact with the people. In order to bridge the communication problem, you should get a tourist guide to serve as a translator.
  13. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana New Member

    An authentic experience is what I am seeking. I would love to participate in a more rural Diwali festival celebration, and see the differences between this and the experience in a larger city.