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Why India...!

Fondly called The Golden Bird, India still retains its age-old bewitching charm. Traveling in India is a voyage that excels an ordinary travel experience. The diversity in India delights even the most seasoned traveler. From the Himalayan ranges to the holy Ganges, beach waves to sandy deserts, the serenity, vibrancy, beauty and colours of India enthralls one and all.India will amaze you with its size and glamour. Once you are here you will surely fall in love with the country's extremes. India – the land of diversities offers nothing predictable. The least you can expect here is the unexpected.India is separated from the rest of Asia by the world's highest and youngest mountain chain, the Himalayas. Every type of landscape that one can think of can be seen in India. Mountain ranges and wildlife sanctuaries in abundance, offer ample opportunities for eco-tourism and trekking.The rich history of India dates back to five thousand years when its first major civilization flourished around the Indus Valley. The society that developed here followed a sophisticated lifestyle and possessed a great knowledge of town planning. The Indus Valley civilization survived for approximately 1000 years before declining. After the decline of the Indus valley, the Aryans entered India and established their rule. Around the 4th century BC, the Mauryan empire conquered almost all parts of the country. They were followed by the Guptas, the Cholas and the Pandyas. Then came the Mughals who took over control. Later, in the early 1600s, the British arrived and soon made India one of their colonies. After a great struggle, India finally got independent in 1947. Since then, India has undergone immense development in every sphere. India has a strong system of government that makes it the largest democracy in the world.India is no less than a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. The country is home to a staggering varietyflora and fauna. The sight of preening peacocks, decorated camels, tigers in wild and majestic elephants is in itself an unmatched experience. Watching the animals and birds in their natural habitats is truly wonderful. Above 70 national parks and approximately 400 wildlife sanctuaries and bird sanctuaries form the rich wildlife heritage of India. Deserts and beaches in India fascinate one and all.

A variety of exotic beaches like no where in the world exist in India. Placid backwaters, bays, marine estuaries with fish, powdery golden sand shores are all present in India.Immense climatic diversity is found in India. Deserts such as the Great Indian Thar Desert, are at present among the major tourist destinations. Characterized by barren landscape, scanty rainfall, slopy sand dunes and scrub vegetation, the deserts charm visitors with their sheer magic.India displays diversity in all fronts and its people reflect the rich past, traditions and values that are truly Indian. Different languages, manners, and eating habits are followed by people in different regions and locations. Indians are warm at heart and possess a high spirit of tolerance.Family ties are given utmost importance in India. Earlier the practice of several members of a family living under the same roof was followed. These members shared common household and business. Soon this concept of living as a joint family became a social norm.The colorful mosaic of Indian festivals and fairs - as diverse as the land, is an eternal expression of the spirit of celebration. Observed with enthusiasm and gaiety, festivals are like gems ornamenting the crown of Indian culture. The Kumbh Mela, Pushkar fair, Goa carnival and Ladakh Festival are prominent fairs and festivals. Some other major festivals celebrated with great enthusiasm include Diwali, Holi, Christmas, Eid-Ul-Fitr, Pongal, Baisakhi and the national holidays of Independence Day and Republic Day.India is far famed for its architectural legacy second to none. It has several sights that never fail to fascinate the onlookers. Monuments such as Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, Ajanta Caves, Mysore Palace, Umaid Bhawan Palace are a living testimony to the rich architecture of India.The mosaic of the Indian social diversity can best be compared to a garden where flowers of different colours and shades bloom together to lend beauty to the garden called India. Do not miss a trip to this wonderful garden. 

 Travel with us and experience India like never before !..Now you should ask Why India and we will reply because it is Incredible India.!

Important Information for Tourists

  • Come with an open mind
  • Stay healthy
  • Avoid crowds
  • Be careful with your money
  • Wear modest clothes
  • Drink bottled water
  • Avoid booking taxis from hotel
  • Although no vaccinations are required for entry to India however consider taking the hepatitis A, Typhoid and malaria vaccinations. Other health risks could include dengue fever, bird flu, polio, meningitis, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, tuberculosis, diphtheria and rabies
  • Do not show or flash your money in public
  • Don’t wear too much gold that will attract attention
  • Try not to take too much luggage with you; you can find what you need in India
  • Don’t eat too much if you are not used to spicy food
  • Take it easy and slow down. India is not a day trip, you need months. So tailor your trip accordingly
  • Always carry a handkerchief
  • Take care of children to avoid abduction
  • Learn how to use the Indian toilets
  • Beware of scams and touts
  • Always carry a bar of soap with you. You might consider taking anti-bacterial wipes or gel and toilet paper
  • Wear a cap to avoid the heat on you head
  • Be calm, India is a hot, crowded place and tempers can easily boil. Stay calm
  • Be prepared to wait. India has more than 1.21 billion people, be prepared to wait at cues
  • Acknowledge that Indians and foreigners have to pay different tariffs and entry fees at historical monuments and museums
  • Learn some Hindi or the local language. India has 22 official languages. Think of it this way, each Indian state has a different Indian language. Hindi is the official language and spoken by 60% of the population. English is common across India. Here’s my Hindi book for your travels in India
  • Always wash your hands before you have your food
  • Learn salutations used in India, such as Namaste (Hindi), Vanakkam (Tamil) although “Hello” or “Hi” is fine
  • You might consider becoming a veggie in India. Firstly, as most Indians are vegetarian and there are great vegetarian food to be had secondly a dodgy meat kebab is more likely to harm you than undercooked vegetables
  • Get more understanding where you are and about the local place
  • Tailor your trip accordingly
  • Walk like a pro, show or pretend that you know the place. Don’t let anyone know that this is your first trip to India
  • Buy from reputable shops. There are fake and counterfeit goods that may look like the real thing but they aren’t, common ones include Ray-Ban sunglasses
  • Avoid local buses (not coaches), take taxis or autos instead
  • Some people say avoid street foods; if you want to test your karma, go ahead
  • Always make hotel reservations in advance. Hotels will take photocopies of your passport and visa
  • Make sure your hotels are air conditioned or at least has a ceiling fan
  • Be alert on trains unless you are on the Maharaja Express
  • Just be safe and watch out if someone is being too friendly
  • Don’t eat or drink anything any one gives you while travelling, it may not be safe
  • Indians in general are very friendly people but crooks take advantage of this. Basically, don’t accept food or drinks from strangers, they could be spiked. Exercise a high degree of caution
  • Tips are acceptable in India usually room service (at the end of your stay not after every service)
  • Keep your passport with you at all times and hide it
  • Keep several photocopies of your passport and tickets
  • Keep your travelers checks with you at all times, don’t just leave them in the hotel room
  • Keep your suitcases locked at all times. This is not to say that everyone are thieves but who knows opportunists might be lurking around
  • Buy some local clothing like a Kurta, a saree or a salwar kameez and blend in
  • Learn dietary habits of Indians. Many are vegetarians. Hindus don’t eat beef, Muslims don’t eat pork. Don’t offer them anything that they can’t eat
  • Remember photography in many places is not allowed such as airports, sensitive controversial religious places such as Mathura and Ayodhya. You might need special permission to take photos or shoot videos. If you are a casual tourist then it will be fine. You might have to pay a “camera fee”
  • When entering shrines and temples remove your shoes. Some temples prohibit the entry of leather goods such as belts and leather wallets
  • Wear sunglasses, look cool and keep the extreme sunlight out of your eyes
  • Many Indian roads are poorly constructed, be prepared for bumpy rides
  • Carry your own medication. Sometimes fakes are sold in India
  • Remember alcohol is available in India except some states such as Gujarat. Kingfisher beer is a popular one in India
  • If you are expecting to eat beef curries and pork sausages, forget it
  • “Holy” cows are revered (not worshipped). Show respect. Stroke her if you can. Mooo
  • No tips for taxi drivers
  • Always use pre-paid taxies from airports and stations (not all stations have pre-booking services). If that’s not available, fix the price before you take the ride
  • Bargain with the guides at historical places. Rupees 100-300 is fine for 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Don’t always trusts travel agents for booking tickets, they overcharge. Book at airports and train stations if you can
  • Never accept a free ride from anyone, use relevant transport
  • Keep money in various pockets so that if you get pick pocketed in one then you’ll have money in the other
  • If you trek mountains, remember there are no rescue services above 3,000 meters. Only the Indian Air Force can rescue you once they know you are there. Don’t hike alone
  • Always buy travel insurance before coming to India
  • Goa is the epicenter of tourism in India. Tourists have been coming to Goa for drugs, stay away from drugs. Drugs are illegal in India
  • There have also been incidents of rape in Goa, women travelers must be careful
  • Tourists leaving India will not be allowed to re-enter India again for 2 months
  • Beware of the weather in India. Weather in India can be severe such as heavy rains during the Monsoon season between June to October
  • If you lose your passport, report to the police station and get a report. Talk to your embassy or consulate for replacement or other travel arrangements
  • Consider emailing images of your passport, tickets, other important documents to yourself just in case you need to retrieve it later
  • Be careful with your hand luggage, snatching do occur. There is very little or no risk of street robbery in India. “India is not Somalia”
  • The electrical supply is 220/240V and 50Hz. Carry the appropriate “round pin” electric connectors similar to European ones
  • Remember Indian Standard Time (IST) is 10 ½ hours ahead of American EST, 5 ½ hours ahead of GMT/UTC and 4 ½ hours behind Australian EST
  • India is not disabled friendly. There are very few facilities at airports, trains, coaches or hotels. However Indian people are generally very helpful in this regard and will be more than willing to help disabled people
  • Carry mosquito repellents or nets with you
  • Have your hip replaced in India for a fraction of a price you would pay in the USA or avoid the 2 year waiting list in the UK. Thousands of medical tourists come to India. One such good hospital is the Apollo Hospital in 20 Indian cities
  • Don’t be alarmed if you get waken up in the early hours of the morning with the sounds of prayers from loud speakers
  • Don’t be surprised to see poverty on the streets
  • Be extremely cautious when travelling alone at night
  • Try to organize money in various ways such as traveler’s cheques, cash, credit cards
  • You cannot buy mobile sim-cards in India without permission. In Jammu and Kashmir, local government does not allow roaming facilities to foreigners. The best thing is to take your own mobile with roaming
  • A daily dose of pro-biotics or yogurt pills a month before coming to India and during your stay can help reduce stomach upsets
  • Politics is big in India. Try to be neutral
  • Remember that it is unusual for the opposite sex to kiss in public
  • Note the emergency phone numbers are: police (100), ambulance (102 or the nearest hospital), medical and fire emergency (101)
  • Can use internet cafes to access the internet. There are only a few Wi-Fi hotspots in India although there are wireless internet services
  • International calling is cheap from India. The country code for India is 91. Use a telephone booth if there are no international calling facilities from your hotel. They are known as a PCO (Public Call Office) and they offer STD/ISD (Subscriber Trunk Dialing/International Subscriber Dialing), or national and international long distance
  • Try not to drive; it’s not safe for the faint hearted. If you must then be prepared to encounter mad truckers, speeding maniacs, honking taxis, wandering cows, suicidal pedestrians, pot-holed tarmacs all at the same time
  • If it’s your first time in India, book a tour. You’ll know exactly where you’re going
  • Don’t be over cautious or be nervous, India is a safe country

Do`s and Don’ts in India

The following is a list of the do's and don'ts for tourists visiting India

Do's:

  • All foreign nationals must pay hotel bills in foreign currency (cash or travellers cheques). This can be paid in rupees if the visitor has a bank receipt as proof of currency exchange
  • Exchange money only through authorised banks or moneychangers
  • Insist on a receipt when exchanging money
  • Retain all receipts to facilitate re-conversion of unspent money on departure from India
  • Shopping is recommended from Government Emporia and suggested shops on the list of the Department of Tourism. Information on these can be obtained from tourist offices in India
  • Shopping is recommended from Government Emporia and suggested shops on the list of the Department of Tourism. Information on these can be obtained from tourist offices in India
  • Export of most wildlife and their products is either banned or strictly regulated. Export of the few permissible items - even as passengers' personal luggage - is allowed only under an appropriate export permit
  • Insist on getting a certificate for the legitimate sale of a particular animal product and permission for its export to avoid inconvenience on departure
  • Taxis and auto-rickshaws in cities do not all have meters, but where they do, insist on the meter being flagged in your presence. If the driver refuses to cooperate, seek the assistance of a policeman
  • In addition, the above fares change from time to time and so will not always conform to readings on the meter. To avoid confusion, insist on seeing the latest fare chart and pay accordingly
  • If you wish to visit any prohibited or restricted areas, check with the nearest Government of India Tourist Office to ascertain details of the formalities required
  • Check with the nearest Government of India Tourist Office the rules regarding photography at archaeological monuments
  • Try to avoid the touts and brokers of shopkeepers
  • It is obligatory to cover your head before entering Sikh shrines.
  • In case of any difficulty contact the nearest tourist office or police station.
  • Concessionary tickets such as Indrail Pass on Railways, Youth Fare, Discover India Fare and Air Fare (Indian Airlines) are to be purchased in foreign exchange only

Don'ts:

  • ARE YOU COMMITTING A CRIME ?
  • Think before you BUY !!
  • Can't resist that Shahtoosh Shawl or those Ivory bangles? Think Twice before buying that exquisite coral showpiece! Illegal wildlife trade threatens the survival of many species. You might be violating the law and also endangering wildlife.
  • Most of the trade in wild animals, plants and their derivatives is illegal in India under the wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, which covers over 1800 species. Under the convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora (CITES), trade in over 830 Species of wildlife is banned internationally while trade in over 33,000 species is strictly regulated
  • DON'T BUY TROUBLE!
  • When you buy or acquire an illegal wildlife product or souvenir, you may actually be buying trouble for yourselves.
  • Hunting of protected species of wildlife or possession of and trade in them or their derivatives is illegal and severely punishable under law. Wildlife products made from endangered species bought outside India would require permits for their import to India. Your souvenirs could be confiscated on your return and you could face strict legal action.
  • BUYERS BEWARE!
  • WHEN IN DOUBT - DON'T BUY. Ignorance of law is not an excuse. Given below are some of the most widely traded illegal wildlife products.
  • Marine Products: Reef building Corals, Organ-pipe Corals, Black Corals, Fire Corals ans Sea Fans are some of the highly endangered marine species offered on sale in our coastal regions and islands. Many endangered species of Molluscs such as Nautilus, Horse’s Hoof and Horned Helmet may also be offered.
  • Ivory Items: Ivory figurines, carvings and jewellery may be offered for sale at the tourist spots.
  • Live Birds: All trade in wild Indian bird species is prohibited. Species on offer may include parakeets, falcons, Hill Myna, Great horned Owl, and munias. For every bird that reaches its final destination, several die en route.
  • Reptile Skin: trade in skins and other products of protected species of reptiles such as Marsh and Salt Water Crocodiles, Yellow Monitor Lizard, Cobra and Rock Pythons is banned. Handbags, belts, wallets and other products made of these reptile skins mat cost you much more that you bargained for.
  • Shahtoosh Shawls: These shawls are tainted with the blood of Chiru, a highly endangered antelope. Three to Five Chirus are slaughtered to obtain the wool for one shawl.
  • Skins, bones, derivatives and products fashioned from them: All trade in skins, bones, claws etc. of leopard Tiger and other endangered species, and derivatives such as bear bile and musk pods is banned.
  • Medicinal Plants and Orchids: International trade in 29 species of orchids, timber species and medicinal plants in the raw form such as logs, whole plant, crude drugs, oil extract and resinoid is prohibited under the EXIM policy. One value - added products such as medicines derived from a cultivated variety of specified species may be allowed for export.
  • Collection or sale of plants or derivatives of Scheduled Species such as Kunth (Saussurea costus), Red Vanda, Blue Vanda, Ladies Slipper Orchid, Pitcher Plant and Beddomes Cycad is prohibited under the wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
  • Also
  • Don't get lured by shopping bargains on the street.
  • Don't exchange money except with an authorized money-changer
  • Don't purchase travel tickets through strangers or unauthorized travel agents or tour operators
  • Don't encourage beggars by giving them money or other articles
  • Don't buy silver/ivory articles or peacock feathers in bulk
  • Don't wear any footwear inside Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Jain places of worship. Some temples do not permit leather articles to be taken in

Chennai

Once a small group of fishing villages, Chennai, formerly called Madras, is today one of the largest commercial and cultural centres of South India. The city developed its cohesive shape under the British who established their first Presidency here at Fort St George in 1644 A.D. making it a dynamic mix of the old and new.Much of Chennai, even today, lies along Marina Beach – the second longest beach in the world, and a major part of the country’s automobile industry is based here thus earning it the nickname "Detroit of India".The city is also an important center for Carnatic music and hosts a large cultural event, the annual Madras Music Season, which includes performances by hundreds of artists from across the globe.

Pondicherry

Established in 1674 A.D. by the French, Pondicherry was the capital of French territories in India. The town is a treasure trove for the inquisitive traveler with its tantalizing blend of spiritual aura, colonial heritage, and pristine beaches.The Gallic flavor of the bygone era is retained especially in the old French quarter of the town with its beautiful colonial buildings, churches, temples & tree lined avenues. The numerous bars and cafes here have a European ambiance and many old residents still speak in French.

Madurai

Located on the banks of River Vaigai, the ancient city of Madurai is one of South India’s great temple towns and a rich repository of Tamil culture. It has been a major settlement for two millennia and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.Today, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Minakshi Temple and religion and culture still remain a vibrant part of the city’s daily life.

Tanjore

Tanjore or the “Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu” lies in the fertile Kaveri Delta region of South India.The city first rose to prominence during the reign of the Cholas in the 11th & 12th centuries when it served as the capital of their empire. It still is a great centre of cultural learning that extends beyond just temples & palaces and encompasses classical music, dance, bronze sculpture and a painting style unique to this region.

Trichy

With a history of significant antiquity the temple town of Trichy or Tiruchirapalli is dominated by the massive Rock Fort which towers over the  plains of the fertile Kaveri Delta and is a dramatic sight to behold.The city, today, is a thriving commercial centre famous for artificial diamonds, cigars, handloom cloth, glass bangles and wooden/ clay toys. The world's oldest functional dam, the Grand Anaicut, is located here.

Bengaluru

Known as the “City of Gardens”, Bangalore or Bengaluru is blessed with salubrious climate, beautiful gardens and natural lakes.It is the capital of Karnataka and one of the fastest growing cities in Asia, often being labelled as India’s Silicon Valley because of the thriving software & information technology industry here. The growing influx of young professionals from all over the world has indeed made it a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a plethora of pubs, shopping malls and restaurants.Yet in spite of rapid modernization, Bengaluru still retains its gardens and monuments from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

Coorg

Picturesquely situated in the lush forested mountains of the Western Ghats, Coorg is a beautiful region in Karnataka. It is well known in the world for its coffee and "brave warriors".Madikeri, the district headquarters and a charming hill town, is located 1500 meters above sea level and is surrounded by rich coffee and orange plantations. Pleasant weather, lush greenery, waterfalls and hiking trails across the region make it a very popular destination for tourists, both international & domestic.

Hampi

Hampi, on the banks of Tungabhadra River, is home to the ruins of the Vijayanagar kingdom. A UNESCO World Heritage Site it’s surrounded by a spectacular barren and boulder-strewn landscape and is a photographers’ delight.The site is significant historically and architecturally as the Archaeological Survey of India continues to conduct excavations in the area, to discover additional art effects and temples. There are many sacred centers of importance at the site and this ancient city had a well-integrated waterways system which is definitely worth a visit.

Mysore

Once the capital of the Wodeyar rulers, Mysore gained much of its early fame because of Tipu Sultan, popularly known as the ‘Tiger of Mysore’ for his heroic resistance against the British invaders.The city is noted for its palaces, including the awe inspiring Mysore Palace, and for the colorful festivities that take place during Dasara It lends its name to the Mysore style of painting and the beautiful Mysore silk sarees. Also famous are its ivory work, silk weaving, sandalwood, incense and carvings.

Hyderabad

The capital of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad has a rich and interesting past and was at one time home to the richest men on earth, the fabulously wealthy royal family of Hyderabad, the Nizams. The grand palaces, colourful bazaars and exquisite mosques are some the mesmerizing attractions of this beautiful city which is also famous for its gastronomical cuisine. Over the years the area has grown tremendously and now boasts of a world class infrastructure supporting its huge information technology industry.

Kochi

Better known as Cochin, Kochi is a collection of narrow islands and peninsulas surrounded by palm groves, inland lakes and backwaters which add to the mesmerizing beauty of this enchanting land. Heralded as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, it was an important spice trading centre for many centuries and flaunts one of the finest natural harbours of the world.Occupied by the Portuguese Empire in 1503, it was the first of the European colonies in India. The areas of Fort and Mattancherry still have an old world charm about it with Dutch, Portuguese and English influences.

Kottayam

Arguably, the most beautiful district of Kerala, Kottayam’s landscape, culture and weather make it an ideal holiday destination.It is surrounded by the blue waters of Vembanad Lake, paddy fields of Kuttanad, and lush hills of the Western Ghats. The town itself was the first to attain 100% literacy in India and is the birthplace of Malayalam publishing. It also has an old tradition of Syrian Christianity and house beautiful churches and seminaries.

Backwaters - Kumarakom & Alleppey 

The backwaters of Kerala aptly add to its reputation as ’God’s own Country’ and offer a unique unforgettable experience to travelers.The labyrinthine network of brackish lagoons weaves through lush vegetation and villages, offering glimpses into rural lifestyle. The best way to enjoy the picture perfect coconut-fringed backwaters is to take a laidback houseboat tour, meandering through the canals while enjoying Kerala cuisine cooked on-board & relaxing with traditional Ayurvedic therapies & yogic treatments.

Munnar

Situated at an altitude of 1600 meters above sea level in the Western Ghats, Munnar is a quaint town surrounded by sprawling tea, coffee and cardamom plantations.Once a summer retreat of the British, this popular honeymoon destination lies at the confluence of three mountain streams and the picturesque beauty of this enchanting land includes misty rolling hills, sparkling waterfalls, beautiful hamlets and lush valleys.

Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram is an ancient town on the Coromandel Coast and was a bustling seaport for many centuries.It boasts of various historic monuments including the Five Raths (horse chariots) of the Pandavas, built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The beauty & charm of Mahabalipuram is not only due to these architectural wonders but also encompasses vast casuarinas trees, silvery sandy beaches & classical hand male crafts which add to its collective splendor.

Kovalam

Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and true to its name the erstwhile quaint village offers an endless sight of them.It is also known as ‘Paradise of the South’ for its crescent-shaped sandy beaches, flanked by rocky promontories and coconut palm groves which became famous from the 1970’s after being discovered as part of the “Hippie Trails’.

Periyar

Periyar National Park is considered as one of the best managed wildlife reserves in India and is famous as a safe haven for elephants and tigers among.

Mumbai

Called ‘Maximum City’, Mumbai is the most dynamic and cosmopolitan city of India.Resting on the shore of the Arabian Sea, this city of skyscrapers & slums is called home by fifteen million people, from business tycoons to film stars to slum dwellers.Apart from being the financial heart of India, Mumbai also houses the biggest film industry in the world, Bollywood which have a huge cultural influence globally.

Goa

The tiny state of Goa along the lush green Konkan Coast has a distinct culture than the rest of the country, owing to the 400 years of Portuguese colonial rule whose influence extends from cuisine, music to the religion of this region. It also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, which is classified as a biodiversity hot spot of the world.Goa is hugely popular with Indian & International travelers alike who come here in droves to enjoy its idyllic beaches, beautiful churches, coconut plantations, lush green landscapes and colorful carnivals that make it a perfect holiday destination.

Aurangabad

Aurangabad, founded in the 16th century & meaning "Built by the Throne") is named after the last great Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb.Surrounded with many historical monuments, like Bibi Ka Makbara, a near copy of the Taj Mahal, and the famous Ajanta and Ellora Caves, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Aurangabad features prominently on the tourist map of India.The Ajanta & Ellora caves include paintings & sculptures described by archeological experts as "the finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly painting", and which are masterpieces of Buddhist religious art.

Pune

The fascinating city of Pune, blessed with good climate all year round, was once the center of power of the mighty Maratha Empire in the 17th & 18th centuries.Today known as ‘Oxford of the East’ it is home to some of the most prestigious colleges & schools in India, with its Marathi culture laying emphasis on education, music, theatre and arts & crafts. The top attraction of the city is the Osho Commune International, which preaches an alternate lifestyle based on free living and attracts droves of travellers from across the globe.Pune has also emerged as a center of modern architecture in India, with many prize-winning buildings to its name.

Gujarat

A wondrous mix of arts, nature and culture, Gujarat, has centuries of history and is unique in its geological and topographical landscape with mountain ranges, dense forests, vast expanses of salt deserts and a coastline running 1600 kms, the longest in India.From volcanic outpourings to fossil fields of indigenous dinosaurs to cave art and stone masterpieces, this region has it all. It is the one and only place in the world to see the Asiatic lions in the wild and on the other end of the spectrum is monetarily one of India’s richest states with a world class infrastructure in place for business development.Gujarat is also the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, that great apostle of peace and an iconic figure in modern Indian & World history.

Kolkatta

Kolkata or Calcutta as it used to be known was once the capital of British India. This vibrant city still exudes a distinct imperial flavor that adds to its multi – layered character where the old grandeur co - exists with the new chic hotels, restaurants and modern buildings.

Kolkata is also known as the “Intellectual Capital’ of India, with it playing host to innumerable writers, poets, craftsmen, painters and social thinkers over the generations, truly a place where the Indian renaissance was born.

Bhubaneshwar

Bhubaneshwar, once the ancient capital of the Kalinga Empire and with a history of more than 3000 years, is a walking tour of centuries of temple architecture.

Indeed temples are to this ancient city as forts were to Rajasthan and it is often referred to as the ‘Temple City of India’ with more than one thousand of them around!

Darjeeling

Once the summer capital and favorite retreat of the British Empire, Darjeeling, is a picturesque hill town in the Eastern Himalayas region of West Bengal. The splendor of the hill station is self-evident in the British legacy that goes hand-in-hand with its local Tibetan and Nepali character.Darjeeling is famous globally for its tea cultivation and the resultant distinctive Darjeeling tea produced here is recognized and ranks among the finest of the black teas. One can actually watch the fascinating process of tea making here! The town also boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and its wonderful toy trains & steam locomotives.

Gangtok

Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim is famous for its monasteries, picturesque views of the Himalayas with its alpine environs and reflects the immense ethnic diversity of the state.The town rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840 and later became a major stopover on the trade route between Lhasa and cities such as Kolkata in British India.

Shillong

Shillong is a mist-shrouded city surrounded with pine forests, lakes and waterfalls and is often called “Scotland of the East”. The town was once the headquarters of the British administration in North East India and still retains its distinct colonial character and ambiance.Shillong is also home to the unique matrilineal Khasi tribe and is the perfect base to explore the idyllic & beautiful hills of Meghalaya. The world's wettest place, Mawsynram, is just 55 kms from here.

Kaziranga

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kaziranga National Park is home to two-thirds of the world's Great One-horned Rhinoceroses. The park, boasting the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world, is ideally situated on the banks of the massive Brahmaputra River with its expansive landscape consisting of vast grasslands and swamps dotted with evergreen forests.The rich variety of wildlife also includes the Asiatic wild buffalo, elephants, gibbons, swamp deers, leopards, pythons, and many species of rare birds.

Arunachal Pradesh

The biggest of the Seven Sister States, Arunachal Pradesh - Land of the dawn-lit mountains, is mostly covered by the Himalayan range.Arunachal provides much scope for angling, boating, rafting, trekking and hiking. Some of the must visit places here are Tawang, which has the largest Buddhist monastery in the world, Ziro – known for its cultural festivals, Namdapha National Park – the only reserve in the world that has all the four big cats - leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards and tigers.Menchukha, is the newest addition to the state’s tourist trail. It is popularly known as “Switzerland of the East” and is a mesmerizing green valley with grassy meadows, snow-capped mountains and a 400 year old monastery

Orchha

Dramatically positioned on the rocky banks of the Betwa River, Orchha was once the capital of the fiery Bundela clan of Central India from the mid-15th to late 19th century.This quaint old town with its enchanting palaces has hardly changed over the centuries and gives travelers a peek into the India of yonder. 

Bandhavgarh

See author William Blake’s famous words, “Tiger, Tiger, burning bright, in the forest of the night” come alive at the Bandhavgarh National Park which boasts of the highest density of the Bengal Tigers in the World.The scenic park, once the hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Rewa, sits on a rocky outcrop with lush deciduous forests and marshes. The famous sub - species of White Tigers also originated from this region.

Kanha

Arguably, India’s finest game sanctuary, Kanha National Park has an extremely rich variety of wildlife. It is said that the mesmerizing landscape with its lush  Sal & Bamboo forests, grassy meadows and meandering streams provided the inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for his famous novel "Jungle Book ".

Panchamarhi

The only hill station in Madhya Pradesh, Pachmarhi is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty. It still retains its colonial ambience and has many relics from its British past.The jeep safaris take you deep into the heart of the Satpura National Park with its endless nature spots, lush greenery, waterfalls, mountain streams and a rich & varied wildlife.

Mandu

Perched on the Vindhya Ranges, at an altitude of 2000 feet, Mandu, with its natural defense system, was originally the capital of the Malwa Sultans. Its magnificent fort is even to this day appreciated as an architectural gem.Mandu is also famous for its love story, that of the poet Prince Baz Bahadur and his beautiful consort Rani Rupmati which is today narrated through a cultural show held on the ramparts of the fort.

Ujjain

The ancient town of Ujjain, situated on the banks of the sacred river Shipra, is among the holiest cities of the Hindus and one of the four sites that host the Kumbh Mela which attracts millions of Hindu pilgrims. It was used as the prime meridian by Hindu astrologers, and was placed as the center of the world in numerous ancient world maps.Nearby is the small town of Ratlam which boasts of the Cactus Garden, home to 1208 species of cacti and the largest of its kind in Asia.

Indore

The beautifully landscaped city of Indore is situated on the banks of River Saraswati and Kahn and traces its roots to its 16th century founding as a trading hub between the Deccan and Delhi. It was also a princely state ruled by the Maratha Holkar dynasty.Indore fascinates with the charm of its architectural grandeur and historical enigma spanning distinct historical and cultural periods of Maratha, Mughal and British era. It is also home to the Daly College, founded in 1882, and one of the oldest co-educational boarding schools in the world.

Panna

Situated 25 Kms southeast of Khajuraho, Panna National Park is one of the premier national parks in Central India and was given the Award of Excellence in 2007 by the Ministry of Tourism. The location of the National Park is also important because its situated where the continuity of the forest belt, which starts from Cape Comorin in the south, is broken and beyond this the great Gangetic plains begin.Embark on an exciting boat ride on the Ken River which straddles the National Park to see the aquatic wildlife at close quarters!

Pench

Pench National Park is nestled in the southern slopes of the picturesque Satpura Ranges. The river Pench splits the park into two and is its lifeline. R.A. Strendale’s semi-autobiographical book “Seonee” talks about camp life in Satpura Hills and this place was one of the inspirations behind Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book”. Infact many locations in Jungle Book are actual locations here!

Gwalior

Gwalior occupies a strategic location in the geography of India, and the city and its mighty fortress have served as the center of several historic Northern Indian kingdoms.Gwalior Fort, also called ‘Gibraltar of India’, was built in 8th century on an isolated hillock overlooking the town. It is one of the biggest forts in India and has had enormous influence on its history.

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About Khajuraho

In the temple architecture of India, the Khajuraho complex remains unique. One thousand years ago, under the generous and artistic patronage of the Chandela Rajput kings of Central India, 85 temples, magnificent in form and richly carved, came up on one site, near the village of Khajuraho. The amazingly short span of 100 years, from 950 AD - 1050 AD, saw the completion of all the temples, in an inspired burst of creativity. Today, of the original 85, only 22 have survived the ravages of time; these remain as a collective paean to life, to joy and to creativity; to the ultimate fusion of man with his creator. Why did the Chandelas choose Khajuraho or Khajirvahila - garden of dates, as it was known then - as the site for their stupendous creations? Even in those days it was no more than a small village. It is possible given the eclectic patronage of the Chandelas and the wide variety of beliefs represented in the temples, that they had the concept of forming a seat of religion and learning at Khajuraho. It is possible that the Chandelas were also believers in the powers of Tantrism; the cult which believes that the gratification of earthly desires is a step closer to the attainment of the infinite. It is certain however, that the temples represent the expression of a highly matured civilization. Yet another theory is that the erotica of Khajuraho, and indeed of other temples, had a specific purpose. In those days when boys lived in hermitages, following the Hindu law of being "brahmacharis" until they attained manhood, the only way they could prepare themselves for the worldly role of 'householder' was through the study of these sculptures and the earthly passions they depicted.

About Varanasi

Varanasi owes its existence to the Ganga river (misspelled as Ganges in the West) considered to be the most holy river for the Hindu people and especially sacred in Varanasi where its course towards the Bay of Bengal suddenly turns north. Symbolically, the flow from south to north refers to the life cycle from death (south, the realm of death, Yama) to life (north, the realm of life, Shiva, i.e. Kailash). This unique directional change of the river course led to the development of the ancient city, Kashi, on the west banks of the river, facing the rising of the sun and making thus the Ghats of Varanasi sacred for all Hindu rituals. The 7 km stretch through Varanasi is the only part of this journey where the river turns back towards her source. Here Ganga is known as Gangamaiyya, (Mother Goddess) who nourishes the very soul of Kashi (Varanasi), nurturing its life and gathering up its dead. It is said that the river fell in love with the city and nearly turned back here. To Hindus (the main religious group in India) the Ganga River has special significance for religious rites. Every day more than 60,000 people come to bathe and pray in the river along the religious bathing areas in Varanasi. They sip Ganga Jal (water) as an act of religious purification. Hindus believe that if their ashes are placed in the river after cremation they will go to Nirvana (heaven). The river is revered as a goddess whose purity cleanses the sins of the faithful and aids the dead on their path towards heaven

About Ujjain

 

This historic city situated a height of  1678 ft. from mean sea level and geographically positioned at 230 11 north longitude and 750 50 latitude  and the tropic of  cancer  also passes through  Ujjain, and also situated on the bank of river Shipra.Since  ages Ujjain has been a centre of religocultural activities of not only the nation but also of the whole world. Since ancient times the basic reference of Hindu panchang  time, namely the prime meridian passes through Ujjain. For this reason it was an important referral point on the earth for the ancient astronomers. According to Mahabharata and other Puranas (Skand purana) the Ujjain city came into existence some 3000 yrs.  ago. During  the time of Chand Pradyot (6th century B.C.) Buddhism was at  its peak in the area of Malwa of which Ujjain was the capital. A little  later, the regime of Samprati saw the jainism as a widely followed religion in this area. Later Kalidas of the 2nd  century B.C.  had captured the imagination and admiration of not only India  but also of the whole world. 

About Sariska

The Sariska Tiger Reserve is an Indian national park located in the Alwar district of the state of Rajasthan. The topography of Sariska supports scrub-thorn arid forests, dry deciduous forests, rocks and grasses. This area was a hunting preserve of the erstwhile Alwar state and it was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955. In 1978, it was given the status of a tiger reserve making it a part of India's Project Tiger scheme. The present area of the park is 866 km². The park is situated 107 km from Jaipur and 200 km from Delhi.The area of Sariska, being a part of the Aravalli Range, is rich in mineral resources, such as copper. In spite of the Supreme Court's 1991 ban on mining in the area, marble mining continues to threaten the environment.The best and the most attractive feature of the Sariska Tiger Reserve has always been its Bengal Tigers. This is the first ever Tiger Reserve in the world where the relocation of tigers has been done successfully, makes it one of a kind. The best part of the relocation is that these tigers adapted the place very quickly which is resulting in the growth of their population.

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