Culture & Art

Come to grips with what defines local life in a destination. Think native customs, community rituals, folk traditions, even country living. Attend a music performance, join a folk dance, learn an age-old craft, or go on an art-themed trail. Embrace the finer things in life.

Watch Kathakali face masks come to life
Did you know that the Kathakali dance art form of storytelling, synonymous with Kerala has origins in a 2000-year tradition? You can witness the two-hour long ceremony of elaborate masks being painted directly on the faces of performers using eco-friendly paint, rice paste and lime. Each colour has a cultural code.
Learn handblock printing in Jaipur
Land up at Sanganer, the center of Rjasthan’s block-cutting and hand printing units. Enrol in a lesson on this centuries old handcrafting technique. Imprinting delicate motifs over white or cream cotton requires more mastery than you would have imagined. Multi-day classes are suggested if you’re in it for the long haul.
Get your own Ittar made in Hyderabad
Step into one of the perfumery shops on the streets near Charminar to inhale the strong fragrances drifting from the hundreds of shiny bottles crowding the glass shelves. You can actually get your own brand of fragrance blended while you wait. Accurate replica of your fave Chanel? Coming right up.
Sample traditional Kumaoni life in Binsar
Ditch snob value and connect with simplicity in a home stay tucked away in the verdant wonderland of Uttarakhand. Share a modest meal with a village family, volunteer with weaving communities, study Pahadi architecture, feel the joys of organic farming and refresh your lungs with unpolluted mountain air. Just be.
Literary fix at the Jaipur Literature Festival
One of the India’s most exclusive and premier cultural events has come a long way since it kicked off in 2006. Rub shoulders with a community of literature buffs, get copies of newly launched books signed by celeb authors and enlighten yourself with literary speeches. This one is intelligentsia all the way.