In March 2015, Gill and I were lucky enough to travel to
India and participate in the Holi festival of colours, within 15 minutes of
landing in Delhi, one of many superb places to play Holi in India.
Our Holi festival tour guide in India was our friend and partner in tourism, Parul Sinha of Sacred Dot Tours based in Delhi, who had especially arranged for us to celebrate and play Holi with her family and close friends at one of her friends private home`s. What a fabulous time we all had, with the young children, parents/adults, and grandparents, all getting into the rhythm of Holi, and throwing vegetable dye over each-other and then chasing each-other around with water pistols, bigger water cannons, and hosepipes, till we were all thoroughly immersed in the multitude of Holi colours.
Following closely on the colourful aspects of our Indian Holi festival, we were treated to an amazing array of traditional Indian foods that are eaten during Holi, whilst imbibing quantities of ciders, beers, and cooldrinks – no Bhang unfortunately!
Due to us loving this Holi India tour, we decided we needed to offer our own Holi Festival India 2016 Tour through Key To India and Sacred Dot, and so the Colours of India Tour was packaged and made available.
We have incorporated the Holi Festival Tour 2016 in the Colours of India trip, and guests will be celebrating the Holi Festival in the ultra romantic lake city of Udaipur!
Please join us on the Colours of India tour from the 20th till the 31st March 2016, and celebrate Holi in this wonderful Holi Festival India package.
Leave your pre-conceived Western ideas, concepts, and thoughts at home, and travel with us briefly through the most colourful, warm, friendly, chaotic, vibrant, rich, abjectly poor, spiritual, rural, technologically advanced, and ultimately highly contradictory India.
Mumbai is the financial capital of India, with a population of 20 million, living in a range of accommodation from serious ghetto’s to a $2 billion dollar high-rise mansion for 5 people! You immediately realise that the volume of tuk-tuks, scooters, motor-bikes, and cars on the road is like nothing you’ve experienced previously, and you have to acclimatise to the Indians “style” of driving very quickly. No-one drives fast, but there are no robots nor any stop streets / yields, and traffic flows around you in an amazing fashion.
The general rule is that whoever has the nose of their vehicle in front of you, has right of way ((whether it be a car, a scooter carrying between one and five people, an elephant, a tuk-tuk carrying anything from a driver and a single passenger to a driver and ten passengers, a truck, a camel, a Mahindra 6 seater jeep carrying twenty people, a bus, a horse or a mule, a bicycle, a rickshaw, a bicycle rickshaw, a camel rickshaw or water carrier, a combine harvester, a tractor and trailer, a carriage being pushed by a person, a vegetable trolley). Makes no difference if you’re coming out of a side street, whether you’re travelling against the traffic on a highway, going straight, going round a traffic circle, overtaking wherever you’d like, or turning into a side street against the flow of traffic, as long as you hoot and your front wheels are ahead of or in front of another vehicle, you have right of way.
The constant hooting initially drives you mad, but you quickly realise that that is the way it works, acting as an early warning system of your intentions. And surprisingly, we saw no accidents on our travels, so it obviously works well. But, we had many, of what we thought of as near misses, but were actually just the way it is. Bottom line, if you’re not Indian, don’t drive in India!!
Written by Gillian Key
We are a family who really just live to taste and eat different foods, particularly food that’s made with love and good quality ingredients. It does not have to be fancy, difficult to prepare or impressive, just totally delicious!
We started exploring Indian cooking, buying recipe books and cooking at home, going to Indian restaurants in Cape Town, and doing the odd Indian cooking course. We fell deeply in love with the wonderful variety of astounding flavours, from subtle and creamy to fiery and rich. The love affair grew and we made a decision to try and get to India and eat, which we did in April 2013.
We understood from friends that we could not go to India in a spontaneous manner, but would need to plan and arrange a guided tour. We did not want to do a traditional tour as our focus was primarily food, and obviously seeing some of the Indian highlights.
We are lucky enough to have been connected to a friend of a friend in tourism in India, who was able to put together a tailormade trip for us. We were joined by friends of ours, so the group became 4 adults and 4 children, ages 14,11,10 and 10.
We were given superb guidance and advice by our very experienced tour operator, before setting foot on the aeroplane, which made the tour a relaxed and easy holiday.
Read our next post, for more on our Journey to India.
Preparation was a mixture of thinking that some of the things we were taking seemed ridiculous and others quite logical. The fear of dehli-belly was huge, so all the regular tummy meds in huge quantities were purchased. We got prescriptions from the doctor for powerful stomach antibiotics as well as one for any kind of general infection.We bought lots of handwipes, travelpack tissues and washing powder. The washing powder meant we could travel light and do lots of shopping! As it is hot and sweaty, you do lots of washing and things take very little time to dry.
Comfortable hats were purchased, peak cap for me and lovely panama hat for Richard. Sensible day back packs for day outings were a great purchase too. Good,comfortable slip slops were my daily wear, a light pair of takkies for certain days when we needed to do lots of walking were necessary. Pure cotton clothing as light as possible was suggested as you need to be covered up, it is really sensible as you do not want to get sunburnt and it is cooler to be covered with a thin layer, so no strappy tops needed! Wash and wear was a daily occurrence (so that we could still fit carpets into our suitcase on return.)
Soon, we were ready to embark on our journey.