Moscow and St. Petersburg have several places for a wonderful journey to India.
Unfortunately, there are not many places in Moscow and Saint Petersburg where you can truly enjoy the culture of India. However, there are still some.
You can visit some restaurants to truly savour the great food. “Oh! Mumbai", Indian gastronomic bar in the center of St. Petersburg, seems to be quite popular. It is not an ordinary Indian restaurant. "Oh! Mumbai" took a new look at the national cuisine of India, and managed to present the unusual culinary traditions in a new interpretation while at the same time preserving their own individuality.
Traditional Indian cuisine implies the presence of a huge amount of the hottest spices in dishes, but this restaurant has developed a special menu that meets the taste preferences of Europeans while preserving the main traditions and motives of Indian cuisine. The menu includes dishes typical of this country such as lamb curry, seafood, poultry, Indian tandoor cakes, rice, as well as vegetarian menus and various desserts, but along with all of this, there is also a traditional European menu for people who want to eat together with their friends that happen to be incorrigible conservatives. It is a great choice for "amateurs" that are still not prepared to abrupt changes in their diet.
As for Moscow, there is a restaurant called "Darbars" near HSE campus, on Pokrovka. Its stuff consists of real Indians and all dishes are served in metal dishes. You should definitely try rice in various variations: with vegetables, with saffron, with lamb. At the request of the client, they can cook food in Indian spicy - and it will be really tasty, every ingredient will be felt. Fortunately, just like in “Oh! Mumbai", the spiciness of the dish is up to a client and you can have it be made adapted to your taste. The restaurant also serves delicious homemade paneer cheese, which can be tasted with tomatoes, peas or spinach. In general, both a meat-eater and a vegetarian will find something suitable here, juicy and satisfying, saturated with the aromas of Indian spices.
Another way of enjoying Indian culture is via visiting the exhibitions about it.
The Hermitage collection of Indian monuments is not one of the richest collections in the museum, but it allows you to get a comprehensive picture of the cultural life of this country from the 3rd century BC to the twentieth century. Indian culture is revealed in a small but rather diverse collection presented at the museum. It includes works of painting, plastic and decorative and applied art, as well as samples of ancient weapons. Buddhist figurines and sculptures from Hadda are of great interest. A significant part of the exhibition is devoted to the art of the 17th – 18th centuries. Visitors will see fabrics, wood and metal products, and ivory items.
You may also enjoy the exhibition “India. Indonesia" in Kunstkamera. The focus of the exhibition is on Indian textiles. Among the exhibits of the Kunstkamera you can see samples of fabrics and luxurious brocade. It also shows a variety of national clothes and ornaments, which have their own characteristics depending on the ethnic, geographical and climatic characteristics of the region. Attention is drawn to household items and military equipment. All products - from dishes to weapons - are decorated with engraved, embossed, patterned elements.
The Indian collection of the State Museum of the Orient numbers over three thousand items. A very significant part of it is textiles, there are also wood and metal products, varnishes, carved bone, weapons. Painting is presented in different directions: traditional folk painting, miniature, works of contemporary artists - both pictorial and graphic.
Vaishnavism (Krishnaism) is a monotheistic tradition in which Krishna is regarded as the Supreme Personality of God. This is one of the most widespread trends in Hinduism, accounting for about 70%.The Sri Sri Dayal Nitai Sachisuta Temple, a very beautiful and spiritual place, is opened to the public every day without breaks and weekends. All programs, including holidays, festivals, training courses, are free to attend. You can also attend the merchandise store of the temple. From 9:30 till 10:00 you may even enjoy a free breakfast. There is probably no place in Moscow that will convey you the Indian astmosphere better than the Sri Sri Dayal Nitai Sachisuta Temple
You can also visit the Sikh Gurdwara. Many people call it only a semblance of a temple – it is not a separate building, but a room on the third floor of the baths (Nagatinskaya district), however, it is still enjoyable to visit. Sikhs gather there on Sundays, and anyone interested can come there. You don't have to be a Sikh or accept Sikh customs, but you must have a passport.
Unfortunately, the culture of India in our country is underrepresented, but I think that visiting these places can help you plunge at least a little into this wonderful world.