Cultural Destinations of North India

posted in: Asia, Culture, Heritage, India | 26
India is a land of diverse culture and traditions and what is more interesting is the fact that not only some of these are indigenous but also, external influences that we have imbibed and absorbed to make them our own. It is amazing how this very influence of various cultures have given a different color and experience to places within India. Every nook and corner of India have these kind of places.

Here is one cultural travel route in the Northern Part of India. I would love to travel along this circuit and explore the undiscovered secrets of the Big Five. The Big Five, as I like to call them, are cultural destinations, influenced and shaped by diverse cultural sects that settled in here. Here is a quick introduction to them – 

1) Delhi

Humayun's Tomb                                                                                                                               Image Credits: Deepak Gupta
Humayun’s Tomb                                                                                                                               Image Credits: Deepak Gupta
Sure it is the capital of India, but the cultural roots of Delhi are quite fascinating. The Mughal influence apparent in the monuments. From Humayun’s tomb to the Qutub Minar and the landmark Red Fort – the city is filled with the Islamic influence – with some aspects yet to be discovered. 

 2) Rishikesh

Lakshman Jhula                                                                                         Image Credits: Tyler Sundance
Lakshman Jhula                                                                                                                                  Image Credits: Tyler Sundance
Birthplace of Yoga with the holy river Ganges flowing through the town and its landmark bridge- Lakshman Jhoola, Rishikesh seems to paint a picture of serenity. With a Hindu influence, am sure the pulse in this little town echoes the peace of the sound of “OM”. Of course, besides the same , would love to do a little white-water rafting here, while visiting. 

3) Kasauli

Streets of Kasauli                                                                                       Image Credits: Gautam Valluri
Streets of Kasauli                                                                                                                          Image Credits: Gautam Valluri
Feels like the town is straight out of a storybook – little town surrounded by the mountains, with British styled buildings. They say that the lights of the town like pin points in the valley below . Nestled amongst the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, would love to see the British culture that still prevails in Kasauli by way of its architecture, the churches and the little streets of the old British cantonment. Of course, one cannot forget the thrill of the photographer who would love to carry back the pictures of pure nature and greenery that surrounds the town.

4) Kasol

Parvati River in Kasol                                                                                 Image Credits:Parthiv Haldipur
Parvati River in Kasol                                                                                                                    Image Credits:Parthiv Haldipur
 A little town near Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, this place caught my fancy because of the pure nature that you can experience here. The Gushing waters of Parvati River through the valleys of Himalayas and the lovely trekking trails. Aah! Makes me want to head there right away. And when it comes to the cultural influence- guess what- its the Israeli influence here. They say that this influence shows in the clothing, food, shopping and the music available in the town. Israel in Kasol – Interesting, huh?

5) Mcleodganj

Prayer Bells at the Tibetean temple                                                              Image Credits:Liz Highleyman
Prayer Bells at the Tibetean temple                                                                                                    Image Credits:Liz Highleyman
Now this is unusual and I think the picture above would have given away the Cultural influence. Mcleodganj is a small town near Dharmasala in Himachal Pradesh. A headquarter of the Tibetean Government in Exile, this place is called the Little Lhasa and has a huge settlement from Tibet. What would it be like to get a feel of Tibet in India, and that too, in a beautiful town surrounded by the same mountains that Tibet has.
Writing this post has already given me a thrill, imagine what it would be for me to actually be there. Imagine the thrill of discovering, understanding and living 5 unique cultures within the same country in a span of 10 days. Someday, I hope to do this route of the Big Five at one go but for now, it stays on my bucket list. 🙂
Do share your views about the “Big Five” in the comments below. Would love to know what you think of the same.
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26 Responses

  1. We are planning to visit Kasauli next weekend 🙂 Hope it will be nice experience to be there 🙂

  2. Lucky you. Am crossing my fingers and hoping to go there soon.

  3. Have a grand trip! The places sound great!

  4. Fingers Crossed. Hoping to go. 🙂

  5. I have been to a few of them and all of them are great spots for vacation.

  6. Thanks Alok. Am sure they were amazing

  7. A wonderful part of India, thank you for sharing your photos! We were in Dharamsala and really enjoyed learning about Tibetan history and culture

  8. This is the first time I’ve heard of Rishikesh. It looks and sounds like a fantastic place to visit. I’ll have to research further.

    • It definitely is a place for history and adventure lovers. Check it out.

  9. The more I read your blog, the more I love India. Thanks for opening my eyes.

  10. I have been to Delhi several times with parents but had never heard of some of these places! will be sure to visit when we are there next year 🙂

  11. Bohemian Bowman

    Number 4 looks like British Columbia, Canada!

  12. Loved all the places, and the varied atmosphere they provide, from the vibrancy of Delhi to the peace and serenity of Mcleodganj. Nice post and pictures.

  13. Allison Fun Family Vacations

    The picture of the walking bridge looks amazing. I would love to see that in person one day.

  14. I’m always amazed to see how much difference there can be in one country, not just nature wise, but also from outside influxes. Very cool to see.

  15. Those are wonderful pictures. Excellent capture of the place and essence.

  16. Melody Pittman

    Rishikesh, where have you been all my life? Gorgeous!

Would love to know what you think