Its too cold !

so damn chilly it is!!! Getting up and moving out from blankets is a big time challenge…true !!! But then this cold breeze and the weather outside is meant to be enjoyed … The morning
dew …The cold breeze …The foggy weather makes us feel so natural and calm … It wipes away all the laziness and brings us a feeling of freshness!!! The winter has so much in it to enjoy !!!

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Jim Corbett National Park : Heart of Nature

The Corbett National Park has been named in the memory of Jim Corbett, who was born in Nainital in the Kumaon Himalayas. He was an ace hunter turned naturalist and conservationist. In the early decades of this century, he stalked and killed at least a dozen man-eaters. These animals were reported to have killed over 1500 men and women. The most famous of his kills was that of the Man-eating Lepoard of Rudraprayag that had been for years terrorizing Hindu pilgrims travelling to Kedarnath. As his understanding of the region and habitat grew, Corbett, instead of killing the tigers, started shooting them with the camera, eventually turning into a naturalist and a conservationist.   Corbett National Park nestles between the foothills of the great Himalayas in the north and the much older Sivalik Hills to the South. Varying in the altitude between 400-1100 metres above the sea level, the reserve area comprises a rich and diverse habitat, from scrub and grassland, to thick Sal forests and an undulating Ramganga and Kosi river systems swarming with rich aquatic life. Corbett National Park, the oldest wildlife sanctuary of India is known all over the world as the abode of the much famous Indian Tiger- the Royal Bengal Tiger (then critically endangered) and the Asiatic Elephant . It also harbour some of the exotic species of our wildlife like Snow leopards, thars, bharals, brown & himalayan black bears, serows, leopards and an immense variety of asian species inhabit the preservation zones, like the sancturies & national parks, or open forests dotting the countryside.

Misty Morning

Misty Morning

A Herd of Elephants

A Herd of Elephants

Royal Bengal Tiger

Royal Bengal Tiger

Tawny Fish Owl

Tawny Fish Owl

Enjoy a Safari

Enjoy a Safari

Vast Grasslands

Vast Grasslands

The wonders of this wildlife sanctuary do not end here. Just pack your bags for a thrilling adventure and explore more into the wildlife of Jim Corbett National Park

5 best beaches of India

Kovalam Beach, Kerala:

God’s Own Country, Kerala is famous for its long coastline; about 600 Kms, and has some of the most beautiful and breathtaking sea fronts in the world. The most beautiful beach of Kerala,Kovalam is located in the Thiruvananthapuram city. Kovalam has 17 km of the Arabian Sea coastline and has three excellent beaches known as Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach and Samudra Beach. Lighthouse Beach of Kovalam is the major tourist attraction for its beautiful sun set,palm trees and a long stretches of clean sand. A number of Ayurvedic massage centers, shopping zones and beach shacks which offer typical Kerala cuisine as well as continental food, makes this place a must visit for all tourists.

A preferred haunt for both domestic and international tourists since 1930

A preferred haunt for both domestic and international tourists since 1930

 

Radhanagar Beach, Andaman & Nicobar Islands:

Havelock Island is the largest islands among the chain of islands of Great Andaman and home to Best Beach in Asia along with other notable beaches Vijaynagar Beach,Bejoy Nagar and Elephant Beach.. One of the main beaches in this island is the Radhanagar Beach with its  golden stretches of sand, crystal clear waters and romantic sunsets. Perfect for a romantic interlude, for those seeking to hear the sound of silence and for those wanting to coexist with nature, this beach beckons with the mystical whisper of the swaying fronds and misty breeze.

Perfect for a romantic holiday

Perfect for a romantic holiday

 

Agatti island beach, Lakshadweep

The Quiet and uninhabited beaches of lakshadweep are known as the best Swimming beaches in the world. Agathy is a 5.6 km long island along with the coral atoll and famous for its Sparkling water,coral fishes and coral reefs. Agatti Islands beaches are one of the best place for water sports such as  scuba diving,snorkeling and kayaking.

Breath taking sparkling coral reefs

Breath taking sparkling coral reefs

 

Calangute Beach, Goa

Famous in the region as “Queen of the Beaches,” calangute beach boasts through its presence in north-east from state capital Panaji at mere 15 kilometers. The hip and lively nightlife of this place makes it prominent worldwide so visitors from different parts of the world visit calangute beach that sees the pious liveliness while the sun sets.  Explore calangute beach goa by searching for any unique local seafood especially fried prawns and fish. It is easy to get the local tasty and cold beer as countless shacks and picturesque huts make up good choices on the calangute beach. 4

 

Devka Beach, Daman and Diu

Devka Beach is one of the most popular beach of Daman and known for its  various water sports like wind surfing,jet skiing, water-skiing and Hoka trees around. The ambience is serene and easy going. The most popular tourist attraction, a beachside amusement park has been developed that includes kids corner with toy train, merry-go round and large garden, fast food centre and ice cream parlour. The multicoloured fountains in the park on play provide an enchanting sight and are tourist’s delight. You can also enjoy pony and camel ride on the sand

 

Daman and Diu is famous for its untouched beaches and freedom to drink liquor

Daman and Diu is famous for its untouched beaches and freedom to drink liquor

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Delhi : The city of different Cultures!!!

Delhi : A city with blend of all cultures


 Its Delhi

A combination of ancient and modern beauty, Delhi is one of the largest cities of India. The city is a bucket of rich culture, ancient monuments, mass diversity and many more. It’s a complete tourism hub for the visitors. It enlightens the heart with every passing monuments, forts, markets and colorful people all around.

Delhi is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, once the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling havelis and formidable mosques. And in contrast,,the imperial city of New Delhi created by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings.

The city’s importance lies not just in its past glory as the seat of empires and magnificent monuments, but also in the rich and diverse cultures. In Delhi, you’ll surely discover that the city is sprinkled with dazzling gems: captivating ancient monuments, fascinating museums and art galleries, architectural wonders, a vivacious performing-arts scene, fabulous eating places and bustling markets.

Delhi has a mini India feel to it. People from different corners of the country have come and made Delhi their home.This is reflected in various fairs and festivals that are celebrated in Delhi.

When you need to have a real jamboree and paint the town red, there is no other better Indian city on earth than Delhi! Whether you are looking for a cool place to hang out or pumping hardcore rave parties, you are sure to find the kind of fun you are looking for, right here in Delhi.

Heritage is reflected in places like Red Fort, Humayun Tomb,Qutb Minar, Lotus Temple.

heritage images

Delhi is rich in religion beliefs and this is seen in many religious places of Delhi like Hanuman Mandir, Bangla Saheb Gurudwara, ISCON temple,Jama Maszid.

Religious places

Karims near Jama Maszid is the best place to  go for the Non Veg lovers… Awesome Food 🙂

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Dilli-ki-Chaat – Delhi’s tangy local street food, such as chaat papdi (fried wafers loaded with potatoes, chickpeas, yoghurt and chilli) or golgappas (fried hollow dough filled with chickpeas and spicy potatoes)

Image of Dilli ka Chaat

Places like Hauz Khaz adds on to the beauty of Delhi.  Haus Khas Village is Delhi’s hottest spot right now – set against a 12th-century backdrop within an actual village.Whether it be designer boutique outlets, art, alternative books, exotic food or numerous watering holes, Hauz Khas village has it all and more.

Hauz Khas street view

hauz khaz image

India Gate is situated at Heart of Delhi. Built in memory of 9,000 soldiers who becomes martyr in world war I, this Place is known for it’s patriotic feelings.This place is considered as a tomb for all soldierswho becomes martyr for pride of India which is known as amar javan jyoti.

India Gate image

Get lost and confused in the narrow bazaars of Old Delhi, and feel like you’ve wandered somewhere medieval.

Delhi market

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Ride on the Delhi metro: so cheap, clean, so democratic, unlike the other world upstairs.

Metro station view

Favoured by expats and Delhi’s elite, the boutiques in Khan Market are devoted to fashion, books and homewares. For handmade paper, check out Anand Stationers , or try Mehra Bros for cool papier mâché ornaments and Christmas decorations. Literature lovers should head to Full Circle Bookstore and Bahrisons . For ethnic-inspired fashions and homeware, hit Fabindia, Anokhi and Good Earth, and for elegantly packaged ayurvedic remedies.

KHAN MARKET STREET

A trip through the doors of the Imperial hotel is like a voyage back into the days of the Raj, with polished hallways hung with chandeliers and works of art. Drink a G&T in its 1911 bar.

Imperial hotel view

Akshardham Temple is a perfect combination of age old ethos of Indian cultures and a gasping example of due diligence in architectural adroitness.

Akshardham temple view

Delhi is a paradise for shoppers. Here you can buy almost anything from anywhere in India. Delhi has thousands of good shops tidily grouped together subject wise – antiques, handicrafts, European fashions, leather articles, rugs and carpets, linen & fabrics, silks, jewelry, furniture etc. From street shopping to the fine Malls, Delhi has it all.

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Delhi malls view

Dilli Haat transports you to the magical world of Indian art and heritage presented through a fascinating panorama of craft, cuisine and cultural activities.While the village haat is a mobile, flexible arrangement, here it is crafts persons who are mobile. The Dilli Haat boasts of craft stalls selling native, utilitarian and ethnic products from all over the country.

Dilli haat

It’s not just street food. In Delhi, there is so much of history and culture mixed up with the food,” In fact, many food courts in malls have attempted to bring together the highlights of Delhi’s street food, ranging from kabab to kachori. But to get the real thing, you need to travel. And Delhi’s newest landmark, the Metro, is the best — and easiest — way to do the rounds of old and new Delhi, sampling street delights on the way.

As the sun goes down and drink flows out, Delhi pulsates with an array of Nightlife hot spots, eager to reach out to the young and old denizens, all set to have fun. Delhi indeed packs a big bop when it comes to nightlife. The capital city is a major hub for party freaks that attracts people from miles and miles around.

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Whopping live music joints, throbbing discotheque, upscale bistros, swanky nightclubs, posh parties, Delhi is indeed the place for hardcore urbanites who loves to have fun. If you don’t mind grooving to the DJ’s tunes all night long, feasting and partying as you go on, then Delhi is the place to go.

Puducherry : formerly Pondicherry!!

Away from the hustle and bustle of big cities, Puducherry is a quiet little town on the southern coast of India.

Pondicherry Entrance Image

Though very small, Pondicherry was the largest French colony in India. There is a strong French influence in the city, especially in the old quarters, with Rues and Boulevards lined with Mediterranean style houses and bakeries, although the city remains very much Indian. French is still understood, and the whole city makes for rather pleasant mix of East and West. If you’ve spent some time in Tamil Nadu and approached Pondicherry by land, you’ll  likely experience mild culture shock on discovering French architecture and restaurants serving steak and good wine.It is the perfect place to come if you want to take the pace of life down a few notches.

Puducherry has a special vibe, not felt anywhere else in India. It is a blend of spiritual aura, colonial heritage, Tamil culture and the cosmopolitan flair of many nationalities in a small but varied town. This inherent ambience of Pondy becomes most evident in the oldest part of the town which flanks the seashore boulevard.

Quiet beaches and peaceful resorts in the north and south of the city balance the town’s busy, yet easy going life.

Puducherry is fast becoming a favourite shopping destination of the southern metropolitan cities. It is easy on your purse with low or no taxes. Although it is known for its traditional doll-making, textiles and silks, it is also the birthplace of several world class brands in leather, pottery, aromatics, fashion and handmade paper.

Tourist Attractions

French Quarter

Pocketed away just behind the seafront is a series of cobbled streets, white and mustard buildings in various states of romantic déshabillé , and a slight sense of Gallic glory gone by, otherwise known as the French Quarter. A do-it-yourself heritage walk through this area could start at the French Consulate near the north end of Goubert Ave, the seafront promenade.

French  Quarter image

 Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and a French-born woman known as ‘the Mother’, this spiritual community now has about 1200 members who work in the ashram’s many departments including its commercial sections and large education centre. Aurobindo’s teachings focus on an ‘integral yoga’ as the path towards a ‘supramental consciousness which will divinise human nature’.Collective meditation around the samadhi from 7.25pm to 7.50pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday is open to all.The ashram’s Bureau Central has interesting exhibitions on the lives and teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

Sri_Aurobindo_Ashram_Mahasua Image

Churches

Puducherry has one of the best collections of over-the-top cathedrals in India. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral , completed in 1791, is a robin’s-egg-blue-and-cloud-white typically Jesuit edifice in a Goa-like Portuguese style, while the brown-and-white grandiosity of the Sacred Heart Basilica is set off by stained glass.The twin towers and dome of the mellow pink-and-cream Notre Dame des Anges , built in the 1850s, look sublime in the late-afternoon light.The smooth limestone interior was made using eggshells in the plaster.

Church Image

Sea-Front

Pondy is a seaside town. Oubert Ave  is a killer stroll, especially at dawn and dusk when half the town takes a constitutional or romantic amble there.The Promenade is a supremely modern beachfront boutique dripping with contemporary design flash.

Promenade Beach image

Rann of Katch : Seasonal salt marsh

Located at the far Western edge of Gujarat, Kutch is not the part of the usual tourist trail. Whilst many wander through Rajasthan for a view of the desert, far less venture over to the other side of the Thar desert to explore this spectacular region.This makes it the perfect place to be at.Tropic of Cancer is  few miles from Rann of Kutch.

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It isn’t just a desert you see, but rather a cultural celebration, something that the Gujarat Government has now tried to bottle in its annual festival of Rann Utsav.

“The festival is geared up to offer tourists a unique blend of experience in the Great Rann of Kutch. Food is served in the desert wilderness and dinner is accompanied by a concert of music like Sindhi and Sufi songs”

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Rann Utsav

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Kutch is the Rann. In visuals you have seen it as white, featureless and stark landscape where not a blade of grass grows. You can enjoy two views of the Rann. First the aerial view from top of Kalo Dungar and the second is to actually walk on the white terrain at the same site where the annual Rann Mahotsav is held during full moon nights in winters.

Spreading from west to East is a huge swathe of white. From the top it seems like a flowing river of milk. The view is incredibly liberating. On the top of Kutch, with the wind blowing you peer down at vast nothingness of nature. Then you realize that there is no horizon. It has disappeared. The whiteness of Rann merges with the grey of sky. You have seen the horizon indistinguishable at the sea. But here on the land, it is amazing.

There is something unrelenting about the Kutch breeze. Especially here on the top it has turned into a gale. It is just you, the wind, the rapidly moving clouds and the white marsh below. India with its claustrophobic cities also offers nothingness. Here you feel standing on the ledge of the world with nothing beyond.

There is 400 years old Dattatreya Temple over there. The legend goes that Dattatreya, the deity encompassing the Trinity of Brahm, Vishnu and Shiv was walking the earth when he came to Kalo Dungar. Here he found a band of starving jackals. He offered them parts of his body to eat and while the jackals ate his body continued to regenerate. Even today, the golden jackals come in the evening to the platform a little distance away to feed on the prasad and rice prepared by the priests.

The smell of sea releases some feel good hormones in your blood supply. You think you can hear the lap of waves. There is a sand ridge in the distance. You walk up the ridge to see one of prettiest beaches below. The waves churn up the whitest surf.

Kutch is famous for its handicrafts, hills, white deserts, beautiful virgin sea beaches, various forts and above all Dholaveera, one of the five largest Harappan sites and among the most prominent archaeological sites in India belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization.

Kutch is indeed special. Kutch gives you the space – whether it is on top of Kalo Dungar, or walking on the White Desert or the waves lapping at your feet on the Pingleshwar Beach. If you want to lose yourself in empty vastness of nothingness, come to Kutch.

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WAGAH BORDER!

International_border_at_Wagah_-_evening_flag_lowering_ceremony

The Wagah border is a post between India and Pakistan. It has become famous for the beating the retreat ceremony which includes the closing of international gates and the lowering of the flags of both the countries. Around 5000 people visit the Wagah border, which has become very popular among tourists all over the world.

The flag code of India mandates that the national flag shall be flown only from sunrise to sunset. It is an entertainment ceremony and a highly stylized patriotic display as well as an energetic performance. The guards who perform are chosen carefully among those who have great height, ability to perform and imposing stature.

People from both the sides watch the ceremony. The crowd on weekends is heavy and people watch it from the stands.

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There is daily flag raising and lowering ceremony at Wagah Border, done with fascinating pomp and ceremony that involves lots of tall soldiers in massive turbans goose-stepping about and slamming gates. Both the Indian and Pakistani border forces do this and it has become a tradition for people from both sides gather and see this. Both sides synchronize their parade and the entire event is meant to create a feel-good/patriotic fervour amongst the crowd. It is called the beating retreat ceremony.

wagah-border-parade

The flag lowering ceremony which happens around 5:30 PM everyday has become the main event for tourists. In addition, there is now a short cultural programme also done by local folk dancers (Bhangra) for the waiting crowd before the flag lowering.The noise and atmosphere of the assembled crowds on both sides of the border is similar to that of a sporting match and very entertaining.

Visit Bullet Baba : The Bike Temple

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Rajasthan is known as a land of wonders and one can expect mysteries in every nook and corner. At times one is forced to believe, imagination is stronger than knowledge.

In 1991, Om Singh Rathore, on his way from Pali to Chotila,crashed his motorcycle into a tree, allegedly while driving drunk. According to local legend, after the police hauled the bike away to the station, it was mysteriously discovered back at the site of the accident the next morning. Thinking this was a prank, the police took the bike, emptied the gas tank and chained it up. The very next day the chains were found broken and the bike was once again found at the site of the accident.

After all of the ghostly happenings, the motorcycle was moved to the site permanently and a shrine was erected including a concrete dais and glass enclosure for the bike. Each day hundreds of passersby stop to bow down to the spirit of Om Banna the Motorcycle God (known colloquially as Bullet Baba) who is believed to offer protection to distressed travelers.

So, does Bullet Baba really protect the neighbourhood?

Visit the temple to find out.

 

Roopkund : The Skelton Lake

In 1942 a British forest guard in Roopkund, India, made an alarming discovery. More than three miles above sea level, he stumbled across a frozen lake surrounded by hundreds of human skeletons. That summer, the melting ice revealed even more remains, floating in the water and lying haphazardly around the lake’s edges.

There are many theories to explain this mysterious lake, spiritual as well as scientific. According to the locals : Raja Jasdal of Kanauj undertook a Nanda Jat along with the Rani Balpa, some 550 years ago. Rani being the princess from Garhwal was revered as a sister of goddess Nandadevi. Near Roopkund she gave birth to a baby. Goddess Nandadevi considered it a sacrilege in her domain and sent down a snow/hailstorm. Raja’s people were caught in it and perished. The present day skeletal remains belong to them.

In 2004 a scientific expedition offered the first plausible explanation of the mysterious deaths. It is found that about 300 people died about 500-600 years ago. The scientists reached an unexpected conclusion: The hundreds of travelers, believed to be from a pilgrimage party, all died from a sudden and severe freak hailstorm.

There are many theories to explain the finding but none satisfying to everybody. 


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7 things not to miss in INDIA

Taj Mahal1. Visit Taj Mahal, Agra
One cannot think of tourist spots in India without considering the Tah Mahal. With nearly 4 million tourists arriving at the Taj Mahal every year, it is considered to be the most visited attractoin in the country. Built between 1632-1653 in honor of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of the Mogul Emporer Shah Jahan, the Taj Mahal is often listed as one of the Wonders of the World and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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2.Take a Houseboat Along the Kerala Backwaters2

A trip on a houseboat is an unforgettably tranquil and relaxing thing to do in India. The lush green palm-fringed landscape, diverse wildlife, and houses and villages that line the backwaters make a journey along these waterways seem like a journey through another world. Don’t miss it.

3. Explore Spirituality200158503-001

India has spiritual appeal for both Indians and foreigners alike. You can attend a Buddhist Vipassana meditation retreat, join an ashram, or learn yoga.  Another moving experience is to take part in an evening aarti (fire worship) along the Ganges river at either Rishikesh, Haridwar, or Varanasi.

4.Attend Punjab’s Rural OlympicsAn Indian villager competes in a bullock cart race on the outskirts of Ludhiana

The Kila Raipur Sports Festival, better known as the Rural Olympics, is a sight to behold.The festival that is held in February each year involves competitions in various rural ‘sports’ activities such as cart racing, rope pulling andkabaddi among others.

Watch it to believe it!

5.Shop Til You Drop!Two Indian Woman Shopping

It’s impossible to visit India without buying something. Each region tends to specialize in a particular industry that’s been handed down over generations. There are also some fabulous handicraft stores in India with a difference. And definitely not to be overlooked are the top markets in Delhi.  It’s also possible to go on a dedicated handicraft tours in India.

6. Watch DDLJ at Maratha MandirCinema goers watch Bollywood movie Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge in Mumbai

There must be something about watching a classic in a cinema hall that’s been running it uninterruptedly for more than 900 weeks!  Go find out for yourself what it’s all about!

7. Celebrate Holi in Varansi
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Instead of celebrating your next Holi in the comfort of your housing society, head to Varanasi, the city that celebrates one of the most colourful of all Holis.

Have some bhang, throw caution to the winds and be part of the Holi celebrations in one of human civilisation’s oldest surviving cities