In the March edition of our newsletter, The Sodha Traveler, I discuss the benefits of traveling with children. Textbooks are important resources but can limit the personal experiences that create global citizens. Traveling encourages children to develop personal connections and nurtures their desire to explore. It can also build confidence and teach tolerance, patience, communication, adaptability, and diversity.
It is almost time for Holi, the Festival of Colors! Holi is a Hindu celebration that occurs at the end of the winter season on the last full day of the lunar month Phalguna. As bonfires are lit to signify a devotion to Lord Vishnu, the God of Preservation, people gather and throw colored powder and water at each other. Depending on the region, the festival can last up to sixteen days. This year, the main day of Holi is on March 1.
For those travelers who prefer a flexible schedule, I recommend an Independent Itinerary, or II. An II allows you to confirm certain elements of your trip, including hotel or flight reservations, but keep the daily activities optional. If you prefer to add a tour, cooking class, home visit, cultural event, or other feature, you are given a list of contacts in each city who can assist in coordinating the details as requested.
Often, travelers in India experience gastrointestinal discomfort, commonly termed Delhi Belly. Some fault the food preparation while others blame the water source. The symptoms usually lessen after 24-48 hours without any medication. Here are a few suggestions for staying healthy during your trip:
Pondicherry (or Puducherry) is located in Southern India on the Bay of Bengal. The city was developed by the French and often termed the "French Riviera of the East." Because Pondicherry provides a unique integration of Indian and European heritage, it has become an increasingly popular tourist destination.
Many of our tours include a visit to Kerala, a lush state in Southwest India that is often considered the birthplace of Ayurveda. Ayurveda, or "Science/Knowledge of Life," is a form of holistic medicine. The earliest documentation of this healing system appeared in India over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda focuses on balancing the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual elements of life to create ultimate wellness.