Category Archives: India

Top Things to Do in Goa in the Monsoon Season

If Goa is on your wish list to India, you might’ve read that this pint-sized Indian state is best visited in the winter months (October-January), when the weather is at its best, almost all tourist hot spots are open for service, some great festivals are organised adding to Goa’s verve and the general atmosphere is that of revelry.

goa

While all this is amazing, the downside is exorbitant prices to pay for average service (a bummer for budget tourists) and huge crowds almost everywhere, which might feel a little overwhelming at time, especially if you are not from India. Given all this, it makes sense for you to plan your Goa holiday during monsoon, an off-season, when most tourists stay away, prices are as low as they get here and gushing rains paint a perfect picture.
Here are Top Things to do in Goa during Monsoons:

Visit the Dudhsagar Falls

Ask any expert on Goa and they will tell you that Goa is at its most stunning when it is raining and one of the most mesmerising sites to behold in the state is Dudhsagar Falls, one of tallest waterfalls in India, standing at 600 metres. Located 60 kilometres from the capital Panaji, the falls can be seen at their mightiest during rainfall, when the water plummets onto the rocks with a roaring sound and assumes the appearance of frothy milk which is also the Hindi translation of the fall’s name. You can also check out some of the other gushing waterfalls that are equally breathtaking at this time of the year. These include Tambdi Surla falls, Chorla falls, Sakla-Vajra Waterfalls, Netravali Waterfalls.

Attend the Lord Damodar Saptah in Vasco

Every year, for a week in August, Lord Damodar Saptah (the week of Lord Damodar) is celebrated with a great zeal in the city of Vasco Da Gama. The more than 100 years old festival sees tableaux following mythological themes being brought to the main temple from different parts of the town. A procession ends with drowning the coconut used during last year’s prayer rituals in the sea and there is splashing of water amongst the devotees and the parade of tableaux takes place at night. The whole town is lined up with vendor stalls selling everything from trinkets and toys to furniture and clothing and food and the atmosphere is charged with festive spirit.

Discover All Shades of Green at Wildlife Sanctuaries of Goa

The verdant, tropical forests of Goa serve as homes to a great diversity of flora and fauna and the many wildlife sanctuaries in the state are teeming with possibilities for discovery. Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary are some of the most popular ones. You can find birds like Wagtails, Fairy Bluebird, Drongo, Three-Toed Kingfisher, Great India Hornbill and Golden Oriole, animals such as Bison, Sambar Deer, Indian Peafowl, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Barking Deer, Black Panther, Bengal Tiger, Bonnet Macaque, Leopard, Civet and Wild Boar as well as a variety of deer and snake species here.

Take a Bicycle Tour of Old Goa

Get off the beaten path and find yourself stunned at witnessing the breathtaking beauty of old Goa. Penetrate the green interiors that seem to have been frozen in time. The stunning paddy fields stretch for miles and are beautified by rains, making for a beholding spectacle. Interact with locals, drink fenny, explore centuries old churches, marvel at the quaint charm of Portuguese and French villas and relish sumptuous Goan cuisine, all this on your bicycle, at your own sweet pace.

Top Attractions and Places to Explore in Sikkim, India

Sikkim, a small state in the land of Himalayas, is lesser visited tourist destination in India but is covered by hidden valleys, snow-fed lakes, mystical monasteries and many more scenic sights. Offering a plethora of varied and unique holiday opportunities for all kinds of travellers, be it adventure enthusiasts or spiritual seekers, this beautiful Indian state is where tourists get to experience an extraordinary culture, and a new world altogether at a very high altitude!
Have a look at some of the top tourist attractions to explore in Sikkim:

Gangtok

Gangtok

The capital and the largest town of Sikkim, Gangtok lies on a cloudy ridge 5,500 feet above sea level presenting a spectacular view of the world’s third highest peak, Mountain Kangchenjunga. It is the main base for tourism in the state where tourists visit to experience the best of trekking, mountaineering and river rafting in River Teesla. Besides, visitors can enjoy good food, stay at amazing hotels and enjoy a buzzing nightlife amidst wonderful environs here in the city.

Nathula Pass

Connecting India with Tibet and lying at 4,310 metres above sea level, Nathula Pass is the best place in Sikkim for trekking. It was once a part of the historic “Silk Road’ and is counted among the world’s highest motorable passes. The border gates of India and China and the Exhibition Centre of the Indian Army are the major draws of Nathula Pass. Here, tourists get the chance to enjoy a number of waterfalls gushing along the way from Gangtok to Nathula and to witness gorgeous snow peaks encircling the area.

Tsomgo Lake

Located 38 km away from Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake is also known as Tsongmo Lake and Changu Lake. Lying at an altitude of 12310 feet, this lake is one of the most picturesque and highest lakes in India encircled by lush green landscape on all sides. This egg-shaped lake is about 1km long and 50 metres deep, and its surface reflects different colours with the change of seasons. Situated on the steep route leading all the way to Nathula Pass, Tsomgo Lake is mostly visited along with Nathula Pass.

Yuksom

A small historical town situated in West Sikkim, Yuksom draws visitors with its scenic landscape and snow-capped mountains. It is also known as the “gateway to Kangchendzongha” and amazes tourists with its Buddhist heritage and monasteries. The town is located at an altitude of 1780 metres and was originally the ancient capital of Sikkim. Famed as the “Meeting place of the Three Lamas”, this town is one of the most peaceful, serene and spiritual places to explore in Sikkim.

Ravangla

Sitting amidst the Maenam and Tendong Hills, Ravangla is a scenic town between Gangtok and Pelling. It captures the attention with its most famed Buddha Park where a towering 130 feet Buddha statue is situated in the lap of manicured gardens. Home to some of the world’s most rare and endangered birds, the town is renowned as a paradise for bird watchers. Besides, the town, being a starting point for the trek to Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, astonishes trekkers from all around.

7 Best Places to Explore in Maharashtra, India besides Mumbai

There is no doubt that Maharashtra is best known for its capital, Mumbai, which is often called the city of dreams and is globally famous as a business and tourist destination. However, apart from this world-renowned tourist spot, there is much more to this state of varying lifestyles and cultures, making it a delight to visit in India.

Read on to know about the best places to see and explore in Maharashtra besides Mumbai:

Mahabaleshwar

Nestled in the country’s forested Western Ghats, Mahabaleshwar is a hill station famed for its picturesque beauty and mesmerising strawberry farms. It is one of the best weekend getaways from Mumbai. Often referred as the queen of hill stations in Maharashtra, it is a place with a fine collection of rivers and magnificent peaks. Besides, tourists would love to explore some thrilling trekking spots and beautiful waterfalls in the town. Pratapgad, Venna Lake and Lingmala Waterfall are some of the prominent tourist attractions here.

Aurangabad

Surrounded by many historical monuments including Ellora Caves and Ajanta Caves, the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, Aurangabad is a city tempting a large number of tourists each year. It is named after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and reflects a culture influenced by Aurangabadthe Mughal and Muslim culture of Hyderabad. The major draw of the city is the 17th-century marble Bibi ka Maqbara shrine which is styled on the Taj Mahal and its nearby Shivaji Maharaj Museum which captures the attention with war weapons and a coin collection. Besides, Aurangabad caves, Chand Minar and Daulatabad Fort are some other interesting places to explore here.

Kolhapur

A historic city, Kolhapur is situated at an elevation of 559 metres above sea level. It lies on the banks of the Panchganga River and is known to be the heart of the Maratha Empire. With a pleasant climate all year round and heavy rainfalls during the monsoons, Kolhapur makes for Kolhapuran ideal tourist destination in Maharashtra. People visit the city to explore its many historical monuments and the Marathi heritage. While Mahalakshmi Temple, Rankala Lake and Jyotiba are some major tourist attractions in the city, the special Kolhapuri slippers and Kolhapur cuisines are not be missed here.

Matheran

A secluded and charming hill station near Mumbai, Matheran attracts tourists with its mild climate and well-preserved colonial architecture. Situated on the Western Ghat mountain range at a height of 2636 feet above the sea level, it is the smallest hill station in India but is quite popular for a short trip or a quick weekend getaway. The lush greenery, waterfalls and the lakes in the town are a sight to behold for nature lovers. While the entire town in itself is a delight to explore, Hart Point, Malet Spring, Mount Berry and Luisa Point are some of the most prominent tourist attractions not to be missed.

Nashik

Famed for being one of the Hindu pilgrimage sites in India, Nashik is an ancient city lying on the banks of the river Godavari. This place is quite popular for being one of the cities hosting the Kumbha Mela once every 12 years. With a wonderful collection of museums, gardens and an Nashikarray of ancient Hindu temples, Nashik is one of the world’s holiest cities. Besides, housing half of India’s vineyards and wineries, the city is also known as “the wine capital of India”. Pandavleni Caves, Muktidham, Kalaram Temple and Shri Someshwar Mahadev Temple are some of the beautiful wonders of the city.

Lonavala

Famed as the sister hill station of Khandala, Lonavala is one of the major hill stations in Maharashtra, lying at an altitude of 622 metres in the Sahyadri Ranges. The pleasant weather, scenic splendour and lush velvet meadows make it a beautiful spot for nature lovers. En route from Mumbai to Pune, Lonavala is surrounded by green valleys and attracts with its two Buddhist shines carved out of rock, namely, the Karla Caves and the Bhaja Caves. The major draw of the town is a type of candy which is called “Chikki” and is loved by tourists. Besides, Tiger’s Leap, Bushi Dam, Lonavala Lake and Imagica Adlabs are some of the must-visits of the town.

Solapur

Situated on the south east edge of Maharashtra, Solapur is one of the top monsoon destinations in the state. The city lies at the Deccan plateau, on the Karnataka state border. Home to a significant number of monasteries, Solapur used to be the spiritual centre in the ancient India for the followers of Jainism. With its beautiful collection of the ancient temples and lakes, the city is an ideal holiday destination for families and makes for a perfect weekend getaway for the residents of Bangalore and Maharashtra. Solapur Bhuikot Fort, Killa Bag and Siddheshwar temple are the city’s prominent places to explore.

5 Reasons to Visit Coorg, India

Within a driving distance from prominent cities of Karnataka like Bangalore and Mysore, Coorg is a beautiful little town drawing leisure travellers from all over the world. Referred to as the Scotland of India, Coorg is certainly a beautiful holiday destination. Here are some of the region’s most popular tourist attractions.

Coorg, India

Coffee Plantations

Home to many lush green coffee plantations, Coorg is one of the biggest producers of coffee in India. No coffee lover can afford to miss out on a coffee plantation tour that takes you through the history, and the art of making this terrific beverage. The region is mainly known for its Arabica and Robusta coffee.

Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery

One of the finest monasteries in India, Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery is a must-visit in Coorg for all. The major highlights of the monastery are the three 40-feet tall golden statues of Buddha. Home to thousands of monks, lamas and nuns, it is the largest Nyingmapa teaching centre in the world. Don’t forget to enjoy the different Tibetan delicacies and explore handicraft stalls selling artefacts, shawls and costumes.

Nagarhole National Park

Also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarhole National Park presents an ideal wildlife experience in the southern state of Karnataka. With hills, waterfalls, forests and streams, and home to the majestic tiger, it is indeed a terrific attraction in Coorg. Besides the big cat, sloth bear, the Asiatic elephant and jungle bison are among the animals that can be spotted here. While wildlife enthusiasts would be enamoured by the park’s animal and bird life, nature lovers will be impressed with the dozens of streams and other water bodies.

Raja’s Seat

Located among the densely-covered hills, Raja’s Seat is a seasonal garden of flowers and artificial fountains. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Coorg presenting stunning sunsets and magnificent panoramic views. What makes this place a famous tourist attraction is that it was a favourite spot of the Kings of Kodagu who used to spend time here with their queens while watching the setting sun!

Abbey Falls and Iruppu Falls

These falls are the two biggest waterfalls in Coorg and are abound with supreme splendour and tranquillity, making for ideal picnic spots amidst picturesque settings. The Abbey Falls is set amidst the private coffee plantations layered with thick coffee bushes while the Iruppu Falls is situated near the Nagarhole National Park.

Top 5 Places to Explore in Uttarakhand

A state bordered by Tibet and Nepal, and outlined by the Himalayan Peaks, Uttarakhand is a North India province full of unspoiled beauty. Mountains, forests, valleys, ancient spiritual places and myriad of trekking opportunities – this picturesque state has everything in store to make your travel worthwhile. Check out some of the most captivating places you can explore in Uttarakhand on your next trip to India.

Mussoorie

Situated on a mountain valley at a height of 6,170 feet, Mussoorie, the pride of Uttarakhand is also known as the queen of the hills. With its captivating landscapes, scenic views and lush green fauna, the hill station makes for a wonderful holiday destination to connect to the nature

Mussoorie

and find bliss. It is where tourists can indulge in various activities such as taking a cable ride to Gun Hill, picnicking at Kempty Falls, taking a horse ride up to Lal Tibba, the highest peak in Mussoorie and enjoying a nature walk along Camel’s Back Road.

Jim Corbett National Park

Corbett-national-park

One of the most popular national parks in India, Jim Corbett draws wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world. Formerly renowned as Haley’s National Park, this forested wildlife sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna and is known for its population of Bengal tigers. Comprising hills, riverine belts, grasslands, marshy depressions and large lake, this place is a delightful holiday spot to discover. You can explore the park by jeep or elephant safaris which take place in the early mornings and afternoons and can spot four to five species of deer, rich birdlife, elephants and Royal Bengal Tiger (if you are lucky enough).

Nainital

nainital

Nestled in the arms of Kumaon Hills, Nainital is India’s one of the most popular getaways for families and couples. Situated by the well-known Naini Lake in the valley and teeming with natural hot water springs, this hill station is divided into two parts – Mallital and Tallital that are separated by the lake. Named after Goddess Naini Devi and also known as the lake district of Uttarakhand, this town is believed to have the blessings of Lord Shiva. Trekking, yachting and horse-riding are some of the exciting activities to indulge in here.

Rishikesh

Situated in the Himalayan foothills beside the River Ganges, Rishikesh is a true haven for peace and adventure seekers. Equally popular for yoga, pilgrimage and adventure sports, this beautiful retreat is visited by travellers from across the globe every year. Located at an elevation of 356 metres above sea level,

Rishikesh rafting

Rishikesh is quite popular for offering various adventurous activities such as trekking, camping and majorly, rafting. Besides, it is also known for the Char Dham Yatra which ideally begins from Rishikesh and is also a getaway to the lovely Valley of Flowers National Park.

Almora

Located at an altitude of 5,417 feet in the Kumaon region, Almora is another beautiful hill station renowned for its scenic landscape and rich cultural heritage. Surrounded by the thick forests of fir and pine trees, the town draws backpackers to its divine atmosphere.  Every year hundreds of tourists from around the world visit its nearby Kasar Devi Temple, where Swami Vivekananda used to meditate. Some other major attractions include Nanda Devi and Golu Devta Temples. Moreover, one should not miss visiting Katarmal, an 800 year old Sun Temple and enjoying the sunset and sunrise at Bright End Corner.

5 of the Most Popular Ashrams in India

Aside from diverse historical legacies and overwhelming natural beauty, India is a land popular among travellers who are in pursuit of spirituality, solace and bliss. The country is blessed with

Ashrams in Indiamany ashrams (a spiritual/religious hermitage), where thousands come to rejuvenate, heal their mind and soul, and discover the undiscovered about body, life and universe.
Read on and learn about some of the most popular ashrams of India.

The Art of Living Ashram Intern, Bangalore

Founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in 1982, the Art of Living ashram is one of the largest humanitarian and educational centres all across the globe. The ashram is well-known for its self development programmes based on breathing techniques, meditation and yoga, and is ideal for those from different cultural traditions and religious backgrounds. The Art of Living as a voluntary organisation also focuses on women empowerment and takes initiatives aimed at enriching humanity and enhancing the quality of life.

OSHO International Meditation Resort, Pune

Located in one of India’s better planned cities, Pune, the OSHO International Meditation Centre is a popular spiritual centre that has 200,000 visitors annually. It provides various kinds of meditation programmes and aims at combining self-understanding with awareness techniques. Unlike many ashrams, there’s no gender segregation here. Most of the courses provided by the OSHO Ashram are directed towards healing from traumatic past experiences and inner development.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ashram, Puttaparthi

Located near Puttaparthi village in Andhra Pradesh – the birthplace of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, this ashram aims at helping people to recognise the divinity in them. It is where thousands of spiritual travellers from diverse cultures, faiths and races visit and experience the pure love and blessings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The ashram aims at enhancing the people’s belief in God and encouraging them to live a highly moral life and help the needy.

Swami Dayananda Ashram, Rishikesh

One of the best maintained ashrams in North India, this ashram was founded in 1960s by Swami Dayanand Saraswati and is a traditional centre of Vedanta and Sanskrit. Situated in the midst of beautiful greenery overlooking the magnificent Himalaya and River Ganges, this is an Rishikeshideal place to seek peace and harmony in the lap of nature. The ashram conducts regular yoga courses with the help of a number of teachers to assist people achieve personal development and self-attainment; regular Vedanta camps are also held every year that provide spiritual teachings.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry

Placed in the beautiful town of Pondicherry, this ashram was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and a French saint Mirra Alfassa renowned as the Mother. The ashram focuses on working towards the creation of a new world and a new humanity. This place does not follow strict obligatory practices and works on the principle “Surrender to the Divine”. A vivacious centre of life in a modern setting, this ashram has grown into a diversified society with several members.

5 Natural Wonders in Meghalaya One Must Visit

meghalaya

Known to be the abode of clouds, Meghalaya is a mesmerising tranquil land of rich natural beauty in North East of India. With its looming mountains, captivating caves, cascading waterfalls, rustling pines and fresh air, this beautiful Indian state draws the attention of several nature lovers from across the world. Take a look at the region’s top draws.

meghalya

Ward’s Lake

Lying in the heart of the capital city, Shillong, Ward’s Lake is an artificial lake set amidst well-maintained lush botanical garden and bordered with pavement of sand stone and rowed flowerbeds. With cobble-stoned paths, exhilarating water fountains, a bridge and an adorable cafeteria, this lake is an ideal picnic spot for families where one can indulge in various adventurous activities, take a stroll across the bridge and enjoy boating on the waters.

Cherrapunjee

The second rainiest place on earth after Mawsynram, Cherrapunjee is a sub-division town in the East Khasi Hills district loved for its untouched beauty and clean and pristine surroundings. It attracts travellers with its exotic fusion of valleys, waterfalls, evergreen misty landscapes, caves and canyons and heavy rains that makes them surrender to the town’s blissful exquisiteness. Dain Thelen falls, Noh Kalikai Falls and Noh Sngithiang Falls are some of the most picturesque waterfalls here that are a true delight to watch.

Elephant Falls

A true nature’s paradise named after an elephant like stone at its foot, the Elephant Falls is a waterfall situated at the outskirts of the main city of Shillong. Since the falls comprise three mesmerising falls in series, they are referred to as “Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew” – meaning “The Three Step Waterfalls” by the local Khasi people.  The falls are located around 12 km from the outskirts of the capital city of Meghalaya and thus, can be conveniently accessed via public transport.

Shillong Peak

Situated 1965 metres above sea level at the height of 6449 feet, Shillong Peak is the highest point of Shillong that presents panoramic views of the entire city, the Himalayas and the waterfalls. Bounded by fog due to its high altitude, it is the most adventurous spot for trekking. Tourists can approach the Shillong Peak through the Jowai Road or upper Shillong and can try out the cobbled trekking route from Umkynrut-Kynjat Phutbol to the Shillong View Point.

Umiam Lake

Also known as “Barapani” of the “Big Water” due to its vastness, Umiam Lake is a scenic reservoir covering an expanse of 221 sq kms. It is a part of a dam which was constructed as a first Hydel Power Project in Meghalaya. The picturesque and panoramic setting of the lake makes it the most popular spot known for water cycling, kayaking, scooting and boating. Besides, tourists can enjoy riding sailing boats, paddle boats, cruise boats and row boats.

Top 6 Waterfalls in India Every Traveller Must See

Falls

India is a land of spectacular natural bounties including rich forests, vast desert covers, snow clad mountains and relaxing riversides. However, waterfalls are perhaps the most fascinating ones.

If you too wish to see water gushing from incredible heights into the valleys, this list of top six waterfalls in India is all you need.

Dudhsagar Falls, Goa

Aside from the magnificent beaches, Goa is blessed with the famous Dudhsagar Falls which literally means sea of milk – perhaps because of the white foam created by the waterfall as it cascades into the lake. With an altitude of 1017 feet, it is amongst the largest falls in India and looks absolutely marvellous as it takes a trip down the hills. The best time to visit the falls is during the monsoon season when the waterfall is in full flow and is a sight to behold.

Jog Falls, Karnataka

The second highest plunge waterfall in India, the majestic Jog Falls is located on the Sharavathi River and has a height of 253 metres. Surrounded by lush green forests, these falls are incredibly beautiful to look at and make for an ideal spot for swimming enthusiasts. The falls also mark the border between the India states of Goa and Karnataka and present an even more beautiful view during the monsoons when the intensity of the fall heightens.

Shivanasamudra Falls, Karnataka

Formed by the Kaveri River in Karnataka, Shivanasamudra Falls is best known for its sheer volume. With its two branches – the eastern and the western – and surrounded by forested hills and lush green valleys, the falls is truly a terrific gift of nature and attracts travellers from across the globe. Offering a 98 metre drop and possessing an impressive girth of over 300 meters, visiting the falls is reckoned as one of the best experiences in Karnataka.

Bhagsunag Falls, Himachal Pradesh

One of the best natural treasures in McLeod Ganj, Bhagsunag Falls with their cascading waterfalls is an absolute marvel to look at. With their true blend of rocks, flora and water body, the falls make for a perfect adventure spot in Himachal Pradesh, a north Indian state. Apart from the adventure, this site also makes for a key destination among Hindu pilgrims for its well-known Bhagsunath Temple. It may not be the biggest fall in India but its matchless beauty is a feast to the eyes and can leave you spellbound.

Athirappilly Falls, Kerala

Known as the gem of Thrissur district and the “Niagara Falls of India”, Athirappilly Falls is the largest waterfall of Kerala and is located on the Chalakudy River and adds an extra treat to the state’s incredible beauty. It is an 80-foot high waterfall with a width of 330 feet and cascades through lush green trees, small villages and winding roads.

Iruppu Falls, Karnataka

One of the most beautiful spots in the Coorg district of Karnataka, Iruppu Falls is a scenic waterfall cascading along the Brahmagiri Mountain Range. Descending from river Lakshmana Tirtha, the falls is also known as Lakshmana Tirtha falls and takes you to the Brahmagiri peak through a forest trail. Additionally, this place is best known for the famous Rameshwara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva that attracts Hindu pilgrims from all across the globe and holds the biggest crowd during the festival of Shivratri.

Walk Through the Ancient Cities of India

With a rich cultural legacy and inimitable historical wealth, India remains the most fascinating and enigmatic holiday destination for travellers around the world. Visit some of the country’s old cities to learn about it all.

Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh

Also known as Saketa, Ayodhya is one of the most ancient cities in India. The birthplace of Lord Rama, this beautiful city is a fascinating melting pot of different religions and customs prevailing in the country. Ram Janmabhoomi, Hanumangarhi and Kanak Bhawan Temple are few of the prominent temples in the city. Ram Lila (the enactment of the story of Lord Rama) and Ram Navami Mela are among the popular fairs and festivals celebrated here. Make sure you try the famous Indian delicacy Paan (a preparation combining betel leaf with areca nut) in the city.

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

varanasi

Renowned as the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world. Originally built during 11th century B.C., this sacred city on the banks of River Ganges is famed for its ancient shrines and age-old buildings. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Manikarnika Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat and Chaukhandi Stupa are some of the popular attractions in the city. Chena Dahi Vada (bhallas prepared with lentil), Malaiyyo (sweetened milk and saffron dessert), Thandai (Indian cold drink prepared with a mixture of elements and sugar) and Lassi (yogurt-based drink) are among the must try drinks and delicacies here.

Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

Nestled beside the Kshipra River in Madhya Pradesh, Ujjain is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site in India. Famed for its centuries old Mahakaleshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the city has been long been a cultural and literary hub for poets and saints.

ujjain

Ram Ghat, Kal Bhairav Temple, Harsiddhi Temple and Vedh Shala are among the popular temples and attractions in the city. Pachmarhi Utsav, Lokrang Samaroh, Malwa Utsav, Maha Shivratri Festival and Tansen Music Festival are some of the most celebrated festivals in Ujjain.

Madurai, Tamil Nadu

madurai

Well-known for its spectacular gopurams (gateway towers) and colourful temples, Madurai is much popular with travellers holidaying in South India. Featuring some of the ancient Dravidian style structures and traditional buildings, the city is a classic example of India’s rich royal legacy. With beautiful paintings and fascinating carvings temples such as Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal, Koodal Azhagar Temple and Alagar Koyil are some of the top spots to hit. Jallikattu (bull taming), Chithirai Festival, Avanimoolam Festival and Pongal are among the biggest celebrations in the city.

Pushkar, Rajasthan

pushkar1

Home to around dozens of ghats and several pilgrimage sites, Pushkar remains a terrific travel destination in India.Situated in the state of Rajasthan, it is home to some really old temples and historic structures. Brahma Temple, Pushkar Lake and Savitri Mata Temple are few of the top attractions in the city.

pushkar

An annual livestock fest and cultural festival, Pushkar Fair is one of the most celebrated events in the city.Malpua (pancake served as a dessert) and Dal Bati Churma (boiled lentils, wheat rolled into dough, either fried or baked and crushed wheat with ghee and sugar) are among the must try dishes in Pushkar.

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

Home to the popular 11th century Brihadeeswarar Temple built during the Chola Dynasty (one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of South India), Thanjavur is a charming Indian city.

Thanjavur

Situated in the state of Tamil Nadu, it is home to some of the oldest temples, gopurams, mandapas and other ancient structures. Royal Palace Museum, Great Living Chola Temples, Thanjavur Maratha Palace and Aiyarappar Temple are few of the well known attractions in the city. Featuring the centuries-old Saraswathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur Maratha Palace is among the most popular sites here. While you are here, make sure you try out the famous Thavala Adai (dosa cooked with a powder made out of Raw Rice, Boiled rice, Bengal Gram Dhal/Kadalai Paruppu and pulses) with rasam (tamarind juice).

Mysore, Karnataka

mysore

Famed for its opulent temples and magnificent palaces, Mysore is another Indian city that enamours tourists in South India. Located in the state of Karnataka, the city is packed with beautiful attractions and interesting things to do. Featuring a collection of paintings, artefacts and interesting carvings, Jaganmohan Palace is one must visit sites in the city. Chamundeshwari Temple, Mysuru Sand Sculpture Museum, Folk Lore Museum, Melody World Wax Museum, Regional Museum of Natural History and Gun House are among the top sightseeing spots in Mysore. A popular 10-day festival held annually, Mysore Dasara is one of the most celebrated events in the city. If you are an animal lover, you’d be much interested in visiting the famous Mysore Zoo.

Kurukshetra, Haryana

Also known as the ‘Land of Bhagwad Gita’ (a highly revered 700-verse Hindu scripture in Sanskrit), Kurukshetra is in the state of Haryana and is renowned for its magnificent structures, forts, palaces and other interesting attractions. Besides the Mahabharata battleground, Brahma Sarovar, Sheikh Chilli’s Tomb, Sannihit Sarovar, Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple and Dharohar Museum are few of the top spots to hit in the city.

5 Upcoming Major Events and Festivals in India You Need to Know

India, the name conjures up the images of colourful, energetic and cultural festivals and events in our mind. The bustling country’s overwhelming blend of landscapes and heritage stirs with wonderful festivals, art exhibitions and distinctive form of creative expression. From New Delhi to Goa and Kerala to Mumbai, here’s a list of some major upcoming festivals and events you should not miss. Take a look!

Temple Festivals in Kerala

Besides many blissful locations and scenic beauty, Kerala, a state in South India features a large number of Hindu temples – and most of them celebrate delightful festivals every year. These Kerala Templetemple festivals run from February to May and are typically rejoiced with splendid line up of caparisoned elephants, bull or divine characters, massive effigies of horse, traditional art forms, captivating percussion orchestra and magnificent display of fireworks. Pooram, Bharani, Arattu, KeralaVela and Utsavam are few of such festivals. Utsavam is almost here and will take place from 6th January 2018 to 12th January 2018. Come and experience the spirit of God’s Own Country through the bliss of rhythms and dazzling performances.

Surajkund International Craftsmela

A two-week handicraft fair in the Lakewood city of Surajkund, Surajkund International Craftsmela is one of the largest craft exhibitions in the world. It is celebrated as a big festival in Haryana and held annually in the month of February. Every year, a million of tourists and locals come and be a Surajkund part of this exclusive exhibition to witness the best of traditional art and talent that exist in India. This year, the event is scheduled from 2nd to 18th February and again all set to amaze visitors with the richness of diverse handlooms, handicrafts and masterpieces, and many performing arts and ethnic cuisines.

India Art Festival

India Art Festival is a four-day contemporary art fair that is hosted annually in February in Mumbai and in November in New Delhi. The Mumbai edition of IAF will be held from 15th February to 18th February, 2018 at Nehru Centre, Mumbai. This is one of the best art fairs in India in which major and mid-level art galleries showcase contemporary art with independent artists. The artwork displayed in the event includes sculptures, paintings and digital art by over 400 artists. The event is attended by many leading experts that highlight the significance of art development and innovations through panel discussions and various workshops.

Goa Carnival

Introduced by Portuguese, Goa Carnival is the most awaited three-day festival of Goa that takes place before the Easter Sunday. Every year, many tourists from all across the globe choose to visit Goathe state and celebrate this Christian festival with great enthusiasm and pomp. During this event, one will witness high tone music bands, mask dances, street plays on historic themes, colossal parades, grand feasts, delicious food and much more. Most of the carnival celebrations take place around Margao, Panjim and Vasco da Gama – and this year, the carnival is scheduled from 10th to 13th February.

Holi – the festival of colours

Holi is a popular traditional festival in India that celebrates the victory of good over evil as well as the beginning of the spring season, marking the end of winter.  This religious festival starts in the evening of the Full Moon Day with bonfire celebrations and continues on the following day with the spread of colours in the air. The best of this festival’s delight and fun can be experienced in the cities of Mathura and Vrindavana where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. The celebrations over there continue for about 7 to 16 days with several rituals and traditions, and present a lifetime of colourful experience for the visitors.