Archive for the ‘India’ Category

Top 5 Destinations in India

Friday, December 7th, 2007


Top 5 Destinations in India

With its centuries old traditions, India has fascinated many millions of tourists that come there from all over the world and with so much of history and culture on offer, not to mention the wildlife and natural scenic beauty, there is something of interest to everyone visiting India. Of course, with so much to choose from, people may become a bit confused as to where to begin though. Here are the top five destinations that every tourist should visit at least once when visiting India.

Taj Mahal

Perhaps, it would be a wonderful idea to start your journey through India with a visit to Agra where one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal, is located. This monument erected to show the love and esteem that the Moghul Emperor Shah Jehan had for his departed Queen Mumtaz is a veritable piece of poetry set to marble. And, having come to see the Taj Mahal, don’t forget to have you photographed which will help you take home a precious moment in your life and cherish that memory for years to come. While in Agra, it would also pay to visit another and perhaps even greater Moghul Emperor’s grave – that of Akbar the Great.


Khajuraho Temple, Top 5 Destinations in India

And, while you are taken up by love and its many splendors, another place worth visiting in India would be Khajuraho where you will find temples that were erected as far back as 1050 A.D. by the famous Chandela Kings, and there are twenty-two of these beautiful temples which embody the great erotica that India is famous for and which are artistically set in unique forms that are not found anywhere else in the world. Besides being famous for the intellect and spiritual mindset of people from that bygone era, Khajuraho is also where the saga of Indian love calls as its home and it is here that the Kama Sutra also lives.


You might also want to take in a place called Lakshadweep which is located in the Arabian Sea on the west coast of India and here you will find excellent grouping of coral islands that are still relatively undiscovered and where you can enjoy snorkeling and also swimming. If you are looking for something unusual then this best kept Indian secret destination is a must for you.

Lahaul Spiti

For those who come to India to experience spiritual awakening, there is the excellent Lahaul Spiti that is located in rugged mountains and which is set amongst the most beautiful of natural settings. Both Lahaul and Spiti are remote lying valleys that they are located near Tibet and Ladhakh and it is a real paradise for trekkers as well.

Bandhavgarh National Park

Finally, you may want to take in Bandhavgarh National Park which comprises more than four hundred and forty eight square kilometers and is a real haven for wildlife where you can see the famous royal Indian tigers in its natural habitat and there are other wildlife to be viewed as well such as elephants, many different species of birds and also deer and nilgais.

Finest Tourist Attractions in Dehradun

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Dehradun is the capital city of the Uttaranchal state in the country of India. Dehradun is located on the Doon Valley and positioned between Ganga and Yamuna rivers, the two most essential rivers of India. Located 230 kilometers north of New Delhi, India’s capital, and the center of Delhi’s metropolis, Dehradun has usual north Indian city climate characteristics with cold winters, warm summer, torrential rain downpour, and a temperate spring season. Many of the finest tourist attractions in Dehradun are perfect travel ideas for sightseeing travelers from all around the world.

Dehradun Tourist Attractions

There are a number of tourist spots in the city of Dehradun. Because of its picturesque location and fair weather conditions Dehradun has gradually became a favorite holiday destination of many travelers coming from different parts of the world. In spite of the many economic and urban development in the city, Dehradun still is able to retain its appealing charm that is sure to captivate any traveler’s heart and interest. Many tourist attractions are ideal for anyone who loves sightseeing interesting places. This includes Tapkeshwar Temple, Sahastradhara, Mussoorie, Malsi Deer Park, and Robbers Cave – to name a few.

  • Tapkeshwar Temple is the most significant temple in Dehradun. Visitors coming to this temple located on the bank of a seasonal river will take pleasure in watching the innate water drops dripping naturally from the ceilings inside the caves.

    Sahastradhara, Dehradun, Uttaranchal, India

  • Sahastradhara are the sulphur springs and a waterfall. Besides enjoying this picturesque sight, many who come to the springs believe that the water coming from the spring has its own healing value. Sahastradhara had since then began to be one of the most visited places in Dehradun, because of the soul and body rejuvenating feeling that it offers to those who come to the place.
  • Rajaji National Park is among the most fascinating place to go to while in Dehradun. This heavily wooded safe haven holds refuge to bird varieties, elephants, leopards, and barking deer. Aside from the animal species, the plant lives present in this shelter are such a sight to behold especially for nature lovers.
  • Malsi Deer Park is another slowly developing tourist spot located at the foothills of the Shivalik range. Deers and bird species are the common attractions that contributed as to why this place is an ideal place for outings. This is also considered as a mini-zoo with the existence of lovely animal creatures. Because of its location, the place serves as a perfect picnic stop for travelers going to Mussoorie.
  • Robbers Cave is a very famous tourist attraction in Dehradun because of a very strange phenomenon that is observed in the place; a stream goes underground and then reappears after only some meters away. The charming scenery of the location makes it an ideal spot for picnics and delightful getaway for the pleasure-seeking traveler.

The abundance of many fine types of scenery makes Dehradun as a wonderful holiday destination. No need to spend a lot of time thinking, plan ahead and visit Dehradun.


Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

A visit to Goa is a must for any tourist that visits India and there are excellent beaches and hot sunny days which make for an excellent place where to relax and enjoy the many pleasures that this tourist destination has to offer. Perhaps the best example of the excellent beaches in this part of the world are exemplified in Anjuna where the golden sands invite you and where there is also the Flea Market that opens on Wednesdays and which attracts people from everywhere where you can find jewelry items of the tribes and also many articles of clothing of traditional wear.

Goa Shipyard, Goa, India

You can also visit Bardez which also has excellent beaches, and there is Fort Aquada and Mapusa as well as Calanqute which are worth visiting. Close by there is the excellent Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary as too the Dudhsagar Falls. You can even visit Chandor and the Braganza House or the Fort at Chapora, while the Dandeli National Park is also a wonderful place to visit.

While in Goa, you can even visit Madgaon and Margao where there is the outstanding Cabo de Rama Fort, and a visit to the Mahadev Temple of Tambdi Surla should not be passed over.

In old Goa you can visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus and there is also the Divar Island that is worth a visit, while a look at Se Cathedral and the Church and Convent of St. Monica are also worth paying a visit to.

Another great place in Goa that you may want to visit is Panaji where you can go and see the Cabo Palace, Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Fontainhas, Goa State Museum, Goa Velha, Idalcao Palace and the Institute Menezes Braganza.

Another place worth visiting while in the State of Goa is Ponda where you can view the Safa Shahouri Mosque, Shantadurga Temple and also the Reis Magos and Terekhol Fort.

Agra – The City of Taj

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Situated in the farthest corner of Uttar Pradesh, a state in the northern region of India, Agra is one of the key cities in India. According to its history, Raja Badal Singh founded the city of Agra in 1745. Located on the banks of River Yamuna, there are lots of worthy places to visit in Agra. Let us have a look at some of the major tourist attractions and things to do when you are visiting this beautiful city.

Popular Tourist Attractions In Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is the most significant tourist attraction in the city of Agra. The fifth Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan as his memorial remembrance of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal built the Taj Mahal. This catacomb, built as a representation of a man’s immemorial love to his wife was constructed out of pure white marble, is the main reason why the city of Agra was tagged as the “City of Taj.” Although there are many beautiful places in the world, the Taj Mahal has its own unique and impressive characteristic that etches an unforgettable impression to anyone, tourists and locals alike visiting Taj Mahal. The ornamental garden that is very impressive is indeed an added attraction of the Taj Mahal. Walking along with your companions as you tour around Taj Mahal complex is a very relaxing and awesome experience. This main tourist attraction in the city of Agra is open to all from 6 o’clock in the morning until 7 o’clock in the evening everyday, except Fridays.

Other places worth seeing within Taj Mahal in Agra are the Cenotaphs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan and the two mosques – the eastern red sandstone mosque, where worship is done and the western red sandstone mosque considered as a decorative site.

Agra Fort

In 1565 A.D Emperor Akbar constructed Agra Fort, now considered as one of the remarkable architectural masterpieces in Agra. Palaces and mosques built inside Agra Fort are added attractions that continuously draw tourists and local visitors. Structures within the premises of Agra Fort are the following:

• Naubat Khana (The Drum House)
• Moti Masjid (the Pearl Mosque)
• Mina Masjid (Heavenly Mosque)
• Nagina Masjid (Gem Mosque)
• Shis Mahal (Glass Palace)

China-Ka-Rauza (The China Tomb)

This Persian patterned mausoleum constructed with glazed tile is dedicated in memory of a Prime Minister in the court of Akbar named Afzal Khan.

Shopping in Agra

A tour would never be complete without shopping for take home mementos. Agra has its own share of markets that are popular to tourists from traditional markets to modern shopping complexes. The old marketplace now known as the Kinari Bazaar has various individual trading areas that have long been present since the Mughal period. More modern shopping sites include the Sadar Bazaar and the south of Taj Gang. Many travelers for their own shopping experience in Agra often repeatedly visit these shopping areas.

Shopping in Agra will not be complete without a take home pack of paethas, a well-known delicacy of Agra and of mini replicas of Taj that is available in almost all of the shopping areas in Agra.

Hampi – A Legendary City of The Past

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

For all who are familiar with the famous epic Ramayana, Hampi would be of great significance. It is believed that Hampi was the Monkey Kindgdom (Kishkinda) that was mentioned in the Ramayana.  History shows that this city’s significance as a center of trade grew from around 1336 AD when it became the foundation of the Vijayanagara Empire. By 1565 the empire was covering the whole area between the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal Ceylon and the Deccan Plateau. It reached its zenith under the ruling of Emperor Krishnadevaraya.

This is not exactly a place where you would have regular tourist fun. Hampi is a treasure for people who love history and the knowledge it disseminates regarding the past ancient Indian civilization. This ruin city bears silent yet loud testimony of a glorious past of India and would thrill anyone who enjoys the soundless testimony its ruins brings to us, the modern generations.

Hampi Ruins

Today, Hampi is a recognized and protected world heritage monument under UNESCO and Indian Government. Archeological excavations have unearthed a treasure of artifacts in the form of carved stone figurines and statues and many other things that are amply shown as ruins of grand palaces of the past kings of India. Buddhist inscription dated 2-3rd Century were also found at this site indicating the Buddhism was maybe a well known religion in this area during that time.

Many great travelers in the past have mentioned Hampi’s grandeur and beauty when it was at its peak. Domingo Peas compares it to Rome an says, “…it is undoubtedly the best provided city in the world.” The trade that flourished in those times in the city of Hampi was specially based on precious and semi-precious stones.

The city’s architectural richness have totally enthralled historians and historic visitors alike. There are architectural masterpieces such as the temples of Hazara Rama, Balakrishna and the Vitala; there are impressive structures that show the advanced knowledge of engineering and architecture of that period of time  such as the Queen’s Bath, the Kamala Mahal (Palace) and so on.

The glory of Hampi came to an end when the empire fell in the Battle of Talikota in 1565 AD and came under the ruling of the alliance of five Bahamani Kings who completely destroyed the city while ransacking for war spoils.  In spite of the massive destruction that had befallen, Hampi still lives on to say the whole story of its glorious past.

Hampi is a place which will easily transport you back in time to the 13th century with each stone and ruined remains that is available. The place is vibrant with the richness of the past and continues to create and attract the fascination of people from all over the world.

Goa – The Beach Paradise

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Goa, with its charming beaches, thrilling nightlife, exotic cuisines, and historic edifices, and a unique blend of Konkani and Portuguese, it is one of the much sought after anytime summer holiday destinations in India. Another aspect you may note about Goa is the carnival atmosphere it wears all the time. This is a phenomenon you cannot sense anywhere else in India. For a vacation with a difference, this is the place you should visit.

Goa Beaches

If there is anything that Goa is synonymous with, then it is its many stunning beaches, which are interestingly markedly differ from one another – in the nature of the sand, crowds, or depth. Anjuna is one such sea coast known for its shingle-sand and sixties-style flower culture. Agonda is ideal for a peaceful beachside stroll, while adventure enthusiasts may feel at home in the rocky and sandy Arambol. Further, Baga is quite popular, Polem and Palolem are unspoilt and lack crowds, and the enchanting Colva is a must-visit. Not to mention are the charming red sand Calangute and Vagator beaches. In fact, there are still more unexplored beaches in Goa, but it’s your job to find it out.

However, it is not about beaches alone as Goa has still much more to see and experience, like the enchanting backwater cruise in Zuari and Mandovi rivers, dolphin cruises in the high seas, adventure sports like waterskiing, parasailing, and wind surfing, and dancing by the fireside to the tunes of a strumming guitar, especially if you are there with your partner. A guided trip that takes one through the colonial past of Goa, through its old cathedrals, temples, and forts, is also a good option if you love visiting heritage sites. For wilderness seekers, there are some exciting forests and rivers in the outskirts of Goa.

But, no visit to Goa is deemed complete without tasting the delicious Goan and Mediterranean cuisine and sea food, something for which its roadside restaurants are famous for. If you are not a teetotaler, also add port wine, local feni (a cashew brew), and passoa – a passion fruit derived liquor – to the list. Finally, there is this pomp and splendor of the various Goan carnivals and festivals, which you simply cannot afford to miss. There will be some festival being organized all the time, and for tourists, it’ll be a nice experience to be in the thick of the things as the excitement unwinds around them.

Goa has a lot to see; hence it is advisable to hire a vehicle as it would save your time. Motorcycle taxis are popular, but bus services are quite erratic and hence not so reliable. Goa’s Dabolim Airport has connections to all major cities in India.