India is a country where a traveller’s dream comes alive. Yes, the wonderland of India presents to everyone such a splendid panorama that it becomes simply impossible not to be amazed. Whichever region you choose to go, you have something new and interesting to take you by surprise. To the northwest, you have such legendary states like Rajasthan, the land of the maharajas. Moving towards the south, you come across Kerala, where nature seems to have manifest itself to the fullest. Whether you are passionate about culture, pilgrimage, wildlife or adventure, a trip to India will really prove to be one of the finest travel experiences of your life.
India is credibly the only country with the largest and most diverse mixture of races. A spell-binding country where people of unlike communities and religions live together in oneness. India is a very culturally diverse country. People speak hundreds of different languages (18 major languages, with English and Hindi as the official languages). But the beauty lies in the fact that despite all the differences, people live with full harmony and love depicting their varied cultures, traditions and dressing styles.
In a country as dissimilar and complex as India , it is not astonishing to find that people here depict the rich glories of the past, the culture, traditions and values proportional to geographic locations and the various distinctive manners, habits and food that will always continue to be purely Indian. According to our rich past, a country like India has been invaded by armies, traders and migrants who brought with them their own habits, faiths, practices and honourings which have all added to the rich feel of Indian life and living.
From the gigantic Himalayas to the naturalized land of south, from the arid deserts of the west to the oozy deltas of the east, from the dry heat and cold of the central Plateau to the cool forest hills, Indian lifestyles clearly exalt the topography of its region. The food, clothing and habits of an Indian differ in accordance to the place of origin. Indian dressing is majorly influenced by the background and culture of the past. Indians are well-known for their dressing style and stylish apparels worn by men and women both. With the advancement in pace, and culture, Indian women have altered themselves to be more modernistic and hep. Earlier women used to wear traditional dresses and cover their heads with veil but with the advancement they have also grown mature and changed themselves according to time. The traditional Indian dress is the Sari which can be worn in many ways. Indian dresses consist of several beautiful designs, which are also worn by women of other national groups. The Salwar Kameej is the second most popular dress and is attaining popularity fast with the younger generation. Women also wear lehanga cholis etc.
However, men in villages are still more comfortable in traditional attire like kurtas, lungis, dhotis and pyjamas. Indian fashion includes a wide range of designs for women, men, and children. The men in cities wear shirts and pants and live in a modernized manner.
However the dressing style of Indians has been influenced by the western. Yet they are purely Indian from inside. They have some traditional values which cannot be surpassed by anyone. Now too, the surname of an Indian is based on his caste or place of origin or his family occupation. Men are still believed to be the head of a family and are referred for all decisions though they no longer continue to be a single earner. Parents are looked upon with respect and regard. The values they have inculcated in their children can de exhibited the way they show respect and love towards their parents. Children are financially supported by their parents throughout their education. Inspite of being so westernised Indians believe that some lines should never be crossed.
Republic Day -Every year, a grand Republic day parade is held in New Delhi, India's capital city to observe the anniversary of the Indian Republic. This is the National Holiday. The Government of India spends a lot of energy and resources to put up a good show and the various government agencies spend the several months planning for the event.
Independence Day -Celebrated on 15th August every year marks the day when India got her Independence. It's marked by celebrations throughout the country. In Delhi the Prime Minister delivers his annual address to the nation at the historic Red Fort.
Gandhi Jayanti -This is a National holiday that marks the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation.
In India,Indian lifestyles clearly glorify their past and culture. The food, clothing and habits of an Indian differ in accordance to the place of origin. But the one thing which seems to be unique in every Indian is the urge for shopping. Every Indian is fond of shopping around and exploring new places and India seems to be a perfect place for any traveller whether he is Indian or non-Indian. It offers everything to its tourists. Shopping in India has something for almost every kind of traveler, exhibiting a vast range of arts and crafts, which is a treat for the onlooker and are ready to be picked. Shopping in Kashmir Starting from Kashmir where everyone seems to associate themselves with carpets has also many other attractions to be shown. You can pick pure woolen shawls, walnuts and almonds are available in the market throughout the year. Being substantially cheaper in Kashmir than elsewhere, they too make good gifts. Other food products from Kashmir are shah zira (also called kala zira), Kashmiri chillies and honey. Shopping in Rajasthan Brimmed with ample tourist attractions, Rajasthan is truly a place for shopping freaks. You can explore the colourful and traditional Rajasthan with a large heart as you'll need to stop at innumerable places for shopping. It is one of the prime things to do in Rajasthan. The colourful bazaars of Rajasthan offer tourists a great chance to shop and enjoy the vibrant culture of this desert place. This grandiose place specializes in many items like Rajasthani jewellery, Thewa pendants, textiles, kota style paintings, dhurries, stone sculptures, terracotta potteries, embroidered fabrics, stone carving, metal craft, kundan jewellery, wooden artefacts, silver jewellery, trinkets, cotton rugs, leather footware, dyed cotton fabrics, paintings, camel saddles, shawls, beads, lakh bangles, metal utensils, wooden toys and blankets. Shopping in Agra Some of the fine works for which Agra is famous includes marble work, such as inlay work of the kind seen within the Taj Mahal; leather work coating a wide range of products such as shoes, bags, belts and more; rugs and carpets, woven by expert craftsmen who continue the secrets of carpet weaving taught generations ago by Persian rug makers, and brass ware which includes artifacts such as hookah bases, for those who wish to learn an oriental souvenir. Shopping in Delhi and Bangalore Tourists find a wide choice of items in the capital city – Delhi - such as carpets, silks, jewellery, leather and silver ware, handicrafts and hand printed cotton - that are similar with India. Shopping at Bangalore can be real fun as you'll enjoy shopping from pure silk saris to Swaroski crystals. You can find anything that you fancy on the streets and shops of Bangalore. Shopping in Goa The excellent local handicrafts of Goa are easily the most popular souvenir items and include brass ware, terracotta, shell work, crochet, carved furniture, bamboo work, papier-mache, etc. Another item which is on the list of every traveller to Goa is a pack of the famed cashew nuts. These are available everywhere. There are shops which have an expertise in selling only cashew nuts. The nuts are available in a wide variety of tastes ranging from plain, salted and masala. Shopping in Varanasi and Mysore Banarsi Sarees produced by local craftsmen of Benaras are among the most preferred, not only in India but across the world. Brass ware, copper ware, ivory ware, glass bangles, wood and clay toys and exquisite gold jewelry are some of the other crafts the city is famous for. Mysore is a reputed place for handicrafts. The elegant and attractive items of handicrafts mostly are wood-based, made out of sandalwood, rosewood and teakwood.
Art & Craft in IndiaIndia is like an enlarging ground where we get to witness innumerable scenes of culture, art and mother nature. The traditions and customs of India tend to produce so many activities that are stimulating visually. India Crafts displays some exclusive pictures related to Indian art and crafts; traditions and customs and people. Just enjoy the mesmerizing art &craft and know the real face of India.
In India, art is a like an energy booster. It is a mystical force, which gives shape to the vision of the artist. It speak volumes of the quickness and expertness of craftsmanship. For the artists these creations are not pulse less objects but full of life, carrying their passion and exactness. You can experience the variety, vibrancy and discreetness of traditional Indian art and crafts as there are a myriad number of things in terms of gems of Indian stone work, metal work, jewelry, woodcrafts, leather work, carpets, pottery, paintings, textile and furniture.
Indian Paintings can be broadly classified as the murals & miniatures. Murals are huge works carried out on the walls of solid structures. Classic examples are the paintings in Ajanta & Kailasantaha temple.
Accomplished Artisans of India India may be a land of farmers but it is equally a land of artisans. Indian art and craft is the sheer hard work of thousands of unknown unvalued artisans and crafts persons who create magic with their tricks. They are the ones who make those fabulous tie-and-dye skirts, those fabulously embroidered Gujarati cholis, that ornamented furniture and that beautifully dotted silver jewellery.
Languages in India India is the home of many languages. India is a huge country with lot of cultural and geographical differences. There are a number of languages spoken in India. Some of these languages are accepted nationally while others are accepted as accents of that particular region. Even the foreign invasions have left an impact on the Indian local languages. British not only left their customs and traditions behind but they even left their language English to become a commonly used official language of India.
The Indian languages belong to four language families: Indo-European, Dravidian, Mon-Khmer, and Sino-Tibetan. Indo-European and Dravidian languages are used by a large majority of India's population. The language families divide roughly into geographic groups. Languages of the Indo-European group are spoken mainly in northern and central regions.
The languages of southern India are mainly of the Dravidian group. Some ethnic groups in Assam and other parts of eastern India speak languages of the Mon-Khmer group. People in the northern Himalayan region and near the Burmese border speak Sino-Tibetan languages. Today India has 18 officially spoken recognized languages. They have evolved from language families drawn from the history. The major ones to make an influence are the Aryan and the Dravidian.
The largest language that is not one of the 22 "languages of the 8th Schedule" with official status is the Bhili language with some 5.5 million native speakers (ranked 13th), followed by Gondi (15th), Tulu (19th) and Kurukh (20th). On the other hand, 3 languages with fewer than 1 million native speakers are included in the 8th Schedule for cultural or political reasons: English (40th), Dogri (54th) and Sanskrit (67th).
Establishment of the Mauryan Dynasty by Chandragupta with the help of Chanakya. The Mauryan period from 322 BC - 185 BC entered into Northern India, Bindusara extends kingdom southwards, Asoka's war on Kalinga, Asoka embraces Buddhism, Asoka sends Buddhist missionaries, Pushyamitra Shunga overthrows the Mauryas. The period of the Mauryan Empire is said to be a period when chronology becomes definite. It was a period when politics, art, trade and commerce elevated India to a glorious height. A period of unification of the territories which lay as fragmented kingdoms. Moreover, Indian contact with the outside world was established effectively rule during these period. The Places are Indraprastha (Today’s Delhi), Mathura, Ujjain, Sanchi, Bodhgaya, Patliputra etc. Day 01 : Delhi Arrive Delhi. On arrival transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel. Day 02 : Delhi Morning half-day city tour of Old Delhi visiting Raj Ghat the Mausoleum of Mahatma Gandhi. Jama Masjid. Afternoon half day city tour of New Delhi visiting drive past President House, Parliament House (House of Representatives) and India Gate - War Memorial (stop for photography). Visit the Qutub Minar , 72.55 meters, high Victory Tower and proceed onto Bahai Temple (lotus temple). Also visit the Humayun's Tomb built of red sandstone, the first substantial example of the Mughal architecture and Laxmi Narayan Temple - a modern Hindu temple.
Day 03 : Delhi - Mathura - Agra After breakfast drive to Mathura, which is 149 kms. & approx 03 hrs. drive. Sightseeing tour of Mathura, associated with the life of Lord Krishna, whose birth, childhood and adulthood in and around the city are richy woven in to the poetry, music and dance that are part of Indian Tradition and culture today. Then drive to Agra, which is 51 kms. & approx 1 hr. drive. Overnight in Agra. Day 04 : Agra - Bhopal After breakfast Visit all the sightseeing hot spots of Agra, i.e. Agra Fort - dominated by red sandstone construction & houses the beautiful Pearl Mosque and other noteworthy structures and of course the Taj Mahal - The Monument of love, built by Mogul Emperor Shahjahan in 1630 to enshrine the mortal remains of his queen Mumtaj Mahal. Later transfer to Railway station to connect train to Bhopal. On arrival transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05 : Bhopal After breakfast sightseeing tour around the walled city of Bhopal reminds you at the glamour of the lives led by the Nawabs and Begums at yore. The Laxmi Narayan Temple, the Moti Masjid built by Sikander Jahan Begum in 1860 A.D., is similar in style to Delhi's Jama Masjid, and has two dark red minarets crowned by golden spikes. The Taj - ul Masjid is a huge pink mosque with two massive white-domed minarets. The Shaukat Mahal, situated in the heart of the walled city, is built in an European style rather than the predominantly Islamic architecture of the area. Nearby is the Sadar Manzil, what used to be the hall of public audience of the former rulers of Bhopal. Besides, the Upper and Lower Lakes, and the adjoining zoo called Van Vihar, are well worth a visit while on a trip to this city of lakes. Overnight at hotel. Day 06 : Bhopal - Sanchi - Bhimbetka - Bhopal Full day visit to Sanchi (46 kilometers from Bhopal), located on a secluded hill crowned by a group of Stupas. Built in the 2nd century B.C. the Stupas are believed to have caskets with sacred ashes of the disciples of the Lord. The difference between the other Stupas and the one in Sanchi are its beautiful arched gateways with scenes from the life of Buddha and also that of Emperor Ashok carved on them.
Kalinga was a republic in central-eastern India. Its territory comprised of most of the modern state of Orissa, as well as some northern areas of the bordering state of Andhra Pradesh. Kalinga was a rich and fertile land that extended from the river Subarnarekha to Godavari and from Bay of Bengal to Amarkantak range in the West. The kingdom had a formidable maritime empire with trading routes linking Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Borneo, Bali, Sumatra and Java. Day 01 : Delhi Arrive Delhi. Meeting & Greeting at Airport. Transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel. Day 02 : Delhi - Bhubaneshwar After breakfast transfer to Airport to connect flight for Bhubaneshwar. On arrival transfer to hotel. Bhubaneshwar - The temple city which has a cluster of some 500 temples chronologically arranged and still standing. Afternoon city tour visiting the Lingaraja temple built in the 11th century. The Presiding deity is Lord Shiva. See the Mukteshwar temple with its famous stone arch at the entrance, a gem of Orissan architecture and onto the 11th century Raja Rani temple. Overnight at hotel. Day 03 : Bhubaneshwar - Puri (approx 56 Kms. 1 ½ hrs. drive) After breakfast drive to Puri. Puri - The home of numerous artisans & craftsmen who produce rare and exquisite handicrafts of a large variety. En-route visit the famous Sun Temple at Konark. See the giant celestial chariot of the Sun God, pulled by seven exquisitely carved ornamented horses. On arrival transfer to hotel. Rest of the time is free on white sandy beaches of Puri. The beach at Puri is one of the finest in the world.
Day 04 : Puri Watching the sunrise in a symphony of colours is a wondrous experience. After breakfast visit the 12th century Jaganath Temple. One of the four sacred places for the Hindus, the Puri temple is dedicated to lord Jagannath. Jagannath literally means the Lord of the Universe. This 65meter tall temple can be seen long before entering the town of Puri. The tallest and the most magnificent temples of Orissa. The Jagannath temple was built by the Kalinga King Chodganga in the beginning of the12th century. The Gundicha temple - The Gundicha temple which is just a km away from the Jagannath temple of Puri is also known as the aunt's house. The most famous festival of Puri, the Rath Yatra, has connections with this ancient temple. Rest of the time is free for leisure at beaches. Overnight at hotel. Day 05 : Puri - Bhubaneshwar - Hyderabad Morning is free for leisure. Later drive to Bhubaneshwar to connect flight for Hyderabad. On arrival transfer to hotel. Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, INDIA, is the city of Love and Joy! On arrival transfer to hotel. Later in the evening visit Hitech City, Hussain Sagar - Constructed in the year 1562, the magnificent Hussain Sagar connects the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Subsequently, 33 statues of the regions historical figures were placed all along the bund that ran across the lake. Buddha Statue - Tank Bund. From the midst of the calm clear waters of the Hussain Sagar emerges a 16m tall, 350 tonne statue of Lord Buddha. The statue of Lord Buddha is placed on a huge rock in the middle of the lake. Overnight at hotel. Day 06 : Hyderabad After breakfast sightseeing tour to Hyderabad visit Birla Mandir, Ramoji Film City, Birla Planetarium, Salarjung Museum, Charminar, The Mecca Masjid, Golconda, Qutub Shahi Tombs. Overnight at hotel.
Ajmer, a popular pilgrimage center, is surrounded by Ana Sagar lake on one side and barren hills of the Aravali Ranges on the other side. The city was founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th century AD. The city boasts of a number of monuments belonging to Mughal Area, a skilful architecture and traditional handicrafts. Ajmer (132 Km from Jaipur) covers a total area of 55.76 sq. km. Ajmer has a religious and historical importance. The place is revered by Hindus as well as Muslims. To the Hindus because of the famous Pushkar Temple while for the Muslims, Ajmer has significance because of the tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti.
Ajmer is the sacred place for the Muslims. It has the famous mosque of Garib Nawaj Khwaja Mauinuddin Chisti.
Places to see » Garib Nawaj Khwaja Mauinuddin Chisti Mosque or The Dargah : Situated in the old town area, It is the most important Muslim Pilgrimages site in India. The Dargah is the tomb of a Sufi saint, Khuaja Muin-ud-din Chisti, who came to Ajmer from Persia in 1192 and lived here until 1233. This Mosque was constructed by Humayun, Akbar used to make pilgrimage to to the Dargah from Agra every year. » Ana Sagar Lake : The beautiful artificial lake was created in 12th century by damming the River Luni
» Akbar's Palace : The palace was built in 1570 by Akbar, now it is converted into a museum & houses a collection of miniature paintings, weapons & stone sculptures.
» Foy Sagar Lake : The biggest lake plays a important part in the water supply of Ajmer. » Daulat Bagh : Lush green garden containg a series of Marble pavilions erected in 1637 by Shah Jahan. It the best place in Ajmer to witness the sunset.
» Mayo Collage : The famous collage for the Maharajas & rich peoples.
» Nasiyan Temple : This beautiful red Jain temple is really worth to visit, this double storey hall contains an amazing golden tableau depicting the Jain concept of the ancient world.
» Taragarh Fort : The massive huge has a historical importance, It was the meeting point of the King Prithvi Raj Chauhan & It has six gates & a dargah. The fort has a wonderful view of the city.
» Daulat Bagh : Lush green garden containg a series of Marble pavilions erected in 1637 by Shah Jahan. It the best place in Ajmer to witness the sunset.
» Mayo Collage : The famous collage for the Maharajas & rich peoples.
» Nasiyan Temple : This beautiful red Jain temple is really worth to visit, this double storey hall contains an amazing golden tableau depicting the Jain concept of the ancient world.
» Taragarh Fort : The massive huge has a historical importance, It was the meeting point of the King Prithvi Raj Chauhan & It has six gates & a dargah. The fort has a wonderful view of the city. Climate and Best Time to Visit It is hot in summers and becomes green with first rain as all its small mountains become greenish, in winters temperature is chilled. In summers the temperature rises up to 38ºC and lowers down in winters to 05.5ºC. Ajmer Air/Rail/Road Links » Airways : The nearest airport is Jaipur which is 135 kms away.
» Railways : Ajmer is on the Delhi(399 km)-Jaipur-Marwar-Ahmedabad (487 km)-Mumbai (1038 km) line and most trains halt at Ajmer.
» Roadways : It is connected with bus from all popular places like Jaipur(138 km), Agra (363 km), Aligarh (446 km), Abu road, Bikaner (233 km), Bharatpur (332 km), Barmer, Haridwar, Chittorgarh (191 km), Jodhpur, Jaisalmer(439 km) and Nagaur.
Quick Facts Location : Alappuzha district of Kerala State : Kerala Area : 1414.00 sq.kms Trip Highlights : Backwaters, House boats and Boat races Ideal time to visit : August - March Languages : Malayalam, Tamil, English and Hindi Alleppey STD Code : 0477
Alleppey is one of the most important tourist centers in the state of Kerala. Situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake, the town's commercial centre lives in a maze of canals. Set in the labyrinth of Backwater channels, the town is one of the best gateways to explore the unspoilt countryside.
A historic and romantic name from Kerala's past, Alleppey was once one of the best known ports along the coast of Malabar. The Backwaters of Alleppey can be best experienced in a country boat. Alleppey is a bustling, messy town of ramshackle wood and corrugalated roof houses, chiefly significant in the Coir industry. The large network of canals provides Alleppey its lifeline. It has a spectacular long sandy beach. At one end are the dense palm groves that are so characteristic of Kerala's landscape. Tourist Attractions in Alleppey Alleppey Beach Alleppey Beach has grown in importance as a Backwater Tourist Centre, attracting several thousands of foreign tourists each year. Alappuzha is also famous for its Boat races, Houseboat Holidays, Beaches, Marine Products and Coir Industry.
Karumadikkuttan The small village near Ambalapuzha is popular for the black granite idol of Lord Buddha known as Karumadikuttan. The idol dates back to 10th century
Ambalapuzha It is an ancient Shri Krishna temple which is famous throughout the Kerala for the milk porridge, 'palpayasam'. In Ambalapuzha 'Pallipana' is performed by Velans once in twelve years.
Paithiramanal Pathiramanal is a 10 acre island on the backwaters and acts as an abode to many rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world. This little island on the backwaters is a favorite spot of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. It is only accessible by boat.
Climate and Best time to visit Alleppey experiences an enjoyable atmosphere throughout the year. The temperature ranges from 22ºC - 35ºC in summers and 20ºC - 32ºC during winters. This place mostly has marine climate. The months from January to april and August to October are the ideal months to visit it. Alleppey also experiences heavy monsoon showers. Alleppey Air/Rail/Road Links Airport : Alleppey does not have an airport but the nearest one is Cochin International Airport (60 kms and the second one is (150 kms) away from Alleppey.
Railway Station : The Ernakulam Railway Station has trains from numerous places linking this place to the rest of Kerala and India.
Bus Station : There are a number of national highways that pass by Alapuzzha and connect it to the rest of Kerala.
Quick Facts Location : 70 kms from State : Kerala Area : 2,579 Sq, km Trip Highlights : Beaches and Temples Ideal time to visit : October - March Languages : Malayalam, Hindi and English STD Code : 0474
Located 71 kms to the north of Thiruvananathapuram, kollam is the centre of the country's cashew trading and processing industry. One of the oldest ports on the malabar coast, kollam was one the port of international spice trade. Thirty percent of this historic tours is covered by the renowned Asthamudi lake, making it the gateway to magnificent backwaters of kerala. The eight hour boat trip between kollam and Allappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala. The district also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in the traditional ornate architectural style. Tourist Attractions in Kollam Thangasseri This seaside village of historic importance has the ruins of an old Portuguese fort and churches built in the 18 century. The Thangasseri Lighthouse which is 144 feet hight, is open to visitors from 1530 -1730 hrs.
Thirumullavaram beach 6 kms north of Kollam this secluded beach is a beautiful picnic centre.
Mayyand 10 kms south of Kollam Mayyanad is noted for its shrines and temples. The most important of the nine temples here is the Subramanya temple at Umayanallor.
Palaruvi Waterfalls These are the beautiful and magical creations of God. The cool water running through steep heights fall over to make a shallow pool. The water gives a look, as if it has changed into milk.
Dharamasastha Temple at Sasthamakota This temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. The temple is located near to Sasthamakkota river which caters water to the whole district.
Short canal cruise Canal cruises to the munroe island village is the best of its kind in India which is for about 4 hrs.
Climate & Best Time to Visit Kovalam experiences a pleasant atmosphere with temperature rising upto 25ºC in summers and lowering down to 18ºC. the best time to visit this place is from October to March. Kollam Air/Rail/Road Links Airport : The nearest airport to Kovalam is Thiruvananthapuram which is located 71 kms from this city.
Railway Station : Kollam is an important railway station which is connected to the rest of the Kerala.
Bus Station : An excellent road network links Kollam to all major cities and towns of Kerala.
Quick Facts Location : 90 kms from Kanyakumari State : Kerala Area : 2,579 Sq, km Trip Highlights : Beaches and Temples Ideal time to visit : October - March Languages : Malayalam, Hindi and English STD Code : 0474
The word Kottayam is a composition of the words Kotta (meaning fort) and Akkam (meaning inside). Kottayam, located in the southern part of Kerala is an important commercial centre of India, producing a large chunk of cash crops. A beautiful town situated in the hills, most of India's natural rubber originates from the acres of well-kept plantations of Kottayam. Popular for its churches, Kottayam sandwiched between serene palm-fringed backwaters on the west and the Western Ghats on the east, provides some of Kerala's finest natural scenes. Panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, hills and hillocks, extensive rubber plantations, places associated with many legends and a totally literate people have given Kottayam District the enviable title : The land of letters, legends, latex and lakes. Kottayam Town is the first town in India to have achieved 100% literacy. (a remarkable feat achieved as early as in 1989).
Places of Attraction in Kottayam Vaikom Temple This Shiva temple located 40 km away from the city is said to be related with the legendary figure- Parshurama who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This temple is a magnificent work of art and displays the classical style of Kerala Temple architecture.
The Temple at Ettumanoor It is located about 12 km north of Kottayam and is well-known for murals and the 'ezhara ponnana' or the 7.5 elephants carved in gold. St Mary's Forane Church This 9th century church located at Athirumpuzha, near Kottayam is famous for its extraordinary filigree work on the rusty fold altar and this church introduces an unequalled crucifix which exhibits the Jesus Christ without a single bruise.
Elaveezha Poonchira It is a hill station that lies 60kms away from Kottayam and is an ideal place for picnics. It has a pool with picturesque beauty and legends say that this pool was used as a bathing place by Draupadi, the legendary persona of Mahabharata. Climate and Best Time to Visit The climate of Kottayam like the rest of Kerala is equatorial. It is hot and humid. From June to Sept. it experiences torrential rains brought by the monsoon clouds. From September to March the climate remains relatively dry and cool. The temperature rises upto 35ºC in summers and lower down to 22 º.C
Kottayam Air/Rail/Road Links Airport : The nearest airport from Kottyam is at Cochin (Kochi) which is 76 km away. Another important airport is at Thiruvananthapuram () which is 160 km away.
Railway Station : Kottayam is well connected with the main towns within and outside Kerala by an extensive rail network. The nearest railway station is just 2 km away from the main bus station. There are regular trains from Kottayam to Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam (165 km), and Ernakulam (65 km).
Bus Station : Kottayam is connected to major cities of South India by a good network ofroads. There are two bus stations - the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation on T.B. Road and a private bus stand near the railway station. Buses to major cities ply from the the KSRTC bus station.
Quick Facts Location : Uttarakhand Region (UP) Area : 12.3 square kms. Language : Hindi, English Best Season : September - June
Introduction Haridwar is a doorway to the four pilgrimages of Uttarakhand. With Ganga river setting towards the plains and the sacred trinity of Hindu mythology, a visit to this place can be like entering into a different world altogether. It is your beginning on the journey to the holy sources of the Ganga and the Yamuna Rivers. Though the Ganges has not lost its waterways completely nonetheless it has a very calm atmosphere. The water is clean and people choose taking bath on the various ghats built on the river shores. It is believed that taking bath here sublimates the soul and opens the way for the quality freedom, Nirvana. Haridwar has earned fame as being the place which has been blessed by the triad of Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. It is also one of the major Shaktipeeths. It is among the seven sacred cities of India and one of the four locales for the Kumbh Mela, held with great intensity and mass after every twelve years. Essentially a religious centre which holds promise of salvation for devotees. Haridwar is also a centre of herbal medicine and traditional studies at Gurukul Kangri.
Places of Attraction Chandi Devi This temple is atop a hill called the Neel Parvat which is on the other side of the river Ganga. The temple was constructed by the King of Kashmir, Suchat Singh, in 1929 AD. Chandi Devi is a three km trek from the Chandi Ghat. This hill is dedicated to Goddess Chandi which signifies power.
Har Ki Pauri This ghat is one of the most hallowed ghats in India. It is said that the ghat was built by Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari. This ghat is also known as Brahmakund and it is believed that all the sins get washed by bathing at this river bank. In the evening a Maha Aarti is performed on this ghat. Mansa Devi This temple is located on top of a hill called the Bilwa Parvat. The temple can be reached in a very exciting and adventurous rope way rope or you can prefer normal trekking route to the top. The top of the hill gives you a fantastic view of Haridwar.
Sapt Rishi At one place Ganga divides herself into seven small streams. This place is known as the Sapt Rishi and provides a very delighting sight.
Accommodation The Hotels of Haridwar extend the journey back into the mind and soul to discover the lost spirit on the pious land of Haridwar. So, book the hotels of Haridwar for a comfortable stay. » The Haveli Hari Ganga » Sagar Ganga Resorts How to Reach By Road : It is on national highway no 45 and is well-connected to all major cities of India.
By Train : It is connected with all important cities of India viz Bombay, Delhi, Agra, Howrah, Varanasi etc.
By Air : The Jolly Grand Airport is around 35 km from Haridwar.
Quick Facts Location : On the west bank of the Ganga (768 kms from Delhi and 678 from Kolkata) Area : 4,036 Sq Kms Language : Hindi, English and Sanskrit Best Season : October – March
Introduction Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together" are the few golden lines versed by Mark Twain. Situated on the west bank of the Ganga, it has been supreme pilgrimage centre for Hindus since many yonks. Popularly known as Benaras, Varanasi derives its name from two streams, the Varuna on the North side of the city and the Assi, a small filtered on the south. Hindus believe that one who is adorned to die on the land of Varanasi would attain redemption and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of all individuals. Varanasi today, is also a hub of education, art and craft. Varanasi is linked with advancement of spiritualism, religious mysticism, Sanskrit, and yoga. Many famous and revered poets and novelists such as Prem Chand and Tulsi Das belonged to the land of Varanasi. Ravi Shankar, the internationally famed Sitar master and Ustad Bismillah Khan, (the famous Shehnai player) are all sons of the blessed city or have stayed here for major part of their lives. An amazing feature of Varanasi is that the river front of the city is beautified with ghats and no other place in this world is believed to have such unvarying quality and soulful atmosphere. Sarnath Museum It has yielded a rich collection of sculptures, artifacts and edifices of Buddha and its holy remains. Finest specimens of Buddhist art and other important remains have been found at this place. Ashokan Pillar , the national symbol of India is the main attraction of this museum.
Varanasi Ghats The Ganga Ghats at Varanasi are full of pilgrims who flock to the place to take a dip in the holy Ganges, which is believed to absolve one from all sins. There are more than 100 ghats along side Ganga in Varanasi. Some of the prominent and popular Ghats at Varanasi are the Dasaswamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Harischandra Ghat, Kabir Ghat and Assi Ghat. Places of Attraction Kashi Vishwanath Temple Located at Vishwanath gali, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Shiva Linga at Vishwanath temple is among one of the 12 Jyotrilingas. The temple has earned its denomination as the 'Golden Temple' due to its golden painting done using lot of gold. Jantar Mantar It was an observatory made by Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur in 1737. The Jantar Mantar at Varanasi was built in line with Delhi, Mathura, Ujjain and Jaipur observatories. This place was constructed to measure the local time, the sun's declination, altitude, falling of stars etc.
Accommodation Guided with a passion to serve tourists from various locales, the hotels in Varanasi, are a true heaven of comfort and hospitality. Listed below are some of the well-known hotels of Varanasi.
» Siddharth Hotel » The Golden Buddha (Sarnath)
How To Reach By Road : Varanasi has a good network of roads. frequent public and private buses and road transport to all the major towns of Uttar Pradesh and nearby areas.
By Train : Varanasi is well connected to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and other parts of India. There are two railway stations in Varanasi, the Kashi Junction and the Varanasi Junction (also known as Varanasi Cantonment).
By Air : Varanasi is well connected and accessible to major Indian cities and tourist spots. There are daily domestic flights to and from Varanasi to several cities in India.
Quick Facts Location : On the banks of Holy Ganges (Uttarkhand) Language : Hindi, Garhwali, English Best Season : April – October
Introduction 24 kms upstream on the banks of the Ganga, where it adjoins the Chandrabhaga, is the holy town of Rishikesh. This small town is the point where the holy Ganges dashes down in full halo onto huge boulders and produces a long stretching of white sandy beaches. The banks are dotted with ashrams, where saints and holy men rested before beginning their strenuous pilgrimage up into the snow-covered land of the gods. Rishikesh is basically a blend of five different districts- Rishikesh the commercial centre, Muni-ki-reti in the calm suburbs, Shivananda Nagar to the north, Lakshmanjhula with its holy enshrines and Swarg Ashram where most of the ashrams are dotted. Rishikesh is also the circuit of Hindu philosophy and learning, with several ashrams devoted to the understanding and spreading of the faith. It is a pathway of yoga and meditation with Indian science & culture in a gradual, systematic & scientific way to eject tension from day to day life. Rishikesh provides wonderful opportunity for trekking, rock climbing and river rafting. Rishikesh also represents the site where Vishnu trounced the demon Madhu.
Places of Attraction The Triveni Ghat It is one of the most prominent bathing ghat in Rishikesh. With its modern images of Hindu deities and white sandy beach, the ghat is ideal for a dip in the holy waters of the Ganga. The evening, arati (worship) with lamps is worth watching.
Bharat Mandir The Bharat Mandir near Triveni Ghat is esteemed to be the oldest temple in Rishikesh. The temple's presiding deity is a black stone Vishnu, which is considered to be blessed by Adi Shankaracharya while his visit to Rishikesh in the 9th century. This occasion is marked with special celebrations on the day of spring festival, Basant Panchami. Lakshmanjhula Lakshman Jhula is basically a hanging bridge on the Ganges and the most popular spot in Rishikesh. About 2 kms upstream is the old footbridge called Lakshmanjhula, named after the brother of Lord Rama. Temples line both sides of the river at Lakshmanjhula.
Swarg Ashram With its numerous ashrams, food stalls and shops, this ashram is a haunt for those looking for insights into religious themes.Important shrines and ashrams at Swarg Ashram include Kali Kumbliwale founded by Swami Vishudhananda, Parmarth Niketan with large statues of gods and goddesses and the Gita Bhavan with its Ayurvedic dispensary.
Accommodation Visit some of the most popular hotels in the Himalayan region that are located in the hilly and adventurous region and well-known for its hospitality, accommodation facilities that offer both quality and standard with enchanting surroundings.
» Hotel Ganga Kinare ( 3 Star Hotel ) » Hotel Great Ganga ( 3 Star Hotel ) How to Reach By Road : Rishikesh is well connected with other parts of the country by road transport. There are several luxury buses to common destinations like Delhi, Pushkar,Varanasi and Jaipur.
By Train : Haridwar is the nearest railhead and well-connected to all parts of India.
By Air : Jolly Grant at Dehradun is the nearest airport. Rishikesh is about 230 kilometres from Delhi.
Quick Facts Location : Uttarakhand Language : Hindi and English Best Season : April – October Area : 1 sq,km
Introduction Gangotri,near to the origin of Ganga (Ganges river) and seat of the goddess Ganga, is one of the four places in the Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. At an altitude of 3,042 m, a Gorkha Commander, Amar Singh Thapa, created the temple in the early 18th century AD. The Gangotri temple can be reached in a full day's travel from Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun, or in two days from Yamunotri, formally the first site in the Char Dham circuit. Gangotri is an ideal location for the tourists looking for peace and adventure It is also the name of a series of 3 mountain peaks around 6,600 m AMSL in the region between the Gangotri Glacier and the Khatling Glacier. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga from Devprayag onwards where it coincides the river Alaknanda The Bhagirathi 'Shila' is located near the temple of Ganga where the holy Ganga first came down on earth from heaven. Places of Attractions Nandanvan Tapovan A straining trek along the Gangotri Glacier directs to scenic Nandanvan - the base camp for the Bhagirathi peaks, that gives a broad view of the encircling Shivaling peak. A trek across the nozzle of the Gangotri Glacier leads to Tapovan known for its charming meadows that surrounds the base of the Shivling Peak.
Uttarkashi An important pilgrimage centre, situated at an elevation of 1,150 mts. above sea level on the bank of river Bhagirathi. It houses many temples like- Vishwanath temple, Ekadash Rudra temple, Gyaneshwar temple and Kuteti Devi Temple. Kedar Tal A raised lake, 4425 mts above sea level, is set against the glorious background of powerful Thalaiyasagar peak. Approachable through a bumpy mountain trail, it is actually the base camp for trekking to the encircling peaks. Gaumukh This is the nie of the Gangotri glacier and the present source of the Bhagirathi River, an important tributary of the Ganga. The Gangotri glacier is roughly 30 km long and 2 to 4 km wide. Pilgrims trek upto the sacred spot on foot or on ponies to take a holy dip in the ice-cold water.
Accommodation There are enough decent accommodation options in Uttaranchal and the whole scenario is getting better day by day. There are a number of star category hotels catering to the needs of tourists coming to explore Uttaranchal.
» Ganga Niketan Hotel, Near Gangotri Temple » Forest Rest House How to Reach By Road : The road is well connected to all major cities like Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and Delhi.
By Train : The nearest railhead is Rishikesh which is 249 kms away from Gangotri.
By Air : The Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun (249 km) is the nearest airport to Gangotri.
Fast Facts Location : Uttaranchal Area : 37.17 sq km Best time to visit : April to August. Std Code : 0135 Highlights : Tapkeshwar, Robbers' Cave, Tapovan, The Malsi Deer Park, The Forest Research Institute, Kalsi, Sahastradhara etc.
Introduction Picturesque Dehradun welcomes all with its fairytale beauty. Always this place has been famous for the educational institutes it has. This hill resort of Uttaranchal set in lap of Himalayas, Shivaliks, Gangas and Yamuna.It is the entrance of many important tourist places like Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri etc. It was once the core of Garhwal kings political empire. Later its natural beauty was appreciated by British and they turned it into a residential resort. Its proximity to Mussoorie has added feather to its crown. Dehradun is the most colourful city and attractive tourist destination in India. Attractions Tapkeshwar Temple This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is about 5.5 km from the city bus stand,beside a stream. During Shivratri, a large fair is held here. This one of the most ancient temples of Dehradu, is a must see tourist place in Dehradun.
Rajaji National Park In the valley of the Shivalik Mountain Ranges this forest range is one of the finest ecological park .It has a good range of flora and fauna. It has impenetrable forest with varieties of mammals. In between November to the middle of June is the best time to enjoy safari here.
Forest Research Institute Forest Research Institute is the main centre of research in the fields of flora and fauna in India. It has six museums displaying the best species of flora and fauna found in India. The major attractions which are on display are wood samples, insects, furniture, wildlife, few stuffed animals. Climate Here climate of this city is lightly cold. It is tropical in summers but severe cold in the winter. But the temperature differs with the altitude. In the hilly areas, summer is pleasant, but in the Doon, the heat is often intense. Dehradun Air/rail/Road Links Air : From Dehradun Jolly grant is 25 kms away. From Jolly grant to Delhi daily has a flight.
Rail : Dehradun is a important railhead in north India. The Shatabdi Express, Mussorie Express and the Dehradun-Mumbai Express run between Dehradun and Delhi, Mussorie, Mumbai, Varanasi, Calcutta and Lucknow regularly.
Road : Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Delhi by regular bus services linked with Dehradun.Places like Agra, Calcutta, Chennai, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mumbai, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Shimla, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, Nainital, Badrinath, Gaurikund, Gangotri, Kalsi and the Rajaji National Park connected with Dehradun by roadways.
Fast Facts Location : Uttaranchal Language : Hindi, Garhwali, English Area : 2328 sq. kms Trip highlights : Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple, The Sangam, The Ganga Aarti in the Evening etc. STD Codes : 01364 Best time to visit : Through out the year
Introduction Rudraprayag is placed at the concourse of the Alakananda and Mandakini rivers. These two are the main tributaries of the Ganga. This place is named after lord Shiva. This place is important as it works as the base to Badrinath and Kedarnath Dham. Vast natural beauty, places of religious importance, lakes and snowy peaks all these make it a cool holiday destination. Attractions Rudraprayag has plenty to offer the visitor on his platter. This place will take you back past and regenerate your acquaintance with our ancient culture.
The Town This small town has a good market which is situated along the banks of Alkanada. This place has many San Ghats which are Placed of Sangam area. Every year thousands of devotees come to take bathe into this holy water.
Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple According to Hindu mythology This temple is the place where Narad Muni once prayed to th Lord Shiva for eternal Knowledge. An ancient Shivling and a small idol of Devi Parvati are the Residing deities of this temple. Still now guru-shishya paramapara is followed by the The Mahants of this temple.
Kedarnath Kedarnath is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. As Lord Shiva's other name is Kadar that's why this temple is called Kadarnath. In the 8th centuary A.D. Adi Shankaracharya built this temple .This temple is considered as amongst the holiest pilgrimages for the Hindus. This around 1000 years old temple's inner walls are decorated with the Idols of different deities and several episodes from the mythological fables. As a guard of Lord Shiva mammothian sculpture of the Nandi Bull stands out side the temple.
Vasuki Tal (6 kms) This is a beautiful lake .It is placed at a hight of 4135 meters is surrounded by the high peaks.
Panch Kedar Kedarnath, Kalpnath,Tungnath, Madmaheshwar and Rudranath are the five temple of lord Shiva which are known as the Panch Kadar. According to a myth while eluding Pandavas Lord Shiva's different parts of body appeared in these laces which are today the most important shrines of Lord Shiva. Guptkashi (39 kms) The ancient temples of Vishwanath and Ardhnareshwara are situted in this place. It is said that to elude Pandavas Lord Shiva hided here. That's why the place is known as Guptkashi.
Climate Pretty cold in winter like temperature dips in to 8 to15 degree Celsius. But summers are pleasant.
Rudraprayag Air/Rail/ Road Link Air : Jolly Grant is the nearest airport. It is just 159 Km s from the main town.
Rail : Rishikesh (142 kms) is the main railhead for Rudraprayag
Road : By bus and texies Rudraprayag is well connected with other cities.
01 Day : Arrive Mumbai Arrive Mumbai. On arrival at the Airport, you will meet our representative and be transferred to hotel. Overnight stay at Hotel. 02 Day : Mumbai Morning cruise across the harbor to Elephanta Island and its famous caves, filled with carvings and sculptures dating back to 550 A.D. Afternoon leave for city tour of Mumbai. Your tour of Mumbai includes the British-built arch "Gateway of India," Mumbai landmark; the Hanging Gardens and the affluent community of Malabar Hills; the Prince of Wales Museum, Marine Drive, and the Gandhi Memorial. Overnight stay at Hotel. 03 Day : Mumbai - Goa Morning free. Later transfer to the Airport to connect flight 9W 475 dep at 12:00 hrs arrive Goa at 13:00 hrs. Upon arrival transfer to the Hotel. Rest of the day free for leisure. Overnight stay at Hotel. 04 Day : Goa In the morning proceed for a sightseeing tour of Goa, the "Pearl of the Orient". Take the beach tour of Goa visiting Calangute, Colva, Dona Paula and Miramar beaches. Rest of the day free for leisure. Overnight at the Hotel. 05 Day : Goa Full day free to relax on the beach. Overnight stay at Hotel. 06 Day : Goa - Mumbai Morning free to relax on the beach. Later transfer to the Airport to connect flight 9W 472 dep at 14:05 hrs arrive Mumbai at 15:05 hrs. Upon arrival transfer to the Hotel. Overnight stay at Hotel.
07 Day : Mumbai - Out Morning transfer to the International Airport to connect flight for onward destination.
Quick Facts Celebrated in : Goa Capital : Panaji Festival Time : February Duration : 3 Days Presided by : King Momo Highlights : Colourful processions and healthy ambience totted by great fun and frolic
Goa Carnival - A Musical Extravaganza The best time to travel to Goa is during February because this is the time when one witnesses Goa getting decked up for the carnival. Goa carnival is an eagerly awaited occasion where one forgets his worries and tensions and simply plunges into merriment and joy-making for three whole days. Goa carnival is all about fun and frolic. Colorful processions and lavish floats parade the streets. Singing, dancing and masked people mark the uproarious and flamboyant Goan celebration. Most of the countries have carnivals but Goa carnival stands apart as the people of Goa have inculcated different items in the carnival that makes us experience the different shades of Goa. The carnival in Goa had its birth during the era of King Momo. He ushered in the Goa carnival just before the Lent season (Lent is the period of fasting and penance in the Christian calendar and corresponding somewhat to the Mohammedan fast before Ramzan Id). This festival of Goa usually starts off on Sabado Gordo (Fat Saturday) and concludes on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday)-the eve of Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of the season of Lent. The streets are crowded for three days and it is nothing but a carnival of colors, a carnival of fun and a carnival of joy for the people of Goa as well as the tourists who make it a point to plan their Goa tour during that time. Among all the festivities and feasts of Goa Carnival and Shigmo are the most boisterous ones with great acclaim and enthusiasm anticipated by the mass with great fervour and excitement. Carnival in Goa is round-the-clock 3-day festival of color, song and music, providing a healthy amusement for all, young and old. For three days and nights, the fabled king Momo takes over the state and the streets become active with colour. The week long event is a time of festivity and enjoyment. The carnival renders an amusing aura in which everyone sings, laughs and dances on the tunes of music.
Street Plays, songs, dances, and impromptu travesties jeer and display their dances and songs before a crazy and amendable audience. The popular cradle songs and nursery rhymes with colourful attires worn make the atmosphere as well streets more jovial. Innumerable competitions and cultural functions are held right through the three days. The contestants wear colorful costumes and designer masks. In such fun-filled surroundings people smear color on each other, instead of the flour, eggs, fruit and water that used to be used in past. The carnival is not celebrated anywhere else in India and was in diminution even in Goa in the past few years of Portuguese rule. Its resurgence with the freeing of Goa, and a hike to its tourism attracted thousands of tourists to Goa from all over the world every year!
According to Hindu chronology, the Pushkar Fair takes place in the month of Kartika (October or November) beginning on the "ashtmi" ( the 8th day of the Lunar Calendar and continues till full moon (poornima).
Day 01 : Delhi Arrive Delhi. Meeting & Greeting at Airport & transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02 : Delhi After breakfast sightseeing tour to Delhi. Morning visit Old Delhi. It is a 17th century walled city with its splendid gates, narrow alleys, the enormous Bazaar. Visit Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Raj Ghat. Afternoon tour of New Delhi with wide tree lined avenues, parks and fountains surroundings the imposing government and state Buildings. Visit Humayun's Tomb, an observatory called Jantar Mantar, Qutab Minar, India Gate and President House. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 03 : Delhi - Ajmer - Pushkar Morning, we will transfer you to railway station to board train # 2015 Ajmer Shatabdi Express dep. 06:05 hrs arrive Ajmer at 13:00 hrs. On arrival visit Dargarh Sharif in Ajmer. Later proceed to Pushkar (11 kms) away. Overnight at Pushkar hotel / Tent.
Day 04 : Pushkar Full day spend in fair by your own. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05 : Pushkar - Jaipur After breakfast drive to Jaipur (approx 145 kms 2 ½ hrs. drive). On arrival transfer to hotel. Jaipur city was founded by Maharaja Jai Singh in 1727. It is a magnificent planned city built of rose-pink colored stones that is why it is also called as "Pink City". On arrival excursion to Amer Fort. Ascend by painted elephant / Jeep up to fort with its huge gateways and pillared pavilions. It has a marble Palace, Temple of victory and Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors). Also visit City Palace and Museum. Nearby is the ornate Hawa Mahal (Palace of winds) which is five stories high and is decorated with delicate screens carved from stone. Also visit Jantar Mantar. Observatory, which is still equipped with immense, brick and mortar instrument. Overnight at hotel.
Day 06 : Jaipur - Agra After breakfast drive to Agra (approx 232 Kms. 5 hrs. drive). En-route visit Fatephur Sikri - built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned after 15 yrs. Due to scarcity of water. Predominately, a red sandstone construction sprawling over a huge area, the architectural style is very much in tune with emperor’s dream & partakes of both Hindu & Muslim styles. See the graceful buildings including jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal & other places. On arrival transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07 : Agra - Delhi - Onward Destination After breakfast Visit world famous "Taj Mahal" the monument of love immortalized in marble. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his Queen Mumtaj, Agra Fort dominated by red sandstone construction & houses the beautiful Pearl Mosque and other noteworthy structures. Later drive to Delhi (approx 204 Kms. 4 hrs. drive). En-route visit to Sikandra: The worthy monument here is the tomb of Akbar which shows an interesting fusion of Hindu & Muslim art and architecture reflecting the spirit of the emperor himself. On arrival transfer international Airport to connect flight for onward Destination.
The Indus Valley Civilisation, Harrapa | Aryans and the Vedic Age | Rise of Religions and Emergence of the State | The Gupta Age | The Southern Kingdoms
The Indus Valley Civilization existed in between 3000-1500 BC while the earlier Kot Diji cultures, of the pre-Indus period, existed in the period of approximately 3300-2800 BC. Harappa and the city of Mohenjo-Daro were the greatest achievements of the Indus valley civilization. These cities are well known for their impressive, organized and regular layout.
Then came Aryans who composed these evocative hymns to nature and celebrated life exuberantly referred to them as Aryas usually anglicised as Aryan meaning 'noble'. The 6th Century B.C. was the period of Magadh Kingdom. Chandragupta Maurya ousted the oppressive ruler of Magadh to find his own dynasty that existed from 322 - 298 B.C.
The most famous Maurya King Ashoka the Great ruled from 273 - 232 B.C over a large kingdom stretching from Kashmir and Peshawar in the North and Northwest to Mysore in the South and Orissa in the East. He after witnessing the carnage at the battle field of Kalinga (269 B.C.) in Orissa, dedicated himself to Dharmma (righteousness).
In the subsequent centuries, after the Ashoka empire disintegrated, India suffered a series of invasions, and often fell under the spell of foreign rulers - Indo Bactrians, the Sakas and others. After the next 400 years of instability the Guptas established their kingdom.
Kalidas, the famous Sanskrit poet and dramatist, author of Abhijnana Shankuntalam, Kumarsambhavam and Meghadutam is believed to have adorned the Gupta court. Also the great mathematicians like Aryabhatta and astronomers like Varahmihir lived during this period. The dazzling wall paintings of the Ajanta caves too are traced back to this era.
Cholas, Pandayas and Pallavas ruled over the southern part of India during the medieval period of India’s history. Cholas ruled the territory of Deccan (today the districts of Thanjavur and Tiruchirapally) while the Pandyas reined around present day Tirunelvelli and Madurai.
Pallavas of Kanchi rose to prominence in the 4th Century A.D. and ruled unchallenged for about four hundred years. The Nayanar and Alvar saint poets belong to this period. The gemlike shore temples at Mahabalipuram date to this period. The Cholas overthrew the Pallavas were in the 9th Century and regained political primacy in south India. The 15th Century saw the decline of the Pandyas.
The medieval period marks an important phase in the history of India. The history of medieval India begins with the Rajput Era of chivalry and feudalism. During this period, Delhi was ruled by dynasties like Khiljis, Tughlaqs, Sayyids and Lodis. Later, Babur, who was the descendent of Timur came to India and established the Mughal empire which later witnessed the rise of great Mughal emperors including Akbar the Great, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. In the western India, Shivaji emerged as an able and efficient leader of the Marathas and forged a powerful military chain to adopt guerilla tactics to maul the Mughals.
Coming of the Europeans | East India Company | India's freedom struggle
Vasco da Gama when landed at Calicut, sailing via the Cape of Good Hope in 1498, marked the beginning of the European era in Indian history. The Portuguese by the 16th Century had already established their colony in Goa.
In the next century, India was visited by a large number of European travellers - Italians, Englishmen, Frenchmen and Dutchmen. They were drawn to India for different reasons. Some were traders, others adventurers, and quite a few fired by the missionary zeal to find converts to Christianity. Eventually England, France, the Netherlands and Denmark, floated East India Companies.
During the late 16th and the 17th Centuries, these companies competed with each other fiercely. By the last quarter of the 18th Century the English had vanquished all others and established themselves as the dominant power in India. The British administered India for a period of about two centuries and brought about revolutionary changes in the social, political and the economic life of the country.
Once the British had consolidated their power, commercial exploitation of the natural resources and native labour became ruthless. By the middle of the 19th Century arrogant exploitation of the people had tried the patience of the Indians to the limit.
The six decades between the end of the "mutinous" war of 1857 - 59 and the conclusion of First World War saw both the peak of British imperial power in India and the birth of nationalist agitation against it. With increasing intrusion of aliens in their lives, a group of middle class Indians formed the Indian National Congress (1885) - a society of English educated affluent professionals - to seek reforms from the British.
Bikaner with its rich history draws countless number of tourists from all over the world. With infinite tales of defiance, passion and loyalty, this place has a lot more to offer The exotic camel safaris, beautiful forts, exotic folk performances, camel races, old havelis and colorful bazaars make Bikaner an interesting place to witness. Hordes of people passing with their camels ringing bells in their necks, women in their colored dresses carry earthen pots and colorful turbans of men will delight you to stick to this palace. The imposing palaces, beautiful and richly sculptured temples of red and yellow sand stones exhibit some of the finest creations of Rajput civilization. Bikaner is located in the northern part of Rajasthan, it was was founded by Rao Bhikaji in 1488 A..D. Bikaner is famous for its historical background, forts & palaces, wild life sanctuary and above all Bikaner has the world's largest Camel research and breeding farm.. Places to see Lallgarh Palace : This palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh. It is a beautifully designed & made up of red sandstone and has a perfect blend of Rajput, Mughal and the European style architecture. It is must visit spot.
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum : This museum house the collection of best terracotta ware, weapons, miniature paintings & coins. Junagarh Fort : This fort was built by Raja Raj Singh. It have beautiful palaces & temples. Prachina Museum : Located in the wonderful Junagarh Fort, the museum houses regal costumes and antiques. It’s a must visit spot to witness the royal lifestyle of the royal family of Bikaner Bhandeswari Jain Temple : It is the most oldest temple of Bikaner, it has wonderful rich mirror work, frescoes and gold leaf paintings.
Camel Research Farm : The farm is just 8 km away from Bikaner. It covers an area of 2000 acres & is the world's largest Camel research & Breeding center. Around Bikaner Gajner Palace : The lovely palace is located in the banks of a beautiful lake. Once it was the hunting lodge for the Royal Family of Bikaner. Now the beautiful palace is converted into a Grand heritage hotel.
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary : The sanctuary is just 32 kms away from Bikaner. Its the perfect place for adventure lovers to spot the Nilgai, Chinkara, Black buck, Wild boar , flocks of imperial sand grouse and many more migratory birds. Jeep Safari with a guide is the best option to visit this wonderful sanctuary. Kolyat : It is just 50 kilometres from Bikaner. It is a temple complex of Kolyat and a holy place of pilgrimage for Hindus. The complex has few temples, pavilions and ghats. A bath in the holy lake especially on Kartik Poornima (November) is considered incredibly fortunate.
Katariasar Village : It is just 45 kms away from Bikaner. This village is a must visit plaace if you want to experience the ethnic rural and cultural life of Rajasthan. Herds of chinkaras, desert fox, rabbits, peacocks, parrots and partridges are found in large quantity in this area.
Karni Mata temple, Deshnok : The Deshnok village is located 32 kms away in the south of Bikaner. The place is famous for the Karni Mata temple. Karni Mata, considered as living form of Goddess Durga lived here in the fourteenth century and performed many miracles. Climate & Best Time Bikaner, one of the most visited destination in Rajasthan is situated at an altitude of 228 metres. In summers, the temperature varies from 49ºC to 43ºC. Winters are very pleasant with the lowest temperature being 8ºC .
Thiruvananthapuram was previously called Trivandrum is an ancient city with tradition dating back to 1000 BC. South Kerala, particularly the Thiruvananthapuram district, had in the early past a political and cultural history which was in some respect independent of that of the rest of Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland spreading over a total of 2,192sq.km.
In 1684, during the regency of Umayamma Rani, the English East India Company obtained a piece of land at near Thiruvananthapuram city. It was from here that the English gradually extended their domain to other parts of Thiruvithamcore (Travancore).
Some of the Places of Trivandrum Padmanabha Swamy temple There are a number of tourist attractions in Trivandrum, India. The Padmanabhaswami temple with its gopuram (tower) soaring majestically upwards, is believed to be one of the 108 shrines sacred to the Vaishnavites in India. The idol in the laying position is amazing. The rock curving works behind the temple is stunning and matchless. Ask for tour Observatory Several kings have also built their palaces in and around the Trivandrum, India, each more impressive than the other. This observatory, established over a hundred years ago in Trivandrum in India. Though the city has grown to a modern metro pole, Trivandrum retains its discreet, old-world charm.
Museum While visiting Trivandrum, one should include the Museum with its profusion of gables and turrets. One can visualize the fine works of art, the chief attraction here is the 250-year-old temple car made for Lord Vishnu, artistically designed and ornamented. It is really worth to visit the museum you can see objects carved out of wood, models of temple, antique jewellery, etc.
Sri Chitra Art Gallery Sri Chitra Art Gallery proves to be an ideal place for art lovers. The large section devoted to the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, an Indian painter of distinction in the history of the country's modern art. Besides him, the Indian section also contains works of Rabindranath Tagore, Jamimi Roy, K. K. Hebar, miniatures from the Rajput and Mughal schools of painting and the famous Tanjore paintings encrusted with semi-precious stones. Located in the Napier Museum grounds, Sree Chitra Art Gallery displays select Paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art in India. The collection also includes paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali. The gallery's collection also includes paintings from Indonesia, China, and Japan.
Excursions from Trivandrum (India) Veli & Shankhumuggam Beach