North India, famous for its natural beauty, is culturally blessed and known for its rich representation of six cultural heritages. These are officially made up of by the North Indian states of Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, and traditionally also include Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar. There are the obvious beauties that North India has to offer, such as the Taj Mahal, but with this vibrant conglomeration of culture, there is no end of treasures to see. For the canny and the curious, here is a taste of just some of the cultural experiences Headrush offers:
The Rookpund Lake, better known as the “Skeleton Lake” is a glacial lake located at about 5,029 meters in the Himalayan Mountain region. When the ice melts, skeletons numbering from 300-600 can be seen floating in the waters. The origin of these skeletons is yet unknown and speculated on to this day. The most tenable explanation is a hailstorm, which local folklore tells us was brought upon by the fury of Latu, their local deity.
Experience the phenomenon of Magnetic Hill, located in the mountains of Ladakh at about 11,000 feet above sea level. This hill is said to have magnetic forces so strong it can pull cars uphill, urging aircrafts flying above to fly higher in order to avoid the magnetic pull.
The holiest of Sapta Puri, the seven holy cities, Varanasi is the oldest city in India and is among the oldest cities in the world that have been continuously inhabited. To add mystery to its ancient history, Hindus believe that death at Varanasi brings salvation. Located on the banks of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, it is believed that Varanasi was founded by the god Shiva. Don’t miss the Vishwanath Temple, also known as the “Golden Temple”, or the Kaal Bhairav Temple, where you will buy black threads to keep in the shrine and then wear as protection against evil forces.
Yamunotri is the seat of the Hindu Goddess Yamuna, who sits at the source of the river Yamuna, the largest tributary river of the Ganges. It is one of the four sites of the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage circuit in the Indian Himalayas. The holy thermal springs at Janki Chatti, which serves as a convening point for those on pilgrimage to Yamunotri, have been made more accessible by jeeps which travel up to Janki Chatti, though some still prefer to walk. From there, make your way up to Yamunotri to pay homage at the temple. Bathing in the sacred waters of the Yamuna is said to free one from a painful death.
Rishikesh, known as the “World Capital of Yoga”, is located in the state of Uttarakhand where the Ganges River flows down at the foothills of the Himalayas. For this reason, it is also known as the “Gateway to the Himalayas”. Visit Gita Bhavan, the ashram where people gather twice a year to read the Ramayana together, after experiencing Triveni Ghat, a bathing ghat where you can join thousands in bathing and Maha Aarti performance. Swarg Ashram is generously dotted with ashrams and temples, where famous Yogis and Rishis of old practiced Tapasya.
If you are searching for hidden gems in North India, plan a trip to Khajuraho. Located in the Chhatarpur District of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho summons all the passion and flavor that accompany a hub where music, dance, science, architecture and eroticism unite. Khajuraho’s Hindu and Jain temples are famous for their rock carvings, as beautiful as they are passionate, the oldest of which is the Lakhmana Temple. The only temple devoid of built-in erotic art is the Chattarbhuj Temple, also called the Jatkari Temple. Its fine architecture holds its place among all of the many temples to be explored at Khajuraho.
For a more comprehensive list of cultural options, contact us at 1800-120-9091 and speak to one of our experts!