Learn, see, experience and enjoy the best of India, especially if you’re a woman
What would Madonna do? When in doubt, we ask ourselves this and usually know what to do. However, of all the things the pop star is known for, travelling extensively in India isn’t one of them. Which is why we stepped up, fingerless gloves on, to make a list of all the things you can do in the subcontinent, when you’re a woman. From adventure to shopping to wildlife (no, we don’t mean traffic) and culture, India has an experience for you that’s safe and easy to do. Ready, blow-dry, travel!
Let’s have an adventure!
WHERE: Badami, Karnataka
WHAT: Woman against mountain. That’s pretty much the essence of rock-climbing, with cramps, scrapes, soreness and additional pain thrown in. This rigorous sport is something of a craze in Badami’s sandstone hills, among India’s best routes. Find out how to leverage holds, tie clove hitches, belay other climbers and cut arcs. You’ll learn to dangle in the air and like it, as well as to trust your instincts. And, while you’re finding out what your body is truly capable of, you’ll also feast on the amazing landscapes from those heights. Geronimo!
FOR WHOM: Solo travellers
GETTING THERE: Drive up from Bangalore (455km) or Panjim (273km).
2. Kick Like a Beast
WHERE: Kozhikode, Kerala
WHAT: Kalarippayattu has 18 techniques, legendarily said to have influenced the 18 hands of Buddha, via Bodhidharma, the monk who took it back to China. Postures are derived from animals and birds, and kicks, leaps, jumps and stances are taught over a two-day workshop at CVN Kalarai Nadakav, allowing students to build strength, balance, stamina and flexibility. Advanced classes involving fighting with wooden sticks and metal weaponry are also available. Relaxing ayurvedic massages are part of the training, and treat any muscle trauma or soreness you might experience. You can stay at the Ayush Ayurveda Ashram, an option offered by CVN, and you must stop for breakfasts at the Bombay Hotel, which serves amazing Malayali food as well as the intriguingly-named biryani chai.
FOR WHOM: Travellers looking to learn something new
GETTING THERE: Fly into Calicut International Airport (30km). Kozhikode has a railway station, and you can also drive from Bangalore (360km) or Kochi (180km).