Activities in India
Listen to the evocative instruments of Indian music, such as the sitar, sarod and the subtle rhythm of the tabla. Note the variety of dance forms, each with its own costumes and elaborate language of gestures.
Experience India's majestic deserts. Jaisalmer, in Rajasthan, holds the Desert Festival in January/February each year. Pushkar in October/November hosts the fascinating Camel Fair.
Play golf on the highest golf course in the world, at Gulmarg. From here there are good views of Nanga Parbat, one of the highest mountains on earth. In winter, Gulmarg is transformed into a lively ski resort (website: www.skihimalaya.com).
Full Moon Party
Party in Goa. Although much less mellow than in the heady days of the 1960s, there are still some fabulous full moon parties in places such as Anjuna.
Whilst in Goa, attend the spectacular Carnival, held on the three days leading up to Ash Wednesday. This colourful festival is jam-packed with bustling fun, as crowds throng to watch the lavish floats pass by, and dance to music that continually rents the air.
Snorkel in the Andaman Islands, in the Bay of Bengal, a lushly forested archipelago that has exotic plant life and a wide variety of corals and tropical fish.
Take part in the Durga Puja (September/October) in Kolkata (Calcutta). One of the biggest Hindu religious festivals in India, it is full of colour and noise, held in honour of the goddess Durga.
Go mountaineering, or trekking. It is especially pristine in Sikkim. Shimla, in Himachal Pradesh, is the base for treks into the beautiful Kullu Valley, while Kodaikanal is a popular base for treks in Tamil Nadu.
Cruise along the tropical backwaters of Kerala, pausing en route to visit sleepy villages and assorted touristic sites.
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