Leaving behind the splendor of the holiday season for the January slush can be a truly daunting experience. If the muted gray skies outside your office window have left you with a serious case of the post-holiday doldrums, it’s definitely time for a change of scenery. Luckily, Immersion Journeys is here to bring you lush and colorful journeys sure to chase away those midwinter woes. Read on for two of our favorite ideas, and reach out to us now for even more!
Play with colors, shapes, and sounds in India
In India, it can seem as if everywhere you’re met with the bright colors of everyday life, especially during festival season! Holi, the Hindu springtime festival celebrating colors and new life, falls on March 13th this year, and will be marked by celebrations throughout the country. While it can be a little daunting for travelers to “play with colors” as the locals will do – smearing powdery rainbow dyes on passersby while calling out “Happy Holi!” — there are plenty of other Holi activities to mark the day. Be sure to check out Holi Moo in New Delhi, a festival “of madness and color” featuring live performances and delicious street food.
For an equally vibrant experience, Gujarat, on India’s westernmost border, is home to breathtaking architectural marvels sure to leave you wide-eyed with wonder. One such example is the Adalaj Step-well, an exquisite vav – or, watering hole – constructed in 1499 AD. Its ornately carved walls and niches with shrines of Hindu gods and goddesses, as well as elephants, flowers, and other fauna have not lost their lushness over time.
The same can be said for any of the many temples and palaces throughout Gujarat — you’ll want to bottle up the golden glow of the 863 marble Jain temples at Palitana to keep at your desk on a slushy gray day.
And for colors you really can bring home with you, look no further than the Kutch desert, where the Rabari people, a formerly nomadic cattle farmers, have made a permanent home. Their distinctive textiles, characterized by bold shapes and woven through with glittering colored glass, are a riot for the senses — and sought around the globe.
To learn more about Immersion Journeys’ tour in Gujarat, which has been named by National Geographic as one of the “50 Tours of a Lifetime,” click here!
Or immerse yourself in Sri Lanka’s lush history and architecture
Sri Lanka is home to miles of glittering emerald beachfront – Trincomalee, Galle Green, or Mount Lavinia in the capital city of Colombo are just a few. But beyond the beach, north toward the mountains of Kandy, lie some of Sri Lanka’s most precious cultural treasures. These include the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, renowned for their sumptuous collection of orchids, and the Temple of the Tooth, where pilgrims and other visitors can pay their respects to the Buddha while exploring the opulent temple artwork and sprawling gardens.
Sri Lanka’s palatial tea estates, characterized by rolling hills of lush green and white camellia as far as the eye can see, are another magnificent treasure. Colonial in origin, the majority of these estates are now under local ownership, and visitors are welcomed, especially in the quaint city of Nuwara Eliya, a former favorite of the English and Scottish colonists that still retains much of its historic colonial architecture – including red brick cottages and pastel rose gardens. From Nuwara Eliya you can also easily travel to Horton Plains National Park, with its famous “World’s End” trail where you can view all the way down to the coast before the late morning mist rolls in.