BEST MONTHS: NOVEMBER
Festivals: Diwali, Deepdiwali, Pushkar Camel Fair, International Film Festival (20-28th Nov 2021)
One of the oldest living inhabitations of the world, the sacred city of Varanasi or Benaras, nestled on the banks of the holy Ganges river, has been attracting pilgrims for centuries. Celebrated author Mark Twain, who visited India in the last decade of the 19th century, described the city as “older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend.” Recognised as one of the holiest towns in India, Varanasi celebrates Diwali on the banks of the holy Ganges!
Sprawled around the serene Pushkar Lake, the quaint town of Pushkar boasts a dramatic landscape of sand dunes, lakes, hills and forests. Steeped in spirituality, Pushkar, literally translated means lotus flower, and is believed to be the seat of Lord Brahma. Thus, Pushkar is among the rare places to house a temple of Lord Brahma. A red-spired structure that was built during the 14th century CE, it invites devotees from far and wide. Legend has it that Lord Brahma once dropped a lotus on the ground, leading to the immediate creation of a lake, which he later named after the flower.
The pocket-sized paradise of Goa is a traveller's dream. Sun, sea, sand, spices, spirituality and seafood, along with a balmy weather, call to the soul of trekkers, backpackers, nature lovers and those who simply want to languish in its slow-paced and relaxed vibes. Located by the glistening waters of the Arabian Sea on India’s western coast, the state of Goa is renowned for its breathtaking beaches, rich culture and pristine natural beauty. Formerly a Portuguese colony, Goa offers travellers a chance to experience a unique blend of sandy shores, forests, monuments and delectable cuisine, attracting tourists across age groups.
Last updated - 19th July 2021 / As of now no new update till date
For more on COVID-19 Guidelines in Rajasthan visit - https://COVIDinfo.rajasthan.gov.in/office-orders.aspx
Owing to the dip in the covid cases in the state, the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday, July, further eased the Covid-19 restrictions.
For more on COVID-19 Guidelines in Uttar Pradesh visit - http://dgmhup.gov.in/en/Covid19Docs
Goa on Saturday, June 26 extended the ongoing Covid-19 related curfew till August 9.
Guidelines for traveling within Goa
For more on COVID-19 Guidelines in Goa visit - https://www.goa.gov.in/COVID-19/
November is a great month to travel in India, because it is still not very crowded, and the weather is pleasant and comfortable. Because of the nice weather, visitors can participate in more outdoor activities such as suggested, One of the oldest civilizations in the world, India is a mosaic of multicultural experiences. With a rich heritage and myriad attractions, the country is among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It covers an area of 32, 87,263 sq. km, extending from the snow-covered Himalayan heights to the tropical rain forests of the south. As the 7th largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea, which give the country a distinct geographical entity
Where to stay
Unwinding at our 5 star hotel in Varanasi is nothing short of divine. Tee off at the mini golf course, take a guided tour of the history-soaked Taj Nadesar Palace, in the “Royal Horse Carriage” driven by the person whose family has been serving the royal family for generations or relax at the Jiva Spa, where you can try the rejuvenating ‘Abhisheka’ treatment, which draws inspiration from time-honoured Indian purifying rituals.
Surrounded by the picturesque Aravalis, The Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa is a haven of wellness and renewal. Embrace serenity in five-star villas, featuring luxury hotel amenities, plush furnishings, Westin White Tea Heavenly™ Bath Amenities and plunge pools in select villas. Explore diverse cultural and historical attractions, including the Holy Lake, the Sadar Bazaar, the annual Camel Fair, the world-famous Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and Brahma Temple, created in the 14th century. Turn your vision into reality in sophisticated spaces for meetings, weddings and social engagements. After an unforgettable day of business or sightseeing, ignite your senses with flavorful cuisine at our distinctive restaurants or refresh your body and mind with a full menu of signature therapies at our Heavenly Spa by Westin™. With beautiful sunsets, serene natural elements and food for the soul, our Pushkar resort hotel offers perfect staycation experiences in one of the world's most inspiring travel destinations.
In luxury’s own lap at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Goa, embrace the languid and laid-back life that is so characteristic of this sunny beach state. Located in Benaulim on the southwest coast of Goa and overlooking the Arabian Sea, this Mediterranean-inspired resort in Goa will slow down your time to a tranquil tempo.
Allow our team to pamper you while at the hotel, and take care of your every need in Goa. We arrange tours to a bird sanctuary and spice plantation, take you to a private Portuguese home to view antique artefacts and paintings, and guide you through Goa’s historic sites. And for those seeking an adrenaline rush, an array of water sports is available right on Benaulim Beach.
Dev Deepavali is the festival of Kartik Poornima celebrated in Varanasi, The traditional plan of events for Dev Deepawali is quite elaborate and is followed religiously every year. The ceremony starts with the offering of prayers (Ganesh Vandana) and flowers to Lord Ganesh. This is followed by the offering of lit earthen lamps or diyas, known as deepdaan, by 21 Brahmins and 41 young girls with the chanting of Vedic mantras in the background. A lot of devotees take a dip in the river Ganges on this auspicious day, known as Kartik Snan. This ritual is believed to rid a person of his/her sins. Many households also organize Akhand Ramayan (chanting of the holy scripture, Ramayana) followed by Bhoj where food is offered to people.
The Ghats along the River Ganga in Varanasi is the most charming sight in the holy city. Strolling along the Ghats at sunset hours is an unrivalled experience. Exploring the Ghats is one of the best things to do in Varanasi. The city has almost a hundred Ghats, the steps of each leading to waters of River Ganges. These are bathing Ghats, praying Ghats and cremation sites for Hindus from all over the world.
Sarnath is located just 12 km the holy city of Varanasi. The holy site of Sarnath is popular because this is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. One of the four holy Buddhist sites, the relics of the area draw visitors in huge numbers.
In keeping with the name of the holy city of Varanasi, the elegant Banarsi silk sari is a symbol of grandeur and nobility. The sarees are among the finest sarees in India and are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery. The sarees are made of finely woven silk and are decorated with intricate design. The special characteristics of these sarees are their Mughal inspired designs such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs. It is also known for its gold work, compact weaving, figures with small details, metallic visual effects, pallus, jal (a net like pattern), and mina work. Varanasi silk is in great demand and is used in home furnishings, silk fabric and other utility products.
Gulabi Minakari is an unknown art of Varanasi. Minakari on silver and golden metals especially on silver is done in Gujarat or Rajasthan but Gulabi Minakari is what found in Varanasi only. You can see the craftsman performing this art only in the bylanes near Gaighat. You can buy small souvenirs of elephants and bird decorated with Gulabi Minakari and use them as home decorator which will always remind you of the time spent in Varanasi.
Flutes Some of the great musicians of India such as Ravi Shankar or Girija Devi have come from Varanasi. Music is another identity of Varanasi and you can hear sweet sounds of music in the street here. There are plenty of shops of musical instrument in Varanasi. You cannot carry instruments Like Veena and Tabla with you but you can buy flutes from anywhere in Varanasi.
Kachori This spicy snack is a mainstay of north Indian food and is especially popular in Varanasi. It comprises round flattened balls of fine flour filled with a flavourful filling of dal (lentils) and spices
Lassi, a popular yoghurt-based drink is the most pleasing way to end a typical Varanasi breakfast. It is traditionally served in a kullhad (earthen glass) with a thick dollop of cream.
Banarasi Paan, One cannot truly be said to have visited Varanasi without having tasted the heavenly flavours of the justly famous Banarasi paan. Betel leaf is rolled with areca nut and other condiments to make the lip-smacking paan.
Pushkar Lake or Pushkar Sarovar is the centre piece of the quiet town. It’s a sacred lake of the Hindus and was mentioned in history as early as the 4th century BC.
Music is in the soul of Pushkar. While strolling around the lake in evenings, you can find many people learning and playing their favourite instruments. Around Gangaur ghat, look for coke-studio-fame Nathu Lal Solanki, the master drummer teaching the beats to drumming enthusiasts.
Pushkar is famous for its annual fair (Pushkar Camel Fair) featuring a trading fete of cattle, horses and camels. It is held over seven days in autumn marking Kartika Purnima according to the Hindu calendar (Kartik (month), October or November).
Rose is one of the important exports of Pushkar. It is not practically possible to buy rose if you are travelling very long. However, you can buy rose based products here, for long-term use. You can find rose oil, perfumes, essential oils, gulkand, sherbet, rose water, cosmetic items and others.
Handicraft Items, Pushkar is very famous for handicraft items made from wood, stone, enamel, ivory and others. You can also find many pottery items, painting and others. There are also handicraft based fashion items like bags, accessories and others. Handmade paper, fragrance oil and incense sticks are the most common handicraft items to buy in Pushkar.
Silver Articles , Silver is quite common in Pushkar. Starting from antique articles and jewelry to modern items, you can find many silver and silver-based souvenir, accessory and décor items.
We know what you are thinking these are the names of 3 different dishes. But here in Pushkar, you will find the fusion combo in one single dish. It is one of Pushkar’s most popular breakfasts.
Although malpuas are rather heavy on the stomach, no one can eat just one. When served with Rabdi thickened milked, they become much richer. It is the ultimate sweet lover’s pleasure to indulge in these little ‘pancakes’ covered in sugar syrup.
Baati (Dough Balls cooked in open fire), traditionally regarded as Rajasthan’s staple meal, is served along with Dal (Lentil) and Churma (Crushed Wheat Bread) and comes in a variety of flavors and proportions. Baatis in Pushkar are fairly large, and they’re dipped in desi ghee (Clarified Butter) and presented in a plate.
Think of Goa and the first thing that comes to mind is beaches, right? One of the best things to do in Goa is to explore its exquisite beaches where you can indulge in sunbathing, water sports, sundown parties, and so much more.
A tiatr is a Konkani play or drama, full of dance, music, political satire, and comedy. This traditional art form is famous for its liveliness and captivating stories. A form of musical theatre, this quintessential Goan experience is something you must not miss out on your Goan trip.
Participate in the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is reckoned as one of Asia's oldest and India's biggest international film festivals. The 52nd edition of IFFI will be held in a hybrid format considering the success of the 51st edition in November. The Festival is being organized by the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India in collaboration with the State Government of Goa and the Indian Film Industry.
In all probability, your Hotel would have welcomed you with a garland of seashells. Well, you can buy many types of jewellery made out of seashells – neckpieces, bracelets, and earrings.
Furniture is undoubtedly one of the best things that add more beauty to your homes. Select a few antique and attractive pieces from a wide range of furniture sets with the wood carvings and stunning brass works available at the different beach markets
Feni is the country’s most famous liquor made out of coconut and cashews. It is something you can’t miss buying if you are planning to travel to Goa. It is indeed enormously intoxicating, long shelf life and is used in the cocktails, usually mixed with the tonic water and lemonade.
It is a widely known (and loved) fact that seafood forms the backbone of the Goan cuisine. One such local and crowd favourite is the Goan prawn curry, made with a coconut base and served with the local parboiled red rice
Goan sausage or Goan chorizo reflects the Portuguese influence on the Goan cuisine. It is prepared using cubes of salted pork that burst with flavour when fried. Chorizo can also be simply boiled and eaten that way.
Ros omelette Ros means gravy in Konkani. Ros omelette is a dearly loved street food. It’s an omelette served with piping hot chicken xacuti gravy poured over it and is eaten with Goan pao.