Cultural Capitals of India
They say that cities with great character, speak for themselves. They do it through their art, their architecture, their food, their ideas and their customs. Steeped in tradition, with a liberal dose of modernity stirred in, these 5 cities invite you to drink in their sights, sounds and experiences. And what better way to do so, than by booking one of our Taj holidays at one of these cultural capitals of India.
Fit For Royalty
A visit to Rajasthan, is a chance to experience the raw beauty of the still desert and the vibrant bustle of its many cities. There’s a richness to every experience here – be it the fairs and festivals, the grand palaces and forts, the hearty cuisine, the folk dances, the traditional music, the art and more. Dress up in a traditional ghaghra and swirl through the steps of the Ghoomar dance. Stop by a fair and pick up traditional puppets, miniature paintings and mirror worked Rajasthani clothes. Let the flavours of Dal Bati Churma, Gatte ki Sabzi, Laal Maas, and Mirchi Bada explode in your mouth.
Book a palace holiday at the exquisite Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur and experience the luxury you deserve. Take a camel safari to experience the stark beauty of the desserts. Look up to a sky filled with dancing kites, during the spectacular Kite Festival in Jodhpur. Explore the ruins of forts, and walk in the shoes of valorous Rajput warriors. The people are vibrant, the beauty is regal and the mood is festive. Let Rajasthan sweep you off your feet, and into a new world.
Tale as Old as Time
The skyline of Lucknow perfectly encapsulates what this city has to offer – an intriguing blend of Mughal, British, and Modern Indian architecture. These influences have sunk their roots into Lucknow’s soul. Ruled by the Mughals of the Delhi Sultanate, the Nawabs of Awadh and then the British East India Company, Lucknow is a tale of many cities, many rulers and many traditions. The cuisine, music, poetry (Shayari) literature and drama are yours to enjoy. You can explore this history at iconic locations like, Roomi Gate, Bada Imambara, Shah Mina Shah, Tare Wali Koti and more.
A trip to Lucknow would be incomplete without a shopping trip to pick up Chikan and Lucknowi Zardozi embroidered traditional clothes. Finally, you may have heard, felt, and listened to what the city has to offer, but you must experience its flavours. Rich biriyanis, succulent kebabs, soft breads – all spiced, tossed, grilled and baked to perfection.
Soak in the opulence, old world charm and stateliness that this city is known for. Book a stay and enjoy a quintessential Lucknowi experience at the grand Taj Mahal Lucknow.
Marked by Greatness
Ajmer may not enter your life with great pomp and circumstance. Instead, it sings a rich and soulful song, that has lured travellers and seekers, conquerors and colonisers, poets and pilgrims, royalty and commoners for thousands of years. Many great souls left their mark on Ajmeri soil. Dargah Shariff - the majestic tomb of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. Akbar’s Palace and Museum. The Victoria Jubilee Clock Tower. Prithviraj Smarak – a memorial to Prithviraj Chauhan. The Taragarh Fort built by the Chauhan Empire. Mayo College, built by the Earl of Mayo. Every iconic building, location and place of worship in this stunning Rajasthani city is a testament to the great men and women who set foot in Ajmer.
Regarded as an important place of worship for both Hindus and Muslims, spirituality and devotion wrap their gauzy arms around Ajmer.
Food is also prepared and eaten with reverence and relish here. Join the citizens in their enjoyment of Ghewar, Dal Bati Churma, Rajasthani Pulao, and Mughlai-inspired non vegetarian dishes. Round off your stay by booking one of our Ajmer getaways at the Taj Pratap Mahal, set against the backdrop of the Aravalli hills.
Gods, Ganges, Greatness
Three words, and you know this can only be Varanasi. From your room at the opulent Taj Ganges, you can hear the bells ringing from the evening aarti at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the lap of water against the ghats (riverfront steps along the Ganges) and the bustle from the markets in Varanasi.
Dive into the textures and flavours offered by street food vendors. Bite into the crisp crust of a samosa, fill your mouth with the fresh taste of classic Banarasi paan. Take a morning boat ride on the Ganges, and watch the sun rise to bless the holy river. Lose yourself in the swirls and rolls of famous Banarasi silk saris at the market. Pause for a moment and cool down with lassi at the iconic Blue Lassi Café.
One minute, the city is calm, the next it comes alive with the sounds of prayers and puja. You may visit a serene temple in the morning, only to plunge into a market bursting with beauty and bustle. Just when you think you can pin Varanasi down to one characteristic, the city proves you wrong, in the best way possible.
As a port city, Cochin welcomes travellers from across the globe. An inclusive and open community is what fires this melting pot of cultures, faiths and backgrounds. The city boasts of the beautiful Marine Drive, where you can take in the splendour of the backwaters and the harbour.
If you pull back the curtains of your room at the Taj Malabar Resort & Spa, Cochin you’ll be greeted by the view of the rippling blue ocean. Turn your gaze towards the city and the view is just as appealing. Spend an evening watching a Kathakali performance at the Kathakali centre. Visit the Paradesi Synagogue, built in 1568. Walk through the ruins at Fort Kochi and explore the history of English, Dutch and Portuguese merchants who lived there. In the spirit of its truly global nature, even the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary welcomes migratory birds from across the globe. Everything about this cosmopolitan city, is appealing to wanderers and travellers.
Each of these cities, serves up a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, experiences and stories to relish. Taj Holidays opens the gate to incredible experiences. By day, these cultural capitals will immerse you in their wonder. By night, our hotels will cocoon you in their opulence and warmth. This is the vacation you’ve dreamed of, and it’s time to make it come true with Taj Holidays.
With the best in class hospitality, inimitable dining, unique experiences, picturesque locations and exciting holiday packages, create memories for a lifetime with Taj Holidays. Every holiday is crafted with impeccable details just for you and your loved ones.