Agatti Island-Lakshadweep

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Agatti is located 459km off Cochin. It is six km long and about a kilometre wide. In Agatti, coral growths and multi-coloured coral fishes abound in its lagoons. Agatti is perhaps the only island besides Minicoy that gets surplus fish as fishing is the main occupation. Agatti is a part of the Lakshadweep Islands, which is the smallest union territory of India.

Agatti is one of the Lakshadweep islands open to tourism. Visitors, however, are allowed to the Island under certain restrictions. They are required to obtain Entry Permit from the Lakshadweep Administration for entering or visiting the island. Entry Permit is issued based on the visitor having a confirmed place to stay. There are only two hotels or resorts in Agatti:

1. Agatti Island Beach Resort (AIBER) and  2.  Sea Shells Beach Resort.

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 A road runs through the island, which can be best enjoyed by hiring a bicycle available at many places.  Agatti Islands are visited as a getaway for its remoteness and crystal clear waters & White sand beaches. Scuba diving enthusiasts and activity centric guests arrive here to unexplore coral sites around the area and experience the remoteness and beauty. Activities at Agatti comprise swimming in crystal clear waters, snorkelling and scuba diving Deep Sea Fishing, sailing, glass bottom boat rides, water skiing and kayaking are amazing.

Recently reviewed tourist attractions in Agatti, which are great places to visit, are Museum,Bangaram Island. Agatti can be visited in summer, monsoon or winter

Museum, Agatti :

The museum in Agatti Island is located 2 km from the beach near a village. It takes around INR250 in an autorickshaw from the jetty. Motor cycles can also be hired to travel the 2 km distance. The museum is a government run museum which contains various replicas and sculptures of marine life. Various corals, shells, fish and aquatic animals are found in aquarium like enclosures. Trinkets like ornaments, headgear, clothing, etc. belonging to the tribes from different parts of the Lakshadweep islands are found in this place. In the entrance to the museum is a large cannon.

Bangaram Island, Agatti :

Bangaram Island is one of the inhabited islands in Lakshadweep. Boat tours to Bangaram take around 2 hours. There is a Bangaram Resort in this island. During a visit to the Bangaram islands, snorkelling, diving and scuba diving can be done. Lunch can be had on the island, or packed food can be arranged from Agatti. The area of the shipwreck beyond the reefs is a place full of fish and corals, where diving can be done. The trip to Bangaram Island starts at around noon and the return to the Agatti Island is possible in the evening.

Bangaram-beach(2)

Lunch can be had on the island, or packed food can be arranged from Agatti. The area of the shipwreck beyond the reefs is a place full of fish and corals, where diving can be done. The trip to Bangaram Island starts at around noon and the return to the Agatti Island is possible in the evening.

How to reach :

Lakshwadeep is connected to Cochin by sea route. Seven passenger ships operate between the two ports and it takes 14–20 hours for the passage. These ships have modern facilities that includes entertainment area, video shows, cafeteria and offer comfortable A/C accommodation.

Agatti airport is well known domestic airport situated in the southern end of Agatti island of Lakshadweep a union territory of India. This is the only airport in Lakshadweep that offers services to all island situated here.

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Kaziranga National Park

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Kaziranga National Park is one of the prides of India. Kaziranga National Park is the name to exemplify the most popular conservation efforts to save the endangered species like one-horned rhinoceros in India. The park’s population of 1800-odd rhinos represents more than two-thirds of the world’s total.  Kaziranga National Park is spread over 858 sq.kms and is located in the floodplains on both sides of the Brahmaputra river. Patches of mixed deciduous forests are interspersed with vast stretches of savannah grasslands, wetlands and chars of river islands formed by the shifting course of the Brahmaputra.  Kaziranga National Park is Located in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India.

In the heart of Assam, this park is one of the last areas in eastern India undisturbed by a human presence. It is inhabited by the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceroses, as well as many mammals, including tigers, elephants, panthers and bears, and thousands of birds.  The Endangered Ganges dolphin is also found in some of the closed oxbow lakes.Forests is marked by the 41% of the tall grasses, 29% open jungle, 11% short grasses and rest is covered with the rivers and the water bodies.

Indian one-horned rhinoceros and also declared as a tiger reserve in 2006, holding the highest density of tigers in the world.

The park is divided into five ranges:

1. Central 2. Western 3. Eastern 4. Western-most Burha Pahar 5. Northern

The first four lie on the southern side of the river while the last is on the northern bank

Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grassmarshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, criss-crossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water. Kaziranga has been the theme of several books, songs, and documentaries.

The terrain in the park comprises mainly of sandbanks, riverine lakes, Semi-evergreen forests, moist broad-leaf forests and grasslands. The park is spread in a massive area which makes it one of the largest protected forests in the Sub-Himalayan belt.

Climate & Rainfall :

The climate of Kaziranga Park is tropical,   The park experiences three seasons: summer.  monsoon, and winter. The winter season, between November and February, is mild and dry, with temperatures reaching a low 5 °C. During this season, beels and nallahs Dry up.  The summer season between March and May is hot, with a maximum temperature approx 37°C . During this season, animals usually are found near water bodies. The rainy monsoon season lasts from June to September, and  the average annual rainfall is 2,220 mm. During the peak months of July and August, three-fourths of the western region of the park is submerged, due to the rising water level of the Brahmaputra.

A Day in Kaziranga National Park Kaziranga National Park is one of the major wildlife tourist’s attractions in India. Thousands of travelers from different part of the country and world come here every year to unlock the doors of diverse wildlife and scout the exquisiteness of the natural empire. The perfect topography with a river and its varied grasslands winds through its entire length, Kaziranga promises an adventure that you will never forget. The tourism of Kaziranga is not just about spotting one of the many one-horned rhinoceros or tigers but also to watch the three giant herbivores that reside in the park called – The Asiatic Elephant, The Swamp Deer and the Asiatic Water Buffaloes. The park has also been demarcated as an important bird area by the Birdlife International in order to promote the conservation of endangered species.

Fauna & Flora :

Kaziranga National Park has chiefly three major types of flora as alluvial inundated grasslands, tropical wet evergreen forests and tropical semi-evergreen forests. But, the main characteristics of flora in Kaziranga are the dense and tall elephant grass intermixed by small swamplands left behind by the receding floodwaters of the river Brahmaputra. n addition to grasses and forests, the swamps of Kaziranga National Park have an abundant cover of water lilies, water hyacinth and lotus, providing a beautiful look to the surroundings of the park. Rattan Cane, which is a type of climbing palm, also adds to the natural beauty of Kaziranga National Park. 

-79159_7882 Kaziranga contains significant breeding populations of 35 mammalian species, of which 15 are threatened as per the IUCN Red List. The park has the distinction of being home to the world’s largest population of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceroswild Asiatic water buffalo, and eastern swamp deer.  Kaziranga has been identified by Birdlife International as an Important Bird Area.  It is home to a variety of migratory birds, water birds, predators, scavengers, and game birds. Birds such as thelesser white-fronted gooseferruginous duckBaer’s pochard duck and lesser adjutantgreater adjutantblack-necked stork, and Asian openbill stork migrate from Central Asia to the park during winter. Two of the largest snakes in the world, the reticulated python and rock python, as well as the longest venomous snake in the world, the king cobra, inhabit the park. Other snakes found here include the Indian cobramonocled cobraRussell’s viper, and the common krait. Monitor lizard species found in the park include the Bengal monitor and the Asian water monitor

Best Time to Visit :

The best season to visit Kaziranga National Park is between November and April. From 1st of Nov to 30th of April, the park remains open daily for continuous six months being the monsoons as the exceptional season to close the area for safety reasons by the national park management. You can see the migratory birds closely in a fine temperature.

Nearby Places :

Rowraiah (Jorhat) is Nearest Airport which is 97 Km away from Kaziranga, LGBI Airport which is 239 Km away from Kaziranga. The nearest railhead is at the distance of 75 kms from the Kaziranga National Park in Furkating. Government transports are available frequently from nearest cities and towns such as Jorhat (89 Kms.), Nagaon (96 Kms.), Guwahati (219 Kms.), Golaghat (73 Kms.) and Bokakhat (21 Kms.).

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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

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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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Pondicherry

The History of Puducherry can be traced back to the 2nd century. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, of the early 2nd century, mentions a marketplace named Poduke (ch. 60), which G.W.B. Huntingford identified as possibly being Arikamedu (now part of Ariyankuppam), about 2 miles from the modern Pondicherry. Huntingford further notes that Roman pottery was found at Arikamedu in 1937, and archeological excavations between 1944 and 1949 showed that it was “a trading station to which goods of Roman manufacture were imported during the first half of the 1st century AD”.

A remarkable degree of French influence in Puducherry exists to this date. Puducherry was designed based on the French (however originally Dutch) grid pattern and features neat sectors and perpendicular streets. The entire town is divided into 2 sections, the French Quarter (Ville Blanche or ‘White town’) and the Indian quarter (Ville Noire or ‘Black Town’). Many streets still retain their French names, and French style villas are a common sight in Puducherry. In the French quarter, the buildings are typically colonial style with long compounds and stately walls. The Indian quarter consists of houses lined with verandas and houses with large doors and grills. These French and Indian style houses are identified and their architecture preserved from destruction by an organization named INTACH. The use of French language can be still seen in Puducherry.


Pondicherry still has a large number of Indian and a small number of non-Indian descent residents with French passports. These are descendants of those who chose to remain French when the then ruling French Establishment presented the people of Puducherry with an option to either remain French or become Indians at the time of Puducherry’s transfer to India in 1954. Apart from the monuments pertaining to the French period, there is the French Consulate in Puducherry and several cultural organisations. Another important one is ‘Le Foyer du Soldat’. It is a legion hall for soldiers who served in the different French wars.

Day 01: Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry

In the morning after breakfast you are driven by car to Pondicherry (approx 96 Kms / 2-3 hrs). Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Rest and refresh. Later you visit the Aurbindo Ashram. This ashram promotes Aurbindo’s ideas in bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, so as to unite the material and soul. Later go on for a visit to Auroville – a unique experiment in international living and in creating a new environment where men and women of all nationalities live together in harmony.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 02: 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

Diu – Beach of Gujarat

A Portuguese colony like Goa, Diu is an off – shore island on the western coast, off the Gulf of Cambay. The coast has limestone cliffs, rocky coves and sandy beaches, the best of which are at Nagoa. A massive fort built by the Portuguese dominates the skyline.

An island of breeze and beauty. The island of Diu, an erstwhile Portuguese colony, is situated off the Saurashtra coast of Gujarat bordering Junagadh district. It is an exquisitely beautiful getaway with golden sand beaches, dense palm-groves and historical monuments sans commercial exploitation and environmental degradation. Diu stands out, in marked contrast to other places, as a tiny island, where people have an excellent civic sense. With the magnificent serenity of its ambience, it is perhaps one of India’s last undiscovered jewels.

With a pleasant climate throughout the year, it affords unprecedented peace and tranquillity to tourists. The beautiful tiny island, is lying on the west coast of India, with a coastal length of 21 kms., is at a distance of about 930 kms. from Bombay. The word ‘Diu’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Dweep’. During the period from the 14th to 16th century Diu was one of the best Sea Ports and a Naval base. Merchants of various lands carried on trade here.

Places to visit in Diu

Nagoa Beach – A perfect semi circle beach where the gentle lapping waves beckon you to wade into them for a fun filled time of swimming, gamboling or just lolling around the soft sand shores or to find you napping under the palm trees filled with the soothing breeze. The Nagoa beach is the most famous in Diu. Gomptimata, Chakratirth and the beautiful Sunset Point are the other famous beaches. A 20 min. refreshing drive from the town through the open arid land and dense coconut groves brings you to the Nagoa Beach. It is located in the Nagoa hamlet of the village of Bucharwada.

Gangeshwar Temple – is situated 3km away from Diu town in Fudam village. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, there are five lingas here that are located in the midst of the rocks on the seashore, and are washed by the waves of the sea. It is believed that these lingas were established here by the five Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata during their exile. The gentle sea waves offering their obeisance to the “Shiva Lingas” in stone have a mystic aura around them in the cave temple of Gangeshwar where the Lord makes his presence felt.
 

Ghoghla Beach – Ghoghla Beach is among the six beautiful beaches in Diu District. It also has facilities for water sports like parasailing, water scooters etc. The Golden sand beach undulates into the horizon while the Arabian Sea laps away at the edge as though imploring the sands to let it find its own peach. You can do swimming, sunbathing, parasailing, surfing etc.

St. Thomas Church – Museum – St. Thomas’s Church that has now been taken over by the authorities and converted into the Diu Museum. A huge edifice in gothic architecture was built in 1598. A part of it has been converted into a museum – an archaeological treasure house. It houses wooden carvings, statues, idols, shadow clocks and other important artifacts collected from various sites.
 

Diu Fort – Diu Fort is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD after the defence alliance concluded between the Sultan of Gujarat and the Portuguese. The fort commands a magnificent view of sea. Rugged yet gentle, fierce yet loving. The majestic structure stands on the coast of DIU as a sentinel. Once inside, you are overwhelmed by the gaunt majesty of the ancient stone work which transports you to a bygone era of gallant soldiers where time stands still.
 

St. Paul’s Church – St. Paul’s Church is the only active church till date. The church adorned with curiously treated volutes and shell – like motifs and the magnificent wood carving is considered to be the most elaborate of all the Portugese churches in India. St. Paul Church, built in 1691 is consecrated to our Lady of Immaculate Conception. In architectural style it resembles Bom Jesus Church at Goa. The dominant features are, no doubt, Gothic. The wood – panelling of the church is rated one of the best in church craftmanship.
 


 

Gomtimata Beach – is one of the best beaches of the region. Secluded and spread with natural white sand, it is located at the western corner of the island
 


 

Panikotha-Fortim Do Mar – Legend has it that this ship shape structure was one connected with land by an under sea tunnel. You can see this monument in famous bollywood movie “KAYAMAT”. it is a magnificent stone structure in the sea, built right at the mouth of the creek. It can be reached only by a canoe or a motor launch. Approximately one nautical mile from the Diu jetty, it also has a light house and small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Sea. The fortress makes for a beautiful view whether seen from the jetty, from the Fort, from the village of Ghoghla or from Diu proper.
 

Jallandhar Shrine – Jallandhar Shrine is located on a hillock close to the beach. This small shrine crowned with a dome, contains a niche wherein a stone carved face of Jallandhar is seen. Near by there is also a temple of Goddess Chandrika. The beach is at a distance of 1 km from Diu Town. This small shrine crowned with a dome, contains a niche wherein a stone carved face of the demon Jallandhar is seen. Nearby, is the temple of Goddess Chandrika.

Mount Abu – Paradise of Rajsthan

A pleasant retreat set amidst the lush forested hills, Mt. Abu is a green oasis in the barren desertscape that’s Rajasthan. Situated at the southern tip of the Aravali range the hill retreat owes its cool climate to its rich flora covering the entire hillside that includes coniferous trees and flowering shrubs. The road leading to Mount Abu is a curved one characterized by arid region dotted with huge rocks in weird shapes and high velocity winds. The only hill station in Rajasthan, Mount Abu is more than just a summer retreat. Its stunning array of exquisite Dilwara Jain Temples, dating back 11th- 13th centuries, make it a popular pilgrimage centre. ‘Abu’ according to a legend stands for the son of Himalayan, deriving its name from Arbuada, the powerful serpent who rescued Nandi, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva, from a chasm.

Mount Abu has been home to many sages and saints. Most famous of them was Sage Vashishtha who is believed to have created four agnikula Rajput clans from a fire-pit by performing a ‘yagna’ or fire sacrifice, to protect the earth from the demons.

Places to visit at Mount Abu:

Gaumukh Temple
Down on the Abu Road side of Mount Abu, a small stream flows from the mouth of a marble cow, giving the shrine its name. There is also a marble figure of the bull Nandi, Shiva’s vehicle. The tank here, Agni Kund, is said to be the site of the sacrificial fire, made by sage Vashistha, from which four of the great Rajput clans were born. An image of Vashishtha is flanked by the figures of Rama and Krishna.

Delwara Jain Temples
The Temple complex includes two temples with exquisite marble carvings. The older of the temples is the Vimal Vasahi, built in 1031 by a Gujrati minister named Vimal. It is dedicated to the first tirthankar (Jain Teacher), Adinath. The later Tejpal Temple is dedicated to Neminath, the 22nd tirthankar, and was built in1231 by the brothers Tejpal and Vastupal.

About Adhar Devi Temple
The Adhar Devi temple, about 3km north of town, is chiseled out of a huge rock reached by a flight of 365 steps. You have to stoop to get through the low entrance of the temple. It is a favorite tourist spot.

Museum
The museum is divided into two sections. The first section has been adorned by a diorama of local tribal hut with their usual living style by adding a gallery of weapons, musical instruments, ladies ornaments like barly, damani, karna, guthma toda, gaga wala thoomar, kanksi berla, various type of earrings and garments etc. belonging to hill dwellers.

The second section has a series of miniature paintings based on raga-ragnis, lain images from Sirohi, medium sized shields, a small canon called ‘Topdi’ and some pieces of carvings on local wood.

Viewpoints
Of the various points around the town, Sunset Point, 1.5 km from the tourist office of Mount Abu, is the most popular. Hoards stroll out here every evening to catch the setting sun, the food stalls and all the usual entertainment. Is is a one kilometer walk from the road to the viewpoint or you can hire a horse.

Honeymoon Point, 2.5 kms northwest on Ganesh Road, also known as Andra Point, offers an enchanting view of the verdant plains and valleys. The place looks most beautiful during the dusk hours. The route to Honeymoon Point goes past the Nakki Lake.

Other popular viewpoints include the Crags and the Shanti shikhar. Shanti Sikhar, west of Adhar Devi temple, presents panoramic views.

Guru Shikhar
At the end of the plateau, 15km from Mount Abu, is Guru Shikar, the highest point in Rajasthan at 1722m. A road goes almost all the way to the summit. At the top is the Atri Rishi Temple, complete with a priest and good views all around.

Achalgarh
The Shiva Temple of Achaleshwar Mahandeva, in Achalgarh, boasts a number of interesting features , including what is said to be a toe of Shiva, as well as a brass Nandi (Shiva’s vehicle, a bull) and, where the Siva Lingum would normally be, there is a deep hole that is said to extend all the way down to the underworld.

Gardens & Parks
Beautifully laid parks and gardens are interspersed throughout the hilly paradise. Ashok Vatika,Gandhi park, Municipal Park, Shaitan Singh Park and Terrace Garden are some of the noteworthy gardens.

Another park, the Brahma Kumaris Peace Park is both lovely and serene, It is the realisation of a dream, a natural environment where silence and recreation co-exist, The Peace Park is nestled between two famous peaks of the Aravalli hills – the well known spiritual pilgrimage destinations of Guru Shikhar and Achal Garh. The Park Is an oasis of natural beauty found only 8 kms from the Brahma Kumaris Headquarters in Mount Abu.

Raghunathji Temple
Situated near the ‘Nakki’ lake is the temple dedicated to Shri Raghunathji with a beautiful image of the deity that was placed here in 14th century A.D. by Shri Ramanand the famous Hindu preacher.

Trevor’s Tank
Named after the British engineer who constructed it, Trevor’s Tank is a delight for bird watchers with densely wooded hills that are a haven to pigeons, peacocks and partridges.

TajMahal – One of the seven wonders in the world

Taj Mahal of India – “the epitome of love”, “a monument of immeasurable beauty”. The beauty of this magnificent monument is such that it is beyond the scope of words. The thoughts that come into the mind while watching the Taj Mahal of Agra is not just its phenomenal beauty, but the immense love which was the reason behind its construction. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan got this monument constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, with whom he fell in love at the first sight. The very first sight of the Taj Mahal, the epitome of love and romance leaves one mesmerized.

Standing majestically on the banks of River Yamuna, the Taj Mahal is synonymous with love and romance. It is believed that the name “Taj Mahal” was derived from the name of Shah Jahan wife Mumtaz Mahal and means “Crown Palace”. The purity of the white marble, the exquisite ornamentation, precious gemstones used and its picturesque location, all make Taj Mahal travel gain a place amongst the most popular ones. However, unless and until, one knows the love story behind the Tajmahal of India, it will come up as just a beautiful building. But, the love behind this outstanding monument is what has given a life to this monument.

Location: On the banks of river Yamuna in Agra
Year of Construction: 1631-1653
Built By: Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
Spread Over: 42 acres
Significance: One of the Seven Wonders of the World

Best Time to Visit: October to March (Winters)

The best time to visit Taj Mahal revolves around the weather of Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal. As per the climate of Agra, the peak season for Taj Mahal visit is the winter season i.e., from October to March. Otherwise, there is no such thing as “the best time” to visit this magnificent monument. You may see Taj Mahal in any month of the year and it will come forward as breathtaking as it has always been. Infact, different seasons as well as different hours of the day lend a different aura to it.

Visit the Taj in the morning and it will come up with a pinkish glow to it. As the day passes, the pinkish glow turns into milky white by the evening. However, the radiance of the Taj under the moonlight is beyond any explanation.

Delhi – Capital of India

Delhi is India’s main point of arrival for overseas visitors, and the major transport hub for destinations in the states of rajasthan, the Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh as well as central north India. Delhi city, the showacse of India, has been the centre of political activity from time immemorial. The ancient fortness, majestic buildings and historic ruins find their modern counterparts in the tall skyscrapers, diplomatic enclaves and well-planned townships of New Delhi. The people here, their lifestyles, traditions and even the climate are a rich and varied mixture of all that is india.

From the tourism point of view, New Delhi benefits a lot from its history. The city was built to the south of the old city built by Shahjahan. Before the Mughuls came on the scene, Delhi was the headquarters of many dynasties that have ruled India or major parts of it. Tughlaqabad, Old Fort built by Humayun, the monuments at Mehrauli, and of course, the Red Fort are among the best known tourist attractions of New Delhi. Later additions by the British like the Viceroy’s House ( Rashtrapati Bhavan ), the parliament House, and Connaught Place are also among the highlights of the New Delhi tours.  

The city holds tremendous importance for the country, being the national capital. All the major ministries and the secretariats are located here as are the head offices of major government organizations. New Delhi is synonymous to the governance of modern India, much as Old Delhi was the center of political activities in medieval India.

Tourism in New Delhi comprises all the major historical places and monuments that are the relics of the past dynasties. These include the famous monuments like Red Fort and Qutb Minar, and a large number of forts, palaces and tombs built by the erstwhile rulers. The Rashtrapati Bhavan, Rajpath, India gate, Connaught Place, and the parliament House are some of the modern buildings which should be visited by tourists during New Delhi tours. In addition to the above mentioned spots, New Delhi is also home to a large number of religious places. The most prominent among these are the Jumma Masjid, the Akshardham temple, and the Lotus temple. New Delhi has been the residence of many prominent figures of Indian politics including the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and his equally famous descendants. The residence of Jawaharlal Nehru is also a major tourist attraction of New Delhi. The memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, known as the father of the nation, at Rajghat, and the memorials of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, both of whom were assassinated, are also some notable sites.

Climate

Delhi’s climate is, sad to say, infamously bad, combining the scorching aridity of Rajasthan’s deserts with the frigid cold of the Himalayas. From April to October, temperatures are scorchingly hot (over 40°C is common), and the monsoon rains deluge the city in July and August. With every air-conditioner running at full blast, the city’s creaky infrastructure is often stretched beyond the breaking point, with power and water outages common. In winter, especially December and January, temperatures can dip to near-zero and the city is blanketed in thick fog, causing numerous flight cancellations. The shoulder seasons (Feb-Apr and Sep-Nov) are comparatively pleasant, with temperatures in the 20-30°C range, but short.

Places to visit in Delhi:

Chandni Chowk – One of the main markets of Delhi, Chandni Chowk was once lined with beautiful fountains. But today the place is very crowded and congested. Chandni Chowk is located opposite the Red Fort. The Area has got the Digamber Jain Temple which houses the Birds hospital. On one end of Chandni Chowk is the Fatehpuri Mosque which was erected by the wives of Shah Jahan. Opposite the old police station or the Kotwali is the Sunheri Masjid from where Nadir Shah ordered his troops to plunder and massacre Delhi.

Old Delhi – The City of Shahjahanabad was the capital of Shah Jahan but little remains of that old city. The Old Delhi or the walled city served as the capital for many emperors. Today, remains of the historical city are the gates like – Kashmiri Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Turkman Gate, Delhi gate. Near Delhi Gate is Feroz Shah Kotla, close to this is kept the Ashokan Pillar which was brought from Meerut by Feroz Shah Tughlaq.

The Ghats – Along the banks of Jamuna are located the places were the leaders and freedom fighters of India were cremated. The Raj Ghat is one of the most visited ghats. A simple square platform of black marble marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated after his assassination in 1948. To North of Raj Ghat is the cremation ground of Jawaharlal Nehru named as Shanti Van. The cremation ground of Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi are also in the vicinity. The cremation ground of Lal Bahadur Shastri is nearby.

Rajpath & India Gate – Flanked by ornamental ponds and lawns, Rajpath is host to the Republic Day Parade. The two secretariat buildings and Rashtrapati Bhawan on the Raisina hills are located on the two sides of this immensely broad road. Previously the Boat Club, besides the Rajpath, was host to many demonstrations and Rallies. India Gate is towards the eastern end of Rajpath .

India Gate is a 42m high stone arch of triumph. It bears the name of the 85,000 Indian Army Soldiers who died in the campaigns of WW1, the North-West Frontiers operations and the 1919 Afghan Fiasco. Below the arch is the memorial to the unknown soldier. India Gate is surrounded by green grass lawns and trees.

The Parliament House– Sansad Bhawan or the Parliament house is the supreme law making body in the country. It is the center of power and politicians decide the fate of the Indian Democracy here. Visitors are not allowed inside the house but when the house is in session, visitors may take permission to go inside and watch the proceedings of the house. The parliament consists of three halls- Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and the central hall. For the foreign visitors permits are given only after they obtain an introductory letter from the respective embassy.

Crafts Museum  – Crafts museums is at Pragati Maidan Grounds. Open from 10am-5pm daily.

Gandhi Darshan & Gandhi National Museum – Gandhi Darshan & Gandhi National Museum is across Rajghat and Gandhi smriti is on Tees January Marg

Dara Shikoh Library – Dara Shikoh Library is an archaeological museum in Civil Lines and is open from 10am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Dolls Museum – A unique museum of Dolls is located near the ITO crossing on the Bahadur Shah Jafar Marg . These dolls are collected from different parts of India as well as from other countries of the world. These dolls reflect the tradition and culture of the region from where they come. Children Book Trust of India is In the same building. This is an organisation which is committed to provide quality books for the little ones.

National Science Centre – National Science center is located near Pragati Maidan. This center is famous for the models which can be operated by the visitor himself. Children are particularly fascinated by the mysteries of science. Open through out the week except on Mondays.

Humayun’s Tomb – Built by the wife of Humayun, Haji Begum in the mid 16th century, this red sand stone structure is considered to be the predecessor of Taj Mahal. The structure is one of the best example of Mughal Architecture. Humayun’s wife is also buried in the red and white sandstone, black and yellow marble tomb. The entry in the complex is free on Fridays.

Old Fort – It is believed that the Pandavas had built their capital, Indraprastha at the place where the old fort stands today. This fort, now in ruins, was the seat for administration for many emperors. The legendary Prithviraj Chauhan ruled from here till he was defeated by Abdali in the battle of Panipat. A new light & sound show is held by the Department of Delhi Tourism every evening. Timings and Tickets are available from the tourist office.

 Safdarjung Tomb – The Safdarjang tomb is besides the of Safdarjang airport. This tomb was built by the Nawab of Avadh for his father. The structure is one of the finest example of architecture of its time and tells a saga of the last remnants of a dying empire.

Jantar Mantar – Few minutes walk from Connaught Place is is a strange collection of solomon coloured structures. These were built by Maharaja Jai Singh and is actually an observatory. Though not as large as its compatriot in Jaipur Jantar Mantar at Delhi also an attraction for the tourists. The astonishing part of these observatories is that they can calculate many astronomical movements very accurately.

Red Fort – Built in Red Sand stone this imposing fort is 3 kms in perimeter with the height of the wall varying from 18 to 30 meters at places. When the Red fort was being built Yamuna used to flow on its one sides and there were deep moats on the other. Today Yamuna flows almost a kilometer away from the fort and the moats have dried up. In the evening the Delhi Tourism organises a light and sound show which narrates the history of Delhi in context of the Red Fort.

The Lahore gate, the main entrance, has some emotions and sentiments attached with the Indian independence as the Tricolour flutters on the top of this gate. On 15th August the Indian Prime minister addresses the nation from here. As soon one enters in the fort from the Lahore gate There is a small Bazzar, here all kinds of items are available. This Shopping arcade was known as the Mina Bazzar and was open only to women on Thursdays’s during the Mughal era.

The arcade leads to the Naubat Khana or the drum house where the Musicians used to play drums on the arrival of Emperors or princes. Just above the Naubat Khana is the Indian war memorial museum which has a rich collection of armours, guns, swords, and other items related to war.

The Dewan-i-Am or the place of public hearing had a wall paneled with marble in laid with precious stone which were removed during the mutiny of 1857. The Dewan-i-Khas or the place for special hearing was the area where the emperor used to hold meetings with his ministers. Next to Dewan-i-Khas are the royal baths or the Hammams and Shahi Burj which are closed for public viewing. The white marbled Moti Masjid or the pearl mosque was the private mosque for Aurangzeb.

Qutab Minar – In 1199, Qutbuddin raised the Qutab Minar either as a victory tower or as a minaret to the adjacent mosque. From a base of 14.32 mtrs. it tapers to 2.75 mtrs. at a height of 72.5 mtrs. It is still the highest stone tower in India, one of the finest stone tower in India, one of the finest Islamic structures ever raised and Delhi’s recognised landmark. It was completed by the Sultan’s successor and son-in-law, Iltutmish. The tomb of Iltutmish, which he himself built in 1235, is nearby, Its interiors are profusely decorated with calligraphy, though the dome has collapsed.

The Gardens – Though Delhi is fast being converted into a concrete jungle, the Delhi Development Authority is trying best to provide the residents of Delhi with some greenery by construction of parks and gardens. The DDA has also installed some musical fountains at specific locations which are worth visiting. Being part of the Aravalies,

Moghul Gardens – The Mughal Garden is located in the premises of the President house. This garden is not opened to public viewing. During the spring seasons of February and March, when the garden is in full bloom people are allowed inside. This garden have some exotic and rare flower plants. The dwarf orange trees and numerous Rose plants are special attraction in the garden. The fountains add to the beauty of the place.

Rose Garden – National Rose Garden is situated in the Chanakya Puri area of the capital. This garden has some of the rare and imported rose variety. The best season to visit this garden is during December / January when the flowers are in full bloom.

Lodhi Garden – Adjoining the India International Center is the Garden, around the tombs of Sayid and Lodhi rulers. This garden is very well planned and has artificial streams. The Tombs of the rulers adorn the architectural style which was latter used in the construction of Taj Mahal.

The Zoo – The Delhi Zoo is located near the Purana Qila on the Delhi-Mathura road. Delhi Zoo has many animals which includes the rare and exotic white tigers. This place is particularly popular among the children.

Nainital – a glittering jewel in the Himalyan necklace, blessed with scenic natural spledour and varied natural resources

Nainital – The beautiful lake resort nestles amidst seven hills in a lush valley at an altitude of 1938 metres. In 1841, the British first discovered Nainital as a holiday resort. Today, the town has emerged as one of the most important hill resorts of India.

Nainital is a modem hill resort of northern India (336 kms from Delhi) connected by best-aligned and maintained roads from the railhead of Kathgodam. Railway line was laid upto Kathgodam in 1882. The road passes through forests where occasionally wild animals can also be seen.

Best time to visit:

Nainital is located in the Kumaon hills and the weather is very pleasant throughout the year except during winter months. The temperature is not very high at any time but in winters it becomes very cold. The climate of Nainital is regulated by the lake here which showers rain almost every afternoon. The best time visit the place is between April to June and then again in September October. The months of January to March are marked by the snowfall which is for a very short time. It is advisable that contact any local person before going to Nainital to watch snowfall.

Places to visit:

Nainital is divided into two segments, Tallital and Mallital, at the lower and upper ends of the lake, respectively. The North Mall running along one side of the lake, and the South Mall along the other, connect the two parts.

Naina Devi Temple On the northern side of the Naini lake is built a temple dedicated to Sati and is called the Naina Devi temple.Naini Lake or Naini Taal, the picturesque blue green lake is located in the district of Nainital. It is from this lake that the city of Nainital, the beautiful settlement by the lake, derives its name.
Dorothy’s Seat: at a height of 2, 292 m is a memorial to an English lady believed to have been killed in an air crash. The spot commands a sectional view of the town and the nearby region. The peak was known as Ayarpatta Hill. Dorothy’s seat is also known as Tiffin Top.

Naini Lake

Snow View Trek The Snow view point is located at a height of 2270 meter above sea level. It can be reached by the ropeway or the ponies available at Mallital.

Nanda-Devi Mela Nanda Devi Mela is a fair of great religious and cultural significance. August / September sees the whole area coming alive, when the festival held in honour of goddesses, Nanda and Sunanda, the patron goddess of Kumaon, comes around.

Hanumangarhi: It is a religious centre at an height of 1, 951 m. This group of temples is situated at a distance of 3.25 km on a motorable road. It is well known for it’s sunset view.This temple is dedicated to the monkey god Hanuman. This is a favourite picnic place. Just 1 km further is the State Astronomical Observatory, which stands on Manora Peak, 1950 metres above sea level. with satellite tracking cameras and a big telescope. It can be visited by prior appointment on certain days. It is four and a half kms from Tallital bus stand. It is 11 kms by motor road and looks out towards the plains.

St John-in-the-Wilderness Church: It is one of the earlieat buildings erected in Nainital and possibly the finest church in any Indian Hill station. The church was named by the bishop of Calcutta who came to Nainital in 1844, when the place was still very much a wilderness. This church contains a brass memorial to the victims of famous landslip. Bodies of few victims were buried in the graveyard here. The other two main churches in the Central Nainital are the Methodist Church on the Mall near the Flats and the Roman Catholic Church of St Francis, also on the Mall.

Ooty

Udhagamandalam (Ooty), the capital of Nilgiri district, is popularly known as the “Queen of hill stations’ among the tourist circuits. It is situated at a distance of 105 km away from Coimbatore. The height of the hills in the Nilgiri range varies between 2280 and 2290 metres, the highest peak being Doddabetta at a height of 2623 metres.

The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Lofty mountains, dense forest, sprawling grasslands and miles and miles of tea gardens greet the passengers on most routes. The annual Tea and Tourism Festival attracts crowds in huge numbers. Visit Ooty during this festival, when tea lovers from all over the world converge. An occasion not to be missed!

Climate:

Winter – Max 21ºC, Min 5ºC

Summer – Max 25ºC, Min 10ºC

 

 

Places to visit in Ooty:

Botanical Garden

Botanical gardens are a major tourist attraction for those who visit Ooty, one of the most popular hill stations of India. They sprawl over 50-acres and lie on the lower slopes of Dodabetta peak, which is the highest point in Ooty.

Government Museum – Ooty

The Government Museum At Ooty The government museum, Mysore Road, Ooty has items of tribal objects, district’s ecological details and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu. It was set up in 1989, with a view to provide education benefits to the residing and visiting population of Nilgiris district. Tourist Information Admission: Free Timings: 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm Closed On: Fridays, Second Saturdays and National Holidays Ooty The nearest airport is at Coimbatore (100-km). Ooty on the narrow gauge railway is connected to Mettupalayam, which is directly connected to Coimbatore and Chennai on the broad gauge. There are regular bus services connecting Ooty to Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore, Calicut, Tirupati etc.

Hills and Views

Udhagamandalam (Ooty), the capital of Nilgiri district, is popularly known as the “Queen of hill stations” among the tourist circuits. It is situated at a distance of 105 kilometres from Coimbatore

Kalhatty Falls

The Kalhatty falls are located on the Kalhatty slopes at about 13-km from Udhagamandalam on the Udhagamandalam – Mysore Kalhatty ghat road. Also known as the “Kalahasti Falls”, the water here cascades down a height of 122m.

Kandal Cross Shrine

Kandal cross, a Roman Catholic Shrine considered, as the Jerusalem of the East is located in Udhagamandalam in Tamil Nadu. The Nilgiri Catholics consider it as the “Calvary of Tamil Nadu”.

Mini Garden and Rose Garden

The Rose Garden is situated about 3 to 4-km away from Charring Cross. Mini garden is also situated on the way to the boathouse where the children amusement park is housed.

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park

The Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary is located where the Nilgiri Hills, the offshoot of the Western Ghats meet the Eastern Ghats. The Mysore – Ooty highway runs through the sanctuary, following the course of the Mayyar River, which separates Mudumalai from Bandipur.

Ooty Lake

The beautiful Ooty Lake is a favourite haunt of tourists. It was constructed in the year 1825, through the initiatives of Mr. John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore. This lake was built in order to provide an irrigation tank to the people.

Summer Festival

There is several beautiful hill stations in Tamil Nadu. With the Summer Festivals, the hills are even hospitable to welcome the visitors. The summer festival is held in the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’,

Tea and Tourism Festival

Akin to the nectar of the Gods is the Camellia Sinensia, which is a bush that gives fragrant amber ambrosia-a refresher and stimulizer. In other words, TEA.

Kerala : National Geographic Traveler selects Kerala as ‘one of the 50 must see destinations of a lifetime’

House Boat in Kerala
House Boat in Kerala

Kerala : National Geographic Traveler selects Kerala as ‘one of the 50 must see destinations of a lifetime’

Kerala has some of the pristine hill stations in India, with the entire Western Ghats dotted with evergreens, rolling grasslands, sholas and stretches of rejuvenating fragrance of tea and coffee plantations. The wilder side of Kerala has in store some of the best wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the country with a variety of plant and animal life unique to Kerala.

Glistening brooks and cascades that interstice the hills finally roll down to the coastal plains of Kerala where they laze through verdant stretches of paddy fields, coconut trees and feeds some of the splendorous expanse of backwaters and lakes.

Let yourselves cast away amidst the serene environs of a backwater islet, treat your body and soul to ‘Ayurveda’ – the sacred knowledge of life. Take a backwater cruise on a country boat with palm fringed land on either side and experience the many faces of the backwater life of Kerala.

Crave for Sun & Sand! .. come and embrace the golden sands of its immaculate beaches, pep up your spirits under the tropical sun and feel the pulse of its coastal life. You can also enhance your gastronomy skills or give a break to your taste buds and savor some of the ethnic dishes of the land.

The cultural mosaic of Kerala is studded with landmark monuments, palaces, forts, memorials, and places of worship portraying the socio-cultural and historical evolution of the land with indelible marks left by travelers from far-flung lands. Be part of its many festivals and celebrations to understand its significance, emotions and traditional practices of Kerla.

Extend your tryst with this spectacular geographical wonder called Kerala and experience its rich cultural heritage and enterprising denizens who are epitomes of hospitality, which adds vibrancy to its diverse and bountiful natural wealth. Visitors are given fullest value of money and time they spend in Kerala, which offers some of the best getaways when it comes to diversity.

Kerala – One of the 50 must see destinations of a lifetime – ” National Geographic Travel ”

Kerela – One of the 10 paradises of the World – ” National Geographic Travel ”

Kerala – One of the 100 great trips for the 21st century – ” Travel and Leisure ”

Kerala – One of the ten hot spots for the millennium – ” Emirates In-flight Magazine ”

Kerala – One of the ten love nests in India – ” Cosmopolitan ”

Kerela – One of the six destinations of the millennium – ” Khaleej Times ”
Kerala Tourism – Prestigious International Award for Leisure Tourism for the year 2000-2001, by Pacific Area Travel Writer’s Association ( PATWA )

Kerala Tourism – the best State that promoted tourism in India in the year 2001 – ” Outlook Traveller ” and TAAI

Kerela Tourism – Best Performing State Award for the year 1999 – 2000 – ” Government of India”

‘State of Enlightenment’ status accorded to Kerala Tourism by the ” NGT ” in its April issue

Kerala is the fastest growing Tourist destination in Asia
The world’s most feted travel hot spot

Find more about Kerala [ Click below to read more]:
About Kerala
Kerala Destinations
Kerala Backwaters
Kerala Wildlife
Kerala Beaches
Kerala Hill stations
Kerala Houseboats
Kerala Waterfalls
Kerala Hotels
India Ayurveda
Kerala Houseboat Cruises
Trivandrum
Poovar Beach
Alleppey (Alappuzha) Backwaters
Kumarakom Backwaters
Periyar (Thekkady) Wildlife
Munnar Hills
Kochi (Cochin )
Wayanad Hills
Lakshadweep Islands
Agatti Island (Lakshadeep)
Bangaram Island (Lakshadeep)
Kerela Travel info
Kerela History
Kerala Ritual Art forms
Performing Art forms
Kerala Tourism Acclaims
Cool Sites

Goa : Forever Hottest Tourist Place of India

goa1

The history of Goa is dominated by Portuguese colonization. Long before the British gained their first foothold in India, the Portuguese had arrived in India in search of spices and other lucrative products. They were among the first Europeans to colonize some parts of India. Before the Portuguese, Goa had been ruled by various Hindu and Muslim dynasties. Amalgamation of so many social and cultural influences has had a strong bearing on the everyday life, arts, and culture of Goa.

Early History of Goa :
The early history of Goa is quite obscure. References to a place called ‘Gomantak’ in the Mahabharata have been considered by some scholars to relate to Goa. Even earlier references have been claimed. The known history takes us back to the Mauryan times when Goa was a part of the vast Mauryan Empire. The region subsequently came under the Satavahanas, the Chalukyas, Kadambas, Yadavas, and the Vijayanagar Kingdom.

Goa under Islamic rule :
Goa came under the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century. However, the Vijayanagar Kingdom gained control shortly after this. Goa came under strong Islamic rule when the Bahmani sultanate of Gulbarga took over the region. After the disintegration of the Bahmani kingdom, the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur started ruling Goa.

Portuguese in Goa :
The Portuguese set foot in India in 1498. Vasco da Gama is said to have arrived in Old Goa after his famous landing in Calicut. In 1510, Admiral Afonso de Albuquerque defeated the Adil Shahi king and gained firm control on Goa. Soon, the missionaries followed and started conversions among the local populace. Saint Francis Xavier arrived in Goa at this time. The period called inquisition (1560-1812), is an important part in the history of Goa. Forced conversions and temple destructions by the Portuguese were rampant during this period in Goa.

Goa under the Marathas :
In the 17th century, the resurgent Marathas, under Chatrapati Shivaji started making inroads in Goa, capturing forts and towns. However, they could not hold on to their victories, and the Portuguese prevailed.

Goan Independence :
The Portuguese remained in Goa even after India attained Independence in 1947. After a turbulent period marked by political negotiations, freedom movements, and finally, Indian military campaign, Goa became part of India in 1961.

Goa was governed as a union territory along with Daman and Diu till 1987, when Goa was granted statehood.

Goa travel guide

The search for the perfect beach destination in India leads to Goa. The small state located on the west coast of India is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the world. Goa offers you everything from golden beaches and serene rivers to medieval forts and churches. A great kaleidoscope of different cultures, Goa caters to the interests of tourists with different outlooks and expectations. Before you set foot in Goa, this online Goa travel guide will help you to have an idea of what to expect once you are there. Refer to the Goa travel guide from time to time for updated information about Goa.

Fast Facts about Goa :
Area : 3660 sq km (1430sq mi)
Capital city : Panaji (Panjim)
Language : Konkani, Marathi, English and Portuguese
Major religions : Hinduism, Islam and Christianity
Temperature : 20°C – 34°C.
Altitude : Sea Level – 1022 meters.

Major Tourist attractions in Goa :

Churches : Chapel of St. Francis Xavier The Church and Convent of St. Monica Se Cathedral The Convent and Church Of St. Francis of Assisi The Professed House and The Basilica of Bom Jesus

Beaches :Anjuna, Vagator, Calangute, Baga, Dona Paula, Varca, Colva, Bogmalo, Cavelossim.

Forts :Aguada, Chapora, Mormugao, Tiracol, Cabo da Rama

Major cities :Panaji, Vasco da Gama, Mapusa, Margao, Old Goa, Bicholim, Mormugao

Accommodation :
Being a tourism hotspot of India, Goa has numerous hotels that offer a wide variety of accommodation. These include five star resorts, budget hotels, as well as the cottages and beach side villas rented by the locals.

Climate of Goa :
Goa has a moderate climate that remains almost constant throughout the year. The temperature varies between 20 °C to 34 °C. Relative humidity stays around 60 %. The region receives considerable rainfall in the monsoon months of June – September. The best time to visit is between November and March.

Clothing and accessories :
Light colored cotton clothes, T-shirts, bandanas, shorts, three-quarters and Bermudas can be said to be the dress code for Goa! However, a few things are a must like sun-screen, hats, and sunglasses.

Transportation in Goa :
Goa can be reached by air, rail and the roadways. The infrastructure for all three modes is very good and there are numerous options of flights, trains and buses. Transportation within the state comprises tourist coaches, buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws, motor cycle taxis and ferries. Water transport is an important part of the transportation network.