Book a Stay at a Floating National Park
It can't get more memorable than this: a stayover at the world’s only ‘floating’ national park at the Loktak Lake in Manipur. The lake, with multiple ring-shaped landmasses floating on it (known as phumdis), is a marvel of nature. The Keibul Lamjao National Park here spreads across 40sq km and is situated on one of the phumdis. Gift a couple of nights at the Forest Rest House in Phubala. You can contact the tourist office in Imphal for details.
Go Handicraft Hunting In Kutch
If your mom treasures the beauty of India's ancient handicraft traditions, then we suggest you plan a trip to Bhuj in Kutch. Spend a leisurely day looking around the few attractions in this little town, tucked inside Gujarat’s Kutch region, before falling prey to its charming textile and handicrafts. The mid-18th century palace called Aina Mahal, known for its hall of mirrors was styled on European architectural models by its Dutch-trained architect Ramsinh Malam. The bell tower of Prag Mahal is another draw, as are the Kutch Museum and the Folk Art Museum, Hamirsar Lake and the chhatardis of the Kutch royal family. Try the local cuisine, especially the pao bhaji. But the main draw of Bhuj is the traditional textile industry that has developed around it. Shroff Bazar in the town is one of the best places to look for ethnic textiles. Or, take a trip to Bhujodi, a town 8km away. Watch the craftsmen at work as they bring to life lovely patterns through block printing and tie-and-dye methods. Shrujan, a not for profit organisation for local women, sells a range of products. Hiralaxmi Memorial Craft Park, a kilometre away from Bhujodi, is also a shoppers’ delight. Read more about Shrujan and its wonderful craft museum here.
Explore Ladakh With A Local Women's Travel Company
Have you wondered if it is possible to trek to remote areas of Ladakh with a team of female guies and porters? That is exactly what this travel agency founded by Thinlas Chorol, one of Ladakh's much acknowledged female guides, specialises in. Although their focus is on treks, they may also help you with customised tours. They also arrange for accommodation in women-run homestays, where women travellers and host families interact to learn about each other’s cultures. The agency’s main aim is ‘to encourage the women of Ladakh to show their abilities and skills, particularly in the remote areas’. Check them out here.
For Green Warriors
All this year, nature has been telling us that we need to mend our ways. This is the moment to push away despair and learn to regenerate the planet, ecosystem-by-ecosystem. If your mom is interested in learning the rudiments of sustainable food, and taking care of the mother of them all - our earth, then sign them up for a permaculture workshop at a farm like Smell of The Earth. Situated in Birbhum, the farm is close to the picturesque university town of Shantiniketan set up by Rabindranath Tagore. Another option is to gift a volunteer-stay at a forest garden situated at the 8 Mile village near Darjeeling. With a mud house, a herb garden, a backpacker hostel, TIEEDI is a great opportunity to connect to nature and the local community. One can join in and help tend the forest gardens while exploring trails, listen to birdsong and sounds of gushing waterfalls.
Eco Travel In The Himalayas
Tucked inside the high mountains of Himachal Pradesh, Spiti is known for its natural and spiritual attractions. However, unplanned tourism can harm its fragile environment. Therefore, if you have Spiti on your travel bucket list, then do plan for an eco-friendly holiday. Ecosphere conducts trips into Spiti alley which merge conservation and sustainable development. Their carbon positive trips create additional livelihoods and revenues for the local communities.
The mesmerising hills of Kalimpong are home to the School for Natural History Art, run by award-winning botanical illustrator Hemlata Pradhan. You can gift workshops and classes on botanical, and other forms of art, against picturesque views of the hills and valleys. It’s a colourful voyage about nature, and into nature. For more information, email [email protected]
With inputs by Uttara Gangopadhyay and Vishnu Mohan