Valley of Flowers, India

Make your 2016 Travel resolutions come true!

Quitting Smoking, losing weight, saving money and travelling more show up on New Year resolutions all too often. Here are some specific tips to make sure that you actually see more of India and the world in 2016!

Become a Weekend Warrior

Don’t let public holidays catch you by surprise. Look up all the long weekends in advance and make your hotel and travel bookings. 2016 is offering a bonanza of vacation days with 14 opportunities to getaway – coinciding with Shivaratri, Easter/Holi, Republic Day, Independence Day and more!

Hampi, Karnataka
Hampi, Karnataka

Start putting aside a little bit of money for travel

It doesn’t have to be lakhs of rupees, just saving 5000 Rs every month can add up to a nice nest egg that will enable to take off on a week long vacation to any of the magnificent locations in India. If travel is a priority, you can cut back on frequent expensive dinners, drinking sessions, and impulsive trips to the mall so you can consciously save money for a more satisfying experience. Use money saving apps to track your performance and get motivated to meet your saving goals. And thanks to Savaari Car Rentals very soon you will be roadtripping towards a memorable destination.

Think of inexpensive and memorable holidays

Transformative travel experiences don’t have to cost the earth, but they sure can make you feel like you are on top the world. Take a inexpensive bicycle tour of the spectacular ruins of Hampi in Karnataka, trek through the breathtaking Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand for as low as Rs 7300/- per person, or check into a charming hotel in Thekkady and experience relaxing Ayurvedic treatments, folk dances and walks through spice trails in gorgeous Kerala.

Valley of Flowers, India
Valley of Flowers, India

Block your calendar

Once you have chosen a specific location, block your calendar and take time off in advance. Do you want to get away in February over Valentine’s, or experience Goa in the Monsoons? Have a plan for the long summer holidays to engage the kids and extended family? or dreaming of a white winter holiday in Gulmarg or Auli…make it happen with advance planning. And tell the people who matter – by that we mean your boss.

tree

Christmas in India: Three Blessedly Beautiful Destinations

Look past the crowded beaches of Goa, to these 3 destinations for a Christmas and New Year that will leave you with warm, fuzzy memories to power you through 2016!

Shillong

Celebrate a Christmas like no other in, Shillong, the Scotland of the East. The city has a large Christian population and is perfect destination during this festive season. Hire a Savaari Car and drive down 100 kms from Guwahati and soon you are in the hilly capital of Meghalaya. Walk along Laitumkhrah, go for a boat ride on picturesque Wards Lake, or attend midnight mass at one of the oldest churches in the North East, The Cathedral Church. You will certain avoid the usual touristy crowds, especially if you choose to stay in a traditional homestay, like this 70 year old bungalow in the heart of the city. The spirit of the season is everywhere with carol singing, markets bustling with shoppers, pine trees piled up in the Fire Brigade Field, and lip-smacking Bengali, Chinese and Khasi fare that will leave you warmly stuffed and satisfied.

courtesy India TV
courtesy India TV

Kochi

Hire a Savaari Car and drive down NH7 and the Salem – Kochi – Kanyakumari Highway and 10 hours later you are in Kochi. The last few weeks of December are especially festive in this Kerala coastal town, which hosts The Cochin Carnival. A year end procession featuring regal elephants, fireworks, fun games, dirt bike races and more, the carnival is a throwback to Portuguese New Year celebrations, and has been revived in the 1980s. You can be enthralled by local Kathakali and Mohiniattam performances, watch folk musicians or witness the famed Indira Gandhi Snake Boat Race, also held at the same time of the year. If you are a history buff this centuries-old port town will not disappoint with heritage churches and synagogues. And the celebrations truly taken on a special meaning if you are lucky enough to be part of the congregation at midnight, on Christmas eve, at St. Francis Church. Built by the earliest European traders, the Church traces its history back to the early 16th Century, and is sure to transport you to a different world and time

Kolkata

Christmas Tree
Courtesy Indian Roots

Head to the grand old city of Kolkata for a colourful Christmas and New  Year. The Bengalis are known to celebrate festivals in style, and this season is no exception. Treat yourself to some decadent cakes and pastries at legendary bakeries like Flurys. Visit the city’s last Jewish Confectionary, Nahoum and Sons, who began serving customers just over a century ago in 1902! Go on a guided photo walk through neighbourhoods that will open your eyes into forgotten ways of living, and the diversity of the city’s culture. Get a glimpse into Anglo-Indian life in Bow Barracks as they celebrate their Bada Din on 25th December. Visit Chinatown, Portuguese and Armenian Churches all in Kolkata. And round off your visit with a visit to Allen Park where the Kolkata Christmas Fair comes to life. Browse through food stalls, listen to live music, join the gospel singers and admire the string of street lights and nativity scenes that celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Find a travelling style that works for the both of you

Go on a Holi’date! Strengthen your relationship while on a road-trip

Mark Twain thought travel was the surest way to figure out if you hate somebody or like them, and we couldn’t agree more. We tell you how to take a Savaari style road trip to strengthen an existing relationship or even use the journey to figure out if you can go from light-hearted flirtation to a full-fledged relationship.

Go the distance, travelling as a couple
Go the distance, travelling as a couple

0 Navigating = Long Conversations

A road trip can tell you a lot about the other person because you spend every waking minute together. And thanks to the courteous and reliable drivers at Savaari Car Rentals chauffeuring you around, you are free to give your undivided attention to your partner. While you are not navigating on google maps or swearing at the L board ahead, you can really connect with your husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend. Ask them about their childhood, their first crush, their deepest fear and their secret hopes and get them talking while you get to your destination.

Partners in Grime

It is hard to be perfect when you have had a long day on the road. Maybe you can’t wait to get to your hotel room and take a hot shower, perhaps your partner is craving paranthas and is sick of a traditional South-Indian breakfast everyday…or your wife is annoyed because you don’t like posing for pictures, whatever be the situation, travel can test the best of us. But can your partner make you laugh even when you are cranky and exhausted? Is your spouse willing to put up with the occasional problem and look at the bigger picture? Taking a trip together can really help you see the love of your life in a new light and appreciate them in small and big ways. And even if you end up having massive fights, think of it as a crash course in learning to communicate better.

Find a travelling style that works for the both of you
Find a travelling style that works for the both of you

Camping Vs Spa Holiday

As a couple you may have wildly differing tastes when it comes to planning a vacation. Perhaps one of you enjoys adventure, and the other would think twice about standing by the sea shore, lest the waves get at them. Maybe your husband loves budget travel but you dream of a fancy resort with an infinity pool, cocktails and swedish massages while you holiday. People who travel together have to find a way to compromise and do a little bit of what the other person likes. This give and take only makes for a stronger marriage or relationship. So maybe while your partner joins you for a romantic couples massage, you agree to rough it out and go hiking in the mountains for day. The fun part is in embracing new experiences and coming home with travel stories that you can reminisce over, in the years to come.

Rann Utsav

Peace Out – 3 Serene holidays to truly relax and unwind this winter

We go on vacations for some peace and quiet. For a change from the routine. To breathe in some fresh air and get away from the madding crowd. But nowadays, with more Indians taking vacations than ever before, there is no guarantee your vacation destination will be an oasis of calm. If you want to avoid places that are likely to be overrun by bus loads of tourists, lots of hawkers, and really need to peace out…check out these 3 destinations for a serene holiday!

Dhauli, Bhubaneswar

Aren’t you curious to pay a visit to the place that caused emperor Ashoka to have a change of heart and give up his violent ways for good? It is a little hard to believe that this sleepy little hill was where the bloody Kalinga War took place. But the bloodshed that turned river Daya red caused Ashoka to repent for all the unnecessary violence of war. Later, he became an emissary of peace. Today, you can book a Savaari Car and drive down in just 7 hours by road from Kolkata, to Dhauli.

Shanti Stupa, Dhauli, Odisha
Shanti Stupa, Dhauli, Odisha

Visit the calming, white Shanti Stupa built by Japanese Buddhist organizations in the 70s, pass by the daya river, check out the edicts of Ashoka on the road leading up to a hill with green all around…and soak in the air of tranquility. A short drive from the capital and temple town of Bhubaneswar, enroute to the beautiful beaches of Konark, and not too far away from the millenia old city, Cuttack, there is much you can do and see in underrated Odisha. Shop for beautiful silver filigree jewellery, be awed by the Sun Temple, try your hand at surfing at Puri or visit the vast Chilika Lake. We highly recommend Odisha for a peaceful, offbeat holiday.

Auroville, the ‘City of Dawn’

Auroville
Auroville

How about meditating in silence at the Matrimandir in Auroville, and see the golden structure lit up in the rays of the gentle morning sun, in winter. If that sounds too intense, you could always engage yourself in a bamboo jewellery making workshop, try organic farming, quilling, pottery making, or even yoga, with any of the practitioners and life-time residents of this experimental township. Auroville, a drive from Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu, and accessible via the beautiful ECR, is certainly a place like no other. A little over 6 hours from Bangalore and 3 hours from Chennai, it retains a laidback vibe, and if you are seeking a calming holiday, it may just be the place to recharge your batteries. Curious about the idealistic principles that drive this global community? Take a half day tour led by one of its longtime residents. You can stay in Pondicherry 12 kms away, or see if you can spend a few days in one of the guesthouses in Auroville. Once there, you can cycle or drive to the many restaurants that dot the area, for some raw vegan food, some handmade pizza, french cuisine and more. Or visit their store for some fabulous handmade paper, organic soaps, incense sticks and other goodies to bring back to your friends and family.

Seek the White Sands of the Rann of Kutch

rann

Seeking a place to gaze at the stars on a full moon night? Want to pretend to be royalty with your own well-appointed tent in the middle of a desert? Head to the beautiful and desolate salt-marshes Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. The area hosts the famed Rann Utsav, in the winter months, beginning in December. The state government hosts visitors in luxurious tents. The festival is designed to give tourists a taste of authentic local hospitality, cuisine and make them familiar with the region’s attractions. 80 odd kilometres from Bhuj, Dhordo and Hodka are entry points at the edge of the desert. Bhuj is a 5 hour drive from Ahmedabad, or a good 800+ kms from Mumbai. Tourists can witness folk dance and musical performances, shop for famed Kutchi handicrafts, and go on special sightseeing tours. You can walk along the historical Hamisar Lake in Bhuj, take a moonlit safari, be enchanted by the flame pink flamingoes who descend on Narayan Sarovar during the winter months, or walk through the Banni Grasslands. The holiday is also perfect for the devout and spiritually inclined, because you can visit the Koteshwara Temple or the Ashapura Mata temple, nearby.

 

Are We There Yet- Tips and DIY Games for road trips with kids

Are we there yet?

Travelling with children can be trying even if you are not doing all the driving. While Savaari Car Rentals takes care of navigating traffic, here are some simple ideas to ensure your kids don’t drive you crazy while on your next road trip!

Are we there yet?

Make the trip an adventure. Print out a trip map off of google maps that you can track with your kids. You can mark out points of interest, distances between stops and even have a few quiz questions ready about the destinations along the way. For instance, you can ask them “How many years did the building of Taj Mahal take” while enroute to Agra. The answer by the way is 22 years! When your kids answer questions correctly they get a certain number of points and can get a toy/snack for having cracked the question. If you have time to research your holiday destination, you can even print out pictures of places of interest and have them accompany the map. The game not only builds map reading skills but also builds a sense of anticipation and discovery, so important to keeping kids from getting cranky while you are on the road.

http://bestfamilytraveladvise.com/
http://bestfamilytraveladvise.com/

Create an I-Spy jar

Spend a couple of hours creating an I-Spy jar with any old transparent bottle – say a gatorade bottle and some super glue. The whole idea is kids turn the jar around and shout out every time they spy or find a new object inside the jar. They can also tick items off of a list or note down all the things they find inside the bottle, hidden amidst the rice. The internet abounds with fun and creative ideas to create an I Spy bottle, but the easiest one is filling the bottle with white rice and a number of small knick-knacks. You can hide old buttons, coins, toffees, birthday candles, dice, paper clips, old keys, toothpicks, clothespins, screws, hairpins, crayons, alphabets/letters from a scrabble game, inside the rice. And the jar is sealed tight with glue so it is a safe, fun, non-messy way to keep the children entertained whenever they get bored.

Courtesy http://www.hellobee.com/
Courtesy http://www.hellobee.com/

Have them create a vacation scrapbook

Involving the kids in creating a journal is a great idea to make memories and keep them engaged. Buy a scrapbook or traditional photo album before you begin your road trip. Make sure you pack paper, buy a scrapbook, markers, crayons, glue sticks, tape, and invest in an instant polaroid camera to make this even more fun. If you have more than one child, assign responsibilities to each of them. For instance, one child can be in charge of taking photos, another can maintain a simple diary of what happened during the journey, and the sights they see. The kids can also collect souvenirs from the attractions. You can either buy them key chains, and knick knacks from the places they visit, to put into the scrapbook…or children can pick out their own memorabilia. Remember how much fun you had finding the perfect shells off of a beach, or the smoothest pebbles? The magic of creating your own diary never gets old and you can relive the excitement of your holiday once you come back!

Create a gift box that keeps on giving!

Buy a dozen cheap toys like stickers, magnifying glasses, noise makers, bubble blowers, dolls, plastic figurines, marbles and balloons (if your kids are old enough to play with them safely), laser pointers and magazines with scissors – and wrap each of these items individually. Pack them and have your kids unwrap them as they go along. Half of the excitement is in guessing what each gift wrapped item could be and unwrapping them! Preschoolers can be engaged for hours with colouring and stickering books. And older kids can create their own dream catalog by having them cut out their favorite pictures from magazines.

3 Incredible Adventure Holidays in India

What if we told you that an goosebump-inducing, heart-thumping experience is just a road trip away? Here are our recommendations for those who want to try their hand at river rafting, scuba diving, or paragliding. All the trips are  8-12 hours by road and there is an option for you irrespective of which part of the country you live in! Book a chauffeured car from Savaari Car Rentals today, ex-cities like Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi – and make winter 2015 a memorable one. Read on for tips on which route to take, possible costs and links to reviews on these adventure activities right in our own backyard.

Bangalore – Dandeli: White Water Rafting on River Kali

466 kms via NH4 or a 8 hour drive from Bangalore, Dandeli in North Karnataka is easily accessible from Hubli, Goa and Belgaum as well. There are any number of resorts by the River to stay at, besides Jungle Lodges. While you can go on a coracle ride, take a jungle safari, try kayaking or wall climbing, or trek to Siroli Peak the absolutely unmissable experience has to be the white water rafting on the River Kali.

Rafting on the Kali river
Rafting on the Kali river

While it may not be possible for us to head to the mecca of rafting in Rishikesh, up north, the River Kali is nothing to scoff at. With grade 3 rapids, she gives you sufficient thrills and chills. And under the guidance of experts you can attempt a 4 hour long run for 9 kms or attempt shorter distances.

Kangra Valley, HP: Glide over snowcapped mountains

Imagine flying like a bird in the sky with a magnificent view of snowcapped mountains that form the Dhauladhar range. A little over 470 kms from Delhi on NH1, lies Dharamshala. And a couple hours drive away lie the towns of Bir and Billing, in the Kangra Valley in HP. These locations are known for the thrilling activities of paragliding and hang gliding.

Billing Valley
Billing Valley

An experienced pilot will ensure your safety while you are gliding and all you need to do is take a deep breath and enjoy the breathtaking sights. Rated as the number 3 jump site in the world, Billing hosts many international competitions every year. A joyride for about 20-30 minutes, from a height of 2400 mts costs an affordable Rs 2,000 – Rs 2500 per person, depending upon your operator.

Tarkarli, Maharashtra: Scuba Dive to Find Nemo

If you are looking to find an untouched, super clean beach, hidden way on the coast…one that is not overrun by tourists and hawkers…Tarkarli is the spot. Hit NH 17 from Mumbai, drive down to Kolhapur, via Malvan on SH108 to reach Tarkarli. The road trip is scenic, and albeit 535 kms, you won’t regret the 9 hours spent taking in the sights on this lovely route.

And once you get there, you can try your hand at a range of watersports, including snorkelling and scuba diving. The watersports are offered off Tsunami Island and Sindhudurg fort. While the marine life and visibility may not come close to superior dive sites off of Andaman, Lakshadweep or Thailand and Malaysia, it is a fun introduction to the sport – close to home, and less expensive. And, contrary to expectations, one does not need to know swimming to try scuba diving or snorkelling. However, if you are petrified of the water, just chill by the beach and tuck into a hearty malvani thali meal, famed for its fresh seafood!

 

Spectacular Indian Road Trips this Durga Puja


Durga Puja, Dussehra, Navaratri, Golu, Dasara or Dasain, the festival goes by many names. Some honour Goddess Durga vanquishing demon Mahishasur, some celebrate the end of the 13 year long agyatwas (time spent incognito) by the Pandavas, others mark the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana and his evil brothers. The festival has multiple interpretations and multiple names, but all around India it means the same thing- a time for family and friends to get together, pray, play dress up, eat and make memories to remember.

And what better way to make memories than travel? This Durga Puja holidays Savaari Car Rentals is giving you a unique opportunity to make the festival extra special. Book an outstation holiday and get Rs 550/- off just by using coupon code FEST550. Click here or Call 0 90 4545 0000 to beat the last minute holiday rush.

Here is our guide to fabulous destinations from some major cities in India

If you live in the South:

Karnataka’s state festival or Nada Habba is here! And there is no grander spectacle than the centuries old, royal, 10-day long Mysore Dasara. A quick 2.5 drive from Bangalore, and just under 500kms from Chennai, Mysore is where it all happens during this time of the year. Hop into one of our chauffeured Savaari Car Rentals for a day trip or plan on an extended stay in the former capital of the state!

Mysuru Dasara

Because there is plenty to see and do. Wrestling matches, the Dasara exhibition, music and dance performances by world renowned artists take place everyday. Also, the Mysore Palace is all lit up with over 1 lakh lights and the grand elephant led procession of Goddess Chamundi on Vijayadashami attracts visitors from the world over. You can book a Savaari Car to go sightseeing to the Lalit Mahal Palace, Chamundi Hill, go bird watching in the beautiful Ranganathittu sanctuary or pay your respects to Lord Vishnu at the Sri Ranganatha temple at Srirangapatnam as well.

From Delhi/UP/Punjab:

If you live in Delhi, Chandigarh or anywhere in Punjab, hit NH22 to experience the glories of the Kullu Dussehra which begins on Oct 22nd, Vijayadashami Day. Else, drive 500 kms from Delhi to Kota for the Dussehra Mela in Rajasthan where 75 feet tall effigies of Raavan, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath are set alight. The famed Rajasthani hospitality, food and folk performances are sure to take your breath away. Else, take a short 5 hour drive from Lucknow to Varanasi, for an authentic, theatrical Ram Nagar Ramlila where Sadhus or Ramayanis recite the Ramayan in a tradition that predates Emperor Akbar’s times.

From Kolkata:

Drive 170kms out of Kolkata to the unspoilt beach at Mandarmoni or take a dekko at the famed terracotta temples of Bishnupur. Go road tripping 250 kms from Bhubaneshwar to the hot springs and rolling green hills of Taptapani. Or break the routine by going pandal hopping in a brand new city…

durga

Whatever be your choice, Savaari Car Rentals is here to make this grand time of the year extra special. Use discount code FEST550. Click here or Call 0 90 4545 0000 to book your holiday now!

Kullu Dussehra: A mountain festival like none other

Himanchal Pradesh
Himanchal Pradesh

Most of us don’t really need a reason to escape the confines of the city to drive down to the mountains. But travel to Delhi, or if you are lucky enough to live in the capital just hop into a car courtesy Savaari Car Rentals and drive down to Kullu, in October, where you can witness the famous Kullu Dussehra. Make the best of the Oct 22nd (Thursday) holiday and hire a car from Delhi to Manali for a 500 kms long journey like none other.

The roads are in great shape; the route post Chandigarh is quaint and scenic. On the Chandigarh – Manali section of the journey there is plenty to do. Dig into some hearty paranthas at Giani Da Dhaba at Dharampur, or stopover at Chail to take in the glories of the palace. On your way to Manali, every village and hamlet offers a photo op. If you time your travel right, during Dussehra, you will come across loads of smiling people dressed in full costume, as Ram, Lakshman and Ravan, headed to the local Ramlila celebration. Driving through a part of India still unsullied by aggressive development, you will truly be transported to a different time and space, as you witness first-hand, how festivals bring the community together.

Kullu does not celebrate Dussehra with the traditional burning of the effigies of Ravan and Kumbhakarn, but the town promises a historical spectacle like none other. When the rest of the country is winding down celebrations, Kullu hosts a glorious week long festival that begins on Vijayadashami day or Oct 22nd 2015. Every night visitors from all over the world are treated to folk dances and music festivals. You can shop for traditional handicrafts at the various stalls set up in the main Dhalpur Maidan. Or get yourself invited to the home of a local resident from any of the villages by the beautiful Beas river for a traditional Gaddi meal. But the highlight of the Kullu Dussehra has to be the rath yatra that carries the beautiful idol of Raghunath Ji from his abode in the Sultanpur Temple. The resident Goddess Hadimba is also brought down from Manali in a grand procession through the city. The idols of countless other Gods and Goddesses mounted on colourful palanquins join the festivities as well.These rituals date back to 1637 AD when Raja Jagat Singh was the ruler of the valley, and installed the idol of Raghunath Ji on the throne, to atone for his sins against a poor subject, Durgadatta. And till today, the Himachalis and the erstwhile royals of the state preserve this age old tradition. So plan a roadtrip to Kullu this October so you can celebrate Dussehra in unforgettable style.  

Three ways to See Goa in a new avatar

Goan beaches, its chill vibe, the shacks, sun, seafood and sand is now the stuff of legend. But there is an as yet unexplored side to Goa for those looking for something new. Perhaps you want to do more than drink and party, perhaps you are travelling with young children and want a holiday that offers a little bit of history, culture, adventure, or you are on your 7th trip and need a small break from the lovely swim-eat-repeat routine. Whatever be your reasons, just hop into a car courtesy Savaari Car Rentals and explore these options in the state known for sunshine and susegad.

Goa
Goa

Eat exotic food

Yes traditional goan seafood is incredibly good, but could we interest you in some traditional Greek food at Vagator, at Thalassa. If you are lucky you can get a real feel of a Greek taverna spirit and participate in the traditional communal dancing or ‘Sirtaki’ at the end of the evening, as you look upon the ocean. Or you could head to some great French food at La Plage, in Morjim. And if reviews are anything to go by, you cannot go wrong with their chocolate thali for dessert! Or hop into your chauffeured Savaari Car and check out Bomra’s close to Fort Aguada some Burmese cuisine which features dishes like the Black Pomfret in Black Bean paste, Coconut noodle soup and the Lime n Chilli Red Snapper. Yum!

Make a trip to Tiracol Fort

Head to Goa’s northernmost village, to take in the Tiracol Heritage Fort before the area is ruined by a proposed luxury golf resort. Your journey is guaranteed to be memorably scenic. Just take in the sights in a Savaari Car Rental as you pass through the picturesque villages of Siolim, Ashvem, and Querim. The fort is just 40 kms from Calangute and closer to the Maharashtra border. A ferry service takes your vehicle across the Tiracol river. The fort itself was built by a Sawantwadi ruler in the 17th Century, and offers great views of the river, Kalacha beach, and the occasional colorful paraglider.

Go on a spice trail

Spice Plantation Goa
Spice Plantation

Goa is a tropical paradise and home to the bounty of spices that attracted the very first explorers from the outside world. And you if fancy a fun filled walk through a breathtakingly green plantation, home to all varieties of spice and fruit bearing trees, head to one of Goa’s oldest kept secrets. We recommend the Savoi Plantation which is over 200 years old! Get a guided tour; see where the pepper, star anise, chilli, cinnamon, and cardamom in your kitchen comes from. Watch exotic birds come to the natural lake on site and sit down to a local meal Shetye family style. Spice estates, sprawling 100s of acres, are in Ponda. In a Savaari Car they are a quick drive away, about 25 kms from Panjim and 40 kms from the popular beaches like Calangute in the north.

Ziro and Ladakh-Two Festivals in Far Flung Corners of India

September is a perfect month to travel in India. With the monsoons receding from most parts of our country and temperatures being neither too cold nor hot, road trips take on a charm of their own.

We have curated two festivals that celebrate local music, dance, food and culture in very different ways. Each of these marquee events attracts curious travellers from around the world. How lucky we are, then, to be able to hire Savaari Car Rentals  to take in these sights first hand, with none of the visa hassles and at a fraction of the cost!

Ladakh Festival

Ladakh Festival
Ladakh Festival – Will Leave you Mesmerized 

Ladakh is on the bucket list of many a intrepid traveller. Book Savaari Car Rentals  from Chandigarh, Manali, Srinagar, or from Delhi and head out for a glorious road trip to witness the famed Ladakh Festival, first hand. This year’s festival will take place between 20th and 26th September, in Leh and adjoining villages. Last year’s festival was cancelled due to the floods in J&K, and this year’s event, after a gap of 2 years is expected to be grander than ever.

Time your visit so you can be there for the inaugural and closing ceremony, where cultural troupes in full costumed glory, sing and play traditional musical instruments. This week in September also offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness Chhams Performances, or mystical, delightful, masked dances, performed by tantric monks, across many viharas.

The six day festival promises many other attractions, like musical concerts, archery and polo demonstrations. Those interested in seeing and buying local art can visit exhibitions of Thangka Paintings and Handicrafts. Thangka paintings that are beautifully detailed are considered to be an object of reverence, offering a path to enlightenment to its practitioners, and patrons alike.

Ziro Festival of Music, Arunachal Pradesh

Ziro  -One of the biggest Music Festival in Arunanchal Pradesh
Ziro – One of the biggest Music Festival in Arunanchal Pradesh

Billed as, India’s Greatest Outdoor Music Festival, the 4th edition of the Ziro Festival of music is back from 24th-27th September. The festival takes place in the Ziro Valley, 4 hours by cab from Guwahati. You can hire Savaari Car Rentals to ferry you from Guwahati, or make this a stop over, as a part of a larger North East itinerary. Just make sure you have an Inner Line Permit or ILP in hand before you head out for this journey of a lifetime.

The Ziro festival attracts some of the best bands on the indie band circuit, and features performances from local North Eastern musicians and folk artists as well. But even if you have never heard of Ska Vengers, or the Whirling Kalapas, if you have only a passing acquaintance with the sounds of Shaa’ir n Func…Ziro promises to be an unforgettable experience.

The music festival offers you a chance to camp out in the midst of nature. One of the oldest towns in Arunachal Pradesh, Ziro is located 5500 feet above sea level and is surrounded by remote, misty mountains and pine trees. This World Heritage area is home to the Apatanis, a tribe known to cultivate paddy and fish using traditional irrigation methods, in knee deep water. If you are lucky, you may spot the Indian Bison or Mithun while going about your day, or score an invitation to a local’s home for a traditional meal!