Day 10 : Shillong We transfer to Bagdogra for a short flight to Guwahati in Assam. A two-hour drive takes us to Shillong. Late afternoon we visit this "Scotland of the East" where the British and wealthy merchants from Bengal built cottages, polo grounds and golf course.
Days 11 - 12 - 13 : Kaziranga Today we drive to Kaziranga National Park that lies on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra and is famous for its one-horned rhino. It is also home to the wild buffalo, swamp deer, wild elephants and the badger apart from being rich in bird-life.
Day 14 : Calcutta We fly back to Calcutta for overnight stay. The afternoon is at leisure perhaps to visit Mother Theresa's mission. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15 : Calcutta Out The day is at leisure. In the evening we transfer to the airport to board our return flight (hotel checkout 1200 hrs.).
Day 05 : Amarnath Early morning, continue the Yatra for Amarnath, (breakfast and lunch enroute )-the snow Shiviling in the holy cave on the Himalayan snow-covered mountains. The origin of this holy place is lost in antiquity. There is evidence that the trek was being undertaken as far back as l000 BC. Each year, on the night of the full moon of July-August, pilgrims walks this long trek form Pahalgam and converge upon the sacred cave in thousands. Legend says that Lord Shiva reveled the mystery of Maya and salvation to his wife, Parvati, on a full-moon night at this place. A pair of is supposed to be meditating there every day . After Yatra, dinner and overnight in tents.
Day 06 : Amarnath - Pahalgam Early morning, leave for Pahalgam (breakfast and lunch enroute). Check-in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 07 : Pahalgam - Srinagar - Delhi After breakfast at hotel, start by road for Srinagar. After lunch, board flight for Delhi. Transfer to hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 08 : Delhi - Back Home After breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to onward journey /back home.
For those looking for a sequestered beach uninfluenced by the religious ardor, so prominent in Orissa, are welcome to the jaunt with a famed appellation - 'the best beach resort in Orissa'. And a languid stroll on its serene beaches with playful waves skirting by, will tell you the exact genesis of the euphemism. Add to it Gopalpur's moderate temperature, which is between 23-35°C in summers and 16-27°C in winters, making it a welcoming haven almost round the year.
There's more to the beaches The Krishna Temple -The 18th century Krishna Temple, which accounts for the genesis of the name 'Gopalpur' or where Gopala (Shri Krishna) lives, has visitors round the year.
The lone Lighthouse - Nearby the serene beach is a lone imposing lighthouse complementing the scenery at the beach commanding an excellent view of the setting sun.
A Slice Of History - Gopalpur was once a bustling seaport of the Bay of Bengal during the British Rule. Bengali landlords and their families would come here to spend their vacations. The ruins of the antique harbor and an old jetty still speak volumes of its past glory complementing well its recent fame as a leisure trove with the prettiest of beaches.
Reaching Gopalpur Air - Bhubaneswar (180km) is the nearest airport connected to major cities like Delhi and Kolkata.
Rail - The nearest railway station is Berhampur on the Howrah-Chennai line of Southeastern Railway.
Road - Gopalpur is connected by motorable roads to Barkul (75 km), Berhampur (16 km), Bhubaneshwar (180 km), and Puri (242 km). Auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws are available to move around.
Stay Back At Abundance of beach resorts, luxurious hotels and antique bungalows are available for lodging. Our itineraries have the best options and we book them well in advance for you.
The shores of the Bay of Bengal in Tamil Nadu has the most piquant beaches to boast about. The beach lacing Mahabalipuram, locally called Mallalapuram, is a case in point. The 7th century port city, 60 km from the capital Chennai, appears amongst the coveted UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of the antique stone carvings. Coming to the best in Mallalapuram, the beaches, there is fun and adventure in store for water-sports lovers who love rough waters and strong current. The rest can stretch their legs under the benign sun while the infatuation (with the sea and the shore) matures.
Sauntering Around The Beach History - Mamallapuram, named after the Pallava king Mamalla, is speckled with historical monuments belonging to and reminiscing of the grand rule of the Pallava kings. There is one of the oldest shore temples in South India built by the Pallava King Rajasimha in the early 8th century and the world's largest bas-relief 96ft long and 43 ft high, the 'Penance of Arjuna', the five monolithic temple carved as rathas called Pancha Pandava Rathas and the open-air theatre Tiger's cave along the beach. The monuments are mostly carved on rock constituting the early stages of Dravidian architecture wherein Buddhist elements of design are prominently visible.
The South India Kaleidoscope - If you are traveling from Chennai, on your way you can stop by Dakshinachitra, a heritage junction with exhibitions and workshops of the arts and crafts including traditional home architecture and performing artists of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
Crocs Day Out - Don't miss out the Crocodile Farm near the beach that boasts of about 5,000 crocodiles of 6 different species, alligators and other reptiles, all bred in open marshy enclosures. The sight can give you mighty goose-pimples! Neighbouring it is the snake venom extracting centre and a school of art and sculpture.
Traditional Boogie-Woogie - In case your trip is scheduled the crack of the year, the Tamil Nadu Govt. Dance festival is a must go. A confluence of Bharat Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Kathakali and folk dances are hosted on one stage against the backdrop of the Pallava rock sculptures.
Reaching Mahabalipuram Chennai at 60 km has the nearest airport with both domestic and international terminus. The nearest railheads are Chengalpattu (29 km) and Chennai (58 km). From these stations one has to hit the road to reach Mamallapuram. Buses ply from Pondicherry, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu and Chennai to Mamallapuram daily. Taxi or cabs from Chennai can also be arranged.
Accommodation Options Resorts, hotels and lodges abound. We can book seats for you in advance on request. Staying at Chennai can also be a good option.
A three centuries old white marbled Mausoleum found India a position amongst nations with architectural 'wonders'. What is it so regal about this ancient monument that makes grizzled-heads sit for months trying to appropriate its grandiose in their canvass, scribes pile volumes of outpour, tourists from across the earth stand enamored at its sheer elegance. The Taj Mahal - construed by Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal is an eclectic assortment of Persian and Turkish motifs blended with Hindu elements.¿¿
The Legend - Taj Arjumand Banu, fondly remembered as Mumtaz Mahal or the 'Chosen One of the Palace', was more than a wife to the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. Amongst his many wives, she was the most loved and trusted. Her death so crushed the emperor that he locked himself in a room for more than a week without food. His black beard turned completely white when he emerged from his seclusion with the plan of immortalizing their love with an architectural insignia - the greatest the world ever saw. The particular site was an obvious choice because he could view it clearly from his palace - the Agra Fort. Construction began in 1631 and took 22 years, toils of twenty thousand labourers, about 1,000 elephants for transportation and the inimitable expertise of Iranian architect Ustad Isa, to complete what became the Seventh Wonder of the World.¿¿
Refuting the romanticism that bathes the legend, some historians believe that the grandeurof the Taj was far too noble to commemorate the love of one woman. Though it was a mausoleum, it can equally be a symbol of an autocratic ruler flaunting his own grandeur. Whatever the cause, India and the world will forever remain indebted to him for the earth's most beautiful mausoleum. The Structure Only a stroll in the plush gardens laced around the Taj Mahal on a moonlit night will do justice to feeling the magnanimity of what Rabindranath Tagore once called "like a solitary tear suspended on the cheek of time". A classic reflection of the Mughal architecture of that age, the monument is set amidst sprawling gardens overlooking the meandering Yamuna river. The four minarets, set symmetrically about the tomb, are scaled down to heighten the effect of the dominant, slightly bulbous dome. Within the dome lies the cenotaph of the queen decorated in pietra dura and the 99 different names of Allah encrypted. As many as 35 different types of precious stones - turquoise, jade, agate, coral, lapis Lazuli, onyx, bloodstone, cornelian, jasper, garnet and malachite used to fashion blooms of fuchsias, lily, honeysuckle, etc. So exquisite is the workmanship that the Taj has been described as "having been designed by giants and finished by jewelers". The buildings white marbled exterior responds 'with an extraordinary subtlety to changing light and weather', giving it that aura of ethereal aplomb. It seems bathed in a pink glow in the morning, milky white in the evening and varnished in a tint of gold on a moonlit night.
Ancient History The Indian history commences with the beginning of the Indus Valley Civilization in places like Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and Lothal, and the advancing of the Aryans. These two parts are elaborated as the pre-Vedic and Vedic periods where in the Vedic period Hinduism arose and this is the period to which the Vedas are dated. Under the rule of Ashoka, in the fifth century, large parts of India were united who eventually adopted Buddhism, and spread it to other parts of Asia.
Medieval History During the Mauryan period, Hinduism found its roots and spread to the other parts of the country. Islam was introduced in the eighth century, and by the eleventh century was firmly grounded as a political force. All the North Indian dynasties like Lodhis, Tughlaqs, and numerous others, whose remains are visible in Delhi and scattered elsewhere around North India, were finally taken over by the Mughals, who established political unity in the country.
Modern History The seventeenth century marks the beginning of the British rule in the country where in the latter part of this century the Mughal empire began to disintegrate, laying the way for regional states. The British conquests at the battlefields of Plassey and Buxar marked their supremacy over the Mughals. The Rebellion of 1857-58, which tried to restore the Indian supremacy, was crushed; and later with the crowning of Victoria as Queen of India, the inclusion of India into the British empire was complete. By the early part of the twentieth century, a nationalist movement began and by 1919-20, Mohandas Karamchand ('Mahatma') Gandhi had came out as the undisputed leader of this movement. The freedom movement gained momentum and finally drove the British out of India in 1947 but only at the cost of the division of the nation into two nations namely India and Pakistan.signed the precise constitutional future of India. On 26 January 1950, India became a Republic, and the Constitution of India was promulgated. The Indian National Congress, which had led the country to freedom, remained the largest and most influential party under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, who became India's first Prime Minister and led the country from 1947 to 1964. During his session he introduced the five year plans, depicted to bring big science and industry to India; in Nehru's own language, steel mills and dams were to be the temples of modern India. Relations with Pakistan remained tensed, and the apparent friendship of India and China proved to be false, when China invaded India's borders in 1962.
Lal Bahadur Shastri was the next prime minister, who led the country to victory over Pakistan in 1965; but dyed of a heart attack the day after the treaty was signed. He was succeeded by Indira Gandhi, Pandit Nehru's daughter. By the late 1960s, Indira Gandhi devised a split in the Congress, to ensure her political survival, and the Congress had been reduced to a shadow of its former self. 1971 saw the victory of India over Pakistan in a short war that also saw the birth of Bangladesh, and Indira was now at the throne of her powers. Domestic problems mounted and Indira Gandhi declared an internal emergency in May 1975, which put entire opposition behind the bars. The emergency was lifted in 1977 and the same opposition quickly devised a strategy, and defeated the Congress party in national elections. This new government lasted a mere three years, and Indira Gandhi regained the power in 1980. But unfortunately she was assassinated on October 31’1984,
Duration 19 Nights / 20 Days Places CoveredBombay - Kaziranga National Park - New Delhi - Jaipur - Ranthambore National Park - Ranthambore - Fatehpur Sikri - Bhartpur - Agra - Khajuraho - Bhandavgarh National Park - Kanha National Park
Our 20 Day, Tigers and Temples tour is an ultimate safari through four of the top National Parks in India. The temples and culture of the small cities, when combined with our wildlife tour, is the perfect way to explore India in depth for both culture and wildlife. One of our most popular safaris; a 20 day unique adventure of a lifetime.
Day 01 Arrive Bombay
Day 04 Kaziranga National Park The park lies in the flood plains of the Bramaputra River, sloping a gradually from east to west. With lush forests and woodlands, it is natural habitat for many species of animals. Kaziranga it is the stronghold of the One Horned Indian Rhinoceros, with numbers around 1000. The wild elephant number around 700. Wild buffalo, mouse deer, hog, bears, leopard and around 50 magnificent tigers are tabulated to be at this park. Countless birds are everywhere. Today we enjoy morning and afternoon safari by Jeeps. Overnight in hotel.
Day 05 Kaziranga National Park / New Delhi This morning we have another early morning safari by Jeeps and after breakfast, drive to the airport at Gawahati for our early afternoon flight to New Delhi. On arrival, transfer to our hotel. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 06 New Delhi This morning we spend most of the day touring New Delhi and Old Delhi. Visit Humayun's and Safdarjungs tombs the Qutab Minar and Iron Pillar, the Embassy area, the Parliament buildings ending at Connaught Place, the heart of the capitals shopping and banking district. The afternoon we leave the new capital, crossing through the walled gates and into the old city. Here, teaming with history, we explore the Jamma Mosque, the Red Fort, and the crematoriums of Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. One of the highlights of today's tour is a fascinating ride on a bicycle rickshaw through the markets of Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi's bustling shopping and bazaar area. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 07 New Delhi / Jaipur (252 kms 5 Hrs) This morning depart by road to the Jaipur "Pink City" of India. Along our route stop at Neemrama fort to view the ruins and continue our drive to Jaipur. On arrival at the outskirts of the city at Amber Fort, we board brightly decorated elephants for a ride to the top of the fortress, as did the Maharajas of days gone by. Once inside the fortress, our guide will escort us through hidden passageways, various chambers and a historic discourse that will remain with you for long after. Check in and-balance of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 08 Jaipur This morning we continue our visit to the Hawa Mahal (the Palace of Winds), the Maharaja's city palace, Museum and Observatory. Stroll the market with our guide as the Photographs tell a thousand words. Afternoon is free to explore the bazaars on your own. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 09 Jaipur / Ranthambore National Park This morning drive east through rural India to Ranthambore National Park ( 185 kms / 4 hrs). Check into hotel.Our afternoon safari is through 410 kms of desert ecologically speckled with a variety of trees, Including palms. Three major lakes serve as watering holes for the creatures that inhabit this park. Over 300 species of birds reside or migrate to this park every year. Tigers, leopards, deer, hyena, Jackal, fox. Jungle cat and wild monkeys live and roam through Ranthambore. Overnight at Hotel
Duration : 19 Nights / 20 Days Places Covered: Bombay - Kaziranga National Park - New Delhi - Jaipur - Ranthambore National Park - Ranthambore - Fatehpur Sikri - Bhartpur - Agra - Khajuraho - Bhandavgarh National Park - Kanha National Park
Our 20 Day, Tigers and Temples tour is an ultimate safari through four of the top National Parks in India. The temples and culture of the small cities, when combined with our wildlife tour, is the perfect way to explore India in depth for both culture and wildlife. One of our most popular safaris; a 20 day unique adventure of a lifetime.
Day 01 : Arrive Bombay Late this evening we arrive at the cosmopolitan city of Bombay (now officially referred to as Mumbai). After clearing airport formalities we transfer to our hotel for check in. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 02 : Bombay After breakfast, morning cruise across the harbour (9 kms) to see Elephanta Caves noted for its huge rock cuts. Afternoon tour of Mumbai city. Main attractions are Kamla Nehru Park, Hanging Gardens situated on the slopes of Malabar Hill offering a panoramic view of Marine drive, Chowpatty Beach, Mani Bhawan, Dhobi Ghat, Gateway of India drive through the Crawford Market, Marine Drive Flora Fountain. Overnight in Hotel
Day 03 : Bombay / Kaziranga National Park This morning we board our flight to Jorhat Airport, nearby to Kaziranga National Park. Our drive from the airport (88kms) is interesting, as we stop for photos at countryside villages enroute to the lodge. Check into lodge/camp. Afternoon jungle excursions in jeep. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 04 : Kaziranga National Park The park lies in the flood plains of the Bramaputra River, sloping a gradually from east to west. With lush forests and woodlands, it is natural habitat for many species of animals. Kaziranga it is the stronghold of the One Horned Indian Rhinoceros, with numbers around 1000. The wild elephant number around 700. Wild buffalo, mouse deer, hog, bears, leopard and around 50 magnificent tigers are tabulated to be at this park. Countless birds are everywhere. Today we enjoy morning and afternoon safari by Jeeps. Overnight in hotel.
Day 05 : Kaziranga National Park / New Delhi This morning we have another early morning safari by Jeeps and after breakfast, drive to the airport at Gawahati for our early afternoon flight to New Delhi. On arrival, transfer to our hotel. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 06 : New Delhi This morning we spend most of the day touring New Delhi and Old Delhi. Visit Humayun's and Safdarjungs tombs the Qutab Minar and Iron Pillar, the Embassy area, the Parliament buildings ending at Connaught Place, the heart of the capitals shopping and banking district. The afternoon we leave the new capital, crossing through the walled gates and into the old city. Here, teaming with history, we explore the Jamma Mosque, the Red Fort, and the crematoriums of Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. One of the highlights of today's tour is a fascinating ride on a bicycle rickshaw through the markets of Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi's bustling shopping and bazaar area. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 14 : Agra - Khajuraho Morning transfer to Railway station to connect train for Jhansi (2 ½ hrs journey). Drive to Khajuraho (250 kms/ 5 hrs drive) enroute visiting Orcha Temples which were built by Bir Singh Deo / Rudra Pratap, A Bundela Ruler in 16th century dedicated to Lord Ram. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 15 : Khajuraho Full day visit to temples. The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached its apogee between 950 1050. Only about 20 temples remain; this fall into three distinct groups and belongs to two different religion -Hinduism Jainism. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture.
Day 16 : Khajuraho / Bhandavgarh National Park This morning drive overland through primitive villages to Bhandavgarh National Park (280 kms/6 hrs). Our accommodations are in cottages on an 11 acre site overlooking a private lake. Afternoon enjoy a Jeep safari through the Park. Overnight in hotel.
Day 17 : Bhandavgarh National Park The adventure unfolds at daybreaks as we board our jeeps for a safari as the early morning mist lifts. Tigers are known to give audience in this dense forest and experienced naturalists unravels the mysteries of nature as we safari morning and afternoon. Overnight in hotel
Day 18 : Bhandavgarh National Park / Kanha National Park This morning we set out on a drive through forests and tribal villages from one park to the other. Our drive is 245 kms / 5 hrs deep into the heart of Kanha National Park one of Asia’s largest parks. Studded with grassy meadows and rivers, it is a wild country home to a variety of wildlife. The magnificent gaur is one of the main attractions and with a large population of tigers nearby. The bird life is also spectacular here with over 350 species nesting near waterholes. Arrive and check in to our cottages / hotel.Overnight in the hotel.
Day 19 : Kanha National Park Kanha Park is over 1940 square kms of diverse habitat. Wild monkey, boars, jackals, spotted deer, leopard, and of course tigers call this park home. Morning and afternoon Jeep safaris. Overnight in hotel.
Day 20 : Kanha National Park / New Delhi or Mumbai - Onward Destination Morning transfer to Nagpur airport to connect flight for Delhi or Mumbai. Upon arrival you will be transferred to the airport to connect flight for onward destination.
The Golden Temple, popular amongst the adherents of the Sikh religion as Sri Harmandir Sahib or Sri Darbar Sahib, is the sacred seat of Sikhism. Bathed in a quintessential golden hue that dazzles in the serene waters of the Amrit Sarovar that lace around it, the swarn mandir (Golden temple) is one that internalizes in the mind scape of its visitors, no matter what religion or creed, as one of the most magnificent House of Worship.
Through the quiet lanes of history The origin of this sacred shrine is shrouded in mystery. The most plausible genesis can be traced back to the then prevailing social belief that the waters of the present Amrit Sarovar or the Lake of Nectar had magical medicinal properties that could cure various ailments as serious as leprosy. The third Sikh Guru, Amar Das even found a herb on its bank that cured the skin ailment of his predecessor Guru Angad. This place became the obvious choice of Guru Amar Das and his successor Ram Das for building an abode of worship for the propagation of their faith. The construction of the tank and the formation of a quiet hamlet of followers in its vicinity was completed by 1577. The fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Sahib, when he ascended the throne, decided to construct a temple right in the middle of that tank. It is believed that at his behest a Muslim saint, Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore, laid the foundation of the temple in December, 1588. Laborious toils of Sikh devotees followed to give to the world one of its most beautiful shrines ever. The tank was christened Amritsar - that became the very name of that place. The Structure The Golden temple, unlike those echoing the Hindu temple architecture, was constructed on the lower level on a 67 ft. square platform in the centre of the tank and had four entrances. The basic architecture resonates both Hindu and Muslim elements. The golden gilding and the rich ornamentation with precious stones date back to the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It treasures on a jewel-studded platform, the Adi Grantha or the sacred scripture of Sikhs wherein are enshrined holy inscriptions by the ten Sikh gurus and various Hindu and Moslem saints. The 202 ft bridge that leads to the temple is connected with the circumambulatory path that borders the temple and leads to the 'Har ki Pauri' or the steps of God. The very structure seems to emanate the secularism that its builders aimed to propagate and is often quoted to stand as the progenitor of the independent Sikh school of Architecture.
Here is the longest of them all....! Welcome to the Marina beach! And do the appellations - whether it is the longest in India or Asia or one of the longest in the world - really matter when our concern is fishing out an exotica among the beaches for you and Marina is just that ? The series of make-overs that went into the making of the tourist heart-throb, Marina, began in the early 1880's when the then Governor of British India Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff took fancy for this beatific coastline, and the rest is history.
Get Crazy At Marina..... Marina Beach can be a perennial-enjoyment purlieu. Sun-basking and swimming are passe. This time why don't you try riding a stallion on the beach - a classic display of power and speed before the mighty sea. Sea-food, sea-shells, a sandy beach, staring endlessly at the endless expanse of water and what not - Marina beach abounds with options. Attractions Around The Beach Mark Of The Legends - The roadside skirting the beach is embellished with a sentinel of statues consisting those of Mahatma Gandhi, local legendary personas like Shivaji Ganesan, Kannagi, Thiruvalluvar, while others with symbolic significance like the Statue of Labour. On one end of the shore is a majestic lighthouse.
Turtles At The Beach - The Neelangarai section of the beach falls under the ambit of conservation efforts for the protection of the endangered Olive Ridley turtle. Lucky ones might get a chance to see them as well, don't forget the camera in awe!
Frolicking Fish - The venue of the Aquarium house near the shore compliments the ambience well. The exotic fishes and the blue waters feel like a slice of the deep sea itself.
Buildings Of Importance - The Presidency College, University of Madras, Senate-House, Chepauk Palace, P.W.D Office and the Ice House are significant buildings around the beach adding an aura of formal decorum to the whole surrounding.
Anna And MGR Samadhis - Situated on the beach are the memorials of the most popular, former Chief ministers of the state - the Anna and MGR Samadhis.
Chennai Must-visits - The entertainment arcade Mayazaal with FEC's, Theme Park, Resort and Sports Village, Vandalur Zoo with its hordes of butterflies besides the wild denizens, the hundred yaer old Maskaan Chavadi or the bird bazaar for bird-rearing enthusiasts, the artificially created shores of the Golden Beach Resort, the Crocodile Bank with hundreds of them basking in the bank, the water park Dash and Splash - to name a few. Go for one of our tour packages if you want to make the best of your vacation.
Reaching Marina Beach About 20 km from the main city is the Kamaraj Domestic Airport and the Anna International Airport. Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore railway stations are connected by rail with all major towns and cities in India. And if you are travelling by road, you can board one of the many private operators for domestic and interstate transportation. For those planning to drive on their own, Chennai is 334 km from Bangalore, 704 km from Hyderabad and 790 km from Trivandrum.
Stay Back At Chennai being the capital of Tamil Nadu and a popular tourist destination, be it for sight-seeing or for those coming for treatment to Apollo, has hordes of hotels for every budget and even lodges where you can even cook your own food with the utensils provided. Thousand lights, near Apollo Hospital can be a very economic option. Or forget the hassles, we have the best options stored for you.
Situated in the northern most extremity of India, Ladakh lies among parallel mountain ranges running from south-east to the north-west. To the north the towering, stark snow clad mountains of the Karakorum and Kun Lun range separate Ladakh from Central Asia and Tibet. The stunning granite hills of the Ladakh range, the silver waters of the roaring Indus river, the drawn-out mountain maze of the Zanskar range and the mountains of the Himalayas are what make Ladhak's landscape so unforgettable. Down the centuries Ladakh's political isolation and geographic inaccessibility has helped preserve a culture that is unique and frozen in the past. Its people have adopted to the vagaries of this harsh, barren land and comfortably reside at altitudes ranging from 2700 to 4500 meters while the nomadic Changpa roam and camp at even higher altitudes. The people here are predominantly Buddhists, followed by Muslims and a small population of Moravian Christians in Leh. The many ancient monasteries dotting the countryside and colourful prayer flags flutter in stark contrast to the grays and browns of the landscape.
A Jeep safari is a superb way to explore this land, it is easy, fast and very comfortable. Though Ladakh is noted for its treks but they are mostly strenuous and need a level of physical fitness before they can be undertaken, the lack of oxygen at such a high altitude is another factor that makes physical exertion difficult. Though the roads are rough, exploring the remote regions of Ladakh on jeep has been gaining continuous popularity with tourists as it allows the freedom to tailor one's own itinerary, cover the most famous sites and enjoy the panoramic surroundings and pretty landscapes without too much exertion and in much lesser time than a trek on foot or horseback. The preferred and also some of the toughest jeep safari destinations in Ladakh are Tsmori-Ri, Nubra and Dah Hanu. Khardungla pass is the second highest motorable pass in the world and affords sweeping views of these vast mountain ranges. One can hire our services and be safe in the knowledge of a well-planned tour including the arrangements of meals, accommodation, guides and porters. Popular Jeep Safari Routes and Destinations The Manali Leh Drive The 480-km Manali Leh Highway is snowed in nearly eight months every year so when it does open from mid June to early October it sees a fair bit of traffic. This 26-30 hours drive takes over 2 days and is a journey that passes through one of the most desolate areas of the country, over four mountain passes and the second highest motorable road in the world. Unparalleled views are what one should watch out for.
Popular Jeep Safari Routes and Destinations The Manali Leh Drive The 480-km Manali Leh Highway is snowed in nearly eight months every year so when it does open from mid June to early October it sees a fair bit of traffic. This 26-30 hours drive takes over 2 days and is a journey that passes through one of the most desolate areas of the country, over four mountain passes and the second highest motorable road in the world. Unparalleled views are what one should watch out for.
Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds is an architectural wonder, befitting the appellation well with its abundance of windows that circulate tranquil breeze and its look, that resembles more a cascading screen than a building. Tourists visit mostly during October to February to bathe themselves in the wallowing wind and sweep the entire Pink City (Jaipur, as it is called) at one glance from its pristine heights.
The Genesis of the Palace of Winds Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh built this magnanimous monument in 1799, as an extension of the Zenana or the women's chambers, so that from its legion of windows they could command an excellent view of the entire city and its activities from their seclusion.
Architectural Feat The structure of this regal 'veil' is truly a classic emblem of Rajput artistry. This unrivalled piece of architecture, master-minded by Lal Chand Usta, is a five-storey pyramid shaped palace built in red and pink sandstone and ethnically outlined with white borders. The building is hewn with a series of 953 casements - each with netted pink windows, small balconies, arched roofs and exquisitely modelled hanging cornices. The royal doorway opens to a spacious courtyard peppered with buildings and a museum. Interestingly, there are no stairways in the palace. Do not worry, visitors need not train themselves to be spider-man, the ramps will take you to the upper echelons without trouble.
Visit the place at sunrise and you will be left benumbed at the celestial aura the palace wears. We can plan for you an enthralling visit to the Hawa Mahal along with your various sight-seeing tours in India.
Don't Miss these out Jantar Mantar : An architechtural miracle built by Maharaja Jai Singh in India's 'Pink City' - Jaipur. Within its tall walls is enclosed a world of scientific secrets for the visitors to come and unravel.
» Laxmi Narayan Temple : An architechtural wonder by the Birla family - this is the counterpart of Delhi's Birla temple. This three-domed beauty in white marble spellbinds onlookers at night.
» Jaigarh Fort : The Jaigarh or the Fort of Victory was built to protect the royal treasury. A walk through the interiors and the museum will transport you ages backwards to the period of the Maharajahs.
» Amber Fort : A magnificent must-visit tourist destination in Rajasthan built in white marble and red sandstone and foregrounded by the beautiful Moata Lake!
Accessibility The well connected airport, Sanganer, is 15 km from the city. The rail junction has all the major trains, including the tourist heart-throb Palace On Wheels that starts from Delhi every Wednesday. Delhi at 262 km has regular luxury and budget buses to Jaipur.
Pilgrims and tourists, nature partisans or adventurers, businessmen or fishermen - Puri has something, and a singular one at that, for everyone. Puri's beaches are internationally acclaimed for their beauty, camouflaged in an ambience of peace and sanctity, inspite of the throng of visitors that animate it. Anytime is good time to go to Puri. Just check out the festival timings if a leisurely vacation is what you are looking for. Else, blending in the sea of chanting pilgrims during the festivals at the Jagannath Temple can be an experience you will remember.
Beaches and more... Jagannath Puri _ Bhubaneshwar, Puri and Konark constitue Orissa's Golden traingle - a seat of Hindu pilgrimage. Puri is the forerunner of the Jagannath cult in Orissa and a colossal temple, about 2 km from the beach, enshrines the wooden statue of Krishna (Jagannath) along with Balabhadra (Balarama) and Subhadra - the brother and sister of Krishna respectively. The temple complex itself houses as many as a hundred temples. Pilgrims throng the place round the year and for a dip in the holy waters which they believe would sanctify thier souls.
Rath Yatra - Puri is the venue for as many as 24 festivals round the year, of which the most popular is the Rath Yatra or the Chariot Festival during June-July, where a 16-wheeled, 45 ft high chariot is pulled by more than 4,000 worshippers amidst a sea of chanting pilgrims. Interestingly, Puri was a seat of the Buddhist culture till it was doused by fervent Vaishnavism. And the Rath Yatra has its parallel with the chariot procession of the Buddha's tooth at Dantapuri.
Beach Festival - The Puri Beach Festival (November 23 -27) stands a stark contrast to the religious activities there. Shake a leg yourself or enjoy svelte belles doing it the traditional Oriya way. Besides, this is the best place to load your bags with indegeneous handicraft goodies to carry back home as mementos of an unforgettable vacation.
Bhubaneshwar and Konark - About 60 km away is Bhubaneshwar and 65 km from there is Konark, which can be included in your tour itinerary if you are looking for a fulfilling vacation in Orissa. Bhubaneshwar is a temple trove with around 500 of them hewn across the city, while Konark has the colossal chariot of the Sun God - the Sun Temple or the Black Pagoda.
Reaching Puri Air - Bhubanaeswar at 60 km has the nearest airport.
Rail- A good network of rails operate from Kolkata, New Delhi, Tirupati and Ahmedabad to Puri.
Road - Puri is 60 km from Bhubaneswar and 35 km from Konark on Marine Drive.
Stay Back At Beach resorts, budget hotels, luxury lodges - accommodation can never be a problem here. Our representatives can get the seats booked in advance for you, while you may worry about what all to pack your bags with.
The all-over-green state of Kerala, lying in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, offers a great deal to tourists whether it is in terms of natural beauty, cultural attractions or architectural enticements. The state satisfies needs of travellers of all tastes and abilities. Choose any single aspect and you will have enough to explore and experience.
Backwaters and houseboats are a crucial part of the state's tourism sector. These traditional houseboats, also known as kettuvalloms, come along with all the luxury that you normally wouldn't expect while cruising along the backwaters in a 'boat'. There are oarsmen and chefs including an English speaking crew.
Interestingly enough, two houseboats can also be joints for families and larger groups, making it all a worth remembering event.
Facilities provided on a houseboat include :
Elegantly appointed living room
VCD, TV and Music System
Classy Kitchen with Continental, Chinese and Indian Dishes
Air Conditioned/ Non Air Conditioned
Luxurious Twin Beds
Hygienic Storage Hold
Sun Deck etc.
Cruise Attractions As you start on a cruise along the backwaters, the first thing that captures your heart is the sight of the natural splendours that state has been blessed with. As your houseboat moves ahead, there are more and more sights that you can feast your eyes upon. There are bird sanctuaries, architectural attractions, Chinese fishing nets, people exhibiting their unique style of catching fish and the hint of a culture that you will fall in love with. Besides, a cruise along the backwaters of Kerala is a perfect way to have a tête-à-tête with nature and its numerous aspects.
Popular Backwater Trips
Alleppey Round - 1 Night
Alleppey to Kumarakom - 1 Night/ 2 Nights/ 3 Nights
Allepppey to Alumkadavu - 2 Nights
Alleppey to Thottappally - 1 Night
Alleppey to Kottayam - 1 Night
Short cruises are also available in smaller boats. A short cruise may have a duration from 3 to 6 hours. However, for longer and multiple night cruises, the price range starts from Rs 6000/ person/ night. There are almost 250 - 300 boats that ply on the backwaters setting forth experiences you would love to cherish all your lives.
Down south at the tip of the nation is Kanyakumari, the Cape Comorin of the British era. Rocky and treacherous with a turbulent sea challenging the manmade wall running along it, the beach is one of its kind. Add to it the confluence of the three water bodies - the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean - called the Thriveni Sangamam. Even the sand here is an enmesh of colors - a mesmeric replica of the sublime confluence of waters that create havoc on its shores. Anytime is good time to visit Kanyakumari. But winters, between October and March, is the best time to pack your bags for Kanyakumari.
The Beach With A Difference The Rock - This is not one of the regular languid sun-basking beach. The riotous waves create simultaneous ripples in the heart as they dash against the rocks and leave you drenched. Two of these rocks reach out of the ocean. At one of these, Sri Padaparai is said to bear the footprints of the virgin goddess and Swami Vivekananda is said to have sit in deep meditation here. This, tagged the Vivekananda Rock, became the site for the Vivekananda Rock Memorial built in 1970, a major tourist attraction of India. The tranquility the place commands amidst the sound of the tumultuous waves is fascinating. The meditation centre is justly located. Another site houses the Gandhi Memorial where the Mahatma's ashes were kept before immersion in the Sangam.
he Kanyakumari Temple - Locally called the Kumari Amman, the temple is a Shakti Peetha that enshrines Goddess Parvati, whose glistering diamond nose-ring is said to catch the attention of sea-farers even from far.
Sun's Antics - Kanyakumari boasts of world's most spellbinding sun sets and sun rises. The beach lighthouse can be an ideal place to replenish the sight.
Flitting Around Just 6 km away, at Vattakottai or the 18th century Circular Fort, is an exciting destination for holidaymakers. About 19 km away is Nagercoil housing the Nagaraja or the Serpent God's Temple where the sand from the spot is given as prasadam. The Thiruparappu Waterfalls are 60 km away and has a majestic architectural temple replete with paintings. Muttam at 32 km from Kanyakumari is an enthralling beach with a tall lighthouse. Kalakkadu and Mundanthurai are two wildlife sanctuaries in case you are also planning some wildlife photography.
Reaching Kanyakumari The nearest airport is in Thiruvananthapuram, 87 km away. Kanyakumari is well-connected with all places by rail and road. Local transport is bus, auto rickshaw and taxi. And if you have opted for one of our tours, your conveyance is taken care of.
Accommodation We take care that the best accommodation options are made available to you. There are hotels to suit every pocket.
The green paradise of Kerala offers exalting holiday options to one and all, especially to honeymooners who are looking for a tranquil atmosphere amid natural lures like rippling waves, murmuring winds, rustling leaves of the playful palm trees, seaside, tropical islands and azure sky to look up and thank God for it all. Enchanting backwaters, lush greenery, cardamom hills, casuarina groves, exotic animal life, sensuous beaches, luring hill stations and much more. Taking all these into account, Kerala can only be termed a honeymooner's paradise.
Honeymoon Vacations You don't need to make up your mind while you contemplate a honeymoon trip to Kerala. For, this God's very own country has never ever failed to becharm its visitors and it's not the matter of a month or a year. The state has been enamouring tourists for ages. And if you spend your honeymoon vacation here, in a nutshell, it's you that gets blessed.
Take your flight and head to the state's capital Thiruvananthapuram or the port town of Kochi. Once you are here, there are a number of beach and heritage resorts where you can relax and destress your body and mind. The stay itself will make you aware of how promising, sensuous and rejuvenating your vacation is going to be.
A sightseeing of Trivandrum city is no less promising to begin with. The city offers to be explored attractions like the famous Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Napier Museum, Sri Chitra Art Gallery and Horse Palace. Cochin too has a great deal to offer including attractions like the Jewish Synagogue, Mattachery Palace and St. Francis Church among others. Dance dramas like Kathakali can also be enjoyed here to fill your evenings with pleasure and joy.
Devote a whole day to the cool retreat of Munnar that welcomes you with cascading waterfalls, rolling mountains and low flying clouds. So, take leave from the city crowds and spend some quality time amid natural beauty with your beloved whispering love songs into your ear. Vast expanses of tea plantation also add to the charm of the place all the more. In short, there's too much to feast your eyes on and to relish your seclusion.
Alleppey, the Venice of the East, is your destination to embark on a backwater cruise. Leaving behind Alleppey while on a honeymoon trip would mean blasphemy. So, start on a cruise like never before along the backwaters that are today an inseparable part of Kerala tourism industry. Stay overnight to enjoy your trip all the more. While you disembark at Kumarakom, head straight to Thekkady where awaits the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary with its exotic and rare lot of animal species. Ending your trip by lazing on the pristine beaches of Kerala could prove to be one of the nicest options. Or else, if you are not running short of time, start on cultural trips of the state delighting your taste buds with the traditional cuisines of the state. Shopping interesting souvenirs is yet another fantastic option to spend time in leisure.
And believe me, it was all just one of the options for a honeymoon vacation. Options abound in the state if you truly wish to make your honeymoon worth remembering.
Contact us right now for an exciting honeymoon tour.
The celebrated city of Agra contains India’s most enduring icon, the Taj Mahal. Though a commercial and religious center for 3000 years the city was truly created by the Mughals. The story of Agra is primarily the story of its emperors. When the first Mughal conquerer, Babur came here from Kabul he sorely missed the mountains and the waters of Afghanistan, so he transformed these lands into beautiful quartered gardens with fruit trees, lily ponds and cascading water running into channels. The successive generations of Moghul emperors added to Agra’s charms, Akbar gave it the labyrinthine Agra Fort and built the nearby city of Fatehpur Sikri. Queen Nur Jahan designed the delicate mausoleum of Itmad-ud-Daula. Emperor Shah Jahan however was the builder extraordinaire and the creator of the Taj Mahal. The city with all its many charms, rich atmosphere and legendary history is a huge draw for tourists.
Japyee Palace Hotel Agra ( 5 Star Deluxe Hotels) Amidst the architectural marvels of Agra at Japyee you also get to experience life in a palace as it is a perfect combination of traditional Mughal architecture and luxurious amenities. This 5 star haven is set amidst 25 acres of landscaped gardens, with lined walkways and dancing fountains.
Facilities The hotel Jaypee Palace Agra has 350 guest rooms, 12 of these are suites and 40 are executive rooms. All the rooms are elegantly decorated and superbly comfortable, each of them includes tea/coffee maker, iron and iron board, electronic door lock, minibar, individual safe, direct dial telephone, color television, free morning newspaper, wake up facility and evena sewing kit. Dining options at Jaypee Palace range from the Pavilion Café, which is the 24-hour coffee shop, it serves Indian and Continental delicacies. For Awadhi cuisine, Spice Pavilion is the place to visit. On The Rocks is the bar at the hotel that serves exotic cocktails and drinks. The Tea Lounge, Deccan Pavilion and Poolside Bar are other dining options at the hotel. The hotel also has a Convention Center with a total floor area of 6770 square meters, it is equipped with comfortable seating, natural lighting state-of-the-art audio/video facilities. Within the hotel is the wonderfully affective “Sansha Ayurvedic Health Spa”, its a sanctuary of indulgence, luxury and complete holistic rejuvenation. For leisure and recreation the hotel has a swimming pool located amidst pergolas and exotic flower beds, health club with gym, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, aerobics room, beauty parlour, barber shop, billiards, table tennis room, lawn tennis and squash courts, putting greens, joggers track and a discotheque, the leisure mall includes a bowling alley, electronic and virtual reality games and children's play stations.
Location It is located in the main tourist district of Agra, on Fatehabad Road. At a 2 hr. distance from Delhi by Train 3 hours by road. 10 Kms from Kheria (Agra) Airport. 8 Kms. from Agra Cantt. Railway station.
The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra (5 Star Super Deluxe Hotel) Located just 600 meters away from the Taj Mahal the The Oberoi Amarvilas offers incredible views of the Taj. The hotel also belongs to the Oberoi Group of Hotels. Its verdant Mughal gardens, terraced lawns, fountains, pavilions and pools are a hallmark of its classical architecture.
Seaside saunter, savoring under a benign sun with an Erich Segal romance, watching the lone fisherman busy fixing their net - dainty dreams come alive in this serene coastal hamlet called Covelong. A 40 km drive from Chennai brings you to this genteel fisher-men hub in the Coromandel Coast.
Buzzing Around The Beach Echoing History - Covelong used to be a popular port of the Nawabs of the Carnatic. The beautiful beach of Covelong lies in the lee of an ancient Dutch fort. The whole area flanked with historical monuments like forts (like the Dutch fort), churches (especially the ancient Catholic Church), mosques and so on, resonate a mysterious aura of the bygone years.
More Destinations - Close to Covelong is the fascinating Mahabalipuram (19 km) awaiting with its 7th century Shore Temples, the reptile breeding venture Crocodile Farm et al.
Reaching Covelong The airport at Chennai at a distance of sixty kilometers caters to the needs of the air transport to Covelong. Similarly the railhead at Chennai takes care of the tourists traveling to Covelong by train. The excellent road network link Covelong with Chennai and Mahabalipuram well. There are regular bus services from Chennai to Covelong though for more comfort you may even hire taxis. In terms of water transport Covelong may be reached by boat along the seacoast of Chennai or Chengalpattu.
Stay Back at Enough options are available at Covelong that suit various budgets. Chennai as well as Mahabalipuram can also be good lodging options.
Located in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, Kerala is the greenest state of south India sandwiched between the Arabian Sea on its west and the wooded western Ghats. It's land where nature demonstrates itself in all of its myriad aspects. Along with abundant natural beauty, the beguiling state also boasts a rich cultural heritage which is a huge draw for tourists from all over.
Backwaters in Kerala, an intricate network of lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and deltas, have played a vital role in boosting up the tourism sector of the state. A cruise along these backwaters in a Kettuvallom (A traditional houseboat) is the perfect way to have a rendezvous with pristine nature and to come face to face with the lifestyle that thrives on the sea shores. Sights of local fishermen, their unique ways of catching fish, their dressing sense and the exclusive Chinese fishing nets all add to the charm all the more. In a nutshell, it's an experience that must be had.
It's a passable stretch of 900 km of a mazy water world that welcomes legions of tourists, vacationers and nature enthusiasts from all over the country and outside. The Vembanad Lake is the largest backwater stretch in the state while the Ashtamudi Lake is the second largest.
Chief Backwater Destinations Kollam 71 north of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam is known for its marine and cashew industries. It was a major international trading centre in the past. The Ashtamudi Lake covers almost 30% of the town, making it an idyllic destination for backwater sailing.
Alleppey or Alappuzha Nature reflects itself in numerous forms in the immensely beautiful town of Alappuzha. Harbouring numerous species of animals and birds, the quaint town has earned the appellation of 'Venice of the East'. Boat races, beaches, houseboat vacations, marine and coir industry are a few of the things that lure travellers to this part of the state.
Kumarakom As you take a cruise north of Alappuzha, you arrive at Kumarakom, another enchanting backwater destination. This popular picnic spot offers exciting options of boating, fishing and sightseeing. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is the cynosure of all attractions here.
Cochin Kochi or Cochin is a melting pot of numerous cultures and influences bequeathed by explorers and traders of the past. It's a cluster of islands, some of which include Bolghatty, Vypeen, Gundu and Vallarpadam. The Jewish Synagogue, Dutch Palace and the Chinese fishing nets are the major attractions here.
Thiruvananthapuram Bounded by the forested Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west, Thiruvananthapuram is another important backwater spot in the state. Thiruvallam and Veli are the areas where you can feast you eyes on and stir your hearts.
Making a trip to Kerala in summer is also quite in demand and the records of travel agents are testimony to it. Summers are not very harsh in this green strip of land and the temperature rarely exceeds 32 degrees during the period. So, paying a visit to Kerala in summers is as wise as visiting the state in winters or monsoons. The state offers a number of options to spend your summers in a quite ambiance in the lap of nature.
Ooty Kodaikanal Most popular summer destinations in Kerala include Ooty or Udhagamandalam and Kodaikanal. The summer chill of these hill stations is perhaps as exciting as a houseboat cruise along the backwaters of Kerala. Located at an elevation of 2,240 m, Ooty is the headquarters of the Nilgiri District and the most famous of all the hill stations in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent. Ooty rarely faces a higher temperature tha 25 degrees in the summer season. Vast expanses of coffee and tea plantations and trees of conifers, eucalyptus and pine remain scattered all over the hillsides of the place. The sights here truly are a feast for eyes.
Moving 19 km from Ooty, one arrives at Coonoor while at a distance of 31 km lies Kothagiri, other hill stations located in the Nilgiri Districts. Nilgiri has the distinction of being India's first biosphere and has also been declared as one of the 14 hotspots of the world.
Wooded slopes, imposing trees, gigantic rocks along with bowers, creeks and slopes capture one's imagination while visiting Kodaikanal. This erstwhile summer resort of the British and the Europeans lies in the Palani Hills. Trekking and mountain climbing are some of the popular options here at Kodaikanal.
Boat Ride On Vembanad Lake The Vembanad Lake is the largest backwater stretch in the state of Kerala, the second largest being the Ashtamudi Lake. The place has sprouted a number of hotels and spas where staying could mean a lot of experiences put together. Taking a cruise along the Vembanad Lake is a nice and never-forgetting event here. The backwater cruise can range from a few hours to a couple of nights. What more, the houseboats are made so made as to provide you utmost comfort and luxury while on your trip.
Alappuzha or Alleppey Alappuzha is one of the most favoured destinations of tourists. This is also the starting point for many a houseboat cruise. The beach is also a nice option to laze on the enjoy the scenic sights of the rippling waves and the swaying palm trees. There are other popular beaches like Kovalam, Varkala, Fort Kochi, Beypore etc.
Kumarakom and Thekkady An early morning trip to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary means much fascination. The sanctuary harbours a great number of both resident and migratory birds. Some of these feathered delights are from as far as Siberia. Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. A variety of pristine flora and fauna is sheltered in the sanctuary.
Bangalore, the garden city is popularly referred to as the 'Silicon Valley' of India. It is the fastest developing city in the world, and has a youthful exuberance and energy that comes from the knowledge of being a city on the move. A pot-pourri of culture, cafés, gardens and the trade mark IT industry, it is a burgeoning tourist destination. With a wide number of visitors pouring in to the city for both business and pleasure many opulent hotels have come up to cater to their needs.Leela Palace Hotel (5 Star Deluxe Hotel) At the heart of the city centre, the Leela Palace is situated amidst seven acres of lush gardens and a sparkling lagoon in the garden city of Bangalore. An art-deco building its copper domes, arches and ornate ceilings reflect the grandeur of palaces of a bygone era. It is decorated ornately and with exquisite care, each priceless hand-woven carpets to brass antique, detailed crystal to the finest bone china has been discerningly hand-picked. It offers an experience of world class luxury.
Facilities The hotel offers 254 modern, cozy and elegantly decorated rooms and suites classified as Executive Suite, Deluxe Suite, Deluxe Room, Conservatory Room, Royal Club, Turret Suite and Presidential Suite. The 3500 square foot Maharaja Suite, located on the 5th floor, offers panoramic views of the inner courtyard with lush gardens and the mist covered waterfalls. Some other facilities at this wonderful 5 star hotel are 24 hours room service, airport/station transfers, doctor on call, same day laundry, money changer, fax, e-mail, internet access, safe deposit lockers, baby sitting, valet, travel desk , hot/ cold running water, telephone with STD/ISD facility, mini bar, room safe, hair dryer, business centre, executive floor, beauty parlour, shopping arcade, health club, swimming pool and a spa. It has three famous restaurants, Citrus, Zen and Jamavar and the bar is simply called the Bar.
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Situated on 23, Airport Road in Bangalore it is 10 minutes from the city center, 7 minutes from the airport and 15 minutes from the shopping district.
The Taj West End ( 5 Star Deluxe Hotel) Sleek and stylish, this 5 star deluxe hotel provides every luxury to please the discerning traveller. The hotel is spread over 20 acres of landscaped gardens and is a fine tribute to Bangalore, the garden city of India. Situated a mere 15 minute drive away from the business, entertainment, and shopping districts, it is near to the race course, golf course and the planetarium.
Facilities The hotel offers 122 well furnished rooms and suites, providing world class modern amenities and facilities to please both business and leisure travellers alike. Amenities include internet connectivity in all rooms, in room fax, data ports for PCs and modems, 2 line speaker phone with international direct dial facility, minibar, personal safe, channel music, colour television with satellite programmes, 24 hour room service, laundry service, private verandahs overlooking lush gardens as well as complementary use of steam, sauna, jacuzzi, and gymnasium at the fitness centre for all guests. Some of the other facilities here are a swimming pool, fitness centre, travel desk, car rental, pastry shop, book shop, shopping arcade, currency exchange, safe deposit lockers, doctor on call and baby sitting, flood lit tennis court, arrangements for golf and horse riding on request.
The Blue Ginger restaurant here is known for its authentic Vietnamese cuisine, Mynt is the 24 hour coffee shop and the Blue bar is the stylishly open air lounge bar here.
Orissa is so mobbed with religious adherents that at times the romance of its enamoring coastline seems to get overshadowed. This year, let the sea sweep you off your feet and transport you to a different world altogether. The beaches are hypnotizing and those who are still adamant about the religious fervor attached to it, have abundant options in over thousand temples strewn across the place. The beaches are bathed in sanctity and with them, their guests - the feeling is too redundant to miss out!
Beatific Beaches Orissa's 482 km of exotic coastline has some of the most enthralling beaches in the world. The roaring waves stirred by the invigorating breeze, water sports enthusiasts intervening this fusion relentlessly, children frolicking about looking for sea-shells, sadhus taking a holy dip chanting aloud, the rare Olive Ridley Turtles' eggs at some unexplored nook - the beaches at Orissa can only be termed stupendous.
Gopalpur On Sea - Perched close to the Bay of Bengal, 18 kms southeast of Berhampur, is the town of Gopalpur laced with an exotic beach popular for surfing, swimming and sun-basking. Northwest of Gopalpur lies Taptapani, famous for its hot water sulphur spring known to cure skin ailments.
Balasore - 214 km northeast of Bhubaneswar, Balasore is convenient base point for excursions to Chandikpur and Remuna. Also noted for its traditional handicrafts of lacquered toys, brass-works and stone carvings. Chandipur - 16 km east of Balasore, is Chandipur, another pristine beach. Here the sea, recedes five kilometres at low tide and then flows rhythmically after a regular interval every day. This play of the tide combined with bracing environs make it a wonderful vacationing jaunt.
What else to check out in Orissa Bhubaneshwar's 500 glorious temples - the Lingaraja Temple, Mukteswara Temple, Raja Rani Temple, the Parasurameswara Temple and the Savaranjaleswara Temple - to name a few are major tourist attractions. At the Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary you can enjoy the lion safari. Also pick some silver filigree (Tarakasi), stone and woodcarving, Patta paintings and silk fabrics before you leave.
Located 60 km from Bhubaneswar is the Hindu pilgrimmage centre Puri or Sri Purushottama Dham, with the famed Jagannath Temple. Enjoy a day at the Chilika Lake here, watching the aquatic beauty and the dolphins. Gundicha Ghar, Temple of Child Krishna at Indradyumna Tank and so on are its other attractions.
About 35 km from Puri is Konark's colossal Sun Temple or the Black Pagoda - built like a blazing chariot on 12 pairs of giant wheels and with abundance of Kama Sutra sclupting on the walls, is a must-visit.
Location Jaipur, Rajasthan, India A classic fusion of the Mughal and Rajasthani architecture is the City Palace of Jaipur - the seat of power of the mighty Rajputs that lorded the deserts once. The palace complex, divided into courtyards and well-manicured gardens, is interspersed with a swarm of palatial structures like the Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Badal Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum - making it an ideal tourist purlieu.
The History of City Palace of Jaipur Rajput Maharaja of the Kachhwaha clan, Jai Singh II, built this majestic palace encompassing one-seventh of the walled Pink City - Jaipur. The Maharajah and his predecessors administered their domain from here. The Diwan-i-Khas and the Diwan-i-Am - the erstwhile houses of parliament - clearly echo the influence of the Mughal dynasty. The palace was recently in the Guiness Book of World Records for housing the two largest vessels in the world originally used to carry water from the Ganges for the personal use of the royality. The exquisite Afghan and Persian carpets, miniature paintings, astronomical manuscripts in Persian and Sanskrit in the Diwan-i-Aam or House of Public Audience, is reminiscent of the rich cultural transfusion that the era hosted. The Museum at the Chandra Mahal boasts of a priceless display of 15th century war-munitions, paintings of Rajasthani, persian and Mughal schools and costumes of former rulers of Jaipur.
The Structure The entire courtyard sweep has palaces made by Jai Singh's predecessors. The trail begins with the Mubarak Mahal or the Auspicious Palace built by Maharaja Madho Singh II. The seven-storeyed Chandra Mahal or the Moon Palace overlooking the city and its decorous gardens is the present Maharajah Bhavani Singh's abode. The Sukh Nivas or the Hall of Rest with its regal drawing and room, Shobha Nivas or the Hall of Beauty with its intricate mirror and blue-tiled wall decorations that dazzle in the nights, the Chhavi Nivas or the Hall of Images with a polished floor of eggshell stucco, the uppermost storey Mukut Mahal or the Crown Palace - all take visitors to a bygone era of grandeur and magnificience so typically Indian. Bang opposite of the Chandra Mahal is the Badal Mahal or the Palace of the Clouds. The expanse in between is adorned by the Govind Devji Temple and the boisterous chain of fountain. The Hawa Mahal, the most famous of them all, stands a few yards away from the City Palace.
A visit is a must if you are looking for exciting forays into India's historical past.
Don't Miss these out Jaigarh Fort -¿¿The Jaigarh or the Fort of Victory was built to protect the royal treasury. A walk through the interiors and the museum will transport you ages backwards to the period of the Maharajahs.
¿¿ Hawa Mahal -¿¿A fantastic screen-like monument originally built as an extension of the ladies Zanana (private chambers) so that they can have an excellent view of the city and its activities from their cloistered refuge. The ventilation strategy is architecture par excellence.
¿¿ Jantar Mantar -¿¿An architechtural miracle built by Maharaja Jai Singh in India's 'Pink City' - Jaipur. Within its tall walls is enclosed a world of scientific secrets for the visitors to come and unravel.
¿¿ Amber Fort -A magnificient must-visit tourist destination built in white marble and red sandstone in the reign of Raja Man Singh, Commander in Chief of Akbar's army. Foregrounded by the beautiful Maotha Lake, it was reputed for being the treasure vault of the Kacchwaha rulers.
Hyderabad is on the highway to success as one of the fastest growing cities of India. This multifaceted capital city of Andhra Pradesh is known for its IT expertise and hosts a large number of business travellers from within and outside the country almost throught the year. Dotted with medieval monuments, lush avenues and bustling shopping plazas, it is an image of striking contrasts. This burgeoning city has sprung up some marvellous hotels, sure to make your stay here as pleasant as possible.
Taj Hotel Krishna ( 5 Star Deluxe Hotel)
The hotel Krishna with its grand entrance, carved Dholpur stone pillars and lush Mughal gardens is one of Hyderabad’s most luxurious. Situated in the city's prestigious Banjara Hills locality, it is close to the business and shopping centres. Guests can enjoy a spectacular view of attractions like Hussain Sagar Lake and the Golconda Fort.
Facilities The Taj Krishna has 260 rooms including 17 suites. The international business traveler has a choice of newly designed luxury rooms, equipped with data ports, 2-line telephones, voice mail, in-room safes, and personal tea/coffee makers to ensure a smooth and pleasurably stay. The restaurant Encounters provides all-day dining. The cuisine here draws upon both international and Indian themes. The high point is the interactive kitchen that turns every meal into a visual spectacle. Al fresco meals surrounded by languid ponds and sparkling glass mosaics aare also hugely popular here. Firadus is the Indian restaurant with an accent on Hyderabadi specialties here. The Szechuan Garden offers the choicest Szechuan dishes. The Gardenia is the 24-hour coffee shop overlooking the poolside and waterfalls. Serves Indian and Continental dishes. The Golconda Bar, overlooks the charming Hussain Sagar Lake, complementing the pleasant ambience with a panoramic view. The Lobby Lounge serves tea, coffee and other beverages. The hotel also has a fully equipped Business Center with copier/ facsimile and courier facilities. Private office rooms with secretarial service. Translation and interpretation facilities are also available.
ocation Located in the Banjara Hills area it is 7 km. From the airport;10 km. from railway station and 11 kms. from the bus stand.
Kakatiya Sheraton and Towers ( 5 Star Deluxe Hotel) This ITC Hotel is not only architecturally beautiful but also has a wonderful decor and situated at the edge of the picturesque Hussain Sagar Lake. It offers some of the best views of the city scape.
Facilities The hotel offers 188 rooms, including Suites. 30 Sheraton Tower Rooms and 20 Club Suites offer exclusive priviledges such as complimentary airport transfers in luxury limousine, complimentary American breakfast, 24-hour butler service, complimentary club hour, use of the exclusive tower club lounge facility with its own library, bar, restaurant, tea/coffee service, complimentary use of office and the meeting room at the Towers Club. 60 Executive Club Rooms include privileges such as the use of Executive lounge facilities, complimentary breakfast, complimentary drink per stay and some more.
The Deccan Pavilion is the coffee shop here. Peshwari is the restaurant that serves up rustic flavors of the North-West Frontier cuisine at the on-site display kitchen. Dakshin provides a variety of signature South Indian dishes. Dum Pukht is known for its Mughlai cuisine. The Marco Polo Bar serves up drinks as adventurous as the spirit of this itinerant traveller. Rani Rudrama’s Court is a fancy tea joint and Dublin is the Irish bar with its own unique flavour.
The southern India state of Kerala relishes its numerous beaches that, with sensuous sands, azure waters, swinging palm trees, rocky promontories and an aura of romance, stir the hearts of travellers from all across the globe. This God's very own country basks in the natural riches that nature has conferred upon it. Besides, freshly supplied sea food and typical Keralan cuisines add to the pleasure all the more. People who are all smiles are also there to give you a cordial welcome and, if you wish, a cruise along the backwaters as well. So, Kerala comes as an opportunity to pack your holidays with excitement, fun and flavour.
Visitors and vacationers are spoilt for choices as Kerala offers a wide array of beaches that define tranquility and the true spirit of nature. The state boasts a stunning 900-kilometre-long coastline.
Alappuzha Beach With a pier that is 140-year-old, lagoons, lakes and rivers, Alappuzha is a hotspot for tourists arriving in the state. The pristine beach is, in a nutshell, a rendezvous with nature. Here, one can spend quiet moments enriched with nature's lures. The Vijaya Beach Park and the Light House are much popular with tourists.
Kovalam Beach Having gained international repute, the Kovalam Beach has been haunting travellers' minds since 1930s. Kovalam comprises three crescent-shaped beaches of which the Light House Beach (Southernmost) is the most appealing.
Varkala Beach Varkala houses the 2000-year-old Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple. Besides being a chief seaside resort and spa, it is an important pilgrimage centre for the Hindus. While at Varkala, the Nature Care Centre is something no one should ever miss.
Fort Kochi Beach The quaint town of Kochi is as colourful as its history. Firstly the Portuguese, then the Dutch and finally the British helped shape Kochi. And the eclectic cultural influences can be well observed in the Indo-European architectural remains here.
Cherai Beach The beach lies at a distance of 45 km from Ernakulum city. It is ideal for swimming and spotting playful dolphins. While here, you can also experience a typical Keralan village that is positioned nearby. Beypore Beach 10 km south of Kozhikode, Beypore was an erstwhile trade centre of Kerala. It's ship building industry lured merchants from western Asia. One major attractions here is the boat building yard that constructs traditional Arabian trading vessel called Uru.
Kappad Beach Strewn with traditional fishing boats all along, the Kappad Beach lies at a distance of 16 km from Kozhikode. A sprawling rock that bulges outwards into the sea is a prominent feature of the place. The most substantial reason for why one should visit the spot is that Vasco da Gama landed here on 27th May 1498.
A swarm of India's best beaches are knitted to Tamil Nadu's 900 km coastline. The swashing Bay of Bengal, casuarina groves, the majestic palm tress and the sea-shells - typical beaches, yet with the most extraordinary appeal. And to understand what this statement means, you have to explore the virgin shores yourself. Are you a game? Bet, the trip will make a poet out of you!
The Fabled Beaches.... Chennai Beaches - The capital of Tamil Nadu has some of the most exotic beaches. The 13 km long stretch of the Marina Beach, the second longest in the world, is the most popular. Animated with picnicking families, horse-riding campaigns, vendors and the student from the famous Presidency College just flanking the beach, it holds a rare excitement that cannot be contained in words. Just 58 km, south of Chennai lies Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram with a sylvan beach, a crocodile farm, snake venom extracting centre, schools of art and sculpture making it a popular venue.
At the southernmost tip of India, where the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal coalesce, is Kanyakumari. The meeting point called Sangam and the Vivekananda's Rock, where the guru once meditated are the main attractions of this exotic beach.
Rameshwaram Beach - The beauteous beach and the famous Ramanathaswamy Temple make Rameshwaram, a quiet seaside hamlet, a tourist hub. Bordered by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar, Rameshwaram is also a pilgrimage centre for both Shaivaites and Vaishnavaites.
Covelong Beach - 40 km away from the bustling town of Chennai is Covelong Beach, an interesting locale if you are looking forward to basking under the sun unhindered watching fishermen in the distance.
Pulicat Beaches - A saline shallow water spread formed by the confluence of Backwaters, Pullcat Lake and Buckingham Canal situated on the northern end of Tamil Nadu is an ideal picnic spot. A boating cruise in the waters and a visit to the neighboring Bird Sanctuary add to the romance of this place.
Ladakh is the remote high altitude plateau cradled by the Karakoram and the great Himalayan ranges. To get to this desolate and hauntingly beautiful land, one has to either take a flight or after a point drive through treacherous passes along some of the highest motorable roads in the world. Snow crested peaks, acres of mountainous desert land, high altitude lakes, gorgeous monasteries and an amazing culture are the other attractions in Ladakh besides its dominating landscape. Ladakh is full of trails that connect remote villages spread across ancient trade routes, and there is no better way to absorb this fascinating land than to trek through it. Leh, the capital city of Ladakh and also its largest has for centuries been an important trade link on the legendary silk route, even today it is the epicenter of all commercial and cultural activity that takes place in the province. It is also the starting point from where most treks begin. But remember even the so called 'easy' treks of Ladakh and Zanskar are difficult as all of them start at over 4,800 m, and many have passes over 3,000m. A successful Trek in Ladakh requires you to acclimatise well as the rarefied air contains a lesser degree of oxygen. To acclimatise, spend a few days in Leh, go for gentle walks and get used to the altitude before you set out on your trek.
Many areas in Ladakh are so far removed from civilisation that you may walk for a whole day without coming across another human being, with no road signs on the mostly indiscernible trails it is easy to get lost and the best thing to do is to hire a guide. A good guide can also point out flowers, birds and plants that you may miss out on and enlighten you on local legend and lore to make your trip more interesting.
Popular Treks In Ladakh Spituk to Stok A trek that takes 4 to 5 days it starts from Spituk from where a 4-6 hour walk will take you to Zingchan, midway you will also come across the Hemis National Park. From here walk along the Indus, through valleys and bridges, chortens marked with prayer flags and groves of willows and wild roses to reach Rumbak. From Rumbak the next cam site is Stok La, a steep climb but worth the effort for the gorgeous views it affords. The last day of the trek is an easy downhill walk to Stok. Explore the ancient Stok Palace at Stok, once the residence of the King of Ladakh. On route rest at tea stalls on the way and pitch your tents at the many comfortable campsites here.
Likir to Temisgam One of the easiest treks in Ladakh it takes about four days and is best undertaken in summer, between the months of May and September. Likir is an hour and a half from Leh, from Likir at a distance of 9 km and a 4-5 hours walk will take you through Phobe La, a small settlement called sumdo to the charming village called Yangthang. Pitch your tent here and start out the next day for Hemis Shukpachen, one of the most beautiful villages in Ladakh. An easy 2-3 hour walk through sparkling streams and barley fields will bring you here. From Shukpachen you need to cover a distance of 10 km to get to Mebtak La-Ang, a charming village with apricot orchards. The last day walk downhill to the main road to reach Temisgam.
Ladakh is a cold mountain desert situated on a high altitude plateau at India's furthest frontier bordered by Pakistan, Tibet and China. Amongst its folds, it preserves an ancient culture, vast swathes of land, deep valleys, roaring rivers, wizened faces, rosy cheeks, dragons and zen Buddhism, prayer flags, a dense concentration of monasteries, yaks and snow leopards, and an ethereal magical medieval atmosphere. Ladakh's miles and stretches of mostly barren dessicated land is dotted with quaint little vibrant green hamlets oozing wild roses and lavender, groves of willows, fields of barley and orchards of apricot. The Indus river snakes its way through its mountains and valleys and provides the much needed water to this cold desert. Bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar mountains.
Attractions Leh The capital city of Ladakh is also its biggest and most vibrant. Sitting pretty in the shadows of snow crested peaks it is the hub of commerce and culture in the exotic province of Ladakh. Dras Valley The Dras Valley is formed by the Dras River which rises in the Machoi glacier near the famous Zozila Pass. In summer, as the snow in the uplands melt, the volume of this river rises considerably. The terrain is characterized by rocks and stones, groves of willows and gurgling streams.
Nubra Valley One of Ladakh's prettiest valleys, Nubra is clad in acres of wild yellow and pink roses, in August when the roses are all gone the valley turns into a carpet of wild lavender. Relatively warmer than other parts of Ladakh, Nubra is where all the orchards are and the valley is also famously called the orchard of Ladakh.
Suru Valley The Suru Valley is formed by the catchments of the Suru River, which rises from the Panzella glacier, this beautiful valley with its lush carpeted floor, spectacular rock faces and rushing waters makes an enchanting tableau.
Kargil Located on the banks of the Suru river Kargil is an important halt for journeys to and from Leh. It was once an important trade destination as it lay on the caravan trail that carried merchandise to China and beyond.
Zanskar Valley Zanskar is one of the oldest inhabited places in the world, situated in a far flung corner of Ladakh it is a deserted and at the same time incredibly beautiful valley containing a clutch of idyllic villages and crumbling monasteries.
Adventures The summer months from mid May to mid October see a lot of mountain sports and adventure activities in this region. The most popular are trekking expeditions through the valleys, cycling through the zig zag mountain roads, mountain climbing, jeep safaris, camel safaris and even Yak safaris and wildlife treks.
Monasteries Ladakh has the highest concentration of monasteries in all of India. Lamayuru is the grandest monastery here. The monasteries of Shey, Thiksey, Hemis, Stakna, Matho and Stok lie along the Indus, south-east of Leh and the monasteries of Spituk, Likir, Alchi, Rhizdong are in the west. A treasure trove of religious sentiment and the rich Buddhist culture, these monasteries are windows into the very soul of Ladakh.
Fairs and Festivals Festivals in Ladakh are celebrated with much fanfare and merry-making. In this deserted land festivals provide people with opportunities to interact with each other, form new ties and renew old ones.
Bathed in a cascade of colors is the beautiful Meenakshi Temple - a typical, yet classic representative of Dravidian temple architecture with its gopurams (large sclupted gateways) and mandapams (multi-pillared halls). Lord Shiva and his consort Meenakshi or the Fish-eyed one are the reigning deities here. The complex, the dual shrines dedicated to the god and the goddess add to the elegance and the mystery of a divine legend - not widely known in the other parts of India.
The Legend of Meenakshi The Pandyan King, who is accredited to have built the princely state Madhurai (Former Madurai), was childless and after years of prayers and devotion was blessed with a Ayonija child (one born not from the womb). This child, an incarnation of Shiva and Parvati, had three breasts and fish-shaped eyes and smelled like a fish. It was said that the abnormalities would dissappear when she met her rightful man. The child was named Meenakshi - Meen meaning 'fish' and akshi meaning 'eyes'. After her father's death she took the reigns of power and was cured of her ailments the moment she met Lord Shiva or Sundareshwara (the Beautiful Almighty). In their marriage the Lord entertained his guests with the mighty Chidambaram or the cosmic dance. The pair thus became another insignia of of Shiv-Shakti mythology.
The Structure The majestic shrine of Lord Shiva, measuring 254 by 237 mt. lies at the centre of the temple complex. Nine gopurams (monumental sclupted gateways), each 200 ft high, circumvents the temple precincts. The tallest spire is 60 mt and had the designation of the tallest of its kind in entire Asia for a long time. The temple has a thousand pillared hall with 985 beautifully scultured pillars which are tourist favorite. The shrine was expanded by emperors of the Vijaynagara dynasty during the late 16th Century and it took about 120 years to complete.
The ritual dominance of the goddess developed much later and today tourists flock this place seeking blessings and partake in the legion of festivals that take place almost round the year. The power of Shiv-Shakti is something so predominantly felt in the temple precincts that many believe that a visit to the temple brings luck to the newly married.
Don't miss these out.... » Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam - A famous South Indian temple with Lord Vigneswara as the presiding deity. The temple hosts the Annual Float Festival in the months of January/ February.
» Thirupparankundram - About 6 km southwest of Madurai is one of the six dwellings of Lord Subramanyam and is famous for its cave and rock cut temple built by the Pandyas in the 8th century.
» Tirumalai Nayak Palace - An Indo-Saracenic building built in 1523 features the architectural works of the Nayaks and gives an insight into ancient Tamil history.
Accessibility Madurai airport has flights to all major metros like Chennai, Mumbai etc. The railway station connects with all the major South Indian cities. And if you are planning to take drive, Madurai is 472 km from Chennai, 232 km from Kanyakumari, 446 km from Bangalore and 1454 km from Mumbai.
Kolkata, forever famous as the city of joy has a culture replete with all the charm and romance that its creative icons could have hoped for. This city has come a long was from being a little wet-land village to being a crowded and busy metropolis. It’s a land with a seamless blend of heritage and modernization, a rich colonial legacy evident from its fine European style edifices. It is also the cultural capital of India, famous for the talents that have sprung from its soil, a city with a soul, it is at once bewitching and bewildering. For most visitors Kolkata is an unforgettable experience. To make your stay even more memorable choose from some of the city’s finest hotels at which to stay. Hotel Taj Bengal ( 5 Star) The magnificent atrium lobby with its dramatic lighting and unique vertical garden is the most bewitching feature of the Taj Bengal hotel. A tranquil haven of natural and architectural beauty the hotel offers world class services and amenities to its guests. Its heartwarming hospitality and superb staff make guests feel like royalty.
Facilities The hotel has 229 well appointed and centrally air conditioned rooms of which 13 are suites. The rooms are superbly luxurious and include amenities like speaker phones with international direct dial facility, speed-dial internet connectivity, mini bar, personal safe, channel music and interactive colour television with satellite programmes. You could choose a room with a view of the city scape or take a room that overlooks the pool. The hotel also provides 24 hrs. room service, international direct dial facility, speed dial internet connectivity, mini bar, swimming pool, fitness centre, beauty parlour, barber shop, travel desk, car rental, shopping arcade, currency exchange, safe deposit lockers, doctor on call, baby sitting, business center, conference facilities, secretarial services. Enjoy the high tea served at the atrium lodge here, Junction and Barbecue are the two restaurants that serve Indian and continental cuisines here, Chambers is its famous French restaurant and the Hub is a twenty-hour food court
Location Situated on Belvedere Road in Alipore, Kolkata it is 27 kms. from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport and 7 kms. from the Howrah Railway Station.
Hotel Sonar Bangla Sheraton (5 Star Deluxe) One of Calcutta's newest hotel, the upscale Sonar Bangla Sheraton is undoubtedly one of the city's very best. Built around a 4-acre pond full of lotuses, and set in landscaped gardens, it provides a relaxed and luxurious ambiencethe hotel has been inspired by the architecture in vogue when the Pala dynasty ruled Bengal. It is a beautiful encapsulation of Bengals artistic and architectural heritage.
Facilities Sonar Bangla Sheraton hotel offers 239 rooms, including 8 suites to its guests. Of these rooms 84 are Sheraton Tower rooms, 21 are ITC rooms, each of these is equipped with a private fax and DVD player. There are another 126 executive club rooms for the business traveller.
Renowned as the ancestral home of a large proportion of Indian traders who emigrated to many parts of the world, this State contains thriving industrial cities, green rolling hills, untouched beaches and the great Rann of kutch - a peculiar tract of territory described by a. Lt. Burnes in his memories as "a space without a counter- part in the globe". The expanse is hard day saline, flat and, as the summer heat intensifiers, the salt in the baked and blistered earth shines with mirages of dazzling whiteness.
Day 01 : Delhi Arrive Delhi. Transfer from Airport to Hotel
Day 02 : Delhi - Ahmedabad Morning flight to Ahmedabad, upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Afternoon visit the Calico Museum of Textiles with world's finest collections of textiles, displaying antique tapestries, wall hangings, costumes and antique looms.
Day 03 : Ahmedabad Full day visit of Ahmedabad. Traditional Ahmedabad combines mosques of inspired workmanship, wooden Jain temples, unique stone stepwells and houses with ornately carved wooden balconies and window screens. Modern Ahmedabad - just across the River Sabarmati spanned by four bridges, is a showpiece of contemporary architecture with designs by Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn and the best known Indian architects.
Day 04 : Bhavangar Drive to Bhavanagr 220 kms / 5 hrs. See the old Town bazaars in this important cotton export centre.
Day 05 : Bhavnagar - Palitana - Diu Early morning visit to Palitana (70 kms/ 1.5 hrs) - the largest temple city of its kind in India. Within its gates are found 863 temples located atop a hill (600 m climb) built over a period of 900 years from the 11th century onwards. Continue drive to the island of Diu (200 kms/ 4 hrs)
Day 06 : Diu
A day at leisure on the beaches of Diu- once a Portuguese colony. Miles of unspoilt white sandy beaches and the ancient Forte de Mar complement the walled town of Portuguese architectural influence.
Day 07 : Diu - Sasan Gir Drive to the Sasan Gir National park (180 kms / 4 Hrs) - the last refuge of the Asiatic lions. In the afternoon take a jeep safari in the park.
Day 08 : Sasan Gir - Junagadh - Gondal ( 75 kms / 1 ½ hrs) Morning jeep Safari Drive to the ancient capital of Junagadh located at the base of Girnar Hills and resplendent with legends and a large number of shrines. Proceed to Gondal, one of the most progressive princely states in the region during British rule with an efficient system of a tax-less economy, good roads, railways, schools, hospitals, sanitary drainage, and free compulsory education . Stay at hotel.
Day 09 : Gondal - Zainabad Drive to Zainabad (240 kms / 5 Hrs) and stay in luxury tents. In the afternoon take a jeep safari in the little Rann of Kutch wildlife sanctuary which is the home to the Indian Wild Ass.
Day 10 : Zainabad - Mandvi Morning jeep safari. Before noon drive to Mandvi (380 kms/ 8 hrs) one of the premier ports of the Kutch region. Stay at Hotel.
Day 11 : Mandvi Day at leisure at the summer retreat of the Royal family of Kutch - Vijay Villas Palace. The palace was built in the 1940s in 450 acres of lush greenery with a 2 km long beach. Stay at the luxury tents on the beach.
The coastal state of Kerala lies in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent known for its beaches, wildlife, hill stations, backwaters, Ayurveda and of course for its temples that are dispersed all over its landscape. Temple and festivities associated with them have been a crucial part of the lives of Keralites for ages. A number of the temples had their genesis far back in time. The present structures that stand to tell the history have stood the taste of time because of renovations and refurbishments done from time to time.
Spirituality is a crucial part of everyone's life in India. Perhaps every region and state has its own religious festivals, rites and rituals. Temples, particularly in southern India, have also been an epicenter of promoting art and dance forms. The state of Kerala alone boasts legions of ancient temples. And a visit to this temples of yore is a prerequisite to gain an insight into the cultural and religious aspect of the state as well as the country.
Some of the temples that dot the landscape of Kerala include :
Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the most famous and grandest temples in Kerala. The temple enshrines a stately image of Lord Vishnu in the Anantasayanam posture. The temple architecture is a mix of Dravidian and Keralan styles of srchitecture. Steeped in legends, the temple has long maintained its association with festivals, art forms and music. The temple finds its mention in the Tamil hymns of the Alwar saint Nammalwar.
Sri Krishna Temple, Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple of Guruvayur holds sacred the youthful form of Lord Krishna. Guruvayur is an important pilgrimage for the Hindus from all across the country. The Mandala Utsavam and the Annual Utsavam are popular festivals linked up with the temple. It is believed that praying here frees one of all bodily ailments.
Lakshmana Perumal Temple, Tirumoozhikkalam The presiding deity here is Vishnu. What sets apart this temple from others is the fact that no music is played here. Tamil hymns exalt this ancient temple. The annual festival is celebrated in the Malayalam month of Makaram.
Subramaniya Temple, Haripad It is only due to renovations in the 20th century that the Subramaniya Temple of Haripad stands today. The temple enshrines the image of Subramaniya. Kaartikai Deepam and Thai Poosam are celebrated here.
Bhagwati Temple, Kodungallur Originally a Shiva temple, the Bhagwati Temple at Kodungallur enshrines the image of Bhagwati. The image is believed to be carved out of a jack fruit tree. Prayers are offers first to Shive and then to Bhagwati who is believed to be a manifestation of Kali.
Duration : 03 Nights/ 04 Days Places Covered : Goa A wedding being a ‘Pearl’ in the life of newlyweds is very special occasion. To celebrate the new beginning of this soulful union, Goa is the perfect romantic destination. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, Goa’s secluded beach resorts, a perfect amalgam of liveliness and serenity form a perfect backdrop of a new life together.
01 Day Arrive at Goa. Transfer to the hotel . (Over night) at the hotel.
02 Day Sightseeing at Goa. Major Attractions : Baga Beach, Calangute Beach, The Anjuna Beach, The Vagator Beach
03 Day Sightseeing at Goa. Major Attractions : The Dona Paula Beach, The Covalim Beach, Try your hand in the water sports available there.
Embarking on an Ayurveda holiday is the need of the time. And the huge influx of tourists into the country is well testimony to it. Ayurveda, the time tested medical tradition, has raised kind of a storm all over the globe. World renowned celebrities, filmstars and corporate personnel among others have found befitting answers to their ailments in the Ayurvedic therapies. And it is this magical power of Ayurveda that keeps the crowds swelling more and more with each passing day. Ayurveda meaning the 'science of life' has traditionally passed from masters to disciples generation after generation. Thaliyola or palm leaf was used to preserve the medicical details that masters passed on. During the whole process, the disciples used to stay at the master's house called gurukula.
Today, this traditional form of knowledge, through extensive scientific research, has seen improvements working wonders for both general and chronic ailments. Various Ayurveda colleges have also been establishes to practice this ancient science more and more making patients free of numerous ailments. And it is to be noted that a graduate doctor in Ayurveda is considered to be an equal of doctors of modern science.
Popular Ayurveda Centres in Kerala » Somatheeram Ayurvedic Resort (Kavalam) » Coconut Bay Beach Ayurvedic Resort (Vizhinjam) » Travancore Heritage Ayurvedic Centre (Thiruvananthapuram) » Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village (Thiruvananthapuram) » Taj Varkala Ayurveda Centre (Varkala ) » Vythiri Resort (Vythiri, Wayanad) » Hotel Green Gates (Klapetta, Wayanad) » Hari Vihar Heritage Home (Kozhikode, Calicut) » Kadayu Resort (Calicut) Tea County (Munnar) » Keraleeyam Heritage Ayurvedic Resort (Alappuzha) » Nagarjuna Ayurveda Resort (Kaladi, Ernakulam) » Sreedhari Ayurvedic Health Resort (Thrissur) » Ayurveda College (Trivandrum) » Sree Sankara Ayurveda Vaidyasala (Kumily) » Sree Sankara Ayurveda Hospital (Kottayam) » Government Ayurveda Hospital (Malappuram) » Anugraha Health Centre (Vanchiyoor) » Sree Sadan Ayurveda Oushadhasala (Kannur)
Treatments in Ayurveda Beauty care treatments cover herbal oil massage, taking herbal tea and herbal face pack. The body slimming programme includes applying medicated herbal powder and herbal massage along with a specially made herbal juice that works wonders. Ayurveda also offers wonderful remedies for to give a new life to hair. There are herbally made shampoos and oils that are a result of years of reasearch. Face masks, powerful moisturisers and numerous herbal pastes are used to impart a new glow and life to your skin.
Besides, Panchakarma is five-fold treatment covering the whole body. The treatment is meant both for mental and physical well being. It's the perefect way to finetune the body processes and destress the mind and the nerves. The treatment purifies the blood as well.
A blend of pilgrimage and a pleasure trip can be a comely vacationing option. And Rameshwaram, a quiet seaside hamlet in Tamil Nadu, with its deluge of Shaivaite and Vaishnavaite temples is just about that. Besides the scenic elegance of the calm sea, swaying palm groves and the flocks of sun-basking tourists, what makes it all the more savory is the location - Rameswaram is an island town separated from the mainland by the Pamban Channel.
Beach Attractions Ramanathaswamy Temple - As the lore goes, Rameshwaram was the place from where Lord Rama built a bridge across the Palk Strait to reach Lanka in his quest to rescue Sita from Ravana. Once the mission was accomplished, Rama constructed a Shiva Linga there as a sign of thanksgiving to the lord. This Jyotirlinga along with the Sri Visalakshi Ambigai Sannithi, established by Vibheeshana, makes it a sacred site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites. The grandeur is further enhanced by the 1,219 m pillared corridor consisting of 3.6 m high granite pillars, richly carved and well proportioned. It is believed that Moksha remains unattained if you don't visit this place once.
Sea-life - The waters here store rare sea species and coral reefs. Share the waters with the rollicking dolphins. Be it day or night, the waters are inviting and you can swim 24X7 if you desire.
The Shrine City - The place is all punctated with shrines. The Vishwanatha Shrine, Parvathavardhini, Utsava Idols, Santanaganpathi, Natraja Shrine, Sethupathi Mandapam, Mahalaxmi Shrine, Nandi Mandapam to name a few. Our tours have excellent options if a pilgrimage is what is on your mind. Else, go there simply to relax at beaches amidst the best in nature.
Around Rameshwaram - Erwadi at 24 km houses the tomb of saint Ibrahim Syed Aulia. Another destination, Ramanathapuram has the famous Ram Vilas Palace of Sethupati Rajas. Uthirakosamangai, situated 16 km southwest of Ramanathapuram has a well-known Shiva temple that has inspired many Tamil works of devotion. Sethu, at 5 km south of this temple is the venue of the celebrated temple of Sri Anjaneya.
Reaching Rameshwaram Nearest airport at Madurai (167 km) is connected with Mumbai, Calicut and Chennai. Rameshwaram has direct rail routes to Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and Coimbatore where Chennai is connected with all the major places in India. For those planning to take the road you can reach Rameshwaram from Kanyakumari (320 km), Karaikudi (149 km), Chennai (666 km) and Madurai (167 km) by bus or the cabs.
Accommodation Our tour packages have the accommodation options included to relieve you of the lodging hassles.
Goa is the fairy-tale gateway for the sea-farers of the sempiternal Arabian Sea into a land shrouded in a thousand mysteries - India! With its ruffle of pristine beaches knitted with swaying palm trees, Goa has lately been branded another appellation - the Riviera of the East - with a phenomenal tourist bee-line every winters, December to February that is. Warm-up with a beach basketball or volleyball session, sun-bask, shake a leg in the surprise jam-sessions, surfing, snorkeling, jet-skiing, boogie boarding, scuba diving, water-skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, deep sea fishing, you name it - Goa is too full of everything and is just the place for the spirited.
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Looking Back Goa, however, has a long history of being the-place-in-demand. Out of the muddle of power mongers, the Portuguese emerged victorious and held the reigning cudgels for over four centuries until 1961, when Goa was declared independent. The Portugese have, nevertheless, so ingrained the very matrix of Goa, that it feels more a chunk of Portugal grafted in India.
The Beaches - the Riviera of the East » Arjuna Beach - Lacing the ancient Chapora Fort, is the beatific but bustling Anjuna beach. The Calangute - Baga - Anjuna beach belt north of Panaji is most populous and developed, fueled entirely by the apalling tourist influx.
» Baga Beach - The crescent-shaped Baga with its soft white sands is a popular joint for water-sports activities like para sailing, jet skiing, body boarding and surfing. The dolphin cruises in the sea is a rage with tourists. Nocturnals stay back for the late-night parties here.
» Calangute Beach - Highly popular beach thronged with tourists and vendors selling every thinkable sea-side ware. Called the Queen of Goa beaches, celebrations and fun unlimited is the buzzword here.
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» Vagator Beach - A few minuted drive from Anjuna towards Panaji brings you to the Vagator beach. Cloistered and embellished with palm fringed colonnades, the beache with black laterite cliffs boast of Primrose, Nine Bar (both open air clubs) and Disco Valley (the Christmas and Sylvester parties hot-hub) as its most recognized landmarks.
» Dona Paula Beach - As pretty as its exquisite name, Dona Paula is comparatively peaceful, unlike the others bustling with activities. Dona Paula beach has variegated water sports facilities, especially water scootering. Besides, it is a very picturesque locale commanding a grand view of the Zuari river and Mormugao Harbour, and an idyllic spot to relax and sunbathe.
The list of beaches are endless and too exotic to be contained in words. About 2 million tourists (both foreign and domestic) throng Goa every year. Choose one of our tour packages for that complete experience of the coastal exotica.
The north-western state of Rajasthan is a treaure trove of architectural and cultural attractions. This land of the maharajas is known for the stories of valour and gallantry of its audacious and strong-willed monarchs. Forts and palaces dot the landscape of the state, from one corner to the other. The sociable people, their ways of dressing, their languages, their everyday eating habits and their warm way of receiving guests and their easy pace of life lure tourists from all parts of the world.
Safaris are, today, a part and parcel of the state's tourism industry. These safaris are an amended form of the ancient caravans. As soon as you think of safaris in Rajasthan, it creates a nostalgic effect in your mind. The Thar Desert with its dwellings and villages is a rich tapestry of numerous cultures and lifestyles. For those who wish to pay a visit to the remote areas and the historical ruins of this fascinating land, a desert safari in Rajasthan is the most interesting option.
Safari Options You can explore the desert land either on a camel or in a jeep for enjoying desert safari in Rajasthan. Each of the options is an experience in itself. Though, it is to be admitted that a jeep safari is a lighter option as compared to a camel safari. Both the safaris, however, can well be customised as per your essentials and prerequisites. The desolate villages and the architectural ruins that are scattered across the desert are stark reminders of a glorious past. Safaris, both camel and jeep, come in different shapes and sizes, ranging from a couple of hours to a number of days. The trip proves to be all the more knowledgeable and interesting if there's a native guide along. Apart from making you cognizant of the things of the past, he could actually strike up good conversation and load you with lots of folklores.
Jeep safari, however, is the fastest means of exploring the desert towns and cities. And an open jeep adds to the charm all the more, as it makes you feel one with the enchanting countryside of the state.
Rajasthan Desert Safari Attractions Touring the desert trio of Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer is an interesting option to satisfy your thirst for a safari in Rajasthan. Besides, the villages of the Shekhawati Region promise a great deal both in terms of knowledge and entertainment. Sam sand dunes is yet another attraction of the safari. It lies at a distance of 42 km from Jaisalmer. There are ancient temples, imposing forts and palaces and grand mansions for you to explore.
Camping in the Thar Desert is a craze among tourists. Bonfire nights, star-studded desert sky and delicious dinner served a la royalty is a lot of fun and adventure. Your travel guide will be with you all along acquainting you of all the information you might need. Spending a night or more under the desert sky, with so many enticements, will prove to be an experience never to forget.
Mandawa, Pushkar and Jaipur are some of the most important safari destinations. Attractions abound, and you will have to see garrisons, castles, havelis, lakes and gardens. There are lots of lures to keep you occupied and excited in this land of myths, legends and monarchs.
India is a country with myriad opportunities and multiplex lures. Beach lovers, hill station fanciers, wildlife enthusiasts, adventure freaks, history buffs and cultural hunters find answers to their innumerable queries here in India. And these satisfactory answers have built a confidence among tourists and vacationers pulling them to India year after year.
Hill stations in India are not known only for their scenic locations and quiet ambiance, but most importantly for the stark cultural experiences that they put the holiday makers and tourers to. Besides, there are historical remnants that add to the charm all the more. So, next time while you are on a trip to this amazingly attractive land of India, don't miss the cool retreats that truly will evoke sensations you'll find hard to escape.
Some of the most favoured hill stations in India include : Ladakh Lying in the trans Himalayan region, Ladakh is replete with Buddhist cultural influences. Besides, the exotic wildlife and the hilly way of life along with multiple adventure sports options take the visitors by storm.
Mussoorie Located at an altitude of 2,500 m above sea level, Mussoorie lies in the Garhwal Hills in the state of Uttaranchal. The hill station offers a great deal including Gun Hill, Camel's Back Road, Kempty Fall, Nagdevta Temple, Mussoorie Lake, Municipal Garden etc.
Mount Abu An erstwhile summer resort of the Rajput kings, Mount Abu is the only cool retreat in the desert land of Rajasthan. The hill station offers a lot in terms of culture and history. It is the finest hideaway in the state to escape the heat and relax in its quite surroundings.
Srinagar Tucked away in the heart of Kashmir Valley at an altitude of 1,730 m above sea level, Srinagar has a plentiful supply of natural riches. The salubrious climate of the year invites tourists and travellers all the year round.
Nainital Located at a distance of 67 km from Almora, Nainital lies in the state of Uttaranchal in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The hill station, apart from offering a number of trekking and water sports options, extends stunning vantage points with heart stirring views of the whole town and the surrounding areas.
Darjeeling Darjeeling meaning the land of the thunderbolt lies in the state of West Bengal at an altitude of 2,134 m above sea level. The hill station is world renowned for its vast expanse of tea plantations and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a World Heritage Site.
Ooty Perched at a height of 7,349 ft above sea level, Ooty lies in the Nilgiri Hills in the state of Tamil Nadu. Forested valleys, snow-laden peaks, wonderful orchards, churches and museums are a few of the attractions of the place.