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Best Holiday Destinations in India – Top 5 places to experience Dussehra – Gujarat and Kerala

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

This is the second part of Best Holiday Destinations in India – Top 5 places to experience Dussehra  

Visit Gujarat

The western Indian state of Gujarat celebrates Dussehra as Navratri/Navratra. Gujaratis (people hailing from Gujarat) the world over celebrate Dussehra by worshiping the nine forms of Goddess Durga during these Nav-Ratras (nine nights). What makes Gujarat one of the best travel destinations in India for experiencing Dussehra, is their traditional Dandiya Raas and Garba dances. These dances are traditionally performed on all nine nights, after Durga Puja (Puja means worship).

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Dandiya Raas, or Dandiya dance in Gujarat

 Image courtesy: www.divyabhaskar.co.in

The dances are so lively and colorful, that they have become popular all over India. Dandiya nights and events are a common feature during the Dussehra period, even in United Kingdom, USA and Canada, where the celebrations are usually led by Indian origin communities.

Garba dance gujarat. Explore some of the best travel destinations in India along with bespoke travel services
Garba Dance at Gujarat.

Image courtesy: www.theguardian.com

Things to do in Gujarat:

Gujarat has some hidden gems to offer the real explorer. For people who are fascinated by history, there are the forts (e.g. Uparkot fort). Looking for something more historical than forts? There are archaeological sites containing ruins of ancient Indus Valley Civilization/Harappan cities (e.g.Dholavira). Then there are some better known attractions like the Rann of Kutch, which boasts of an ecosystem as unique as its stunning landscapes. Gujarat also has four national parks and 21 sanctuaries, and a safari here offers you a good chance to sight an Asiatic lion.

Want to do something offbeat? We have a special interest holiday designed just for you, with heritage walks and guided safaris to the jungle. Love clothes and designs? Set off on A Textile Trail in Gujarat with this special interest holiday package.    

Rann of Kutch, special interest holidays india
Rann of Kutch

Image courtesy: www.zeenews.india.com

Places to stay at Gujarat:

One option is to make Ahmedabad, a major city close to Gujarat’s international airport, as your base and explore Gujarat. However, if you would like to experience the true culture and cuisine of Gujarat, then you have to stay closer to the destinations that you’d like to explore. If you’d rather avoid the hassle of researching, booking and then worrying about being duped by misleading pictures and promises, we can help you. From bespoke travel services to tailormade itineraries, our job is to make your Indian holiday a lovely and memorable experience.

Visit Kerala

Of all the destinations we have covered so far, Kerala has the most unique Dussehra celebration. Kerala, true to its reputation as a state with the highest literacy rate in India, celebrates Dussehra with a focus on initiating education. In Kerala, Dussehra is the time for Saraswati Pooja (worship of Goddess Saraswati) . Goddess Saraswati is believed to be the reigning deity of education and arts in the Hindu tradition. No wonder, one of the very few Saraswati temples is in Kerala – the Dakshina Mookambika Saraswathi Temple is in Panachikkadu, Kottayam.

Dakshina Mookambika Saraswathi Temple in Panachikkadu, Kottayam.
Dakshina Mookambika Saraswathi Temple in Panachikkadu, Kottayam.

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

This festive season is not just about temples though. There’s song and dance too.

Kerala winter holidays, things to do in kerala, kerala bespoke travel.

things to do in kerala, traditions of kerala, places to see in kerala
Vidyarambam – A ceremony to initiate education.
ayudh puja, kerala culture, Kerala winter holidays, things to do in kerala, kerala bespoke travel.
Ayudh Puja – Worshiping tools and weapons.

 Photo credits: Manorama

Things to do in Kerala:

We think you know this already, but Kerala spoils you for choices. There’s the beaches, the backwaters, the wilderness and the elephants, the temples and the cuisine. There are so many things to do, we can pick the top 5 for you.

1) Go on a wellness holiday. Ayurveda, yoga and healthy diet – all customized for you. 

2) Plan you trip to reach a little early (in early September) and watch Onam or Kerala’s famous boat races

3) Holiday on a wooden houseboat with onboard service. Want a firsthand review? Here is how a houseboat experience feels like.

4) Stay at a plantation retreat and go on a tiger trail.

5) Visit Jew Town, Fort Kochi

Places to stay at Kerala:

Choose from luxury resorts in Alleppey, boutique hotels in Cochin, resorts in Thekkady or Luxury homestays in Munnar.

While we are on the topic of Dussehra and Durga Puja, how can one forget the most fervent of all Durga Pujo celebrations, at the City of Joy, Kolkata?  Calcutta, as Kolkata was called for a long long time, celebrates Durga Pujo with an altogether different energy. Watch out for our Durga Pujo photo blog to be published in the next few days.

Plan to travel to an Indian holiday destination?

We are here to help. At no extra cost.
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Posted by Admin at 11:00 am
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Plan to travel to an Indian holiday destination?

We are here to help. At no extra cost.
  • Tailor made holidays
  • Special interest holidays
  • Hidden luxury getaways
Know more


About me

The wise man travels to discover himself - JR Lowell

 

My name is Sudha Mathew. I'm an ex-banker who quit the rat race after a decade to follow my passion for travel and to combine it with my experience in understanding client requirements and exceeding their expectations.

 

While our content is mostly about the holiday experience, the accommodation and services, there's so much more to a journey. I have discovered a whole new me through travel. So I've reserved this corner of the website to share the unexpected aspects of travel. This space is also to hear from you about your journeys and discoveries. Bon Voyage!

 
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