Khasi Hills

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The Khasi Hills are part of the Garo-Khasi range in the Indian state of Meghalaya , and is part of the Patkai range and of the Meghalaya subtropical forests ecoregion. It is perhaps best known for Sohra (Cherrapunjee), geographically famous for being the wettest place on earth and also Shillong, one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. The area consists mostly of hilly regions and includes the Shillong Plateau; it is drained by tributaries of the Brahmaputra and Surma rivers. The region is inhabited mainly by tribal Khasi dwellers, which are traditionally in various chieftainships, states known as the Khasi Hill States. One of its capitals, Cherrapunji, is considered one of the wettest places in the world which receives rainfall throughout the year. The capital city of Shillong which is the most popular tourist attraction is also a part of the Khasi Hills. The hill region is divided into broad parts further into East Khasi and West Khasi out of which the East Khasi Hills District is the most famous and most beautiful too. South West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya is known for it’s scenic beauty and green vallies. These hills are famous for their tourist friendly environs and are a lovely place to explore. 

South West Khasi Hill tours are the picture perfect destination trips in Meghalaya with numerous travel attractions and places to visit.

Umiam Lake:

Umiam_Lake,_Shillong,_Meghalaya,_India It was made by damming the Umiam waterway in the mid 1960s. The chief catchment range of the lake and dam is spread more than 220 square km. More popularly known as Barapani, this is the biggest artificial lake in the State. The highest portion of the hill mass that comprises most of Meghalaya. Surrounded by sylvan hills and wrapped in the beauty of an assortment of green Khasi-pines and the azure blue skies is the majestic Umiam lake. The lake situated just 15 km from Shillong on the Guwahati-Shillong National Highway has left a lasting impression on each and every person who has come to this lake. The Water Sports Complex situated in the lake provides a choice of row-boats, paddle-boats, cruise boats, sailing boats, water scooters and speed boats.

Elephant Falls:

Elephant_falls-_at_Meghalaya Elephant Falls, the Three Steps Waterfalls as it is originally called, is located 12 km from the capital city.  This waterfall was originally named Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew, which means a three-step waterfall in local parlance.  This beautiful region is famed for its sapphire blue skies, thick pine groves, stunning landscapes and valleys, British style houses along the meandering streets and clouds caressing the hills. its scenic beauty has earned it a huge number of admirers, especially couples and families. Its crystal clear white water and the nearby greenery creates a dreamy world which is worth clicking. The rainy season brings more life to the already energetic waterfalls and you will see the falls in full vigor. 

Lady Hydari Park:

Shillong_golf_course2 Lady Hydari Park is a verdant tract that stretches up to a kilometre in the heart of Shillong.  It is named in the memory of Lady Hydari, who was the wife of Assam’s erstwhile Governor. Established and maintained by the Forest Department, this park incorporates a mini zoo, a deer park, and an open area for children to play. The vast stretches of rose-beds make it strikingly beautiful.  There is also a museum in a small house located inside the park. The rich biodiversity of Meghalaya has been showcased in this museum, which includes photos of rare species, stuffed leopard, dried skin of python, and skulls of elephant.

Laitlum Canyons:

images (1) A paradise by every definition, Laitlum canyons in the Khasi Hills gives you panoramic views of the hills and valleys. This hilltop is carpeted with lush greenery and covered with dense mist, which together make it a hidden paradise in the hilly state of Meghalaya. This is a must visit destination and should make it to your bucket list when you’re in Meghalaya!  You will have breathtaking views of valleys and surrounding hills from here. Trekkers are in for great exercise and even if you are not one, you are going to love every minute of it.

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest airporrt is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport Guwahati (132 km), which is well connected to all major city of India. 

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Guwahati(132 km), which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Road: One can easily get around in the state by hiring a cab at affordable rates or through state run buses which ply to almost all major tourist destinations in the hill ranges.

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Yelagiri Hills

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Yelagiri is a hill station in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, India, situated off the Vaniyambadi-Tirupattur road. This is the best closest hill station to Bangalore & Chennai. It is also one of the famous weekend getaways from Bangalore & Chennai. Yelagiri is a beautiful place in Southern India. Located at an altitude of 1,110.6 meters above Mean Sea Level and spread across 30 km, the Yelagiri village (also spelled Elagiri at times) is surrounded by orchards, rose-gardens, and green valleys.  The drive to the picturesque idyll winds through 14 hairpin bends that open up to spectacular mountain landscapes; after every twist and turn, the city seems to fade away a little more. 

1280px-Yelagiri_Hill However, the district administration has now taken up the task of developing Yelagiri Hills into a tourist destination by promoting adventure sports such as paragliding and rock climbing. The first thing that hits you on arrival in Yelagiri is the lack of noise. The beautiful rustic surroundings are extraordinarily quiet and when someone rings a temple bell somewhere on the hill, you can hear it as clearly as if you were right there. The hill also attracts thousands of people during the annual Summer Festival. Yelagiri Hills has developed as an ideal destination for adventure sports lovers, especially paragliders and trekkers. Some of the trekking places are from Mangalam to Swamimalai (it is a 2-3 hr trek) and from near Athvanur bus stand to the sunset point in the evenings. The Yelagiri Adventure Sports Association (YASA) promotes paragliding, rock climbing, trekking, cycling at Yelagiri hill station. Yelagiri is one of those typical, silent places that seem ordinary on the outside, but are more and more startling as you discover it. It has all the features of a great hill station, be it sunset points or lakes and parks.

History : 

The main town of Yelagiri Hills is Athanavur, which comprises a winding road through the hills with isolated villages. The Whole of Yelagiri was once the private property of the Yelagiri Zamindar Family. It was taken over by the government of India during the Early 1950s. The house of the Yelagiri Zamindars still exists in Reddiyur. Fr. Francis Guezou of Don Bosco, worked for the uplift of hill tribals. He has been the main reason for the educational upliftment to the people of Yelagiri. Location And OverviewThe Yelagiri hill station is not as developed as other hill stations in Tamil Nadu like Ooty or Kodaikanal.

Tourist Attraction: 

Nature Park:

Nature_Park,_Yelagiri_Karnataka_India Nature Park is located adjacent to Punganoor Lake, Which surrounds the lake. Spread in an area of 12 acres, the Nature Park is an alluring place. A Park was established in the year 2008. It consists of an aquarium, rose garden, an artificial waterfall, and a musical fountain. The musical fountain has the water dancing to popular songs. The musical fountains show is there at 7 PM every day. The fish aquarium has a large variety of fish and tortoises. People of every age love to visit this park for a picnic to relax in the pleasant atmosphere of this park.

Entry Fee: Rs.15/- for adults and Rs.5/- for children and Rs 25/- for a musical fountain.

Timings: 7 AM – 8 PM on all days

Punganoor Lake: 

Yelagiri_Lake2  It is on of the most popular landmark in Yelagiri Hills. It is an artificial lake 25 feet deep with an adjoining park. There is also a fountain in the middle and boating facilities are available.  The tranquil atmosphere and lush green park adjoining will give you a pleasant experience. In the vicinity of the lake, there is a floriculture garden that houses a variety of flowers and rides for kids. The boat club here offers pedal and motor boat rides. The waters of the lake are calm and serene. There’s a walking track around the lake circumference, a children park, a small tree top view point, boating and few shops. One can take a short walk along the lakeside and also enjoy a boat ride. The Punganur lake is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. 

Jalagamparai Waterfalls:

Courtallam At a distance, 37 km from Yelagiri, 37 from Athanavur and 13 km from Thirupattur, magnificent Jalagamparai Waterfalls near Jadayanur is created by the River Attaaru running through the valleys of Yelagiri Hills. It is one of the best places to visit in Yelagiri Hills. It’s an hour, 5 km, walk from Yelagiri downhill. The falls are inundated with water from November to February and remain dry for most of the summer months. Through the valleys of Yelagiri Hills, Attaru River flows. the falls are inundated with water from November to February and remain dry for most of the summer months. Through the valleys of Yelagiri Hills, Attaru River flows. There is a Murugan Temple which has been constructed in the shape of a Shiva Lingam. 

Swamimalai Hill: 

3191168556_87fbbbb430_b Swami malai hills are the hills in the shape of cake with a strong base at the bottom and a high peak. It is a perfect place for those who love to enjoy the pleasure of trekking and mountain climbing spot with tourists. The Swamimalai temple on top offers stunning views of the countryside. Situated at 4,338 feet above the sea level, the 2-hour trekking starts at the eastern side of the Punganur lake. This trek leads one to a small peak from where the entire valley is visible.

 

Best Time To Visit Yelagiri Hills:

Yelagiri has a moderate climate, therefore, travelers love to visit the city all through the year.  Owing to its latitude, it never really gets too hot. But  if you want to see its Summer Festival, then May and June is the time to go. The 3-day Summer Festival in May is a time of festivity and cultural programs.

How To Reach : 

By Air: The nearest Airport is Bengaluru International Airport (191 Kms), Which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail: The nearest Railway station is Jolarpettai (21 km), Trains connect the Jolarpettai junction to Chennai, Bengaluru and Coimbatore railway stations.

By Road: Yelagiri sees regular buses from all major nearby centers. The Vellore Bus Stand is regularly connected with the hill station. Buses are also available from other nearby areas.

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Cherrapunji

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Cherrapunji in Meghalaya is one of the wettest places on the planet and the only place in India to receive rain throughout the year, is a subdivisional town in the East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya.  There are spectacular waterfalls in Cherapunjee credited for the beautiful landscape. Cherrapunji, also known as Sohra or Churra, means ‘the land of oranges’. The cliffs of Cherrapunji also offer stunning views of the plains of Bangladesh. Cherrapunji is a stunning holiday destination perched over foaming rivers and misty valleys, amidst the swirling clouds. Away from the flurry and chaos of city life, it is a superb place that will refresh your mind and body.

Cherrapunji is noted for having one of the world’s highest average annual precipitation levels, about 450 inches (11,430 mm). In addition, it had the greatest recorded total single-year rainfall, 1,042 inches (26,467 mm) in August 1860–July 1861, and one of the greatest recorded one-month total rainfalls, 366 inches (9,296 mm) in July 1861. This is a stunning location and the year-round rain earned Cherrapunji coveted entry long ago into the Guinness Book of World Records as the wettest place on earth, the place where the rainfall can be recorded in feet rather than in millimeters.

Weather Information:

Cherrapunji is the only place on the world map that has just one climate in all seasons, that is, monsoons. Cherrapunji receives both the southwest and northeast monsoonal winds, giving it a single monsoon season. Another surprising fact about Cherrapunji is that it rains mostly at night. Day-to-day activity is not really disrupted by the rain.Another surprising fact about Cherrapunji is that it rains mostly at night. Day-to-day activity is not really disrupted by the rain. The summer months from March to May receive moderate rainfall with much pleasing temperature of 14 C to 23 C. Cold temperature prevails in the winter season falling to a minimum of 7 °C.  Temperatures average 11.5 °C (52.7 °F) in January and 20.6 °C (69.1 °F) in August, and the annual mean is 17.3 °C (63.1 °F).

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Cherrapunji :

Double Decker Root Bridge :

Living_root_bridges,_Nongriat_village,_Meghalaya2 This bridge is amongst the premier attractions of Cherrapunji, is located in Tyrna village. It is a two-tier root bridge that is 100 feet in length. This bridge is an excellent example of bio-engineering and its also known to be unique in the world. which have a carrying capacity of around 50 people at a time. The living bridges are made from the roots of the Ficus elastica tree, which produces a series of secondary roots to form bridges. Some of the  living root bridges in Cherrapunji are Ummuoi Root Bridge, Umkar Root Bridge and Mawsaw Root Bridge. Some of these bridges are over a hundred feet long and in fact grow stronger with time.

Mawsmai Caves: 

Mawsmai_Cave_Meghalaya Located about 6 km from Cherrapunji, Mawsmai cave is one of the main tourist attractions in the Cherrapunji, which is credited as the wettest place on Earth. The striking natural cave is flocked by visitors in great numbers. It is one of the best places for history buffs and experience seekers. There is a light system though, may be it fails occasionally. However, it should add more magic to your exploration. These magnificent caves are formed out of limestone and are quite long and deep. However, tourists can only cover 150 m inside it and the remaining caves are off-limit for the visitors. Getting inside the cave you can see constant dripping of water from the roofs of cave and the formation of stalactites and stalagmites. Further, with great observations, you can also note how the roof and the floor of the cave are joined together to form the iconic pillars. The cave has different types of flora and fauna. If you are looking for something different from greenery and mountain peaks on your trip to Cherrapunji, Mawsmai cave is the place to go.

Nohkalikai Falls :

Nohkalikai_falls Nohkalikai Falls is naturally the top destination in Cherrapunji, located at a distance of 5 km from Cherrapunjee. Nohkalikai Waterfalls is a very famous and also the fourth highest waterfall in the whole world.  The literal meaning of Nohkalikai is ‘jump of Ka Likai’ and the name Nohkalikai is derived from a tragic Khasi legend. Water plunges from a height of 1,100 ft uninterrupted from the highest point to the foot of the falls making it a spectacular site. The force of water has carved a waterhole which remains blue in the winter and turns green in the summer months. There are two other waterfalls that can you must travel from Cherrapunji, namely the Mawsmai Falls and Kynrem Waterfalls. The view of these natural falls is simply breathtaking. The ideal time to visit Nohkalikai is during the monsoon season when the falls are at its most spectacular. A viewing gallery allows the visitor to take in the vista which is, often, at the mercy of the mist that sweeps in frequently.

Thangkharang Park : 

Mawsmai_Nongthymmai_Eco_park Thangkharang Park, located at a distance of 12 km from Cherrapunjee. Overlooking the Kynrem Falls, the park is located on the edge of a cliff. This park is under the vigilance of State Forest Department Control. Inside the park, visitors can see the Khoh Ramhah rock, which in its shape is like an upside down basket. There is a small bridge that helps visitor to reach the other section of the park and offers a stunning view of the plains and the valley. Monsoon is the best time to visit the park and the Khoh Ramhah rock, when the entire valley is covered in lush greenery.

Dainthlen Falls :

8Nohkalikai_Falls_Cherrapunji Dainthlen Waterfalls is a good picnic spot located at 5 kms from Cherrapunji. Legend goes that the people of the land killed a big snake that lived in the cave nearby. Being a soft waterfall, you may not hear the roaring sounds of water falling but still, the atmosphere is electric. Tourists visiting the waterfall can explore the natural rock carvings of the snake, which represent the symbol of evil, greed and corruption. Tourists from across the world visit here to see this beautiful waterfalls and the nearby natural rock carvings which depict the battle with the Thlen, that stands as a symbol of corruption, greed and evil. It is soft and does not produce any roaring sound when it falls from a height which is not too steep either. 

How To Reach : 

By Air : The nearest Airport is Guwahati airport (170 km), Which is well connected to all major city of India. 

By Rail : The nearest Railway station is Guwahati Railway station (170 km). Which is well connected to the entire country and regular trains carry passengers to and fro.

By Road : The Meghalaya tourism department runs a daily tourist bus service to Cherrapunji which takes the tourists to all the important attractions of the place.

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Ponmudi

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Ponmudi is one of the popular hill stations of Kerala located at a distance of 57 Km from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. It is a part of the Western Ghats mountain range that runs parallel to the Arabian Sea. Along with a beautiful array of mountain flowers, exotic butterflies and small rivulets, Ponmudi offers excellent opportunities for trekking, filled with tea-plantations, lush green hills and valleys, waterfalls and streams, this quaint little town draws connoisseurs of mountain life. it is one of the highest hill stations in Thiruvananthapuram. Ponmudi is connected to Thiruvananthapuram by a narrow winding road which offers a scenic view all along the way. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Ponmudi is situated 1100 meters above sea level. The first thing that travellers to Ponmudi notice is the thick tropical forests that carpets the foot of the hill range. No doubt, the salubrious atmosphere and the twisted trails across clear streams must have contributed to her health. The region is also dominated by spice as well as tea plantations and is dotted with waterfalls plus view points. There are 22 hairpin turns along this short route which makes the travel a definitely thrilling experience. Other attractions near Ponmudi include Golden Valley and a number of rivulets and rapids, some even across the road. The lush forest area has tropical vegetation. A variety of wildlife inhabit the hills. The Golden Valley offers vistas of the hills and access to the Kallar River. Flowing though a wilderness area, it has rounded pebbles, cool water, fish, and lush green trees. Ponmudi was founded by Rishi Parshuram, a prominent Indian mythological figure. Though a quaint place, it has a turbulent history. This land has been ruled by the Ays, Venads and Varmas, and was invaded by the Cholas and Mughals.

Ponmudi_ktdc The climate is invigorating and remains pleasant throughout, and the place serves as a base for trekking and hiking for adventure enthusiasts. The tea-gardens here are also famous. rk and wood and stone cottages coloured in bright hues while visiting here.Located about 1.5 km from the hill station, is the Ponmudi Falls. Around 3 km from the Ponmudi Resort, is the popular Deer Park. Ponmudi tourism picks up during August and September when the Aaranmula Temple Festival and Aaranmula Boat Race are held. This hill station is also the gateway to Varkala, an important pilgrimage site where the 2000-year-old Janardanswamy Temple is located.  For those who prefer casual strolls instead of trekking, Ponmudi would leave them impressed. A walk through the tea gardens is a feast for the eye and the senses.

Morning_at_Ponmudi Ponmudi is primarily divided into the Upper and the Lower Sanatorium. Kerala government has started an ecotourism project in the Upper Sanatorium area to promote tourism. This beautiful hill station offers a pleasing view and it has natural springs that help in keeping the valley lush green. The view down the valley from the cottages and resorts up the hill is breathtaking and it feels as though time has left this place untouched. The hill station is an important point of contact with the river Kallar. The river is known for its crystal clear water, fishes and lush trees surrounding it. Another main attraction in the region is Agasthyarkoodam, one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats, with the highest peak at 1868 m. This peak is famous for its wilderness, and can be accessed only with the Forest Department’s permission.

Since Ponmudi experiences tropical weather usually, it remains pleasant almost throughout the year. As the temperature is mild tourists flock to this place during summer. It is a difficult time to visit during the rainy season as it experiences heavy rainfall. Visiting the place during the winter season is also advisable. Winter season lasts from the months of November to February. Anyway the period from March to May is the peak season.

How To Reach :

By Air : The nearest airport is the Trivandrum(67 km) International Airport. Which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail : The nearest Railway Station is Thiruvananthapuram (61 km). This station is connection with the important cities of the country through regular trains.

By Road : Ponmudi hill station is well connected to Thiruvananthapuram and Kerala by a wide network of roads. Buses ply from the main bus stand in Trivandrum and Nedumangad at periodic intervals.

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Periyar National Park

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Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady, is an example of nature’s bounty with great scenic charm, rich bio diversity and providing veritable visitor satisfaction. Sprawled over an area of 925 km2. In this astounding location of Kerala, the Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is considered as the most protected area for the elephants and the tigers. One of the most renowned national parks in South India, the Periyar National Park is set high at the Western Ghat ranges. is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. Zealously guarded and efficiently managed reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and Pamba. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. Though its a Tiger Reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution and playfulness by the Periyar lake. Apart from Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar sanctuary are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, a Tiger.

The Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. This sanctuary offers the unique opportunity to watch and photograph wild elephants from close quarters. This lake is created with the construction of a dam in 1895. This lake strolls around the forested hills. For the local wildlife it is a lasting source of water. Though it is known across the region as a Tiger Reserve but visitors arrive here to see the playfulness of the Indian elephants while taking bath in the Periyar Lake.

Climate :

Periyar_Tiger_Reserve,_Periyar_Lake,_Kerala The temperature varies depending upon the altitude and it ranges between 15 °Celsius in December and January and 31 °Celsius in April and May. During the monsoon (July-August), it ranges from 19°C to 21°C. Annual precipitation is between 2000 and 3000 mm, about two thirds occurring during the southwest monsoon between June to September. The best season to visit Periyar wildlife sanctuary is from the months of October and June, Elephants in search of water come out during summer months of March to June and hence, for best wildlife viewing.

Flora :

Periyar_Tiger_Reserve The park is made up of tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests, grasslands, stands of eucalyptus, and lake and river ecosystems. The research followed 49 species of mammals, 246 species of birds, 28 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 22 species of fishes and 112 species of butterflies. In the central part of the park, Moist-deciduous forests and Woody grasslands abound. The floral attractions of the park are approximately 2000 species, The tall trees of the forest rise upto a height of 130 to 140 feet! Primates of Four species can be obtained in this park such as Common Langur, lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur and Bonnet Macaque. The medicinal gloriosa lily grows in the park. The endemic flora includes Habenaria periyarensis and Syzygium periyarensis.

Fauna :

Periyar_National_Park_-India-8 Set amidst Cardamom and Pandalam hills of western ghats in Kerala, Periyar National Park is home to some of the most exotic fauna in the world. There are 35 species of mammals recorded in the park, including many threatened species. It is an important tiger and elephant reserve. The most ferocious of these, undoubtedly is the Tiger. Many tourists visit Periyar just in order to get a glimpse of the Tiger that according to estimates number between 35 and 50. It is valuable for Indian elephant and also for a few of white tigers found here. Other mammals include the gaur, sambar, wild pig, Indian giant squirrel, Travancore flying squirrel, jungle cat, sloth bear, Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Salim Ali’s fruit bat, stripe-necked mongoose, and Nilgiri marten. About 266 species of birds can be seen in the park, including Nilgiri wood pigeon, Blue-winged parakeet, Crimson-backed sunbird, Brahminy kite, white-bellied blue catcher, Malabar grey hornbill, Sri Lanka frogmouth, Rufous-bellied hawk eagle, Black baza and Spot-bellied eagle owl. A four-day survey was conducted on December 1–4, 2016, organised under the aegis of the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) and found the presence of 13 new bird and 16 butterfly species that were undetected earlier. are about 40 species of fish in the local lakes and rivers include the Periyar latia, Periyar barb, Periyar trout, Channa barb and Travancore loach.

How To Reach :

By Air : Kochi (Cochin)(200-kms)  or Madurai(140-kms) in Tamil Nadu is the nearest airports from Periyar.

By Train : Kottayam is the nearest railway station from Periyar National Park which is only 114 Kms. away. Other nearest railway stations are Changanassery (120 Kms.), Madurai: (135 Kms.) and Ernakulam (190 Kms ) etc.

By Road : Periyar National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Periyar National Park at frequent intervals.

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Tamhini Ghat

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If you would like to see nature at its best and also pack in a little adventure, one of the best choices, especially during the monsoon, is Tamhini Ghat. It is during this time that the deep brown hills turn a verdant green and provide a feast for the eyes. The value addition is that you can also explore the backwaters of Mulshi Dam and spice up your vacation with a bit of river rafting.

Tamhini Ghat can be accessed from Mumbai via the Mumbai-Goa Highway. Reach Kolad and after crossing the bridge over river Kundalika, take the left turn that leads to Pune via the Mulshi Dam backwaters. Tamhini Ghat is the stretch between Kolad and these backwaters. The gradual climb opens the doors to a different world of green velvety carpets, gushing streams, dark gray clouds stooping low, and the occasional waterfalls. These impromptu waterfalls caused by the rains – some trickling down the hill smoothly and some literally gushing down in torrents – attract tourists from far and wide.

The rains turn the parched land into a carpet of green with plants and flowers in full bloom. The hills stretch towards the skies like giant walls, partly covered by mist. And all along is a mysterious and enchanting play of light and shadows with the overbearing clouds and the rain creating an effect quite like a flickering lantern. Tamhini Ghat is simply ethereal with its sweeping views and is definitely less crowded than its cousin, Malshej Ghat. In fact, every turn in the landscape holds a surprise, offering fantastic sights. There is also a temple here dedicated to the goddess Vanjai that lies almost hidden amongst dense vegetation. The path to it will remind you of the forests that you may have read of in fairytales.

From the Tamhini Ghat you can take the road that leads to the Mulshi Dam backwaters which will also lead you to the gigantic waterfall at Palse. This particular waterfall is quite a hit with the young crowd and don’t be taken aback if you see people actually jostling each other to get absolutely drenched. As you approach the Mulshi backwaters, you will come across many resorts where you can opt to stay overnight and enjoy the early morning view of the lake. Further ahead is Kolad which is now becoming immensely popular for river rafting that you can do on the river Kundalika. The currents are strong and it is the only river in Maharashtra where you can experience white water rafting. Kolad now has several cottages and resorts where you can book a room.

Things to Do

Sinhagad Fort

Following your trip to the Mulshi backwaters, you could take a detour to explore Sinhagad which is just about 30 kilometers southwest of the city of Pune. It was previously called Kondhana and its historical importance is related to it being the site of many an important battle, most notably the one that was pitched here in 1670. Sinhagad was also important because of its strategic location, lying at the centre of a chain of other forts such as Rajgad, Purandar and Torna. Perched on an isolated cliff of the Bhuleswar range of the Sahyadri Mountains, the Sinhagad Fort is 1,312 meters above sea level and is ‘naturally’ protected due to its very steep slopes.

Pune

Known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune has a lot to offer by way of entertainment, cuisine, trendy spots for the young and huge shopping malls. There are plenty of places of tourist interest, including the Shaniwar Wada, Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Saras Baug, Parvati Hill, Aga Khan Palace and Vishrambaug Wada. And while in Pune, you must try the Maharashtrian ‘thali’.

How to reach:

By Air:

The closest airport is at Pune.

By Rail:

Tamhini is not close to any railway station. Pune is the nearest junction and smaller stations that are close-by include Lonavala and Kasarwadi.

By Road:

Tamhini is 93 kms away from Pune and one has to travel via Paud. From Mumbai, take the Express way towards Pune, exit at Lonavala. From Lonavala, it’s a scenic drive via Aamby Valley to Tamhini.

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Panchgani

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If it hadn’t been for the constant search of the British for scenic hill stations with invigorating climate, Panchgani probably wouldn’t have been discovered. It was developed as a retirement place but soon became one of the most popular hill stations in Maharashtra. Its beauty is enhanced by a flat piece of land which is called the ‘table top’.

The credit for discovering Panchgani must go to a British superintendent named John Chesson who was placed in charge of the hill station in the 1860s. Fond of gardening, he planted many species from the western world in Panchgani, including silver oak and poinsettia, which have flourished since then. To develop the infrastructure, Chesson encouraged various professionals – tailors, dhobis, butchers, vegetable vendors, building contractors, etc. to also settle in Panchgani. The area below the bazaar was allotted to them, and is known as the ‘gaothan’.

Panchgani is nestled in the middle of five hills in the Sahyadri mountain ranges and amidst five villages known as Dandeghar, Khingar, Godwali, Amral and Taighat. The Krishna River flows nearby which is what has created the lake of Dhom Dam. Located 285 kilometers from Mumbai and 100 kilometers from Pune, it is the pleasant climate of Panchgani that attracts tourists, not to forget the scenic views one gets from its points.

The five hills surrounding Panchgani are topped by a volcanic plateau, which is the second highest in Asia after the Tibetan Plateau. This plateau, alternatively known as ‘table land’, is a part of the Deccan Plateau. Some of the points that you must visit are Sydney Point from where you can see the waters of the Dhom Dam, Parsi Point that overlooks the Krishna valley and Devil’s Kitchen which has a mythological legend associated with it: It is believed that the Pandavas of the Mahabharat epic had stayed here for a while.

How to reach:

By Air

The nearest airport is at Pune about 100 kms from Panchagani.

By Rail

Nearest railroad is Satara, around 45 kms away. Nearest major railway junction is at Pune, about 100 kms away. There are regular state transport buses plying and even private transport is easily available to go to Panchagani.

By Road

From Mumbai, it takes about 4 to 5 hours by car taking a route via Panvel through Mahad and Poladpur. There are frequent ST buses from Dadar and Mumbai CST. From Pune, it is a pleasant drive on the NH 4 upto Surur and then take a diversion towards Wai – Panchagani- Mahableshwar. Wai is at 85 kms from Pune and from Wai one has to travel about 15 kms through the picturesque Pasarani Ghat to go to Panchagani and then 20 more kms will take you to Mahabaleshwar.

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Matheran

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At a time when even some of the most remote tourist places have begun to suffer from pollution, primarily due to the increase in vehicles, can there be a hill station which can lay claim to being totally free of such ill-effects? Surprisingly, there is one, and it remains free of noxious pollutants mainly because no motorized vehicles are allowed on its tiny roads or the pathways that lead into deep woods. This is Matheran, Asia’s tiniest hill station but with lots to offer by way of scenic view points, long treks through forested areas, and a quaintness of its own.

Matheran is Asia’s tiniest hill station and remains pollution free because no motorized vehicles are allowed on its tiny roads or the pathways that lead into deep woods. It has lots to offer by way of scenic view points, long treks through forested areas, and a quaintness of its own.

The best part about going to Matheran, the starting point for which is the railway station of Neral on the Mumbai-Pune route, is that you can buy a ride on the tiny train that traverses the narrow gauge track to the top, offering you on the way breathtaking sights even as it negotiates the bends and the curves. The train makes its way around the verdant slopes and through thick forest cover, passing on its way a ‘one kiss tunnel’ to take brief halts at Jumma Patti, Water Pipe and Aman.

Known as the ‘pedestrian’ hill station because all vehicles have to per force stop at Dasturi and tourists have to either walk or hitch a horse ride into Matheran, it is perched at 803 meters above the sea level. The hill station in itself is an undulating hilltop cloaked in shady trees and ringed by walking trails leading to several vantage points from where you can have stunning views. It is also marked by its market place – a single street – which houses restaurants and shops. Spread across Matheran is a mix of homes and hotels – some still retaining their old-world charm of spacious bungalows while the others offering the most modern conveniences.

The nearest airport is Mumbai, 110 kms away. If you are travelling in your own car, the nearest halting point is Dasturi where you can park it for a fee. The mini train covers the 21 km distance from Neral to Matheran is about two hours and operates at fixed hours except for the monsoon season when the service is suspended. For accommodation you can check out the MTDC Holiday Resort at Dasturi Naka.

Things to Do

Try Delicious Food

A ‘must try’ is the delicious fudge as also fresh honey. You can indulge in street cuisine here, sip cups of piping hot masala tea or try out the snacks in small eateries or the bakeries.

Go Shopping

Curio shopping is an indulgence that Matheran offers on its M G Road where you can buy the hill station’s famous chikki, leather footwear, bags and other knick-knacks. The street is also lined with provision stores and souvenir stalls selling walking sticks, riding whips and other paraphernalia.

Explore Scenic View Points

Leisurely walks and horse rides under the umbrella of trees are the best way to explore the many designated lookout points spread across three different ranges and each point has a peculiar charm and interest of its own. For example, Porcupine Point is from where you can get a fantastic view of the sunset while Echo Point is where you will hear a lot of shouting because of the echoes that the hills throw back at you. Elsewhere, the Hart Point offers a view of the nightlights of Mumbai. From Rambagh Point, Khandala and Karjat can be spotted, and Alexander Point provides views of Chauk Valley. From Panorama Point you can get a bird’s eye view of Neral town and on a clear day, even as far as Mumbai in the west.

Relax by Charlotte Lake

Another picturesque spot is the Charlotte Lake, fringed by a forest, with a dam at one end. The best time is post monsoon when the lake is brimming to its full and one can see beautiful waterfalls cascading down the hill slopes. If you are lucky, you could also catch a glimpse of some migratory birds.

How to reach:

By Air:

Nearest airport is at Mumbai, 110 kms away.

By Road:

From Neral, a taxi can be hired. The distance is 8 kms.

By Rail:

Mini train –21 kms from Neral (two hours). Check the train services time schedules as they are suspended during the monsoon.

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Mahabaleshwar

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Winding roads, a cool breeze at all times, vantage points offering breathtaking views of hills and valleys, plenty of strawberries to gorge on and a main street full of shops offering all kinds of curios and snacks. Doesn’t it sound exciting? Well, that’s Mahabaleshwar for you which along with Panchgani makes for a wonderful holiday or even just a weekend getaway.

Located about 120 kilometers southwest of Pune and 285 kilometers from Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar is a vast plateau measuring 150 kilometers, bound by valleys on all sides. It reaches a height of 1,439 meters at its highest peak above sea level, known as Wilson or Sunrise Point. Mahabaleshwar comprises three villages: Malcolm Peth, Old ‘Kshetra’ Mahabaleshwar and part of a village called Shindola. The hill station is the source of the Krishna River that flows across Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The legendary source of the river is a spout from the mouth of a statue of a cow in the ancient temple of Mahadev in Old Mahabaleshwar.

According to a legend, Krishna is Lord Vishnu himself as a result of a curse on the ‘trimurti’ by Savitri. Also, its tributaries Venna and Koyana are said to be Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma themselves. An interesting thing to notice is that four other rivers come out from the cow’s mouth apart from Krishna and they all travel some distance before merging into Krishna. These are the Koyna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri.

With its name derived from Sanskrit and meaning ‘god of great power’, Mahabaleshwar has lots to explore. Arthur’s Seat is one such interesting point from where you can get a view of Jor Valley. Another exotic location is Lodwick Point, located almost 1,240 meters above sea level. General Lodwick’s memory is preserved here in the form of a monument dedicated to him.

Kate’s Point gives visitors a view of the Dhom and Balakwadi dams. Close to it is the Needle Hole point where there is a natural hole in between its rock formation. Wilson Point, which is the highest point of the hill station, gets its name from Sir Leslie Wilson and is a favourite with tourists for splendid views of sunrise and sunset. The second-highest peak in Mahabaleshwar is Connaught Peak and gets its name from the Duke of Connaught.

Some of the other points that you must visit are Monkey Point, Carnac Point, Falkland Point, Helen’s Point, Elphinstone Point, Mumbai Point, Marjorie Point and Babbington Point. For boating you must head to the Venna Lake. During the monsoon, waterfalls such as Lingmala Falls and Dhobi Falls come alive, adding to the scenic splendour of the place. You can also spend your evenings loitering in the main bazaar and enjoy strawberry-flavoured ice-cream or fresh strawberries with whipped cream.

Things to Do

Try Horse Riding

While you can visit the various points in Mahabaleshwar either on foot or by car, another option is to hire a horse and add to the fun. For first-timers this may be a bit of a wobble, but it sure beats getting around in a motored vehicle.

Visit Pratapgad Fort

Pratapgad Fort is just 22 kilometers from Mahabaleshwar and stands 1,080 meters above sea level. It has been built on a spur which overlooks the road between the villages of Par and Kinesvar. Out of the 360 forts that bear testimony to the glory of Maharaja Chhatrapati Shivaji, the Pratapgad Fort is the fount from where the history of this legendary Maratha emperor turned into a decisive course after he scored a historic victory against the mighty Afzal Khan, commander of the Bijapur Adilshahi forces on November 10, 1659.

Go Boating in Tapola lake

Enjoy the scenic beauty of the Tapola lake on a long boat ride. This lake in fact is the back water of the Koyana dam. A boat ride through the clean blue waters and along the lush green foliage is very soothing to the eyes and mind.

How to reach:

Air

The nearest airport is at Pune about 120 kms from Mahabaleshwar.

Rail

Nearest railroad is Satara, around 55 kms away. Nearest major railway junction is at Pune, 120 kms. There are regular state transport buses plying and even private transport is easily available to go to Mahabaleshwar.

Road

From Mumbai, it takes about 4 to 5 hours by car taking a route via Panvel through Mahad and Poladpur. There are frequent ST buses from Dadar and Mumbai CST. From Pune, it is a pleasant drive on the NH 4 upto Surur and then take a diversion towards Wai – Panchagani- Mahableshwar. Wai is at 85 kms from Pune and from Wai one has to travel through the picturesque Pasarani Ghat to go to Mahableshwar. The distance between Wai and Mahabaleshwar is about 35 kms.

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Agumbe

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Agumbe is a little village in the Shimoga district of the Malnad region in Karnataka. It is sometimes called “The Cherrapunji of the South” after Cherrapunji, in Northeast India. It is the most scenic place in the Southern part of India.  Agumbe is a tiny hillstation tucked away in the heart of the Karnataka Western Ghats. Agumbe is famous for spectacular sunset and many visitors come here to watch it. The sunset here gets reflected from the Arabian Sea onto the horizon. It receives the heaviest rainfall in the South India and has many rivers, streams and waterfalls in the area. It is the only rainfall research centre in India. Agumbe is home to several rare species of medicinal plants like Garcinia, Myristica, Listsaea, Diospyrous, Hoiligarna, Eugenia and Ficus among others, it is also called ‘Hasiru Honnu’ which means ‘green is gold’. 

Agumbe_Rain_Forest_Research_Station Agumbe being one of the most scenic places on the Western Ghats of the Karnataka has the lush green view all around with spectacular sunset. The Agumbe forests are considered as one of the World Heritage Sites.  A lot of waterfalls dot the areas in different hills and peaks in Agumbe. Agumbe is rich in bio-diversity. Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kudremukh National Park are located adjacent to Agumbe.  Agumbe is also called King Cobra capital because of the high number of snakes of the species being found here. Interestingly, despite the high density of King Cobras in the region, incidents of snake-human conflict are rare. 

Someshwara_From_Agumbe_Ghat Taking a trip to Agumbe is a pleasant experience, it has picturesque beauty and is ideal for trekking. Forested trails lead from here to a jungle pond called Emkal Kere, a hillock called Nishani Gudda, and to Barkana Falls. Many hills, rivers and streams are hidden within the deep forests and slopes in and around Agumbe. And within these landscapes are many birds and animals including reptiles and plant species, some of which are rarely found in other parts of the world. The Agumbe to Emkalkere, Agumbe-Kudluthirtha-Seethanadi and Agumbe-Norshimha parvatha-Kigo are some of the interesting treks. Most tourists visit Agumbe to trek through its forests or to visit the waterfalls. Trekking to the Kudlu Theertha Falls or Nishani Gudda offers a once in a lifetime experience.

Tourist Attraction : 

Sunset Point :

Sunset_at_Chandipur_Sea_Beach,_Odisha It is located on one of the highest peaks of the Western Ghats and offers magnificent view of the setting sun on the Arabian Sea. It is ten minutes walk from Agumbe. On a clear day, one can watch the sun go down the Arabian Sea giving way to the moon. It provides views of the setting sun on the horizon of the Arabian Sea. This point is situated at the 14th hair-pin bend of the mountainous road that leads to Agumbe a beautiful sunset can be caught over the Arabian Sea.

Barkana Falls : 

Manimuthar-Falls Barkana Falls, counted among the highest waterfalls in India,  is the 11th highest waterfall in India. The viewing point for the Barkana Falls is about 4 km from the end of the approaching vehicle track. Barkana Falls is one of the prime sources of hydroelectricity in Karnataka as the water is used to power a hydroelectric system. Located amidst the thick and dense forest areas of the Western Ghats, the falls together with the adjoining Barkana valley, makes a panoramic view. You will find the Barkana viewpoint on the way to the falls. It will give a magnificent view of the dense jungle. It is counted amongst the ‘must see places’ of the region by all those who visit Agumbe.

Jogigundi Falls :

Jogigundi_Agumbe_2015_IMG_4338 The Jogigundi Falls is located around 3 km from Agumbe. Situated on the way to the Barkana Falls, it can be reached on foot after a 10 to 15 minute trek. This waterfall begins from a small pond where the water of Malapahaari River is collected. Later, the pond water merges with Tunga River while crossing the valley. Jogi Gundi derives its name after a saint (Jogi) who used to meditate inside the cave near the falls.  It is filled with water most of the time. It is one of the most preferred locations for trekking. You will be greeted by the natural swimming pool. 

Koodlu Theertha Falls : 

Koodlu_theertha The Koodlu Theertha Falls is formed by the Seeta River that falls into a pond from a height of around 300 ft. Owing to the belief that the sages meditated at this site thousand years ago, the pond is considered holy, It is located 20 km Formed by the Seeta River. It is a picturesque trek through the dense jungle. The best time to visit this fall is during the monsoon and winter seasons. The Manga Theertha, also known as the Monkey Falls, is situated close to the Koodlu Theertha Falls. It is a beautiful fall that is on the must see list of all tourists headed to Agumbe or even Shimoga district. This waterfall cascades from the height of 126 ft in the pond and is known to be the source of the Seeta River.

Onake Abbi Falls :

Onake_Abbi_Falls The Onake Abbi Falls is located at a trek distance of around 8 km from Agumbe is among the popular tourist attractions. Located at 400 feet, the falls can be reached after a trek of 5 kms from the rainforest. Once you reach the top, it is possible to get a complete view of the waterfall. The falls derives its name from the word Onake, meaning a pounding stick that is used for pounding grains in villages. The first part of the name ‘Onake’ is a Kannada word that refers a pounding stick, used to measure the weight grains in villages. 

How to Reach :

By Air : Nearest airport is Mangalore(100 km), Taxis and auto-rickshaws are available at the airport. 

By Train : Nearest Railway station is Shimoga (90km). 

Udupi Station (55km) on the Konkan Railway network is the nearest railway station, if you are arriving from Mumbai or Mangalore.

By Road : Buses are available from Bengaluru and other places to Agumbe and Theerthahalli which lies on the National Highway NH-13 and then towards Agumbe.

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Kanger Ghati National Park

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Among the various protected areas in the country, the Kanger Valley National Park near Jagdalpur, in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh is one of the most beautiful and densest national parks, Kanger Ghati National Park (also called Kanger Valley National Park) was declared a national park in 1982 by the Government of India. Kanger Ghati National Park is known for its splendid waterfalls, underground limestone caves, stupendous biodiversity and, of course, its beautiful landscape. Kanger Ghati National Park is around 20km from Jagdalpur in Chattisgarh. Jagdalpur is a city in the Bastar region of Chattisgarh. 

National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. The Park is famous for its biodiversity with picturesque landscape, magnificent waterfalls, and underground limestone caves.  The Kanger Ghati National Park in Chhattisgarh bears a living testimony to the helping hands that have been forwarded by the Indian environmentalists and avid animal lovers alike. If you are considering a tour to Chhattisgarh be sure to include this exciting National Park in your travel itinerary. No wonder it has been attracting more and more tourists to its beautiful valleys.

Tirumala_Overview Spread over an area of approximately 200 square kilometres (77 sq mi) consisting mainly of hilly terrain, the park derives its name from the Kanger River, which flows throughout its length. Kanger River is the lifeline of the park. The river not just nourishes the entire valley, but also adds to the aesthetic appeal. There is a Valley approximately 33.5 km long and approx 6 km wide on average that starts from Tirathgarh waterfalls extends upto the boundary of the state Orissa’s, River Kolab.

Kanger Ghati National Park provides you much more than Wildlife in Chhattisgar. The Kailash caves, the Kutamsar caves and the Dandak caves provide ample scope to the tourists for exploring this dense terrain. The dense jungles of Kanger houses many animals like jackals, rhesus macaque, tiger, leopard, striped hyena, monitor lizards, pythons and so on. It also has numerous species of avifauna and is mainly famous for Bastar Hill Myna.

Attraction in Kangar Ghati National Park : 

Flora & fauna : 

Kanger_valley11 The Park also has a sizable tribal population and is an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, researchers, anthropologists and for anyone who wants to discover the very best of Chhattisgarh wildlife and unique tribes of the region as well as varied flora and fauna.

The flora in the park consists chiefly of mixed moist deciduous type of forests with predominance of Sal, Teak and Bamboo trees. In fact, the Kanger Valley is the only region in the Peninsular India where one of the last pockets of virgin and untouched forests still left. According to the survey done by the Botanical Survey of India and other Research Organizations, the National park has 553 floral species out of which 12 species are new to Chhattisgarh, 43 species are reported rare. Floral diversity includes insitu gene bank of medicinal plants, grasses, climbers, wild sugarcane, canes, ferns, epiphytes, Sal, teak, bamboo and their rich associates.

Major Wildlife of the Kanger Valley National Park are the Tigers, Leopards, Mouse Deer, Wild Cat, Chital, Sambar, Barking Deer, Jackals, Langurs, Rhesus Macaque, Sloth Bear, Flying Squirrel, Wild Boar, Striped Hyena, Rabbits, Pythons, Cobra, Crocodiles, Monitor Lizards and Snakes to name a few. The avian fauna at the Park includes Hill Myna, Spotted Owlet, Red Jungle Fowls, Racket-tailed Drongos, Peacocks, Parrots, Steppe Eagles, Red Spur Fall, Phakta, Bhura Teeter, Tree Pie and Heron among many others. A few tributaries form marshy land in early dry season due to natural seepage. Ekta Jhodi, Kyam nallah, Karanji Jhodi, Rajamunda, Punji Jhodi, Komkel Jhodi forms good marshy area which are good habitat of wild boar and sloth bear. Chital and barking dear, Panther are mainly found in this marshy area. Kariya Ama nallah is perennial marshy belt and is ideal habitat of wild boar, sloth bear, chital, leopard & tiger.

Tirathgarh Waterfalls : 

Waterfall_at_Tirathgarh Tirathgarh Waterfalls can be termed as “Milky Fall” because of the white colour of the water as it descends down the rocky slope giving an impression as if milk is falling. It is located inside the park. Splashing streams of water comes down at an incredible speed from a height of more than 100 feet on the river Mugabahar that originates in a lake not very far away from this point. The area surrounding the fall features lush green forests that enhance the beauty of the falls.

Limestone Caves :

Kanger_valley8 There are huge limestone deposits in Kanger Ghati National Park. where some of them are in the form of caves and the rest of it are in the form of layers or beds one upon the other. Some of the caves that are the world famous because of their layout are Kotamsar cave, Dandak Cave, Kailash Cave and Devgiri cave. All lime stone caves are present North of Kanger River between Madarkonta to Kodri Bahar.These structures have taken million of years for its formation.

Kotumsar Caves :

Kotumsar Caves are about 35 meters below ground level and around 1371 meters long. Kotumsar Cave is a subterranean limestone cave located near the banks of Kanger River in the western portion of National park. Kotumsar underground caves made of limestones.  It was discovered by the local people around year 1900 and explored by a renowned Geographer Mr. Sankar Tiwari in the year 1951 and it is one of the best known caves in Chhattisgarh as well as in India.

The best time of the year to visit the Kanger Valley National Park is between the months of November to June.

How to Reach

By Air : Nearest airport is Raipur airport,Which is 330 km away from Kanger Valley National Park.

By Rail : Nearest railway station is Jagdalpur railway station, about 27 Km from the Kanger Valley National Park. Jagdalpur railway station is well connected by road to Kanger Valley National Park.

By Road :Kanger Valley is well approachable from Jagdalpur, district head quarter of Bastar. It is at a distance of about 27 km from Jagdalpur on the Jagdalpur – Konta road. Kanger Valley National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Kanger Valley National Park at frequent intervals.

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Dalhousie

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Dalhousie is a hill station in Chamba district, in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated on 5 hills and has an elevation of 1,970 metres above sea level. One of the most pristine hill stations in Himachal Pradesh and India, Dalhousie is named after Lord Dalhousie the British governor-General who established the town as a popular summer retreat. Dalhousie is a hill station with amazing scenic views and prominent traces of India’s British association such as colonial mansions.

Dalhousie, one of the favourite among most tourists travelling to Himanchal Pradesh is famously known for its mesmerizing natural beauty and its old world charm. This hill station was one of the most favourite summer destinations. Dalhousie is spread over an area of 14 sq km of area and  it is built on and around five hills, Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora. The fragrant pines, oaks, rhododendron and oaks along with several other types of tress cover the slops of the mountains. This scenic hill station if framed by the river Ravi flowing at the base of the town.

320px-Himachal_Pradesh_hills This quaint town transports you to a pollution-free environment in the lap of nature. it is  a relatively steady getaway for honeymooners and families from the plains.  Dalhousie is known for its scenic beauty has a number mountains and river streams that tourists must visit. Among them the most famous are Panch Pulla, Satdhara Falls and the Daikund peak. This hill station is a treasure trove of ancient temples, art, handicraft and Hindu culture, preserved since the sixth century. Bharmour, the capital of the ancient Chamba Hill state, has 84 temples that were built during the period between 7 th and 10 th century AD. It is also home to the Gujjar and Gaddi tribes.

Tourist Attraction at Dalhousie : 

Panch Pulla :

Panchpula Situated at a distance of about 3 km from Dalhousie, Panch Pula is one of the most scenic places in the region. Panch Pulla Literally meaning ‘Five Bridges’ . Panch Pulla, is a local favorite with waterfalls, picnic spots as well as a modest trek.Another remarkable attraction here is the monument or samadhi of the great freedom fighter, Sardar Ajith Singh. The monument is constructed at a place where several streams converge. Monsoon is the best time to visit this place. The place is popular as a trekking destination and it also serves as a base camp for several treks to the close by places. On the way to Panch Pula, there is very popular natural spring called the Satdhara spring. It is said that the water of the Satdhara spring has healing properties and it cures skin ailments.

A panoramic view of the surrounding hills along with the view of the streams filled with pristine water makes the experience of travelling here memorable. The Samadhi of the great freedom fighter, Sardar Ajith Singh is also situated nearby. Trekking in this region is highly recommended.

Khajjiar :

Khajjiar_during_august Khajjiar is located approximately 24 km from Dalhousie. Khajjiar sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds, is also known as the ‘Mini Switzerland’ or the ‘Switzerland of India’. The town is surrounded by thick covers of deodar and pine trees and the Kajjiar Lake is one of the most amazing and serene picnic spots with the back drop of the snow capped Himalayas. Khajjinag Temple built in the 12th century is also a famous attraction here. 

The mesmerizing beauty of this place has greatly influenced and inspired many kingdoms throughout the years, including the Rajputs and Mughals. Located at an altitude of 6,500 feet, the natural beauty and picturesque landscape of this place are bound to leave an everlasting impression on a tourist. Khajjiar is known for its nine-hole golf-course which is nestled in the midst of lush greenery and a breathtaking landscape. Khajjiar is a plateau with a small lake which tends to be a favorite amongst tourists. 

Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary :

4014623628_5a40b85819_b The Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Leopard, bear, deer, langur, jackal, Himalayan Black Marten, Barking Goral and countless beautiful birds can be spotted here, an animal sanctuary spread over an area of 30.69 km² at Kalatop. which is about 6 km from Dalhousie. The sanctuary lies in the path of the Ravi River, and is surrounded by coniferous and oak forests. The wildlife sanctuary was better known as a gaming reserve for Chamba rulers, in history. The area is a favorite spot for trekking, picnics, and nature walks.

Dainkund Peak : 

320px-Himachal_Pradesh_hills Dainkund Peak is a wonderful tourist place located at an altitude of 2.7 km near Dalhousie The mountain’s highest point towers at a monolithic height of 2,745 meters above sea level. The Dainkund Peak is often termed as the singing hill. The top of the hill is occupied by the Indian Air force and is inaccessible without proper permits. From this peak you can have a 360° view of the entire valley. The noise of the breeze that passes through the trees makes a musical sound, thus this peak is also known as the singing hill. The mountain is one of the most amazing trekking spots and provides a brilliant panoramic view of the entire valley.

Chamera Lake :  

Pir_Panjal_&_Chamera_Lake Built over the river Ravi, Chamera Lake is an artificial lake and a part of the Chamera Hydroelectric Project. Among the important places to visit near Dalhousie, Chamera Lake is located at about 25-35 km from the Dalhousie.  The lake and dam are a major source of water supply for the surrounding villages. Apart from its scenic beauty, which includes the dense pine forests of Bhandal Valley surrounding the dam, the lake is also famous for water sports like river rafting, motor boating, canoeing, & kayaking. The nearby Bhalei Temple which is equally famous.

St. John’s Church :  

St._JOHN'S_CHURCH_CHURCH_OF_NORTH_INDIA_ESTD._1863 St.John’s Church is Dalhousie’s oldest church and is of great historical importance. It was established during the British rule in India by the Protestant missionaries. Located in the beautiful natural backdrop, St.John’s Church is known to be one of the most visited churches of the town. This church has a mass every Sunday and is open for visitors five days a week. It also tends to be a favorite amongst photographers. A library neighbors the church, where one can find a lot of book about the past and the present of the town

Satdhara Falls : 

Hopetoun_falls Satdhara Falls are one of the most popular sightseeing attractions of Dalhousie. Satdhara is an amazing place to be in as it has a good collection of scenic beauty. It provides the visitors with a serene atmosphere and pleasant weather, the Satdhara Falls is a great example of nature’s artwork. the place has derived its name from the seven beautiful springs, which are believed to have several therapeutic values. Located on the Punchpula route, Satdhara Falls is a lovely tourist spot to visit with friends and family. It is one of the most popular and unique tourist attraction of Dalhousie.

Subhash Baoli : 

Subhash Baoli is situated at a distance of 1 Km from Dalhousie. Named after the famous freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose, this is a perennial spring which has medicinal properties and believed to have cured the freedom fighter of his ill health. He spent a lot of time in this area in 1937. Subhash Baoli is a charismatic tourist spot located between tall towering pine trees making this place more beautiful. This tribute to the leader is an ideal spot for picnics and evening strolls. Situated near these springs is a beautiful waterfall which flows into a glacial stream.

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Lachung

Image result for lachung sikkim

Lachung is a town and hill station in northeast SikkimIndia. It is located in the North Sikkim district near the border with Tibet. Lachung is one of the most exquisite villages in the valleys of North Sikkim.  Lachung has multiple reasons to make you fall in love with it! While its location at an enthralling height of 8,610ft and and approximately 125 km from Gangtok makes it a popular snow-destination in Sikkim, its untouched and surreal beauty makes it one of the scenic as well as charming tourist places in Sikkim. The beautiful snow-capped peaks of Lachung attract tourists from all over the world. Lachung is at an elevation of about 9,600 feet (2,900 m) and at the confluence of the lachen and Lachung Rivers, both tributaries of the River Teesta. The word Lachung means “small pass”.

If you are visiting Sikkim and don’t think that you will make it again in a long time to come, then do pursue a visit to Lachung. Because you may not again see such stunning views of snow mountains and rivers anywhere else. “Dr. Joseph Hooker in his ‘Himalayan Journal’ of 1855 mentioned that Lachung and Yumthang are the two most picturesque places in the whole of Sikkim and had even compared them to valleys of Switzerland.”

The Indian Army has a forward base in the town. Before the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950, Lachung was a trading post between Sikkim and Tibet, after which it was closed down. The town’s economy has been boosted by tourism in recent years as the region has been opened up by the Indian government. 

Although most come and stay at Lachung to visit Yumthang valley and Zero Point the next day before returning to Gangtok, you should not miss out on the opportunities which Lachung itself offers. Start early in the morning from Gangtok so that you can reach Lachung by 12noon and have enough time to explore the near by area.

Tourist Attraction :

  • One of the nice places to visit here is the Lachung Monsatery (or gompa). It has wonderful wall murals and also several ancient statues.
  • Tourists use Lachung as the base to travel to Yumthang valley and its surrounding area such as Katao and Yumasamdong. 
  • You can spend some leisure hours sitting beside the Lachung-chu river, mesmerised by the beauty of the place.
  • The local monastery is also a nice place to spend an evening and learn about the local Buddhist culture.

As for the rest of North Sikkim, Lachung can be visited only by booking a package tour through a recognised travel agent. This is because you require special restricted area permit to travel here and the permit is given only to tourists travelling on a package tour. The package includes your travel, accommodation, food and sightseeing. 

Best time to visit :

Tourists come from all over the world to visit the town between October and May. One can get snow in Lachung till March/April and in May one can see wild flowers / RhododendronsThis is when the locals in their full traditional costumes eat, drink and perform many cultural shows. Beginning of December is also a great time as you can see the monks performing mask dance at Lachung monastery.

How to reach :

Nearest Airport is Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri , Bagdogra Airport is connected with rest of India by almost all domestic airlines. The airport is about 128 km away from Lachung. One can easily hire local cabs from Bagdogra to Lachung.

Lachung does not have own Railway station, Nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri. which is approx 127 Kms far from Lachung.  You can take Private taxis and Local Buses to Reach at Lanchung.

Lachung has a good road connectivity with nearby destinations. Direct buses are available from New Jalpaiguri and Gangtok, which can be availed to reach Lachung.

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Dawki City- Meghalaya

Umngot is the unexplored paradise of Meghalaya. (Photo Courtesy: Devanik Saha)

A small border town in the Jaintia Hills, Dawki and its famed river Umngot is a must visit if in Meghalaya. Dawki-Tamabil is one of the few road border crossings between India and Bangladesh. The small city, besides being a trade hub is also famous for its tourism scene, with many people flocking to the city in order experience a boat ride in its famed Umngot River and enjoy the nearby sights and sounds. Travelling to the North-East is something that always generates lots of oohs and aahs from whoever you tell about your journey there, or your plans. A day’s excursion from Mawlynnong, Dawki lies but 2 Kms from Bangladesh. Despite the fact that the area is located in a place that has been for years demanding development, one is amazed by the quality of the roads, and the road to Dawki perhaps epitomizes the idyllic hill drive. This had more to do with the area’s strategic importance as well as the limestone and coal mines. Some 500 trucks cross the border every day in peak season.

boats-on-umshiang Dawki river with greenish-blueish water so clear that one can see the bottom of the river even from as high as the bridge over the river. It flows very close to the customs checkpost at Dawki with Jaintia Hills District on one side and East Khasi Hills District on the other. As it enters the plains of Bangladesh it loses its beautiful color and becomes heavily strewnwith rocks and small boulders. It is the gateway to Bangladesh. Located at the end of the Guwahati-Shillong-Dawki Raod, Dawki is a small town well knownfor its sweet, juicy orange markets.

The umngot river is popular not only for its scenic beauty but also for the annual boat race which is conducted here in the month of March – April at Umsyiem.  Due to the temperate climate, this place is the house of different kinds of flora and fauna, seeing this large emerald-green serpent threading its way through the hills, with fishermen’s boats dotting its surface, right into the plains of Bangladesh, is a sight whose majesty echoes long after you leave it. The tourists visiting Dawki should not forget to taste the sweets and oranges of Dawki, as it is quite famous for the same. The surrounding greenery, the cold water of the river and the beautiful suspension bridge on the River Umngot make Dawki a place worth a visit.

88_full Dawki does not have any airport; the closest airport is the Guwahati airport.  Nearest rail head is at Guwahati from where one can either hire a cab or catch public or private buses either direct till Dawki or till Shillong.  Buses are also available for the 70 kilometres (43 mi) journey from Shillong. On the other side the Tamabil bus station, 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) away, has regular bus service to Sylhet 55 kilometres (34 mi) away.

The place becomes heavenly in December with a pleasant temperature ranging from 12 to 20 degrees. Shillong is the only hill station in the country which is accessible from all sides. The water of Unmgot river in Dwaki is so clear that a boat floating on it, seems  like it’s flying in mid-air.  The river is not the only place here. Entertain yourself at some really amazing festivals organized here in DecemberTysim Festival, Baghmara, Pinjera Festival, Williamnagar and Tura Winter Festival, Tura. Try out the delightful Meghalayan delicacies such as Jadoh, Dohneiihong, Makham-Bitchi and Jhur Sideh.

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Western Ghats

12570356826ed8cee9b4blq3The Western Ghats knows as Sahyadri, is a mountain range that runs parallel to the western coast of the Indian penins
ula, located entirely in India, are well known for their rich and unique assemblage of flora and fauna. Although most of the Western Ghats appear more like rolling hills than craggy snow-covered peaks. Parts of it do reach over 2,000 metres and it contains the highest mountain in India, the Anaimudi, at 2,695 metres.

The Western Ghats is one of the eight “hottest hot-spots“, It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India. The Western Ghats extend from north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain, called Konkan, along the Arabian Sea. A total of thirty nine properties including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests were designated as world heritage sites – twenty in Kerala, ten in Karnataka, five in Tamil Nadu and four in Maharashtra. This hill cover Roundly  6% of India’s total geography. Western ghats spread in six states Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Pondicherry and  in Maharastra, The range start near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra, south of the Tapti river, and runs approximately 1,600 km through the states of MaharashtraGoaKarnatakaKerala and Tamil Nadu ending at Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of India. Western ghat is home of many hill station like Lonavala-Khandala, Amboli ghat, Matheran, Mahabalesver etc.

The area is one of the world’s ten “Hottest biodiversity hotspots” and has around 5000 species of flowering plants, 1800 species of non-flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 500 bird species, 170 amphibian species, 6000 insects species and 300 freshwater fish species; it is likely that many undiscovered species live in the Western Ghats. At least 300 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats.

Western.Ghats The peaks of the Western Ghats intercept the south-western monsoon winds,  which bring heavy rain between June and September.  An astonishing 2 to 8 metres of rain drench the Western Ghats each year, most of it falling in the short monsoon period.  These rains feed dozens of rivers that originate in the mountains, and flow down into India, providing drinking water, irrigation, and power for approximately 240 million people.

The Western Ghats mountain range is itself a major attraction in India along with its high hills, deep valleys,mountain grasslands, dense and rain forest. Western Ghats is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in India and paradise of various species of Flora and Fauna, Most of them are endemic to the region.  Some attracted place of Western ghat are as below:

Hill Ranges :

Tea-plantation-fotoliaThe Western Ghats contains major hill ranges starting from Western ghat ranges in Maharashtra Nilgiris hill ranges in Tamil Nadu. Such as Ooty, Mahabaleshwar, Madikeri and the most famous Munnar. Famous hills of Western Ghats are Sahyandhris, Nilgiris, Palani Hills,Anaimalai Hills and Cardamom Hills.

Mountain Peaks :

The hill ranges of Western Ghats are home to some of the highest mountain peaks of IndiaAnamudi or Anai Mudi is a mountain located in the Indian state of Kerala. It is the highest peak in the Western Ghats and South India, at an elevation of 2,695 metres, and a topographic prominence of 2,479 metres. Other highest peaks of the Western Ghats are Meesapulimala,Doddabetta in Nilgiris hills, Kalsubai in Maharashtra and Mullayanagiri in Karnataka.

Forest :

474867-forests The Western Ghats are home to four type of tropical and subtropical forest ecoregions, The evergreen forests in Wayanad mark the transition zone between the northern and southern ecologic regions of the Western Ghats. Above 1,000 meters are the South Western Ghats montane rain forests, also cooler and wetter than the surrounding lowland forests, and dominated by evergreen trees, although some montane grasslands and stunted forests can be found at the highest elevations. The wild forest of Western Ghats are distributed as National Parks,Wildlife Sanctuary, Tiger reserve, biosphere reserves and many protected areas.

Flora :

pics11 Western Ghats were well-covered in dense forests that provided wild foods and natural habitats for native tribal people. The major species of Flora in Western Ghats are present in the sholas of the Nilgiri Hills. Four thousand species of flowering plants are known from the Western Ghats. The gymnosperm flora is represented by Cycas circinalis

National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries : 

1410190885trek_to_silent_valley_national_park_western_ghats The 39 component parts of this serial property fall under a number of protection regimes, ranging from Tiger Reserves, National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, and Reserved Forests. In Western ghats 13 National park situated. Famous National parks are deciduous forests of Bandipur National Park, Silent Valley National Park, Periyar National Park and Eravikulam National Park. The rainforest of majestic mountain is full of natural beauty and one of the must see place in India.

Lakes & Rivers 

The major riversystems originating in the Western Ghats include Godavari, Kaveri, Krishna, Thamiraparani and Tungabhadra. The Western Ghats have several manmade lakes and reservoirs. The famous lakes are Nilgiri, Lakkadi, Ooty, Kodiakanal, Barijam, Palani hills, In the Munnar range Devikulam and Letchmi Elephant.

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Munnar

Munnar_hillstation_kerala

Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 1,600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue once in every twelve years, will bloom next in 2018. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2,695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking.

Let us now explore some of the options in and around Munnar that would provide travellers ample opportunities to enjoy the captivating hill station of Munnar.

Eravikulam National Park Nilgiri_Tahr_1

One of the main attractions near Munnar is the Eravikulam National Park. This park is famous for its endangered inhabitant – the Nilgiri Tahr. Spread over an area of 97 sq. km., this park is also home to several species of rare butterflies, animals and birds. A great place for trekking, the park offers a magnificent view of the tea plantations and also the rolling hills caressed by blankets of mists. The park becomes a hot destination when the hill slopes here get covered in a carpet of blue, resulting from the flowering of Neelakurinji. It is a plant endemic to this part of the Western Ghats which blooms once in twelve years.

Anamudi Peak Anamudi_1

Located inside the Eravikulam National Park is the Anamudi Peak. This is the highest peak in south India standing at a height of over 2700 m. Treks to the peak are allowed with permission from the Forest and Wildlife authorities at Eravikulam.

Mattupetty Mattupetty_Dam_reservoir,_near_Munnar,_Kerala

Another place of interest, located about 13 km from Munnar Town, is Mattupetty. Situated at a height of 1700 m above sea level, Mattupetty is known for its storage masonry dam and the beautiful lake, which offers pleasurable boat rides, enabling one to enjoy the surrounding hills and landscape. Mattupetty’s fame is also attributed to the dairy farm run by the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project, where one would come across different high yielding breeds of cows.

Pallivasal Pallivasal_estate_munnar

Pallivasal, located at about 3 km from Chithirapuram in Munnar is the venue of the first Hydro-electric project in Kerala. It is a place of immense scenic beauty and is often favoured by visitors as a picnic spot.

Chinnakanal & Anayirangal View_of_Anayirankal_Dam_area_from_Idukki_122049

Near the town of Munnar is Chinnakanal and the waterfalls here, popularly known as Power House Waterfalls, cascade down a steep rock 2000 m above sea level. The spot is enriched with the scenic view of the Western Ghat ranges. When you have traveled about seven kilometers from Chinnakanal, you reach Anayirangal. Anayirangal, 22 km from Munnar, is a lush green carpet of tea plants. A trip on the splendid reservoir is an unforgettable experience. The Anayirangal dam is surrounded by tea plantations and evergreen forests.

Top Station Munnar_top_station

Top Station, which is about 32 km from Munnar is at a height of 1700 m above sea level. It is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road. Travellers to Munnar make it a point to visit Top Station to enjoy the panoramic view it offers of the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the spots in Munnar to enjoy the Neelakurinji flowers blooming over a vast area.

Tea Museum Le_musée_du_thé_(Munnar,_Inde)_(13694719014)

Munnar has a legacy of its own when it comes to the origins and evolution of tea plantations. Taking account of this legacy and to preserve and showcase some of the exquisite and interesting aspects on the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Kerala’s high ranges, a museum exclusively for tea was opened some years ago by Tata Tea in Munnar. This Tea Museum houses curios, photographs and machineries; all of which have a story to tell on the origins and growth of tea plantations in Munnar. The museum is located at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea in Munnar and is worth a visit.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Aluva about 108 km and Angamali, about 109 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, via Aluva – Munnar Rd, about 108 km

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Saputara Hill Station

Saputara is the lone hill station of Gujarat and one of the most popular hill stations in India. There is a constant rush in Saputara from the travelers around the country. Saputara is an attraction point for youth. Many young groups visit saputara and taste the thrill and adventure. The hill station is located in the district of Dang. Saputara has so many beautiful tourist attractions other than hill station such as artist village, Boating, Gira Falls, The Ropeway, Sunset/Sunrise point, Gardens, Lakes and so on. Saputara is also one of the most visited tourist destinations in Gujarat state.

Attractions:
Points:

Valley View Point, also known as Sunrise Point, is a peak in Saputara, from where one can get a marvelous bird’s eye view of the down Saputara valley. It is a point which offers the best view of Saputara and adjoining Malegoan could be reached after a walk of 1.5 km in the direction of Waghai. The naming restricts the tourist traffic to this best place as tourists believe that the point should only be visited at sun rise, however, one may visit it at any time of the day to catch a panoramic view. The Tata Consultancy Services has suggested renaming this point as Valley View Point to enhance tourist traffic.Lay down on the greenish lawns, close the eyes and dream the gifts of nature, valley view point is majestic.

An awesome view of sunset is the spectacular attraction of Sunset point, also known as Gandhi Shikhar (peak), in Saputara and is at a walkable distance from the heart of the town. This point provides a breath taking view of the surrounding tribal villages in their natural splendor and also an aerial view of wide spans of Dang Forest. The dense forest surrounding Saputara is dotted with picturesque scenes and many tribal villages. One can reach this marvelous sunset point by using the ropeway or by climbing the hills..

Echo Point, as the name highlights it is the place where one can hear the echo of what he says, is located in Matheran near Saputara. It is one of the prime tourist attractions nearby to Saputara. The Echo point offers a exquisite picturesque surroundings with many waterfalls, enhancing the breath     taking beauty of the location. Tourists pour in here to make an unforgettable experience of wild natural beauty. The atmosphere is calm and cool. There are many spectacular tourist spots; some are Louisa Point, Charlotte Lake, and King George Point.

Gira Waterfalls:
The Gira waterfalls(49 kms. from Saputara) is located off the Saputara-Waghai road which emerges from the Kapri tributary. It is a breathtakingly beautiful view around monsoon. The seasonal (only after rains) falls are among the most picturesque sights in the district. Located about 3 km from Waghai town, the waterfall has a 30 meters natural drop into the Ambika river. It is open to public and accessible by jeeps on hire. It is an absolutely must-see from June to November.

Gardens:
Rose Garden, as the name suggests, is a spectacular garden with many varieties of flowering plants, especially it encloses different species of Roses. The view of Rose flowers with amusing different colors really is spectacular.

One another attractive place in Saputara, step garden has the unique feature of a garden set up in steps. Well laid out steps are adorned with beautiful plants, flower pots and in the midst of nice woods. There is a Forest hut for the comfortable stay of the visitors, placed amidst the garden. The Garden is well maintained and offer many varieties of flowers and plants. Garden has open space for children to roam around.

Lake Garden, a nicely maintained beautiful garden on the banks of the Saputara Lake, is an excellent picnic spot. The garden encloses nice plants and rare kinds of trees. The garden is set up in lusting green surroundings. Many facilities including playing field are available in the Garden, mainly aimed at children. This is a nice location for evening outings with family.

All these gardens make Saputara a beautiful place.These gardens offer a grand opportunity for the tourists to have peace of mind and relaxation to the body. The Garden is a nice place for languorous and the cool ambiance around the Garden provides the much needed comfort for the visitors.

Tracking:
Saputara is really a wonderful vacation spot for trekking with many established trekking trails and many unexplored pathways, still with unspoiled atmosphere and surroundings. An enthusiast tourist to Saputara can undertake trekking in Saputara hills, nature walks around the Saputara Lake, hill climbing to Valley view point, Forest camping in the dense woods of Saputara hills and such many dynamic adventurous activities.The trekking trails in Saputara hills and forests pose mild to rough challenges to a trekker. It is really fascinating to have Trekking in the established trekking trails to Rajat Pratap and to Tridhara near Dhupgarh. The trekking trails extend up to Sangam. Mild trekking trails from Khud to Sunder Kund, To Jata Pura Hills and to the hill top temple attracting many tourists.

The Ropeway:
The Ropeway is a congregation of cable cars, which are connected through a rope. The cable cars travel at an altitude of around 25 to 30 ft. This service can be found on the way to the Sunset Point and enables tourists to move around the entire town organised by Hotel Vaity.

Saputara Lake:
Saputara Lake, a serene and secluded picnic spot, is placedright at the heartland of Saputara valley. The lake is on the base of Saputara hill station and is placed perfectly on the picturesque hilly surroundings. The surroundings of the lake are provided with many facilities for merry making, especially with children’s parks and play grounds.

Boating in the Saputara Lake is really a wonderful experience; Paddle boats and row are available for those who are interested. The lake and the surrounding amusement facilities attract many visitors; domestic as well as foreign tourists make it a point to spend some time on the bank of the lake to relax.

Saputara Museum:
Saputara Museum,  also known as Saputara Tribal Museum, is a small museum located at the heart of the cit near the main market in Saputara city, displays the various lifestyles and culture of the tribal populace. Museum provides spectacular exhibition of variety of clothes, utensils, traditional artifacts, lifestyles, house objects, musical instruments, ornaments, and many such objects which are used by the native tribal Dangis. A workshop is also associated with the museum; one can observe the ways in which traditional objects are made. This is a nice museum giving lots of information about Dang tribal in Saputara.

Climate:
The hill resort of Saputara promises to refresh the tourists throughout the year with its cool weather. Saputara does not experience any extreme temperature variations and is an ideal getaway for the sun-scorched souls of the plains. The monsoon rains add to the magic of Saputara. Thus you may plan your trip to the Saputara hills any time of the year. The best time is from middle of March to middle of November.

Travel information:
Saputara is 172 km from Surat, 80 km from Nashik, 280 km from Mumbai, 112 km from Bilimora 420 km from Ahmedabad, 300  km from Vadodara, 589 km from Bhavnagar, 603 km from Rajkot.

  • Air: Surat is the nearest airport, 172 km away, Mumbai is the nearest international airport 225 km away.
  • Rail: Bilimora is the nearest railway station on Western Railways. There is a narrow gauge (0.7 m) (small train) from Bilimora to Waghai.Waghai is 52 km from Saputara .
  • Road : Bus facility is available from Chikhli, Bilimora, Nasik and Surat. By bus Saputara is about three hours from Bilimora. Government buses are available from Bilimora.

Nubra Valley

Located at the Karakoram Pass, Nubra Valley is a recently unblocked area of the Ladakh. This valley connects Turkistan and Tibet through the Karakoram Pass. By just a view of this you will remember ‘Shangri La’ which is almost forgotten by everyone. The Nubra Valley has a very amazing sight and wonderful scenic beauty. Along with this the experiences of residing with very humble inhabitants is just great.

In case you want to make your tour to Nubra Valley the most unforgettable then the best time is the time between June to August. As the winters here are extremes they are generally closed and it is not possible for one to cross this valley in such a climate. But if you go in summers you will be able to have a look at the most outstanding example of nature work. Along with snow covered peaks you will also be able to see the beautiful floral view of Nubra Valley.

There are many tourist attractions in Nubra Valley if you want to have a look at. When you take a trip to this place you will find amazing and majestic Himalayan range all around you. Actually the fact is that every small thing that you experience in Nubra Valley is a tourist destination.

When you visit Nubra Valley, do not forget to have the Ladakhi Meal that is served by the local people over there. It is a must have meal of you life.

But apart from this you have quite a few Buddhist Monasteries.The Diskit Gompa is as old as 350 years and is located on the highest crest of the county. The nearby village of the Nubra Valley has a resident power of about 120 people only. Apart from this there is a Panamic Hot Sulphur spring which is an astonishing piece of nature. This is a must watch place in Nubra Valley and your trip over there will be a waste if you do not visit this place. in addition to this you can also have a look at the Samstalling as it is also a must visit destination of Nubra Valley. Then there is Sumur Monastery on you way.

Reaching Nubra Valley is restricted to only one mode of transport and that is the roadways. There are regular buses traveling via Leh to Diskit. You can get into this bus and reach Nubra Valley to get the most astonishing view of your life. The entire district Leh is so beautiful there is no chance that you miss even a single view of the nature. If you go in local transport you will get only minimal halts because of which the view of nature will be restricted. So a great way to catch all scenic beauties that come in your way is to have a private vehicle. You can rent a private vehicle as per your choice and then go ahead with your trip to Nubra Valley. You will not be able to miss out even a single view of this breathtaking place.

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Dalhousie

In fact, entire Himachal Pradesh is full of lush greenery, valleys, snow-capped mountain ranges, etc. But, its cities and hill stations have all the charisma that allure one, especially honeymooners and couples to come in close proximity in the lap of Mother Nature. Dalhousie is also one of those beautiful cities and hill stations in Himachal Pradesh that speak all about rich legacy and beauty of the state. Spread in an area of 14 Sq km, Dalhousie is surrounded by five hills that are Portreyn, Bakrota, Kathlog, Moti Tibba and Balun.

The beautiful city of Dalhousie was established in 1854 by the British rulers in India as their summer retreat for their troops and bureaucrats. They called it Dalhouse after the name of Lord Dalhousie who was the Viceroy of India at that time.

Located in Chamba district, Dalhousie is one of the most beautiful hill stations in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is on an altitude of 6000 and 9000 ft above sea level covered with snow-capped peaks. It is a gateway to the ancient hill state of Chamba that is also famous for greenery, lush green valleys and the list goes on. The renowned hill station is also the only place that preserves the ancient Hindu culture and art. And it can be seen in the temples and handicraft centers located in and around Dalhousie.

As far as tourist attractions are concerned, the entire city and its surrounding area are full of attractions like Dalhousie-Panchpula that is a beautiful picnic spot. In addition to this Satdhara Springs is also a major attraction that is believed to be containing medical and treatment properties.

Kynance is a private residential buildingof Dharamvirs that keep travelers enticed for long time. Apart from this, Subash Baoli, where Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose stayed for the duration of seven months sojourm in Dalhousie in 1937 is also a major attraction. ST. John’s Church, ST. Francis Church, Radha Swami Satsang Bhawan & Hospital, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Norwood Paramdham, Shivkul, Dakshina Murti, Kalatop, etc., are some of the major attractions in Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh.

Dalhousie is also known for handicraft centers like shawls, chapels, baskets, woolens, dolls, and a number of handicraft products. In addition to this, Kalatop is also a famous wildlife sanctuary popular in its rare inhabitants like Ghoral and Himalayan Black Bears that is only ten km from Dalhousie. The popular hill station is well connected via road, rail and air to all the major cities of the country. The nearest airports are Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla. The nearest railway station is Pathankot in Punjab from where you can easily reach by taxi or bus to Dalhousie.

Today, there are also a number of hotels and restaurants in and around Dalhousie. These hotels, resorts, lodges, etc are known for offering comfy accommodation and luxurious life. On the other hand, restaurants are known for offering multi-cuisine foods. Needless to say, the city and hill station of Dalhousie is very popular. And keeping the increasing popularity of the place in mind, we have come up with attractive tour packages to Dalhousie.

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Shimla

The former summer capital of the British in India, and the present capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties which one can think of. It has got a scenic location, it is surrounded by green hills with snow capped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era creates an aura which is very different from other hill.

Bulging at its seams with unprecedented expansion, Shimla retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings, among them are the stately Viceregal Lodge, charming iron lamp posts and Anglo-Saxon names. The Mall, packed with shops and eateries, is the centre of attraction of the town, and Scandal Point, associated with the former Maharaja of Patiala’s escapades, offers a view of distant snow clad peaks.

Shimla is ideally located, and though there is an air service to the town, it is best reached by road that takes in the charms of the HIMALAYAN countryside at its best. There is a sense of nostalgia about SHIMLA, with its old bungalows and their gabled roofs and beautiful gardens.

1.  Potter Hill:

Situated at a distance of 1 Km from Summer Hill is very beautiful Picnic spot with all the natural beauty. Ecological Park is situated here.

2.  Mashobra:

Situated on Shimla-Naldehra road at a height of 2149 mt. . A place of unique beauty, Mashobra is an ideal interlude beneath the oaks and the pines. Featuring beautiful gardens spattered with the daffodils, hyacinths, asphodels and celandines, it is a popular weekend resort, dotted with delightful villas and innumerable picnic spots. Goddess Durga temple is worth seeing From here, a track leads down to Sipur, which is an exquisite glade shaded by ancient deodar trees. A fair  is held here every April/May. About 3 km from Mashobra is the lovely resort of Craignano.

3.  Kufri:

Kufri, at distance of 16 km from Shimla and at an altitude of 2510 m above sea level, is a site offering some famous hikes and wonderful snow for skiing in winters. An enjoyable walk leads up to the Mahasu Peak. The Himalayan Nature Park here has a good collection of animals and birds found in the region.

Stunning South

Give yourself the gratification of embracing nature and experiencing the daintiness of the cultural heritage at its best. From romantic hill stations to timeless temples to vibrant art & culture, you can experience it all. So what are you waiting for? Explore the mystic region of Southern pocket of Karnataka.

Day 01: Bangalore 

Today you arrive at Bangalore Airport and are greeted by our local representative. You are driven by an air conditioned car to the hotel. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Later you are driven to visit The Vidhana Soudha which is the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka. The proceed towards Lal Bagh Botanical Garden and the famous Bull Temple, one of the oldest temples here. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Meals: None

Day 02: Bangalore 

In the morning after breakfast you are driven by car to visit Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace (approx 115.08 Kms / 2H 18M). After returning to the city you visit Cubbon Park, Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain, view the colorful swirling fountains dancing in tune to music. Also visit the Isckon Temple – the Krishna temple is a blend of modern technology and spiritual harmony.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 03: Bangalore – Mysore 

In the morning after breakfast you are driven to Mysore (approx 143.39kms / 3H 7M). Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Later you are driven to visit St. Philomena’s Church, one of the oldest churches in India over 200 years old. Also you are taken to visit Brindavan Gardens – embellished with vast expanses of well-laid out lawns, diverse kaleidoscopic rows of flowers and above all the amazing site of fountains encompassing a small beautiful lake holding the charm of musical fountain in its center. Later proceed to Chamundi Hills – A panoramic view of the city is seen from the top of the hills.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 04: Mysore 

Today morning after breakfast you are driven to Sri Ranganathaswamy temple. Later proceed to Jaganmohan Palace. It is more than 150 years old. It displays the paintings and artifacts that belonged to the Kings of Mysore. Today this art gallery is considered one of the best in South India. Also visit the Mysore Palace, which provides an aesthetic blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Evening is free for shopping. This city is regarded as the paradise for shopaholics from rich and traditional silk sari or material to various sandal and rose wood craft etc.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 05: Mysore – Ooty 

Today morning after breakfast you are driven by car to Ooty – “Queen of the blue mountains” (approx 116.17 kms / 3H). Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Ooty is famous for its rolling hills covered in pine and eucalyptus forests and its coffee and tea plantation.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 06: Ooty 

In the morning after breakfast you are driven by car to visit Dodabetta Peak. The top of the peak remains covered by mist most of the time but on a clear day, you can have a look at the landscape. Also visit Tiger Hill, located at Doddabetta Peak’s lower bend. Also visit Pykara Falls around Ooty.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 07: Ooty – Coimbatore

Today in the morning after breakfast you are driven by car to Coimbatore Airport (approx 72.3 kms / 2H) for your flight back home with beautiful memories of your holiday.
Meals: Breakfast

Thanjavur

There are no references to Thanjavur in any of the Sangam period records though some scholars believe that the city has been existing since then. Kovil Venni, situated at a distance of 15 miles to the east of Thanjavur, was the site of the Battle of Venni between Karikala and a confederacy of the Cheras and the Pandyas. The Cholas seemed to have faced an invasion of the Kalabhras in the 3rd century AD after which the kingdom faded into obscurity. The region around the present-day Thanjavur was conquered by the Mutharayars in the 6th century CE and ruled up to 849 AD.

During the first decade of the eleventh century AD, the Chola king Raja Raja Chola I constructed the Brihadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavur. The temple is considered to be one of the best specimens of South Indian temple architecture.

The Cholas came once more into prominence through the rise of the Medieval Chola monarch Vijayalaya in about 850 AD. Vijayalaya conquered Thanjavur from mutharayar king Elango Mutharayar and built a temple to the Hindu goddess Nisumbhasudani at this place. His son Aditya I consolidated their hold over the city. The Rashtrakuta king Krishna II, a contemporary of the Chola king Parantaka I claims to have conquered Thanjavur but there exists no evidence to support his claim. Gradually, Thanjavur became the greatest and most important city in the Chola Empire and remained its capital till the construction of Gangaikonda Cholapuram in about 1025 AD.

Day 01: Pondicherry – Thanjavur

In the morning after breakfast you are driven by car to Thanjavur (approx 189 Kms / 3-4 hrs). Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Rest and refresh. Rest of the day is at leisure. Thanjavur was once the royal city of the Cholas and the Nayaks. It is still considered the centre of all the classical arts and music, and is also well known for its unique painting style called Tanjore Painting
Meals: Breakfast

Day 02: Thanjavur

Today after breakfast you are taken for a brief city tour of Thanjavur. Home to 93 temples, Thanjavur stands out as a towering monument proclaiming the glory of the Chola regime, and its commitment to the arts and culture. Visit the Gangaikondacholapuram Temple. The Gangaikondacholapuram Temple lies right to Kumbakonam. The son of Chola king Raja Raja, Rajendra Chola, had built the temple on the lines of the big Temple of Thanjavur. Till date, even the ruins of the temple are visited for the splendid specimens of Chola sculpture.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 03: Thanjavur – Madurai

Today morning after breakfast you are driven by car to Madurai (approx 170 Kms / 5-6 hrs). Madurai was the capital city of the great Pandya kings, and today it is Tamil Nadu’s most happening cultural arena. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel, rest and refresh. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Meals: Breakfast