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!

 

Experience Live: Unforgettable Indian Festivals!

Indian Festivals

India is spectacularly colourful, vibrant and multicultural. Whether it is experiencing the bustle of all-night markets during Ramzan, shopping for Rakhis in preparation for Raksha Bandhan, or making sure you land an invite to an elaborate Onam Sadhya, August features a line of festivals for multiple communities.

But what if you could witness the gaiety associated with some of these festivals, live? Go on and book an outstation trip with Savaari Car Rentals and take off to see a side of India you haven’t seen yet. Call us on 0 90 4545 0000 to book your trip today.

Here are some experiences we highly recommend.

Road trip to Jammu for its Kite Festival

About 600 kms from Delhi, Jammu is especially delightful during Raksha Bandhan. For, the locals celebrate it with a unique Kite Festival, or Guddi Dor. The skies are dotted with colour and shouts of ‘Woh Kate’ rent the air. Brothers and sisters journey to Jammu just in time to bring in the occasion with their family. If you can’t make it to Jammu for Rakhi, we suggest planning a trip during Janmashtami, on 5th September 2015, which offers another opportunity to experience this fast disappearing tradition.

While Jammu is known primarily as a pilgrimage destination enroute to Vaishno Devi it has many delights for the history buff, with the Amar Mahal and Mubarak Mandi Palaces, the Dogra Museum and Bahu Fort, named after Raja Bahu Lochan the brother of the erstwhile ruler of this princely state. Mansar and Surinsar lakes and the Nandini wildlife sanctuary are perfect for nature lovers. Jammu is also famed for its Dogri cuisine, like Khatta Meat, Rajma Kulche. Else you may want to take home some delicious mango and saunf pickles, or kasrod ka achar!

Witness Pulikali (The Tiger Dance) during Onam in Kerala

Pookalam or elaborate flower rangolis, lip smacking Avial, Olan, Thoran, Pachadi and Payasam that is part of every Sadhya meal, beautiful men and women dressed in traditional attire, the famed snake boat races, Onam in Kerala and outside is truly a sight to behold.

But Thrissur, just 315 kms from Bangalore, is the best destination to witness Pulikali or the colorful tiger dances take place every Onam. This year, it is happening on August 31st 2015. Book a Savaari Car Rental and head to God’s Own Country and see hundreds of artists sporting golden yellow, red and black stripes, and dancing to the beat of traditional instruments like Udukku and Thakil.

The folk art features ‘sangams’ or various troupes that dance fiercely, imitating a hunt between a tiger and a prey. Hours of preparation spent painting their body and donning elaborate costume masks and accessories, culminates in a procession through the city, that ends at Swaraj Round. This spectacular performance attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Cheer on Snake Boats in Aranmula, Kerala

128 kms from the capital Trivandrum lies Aranmula, on the banks of the Pampa River. Home to the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, the town hosts the very well known, historic, snake boat race during Onam. This year, it is to take place on August 31st, 2015, when thousands of spectators will gather to excitedly cheer over 50 graceful long wooden boats move in a fierce rhythm for over 40 kilometres along the river.

The snake boats that are a testimony to traditional craftsmanship are lovingly maintained all year, just in preparation for this day. 150 oarsmen in each boat, sing songs or Vanchipattu as their boats adorned with umbrellas, flags and golden laces slices through the water, making for a truly unforgettable spectacle.

Five Road Trip Essentials

Traveling With

Taking a flight? Chances are you will complain about long waits and terrible airplane food. Planning train travel to relive childhood memories? It is likely you will abandon it because ‘time kahan hain?’ …but the kind of getaway that is easy to plan and guaranteed to be fun is a good old road trip!

Especially, if you do not have the stress of being behind the wheel and have the comfort of travelling in a chauffeured car courtesy Savaari Car Rentals! So lets imagine you are getting away to someplace amazing when the next long weekend rolls around. Here is how you can plan for a perfect driving holiday!

Pretend like it is 1993. Make playlists.

With uninterrupted access to the radio, YouTube and Soundcloud the music on your phone is likely out of date. Hark back to the era of tapes and make brand new mixes a.k.a playlists just for this trip. Moods tend to vary wildly and you may tire of Arijit Singh after 2 hours. Be prepared to crave old Rafi classics. Revisit Britney Spears or cater to requests for AC/DC, so everyone is happy! Downloading podcasts or books on tape is also a great option if you want some quiet, customized entertainment.

Pack Dabbas

Remember picnics, packing mountains of food and eating it messily in parks? Why not bring back a little of that madness on your next road trip? Maybe you don’t want to revisit the menu of alu sabzi, pooris and mixed rice but you can always modernize and improvise. How about egg and mustard sandwiches, wasabi peanuts, veggie sticks with hummus, and store bought containers of chocolate mousse for nonstop snacking?

Start Early. Leave Late

The whole excitement of a trip lies in waking up at an ungodly hour and beating city traffic. Book Savaari Car Rentals so our driver can you pick you up nice and early. Then get chatting so he can recommend some great breakfast joints along the way. And, ensure you get back to the concrete jungle way into the night so you can put off complaining about traffic till the morning at least.

Take the Scenic Route

Remember Mondays? Remember hours spent going through other people’s Facebook vacation albums? Remember daydreaming about your next trip to the mountains or the beach? Make it all count by taking the scenic route on this trip. What is an extra few hours in a car, especially when you are not driving…when you can stick your neck out and feel the wind in your hair? When you can stop at every gurgling brook and take selfies. And every turn in the road throws up an even more gorgeous view. Make sure your stop for chai often and embrace unexpected detours, because, this one time at least, the journey is everything.

Document. Or Don’t

It is frustrating but in our hyper visual world, sometimes people spend more time documenting their travels than experiencing it first hand. If you are anti pictures then stick by your plan and don’t whip out your phone every time you see something beautiful. But if you feel document nahin kiya to kya kiya? step up your editing game with VSCO Camfor photos that will do justice to your trip. For videos, you can use Magisto to create short films complete with music and fx. Or if the trip inspires the travel writer in your, get journalling with Evernote.

Lastly, use this freely available guide to pack smart, ensure you dress comfortably and lie back and relax while we get you to your destination in style. Call 0 90 4545 0000 or Click Here to book your next outstation trip with Savaari Car Rentals.

Witness Rathyatra at Puri on 29th July

Coming 29th July, Witness the biggest and oldest Rathyatra in the world at Puri. The tradition dates back to 1150 AD when the Temple of Jagganath was completed. The festival is important in two aspects – chhera pahara, wherein the Gajapati Kings descendants sweeps the area around the Deity and also cleans the path on which the Chariot is moving. This is done on both and Last day of the festival to signify the fact that in the eyes of Lord all beings are ewual. In the Ratha Yatra, the three deities are taken from the Jagannath Temple in the chariots to the Gundicha Temple, where they stay for seven days. After that period, the deities again ride the chariots back to Shri Mandir. Every year lakhs of devotees flock to have a glimpse of Lord Jagannath.

Rathyatra At Puri
Rathyatra At Puri

From nearby cities, people cab pre-book cabs from Savaari Car Rentals. Some of the cities from which cabs are available are Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Vishakhapatnam, Ranchi, Jamshedpur. Have a happy Rath Yatra.