And so goes the legend how Lord Vishnu in the guise of a Brahmin boy tricked Mahabali, the generous king of Kerala into relinquishing his kingdom, as the boy grew in size with his footsteps covering the entire earth.
The King requested Vishnu that he be allowed to visit his people once every year. This arrival of King Mahabali, to meet his people, is celebrated over the 10 days of Onam. It is a mythical tale, one that every child in Kerala loves to hear and one that every grandparent takes great pleasure in telling, with some exaggerations of their own.
The state of Nagaland in the North East of India is home to several tribes each of which are distinct in their language, culture and customs. The festivals are important to the tribes as these revolve around agriculture, which is a major profession in the state. The Nagas consider their festivals sacred and so participation in these festivals is essential.
To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland, the Government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December. The festival is named after the Indian hornbill, the large and colourful forest bird, which is displayed in folklore in most of the state’s tribes.
If you are headed to the Hornbill festival, it’s a great opportunity to combine this trip with a stay and safari at the popular Rhino destination – Kaziranga National Park.
This experience will allow you to do just that.
Bhutan has been much in news. It is not because of its effort to measure its performance in terms of Gross National Happiness rather than GNP. It is also not because of the natural beauty of the place – the monasteries, fortresses (dzongs) and the amazing topography ranging from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. The big news is that Bhutan has become carbon negative. Yes, exactly that. Led by the dynamic Prime Minister Tshering Togbay, Bhutan has been working hard to protect the environment and reduce pollution and the results are showing.
But this is not the only reason to visit the land of Thunder Dragon. The Himalayan kingdom offers a plethora of experiences ranging from adventure, trekking, climbing to culture and heritage, from nature and wildlife to calm and peaceful environs of a Buddhist monastery.
In line with our philosophy, Rustik Travel has curated a range of travel experiences that are rustic, offbeat and sustainable. Here goes.
Sri Lanka had many names in the past. Persians and Arabs referred to it as “Sarandib” or “Serendip” from the word serendipity. A true to the meaning this beautiful island in the Indian Ocean is. Arthur C Clarke, the famous science fiction writer made Sri Lanka his home and stayed here till his death and has written much about the cultural and geographical diversity of this island nation. Recovering from the decades of tragic civil war that split apart the nation, Sri Lanka is taking rapid strides forward economically. Blessed with natural beauty and diversity, Sri Lanka is already a favorite travelers destination from many. The place from North to South and from East to West provides great many opportunities for various activities and travel experiences. With its pristine beaches and beautiful ocean with bustling marine life scuba diving and snorkeling, along with kite surfing and other water sports are popular out here. As you go deeper inside the country, the green forests and the wild life with leopards, elephants, birds are a treat for any wildlife enthusiast. The green country provides amazing trails for bikers and cyclists. The swelling rivers are great for white water surfing. Culturally Sri Lanka is a diverse country with Sinhalese Buddhists having the larger numbers and hence the influence. Though one may find enough influences from the Portuguese, Tamils, Muslims and other ethnicities or nationalities that have come and stayed in Sri Lanka for centuries. Not to forget the tales from the epic Ramayana about Lord Rama’s nemesis Ravana who ruled Lanka as part of the myth.
Sri Lanka is a microcosm of diversity with everything yet something for each and every traveler.
Ladakh is the land of high passes blessed with natural beauty any other place in the world would envy. In ancient times it was an important outpost in the important silk route trade. Much of that richness esp. in culture and heritage is still very much reflective in the present day Ladakh.
Not much else needs to be said about Ladakh. A landscape vastly different from anything imaginable. Though so much has been talked and written about it that most people have an idea of the place, yet nothing can prepare you for what to expect the moment the door of the aircraft opens and this land opens its arms to you.
Sikkim has lot of history since it has been nestled for ages between the ancient Tibetan, Bhutanese and Nepalese kingdoms, and later with the British that saw frequent historical exchanges, remnants of which can widely be seen.
Sikkim has a rich heritage seeped in Buddhism as can be evident from the number of beautiful monasteries each of which have a story to tell.
Sikkim has been very careful not to let development come at the cost of nature with a third of the state being heavily forested till date and a fourth of it being protected under the Kanchendzonga national park making it a state very rich in flora and fauna. Sikkim is also India’s first fully organic state. Not to forget the mighty Kanchenjunga which is of reverence to all there and forms a beautiful backdrop at a number of places.
The people of Sikkim are remarkably cheerful and friendly, urban centers in Sikkim are great places to chill out.
The quintessential Sikkim experience is an attempt to explore all of these – history and heritage, nature and mountains as well as the rich and unique local culture.Read More »
Nepal is home to UNESCO world heritage sites. The two cultural heritage sites are Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, and the seven monuments of the Kathmandu Valley which include the historical royal squares of Kathmandu, Bahaktapur and Patan, the two Buddhist stupas, Swayambunath and Boudhnath and the two Hindu temples, Pashupatinath and Changunarayan, These heritage sites showcase Nepal’s art, architecture, and religious devotion. With our Buddhist and Hindu Cultural Tours you can either visit Holy Buddhist pilgrimage sites, ancient stupas and prostrating pilgrims. Spin prayer wheels, listen to collective chants and observe burning lamps. Visit monasteries and meet local monks. Or Visit the important Hindu temples of Kathmandu and learn about the rituals of this ancient religion. Because of the wide variety of Hindu traditions, freedom of belief and practice are notable features of Hindu cultural tour.Read More »
Thanjavur Marathas of the Bhonsle dynasty were the rulers of Thanjavur principality of Tamil Nadu between the 17th to the 19th century C.E. This travel experience helps you to discover the different aspects of the Maratha influence on the architecture, sculpture, literature, painting, dance, music and theatre traditions of Thanjavur, which was once the capital of the Chola Empire.Read More »
The Cholas were a major dynasty of Southern India who, at the peak of their reign, ruled all of South India and also parts of Eastern India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia. The first Chola dynasty, was called the Sangam Cholas and the second Chola dynasty is known as the ‘Imperial Cholas’ or the ‘Medieval Cholas’. This experience will explore the architecture, art and culture during the reign of the latter.Read More »