Situated along the ceremonial Rajpath avenue (meaning King's Way) in New Delhi, India Gate is a memorial raised in honour of the Indian soldiers who died during the Afghan wars and World War I. The names of the soldiers who died in these wars are inscribed on the walls. The cenotaph (or shrine) in the middle is constructed with black marble and depicts a rifle placed on its barrel, crested by a soldier's helmet. Each face of the cenotaph has inscribed in gold the words Amar Jawan (in Hindi, meaning Immortal Warrior). The green lawns at India Gate are a popular evening and holiday rendezvous for young and old alike.
Akshardham Temple :
Akshardham Temple it is the largest Hindu temple in the world. It was built in 2005. In the sprawling 100-acre (0.40 km2) land rests an intricately carved monument, high-technology exhibitions, an IMAX theatre, a musical fountain, a food court and gardens.
Gurdwara Bangla Sahib :
One of the many Gurdwaras in Delhi, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is the most visited one in the Delhi area. Millions visit this Gurdwara from all over the world and of all religions to offer their prayers at this elegant yet historical Gurdwara in Delhi. This is not just a sacred Sikh shrine, but also very important to many Hindus .
Humayun's Tomb was built by Humayun's widow, Hamida Banu Begum. Designed by a Persian architect named Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, the structure was begun in 1562 and completed in 1565. The tomb established a standard for all later Mughal monuments, which followed its design, most notably the Taj Mahal.
The Qutub Minar is located in a Mehrauli in South Delhi. It was built by Qutb-ud-din Aibak of the Slave Dynasty, who took possession of Delhi in 1206. It is a fluted red sandstone tower, which tapers up to a height of 72.5 metres and is covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur'an. Qutub-ud-din Aybak began constructing this victory tower as a sign of Muslim domination of Delhi and as a minaret for the muezzin to call the faithful to prayer. However, only the first story was completed by Qutub-ud-din. The other stories were built by his successor Iltutmish. The two circular stories in white marble were built by Ferozshah Tughlaq in 1368, replacing the original fourth story.
The balconies in the tower are supported by exquisite stalactite designs. The tapering tower has pointed and circular flutings on the first storey and star-shaped ones on the second and third stories.
The Qutub Minar is also significant for what it represents in the history of Indian culture. In many ways, the Qutub Minar, the first monument built by a Muslim ruler in India, heralded the beginning of a new style of art and architecture that came to be known as the Indo-Islamic style. Other monuments around the Qutb complex, are Jamaali Kamaali mosque and tombs, Balban's tomb and Adham Khan's Tomb.
Red Fort :
The decision for constructing the Red Fort was made in 1639, when Shah Jahan decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi. Within eight years, Shahjahanabad was completed with the Red Fort-Qila-i-Mubarak (fortunate citadel) — Delhi's seventh fort — ready in all its magnificence to receive the Emperor. Though much has changed with the large-scale demolitions during the British occupation of the fort, its important structures have survived.
Chandni Chowk :
Chandni Chowk, a main marketplace in Delhi, keeps alive the city's living legacy of Shahjahanabad. Created by Shah Jahan the builder of Taj Mahal, the old city, with the Red Fort as its focal point and Jama Masjid as the praying centre, has a fascinating market called Chandni Chowk. Legend has it that Shah Jahan planned Chandni Chowk so that his daughter could shop for all that she wanted. The market was divided by canals. The canals are now closed, but Chandni Chowk remains Asia's largest wholesale market. Crafts once patronized by the Mughals continue to flourish there. Chowk is one of the oldest and busiest markets in central north Delhi. the Laal Quila (The Red Fort) and Fateh Puri Masjid. With the most famous mosque of Delhi Jama Masjid in the vicinity, along with Sis Ganj Gurudwara, Jain Mandir and a lot of small temples, the place witnesses a genuine cultural harmony.
Jama Masjid :
The Masjid-i-Jahan Numa, commonly known as Jama Masjid, is the principal mosque of Old Delhi. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and completed in the year 1656, it is one of the largest and best known mosques in India.
On the bank Yamuna River, which flows past Delhi, there is Raj Ghat, the final resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. It has become an essential point of call for all visiting dignitaries. Two museums dedicated to Gandhi are situated nearby.
Lotus Temple :
The Lotus Temple is a Bahá'í House of Worship, situated in South Delhi and shaped like a lotus. It was built by the Bahá'í community.
National Museum, New Delhi :
The National Museum, New Delhi is the largest museum in India. It holds variety of articles ranging from pre-historic era to modern works of art. It is run by the Ministry of Culture, part of the Government of India. The museum is situated on the corner of Janpath and Maulana Azad Road.
Jantar Mantar :
The Jantar Mantar consists of 13 architectural astronomy instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II between 1727 to 1734.
Taragarh Fort :
The colossal fort stands watching the city. There are six entrance points in the fort. The fort houses Miran-Saheb-ki-Dargah, the governor of the fort who died fighting in an encounter. The fort offers a panoramic view of the city situated in Nagpahari hills of Aravalli ranges. This fort has immeasurable historical and archaeological importance.
Monuments : Adhai-Din-Ka-Jhopra :
'Adhai Din' means 'two and a half days' and suggests the time duration in which this building was built. A marvel, a masterpiece of Indo - Islamic architecture, this building is an artifact of an old mosque and is made up of a with a front screen wall with seven pointed arches. The distinctive pillars and arched screen with ruined minarets make it a superb architectural masterpiece.
'Dargah Sharif' or 'Holy Dargah' is one of the most sacred Muslim shrines in the country. Venerated by both Hindus and Muslims, it is the tomb of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti, a Sufi saint who came from Persia and devoted his life to the service and upliftment of the poor and downtrodden. The Dargah has a massive gate with silver doors built in several stages. Revered by the Mughal rulers, it has touches of Humayun to Shah Jahan in its structural architecture. A silver railing and a marble screen surround the actual tomb of the saint, made of marble with a gold plated dome.
Lakes : Ana Sagar Lake :
The favorite outing spot of the city, Ana Sagar Lake is an artificial lake named after Anaji Chauhan. The 'Baradari' is surrounded by parks and the pavilions, which were built by Shah Jahan to assist his long stays in Ajmer. Local people helped to build the catchments.
Prime Attractions in Alwar
37 km from Alwar, surrounded by thick, dry, deciduous forests and imposing Aravalli ranges, lies 765.80 sq km of an outstanding tiger sanctuary, which was established in 1955 under the project Tiger. The sanctuary is noted for its varied population of tigers, nilgai sambhars, cheetals, four horned antelopes and wild boars. It also boasts of Sariska palace, built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the honor of the Duke of Edinburgh when he visited the sanctuary. Now, it has been converted into a heritage hotel.
Vijai Mandir Palace :
10 km from Alwar, Maharaja Jai Singh built this awe-inspiring palace in 1981. Its reflection in the adjoining lake makes it a most picturesque sight. The palace has a remarkable Sita Ram Temple in attracting number of devotees, especially during Ramnavami. The palace is not open to tourists. For ones who are keen to visit the palace, they need to seek permission from the secretary.
Silliserh Lake and Palace Hotel
13 km from Alwar, this place is picture perfect with beautiful thick forests, a lake whose tranquil waters lures all the nature lovers, splendid chhatris on the banks of the lake and a majestic regal palace complete with the hunting lodge. Maharaja Vinay Singh built the palace in 1845 for his beloved queen, Shila. The palace has now been turned into a heritage hotel.
Prime Attractions in Bikaner
Junagarh Fort :
Built by Raja Rai Singh (who was a contemporary of Akbar), the fort remains unconquered till date except once, when Kamran supposedly captured it but could not retain it over 24 hours. It has 37 palaces, temples and pavilions that are built in red sandstone and marble. Richly decorated with mirror work, paintings and outstanding stone carvings, the architectural brilliance of the fort is worth seeing.
Suraj Pol (the Sun Gate) is the main doorway of the fort. The palaces are on the southern side of the fort and their courtyards, kiosks, towers and windows make a scenic view. The notable tourist attractions are Chandra Mahal (The Moon palace), Phool Mahal (The Flower Palace), Karan Mahal (Karn Palace), Anup Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas (Public Audience Hall), Hawa Mahal (the Wind Palace), Badal Mahal (the Cloud Palace), Rang Mahal (the Color Palace), Dungar Mahal, and Ganga Mahal. The fort is open from10 am to 4.30 pm daily and is closed on Fridays. The entry fee includes the fee of the guide.
Lalgarh Palace :
Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881-1942) built Lalgarh Mahal, Sir Swinton Jacob being the chief architect. An imposing building, it has a captivation combination of Oriental style with its delicate latticework and European luxury with its overhanging balconies and terraced lawns. Peacocks and bougainvillea bushes provide the final strokes to the loveliness of its scenic beauty. The Lal Ghar Palace Library has a massive collection of rare, original Sanskrit manuscripts on parchments, copper and gold or silver plaques. The Lalgarh palace is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm and is closed on Wednesdays.
About 30km south of Bikaner, it is known for its 600-year old Karni Mata Temple, which is dedicated to the Karni Mata, the tutulary deity of the royal family of Bikaner and a form of the Goddess Durga. You will find thousands of rats in the temple. The devotees feed them and believe that these rodents will be reincarnated as holy men. They also consider spotting a white rat as a good omen. The temple is open from 4 am to 10 pm and there's an additional fee for cameras and videos.
Prime Attractions in Jaipur
City Palace :
Chandra Mahal, more popularly known as City Palace, is still the residence of the royal family, at least, in part, while Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum that occupies the ground floors and outer courtyards offers rare manuscripts, Mughal and rajasthani miniature paintingss, mughal carpets, royal costumes and textiles, arms and weapons.
Amer Palace :
Raja Man Singh built Amer Palace in 16th century. It is a mesmerizing blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Jai Mandir, Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Niwas and Ganesh Pole are the main areas of interest in the palace.
Hawa Mahal :
Latticed windows and stone screens lend an additional charm to the multi-layered palace of Hawa Mahal. Raja Sawai Pratap Singh (grandson of Sawai Jai Singh and son of Sawai Madho Singh) built it in 1799.
Nahargarh Fort :
Originally known as Sudarshan Garh, Nahargarh or the Tiger fort was built in 1734 by jai Singh II. It was one of the first of the three forts built by the kings of Jaipur and from here you can see the scenic beauty of the Man Sagar Lake.
Jai Garh Fort :
Jaigarh fort was built in 1726 by Sawai Jai Singh and is very similar to Amber Fort. It features the mighty Jaivana, the largest wheeled canon in the world along with three water tanks, a museum, and stunning views of the city of Amber below.
Jal Mahal :
An 18th century pleasure palace, perched amidst Mansagar Lake, Jal Mahal is noted for its complicated design and majestic structural design. Situated across the cenotaphs, there is causeway that leads us to the Jal Mahal Palace.
Jantar Mantar :
The amazing astronomical three-storey-high observatory was built between 1728 and 1734 based on the drafts of Maharaja Jai Singh II. Jantar-Mantar in Sanskrit means 'Magical Device'.
Samode Palace (40-km North West) :
The beautiful Samode Palace has been rebuilt and renovated and is now serving as one of the family run hotels that offer personalized service and attention to detail. It is an exquisite example of the Rajput haveli architecture and offers a panoramic view to its guests.
The region of Shekhawati is known for its painted Haverlis. It means the garden of Shekha, named after its ruler Rao Shekha. It is often called as 'open art gallery of Rajasthan' as the painted Havelis rich in artistic tradition makes it commendable and fascinating. Most of them were built between 18th century to early 20th century. Various forms of fine art adorn the walls and the ceilings of these edifices. The havelis are noted for their frescoes depicting mythological themes and that of huge animals. Some od the later day frescoes show steam locomotives and trains.
16 km from Jaipur, is the small village of Sanganer, an important trade and industry centre that produces the finest hand-printed textiles (block printing or silk screen). The manual tanning and block printing by the use of simple techniques is still practised here and the patterns are made in huge tints. However, Sanganer is best known for the making of handmade paper. One may visit a paper factory and see the process while one can see big sheets of paper and colored materials drying on the river banks and in fallow fields as one drives through the city.
Amber Fort :
Jaipur has a huge significance in the history of Rajasthan. Being the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur has touched new heights as a tourism destination. The growing popularity of the place has caught the frenzy of tourists from different parts of the world. The city, popularly known as the pink city has a number of forts and palaces that are an integral part of Jaipur tourist attractions. These forts and palaces in Jaipur are a great way to get a detailed knowledge about the history, cultural traditions and history of Jaipur. Hence, any tour to Jaipur consists of visit to these forts and places. The Amber Fort is one of the most popular forts in Rajasthan. With a historical significance that makes it a must visit in Jaipur, the marvelous architecture of the fort is also a great attraction for tourists.
Located 11 kilometers away from Jaipur, the Amber Fort was the capital Kachhwaha clan. It is one of the most visited forts in Jaipur. Though there are a number of famous forts in Jaipur yet the Amber fort manages to draw the most number of tourists. The fort boasts great strength as well as its foundation is made up of jagged stones of the Aravalli hills. Started by the famous Raja Man Singh, the construction of the fort took quite some time to be completed as the construction was ultimately completed by Raja Sawai Jai Singh 1 in the year 1592.
Attractions of Amber Fort :
The architecture of the museum boasts a perfect blend of Mughal and Rajput style. It is truly a marvelous piece of architecture. There is a ramp that takes you to the main gate. Once you enter the fort, every aspect of the fort will reveal a unique splendor and grandeur. Even the interior of the palace have aspects that reveal the royal taste of the bygone era. Tourists are astonished to witness some of the features of the fort like the exquisitely carved red sandstone pillars, stucco plasters. The fame of the Amber Fort is such that it outshines the glamour of many other famous forts of the Mughal period.
There are many attractions embedded in the fort which has helped the fort to attain such fame. Some of the main attractions of the fort are as follows:
Shila Mata Temple : It is a great attraction of the fort as it houses black marble idol of goddess Kali. It was bought by Man Singh in 1604. The beautifully carved silver gates of the temple are also a major attraction for the tourists.
Diwan-e-Khas : The colored glass of the private audience depicting the Rajputs is also a great attraction for the audience.
Diwan-e-Am : The double raw of majestically shaped pillar continues to astonish the tourists for several years.
Gansh Pol : Visiting the Ganesh Pol will give you a rare opportunity to witness the beautiful Rajput paintings.
Prime Attractions In Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer Fort :
Perched on the 250 feet high hilltop, Jaisalmer fort is the second oldest fort in Rajasthan (after Chittor) and provides an ecstatic overview of the desert land all around. There are three fort walls and four gates through which we pass to reach the palaces within, namely, Akhai Pole (Ganesh Pole), Suraj Pole, Bhuta Pole and Hawa Pole. There were deliberate sharp turns on the pathway to make it invincible. Sharp turns on the road topped by high defence gateways made it invincible. Meghadamber, an umbrella that symbolizes Lord Krishna perches on the highest point of the place. In the 15th century, the local Jain Panchayat built the first buttress wall. There were subsequent fortifications and additions by the Rawals later. There are five palaces in the fort - Sarvottam Vilas, Akhai Vilas, Gaj Mahal, Rang Mahal and Moti Mahal - which are interconnected. They have beautifully carved jail screens to protect the interiors from the raging desert storms and scorching heat and delicate and extremely beautiful murals painted on their arches and spandrels. The famous Jain temples located within the fort can be rightfully compared to Dilwara temples in their beauty, ornamentation and splendor.
Salem Singh ki Haveli, Patwon ki Haveli and Nathmal ki Haveli :
These 'Havelis' (Rich Merchants' house) are the gems of the unique and grand architecture of Jaisalmer. Salem Singh haveli, at the eastern end of the city, is like a wild flower as if it is blossoming at the top. Situated in the heart of the city, Patwon ki Haveli was built by Guman Chand Patwa and his five sons who dealt in brocade, gold and silver embroidery that was famous from Afghanistan to China. It amazes us to see how the carving on stone reflects the beauty of the work on brocade and gold. The most magnificent mansion in Jaisalmer, it is like a out-and-out museum piece in the open. The third haveli was built by Nathmal, a later day prime minister, and his brother in 1885, as a gift to the Rawal but was allowed to retain it. Built by two brothers in 1885, this haveli has two identical looking portions, which are in fact two different parts united by a common façade. Look for the projected balconies, which seem to emerge from books of poetry. So ethereal and charming, the carving never looked better. A perfect example of jeweller's art applied to stone carving. The Muslim artisans did a breathtaking job leaving their marvelous legacy of craftsmanship excellent in detail and flawless in conception.
Gadsisar Lake :
The calm waters of this rainwater lake with its green surroundings, clusters of small temples and a quaint museum at its periphery is more known for its tich folklore tales than its beauty.
Sam Sand Dunes :
10 km from Alwar, Maharaja Jai Singh built this awe-inspiring palace in 1981. Its reflection in the adjoining lake makes it a most picturesque sight. The palace has a remarkable Sita Ram Temple in attracting number of devotees, especially during Ramnavami. The palace is not open to tourists. For ones who are keen to visit the palace, they need to seek permission from the secretary.
Just 15 km northwest of the city, one can visit the ruins of the deserted ancient capital-city of Jaisalmer, which was founded by the Lodra Rajputs and was handed down to the Bhatti Devaraja in the 10th century.
Bada Bagh & Chattris
7 km north of Jaisalmer, there is a massive dam built by Raja Jai Singh II and finished by his son at Bagh. An unearthly beauty now possesses these ruins of the gardens and chhatris, statues and cenotaphs of the former rules that was once an oasis in the land of Thar.
25 km north of Jaisalmer, this 400-year old village that was deserted but has now been re-inhabited, is famous for its camel treks.
Prime Attractions in Jodhpur
The unconquerable Rao Jodha built this impenetrable fort, which is certainly one of the best in India, on a vertical hill with a breathtaking view of the surroundings. The fort has elaborate latticed windows, intricately carved panels and gracefully curved porches.
Every part of the fort has a distinctive appeal, the Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana all add to the distinct ambience of the fort. High on the wall, is the second largest cannon in Asia, whose recoil itself requires as large an area as a football field!
As you keep wondering over the magnificence of the fort, don't forget to explore the museum shop that displays some of the best handicrafts, books and literature including some unique products like 'Pea Pulao Poster'. Fort
Umaid Bhawan Palace :
This flamboyant palace was built in the 20th century as a famine relief project, with a purpose to give employment to the people for a long period of 16 years. A remarkable art-deco construction, Umaid Bhawan is resplendently maintained and one of the most impressive sights in Jodhpur. The museum within is a genuine treasure showcase of mementos displaying the royal history of Jodhpur from clocks and tea sets to paintings and royal costumes. The palace has now been converted into a heritage hotel, though it is still a royal residence in part. The museum is open to visitors for a chosen entry fee and is closed on Mondays.
This pleasing gateway is 65 km away from Jodhpur, formerly known as 'Ukeshpur'. Osian is a large centre of Brahmanical and Jain temples, which dates back at a span of five centuries. The Sun Temple is the most venerated and the oldest temple amongst them. To our surprise, most of these temples face in the west direction. Moreover, there are the Mahavira Temple and the three Vishnu temples that are worth visiting.
Situated 8 km from the city, Mandore was the former capital of Marwar before Jodhpur. The old cenotaphs of the Rathore rulers are the main attractions here along with the rocky caves, which once were a roof to homeless ascetics. Sixteen deities are carved out of the rock face that are slightly dazzlingly presented in a place adjacent to a temple within the complex. The deftly landscaped gardens are crowded with an array of birds and small animals. The luxuriant foliage set to music against the rippling fountains truly presents a picturesque sight.
10 km from Jodhpur lays the imperial retreat of Jhalamand. The 18th century palace is set amidst serene surroundings and is a perfect getaway. One can take a walk of the village or choose for the safaris here.
Mahamandir and Balsamand Lake :
Mahamandir is 4 km northeast of the city. An old town surrounded by walls, it was built in 1812, which features the hundred-pillared Shiva temple. Just 3 km away is Balsamand, an artificial lake with a summer palace on its banks, a public park and bird sanctuary that makes it a perfect model for a peaceful reprieve. The palace has now been converted into a hotel.
Sardar Samand :
66 km of postcard-perfect beauty and passing sights of Bishnoi villages (the Bishnois are the oldest conservationists in India) brings one to the hunting chalet of the regal family, which has now been converted into a hotel. The rooms though not lavish are open and have unpretentious interiors. Their old-worldly dwellings and the sight of the lovely Black Buck acts as an overture to the revelation of the calm waters of Sardar Samand Lake.
Prime Attractions in Mount Abu :
Nakki Talav :
This dazzling blue artificial lake is said to have been dug by the gods using their fingernails ('nakh' means nail). Near the lake is the 14th century Raghunath Temple while Nakki Lake Road surrounds the entire lake. Boat rides in its placid calm waters are exhilarating.
Dilwara Temples :
The complex consists of five marble Jain temples, which are considered to be one of the finest in Rajasthan, and is one of the biggest tourist attractions of India. These delightfully carved temples were built between 11th to 13th centuries and are an absolute delight. They are dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras. The Vimal Vasahi Temple is the oldest and the best of these. It was built in 1031 and is dedicated to the first Tirthankara.
Gaumukh Temple :
The temple is devoted to Lord Rama, and is centered on a spring gushing from the mouth of a marble cow. It is said to be the site of the ancient 'agnikund yajna' rituals. It has free access and one has to brave 700 very steep steps to reach the temple.
Achalgarh Fort :
Just 8 km from Mt Abu, it is a remarkable fort with some stunning Jain temples situated in its premises. The most remarkable ones are Achaleswar Mahadev temple and Kantinath Jain temple with a gold plated image.
Guru Shikhar :
15 km from the city, this is the highest peak on the Mount Abu (the altitude being 1722 meters above the sea level) and allows a breathtaking view of the divine surroundings of Mt. Abu. A small shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and a temple of Dattatreya, His son are worth a visit.
Prime Attractions in Pushkar :
Brahma Temple :
The only temple in the world where Lord Brahma (The Creator of the world, according to Hindu mythology) is worshipped is the main attraction of Pushkar. The temple holds special significance for Hindus and has a life-size four-armed idol of Lord Brahma. The temple has marble floors and stairs where it is customary for the devotees to put coins to mark the births and deaths of their loved ones.
Pushkar Lake :
Pushkar Lake is said to be very sacred and has said to be originated when the petals from Lord Brahma's lotus fell on the earth and a lake of clear blue water emerged at its place. 500 temples, 52 palaces, and 52 ghats surround the lake. It is at this lake that the world-renowned Pushkar fair is organized on the occasion of Kartik Purnima every year.
Savitri Temple :
The temple is situated on the Ratnagiri Hill and is dedicated to Goddess Savitri, the wife of Lord Brahma. An interesting legend is attached to the temple. Once Lord Brahma had to perform a 'Yagna' (a holy rite to appease gods) on a very short notice. Since he could not do this without his wife, he married Gayatri, a local milkmaid after purifying her. When Savitri came to know of all this, she was furious and cursed her husband that he would never be worshipped anywhere except in Pushkar and that too only once a year. She then left for the Ratnagiri Hill and performed self-immolation.
Prime Attractions in Ranthambore
Ranthambore National Park
One of the premium tiger reserves of India, in the country, Ranthambore National Park sprawls across the area of 392 sq. km. Deciduous forests and Aravalli and Vindhyan ranges along with the three lakes, namely, Padam Talab, Raj Bagh Talab and Milak Talab, create a perfect habitat for the quick and treasured predators, tigers. The park also houses panthers, nilgais, sambhars, and variety of fauna and more than 264 species of birds.
Ranthambore Fort :
One of the oldest forts in Rajasthan, the fort was built in the 10th century by the Chauhan rulers. Situated strategically, it was meant to keep it safe from the hands of the enemy, yet, it could not prevent the unfortunate incident of royal ladies committing 'jauhar' (self-immolation) to save their honor from the plundering hands of the soldiers of the Muslim invader Ala-ud-din Khilji who laid siege on the fort in 1303. Temples, tanks, massive gates and huge walls characterize the fort and Badal Mahal (the Cloud Palace) within the fort is wort seeing.
Jogi Mahal :
The Jogi Mahal is a pretty rest house in the heart of the forest overlooking the Padam Talab and is very close to the national park. Besides having all the facilities for a comfortable stay, it is also one of the tourist attractions because of its ancient banyan tree, which is said to be the second largest banyan tree in India.
Sawai Madhopur Village :
12 km from Ranthambore, Sawai Madhopur is not only the major gateway to Ranthambore, it also boasts of many historic legends due to its being one of the major center of attraction of the Rajput rulers. Besides being an excursion point, it is here that tourists go for shopping and for other such facilities which are not readily available in the thickly wooded area of Ranthambore, as it is the nearest centre of civilization to Ranthambore.
Famous for its Kaila Devi Fair, Karauli is close to Ranthambore and is a must-see. It was founded in 1348, and since then, has been mainly ruled by Yadhuvanshi Rajputs, said to be the descendants of Lord Krishna. Formerly known as Kalyanpuri after the local deity Kalyan ji, Karauli has many historic monuments and the temples of Kaila Devi and Madan Mohanji, which are worth a visit.
Prime Attractions in Udaipur :
City Palace :
Built by Maharaja Udai Singh, the gorgeous City Palace is a marvel in marble, situated on the banls of Lake Pichola. Majestically set on a hill, it is flooded with balconies, towers and cupolas alonf with the superb views of the lake and the city that can be cherished from the upper terraces. Surrounded by fortification walls, it has a triple arched gate at the entrance called Tripolia, which was built in 1725. A perfect amalgamation of Medieval European and Chinese architecture, the palatial complex has a number of astonishing buildings, well-planned gardens and fountains.
Lake Palace :
The Lake Palace is situated on the Jag Niwas Island in the middle of the Lake Pichola. It used to be a pleasure palace for the royal family in summers and has now been turned into a heritage hotel. Dreamy location, romantic ambience, fairy tale delicate craftsmanship and the interiors based on ethnic themes using textiles and handicrafts all over are simply outstanding.
Jag Mandir :
The first island palace of Lake Pichola, Jagmandir was built by Maharana Karan Singhji in 1622 AD and was intented to be a pleasure palace for regal parties and functions. It has served as a refuge for Moghul Emperor Shahjahan when he was a prince against the wrath of his father in a family dispute in the seventeenth century. The legend says that Jagmandir was the inspiration behind the world-famous Taj Mahal, which Shah Jahan built in the memory of his deceased wife, Mumtaj.
Lake Pichola :
Maharana Udai Singh II significantly distended the gorgeous Lake Pichola as a defense measure, when he founded Udaipur. Cradled amongst hills, gardens, havelis, temples and ghats, Lake Pichola is the picturesque spotlight of Udaipur. The lake sports two islands palaces - Jagniwas (popularly known as Lake Palace) and Jagmandir. Visitors can enjoy boat rides which can be extremely enjoyable in the backdrop of the setting sun.
Lake Fateh Sagar :
Lake Fateh sagar is an artificial lake constructed by Maharana Jai Singh in 1678 to the north of Lake Pichola. It is fringed by hills and woodland. There is a canal linking the two lakes via Swaroop Sagar and Rang Sagar Lakes. Nehru Island on the lake is just as beautiful as well as an islet bearing a solar observatory that seems to rise from the lake.
Sahelion Ki Bari :
On the banks of Fateh Sagar Lake, a beautiful garden was built for the 48 maidens meant to be a part of the dowry of the princess. Widespread lawns, gushing fountains and dappled walking lanes characterize the garden. The garden has four pools with graceful kiosks and fountains that sport elephant trunks for spouts. These gardens appear distinct and immaculate in taste.
Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal :
The museum has on its display a wide array of folk arts, which has affluent collection of folk outfits, curios, puppets, masks, dolls, folk musical instruments and beautiful paintings. Visitors can also request for shows from world renowned puppeteers.
Maharana Pratap Memorial :
Erected atop Modi Magri (Pearl Mount) near Fateh Sagar Lake, is an impressive equestrian bronze statue of the gallant hero, Maharana Pratap. The legendary and loyal horse ‘Chetak’ is as famous as his rider for his courage and fearlessness. The ruins of one of the first Udaipur’s forts and an appealing Japanese rock garden are nearby interesting spots to visit.
Known for its sculptured Jain temples, built during the reign of Rana Kumbha, with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars (no two being alike), Ranakpur gets the spotlight because of its location and exquisite architecture, which can only be compared to Dilwara Temples in Mt. Abu.
40 km from Udaipur, Haldighati has secured its place in history forever. It was at Haldighati in 1576 that Maharana Pratap had a fierce battle with Mughal Emperor Akbar. The enormous territory was said to be covered with blood and it was here that Chetak, the legendary horse of Maharana Pratap gave a marvelous display loyalty towards his chivalrous master. A 'Chhatri' done in delicate white marble is dedicated both to the resolute hero and his devoted charger.
22 km from Udaipur, high walls surround a temple complex of 108 temples, known as Eklingji. Built in 1734, the temples are devoted to the regal deity Ekling ji. Made of sandstone and marble, the complex has an ornate 'mandap' or pillared hall, the awning of a huge pyramidical roof made of hundreds of knots.
This temple is one the most distinguished Vaishnava shrines of Lord Krishna (popularly called as Nathji here). Thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine during the festivals. 48 kn from Udaipur, foreigners are not permitted in the temple premises and photography is prohibited there.
Kumbhal Garh Fort :
84 km from Udaipur, Maharana Kumbha built Kumbhalgarh Fort in the 15th century. It is the second most important fort in Rajasthan after the Chittaurgarh Fort. Crowning the Aravalli Hills, the fort is not so easily accessible with seven great gates that stand guarding its entrance. Just 6 kms, from the Kumbalgarh Sanctuary, this mighty fort boasts of some great temples and the Badal Mahal or the Cloud Palace, which gives scenic view of the city.
Jaisamand lake :
48 km from Udaipur, it is an artificial lake built in 17th century by Maharana Jai Singh. The marble ‘Chhatris’ along the shores adds elegance to this second largest lake in Asia. There are palaces on either sides of the lake that were built for the beloved queens of the King. The islands on the lake still house the ‘Bhils’ (tribal people).
Rajsamand lake :
66 km from Udaipur, there is a magnificent dam built by Maharana Rai Singh in 1660. This royal lake offers a stunning view of the sunset festooned by beautiful ‘Torans’ (arches) and ‘Chhatris’ along with various striking pavilions. Eye-catching sculpture and inscriptions of Sanskrit verses characterize the place.
Prime Attractions in Chittorgarh :
Kirti Stambh :
Also Known as 'Tower of Fame'.A prosperous Jain merchant built the 22-metre high tower in the 12th century. The tower is adorned with sculptures of the Jain pantheon and is devoted to Adinath ji, the first of the Jain Tirthankaras.
Chittorgarh Fort :
The stubborn pride of Chittaur, the fort is a gigantic structure with numerous gateways built by the rulers in 7th century. Crowning a 180 m high hill, it spreads in a area of over 700 acres. The tablets and 'chhatris' within the structure are remarkable reminisces of the Rajput gallantry. The most important gates are Padam Pol, Hanuman Pol, Bhairon Pol and Ram Pol. The fort has various outstanding monuments - some of them are the finest examples of the Rajput architectural style. The primeval ruins of the fort are worth beholding.
Vijay Stambh :
Also Known as 'Victory Tower'.The daunting 37 metres high structure with nine storeys, covered with delicate figures of Hindu idols and portraying scenes from the two great Hindu epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata. Built in 1440 by Maharana Kumbha, it commemorates his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malawi and Gujarat.
Rana Kumbha's Palace :
The remains of the structure are of immense historical and architectural interest, being the biggest monument in the Chittorgarh Fort. It is said that it was in the underground cellars of this palace, where Rani Padmini and other royal ladies committed 'Jauhar'.
Jaimal and Patta Palaces :
The ruins of the palaces of Rathore Jaimal and Sisodia Patta reverberate with the stories of these two legendary 16-year old boys who defended the fort gallantly from the huge army of the Mughals when Maharana Udai Pratap Singh fled from there to save his life.
Padmini's Palace :
A magnificent place dedicated to the beautiful and courageous Rani Padmini, it was here that Rana Ratan Singh showed a glimpse of queen Padmini to Alauddin Khilji. The rest that happened is history and turned out into the first-ever incident of 'Jauhar' in Chittorgarh Fort.
Government Museum :
The glorious Prakash Mahal that has been turned into a museum these days has on its display some of the superb examples of sculptures from temples and buildings in the fort. It is kept closed on Fridays.
Fateh Prakash Museum :
Fateh Prakash Palace of Chittorgarh Fort was converted into a museum in 1968. The main sculptures on its display are Ganpati (dating 8th-9th century) from Pangarh and lndra and Lain Ambica statues from Rashmi village of post-medieval period. There are different sections displaying weapons and armory and the clay models of local tribes with their traditional outfits.
On the Bundi-Chittaur Road, amid the natural beauty is Menal, famous for its ancient Shiv temples, picturesque water falls and dense forests.
20 km from Ranthambore, Nagari is one of the oldest towns of Rajasthan. It is situated on the banks of River Banish and the Hindu and Buddhist remains that dates back to Mauryan and Gupta period can be found here.
25 km from the city on the route to Bundi, the place is a big tourist attraction because of its famed sculptures and woodcraft. It also has its share of historical forts, temples and 'kunds'. Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary sprawls over 50 sq kms and is known for its population of panthers, antelopes, wild boars, mongoose and migratory birds. However, one needs to take prior permission from the District Forest Office, Chittaurgarh to visit the sanctuary.
Sita Mata Sanctuary, Dhariyavad :
Another sanctuary in the lap of the Aravalli ranges and the Malawi plateau, it has three rivers that flow through the forest. According to a legend, Sita, the wife of Lord Rama stayed here in Rishi Valmiki's Ashram situated in the forests, after Lord Rama exiled her. The fauna commonly sighted here are leopards, hyenas, jungles, foxes, porcupines, sambhars, wild bears, four-horned antelopes, nilgais and flying squirrels.
Deogarh Fort :
125 km from the city, Deogarh Fort is a 16th century fort. It boasts of five floors, over two hundred rooms, number of with carved pillars and widespread use of marble, the palace is really an arresting monument. The rooms are decorated with beautiful murals done in the world-renowned Deogarh school of painting style.
Bijalpur (40-km) :
A marvellous castle built by Rao Shakti Singh, the younger brother of Maharana Pratap, stands in the village. Presently, it has been converted into a heritage hotel.
Prime Attractions in Neemrana :
Neemrana fort Neemrana is a small village in the Alwar district of Rajasthan in Western India. The chief attraction of this place is the fort which is perched on a plateau, surrounded by a horse-shoe formation of the Aravalli Mountains. The fort has now been converted into the Neemrana Fort Heritage Hotel, and attracts a large number of tourists to this part of Rajasthan. Tourists can opt for sightseeing and excursions from Neemrana to visit some of the best known spots of Rajasthan tourism.
Some of the best known tourist spots in Alwar can be seen during sightseeing and excursions from Neemrana. Alwar is known as the gateway to Rajasthan as it is the first major destination in Rajasthan encountered during a drive from Delhi. The district has an average elevation of 237 meters above sea level and is flanked by the old Aravalli mountain range. During sightseeing and excursions from Neemrana, you will come across a lot of tourist attractions. Some of these are –
Vinay Vilas Mahal :
this 18th century palace used to be the residence of the rulers of the state of Alwar. A portion of this palace is now being used by the government, while another has been converted into a museum. The palace is a fine blend of Rajasthani and Mughul architecture. Among the things worth seeing here are the gold and velvet throne in the Durbar Hall, the murals, mirror decoration, and the collection of weapons in the museum. The miniature paintings of the Alwar School are among the other interesting exhibits. The palace is also called the city palace.
Bala Quila (Fort) :
situated above the city palace, this medieval fort towers above the city, on a hillock. There are many legends associated with this fort. It is a massive structure and has a large number of towers. The fort is said to have sheltered many Mughul princes during their journeys or exiles. The dimensions of the fort speak volumes about its utility in those days. The fort measures 5 kilometers from North to South, and 2 kilometers from East to West.
Sariska National Park :
this tiger reserve is one of the best known wildlife destinations of the country. This area was brought under protection in 1958. Before that, it used to serve as the hunting grounds of the rulers of Alwar. The Aravallis guard the forest which was declared a National Park in 1982. It is located 40 kilometers from Alwar and can be easily visited during Sightseeing and Excursions from Neemrana. The important species found here include the Royal Bengal Tiger, leopard, jungle cat, Sambhar, Nilgai, four horned antelope, hyena, and crocodile. A large variety of birds can also be spotted in Sariska.
Siliserh Lake :
this is a wonderful picnic spot located 13 kilometers south west of Alwar. The lake covers an area of 10.5 square kilometers and is a fine spot for an excursion from Neemrana. The Lake palace was built in 1845 by Maharaja Vinay Singh for his wife. It is now a heritage hotel.
There are many other tourist spots in Alwar that can be visited during sightseeing and excursions from Neemrana. These include the Vijay Mandir Palace, Bhartrihari Temple, and Purjan Vihar, also called Company Garden.
Prime Attractions in Mandawa
Mandawa is one of those towns in Rajasthan that is deeply associated with the history of Rajasthan. The beautiful town is located a few kilometers away from Jaipur. It is considered one of the sleepy hamlets of Rajasthan. It is quiet obvious that a place with so much historical significance will surely have a number of tourist attractions. Visiting the various tourist attractions in Mandawa will offer you a thorough knowledge about its rich history. However, tourist sites in Mandawa are not all about historical importance. You will also get places to shop and have fun.
About Mandawa :
Mandawa is located in the Shekhawati region of the Rajasthan. The presence of a number of forts, mansions and havelis also make it a great tourist destination. Mandawa used to a busy market town for Rajput merchants. It was during that period, the Rajputs built a number of palatial mansions. It was their initiative to build the archways, murals etc. as well. This actually helped in imparting a royal ambiance and vintage charm to the place. The traders used to work in different parts of the country. However, whenever there was a question of building a palatial mansion, they built it in Mandawa. These mansions marked their wealth and prosperity.
Tourist attractions in Mandawa :
Various features like the paved archways, murals, a number of mirror works and the paintings make Mandawa a beautiful place. Art lover will also have a great time during tours to Mandawa as it also has a number of mirror works, paintings and splendid architectural works. Presence of these tourist attractions in Mandawa has actually earned it the name of “open art gallery”.
The Mandawa Fort is one of major Mandawa tourist attractions. It was constructed in the year 1797. The fort was built by Shekhawati ruler, Nawal Singh. The splendid architecture and appeal of the fort sets it apart from others. It is one of the main places of interests in Mamdawa as there are a number of attractions inside the fort. The visit to the palace will let you witness the beautiful painted murals and paintings of the fort. Other features like the arched doorways, mythological pictures will make you familiar with a medieval era like ambiance. As a result of the development taking place in this region, the Mandawa fort had been transformed into a hotel. This transformation is done without hampering the old world charm of the fort. It is one of the heritage hotels of Rajasthan.
The havelis in Mandawa is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mandawa. One of the most popular among them is the Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli. A visit to this haveli is an integral part of travel to Mandawa as it has a number of attractions. The haveli has wonderful mythological paintings. These paintings mainly depict mythological characters like Lord Shiva and Indra Dev. There is also a magnificent portico in the Goenka Double Haveli. The portico is decorated with paintings of horses and elephants.
It is situated 14 kms. away from Alleppey. In its architectural features, the Sreekrishna Temple confirms the typical Kerala style. The temple is famous through out Kerala for 'Palpayasam' a milk porridge of exceptional sweetness offered to the deity.
Situated 3 km east of Ambalapuzha, this village is known for its 10th century Karumadikkuttan statue, a black granite figure of the great Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. There are many interesting legends connected to this idol.
Champakulam - the water logged village is also the place of oldest angadi (market) known as Kalloorkkadu angadi. The St. Mary Forane Church built in 427 A D is another major attraction famous for its beautiful mural paintings for both tourists and believers. In Champakulam you can see Nadubhagum and Champakulam snake boats which take part in the annual snake boat races.
Prime Attractions in Cochin
Mattanchery Palace :
Mattanchery Palace is situated at Mattanchery about 10 kms from Jos Junction the centre of the City. Mattanchery has been an important trading center for the past few centuries. The town has a mixed population consisting of Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Christians and other communities.
The Mattanchery Palace known popularly as the Dutch Palace was built by the Portuguese in 1555 and later remodeled by the Dutch. The Palace is one of the oldest buildings of the Portuguese and is in Oriental style. It is quite unique from historical & architectural point of view. It was built by the Portuguese and presented to Veera Kerala Varma in order to pacify him and to compensate for having plundered a temple in the vicinity of the Palace. It has served as a seat of the Royal House and important functions connected with the coronation of the Maharaja used to be held here. It was during AD 1665 that major repairs and renovation was carried but by the Dutch.
The Palace is a two tiered quadrangular building consisting of long spacious halls with a central courtyard enshining the Royal deity, Palayannur Bhagavati. Two more temples are situated on either side of the Palace dedicated to Lord Krishna & Lord Siva respectively. The ground floor known as the Ladies Chamber is connected by a staircase from kanithalam room.. The upper storey consists of Coronation hall, Bed Chamber, Dining Hall, Assembly Hall and the Staircase room
The eastern portion of the coronation hall is square and is meant for the coronation ceremony of the Kings and the Western portion is meant for other distinguished members. The ceiling is decorated with inverted lotus (Adhopadma) and other floral designs representing the finest wooden carvings of the period.
A perpetual light (Kedavilakku) is kept in the Royal bed chamber (Palliyarai) as a mark of respect to one of the Cochin Maharajas who died here. Here we can see one of the finest and perhaps oldest murals of Kerala depicting Ramayana story
The ceiling of Dining Hall is fitted with a large number of brass cups whereas the ceiling of Assembly Hall is more ornamental.
St. Francis Church :
St. Francis Church is considered to be India's oldest European Church. This Protestant church was built originally by the Portuguese in AD 1510. The Church covers the site of St. Bartholomews, a wooden structure built by the five frairs who accompanied Albuquerque to Cochin in 1503. The Portuguese Viceroy Almedia was permitted by the Cochin Raja in AD 1506 to reconstruct the building in stone masonary. The medicant order of Franciscane raised the present building and dedicated it to St. Anthony. Vasco da Gama, the great navigator, soldier and statesman, was buried here in 1524 before his remains were returned to Portugal 14 years later in 1540. During 1510 to 1663 this church was officially called the conventional church of the order of St. Francis of Assissi by the Portuguese. The Dutch made some changes in the name and structure of the Church in AD 1779. It was known as the Government Protestant Church from 1819-46 and it was only after the restoration work carried out by the English that this edifice became known as St. Francis Church
Bolghatty Palace :
Bolghatty Palace was built by the Dutch on the Southern Extremity of the Bolghatty Island just across the High Court Jetty. One of the attractions is the mini golf course in the Palace grounds. There are several vantage points for lovely views of the harbour and the sea.
The Palace was built by the Dutch in the year AD 1744. It used to be the seat of the British Resident, but is now used as a Tourist Bunglow by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. The Bunglow is two storeyed and contains well decorated bed chambers, a huge lounge wherein historical portraits are displayed.
Hill Palace Museum :
The Hill Palace Museum is situated about 16 kms east of Cochin city on the Ernakulam-Piravam Road. The Palace complex shows a synthesis of European and Kerala styles of architecture. The Palace is a good example of classical architecture and the major attractions are Nalukettu (four sided building with a central courtyard), a few agraharams, an imposing bunglow built in Dutch style and a royal durbar. This sprawling Palace, built by the Dutch and presented to Sakthan Thamburan, the then Raja of Cochin, now houses a museum. The museum mainly displays the erstwhile wealth and prosperity of the royal family of Cochin, inlcuding the King's throne and crown. The antiquities displayed also include coins, palanquins, palm leaf manuscripts, wooden sculptures, paintings etc. The museum has a fairly good collection of antique temple carvings. There is a deer park in the Palace compound.
Chinese Fishing Nets :
Chinese fishing nets are a legacy of the earlier visitors to the Malabar Coast. The entrance to the Cochin Harbour is dotted by these fishing nets called "Cheena Vala" in malayalam. The records show that these fishing nets were first erected between AD 1350 and 1450. These are large nets, which hang from bamboo or teak posts with lights suspended above the net. These nets also have counterweights in order to facilitate easy-handling of the nets. The local fishermen still use these nets to catch the fish attracted by the light suspended above the nets. Nowadays these nets have become more of a tourist attraction. The best place to watch is from Vasco Da Gama Square, a narrow promenade that parallel the beach with little stalls serving varied kinds of sea food. Silhouetted against the sunset, they present a spectacular sight of Cochin's waterfront.
Marine Drive :
Marine Drive is considered to be one of the most beautiful parts of the city. It is also called as Shanmugham Road. The marine walk is the main hangout for the local populace as the view of the backwaters and the harbour from here is excellent. At night the lights from the various ships anchored at the harbour is just breathtaking. There are various buildings along the Marine Drive which are good examples of modem architecture with the notable one being Asoka Apartments on the southern end of the Marine Drive with a huge Namaste, the traditional greeting. The GCDA complex at the Marine Drive houses many of the important showrooms and eating joints.
Koder House :
Koder House was built in 1808 by Samuel S Koder of The Cochin Electric Company. It is a building with its red coloured brick-like façade representing the transition from the colonial to the Indo-European period. Unique features of the building includes floor tiles in chess board pattern, wood carved furniture and a wooden bridge running parallel over Rose lane onto a separate structure across the street.
Santa Cruz Basilica :
The Santa Cruz Basilica was built by the Portuguese and was later elevated to a Cathedral by the Pope Paul IV in 1558. It escaped the destruction by the Dutch conqueror in 1663 but was later demolished by the British when they took over Cochin in 1795. There was no church on the site for almost 100 years until Bishop Dom Gomez Vereira commissioned a new building in 1887. It was consecrated in 1905, Santa Cruz was proclaimed a Basilica by the Pope John Paul II in 1984.
Jewish Synagogue :
The synagogue is situated next to the Mattanchery Palace and is an important historical monument. The synagogue also known as "Paradesi Synagogue" was built in AD 1567. Later in AD 1664 it was rebuilt by the Dutch. The synagogue is also important in view of the fact that it houses the famous copper plate grant of Bhaskara Ravi Varma dated AD 1000, a golden crown presented by the Maharaja of Travancore in AD 1805 and the great scrolls of the old Testament. There are nearly two hundred and fifty six blue and white willow-pattern tiles, now forming the payment which were brought from Canton in China. These tiles were presented to the synagogue by Mr. Ezekeil Rahabi, a rich merchant who also built a clock tower. The scene depicted on each of these two hundred year old tile is different from the other and no two tiles are alike.
Cochin Boat Rides :
The Cochin Boat rides allow you to soak in the real beauty of Cochin which lies in its backwaters extending east and south from the harbour dotted with tiny islands formed naturally by alluvial deposits from the rivers. The most beautiful of all the islands is Bolghatty built by the Dutch. The sunset with the Chinese fishing nets in the background can be seen while you enjoy your boat-ride.
Willingdon Island :
It is one of Cochin's famous islands named after Lord Willingdon, the British Viceroy of India. This is a man-made island created in 1920's by the British using the material dredged while constructing and deepening of the Cochin Port. It is situated between Ernakulam and Mattanchery separated by the backwaters. Willingdon island is now an important part of Cochin with many of the important hotels, Government Offices, Shipping companies, Cochin Port Trust etc. located here.
Prime Attractions in Calicut (Kozhikode)
Krishna Menon Museum :
Krishna Menon Museum situated at East Hill is five km by bus from the Railway station / city bus station. Lying adjacent to pazhassi raja Museum, a store house of knowledge.
1.5 Km from the city. A place to spend your evening. The sea piers almost 125 years old extending well inside the sea are specialty. The Lions Club Childrens Park along with the nearby ice-cream parlours make evenings pleasant for visiting families. Fishermen with their small rowing boats entering the sea, fighting the waves and returning with varieties of fish is worth watching.
Situated 11 Km from the city, off Kallayi road. City buses ply form the city bus station and Palayam terminals. The hall mark of Beypore is its traditional ship building yard where the world famous "URU" is build, which has been a mode of transportation on the high seas for ages.
Situated 16 km from the city. Buses are readily available from city bus station(New Bus Stand) you have to get down at Thiruvangure three KM away from beach, a stroll along the stretch takes you to the beach where, Vasco Da Gama the famous Portughese traveller alighted four centuries back, in search of the land of fantasy - India. Beach accommodation at Kappad Beach Resort.
Situated 60 KM from Calicut city. Buses are available from the central bus station. Places of interest are the dam site, Crocodile farm, bird sanctuary and facility for boating.
78 km from calicut city. The oorakuzhi water falls and dam site are places of interest. Direct buses limited from calicut city. no accommodation facility available.
Thusharagiri water falls :
68 km from calicut city via kodancheri brilliant for the famous eye catching water falls which exhilarates you. Accommodation not available. Buses to kodancheri are available from calicut bus station.
Kakkadam Poyil :
Well known for its serene water falls and nearby lush streams. you have to catch a bus from calicut to valanthod or koyilpara.
Dolphin's Point :
Here one can see in the early hours of the morning dolphins playing in the sea. The beach, 2 km from Calicut town centre is along stretch of tree lined sand popular with the local people because of the Lions Club park, the Light House and the two piers - and, of course, the opportunity to enjoy in the evening breeze.
Science Planetarium :
Kozhikode wins a place in the planetarium map of the world. Situate within city at Jaffarkhan Colony. It reveals the mysteries of universe and enlightens about the planets and stars. Shows are at 12.00, 2.00, 4.00 & 6.00 pm.
A recreational boating centre within the heart of city can be seen at Arayadathupalam. Boating in pedal boats and row boats are facilitated here. Timing 8.00 am - 7.00 pm
Malabar House Boats :
For luxury boating and exploring pristine back waters of Kozhikode, House Boats can be availed. The novel concept and excellent hospitality in this floating palace is worth enjoying, with family and friends. These are the first fully newly built House Boats of Kerala. These are stationed at Purakkattiri, close to Purakkattiri Bridge on Ullery - Perambra road. 10 kms. from Kozhikode.
Prime Attractions in Idukki
Thekkady, India's largest Wildlife Sanctuary, 114kms off Kottayam and 190kms off Kochi, is a dream destination for any tourist visiting in India. This sanctuary spread over an area of 777sq. Kms, surrounded by an artificial lake over an area of 25sq.Kms.
Mangaladevi Temple :
This temple is 13km. from Kumily.
Built in the Pandian style of architecture, this temple is centuries old and stands in the thick forest it situates Kerala-Tamilnadu boundary. Kerala-Tamilnadu Government combinedly conduct the festival of the temple. The 'Pooja' is conducted her only once in a year on Chithira Poornima day.
If you wish to visit the temple , you will need special permission from the Chief Conservator of Forests (Ph-No 325385)
Vazhuthacaud, Thiruvananthapuram. The only way to temple is by jeep from Kumily.
With its abundant natural beauty, this place awaits the tourists who come to sip the natural beauty., escaping from the stress and strain of life. Barren hills densed with tea estates add more beauty to the place.
Iravikkulam National Park :
Iravikkulam National Park spread over 97sq.kms with Barren hills, meadows, rock rafts and wild animals will fascinate any one.
Stands at an altitude of 2694 metres on the southern boarder of the National park will evoke wonder in the tourists.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is 60Kms away from Devikulam.
The place, Thommankuthu, famous for its numerous waterfalls, is situated at a distance of 21 kms from Thodupuzha. As this place is suitable for trekking, adventurous youth are attracted to this place. Meenuliyarmudi (at vannapuram panchayathu), Keezharkuthu (Uumpannoor) and Irukallumud (Velliyammattom) are other famous small tourist centres near Thommankuthu.
Prime Attractions in Ernakulam
Dutch Palace :
This palace in Mattancherry was built by the Portuguese, and presented to the Raja of Cochin in 1555. Though built by the Portugese, it is popularly known as the "Dutch Palace", as the Dutch renovated it during their brief reign here. The glory of the Palace lies in the murals which are in the best traditions of Hindu Temple Art. In the central courtyard of the palace is the temple dedicated to Pazhayannur Bhagavathi. In the coronation hall, there is a display of dresses and Palanquins used by the rulers of Cochin.
Chinese Fishing Nets :
At the entrance to the harbour these nets are a fascinating sight. They can be seen all along the backwaters of Kerala. They were first bought to Kerala by the Chinese traders from Kubla Khan's court
This mangrove forest is a small bird sanctuary, located in the heart of the town behind the High Court of Kerala, attracts a large number of tourists.
Parikshit Thampuran Museum :
This is situated on the Durbar Hall Ground on DH Road, Eranakulam. Collection of 19th Century oil paintings, old coins, sculptures in stone and plaster of paris and copies of mural paintings are exhibited here.
Cheraman Juma Masjid :
The first mosque in India situated 52 Kms. away from Kochi. It was built in 629 A.D. and resembles a Hindu Temple in appearance. There are bus services from Eranakulam.
Museum of Kerala History :
Eight Kms. from Eranakulam, this museum is a treasure house of important scenes of Kerala History from Neolithic age to modern period portrayed through life-size statues. Recorded commentary of each scene with sound and light shows is staged here.
Hill Palace Museum :
This is situated 12 Kms. away from Eranakulam on the Eranakulam-Chottanikkara route. It is the largest archaeological museum of Kerala. Different types of sculptures, collection of rare coins, old weapons and collections from the Cochin Royal Family are exhibited here.
Pallipuram Fort :
Pallipuram Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1503. It is one of the oldest existing European monoments in India. The Catholic church at Pallipuram is an important pilgrim centre.
Cherai Beach :
The beach at Cherai on Vypeen island is 18 Kms. away from Vypeen. This is a beautiful and clam beach.
Kalady is the birth place of Adi Sankara the great Indian philosopher who lived in the 8th century. It is situated on the banks of river Periyar and there are two shrines in memory of Sree Sankaracharya. One dedicated to him as Dakshinamoorthy and the other to the Goddess Sharada. Adi Sankara's shrines in Kalady are open to all pilgrims irrespective of religion or caste.
On the slopes of the picturesque Western Ghats, 52 Kms. from Kochi and 8 Kms. from Kalady is the Malayattoor Church. This is a Christian pilgrim centre and is believed to have been blessed by the Apostle of Christ, St. Thomas and the Church atop the hill was established in A.D. 900. Malayattoor is accessible by road up to the foot hills of Kurishumudy. The church at the top of the hill, about 2 Kms. can be reached only by foot. Situated beside the Periyar river and a small lake called Manappattuchira, Malayatoor is also a place of scenic beauty.
Kallil Temple :
22 Kms. away from Kalady, there is a ninth century Jain temple. This temple is cut from a huge rock and a climb of 120 steps leads to the temple.
Kodanad lies on the southern bank of Periyar river amongst the scenic beauty of the High Ranges. It is 45 Kms. from Kochi city and 12 Kms. to the east of Perumbavoor town. There is an elephant taming centre here. Facilities for elephant ride are provided here. There is also a mini zoo at Kodanadu.
Boothathan Kettu :
Situated 63 Kms. away from Kochi. There is a dam here and in the reservoir boating facilities are provided. The Forest Department provides elephant rides thorugh the forest to old Bhoothankettu, which is very interesting.
Prime Attraction in Kannur
The Ezhimala is 55 km north of Kannur city. The beautiful hills on the sea shore is a facinating sight. Plenty of rare medicinal herbs are found on Ezhimala hills.
Madayi Mosque :
This famous mosque was built by Malik Iban Dinar in1124 AD. It is about 22 kms from Kannur town. It is beleved that the marbles used to built the Mosque are brought from Arabia.
St. Angelos Fort :
The St. Angelos Fort is a major tourist attraction in Kannur was built in 1505 by Portugese. It is 2kms away from Railway station.The Mappila Bay Harbor and Arakkal Mosque are near the fort.
Arakkal Palace :
Residence of Arackal Ali Rajas,the only Muslim royal family in Kerala. It is about 3 kms from Kannur.
Thalassery was a place with commercial important even during olden times. British East India Company setup their base in Thalassery in 1683. The Tellichery Fort was built in 1708.
The first Gymnastic training centre was setup in Thalassery.
Gundert Bungalow :
Gundert Bungalow is at Illikkunnu, Thalassery. It was the residence of German scholar Dr. Herman Gundert, who compiled the first Malayalam dictionary. He also built a church on Nettur Hill in 1889.
Aralam wild life sanctuary :
It is the one and only wild life sanctuary in Kannur, covers an area of 55 sq.km. It is about 40 kms from Kannur town. This beautiful place is situvated in the slopes of Western Ghats, coverd with tropical ever green forest. Elephants, bear, deer, monkey, wildcats and a large variety of birds are found here.
Paithalmala is about 1372metres above sea level and is ideal for trekking. It is on the Kerala-Karnataka border and about 65 kms north-east of Kannur city.
Pazhassi Dam and Gardens :
It is the only reservoir with gardens in Kannur district. The reservoir is mainly used for irrigational purposes. The gardens really worth a visit if you are interested is boating. The District Tourism Promotion Council boats are available to navigate through the river enjoying the silent beauty of Pazhassi dam.The garden is a good attraction with childrens park and sculptures.
Payyambalam beach :
It is 2km away from Kannur town. It is blessed with a clean and vast sea shore.
The beach is renovated recently with a beautiful park adorning beatiful sculptures by famous sculputure Kanayi Kunhiraman.
Prime Attractions in Kasargod
Bakel fort and the adjoining beach selected by the central government to develop into a special tourism area is the best bid of Kasargod for the promotion of tourism. Twenty six kms South of Kasargod town this magnificent and robust fort, overlooking the calm seas and the 'snow white beach' is a Perennial source of tourist attraction. Built by the Ikkeri Naikkanas in the 17th century the fort has seen many a war and seige for dominance. This exhiberating artifice has stood the test of time and remains a marvel to the eyes.
The broad and extensive beach with a backdrop of fisher folk village life has a scenic beauty and natural charm.
Anathapura is the only lake temple in Kerala. Situated at Kumbala 12 Kms North East of Kasargod, it is considered the moolsthanam, original seat, of Anantha Padmanabha of Thiruvananthapuram. The annual festival at this temple is in the second fortnight of April.
Madhur Sidhi Vinayak Temple :
Located eight kms North East of Kasargod the famous Madhur Maha Ganapathi temple is attracting thousands of pilgrims annually. This imposing structure of three tier architectural marvel is adorned with copperplate roofing against the beautiful landscape on the banks of Madhuvahini. The unique architectural style of this temple is noted for its archaeological value.
Malik Dinar Mosque :
The Malik Dinar Mosque at Thalankara is one of the first ten mosques built in India after the advent of Malik Mohammad Dianar to propagate Islam in India. The mortal remains of Malik Dinar is put to eternal rest near this mosque. Pilgrims in large numbers gather on the occasion of Uroose, the annual festival of this mosque.
Bela Church :
The famous church at Bela 15 kms north of Kasargod is a famous pilgrim centre is in the district. constructed in 1890 this is the oldest church in this area.
Yakshagana Bayalatta the famous art form of the region is a colourful cultural treat. The father of Yakshagana Parthysubha belonged to Kumbala. This colourful dance drama is based on the myths and legends of the old.
Prime Attractions in Kollam
Cruising down the backwaters in Ashtamudi, housing in a boat and living life at ease ... Kollam is the ultimate place to be. Apart from the immaculate backwaters, there are several other interesting places on land worth a visit in Kollam.
Thirumullavaram, 5 kilometres from Kollam, is the best beach spot. The calm Arabian Sea stretches a long way and the tourists can bask in the cool breeze pervading the place. This expansive beach is an ideal spot for swimming and bathing as well.
5 kilometres from Kollam, treasures the awesome remnants of the Portuguese and Dutch forts. Legend has it that the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British ruled this place in succession. A 45 metre high lighthouse is an added attraction to this place.
Paravoor, 20 kilometres from Kollam, is a narrow skirt of land stretching in between the backwaters and the sea. A beach resort by KTDC and a major water sports complex by Kollam DTPC will adorn this place very soon. The famous Varkala beach is a mere 15 kilometres drive from here. Paravoor is well connected by road and rail.
Jatayu Rock :
The Jatayu Rock is a huge rock situated in the Chadaya Mangalam village on
MC Road. The name 'Jatayu', a giant bird, comes from the epic - Ramayana. For the adventurous at heart, the place is ideal for trekking.
Thenmala, 68 kilometres East of Kollam, is a traveller's delight surrounded by dense forests in the Eastern ranges. The Thenmala Dam and pleasure boating along Senthurini Wild Life Sanctuary, organised by Kollam DTPC, is a visual treat to the tourists.
Sasthamkotta, the 'Queen of Lakes', is situated 27 kilometres from Kollam. The tourists can make use of the Pleasure Boating Facility at Sasthamkotta to take a cruise through the freshwater lake stretching over valleys of imposing hills.
Prime Attractions in Munnar
Pothaamedu offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenary here are ideal for trekking and long mountain walks
This idyllic hill stations with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings is a good picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing.
This is the venue of the first Hydro electric Project in Kerala and a place of immense scenic beauty
A panorama of waterfalls and rolling hills, Attukal, located between Munnar and Pallivasal, is a feast for the eyes. The place is also ideal for long treaks.
Located between Munnar and Rajamala, Nyayamakad is a land of breathtaking waterfalls. The waters cascade down a hill from a height of about 1600 metres. The enchanting surroundings make an excellent picnic spot and trekking point.
With its sleepy little cottages, bungalows, old playgrounds and courts, Chithirapuram still exudes an old-world charm.Home of the Pallivasal Hydel Power Project, this hill town is also famous for its picturesque tea plantations.
Situated at a height of 1700 m, Mattupetty is known for its highly specialised dairy farm-the Indo Swiss Livestock Project. Over a 100 varieties of high-yielding cattle are reared here. Visitors are allowed into 3 of the 11 cattle sheds at the farm.
Visiting time: 0900-1100 hrs and 1400-1530 hrs.
The Mattupetty lake and dam, just a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot.The sprawling Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala lake are other attractions in the vicinity. DTPC Idukki provides boating facilities on the Mattupetty Dam.Speed launch and motorboats are available on hire.
Lock Heart Gap :
This is an ideal place for adventure tourism and trekking. The fresh mountain air, the mistclad hills and panoramic view make it worthy of visit.
This is the natural habitat of the Nilgiri tahr. Half the world population of the rare mountain goat (Hemitragas bylocres) which is fast becoming extinct, is now found here. The Nilgiri tahrs are today redused to small herds found in the Eravikulam-Rajamala region. The total number of Nilgiri tahrs in Rajamala is estimated at 1317.
Echo Point :
This scenic place gets its name from the natural echo phenomenon here. Echo Point is on the way to Top Stations from Munnar.
Eravikulam National Park :
The 97 sq. km. park is situated in the Devikulam taluk and is home to the Nilgiri tahr. The Anamudi peak (2695m) is located in the southern region of the park.
Power House waterfalls :
This waterfall on the way to Thekkady from Munnar cascades down a steep rock, 2000m above sea level. The spot is enriched with the scenic western mountain ranges, and is an ideal place for a break on the way to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady.
Kundala is a picturesque town on the way to Top Stations. The Golf Course which belongs to Tata Tea Ltd. is located here. The Kundala artificial dam is another attraction.Aruvikkad waterfalls is also near Kundala.
Prime Attractions in Palakkad :
Silent Valley :
Silent Valley is 80 kms from Palakkad. Ecologists desrcibe this area as the sole surviving bit of evergreen forests in the Sahya Ranges. This has been declared as a National Park recently.
Silent Valley covers about nine thousand hectares of land and the forest is devoid of the chirping cicedas. Kunthipuzha flows through the valley before merging with Bharatapuzha . There is a huge Wild tree of Kattuaiying variety. It is hollow within and can hide atleast 12 people in it.
Malampuzha is also known as the Vrindavan of Kerala. It exudes the charm of the harmony of nature, a perfect synchronisation of the grandeur of the mountains blending with the serenity of rivers. It is 10 kms from Palakkad.
There are lush green lawns, innumerable flower beds, glittering pools, fountains and avenues. There is a fresh water aquarium, snake park and a Children's park with a toy train which await the pleasure and delight of children.
The reservoir is ideal for boating and fishing. The Garden house has a unit of Water sports also. A small garden in the Japenese style gives a touch of exotic charm to the landscape. So, does the hanging bridge across the canal.
Another item of interest in the park is the imposing concrete sculpture of YAKSHI , done by the renowned Kanai Kunhiraman.
The passenger ROPEWAY, its first of its kind in South India, offers adventurous and delightful air journey of 20 minutes across the garden, giving a soul stirring view of gardens, the distant hills that kiss the heavens and the blue strip of the reservoir. There is a TELESCOPIC TOWER in the garden providing a terrestrial view upto 40 miles.
The first ROCK GARDEN emerged from the master creator Padmashree Nek Chand of Chandigarh, in South India is at Malampuzha.
Modelled after Appu Ghar of Delhi and Essel World of Bombay, the first amusement park of Kerala named FANTASY PARK is at Malampuzha.
Parambikulam wildlife sanctuary, 110 kms away from Palakkad offers a scintillating sight of rare wild animals. There is an array of Dams / reservoirs in this area. Boat cruisers are provided in the PArambikulam reservoir. The rest houses of the State Forest Department at Thoonakkadavu, Thellikkal and Elanthode and a tree-house in Thoonakkadavu offer lodging facilities. The giant "Kannimari Teak" is a sight to dream of.
Nelliyampathy Hills are extremely fascinating and offer an easy escape from the scorching summer of Palakkad. About 75 kms from Palakkad the height of this cool resort ranges from 467 meters to 1572 meters.
Nelliyampathy has immense trekking potential. Seetharkundu at Nelliyampathy offers a fantastic view of the valley below, a wide angled panaromic picture of about one third of Palakkad, beautiful and resembling the Green valley of Kodaikanal.
Dhoni, a reserve forest, is 15 kms from Palakkad. The forest has among other captivating sights, a small but splendid waterfall. The site can be reached after a fairly long climb of 3 hours from the base of the Dhoni Hills.
Dhoni is also famous for its farm house, harbouring hundreds of cattles of Swiss variety. Its lush green surroundings is a pleasure to watch.
Attapadi is situated in an elevated picturesque mountainous plateau in Western Ghats. It is 80 kms from Palakkad.
The plateau offers a scintillating sight of near by mountains.
Palakkad Fort :
Palakkad Fort, situated in the town, is the most beautiful and best preserved fort of Kerala. Built in 1766 by Hyder Ali of Mysore was taken over and remodified by Britishin 1790. The fort is protected by Archeological Survey of India.
Martyr's Column, Open Air Auditorium called "Rappadi" are there in the spacious Fort Maidan. There is also a Children's park on the side of the Fort.
Jain Temple of Jainmedu
The only existing Jain Temple in South India is situated at Jainmedu, 3 kms from Palakkad. Here you can find images of Jain THIRTHANKARAS and YAKSHINIS. Rituals are being held even now in this historic temple.
Peacock Sanctuary :
The National Bird of INDIA, peacock, has got a sanctuary of its own in this part of the country. Mayiladumpara, 30 kms from Palakkad, is well known for its grove abounding in Peacocks.
Smriti Vanam :
J.P. Smriti Vanam located at Walayar, on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, extends to about 100 acres. You can conduct a safari ride here and see deers, elephants and other animals moving freely. The park is located at a distance of 22 kms from Palakkad.
Siruvani is 48 kms from Palakkad. The gateways on either side of the road across the dam bear the stamp of Kerala and Tamil Nadu Architectural Styles. Its thick reserved forest has all kinds of wild animals.
There are 10 steps of Water Falls at Meenvallam, the originating point of Thuppanadu river. The height of the fall varies from 5 to 45 meters. Meenvallam is located at a distance of 37 kms from Palakkad.
Prime Attractions in Thekkady
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary :
Lying close to the plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 777 sq.km, of which 360 sq.km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world.
The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar adds to the charm of the park. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar, however, are the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake.
A place for adventure tourism and trekking. This will offer a panoramic view of Kumily town and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
This plantation town, closely associated with Thekkady, is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. An important shopping centre ans spice trade centre, the main bus station and most of the medium range accommodation in the Periyar region are in Kumily.
Washed in fresh spice-scented air, Murikkady is a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations.
This picturesque spectrum of exotic flora, fauna and gurgling streams is cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu border. A popular picnic spot, Pandikuzhi offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographer's delight.
Mangala Devi Temple :
This ancient temple is hidden in the dense woods at the top of a oeak 1337 m above sea level. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture. Visitors are allowed here only on the Chithra Pournami festival day. The peak commands a panoramic view of the eastern slopes of the Ghats and some hill villages of Tamil nadu. Permission to visit the area can be abtained from the Wildlife Wadren, Thekkady (Ph.04869-222027).
This sleepy little village with its breathtaking view of the plains and cascading waterfalls is a feast for the eyes. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Cumbum in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
The River Periyar flowing through the centre of this town nourishes its vast tea, coffee and pepper plantations. A major trade centre, Vandiperiyar is also home to a number of tea factories. The Government Agriculture farm and Flower Garden have a delightful array of roses, orchids and anthuria.
This is one of the world's largest auction centres for candamom. A walk through the sprawling cardamom plantations of Vandanmedu is a heady experience.
The winding journey to this hill town, along the Periyar River, offers a stunning view of the rolling hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns, rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of Pullumedu which can be accessed only by jeep. The famous Sree Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala and the Makara Jyothi illumination at the shrine are visible from here.
Rolling green hills and the fresh mountain air make Ramakalmedu an enchanting retreat. The hills top also offers a Panoramic view of picturesque villages of Bodi and Cumbum on the Eastern slop of the western ghats.
Prime Attractions in Trichur (Thrissur)
Vadakkumnatha Kshethram :
Vadakkumnatha Kshethram temple sits atop a hill in the centre of Thrissur. This temple is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture. The temple contains the sacred shrines of Paramashiva, Parvathi, Sankaranarayana, Ganapathi, Sri Rama and Sri Krishna. The central shrines and Koothambalam exhibit exquisite vignettes carved in wood. Legend goes that this temple was founded by Parasurama. Thissur Pooram, the grandest temple pageantry in Kerala, is celebrated here in April every year. Non Hindus are not allowed inside the temple.
There are several significant churches including Lady of Lourdes Cathedral and Puhanpally Church.
State Museum :
Archeological Museum, farther along Museum road , has temple models, stone reliefs, Gandharan pieces and reproductions of some of the Mattancherry murals.
The Museum is open from 10am to 5pm and closed on Monday.
Pooram Festival :
The annual Pooram festival held in April/ May , is one of the biggest in the south. It include fireworks, colourful processions and brightly decorated elephants. This festval was first introdused by Sakthan Thamburan, the maharaja of the former state of Kochi.
Guruvayoor Kshethram :
The Hindu-only Sreekrishna Temple at Guruvayoor,33km. north of Trissur, is one of the most famous in Kerala. The temple's 40-plus elephants are kept at nearby Punathur Kota.
Kerala Kalamandalam :
This important academy of arts 32km north-east of Trissur at Cheruthuruthy was founded in 1930 by the late poet Vallathol Narayana Menon and his associate Manakkulam Mukunda Raja.
This is famous for the temple of Sri Rama located on the banks of the Triprayar river. Its architecture is similar to that of the Vadakkumnatha Kshathram.
Koodal Manikyam Temple :
This temple is dedicated to Bharata, the loyal and selfless hero and strong supporter of Rama. The diety at the temple is said to embody the joy rapture experienced by Bharata, when he learned of reunion of Rama and Sita. It's believed that this is the only temple in India dedicated to Bharata and devotees claim miraculous cures from disease and ill health.
St. Thomas Church :
The original St. Thomas Church, a stone and wooden construction, was established in 1845 and dedicated to St. George Foraine.
Peechi- Vazhani Wild life Sanctuary :
This large dam in the Western Ghats, 20km east of Trissur, provides the ares's drinking water while the attached sanctuary offers protection for animals.
Kerala Forest Research Institute :
This institute, estsblished in 1975, undertake research on a range of issues including medical plants, entomology, clonal propagation of plants, disease control and methods for reforestation.
Athirappally - Vazhachal :
62 Kms south of Trichur, east of chalakkudy and very near to the entrance of Sholayar forest ranges are the beautiful water falls namely Athirappally and Vazhachal, which are 5 kms apart.
Prime Attractions in Trivandrum
Sree Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple :
Sree Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is an awe-inspiring structure that has a 100 ft high 'gopuram', built in Dravidian style.
City's historical landmark, the structure of the main building is a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture.
The temple, known for the Mural paintings and stone carvings is one among the 108 temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu in India. A magnificent array of gods, goddesses, nymphs, sprites and demons adorn the seven-storey 'gopuram' that forms the temple tower. Lord Vishnu, the presiding deity, reclines in the posture of 'Ananthashayanam' on the coiled serpent 'Anantha'.
In the October/November months of every year, there is held the Navarathri Festival of musical concerts at the Navarathri Mandapam, adjacent to the main building of the temple. Only Hindus are allowed inside and dress regulations are strictly followed.
Shankhumugham Beach :
Just 8 km from the city, this is a favourite place of sunset watchers. The beach is adjacent to the Trivandrum Airport and Veli Tourist Village. An indoor recreation club, the matsya kanyaka (a gigantic, 35 m long sculpture of a mermaid) and a restaurant shaped like a starfish are some of the attractions here. Chacha Nehru Traffic Training Park here provides opportunity for children to learn the traffic rules
Napier Museum :
The Napier Museum is an absolute gem of architectural exuberance, combining traditional Kerala styles with Chinese and Mughal influences. The 19th century English architect, Chisholm, gave in a few touches and ended up with a building that is guaranteed to leave an impression on your mind. The museum houses a rare collection of archeological & historic artifacts.
The interior is every bit as intriguing as the exterior with pink and bobby blue stripes alternating with stripes of yellow and cherry red, scalloped arches of a banana yellow, elaborately carved balconies, the whole, linked together with red and white lattice work and mock friezes. The collections are as varied and electric as the building and you will spend a pleasant few hours browsing through them. The museum has a unique natural air-conditioning system.
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum :
This palace was built by efficient sculptors from Tanjore. Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balaram Varma, the king of Travancore who was also a great poet, musician, socialist & statesman, built this magnificent Palace.
The palace looks attractive due to its single stone carved pillars and beautifully designed roofs. On the southern portion of the palace there is a beautiful monument of 122 horses which is in position of ready to jump towards the south. Thus the palace got the name Kuthiramalika. Swords, guns etc. of olden ages are also exhibited here. 'Dantasimhasana' is the most prominent sight in this palace.
Veli Tourist Village :
This picnic spot, where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea, offers boating facilities. Pedal boats can be hired to explore the charms of the lagoon in a leisurely manner. For a quick ride over the waters, speedboats are available for hire. Children enjoy climbing over the huge sculptures which dot the landscape. The place open from 0800 - 1800 hrs.
Kovalam Beach :
This internationally renowned beach resort has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The southernmost, known as the Lighthouse Beach, is the most popular. Kovalam beach is at a distance of 16 km that is 1/2 hour from Trivandrum.
Vettukad Church :
The 'Madre De Deus' Church popularly known as the Vettukad Church attracts thousands of devotees from all religions. The annual celebration here is called the 'Feast Of Christ, The King'. Situated at a distance of 7 km from Thiruvananthapuram.
Anchuthengu Fort :
Located 36 km. from Trivandrum. The historic remains of the fort built by the British East India Company in the 17th century and an adjoining cemetery are the noteworthy relics of this first major British trading station on the Malabar Coast.
Koyikkal Palace :
Located 18 km from Trivandrum on the way to the Ponmudi hillstation and the Kuttalam waterfalls, this ancient palace that dates back to the 15th century, is famous in the history of Kerala as the official residence of Perakom Thavazhi, especially of Umayamma Rani of the Venad royal family. Here you can see a double storeyed traditional Nalukettu building with slanting gabled roofs, an inner courtyard and two museums of folklore and numismatics set up by the Department of Archaeology.
Aruvikkara is an important pilgrim centre located at a distance of 16 km. from Thiruvananthapuram. Flowing by is the Karamana River, on the banks of which, is the rock-shrine dedicated to 'Bhagvathi', the divine embodiment of Female power.
There is a waterfall nearby. The place is of a lot of tourist interest and the site of a mini dam, which supplies water to the state capital, is worth seeing. It is both a pilgrim centre and a picnic spot.
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary :
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is 50 km from Thiruvananthapuram This sanctuary spread over 53 sq. km on the Western Ghats, is accessible from Vithurai, which is on the way to Ponmudi. Peppara is a great attraction for wildlife lovers as it is rich in flora and fauna, also it is solid with hillocks, forests and eucalyptus plantations.
Agasthyakoodam is the second highest peak in Kerala, and is part of the Sahyadri range of mountains, at a height of 1890 mt above sea level. Abundance of wildlife can be seen, the forests of Agasthyakoodam abound in rare medicinal herbs and plants and brilliantly hued orchids. A bird watcher's paradise, this legendary mountain is accessible by foot from Kotoor, near Neyyar Dam, as also from Bonacaud. The season from December to April is advocated for trekking, for which a forest pass has to be obtained from the Wildlife Warden, Forest Department, PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram.
Prime Attraction in Wayanad :
Banasura Sagar Dam :
This is the largest earth dam in India. The topography here is such that many islands will be formed in the upstream of the dam when the dam is full. These islands with the background of the Banasura hill will provide a hypnotizing sight to tourists.
Chembra Peak :
The hills, rocks and valleys which contribute to the very unique character of Wayanad provide a lot for adventure tourism. Trekking to the Chembra peak is a risky mountaineering endeavor. Chembra peak, the highest hill in Wayanad, is near Meppady town. Trekking to the top of this peak takes almost a day. Tourists can also stay one or two days at the top of the peak in temporary camps. District tourism Promotion Council provides guides, sleeping bags, canvases, huts and trekking implements on hire. The scenic beauty of Wayanad, which is visible from the top of Chembra, is very exhilarating.
Edakkal Cave :
This location of breath taking beauty is three kilometers from Ambalavayal which is 25kms from Kalpetta.The Edakkal cave in the Ambukuthy mountain is not a cave in the real sense. As stated in the India Antiquary and quoted in the district Gazetteer, Kozhikode, it is only 'a cleft about 96ft. long and 22ft. wide in the rock'. It is a fissure made by a corner of rock splitting off from the main body due to some natural causes. The depth of both the cleft and fissure is 30ft. What makes it a cave to the ordinary observer is the fact that in the other portion of the large cleft, an enormous rock, weighing several tones, has fallen forming a roof over a large part of it. The rock wall contains some interesting carvings, which represent human and animal figures and objects of human use and symbols. These carvings speak of a highly civilized people of pre-historic age and inspires the archeologists and historians to rewrite the history of Wayanad and Kerala as a whole.
Kuruva Island :
The Kuruva island, 950 acre3s of ever green forest on the tributaries of east flowing river Kabani, is an ideal picnic spot, far away from the disturbances of city life. The island is uninhabited. Rare species of birds, orchids and herbs are the sovereigns of this supernal kingdom. It is 17kilometers east of Mananathavady and 40kms north west of Sulthan Bathery.
One of the highest locations in Wayanad, Lakkidi also commands a picturesque scenery. It is about 58kms north east of Kozhikode and 5kms south of Vythiri. Lakkidi, the gateway of Wayanad, lies atop Thamarassery, a ghat pass at an elevation of 700m. above mean sea level.
The lofty mountain peaks, the gurging stream, luxuriant vegetation and the birds eye view of the deep valley on the south, with its winding roads, are breath taking. The 12kms long journey from Adivaram to Lakkidi through ghat road with nine hairpin bends amidst thick forests, is a fascinating experience.
Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary :
Muthanga, which is 16kms east of Sulthan Bathery, is located very near to the Karnataka boarder. Wild forests covering an area of 345sq. kms form the Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary; the biggest aboad of wild animals in Malabar. Elephant spotted deer, bison, tiger, cheetah, wild bear, etc. are found in this sanctuary. The forest department has facilities for providing elephant rides to tourists, here.
Pakshipathalam in the Brahmagiri hills at Thirunelli, is a challenging tourist spot for any adventure seeking tourist. To reach Pakshipathalam seventeen kilometers have to be covered through wild forest. The deep rock caves, formed among the thick blocks of rocks at the northern top end of Brahmagiri, are the abode of various birds and wild beasts. Special permission has to be obtained from Forest Department to go to Pakshipathalam. District Tourism Promotion Council arranges vehicle, guides, camping equipments, etc. to the tourists, on hire.
Pazhassi Tourist Resort :
Pazhassi Tourist Resort at Mananthavady is a good picnic centre in north Wayanad. There is a good aquarium here. Coin operated toys for children and boating facilities for tourist are available here. Pazhassi raja, the lion of Kerala, who organised guerilla type warfare against British east India company, was cremated here in 1805.
Pookot Lake :
It is a natural fresh water lake, brimmed with evergreen mountains. The weather here is salacious; the scenic beauty, hypnotizing and the nature, unspoiled. Pookot Lake tourist resort in Vythiri is the most sort after tourist spot of Wayanad. The is an aquarium and a green house here. Boating facilities also are available. Spices and handicraft items are also arranged for sale at Pookot. The lake has an area of 8.5ha. and maximum water depth is 6.5m. This lake is 3kms south of Vythiri.
Sentinel Rock Water Fall :
This waterfall is at Vellarimala village near Chooralmala in Meppadi Panchayat. It is a picnic spot as well as a trekking centre. The sentinel rock, a rock of more than 200m. in height, is ideal for rock climbing.
Soochippara Waterfall :
The waterfalls at Soochippara near Meppadi is really a treasure of nature, yet to be discovered. The stretches of waterfalls ranging at places from 100 to 300 feet height is a treat to the eyes. The pool below, provides for water rafting, swimming, bathing, etc. The tree top huts at Soochippara give an unique view of the Valleys of the Western Ghats and the glimmering shallow waters of the surrounding springs.
Thirunelli Temple :
Thirunelli is situated 29kms north east of Mananthavady under the Brahmagiri hills in the reserve forests. The temple at Thirunelli is often called 'Thekkan Kasi'. It is believed that a bath in the holly water of 'Papanasini' will wipe off all the sins. Apart from the temple, Thirunelli is a place of scenic beauty. Pakshipathalam, an interesting trekking centre, is 7kms away from the temple.
Tourist Attractions in Agra :
The Taj Mahal :
Agra is renowned for being home to the Taj Mahal, one of the architectural wonders of the world. This brilliant piece of architecture was built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan hired architects to build the mammoth structure with an inimitable style. History has it that he chopped the hands of the hired men so that they would not produce an identical structure in future. A well laid out marble structure built on red sandstone emanating Persian, Central Asian and Islamic styles of architecture. It should be noted that the art of using marble in construction began from Shah Jahan's era. The main features of this unrivalled piece of architecture are four spectacular minarets and the majestic dome in between. The Taj a symbol of love and an example of peerless beauty has withstood the rigors of time.
Agra Fort :
The Agra fort another major tourist attraction in Agra was built by Akbar in 1565. Situated on the banks of River Yamuna, the Agra Fort was built of red sandstone. The structure an amalgamation of different architectural styles acted both as a Royal residence and defense establishment.
Jama Masjid Agra :
The Jama Masjid was built during Akbar's reign. It is an example of austere architecture. The tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti is found here. The Buland Darwaza is a gateway to the Jama Masjid. It is adorned in inscriptions, inlaid geometric designs and colored tiles.
Fatehpur Sikri :
The city was built by Akbar in the 16th century. It exemplifies the architectural splendor of the Mughals.
The Buland Darwaza :
The Buland Darwaza or the high door in Fatehpur Sikri is the brilliant gateway which Akbar built as a mark of his victory against the ruler of Khandesh. The tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti in Fatehpur Sikri is adorned in carved marble lattice.
Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb :
It is considered as one of the forerunners of the Taj. It is built of white marble. Inlaid semi-precious stones and intricate carvings are its main features. Most of the features of this architectural marvel are found to be replicated in the construction of the Taj.
It is home to Akbar's tomb. This grand monument was started by Akbar and completed by his son Jahangir. The mausoleum was started by Akbar in the Spartan style of Timurid architecture. Akbar's son Jahangir added more decorative designs to the mausoleum.
Chini Ka Rauza :
This historic monument was built in 1635 and is the tomb of Allama Afzal Khan Mullah of Shiraz, a poet who was the Prime Minister of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.
Rambagh Gardens :
Inspired by the Persians love for Gardens Babur-the founder of the Mughal emperor built it as a haven of pleasure and comfort. Nur Jahan, wife of Jahangir added to the decoration of the garden. The Rambagh Gardens is also known as the Bagh-i-Gul Afshan. The main attractions of the gardens are the structure in charbagh pattern, with four main divisions made by paths and waterways. Water from the Yamuna flows in cascades. Fountains, an island platform, stairway on one side of the water channel and two pavilions on either side of the main water channel are other attractions of the Rambagh Gardens Agra.
Dayalbagh Gardens :
It is a pilgrimage and tourist site in India. The memorial of Shiv Dayal Sahib the founder of the Radhasoami Satsang movement, who started this religious organization in 1861, is located in Dayalbagh, Agra. The structure has fine pietra dura inlay work. The building is being refurbished every year.
Taj Heritage Corridor :
A project was proposed to build a corridor connecting the Taj and the Agra fort. The proposed Rs. 175 crore project was to link shopping plazas, tourist attractions, amusement parks and restaurants with the Taj Mahal and the Agra fort. The plan was made for the maintenance of the heritage site and its surrounding environment.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary (60 km from Agra) :
Also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, is a natural habitat for water-birds like the Siberian crane.
National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary (about 70 km from Agra) :
The rare species of the sanctuary is the fresh water gangetic dolphin. The park is home to crocodiles, alligators, chinkara, sambhar, nilgai, wolf and wild boar as well as other animals.
Sur Sarovar Ketham Lake (23 km from Agra) This Lake is surrounded by the Surdas Reserve Forest. It is home to a wide array of exotic marine life and is also a picnic spot.
Main markets for Agra marble - Sadar Bazaar, Kinari Bazaar and Munro Road.
Main markets for Agra leather, Agra Rugs and Agra Brassware- Sadar Bazaar, Kinari Bazaar, Munro Road. The U.P State Emporium called Gangotri at the Taj Mahal Complex and The Shilpagram crafts village.
Major Wildlife Attractions - Bandhavgarh :
Once a hunting reserve of the royal family of Rewa in more recent times, Bandhavgarh was declared a park in 1968. This is also the site where the fanmous White Tigers of Rewa were discovered.
Wandering through the Bandhavgarh national park on an Elephant Back, the chances of seeing a tiger are quite good. Among the other wild attractions include, Nilgai, Chausingha, Chital, Chinkara, Wild Boar and sometimes a Fox or Jackal.
Other Attractions In Bandhavgarh :
Kalchuri Archeological Remains : Beside the wildlife, Bandhavgarh is also famous for the archaeological remains of the Kalchuri period that have been found here.
Bandhavgarh Fort :
The Bandhavgarhpark area is hilly and is dominated by the majestic Bandhavgarh fort, built in 14th century. The fort and the adjacent hills have a large number of caves belonging to the pre-historic period.
Jeep & Elephant Safari :
One can enjoy viewing the wildlife by two ways in Bandhavgarh - Jeep Safari and Elephant Safari.. Jeep safaris are undertaken during the early morning hours till evening. A forest department guide is always their with the visitors on these jeep trips taken inside the park. Elephant safari trips are organised for tiger tracking early in the morning.
Sariska National Park :
Major Wildlife Attractions :
The Sariska park is home to numerous carnivores including Leopard, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Hyena, Jackal, and Tiger. These feed on an abundance of prey species such as Sambar, Chitel, Nilgai, Chausingha, Wild Boar and Langur. Sariska is also well known for its large population of Rhesus Monkeys, which are found in large numbers around Talvriksh.
The avian world is also well represented with a rich and varied birdlife. These include Peafowl, Grey Partridge, Bush Quail, Sand Grouse, Tree Pie, Golden backed Wood Pecker, Crested Serpent Eagle and the Great Indian Horned Owl.
Other Attractions in Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary : The Kankwari Fort :
Among the historic landmarks located within the Sariska national park, includes the Kankwari For, where, Emperor Aurangzeb once imprisoned his brother, Dara Shikoh.
The Ancient Shiva Temples :
Within the area of the Sariska tiger sanctuary, Neelkanth temples, that dates back to the 6th-13th century AD, now in ruins, afford a wonderful sight to the visitors.
The Palace :
Sariska was known as the royal reserve of the rulers of Alwar. This palace built by the Maharajas of Alwar, has now been converted into a hotel.
Ranthambore National Park :
Major Wildlife Attractions - Ranthambore National Park :
Ranthambore National Park is famous for its Tigers and is a favorite with photographers. For a relatively small area, the park has a rich diversity of fauna and flora - species list includes 300 trees, 50 aquatic plants, 272 birds, 12 reptiles including the Marsh Crocodile & amphibians and 30 mammals.
For the wildlife savvy, Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary today offers an intense diversity of flora and fauna. Tigers, the park's pride makes it one of the best places in the country to observe them. Apart from that a large numbers of Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Gazzelle, Boars, Mongoose, Indian Hare, Monitor Lizards and a large number of birds.
Other Attractions In Ranthambore :
Ranthambore Fort & Jogi Mahal : With a coverage area of 392-sq-kms, this park got its name from the Ranthambhore Fort, which sits on a rocky outcrop in the heart of the Park. The fort, which dates back to the 10th century and is probably the oldest existing fort in Rajasthan, was a vital citadel for control of Central India and particularly the Malwa plateau.
The entry point to the Ranthambore National Park, goes straight to the foot of the fort and the forest rest house, Jogi Mahal. The latter boasts of the second-largest Banyan tree in India.
Prime Attractions in Bharatpur
Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary :
The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary or Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary has been deemed as world heritage bird sanctuary. Sprawling over the area of 29 sq km, more than 380 species of birds have already been spotted and identified here. A paradise for bird watchers, photographers and nature lovers, it is the best place to see the exotic beauty of varied species. Egrets, ducks, coots, storks, kingfishers, spoonbills, Sarus crane, laggar falcon, greater spotted eagle, marsh harrier, Pallas' eagle can be seen here quite often and if visitors are lucky, they may even spot the rare Siberian Crane that migrate to this place in winters.
32 km from Bharatpur, Deeg was the tranquil retreat of the Jat rulers of Bharatpur. Though, its name has now been into obscurity, most of the palaces in Deeg are in an excellent state of repair. The one-time royalty of Bharatpur were living in their palaces as recently as 1970's. This is the reason why these palaces still retain some of their unique furnishings. The palaces sport well-planned Moghul gardens with calm pools and fountains. They are richly ornamented with carved cornices, pavilions and attics and the trophies collected by Jats in their various adventures.
Bharatpur National Parks :
Major Wildlife Attractions :
The major attractions of tourists visiting the park are the numerous migratory birds, who come from as far away as Siberia and Central Asia and spend their winters in Bharatpur, before returning to their breeding grounds. Migratory birds at Bharatpur bird sanctuary include, several species of Cranes, Pelicans, Geese, Ducks, Eagles, Hawks, Shanks, Stints, Wagtails, Warblers, Wheatears, Flycatchers, Buntings, Larks and Pipits, etc.
Other Travel Attractions : Bharatpur Govenment Museum :
One of the major attention grabber after the Bharatpur sanctuary is Government Museum of Bharatpur, which provides a glimpse of the past royal splendour of Bharatpur.
Bharatpur Palace :
Not far from the museum is the Bharatpur Palace, an marvellous structural blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture.
Lohagarh Fort :
The invincible Lohagarh Fort, which remained unconquered despite several attacks by the British regime.
Deeg Palace :
Situated just 32-kms away from Bharatpur is the Deeg Palace. A strong and massive fortress, Deeg Palace was the summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur and houses numerous beautiful palaces and gardens.
Kanha National Park :
Major Wildlife Attractions Of Kanha :
Spotting wild animals is always a matter of luck but Kanha is so rich in wildlife that the odds are titled in your favour. First time visitors are often so keen to spot the larger animals that they overlook the smaller ones. There are 175 varieties of birds in Kanha. So if you happen to be bird watcher, look forward to a full bird show. Most people are keener to meet Kanha's major attraction, the Tiger; still one has to be patient to spot one.
But while on a mission to find a tiger, one can easily catch glimpses of all the grazers, a Porcupine, many Gray Langurs, Mongoose, Hyena, Jungle Cat, even a Leopard. Other wild attractions in this Tiger country include varieties of Deer - the Barasingha, Chital or Spotted Deer, Chousingha, Nilgai, as well as the majestic Gaur or Indian Bison and wild Pig.
Other Attractions In Kanha : Elephant Safari :
The animals at Kanha are best observed from the elephant back and the open country makes the chance of sightings reasonably good.
Kanha Museum :
There is a museum at Kanha national park, depicting attributes and activities of the park and the tribal culture of the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Kaziranga National Park :
Major Wildlife Attractions of Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary :
Beside ofcourse the great one horned Indian Rhino, the other major wild attractions include a large population of Indian Elephants, Indian Bison, Swamp Deer or Barasingha, Hog Deer, Sloth Bears, Tigers, Leopard Cats, Jungle Cats, Otters, Hog Badgers, Capped Langurs, Hoolock Gibbons, Wild Boar, Jackal, Wild Buffalo, Pythons, Monitor Lizards, etc.
Kaziranga National Park is a birding paradise; the grasslands are a raptor country that can be seen on safari makes a remarkable experience. These include the Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black-Shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Brahminy Kite, Pallas's Fishing Eagle, White Tailed Eagle, Grey-Headed Fishing Eagle, Himalayan Griffon, etc. Huge numbers of migratory birds descend on the parks lakes and marshy areas during winters, including Greylag Geese, Bar-Headed Geese, Ruddy Shelduck, Gadwall, Falcated Duck, Red-Crested Pochard and Northern Shoveller.
Other Attractions In Kaziranga : Elephant Safari :
The vast open country makes Kaziranga National Park very accessible and wildlife viewing fairly pleasurable. Here one can leave in the early hours of the dawn for an elephant-back-ride. Authorized and trained Mahouts who guide visitors through the park train the Elephants. One could see wild Elephant herds roaming around or Indian Rhinos browse past visitors unconcernedly. Since Kaziranga wildlife Sanctuary is easily accessible, its provides a chance to see animals in the wild at such close quarters, thus making a trip to this National Park a very rewarding experience.
Sightseeing in Kaziranga :
Tourists can stroll through the lush coffee and rubber plantations of the nearby Karbi Anglong. Or visit the Karbi villages, meet the Karbi people and observe their way of living. Yiu can also venture through the tea gardens that Assam is so famous for and watch how one gets one's daily cup of tea. Film shows on wildlife can be arranged at the various tourist lodges in Kaziranga, on request.
Corbett National Park :
Major Wildlife Attractions - Corbett National Park
Corbett is a haven for Tigers as well as its prey, which include four kinds of Deer, Wild Boar and some lesser-known animals. Leopards are mostly found in the hilly areas of the park. Some nocturnal cats found here are the Leopard Cat, Jungle Cat and Fishing Cat. Sloth Bear is found in the lower regions of the park while the Himalayan Black Bear is seen in the higher hills only. The Dole or Wild Dog, though they can be seen in the southern areas of the park along with the Jackal.
Some of the smaller residents of the park are Himalayan Palm Civet, Indian Gray Mongoose, Common Otter, Blacknaped Hare and Porcupine. Elephants are among one of the main attractions of Jim Corbett Park. Along the Ramganga River shores, one can spot the long-snouted, fish-eating Gharial Crocodile and the ‘Mugger’ Crocodile. Also seen on the rocky hillsides is the Ghoral or Goat Antelopes. The Langur and Rhesus Monkeys are well distributed through out the park and warning the whole Jungle with alarm calls when they see either a Tiger or Leopard from tree-top perches.
Other Attractions In Corbett : Ramnagar :
Situated in the rich farm belt of Terai, on the southeastern fringes of the great forests, the busy market town of Ramnagar is the main administrative centre for Corbett National Park and Project Tiger. Ramnagar makes a fishing base camp. At Lohachaur, 15-kms north along the River Kosi, good anglers are in with a chance of landing the legendary Mahseer, a redoubtable battling River Carp. Permits to have a go must be sought from the Project Tiger office in Ramnagar; most resorts also arrange all inclusive fishing trips.
Wildlife Viewing :
Chital, Sambar, and various other Deer species find refuge in the Savannah grasslands known as the Maidan, behind the campsite to the south, and Tigers are occasionally drawn in looking for prey. Two hour elephant rides, explore this sea of grass, rarely penetrating far into the deep jungles beyond; try to convince your Mahout or Elephant driver to venture in, as they can be quite magical. Come at dusk or dawn; in the heat of the day you probably won’t come across much more than deer among the tall grass. Tiger-sightings are few and far between, but you may be rewarded with fresh pug marks.
Jeep Safari in Corbett :
Jeeps Safari, is the most convenient way to travel within Corbett national park, and can be rented for the park trips from Ramnagar, from the KMVN Tourist Lodge and other travel agencies . One bus each day goes to Dikhala from Ramnagar, stopping at the Forest Rest houses en route. Banking and other important tourist facilities are available at Ramnagar and Lucknow.
* Note : Bring binoculars, remain quiet, and don’t wear bright colours or strong perfumes.
Bannerghatta National Park
Wildlife Attractions in Bannerghatta National Park :
The Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) is the area where the forest department has kept lions and tigers rescued over the years from circuses. The area is of major interest to the visitors and more than 10 lakh tourists throng the place every year.
Some of the major animals found in the region include elephant, bonnet macaque, cheetal, muntjac, slow loris, wild boar, porcupine, fox and three striped palm squirrel.
The park is also home to a myriad variety of avian population. In fact, there are over 200 species of birds found in the park which include honey buzzard, great horned owl, spotted owlet, purple sunbird, loten's sun bird and the small green barbet.
bird in Bannerghatta National ParkSafari options abound in the park. The forest department offers a number of safaris including the grand safari which covers all the four enclosures of the park. Other safaris include the tiger and lion safari, elephant joy ride and a short trek. Safaris are also offered by the jungle lodges. Timings for the safaris are 10AM to 4:30PM.
Other Attractions : Pearl Valley :
Situated around 25 km from the park is the beautiful pearl valley. A popular picnic spot, the area is surrounded by thick vegetation which still harbours some wild animals. 280 steps cut into the rock lead to the bottom of the valley where an ancient Shiva temple is to be seen.
India's first dance village, the Nrityagram is situated just 32 km from the park. The spring festival held at the place in February each year witnesses culture enthusiasts from Bangalore and other cities come to the place in large numbers.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Situated on the banks of the Kaveri, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is located near Mysore in Karnataka. The six isles on the river are also part of the sanctuary. The sanctuary was declared a bird sanctuary in 1940, when the noted ornithologist Dr Salim Ali while surveying the birds of the area put emphasis on declaring Ranganathittu a bird sanctuary.
Since then, the sanctuary has become a paradise for bird watchers.
Every year a number of bird lovers throng the sanctuary to see the avian in-habitants of the sanctuary. The sanctuary is quite popular both among Indian and foreign tourists. Apart from home to native avian habitants, the sanctuary each year attracts a large number of migratory birds. Wildlife experts believe that migratory birds come to this sanctuary as far as from Siberia, Australia and even North America.
Some of the birds you come across on your birding tour to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary include snake bird, darters, spoonbills, river tern, open bill storks, white Ibis, little cormorants, egret, heron, stone plougher, kingfisher and partridge.
A boat ride takes you to the six islets that teem with a number of species of birds. Oarsmen serve as experienced guide, who take you to some popular spots where you can spot birds in flocks.
Bandipur National Park
Halfway down the Mysore-Ooty highway, the Deccan Plateau rises to meet the wrinkled folds of the Western Ghat mountains. Here lies one of India's best-known wildlife reserves - Bandipur National Park. It is situated within Chamarajanagar district in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, and abuts the states of Tamil Nadu & Kerala. Endowed with a moderate climate and diverse geographical features, the park supports a remarkable variety of flora and fauna, making it a veritable paradise for wildlife.
Gaur in Bandipur National Park In 1973, Bandipur became one of the first of India's Tiger Reserves and the southernmost of the nine reserves specially established under Project Tiger. In 1974, intention was declared under the Wildlife Protection Act to notify it as a National Park.
Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole national park (NNP), the enchanting 247 square-mile park in Karnataka has an astonishing abundance of wildlife including large mammals such as tiger, leopard, wild elephant, dhole (Indian wild dog), and gaur (Indian bison). Other species present are chital spotted deer, muntjac (barking deer), mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, mongoose, civet, otter, and more. The landscape is one of gentle slopes and shallow valleys. Dry deciduous forest trees are leafless in the summer rather than in the winter. There are grassy swamps where the soil is clayey, perennially moist, and which support a luxuriant growth of green grass all year. The change in terrain throughout the park in refreshing and the river system provides a unique wildlife viewing experience.
Nagarhole National park derives its name from the combination of two Kannada words. 'Nagar,' meaning snake, and 'hole,' meaning streams. True to its name, quite a few serpentine streams fork through the rich tropical forests of the park. Nagarhole Park was set up in 1955. In 1975, its area was increased to include a greater expanse of forest reserve. The original forest was once an exclusive hunting ground for the erstwhile Maharajas of Mysore. The park has been recently renamed as Rajiv Gandhi NationalPark after the late Prime Minister of India.
Nagarhole National Park is counted among India. s best wildlife parks. It has a large elephant and bison population. It also hosts a variety of animal species along with approximately 250 species of birds. On its northern confines is the Kabini River and on its southern fringes is the Bandipur national park. A dam on the Kabini River and its picturesque reservoir demarcates the two national parks. During the dry season (February. June), this artificial lake attracts a large number of animals, making it an ideal spot for sighting wildlife.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctury
Major Wildlife Attractions in Periyar National Park :
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Apart from Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar sanctuary are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, a Tiger. There are, now, an estimated 40 tigers here. Four species of primates are found at Periyar - the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur And Bonnet Macaque. Periyar also happens to be the habitat of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr, which is rarely to be seen.
The birdlife comprises of Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes. The reptilian population boasts Of Monitor Lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun, on the rocks along the lakeshore. Visitors who trek into the Periyar national park often see a Python and sometimes even a King Cobra.
In the lap of the mountains, the Periyar wildlife sanctuary's environ is like a canvas of many shades. The fresh air of the moist deciduous forest gives one a chance to experience the peace and serenity and long to return for more.
Other Attractions in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary : Kumily :
Situated just 4-kms from Periyar, Kumily is a growing town where tourism is fastly catching up just like the spice trade, the major occupation of this small town. The town is also well equipped with the excellent hotels and resorts for accommodation.
Cradomom Hills :
Periyar and Kumily are the most convenient points from which visitors can easily explore Kerala's beautiful Cardamom hills. Guide will approach you at offers of trips via jeep or taxi to the hills and if you can get a group together, these trips work out as a good travel value.
Boat Cruises :
Boat cruises make the best option to check out the wilds of Periyar Sanctuary.Today the Periyar lake presents an excellent boating spot for tourists. Although it is unusual to see many animals from the boats, still you spot a family of Elephants, Wild Boar, and Sambar Deer by the water's edge. The upper deck is best for wildlife viewing when taking a boat cruise, but better turn up half an hour early to get the best seat. To maximise you chances, take the 7.00 am boat. You can also consider renting your own boat.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctury
Attractions of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary :
The main attractions are local birds like the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron and the water duck, as well as the migratory Siberian cranes. Parrots, teal, larks, flycatchers, wood beetle, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons.
Traveling to Leh –Ladakh can be an exhilarating experience. Ladakh holds immense beauty for the beholder; the mountainous desert stretches from peak to peak, a divine painting done in strokes of purple, brown and grey, with streaks of silver and patches of green along the Indus River. Tourist Attractions in Leh-Ladakh includes its pristine beauty, its well known monasteries, its cities and the adventure sports like trekking, rafting in Indus and mountain climbing. Safaris are also part of its tourist attraction. Exploring Ladakh on the Yak back or the camel, can be an experience worth taking back home.
The moment you land on this amazing mountain town, you can catch the breath taking beauty. The shocking pristine blueness of the sky above will almost sap you off your breath. The trekking along the mountain path can be an experience worth remembering back home. The snow covered peaks, the mountain flowers, the deep valleys and the streams flowing can transport you to a world of complete solitude. The lilting mountain music, the monks in maroon robes on their way to the monastery, men in sun beaten faces trailing behind their herd of sheep are the common sights and sounds of Ladakh.
Known as "Little Tibet" or "Shangri-La", Ladakh is definitely one of the best holiday destinations you can opt for. Ladakh has immense Buddhist and Tibetan influence. There are serene chortens and prayer wheels all around, Buddhist gompas are major Tourist Attractions in Leh-Ladakh.
Though the ideal time to visit Ladakh is from March to October, temperatures in this mountain desert region tend to remain below comfort levels. Temperature reaches 30 degrees on a typical summer day, while the temperatures plunge to 10 degrees in the nights. To enjoy your trip to this beautiful land, plan out your itinerary based on all the Tourist Attractions in Leh-Ladakh.
Tourist Attractions in Leh-Ladakh include its pristine beauty, its well known monasteries, its cities and the adventure sports like trekking, rafting in Indus and mountain climbing. Indianholiday offers you the facility to book tours to Tourist Attractions in Leh-Ladakh well ahead in advance.
This area lies just behind the Zoji La Pass, and the center is Kargil, a small town with cobbled streets surrounded by apricot groves. Good panoramas of the Himalaya can be obtained on 03-04 day treks from Sanko to Drass via Umba, and on the more demanding Sanko to Mulbek via the Wakka La Pass at 4,930m.
Indus Valley, Ladakh TourismAt an average elevation of 3500 m is sand-witched between the Zanskar Range on its South and the Ladakh Range on its North, This is the geographical backbone, and the historical heartland of Ladakh. All major sites connected with its dynastic history are here, starting with Leh, the capital city. The bulk of the population resides along the Indus. Its main attraction are the numerous Buddhist monasteries, quaint villages, fairs , festivals and bazars. Air and road communications converage at Leh.
One of Ladakh’s remotest regions. A 300 km long valley ringed by mountains, only accessible by high passes. The Valley of Zanskar is situated in the inner Himalaya and is higher than most areas of Ladakh. The climate is very Harsh and receives very little rain fall. The twin peaks of Nun-Kun, its Monasteries and its extremely rugged, awe-aspiring landscape are its main attractions.
The adventure destination of Zanskar is one of the isolated and scantly inhabited Himalayan Valleys. Zanskar is wrapped in snow-covered peaks and boats of two small alpine lakes. But there is nothing comparable to the wonderful view of the "Drang-Drung" glacier.
Tourist Attractions in Zanskar : Zangla :
Lying deep in the northern arm of Zanskar at the end of the 35 km long road from Padum, Zangla was being ruled by a titular king till his death a few years back. The old castle now in ruins except for a small chappel, occupies a hill, overlooking the desertic valley below. Nearby is the old nunnery worth a visit for the austere life style of the small monastic community of nuns. An old monastery situated in the nearby village of Tsa-zar has exquisite frescos.
The village lies mid-way between Stongdey and Zangla. Zangla is the nodal point on the popular Padum-Strongdey-Zangla-Karsha-Padum round trip, which covers most of the cultural sites of Zanskar. The river is now crossed by a temporary foot-bridge for approaching the left bank along which the trail to Karsha follows. Zangla is also the take-off point for the Padum-Markha valley treks.
The other spectacular cave monastery of Zanskar are in Zongkhul, that falls on the Padum-Kishtwar trekking trail, just before the ascent of Omasi-la Pass begins. Situated like a swallow's nest on the rock face of the Ating george, the monastery is associated by legend with the famous Indian yogi Naropa, who lectured in the Nalanda and Vikramsila universities.
The two caves here are the present monasteries, are said to have been used by the famous yogi for the solitary meditation. A footprint on the stone near the ingress of the lower cave is reserved as that of the yogi. The frescos on the cave walls are very old and reflect a high degree of artistic achievement. These are believed to be the original murals executed by Zhadpa Dorje. The celebrated scholar-painter of the same monastery who was active about 300 years ago.
The monastery of Stongdey lies 18 km to the north of Padum, on the road leading to Zangla. An old foundation associated with the Tibetan yogi, Marpa, Stongdey is now the second largest monastic establishment of Zanskar, inhabited by the resident community of about 60 Gelukpa monks. The sprawling white-washed complex has a number of temples, each a repository of the region's rich monastic legacy. Stongdey can be reached by foot in about 4 hours by road. The climb up to the monastery is rather streneous, but it is worth the trouble for the breathtaking scenery of the valley seen from here.
Panikhar is an important place in the Zanskar Valley that is the border of the Suru Valley. At Panikhar the fort of Zorawar Singh is a major tourist attraction
Penzella Pass :
Penzella Pass that divides the Zanskar valley with the Suru Valley. Besides being the excellent camping site the Penzella Pass is a vintage point offering excellent views of the majestic mountains and the captivating countryside.
Karsha is a human settlement with basic facilities. The Gelugpa monastery at Karsha is a must visit to know the importance of the religion in the lives of the inhabitants of Zanskar. The mural art displayed at Labrang is other must check out in Zanskar
The Shyok River receives the waters of the Nubra and Changchenmo rivers. It rises from the Khumdang glacier, which can be approached from Shyok. The Shyok River takes a southerly course after it is joined by the Nubra River. Thereafter the Shyok flows into the Indus at Keris.
The river freezes in winter, thus forming an easy access between the Khaplu and the Nubra valleys. In summer, as the snow melts in the uplands, the river overflows its banks and inundates the surrounding plain for many kilometers, at times creating a vast marsh. During this period, the Shyok River has to be crossed on rafts of inflated skin.
The Shyok Valley is the valley of the Shyok River -- the river of death. This is a Yarkandi (Central Asian) name, probably given by the Central Asian traders who ventured on this treacherous route for centuries and perished. The entire northern area -- the region of the Karakoram -- has names related to death. It is evident that this was a part of the ancient trade route from Yarkand (Central Asia) to Ladakh, where many died and only the hardiest survived. The entire route towards the Karakoram Pass is littered with the bones of these travelers.
Padum Valley, Ladakh TourismPadum the capital of the ancient kingdom of Zanskar, Padum (3505 m) is the present day administrative headquarters of the region. With a population of nearly 1500, Padum can be described as the most populous settlement of Zanskar, otherwise a very scarcely inhabited valley. Incidentally, it is only in Padum that there is a community of Muslims constituting nearly half the township's population, its origin in the area dating from mid 17th century. Lately, Padum has become a famous as a major trekking base and a popular tourist destination. Several places of tourist interest in the vicinity of the township can be visited in the course of entertaining walks. The nearest monument is a set of ancient rock carving on a huge boulder near the river bank, just below the old township. These dates from the 8th century and provide epigraphic evidence that the region was under the influence of North Indian Buddhism since ancient times. The Starrimo monastery with about 30 resident monks clings to a tree-covered ridge above the old town. Across the expanse of cultivation lies the old village of Pibiting, dominated by its picturesque hilltop monastery, a superb manifestation of stupa architecture.
Zangla Valley, Ladakh Travel GuideLying deep in the northern arm of Zanskar at the end of the 35 km. Long rough road from Padum, Zangla was being ruled by a titular king till his death a few years back. The old castle now in ruins except from a small chappel, occupies a hill, overlooking the desertic valley below. Nearby is the old Nunnery worth a visit for the austere life style of the small monastic community of nuns. An old monastery situated in the nearby village of Tsa-zar has exquisite frescos that should be missed. The village lies mid-way between Stongdey and Zangla. Zangla is the nodal point on the popular Padum-Strongdey-Zangla-Karsha-Padum round trip, which covers most of the cultural sites of Zanskar. The old rope suspension bridge spanning the tumultuous Zanskar near Zangla- a rare feat of folk engineering - is no more in use, but still visible. The river is now crossed by a temporary footbridge for approaching the left bank along which the trail to Karsha follows. Zangla is also the take-off point for the Padum-Markha valley treks.
The 240 km long Kargil-Padun road, of which the first 90 km stretch is paved, remains opened from around mid July to early November. In June, the summer is at its height in the region and the climate is ideal for trekking along the route free from vehicular traffic of any kind and when the countryside is freshly rejuvenated into life after months of frigid dormancy.
The tourist Complex at Padum provides furnished rooms. There is catering arrangement in the complex, while camping place nearby is available for budget tourists travelling with personal tents.
The farthest and the most isolated part of the Suru Valley, Rangdum is an elliptical expanded plateau surrounded by colourful hills on the one side and glacier encrusted rocky mountains on the other. Situated 130 kms South- east of Kargil, it falls midway between Kargil and Padum. Due to its remoteness from inhabited parts either of Suru or Zanskar, the areas wild beauty is almost haunting, while its isolation is near perfect even as the unpaved Zanskar road traverses its length. The chief attraction of this area is an imposing 18th century Buddhist monastery with about 40 monks in residence. Perched picturesquely atop a centrally rising hillock which is entrenched around by the bifurcated course of a wild mountain stream, the Rangdum monastery has the aura of an ancient fortification guarding a mystical mountain valley. The villagers are descendents of the monastery's agricultural, serf-tenants, who do not own any land in the region. The monastery enjoys perpetual and unalienable ownership of the entire valley including the fields tilled by the villagers, the pastures, hills and even the streams. Rangdum also serves as an important trekking base. The most popular trek from here leads to Henaskut near Lamayuru, across the spectacular gorge of the kanji valley. This 5-day trek also forms the last leg of the two week long trans-Himalayan traverse between Kashmir and Ladakh.
The Phugthal complex spills out of the mouth of a huge cave high up in the sheer mountain face of a lateral gorge through which a major tributary of the southern Lungnak (Lingti-Tsarap) River flows. Perhaps, the most isolated monastic establishment of Zanskar, its foundation date back to the early 12th century ; at least one old chappel, among the several several of which it is composed, has frescos and ceiling decorations reflecting strong Indian artistic and iconographic influence. Phugthal is accessible from the Padum-Manali trekking route through a 7 km long trail that branches off from the Purney Bridge on the main trail. A visit to Phugthal, including Bardan and Muney monasteries enroute, makes a good 5-days round trek from Padum. Alternatively, one can add one extra day to Padum-Manali trekking itinerary to include a day-return visit to this unique monastic establishment inhabited by a resident community of about 40 monks.
The monastery of Stongdey lies 18 kms. To the north of Padum, on the road leading to Zangla. An old foundation associated with the Tibetan Yogi, Marpa, Stongdey is now the second largest monastic establishment of Zanskar, inhabited by the resident community of about 60 Gelukpa monks. The sprawling whitewashed complex has a number of temples, each a repository of the region's rich monastic legacy. Stongdey can be reached by foot in about 4 hours along the recently laid rough road. The climb up to the monastery is rather strenuous, but it is worth the trouble for the breathtaking scenery of the valley available from here.
A picturesque expanse surrounded by colorful rocky mountains, Sankoo is an upcoming township with a small bazaar (42 kms south of Kargil) and numerous villages around. Dense plantations of poplars, willows, myricarea and wild roses fill the bowl shaped valley, giving it the ambience of a man-made forest tucked within the mountain ramparts. Two side valleys drained by large tributary streams of the Suru river, the Kartse flowing from the east and the Nakpochu descending from the west, open up on either side of the expanse. The Karste Valley runs deep into the eastern mountains mass with a large number of isolated villages tucked within its course. The 4-day trek between Sankoo and Mulbek follows this valley; the route passes through some very beautiful alpine areas on the way the 4950 m high Rusi-la . The high altitude settlement of Safi and its mixed Buddhist-Muslim population is struck between the Rusi-la and the Shafi-la over which the final leg of the trek passes before entering the Mulbek valley. A southward diversion from the foot of the Rusi-la leads to Rangdum across the glaciated Rangdum pass where the Karste River rises. The 3-day trek to Drass across the Umba-la (3350 m) follows the western valley. Sankoo is a very popular among local picnic lovers who throng the area from Kargil town and other places. Locally it is also popular as a place of pilgrimage to the ancient shrines of Muslin scholar-saint, Sayed Mir Hashim, who was specially invited from Kashmir for imparting religious teachings to the region's Buddhist ruler, Thi-Namgyal of the Suru principality, following his conversion to Islam during the 16th century. The shrine is situated in the village of Karpo-Khar on the outskirts of Sankoo where the chief had his summer palace.
Drass (3230 m), 60 km west of Kargil on the road to Srinagar, is a small township lying in the centre of the valley of the same name. It has become famous as the second coldest inhabited place in the world by virtue of the intense cold that descends upon the valley along with repeated snowfalls during winters. Winter temperature is sometimes known to plummet to less than minus 40 degrees.
The Drass valley starts from the base of the Zojila pass, the Himalayan gateway to Ladakh. For centuries its inhabitants are known to have negotiated this formidable pass even during the most risky period in the late autumn or early spring, when the whole sector remains snow-bound and is subject to frequent snow storms, to transport trader's merchandise across and to help stranded travellers to traverse it. By virtue of their mastery over the pass they had established a monopoly over the carrying trade during the heydays of the Pan-Asian trade. A hardly people enduring with fortitude and harshness of the valley's winter, the inhabitants of drass can well be described as the guardian's of Ladakh's gateway.
Drass is a convenient base for a 3-day long trek to Suru valley across the sub-range separating the two valleys. This trek passes through some of the most beautiful upland villages and flower sprinkled meadows on both sides of the 4500 mts high Umbala pass, which falls enroute. The trek to the holy cave of Amarnath in neighboring Kashmir, which stars from Minamarg below Zojila, takes 3 days and involves crossing of 5200 mts high pass. Drass also offers numerous shorter treks and hikes to the upland villages.
Note : All Tourists to Ladakh travelling from Srinagar by road are required to register themselves at the Tourist Registration Centre at Drass.
Suru Valley, Ladakh TourismOne of the most beautiful regions of Ladakh , the Suru Valley forms the mainstay of Kargil district. Lying nestled along the north-eastern foothills of the great Himalayan Wall, it extends from Kargil town, first southward for a length of about 75 Kms Upto the expanse around Panikhar, thence eastward for another stretch of nearly 65 kms upto the foot of the Penzila watershed where the Suru valley rises. Its composite population of about 30,000 -- mainly of Tibeti-Darad descent -- are Muslims who had converted their Buddhist faith around the middle of the 16th century. The upper valley reaches of the valley, particularly around the Sankoo bowl, the Panikhar expense and the higher stretch beyond, present a spectacle of breathtaking features-majestic mountain ramparts crowned by snow capped peaks, undulating alpine slopes draining into wild mountain streams of foaming cascades of pristine water, awesome glaciers descending along the Himalayan slopes to the river bed in riverine formation, Quaint villages of adobe houses straggling dry hillocks surrounded by large tracts of lush crops downward the patches of alpine pastures uphill. The beauty of this region is further enhanced by the sheer contrast provided by the towering peaks of Kun (7035 m) and Nun (7135 m) which loom over the skyline in their crystalline majesty.
Tourist Attractions in Srinagar
Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, is acclaimed to be one of the loveliest places in India, in terms of natural splendor. Set in the picturesque Kashmir valley at an altitude of 1730 meters, Srinagar is a tourist’s paradise and one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. The major tourist attractions in Srinagar include its beautiful rivers and lakes, with rows of charming houseboats floating on them, magnificent blossoming gardens, and lush green woods.
The Land of Lakes and Gardens, as Srinagar is popularly dubbed, abounds in tourist attractions that lure even the most discerning traveler to this magical land. No destination is quite as romantic as Srinagar, no setting as spectacular as Srinagar, rightly termed the “Pride of Kashmir valley”. Explore the numerous tourist attractions in Srinagar, which throw up several delightful surprises that will remain etched on your memory forever.
Srinagar’s charm changes with every season as each season lends unique vistas to the tourist attractions in Srinagar, captivating every one with the splendid beauty. Though the picturesque lakes and beautiful gardens are prime among Srinagar tourist attractions, there are other places to see in Srinagar as well, including several temples and mosques, charming waterways, unique houseboats, and nearby hill resorts. Even the thrilling water sporting activities offered form part of tourist attractions in Srinagar.
Listed below are some major tourist attractions in Srinagar :Dal Lake :
the most important tourist attraction in Srinagar, the Dal Lake has, within its periphery, four enormous water bodies, Lokut Dal, Bod Dal, Gagribal and Nagin. The lake is not a flat, continuous mass of water, but an intricate labyrinth of waterways, that constitute a spectacular sight and an amazing locale to explore.
Wular Lake :
the largest freshwater lake in India, Wular Lake lies about 32 kms to the northwest of Srinagar city. The lake is surrounded by high mountains on the north and north-east of the valley, which augment the scenic charm of the region.
Hazratbal Shrine :
A sacred Muslim pilgrimage destination lying on the banks of the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar, Hazratbal Shrine reflects the devotion and respect of Muslims for Prophet Mohammad and his relics stored here.
Shankaracharya Temple :
Located on top of a hill known as ‘Takht-e-Suleiman’, this ancient temple stands at an altitude of about 1100 feet above the surface level of main Srinagar city. The sacred temple can be visited only through a trek to the top of the hills.
Also called Shah-e-Hamdan, this shrine is believed to contain "the secret of Allah”. One of the oldest Muslim shrines located on the banks of the river Jhelum in Srinagar city, the Khanqah-e-Molla exhibits exemplary specimen of wood architecture.
Jama Masjid :
A revered mosque located at Nowhatta, Jama Masjid is one of the main tourist attractions in Srinagar for Muslims.
Also worth visit in Srinagar are the Khir Bhawani Temple, Chatti Padshahi, Chashma Shahi and Pari Mahal, Nishat Garden and Shalimar Garden.
Tourist Attractions in Sonamarg
Covered with thick forest of sycamore, alpine flowers, silver birch, fir and pine Sonmarg is rich with various types of flora. In winter, this small town is covered with snow and reflect a different charm. There are many excursions from Sonmarg to nearby tourist attractions. The most famous trek is Amarnath yatra to Amarnath caves. Baltal , which is nearby is cited as a base camp for starting the Amarnath yatra.
Sights And Activities : Nilagrad :
It is the place where streams from Himalayas and Indus river meets and mix up. The surprising fact of the place is the water here is of red color. It is believed that water has a curative power and cure skin ailments. On Sundays people from distance places gathered here to take a dip in the water.
Krishnasar Lake :
Set at a height of 3801m above sea level, Krishnasar Lake is one of many high altitude lakes in Kashmir valley. This serene and crystal clear lake is a favorite hunting ground for many fishing enthusiasm.
Right at the foot of Zojila Pass, this extreme spectacular grassland is adjacent to Ladakh territory. Baltal is famous among pilgrims because of its proximity to Amarnath cave, which is 5km from the place. During the pilgrimage time, baltal become a camp site for Amarnath yatra.
The place is about 3km from Sonmarg and covered with glaciers most of the year. Water falls from the silver sheet of ice is absolutely marvelous. You can stay at forest rest house or in a tourist hut reside in between Thajiwas and Sonmarg.
At a distance of 120 km west of Leh lies one of the earliest existing monastery of Ladakh, the Lamayuru Monastery. It is situated on a high promontory overlooking the village and valley. Also known as the Yung-drung (swastika), the monastery has an interesting legend associated with it. As per this legend, the place where the monastery stands today was covered with lakewater during the era of Shakyamuni Buddha. However, Naropa, an 11th century Indian Buddhist scholar, meditated here for years in a cave and then caused the water of the lake to recede, thereby paving way for the construction of the monastery. Later, Rinchen Tsangpo not only enlarged the monastery but also adorned it.
In the sixteenth century, the status of the monastery was raised to that of a holy site. Now, even the criminals could seek shelter here without fearing apprehension. Because of this, the monastery came to be known as as 'Tharpa Ling', or the 'place of freedom' amidst the Ladakhis.
Today, most of the monastery is in ruins barring the main assembly hall, Dukhang and few more buildings. The monastery is a part of the Drikung Kagyu, a subsect of the Kagyu School.
The Du-khang lies to the right of the courtyard with the entrance verandah painted with a colourful depiction of the Guardians of the Four Directions. Murals on the left wall guides the lama as to the correct way in which they should lead their life. The wall on the right side has a small cave known as Naropa's cave. This is the same place where Naropa meditated for a number of years. Hence, his statue occupies a prominent position in the cave. Along with him, his student Marpa and his student's student Mila Ras-pa also have their statues placed in the cave.
Within the Du-khang, on the right side glass-fronted bookcases preserve three complete sets of the Kandshur, the 108 volumes of Buddha's teachings. The showcases themselves are quiet interesting with elaborate painted decorations above and below the shelves. A statue of Shakyamuni, sans his usual blue hair, occupy the central position of the right side wall.
Out of the Du-khang, right in the centre of the opposite side is a throne meant specially for Lamayuru's head lama. On the right side of the throne, there is a chorten along with statues of Padma Sambhava and Tungdup Tshogs-gyal, one of the earlier head lama of the monastery. On the back of it, thangkas representing Buddha's incarnation can be seen. To the left of the throne stand five statues of different red hat lamas. Infront of these statues, images of Amitabha, Padma Sambhava and Sakyamuni are erected.
The Gonkhang is situated behind the Du-khang. It is a temple dedicated to the guardian divinities of Buddhism. Glass fronted cases in the temple exhibits images of Mahakala, the fiercest guardian divinity; Apshi, a guardian of the gompa; Radha Shree, a founder of the religious sect to which Lamayuru is associated; three guardian divinities and lastly another Apshi riding a horse. In front of the cases is Tara, the consort of Avalokitesvara reflecting her twenty-one manifestations. In front of Gonkhang are three chortens with the larger one in the centre.
A small temple devoted to Avalokitesvara stands apart from the main building housing Du-khang. A recess on the side facing the entrance holds an immensly old eight foot high image of Avalokitesvara with 1,000 arms and eyes (symbolising his tremendous strength) and eleven heads (nine Bodhisattva heads, one head angry at the suffering in the world and a Buddha head on top).
Along with the image of Avalokitesvara, the recess also contains images of Padme Sambhava and smaller statues of 8 Bodhisattvas. The walls on the right and left of the recess have paintings of Avalokitesvara, again with 1,000 arms and eleven heads and Buddha's incarnations respectively. The right side wall also has a mural of the various divinities a Buddhist will see after his death.
The significance of the Singhe Ghang Temple is immense. It is believed that when Naropa emptied the lake, he discovered a dead lion. It was on this spot that he built the first temple of the monastery and named it Singhe Ghang or the Lion Mound. The temple has an image of Vairocana or the Teaching Buddha as its highlight. The image of Vairocana is seated on a lion serving as a throne and a garuda (mythical bird) and sea monsters surround his head. Behind it, the wall has displays of stucco images of the Buddhas of the Four Directions. The left wall has a mural of an 11-headed Avalokitesvara along with a mandala painting of Vairocana but the murals on the right wall have been almost totally washed away by water.
The annual festival of Yuru Kabgyat is celebrated for two days and presents a terrific spectacle for onlookers. Mask dance is performed with masks representing the guardian divinities from the Dringungpa pantheon. And as in the mask dance of all monasteries, evil is brought to an end and goodness emerge victorious. The festival takes place in summers on the 28th and 29th days of the 2nd Tibetan month. The festival will next be celebrated on 2nd and 3rd July 2007.
Leh - The Base To Lamayuru Monastery :
Leh is most important town of the Ladakh region and has the Sengye Namgyal's nine-storey palace as its prime attractions. The Tibetan architecture of the palace was appreciated so much that even after half a century later, it managed to inspire the famous Potala in Lhasa. Apart from the palace, a walk along the main bazaar of the Leh is high on the list of tourists.
Other Attractions : Wanla Monastery : Situated pretty close to Lamayuru monastery, the Wanla monastery was built in 1000 AD. The small monastery houses a famous image of the 11 headed Mahakaruna (Avalokitesvara). The statue is more than two storeys tall. The walls of the monastery is adorned with paintings of Buddhas, Boddhisattvas, the Mandala and so forth. An immensely revered image of Chovo-je-Paldan Atisha can also be seen in the monastery.
Alchi Monastery : Located around 70 km west of Leh, the Alchi Monastery is one of the most impressive Buddhist structures in the Ladakh region. It was constructed around 1000 years back and has two main temples Alchi du-khang and Sum-tsek as its prime attractions. Apart from it, the other structures of the monastery include the Temple of Manjushri, the New temple and three chortens or stupas.
Rizong Monastery : At a distance of 73 km from Leh, the Rizong monastery is a pretty recent construction. It was built by the great Lama Tsultim Nima in the 17th century and stands at an isloated place. Just 2 km below the monastery, there is a nunnery by the name of Chulichan (Chomoling). The nunnery has around 20 nuns as its denizens while the monastery itself is home to around 40 monks.
Bagso Monastery : This monastery stands around 40 km west of Leh and has the distinction of being the only place where the original sixteenth century murals still exist. The presiding image here is that of Maitreya Buddha.
On your tour to Ladakh you will come across numerous monasteries in the Himalayan town. At hilltops casting a panoramic view of the valley below and surrounded by the spectacular snow peaks, monasteries in Ladakh are major tourist attraction. Of all the important monasteries in Ladakh, Thiksey Monastery which is situated at an altitude of 3600 ms above sea level and ranks among the most important monasteries in Ladakh.
Located at 17 km from Leh, the Thiksey Monastery is 12 storeys high. It has many statues of Lord Buddha but the 15m seated Maitreya Buddha in the main prayer hall is spectacular. Besides there is a pillar with the teachings of Lord Buddha and a vast collection of Buddhist art. The monks of the Thiksey Monastery follow the Gelukpa order. Annual festival is held from the 17th to 19th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan Buddhist calendar in the monastery.
Thiksey Monastery is the seat of Tiksey Rinpoche, the main leader of the Gelug School in Ladakh. The 15m high statue of Buddha which was built in1980 is the largest statue of Lord Buddha in Ladakh. It took four years to construct and is made of clay and painted golden in color. The monastery has the sacred Kangyur and Stangyur texts too.
This statue of Buddha in Thiksey is 15 meters tall and was built in 1980. The statue is the largest Buddha figure in Ladakh which took four years to construct and is made of clay and covered with gold paint. The statue houses the sacred Kangyur and Stangyur texts.
Thiksey Monastery offers you a glimpse of the importance of Buddhism in Ladakh. Indianholiday offers you the facility to book tours to Thiksey Monastery well ahead in advance.
The Hemis Monastery at Ladakh is situated at a distance of approximately 47 km from Leh, on the west bank of the Indus River. The monastery stands concealed inside a gorge and belongs to the Dugpa Order. The biggest and the wealthiest monastery of Ladakh, Hemis Monastery was founded by the first incarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso. One of the major attractions of Hemis Gompa of Leh Ladakh is the annual Hemis festival, commemorating the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhav.
On this day, in certain years, the Thanka (the sacred appliqué-work tapestry wrought with pearls depicting Padmasambhava) is displayed to the general public. Also, on 9th and 10th day of the Tibetan 5th month, sacred musk dance is performed at this monastery. Hemis houses a copper-gilt statue of the Lord Buddha, various gold and silver stupas, sacred thankas and numerous other objects. There is also a sacred hermitage above the Ladakh Hemis Monastery. Founded by Gyalwa Kotsang, this hermitage still houses his meditation cave and bears his footprint and handprint on the rock and sacred shrines.
Tourist Attractions in Tsomoriri
The drive to Tsomoriri seems eternal. Once you drive off the tarred road along the Indus you’re faced with miles and miles of land running through the mountains with nothing on the way, save a few refreshment tents flapping away in the scorching afternoon wind. The drive to Tsomoriri is no doubt grueling and long; but where you reach at the end of it all is probably worth a hundred such journeys.
When the lake is just round the next mountain, it yet can’t be seen, but you know it’s there as you are suddenly hit by a blast of chilled air. And the rough, dusty brown landscape starts easing out into shades of green; Small marmots peek over rocks at passing cars like a Disney animation, the snowcaps fade into view and the cold breeze continues to blow.
A few more miles and the landscape changes abruptly like a click to the next frame of a view-master as the lake slides into view. Like a magical piece of the sky it stretches before your eyes, ending only at the feet of the distant mountains. Sparking and blue, suddenly Ladakh’s landscape comes to life. After miles of soundless moonscape the air is rippled with sounds – of the water lapping against the shores, of marmots, horses and goats rustling in the grass and of the mélange of birds.
In unspoken beauty the lake is breathtaking yet formidable. Guarded by myths and mountains it induces in you an inexplicable respect as you find yourself following local advice and not letting your feet touch the water. They call them holy waters, belonging to the Gods themselves.
Situated at a height of 4595 meters above sea level, the 27 km lake is the largest high altitude lake to be situated entirely within the country. Surrounded by mountains, only the west bank of the lake is inhabitable.
Khardung La or Khardung Pass – a much romanticized high altitude adventure trail – happens to be the gateway to Nubra and Shyok Valleys. Standing proud at an altitude of 5359 meters (17,582 feet), contrary to the signage and the local voice claiming it to be 5602 meters (18,380 feet) high, Khardung Pass is the road that’s sporadically trod by adventure-streaked bikers and military personnel trucking supplies on to Siachen Glacier alike. About 37 kilometers (23 miles) north of Leh, this pass was built in 1976 and has been operational from 1988 onwards, serving as a vital link to not only Nubra Valley and the Siachen Glacier, but places like Sumur, Hunder and Diskit, which attract a lot of tourists for a unique spiritual journey. This pass holds historical importance as well, lying on the caravan route that was once traversed regularly by pack animals (horses and Bactrian camels) used by tradesmen who traveled from Leh to Kashgar in Chinese Central Asia and vice-versa.
Known by locals as Khardong La and even Khardzong La, it has a strange and mesmerizing effect on people who visit it, and even those who wish to go there. So much so that sometimes tourists hang around patiently for days, waiting for the accursed road-blocking snow to shy away and leave the stage for some breathtaking tripping. And breathtaking it undoubtedly is, as the remarkable drop in temperature here (about 7,000 feet higher than Leh) can freeze even your heart, besides chilling your bones. But that’s what makes the ride/drive even more thrilling and maybe even cosmic, as a signpost welcoming you with a “You are nearest to Heaven and can have a dialogue with God” message promises to prod up the tempo further. This sign, along with many other signs (including one offering suggestions for visitors) that you will come across on the way, will bucket up tempestuous juices of expectations from within you, which incidentally will be met quite comfortably once you reach Khardung La Top.
To cross the pass or even visit it you need to have an Inner Line Permit, which can be procured in the town of Leh – its approval or denial depending purely on the running weather conditions. If it’s raining and heavy snow hinders your drive, chances of you being granted with the permit are very bleak. Get about six photocopies of the permit done as you will have to deposit the copies at various check posts (South Pullu and North Pullu) for security formalities. You will also come across a fantastic rock formation dubbed “India Gate,” which will dramatically stress on the fact that nature takes its own course when left alone – and how. The rugged path, the icy expanse, the blanket of snow-capped mountains, the unusual quiet disturbed occasionally by the temple bells and the humming vehicle engines, the fluttering prayer flags on temple rooftops; all course down to one simple human emotion – bliss characterized by eyes that widen and close almost uncontrollably.
Special Attributes :
A high altitude pass that's popularly romanticized as the highest motorable road in the world with a landscape of endless snow covered mountains.
Looking for a romantic hill station amidst greenery, perfect for relaxing holidays? The valley of flowers- the Nubra Valley welcomes you with the purest and most divine greenery, ideal for your holiday break. The fertile land of the nubra valley, used for the cultivation of grains and fruits, is nurtured by the Shyok and Nubra Rivers. Popularly called the orchard of Ladakh, Nubra valley offers a graceful view of yellow and pink wild roses in summer and a carpet of wild lavender in the post-monsoon season. You will definitely be overwhelmed to see the Bactarian Camels (Shaggy double hump Camel) around sand dunes, Deskit & Samstanling monasteries and Khardung la Pass (18,380 ft above sea level).
Major Attractions :
Diskit, set amongst the rising Himalayas and providing the majestic view of the Leh valley, is a nirvana for nature lovers. Basically the administrative center of the Nubra Valley, it is developed on the edge of a desert on the Shyok-side valley. Pleasant and cool environment, unique smell of smoky kitchens, goats, chang (local brew) and butter tea form the identity of this resting place.
People love to experience a sizzling bath at the hot springs in the outskirts of Panamik. These springs are believed to have some medicinal powers in their waters.
You can walk to the Ensa Gompa that is over 250 years old monestry. It takes around six hours ot reachthe hill on which it is located. It is worth visiting for the extraordinary Buddhist murals or rock engravings.
The Samtanling Gompa is another famous Buddhist religious place, located at the Sumur Village. You can find out unique collection of idols, frescos and tangkhas (painted and embroidered scrolls) here. You are also offered basic accommodation facilities here. This place is ideal for camping as well ner the Nubra river.
Flora And Fauna :
The valley of flowers is popular for the unique assemblage of flora, categorised in 19 cover classes (11 vegetation types and 8 non-vegetation categories). Around 78-80% of plant species in Nubra are restricted to the valley bottoms. You can find more than 414 species of vascular plants, which belong to 56 families and 202 genera. The valley is quite popular for a variety of flowers. You will hardly find any wild animal species here.
Although one can observe topographical diversities in the climate of the valley, the atmosphere is warmer than that of Leh.
Tourist Attractions in Jammu
Jammu excursions consist of some of the finest tourist places around the Jammu city. These places range from hilltop resorts to some of the famous pilgrim places. Lets take a brief tour of some of the excursion points around Jammu city.
Mata Vaishno Devi (50 km) :
One of the most popular excursions around Jammu is the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi. The small town of Katra, approximately 50 km from Jammu, serves as base camp for undertaking the long trek to the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi.
Kud (103 km) :
Kud is a popular resort located approximately 103 km from Jammu, on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. Situated at a height of 1738 m, it has accommodations in the form of J&KTDC tourist bungalows and private hotels.
Patnitop (112 km) :
The famous places to see around Jammu also include the Patnitop hill resort. Located on the Jammu-Srinagar highway at an altitude of 2024 m, it offers picturesque surroundings, amazing picnic spots, serene walks, etc.
Sanasar (119 km) :
Encircles by huge conifers, Sanasar comes up as a cup shaped meadow. The major attractions of Sanasar are its tranquility, amazing gold course and opportunities for paragliding.
The tourist destination of Sanasar lies at a distance of 119 kilometers from the Jammu city. Sanasar, picturesque cup shaped meadow, which is surrounded by coniferous trees. Sanasar lies at a distance of 17 kilometers from Patnitop and is an ideal travel destination. Sanasar is perfect for those who are keen on spending a quite and peaceful holiday.
There is a Beautiful Golf Course for those interested in the game. In fact special effort has been made by the authorities to develop this picturesque meadow into a golf course. Tourists, who travel to Sanasar and are inclined towards adventure sports, can enjoy Paragliding, Horse Riding and Camping activities. Proper paragliding training camps are organized.
Tours and travel to Sanasar include a visit to tourist spots such as the Nag Temple, the Hidden Creek and the Waterfalls. Sanasar is accessible by road. Arrangements are being made for those interested in Hot Air Ballooning and Parasailing as an adventure sport. There are camping facilities for tourists. Sanasar is known for its natural beauty and is also known as mini Gulmarg, as it is also a lush green meadow. A Visit to Sanasar is an experience one does not forget easily.
Batote (125 km) :
Batote is also a hill resort, situated at a height of 1560 m on the Jammu-Srinagar National highway. The resort provides some spectacular sights overlooking the Chenab gorge.
Sudh Mahadev (120 km) :
Sudh Mahadev is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, situated at a height of approximately 1225 m. The shrine gains significance especially on the full moon night of Sawan (July - August), when devotees come here to worship the "Trishul" (trident) and a mace, alleged to be of Lord Shiva. There is also a "Devak" stream originating at Sudh Mahadev and vanishes amid the rocks after a few km.
Gauri Kund :
The Gauri Kund is located near the Sudh Mahadev. It is believed to be the spring where the Goddess Parvati used to take a bath before starting "Her" daily prayers at Sudh Mahadev.
Mantalai, enclosed by deodar forests, is also located near Sudh Mahadev. It is said to be the venue of the marriage between Lord Shiva Goddess Parvati.
Mansar Lake (62 km) :
A picturesque lake near Jammu, Mansar stands fringed by forest-covered hills. It is also believed to be a holy site, where newly-weds come to take three circumambulations (Parikarma) and seek the blessings of Sheshnag, the lord of serpents. There are a number of shrines on the banks of Mansar Lake, including that of Sheshnag.
Tourist Attractions in Keylong
The district headquarter of Lahaul and Spiti, Keylong is an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure freaks. It is the only town in the highway between Manali and Leh. Situated at an altitude of 3,350 m, and 115 kms from Manali, it has a strong influence of Tibetan culture. It is a small town surrounded by high peaks and remains cut off from the rest of the world between November and June because of heavy snowfall.
If driving to Leh from Manali, one can make an overnight stop here to see the sights around, or move on to the camp at Sarchu. At Keylong, days are warm and night are extremely cold.The best time to visit this beautiful destination is June to September.
Prime Attractions : Monasteries :
Around Keylong, one can visit the 900-year old Khardong gompa, a 4 km uphill walk from town, across the Bhaga valley. The Shashur gompa, about 3 kms away is also worth visiting. Built in the 16th century, it belongs to the Gelukpa order, and is known for its annual Chham festival held every June or July.
Lahaul & Spiti Tribal Museum :
The museum is situated at the south end of town. The visiting hours are from 10 am to 5 pm, and it remains closed on Monday. Lahaul & Spiti Tribal Museum showcases the best and rarest of traditional costumes, old dance masks and treasures from local gompas.
Apart from monasteries and art treasures, Keylong is frequented for sightseeing and excursions. Kardang (8 km), Shasur (3 km), Guru Ghantal (4 km), and Tyaul (6 km) are the most frequented places. The monastery at Tyaul boasts of being one of the oldest gompas of the valley. It houses a 5 m statue of Guru Padmasambhava and a library of Kagur with 101 volumes.
Tandi (2573 m), Sissu (3100 m), Gondla (3110 m), Triloknath (2760 m) and Baralacha Pass (4883 m) are several other excursion points especially meant for nature lovers.
Keylong is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts. People can try out a number of adventure sports here ranging from skiing and rock climbing to trekking and fishing.
Tourist Attractions in Phuktal
The Phuktal Monastery appears to be sprawling out from a huge cave high up in the steep cliff. It is this location that makes it completely different from other monasteries of the Zanskar valley. Also, it is the unique setting of the monastery that lends it the name Phuktal meaning through caves. The foundation of the monastery, made up of twigs and muds, was laid way back in the 12th century. Today, the monastery is home to around 70 monks who are extremely friendly and love to show the visitors around. They even take the trouble of arranging for a stay for the visitors in the gompa willingly.
The highlights of the monastery include frescoes and ceiling decorations in an old chapel which seems to belong to same era as that of Tabo Monastery and Alchi Monastery. There are also three large and one small prayer room and a library. A huge attraction here is a hollow in the rock in the cave over the monastery. The level of water in this hollow never drops despite any amount of water being drawn from it. Moreover, this water is believed to have curative powers. A stone tablet left behind by Alexander Cosmo de Koros, a Hugaraian who visited Tibet and later stayed in this monastery between the period of 1826-27, is on the must see list of the tourists visiting the monastery.
The monks of the monastery carry out the sacred Cham dance during the Gustor festival which is celebrated during the 18th and 19th day of the Tibetan 12th month.
The administrative headquarters of the Zanskar subdivision in Jammu Kashmir, Padum has a meagre population of around 1500. A considerable percentage of this population is Muslim while the Buddhist of the town are mainly of Tibetan descent. For visiting tourists, it is essential to know that unlike Leh or even Kargil, Padum does not have a plethora of accommodation and eating places option. A choice has to be made amongst the limited options available.
Other Attractions : Bardan Monastery : Established in the 17th century, the Bardan Monastery was the first one in the Zanskar region that belonged to the Dugpa-Kargyud monastic order. The highlight of the monastery include numerous clay, bronze, wood and copper statues of Buddhist divinities and stupa. The monastery is located 12 km towards the south of Padum.
Muney Monastery : This monastery, despite its smaller size, is frequented by tourists because of its art treasures. The monastery is situated in close vicinity of the Bardan Monastery.
Tourist Attractions in Tayul Gompa
Himachal Pradesh in North India is home to a considerable Buddhist population, and hence, there are several Buddhist Monasteries scattered all over the state. The Tayul Monastery is one such highly-revered monastery, located at a distance of mere 6 km from Keylong in Lahaul valley. The remote valleys of Lahaul, Spiti and Kinnaur have very strong Buddhist influence, and house several monasteries. Keylong – the administrative headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti district is a decent base to explore the Buddhsit Monasteries lying in the vicinity.
One of the oldest monasteries of the region – Tayul Gompa lies at an altitude of 3900 m above the village of Satingri. In Tibetan language, the word ‘Ta-Yul’ means ‘the chosen place’. There is an interesting story associated with the establishment and naming of Tayul Gompa.
It is believed that Tayul Monastery was built in the beginning of the 17th century by a Dugpa lama, Serzang Rinchen of the Khan region of Tibet. A popular story goes that while performing the circumambulation of the sacred peak of Drilburi, lama Serzang Rinchen spotted an enchanting glade in the juniper forest above the Kyor and Tashikyang villages on the opposite side of the valley. He pointed the spot out to his fellow pilgrims and concluded that the site was an auspicious one for constructing a monastery. This was how the Tayul Gompa came into being.
Expansion and renovation of Tayul Gompa was carried out a century later by a Ladakhi, Tulku Tashi Tanphel of Tagna monastery. He embellished the walls of the monastery with exquisite murals, made giant size stucco images, and also brought in the Narthang edition of the Kangyur from Tibet to the monastery library.
The main attraction within the Tayul Gompa is the hundred million ‘mani wheel’ (piles of prayer stones). It is believed that upon turning this wheel, sentient beings will become blessed with the compassion of God. The wheel is also known to be ‘self-turning’ on auspicious occasions. The last instance when the wheel in Tayul Gompa turned all by itself was in 1986.
Other attractions in Tayul Gompa include the colossal 5m tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava, along with his two manifestations - 'Sighmukha' and 'Vijravarashi'. ‘Thankas’ in the monastery represent various episodes in the life of Lord Buddha.
Tourist Attractions in Spituk Monastery
On your tour to Ladakh you will come across numerous monasteries in the quaint little Himalayan towns. At hilltops providing panoramic views of the valley below ,and surrounded by the rugged snow peaks, monasteries in Ladakh form places of major tourist attraction. Of all the important monasteries in Ladakh, Spituk Monastery which dates back to the 11th century, overlooks the Indus River and is about 8 kilometers from Leh.
Buddhist monasteries, the centers for worship for monks, are also major attractions of the tourists visiting Ladakh. The Ladakh valley is dotted with numerous monasteries belonging to various schools of Buddhism.
Spituk Monastery was named Spituk by Rinchen Zangpo, who spread Buddhism in Ladakh to set an example for the religious community. It is a three chapel monastery. Spituk Monastery functions under the Gelukpa order and Stok, Sankar and Saboo monasteries of Ladakh are considered to be branches of the Spituk Monastery.
The officials of the monasteries are believed to be the reincarnations of Skyabsje Bakula Rinpoche. Inside the Spituk Monastery is the image of Lord Buddha. Another image, about a finger’s height, is the sacred image of Amitayus. Spituk Monastery has a rich collection of artifacts like thankas, ancient masks and antique arms. There is also an image of Mahakaal. The image of Vajrabhairava is opened for the public once every year, at the annual festival held on the 17th and 19th days of the 11th month of the Buddhist calendar. The annual festival held at the monastery is the Gustor Festival.
Haridwar has a number of interesting sites that you can include in your excursion. Rishikesh, around 28 km off Haridwar, is at the base of the Himalayas and it is where the Ganges comes down to the plains from the hills.
Rishikesh 24 Kms. from Hardwar. Located in the laps of lower Himalayas, and is surrounded by scenic beauty of the hills on three sides with Holy Ganga flowing through it. The whole place is considered to be sacred as it is believed that meditation at this place leads to attainment of salvation. There are many temples-some ancient, some new along the river Ganges. Rishikesh is important not only as pilgrimage centre closely associated with the Ramayana, but also as home for many important centres of Hindu religious thought and spirituality, and as a very great Yoga Centre. There are a great many ashrams and Yoga institutes here. Rishikesh is also the gateway and the start-off point for journeys to important religious places like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.
CHANDI DEVI - 6 km :
The temple of Chandi Devi atop the Neel Parvat on the other bank of river Ganga was constructed in 1929 A.D. by the king of Kashmir, Suchat Singh. It is a 3 km trek from Chandighat. Legend has it that the army chief Chanda-Munda of a local demon King Shumbh-Nishumbha was killed by goddess Chandi here, after which the place got the name Chandi Devi. It is believed that the main statue was established by the Adi Shankracharya in 8th century A.D.
MANSA DEVI TEMPLE - 0.5 km. :
Situated at the top of Bilwa Parwat, the temple of Goddess Mansa Devi is a popular tourist destination, especially because of the cable cars, which offer a picturesque view of the entire city. The main temple houses two idols of the Goddess, one with three mouths and five arms, while the other one has eight arms.
MAYA DEVI TEMPLE - 0.5 km. :
Dating to the 11th century, this ancient temple of Maya Devi, the Adhisthatri deity of Hardwar, is considered one of the Siddhapethas and is said to be the place where the heart and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen.
HAR-KI-PAURI -1.5 km. :
View of Hari-ki-pairi.This sacred Ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari. It is believed that Bhartrihari came to Haridwar and meditated on the banks of holy Ganga. When he died, his brother constructed a Ghat in his name, which later came to be known as Hari-Ki-Pari. This sacred bathing ghat is also known as Brahmakund. The reflection of golden hues of floral diyas in the river Ganga during the Ganga Aarti ceremony is an enchanting experience.
DAKSHA MAHADEV TEMPLE - 4 km. :
The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev is situated in the south Kankhal town. According to Hindu mythology, King Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shiva's first wife), performed a yagna here, to which he deliberately did not invite Lord Shiva. When he arrived uninvited, he was further insulted by the king, seeing this Sati felt was infuriated and self-immolated herself in the yagna kund.
King Daksha was later killed by the demon Virabhadra, born out of Shiva's anger. Later the king was brought to life and given a goat's head by Shiva. Daksha Mahadev temple is a tribute to this legend.
SATI KUND - 4 km. :
Sati Kund, another well-known mythological heritage worth a visit is situated in the Kankhal. Legend has it that Sati immolated herself in this kund.
BHIMGODA TANK :
This tank is situated at a distance of about 1 km from Harki Pairi. It is said that while Pandavas were going to Himalayas through Haridwar, prince Bhima drew water from the rocks here by thrusting his knee, or goda, to the very ground.
JAIRAM ASHRAM :
Just off Bhimgoda, this ashram houses a diorama exhibition comprising life-like, animated statues depicting various stories from the Hindu mythology, though its piece de resistance is a massive white statue depicting the famous Samudra manthan episode, making it a must-see for any visitor to Haridwar.
SAPT RISHI ASHRAM & SAPT SAROVAR - 7 km :
It is said that Ganga split herself into seven currents at this place so that the Sapt (seven) Rishis worshipping there would not be disturbed.
PARAD SHIVLING - 2 km :
Situated in Harihar Ashram, Kankhal. Shivling weighing about 150 kg and Rudraksha tree are the main attractions here.
DOODHADHARI BARFANI TEMPLE :
This temple complex made in white marble is one of most beautiful modern temples of Haridwar, noted for its simplcity, elegance and quietitude. The main temple houses idols of Ram-Sita. It is preceed by an array of smaller temples of the deities from the Hindu pantheon. Right across the Ram temple is an imposing temple of Lord Hanuman.
BHARAT MATA MANDIR :
The only temple of its kind, inaugurated by Late PM Smt Indira Gandhi. A multi-storey temple, each floor covering an era of Indian History, from the days of Ramayan till India's independence.
ANANDAMAYI MA ASHRAM :
Situated in Kankhal, one of five sub-cities of Haridwar, the ashram is where the smaadhi shrine of Sri Anandamoyi Ma (1896-1982), a noted saint of India is situated. Evening aarti and satsangs conducted here, by the ashramites and devotees are quite mesmerising.
GURUKUL KANGRI UNIVERSITY - 4 km. :
One of the oldest Universities of India, this institution was founded in 1902 by Swami Shraddhananda (1856-1926), according to the tenets of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj. It was one of the pioneering ones to reestablish ancient Indian education systems in modern India. Here Ancient Vedic and Sanskrit literature, Ayurveda, Philosophy were made part of the curriculum besides Modern Sciences and Journalism.
Its Archaeological museum, houses some rare statues, coins, paintings, manuscripts and artefacts, starting from Harappa culture (c.2500-1500 BC) onwards.Its sprawling and serene campus is situated on the banks of Ganga, on Haridwar-Jwalapur bypass road. Mahatma Gandhi visited this institution, and stayed here for extended periods of time.
SIDCUL - 5 km. :
A massive industrial area, spread over 2034 Acres, developed by State Industrial Development Corporation Uttaranchal Limited (SIDCUL), a state government body. With big enterprises like HLL, Dabur, Mahindra & Mahindra, Havells, moving in SIDCUL is set to develop into another industrial township within the city. 3 km away from the Delhi-Hardwar National Highway, SIDCUL lies adjacent to the BHEL Township, an important Public Sector township.
BAHADRABAD - 7 km. :
It is located on the Haridwar-Delhi National Highway at a distance of 7 km from Haridwar. Close by, in village Pathri, lies the Pathri Power Station built on the Upper Ganga Canal in 1955.
PIRAN KALIYAR - 20 km. :
Built by Ibrahim Lodhi, this 'Dargah' of Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahamed 'Sabir' at the outskirts of Roorkee, is a living example of religious harmony in India, visited by devotees from all over the world, during the annual 'Urs' festival.
Prime Attractions in Varanasi :
This ancient city of India is located on holiest river of India--Ganga. This relation is unique and has attracted thousands of pilgrims. One theory also goes that Varanasi is located on the land between the river Varuna and Assi hence the name Varanasi. This town also has its place in history with many events and incidents being related with it. From time immemorial Varanasi has been the center of education, religion, art and culture. For every visitor Varanasi has different experiences to offer. The shimmering red and golden water of the Ganges when rays of dawn falls on them, the high banks, the temples, the Ashrams, the pavilions all are an experience in themselves.
The Ghats of Varanasi :
In this ancient city of pilgrimage, the bathing ghats are main attraction. People flock here in large numbers every day to take bath and worship in the temples built beside the river bank. Centuries old tradition to offer puja to the rising Sun is still maintained.
St. Mary's Church :
Situated in the cantonment area of Banaras (Varanasi) the St. Mary's Church has a low tower, spire and projecting poitico. Instead of windows tile, church has louvered doors to the sides and hooded ventilation slots beneath the cornice.
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple / Gyanvapi Mosque
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is popularly known as the golden Temple due the Gold plating done on its 15.5 meter high spire. One ton of gold donated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been used in the gold plating of the spire. The temple was destroyed in the various invasions and was rebuilt in 1776 by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore.
Tulsi Manas Temple :
This temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. The temple is built in the place where Goswami Tulsidas composed the epic 'Ramacharitramanas' which provides us with detailed description of the history and deeds of Lord Rama. Tulsi Manas Temple was constructed by a philanthropist family in 1964.
Durga Temple :
Built in the 8th century, the Durga temple is one of the most important temples in Varanasi. This temple is built in Nagara Style. The shikhara of the temple is formed by many small spires which are built one on top of the other.
Nepali Temple :
The King of Nepal had built this temple on Lalita ghat in Nepali style. The Nepali temple is also called the 'Kathwala temple'. The temple has some magnificent woodwork. Tourist from all over the world comes just to see this temple which has no comparison with any other temple in India. The workers who carved this temple out were brought from Nepal. The wood used in the temple is also found in Nepal. The specialty of this wood is that termites do not eat this wood.
Ram Nagar Durg :
2 kms from the Kashi Hindu University, across the Ganges is located the ancestral house in the fort which was built by the former rulers of Kashi. In one of the sections of the fort is the museum which displays the royalty which was once part of the kingdom. This museum gives an insight into the grandeur which once prevailed in the fort. On the Ramnagar Pandav road is a beautiful Durga temple. This temple has very delicate and intricate carving done on stone. These carvings are worth giving a look.
Banaras Hindu University :
This is the largest and oldest university in north India. Spread over an area of 2,000 acres, this great place of education was established by Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya. Today the campus has faculties of Arts, Science, Music, Sanskrit, Languages, Engineering, Statistics and Medical to name a few of them. The university also has the huge Vishwanath temple which was built and maintained by the Birla family.
Jantar Mantar :
The ruler of Jaisingh built an observatory in Varanasi in line with those built in Delhi, Mathura, Ujjain and Jaipur observatories. The Varanasi observatory has all the instruments which were required to record the motion, speed and properties of various stars and planets and other cosmic objects. The observatory was built in 1600 and still the instruments give the exact measurements which can match any modern instrument.
Excursions of Varanasi Sarnath :
About ten kms from Varanasi is the place where Lord Buddha after enlightenment gave his first sermon or as the Buddhist say set the wheel of dharma or law rolling. Today Sarnath is considered as one of the richest place to have antiques since the Ashoka period to the 12th century. Suggested reading on the Buddhist places in Uttar Pradesh.
Tourist Attractions In Rudraprayag
Rudraprayag offers a number of beautiful tourist attractions. And almost all of these attractions are religious structures or related to nature. These tourist attractions wonderfully present the cultural, religious and historical significance to the visitor. Here are some well-known tourist attractions of Rudraprayag.
The main attractions in the prehistoric city of Guptkashi are the ancient Vishwanath temple, Ardhnareshwar temple and Manikarnik Kund (the place of Ganga - Yamuna confluence). This place is also mentioned in the epic Mahabharata.
Gaurikund is the last destination before Kedarnath to be connected with a proper transportation, after that people have to trek. The pilgrims usually have a bathe in the hot Sulphur springs and pray in Gauri temple (the spot where Ma Gauri did successful penance to attain Lord Shiva as husband) before proceeding.
The convergence point of Rivers Mandakini and Alaknanda is simply a sight to watch. The view is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. The difference in the colors of the water of the two rivers makes it easy to distinguish the actual water mixing point. The confluence is considered so holy that thousands take a dip here to purify themselves before paying obeisance to the nearby temples of Goddess Jagadamba and Lord Shiva.
Situated approximately 18 kms from Rudraprayag, Augustmuni is the place where Sage Agastya is said to have meditated for years for attaining wisdom. This place also has a temple dedicated to him.
Chopta is a stunning hill station located about 40 kms from Gopeshwar. One can observe all the breathtaking sights of the Himalayan Mountains from here.
Also known as the winter seat of Kedarnath, Ukhimath is 41 kms from Rudraprayag and 13 kms from Guptkashi.
Tourist Attractions in Devprayag
Devprayag which is situated at an altitude of 472 meters above the sea level is famous for many reasons. Devprayag lies at the confluence of rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda and thus is the starting point of the holy river Ganga.
Devprayag is also home to much revered Rughunathji Temple which is claimed to be constructed about 10, 000 years ago using massive uncemented stones. However, the temple and other buildings of Devprayag were shattered by an earthquake in 1803 which were subsequently repaired using generous grants by Daulat Rao Scindia.
Devprayag is the seat of pandas of Badrinath Dham. It is administered as a teshsil of Tehri Garhwal District of Uttarakhand. Devprayag has a number of dharamshalas where pilgrims and other tourists can put up. Besides, there are other boarding and lodging facilities like hotels and tourist guest houses that offer a comfortable living.
Places Of Interest In Devprayag :
Baitalshila (A bath here is claimed to cure leprosy) Varahishila
The shrines of Bhairava, Bhushandi, Durga and Vishveshvara
A temple dedicated to Bharata
Tourist Attractions in Tehri-Garhwal
Tehri Garhwal is a quaint but beautiful little hill district in Uttarakhand. There are many (mainly natural) sightseeing places in and around Tehri Garhwal like Nagtibba, Kempty Falls, Devprayag and Khatling Glacier. One can also visit ancient holy temples like Surkanda Devi, Buda Kedar Temple, Sem-Mukhem temple and Chandrabadani temple. Read ahead to know more about the tourist attractions in Tehri Garhwal.
Devprayag is known for basically two things, the confluence of Rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi and the 10,000 year old, uncemented stone temple of Sri Raghunathji. Both these places are extremely sacred and are visited by a large number of pilgrims every year.
Chandrabadani is a well known Shakti Peeth of Goddess Durga. It is said that when Lord Shiva was carrying her dead body to Mount Kailasa, Ma Durga’s torso fell down here.
Dhanaulti is a very convenient mid point between Mussoorie and Chamba, with just is 24 kms from Mussoorie and 29 Kms from Chamba. Dhanaulti is enveloped with impenetrable and lush green forests of Deodar, Rhododendron and Oak. The place is very relaxing and serene.
Chamba is small hill town, about 67 Km from Mussoorie, located in Tehri district of Uttarakhand. It is situated at an altitude of 1676 m. It is an unexplored, unscathed, serene destination, approximately 60 km from Mussoorie. It is an excellent place to relax, amidst the beautiful hills and snow-clad mountains. This place offers several scenic vistas of the snow clad ranges of the Himalayas and the beautiful views of river Bhagirathi. The place is famous for its beautiful orchards as well.
Buda Kedar Temple :
Situated at the confluence of Bal Ganga and Dharma Ganga rivers, the Buda Kedar Temple is about 59 kms from Tehri Garhwal. It is allegedly the place where Duryodhana of the epic Mahabharata performed peace meeting for in his father’s memory.
Kempty Falls :
Only 15 kms from the tourist town of Mussoorie, Kempty Falls is one the largest and most beautiful waterfalls located in the charming valley of Tehri Garhwal. Many people like to take dip in the ice cold water after the arduous downward trek to reach it.
This place is simply perfect for those who are interested in adventurous activities such as trekking and mountain climbing. One can witness a mind blowing and breathe taking view of the Himalayan mountains.
Tourist Attractions in Uttarkashi
Uttarkashi is famous for being the source of two of the main rivers of India. Apart from its geographical relevance it is of tremendous significance for the thousands of people who visit these places out of faith. There are also trek groups who undertake trips to these places for adventure.
Gangotri is the source for the River Ganga. It is 99 kms from Uttarkashi. Blessed with an exceptional scenic beauty Gangotri has a breathtaking holy environment with thousands of people visiting it every year as one of the most important places of Hindu pilgrimage.
Things to see at Gangotri Shivling :
it is believed that Lord Shiva stood here and locked the flow of Ganga in his hair in order to stop the overflow of water submerge the local lands. The Shivling present here is a rare sight but it is more visible in winter months when the water level is low.
Temple of Goddess Ganga :
The temple of Ganga is situated on the banks of the River Bhagirathi. It was built in the 18th century by the Gorkha community. The temple is open from the months of May to October after which it is covered with snow in winter.
The structure of the temple is twenty feet high made of white granite. It captures beautiful moments of beauty with its natural surroundings.
At an altitude of 4200 feet above sea level Gaumukh is the place that holds the glacier of the River Ganga. It is a popular trek spot for adventure lovers. Usually there are such treks that commence from Gangotri itself and end at Gaumukh.
One of the most important places of pilgrimage in India Yamunotri is the first that comes for a visit. Source of the River Yamuna it is believed to be the residing place of Goddess Yamunotri. The Kalinda Parvat amidst the Banderpunch mountain range holds the temple and the shrine of the Goddess.
Things to see at Yamunotri The Temple :
The temple of Goddess Yamuna was built in 1839 by Tehri Naresh Sudarshan Shah. Owing to its presence in an earthquake prone area the temple has faced several such tremors over the years and met with aftereffects. However the temple was renovated and repaired in the 19th century by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur.
Surya Kund :
This is a hot water spring that is situated close to the temple. The aura of the location is enhanced with the presence of a hot water spring that is bubbles with heat in the midst of snow capped mountains. People flock here to offer prayers. Pilgrims also believe that the water of such thermal springs is a natural cure. At times the hot water in such cold climate also offers an opportunity to boil their rice and potatoes for a hot meal.
Saptarshi Kund :
like Gaumukh this is the source of the Yamuna River. But there are very few who actually venture out to this place that is 12 Km away from Yamunotri and a difficult trek for many travelers. Even after the difficult trek there are wonderful things in store for one in the dark blue water of the Saptarshi Kund along with the slate stone banks. There is a rare type of lotus flower also which is found on the waters of Saptarshi Kund.
Other Places to See :
There are several places in Uttarkashi that are perfect tourist spots for visiting and enjoying the locale as well as the significance of the place itself.
Vishwanath Temple : it is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva the temple has a shivling (the idol of Lord Shiva) that is 60 cms in height and 90 cms in its circumference.
Shakti Temple : situated opposite to the Vishwanath temple this temple of Shakti has as its main attraction a trishul that is 6 metres in height and 90 cms at the base. The upper part of the trishul is believed to be made of iron while the lower part is made of copper. Popular faith has it that it was thrown at the devils by Goddess Durga.
Maneri : this is a beautiful place 13 kms away from Uttarkashi. It has a Dam built on the banks of the Bhagirathi River. As a result a lake has formed itself from the water of this dam and has made it into a popular picnic spot for travelers.
Gangnani : this place is well known for its serene atmosphere which is considered ideal meditation. Gangnani also has several thermal springs the water of which is supposed to work wonders for many ailments. There is a temple dedicated to Sage Parasara who was the father of Ved Vyas.
Harsil : this is a beautiful valley that is complete with beautiful landscapes and scenic beauty. A popular place to see here is the “sat dal” or the cluster of seven lakes. Another place to visit can be the Wilson Cottage that was built in 1954.
Tourist Attractions in Dodi Tal
Nestled amidst the oak and rhododendron trees, the Dodi Tal is one of the most spectacular lakes in Uttaranchal. Tucked away in the Garhwal Himalayas, Dodi Tal, Uttaranchal is surely a dream destination for adventure freaks and nature lovers.
Dodi Tal Agoda, Uttaranchal which originated from natural springs and rivers is known as the source of ‘Asi Ganga’. Located at an altitude of 3,307 mts, and a few kilometers from Agoda in Uttarkashi, the Dodi Tal is one of the most beautiful lakes which is surrounded by lush acres of greenery and considered to be the heaven of scenic beauty.
The crystal blue lake reflects the snowy Himalayas and the surrounding greenery in its placid waters. The lake is the home of the famous Himalayan trouts but fishing can only be done if you have the proper permit. Just beside the beautiful lake there is a Forest Rest House and a Log Cabin. Spend your idle moments in the lap of nature in the rest house and beside the blue Dodi Tal amidst the greenery all around. Far away from the crowded plains, Dodi Tal is a serene paradise of beauty.
One of the famous trekking spots in Uttaranchal it allures the trekkers from all over the world. One can also plan tours to Hanuman Chatti and Yamunotri from Dodi Tal. So pack your rucksack and get set go for an exciting trek to Dodi Tal in Uttaranchal.
Tourist Attractions in Hanuman Chatti
A large number of devotees flock the various pilgrim destinations of Uttaranchal particularly in the summer months when the weather is conducive for traveling and the temples kept open for the public. Hanuman Chatti is not as renowned as Gangotri, Yamunotri or Gomukh but this small sleepy little hamlet is also crowded with many small temples. A Tour to Hanuman Chatti gives the visitors a chance to pay homage in these temples.
Many sanyasis from the Jhuna Akhara choose Hanuman Chatti as their place of residence in the pilgrim season. You will get to see these sanyasis on your Tour to Hanuman Chatti taking care of the various temples. The red colored banners and the garlanded lion that is visible are also the symbols of this particular group of sanyasis.
The most noteworthy amongst the temples is the one dedicated to Hanuman. It is not a very towering structure and is about 6 feet tall. One of the most striking features of this Hanuman temple that you should definitely take note of on your Tour to Hanuman Chatti is the overlapping courses of stone that has resulted in the entire formation. Within the interiors of the temple there is an impressive image of Lord Hanuman carrying a mountain.
To the left of the temple there is a Samadhi or burial shrine. It is that of Himalaya Giri, a saint who lived and meditated in Hanuman Chatti. Hindus generally cremate their dead; however this trend is not followed in case of ascetics who are believed to have shed their worldly ties long ago and consequently not subject to what is mean for the commoners. On top of the shrine there is a Shiva Linga. The obvious implication is that the people revere the saint as Lord Shiva himself.
There is yet another smaller temple which is dedicated to Lord Durga but it is relatively less significant. An image of Lord Durga and two tulsi plants symbolizing Goddess Lakshmi can be sighted in the temple. It is also well worth a visit on your Tour to Hanuman Chatti.
Pilgrims do not always plan a separate Tour to Hanuman Chatti. Sometimes it is just a stopover on their way to Yamunotri or Uttarkashi. In fact the word "chatti" itself suggests so. However there is no denying that this important halting point also has a charm that is sure to entice each and every visitor. The trek Tour to Hanuman Chatti from Dodital also holds a lot of thrill and excitement for trekkers. So even if you are not very religious minded you will surely like to undertake a trek Tour to Hanuman Chatti. Your thirst for adventure is sure to be satisfied.
Tourist Attractions in Har ki Dun
Har-ki-Dun – Uttaranchal’s best kept secret. Accessible to trekkers, this cradle shaped valley is sure to enamor all its visitors with its classic charm. Plan a trek Tour to Har-ki-Dun and savor its pristine beauty. Located at the base of the Fateh Parvat in the western Garhwal Mountains at a height of 3566 meters above sea level to the south east of the Jaundiar glacier, it is referred to as the Valley of Gods. The term Har stands for Lord Shiva and Dun for valley.
A Tour to Har-ki-Dun will enable you to witness the snow capped mountain peaks, the dense forests of pine, deodhar and other coniferous trees and the beautiful valleys with plunging waterfalls. Smell the sweet aroma of blue and purple flowers that covers this exotic land and listen to the sweet humming of birds. The major peaks that can be seen on your Tour to Har-ki-Dun are Swargarohini, Banderpunch and Kalanag.
The scenic beauty of Har-ki-Dun is sure to leave you mesmerized. It is not just a haven for nature and peace lovers but a photographer’s paradise as well. There are ample picture perfect sceneries all round and anyone would like to capture them on camera when on a Tour to Har-ki-Dun.
This land is yet unexplored and untouched by the vagaries of modern civilization which renders it a very mysterious and mystical touch. Nature is charming, intriguing and challenging at the same time. It does pose a challenge to the trekkers who are on the look out for thrill and excitement. The lofty and daunting peaks, the swift flowing rapids of the Himalayan Rivers, the forests with their rich wild life are all irresistibly attractive. Trekking, Camping, River rafting and Angling are amongst the interesting activities that you can indulge in when on a Tour to Har-ki-Dun.
Har-ki-Dun also finds a place in ancient Hindu mythology. It is popularly believed that the Pandavas passed through this region before going to heaven. Numerous temples and shrines dot this place and make sure to visit them on your Tour to Har-ki-Dun. The rustic simplicity of the people dwelling in this region will also impress you on your Tour to Har-ki-Dun.
A Tour to Har-ki-Dun enables you to see the source of the Karmanasha stream. This particular stream meets the Obragaad stream at Sankri or Saur to form a river which in turn meets the Rupin River flowing from Himachal Pradesh at Netwar. After it joins the Rupin River, it forms the Tons River which incidentally is one of the most important tributaries of the Yamuna.
The beauty of Har-ki-Dun increases manifold on full moon nights. It is best to plan a Tour to Har-ki-Dun keeping an eye on the Hindu calendar.
The city of Gwalior is a perfect blend of Orientalism and Occidentalism. There are numerous tourist attractions in Gwalior. The history of this place is enshrouded in the mystery of legend.
History of Gwalior :
It is the story of a great king who by misfortune suffered from the deadly disease named Leprosy. In those days this disease was incurable and the sufferer was bound to loose his life once he is infected by the safe. Moreover the people considered the sufferer the worst sinner because he had been contaminated by the deadly Leprosy disease.
The king Suraj Kund was extremely depressed but then, a sage named Gwalipa came to his kingdom after hearing the news of the king's disease. He eventually changed the name of the king and cured him from the fatal disease. The king was so impressed with the sage that he renamed his kingdom as Gwalior.
The hermit also blessed the king that his Kachwaha Clan would prosper in the same land and rule for many years there. The Place came to be known as Gwalior after this beautiful historical event in the 8th Century.
The main Tourist attractions in Gwalior are : Gwalior Fort :
This is a famous place at Gwalior that had been constructed by Raja Man Singh Tomar, during the 15th Century BC. It is 35 feet high and extends for 2 miles. The structure of the Gwalior Fort is magnificent and it is worth a visit.
Suraj Kund :
The age of this building dates back to the 15th century. It has walled forts and attracts the attention by virtue of its age and grandeur.
Sas Bahu Temples :
The Sas Bahu Temple consists of two different sized temples that are placed side by side. The larger Temple displays Indian Architecture at its peak, so that the engravings are splendid and nice to look at.
Jas Vilas Palace :
This is another site of tourist attraction at Gwalior. It is a kind of citadel that attracts attention by its magnificence and grandeur.
Man Singh Palace :
This is another fortress that is supposed to have been constructed by Raja Man Singh.
Gwalior State Archeological Museum : The museum is one of the main sources of tourist attraction because it encloses numerous architectural specimens as well as the possessions of the kings of Gwalior.
Tourist Attractions in Orchha
Orchha is situated on a rock island on a bend in the Betwa river and is elevated from the surrounding wooded countryside and approached by an arched bridge. The world ‘Orchha’ means hidden. Orchha was founded by the Bundela chief Raja Rudra Pratap in the 16th century as his capital. It reamained the capital of the Bundela kings until the 18th century, when it was abandoned for Tikamgarh. Orchha is situated about 16 km. from Jhansi and 120 kms. from Gwalior. The fortified cluster of dwellings, temples and shrines in Orchha bears testimony to a medieval legacy in stone. The best time to visit Orchha is from October to March.
Tourist Attractions in Orchha :
There are three palaces in Orchha, each built by succeeding Maharajas in a similar style and combined to form a complex. The three main palaces are the Raj Mahal, Jahangir Mahal and Rai Praveen Mahal. The Ramji Mandir, Ram Raja Temple, Laxminarayan Temple and the Royal Chattris are the other tourist attractions in Orchha.
Ramji Mandir :
The Ramji Mandir is the prototype of Bundela Rajput architecture and has a central rectangular courtyard and apartments rising in receding plains. Much of the original blue tile decoration remains on the upper outer walls. The Raj Mahal comprises of a solid block crowned by pavilions. This palace was built by the Madhukar Shah. Despite its crumbling look, the wall paintings, portraying the Hindu religious mythology are strong and vivid.
Jahangir Mahal :
The Jahangir Mahal is the most famous palace and was built by the Bundela kings in the 17th century and one of the best examples of medieval fortification in India. The Jahangir Mahal is the most impressive palace and a mixture of Hindu (brackets decorated with elephants, chattris) and Muslim styles (a formal garden, pavilions and jail lattice work). The Jahangiri Mahal is a wonderful example of Rajput Bundela architecture, with its lapis lazuli tiles, jail screens, and billowing cupolas. The palace is named after Jahangir, who spent a night there. There are 132 rooms off and above the central courtyard and an almost equal number of subterranean rooms. Hanging balconies with wide eaves provides the shade
from the sun and numerous windows give this huge palace a delicate and airy feel. The palace also contains a small museum. In the area surrounding the palace are about 100 temples. These temples are located near the confluence of the Betwa and Jamni river.
The Royal Chattris :
There are 14 cenotaphs or the royal chattris of the former rulers grouped by the Kanchana Ghat on the banks of the river Betwa. These cenotaphs are overgrown and neglected and fine views can be obtained from them. These chhatris can be best viewed from the bridge connecting the massive midstream island.
Ram Raja Temple :
The Ram Raja Temple is situated near the Raj Mahal. This temple is unusual since it is the only one temple in the country where Lord Rama is worshipped as a king. Due to a dream visit by the god Rama, the Madhukar Shah brought a statue of the Lord from Ayodhya to his capital. The image was placed in the palace before its installation in the temple. When the time came to shift it, it proved impossible to move and Madhukar Shah remembered the deity’s edict that the image must remain in the place where it was first installed.
Laxminarayan Temple :
The Laxminarayna Temple is located near the Ram Raja temple. This temple is dedicated to the goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth. The 17th century brick structure combines the architecture of a temple and a fort. There are attractive wall paintings of the developed phase of the Bundelkhand school of art. There is a fine view from the back of the temple, across the plain to the chattris and palace.
Tourist Attractions in Khajuraho :
Tourist Attraction In Khajuraho :
Khajuraho, located in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh is a well known for its temples and sculptures. The monuments of Khajuraho, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site are extremely controversial yet showcase exceptions artwork and craftsmanship.
Some of the most famous tourist attractions of Khajuraho are the temples. The temples of Khajuraho follow the shikhara style where the main deity is placed on a sanctum in the centre of the temple. It is believed that originally there were 80 Hindu temples out of which only 22 remain.
Some tourist attractions in Khajuraho are : Khajuraho Archaeological Museum :
The politician of Bundelkhand, W E Jardine displayed objects from the temples in 1910. The display was held near the Western Group of Temples. This was originally called the Jardine Museum which in 1952 was rechristened to the Archeological Museum.
The objects displayed in the Khajuraho Archaeological Museum are sculptures and architectural remains of the 10th and 12th century temples. The objects reflect the influences of Hindu and Jain religions. The museum now houses more than 2000 objects. Among these some of the popular ones are the Nritta Gansha, Uma-Maheshwara, Andhakasuravadhamurti and Vaikuntha.
Eastern Group of Temples, Khajuraho :
The Eastern Group of Temples of Khajuraho can be divided into two, the temples dedicated to the Jain pantheon and the temples dedicated to Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The Jain Temples of the Eastern Group of Temples include -
Adinath Temple :
It is dedicated to Adinath, a Jain Tirthankara. The sculpted figures of Yakshis are particularly famous here.
Parsavanath Temple :
It is dedicated to Parsavanath, the Jain Tirthankara. It is the largest Jain Temple present there. It is a well decorated temple.
Ghantai Temple :
It is well known for the sculpture of a Jain goddess on a winged Garuda and for the sixteen dreams of Mahavira's mother.
The Hindu Temples include : The Vamana Temple :
the sculptures and carvings of celestial beauties are famous.
Hanuman Temple :
this temple has a statue of Hanuman which is about 8 feet tall.
The Brahma Temple :
the granite stone temple has a four-faced idol of Brahma which is very popular in this temple.
Southern Group of Temples, Khajuraho : Dulah Deo Temple : this temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva was built between 1100 and 1150 AD. The sanctum houses a lingam and the entrance displays an image of Shiva on the beam of the entrance. The dimensions of the temple are 69 feet by 40 feet. The architectural characteristics of the temple are the ardhamandapa, the mahamandapa, the mandapa, the antarala and the garbha griha. The ceiling of the mahamandapa studded with different stones is extremely beautiful. The temple is built in the traditional shikhara style of architecture.
The Chaturbhuja Temple : built in 1100 AD, the Chaturbhuja Temple is a spectacular temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The statue of Vishnu is 3 meters tall. The temple showcases typical shikhara architectural features like a shikhara, a square sanctum, an antarala, the mahamandapa and an ardhmandapa.
Western Group of Temples, Khajuraho :
The Khajuraho Temples can be divided into Eastern Group of Temples, Western Group of Temples and Southern Group of Temples. The Western Group of Temples comprises :
Chaunsat Yogini Temple :
It is the popular granite temple of Khajuraho which is dedicated to Goddess Kali. It is the only granite temple in Khajuraho. The temple dates back to 900 AD.
Kandariya Mahadeo :
It is the largest temple in Khajuraho which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The height of the temple is 31 meters. The depictions of gods and goddesses on the main shrine are very popular. The northern steps of the temple have lions depicted while the southern steps have elephants depicted on them.
It is dedicated to the Sun God. The image of the sun god in the sanctum is 5 feet high and on a chariot driven by seven horses and the Nandi Bull facing the shrine are distinctive features of the temple.
Matangeswara Temple :
It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the eight feet tall lingam is a famous feature of the temple.
Lakshamana Temple :
Dedicated to the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the temple is well known for the three-headed idol of the incarnations of Vishnu. The incarnations of Vishnu are Narasimha and Varaha.
Vishwanath Temple :
In this temple is enshrined the three headed image of Brahma.
Varaha Temple :
The boar incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the temple is three feet tall.
Tourist Attractions in Shivpuri
Shivpuri is laid out over gently sloping hills with abundant deciduous forests. A trip to Shivpuri will surely be very memorable not only because of its pleasant landscape but also because there are several Tourist Attractions in Shivpuri.
The place derives its name from the Hindu God Shiva. Earlier it was known as Sipri. It has a rich royal legacy. The history of Shivpuri dates back to the Mughal period. The dense forests of Shivpuri were the royal hunting grounds. Emperor Akbar is credited with capturing elephants from these forests. It was also the summer capital of the Scindhia rulers of Gwalior.
There is a wildlife sanctuary at Shivpuri . It is known as the Madhav National Park. Here you will get to see varied wild life and an amazing variety of fauna.
The other Tourist Attractions in Shivpuri are : Madhav Vilas Palace :
This palace was previously the Summer Palace of the Scindhias. Presently it is the training centre of the Intelligence Bureau of the Government of India.
George Castle :
The George castle is located within the Madhav National Park. A visit to the George Castle enables you to have a great view of the Sakhya Sagar Lake. The sight at dusk is simply breathtaking.
Sakhya Sagar Lake :
The lake is inhabited by reptiles, crocodiles and pythons. There is a boat club at the banks of the lake and standing on the deck of this club you will get a simply mesmerizing view of the surroundings.
The Chhatris are marble cenotaphs that are very well decorated. You will certainly be impressed by the intricately carved designs.
So make sure that you visit all the Tourist Attractions in Shivpuri and the memories of all these charming spots will linger in your mind for ever.
Tourist Attractions in Mumbai :
Mumbai city has all this and much more to offer to its tourists.
Gateway of India :
The Gateway of India is the main attraction of Mumbai city. It was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar in 1911. Situated at the Apollo Bunder, the gateway holds greater historical significance as the last of the British troops that left India by sea, marched through its portals. The monument is complete with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into the yellow basalt stone. You can also go for a short cruise through Mumbai's natural harbour in one of the little motor launches that are stationed here.
Mani Bhawan :
Gateway of India, Mumbai Tourist Attractions, Mumbai Bombay attractions, Mumbai sightseeing, Mumbai places to visit Mani Bhawan is one of the important places to visit in Mumbai. Presently functioning as a Gandhi memorial, it used to be the Mumbai residence of Mahatma Gandhi. It is from this famous house No. 19, called Mani Bhawan, that Gandhiji was arrested in 1932. This two storied building houses a reference library with over 2000 books, a photo feature on the Mahatma's life, some memorabilia, an old Gandhiji's charkha and a film and recording archive. A minimum entry fee is required to get into the Mani Bhawan.
Prince of Wales Museum :
The Prince of Wales museum is another major attraction of Mumbai. Built in the year 1914, it is surrounded by a beautiful landscape forming an ideal getaway for the people of Mumbai. The museum houses art, sculpture, rare coins, and old firearms and a priceless collection of miniature paintings. The Prince of Wales museum is regarded as one of the best museums in the country.
Marine Drive :
Marine Drive, Mumbai Tourist Attractions, Mumbai Bombay attractions, Mumbai sightseeing, All inclusive India,Mumbai places to visit A stroll down the Marine Drive is the best way to discover Mumbai. This winding stretch of road with tall buildings on one side and sea on the other extends from Nariman Point to Malabar Hills. Due to its curved shape and many street lights, it was once called the Queen's Necklace. A popular sea front, Marine Drive is also the main thoroughfare linking for the Malabar Hills to the southernmost points of Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Nariman Point, and the Fort.
Nicknamed as the uptown bourgeois paradise, Juhu Beach is a place that attracts a large number of visitors throughout the year. Characterised by walkers, screaming children and courting couples, the beach covers an area of about 5 kilometres. Juhu beach is attractively studded with many five star hotels offering the customers a splendid view of the coast. The beach remains noticeably crowded on weekends. Moreover, the beach activities like camel rides, pony rides, acrobats, performing monkeys and entertainers will keep you enthralled all the time. Keep away from hawkers.
The Hanging Gardens makes another must see site in Mumbai. The park was built during the early 1880s over Mumbai's main reservoir at the top of the Malabar Hills. The reason of its location being to cover the water from the potentially contaminating activity of the nearby Towers of Silence. Located just opposite the Kamala Nehru Park, this terraced garden, also known as Ferozeshah Mehta Garden, is famous among the locals as well as tourists. The garden provides lovely sunset views over the Arabian Sea.
Kamla Nehru Park :
Kamla Nehru park, located at the top of Malabar Hills is another site to visit in Mumbai. Overlooking the Marine Drive, the park houses "Old Woman's Shoe", wonderfully cut hazes and roomy walkaways. Moreover, the park also provides you a spectacular view of the city and the sunset. The Kamla Nehru park also makes a favourite gateway for the locals here.
Another sandy gateway of Mumbai is the Chowpatty beach in the suburbs of the city. Chowpatty is perhaps the most famous beach of Mumbai, characterised by the usual hustle and bustle of stallwalahs, people snoozing under the shade of its stunted trees, screaming kids, Ferris wheels, pony rides, wayside astrologers, monkey shows, and even the odd self-styled gymnast demonstrating their skill for a fee. Moreover, the bhelpuri shops and sometimes the film shoot or a street play also adds to the festive atmosphere of the beach. A beach of action, Chowpatty makes a must visit in Mumbai.
Aarey Milk Colony :
One of the most modern milk colonies in the world is Aarey Milk colony of Mumbai. Located at a distance of 32 kilometres from main Mumbai city, it falls on the main Ghodbunder Road. Aarey makes a must visit in Mumbai not only for its sophisticated dairy and the many well fed cows but also for its surrounding natural beauty. A visit to the observation pavilion here on a hill near the colony's entrance also gives you an enchanting view of the surrounding areas. But the main feature of the colony is the 4000 acres of parkland with fine gardens. You can also try the fresh milk and snacks in the colony's canteen here.
Tower of Silence :
A peculiar site to visit in Mumbai is the Tower of Silence. Mumbai has a large number of Parsi population. The Parsis have the custom of leaving their dead in the open. These particular places are called "Towers of Silence", where the vultures come to eat the dead. For Jain Temple, Mumbai Tourist Attractions, Mumbai Bombay attractions, Mumbai sightseeing, Mumbai places to visit,All inclusive India the Parsis, this is regarded as the final act of charity. Mumbai's Towers of Silence, have virtually disappeared today. Only a handful remain that attract a considerable number of tourists every year.
Jain Temple :
Jain temple of Mumbai also makes the interesting place to visit in the city. Located on the Malabar Hill, the Jain temple houses frescoes depicting various events in the lives of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras. It also has a black marble shrine decorated with celestial personifications of the planets painted onto the ceiling. A large number of devotees as well as tourists come here every day.
There are several tourist attractions worth visiting in and around Chennai. Stretched over an area of 13 km, Marina Beach is the second longest beach in the world. The St. George Fort, built in 1653, is currently used as the state government's secretariat. Santhome Cathedral was built around 14th/15th century and is another colonial structure worth visiting. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kapaleeshwar Temple is the oldest temple in Chennai. Another important temple in the city dedicated to Lord Krishna is Parthsarthy Temple. The National Art Gallery, initially known as Victoria Memorial Hall, houses a good collection of old paintings and sculptures. The Snake Park has a large collection of snakes and many other reptiles. The Theosophical Society is located in large and tranquil gardens with several shrines of different faiths and a Serene Garden of Remembrance. Nearby is the Kalakshetra, which was founded by Rukmini Devi Arundale for the revival of Indian classical arts and crafts traditions.
Parthsarthy Temple :
The temple was built in the 8th century by the Pallava kings of South India. It was renovated by the mighty Vijayanagar kings in the 16th century. The temple, situated in Triplicane, another beach in Chennai and one of the major harbours during Pallava time, is famed for the beauty of its gopuram (arched gateway) and its architecture. The entire locality is fashioned around the temple.
Kapaleeshwar Temple :
This temple was constructed in the 13th century and is a living example of the architectural skills of the Dravidians. Situated in the Malaypore area of Chennai, the temple is the nucleus of the local tank market and residential quarters around it. The main entrance facing east is painted in red, blue and yellow with Puranic legends sculpted on the sanctum sanctorum.
Santhome Cathedral :
Built over the tomb of apostle St. Thomas, the Santhome Cathedral is an important pilgrimage centre. According to legends, St. Thomas arrived in India from Palestine in AD 52 and died after 26 year. The church was built after a millennium, probably by the Persian Christians, and his remains were moved inside. The church was refurbished in 1606 and made into a cathedral. Again, in 1806, it was rebuilt as a basilica. There is a museum in its premises with a 16th-century map of South Asia.
Fort St. George :
The most powerful symbol of the British Empire in its early days in India, Fort St. George was the first piece of real estate for British in India. For many, it is still unclear that why Sir Day (the founder) choose this place to build this important fort, leaving many other picturesque locations on the vast coastline of the Bay of Bengal. The fort has a grey granite exterior unlike the Mughal forts that has lavish ornamentation and luxury. It housed barracks for the British army, a parade ground, and the oldest church of Chennai-the St. Mary's Church.
Marina Beach :
The beach extends from Fort St. George all the way to Mahabalipuram. The beach looks spectacular at dusk when the setting sun casts iridescent glow and peddlers sell everything from ice creams to roasted peanuts to balloons. You can also read your future from the fortune tellers and palm readers who lure the visitors by various means. Don't try to show your swimming skills here as the sea can get quite rough here.
National Art Gallery :
Built in 1906, the gallery is situated in a splendid Indo-Saracenic edifice. The building was initially known as Victoria Memorial Hall and was designed by Henry Irwin. The eminent historian Tillotson described it as one of "the proudest expressions of the Indo-Sarcenic movement". There is a good collection of old paintings and sculptures including Tanjore paintings on glass; Rajput and Mughal miniature paintings; Deccan paintings from 17th century; and handcrafts, metalware, and ivory carvings from 11th and 12th century.
Other Attractions :
The Snake Park situated in the Guindy National Park in the Raj Bhavan Estate has a large collection of snakes and many other reptiles.
The Theosophical Society was founded by Madam Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott in New York in 1875 and moved its headquarters to Chennai in 1882. The society is set in large and tranquil gardens with several shrines of different faiths and a Serene Garden of Remembrance.
Kalakshetra, located around 1 km from the Theosophical Society, was founded by Rukmini Devi Arundale for the revival of Indian classical arts and crafts traditions.
Tourist Attractions in Mahabalipuram
Located 60 km to the south of Chennai, Mahabalipuram (Mammalapuram) is an important tourist place of Tamil Nadu and is most famous for its spectacular monolithic structures. Some of the monuments in Mahabalipuram have also been recognized by the UNESCO and are must see for the tourists on their tour to Mahabalipuram. Besides, Mahabalipuram is quite popular for its sun-kissed beaches that are idyllic retreats for cooling off or taking long strolls in the evening. The tourist attractions in Mahabalipuram carry their individual significance and reflect the historic charm of this place.
Some of the important things to watch in Mahabalipuram are : Thirukadalmallai :
It is a marvelous temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple was built by the Pallavas for safeguarding the sculptures from the waves of the ocean. According to the sources, after this temple was built, the remaining structure was preserved and was unharmed by the sea.
Shore Temple :
This charming temple located on the shore is the most famous among the tourist attractions in Mahabalipuram. It is located between two Shiva temples and is a visual delight recognized for its architectural masterpieces. You will find the attractive sculptures of Nandi the bull while the figure of Vishnu is present in the sanctum.
Pancha Pandava Rathas :
These splendid structures dating back to the 7th century are located in the southern end of Mahabalipuram. These Rathas (chariots) are five in number and carved out of a single rock. Out of these rocks, gigantic stone animals have been carved out including an elephant.
Arjuna's Penance :
It is a massive bas-relief replete with meticulous carvings that include a family of elephants and monkeys. The carvings on the bas-relief are the stories from the legends of India and the Panchatantra . You will also encounter the Krishna Mandapa nearby, which is a bas-relief of enthralling architectural brilliance.
The caves in Mahabalipuram are among some of the most sought-after Mahabalipuram tourist attractions. The Varaha cave is one such cave which is actually a rock-cut mandapam (hall) and features two incarnations of Vishnu which are Varaha (boar) and Vamana (dwarf). There is also a seventh century Dharmaraja Cave and consists of three empty shrines. The other caves located here are Mahisasurmardini Cave and Tiger cave.
Krishna's Butterball :
This is a huge natural rock perched on a hillside and the precarious way in which it is balanced simply startles its onlookers.
Moreover, Mahabalipuram is also an ideal point for indulging in various adventure activities such as bike trips, boat rides, fishing trips, trekking and wind surfing.
Tourist Attractions in Chidambaram
Nataraja Temple :
The Nataraja temple is dedicated exclusively to the art of Bharatanatyam. It is among the rare temples where Shiva is depicted in the idol form instead of the usual lingam (phallus) form. Built during the later Chola era, the temple spreads over 40 acres. The large outer enclosure or Prakara adios decorated with four splendid seven-tiered gopurams, with finely sculpted icons depicting Hindu myths. The shrine of Nataraja is in the Chit Sabha. A black curtain covering the statue is lifted up thrice a day for worshipping. Neighboring the main shrine is the shrine of Lord Vishnu as Govindaraja. Two other shrines dedicated to Subramanya and Ganesha are also there. A remarkable structure within the complex is the Nritta Sabha, built in the form of a chariot. It has fifty-six pillars depicting dancing poses. The largest structure, the Raja Sabha is yet another attraction here. This thousand-pillared hall is 103 metres long and 58 metres wide. The structural pattern of temple has dance as a recurring theme. The east and the west gopurams have fine examples of 108 karnas (structured movements of dance) as listed in the Natya Shastra. The ceiling has four 26 metres long panels of the Nayak paintings beloning to 16th century. These paintings demonstrate the origin of the temple and the ideal lives of great saints.
Annamalai University :
Set over an area of 300 acres, the Annamalai University is an important attraction in Chidambaram. Founded in 1929 by Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar, this residential university offers courses in various disciplines like medicine, humanities, agriculture, and engineering. It is also a centre for mass literary programs, adult education and vocational training.
Neyveli is about 30 km from Chidambaram. As one of the biggest industrial complexes in India, it is is noted for the mining of lignite coal used for thermal power generation, ceramic wares and fertilizers.
Tourist Attractions in Tanjore
The city of Thanjavur (or Tanjore) lies in the fertile Kaveri Delta, a region sometime referred to as the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu. For more than thousand years the city dominated the political history of the region as the capital of three powerful dynasties viz. the Cholas, the Nayakas and the Marathas.
The city holds the magnificent monuments i.e. Sri Brihadeshwarar Temple of Chola Period and the Royal Palace dates to the Nayakas and Maratha period. Today it is not restricted to temples and palaces; the city is the cultural epicenter of classical music and dance in Tamil Nadu. It is also famous for its exquisite handicrafts, bronze sculptures and painting.
Sri Brihadeshvara Temple :
This finest granite structure is now a UNESCO World heritage site. Completed in AD 1010 and dedicated to Lord Shiva, it was built by Rajaraja Chola I as a symbol of the unrivalled power and might of the Cholas. The temple basement is covered with inscriptions that give details of the temple’s administration and revenue, and provide valuable historical information on Chola society and government.
The temple is constructed using granite, mostly of large blocks, a rock that is not available in the neighborhood and had therefore to be brought from a distance- itself a colossal task. The plinth of the Central Shrine is 45.72 square m., the shrine proper 30.48 square m. and the vimana 60.96 m. high. On the massive plinth, covered throughout with inscriptions, there are niches on three sides in two rows, containing representations of deities such as Siva, Vishnu and Durga.
The entire wall space and ceiling of the passage were originally covered with exquisite paintings; a coat of paintings, executed during the Nayak period in the seventeenth century, now obscures most of them.
Schwartz Church :
The 18th century Schwartz Church or Christ Church is a legacy of Tanjore’s colonial past, standing to the east of the Shivaganga Tank. This church was constructed by the Danish missionary, Reverend Frederik Christian Schwartz in 1779. When he died, the enlightened Maratha ruler Serfoji II donated a striking marble tablet to the church. This tablet made by John Flaxman has been placed at the western end of the church. It depicts the dying missionary blessing his royal patron, surrounded by ministers and pupils from the school that he established.
Shivaganga Fort :
The Quadrangular Shivaganga Fort is situated towards the south west of the old city. Built by the Nayaka ruler, Sevappa Nayaka, in the mid-16th century, the battlemented stone structure covers an area of 35 acres surrounded by a part rock-cut moat.
The Square Shivaganga Tank in the fort was excavated by Rajaraja I and later renovated to provide drinking water for the City. The fort contains the great Brihadishvara Temple, Schwartz Church, and public amusement park.
Royal Palace :
This palace was originally built by Nayaka rulers as their royal residence and was further reconstructed by Maratha rulers. A large quadrangular courtyard leads into the palace complex. Outside the palace there is a seven-storeyed observation tower meant for the royal families.
The splendid Maratha Durbar Hall, built by Shahji II in 1684 has elaborately decorated pillars, walls and ceilings. The Durbar Hall now houses the Rajaraja Museum and Art Gallery with an impressive collection of bronze and stone idols dating from 7th to 20th centuries. Next to the museum is the Saraswati Mahal Library, constructed by the Maratha rulers. This is one of the most important reference libraries in India. An adjoining museum known as Royal Museum displays personal collection of Serfoji II.
Tourist Attractions in Madurai
Madurai is an exquisite city which is most popular for its marvelous temples that are magnificent examples of rich architecture and breathtaking sculptural works. Madurai is located in Tamil Nadu and attracts numerous tourists all the year round by its inescapable charm. There are many tourist attractions in Madurai that are reminiscent of the rich culture and heritage of this town during the ancient and medieval ages. Some of the important Madurai tourist attractions and their descriptions are given in brief below.
Sree Meenakshi Temple :
It is one of the most prominent among the temples of Madurai. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva who was known here as Sundareshvara and his wife Parvati or Meenakshi. This temple was built by Kulasekara Pandya and the most impressive feature of this temple is the 12 gopurams. It also has soaring towers that stand on the granite bases and have stucco figures of deities, mythical animals and monsters tinted in vibrant colors.
Thirumalai Nayak Palace :
It is a magnificent palace that was built by King Thirumalai Nayak with valuable assistance of an Italian architect in the year 1636. The palace had two parts known as Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa. You will come across theatre, shrine, apartments, armory, palanquin place, royal bandstand, quarters, pond and garden while taking a stroll inside this imposing palace.
Gandhi Museum :
This is the most distinguished among the tourist attractions in Madurai and is a living memorial of Mahatma Gandhi. This museum houses photos, paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, quotations, and some articles that were used by him.
Mariamman Teppakulam :
It is also among one of the many things to watch in Madurai and is located at a distance of 5 km to the east of Meenakshi temple. There is a tank having an idol of Vinayaka which is located on a platform in the centre. It is also a venue of the temple's annual Teppakulam float festival which is celebrated with huge zeal and excitement.
Tirupparankundram is famous for the Pandyan rock-cut shrines that date back to the 8th century that later came to be known as the Nayaka Hindu temple. You will find a wide range of Hindu deities carved on the walls on your visit to this temple. Located on the top a hill, people believe that it is one of six abodes of Lord Subramanya.
Besides these tourist attractions in Madurai, there are lots of other places of tourist interest that are located nearby such as Vaigai Dam, Kodaikanal and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Tourist Attractions in Mysore
Mysore is a traveler’s delight and is known for some of the finest palaces that were built here by the former rulers. This fascinating town of Karnataka is rich in culture and traditions and is thronged by travelers from the neighboring states and distant corners of India. Mysore is located at the foothills of the Chamundi Hills atop which the famous Chamundeshwari Temple is located. The huge and impressive statue of Mahishasura is the most famous landmark of this magnificent town. The tourist attractions of Mysore have their individualistic charm and have interesting incidents and stories associated with them.
There are many things to watch in Mysore. Some of the major ones are : Maharaja's Palace :
This palace occupies a prestigious place among the tourist attractions of Mysore,. The magnificent structure was designed by an English Architect, Henry Irwin and is an architectural marvel featuring marvelously sculpted pillars, elaborately carved doors and golden howdah.
The Jaganmohan Palace :
Jaganmohan Palace was the other retreat for the royal family of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar and it is a magnificent building with three storeys. It features stained glass shutters and ventilators and also has a lovely garden setting that has now been transformed to an art gallery. Some of things this museum has on display are paintings, sculptures and musical instruments.
Chamundi Hills :
Mysore is located at the foothills of Chamundi Hills. On top of the hills there is Chamundeshwari temple that serves as a famous landmark. Nearby to the temple, there is a statue of Mahishasura, who was a demon killed by the goddess Chamundeshwari. You will also find the monolith Nandi, the bull, which is located near the temple.
St. Philomena's Church :
This church is a lure for the religious traveler and is a must watch among the tourist attractions of Mysore. This church is a Gothic structure whose structure is based on the Cathedral at Cologne. You will also come across the statue of St. Philomena on the altar who was a third century saint from Greece. This magnificent church is visited by a large number of tourists every year.
Mysore Zoo :
This is a magnificent zoo which was established in the year 1892, and houses a diverse collection of animals, including magnificent species kept in natural surroundings. There are various places of tourist interest in Mysore that will help you make your tour to Mysore an exclusive one. A look at its tourist attractions is the best way to learn about the history and tradition of the town
Tourist Attractions in Bangalore
Bangalore city has a number of tourist attractions. Apart from the numerous gardens, it also has some historical sites and other places of interest.
Vidhan Soudha or the State Secretariat, built in 1954, is the main attraction of this city. It is a marvel of modern architecture and is a fine amalgamation of traditional Dravidian and modern styles.
Cubbon Park, the 120-hectare park located near the Vidhan Soudha, has a number of neo-classical styled government buildings.
The Government Museum of Bangalore (one of India's oldest museums) and the Visvesvaraya Technological and Industrial Museum are important museums within the city.
The Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens, which holds a number of flower shows, especially during Republic Day (26th January), is located on the southern fringes of the city.
The 18th-century Tipu Sultan's Fort and Palace are other important places of interest to the traveler.
The 16th-century, Dravidian-styled temple dedicated to Nandi the Bull is an important place of worship. The Venkataramanaswamy Temple, the Gavi Gangadhareswara cave temple, and the Someshwara Temple are other important temple of this city.
The Ulsoor Lake on the northeastern edge of the city is an important picnic spot. Bangalore city is famous for its numerous Yoga centers, where fitness enthusiasts can learn and practice this ancient art of keeping healthy.
Bangalore is also known for its vibrant pubs, eateries and cultural life, including Carnatic classical music and dance.
This cosmopolitan city is a heaven for shoppers, as it has both traditional emporia and modern malls. It is a good place to buy traditional handicraft items, such as silk saris, intricately carved sandalwood items and tribal jewelry. Bangalore is famous for its sandalwood cosmetic products and toiletries.
Whitefield Ashram, the summer abode of the Shri Sathya Sai Baba, 20 km east of Bangalore, and the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) Temple Complex are important spiritual centers, known for their calm and serene ambience.
There are a number of places worth seeing near Bangalore :
Thirty kilometers from Bangalore is the Nrityagram village, housing a classical dance academy, founded by the late Protima Bedi, a leading exponent of the Odissi classical dance tradition.
Bannerghatta National Park Bannerghatta National Park :
21 km from the city, is a wildlife sanctuary worth visiting to see deer, wild elephants and tigers.
The Doda Alada Mara, a 400-year-old banyan tree lying 28 km from the city, is an idyllic place for picnics.
Sixty kilometers from Bangalore is the Nandi Hill Resort, which is also famous for its temples and fort.
The craggy rock formations around Bangalore offer many venues for adventure activities like trekking and rock climbing to the adventure seeker. Devarayandurga (70 km), and Ramanagaram (49 km) are important spots for adventure.
Tourist Attractions in Goa
Goa is the perfect place where you will find a blend of traditional and modern aspects of life. On one hand you have plush beaches and on the other hand you have the most natural landscapes that make you wonder if time ever touched this place. Goa is the perfect place to go on a sightseeing tour. These tours will truly show you an entirely new side of Goa that is sure to take you by surprise. The waterfalls, the forests, the spice farms, all are unique in their own way and are a must visit on your tour to India in Goa.
Goa Beaches :
The ideal combination of sun, sand, sea and surf is enough to send a person packing his bags and go on a short holiday. It becomes even better when that holiday is in one of the popular Goan beaches. Goa has a long coastline that makes it the ideal state to have beaches. The beaches of Goa are the perfect destination for a relaxing vacation and holiday in India. Famous Beaches in Goa :
Goa is literally synonymous with churches. They are living testimonies of the rich historical past of Goa. During the early days of the Portuguese rule in India, church building was the primary concern and occupation in Goa. This was because of their zeal to spread Christianity and convert as many people as they can.
Basilica of Bom Jesus :
One of the most popular churches in Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus truly deserves to be given the status of a World Heritage Site. It is located in Old Goa which was the capital city during the Portugal rule. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous for the preserved mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier.
Mary Immaculate Conception :
The Church of Mary Immaculate Conception is one of the most famous landmarks of Goa. This church is supposed to be one of the earliest churches to be constructed in Goa. Tourists come to the Mary Immaculate Conception Church of India to feel blessed and to marvel at the magnitude of its construction.
Reis Magos Church :
The Reis Magos church of Goa is one of the most famous landmarks of the Reis Magos village located in Goa. This famous church is visible from across the River Mandovi as a white monument that is stunningly beautiful to look at. The church is located on the road that passes the famous Calangute and Candolim beaches.
Se Cathedral :
The Se Cathedral of Goa is located in old Goa, and is around 9 kilometers from the capital city Panaji. The Se Cathedral of Goa is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. This magnificent edifice was built in the 16th century under the Portuguese rule in India.
St. Anne Church :
The church of St. Anne of Goa is noted for its remarkable architecture in India. The present day church was reconstructed by Mons Francisco do Rego with his own money. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, he could not complete the construction and Father Antonio Francisco da Cunha was bestowed with the responsibility of completing the construction of the church.
Church of St. Augustine :
The ruins of St. Augustine church is a very popular tourist attraction and one of the most spectacular monuments in Goa. The church was built in 1602 with the combined efforts of 12 Augustinians. They also built a convent besides the church.
St. Cajetan Church :
The St. Cajetan church is located in Old Goa near the Se cathedral church. The church is visited by numerous tourists because of exquisite architecture. This vast and strikingly beautiful church has been constructed on the primary design of the Basilica of St. Peter located in Rome.
Church of St. Francis :
A stunning and charming building, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi is located in Old Goa at a distance of some 10 kilometers from the capital city, Panaji. The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is at the same complex in which Se Cathedral is located. The Church of St. Francis of Assisi of Goa was built during 1517-1521 AD.
St. Paul Church :
The St. Paul Church is a ruined church that is a popular tourist attraction in Goa. It is located on the road that one takes from Old Goa to reach Ponda. One can always hire local transport to reach this lovely church. The church of St. Paul in Goa was set up because of the efforts of two priests namely Diogo de Borba and Miguel Vaz.
Goa Carnival :
One of the most colorful and popular festival of Goa is the Goa Carnival. This three day extravaganza, of fun, frolic, amusement and merry-making, takes place in the month of February. The Goa Carnival festival is one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year. Though essentially a Christian festival, all people of Goa, irrespective of their faith and religion take part in this festival. The word Carnival has been derived from the Latin word "Carnavale" which means to throw away meat. The main highlight of Goan carnival is to have fun by indulging in singing, dancing, feasting, etc. before the 40 day abstinence period of Lent before Easter.
Dudhsagar Waterfalls :
The Dudhsagar waterfalls are located in the Sanguem district of Goa near the Goa-Karnataka border. It is located at a distance of around 60 kilometers from Margao and can be reached easily by hiring a taxi or taking a bus from either Margao or Panaji. Dudhsagar waterfalls of Goa have the distinction of being ranked as the fifth highest waterfall in India and they list in the Top 100 highest waterfalls in the world.
Tourist Attractions in Belur
One of the most popular attractions of Belur, which people come to see from far and wide, comprises of the Chennakesava Temple. Dating back to 1117 AD, the temple was constructed by Hoysala King Vishnuvardhan, to celebrate his victory over the Cholas, at the battle of Talikad. Designed as per the Hoysala style, the temple is known for its architectural brilliance, especially the exquisite statues of princesses and gods, giant pillars, sculpture of Shantala Devi - the queen of King Vishnuvardhana and Madanikas (bracket figures).
Yet another temple in Belur that is worth having a look at is the Veeranarayana Temple, which stands adorned with figures of various Hindu gods, sculpted in the most exquisite way. After you have made a tour of this temple, do not forget to visit the smaller shrines that are situated nearby, especially those of Kappe Chenningaraya, Soumyanayaki and Andal.
Hoysaleswara temple, situated in Halebidu, is a place near Belur that definitely merits a visit from you. Constructed in 1121 AD, by King Vishnuvardhana, the temple was earlier known as Dorasamudra or Dwarasamudra. Built as a rival of the Chennakesava Temple at Belur, this ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and boasts of great architecture.
Falling under the Hassan district of Karnataka, Shravanabelagola is another place that you can visit on a trip to Belur. An important Jain pilgrimage center, it is mainly known for housing a huge statue of Bahubali, considered to be the largest monolith statue in India, located on the Vindhyagiri hill. Apart from that, the place also houses a few Jain Basadis, a Kalyani mutt and Jain mutt.
As you move towards Chikmaglur, from Belur, hardly after a few minutes drive, you will come across Yagachi River, on which a small dam has been constructed. The backwaters of the dam, which spread over a vast area, give it a pleasant charm. The picturesque surrounds combine with a tranquil atmosphere to give this place a unique appeal.
Tourist Attractions in Halebid
Hoysaleshwara Temple :
A gem of Hoysala temple architecture, the Hoysaleshwara temple is ornamented with a plethora of exquisite carvings and sculptures. It was built by Ketamalla, a minister of Hoysala ruler Vishnuvardhana, in the 12th century AD.
Archaeological Museum :
The landscaped garden in front of the Hoysaleshwara Temple serves as an Archaeological Museum. The museum houses the idols, statues, busts, and sculptures excavated by the Archaeological Department from the ruins. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Fridays.
Basadi Halli :
The Basadi Halli locates a number of Jain monasteries. The Parshwanatha Swamy temple possesses a 14 feet high statue of Parshwanatha Swamy made of gleaming black stone. A seven-headed serpent has been carved on the head of this figure.
Kedareshwara Temple :
Built in 1319 AD by Veeraballala II and his younger Queen Abhinva Ketala Devi, the Kedareshwara temple is a collapsed structure that has not been restored to its original shape. Besides the exquisitely carved walls and the ceiling, the basement of the temple exhibits a profusion of sculptured friezes depicting stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavad-Gita.
Tourist Attractions in Hassan
Hassan is one of the beautiful cities of the south India. This city lies in the state of Karnataka at a distance of about 194 km from the capital city Bangalore. The city of Hassan stands above the sea level at the height of 957 meters.
Hassan is currently a very important tourist center of India with abundance of historically important sites to visit. Its nearness and surrounded ness by the historical cities of Belur, Shravanbelagola and Halebid further aggravate the overcrowding of tourist to this city.
The major portion of the historical remains belongs to the Hoysalas Dynasty. The Hoysalas Dynasty ruled over the city for about three consecutive centuries from 11th to 13th century.
The district is divided into three regions – southern Malnad, consisting of Belur, Alur and Skaleshapura taluks; semi-Malnad,
featuring Arkalgud, western Hassan, eastern Alur and eastern Belur taluks; and, southern maidan, consists of Holenarasipura and Channarayapatna. At present, Hassan has emerged as a popular seat of Jain culture and literature. Visit the place with our South India Hassan Tours.
Main Attractions :
Tourist Places in Hassan - Tour To Hassan Karnataka and there are not many tourist places in Hassan district. The most prominent and rather the only place to visit in Hassan is the temple of Hasanamba. It opens once a year.
Some festivals and events that took place in Hassan are Janapdha Jatre and Suvarna Karnataka Rajyotshava. You can also visit the Hassan stadium.
The Master Control Facility is also located in Hassan. Hotel Hassan Ashok and Hoysala Village Resort are some of the places offering good accommodations in Hassan.
There are certain places to be visited nearby Hassan. Some of them are the Jain pilgrimage of Shravanabelagola, Chennakeshava Temple in Belur and the temples of Halebid.
The Gorur Dam and Manjarabad Fort are other places to visit in Tours To Hassan.
Tourist Attractions in Aurangabad
Aurangabad is a district in the state of Maharashtra. The city has a rich and cultural heritage and is beautifully surrounded by hills on all sides. The District covers an area on about 10100 square km and has a total population of about 2897013. It was the seat of the Mughal Empire during the reign of Aurangzeb and so it also has a few Mughal art and architectures. The city has a large number of places of tourist attractions. Our site Touristplacesinindia.com is your one stop search on all that you want to know about Tourist attractions in Aurangabad.
Aurangabad Excursions : Ajanta Caves :
The Ajanta caves in Aurangabad date back to the second century BC and contain sculptures and paintings depicted from Buddhist, Hindu and Jain religious art. Ajanta has a total of 29 caves and is one among the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Ellora Caves :
These caves were built by the rulers of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty and are located just 30 km from Aurangabad and were built in the 7th century AD. Cave 16, which is known as the Kailashnath Temple is a masterpiece art at Ellora. The temple is a splendid achievement of the Dravidian style of art and was started by King Krishna of the Rashtrakuta dynasty that ruled Manyakheta. It took around 100 years to complete this cave. There are other caves here which depict the tradition and Philosophy of the Buddhist and Jain art and architecture.
It is situated about 144 km from Aurangabad and is considered a religious site famous for the Shrine of Sai Baba. This place is easily accessible from nearby towns and is one of the most important tourist attractions in Aurangabad city.
Daulatabad Fort :
It is just 13 km from Aurangabad, and was built in the 12th Century AD. This fort was earlier known as Devgiri and was built by king Bhillama of Yadav dynasty. The name was changed to Daulatabad by Md Bin Tughlaq.
Events and Festivals :
Mahashivratri is devotedly celebrated in the temple of Ghrishneshwara during February and March. This temple is situated near Ellora.
Tourist Attractions in Ooty
One of the reasons people like to visit hill stations is that, they not only offer respite from the dust and pollution of the city but also give people a chance to see the undefiled beauty of nature. The green hills, the cascading waterfalls and sparkling brooks, all make the hill stations a delight for the eyes of the city-weary. Ooty is an ideal hill station since it offers all this and much more. There are many places you can tour, such as the Botanical Gardens, Lamb's rock, Dodabetta Peak, among many others.
Botanical Gardens :
If you are on a sightseeing tour to Ooty, you might want to visit the Government Botanical gardens, which were laid out in 1847.The picturesque gardens that are maintained by the Horticulture department of the state, cover an area of about 22 hectares. The Gardens have well over 650 species of plants and trees, including a fossil of a tree, which is believed to be more than 20 million years old. The garden is very popular with nature lovers and those who long to walk among greenery and see rare ferns and shrubs up close.
If you are in Ooty in the month of May, then you can also be a part of the summer festival, which is held here annually. The festival holds flower shows and various cultural programs showcasing the talent of the locals and the renowned artists.
Ooty Lake :
If you love the outdoors, Ooty lake is a must see for you. It was built in 1825 and is about 2.5 km long. Visitors to this lake can go for boating on the lake or enjoy their favorite outdoor activity of fishing. If the latter really appeals to you then remember to get fishing permission before you head to buy baits!
Dodabetta Peak :
Flower Show The Dodabetta Peak stands at an altitude of 2,623 meters. It is the highest point in the district, making it possibly the best vantage point around Ooty. It is merely 10kms from Ooty so you can simply grab your camera and head straight to the peak, and click amazing pictures of he valley below. Many say that on a clear day, which is honestly not that often, one can see far off areas, even the plains of Coimbatore and the flat highlands of Mysore.
Lamb's Rock :
Lamb's Rock is another vantage point that is ideal for taking pictures and is a wonderful picnic spot. It is merely 9kms. From Coonoor and is known for the splendid views it offers of the plains of Coimbatore and the tea states in the surrounding areas.
Kodanadu's View Point :
Kodanadu is about 16kms from Kotagiri, and is situated on the eastern edge of the Nilgiri range. It is a great vantage point that offers a breathtaking view of the Moyar river and the tea estates. There is a watchtower here that offers a view of the Rangasamy peak.
Ooty Excursions :
Though Ooty in itself can keep you occupied for many days, but if you can never have enough of greenery and scenic beauty, than you can visit numerous place around Ooty, such as Coonnoor and Kotagiri, which are also quite popular with tourists.
Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary :
The Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 67kms from Ooty. If you are in town for a couple of days, then a visit to the Wildlife sanctuary would be a great way to spend a day. The Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of very rich flora and fauna, and is home to many endangered species. Though tigers and Leopards are only seen by the fortunate few, elephants, giant squirrels, sambhar, chital, barking deer and flying squirrels are a common sight. The Sanctuary is also a great place to see many kinds of birds, including colorful parakeets, black woodpecker, Malabar trogon and crested hawk eagle. If you have children with you or you yourself are simply fond of the majestic elephants then, you might like to visit the elephant camp within the sanctuary, Theppakkadu.
East of Ooty, is a little village of kotagiri, which is about 28km from the popular hill station. Kotagiri is the oldest one of the three hill stations in the Nilgiris. It is not as popular as the other two, Ooty and Coonoor, yet it is said that it probably has the most pleasant weather among the three of them. It is a beautiful hill resort that has wonderful tea estates and is definitely worth a visit.
Kalhatty Waterfalls :
The beautiful Kolhatty waterfalls are about 100 feet in height and are located on the kalhatty slopes. The falls are about 13kms from the city, so anyone on a tour of Ooty can easily check out the falls and the beautiful area surrounding it. Besides, obviously looking at the waterfalls, you can explore the kalhatty-Masinagudi slopes, that are home to many wild species, including panthers, sambhar, bison and wild buffaloes.
Sim's park :
The Sim's Park is spread over an area of 12 hectares and is situated in Upper Coonoor. The park it is believed has more than 1000 plant species, including many flowering plants, pines, ferns and shrubs. If you are visiting in May, then you can attend the fruit and vegetable show, which is a tradition and is held annually.
Dolphin's Nose :
If the name is not amusing enough for you, you can come down to this very Dolphin's nose and have a good time, enjoying games and an outdoor picnic. The Dolphin's nose is a great vantage point that offers a panoramic view of the surrounding areas. If it is clear day, you can even see the Catherine falls from here. Mukurthi
About 36 km from Ooty is Mukurthi. Here you can take a look at the imposing Mukurthi peak. According to the Todas, the indigenous people of this locale, the souls of the dead move on to the next world from this very sacred place. It is an interesting place for the skeptics as the flora and fauna of this pace bears a striking resemblance to that found in Himalayan region. You can also visit the Mukurthi lake which is close to the peak and is worth a closer look.Dolphin Nose
Avalanche lies 28 km from Ooty. Unlike it's name, which conjures up images of destruction and devastation, the place is a nature lover's paradise. It is a lake, which is ideal for fishing, though one has to obtain permission before hand. It is also the perfect place to enjoy bird watching and a quiet afternoon.
Coonoor is a famous hill station that is 17 kms from ooty. It is probably the second most popular hill station in the Nilgiris. The hill station stands at a height of 1839 meters and is known for its great picnic spots and picturesque surroundings.
Events & Festivals Tea and tourism Festival :
If you are in Ooty in the month of January, you cannot possibly miss the Tea and Tourism festival. At the festival, you can learn more about your favorite drink and possibly taste some of the best cups of tea.
Makar Pongal :
In January, if you find yourself holidaying in Ooty, then do not forget to join the festivities and enjoy the celebrations.
Flower Show :
The popular flower show is held in May at the botanical gardens and is a great event that attracts visitors from all over.
Artists Village :
In the Dangs of Saputara there exist more than 300 villages out of which 94% are of tribal communities. The Bhils, the Gamits, the Kunbis, the Warlis and are the members of the local tribal communities who depend on the forest for their livelihood obtaining timber, collecting honey and lacs. The artist's village is formed with such people from tribal communities. Artists village is a wonderful place to interact with the local timber and pick up bamboo-made artifacts crafts persons who are from aforesaid tribal communities. Artists village is situated on the Saputara - Nashik main road. This place displays handicrafts made by the locals. Visitors can pick up pieces of jewelry, key chains, paintings, pen stands, pottery, vases, and maid from bamboo and other local materials. Kids can learn the art of craftsmanship in the workshops organized by the artists.
Boating Club :
In the heart of the valley of Saputara there exist extremely tranquil lakes named Saputara Lake which will make you feel complete peace of mind. It is about 21 meters deep and is extended in the vast valley encircled by the hilly terrain. You can hire rowing and paddle boats to have a boating experience in the lake. Various types of fun-game & entertainment facilities for children are available near the lake.
Echo Point :
As the name indicates Echo Point is the place which bring into being the echo through resonance. Echo point is placed near Matheran, Saputara. Here one can hear the echo of what he says. Its one of the main places of interest among a host of tourist destination in Saputara. In echo point, there one can find picturesque environment with many waterfalls enriching the fascinating beauty of the location. The atmosphere is mind tranquilizing and cool in weather. Some of the many tourist spots are Louisa point, King George Point and Charlotte Lake
Forest Nursery :
Forest Nursery offers varieties of vegetation. This nursery is managed by the forest department. Flowered plants. Saplings of fruit trees, creepers and many others are showcased here and one can buy these saplings for a minimum price. The nursery is developed in picturesque surroundings.
Forest Log huts :
Saputara Forest Log huts of are very famous. The main enticement of these log huts are its singularity in construction. The constructional beauty of these log huts are worth watching. Visitors are given permission to spend the day and night in forest log huts in wilderness for giving an real experience of merging with nature and enjoying all gifts of nature.
Hatgadh Fort :
Hatgadh Fort is an excellent and protruding architectural beauty at an altitude of about 3,500 feet. It is one of the most archaic forts situated in Mulher which is in Nasik district of Maharastra. This is situated close to Saputara and in Gujarat-Maharashtra border. It is located in a majestic location in the Sahyadri range.
Honey Bees Centre :
Honey bee center is a place where honeybees are nurtured and where you can see how the pure honey are extracted from the honeycomb. It is situated in a place facing the garden. It also perceives the tourists about the honey industry operational data i.e. how the industrial production of honey are made. Tourists can buy purest honey from here, though bit costly.
Lake View Garden :
A this garden is situated at the banks of Saputara lake. Lake Garden is a very beautiful as well as a well- maintained garden and an excellent picnic spot. This garden is build up in lush green environment. Many amenities are available for mainly children which includes a playground. This is a nice site for an evening walk or a hasty evening trip. Other attractions nearby are Artist Village, Mini Aquarium, Rose Garden and Sunset point.
Saputara Museum is a nice museum situated at the center of the Saputara city close to the main market. It exhibits the variation in culture and lifestyles of the tribal population. Saputara Museum exhibits spectacular exhibition of diversity of clothes, traditional artifacts, utensils, lifestyles, house objects, ornaments, musical instruments, and many other objects which the native tribes called Dangis uses.
Tourist Attractions in Surat, Gujarat
Surat is the second largest city in Gujarat. It has contributed immensely to the growth of the country. It is famous for its diamond and textile industry. Apart from this, it also has a fairly strong historical background. It played a pivotal role in the National Freedom Struggle of India. Leaders like Gandhiji and Sardar Patel blessed the land with their venerated presence. Thus, the city has a lot to offer to the tourists. The tourists can enjoy sightseeing tours around the city and remember the glorious days of the yore.
Dutch Garden :
Dutch Garden and the Dutch Cemetery are some of the famous tourist spots in the city. The architecture of the place serves as one of the major draws for the visitors.
Old Fort :
Old Fort in Surat was constructed by Muhammed Tughlak in the 14th century. It was built as a defense against the Bhils and is now being used as the office of the Municipal Corporation.
Sardar Patel Museum :
Sardar Patel Museum is yet another fascinating place in the city. This museum is around 100 years old and it boasts of a collection of over 10,000 specimens of arts and crafts of the state.
Rangupavan is the biggest open air theater in the country. It has a stage of 18 meters by 10.5 meters dimensions. The theater has an astounding capacity of around 4000 spectators at a time.
Dumas & Hajira :
Dumas and Hajira are the famous health resorts near Surat. Dumas is just 16 km from the city, while Hajira lies at a distance of 28 km. They are situated on a brook of Arabian Sea blessed with natural beauty. Hajira houses two wells, containing water rich in iron and sulphur. Besides, Hajira beach, being dotted by the feathery Casuarina trees, serves as the perfect retreat from the city's hectic life.
Gaurav Path :
Gaurav Path is the liveliest place in Surat and is ideal place for a drive. It was constructed by the Surat Municipal Corporation.
Choppati is the favorite hangout of the people in the city. It is a lively picnic spot where people can relax in the big gardens. One can also enjoy mouth watering snacks like Paav Bhajee and Paani Puri here.
Makiapul is the original ancient port of Gujarat, from where the ships sailed to different parts of the country.
Tourist Attractions in Vadodara, Gujarat
Vadodara city is the administrative headquarter of the Vadodara district in Gujarat. It is often termed as Baroda and is the industrial capital of the state. The city stands on the bank of River Vishwamitri, flanked by a number of graceful buildings like palaces, parks, temples and museums. This has greatly boosted tourism in Vadodara. The cultural galore of Vadodara impels visitors to travel to this historic city. In the ancient time, it served as the capital city of Gaekwads, the former rulers of Vadodara.
Tourist Attractions : Laxmi Vilas Palace :
Laxmi Vilas Palace is an architectural marvel, designed in Indo-Saracenic style and built by Maharaja Sayajirao III in 1890. It still serves as the residence of the Royal family. The palace contains several splendid chambers, which are examples of skilled craftsmanship. The Darbar Hall is embellished with Italian mosaic floor and walls with mosaic decorations. The palace even houses a remarkable collection of old armory and sculptures in bronze, marble & terracotta.
Kirti Mandir :
Kirti Mandir is another must visit place in Vadodara. It literally means the, 'Hall of Fame' and is a memorial for the Gaekwad rulers. It is a stone building, designed in Hindu style, with domes, terraces, balconies and a central shikhara. The building is decorated with murals, done by the famous Indian artist, Nandlal Bose.
Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad University :
Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad University was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad, the ruler of Baroda. The university is also known as MSU and is over a hundred years old. It is known for its Faculty of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Performing Arts.
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary :
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Bharuch district of Gujarat. It stretches over an area of 608 sq km and boasts of a rich flora and fauna. The sanctuary houses Leopards, Sloth Bears, Sambar, Wild Dogs, Hyena, Barking Deer and a variety of birds.
Nazarbagh Palace :
Nazarbagh Palace is an example of Victorian classical style of architecture. It now houses the royal family heirlooms.
Makarpura Palace :
Makarpura Palace is another magnificent palace in the city. It is also built in Italianate style and is now used as an Indian Air Force training school.
Pratap Vilas Palace :
Pratap Vilas Palace once served as the residence of the royal family. It is a flamboyant building, designed in Indo-Sarcenic style. It now houses the Railway Staff College.
The only existing Mughal monument in Vadodara, Hajira was built in the memory of Qutub-ud-din, the general of Akbar's army. One can also see a step well in the vicinity.
Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum :
Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum houses the royal collection of the art of masters like Raphael, Titian and Murillo. It also displays Western and Indian paintings, Greco-Roman exhibits, Chinese and Japanese art and a large collection of contemporary Indian art.
Tourist Attractions in Bhavnagar, Gujarat
Bhavnagar boasts of a number of tourist attractions. Situated near to Ahmedabad, the city is yet another destination in the state visited by tourists in large numbers. It was once the princely state of the Maharaja of Bhavnagar. This glorious past has resulted in Bhavnagar being dotted with a number of lakes and temples. It even houses the Samaldas College, where the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi was once a student. The college is more than 100 years old. Apart from this, there are many interesting places to see on the sightseeing tours of the city.
Gandhi Memorial :
Gandhi Memorial is also known as Gandhi Smriti Museum. The museum has a collection of some rare photographs and memorabilia associated with Mahatma Gandhi.
The Barton Library :
Barton Library is one of the oldest libraries in Gujarat. It is located in the center of Bhavnagar. There is also a museum in the building. which is a worth visiting spot in the city.
Gaurishankar Lake :
Gaurishankar Lake is a popular picnic spot. A number of fairs and other public events are also organized here. The lake is flanked by a beautiful garden known as Pil Garden. There is also a small planetarium in the vicinity.
Takhteshwar Temple :
Takhteshwar Temple is located on a hillock near the city. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is an important pilgrim place for the nearby region. It was built in the year 1893 by Maharaja Takhatsihnji. The temple and the whole complex are made up of white shining marble. It is a much sought after picnic spot and offers a panoramic view of the city.
Water Lock Gate :
Water Lock Gate is a one of its kind structure in Gujarat. It was constructed with a special purpose i.e. to maintain the level of the sea water in the docks. This helps the ships to float during the time of low tide. It is allowed to see this gate, but only with prior permission.
The Central Salt and Marine Research Institute :
For those who have keen interest in science, the Central Salt and Marine Research Institute is an interesting place. Many scholars, from across the country as well as abroad, visit the institute for research purpose. It is located on Waghavadi Road and enjoys immense popularity.
Tourist Attractions in Gondal
Gondal is situated in the Indian state of Gujarat around 60 km from the district headquarter of Junagadh. A good road network connects Gondal to Rajkot, a major transport hub.
Tourist Attractions in Gondal :
Gondal has much to offer by way of sightseeing to the visitors. Built in 1875 AD by Maharajah Bhagwat Sinhji for his son Yuvraj Bhojraji, the Riverside Palace is set in lawns and gardens beside the river Gondali. There are two marvelously appointed sitting arrangement-the living room furnished in typical colonial style with chandelier, antique wooden furniture and sofas, and the Indian room decorated with beadwork, brassware and paintings-and many pleasant sit-outs on the terraces and galleries overlooking either the river or the garden.
The oldest extant palace in Gondal, the 17th-century Naulakha Palace is a festival of stone carvings with exquisite jharokhas (balconies), a fabulous pillared courtyard, delicately carved arches, and a unique spiral staircase. The large chandelier-lit durbar hall has stuffed panthers, gilt wooden furniture, and antique mirrors. The private palace museum has an impressive display of silver caskets which carried messages and gifts for Maharajah Bhagwat Sinhji on his silver jubilee as ruler of Gondal, one of the many golden caskets received by him on his 50th anniversary, the weighing scales on which he was measured against silver and gold on the respective anniversaries, and princely relics.
Located in a huge complex of fruit orchards, lawns and gardens, the Orchard Palace is a wing of the Huzoor Palace (the present royal residence) where the ruling family of Gondal entertained personal guests including relatives from other princely states of Gujarat. The 'room of miniatures' is a splendid sitting room with a collection of miniature paintings, brass, and antique furniture.
The Royal Garages have an extensive collection of vintage and classic cars including a 1910 New Engine, a Delage and a Daimler from the 1920s, a 1935 Mercedes, 1935 Packard two-door convertible, 1941 and 1947 Cadillac, 1955 Cadillac limousine, sports cars from the 1950s and 1960s like the Mercedes 300 SL, Jaguar XK 150 and Chevrolet Camaro, numerous imposing American cars of the 1940s and 1950s, a fleet of four-wheel drive vehicles from the World War II and post-war period, and some contemporary sports cars. Most of these cars are restored and some bear the original Gondal state number plates. There are plans to restore a selection from the extensive collection of horse drawn carriages, which includes Victorian showpieces and a Shetland pony carriage.
Then there is the Bhuvaneshwari Ayurvedic Pharmacy, which still makes traditional herbal medicines according to ancient principles. The Bhuvaneshwari Stud Farm has remarkable specimens of Kathiawadi horses, Gir cattle and other ethnic breeds of livestock, which have won prestigious awards at national level and prizes at local horse and cattle shows. The Swaminarayan Temple has an awesome aura of devotion and some lovely wall murals of the various Swamis who preached this faith. The Sangram Sinhji High School is a model of Eton in Gondal, with some fabulous Gothic architecture, Italian marble floors, old European laboratory equipment, an antique clock tower, and intricate wooden ceilings. Spinning, weaving, brass boxes, silver smithy, beadwork, woodcarving, etc., are some crafts of Gondal.
Places Around Gondal :
Gondal is the staging post for many interesting day excursions. Junagadh, 60 km south of Gondal, is one of India's most historic cities, known for its third-century BC Ashoka rock edicts, the magnificent Uperkot Fortress, splendid royal mausoleums, Darbar Hall Palace Museum, Junagadh Museum, and Sakkarbagh Zoo.
The 3,660-ft-high Girnar Peak has exquisite 12th-century Jain temples on the summit and holy Hindu temples in the foothills.
Dhoraji, which was the second most important city of the erstwhile Gondal state, has the Darbargadh Palace, which is a fabulous maze of traceries and sandstone sculpture.
The textile town of Jetpur, 30 km from Gondal, is known for its screen printing, block printing, and yarn dyeing workshops.
Rajkot, 40 km from Gondal, is known for the Watson Museum, Mahatma Gandhi's old residence, and its handicrafts and textiles.
Tourist Attractions in Bhuj
A local ruler Maharao Hamir founded the city of Bhuj in 1510. In 1549 Rao Khengarji I, another local ruler, made Bhuj his capital. It remained an independent princely state during the rule of the British in India and became a part of India, when it gained independence in 1947
Tourist Attractions in Bhuj
Bhuj is known for its palaces, built in the traditional Kutchi style. Aina Mahal or the Palace of Mirrors (Old Palace), surrounded by a small, fortified courtyard built in the 18th century, is located in the old part of the city. It is an important tourist spot and houses a museum within it. The Hall of Mirrors and the Pleasure Pool within this palace are important. Near the Aina Mahal, is the Prag Mahal (New Palace), which was built in the latter half of the 19th century. The Kuchch Museum, formerly known as the Ferguson Museum (named after its founder Sir James Ferguson, Governor of Mumbai during the rule of the British), was built in 1877 and has a good collection of artifacts, depicting the history and culture of Bhuj and its surroundings. It is also the oldest Museum in the state of Gujarat.
The Sarad Bagh Palace, the Swaminarayan Temple, Bharatiya Sanskriti Darshan Kachch (folk museum) are other tourist attractions of this city. The city walls built in 1723 by the local rulers on the hills overlooking the city can be seen from different parts of the city.
Excursions from Bhuj :
Excursions can be made from Bhuj to the neighboring villages around Bhuj, which offer a cultural fiesta to the traveler. Special permits have to be obtained from local government offices in Bhuj to visit these villages. Some of the important villages near Bhuj are Bhujjodi, which is famous for weaving. Padhar and Dhaneti are famous for traditional Ahir embroidery. Dhamanka is known for block printing. Lilpur is known for its embroidery while the village of Anjar is famous for block printing, tie and dye items and traditional betel nut crackers. Items obtained from these villages make good souvenirs as well as items of daily use. The village of Dholavira is an ancient site associated with the Indus Valley Civilization. Than Monastery (60 km) and the sea resort at Mandvi (60 km southeast) are important places to visit. Anjal Wild Ass Sanctuary and the town of Gandhidham are other places worth visiting near Bhuj.
Tourist Attractions in Zainabad
Positioned at the dry salty plains in the Little Rann of Kutch, the pretty little town of Zainabad is placed into the western edge of India. It is a swampy area with saltpans and short thorny bushes marked by rustic settlements.
Tourist Attractions in Zainabad :
The Tourist Attractions in Zainabad are innumerable and the beauty and charm of Zainabad promises great enjoyment for all kinds of tourists.
Wild Lives in the Little Run of Kutch :
The chestnut brown and white Wild Asses are one of the main tourist attractions in Zainabad. These asses are found nowhere else in the world but only in Little Run of Kutch, which is one of the largest sanctuaries in India. Many other wild lives like: Nilgai (Blue Bull), Chinkara, Black Buck, Jungle and Desert Cats can also be found. Different kinds of migratory birds are definitely bird watchers' delight.
Modhera is a short excursion from Zainabad and is 50 kms away. The 11th century Sun temple in Modhera constitutes of 108 smaller shrines. Elaborate stone carvings are there on the outer walls of the temple.
The historic city lies at a distance of 70 kms from Zainabad. The archaeological site houses Rani Ki Vav, a well and Sahastralinga Talav, an artificial tank that were built between 8-14 centuries.
Once ruled by the Jadeja dynasty, the city is the home to many historic monuments.
The gorgeous beaches of Mandvi are situated along the coast of the Gulf of Kutch. Previously it was an important port and naval base of the Kutch royal family. This is also one of the tourist attractions in Zainabad, Gujarat.
Tourist Attractions in Ahmedabad
Steeped in history, Ahmedabad, one of the eminent tourist attractions in India, offers a host of tourist sites that present themselves as some of the most frequented tourist attractions in Ahmedabad. The glorious past of the city bearing various political and cultural facets draw huge crowds every year.
The Walled City :
On your tour to Ahmedabad you will at once notice that the walled city is one of the must visits. Leading into the city of Ahmedabad, it allows a glimpse of the affluence of the ancient buildings of the 18th century.
Gandhi Ashram :
Another of the tourist attractions in Ahmedabad is the Satyagraha Ashram, set-up in AD 1920 on the lull western banks of the Sabarmati River.
Mosque of Sidi Sayid :
The Mosque of Sidi Sayid with its stone tracery and the patterns of the banyan tree on its windows is another of the tourist attractions in Ahmedabad.
Hathee Singh Jain Temple
Built by Sheth Hathee Singh in 1848, the Hathee Singh Temple, located outside the Delhi Gate, is worked in pure white marble. It houses 52 shrines, each with an idol of a Jain Tirthankar.
Sidi Bashir Mosque :
The Sidi Bashir Mosque situated outside the Sarangpur Gate, has minarets, one of which when shaken, leads to the vibration in another.
Kankaria Lake :
A circular lake constructed in AD 1451 by Sultan Qutub-ud-din, the Kankaria Lake offers tourist places of interest like the island garden known as Nagina Wadi, parks, an aquarium, a boat club, a natural historical museum, and a zoo.
Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaza :
A venue for Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations in Ahmedabad, the Bhadra Fort of Ahmedabad has a temple devoted to the Mother Goddess, Bhadrakal.
Teen Darwaza :
Used as a royal entrance to the Royal Square of the Bhadra Fort, the massive Teen Darwaza is another place of interest in Ahmedabad.
Calico Museum :
The Calico museum of fabric, yarn and textiles was established in 1949 consequent to the meticulous efforts of Ms Gira Sarabhai.
The other sites worth visiting in Ahmedabad are the Rani Sipri's Mosque, Rani Rupmati's Mosque, Raj Babri Mosque, Shreyas Museum of Folk Art, the Kite Museum, and Utensil Museum.
Excursions to places like Sarkhej, Adlaj Vav, Lothal, Modhera, Patan, Gandhinagar, Mahudi and Nalsarovar Wildlife Sanctuary can be entertaining and exciting at the same time.
Events and Festivals :
Navratri and Rath Yatra are the main festivals celebrated in Ahmedabad and the city also hosts the contemporary International Kite Festival too.
Amongst the must visit places of Kolkata is the Victoria Memorial. It is a huge white-marble structure and the most enduring of remains of the British Raj in India. The structure, which is now floodlit in the night, gives a fascinating site. It has been now converted in a museum that houses the most impressive collection of memorabilia's from the days of Raj.
Then there is the Indian Museum of Calcutta that was built in 1874. , The museum is a place to see for its beautiful structure. The oldest museum in India, it has one of the rare collections of archeological. The entrance to the museum houses an original Lion Capitol, the national symbol of India.
While in Calcutta you must visit the Eden Gardens. The gardens are located in the northwest corner of the Kolkata, is a small and pleasantly laid-out garden. The place also houses the renowned cricket ground by the same name.
Birla Planetarium is one of the largest of its kind in the world, and a good place to visit while in Kolkata. Regular shows in Hindi and English are held here.
Howrah Bridge is another place to be seen in Calcutta. It is excellent example of engineering techniques of the early 20th century. The whole bridge is 450 m long without any pylon in the river. The bridge also has the distinction of being the busiest bridge in the world catering to around 100,000 vehicles and innumerable pedestrians.
While in Calcutta you must visit the Kali Mandir. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, the goddess of destruction. This is the temple from which the old village Kalikata took its name, which, in turn, also gave the city its name.
Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission is another tourist attraction of Calcutta. The place was founded in 1899 and houses a structure that was designed to be a church, temple, and mosque all in one.
Other important sites that can be visited are Fort William, Maidan, BBD Bagh, Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, Botanical Garden, Marble Palace, Tagore House, Church of St John, Nakhoda Mosque, Raj Bhawan, Town Hall, and St. Paul's Cathedral.
Excursions Birla Planetarium :
There are several places of interest around Calcutta. These places near by make excellent weekend trip and excursion options.
The most popular place to visit around Calcutta is Shanti Niketan. Situated 136 km northwest of the city, this is the place where Rabindranath Tagore lived and established a university.
Bishnupur, 100 km northwest of Calcutta, is yet another exciting and hitherto unexplored excursion for Kolkata. Bishnupur houses unique terracotta temples, each more beautifully embellished than the other. Bishnupur is renowned for its crafts such as intricate Balucheri saris, the rare ganijifa (circular Indian playing card), delicate carving on shells and bell metal artifacts.
Another place to visit around Calcutta is Chandernagar, 35 km from Kolkata. It is the former French settlement that still abounds in buildings from that period of history. The important places to visit are the Quai Dupleix, Eglise Du Sacre, and image of Joan of Arc.
Events And Festivals : Kali Puja :
To know and understand Calcutta in its eternity, one is invited to the city during Durga Puja-a time when Calcutta becomes unforgettable. Every year, for four days, Calcutta forgets its worries and yields to a paroxysm of celebration and worship. This special time of the year comes just before the full moon in late September or October. This is a special occasion because of the transcendent place Goddess Durga holds in the Bengali imagination.
Saraswati Puja is the celebration of Saraswati, the goddess of learning. The festival is celebrated in Kolkata just before the coming of spring in the months of January or February.
Calcutta Book Fair is the largest in Asia and provides ample opportunities to the bibliophiles to explore the fascinating world of books. The event is held every year in the month of January or February in Calcutta.
Poush Mela is celebrated in the Shanti Niketan usually on the 22nd or 23rd of December. The three-day function marks the foundation of Shanti Niketan near Kolkata.
Other important festivals celebrated in Calcutta are Kali Puja, Diwali, and Holi.
Tourist Attractions in Bhubaneswar
While planning Bhubaneswar sightseeing tours, it is usually the temples that occupy the top most position. The city has a glorious history of temples, which date back to the time of the Kalinga Empire and are more than 25 centuries old. Devotees come from different parts of India as well as the world to visit these splendid temples. Apart from the temples, there are a number of other places in Bhubaneshwar that are worth watching. In the following lines, we provide you information on the places you can visit while on a tour of Bhubaneswar city of Orissa.
Bindusagar Lake :
Lying to the north of the Lingaraja Temple, the Bindusagar Lake is one of the popular tourist attractions of Bhubaneswar. Infact, the lake has been gaining more and more popularity amongst the tourists as a picnic spot. More
Lingaraj Temple :
Lingaraj temple is one of the most popular temples of Orissa. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, also known as ‘Lingaraj’. It is adorned with beautiful sculptures, which have been carved on the spire. More
Mukteshwar Temple :
Mukteshwar temple, one of the most prominent temples of Bhubaneswar, has been constructed in the style that is quite similar to the one used in the Kalinga School of Temple Architecture. More
Rajarani Temple :
Rajarani temple is one of the most renowned temples in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Orissa. It is made from the wonderful red and gold sandstone, which is locally known as Rajarani and this is what gives the temple its name of ‘Raja Rani’. More
Orissa State Museum :
The origin of Orissa State Museum can be traced back to the year 1932. Its foundation was laid when Professor N. C. Banerjee and Professor Ghanshyam Dash of Ravenshaw College, two famous historians, initiated the task of collecting archaeological treasures from different places.
Tourist Attractions in Kathmandu, Nepal (Outside India)
Machchendra Nath Temple :
Machchendra is considered as the guardian of the valley and his temple is one of the most revered among Hindus and Buddhists alike. The temple is situated in Kel Tol, north of Durbar Square. HANUMAN DHOKA - The name of the old royal palace has been derived from the statue of Hanuman that guards the entrance. The building has remained uninhabited from the days of its first construction in the 13th century. It is now used mainly for royal ceremonies. The main attractions here include the Nasal Chowk, Tribhuvan Memorial Museum (the section open to public), Basantpur Tower, Mahendra Memorial Museum, and a stone inscription.
Hanuman Dhoka :
Kathmandu The name of the old royal palace has been derived from the statue of Hanuman (the monkey god of Hindu mythology) that guards the entrance. The building has remained uninhabited from the days of its first construction in the 13th century. Most of the older structures are now gone and the present building is a highly modified version of the earlier one. It is now used mainly for royal ceremonies. The main attractions here include the Nasal Chowk, Tribhuvan Memorial Museum (the section open to public), Basantpur Tower, Mahendra Memorial Museum, and a stone inscription.
Residence Of The Living Goddess :
This is an 18th-century palace in Kathmandu with beautifully carved window frames, some of them carved in the shape of peacocks while the central one is covered in gold. The palace is known as Kumari Bahal, where Kumari, the living goddess of Kathmandu, resides.
The place which gave Kathmandu its name, the Kashthamandap temple is perhaps the oldest surviving structure in Kathmandu. The central image in the temple is of Saint Gorakhnath, who watches over the Shah Dynasty. A small shrine of Ganesha is also located inside the temple.
The hilltop Stupa of Swayambhunath, considered 2,000 years old, is one of the holiest places for Newari Buddhists.
The Pashupatinath Temple, situated on the banks of River Baghmati around 8 km from the city, is one of the holiest Hindu shrines.
Boudnath is one of the largest stupas in the world and an important Buddhist pilgrimage. Today, Boudnath bustles with Tibetan population, busy with carpet manufacture, trade, and prayers at the several monasteries belonging to different sects of Tibetan Buddhism.
Chovar is the site of a gorge where the water drains from the valley. It is situated 6 km south-west of the city and there is a small pagoda of Adinath on the top of the gorge.
Guheshwari Temple :
Guheshwari Temple near Pashupatinath is considered as the place where Yoni of Shiva’s consort Sati fell when she was cut into pieces by Lord Vishnu. PHARPING - Pharping is a popular picnic spot near Chovar, just outside the city centre.
Balaju Water Garden :
Balaju Water Garden is situated northwest of the city and an 18th-century design of spouting crocodile heads set in pleasant gardens.
Martyr's Memorial :
Martyr’s Memorial or Shaheed Gate is constructed in the memory of four accused conspirators who were executed after an attempted coup in 1940.
National History Museum :
Kathmandu National History Museum is an excellent place to explore the rich history, art, and cultural heritage of Nepal. The museum building is as much important structure as the objects displayed in the museum.
Historic National Museum :
Kathmandu National History Museum is an excellent place to explore the rich history, art, and cultural heritage of Nepal. The museum building is as much important structure as the objects displayed in the museum.
Narayanhity Durbar :
Narayanhity Durbar is the present Royal Palace, which is named after a famous waterspout called Narayanhity, situated at the southern corner of the Palace. PATAN - The twin city of Patan might have an independent existence than with Kathmandu. Today it is separated from the latter by a bridge over River Baghmati. The place has a distinct character and is full of temples. DURBAR SQUARE - It was once the centre of power during Malla Kingdom and still has a fascinating cluster of temples. The main attractions here include the Royal Palace, Sundari Chowk, Mul Chowk, Teleju Shrine, Patan Museum, Manga Hiti, Mani Mandap, Bhimsen Mandir, Vishwanath Mandir, Krishna Mandir, and some others.
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar :
This is a three-storey golden pagoda dedicated to Lokeshwar and constructed in the 12th century by King Bhaskar Varma. KUMBHESHWAR - Built in 1392, this is the oldest temple in Patan. It has two freestanding five-roofed pagodas, where the presiding deity is Shiva.
Jagan Narayan :
Built in 1565, the Jagan Narayan Temple is situated in the Durbar Square and dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Krishna Mandir :
This is first specimen of the Shikhara style temple in Nepal. Built in the 17th century, it is constructed completely of stone.
Mahaboudha Temple :
The temple of thousand Buddhas is situated along Mangal Bazaar east of Durbar Square. The architecture is inspired by the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, India.
Rudra Varna Mahavihar or Uka Bahal is the oldest monastery in Patan. Ashokan Stupas are situated on the four corners of Patan commemorating the visit of King Ashoka, a great Buddhist King of India. Bajra Barahi is a lofty temple set in jungle surrounding at Godavari. Phulchoki is situated at an altitude 3,330 metre at a distance of around 16 km off Patan and noted for wild flowers and butterflies.
Tourist Attractions in Sravasti, Uttar Pradesh
The ancient city of Shravasti, a flourishing habitation that is an important landmark in the history of Buddhism and Jainism alike, is at present but a collection of ruins called Sahet-Mahet. This twin name has been given to two distinct groups of remains, Sahet and Mahet. Sahet is the site of the famous Buddhist monastery known as Jetvahana Vihar, which lay outside the limits of the Shravasti city proper. Mahet on the other hand is identified with the city of Shravasti. The ruins at Sahet consist mainly of plinths and foundation of Buddhist monasteries and stupas, and Mahet, situated about 500m from Sahet denotes the ancient city proper. Both Sahet and Mahet are now popular tourist attractions in Shravasti Uttar Pradesh.
Maheth : Sprawling over an area of 400 acres, the place is identified with the remains of the city in original. Excavations led to the discovery of massive gates and ramparts and many other signs that speak of the prosperity of ancient Sravasti.
Sobhanath Temple : The place is believed to be the birthplace of Jain prophet Swayambunatha. For the Jains, this is one of the important tourist attractions in Sravasti.
Saheth : Once the site of Jetavana monastery, the place houses numerous shrines, stupas and monasteries spreading over an area of 32 acres. One of the earliest Stupas, probably dating back to 3rd century BC, contained relics of the Buddha. Excavations revealed a colossal statue of lord Buddha, which is now housed in the Indian Museum, Kolkata.
Angulimala's Stupa : Pakki Kutti is believed to the Angulimala's Stupa. Legend has it that Angulimala was a dreaded dacoit of the region who used to wear a necklace of fingers chopped from his victims. One day, when he was about to kill his mother in a fit of rage, Lord Buddha met him. His words converted Angulimala who decide to follow the path of Buddhism.
Tourist Attractions in Lumbini, Uttar Pradesh
Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini, in the southwestern region of Nepal, almost 2500 years ago. Ever since then, the city has always continued to be the central point of Buddhism. Lumbini, in the present times is a small quiet town in the southwestern Terai plains of Nepal, where the ruins of the old city can still be observed. The followers of both Hinyana and Mahayana sects of Buddhism worship Lumbini. The furbished up garden and the environs of Lumbini have the remnants of many of the ancient Stupas and monasteries. A large stone pillar is said to be set up by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in 250 BC which bears a message about the birth of Gautama Buddha.
Some Tourist Attractions In Lumbini : Lumbini Grove :
This is the sacred site of Lord Buddha's birth, which is today a small village in Nepal, 27 Km from Sunauli on the Indo-Nepal border. The sacred site of the Buddha's birth is at the southern end of Lumbini grove. Excavations have revealed a series of rooms and a stone slab, which is now believed to mark the exact location at which the Buddha, (or Siddhartha as he would have been known then) was born. The whole place has an air of remoteness except when the occasional busload of pilgrims from different corners of the Buddhist universe arrives.
The Rummendei pillar :
Three hundred years after the Mahaparinirvana, Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini and erected a pillar there. This pillar, though broken, still remains at the site. It is known as the Rummendei pillar after the earlier name of the place (modern name Rupandehi) in Nepal.
The Mayadevi temple :
The Mayadevi temple and the tank nearby are part of the sacred complex. There are two beautiful panels in the temple, the older one in stone and the other in marble. Both panels show Mayadevi holding the Sal tree and the young prince emerging out of her right side. Just outside the temple is a tank whose water glistens in the faint sun, the gentle breeze creating endless ripples. Here Queen Mahamaya had her bath before the delivery and it was also here that Prince Siddhartha had his first purification bath.
Dharmaswami Maharaja Buddha Vihara
This Tibetan gompa belonging to the Sakyapa order, is also outside the complex. His Eminence Chogya the complex. His Eminence Chogya Trichen Rinpoche and the Raja of Mustang established it. Every morning around sixty monks who reside here conduct the Tara Puja. At the end of September, two thousand monks congregate for a 10-day Puja and on 13th December each year for the Mahakala Puja, which also lasts for 10 days.
A couple of kilometres away, a complex of monasteries is constructed on a grand scale. Monasteries in the respective national styles of Myanmar (Burma) China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand are among those that are built. Also in the vicinity are the Lumbini Research Institute, which has an impressive collection of Buddhist literature, and a Museum. Both are open from Sunday to Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm (10 am to 4 pm in winter)
Located some 27 km west of Lumbini lies the ruins of historic town of Kapilvastu. Also, the place is believed to have been associated with different important episodes: there are ruins and mounds of old stupas and monasteries made of kiln-fired bricks and clay mortar. The remains are surrounded by a moat and the walls of the city are made of bricks. In fact, the city of Kapilvastu is constructed on such a grand scale that it is not hard to picture it as a seat of high culture.
About 10 km northwest of Taulihawa there is a rectangular fortified area, which is popularly known as Arourakot. The fortified area was identified by the famous Indian archaeologist P.C. Mukharji as the natal town of Kanakmuni Buddha (one of the forms of Buddha). Remains of an ancient moat and brick fortification around the Arourakot is still clearly visible. A brick lined well is seen to the south and an elevated mound towards the northwest corner.
About 5 km southwest of Taulihawa, there is a village called Gotihawa. In the village there is an Ashokan Pillar standing in a slab. The upper portion of the pillar is broken and lost and only the lower portion of the pillar, 3.5m high, is still intact. Adjoining the pillar towards its northeast there is a huge Stupa built of successive concentric rings of wedge shaped Mauryan bricks.
About 2 km. southwest of Taulihawa, on the left side of the Shoratgarh Taulihawa road stands the village Kudan that boasts a huge structural ruin with a cluster of four mounds and a water body. The mounds were excavated in 1962.
About 8 km, northwest of Taulihawa, there is another site of archaeological importance. The site has quadrangular water body surrounded by bushes, locally known as Niglisagar. On the western Bank of the tank there are two broken pieces of the Ashokan pillar, the longer one laying flat and the shorter ones stack into the ground. The pillar bears two peacocks on the top part and a Devanagari script inscription reading Om Mani Padme Hum (praise to the jewel at the heart of the lotus).
The shorter portion of the pillar which is partly buried in the ground measures 1.52m in length bears four lines of Ashokan inscription in the Brahmi script which roughly translates as: "King Piyadasi Beloved of the gods, after 14 years of his coronation enlarged for the second time the stupa of Buddha kanaka Muni, and after 20 years of his coronat ion he came himself and worshipped and he caused this stone pillar to be erected."
About 12 km. north of Taulihawa, there is a forest area called Sagarhawa. In the midst of the forest there is a huge rectangular water pool which is popularly known as Lumbusagar, or a long pool. The ancient waterbody ruins, which were excavated and identified by Dr. Aslois A. Fuhrer in 1895 as the 'Palace of massacre of the Shakyas', can still be found on the west south banks of the Sagar.
Devdaha is the ancient capital of the Koliya Kingdom, located 54 km east of Lumbini, across the Rohini River. It is the maternal hometown of Queen Mayadevi (mother), Prajapati Gautami (step-mother), Princess Yasodhara (consort), where Prince Siddhartha spent his early childhood. After seven years of his enlightenment, Lord Buddha had visited Devdaha and had ordained the followers of Jain Sadhu Nirgandha Nathputra. There are several other sites Kumarbarti, Khayardanda, Bairimai/Kanyamai, Bhabanipur/Devidamar, Mathagadi (ancient weapons), around Devdaha.
It is the brick mound on the bank of Jharahi River. It is seven meter high brick stupa consisting of relic (one of the eight astha dhatu) of Lord Buddha. The stupa was build by the King of Ramagrama, who was the eighth King to obtain the Buddha’s relics. History has noted that Emperor Asok to open it to multiply into eight four thousand stupa. However, the Dragon King of Ramagrama stupa did not permit.
Village Tour :
There are half a dozen routes that take you through typical villages of the area. These walks last from an hour to 3 hours.
Natural History Tours to Lumbini :
Farmlands of Lumbini has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) having high biodiversity and unique ecosystems in Nepal. Bird specialties include; Sarus Crane, Lesser Adjutant, Indian Spotted Eagle, Critically Endangered 2 species of Gyps and several birds of prey, owls, etc. Mammals include Nilgai, Asiatic Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Grey Mongoose etc.
A two hour drive westward to Jagdishpur Reservoir will be interesting for several water bird species. Jagdishpur is a Ramsar site as well as an IBA. Many bird species visit this man made reservoir during the winter time.
Tourist Attractions in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh
Kushinagar in Eastern Uttar Pradesh is one of the most frequented Buddhist pilgrimages in India. Lord Buddha got nirvana at Kushinagar. The place that has for long remained neglected is fast picking up on the tourism map. Kushinagar has seen major infrastructure uplift in the recent years that is pushing tourism in this region.The nearest Airport from Kushinagar is in Gorakhpur district but the access to this airport is limited. Therefore, Varanasi airport acts as the primary airport for Kushinagar. The nearest railhead is Gorakhpur that is well connected to the rest of India as well as Uttar Pradesh.Kushinagar is the very place where Lord Buddha got Nirvana. This event is known as Maha-Parnirvana in Buddhist and Hindu literature. Therefore, Kushinagar evokes emotion amidst pilgrims. There are sites that are related to Buddha's Nirvana and his cremation. These sites attract scores of visitors every year. The most famous among these are Ramabhar Stupa and Nirvana Temple.
Some Tourist Attractions In Kushinagar : Nirvana Stupa : The huge stupa made of bricks was exposed by Carlyl in 1876. The Brahmi inscription states that Lord Buddha's remains had been deposited here. A copper vessel was unearthed at this site.
Nirvana Temple : A 6mtrs long statue of reclining Buddha represents the dying prophet. The statue was unearthed in 1876.
Mathakuar Shrine : Some 400yards from the Nirvana stupa, it enshrines a black stone image of the Buddha in the 'bhumi sparsha mudra'. Lord Buddha delivered his last sermon here.
Ramabhar Stupa : Nearly 1km away this 49 ft tall stupa marks the site where the Lord Buddha was cremated. In ancient Buddhist texts this stupa has been referred to as Mukut-Bandhan Vihar.
Japanese Temple : This is a recent construction. Here is installed a beautiful statue of Lord Buddha made of eight metals which has come from Japan.
Chinese Temple : It also has a beautiful statue of Lord Buddha.
Kushinagar Museum : The Buddha Museum, containing finds from excavations at the site, is open everyday except Monday.
Tourist Attractions in Vaishali, Uttar Pradesh
Vaishali surrounded by the hills of Nepal on the West and river Gandak on the West is regarded as one of the holiest places as per Buddhist believes. Some of the Tourist Attractions in Vaishali are the following :
Kutagarshala : It lies at a distance of 3 kilometers from the main town and was constructed by the Lichchavis for Sakhamuni. A large tank, open courtyard and verandah are all that is left of this once famous monastery. In the north of this very site is the Ashokan pillar to commemorate the place where Buddha delivered his last sermon.
Amvara or Amrapali's mango grove : Amrapali the famous courtesan gifted here mango orchard Amvara to the Buddhist Sangha after she heard Buddha delivered his sermon.
The ruins of Kings Vishala's fort from whom the town gained its name, is also a major Tourist Attractions in Vaishali. Abhisekh Puskarini is the sacred coronation tank. The Japanese temple built by Nipponzan Myohoji sect of Japan is another interesting place in Vaishali.
Some Other Tourist Attractions In Vaishali : The Pillar of Ashoka : Lord Buddha had visited Vaishali a number of times and at close by Kolhua, he preached his last sermon. Later Ashoka erected a pillar to commemorate the event. Made of one single red-sandstone, the pillar is famous all over India.
Raja Vishal ka Garh : The Huge mound, with a circumference about 1kms, is said to be the 'parliament house' of the ancient republic of Vaishali. Over 700 people used to gather here to discuss over the problems and solutions of the then body politic.
Coronation Tank : Excavations prove that this was a scared tank where every elected representative of the republic were anointed before swearing in.
Stupas : Each of the two Stupas located here in Vaishali enshrines one-eighth portion of sacred ashes of lord Buddha.
Vishwa Shanti Stupa : This is a present day addition in Vaihali. Buddha Vihar Society has constructed the Stupa with the aids from Japanese government for world peace.
Bawan Pokhar Temple, Vaishali Museum are some other tourist attractions in Vaishali.
Tourist Attractions in Nalanda, Bihar
There are several places of tourist attractions in Nalanda.
Monastic university Ruins The ruins of Nalanda University are spread over an area of 14 hectares of land. The university was constructed in the Kushana style of architecture, but the impact of the Pala dynasty is widely visible throughout. Past excavations suggest that a large part of the University is still unexcavated, but nowhere does it suggest that the whole site could have accommodated 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers.he Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall is said to have been built in the memory of Hiuen Tsang, a Chinese traveler who came to India in around 5th century AD. Hiuen Tsang was attracted by the glory of Nalanda University and stayed there for 12 years both as a student and as a teacher. He gave detailed and vivid description of the Indian political and social conditions of that time.he Surya Mandir is a temple near the University dedicated to the Sun God. This temple has a number of statues of Hindu and Buddhist deities. A five feet high statue of Parvati is of particular interest.he Nalanda museum was established in 1971 and has a good collection of ancient manuscripts and Buddhist statues. The manuscripts kept here were found during the excavation of the area and many of them are rare in appearance and style. The museum also displays artifacts of the Maurya, Gupta and other periods.he Nav Nalanda Vihar was established in 1951 to keep the ancient tradition of spreading knowledge alive. The Bihar government has set up this institute that teaches Pali near the ancient university. In the institute Indian as well as foreign students study and do research work on Buddhism and Pali, which was a widely used language in the ancient times.
The Nalanda University archeological complex :
The total area of the excavation is about 14 hectares. All the edifices are of red brick and the gardens are beautiful. The buildings are divided by a central walkway that goes south to north, the monasteries or Viharas are east of this central alley and the temples of Chaiyas to the west. The Vihara-1 is perhaps the most interesting with its cells on two floors built around a central courtyard where steps lead up to what must have been a dais for the professors to address their students. A small chapel still retains a half broken statue of the Lord Buddha. The enormous pyramidal mass of the temple No 3 is impressive and from its top commands a splendid view of the entire area. It is surrounded by smaller stupas many of which are studded with small and big statues of the Lord Buddha in various poses or Mudras.
Nalanda archeological museum :
Opposite the entrance to the ruins of the university and houses it has a small but beautiful collection of Buddhist and Hindu bronzes and a number of undamaged statues of the Lord Buddha that were found in the area. Two enormous terracotta jars of the first century stand intact behind the museum in a shaded enclosure. The collection includes copper plates and stone inscriptions, coins, pottery and samples of burnt rice found among the ruins here.
Nava Nalanda Mahavihara :
Nava Nalanda Mahavihara is devoted to study and research in Pali literature and Buddhism. This is a new institute where students from foreign countries also study.
Xuan Zang Memorial Hall :
The Xuan Zang Memorial Hall was built by Chinese as a peace pagoda. There is also an international centre for the study of Buddhism established in 1951.
SurajPur Baragaon :
The lake with its temple to Surya, the God Sun is a pilgrim destination twice a year in Vaishakha (April-May) and in Kartika (October –November) during the Chhath Puja or Sun Worship.
In between Nalanda and Rajgir there is a village namely Silao where a very popular local sweet Khaja is prepared.
Tourist Attractions in Bodhgaya, Bihar
Bodhgaya, the cynosure of the Buddhist world upto the 13th century is one of the pilgrimage center in the world. The place is associated with the life of Gautam Buddha, the father of Buddhism. It is one of the most-visited tourist spots in India. Bodh Gaya is a place which should be visited by a person of devotion. The Tourist Attractions in Bodhgaya are famous not only in the country, but in the whole world also.
Tourist Spots : Mahabodhi Temple :
The Mahabodhi Temple is located at the place where Lord Buddha was enlightened. The temple has a 50m (170 ft) tower. There are several other temples on this site. The intricately carved railings which are in the south and west of the temple,bears the stamp of ancient India. There is a huge statue of Buddha inside the temple along with the Siva-linga.
Budha bathed in the nearby Niranjana (now called Lilanja) River. The Niranjana River is about 250m east of the temple. Prince Siddharta crossed this river to reach the Bodhi tree.
Bodhi Tree :
It is that holy tree under which Buddha sat in his meditation & attained his `Knowledge`. Under the tree is a red sandstone slab that is said to be the Vajrasana, the diamond throne on which Buddha sat and attained nirvana. The tree, located behind the temple is about 80 feet high.Can you guess its age? It is about 115 years old.
It is called the seat of stability. The stone platform is kept here.
This is the sacred spot of Buddha`s meditative perambulations during the third week after his pious enlightenment.
Buddha spent one week here looking towards the great Mahabodhi Tree without twinkling his eyes.
It is believed that five colours came out of his body during his stay here.
The Mohanta`s Monastery :
It is located right next to the Mahabodhi Temple. It is a Shaivite monastery. It is said that Adi Sankaracharya spent some days here.
Different Stupas :
There are a large number of stupas of all sizes in the courtyard of the Mahabodhi temple. Most of them which were built in the past 2500 years are elegant.
Pretshila Hill :
It is the hill which overlooks a pond where people go for `Pind Dan`, performance of rites for departed souls. On top of the hill is the Ahilya Bai Temple, which has magnificent sculptures and the Barabar Caves.
Tourist Attractions in Guwahati
The erstwhile Pragjyotishpur (the City of Eastern Light), Guwahati derived its name from two Assamese words, “Guwa”, which means areca nut and “Haat”, meaning market. Set among the beautiful hills of the eastern edges of the Himalayan mountain range, it is positioned in the north eastern state of Assam. Guwahati has in the recent times developed into one of the finest tourist destinations in India.
Tourist Attractions in Guwahati :
The city of Guwahati has on offer numerous tourist sites, some religious and some natural, for the travelers. These tourist attractions in Guwahati see the footfalls of several tourists from far and wide all the year round.
Kamakhya Temple :
Famously known as the best among the tantrik shrines of Shakti worship in the world, the Kamakhya temple stands on the top of the Nilachal hill, approximately 10 km from the railway station. It was actually constructed in the tenth century by the Koch king, Naranarayan. Till today animal sacrifices are rife here to appease the Goddess.
Bhubaneshwari Temple :
Higher to the Kamakhya Temple is located the temple of Bhubaneshwari. From here you can have a panoramic view of the town of Guwahati.
Shiva Temple :
Reachable by motor boats and public ferries from Umananda Ghat, the Shiva Temple of Umananda is positioned on an island amid the Brahmaputra River.
Navagraha Temple :
In eastern part of the city of Guwahati is located the Navagraha temple on top of a hill. It is referred to as the “temple of nine planets”, - a center of astrology and astronomy.
Purva Tirupati Sri Balaji Temple :
Covering a huge area of two acres at Betkuchi, the Purva Tirupati Sri Balaji Temple is one more tourist attraction in Guwahati.
Vashistha Ashram :
At approximately 12 km from the railway station lies the Vashistha Ashram (the abode of sage Vashistha). It is an interesting old shrine, amid lots of greens and three lovely rivulets, Kanta, Lalita, and Sandhya.
Tourist Attractions in Bhalukpong
Situated on the Assam-Arunachal border, 250 km from Guwahati, Bhalukpong is another picturesque spot for angling and leisurely picnic. On the edge of the luxuriant forest of the Pakhui Game Sanctuary, along the Kameng river lies the village of Bhalukpong the gateway to Bomdila and the Tawang Monastery. or the energetic visitor, keen to experience the remote outdoors, few places can match the dimensions of faraway Arunachal Pradesh. Nature`s generosity is evident here. And in its mystical wonderland, straddling India`s north-eastern corner, the village of Bhalukpong holds a special place. It lies 52 km from Tezpur, on the edge of a luxuriant forest that blends with the Pakhui Game Sanctuary, in the south-western corner of the state, where the Kameng river flows across into Assam. The village also serves as the gateway to Bomdila and the Tawang Monastery on the north-western tip of the Arunachal Himalaya..As with the Kameng, four other major rivers that rise in this range, drain into the Brahmaputra. Lying within the Inner Line, entry permits are necessary.
Tourist Attractions :
Tipi Orchid Centre (3 kilometres away from Bhalukpong), Nyethidow festival in March.
Tourist Attractions in Itanagar
The various tourist attractions in Itanagar are the Polo Park, Buddhist Temple, Ganga Sekhi Lake. The other tourist attractions in Itanagar are the Tawang Monastery, Malinithan, Parshuram Kund, Bomdila.
Polo Park :
The Polo Park is located in Naharlagun. It is situated on the top of a ridge with interesting botanical specimens including the cane thicket which looks like palm as well as a small zoo.
Buddhist Temple :
The Buddhist Temple is located in Itanagar. The new yellow roofed Buddhist Temple stands in well kept gardens on top of the hill. The shrine is behind a stupa and on one side has a tree planted by the Dalai Lama.
Ganga Sekhi Lake :
The Ganga Sekhi Lake is 6 kms. away from Itanagar. It provides a drive through jungle with bamboo, tree ferns and orchids growing on tall trees. When the road reaches the foot of the hill, you walk across a bamboo bridge, up steps cut on the red clay of the hill to reach a ridge which looks down on the forest lake which you can row across on a boat.
Excursions from Itanagar : Tawang Monastery :
The Tawang Monastery is situated in Tawang. This monastery is situated in a breathtakingly beautiful setting at a height of over 3050 meters. This monastery is about 350 year old and one of the largest monastery in the country. The sixth Dalai Lama was born here. This monastery was constructed in the 17th century with 65 residential buildings around the main temple structure. It still houses 500 lamas belonging to the Gelugpa or Reformed Sect of Mahayana Buddhist monks. It houses a very large Buddha and many precious manuscripts, books and Tankhas.
In the foothills of West Siang, the old granite images of Hindu deities were found in Malinithan.
Parshuram Kund :
Parshuram Kund is a lake situated near Tezu. This is a famous Hindu pilgrimage centre. During Makar Sankranti, thousands of pilgrims attend the fair and take a dip in the holy water as bathing here is believed to wash off one’s sins.
The westernmost district of Arunachal is Kameng with its headquarters at Bomdila, a town at an altitude of about 2800 metres, known for its scenic beauty. Bomdila has a famous Buddhist monastery and a museum of folk arts.
Tourist Attractions in Pasighat
Pasighat is a beautiful hill-station situated at the East Siang District. Raise your mind and soul to new heights of contentment while you holiday in Pasighat.
Pasighat is the oldest town of Arunachal Pradesh. It is fondly known as the 'gateway of the Arunachal Pradesh'. The place derived the name 'Pasighat' from the word 'Pasis' which is tribe of the region. Pasighat is beautiful hill-station situated at the East Siang District. Several attractions in near vicinity are equally sort after by local tourists and tourists from abroad.
At a height of 155 meters above the sea level, the population of the place is approximately 78,000 people. Pasighat experiences hot and humid summers and chilly winters.
Pasighat displays nature in her best and purest form. The land and its surroundings are drenched in natural beauty. The place has, therefore, aptly been called a photographer's delight. Pasighat is the right place for travellers in search of peace and serenity. Far away from the hustle bustle of the city, the place provides solace to the tired soul.
The place is truly magical. This magic can only be felt when one pays a visit here. The place helps the mind relax and raise the soul to new heights of contentment. The visit lingers on and on long after you return from the place. And you will again and again want to visit the place.
Pasighat and its nearby areas form the heart of the Arunachal Pradesh. Located in the centre of the state, Pasighat is populated by several different tribesmen. The place is a delight for the tourist and a paradise for the photographer. Green and graceful river valleys and scenic hillside add to the natural beauty of the place. Several places of tourist interest are located nearby and can be easily visited from Pasighat.
Tourist Attractions in Dibrugarh
Holding the distinction of the largest tea exporting town in India, Dibrugarh is visited by a large number of tourists throughout the year. Apart from being famous as the 'Tea City of India', it is also known for housing a large number of tourist attractions within its vicinity, which often leave the tourists asking for more. A list of all such tourist attractions in Dibrugarh has been given below, just for you.
Places to See in Dibrugarh : Koli Aai Thaan :
Koi Aai Thaan is a very famous tourist spot of Dibrugarh, which is dedicated to Koli Aai, the daughter of the head priest of the Dibaru Satra of Assam. It is said that due to the lack of male heir, the satra started disappearing. However, Koli Aai kept the Satra alive by preaching its ideals and principles. It is believed that Koli Aai was bestowed with divine powers and she vanished from the site one day, leaving behind a strong religious hold in the minds of the people.
Barbarua Maidam :
At a distance of 14 km to the south of Dibrugarh, just adjacent to the NH37, there are two ancient graveyards that were raised to honor two officials of the Ahom Dynasty. Historian Sarbananda Rajkumar believes that these two maidams or graveyards were erected for Bura Dihinigia Barbarua and Deka Dihingia Barbarua. Apart from these, there are several other smaller maidams at the same site, which were constructed to honor other soldiers of the same regime.
Sarumechlow and Bormechow Maidam :
These two maidams are found in the Lengeri mouza locality of Dibrugarh city and are said to be the graveyards of Sarumechlow and Bormechow, who were the queens of King Sukhampha Khura (1552 – 1611) of the Ahom regime.
Lekai Chetia Maidam :
This maidam is dedicated to Lekai Chetia, an officer of the Ahom Kingdom, during the term of Swargadeo Pratapsingha. Located in the Sessa area, near Mankata road of the Dibrugarh district, the maidam has now become a revered spot in Assam.
Bahikhowa Maidam :
The Bahikhowa Maidam is found in the Khowang Tea Estate area of Dibrugarh. This graveyard is dedicated to Bahikhowa Dasarath Dowerah. He was the Chief of the Army staff of Ahoms, during the reign of Swargodeo Rajeswar Singha. Apart from this huge maidam, there are several other smaller maidams located in the nearby places, but all of them are in ruins now.
Dehing Satra :
The ruins that are seen on the banks of the Dehing River under Larua mouza in present Dibrugarh, was a very famous satra during the rule of the Ahom king Rajeswar Singha. During the famous Moamoria revolution, the satra received royal support from Rajeswar Singha and also from a number of other kings like Lakhi Singha and Gaurinath Singha.
Tourist Attractions in Mussoorie
Mussoorie, famously know as the Queen of Hills, is distanced about 30 kms away from Dehradun. Situated in the foot hills of the Himalayas, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Uttrakhand. Apart from its own charisma, the picturesque views of the Shiwalik ranges and the Doon valley are major tourist attractions in Mussoorie. The town has an intriguing past that spans back to the 1820s. Mussoorie was discovered by a British military officer, who explored the region and laid the foundation by building a shooting lodge here.
Tourist attractions in Mussoorie :
As far as sightseeing is concerned, Mussoorie is a tourist’s paradise. Some of the must visits are Kempty falls, Gun hill, Municipal garden, Sir George Everest house and Jharipani falls.
Kempty falls :
It is the biggest water fall here. Kempty is located about 15 kms away from the main town towards Yamunotri. It has an altitude of 1370 meters and is surrounded by mountains.
Gun hill :
It is the second highest peak in Mussoorie. The Himalayan ranges namely Gangotri, Srikantha, Bunderpunch and Pithwara look mesmerizing from atop this peak. All major tour packages of Mussoorie include this tourist site, mainly because of its memorable 400 meters ropeway ride.
Municipal garden :
It is a beautiful picnic spot for not only tourists but also the natives.
Sir George Everest house :
The place is also known as the Park Estate. It was the laboratory of the first surveyor general in India, Sir George Everest. Mount Everest, the highest peak of the world is named after him. The snow clad ranges of the Himalayas and the Doon valley present a captivating sight.
Jharipani falls :
Located about 8 kms away from the main town, it is one of the many beautiful water falls in Mussoorie.
Bhatta falls :
One of the major tourist attractions of Mussoorie is Bhatta falls. It is located 7 kms away from the hill resort.
Camel’s back road :
The road got its name from the camel rock due to its life like resemblance. The place is ideal for an evening walk or a horse ride.
Children’s lodge :
It is sited on the highest peak of Mussoorie, about 5 kilometers away from the tourist office. It provides a mesmerizing view of the snow clad ranges.
Jwalaji temple :
An old temple of Goddess Durga, it is placed at an altitude of 2104 meters, on the Benong temple. The temple provides a panoramic view of the Yamuna valley.
Cloud End :
Surrounded by thick deodar forest, the bungalow is one of the oldest buildings in Mussoorie. Built in 1838 the bungalow has been converted into a hotel.
Benog mountain sanctuary :
The sanctuary was built in 1993 and is home to the rare bird species known as the Mountain Quail.
Tourist Attractions in Dehradun
Dehradun is one of the most famous hill stations in India. It is situated in the Doon valley between the Himalayas and the Shivalik range. The Ganges and Yamuna rivers flow through the district. The town has been a popular summer getaway from the time the British gained control of the Garhwal region after a war with the Gurkhas. There are many tourist attractions in Dehradun, and tourism in Uttarakhand benefits immensely from the scale of tourist interest in the district.
Major Tourist attractions in Dehradun : Durbar Shri Guru Ram Rai : This Sikh pilgrimage site is also related to the history of Dehradun. Guru Ram Singh pitched his tents in this place after being ordered out of the country by Aurangzeb, the mughul emperor.
Tapovan : This scenic place is believed to be the ashram of Guru Dronacharya, arms teacher of the Pandavas and Kauravs in Mahabharata.
Forest Research Institute : one of the most famous institutes in Dehradun, this pace is an interesting place to visit in Deharadun. The museum and the botanical garden are the chief attractions here.
The Sericulture Centre : this is yet another interesting research institute dealing with research on the culture of fish and other aquatic creatures in India. Robber's Cave: this place offers splendid view of the surrounding mountains. The natural cave formations and gentle streams are very popular among the tourists.
Sahasradhara : this place is famous for the hot springs that are believed to have miraculous effects on many diseases.
Tapkeshwar Temple : an annual fair held during Shiva Ratri is the major attraction here. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and associated with legends from the Mahabharata.
Rajaji National Park : this National Park is home to many important species of animals, birds and plants. The elephant population of the park is the main attraction. The park contains two more sanctuaries. it is one of the major tourist spots near Dehradun, situated just 23 kilometers away from the city.
Malsi Deer Park : this refuge for deer is a beautiful forest and is very popular as a picnic spot.
this place is noted for the magnificent scenic beauty surrounding it. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Dehradun.
The Central Braille Press : this institution is the largest producer of textbooks in Braille in India. A visit to this institute is a very interesting and informative experience.
The tourist attractions in Dehradun include all the above and other lesser known places. The nearby towns of Haridwar, Rishikesh , and Mussoorie are very popular tourist spots near Dehradun.
Tourist Attractions in Manali
Manali is located at Himachal Pradesh, almost at the end of the valley, on the National Highway which leads to Leh. The beauty of the landscape here is quite beyond words. The River Beas is another stunningly beautiful spot of Manali which runs through the town. The imposing beauty of Manali compels many couple to start their newly married life at Manali itself. The tourist attractions of Manali instill the spirit if thrill and adventure inside you. For instance you can try out canoeing, rafting and kayaking on the waters of Beas River at Manali.
Tourist attractions of Manali : Hadimba Temple :
This is one of the most important temples of Manali and is called the Dhungri Van Vihar. Located in the middle of the forest, this four storey wooden temple is dedicated to Goddess Hadimba. The wooden doorway of the temple is particularly fascinating and the architecture of the temple is also par excellence.
Vashist Springs :
If you take a brisk half an hour's walk from town you will come across hot springs, emerging out of the rocks at Vashist. It is commonly believed that these waters have medicinal value and can cure different kinds of ailments.
Tibetan Monasteries :
There are plenty of Tibetan refugees at Himachal Pradesh and a large number of them can be found at Kullu. So the existence of Tibetan Monasteries comes as a no surprise. The Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa monastery was constructed in the year 1969. A mid size Buddhist statue and colorful frescoes are the main highlights of this monastery. Another notable monastery is the Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa, which is modern in appearance, although slightly smaller than the Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa monastery. A huge statue of Buddha with a golden face is placed here.
Rohtang Pass :
The Rohtang Pass is the only entrance to Lahaul Spiti and is 51 km from Manali. Situated at an altitude of 4111 m on the highway, this is one of the major Manali tourist attractions, for those who love to indulge in trekking. Beas Kund and Dasohar Lake are also near from here. Beas kund is the place where the Beas River originates. The water here is so crystal clear and icy cold that it can make your fingers numb.
Situated at a distance of 6 km from Manali, it is one of the biggest villages in Kullu district. It is famous for the Shiva temple, which has been built in a “shikhara” style. The Devi Sharvati temple is also nearby.
Arjun Gufa :
This place is about 5kms from Manali, very near to the village of Prini and considered to be one of the most visited tourist destinations in Manali. It is believed Arjun practiced his austerities here to get the Pashupata Ashtra or weapon from Lord Indra.