How many of you have been waiting for the first opportunity to pack your bags, catch a bus and get away to your favourite escapes again? If we do have to wait why not finally start with that bucket list? Start thinking about the places we’ll visit, the experiences we’ll have, the things we’ll learn – only this time, the destinations could be close to home. Keeping in mind the limitations that the pandemic will most likely leave us with in the initial post-lockdown stage, here are 8 immersive experiences for Delhiites for their #PostLockdownBucketList.
Spending a week at an organic farm
The most humbling experiences in life are also the most uplifting. Forage for produce, tend to animals, work in the fields and contribute towards the farm-to-table process. Agritourism is picking up in India and farmstays have come up all over Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
Sailing down the Ganga
This one is a favourite. An epic five-day, 180-km-long river odyssey that begins at Allahabad and concludes at Varanasi that is made of life-changing stuff. Bob up and down for eight hours a day observing life on the banks and enjoying sights like Chunar Fort and Ramnagar Palace, not to forget water-loving exotic bird species.
Taking pottery lessons in Andretta
Wouldn’t it be lovely, sipping some heady Kangra tea from a clay cup that you have made on your own? The three-and-a-half decade old artists' enclave offers a three-month pottery residency, opening up opportunities for long excursions, great local food, bonfires and a lot more.
Read | Andretta: Mem da Pind
Learning hand block-printing in Jaipur
The craft of hand block-printing has its roots in Jaipur, near Bagru and Sanganer, an area full of workshops engaged in the local industry. Learn from Chhipa masters and also pick up some specimens for yourself, or get close to indigenous artists at the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing.
Witnessing Hola Mohalla in Anandpur Sahib
The three-day festival that began in 1701 is no less of a spectacle even now. Come Holi, drive down to Anandpur Sahib to watch Nihang warriors flaunt their legendary fighting prowess via mock battles and listen to calming kirtans.
Epic rail journeys
Train travel is positioned precariously right now, but here’s hoping we can go back to being passengers again. Scenic views, splendid bridges and thrilling tunnels aboard the Kalka-Shimla toy train. Check out golden sands, shifting dunes and camels while trudging gently aboard the Desert Express. And get a glimpse of Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Varanasi and Kushinagar aboard the Mahaparinirvan Express.
Living with leopards in Jawai Bandh
The area around Jawai, river Luni’s tributary in Rajasthan, is home to granite hills whose caves and crevices shelter about 60 leopards. Mingle with the local Rabari community that has a close connection with the animals. You can also spot flamingoes, barheaded geese and sarus cranes.
Angling in Pancheshwar
So many of us have only heard or read about angling. Get down to doing it in Kumaon’s Pancheshwar, at the confluence of the Mahakali and Saryu, whose waters breed golden mahseers and trouts in abundance. The rapids of the Kali also offer opportunities for rafting expeditions that dwarf – nay, drown – those in Rishikesh.