You might find yourself so inspired by Indian food that you want to take home a little Indian kitchen know-how – the listings below represent just a few of the ever-increasing number of places offering cooking courses. Some are professionally run, others are very informal, and each is of varying duration. Most require at least a few days’ advance notice.
Bhimsen’s Cooking Class (McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh)
Hotel Jamuna Resort (Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan)
India on the Menu (Panaji, Goa)
Lhamo’s Kitchen (McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh)
Parul Puri’s Cooking Classes (Delhi)
Sangye’s Kitchen (McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh)
Taste of India (McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh)
You can learn all sorts of new skills in India, from yoga and meditation to Indian cooking and Hindi. To find out about local courses, inquire at tourist offices, ask fellow travellers, and browse local newspapers and notice boards.
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Interesting arts and crafts courses:
Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh The NGO SAATHI offers courses in Bastar tribal arts near Jagdalpur.
Language courses need time to give lasting benefits – some courses ask for a minimum time commitment. The following places offer courses:
Delhi Basic Hindi classes at Delhi’s Central Hindi Directorate.
Himachal Pradesh Long and short courses in Tibetan in McLeod Ganj.
Kerala Short courses in Malayalam, Hindi and Sanskrit at Vijnana Kala Vedi Cultural Centre near Kottayam.
Mumbai Beginners’ courses in Hindi, Marathi and Sanskrit at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
Tamil Nadu Hindi and Tamil courses in Chennai.
Uttar Pradesh Hindi courses at the Bhasha Bharati Language Institute in Varanasi.
Uttarakhand Hindi courses at schools in Mussoorie.
West Bengal Three- to nine-month Tibetan language courses in Darjeeling from March to December.
Courses are available in the traditional Keralan martial art of kalarippayat – a form of sword and shield fighting incorporating elements of Ayurveda and marma (the precursor to Chinese acupressure massage).
Indian music follows different rules to Western music, so allow several weeks to get any benefit from music courses. Most centres provide instruments, but invest in your own if you mean to continue to play at home.
Goa Courses in classical Indian singing and tabla in Arambol.
Gujarat Classical Indian dance classes in Ahmedabad.
Himachal Pradesh Various courses in Indian classical music in McLeod Ganj and Bhagsu.
Karnataka Classical Indian dance classes at Nrityagram in Hessaraghatta, and tabla (pair of drums) classes at Shruthi Musical Works in Mysore.
Kolkata Aurobindo Bhawan offers classical Indian dance classes.
Tamil Nadu Courses in bharathanatiyam (dance), singing and various musical instruments in Puducherry (Pondicherry); Kalakshetra Arts Village in Chennai offers courses in classical Tamil dance and music.
Uttar Pradesh Sitar (stringed instrument), tabla and classical dance classes in Varanasi.
Uttarakhand Classical dance and musical instrument classes in Rishikesh.
India has thousands of yoga centres offering courses and daily classes as well as courses in Ayurveda, meditation and other therapies.