Sunderbans West Bengal-UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Sunderbans West Bengal- The UNESCO World Heritage Site!

The world’s largest estuarine forest and delta region

Sunderbans West Bengal highly offbeat a region located and shared by the state of West Bengal in India and by the neighboring country of Bangladesh as well, is an estuarine forest region formed in a delta shape which is covered by vast expanse of mangrove forest and huge expanse of saline mud flats located all over. This beautiful land is a conglomeration of 54 tiny islands which are criss crossed by numerous tributaries of the river Ganges such as river Muriganga in the west, Harinbhahga and Raimangal in the east and some of the others include the likes of Gosaba, Saptamukhi and Thakurain Malta rivers as well!

The name, Sunderbans!

The name Sunderbans come from the native language of the region, Bengali where “Shundor” means beautiful and “bon” means forest which makes it to be denoted as a beautiful forest! Another reason of such a name comes from the legend of the Sundari trees (the Heritiera fomes species of mangroves) which are pretty much prevalent here as well! In every probability the locals believe that the name is due to the presence of the mangroves there.

Sunderbans West Bengal

Reasons to visit the unexplored Sunderbans and things to do in there

Sunderbans is a lovely nature abode which is characterized by magnificent landscapes and natural beauty all of which put together makes it to be a place comparable to paradise. Another major reason to visit this amazing forest covered delta is due to the prevalence of Royal Bengal tigers that do their rounds in the region quite often as well!

It would be a pleasure to spot a tiger and indulge in wildlife photography at Sunderban besides enjoying a boat cruise.



Places to visit while on a trip to Sunderbans

1. Sunderban National Park-

The most important place to visit while here is to spot the Royal Bengal tigers while exploring the region on a boat instead of one the back of an elephant! The entire ride is mesmerizing as the boatman will make sure that you traverse the region through small creaks, waterways and within the growth of the mangroves all over!

Sunderban National Park

2. Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary-

A bird watcher’s paradise, this region is located at the heart of the delta where a watch tower gives you an amazing view of birds of every color and species possible!

Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary

3. Turtle site, Kanak-

This place is another wonder where you can find the Olive Ridley turtles nesting in the small island of Kanak and just by going in for about 100 kilometers inland one can view the eggs too! Nesting happens in the months starting from December to March, so make sure to be on time!

Turtle site, Kanak Sunderban

4. Netidhopani-

This place is known for a watch tower located in it from where an ancient Lord Shiva temple along with the natural fauna and flora can be seen as well.

Netidhopani

5. Gangasagar-

Sagar Island is another place which one can visit to take a dip in the holy river Ganga where millions of devotees meet in the month of January at Makar Sankranti to wash off their sins!

Gangasagar

The best time to visit Sunderbans West Bengal

The best time to visit Sunderbans West Bengal is during the months of December to February wherein the place is open to tourists from October to March.

Sundarbans – How to reach and the lodging options

To reach this lovely nature paradise, one needs to get to Kolkata which is easily approachable via road, train and by air. From Kolkatta, a drive till Godhkhali Jetty (about 101 kilometers) is necessary. From there a boat ride takes you to the delta with ease.

Lodging options in the Sunderbans include tons of budget hotels along with resorts available to the tourists at prices not too exorbitant.

Reference:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundarbans

http://www.westbengaltourism.gov.in/web/guest/sunderban-home

http://www.sundarbans.net/

http://journeymart.com/de/india/west-bengal/kolkata/sunderbans-tiger-reserve.aspx

http://www.makemytrip.com/blog/sunderbans-weekend-getaway

 

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Nubra Valley- a Cold Desert

Nubra valley- a cold desert

High mountains beckon and dare all to come and scale their tough vertical heights. Perception in the minds of the people about Leh Ladakh is mixed thought from beauty of the Himalayas to its cold and relentless terrain. In reality, Leh is just the beginning of the end to discovery of great many unheard of destinations. For explorers, Ladakh unveils great valleys, high snow mountains and culture which are absolutely unique in every sense. A ride of 150 km north from Leh gets to the Nubra valley at the height of 10,000 feet from the sea level. Two rivers Siachan and Shyok meet to form a tri faceted ‘Y’ between Ladakh and Karakoram Range. Diskit is the capital of Nubra and access to valley is through Khardungla pass from Leh.



Nubra Valley- reasons to visit

Suddenly the feeling dawns of warm sunlight as if coming out of the cold haze. As you approach Nubra valleyit seems to welcome all with sprawling arms. Valley of Nubra is green despite fewer rains it experiences. In September excursionists can watch lots of crop variety growing in the field. Popularly known as ‘Food bowl of Ladakh’ Nubra valley has wheat, barley, mustard and pea fields. Besides, one can see fruit orchards of apricot, walnuts, almonds and apples in the valley.

Nubra valley

Incredible serenity of Nubra valley with high mountains, flowing river, soothing greenery, unique villages and Buddhist local villagers leave an indelible mark on the minds. Inhabitants of Nubra valley are mostly Nubra skat speakers. Beyond the valley is line of control of Pakistan border, there Balti people and shia muslims live, who have speak Balti lingo.

Diskit town

The town of Diskit is administrative center for the valley and government offices functioning here. Located on Shyok side, peace of the place touches the hearts and soon you realize the reason. The Influence of Diskit monastery which was built in 1480 AD is unbelievable. Built on a hilltop monastery belongs to Yellow hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Karakoram Range view is breathtaking from the top. Main point of interest is a large statue of Buddha which is 32 meter high. Skillfully built this Buddha is place facing towards the valley.

Diskit town Nubra valley

Panamik Village

Along the Nubra river close to Siachin glacier, at the height of 10442 feet above sea level, there is Panamik village. That is famous for the hot springs said to have curative powers. Panamik’s importance is there because too, that this village is the northern most beyond which foreigners are not allowed. Its scenic presence in Nubra valley is astounding and sulfur springs are the big attraction.

Panamik Village

White Desert

Diskit has one more unique natural phenomenon; 8 km away from the town is the desert of white sand dunes. A cold and white desert which is unbelievable to contemplate that on such height nature can play a trick like this. Hunder sand dunes are for double hump camel rides. This is the only place where double hump camels are found. Rides from Diskit to Hunder village are offered for the tourists. Who can ever think of greenery and desert hand in hand, at one place.

double hump camels

Yarab Tso Lake

15 km from Diskit town holy Lake of Yarab Tso is located close to Sumur village. The Lake is a visual delight.

Yarab Tso Lake

Shopping

Nubra Valley is the great place to buy Kashmiri and Tibetan Carpets, Shawls and woolen socks. Even nature’s gifts like apricots, almonds, walnuts are there to buy. Shops also offer Tibetan Artifacts and souvenirs.

Kashmiri Carpets

Access to Diskit and stay


Leh boasts of the highest air field in the world and is connected to Delhi and Chandigarh by air route. From Leh taxis are available to Diskit. Starting from Leh to Diskit via Khardungla pass takes about 8 hours drive by road. Permits are required for foreign tourists but not for the Indians. In Diskit there are few good hotels to stay to make your visit memorable in this amazing ‘Valley of flowers’

Tharon Cave-unexplored non-commercialized abode India

Tharon Cave, Manipur- An unexplored non-commercialized abode in India!

The unexplored shelter of the past

Located at a distance of around twenty seven kilometer from Tamenglong in the state of Manipur, India Tharon cave is situated at an altitude of 900 meter above the sea level. Unlike the other caves in the beautiful country, this one remains unknown and thus untouched making it a grand place to taste the wildness of nature at its best!

The history and the excavation facts

The Tharon cave had been an excavator’s delight as post a lot of excavations the history of the caves have unfolded before their eyes in manifold. This cave in Manipur holds the glory of being a place of abode for the Hobinian culture people hailing from the North Vietnam area for a long period of time. The place is indeed among the top offbeat destinations of India and worthy of a visit.

Tharon cave

The darkness and the tourists!

This cave is a truly naturally ventilated one with its thirty four joints and 5 exit points and with a total size of 655 meters! If a person loves to seek adventure and is lured by the darkness then this is a sure place to be as this cave is extremely dark inside and needs to be explored with safety. Every year, the Manipur tourism conducts a Cave Expedition and this is when outsiders are allowed inside. The cave lacks any proper maintenance though and thus the visitors need to be geared with helmets with light and other safety equipment to stay away from danger in there.

Nearby places to visit

Apart from this lovely cave which adorns the beautiful state of Manipur, there are numerous other places where a adventure seeker or a traveler can explore to get the flavor of nature.



Places to visit while on a trip to the Tharon cave

Tamenglong

The Tamenglong district in Manipur is one of the least populated places in the State and is dotted with innumerous ranges, peaks and valley regions. Apart from locating various kinds of endangered species animals, plants and orchids, one might also see the plantation of a special type of Oranges growing here on a very large scale.

Tamenglong

Jiri- Makru Wildlife Sanctuary

Situated at an attitude of 249 to 1849 meters above the sea level, this wildlife sanctuary situated in Manipur nearby the cave is an area covering 198 square kilometer and houses various kinds of wild animals and plants for one to explore!

Jiri- Makru Wildlife Sanctuary

Zeilad Wildlife Sanctuary

Another lovely natural abode is the Zeilad wildlife sanctuary which boasts of having four lakes in it and these water bodies contain various kinds of fishes and provide shelter to thousands of migratory birds too.

Zeilad Wildlife Sanctuary

Seven Step “Barrack Waterfall”

Located in the Tamenglong district are these seven lesser known waterfalls which are formed from the Barrack river while passes by! All the seven are beautiful but special mention needs to be made to the Khoudong Waterfall which indeed is a sight to behold!

Seven Step “Barrack Waterfall”- Tamenglong district

The best time to visit the Tharon Cave

The best time to visit the Tharon Cave ought to be in the months from January to March but it is always better to coordinate with Manipur tourism and know about their Festival time or the Cave Expedition time to explore the place unhindered and without much risk.

BookingKhazan

Tharon Cave – How to reach and the lodging options

Due to the fact that this place is not really commercialized, resorts are there but few in the vicinity. The nearest airport to the region is located at Imphal, the capital of Manipur and the nearest railway station is located at the Tamenglong district which is nearby the cave area as well. Roads are good to get a tourist till the nearby destinations with ease.


Nohkalikai Falls-the tallest plunge waterfall in India

Nohkalikai Falls, Cherrapunji- the tallest plunge waterfall in India

The photogenic beauty; the fifth largest waterfall in the Indian subcontinent!

Doted as one of the most photogenic falls in the beautiful country of India, however not very well-known, the Nohkalikai falls is located in the state of Meghalaya in the East Khasi hill range. The waterfall is indeed one of the top offbeat destinations of India. This waterfall is located very near to, at a distance of about 5 kilometers, Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on the planet and is usually fed by the rain water collected on its summit at a small plateau region. The falls is indeed a photographer’s delight due to the fact that it creates a large plunge pool at the bottom which is unusually green in color as well!

The legend and the name of Nohkalikai

The name Nohkalikai comes from a legend of Ka- Likai, where Ka means female gender in the khasi lingo and Likai was a name of a woman who committed suicide by jumping off the falls after the sad demise of her child, thus the name came from Noh (meaning jump)-Ka- Likai which put together became Nohkalikai in today’s date.



Reasons to visit the Nohkalikai falls and things to do

In case one is in mind to visit the lovely place of Cherrapunji, one of the places one surely should not miss is the less known Nohkalikai falls which is a great place to visit for both nature lovers as well as adventure seekers alike.

Nohkalikai Falls

Things to do in Nohkalikai falls-

Adventure

If stunts and adventure is what you seek in a trip, then this place is just the one for you indeed. Filled with risks and awesome views, Nohkalikai offers trekking options as well as rock climbing both of which are pretty risky and nerve wrecking at the same time.

trekking in Nohkalikai

Photography

In case one is in love with photography, the wish will be granted. With a very minimal charge, cameras are allowed in the region where one can take lovely pictures of nature spreading its arm in delight.

photography in Nohkalikai

Nature lovers paradise

Apart from anything else we all love nature! Here the various types of birds, trees, rocks and the fall itself is so beautiful that your eyes would not agree to close anytime.

birds in Nohkalikai

The best time to visit the Nohkalikai falls

The best time to visit this lovely plunge fall is without a speck of doubt in the autumn season when the sky is clear and the weather is inviting. The months to be are September and October when taking snaps are easy, devoid of fog and cloud to block the views.


Nohkalikai- How to reach and the lodging options

Even though there is no certain lodging option available close to the Nohkalikai region, Cherrapunji is the place to reside as it is the closest from this nature’s wonder. There are various hotels which are located at the heart of Cherrapunji where one can keep the baggage and go in for a trip to this majestic fall by local transport, cars, buses and et al, options are in-numerous!

REFERENCES:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nohkalikai_Falls
http://travel.india.com/cherrapunjee/places-to-visit/waterfalls-nohkalikai-falls/
http://www.world-of-waterfalls.com/asia-nohkalikai-falls.html
http://www.cherrapunjee.net/Nohkalikai-Falls.php

The amazing Nohkalikai falls,Cherrapunji


http://travel.india.com/cherrapunjee/places-to-visit/waterfalls-nohkalikai-falls/

Mawlynnong, Meghalaya- The cleanest village in Asia!

Mawlynnong, Meghalaya– The cleanest village in Asia!

The unexplored beauty without a speck of litter

Located at a distance of around ninety kilometers from Shillong, Mawlynnong, Meghalaya is also referred to be “God’s own garden” and has been given the credit of being the cleanest village in the entire Asia in the year 2003 by the India Discovery magazine. Again the village got the accreditation of being the cleanest of the villages in India in the year 2005 as well!

Mawlynnong, Meghalaya

The beauty and the nature’s gift to Mawlynnong

Due to the very fact that this small village is located at the East Khasi Hill range district of Meghalaya is enough to make this place next to paradise as it is full of natural wonders such as a living root bridge, various kinds of flora and fauna along with another strange sight of a boulder balancing on another rock too!

>East Khasi Hill

The cleanliness initiative

This village is a pride of the nation not only due to its picturesque locale but also due to the fact that it is free of any littering and is considered the cleanest of all villages in Asia! This village where littering is considered to be a crime, the villagers have accepted cleanliness as an age old tradition that is imbibed into their system since yesteryears.

Things to see in Mawlynnong, Meghalaya

Living Root Bridge

This is considered rightly as the pride of Meghalaya and is located at the neighboring village of Riwai. To behold this unique bride which is formed by nature with the help of tangled massive tree roots and are still in the growth phase with every growing root their strength increases manifold!

Living Root Bridge

Sky watch

The other view to behold is the “Sky Watch” which is nothing but an 85 feet tall bamboo structure made with bamboo and natural rope. This structure is mostly used in order to ponder upon the plains of the neighboring nation, Bangladesh as well as to get a bird’s eye view of the entire village as well.



Activities to consider while at Mawlynnong, Meghalaya

The best activity one can think of while at the cleanest village in the continent is trekking which is a great idea in here. One can take a trek from the village to the nearby Riwai village where the Living Root Bridge is located. The Mawlynnong Waterfall near the village can also be visited with friends and family at spare time. Apart from this, strolling across the village suburbs and enjoying the rough terrain can give a lot of enthusiasm to the adventure seeker!

Mawlynnong Waterfall

The best time to visit Mawlynnong

This place can be visited with élan all throughout the year, but the best time indeed to see the beauty is in the monsoon season when the rains start! Lush greens are what one can find at that time!

How to reach

Being located at a distance of 90 kilometer from Shillong and about 92 kilometer from Cherrapunji (both well connected with commute due to their tourism), this small village can be reached via the roadway in terms of busses and cars.

The nearest airport to this village is in Shillong from where one can travel via road where taxis and shared cars are easily available for the visitors.

The best way to visit this nature’s abode is to take a package tour of North East where a day’s trip to this village and its suburbs will work out just perfectly.

Accommodation aspects

Accommodation options in this small village are not too many; however there is the Mawlynnong Rest House where the visitors are welcomed by traditionally made bamboo cottages where the tariff is not too exorbitant. Apart from this, the nights can be spent at a villager’s house at minimal costs too.

 

Rferences:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Mawlynnong

http://megtourism.gov.in/ecodestination.html

http://www.mawlynnong.com/About-Mawlynnong.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mawlynnong

http://www.livingrootbridge.com/About-Living-Root-Bridge.php

http://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g2435898-d2457454-Reviews-Mawlynnong_Waterfall-Mawlynnong_Meghalaya.html

http://mawlynnong.ontrip.in/p/accommodation.html

http://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowTopic-g503702-i11242-k6551615-Village_Home_Stays_Guest_house_Mawlynnong-Shillong_Meghalaya.html

Khajuraho

Khajuraho

Khajuraho is among the top off beat destinations of India because of its unique medieval time architecture and amazing erotic sculptures in the ancient temples. This is a group of Hindu and Jain temples located in Chhatarpur District in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India. 620 km from New Delhi this site is in Vindhya mountain range of central India.

These temples were built by Chandela kings between 10th and 12th century AD. By the end of 12th century there were 85 temples built by Chandelas, in the area spread over 20 km. Now there are only 20 temples left to be seen by all.



Why tourist swarm Khajuraho

Khajuraho is definitely an offbeat destination not just for erotic sculptors, which it is famous for. Fact is this explicit stone art is just the part of rich sculpting skill depicted overall. There are other sculptures which show routine way of living, divine figures, ethereal abstracts and normal women’s activities like picking thorn from feet etc.

Khajuraho

Interestingly, the name Khajuraho came from Khajur the date plants, as legend goes there were two golden date trees at the entrance of temple premises in the times of Chandelas.

The temples has been classified in three zones, ‘Western group around Lakshamana, Eastern group Javeri and Southern group Duladevaa’. Most popular out of these is Western group, where maximum people visit.


Matangeshwara temple is only temple there, where people can go for prayers and see the 8 feet high Shiva Linga.

Matangeshwara temple

The temples’ architecture is in typical Hindu tradition of that era. The temples are located around a water body. The mythological reference as locals say that Lord Shiva and other Gods used to pay sabbatical visit to these temples, lake, hills and river area. In western group complex there is one Mahadev temple which is opulent to look at, considered to be the best designed of them all. All the temples are made of sand stones. Other temples are Jagdambhi, Chitragupta, Lakshmi, Parvati, and Nandi. Eastern group has temples scattered all over.

Mahadev temple KhajurahoMahadev temple KhajurahoMahadev temple KhajurahoMahadev temple KhajurahoMahadev temple KhajurahoMahadev temple Khajuraho

Most of the temples have sculpture of a man fighting a lion, which is said to be an icon of Chandela prince fighting with Lion, a macho deed to perform.

Presently, there are six Shiva, Parvati and their antagonist temples, eight temples are of Vishnu and consorts, one is of Lord Ganesha, one is of Sun God and three temples are of Jain Tirthankar. There are some ruins whose deities are unknown.

Jain Tirthankar Khajuraho

Although its deity is Lord Vishnu, it is called Lakshamana temple which is known to have most of the erotic sculptures in the cluster. Explicit Couples’ sculptures can be seen all along the walls of the temple. Although it is work of the art people feel embarrassed to take their kids along. There is lot to talk about Lakshamana temple and its erotic sculptures, but this is just one side of presentation. The beauty and architecture in ambience of history should be the main reason to visit Khajuraho.

Lakshamana temple Khajuraho

Besides, one may also visit famour fort and museums to know the lifestyle of era bygone.

How to reach Khajuraho

Khajuraho has an airport which has flights from New Delhi, Agra, Mumbai & Varanasi. From New Delhi there are few trains, the station is 6 km from monuments. By road connected 10 km away from Chhatarpur to National Highway.

For moving around you can rely on your feet and may hire taxis or autos as well!

Reasons for Visit Bhangarh by Tourists

 Bhangarh legend of the haunted Fort

Bhangarh fort carries the legend of being haunted, because of this tag, it has become a tourist attraction. Bhangarh fort was built in 17th century by King Bhagwant Das for his younger son Madho Singh. His elder son Man Singh was a general in the army of Moghul emperor Akbar. Now turned to ruins Bhangarh fort is well preserved by ASI and Rajasthan tourism. This fort is located about 235 km from Delhi near Jaipur highway in Alwar district. It is on the border of Sariska Reserve on Aravalli range of hills. A new Bhangarh village has redeveloped out of fort area, which has around 200 houses. The legend has already established the fort as haunted, though many call it a myth.

Bhangarh fort

Reasons to visit Bhangarh by tourists

Tourists visit this fort for two reasons-first one is Rajasthan tourism’s recommendation to visit because of its historical importance and second reason added is the legend which made it more popular.

 Bhangarh fort city in ruins

 When entering fort’s precincts of ruins the name of haunted fort gives shivers up the spine and gives an eerie feel. At the entrance gate, ASI has put up a board instructing not to stay inside the fort after sunset and before sunrise. Near the entrance one can see temples, palace and big residence buildings. There are four gates to the fort Lahori Gate, Phulbari gate, Ajmeri gate and Delhi gate. The royal palace is at the extreme side of the fort. The landscapes and lush green grass is maintained inside the fort. Entry gate is about 30 feet high. Beyond park, one can see a water body or bowli where local lads jump in from top for some excitement and money. There are several temples and palaces in the premises with exquisite carvings.

Legends

One version is associated with a recluse sadhu named Baba Balanath who had told people of the fort that anybody’s building should not be taller than his building. If any shadow of the building falls on his house, the fort town will be destroyed.

Legends Bhangarh

Second version is more fairy tales like story. A wizard who knew black magic fell in love with the beautiful Princess of Bhangarh, Ratnavati. Many marriage proposals from royal families were offered to her. One day when she was 18 she went with her friends to market. When she was buying perfume or ittar, the wizard replaced it with his magic potion to woo her to marry him. Princess saw his mischief, as he offered the bowl she threw it down on the boulder. The boulder rolled down and killed wizard. Before dying he spelled his curse by proclaiming fort town will be destroyed and no one will be able to live there. As the history says, Mughals invaded the fort city soon after, ransacked and killed about 10000 occupants of the fort city including princess and royal family. People say the ghosts of wizard and princess along with other people still become active in the night time. No matter it is legend or myth, people will still throng to see the fort.

Princess of Bhangarh

How to reach and where to stay

One can reach Alwar through trains and road networks connected to different cities of the country. For moving around there are local transport such as auto rickshaws, taxis, buses and tongas. There are several accommodation options in Alwar district both in luxury and budget categories.


Amazing Views Of Almora-Tourist Destination of India

Almoratop offbeat tourist destination of India

 ‘May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view of Almora. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds- Edward Abbey’

Almora is one of oldest and historical town of Kumaun hills. A city of ancient temples, as locals say there are about 365 temples in Almora, one for each day to see. It is one of the top offbeat tourist destinations in India that can be said without any hesitation. The city  is at the height of 6100 feet above sea level and its settlement is on both side of the hill like a saddle on the horse. Blessed by majestic view of Himalayas, valley and rivers flowing nearby, one can only thank God for overwhelming perfect gift bestowed upon us.

Best time to visit Almora-

Weather is excellent from March To June and October to December, hence this time is the best for visit.

How to reach Almora

The train is available from New Delhi to Kathgodam from there taxis & buses are available. By Road Delhi to Almora can be reached by taxis or bus. Nearest airport is Pantnagar about 125 km.

 

Places of Tourist Interest

1. Bright End Corner

A vantage point famous for sunset view of Himalaya, when sunlight plays trick on Himalayan range and snow clad mountains turn golden yellow then crimson. There is Ramakrishna mission and Vivekananda Library nearby which is worth a visit. From that corner sprawling view of Almora town is visible.

Bright End Corner Almora

2. Binsar wildlife sanctuary

Binsar is at altitude of 8000 feet above sea level, at a distance of 35 km from Almora town. This place used to be summer retreat of Chand dynasty. The forest is being used for oak plantation and a special variety Shrinking broad leaf oak is developed here. There are about 200 species of local or migratory birds too. The view of Himalayan range is amazingly beautiful from the top.

Binsar wildlife sanctuary Almora

3. Kausani

Kausani is 50 km from Almora and famous for the aesthetic Himalayan view at sunrise. There is one place Anashakti Ashram a retreat where Gandhiji stayed for some time.

Kausani

4. Shopping in Almora town

Shopping in Almora town market is pretty big and everything , ethnic or contemporary modern can be had here.

5. Chaubatia Gardens

Chaubatia Gardens is near Ranikhet which is a sprawling orchard of fruits and one can see some rare variety of apples here, which is developed by horticulturists of the garden.

Chaubatia Gardens

6. Bageshwar

Bageshwar should be seen for 16th century Bagnath temple on river bank of Saryu.

Bageshwar

History

Peeking at Almora’s history of rulers to see in today’s perspective is important. After the downfall of Katyuri clan in 12th century AD, Chand rajas came to rule in Kumaon region. In 16th century the Chand’s formed Almora as their capital. In mid-18th century AD Almora was attacked by Rohellas captured. They stayed for only seven months and were thrown off by Chand raja, hard terrain was their undoing too. Then Nepali Gurkhas attacked and captured Almora and ruled for 24 years. In early 19th century British Raj came to rule Almora which lasted till India’s independence in 1947.


Temples

Nanda devi Temple

Ancient temple is Nanda devi which is inside ancient market called Lala bazaar. This temple was built by Chand rajas 400 years back. Every year in September one big fest is organized, thousands of devotees throng peaceful temple which should be seen for its religious sanctity, demos of fighters of Chand era and celebrations are worth a visit once in a lifetime.

Nanda devi temple

Katarmal temple

This is a sun temple second only in India after Konark, there is a place called Kosi which is 12 km from Almora. Katarmal is located on top of the hill. It’s amazing to see how in 9th century AD in Katyuri era, at such an unassailable height, single piece of huge stones were taken up.

Katarmal temple

Jageshwar temple

8th century AD cluster of ancient and amazing temples are a treat to watch. Built by Katyuri’s, your feeling of amazement will know no bounds to see how huge stones were brought and used in building those temples. Besides the temples, there are very huge Deodar trees which are equally amazing.

Jageshwar temple

Chitai temple

8 km from Almora this temple has lot of faith of people in Golu Devta which is the deity of temple. People wish and if wishes are fulfilled, they come again and tie up a bell. Temple is loaded with small and big bells.

Chitai temple

Kasardevi Temple

Kasardevi Temple is an ancient temple about 5 km from Almora in village of Kasardevi. The temple came into prominence when Swami Vivekanand visited the temple in 1890. Surrounded by pine and deodar trees, Almora town can be seen from top of the hill where temple is located.

Kasar devi Temple

Incredible View of Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch one of the Unique off beat places

Rann of Kutch- magnificence of nothingness

Enchantment has the new meaning once you visit the Rann of Kutch. Located on the edge of western Gujarat bordering Pakistan, Rann of Kutch is world’s largest salt desert. Incredible view of white magnificence of nothingness and shimmering sheen of desert in the moonlight is so engrossing, it gives truly out of the world feeling. Rann of Kutch should be on priority list of winter destination in India. You will love this one of the Unique off beat places in India ranging from Rann of Kutch, Gujarat to Mawlynnong in Meghalaya.

Geological factor

Rann of Kutch salt desert is spread over 30000 sq km. The pure white land, its molten sandy horizons and complete sandy view is so spectacular that one is lost in its wilderness. It gives a feeling that you are standing on the edge of the world and there is nothing beyond it. This expanse was created by geological disturbance. It used to be the shallow area of the Arabian Sea, geological uplift of the land cut off water flow. With the time the water dried off, leaving behind a huge area of salt desert for all to appreciate.

Rann of Kutch

Location of Rann of Kutch

Village of Dhordo, on the edge of Rann of Kutch is about 86 km from Bhuj town of west Gujarat. Taxis and buses are available from there. By train from Mumbai to Bhuj is 15 hours. There is air connection too from Mumbai to Bhuj.

Best time to visit

In monsoon time Rann is filled up with water, in October it dries up. Best time to visit is between months from October to March. Woolens should be important part of the wardrobe that you must carry to Kutch in winters. The winter is the best time for visit to this enchanting place.

 



Permission

Rann of Kutch is a sensitive region as being in close proximity of Pakistan. A permit is required to enter, it costs Rs 100 per person in Taxi and Rs 50 for vehicle, a copy of photo ID is demanded. This can be taken at a check post 30 kms before Rann of Kutch or from DSP police in Bhuj. If on a travel package, tour agency gets you this permit.

Accommodation


In Dhordo and Hodka villages there are resorts which are owned by locals. These resorts are village resorts with mud huts (Kutchi Bhungas) to stay in with AC and non AC accommodations and tents also.

Kutchi Bhungas

Food

Bajra na rotla with curd and butter milk and ample butter oil or ghee is the staple diet of kutch. Traditionally the food includes khichdi a tasty mix of pulses and rice, Kadi chick pea grounded and curd dish , spicy dal, rice, and Gujrati traditional platter is also served. The sweet jalebi is served which is very popular here, besides many sweets for sweet toothed people. Dudhpak a spiced milk and rice pudding is a specialty here.

Why Rann of Kutch as tourism destination

Rann of Kutch is considered as popular winter holiday destination of India, comprising of vibrant    colors, culture, natural beauty and a lot more.

Secondly, Dhordo is being developed for tourism by Gujarat government as it the gateway to amazing white desert of Rann.

Dhordo

Rannotsav

It is a festival organized by Gujarat tourism every winter for three months from November to February. It’s a carnival of music, dance and handicrafts’ display that reflects unity in diversity of Gujarat and unique cultural identity of Kutch. More than 8000 tourists come every year in this carnival to behold the beauty of moonlit shimmering desert, Kutch’s cultural presentation, handicraft show and camel ride in vast expanse of white desert. Government of Gujarat organizes this carnival with full zest to provide tourists with specially designed tent accommodation, recreation hall for indoor games, incredible food which is devoid of non-veg and hard liquor.

Rannotsav

What to see and do around Rann of Kutch

The short excursions are arranged too, like camel carting, visits to interesting venues and activities around.

Visit to Kalo Dungar or Black Mountain gives another perspective of Rann from different angle. Its height is easily accessible being only 462 m above sea level. On the top of the hill is a temple of Dattatreya, which has its religious following.

Kalo Dungar Kutch

  • Wild life-the birds like Lapwings called peewit or peewee, it is called sandpiper in Europe, are found here in Dhordo. Sand pipers are found near sea shores, in India these are found here only. Another bird found here is Demoiselle Crane (kunj Bird) is 3-4 feet tall and weighs around 8-15 kg. Originally from Afghanistan these birds are interesting to watch. Many flamingoes also can be seen around here.

Wild life

  • For religious interest Kutch has sacred Lake Narayan Sarovar, Koteshwar temple, Ashapura Mata no Madh temple, Jain temples, Gurudwara and Sufi dargahs.

 

Handicrafts

Banni region has many sparsely populated small villages. Handicraft making is the main occupation of people here. It is interesting to see the artisans work on Kutch style Patch work and expensive embroidery. Women and girls make unique embroidery with stamp of Kutch on the work. These embroideries have different styles in mirror and bead inlay work, such as Rabari, Sindhi, Ahir, Banni, Mutwa, Ari and Soof.

Handicrafts of Rann of Kutch

Plan your visit to the Indian winter holiday destination, Rann of Kutch and take away gifts of pleasure, priceless items and memories.

Andaman and Nicobar One of The Major Tourist Destinations

The mysterious Andaman and Nicobar Islands!

Andaman and Nicobar One of The Major Tourist Destinations

Andaman and Nicobar known to be a traveler’s retreat. These islands are mainly known for their beaches and the locales which seem to have cropped out of nowhere! With the picturesque crystal clear water surrounded by dense jungle and mangrove forests, its population speaks aloud of its South and Southeast Asian connect. The Negrito ethnic groups whose residence are here has even kept the anthropologists in doubt!

Even when this entire island conglomerate contains some 300 small islands to its credit. Only a few islands are open for public use. It is important to note that the Andaman and Nicobar islands are totally off, the limits for any visitor or traveler and so are the areas where the tribal people reside!!

At the moment Andaman and Nicobar islands are a part of India and is among the seven union territories the Indian people boast of!

Places to visit in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Beaches and the nature retreat

Andaman, with that single word comes the views of white soft sandy beaches, jungles and turquoise blue waters and deserving so! These islands boast of innumerable beaches which are next to heaven when visited. Some of the major beaches are the Lalji Bay Beach, Radhanagar Beach, Kalipur Beach & Craggy Island, Jolly Buoy and many more!! You need to go to understand the beauty of et al.

Lalji Bay Beach Andaman and Nicobar islands

Historical remnants

Andaman’s would be left uninvited if its history is left untouched! Known popularly as “Kaalapani” is the Cellular Jail, which is located in this locale. This jail was popularly used by the Britishers to send Indians who used to go against their rule during the independence movement of India. At this time, this jail is more of a memorial which acts as a shrine for the political leaders who were sent to this prison during the British era! A must visit this one!

Kaalapani jail Andaman and Nicobar

The Andaman Lighthouse

Located about 14 kilometers east of Hut Bay is this little Andaman Lighthouse, which used to be a most important one in the early days when ships were directed from here! Another lovely place to visit, this lighthouse is standing at a height of 41 meters and has an exact of 200 spiral steps to fill the eyes to the beauty of the magnificent blue water, forest and the coastline!! Simply wow!!

Andaman Lighthouse

The islands!

When we are talking about islands, there are bound to be some small wonders awaiting a glance! With the likes of the Ross and Smith islands which are just connected by a narrow sand bar to Ross island, gives the feeling of exploring a lost city within the jungle are all a treat to the senses indeed!! Viper island is another amazing one due to the only fact that one can encounter the past by filling your senses with the inhuman gallows built by the Britishers to kill Indians!

Ross and Smith islands Andaman and Nicobar

The peak experience

The Saddle Peak is indeed a must visit due to the only fact that it is located at a height of 732 meters and is the highest point of this island from where one can see nature at its very best! It’s all left to the eyes now..

The Saddle Peak Andaman and Nicobar

Actually the list is endless……….

Things to do in Andaman and Nicobar islands

Water sports

 Water sports Andaman and Nicobar 1  Water sports Andaman and Nicobar

For the adventure freaks in love with water, this one is a must try! From windsurfing, water-skiing, to parasailing one can enjoy everything under the sun in this amazing conglomeration of islands!

Bird watching

This is for the ardent nature lovers who can watch bird’s do all the talking at a small village named Chidiya Tapu located at 25 km distance from Port Blair!

Go trekking

Another wonderful activity for the adventure freaks, a wonder trek awaits you at the Andaman’s when you can trek from Mount Harriet to Madhuban. It is just a short distance from the main city, Port Blair!

Snorkeling & Scuba Diving!

Andaman’s waters are just perfect to experience the underwater life with its full glory and what better than actually going deep into the sea and check what the fishes have to say!! Go scuba diving or snorkeling, both a must-do in these islands for sure!

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving Andaman and Nicobar

Weather

Being a coastal region, these islands are great during December to March for sunny days and great diving conditions! To cut costs, one can get there, although it is a bit rough in the months of October to December and March to mid-May! For the surfers who have experience with these waters, February to August is ideal!

Transportation

These coastal islands are well connected by air as well as by sea, whichever you choose, you are bound to get mesmerized! You may reach by air to the island from Delhi, Kolkatta and Chennai. For sea journey, passenger ships are available from Vishakhapatnam, kolkatta and Chennai.

Accommodation

Being one of the major tourist destinations, the Andaman is filled with budget hotels to expensive ones which fit everyone’s pockets  and tastes as well!



Stop your imagination now, and plan your visit to The Andaman & Nicobar Islands, to be mesmerized by the beauty of these islands!