India Travel Guides for Backpackers

Jaipur – The Pink City of the Royals!

Jaipur – the City of the Royals! Renowned as the Pink City of India, Jaipur captures the heart not only with its beautifully architectured walled city in pink color but also with its magnanimous forts, breathtaking vistas and sumptuous delicacies that through the ages have come to be an imminent expression of the royal lineage of the Rajput clan of India. Built during the 18th Century by Maharaj Jai Singh with the help of Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya, Jaipur was one of the first planned cities of India. Popular for its intriguing forts and monuments that reminisce the royal history of the city, Jaipur is a mere 4.5 hours drive from the capital city of India – New Delhi and is favorably connected to various parts of the country through a network of Domestic & International flights and railway services. Listed below are some of the must-visit spots of Jaipur for each individual coming to the royal city. Amer Fort The Fort of the Royals Renowned as the Fort of the Royals, Amer was built-in as early as 1592 by then ruler of Jaipur – Raja Man Singh. Built along the banks of the picturesque Maota Lake, Amer Fort was the initial capital of the royal kingdom till the late 18th century. Built primarily with red sandstone and marble, the Amer Palace takes pride in its sturdy yet stunning exteriors that give the impression of a fort and intricately designed palace interiors that enunciate the remarkable craftmanship of yore! The Amer Fort was the abode to the royal family and is consequently divided into the outer and inner quarters. The outer quartes of the palace fort exhibit the parade ground and impressively architected Diwan-i-Aam. The famed ‘Sheesh Mahal‘ or the ‘Palace of Mirrors‘ falls within the inner quarters of the palace separated from the Diwan-i-Aam by the stunning Ganesh Pol. The palace is also home to the revered ‘Shila Devi‘ or the Holy Goddess within the fort premises. The colossal gateways constructed at the entry and exit way of the palace fort in Amer, known as the Suraj Pol and Chand Pol due to their location on the eastern and western flanks of the fort, is a sight to behold with their intricate white marble work and Rajput wall motifs. The palace is open for the general from 9 in the morning till 6 in the evening. You can even enjoy a grand Light and Sound Show delving into the history of the fort held near the palace premises in the evening. Nahargarh Fort The Abode of the Tigers Built-in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, Nahargarh forms one of the most beautiful triage along with Amer and Jaigarh Fort overlooking the Pink City of Jaipur. The highest point of the royal city of India, Nahargarh is frequented by the tourists for the entrancing sunrise and sunsets visible from the fort. The fort, built as a retreat for the royals and a sentient overlooking the walled city of Jaipur, exhibits Indo-European touch […]

One Day Trip to Warangal from Hyderabad

Are you looking for weekend getaways from Hyderabad? Are you looking for cheap thrills aka budget trip? Warangal is one of the underrated weekend getaways that I explored with a budget of just INR 1288 per head in a group of 3. Hyderabad is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in all of India being a new-age IT hub. We often feel the need for a break in the city that is always moving at a high pace. Due to the geographical location of Hyderabad, we tend to believe its far from the Coastlines, the Ghats and usually ends up muttering how we can’t plan a short trip. So here I am sharing my experience, itinerary and details of the budget spent on my One Day Trip to Warangal to help you plan yours. These are some must-visit places of Warangal in 1-day. If you have more than 1 day then you can update your itinerary with some destinations mentioned at the end. Let’s begin. How to reach? We started at 4:15 from our place that is Hitech City. Took Ola auto to reach Hitech City MMTS station. INR 100. Took MMTS for Hitech City to Secunderabad. INR 15. Reached Secunderabad by 05:15 Hrs. You can check out MMTS timings on their official website MMTS Time Table                 We had a South Indian breakfast from a restaurant outside Secunderabad Station. INR 95. Krishna Exp 17406 from Secunderabad(Departure: 6:05 Hrs) to Warangal(Arrival: 08:32 Hrs). INR 225. The train was delayed by about half an hour. Reached Warangal by 09:10 Hrs.    Places to Visit in Warangal After exiting Warangal railway station, We bargained with an autorickshaw driver to take us to 3 places – Warangal Fort, Bhadrakali Temple, and Thousand Pillar Temple in that order and drop us back to the local bus stand. INR 500. Warangal Fort   Warangal Fort said to be built in the 12th century by Kakatiyas is an architectural masterpiece. The fort was destroyed by invaders but its beauty can still be witnessed through its rustic remnants. Look for details in the architecture present and you will wonder about the artisans of the 12th century. There is no big structure to which you can refer to as fort it is just ruins of Fort. It feels like an open exhibition in a field so better you choose your time to visit it wisely. It opens from 9 AM to 8 PM. Try to avoid peak sun hours. When there you can also visit the public hall, which goes by the name Kush Mahal. You can go to its terrace and witness a mesmerizing view. You can also observe the boundary of the fort and one wonder how big the fort was once.   Bhadrakali Temple Bhadrakal Temple is one of the oldest temples for Goddess Bhadrakali. The temple is believed to be built in 625 A.D. It is a must-visit for its picturesque beauty of natural rock formation and the vast lake that creates […]

Ultimate Travel guide to Leh – Ladakh

Leh-Ladakh is a place like no other. An Exceptional demystifying beauty in the Himalayas in North India. Leh-Ladakh is a blend of Indian, Buddhism as well as Tibetan linings, a place which is worth paying a visit to. “A Heaven for Adventure Junkies. A Dream for Soul Finder and A Love for the rest of us.” Situated at the height of 2750 – 7672 meters above sea level, Ladakh is indeed extremely blessed with an incredible topography that comprises hilly terrains, lush green grasslands, and high altitude peaks. Adventure lovers from across the globe visit Leh-Ladakh as there is multiple numbers of trek trails and trekking options available here. Beautiful Ladakh Roads To Visit such a place you need to prepare in advance. I bring to you an Ultimate guide for the Road trip to Leh Ladakh for 11 long days There are two ways by which one can en route the Road journey to Ladakh. Both ways are worth experiencing. However, the second one is more reliable as the roads are properly built. Manali – Leh Ladakh : Total Distance 472 KM Srinagar- Leh Ladakh : Total Distance 420 KM Best time to visit Ladakh The perfect time is Mid August — Early October, with fewer tourists around. The temperature is around -6 to 20 degrees Celsius. Fall is the best season to visit Leh-Ladakh. Go there in September and experience the colors with the shades of gray of a cold desert under a shiny blue sky. You will enjoy the picturesque landscapes as well the Changing weather at every altitude. Places To Visit during the road trip from Srinagar to Leh Ladakh  Srinagar – Kargil (204 km / 6 hours) Once you have commenced your Road Journey from Srinagar, the first stop will be Kargil. Ensure to fill your Bike Tanks and keep extra Fuel with you. There are halts in between at Sonmarg — an immaculate valley with lush views and snow-clad peak, Zojila Pass (a high altitude pass), Drass Village- the world’s 2nd coldest inhabitant place. You can either stay for overnight at Hotels in Kargil or continue with your Road Trip towards Leh Ladakh. Kargil – Leh (217 km/ 5-6 hours) On the route to Leh, pay a visit to Lamayuru monastery a Buddhist Temple, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib a religious place of Sikhs, and Magnetic Hill. The worship places are beautifully built and the architecture is worth seeing. Magnetic Hill is one of the most famous optical illusions. Vehicles seem as if they’re moving uphill while going straight on the road. Leh -Khardung La Pass ( 40 km / 1 hour 30 mins) Next on the way is the highest motorable road in the world, the Khardungla Pass. Every year, thousands of tourists visit Khardung La Pass from all parts of the world. During summer months, you can even book a horse safari. Khardungla – Nubra Valley Stay overnight in Royal desert Camp or any other camps in Nubra Valley. You can indulge in several adventure activities, such as Camel ride, […]

Native Neighborhoods of Mumbai: A Travel Guide

Mumbai is the cultural capital of India. A melting pot of cultures and languages, Mumbai is home to people not just from different states of India but also from various countries around the world. But, amidst all the hustle and bustle of this never-sleeping, and ever-growing city, it often happens that the native culture and communities of Mumbai are silently tucked away. The small native villages are locally known as ‘gaothans’ and ‘koliwadas’. They are home to the East-Indians and Kolis. The name East Indian has no geographical implications but links this community to the British East India Company that ruled over colonial India. Kolis are to the native fishing community of Mumbai. A walk along the narrow lanes of these neighborhoods will transport you back to colonial India. Both, the architecture and food of these areas are unique. Even though you can see the heavy influences of colonial taste, you cannot miss their native identity. The houses are picturesque and the food is packed with strong flavors. Below is the list of a few such neighborhoods that stand representative of the native culture and community of Mumbai city. It will be difficult to cover all of the neighborhoods described below in a day. So depending on how much time you have, you can choose either one or two of these areas to experience what it must have been like to live in this major Indian city before it became the sprawling metropolis that you see today. Khotachiwadi & Matharpacady Colonial Houses of Khotachiwadi Image Credit: urbzoo / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0 It is believed that the native communities in these areas settled here centuries ago. Some records date back to the 17th century. Khotachiwadi is located in the Girgaum area of Mumbai City District. The narrow lanes of this neighborhood offer a peek into the city of yesteryears. You could stroll around the area on your own taking in all the gaothan air or you can sign-up for a Heritage walk. You can check out designer James Ferreira’s house which showcases artifacts for this native culture. Matharpacady is another such area that is located close to Khotachiwadi in the Mazagaon area. How to get there: Nearest Railway station – Charni Road on the Western Line of Mumbai Railway From Charni Road, Khotachiwadi is about 10 minutes away, so you can either take a cab/taxi or walk the distance. Landmark: Theresa Church in Girgaum Worli Koliwada Bandra-Worli Sealink as seen from Worli Fort Image Credit: Rudolph.A.furtado / Wikimedia Commons / CC-SA-1.0   Worli is one of the original seven islands that form Mumbai. As the name suggests Worli koliwada is home to the native fishing community of Kolis. Walking through the crowded lanes of the koliwada you can witness first-hand the culture of coastal Mumbai. At the edge of the koliwada stands the Worli fort. Built by the British in 1675, this fort offers a taste of the past and future of the city. Standing here you can […]

Top 10 Places to Visit in Delhi

India, a land of unity in diversity, well known for its culture and heritage has more to offer than what usually people can fathom. In the heart of the nation resides the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT). Delhi is an extravagant metropolitan city with a tint of rich heritage, inhabited since 6th century BCE. I have lived in Delhi for eighteen years and have yet failed to grab everything it has to offer. Having discovered many parts of the city, there is still SO much left on the plate to explore. Each site being so different from the other, none of my explorations of the city fail to mesmerize and provide me an authentic experience. Following the commonly heard phrase ‘Dilli dilwalon ki’ meaning Delhi belongs to the large hearts; Delhi’s people, food, culture, and heritage will never disappoint you!   Demographics The city lies in the northern part of India. It is cited in the northern plains with a network of rivers passing through and around it. Climate Because of its distance from the coast, Delhi experiences drastic weather changes, witnessing all seasons to the peak. Summers from June to August, are very hot. Monsoon season is between June and September, which leads to high levels of humidity in the air. Winters surface from December to February and are quite cool.   Festivals October to March is the peak travel time. The city also witnesses Diwali (the festival of lights) as well as Holi (the festival of colors) in November- December and March- April respectively. A person visiting the city during these festivals will have once- in –a lifetime kind of experience by getting a direct peek into the hues of the Indian culture. Diwali- The festival of lights   Champa Gali In a tiny corner in Saket, this street of unknown wonderment is hidden. Champa Gali takes one away from the chaos of the city. The place is marked by themed cafes, stores selling traveler merchandises, wall graffiti, art gallery and above all, a vibe of its own. The site is home to many live events and also has a comedy club.   Other similar sites: Hauz Khas Village, Hudson Lane   Firoz Shah Kotla   Kotla is a fortress built by Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Stationed at the site, is the pristine Topra Ashoka Pillar from the 3rd century BC. It is popularly believed that Jinn(s) bless the place due to which people seem to pen down their wishes on paper and leave them behind at the site in the hope of getting them fulfilled.   Other Historical sites: Red Fort, Jantar Mantar, Qutub Minar, Purana Quila     Ugrasen ki Baoli The site is believed to be built by King Agrasen. It is a step-well that has reportedly witnessed many paranormal activities. The site has been featured in many Bollywood films such as PK and Sultan. The place is a writer’s paradise, especially in the early winters.   Other similar sites: Tomb of Safdarjung, Humanyun’s tomb     Rashtrapati Bhavan and Mughal […]

Explore The City Of Dreams With The Mumbai Travel Guide

Mumbai, popularly known as ‘The City of Dreams’ or ‘The Home of Bollywood’ is a majestic spectacle. Also, known as the ‘Maximum City’ of India, the city is home to over 1.2 million people, who coexist in a chaotic and fast-paced metropolitan landscape. The city represents more than a man-made geographical border. People of various religions, who speak numerous languages, wear different and vibrant colors, eat a wide range of cuisines, live together as a singular spirit. And, being one of the most prime business and trade hubs in India, Mumbai witnesses a large number of migrants and welcomes everyone with open arms. Mumbai was ruled by the Portuguese for 125 years until it was given to the British as a wedding dowry. Catherine Braganza, the Princess of Portugal, had married Charles II, the King of England and the city was given as a dowry gift in 1662. Then, the British developed Mumbai as a port and embarked on extensive urban construction works since the early 1800s. After India got Independence from the British in 1947, Mumbai witnessed a population boom as a result of the extensive professional opportunities and wealth, which was unavailable elsewhere. Various cultures and the rich history of Mumbai gave rise to some of the most extraordinary tourist locations in India. Nomads and tourists can check out this travel guide for their trip to Mumbai: Gateway of India The Gateway of India is one of the most popular monuments in Mumbai and a starting point for tourists who wish to explore the city. But, have you ever wondered how the Gateway of India came into existence? The Gateway of India was built in Mumbai (then, Bombay) during the British rule. It was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city. The Gateway of India was designed by a British architect named George Wittet. The structure used to be an arrival point for many visitors from the western world. However, after the Independence, it ironically became the point from which the last of the British ships had set sail for England. Now, the Gateway of India is deeply rooted in the culture of India and of Mumbai. The monument faces the vast Arabian Sea and looks magnificent at night against the backdrop of the sea. Taj Mahal Palace Located right in front the Gateway of India, the Taj Mahal Palace looks like its something out of a Wes Anderson film. It was built in 1930 by an industrialist named JN Tata, after he was supposedly refused entry to nearby European hotels for being ‘a native’. The construction of Taj had cost Rs. 4 crore. The six-story building has a central Moorish dome that  resembles the beautiful architecture of the Indo-Saracenic style. This royal hotel is carved with Romanesque and Victorian Gothic details alongside Edwardian touches on the roof. The Taj Mahal Palace was the first building in Mumbai to be lit by electricity. This hotel offers a royal and lavish experience like no other. Chhatrapati Shivaji […]

Places To Visit In One Day At Hyderabad (India)

Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana located in the southern region of India. The city has a rich and varied history through the times dating back to 500BCE as revealed by the Iron age sites discovered by archaeologists. The area of Hyderabad Deccan has been ruled by the Chalukya Dynasty and later by the Kakatiya Dynasty. The region then came under the control of the Khalji Dynasty, the Tughlaq Dynasty, and Qutb Shahi dynasties before Asaf Jahi Dynasty took over and are also referred to as Nizams of Hyderabad. It was during the reign of the Qutb Shahi dynasty that some of the important monuments like Golconda Fort, Charminar, and Mecca Masjid were constructed in the city. Today Hyderabad is one of the modern cities still retaining its old-world charm through its monuments and culture. Must-See Places There are many attractions which will be difficult to explore in just one day. Let us see the important places which are possible to cover and shoot if you have just one day at hand. You will also get to know what to capture as a photographer or traveler. The places have been listed which will generally be of interest to a photographer. There are many more places to explore should you have more time at hand. You may like to visit the Salarjung Museum, Ramoji Film City, Nehru Zoological Park, Shilparamam, etc which are no less from the tourism point of view. Charminar and Mecca Masjid A visit to the city of Hyderabad is incomplete if this famous monument is not visited. From the photography point of view, the best time to visit this monument is at dusk.  It is the time when you will find some colors in the sky as well as lights coming up. Reach before sunset to find the spot from where you would be clicking. There are some buildings in the vicinity too but going on rooftops would require permission from the owner. After you decide on the angles and perspective, head to the nearby Mecca Masjid. You can make some very interesting images with people going for prayers as well as lots of people feeding the pigeons in the courtyard. The minarets will offer interesting silhouettes to capture too. Charminar offers interesting nightscapes from different angles. Try finding a place to capture some light trails as well with Charminar as the backdrop. The street hawkers with their carts lit up will offer very interesting compositions for night photography. Pump up the ISO and you are ready to go. If you are not confident of using your camera in manual mode, you may try auto mode without flash. Remember to place your camera on a tripod or steady platform to avoid shake which may happen should the shutter speeds become slow in this mode. If you are short of time it is better to cover Charminar and its surrounding areas early in the morning. Hussain Sagar, Birla Mandir, and Buddha Statue These places are in close vicinity […]

A solo female traveler's trip to Spiti Valley

‘Spiti’ which translates to ‘The Middle Land’, is one of the most picturesque locations in India. It is a cold desert region located in between India and Tibet, which makes it true to its name. Travelling to this part of the country and witnessing the breathtaking views surrounded by the Great Himalayan ranges has been my dream since many years. So this time, without a second thought, I took off to live my dream life near the mountains for 10 days! Spiti Wonders Spiti valley is the land that lifts your spirits. It is the land where you forget all the hustles and bustles of city life. Even in the freezing cold at night, you would want to lay back and watch the night sky lit with stars! Apart from the mystic mountain views and terrain, the place is known for the Buddhist monasteries spread across and of course, the Spiti river streaming its way around the valley. Mesmerizing view from Spiti Since I started my journey from Chandigarh through Shimla, I visited the places in the following order : Chandigarh – Kalpa – Chitkul – Reckong Peo – Nako – Tabo – Kaza There are two ways to reach Spiti : 1 .From Manali side – via Rohtang Pass and Kunzum La to Kaza. This is possible only during the months of June to August when both the passes are open. Keep in mind to check the route status if you plan to take this route, since there could be road blocks due to snowfall and landslides. If you chose to take public transportation in this route, there are direct buses to Kaza starting from Manali.                        2.From Shimla/Chandigarh to Reckong Peo. The best choice would be to take the state government (Himachal Pradesh) run buses, since the drivers are always updated about the routes and know the terrain so well. I had made plans to visit Kalpa and Kinnaur valley which is another beautiful part of the state with mesmerizing views of the mountain ranges. All the buses to places in Kinnaur valley also starts from Reckong Peo. Buses to Kaza (small township in Spiti valley) also ply from the same bus stand. It takes  around 9-10 hrs over the roads, which are considered to be the most dangerous (at the same time thrilling!) roads of India.My trip started from the city of Bengaluru (in Karnataka) from where I took a flight to Chandigarh. On reaching Chandigarh, I took a HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) bus to Reckong Peo. Most buses to Spiti start from Reckong Peo. Since the buses are not regular in this route, the travel needs to be planned accordingly.   The beautiful view of the mountain ranges from Reckong Peo I visited Kalpa and Chitkul over 3 days. Roads to Chitkul are very narrow and rugged which might be scary for first timers in this region. But keep calm, because the bus drivers are […]

Gokarna: A travel guide for secluded beaches

India has tucked away a host of serene beaches away from the thronging beach crowd. Whilst Goa might be the popular go-to beach destination for beach parties, foreigners from all corners of the world, seafood thalis (platter of Indian seafood, curry and rice) and local beer, Gokarna on the other hand, presents to you a piece of paradise on Earth. Nestled at the edge of the Western Ghats on the Konkan coastline, a trip to Gokarna will lighten your soul and rekindle the explorer in you. And for those who live on Instagram, Gokarna is picture-perfect from every direction. For locals residing there and pilgrims, Gokarna is a stop on the coastal route that hosts many popular and ancient temples. Lord Shiva Temple in Gokarna town sits on Gokarna Beach. The town still preserves and celebrates its rich cultural roots and the narrow streets roll back the years. Take an auto-rickshaw ride to the north or south of the Main beach and viola(!!!), you will find yourself either on the shiny golden sand with clear waters or atop of hills enclosing a spectacular view of the sea. (You can also rent local cars or bikes). Here, Gokarna opens up for you to get lost into. Getting in and out of Gokarna City Trains and buses ply from major cities – Mumbai, Goa & Bengaluru. There is no airport in Gokarna. If you are flying, book a ticket to Goa or Mangalore or Hubli; and take a bus/train from there on to Gokarna City. Best time to visit October to March is ideal sunny sky season. Beaches to visit South of Gokarna Main beach (in the order given below) these four beaches enclosed between hills will help you relax, unwind and gaze into the horizon. Kudle Beach Hop on a rickshaw from Gokarna City bus stand or rickshaw stand to the hilltop of the beach. A 10-minute walk down a built stairway will take you to the foothills of Kudle. Although over the years Kudle has started attracting a lot of local crowds nevertheless, the scenic beauty will make you forget everyone around you. Attraction Kudle is famous for its beautiful sunsets, by the rocks and amidst the hills. Must try You can make a pit stop here to refuel yourself with tasty calamary (squid) in butter garlic or deep fried in batter. Where to Stay If you wish to stay on the beach, there are multiple shacks ranging from dried bamboo leaf rooms to cottages. Prices starting from Rs. 500 a night going up to Rs. 2000. If you prefer staying in a resort you can find rooms in 2-star to 3-star resorts on Kudle hilltop with prices starting Rs. 3000 a night. Om Beach The name derives from the shape of the beach. Tourists who visit here prefer hiking to Om from Kudle where you can see the shape of Om from the peak of the hilltop. To get to Om, you can either take an auto to Om […]

A wanderer's guide on a Road Trip to Tawang

If you are looking for an escape route to a place of perpetual peace and bliss, the heavenly kingdom of Arunachal Pradesh is the perfect getaway for you. This state is brimming with nature’s beauty and the best way to experience it is a road trip from Guwahati to Tawang. Brace yourself as the most rejuvenating trips you’ll ever experience. Arunachal Pradesh has been nicknamed ‘land of the dawn-lit mountains’, ‘land of the rising sun’, ‘orchard state of India’, etc. At every step you’ll feel the bliss of nature seeping inside you through all your senses, making you ebullient. You’ll be mesmerized by the snow-clad mountains, the valleys, the lakes, the sound of the flowing rivers and brightly colored flowers.   For the road trip both pre-paid and shared taxi services are available. I opted for a pre-paid taxi as I was traveling with my family. Here’s how to plan your itinerary for Tawang road trip. Day 1: Guwahati to Tezpur (5 Hrs) We started our journey by visiting the ancient temple of Kamakhya Devi at Guwahati. Right after this, we headed straight to Tezpur. We drove through the greenest routes ever imaginable. We stayed there overnight in a hotel and prepared ourselves the lengthy odyssey. Day 2: Tezpur to Bomdila (8 Hrs) We reached Bomdila in the afternoon. It’s a beautiful small town full of serenity. The clouds are literally just a jump away. After a short nap, we went to the local market and bought some unique food items like white kidney beans, cheese toffees, sweet n sour prune candies, etc. We visited a small monastery in a park that was beautifully maintained. The tranquility of the place is apt for meditation. You wouldn’t fail to notice that the people throughout the North-East are avid lovers of greenery. No matter how small the home, you would see numerous plants potted with beautiful flowers blooming. Bomdila has many home-stays and we opted one of them. The owner of the place was a very lovely lady who prepared the food for the guests by herself. Her hospitality made us feel home away from home. Day 3: Bomdila to Tawang (8 Hrs) We woke up to sounds of the birds chirruping. After relishing a delicious home-cooked breakfast we visited the alluring Bomdila Monastery. It’s a magnificent monastery spread over a vast campus full of flowers of numerous kinds. After this, we proceeded towards the hidden gem, Tawang. On our way, we came across the legendary Sela Pass (13,700 ft elevation), this place is wintry and leaves you bewitched with all its beauty. There is minimal vegetation and a number of Yaks present here. The Paradise lake is indeed a paradise to the eyes. Our eyes needed a few moments to absorb the beauty of this place. We also visited the gigantic Jang falls. These falls are located in a picturesque place and have been a shooting site for various songs. We reached our hotel by evening. The mystical Tawang Monastery was visible […]

Delhi-A Home To Historic Events And Structures

A place known for its ancient archaeological structures and monuments, historical forts, the dynamic and diversified bazaars (a market place) that are a continuum of the medieval era, Delhi, sure should be one of the places you ought to visit if you haven’t yet! Commonly known as the capital of India, New Delhi is a beautiful city situated in the northern part of India. The city is known to be the grave for many kingdoms and has a significant amount of history attached to it. It was well known among the rulers mostly because of the kind of commercial value it holds. Three months ago, I went to Delhi for a cousin’s wedding and I was there for a brief period, four days to be precise. Delhi is filled with places of historical significance and in this article, I will inscribe information relating to the places I visited in the limited time I spent in the city. These structures are truly impeccable and words won’t do justice to the beauty of these establishments. Qutub Minar A must visit place in Delhi, the Qutub Minar stands tall despite being a victim of several natural catastrophes. This tower has never failed to attract tourists for the reason that the carvings are so detailed and spotless. Known to be the tallest individual towers in the world, this magnificent structure was built in the year 1193 and has 379 steps in total. There are some good restaurants around this place and some also offer a view of the Qutub Minar. Located around 150-200 meters away from the historical site is a restaurant, The Grammar Room, that serves great continental cuisines.   Humayun’s Tomb With the joint efforts of both the Indian and the Persian craftsmen, this grand tomb was built in the 1500s. It was the first garden-tomb of the Indian subcontinent which is one of its kind. This tomb is a perfect example of the Charbagh (as described in the Quran), a four-quadrant garden with four rivers of water, wine, milk, and honey. This magnificent design featured in UNESCO’s World Heritage List had me admiring the unique architectural design as it is square from within and octagonal externally. Chandni Chowk Giving you the medieval bazaar feels, Chandni Chowk is the oldest markets in Delhi, a place which one should visit for it has amazing food outlets and impressive goods. Known to be existing for more than three centuries, the place was famous for its silver merchants. These streets are now inundated with a range of shops that offer diverse collections of clothes, jewelry, electronics, goods related to lifestyle and many more. Having been here, I must say that you won’t get out of this place empty-handed! Red Fort Located in the center of the city, Lal Quila (the Red Fort) was built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. History suggests that the Red Fort was one of the administrative capital of the empire during the reign of the Mughals. The architectural style of […]

India, Manali: A Week at the Hippie Town of Himachal

Situated in between the Dhauladhar ranges and the snow-covered slopes of the Pir Panjal, Manali is undoubtedly one of the most visited hill stations in India. With jaw-dropping surroundings, green forests, meadows covered with flowers, blue streams, and a constant fragrance of pines, The Valley of Gods -Manali is blessed with scenic beauty. From old museums to temples, hippie villages to upscale streets, trekking trails to waterfalls, Manali has every reason for the tourists to be at. With a lot of planning, curiosity, and excitement in mind, we decided to visit Manali. And guess what, we were blown away as soon as we reached. The city, covered with snowfall was still blessed with vibrant colors and lively tourists. Accommodation at Surabhi Hotel We stayed at Surabhi Hotel, Vashisht village, which is approximately 6 km away from Manali, located at the banks of the Beas River. You can reach Vashisht village by Auto by paying Rs.50. With clean roads, tall eucalyptus trees, small food joints, local market, and local cafes serving delicious food, Vashisht Village in Manali is a peaceful place to be. That’s the reason why most of the foreign tourists favored staying here. To my observation, Old Manali is also preferred by the foreign tourists, the backpackers and solo travelers than the downtown Manali. Thanks to the constant snowfall (all night) for two days, we could witness The Switzerland of India. A bonfire at the terrace of the hotel was icing on the cake for us. The next morning, I walked down from the Vashisht temple to the main road covering the local market. I could hear the Beas River water flowing at the background. The road was slippery and scenic with a thick layer of ice all around. The village had a soothing effect. The houses, shops and even the smallest hotels in Vashista still carry the traditional architecture of Manali. Tourists were overwhelmed with the snowfall and were enjoying their stroll in the village itself. So were we!   When in Manali, Vashisht is a must visit place for the tourists. It offers everything that a backpacker would ask for. India: Best Time to Visit Manali Weather in Manali plays an important role as it rises or decreases the level of emotions in tourists. One can anyways pack their bags and visit Manali but you should be aware of the best time to visit Manali and also about the off-season. Weather in Manali behaves crazy and even changes at a fraction of time. Here in Manali, the mountains carry their own charisma. The monsoon season in Manali, between July and August, attracts only some adventurers; however, they are advised to travel at their own risk of facing an accidental landslide. In summers, Manali is jam-packed with tourists from all countries; the backpackers, leisure travelers, solo travelers, the honeymooners and also the trekkers. Having said that, the best time to visit Manali is immediately after the receding monsoon! Weather in Manali during September and October is mild as […]

Places to Visit in Shirdi

Situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India, the town of Shirdi is considered as one of the most popular pilgrimages in India. It is known for being the abode of Lord Sai Baba, the great saint who lived in the town during the late 18th Century AD and the early 19th Century AD. The miracles and the good deeds performed by Lord Sai Baba eventually made the people believe him as an avatar of the Almighty himself. With time, Shirdi got to be recognized due to Lord Sai Baba, and till date, the town attracts visitors from different parts of the world. The tourist spots in Shirdi will surely prove to be fascinating for those who wish to explore the spiritual self in themselves. Attractions such as Samadhi Temple, Gurusthan, Lendi Bagh and many more are claimed to have been inhabited or visited by Lord Sai Baba, thus adding to the piousness in the atmosphere. The best part about these attractions is that they are present near each other, hence saving your time and money for travelling, and making your trip economical. About Lord Sai Baba As per historical records, the actual birthplace and name of Lord Sai Baba are unknown to date. Lord Sai Baba was found by the locals of Shirdi Village under a Neem tree, deep in meditation. Without disclosing his name, he visited the famous Khandoba Temple to offer his prayers to Lord Khandoba, who is also considered as a form of Lord Shiva. On seeing his pleasing personality, Mahalsapati, the priest of Khandoba Temple, spoke the words– “Come Sai!”. Post this incident, the saint boy was named as Sai by the people. Actual Photograph of Lord Sai Baba Sai used to spend his days either performing good deeds, doing meditation or visiting the houses for Bhiksha, which mostly happened to be food or clothing items. Sometimes, he even asked for money, which he later spent for the welfare of people. He also performed and asked people to help in odd activities, which were nothing but his way of performing miracles. Lord Sai Baba always kept his yajna pot ignited at Dwarkamai Mosque and distributed its Udi or ashes to people as a remedy to their illnesses. Whatever be the illness, Lord Sai’s Udi is believed to have cured all of them in a short time. Even after his death in 1918 AD, the yajna pot is kept ignited 24X7 and the Udi distributed to Lord Sai Baba’s devotees. Living in Dwarkamai mosque and Chavadi for the most of his life, Lord Sai Baba took his last breath in Samadhi Temple. But even after so many years, his grave has displayed signs of his presence multiple times to his devotees, strengthening people’s faith in him more than ever. Places to Visit in Shirdi Samadhi Temple Originally built by a rich merchant from Nagpur, Maharashtra as his gift towards Lord Sai Baba, the main intention behind building the temple was to establish a statue of Lord […]

Adventures in Harwan: From Paragliding to Buddhist Monasteries

Harwan is a small village located about 20 km from the city center of Lalchowk in Srinagar, Kashmir, India. Easily reachable by the airport which lies 28 km from the place, Harwan is a famous vacation, adventure travel, and picnic spot for tourists. Home to the Dachigam National Park, 1st century Buddhist Monastery, paragliding venues, scenic Chinar gardens, majestic Zabarwan mountains, and exquisite Kashmiri cuisines, Harwan offers experiences to the heart’s content. Let’s take a look into what this place in India presents an adventure traveler. The majestic Chinar Bagh Harwan garden is home to a splendid colony of Chinars; enormous trees with leaves changing color every season, adding to the beauty of any place they dwell. Well maintained and structured, the aura of this bagh is aesthetically pleasing to all senses. It was built around the time when Maharajas ruled Kashmir. Lush greenery, flowers of every hue, and frothing streams decorate this garden. It is open all around the year for tourists except on Mondays, for maintenance purposes. This gardens also holds a water reservoir called ‘Sarbandh’ for use of the locals. It is situated below the foothills of the famous Zabarwan range. This range extends to reach the great mountain peak, Mahadev. Sarbandh – Harwan Explore wildlife at Dachigam National Park Another compelling reason to visit Harwan is the Dachigam National Park. Located just 3 km from the Harwan garden, this national park is the pride of Kashmir. It hosts a variety of flora and fauna, ranging from small prey to large carnivores. However, the park is most famous for ‘Hangul’; the red deer species of Asia found only in this park and nowhere else in the world. Its IUCN status is endangered, however, recent conservation efforts have led to an increase in their population. In Dachigam, tourists can find a Trout fish farm and a guest house located in lower parts of the national park. To access higher reaches, treks are conducted under supervision from forest guards and guides. The park also holds snow leopards brought from all over the valley fro rehabilitation. For adventure travel and treks, Dachigam is irreplaceable. The park is home to the famous Dagwan stream originating from the glacial lake in the upper Himalayas. It fulfills water requirements of Harwan and adjoining areas. Further up into the clouds A few kilometers from the national park, one can find paragliding venues. This place, located in Dara, is imperative for those who zest for adrenaline rushes. Managed by the Department of Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir, this place is retrofitted to meet the needs of all who pass. Beginning from up above with a birds-eye view of the whole Harwan hamlet, tourists land near Chandpora, Harwan fields way beyond their starting point. A thrilling experience and captivating beauty lie ahead for all those who wish to experience the same. Catch your breath at the ancient monasteries Just a few steps to the right would take you up the hills to an ancient Buddhist monastery where […]

The Ultimate Guide to travel to Majuli, a river island in Assam

Majuli, a river island situated on the Brahmaputra river is the first island to be made a district in India. The river island, home to the Mishing tribe holds the title of the ‘World’s Second Largest River Island.’ The World-famous river island is frequently visited by locals, tourists from other parts of India and foreign tourists, especially young backpackers looking for affordable yet memorable travel experiences. The life on the island is simple – they grow their own crops, rare cattle, live in clustered communities and family means everything. The locals are hospitable and welcome visitors (tourists) with open arms, including preparing and eating a meal with them. Personally, Majuli has been a home away from home as I’ve lived on the island for close to 5 months. I’ve had the privilege to meet people from different countries and live with them with days where we’ve walked together on the island, eaten meals together and gone meeting locals to buy apong (rice beer) to celebrate nights of friendship, laughter, and bonding with strangers turned friends. If you’ve added northeast India to your travel list, its time Majuli finds its place at the top of the paper and here are a few reasons: This mesmerizing island will be wiped off maps in the next 15-20 years owing to soil erosion The island boasts of beautiful sunrises and sunsets A local man ferrying a passenger boat Befriend a local Mishing fisherman and enjoy the sunset while boat riding at smaller water bodies within the island Eat a meal & drink homemade alcohol with the locals Take back experiences and memories to last a lifetime How to get there? Board a state transport bus from Guwahati City (locations include: Paltan Bazar, ISBT or Khanapara) and get off at Jorhat town. The journey will approximately take 6-7 hours with a stop for meals at a local dhaba. Board a shared auto or four-wheeler to Nimati Ghat for anything priced between Rs.20 to Rs.50 for approximately 14kms. (Note: There are two wharfs from which one can board a ferry to Majuli, Nimati Ghat Ferry Service is the most frequent & convenient choice for travelers.) The Neamati-Kamalabari Ferry Service The boat service ferries you across the Brahmaputra river to Majuli island, a total ferry ride for 1hr 15mins (Note: The ferry service starts at 6 am and ends by 3.30-4pm. There are no services post-sunset.) Another option to reach Majuli from Guwahati City is to take a direct bus from Paltan Bazar or board a train from Guwahati Railway Station to Jorhat Railway Station. While there are many places left to explore in the northeast, I tend to return to the serenity island life to laze away and indulge in some of the best experiences Majuli has to offer Tip: Rent a bicycle for Rs. 250/day (gear cycle) or you can hire an ordinary bicycle for about Rs.100-150/-. You can easily rent a cycle from your homestay/lodge/hotel and cycle to your heart’s content around the island. […]

Hyderabad Itinerary: Must Visit Places

Summer holidays as a child were simply the best days ever! And for me, Hyderabad – the capital city of Telangana (one of the southern states of India) has been my vacation spot every year. While there are many of you who must have visited Hyderabad at least once in their lifetime, this article is for those who have not been to Hyderabad before and the top places one should visit. Hyderabad Skyline Holding a 400-year-old history, Hyderabad is also known as the ‘City of Pearls’ and the ‘City of Nizams’.  The former moniker is gained due to the booming pearl processing and trading industry and the later attributing to the 224 years (from 1724 to 1948) reign by the Nizam dynasty in Hyderabad. Just not for the pearls and Nizam rule, the city is also prominent from the historical monuments to the unique culture and rich heritage, from invaluable natural and cultural treasures to mesmerising architecture and not to forget, the mouth-watering cuisines. In simple words, the city offers a perfect blend of culture and history. Below jotted are the must-visit places in Hyderabad that one can’t afford to miss: Charminar: If you are one of those shopaholics like me, then you must add Charminar in your checklist. Situated in the old city, this legendary monument was built by Quli Qutub Shah in 1591  to commemorate the end of a horrible plague. Considered to be an epitome Indo-Islamic architectural amalgamation, the monument is illuminated in the evenings and trust me, it looks WOW! Post visiting this majestic monument, head towards Laad Bazaar aka Chudi Bazaar, in the lanes adjoining Charminar to shop exquisite bangles, jewellery and pearls. Just when you the hunger pangs kick in- try the Irani Chai along with Osmania biscuits at Nimrah Cafe and the famous Hyderabadi Biryani at Hotel Shadab. Falaknuma Palace: Standing on a 2000-foot-high hill, Falaknuma (Falak-Numa meaning ‘Like the sky’ or ‘Mirror of the sky’) Palace spreads across an area of 32 acres. The palace owning a harmonious blend of Italian and Tudor styles represents the glamour of the Nizam era. The palace, which was owned by the Nizams is taken over by Taj Group and a 5-star hotel has been opened in 2010. Currently, the palace is popularly known as the Taj Falaknuma Palace. Though the palace is not open for the general public, the entry to the palace can be booked through Nizam Palaces Tour hosted by Telangana Tourism. Inside the palace, you can witness collections of artefacts, rare paintings, statues and souvenirs from all over the world. Golconda Fort: Built in the 12th Century under the Kakitaya reign and later on modified by Qutub Shahi rulers, Golconda (Gola-Konda meaning ‘Round shaped hill’) fort epitomises the sumptuous ‘Nawabi’ culture of the time. It is well-known for its architectural excellence including the magical acoustic system and indigenous water supply system. Once at the fort, one can not stop appreciating its architectural beauty in many of the pavilions, gates, entrances, and domes. Another attraction that makes one visit Golconda fort is the light and sound show that brings the […]

Goa: The Beautiful Land of Sun, Sand, and Spices

Goa is a Kaleidoscope blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures. It is a pocket-sized paradise and an amalgam of sun, sand, sea, spirituality, seafood, and susegad. Goa’s biggest draw is its uninterrupted string of golden beaches. It’s a spiritual sanctuary where you can enjoy sunrise yoga sessions on the beach. This beautiful land is a cultural crockpot of Portuguese architecture and heritage. Their indelible mark is evident in the whitewashed churches, baroque architecture, Catholic ceremonies, crumbling forts, cathedrals, and Fado music. Since Goa is my husband’s birthplace, we visit it once a year to meet family and friends. Each time you visit this place, you discover something new and exciting. Baga Beach Baga is a scenic seaside town in Goa famous for its beach and creek. Baga beach is renowned for water sports such as parasailing, banana rides, and dolphin cruises. Fishing, boating, kite surfing, windsurfing, and shopping at the flea market are other notable attractions. The tourist season kick starts in late October and starts slowing down around March. If you’re a shopaholic, then visit the Tibetan market that runs along the Baga road. Also try the indoor snow park that’s complete with a play area, ice bar, and sledding area. Basilica of Born Jesus Basilica of Born Jesus is a world heritage monument and has a rich history. It dates back to 1594 and is more than 408 years old. It houses the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. History says that his body was taken to Portuguese Malacca and was shipped back to Goa two years later. It is believed that the saint’s body is as fresh as the day it was buried. People from all over the world come to view his remains mainly during the public viewing of his body every ten years. It is said that the saint has miraculous healing powers. Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary Bondla wildlife sanctuary is an ideal jungle resort which is located 3000ft above the Western Ghats. It’s a family-friendly place popular with school kids. Covered with moist deciduous forests and evergreen vegetation patches the sanctuary is home to a wide variety of animal life especially leopards and dancing bears. This beautiful sanctuary entices you with its lush green forest, rose garden, botanical garden, mini zoo, fenced deer park, and elephant rides. You could stay in the tourist cottages and spend a couple of days to relax and be stress-free. Spice Plantations India is a land of spices, and the best way to appreciate them in all their splendor is to view the spices in their natural habitat. Once you enter the spice plantations beautiful women clad in traditional Goan attire would welcome you with a garland of flowers and Jasmine tea. You’ll surely feel like Royalty. Savoi spice plantation, Tropical spice plantation, and Sahakari spice farms practice organic farming. They also organize informative tours where you get an opportunity to see spice plants in their natural habitat. When you visit these farms, you can buy a variety of spices in […]

Top 5 One day treks of Pune in India

The connection between the city of Pune and the exquisiteness of monsoon season is an unbeatable one. The city residents reside beside the flourished mountains covered in shades of green as far as you can see. And believe me, the view is spectacular. For the ones who are new in the area, you have come to one of the most loved cities of Maharashtra in India, and you too will fall in love with this place. So if you want to know how you can manage these breathtaking views and make the best of your weekend, then here are the best one-day treks near Pune. The reason they have claimed as best because I have been to all of them and every time all I can think is, Oh My God! Why haven’t been here before? 1. Torna fort One of the highest hill forts of the district is capable of taking you to as high as 1400 meters above sea level. Yes, it is and no doubt the view from this level is going to be terrific. Trek to Torna fort is one of the most preferred treks of the area for various reasons and you are about to find out why. Best time to visit: The entire monsoon season Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate Time to complete the trek: 4-6 hours Trek starting point: Velhe village Travel time to base point: 2 hours (60 kilometres) from Pune Findings at the top: stunning view, active waterfall and great moments with arrangements of snacks Perks of this trek: Get a chance to have a look at the nearby peaks and choose your next destination. Historical importance: This was the first fort captured by the Shivaji Maharaj in the year 1643 when fighting for an independent India. View from Torna Fort 2. Rajgad Fort This fort can be easily spotted from your recent trek point, Torna fort. Now don’t get to think that what difference it would make to hike to a level just like the previous one. Here’s why this one special and worth a visit. Best time to visit: As long as monsoon is active Difficulty level: Moderate Time to complete the trek: 5-6 hours Trek starting point: Pali/ Gunjavane Travel time to base point: 2 hours (65 kilometres) from Pune Findings at the top: Try and Enjoy the view of Bhatghar dam along with the path that you just covered. After that, take a moment to relax because you’ve conquered another peak of the district. Perks of completing this trek: try and spot the previously visited destinations, find new ones and enjoy a hot cup of chai from the local vendors Historical importance: This fort was a centre of Maratha Empire spread across India for almost three decades. View from Rajgad Fort 3. Sinhagad Fort Sinhagad fort has been the witness of the many major battles of the history. And as you move forward, you’ll hear the stories that these walls have to share. This long-lived and closest […]

Places To Visit In Jaipur

Are you one of those people who love exploring historic buildings and forts? If yes, then Jaipur is a place you MUST add to your ‘Places to visit’ list. Jaipur is famous for its forts, monuments, markets, history, etc. It is known as the ‘Pink City’ because back in the 19th century, Maharaja Ram Singh painted the whole city pink to honor Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales as they were on their tour to India. So, I’d cite Lord Albert for the name ‘Pink City’. I’ve provided you the list of places you might not want to miss out during your stay in Jaipur, so read ahead! Forts to Visit Photo by Rahul from Pexels Jaipur has plenty of Forts and Palaces, so if you’re here for that, you’re at the right place! Amer Fort Amer Fort is located up on the hill and it is famous for its Elephant Rides and other artistic stuff like scriptures, build quality, architecture, etc. Also, make sure that you watch the light and sound show during the night. You can reach it by either booking a package or a taxi as it is just situated 11 Kms out of Jaipur. Nahargarh Fort It was built as a layer of defense for the city of Jaipur, but its beauty says otherwise. If you’re looking for some cinematic scenes shot in Bollywood movies like ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Jodha Akbar’, this place is for you. It is also a known spot for photographers. Jal Mahal It lies in the middle of Mansagar Lake and can be found on the way to Amer from the heart of the city. The lighting at Jal Mahal during the night is worth the view. It is the best spot in Jaipur for boating. Jaigarh Fort  This fort is situated on Amer road and is quite close to Amer Fort that people sometimes confuse it with Amer Fort. It was built as a defense for Amer Fort and it inhibits Jaivana Cannon, which was the world’s largest cannon, back in the day. Markets to Visit Rajasthan is famous for its culture and Jaipur has plenty of markets for shopping cultural items and even the modern ones. Here are some of them: Johri Bazar This is where you can experience the Rajasthani culture and buy any types of cultural items like Jewelry, Bridal Dresses, etc. There are quite a few restaurants attached to it so if you’re feeling hungry, you can always grab a bite, but it may be a spicy one. Bapu Bazar It is just at a distance of 5 minutes from Johri Bazar and can be accessed by walking or grabbing an Auto-rickshaw. It is known as the Fashion street of Jaipur as it is full of Saris and other fabrics. If you’re a foodie, make sure that you taste it around at Bapu Bazar as the food is super cheap and delicious. MI Road This is where you can get the city experience as it […]

Guide to Mumbai’s Tourist Attractions

“Oh shit! That was the last local train I could catch before 10, I checked in M indicator. Now I will be late for the office. And on top it, this rainy season is more capricious than my boss.” – Every Mumbaikar (a person who lives in Mumbai). The financial hub, the birthplace of Bollywood, the riveting beaches and the city of opportunities is the most beloved city in India. Amidst the chaos, Mumbai attracts a lot of tourists every year. In this Local Guide, I’m going to talk about a few places you have to visit. For traveling, Local Train is the most pocket-friendly and fast transport you can wish for in Mumbai. You need to download these two apps before you board a Local Train: a) M Indicator: It shows you the time of a local train for every station, the platform number from which you need to board the train and the more details like whether it’s a fast or a slow train. A fast train stops at only the main stations and a slow train will take a halt at every small station. b) UTS Mobile Ticketing: Don’t wait in long queues to book your tickets. Download the UTS App, book your ticket through this app and print it at the nearest e-ticket booth on the station. A one day journey if you want to travel the western railway will cost you Rs.20. If you’re taking a metro within the stations, a one-way journey starts from Rs.20. Get Down at Church Gate Station to see these beautiful places. 1) Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus has a blend of British, Italian and Indian architectural style. It has made a place in UNESCO’s world heritage sites. The monument stands under the care of Indian Railways. 2) Marine Drive, Mumbai: Humid Air, Gritty Sand, and A Beautiful Sunset The iconic 4.3 km long boulevard which forms a C-Shaped 6 lane concrete road, facing the Arabian Sea is one of Mumbai’s charms. It’s one of the best places to visit in Mumbai. Find an elevated point from where you can see the drive at night; you’ll see that the street lights resemble long strings of a pearl necklace. 3) Wankhede Stadium: The center of attraction for International Cricket in Mumbai Wankhede Stadium’s international cricket matches are the times when it’s most crowded. It is originally known as Sheshrao Krushnarao Wankhede Stadium, country’s largest and most renowned cricket stadiums. India has marked its historic moment of winning the 2011 World cup in this stadium. 4) Gateway of India: The 85 feet high arch in Mumbai During the times when India was under British Rule, Gateway of India was called Apollo Bundar. Emperor George V and Queen Mary entered the city in 1911 through these gates and this was the sole purpose why this monument was designed. India’s metropolitan city, Mumbai is a pride in itself. Every soul is welcomed here and Mumbai never fails […]

Things to do in Amritsar

When you think about Amritsar, the two things that come to the mind are food and Golden Temple. These are the two primary reasons why tourists all around the world visit this holy city. Amritsar is part of Punjab state in North India and shares border with Pakistan's Lahore. In addition to the delicious food, and the beautiful golden shrine, these are the things to do in Amritsar. Visit the historic Jallianwala Bagh Jallianwala Bagh is one of the most historically important landmarks of the country. On April 13, 1919, under the orders of General Dyer (a British officer), the British soldiers opened fire on a group of innocent people(men, women, and children) who had gathered in the garden during the time. With the only way to exit blocked by the soldiers, there was no way to escape the cruel bullets. Jallianwala Bagh is dedicated to the memory of the people that we lost in that tragic incident. You can see the bullet marks on some walls, as well as the well that people jumped into to save themselves from the bullet. Pay your respects at the Golden Temple Just a 2-minute walk from the Jallianwala Bagh is the much talked about and famous, Golden Temple. It is a Sikh temple, where devotees from all over the world irrespective of their religion and belief visit and pray. Do experience the concept of free kitchen or langar at the gurudwara, where all the devotees are served food free of cost. Not only that, many devotees help in the smooth running of the gurudwara for nothing in return. Sit by the holy water or Sarovar as you listen to the chanting of prayers. Watch the flag hoisting ceremony at Wagah Border As I told above, Amritsar shares a border with Pakistan's Lahore, so every evening you can see both the countries lower their flags as the sun sets down. The whole place is filled with energy and enthusiasm even before the flag hoisting ceremony starts. There are a lot of national slogans on both the countries' sides – people dance, sing, and shout, while the soldiers also perform the march past. Reach early to get a seat in the first view rows so you are able to watch the whole ceremony more clearly and comfortably. Eat the undeniably tasty food When you are in Amritsar, you cannot afford to miss its amazing food – from Kulchas to butter chicken, from Ghee paranthas and daal to Suji Ka Halwa, from Sarson ka Saag to Malai Lassi, all of these are a must try. Try all of this food in the interiors of the city, as those places have a little more authentic taste than the big restaurants. All these food items are heavy and very filling so plan your day in a way so that you can try all these foods, and not feel tired or lazy. There is so much to see and experience in Amritsar, and I hope this guide helps […]

Things to do and see in Mysore

Southern India is a hot destination among travelers because of its cultural significance. I had the opportunity to visit most places in the southern part of India. It took me around 3 years to complete my journey. There were a few hiccups on the way but everything was worth at the end. Out of all the place I visited in southern India my favorite is Mysore. Why Mysore city? The answer to this question is simple Mysore is known for its historical significance. In fact, it was the capital city during kings rule. Later, the capital was shifted from Mysore to Bangalore. Mysore is a laid back and pleasant city. It is small in dimension but huge when it comes to experience. Mysore house palaces, museums, gardens, parks, lakes, and world famous Dasara celebration. What is the Dasara celebration? City during dasara in a balloon Dasara is a Hindu festival celebrated through India. Mysore is known to host grand Dasara celebration from ages. The festival is celebrated from nine days to a month every year. The best time to visit Mysore is during Dasara celebration ( October – November). The entire city is decorated with colorful light, a visual treat during night time. I was fortunate enough to visit Mysore during Dasara. No doubt that the city was crowded with travelers and tourist from various parts of the world. But with the right planning and pre-booking, you would have an experience of a lifetime. While my visit during Dasara I got to experience activities like a street festival, food carnival, drive through theater, plays, puppet shows, and Darbar. Top three things to do in Mysore Palace in night Explore the heritage: Mysore is considered as a royal city that houses the unique architecture style and culture the kingdom once stood for. You will get to see southern culture firsthand by visiting the palaces, folklore museum, and Chamundi Hills. Cafe that serves western food Indulge in southern delicacies: the next pit stop I made during my visit in Mysore was treating my taste buds with southern food. From dosa to idles, briyani to Mysore pack ( a dessert) the city offers a different variety of food for every picky eater. Apart from this, the city does include western cafes like Rhythms and brew and white lantern. Shopping and spirituality: The famous Mysore silk sarees, yoga, and Ayurveda are three things you cannot miss while visiting Mysore. Visit KSIC outlets to check out their silk collection. And Indus valley Ayurveda center for yoga and spirituality. Where to stay in Mysore? The cost of living in Mysore and it’s surrounding cities are pretty reasonable than North parts. Making your trip pocket-friendly and giving you enough time to explore. If you are a backpackers, then Mysore includes Airbnb and budget hotels. You can pre-book your stay based on the budget online via trivago, Oyo rooms and booking.com. To sum it up: Mysore is a city full of life that offers something for every kind […]

Places to visit in Munnar India

We started our train journey from Chennai, got down at Ernakulam station as we had booked travel package for 3 days which provides us the cab pick and drop facility from the railway station. From Ernakulam station, it took almost 3 hours for us to reach Munnar which is located in the Idukki district of Kerala, a southern state of India on the western ghats mountain range covering an area of 1600 meter and 5200 feet from the sea level. After 3 hours of travel, we finally reached our resort “Igloo nature resort”. I recommend this resort for those who want to visit Munnar as it very economical and friendly staff along with well-maintained rooms with an extraordinary view from the porch. After refreshing ourselves, we started our tour to explore the places to visit in Munnar. Rose Garden: It is a photogenic place with different varieties of flowers and plants. You can find different varieties of roses which we do not generally see in India. We were astounded with the beauty of this place. I recommend you to visit this scenic beauty and enjoy the beauty of different species of roses. Tea estate view: On the way from the rose garden, we halted near the beautiful photographic spot near tea estate where most of the tourists stop here to take a photo even we took a few photos of us and the tea estate. Tourists are not allowed to enter the tea estate, may take the photos outside the fence. The beauty will capture you and make you speechless, everywhere greenery and the entire hill slope is covered with tea plants. If you are planning on a vacation to Munnar should visit this place and take photos and enjoy the beauty here. Mattupetty Dam: The next place we visited is the Mattupetty dam which is one of the places to visit in Munnar. The main attraction here is the view of the dam on the Kundale river and the boat ride in the river. Reach this place before 4.30 pm after that you can’t go for a boat ride. Some times they stop rides if tides are heavy for the safety of the citizens. You can select any boat based on the number of people. We took a speed boat and the ride went for 15 minutes. Near to this dam, there is a lake which makes you mesmerized with its beauty, on the way to this lake you find street shops with snacks and homemade chocolates at a reasonable cost. You need to take an entry ticket for this place and for boat ride separately, the entry fee is very stingy. We didn’t go for the boat ride here but took photos and enjoyed the natural beauty by staying there for a long time. And bought a few herbal oils and homemade chocolates. The dam and the entry to the lakeside will close after 6 PM as elephant herd will come here to have water during the night time. […]

8 Places to Visit When in Indore

Not long-ago Madhya Pradesh in its tourism advertisement called itself Hindustan Ka Dil – the heart of India. It surely is. Its people and the culture that hails from every part of India makes it truly the heart of the nation. But when you start to look around for the heart of Madhya Pradesh, you end up with Indore. Once a trading hub between Deccan and Delhi, Indore used to seek the world’s attention through her famous Street Food (Poha-Jalebi to be precise) until 2017 when Indore topped the first Swachh Survekshan in India. And it still is India’s cleanest city, topping the list 3 out of 3 times. Indore, which was once ruled by the Maratha Holkar dynasty is now a Tier-II city of India with cool-headed people who often like portraying their driving skills at traffic signals. It holds India’s third-oldest Stock exchange – Madhya Pradesh Stock Exchange and has qualified under the Government of India initiative to develop 100 Smart Cities. Besides this, Indore is the financial capital and a prominent education hub of the state. And it is also known for being the only city in India to house both IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) and IIM (Indian Institute of Management). Though Indore has enough hotspots in the city, and a few on the outskirts too (Patalpani Waterfall, Janapav Kuti and Mandu that attracts people in huge amount every Monsoon) to keep you busy for days, it has some prime locations that nobody should be missing on their visit to the cleanest city of India. Here’s the list of those places/events for you: Rangpanchami Gair Every fifth day after Holi, Rang Panchami is celebrated in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and some part of northern India. In Indore, Rang Panchami is celebrated with greater enthusiasm than Holi. Indore, like the rest of the Malwa, holds gair(s), which technically is a group of people completely drenched in colours, all soaked up in the ambience and totally enjoying themselves. Rajwada, which is the centre of the city sees the culmination of several small gairs into a grander gair. Every year the audience grows in the count a little more and the government takes special measures and undertakes focused planning to turn Rang Panchami in success and fun. Year 2019th was a little more special as some Indoris from gairs stayed behind to help clean up the rubbish left by gairs. A gair on Rang Panchami Khajrana Ganesh & Bada Ganpati The Khajrana Ganesh Mandir was built by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar to safeguard the idol of Lord Ganesh from the tyrant Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. While Bada Ganpati is a 25-foot statue of Lord Ganesh, hence the name Bada (translated as huge in English) made of limestone, jaggery, bricks and sacred soil and water from the major pilgrim places in India. The Khajrana Ganesh and Bada Ganpati are one of the favourite destinations of Indoris as it is a tradition in Hindus to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesh before the start of […]
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