Travel special: Head to these holiday destinations to acquire a hobby

From cooking sol kadi in Malvan and learning photography in Ladakh to surfing the waves along Karnataka’s untapped shoreline, the guide curates a few unique hobby-centric ideas across India that might tempt you for your impending break

Women sort cashew nuts as part of a mackerel trail around Malvan in Maharashtra that will be hosted by White Collar Hippie. The trail involves understanding and appreciating the coastal way of life as lived by villagers along the route.
Women sort cashew nuts as part of a mackerel trail around Malvan in Maharashtra that will be hosted by White Collar Hippie. The trail involves understanding and appreciating the coastal way of life as lived by villagers along the route.

Mackerel trail, Malvan
For: The culinary enthusiast
From Malvani Fish Curry and Sol Kadi to Shevaya (soft rice noodles) served with coconut ras, learn to cook authentic Konkan coastal cuisine by signing up for Holy Mackerel! trip.

Besides enjoying a home-stay with families in Malvan and Sawantwadi, you can go fishing with them, cook in their restaurants, explore spice gardens as well as learn the tricks of the trade at a local fish auction.
From: February 20 to 22
Call: 9930260748
Ideal for: 3 days

Rural farming, Purushwadi
For: The green thumb
This is ideal for those who love to understand farming but lack time and space in the city.

Get your hands dirty at Grassroutes’ adopted tribal village: Purushwadi in Ahmednagar district, where rice cultivation is practised. Stay with the locals and learn to plough and sow, draw water from a well, milk cattle, chop wood as well as plaster cow dung.
Call:  8879477437
Ideal for: 3 days
Cost: Rs 2,372 (per night on weekend), Rs 1,995 (per night on weekdays)

Cycling tour, Sikkim
For: The bicycling enthusiast

Cycling tour, Sikkim

What better way to explore mountain valleys and lakes in picturesque Sikkim than on a cycle? Set out on a cycle trip from Gangtok, ride through rhododendron forests up to Nathu La Pass, make your way to villages like Zuluk, and arrive at the quaint town of Kalimpong — all this, while soaking in the views of the Kangchenjunga.
On: March and April, 2015
Call: 9886681381
Email: info@activeholiday
Ideal for: 7 days
Cost: Rs 42,875 (per person on twin share basis)

Caving tour, Meghalaya
For: The adventure junkie
Estimated to have around 500 natural limestone and sandstone caves, this North-Eastern state is ideal for those who love excavation or want to rough out in the rocks.

Caving tour

With tour companies offering several packages exploring different caves in Meghalaya, wade through water, pass through the dark and murky interiors and learn about calcite formations.
Call: 7676703001
Log on to:
Ideal for: 3 days
Cost: Rs 14,500  (for two persons)

Textile trail, Madhya Pradesh
For: The embroideryY buff
Eager to learn about the traditional Maheshwari silks that date back to 5 AD, and about Bagh weaves as well? Sign up for a textile trail at Maheshwar and try your hand at the traditional handlooms of Rehwa Society.

Textile trail

At Bagh, attend a workshop to learn block making and printing techniques before undertaking it by yourself.
From: February 27 to March 3
Call: 9310007855
Log on to :
Ideal for: 5 days
Cost: Rs 52,500 for a group size of 4-6 (inclusive of meals, stay and the trail)

Painting tour, Shimla
For: The art lover
The next time you plan a trip to Shimla, bring back the memories on canvas instead of camera.

Painting tour

Opt for a painting tour with Himachal-based tour company, Shimla Walks, where you can learn techniques from artist Him Chaterji, who heads the Visual Art Department in the Himachal Pradesh University. Through this guided tour, capture the moonlike Lake Chandertaal, the barren snow-capped mountains overlooking the Spiti Valley as well as the village life of Hikkim (one of the highest villages in the world).
Call: 9817141099
Ideal for: 14 days

Surfing, Karnataka
For: The waterbaby
Is learning a new sport part of your 2015 resolution list? Then, take up surfing lessons at Kodi Bengre, a sleepy coastal village near the student town of Manipal in Karnataka.

Painting tour

With a campsite near The Shaka Surf Club on the beach, you will be taught theory on surfing and safety by professionals and learn to battle the waves with the surf board.
On: Weekends from October to March
Call: 9930260748
Ideal for: 3 days
Cost: Rs 8,500 (inclusive of three surfing lessons, campsite stay and all meals)

Photography tour, Ladakh
For:  The click-Happy
From capturing the majestic Himalayas and Yuru Kabgyat festival at the Lamayuru monastery to the fascinating Balti ethnic group and wildlife, fine-tune your photography skills at this 15-day photo-tour of Ladakh.

Photography tour

While you need your camera equipment, a professional photographer and Ladakh region expert will guide you.
From: June 3 to June 17
Log on to:
Ideal for: 15 days
Cost: Rs 2,88,000

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