Weddings in India are nothing short of a festival! At least once, every year, we get invited to the wedding of a friend or family member somewhere across the length and breadth of our beautiful country. And we have started taking the opportunity to combine these weddings with a holiday destination.
Going to Mumbai to see a cousin say her vows? May as well head into the hills for a trek at Matheran! Flying to Chennai to witness a Tamil friend’s marriage rituals? May as well start searching for the best resorts in Pondicherry- just an hour’s drive away! Your big brother is marrying his Bangalore-based girlfriend? Why not sneak off to Coorg after the couple is off to their honeymoon?
While you take days off from work, book air tickets and journey across the country to see a special person be blessed in wedlock, there is no better opportunity to extend the break and make it a celebration of your own.
This idea first came to us shortly after our own marriage. We were going to Chennai for a special friend’s wedding. Since my husband and I have mostly lived in the North of India, this was an opportunity to see a new place, culture and people. So why limit it to one city? We decided to drive to Pondicherry first, spend some time seeing the famed city and then head to Chennai for the occasion.
We needed to find a reliable taxi driver, who would pick us up from the airport and take us on the little road trip we had planned. Once that was taken care of, we started looking for a good resort in Pondicherry because we knew that a holiday is not much fun if you don’t have a good room to rest in when you’re back in the evening after wandering all day. And really, that was it! We were all set to go.
We landed in Chennai on a bright and sunny March morning, and the blessed taxi driver found us without much trouble. We were at Pondicherry within a few hours and had ample time to enjoy the fresh air, the clean white structures and the open beaches of the city. The drive through the state was itself quite a pleasure and we arrived in Chennai refreshed and happy.
This was the first of many successful wedding & holiday combinations. We went to Goa for a couple of days when attending a wedding in Mumbai. Another friend spent a fortnight doing a road trip across Madhya Pradesh shortly after seeing a friend married off in Indore. Jaipur weddings can be followed by a drive in any direction- Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner or even just a drive until the Thar desert to spend a night camping under the stars.
It all depends on how creative you get. With just a little extra money and time, you can add a beautiful vacation and some indelible memories to your life! So where are you headed next?
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Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.