If there is one state in India that aptly enunciates culture, people and our glorious history then it has to be Rajasthan, sans doubt. The Indian state has been acquainting tourists with its culture and providing glimpse of valiance through its grand Forts and Palaces. You can find beautifully constructed ancient forts in almost all the cities within the state with a sense of uniqueness of their own. Each of the forts narrates a story about its inception, kings, kingdom and all the historical happenings witnessed.
If you are on a tour to Rajasthan then you cannot afford to miss these 5 significant forts: 1. Amber Fort
Beautifully designed, Amber Fort is a major tourist destination in Rajasthan. Situated on a hill at an elevation, the fort is in Amer town, which is approximately 11 kilometers away from the city of Jaipur. During the reign of Kacchwaha King of Amber, Raja Man Singh I, the fort came into existence and was constricted using red sandstone and marbles. Another amazing aspect about the fort is the special four level layout; Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Aam, Sheesh Mahal and Sukh Niwas, with each having a courtyard of its own. Overlooking the Maota Lake, Amber Fort has a Sila Devi Temple as well.
2. Mehrangarh Fort
Situated in Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort symbolizes magnificence and grandeur. The fort is one of the largest in the whole Rajasthan and is located on hill that goes high up to 150 mts. The monument got its foundation laid by Rao Jodha in the year 1459. Frequented by a huge number of tourists all round the year, Mehrangarh Fort has many major tourist attractions depicting royal persona of Jodhpur, within its premise, such as Moti Mahal or the Pearl Palace, Sringar Chowki, to name a few. Apart from this, you can also visit a number of beautifully designed galleries and temples.
3. Jaisalmer fort
Incepted in the year 1156, it was the Rajput ruler Jaisal who laid the foundation of the Jaisalmer Fort and later reinforced by the successors. The fort remained a point of focus of a number of battles between the Bhatis, the Mughals of Delhi and the Rathores of Jodhpur. Tourists enjoy visiting the monument in huge numbers and cannot stop themselves from raving about the architecture. This particular fort, nowadays, is more like an urban living center with more than 3000 people residing within its premise. There are beautiful temples, handicraft shops, guesthouses and restaurants for the tourists to douse in. Entry is from the Gopa Chowk in the east and through a zigzag path, ends at the massive fort’s centre, Dashera Chowk .
4. Kumbhalgarh Fort
Kumbhalgarh Fort was constructed somewhere during the year 1443-1458 A.D by a famous Rana Kumbha reigning part of Rajasthan in those times. The fort is stationed about 80 Km. northwest of Udaipur amidst the grand Aravali hills. The tourists visit Kelwada tehsil of Rajsamand district to view the grandeur in huge numbers. The fort has 10 massive gates and comprise with several groups of temples that are devoted to Hindu and Jains. There are other monuments as well like Badal Mahal, Kumbha Mahal, Birth Place of Maharana Pratap.
5. Chittorgarh Fort
Spread across a sprawling area of 700 hectares, the Fort of Chittorgarh is regarded as one of the pride of Rajasthan. The fort is situated atop a 180 meter high hillock and covers a massive area of 700 acres. According to the historical beliefs, the fort is said to be an endeavor of the Mauryans during the 7th century. Moreover, the successive Mewar rulers are associated with the further enhancements. Fort of Chittorgarh can be approached through seven huge gateways or ‘pols’ that are guarded by watch tower and iron doors. The fort is also known as the Water Fort as 40 per cent of the total land area has been given over to water bodies, such as Talabs, kunds and baories.
If you are planning next Rajasthan tour package then do not forget to incorporate these massive fort of Rajasthan in your itinerary.
While on a tour to Rajasthan you cannot ignore the luxury stays in here that can give you the required element of serenity and the right dose of leisure. The next time, you think about staying like a king in the state, consider these 5 hotels: 1. Samode Haveli
Samode Haveli was constructed about 175 years ago as a home to the rulers of Samode. The recent time sees their descendants still occupying the residence and they have converted it into a luxury hotel for national and international tourists visiting Jaipur. The Indo-Saracenic regal residence has deluxe rooms and suites that are designed with royal architecture kept in mind. Apart from this, the rooms have mini-bar coffee and team counters, spacious wardrobes and all other required amenities. In addition to this, you can douse into leisure by diving into the luxury of spas, recreational options and also go on a stroll to visit the grandeur of Jaipur. The foodie in you can enjoy the exotic cuisines offered by the royal palace turned hotel offers.
2. Lakshman Sagar
Lakshman Sagar was built in the 19th century by the then Thakur of Raipur, Lakshman Singh Ji to offer a comfortable stay to families and British ambassadors. Personifying ancient architecture, rooms at Lakshman Sagar are spacious with two circular levels that wrap up a sitting and a sleeping area with adjoining bathroom. The room opens on the pool area, offering luxury at the porch. Moreover, there is log fire for winter nights, library and bottles of home-made orange, rose syrups and filtered water to go with it. Dining experience is amazing as the itineraries are conceptualized as per the guest’s personal tastes. You can enjoy a thorough marwar experience and enjoy cuisines of the royal family.
3. Raas Jodhpur
Located in the heart of Jodhpur, RAAS is a 1.5-acre property that is being built at the base of the Mehrangarh Fort. The purpose was to create a luxury boutique hotel with 39 rooms. This is seen in the context of the Old city quarter of Jodhpur. The architecture bespeaks the era between the 17th to 18th century and has been restored amidst the harsh blows of the time. The palace has Jhrokhaas sort of structure that offers cooling as well as an old form of Rajasthani architecture. There are amazingly designed dining areas, recreational rooms, bars and break-area spots.
4. Mihir Garh
Constructed in 2009, Mihir Garh or the ‘Fort of the Sun’ is an initiative taken by the House of Rohet. The palace has also been named as the most exotic hotels in Rajasthan owing to its ambience, services, foods and above all architecture. The suites and luxury rooms on the ground and first floor have been named as Aalishan and Shaandar respectively. Each of the room has their own Jacuzzi and a private terrace that would make you indulge in a very high form of leisure and luxury. Moreover, you can also go for horse rides and safari to have a view of the beauty and feel the serenity.
5. Raas Devigarh
Located in Delwara, Raas Devigarh is strategically located and thereby offers proximity to 2 most famous temples; Eklingji Temple, Sahastra Bahu Temple and Nathdwara Temple. The suites in the luxury hotel are spacious with grand furnishings and have meticulously carved archways. You can find all the necessary amenities that have been customized as per the latest trends and yet with the royal essence intact. There is a separate coffee & tea bar, business centers, spas, recreational areas and many more family friendly niceties. There are also equipped health clubs, fitness centers and swimming pools
Diwali is a festival of light and is celebrated for five days, marking the start of Hindu New Year. The festivals honor the triumphant of good over evil and brightness over darkness. It falls each year in the month of either October or November and also denotes start of winter season. The festival is actually celebrated in the honor of Lord Rama and his wife Sita who returned to their kingdom, Ayodhya after defeating Kind Ravana after rescuing his wife Sita.
When the Diwali Celebrated?
Depending on the cycle of the moon, the festival is celebrated in the month of October or November. This year the festival starts with Dhanteras on November 9th in India and the main festivities will take place on the third day i.e. 11 November’2015 in India. Followed by the fourth day, it is then celebrated as the New Year’s Day every year.
The market here remains inundated with sweet merchants and cracker shops that can be easily found in and around every city in India. After four days, the fifth day is the day for brothers and sister called “Bhai Dooj” when brothers and sisters perform rituals and share food and sweets to honor the strong bond of affection and care between them.
Where is the festival celebrated?
Across the country of India, Diwali is widely celebrated with all pomp of show. Here main festival that is celebrated her Onam.
How is Diwali Celebrated?
On the onset of this festival people indulge in to various activities as in sweet making, diya making, rangoli designing, chandelier crafting and others to beautify the entire look of their house. One of the most important tasks that is performed on this day is house cleaning that commencing months ago in almost every house of India, followed by painting and house decoration.
On the final day of Diwali, the festival is celebrated by lightning clay lamps and candles, worshipping Lord Ganesh and Goddess Parvati. Further new clothes are bought , some people also involve in gamble which is just for fun and give gifts to each other and greet with sweets and warmth.
What rituals are performed during Diwali?
Most of the ritual on Diwali varies as per the region. India is a land of diversity and has people of different religion staying here together so the way the prayers are offered and festival is celebrated may differ from North India to South India and from East India to West India.
It is said that Goddess Lakshmi visits to every house during this season, bringing prosperity and fortune. It is a belief that she visits the cleanest house first and therefore people ensure that their houses are spotless and brighten them up with lights and beautiful rangolis.
What to expect during Diwali?
While celebrating Diwali cracker work makes the atmosphere around very warm and noisy. So along with warmth and happiness you can also expect noise of crackers and fireworks going off. The air gets filled with smoke and can add difficulty in smoking. So be cautious and avoid going out if you are suffering from any breathing problem.
Crackers burnt nowadays can be harmful to your ears so use ear plugs during Diwali as ears are highly sensitive body organ. Some crackers are extremely loud and sound more like explosion so be wary and make proper arrangements before-hand.
In order to increase tourism, India has now opened arms for UK passport holders to apply for Indian e-visa programme. With this latest move introduced from August 15, India’s visa application process is going to be online to save British travellers time as well as money.
The new Indian e-visa application process will take only 5-6 working days for approval and costs 39 pounds (approx. US $60) plus a small admin charge, along with travellers correct documents and photograph. This means only within a month applicants will be able to enter India, soon after visa’s issue date and stay for up to one month. Although visa cannot be extended more than a month, but can be used twice every 12 months.
With this new scheme, UK will be one of the 113 nationalities to enjoy India’s e-tourist visa facilities that too without consulting any outsourced visa processing agency. For more information and to apply for e-tourist visa, you may visit the official website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
Rajasthan is one of the most beautiful states in India and popular for its vibrant culture, royal forts and palaces and panoramic sand dunes. Tourists often like to visit the state due to its rich and colorful cultural heritage. But the one big event that attracts many visitors every year is the famous Pushkar Cattle Fair that’s held between October-November at the time of Kartik Purnima (i.e. full moon). This year Pushkar cattle fair is celebrating from 18 to 25 November 2015.
It is believed to be one of the world’s largest livestock fair, graced by thousands of camels, livestock, farmers and other villagers. However, you can witness much more than that in this biggest traditional carnival. Here are 10 interesting reasons that would surely make you pack your bags and set forth to this colorful land of Rajasthan:
Holy Pushkar lake magnifies charm of the fair Pushkar fair takes place on the banks of Holy Pushkar Lake, which is known sacred according to several Indian mythological texts. The lake is surrounded by 52 bathing wharfs, where people come to cleanse their sins and cure diseases, whilst taking few dips in water.
Of course, the biggest livestock sale Well, what do you expect in the world’s largest livestock fair? Popularly known as the ‘camel fair.’ Here, around 50,000 camels are brought by their owners for sale. The more beautiful the camel looks, the higher is its selling price. Apart from camels, people also come here to trade other animals like horses, sheeps, goats and cows.
Don’t forget to try the camel safari If you visit Pushkar cattle fair, then you must also try the camel safari to visit various small towns, While moving around these towns, you’ll notice difference in culture and can see closer lifestyle of the people living here.
Witness life of a Cameler As you walk by the dessert terrain, you’ll find camels everywhere and their owners. This means you’ll be able to get closer glimpse of a cameler’s life and how they breed, raise and trade these beautiful animals.
It is known as little Israel of India Very few people know the fact that Israelis have set up a Jewish Community Center known as ‘Chabad,’ here and locals can also speak Hebrew. Moreover, traditional Jewish recipes like jachnoon, cinnamon cake, etc. are served in few restaurants, Hence, Pushkar is aptly called the Israel of India, reflecting hint of Jewish culture too.
Traditional puppet shows While talking about Rajasthan, how can we forget about traditional string puppet shows known as ‘kathputli’ (kath=wood, putli=doll). These puppet shows are full of vibrant colors and tourists find them very interesting.
Shop Rajasthani shoes and other decorative items In the fair, you’ll find several small stalls selling decorative items, bamboo sticks and camel-themed paintings. Apart from that, many seller also offer handmade Rajasthani shoes made from camel-leather. These attractive items will certainly create a burning hole in your pocket.
You must visit the Brahma Temple It is considered as the holy land of Gods, and has one of the very few existing Brahma (Hindu creator) temple. Exterior of the temple is adorned in beautiful colors, and has few traditional idols or Gods and several other symbols.
Mouth-watering vegetarian food is served in restaurants Being considered as a sacred Hindu land, non-vegetarian food and alcohol are hard to find here. But mouth-watering vegetarian dishes like poha and falafal are served here. You’ll surely like delicious delicacies of Pushkar.
Hot air balloons floating in the air Many colorful hot air balloons can be seen here floating above the fair ground during Pushkar fair. If you like the view of these colorful balloons in mid-air, you can also take these to blow up into the air. Just imagine how much fun you’re going to have in this colorful land and in this Rajasthan tour. You’ll surely go back with load of fun-filled memories.
Festivals do unite people togather, come closer and celebrate together. And when we talk about South India festivals, the two that strikes your mind first are Onam and Pongal. These are two of the most popular festivals celebrated widely in the southern subcontinent.
Onam Festival The annual harvest festival of Onam calls for a grand ten days’ celebration during August-September. Usually celebrated at the end of monsoons, Onam reflects several aspects of Kerala’s tradition and culture. Onam is one of the most vibrant and colourful festivals of the south. It is also considered as the ‘festival of flowers’ due to the extensive flower decorations that are made in and out of all homes in Kerala. The festival is celebrated by everyone, crossing the barriers of caste and religion. It unites the people of Kerala in a special way; this is what makes it a unique fest.Mythologically, it is believed that Onam marks the time when the demon king, ‘Mahabali’ came home while, another folk tale says that it was the day when Parashurama founded the state of Kerala from a sea bed. Irrespective of the different tales and concepts, you will get to witness spectacular celebrations all over the state, especially in Kochi, Trivandrum, Thrissur and Kottayam. Don’t miss the celebrations if you happen to visit the state during this time of the year!
Locals wear new clothes, decorate homes artistically with bunch of flowers all around, create ‘pookalams’ (floral carpets) at the homes’ entrances and prepare a grand feast known as ‘Onamsadya’ served on banana leaf thali.The Thrikkakara Temple associated closely to Onam has huge gatherings.
The world-famous Aranmula Snake Boat Race tops the list of the most overwhelming activities during the fest. This more traditional ritual receives numerous participants and attracts hordes of spectators (both local and international); with great enthusiasm and sport. Thrissur witnesses a grand street parade of gold decorated elephants along with artisans and dancers. Onathallu takes place to conceive the martial spirit of warriors, where men of all ages indulge into a bare-handed mock fight. ‘Pulikali’ that is said to be introduced by the Maharaja of Kochi over 200 years ago, is a tiger dance, where hundreds of artisans painted like tigers dance to traditional drum beats, followed by hunters. The Kaikottikali folk group dance, Thumbi Thullal dance and Onakalikal (playing indoor-outdoor games) are some other attractions of Onam.
Pongal is another harvest festival of the south that goes for four days. The celebrations begin with worshipping the sun god and earth on ‘Bogi Pongal’, the first day of the fest. Pongal is actually a dish prepared by boiling rice with milk making use of the first harvested paddy. The festivities are carried out with different rituals in almost all southern states, Tamil Nadu in particular.
‘Bogi Pongal’ also marks to be a day when people trash out and burn away all the unnecessary assets in the house, marking the beginning of a new year and a new life. A special bonfire is prepared at night for all rugs to be burnt and people believe that the fire that night takes away all their worries, unhappiness, sins and confusions. People get their homes white washed and cleaned, buy new clothing, new mud pots and sugarcanes and distribute sweets to friends and relatives as a token of love.
More than a harvest, Pongal is a thanksgiving festival; thanking the sun god for a good harvest and the profit that it brings. You can consider travelling to Tamil Nadu for tasting the exotic flavours of rich culture and delectable cuisines in the ‘Land of Chettityars’. Along with fresh cut rice dish, Pongal which is prepared with different flavors, you will get to enjoy several distinct flavours in this known for its delicacies place. The sweet using jaggery and a plain salted Pongal is the famous flavor of the Pongal dish.
Mattu Pongal is a thanksgiving day for cows for their great help in ploughing the fields and irrigation. People offer sugarcanes and the Sakkara Pongal to cows. It is indeed a day of vibrant celebration, which none of the tourists should miss. People paint the horns of the cows and make them have a comfortable bath.
This is followed by ‘Jalli kattu’, the bull taming show at Alanganallur that receives spectacular and hilarious crowds. The day reflects the two core aspects of Tamil Nadu culture, love and valor intertwined beautifully.
‘Kaanum Pongal’, the last day of the fest celebrates the love between generations. It is a day to show respect to ancestors and old age people. The younger ones can be seen taking blessings from their parents and elders and the older ones bless them with sweets or money along with lots of love and good wishes. The day is often, a time for families to flock together to beaches or events, cultural shows, etc. Everyone spends quality time together indulging in activities like lemon on the spoon race, slow cycling, cracking the pot, dances, skits and more.
These festivals bring hopes and excitement and call for a break from the regular routine life. Each of them has a specialty of its own; some specific sweets, rituals, crops, seasons and festivities.
Known for having romance in its air, the city of Udaipur is an all time favorite destination for tourists worldwide, especially for the one who are travelling with their loved ones. Everything in the city ranging from the sumptuous palaces to the lakefront setting creates an ambience of serenity that allows you to unwind yourself in the arms of your loved ones.
Udaipur is blessed with the richness of Rajasthan and the glory of its royal past. The city brings several artisans, jewelery, crafts that are the highlights of its market. Apart from the gorgeous palaces, lush gardens, beautiful lakes, colourful markets, amazing temples, scrumptious Rajasthani delicacies, the city of Udaipur also boasts of its world class resorts, five star culinary delights, quiet lakefront guest houses and casual rooftop restaurants. All this contributes in making it a great tourism destination in the country.
Udaipur is a delight for all loving souls since it offers a hard to resist seduction through its tranquil nights and exotic leisurely walk paths. The ‘city of love’ rightly offers you a gorgeous natural setting with the majestic Aravalli Hills in the backdrop that add to the magic of this truly romantic destination. Be a part of the charm of its royal atmosphere and feel like a prince or a princess for a day or two. Nothing could be better than dining in the middle of a gleaming lake or taking a stroll in the beautifully landscaped gardens hand in hand with your partner.
Whatever suits your romance idea best let romance fill your life during Udaipur visit. Here is a list of the top romantic spots in the city.
Tourist places in Udaipur
Located at the heart of Udaipur, Lake Pichola welcomes you for experiencing a romantic candle light dinner in the middle of the lake. This picturesque lake gets even more beautified with the view of the surrounding ghats and hills. You must also plan a boat ride on the waters of the great lake.
Taj Lake Palace
This once used to be the summer palace for the royal family but has now been transformed into a stunning hotel. Set amidst the picturesque Lake Pichola, this four acre marble palace hotel is blessed with lavish interiors, grand rooms, four of its top class romantic restaurants, Jiva spa and an unmatched royal ambience.
Dudh Talai is known for offering dazzling sunset views of Jag Mandir and City Palace. It has a musical garden that hosts an impressive musical fountain each evening that will keep you mesmerized for long.
The grand City Palace complex encompasses many architectural marvels to treat your sight. You will get to experience a stroll through the museum, an array of palaces, havellis, royal courtyards and private chambers that are artistically connected by narrow passages. The walls of the palace are adorned with traditional Mewari paintings, spectacular mirror work and mosaics and the window openings let you glimpse at the colourful city and the lake waters outside.
Lake Fateh Sagar
This is one of the most romantic spot for spending your lazy afternoons. The dam, Lake’s Paal allows you to relax yourself in the echoes of the waves.
Perched on a hill top, this marble Monsoon Palace is named after Maharana Sajjan Singh. The palace is a great spot for enjoying panoramic views of the splendid city and its beautiful lakes, during sunsets in particular.
Visit the city with your loved ones and refresh the romance quotient in your life exploring the city’s romantic spots and dine in the most beautiful restaurants including the Neel Kamal, Udai Kothi, Ambrai and Upre. Let the heart wrenching Rajasthani folk music fill your hearts with love, while you enjoy in its beautiful lake front setting!
India is undoubtedly incredible in its beauty, culture, traditions, geography, scenic locations, food and more. This is what makes it an ideal tourist location for one and all. So, when you plan your next vacation, visit India and get overwhelmed with all that it has to offer.
Enjoy everything ranging from the sun bathed beaches to the hill stations, Keralan backwaters, traditional Rajasthani cuisines and more. What are more exciting are the various vacation packages that allow you to enjoy an incredible journey in this incredible land!
There is no real good time to be in the Pink City Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and there is no better location to start your journey with. The vibrant city of Jaipur offers a great combination of history, traditions, food, adventure and many lively festivals. Ride on an elephant to get to the top of the forts of Nahargarh and Jai Garh that offer spectacular views of the widely spread city. Enjoy the view with cool breeze running crossing you.
Shop traditional Rajasthani outfits and amazingly crafted handicraft items from the busy markets of Bapu Bazaar and more. Do not forget to treat yourself with the amazing Golgappe of Link road. It is a specialty each of the Jaipurites craves for. Amidst the pink walled city, the City Palace stands as another marvel of architecture. If you are planning next India tours then not forgot to include Jaipur in your itinerary.
Udaipur, the city of lakes is not just known for its beautiful lakes but is also renowned for the romance in its air. Be sure to take a leisurely boat ride on Lake Pichola, visit the City Palace and do plan a trip up to the Kumbhal Garh fort here. Visit the city with your partner and refresh the romance in your relationship. Have a great quality time together!
Jaisalmer is another fairytale city which speaks out the tales of royal Rajasthan with its marvelous fort, havelis, camel rides, scrumptious Rajasthani delicacies and the pure Thar Desert feel. One sight of the golden sandstone Jaisalmer fort is worthy of taking your breath away in serenity and pleasure. Each of the beautifully adorned havelis in the city offer unmatched treats to your eyes and the colourful markets make it irresistible for you to leave without shopping. Above all stands the spicy Rajasthani food. You will love it!
Experiencing the royal Rajasthan delights surely fills the hearts of all and this makes you want more.
Kerala God’s Own Country
After the hot, pretty desert land, what can really add to your memories of a great vacation is the Keralan coastal land in the south. Kerala brings you a number of fascinating spots which justifies why it has been named as God’s Own Country.
This coastal land is a blend of diversity and serenity in itself. Whether you enjoy seas, backwaters, lakes, hills, plantations or wildlife, Kerala has it all. It is a perfect destination for everyone who wants to unwind and relax amidst the beautiful, pure nature. The state boasts of having a vast coast line where you may witness the Arabian Sea waters. It is a crossing junction for various lakes and a land of tranquil Kerala backwaters.
Not to miss a traditional houseboat ride in the palm fringed backwaters. It is a must have ride that will bring you in close proximity to solitude and is also worthy of bringing in romance if you are travelling with your partner. Experience the cool breezes standing on the lush green hills of Thekkady and Munnar or plan a trek in the dense forests of Periyar and Wayanad. It is a great spot for adventure enthusiasts and a retreat for wildlife photographers.
Everything from the sun bathed beaches to the spice plantations will serve you right. Let the amazing islands of Ernakulam contribute to your pleasurable India tour this 2015. You will get a lot of fruits to relish here and can also ask for a fresh tea right from the plantations. A walk into the warmth and hospitality of Kerala is something you can never regret. It is the land of Ayurveda where you can opt for various massages and treatments with scented, medicinal oils while you relax sitting nearby backwaters.
Many tourists enjoy the hills and the backwaters but not many know the charm of experiencing private moments in the dazzling lanes of Wayanad. Wayanad offers privacy amidst gorgeous hills, verdant coffee and tea plantations and exotic wildlife. It has a lot to offer if you like venturing out. The Edakkal caves and the Muthanga wildlife sanctuary are a few to name.
That’s not all! India is incredible, no doubt. After the Keralan backwaters you should visit the Queen of all hill stations. Yes, I am talking about Ooty in Tamil Nadu which is a paradise of lush green hills and dense pine forests. This southern hill station of India welcomes one and all with its evergreen weather that stays pleasant all round the year. Trek towards the Doddabetta peak or Annamalai temple or enjoy sitting by the Pykara and Emerald lakes.
Temples of Tamilnadu
If you are the traditional, religious one, you must explore the fascinating temple cities of Tamil Nadu that include Madurai, Thanjore and Mahabalipuram. These beautiful cities are renowned for their spirituality and architecture. The Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram, which has been recognized as the world heritage site by UNESCO is a must visit. Thanjore is known for its astonishing Chola Sculptures and the marvelous Brihadeeswara Temple that has been built using a single granite block of 80 tons. This temple is set amidst the ancient 16th century Shivaganga fort. Visit the Lord Shiva’s Meenakshi Temple in Madurai which is a gracious sculpture. You must visit the temple at evening so as to be able to participate in the Aarti ceremony here.
That’s not all, Rameshwaram is calling! The place is on the Pamban island that has been separated from Indian mainland by the Pamban channel. It is a highly religious spot especially for Hindus. Apart from the religious and architectural significance of the temples, there is one more thing about this place. A road trip to Rameshwaram is one of the most beautiful journeys that you can have in India. Also, it is the closest point to the gorgeous Sri Lanka.
Plan a trip and take innumerable memories to cherish for a lifetime!
Incredible India! – India is a land of diverse cultures, traditions, religions having a great historical significance. It is a place of varied terrains ranging from the majestic Himalayan Mountains to the Thar Desert endways, from the beautiful Himalayan Mountain range to the verdant tea plantations in Assam, from the red soil plateaus to the Keralan tranquil backwaters and more. This diversity is what makes India a perfect tourism destination in the world.
Tourism in India has witnessed phenomenal growth in the past decades. Tourists from all over the world visit the country each year to experience its rich culture, heritage and the incredible natural beauty of this marvelous land. The foggy hill stations, sun bathed beaches, monuments, deserts, pilgrimage spots, exotic wildlife and the lovely people capture hearts of everyone who visits the place.Visit India and do not miss to travel across these beautiful cities in order to make it an unforgettable and fantastic vacation experience for yourself.
Being the capital city of India, Delhi no doubt is special in its own way. The old city is dotted with Mosques, forts and monuments while the new city is blessed with some ultra-modern infrastructures. Tourists enjoy exploring the contrast between the two scenarios of the same city.
The monuments speak about the Mughal emperors who ruled here. Some of the most visited ones include the Red Fort, India Gate, the high tower Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Jantar Mantar, Lotus Temple and Jama Masjid, which is the largest mosque in India. If you want some hours of relaxation in this bustling city, head to one of Delhi’s flourishing landscaped gardens that include Lodhi Gardens. The gardens will be a retreat from city life. Rickshaw ride in congested captivating markets of Chandni Chowk., which is Delhi’s oldest and busiest market place. Chandni Chowk also brings you an array of special Delhi street food.
The city of Agra is lucky to be blessed with one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal. It makes Agra one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the country. Agra is a city full of many adorned tombs and buildings that reflect its beautiful, intricate architecture.
This well designed city is a place for students and foreign tourists to visit. Even the food here gives you the real taste spicy Indian cuisines. Agra is rich in culture, history, architecture and religious spots and is flooded with fascinating tombs, monuments, forts and palaces.Apart from the Taj Mahal, the other major tourist attractions of the city include Agra Fort, Itmad ud Daulah’s tomb, Fatehpur Sikri, which served as the capital of the Mughal Empire in the past during the times of Akbar, Akbar’s tomb and Jama Masjid.
The beautiful Pink City of Jaipur boasts of being ruled by a clan of rulers and their historically built three hill forts, majestic palaces, serene temples, lush gardens and marvelous havelis. The walled city is built using pink stone and hosts large, busy markets which sell embroidered leather shoes, pottery, exquisite handicrafts and jewellery and tie and dyed scarves.
Jaipur marks to be India’s first planned city rich in heritage, culture and architecture. It is recommended to visit the place between October and March since the weather is pleasant. Dressed in pink, Jaipur brings you a number of tourist fascinations that include the forts like Amber Fort, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jaigarh and Nahargarh forts, the excursions like Sariska National Park and the very famous Ranthambore National Park and the lush gardens like Kanak Vrindavan Valley and the Sisodia Rani ka Bagh. Jal Mahal is a nice floating palace on water which has three storeys submerged inside the water. It looks beautiful in moonlit night.
Udaipur has aptly been titled as the City of Romance due to its famed lakes and palaces. The city reflects royalty and extreme beauty and also serves you with healthy, tasty as well as extremely inexpensive food, which both Indians as well as foreigners fall in love with.
The City Palace Complex still holds to be its most prominent tourist spot because of its historic significance. This complex is now a home to two authentic palace hotels and the City Palace Museum. Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake are the most popular manmade lakes of the city. Boating here is an experience worth having and the Ghats are one of the most enticing points for photography. Perched on a hill, the Monsoon Palace is a popular sunset point to visit. It offers unsurpassed view over Udaipur city and the setting sun adds more beauty to the view.The other attractions of the city include the Bagore ki Haveli that has been restored into a museum, Jagdish temple, Udaipur Ropeway and Shilpgram.
Varanasi is one of the oldest living cities of the world and is rightly known as the religious capital of India because of its sacred temples and holy Ghats. People visit the city to cleanse away their sins by having a dip in the Ganges flowing through this mystical Hindu city.
You will find several yoga ashrams, riverside Ghats, saints performing rituals all around the city. The city has unsurpassed Vedic importance. It is best to visit the city between October to March when the weather is at its coolest. Most of the tourists to this city come searching for a way to connect to the spirituality and that divine power. You can have a walk along the ghats or enjoy the evening aarti at the Dasaswamedh Ghat. Varanasi is also known for its classical dance and music. You should not miss Varanasi while you visiting north India.
Amritsar is one of the most sacred place for all Sikhs and a place that is blessed with several historical and religious fascinations. The city reflects a beautiful blend of tradition and culture.
The center of attraction for this city is the Golden Temple, which got its name from the fully golden dome that it has. This temple is a sacred pilgrimage spot not only for Sikhs but for everyone who believes in that divine power. The two storied temple is built over marble. Thousands of people are served every day in the ‘Guru Ka Langar’ and the number increases to lakhs on auspicious occasions. You need to cover your head all the time while being in the temple premises.Besides Golden Temple the other well known attractions of the city are the Jallianwala Bagh, Wagah Border, Maharana Ranjit Singh Museum, the Durgiana Temple and Hanuman Mandir.
Kashmir Valley and Ladakh
Kashmir, the Paradise on Earth is blessed with spell bounding beauty. This is the reason why it is also one of the most sought for honeymoon destinations in the country. People fall in love with the land and with each other here.
Dal Lake marks to be one of the most beautiful lakes in India and offers amazing houseboat rides to you. The lake is encircled by mountains on three sides that make it a perfect site to lose you in the arms of your loved ones. The banks of the lake are adorned by blooming gardens and orchards.The Shalimar Garden reveals the Mughalai charm since it was built by Emperor Jahangir for his wife Nur Jahan. The garden sprawls over an area of 539 m by 182 m and is adorned beautifully. The snow covered mountain peaks, the beautiful Betab Valley, dense pine and deodar forests, well maintained gardens like the Nishat Garden and the Shalimar Garden add to the beauty of this Kashmir valley.
Ladakh is the Land of High Passes that stretches between the Karakoram mountain range to the north and the Himalayas to the south. Ladakh has always served as the Crossroads of High Asia and is therefore blessed with diverse cultural ideologies. It has a great past being a home to the Indus Valley civilization, the Tibetan borders and the Ladakh mountain range. It is well known for its marvelous mountain beauty and Buddhist culture.
Kochi, Kathakali performance, photo credit by
The coastal land of Kerala has aptly been titled as ‘God’s Own Country’. Situated at the south western tip of India, Kerala boasts of a vast ravishing coastline and is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. This state has been blessed with a pleasant climate, serene sun bathed beaches, palm fringed tranquil backwaters, lush hills of Munnar and Thekkady and exotic wildlife.Kerala is also a land of Ayurveda. You can indulge into the various Ayurvedic beauty treatments and massages in the cool climate of Kerala and unwind yourself in the beauty of natural surroundings. The state witnesses a number of cultural events and festivals all year long and is visited by many travelers, both Indian and foreigners.
Kerala, Land of Coconut trees, photo credit by Reji on Flickr.com
Cochin and Kerala Backwaters
Cochin serves as the Gateway to Kerala. It is an enchanting city with an influence of the Arabs, British, Dutch, Chinese and Portuguese in its architecture and style. Fort Cochin draws the attention of one and all and is an excellent place to explore on foot or on bicycle. The Chinese fishing nets are distinctly unique to Cochin. These cover the whole stretch of the coast along Fort Cochin and are a livelihood source for several fishermen.
The sunset at Fort Cochin beach is a memorable experience. Some other attractions of the city include the well-known European church known as the St. Francis Church, the Vasco House, the Santa Cruz Basilica, the Hill Palace and the Mangalavanam bird sanctuary. The Cherai Beach is an ideal swimming location in Cochin and is lined by gorgeous coconut groves and paddy fields.Kerala is famous for its tranquil backwaters that are dotted with many small and mid-sized islands. You should never miss an opportunity to have a Houseboat ride through these palm fringed Kerala backwaters.
Situated 1,600 m above sea level, the hill station of Munnar is an abode to sprawling tea plantations, lush greenery, picture book towns and winding. It is a popular resort town of Kerala which boasts of its exotic flora and fauna.
Munnar also features the highest peak in South India, Anamudi. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking and a treat for all adventure lovers. The Eravikulam National Park is another popular attraction for tourists. It is a home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr species, several rare species of butterflies and birds. The park is also a great place for trekking offering splendid view of verdant tea plantations. Mattupetty is another place of interest for tourists. It is known for its storage masonry dam and the beautiful lake. You can enjoy a boat ride amidst the surrounding hills and picturesque landscape.Do not miss the Tea Museum that showcases some of the exquisite and interesting aspects of tea plantations in Kerala.
Madurai and Mahabalipuram
The over 2,500 years old city of Madurai is the land of temples which reflect brilliant architecture and rich heritage. It is the city that never sleeps. Even if you need food in the middle of the night, you will find idlis on the street out here. Madurai surely brings a delight to your taste buds with its scrumptious cuisines.
Madurai is famous for its Sree Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thirupparankundram Murugan Temple, the Koodal Azhagar Temple, Pazhamudhir Solai and other temples. The Gandhi Museum preserves some originals and some replicas of Gandhi’s personal belongings. The Samanar Hills hosts caves that are full of Jain carvings and sculptures. The hill top offers splendid view of Madurai.
Facing the Bay of Bengal, Mahabalipuram is famous for its beautiful beach and ancient temples that reflect the Dravidian art and architecture. It is a glorious land which boasts of its beautifully adorned temples, carved rock cut caves, Krishna Mandapam, the shore temples, Arjuna Penance and the Five Rathas. The single rock temples and strives of different structures are greatly artistic. Its brilliant architecture is backed by vast trees, sandy beaches and exotic handicrafts.
Hampi Ruins in Karnataka
Hampi is known for its splendid architecture, sculptures and heritage. Hampi has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in the recent past. Hampi was the capital of the Hindu empire, Vijayanagara and it is now known as Hampi ruins that is an open museum of history, architecture and religion.
Hampi Ruins in Karnataka is dotted with giant temples, palaces, market streets, ancient monuments and several fortifications. This rural area is a perfect tourist spot with several fascinations to explore. Visit the complex of the Vittala Temple and the Virupaksha Temple to witness the Hindu religious rituals in close proximity. The Royal Enclosure is the place of kings which has the ruins of many stately structures.
Titled as the ‘Scotland of India, Coorg is a place of misty hills, dense, lush teakwood, rosewood and sandalwood forests and verdant valleys. You can enjoy a stroll through the stunning acres of tea and coffee plantations of Coorg. Coorg is an ideal place for trekking since it offers challenging treks and for indulging into white water rafting and more outdoor activities.
The major festivals celebrated here include Keil Poldu in which the people worship weapons, Cauvery Shankaramana which is celebrated on the return of the river goddess and the harvest festival Huttari.Nature lovers plus adventure enthusiasts both sought for this tourist destination in southern India. Some name it as the Kashmir of South due to its natural beauty. Coorg in Karnataka is also blessed with several stunning waterfalls and ravines, many great streams and vast paddy fields and spice farms.
Darjeeling and Sikkim
Darjeeling is fondly known as the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’ since it is nestled among rolling mountains of the Himalayas and is an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts. Darjeeling is renowned for its tea plantations and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is a popular holiday destination in the country because of its scenic natural beauty and all year round pleasant climate. Some of the major places to visit include the Batasia Loop and the War Memorial, the Snow Leopard Breeding Center, the Happy Valley Tea Garden, Dhirdham Temple and the Himalayan Zoological Park. The Tiger Hill offers spectacular view of both Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga. Darjeeling is a travelers’ delight.
Sikkim shares its borders with China, Nepal and Bhutan. This remotely located Indian state is regarded as one of the last Himalayan Shangri-las. It is difficult to visit the place because of its location and the various permit issues. However, visiting Sikkim is indeed refreshing.
The mountainous beauty and ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture in Sikkim seems to have an unsurpassed soothing effect on the tourists’ souls. Some important fascinations include the Buddhist Monasteries, the Yuksom and the Dzongri trail that attracts trekkers and the Teesta River rafting for rafters. Sikkim is famous for its astounding variety of birds, animals and flowers. It is therefore an abode to many flora and fauna sanctuaries. The Deorali Orchid Sanctuary and the Kyongnosia Alpine Sanctuary are few to name. Adventure enthusiasts should never miss a journey through the Old Silk Route to the Nathu La Pass. However, you will require a permit for this.
Kerala, which has aptly been titled as the Gods Own Country is an abode to some of the most fascinating tourist spots in the country. This coastal state of India has a lot to offer ranging from the ripe coconuts to the spice plantations, from the hills of Munnar and Thekkady to the tranquil, palm fringed backwaters, from its exotic wildlife to the variety of flora and fauna and from its stunning, sun bathed beaches to its huge rice paddies. The Keralan land is rich in culture and tradition and is therefore sought for by a large crowd of travelers from all across the globe.
Whether you are looking out for a trip with friends, a family vacation, a business cruise or a honeymoon treat, Kerala is the key. If you are planning your next trip to Kerala you dare not to miss any of these stunning places on the Kerala land.
Kochi, Kathakali performance, photo credit by Arian Zwegers on Flickr.com
Kochi (Cochin) Kochi acts as the Gateway to Kerala and it hence marks to be the starting point for most of the Kerala tour packages. Beautifully located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, Kochi is a quite fast and modern city. The Fort Kochi reflects a mix of British, Portugese and Dutch cultures. Kochi is one of the finest natural harbors in the world and is also a booming metropolis city in Kerala. The Chinese fishing nets are a unique identity of the Kochi city. You can experience indulging into net fishing in the stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi.
The Alleppey Backwaters Alleppey Backwaters are well known for offering exclusive trips on houseboats. This beautiful destination had once been described as the ‘Venice of the East’ by Lors Curzon. A houseboat vacation allows you to check out the vibrant landscape, paddy fields, chapels, fishing with netting, ducks, water lilies and more. You are served with local Keralan cuisines in bananas leaves, which is a fascinating experience in itself. Alleppey boats offer the best backwater trips in Kerala in their fully maintained and traditionally decorated ambience. Some other major attractions include the Chettikulangara Bhagawathy Temple, Krishnapuram Palace, Arthunkal Church, Marari Beach, Pathiramanal and the Sri Krishna Temple.
The hill station of Munnar offers panoramic views of extreme mountain slopes covered with 80,000 miles of green tea farms, low flying clouds and misty valleys. It holds to be a major centre for Kerala’s tea industry and boosts of many acres of tea plantations. The weather is usually cool and pleasant for sightseeing. Munnar features several beautiful waterfalls and hiking routes that lure many adventure enthusiasts. The forests here are rich in wildlife and are also a home to the endangered Nilgiri tahr species. Munnar is known for its Tata Tea Museum which gives a complete insight into the latest, fully automated technology used in the tea industry. It also features the Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church, which is said to be the first Catholic church ever built in the High Ranges.
A cluster of small islands on the Vembanad lake for the village of kumarakom. It is the best known location to witness the typical rural life of a Keralan village amidst tranquil backwaters, coconuts, authentic Kerala food and the warmth of fresh air. Kumarakom features lots of canals, waterways, lakes decorated with lilies, coconut groves, paddy fields and dense mangrove forests. This enchanting backwater destination in the country offers you a variety of leisure options and enticing activities like boating and fishing.
Thekkady is most popular for its Periyar Wildlife sanctuary which preserves various species of animals that include elephants, tigers, gaurs and the very rare lion tailed macaques. Its scenic beauty and wildlife attracts several tourists and visitors from all over the world. You must not miss the opportunity to get into a boat trip in Thekkady lake, which is a worth taking experience in itself. Adventure enthusiasts can take the path from Moozhiyar to Thekkadi via Gavi to experience a trek through the thickest wooded miles of Kerala.
The capital city of Thiruvananthapuram brings you a blend of serenity and city life. It is of great historical importance and has many stories to unfold. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Padmanabha Swamy Temple is known for its charm, fame and the name. The temple has a mix of Dravidian and Kerala architecture and has been adorned with several ancient stone carvings and mural paintings. The city also holds the Technopark, which is the country’s first IT Park and Asia’s third largest. This Technopark makes Thiruvananthapuram a city of technology as well. This capital city is most renowned for its idyllic beaches and rich heritage. Despite of being the capital city, it is usually found free of any clutter or clamor.
Varkala is an amazingly set seaside town which has been listed among the best beach places in Kerala. It lures thousands of tourists with its unmatched natural charm, high cliffs and amazingly luxurious resorts. The major attractions include Varkala Beach, Sivagiri Mutt, Janardhana Temple and Kappil Lake. The town is an important site for Hinduism followers. Tourists enjoy spending time on the beaches and are most likely to be found indulged in activities like body surfing the waves or glaring at the wonderful sunset scene. The cliff top itself is a home to some charming accommodations with fabulous views of the surrounding region.
Kovalam is another great beach in India that offers you an opportunity to relax in the sun and indulge in ayurvedic treatments and deep massages. Kovalam has a crescent shaped beach that features a light house which provides an excellent view of the city. The Samudra beach and the Hawah beach look amazing on moonlit evenings. Its three curved beaches are very popular among tourists. Apart from being extremely beautiful, these beaches also host a number of entertainment and sports programs each day. The sea port of Vizhinjam is known for its special variety of fish that look stunning and the famous Vizhinjam mosque.
Wayanad is the land of paddy fields and is undoubtedly a ‘Green Paradise’ in the state. The place is highly enriched in scenic beauty, traditions, wildlife, significant tribal heritage and agricultural abundance. The Edakkal caves, Banasura Sagar dam, Wayanad Wildlife Santuary, Tusharagiri Waterfalls and Sentinel Rockfalls are some of its major attractions. The Chembra Peak marks to be the tallest peak in the Wayanad region and unfolds great views of Wayanad as you climb up. However, climbing up and down the peak can consume one complete day for you. Camping at the top of the peak is also an exhilarating experience.
Vagamon Vagamon is an enchanting hill station set across the Idukki Kottayam border that pulls visitors from all across the globe to experience the natural ambience of the place. The place features meadows, gardens, dales, tea plantations, valleys, maintained lawns and fresh air to make your visit ravishing. Kerala has something worth exploring in every nook and corner of the state. These fascinating and heart captivating attractions of Kerala is what makes it one of the top tourist destinations in India.
Visit time to Kerala, in respect to tourism has been divided into three major tourist seasons that include the peak season, the off season and the monsoon season. Irrespective of your time of stay or nationality, the serene coastal land of Kerala offers one of its kinds travel experiences to one and all in each of these seasons. Kerala serves all with a pleasing weather all year long, diverse culture and tranquil Keralabackwaters.
The Gopuram (Tower) of a historic Hindu Temple, Trivandrum, Kerala : Photo Credit of rejik on Flickr.com
Peak Season (October to March) Most of the people tend to visit the place during its peak season that ranges from October to March during which the weather remains warm and comfortable, but not hot. This season is therefore considered to be the best time to spend your time in beaches under mildly sunny skies, hill stations and backwaters. It is recommended to get your accommodation booked prior to your visit especially during the week of Christmas and New. Also, you must be prepared to pay top rates during this time, which is quite festive time to experience.You can participate and enjoy an array of round trips, night outs and special events and activities during this time of the year. Some of the most special events include the Cochin Carnival, the Kumarakom Boat Race, Aranmula Boat Race, Onam and Chembai Music Festival.
The backwaters of Kerala, Photo credit by Stefano Ravalli on Flickr.com
Off Season (April to June) The summer season from April to May slows the pace of tourism due to humidity in the weather, which in turn results in fewer tourist crowds and lower hotel rates. Being located near the tropics this coastal state experiences high temperature during the summer which is accompanied by daily rains. It is a good time to visit if you are ready to stand 30 degree plus temperatures. The late April time witnesses an increase in precipitation that welcomes the locals to get wet in evening showers. It is a kind of pre mini monsoon season.
Summer is a good season to visit the Keralan land for those who like to brave the heat, and enjoy a less congested, less expensive travel experience. You can spend time sweltering if you land up in any of the Kerala’s hill stations like Munnar or Thekkady. This is a perfect season for planning up a perfect budget holiday in Kerala since you can expect heavy off season discounts on accommodation, sightseeing and drinks. Some commonly celebrated events during this season include the Guruvayoor Utsavam, the Aluva Sivarathri, Vishu, Easter and the Edathuva Perunnal.The heat will keep you away from the hot sunny beaches and you might like to engage yourself in a calm afternoon nap. Visiting wildlife sanctuaries and spice plantations are also a good option to spend your noon time in shady ambiences. The evenings are however pleasant and perfect times for sightseeing. The Munnar and Thekkady hills often cater to the tourists who want to escape heat.
Monsoon Season (July to September)
The Monsoon season from July to September is the right time to visit Kerala for an Ayurveda treatment. This is why this season is also known as the Ayurveda season. This wet, cool and comfortable climate is perfectly ideal for making the best out of these Ayurveda treatments.Thorough August month sees the heaviest rainfall which not necessarily falls everyday rather it falls only in short bursts. The weather can sometimes be extremely unpredictable and may see slight rough winds at times. The monsoon season lets you unwind and explore a different side of Kerala, experiencing its overflowing rivers, trees dancing to the tune of the winds, lush hills and vast expanses of vegetation fields. The 44 rivers criss crossing Kerala give an opportunity to enjoy the blue green waters flowing. This is the time to see the most beautiful Kerala hills with vivid greenery and tranquil palm fringed backwaters.The major events include the Ayurveda treatment, the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, the Kottiyoor Utsavam and the Champakkulam Boat Race.The Arabian Sea coast line looks really wild and the rainstorms ravage the beaches. Visit here in this time of the year and explore the spice plantations, cloud skies, heavy rains that attract most of the tourists.
Famous as “Land of Kings”, Rajasthan is the largest area by land and is located at the western side of the country. On the eastern side, it comprises wide and famous Thar dessert and shares a hospitable border with Pakistan and Indus valley on the west. Traditionally, Meena, Gujars, Bhils, Charans, Rajputs, Rajpurohits, Yadav and Bhisnoi contributed great efforts to build the state of Rajasthan. Ideally, there is lot that lies hidden in the history of the state. But beside it, Rajasthan is a known state of India that offers beautiful offbeat destinations to tourists here.
If you are planning to explore Rajasthan then here is a list of offbeat destinations that are less known to the world yet beautiful in their own way and are worth exploring. Few of the known places are:-
Rohetgarh is an ancestral home since 1622 AD that was passed on to Thakur Dalpat Singh for his exemplary courage and bravery in numerous military campaigns under the banner of Rathores. Since then, Rohetgarh became the Jagir of the Rajput king of the era of the state of Marwar.
This ancestral home is graced and cherished by the generations of the noblemen and has been revered by several across the globe for its classic architecture and wonderful designs. In 1990, the gateways of this historical epic home were opened for discerning travelers. A careful stroll through this sprawling architecture briefs you about style and elegance of Kings back then. It gives a glimpse through brilliant colors where culture and tradition were deep rooted. Presently, it is a leading heritage hotel, where the experience goes far beyond the high walls of the garh and provides finest travel experience to its tourists.
Samode palace, Samode haveli and Samode Bagh is a heritage hotels that is built by Noble Feudatory with a hereditary title of “Maha Rawal” or “Maha Saheb” of Amber and Jaipur under the principality of Rajasthan. All three have vibrant history over several hundred years and display a fusion Rajasthani and Mughal art and architecture.
They are now part of heritage group of hotels under the flagship of Samode that are run by the hereditary owners of these structures.
Built at the foothills of the mountain ranges, these structures are made like forts and are composed in ancient architectural style with beautifully and intricately carved designs, luxurious carpets, decorated wall and paintings with motifs, florals, hunting scenes and inlaid stones). Samode palace has a sheesh mahal and the entrance gate has a large size treasure chest made of dark wood and gleaming glass. The haveli has an elegant painting and airy passage, an elephant ramp and was constructed at the time of wedding of Royal Family.
Samode Bagh is a Mughal Garden that has sandbank and sprawls over 20 acres with tents to accommodate visitors.
Devigarh is a heritage hotel and resort that is housed in 18th century in the village of Delwara. It was the royal residence of the rulers of Delwara principality from the mid of the 18th century to the mid of 20th century. The fort is situated at the foothills of the Aravali hills and is situated at 28 km to the Northeast of Udaipur, Rajasthan.
It is one of the leading luxury hotels and the best in the Indian subcontinent and is more than beautiful than its inspiring. It is a seven storeyed fort situated at the hilltop and was built in sync with Rajasthani architecture in the 1760’s. So, if you are planning for awesome holiday destination in Rajasthan then Devigarh is must visit place
Ramathra Fort is a heritage hotel that lies between two of India’s famous wildlife reserves – Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur and Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Sawai Madhopur. The fort lies close to Kailadevi National Park that is just 15 km away.
The fort, the lake and the countryside are the three big attractions of this fort. Best season for this fort is between the months of July and March. The place is wonderful in its own way and offers adventurous ride to the tourists.
Further, the area offers tranquil atmosphere and those who wish to explore natural sites then Ramathra promises a memorable and wonderful stay.
India launches the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) facility enabled with electronic visa scheme to boost tourism in the country. This facility is currently available for foreign tourists from over 43 countries round the world that include the US, Germany Israel, Palestine and Japan and it is most likely to extend to other nations in a phased manner in the days to come.
The TVOA visa will allow entry of foreign tourists within 30 days from the approval of their electronic travel authorization (ETA) and will remain valid for 30 days from the date of arrival.
The TVoA enabled with ETA Scheme will facilitate nationals of 43 countries including Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kingdom of Tongo, Laos, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand, Niue, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Papua & New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of Korea (i.e. South Korea), Republic of Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru, Republic of Palau, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam and Vanuatu.
The tourists will be allowed to enter and depart from nine international airports – Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram.
India has an unequalled advantage in tourism due to its diverse geography and a long enticing history of rich cultural heritage. This new enhancement in the visa facility will undoubtedly give a boost to India’s tourism sector once the 75 TVOA counters are placed at the nine international airports to facilitate smooth transaction of e-visa.
You would surely like to choose the best holiday destinations for your family. But if you are planning to explore India this coming year then here are some amazing destinations can be ideal for your family. There are scores of options available where you can go and enjoy with your children and your partner. As travel industry of India has grown leaps and bounds over the decades, the infrastructure and transportation to finest destinations of India has reported manifold surge in tourist visits each year.
To the North of India, Kashmir is bewitchingly splendid and beautiful destination of India. Kashmir offers delightful travel experience to its visitors as it unravels sightseeing to beautiful gardens having chinar trees, deep valleys, majestic hills and famous Dal Lake.
It indeed offers sightseeing to beautiful culture and picturesque of Kashmir. The beauty here is amazingly mesmerizing. Besides food here is another thing that may take your heart away. You can also do some shopping at local bazaars where you can buy woolens and souvenirs.
Goa beaches are another great place where you can relax and chill out with your family. This tiny Indian state is renowned for beautiful and palm fringed beaches and attracts visitor’s across the globe. You can relax here on beautiful beaches or can enjoy some of the water sports. Some of the famous beaches here are Anjuna beach, Calangute beach and Baga beach.
Besides Goa is also known for its Savio Plantations,Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Dhudhsagar waterfalls and various small markets.
It is one of the most beautiful and picturesque hill stations of Karnataka which is widely famous as perfect holiday destination. Best about the town is its lush green environment. It is often referred as “Scotland of India”. It is paradise for natural beauty lovers and offers range of opportunities for rafting, camping, trekking and angling etc.
Famous as Queen of Hills, Ooty is situated in the lap of Niligiri hills and is popular for destination for tourists in South India. It is small hill station of Tamil Nadu that best allows the backpackers and holiday lovers to get absorbed in the true spirit of exuberance and excitement.
The reason why Ooty is called queens of hills, is because its offers complete serenity and is far away from chaos and clutter of the city. Some of its popular destinations that must deserve a visit are Botanical garden, Moyar waterfalls, Marlimund lake and Doddabetta park.
Its temples, natural sheen and backwaters have always been captivating spots and have largely attracted the tourists across the globe. The state is blessed with abundant beauty and is home to many spectacular destinations as in Kumarakom, Kochi, Kovalam, Munnar and Alleypey.
The state of Kerala is often looked up as ‘God’s Own Country’. This coastal place in southern India is rich in its diversified culture and traditions. Kerala is well known for its abundant, spotless tropical beauty, elephants, temple festivals and soothing backwaters. Thousands of tourists visit this beautiful coastal city to experience a leisurely vacation amidst its lush green hill stations, peaceful beaches, composed climate and exotic wildlife. This land observes a slow pace lifestyle and is among the most sought tourism place to visit in a lifetime. When on a trip to Kerala, don’t forget to visit these attractions of this coastal land in South India.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Photo credit by U A SATISH on Flickr
The enchanting city of Kochi marks to be the Gateway to Kerala. The architecture and historical sites in Fort Kochi has an eclectic influence on the minds of its visitors. The architecture and heritage of this place has been influenced by all of these be it Arabs, British, Dutch, Chinese or Portuguese.
Tranquil Backwaters of Cochin, India, photo credit by Jim Johnson on Flickr.com
Tranquil Backwaters of Kerala
Kerala boasts of several tranquil backwaters including serene waterways, lakes, estuaries, canals and rivers. You can enjoy a ride in a houseboat and observe the aquatic flora and fauna life present in these waterways. These include frogs, crabs, darters, turtles, leafy plants, shrubs and palm trees. Some of the most famous backwaters with a green tinge of leafy plants are Kollam backwaters, Cochin backwaters, Kozhikode Backwaters and Kasaragod Backwaters. Nothing can prove more relaxing to you than taking a trip in a houseboat along these palm fringed Kerala canals. You will be served with freshly cooked Indian food and chilled beer on the boat to make your experience even better.
Kerala, Land of Coconut trees, photo credit by Reji on Flickr.com
Exotic Hill Stations on the Kerala Land
The beautiful hill stations present on this coastal land enhances its beauty and appealing factors. You can enjoy a pleasurable stay in the mesmerizing beauty of the wholesome hills of Munnar, Ponmudi, Pythal Mala, Ranipurum or Devikulam. These emerald green places will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and help you relax your soul and body.
Varkala beach. Kerala, photo credit by Oleg Gudkov on Flickr.com
Wildlife Sanctuaries in Kerala, photo credit by Gui Stafford on Flickr.com
Wildlife Sanctuaries in Kerala
Kerala is a home to many wildlife sanctuaries which have a huge variety of animals, marine life and birds of all most all species residing in them. Some of these species are Nilgiri tahr, tigers, elephants, leopards, deer, moths, macaque, butterflies, crabs, mudskippers and more. You must not miss visiting the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Idukki wildlife sanctuary, Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary and Eravikulam National Park.
Munnar, India, Photo credit by Renny Abraham on Flickr.com
For all tea lovers, Munnar is a must visit. The place is covered with extensive tea plantations, where you can see people picking tea and processing process and then try fresh tea straight from the gardens. Munnar also hosts a tea museum and is blessed with serene beauty of many misty hills and forests, which are a home to several interesting plants and wildlife. If you are an adventure enthusiast, trek your way to Anamudi, the highest peak in south India, explore Eravikulam national park or go para gliding or rock climbing.
Elephants in Periyar National Park. photo credit by Vero & Vado from Flickr.com
Even after traversing miles of different corners of the country, Rajasthan stands matchless and spectacular in its own way, upholding it magnificence over decades and rolling out a hospitable environ to all guests setting a foot on its land.
The land of kings and queens, Rajasthan is truly responsible for enthralling hearts, doling out a pleasing aura and experience to all. A ride through diversities, ethnicity and multifarious culturally rich aspects, the state narrates tales of good and bad times during the early era of Rajput Kings who ruled long and gave several forts and palaces to the province that are breathtakingly amazing and lures tourists’ from catty-corners.
Rajasthan has always titillated hearts of many Indian and Foreign tourists and perhaps is the state that registers highest footfall from travellers across the world. Its heritage and flamboyant art encompassed in the roots of its people, palaces and food, offers a rustic feeling that is divine in all its sense. Offering lot more, the best about Rajasthan tours packages and it’s festivals that are celebrated round the year, doling out splendid opportunities to tourists to experience life and culture of the state in true sense. Different festivals are celebrated across the state that are celebrated both at cultural and religious occasions. Adorned with vibrantly colored lehangas and odhnis, men and women here exhibit a joyous spirit and passion.
A break from mundane routine life, festivals ensure exuberance to ordinary men and women. It is because of its range of festivals celebrated that the state has now evolved as an important destination of cultural tourism. There are number of festivals that are widely celebrated involving camel races, elephant rides, music, dance performance and others. Apart from these, other important festivals celebrated here are Mewar festival, teej festival, desert festival, gangaur festival, Bikaner camel festival and lot more, attracting thousands of people every years from all across the globe.
Photo credit by Bahadur Singh Rajawat on Flickr.com
Bikaner Cattle Festival
Organized every year in the month of January along with dance performances, it comprises an exclusive camel fair with no other cattle on the field. The camels are decorated with Rajasthani accessories and participate in different performances as in camel dance, camel races, neck shaking and camel rides, luring innumerable tourists each year.
Photo credit by anupama kinagi on Flickr.com
This festival is celebrated only in Jaisalmer and this festival is organized during the winter season in the middle of the sands of great Thar Desert. The city is decked up with brilliant colors, colloquial music and dance performances are done to attract the tourists. Rajasthan is the only state of India where festivals are celebrated with pomp and show, magic and charisma.
Photo credit by rougetete on Flickr.com
This festival occupies a special place in the hearts of natives of Rajasthani people. The festival is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Gauri and falls in the spring season. Here devotees offer prayers and other religious items to the Goddess.
Photo credit by Alex on Flickr.com
Jodhpur’s art and culture can be best depicted through Rajasthan’s Marwar festival that is celebrated in the month of October. It was earlier known as Maand Festival and falls during the full moon of sharad purnima, celebrated for two days.
Photo credit by Bahadur Singh Rajawat on Flickr.com
Kajli Teej Festival
Culture and tradition of Rajasthan can be best captured during the Kajli Teej festival. Here the celebration starts with prayers to Kajli Teej in Bundi, who was the queen of Hadoti. This Teej festival is entirely different from other Teej festivals celebrated in other states. It’s a week-long festival that is celebrated with vivacity and fanfare, and Goddess Uma is being offered prayers by devotees.
Photo credit by Karolina Lubryczynska on Flickr.com
Mesmerizing and enchanting beauty of Udaipur can be experienced through its numerous festivals that are widely celebrated across the city. This festival falls during the month of March and April. It is celebrated to welcome spring season, with a visual feast of song and dance performances.
Varanasi is the one of the oldest living cities in the world. For millennia Varanasi has been a magnet for the enlightened beings and spiritual seekers of India’s three ancient religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It was in a park near Varanasi where the Buddha preached his first sermon. Legends say that Lord Shiva, one of the three great gods of the Hindu tradition, chose Varanasi to be his home. All who die in Varanasi receive instant salvation. From time immemorial the sages of the Hindu and Jain faiths have meditated and taught on the banks of the river Ganges here. Bathing in the river Ganges is one of the most auspicious experiences of the Hindu faith. If you are planning India tours then Varanasi must visit destination.
Early morning at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, Photo Credit by Terje Grimsgaard on Flickr.com
Morning: Experience the magnificent early morning scene of hundreds of devout pilgrims wading into the cool waters of the Ganges, just as they have every morning since ancient times. Some chant and pray, while others offer the holy water of the river to the rising sun. This is one of the most unforgettable experiences one can have.
After taking in these rituals from a boat in the river, you will disembark for a short walk through the buzzing, animated lanes of Varanasi’s old city. The bazaars in these narrow passageways cater to the millions of pilgrims who come here to worship Kashi Vishwanath, the patron deity of Varanasi. The gold-covered temple where the deity resides is closed to non-Hindus, but the lanes surrounding it are a fascinating mix of commerce and faith.
Afternoon: City Tour of Varanasi: The city of Varanasi has long been a center for classical learning and culture. Visit Banaras Hindu University in the south of the city is perhaps the most prestigious university in India for philosophy and liberal arts. The Bharat Mata temple in the city testifies to Varanasi’s history as a center of India’s freedom movement. In this unique temple, consecrated to Mother India, a marble relief map of the Indian subcontinent is the focus of worship.
View from the Ganges – Varanasi, India, Photo Credit By Maciej Dakowicz on Flickr.com
Evening: Varanasi’s riverbank lights up as thousands congregate to witness the aarti ceremony. Temple bells ring out and pilgrims chant and pray as a row of young Brahman priests wave flaming oil lamps in worship of the Ganges. The scene from a boat in the river is spellbinding.
Sarnath – 10 kms. from Varanasi – The Buddha preached his first sermon to five disciples in Sarnath. Today thousands of Buddhist pilgrims from around the world travel here to pay their respects. The Deer Park where Buddha preached is still dotted with ancient monuments. Visit the towering Dhamek Stupa that marks the location of a once resplendent monastery. The first monks settled this area in approximately the 3rd century B.C. Near the Dhamek Stupa is a new monastery built by the Buddhist Mahabodhi Society. Visit the archaeological museum in which the famous Sarnath pillar, whose capital forms India’s national emblem, stands intact.
Walking tour of Varanasi – You can enjoy the morning walking tour of Varanasi, on this walk explore local life in streets and Ghats of Varanasi.
So if you have not included Varanasi in your north India trip then you are missing amazing local life of Varanasi which you will not find any other places in this world.
According to Ministry of Tourism of India, foreign tourist arrivals in India registered a growth of 9.7% in 2014 as compared to previous Year. In coming days number of tourist arrival will increase if Indian government will start Visa on arrival facilities to 180 countries. Currently VoA facility is available for 08 countries and Japan is number one to get this VoA facility followed by New Zealand , Philippines & Indonesia.
However recent incidents in India specially violence on women & Badaun rape incident tarnish the image of India & many woman travelers do not want to travel India. They think India is not safe for woman traveler. New Tourism Minister should take step and brand the image of India in western countries that India is safe for everybody. We should higher women tourist Police to popular tourist circuit like in Golden Triangle Tour ,Goa and many other tourist places.
A bharal or Himalayan blue sheep in National Park, Photo Credit By George (Digisnapper) on Flickr.com
This is really good news for Indian tourism one more National Park is going to add in World Heritage site by UNESCO. GHNP got support from around the world for the conservation efforts that the Government of Himachal and the authorities at GHNP have been making in this beautiful area in the lap of Himalayas.