Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Different Hues of Holi Celebrations in India

Holi Celebrations in India
Holi in India is boisterous, loud, absorbing, in-your-face and, most importantly, memorable. There are no half measures to celebrating Holi – you’re either in or out. Especially if you’re visiting from abroad, expect a lot of eyeballs, prolonged stares and curious approaches. But, don’t let unwanted attention bog you down and take away from the spirit of Holi. This post is a brief description of the most popular Holi celebrations around India.

     1 -  Uttar Pradesh – Barsana, Mathura, Nandgaon and Vrindavan

Being the birthplace of Lord Krishna, who is believed to have been a huge Holi patronizer himself, Holi is at its whackiest best here. Drums of colored water are poured on the processions of hundreds dancing in the streets as the ladies take to mock-beating men with lathis (bamboo sticks). A word of caution – it’s relatively safer to enjoy the celebrations from a distance. Bring your SLR to good use. 
Lathmar Holi Barsana
      2 -  Udaipur, Rajsthan  -  Shiv Niwas Palace

The royal family of Udaipur throws open the gates of the majestic Shiv Niwas Palace on Holi every year. Holi is celebrated in the manicured lawns of the palace as people drown each other in huge tanks of colored water. Water canons throw jets of water in different colors as people engage in spirited revelry, inebriated under the influence of cannabis-laden bhang.

Grand Holika Dahan Festival in Shiv Niwas Palace Udaipur, Rajsthan

3 - Goa

If it’s a celebration, Goa is already doing it. The colorful Holi festival goes by the name of Shigmo in Goa. The Shigmo Festival is the festival of spring and is celebrated over a week amid much pomp and fanfare. Gulal and Neel are the most widely used colors and thumping drums roaring choruses make for the music. Local troupes enact the story behind the festival and parades are organized at Panaji, Mapusa, Vasco da Gama and Margao.
The Shigmo Festival in Goa

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Thursday, 14 March 2013

Here’s Some Money Saving Tips for Backpackers in Goa Trip

Backpacking, an economic traveling concept, is fast gaining popularity across the globe. It is quite popular with students and budget tourists traveling on a shoe-string budget. Goa, located in the western parts of India, is too inviting a sizeable chunk of backpackers throughout the year. The salubrious climate, hospitable people and laid back ambience is conducive for the tourists. Here are a few money saving tips for backpackers during their trip to Goa.
Breathe the economic air in Goa 

Accommodation (Lodges, budget hotels and Homestays) 

Backpackers do not seek lavish accommodation. When it comes to the accommodation needs of backpackers, Goa has a lot of options in store. Besides a large number of budget hotels, Goa has many village cottages and Homestays that are rented by the locals at reasonably low rates. Apart from saving money, you’ll get to experience local traditions and ways of living life. 

Eat at Beach Shacks, Avoid Restaurants 

During your trip to Goa, if you are looking forward to get entertainment over relaxation, you won’t need to look anywhere else other than beach shacks. At a very cheap price, these beach shacks let you savor authentic Goan delicacies. Being a coastal area, Goa offers a scrumptious variety of seafood delicacies. So if you love non-vegetarian food, Goa is an absolute haven for you. Moreover, if you are staying in Homestays, you’ll get authentic Goan home-made food included in the rental price. 

Bargain While Shopping 

The flea markets of Goa are quite popular with local and international tourist alike. The most popular names in the list include the Wednesday Market of Anjuna Beach and Ingo’s Saturday Night market of Arpora Beach. Always make it a point to bargain in these flea markets. Compare the price tags of different vendors and then make the last choice. Don’t spend anything on clothing. 

Beware of Touts and Follows Rules 

Goa has never been in the news for major safety issues. However, a few stray incidents may make you think twice, but Goa, at large, is a quite a safe destination for tourists and backpackers. Though the people of Goa are quite helpful and friendly, it is advisable not to trust anyone with cash or belongings is not a wise thing. Also, you should never entertain touts trying to fool you with unnecessary offers. Do not try anything out of the box, adhere to the safety guidelines and always use your common sense.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Some Useful Tips for Solo Traveler in Goa

It is needless to mention that Goa has topped the popularity charts as a cosmopolitan destination. From being a hippy idyll in the early 60’s to the beach capital of India, this tiny Indian state has come a long way. There is always a perception that  Goa trip can be enjoyed only if you are in a group of 7 to 8 people. This is the reason why most people are apprehensive visiting Goa on their own. 

But there is a section of tourists who loves traveling alone and I’m one of them. This post will include some first hand tips for a solo traveler(male and female) in Goa. Read on….

Check thoroughly about the Goa hotels 
If you are a first time traveler to Goa, check thoroughly about the hotels and beachfront properties on the internet. Read reviews, suggestions and tips on the travel forums (such as the trip advisor). A good research will help you find a good hotel in a great location. 

Advance Planning is Required 

Advance planning is quite important if you are a first time traveler, especially solo traveler. It is important for you to determine what has to be carried or what does not have to be carried along. If you’ll think smartly , a safe and secure vacation to Goa is guaranteed. Before embarking on a Goa trip, it is important to ensure that you carry just enough cash. Carrying a lot of cash can be  a risky affair. Handbags carrying important essentials must be tucked under the arm while front pockets must be used for carrying cash. Use artificial jewelry while traveling and staying at the beachfront properties. All the travel documents must be in order along with the attested photocopies. 
Fort Aguada Goa

 Don’t Disclose Personal Information and accompany the guide 

Always ask for a reliable and trustworthy guide from your hotel’s travel desk. Keep your hotel authorities informed about your whereabouts at the time of sightseeing. Never disclose personal information to unknown and strangers and be alert all the time. 

Dress Appropriately and Conservatively 

The best way to get unnoticed in the public places and beach areas is wearing denims, jeans and T-shirts. Dressing conservatively and appropriately will prevent you from unwarranted attention and unnecessary harassments. 
Palolem beach Goa

All the above mentioned four tips are a result of a personal Goa travel experience. Do consider them in your online research for Goa vacations.