If you’re visiting India for an extended period of time, consider studying an Indian art form. India is a land of culture, steeped in music, dance and art. Each region has its own distinctive art forms. You can familiarize yourself with Carnatic music in the south and Hindustani music in the north. If you’d rather play the music than just enjoy it, try your hand at the veena or sarod, (both stringed instruments), the tabla or mridangam (percussion instruments) or the nadaswaram or shehnai (wind instruments). If you’re interested in dance, you may try to study the basics of Kathak, Odissi, and Manipuri dance forms in the north, or Kuchipudi, Bharathanatyam, and Mohiniattam in the south.
You can also study a martial art like Kalaripayattu in Kerala, or take a course in yoga, which helps you stay healthy while uniting body and mind. If literature is your bag, try out an Indian classic ready for you to devour. (You may want to consider taking classes in an Indian language first—there are dozens to choose from—because translations are only second best to India’s original masterworks.)