Category Archives: India

Revisiting History: Best Known Museums in India

gateway-of-india

Preserving a major chunk of India’s ancient and colourful history are some of the oldest and popular museums scattered across the country. An insightful trip to India is incomplete without a visit to at least a few of these museums. Take a look!

Indian Museum, Kolkata

Founded in 1814 by the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Indian Museum is the oldest museum in the country. Comprising of over 35 galleries spread across six sections, it features a wide collection of antiques, artefacts, fossils, paintings and other valuables. The National Emblem, an elephant skeleton, Ashok Stambha, rare Egyptian mummies and human skulls from the Indus Valley Civilization are among the major exhibits at the museum. Exhibitions, workshops, training programs, special lectures, seminars and other multi-cultural activities are organised regularly for the visitors here.

The Prince of Whales Museum, Mumbai

Now known as ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya’, The Prince of Whales Museum is a popular tourist attraction in Mumbai. Built in 1922 using Indo-Saracenic architectural style, the museum is home to approximately 50,000 artefacts along with several collectables including minerals, rocks and fossils. The Karl and Meherbai Khandalavala collection, manuscripts dating back to the early 11th and 12th centuries, sculptures, coins, plaster replica of Astamurti (a form of Shiva), statues of Buddha, Akbar’s armour and Japanese sculptures are among the famous items on display here.

National Museum, Delhi

Located in the capital city, New Delhi, the National Museum is one of the largest museums in India. Established in 1949 by the Government of India, it houses a wide collection of artefacts, manuscripts, miniatures, paintings, textiles, antiques, sculptures (stone, bronze and terracotta), jewellery items and other valuables. Items from the Indus Valley Civilization displayed at the Harappan Gallery are quite impressive. The dancing girl bronze figurine, toy cat, statue of Mother Goddess, seals, pottery items and bronze toys are other popular items displayed at the museum.

Government Museum, Chennai

Established in 1851, Government Museum is the second oldest museum in India. Located in the city of Chennai in the southern Indian province of Tamil Nadu, this historic museum features the largest collection of Roman antiques along with numerous artefacts, manuscripts, paintings, sculptures and other valuables. Amravati figures, Thanjavur armoury, South Indian bronze statues, copper plates and artefacts from the Megaliths are the key exhibits at the museum.

Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

Located in the city of Hyderabad, India’s well known technological hub, Salar Jung Museum houses a large collection of antiques, sculptures, paintings, carvings, textiles, manuscripts, paintings and other interesting artefacts from India and other parts of the world. Aurangzeb’s sword, the wardrobe of Tipu Sultan and the paintings of legendary Raja Ravi Varma are all big hits with the visitors. The British Bracket Clock is among the most important artefacts in the museum.

The Finest Clubs for Partying the Night Away in New Delhi

delhi-nightlife

The vibrant capital of India -New Delhi – has a pulsating night life scene. Thronged by the youth, there are many clubs in Delhi that meet international standards in terms of music, food, service, ambience and safety. To make sure that you party at only the best places, we have put together a list of top five clubs in Delhi that you can consider if you are looking to paint the town red during your New Delhi visit:

Kitty Su, Vasant Kunj

Kitty Su is located in Vasant Kunj in South Delhi and is one of the most happening clubs in the city. Frequented by the plush South Delhi crowd, the club remains open till 3am in the night. Fans of EDM are sure to have a great time as the club is known for playing some intense EDM numbers. Kitty Su is divided into a Champagne lounge, an ‘A’ list section, a mini club, a tattoo parlour and a salon. The club remains open three days a week – Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  A night of partying for two people will cost approximately INR 3500 here.

Keya, Vasant Kunj

Located in the plush DLF Promenade Mall of Vasant Kunj, Keya impresses its visitors with its romantic outdoor seating area, a huge open lounge area and a classic indoor nightclub ambiance. Costing approximately INR 4000 for a night of dining and wining, Keya is one of the more expensive clubs in Delhi. Their signature cocktails remain quite popular and its hospitality plays a huge role in drawing visitors to the club.

The Electric Room, Lodhi Road

Newly opened, The Electric Room has everyone swooning over its live music performances. The club-goers are particularly excited about the Gin Fizz, Kimchi Bloody Mary and the Pomegranate Caprioska cocktails served here. And in then food department, the Crispy Soft Shell Crab Tempura Roll, the Philadelphia Rolls and Mac n Cheese has many takers. Perfect for an after-party, the club remains open till 4am. Depending upon the day of the week, the talented line-up of artists will make you groove to the Indie and Experimental music, the Club Tunes and the Underground music as well as the Pop Rock and Hard Rock music.

Lithiyum, Ashoka Hotel, Chanakyapuri

Launched in July 2017, Lithiyum is already making news, and getting rave reviews for being the first international and premium club, lounge and fine dine property in New Delhi. Divided into the Club Room, the Drawing Room & Arena, Lithiyum is being promoted as one of the best fine dining places, gastropub nightclubs and cocktailerias in the capital city. The club is also being appreciated for its brilliant lighting and sound system.

Privee’, Connaught Place

Located in the Shangri-la’s Eros Hotel, Privee’ enjoys a huge popularity amidst all the party people in the town. The club boasts a huge dance floor, and is all the rave for the hip hop music that specially plays here on Sundays. Their delectable cocktails are one of the best things about this place. It is important to note that the club hosts expat nights as well as ladies nights every Thursday.

Holidays in India: Visit These Vintage Car Museums!

Vintage-cars

India is home to several well-maintained vintage car museums which are full of rare Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Lincolns, Cadillacs, Pontiacs and other classics. These cars were used by the royal families, the Maharajas, Nizams, British officers and Bollywood superstars.

Here is a list of five vintage car museums you should definitely visit when you are next holidaying in India.

Classic and Vintage Car Collection – Udaipur, Rajasthan

There can’t be a better place for a museum of vintage cars driven by the Indian Maharajas than a royal palace, and the Classic and Vintage Car Collection in Udaipur is just that! Opened for visitors in the year 2000, this museum is home to cars used by the kings of Mewar. The exotic car collection here includes cars dating back to the 1920’s. The popular ones include a rare 1946 Buick, a 1938 Cadillac, a 1925 Rolls Royce and a 1959 Morris Minor.

Ashvek Vintage World – Goa

A rare two-engine Vandall Tempo,  a 1931 Peugeot, a 1939 Mercedes 170,  a 1948 Chevrolet Fleet Master along with a couple of other brilliantly maintained vintage beauties await classic car enthusiasts at the Ashvek Vintage World in Goa. Many of these vintage cars have been used in a number of Bollywood movies. Situated in Salcete, Goa, the museum also organizes vintage car rallies in the country. The Vidal Tempo of 1936 showcased here has actually been sourced from the royal family of Sawantwadi.

Heritage Transport Museum – Gurugram, Haryana

Located at a distance of approximately 53 miles from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, the Heritage Transport Museum in Gurgaon has a splendid collection of 75 vintage cars, a restored 1930s BBCI Railway Station, vintage motorcycles and rare trucks. The impressively recreated Indian street scene and vintage petrol pump scene will take you back to the yesteryears. You can also watch films based on the evolution of transportation in India at the museum’s auditorium.

Chowmahalla Palace – Hyderabad

The Chowmahalla Palace Vintage Cars Gallery consists of the classy automobile driven by the Nizam family of Hyderabad. The list of vintage cars on display at the Chowmalla Palace includes a 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, a Fiat limousine, a Napier, a Packard touring sedan, a Wolseley and more.  Don’t miss the Hyderabad’s Nizam family’s Insignia engraved on all the vintage cars.

Manjusha Museum – Karnataka

Located at a distance of 47 miles from Mangalore, the Manjusha Museum in Karnataka is a treat for the classic car enthusiasts.  The list of vintage cars on display here include a 1936 Adler, a 1926 Mercedes Benz, a 1931 Fiat, a 1947 Frazer, a 1947 Ford Jeep, a 1930 Morris-Oxford, a 1924 Rolls Royce,  a 1929 Vauxhall and more. Photography inside the museum is not allowed, however you can buy a booklet that explains most all about the classics on display.

5 of the Oldest Churches in India

Churches and cathedrals in India are spread across the length and breadth of the country. Drawing inspirations from different colonised rulers, these places of worship are among the must visit attractions in the region. For those of you planning a holiday to India, here is a list of some of the most ancient churches in the country.

Churches in India

Santa Cruz Basilica, Kochi

One of the eight Basilicas in the south Indian province of Kerala, Santa Cruz Basilica is a must visit attraction in Kochi. Build originally by the Portuguese in 1558, the basilica is known for its gothic style architecture. The painting of the renowned Italian painter Fr Antonio Moscheni and the seven large canvas paintings including a beautiful reproduction of the ‘Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci are top highlights here. The stained glass windows and paintings on the ceiling, depicting scenes from the life of the Jesus, are the other highlights.

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa

A classic example of baroque architecture, Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most beautiful churches in Goa, India. Constructed in 1605 by a group of travellers, this ancient basilica features the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier along with several paintings and sculptures. Many visit to see the 17th century Florentine sculpture and the ornamented entrance gate.

The Christ Church, Shimla

Located on the famous Mall Road, The Christ Church is the second oldest church in this part of the country. Originally constructed in 1857, this beautiful neo-gothic structure today is one of the most important tourist attractions in Shimla. The five stained glass windows representing the Christian virtues of faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience and humility are loved by the visitors. The church holds a valuable collection of books, ancient sculptures and paintings.

All Saints Cathedral, Allahabad

Popularly known as ‘Patthar Girja’, All Saints Cathedral is a classic example of traditional architecture and efficient workmanship. Preserving some of the ancient works of glass and marble for over 125 years, the beautiful gothic styled church is home to different plaques mentioning the deaths of different British officials during the colonial period. Every year on All Saints Day (1st November) the church celebrates its anniversary by offering prayers and feast.

Moravian Mission Church, Leh

Moravian Church is one of the most famous churches in India. Constructed using Bohemian design and architecture in 1457, the cathedral is home to ancient pictures and sculptures dating back to the time when Christianity set its grounds in India. The emblem ‘Lamb of God’ surrounded by the flag of victory is a big highlight here.

Top attractions in the Royal City of Mysore, India

Mysore

Also known as the ‘City of Palaces’, Mysore is one of most exciting cities in South India. A former capital of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore, the city today is noted for its ancient monuments and royal palaces.

Mysuru Palace

A historical palace built by Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, Mysore Palace is one must visit tourist attraction in the city. Located in Chamrajpura district, this ancient structure is a classic example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Within the palace there are numerous unique rooms and over 12 Hindu temples dating back to the early 14th century. The Someshvara Temple, Lakshmiramana Temple, Sri Bhuvaneshwari Temple and Kodi Someshwaraswami Temple are among the popular temples here. Sound and light shows are organized on a daily basis between 7 pm and 7:45 pm.

Keshava Temple, Somanathapura

One of the finest examples of Hoyasala architecture, Keshava Temple is a famous temple in Mysore. Housed inside a high walled enclosure, this popular 12th century construction is known for featuring amazing stone sculptures and paintings depicting scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita. Relief carvings, decorative wall mouldings, pierced windows and other stone inscriptions add to the beauty of the temple. Within the temple there are three beautiful shrines of Lord Vishnu.

St. Philomena’s Cathedral

St. Philomena’s Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in India and tallest in Asia. Built in Gothic style with inspirations from Germany’s Cologne Cathedral, the popular church is known for its beautiful stained glass windows and paintings depicting important scenes from the life of the Christ. Wall images and sculptures showcasing the birth of the Christ, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, Resurrection and the Ascension of Christ are all impressive. A holy mass and prayer meetings are held daily at the sanctum sanctorum of the complex.

Namdroling Monastery

Located in Bylakuppe district, Namdroling Monastery is a beautiful site in Mysore. Founded in 1963 by a group of pilgrims, the monastery today is home to over 5000 lamas including both monks and nuns. Constructed using ancient Buddhist architecture style, Namdroling Monastery is home to several Tibetan mythology paintings and numerous gold plated statues of Buddha. The three idols of Buddha in a seated position are major attractions here. Around the festival of Losar (Tibetan New Year), the monastery is packed with visitors and devotees. Don’t miss the Lama dance and other celebrations held here!

Jaganmohan Palace

Built in traditional Hindu style, Jaganmohan Palace is a must visit site in the city. A former residence of the Wodeyars (Kings of Mysore), this beautiful palace today is a famous art gallery featuring works of prominent artists and painters from across the world. The gallery is home to the largest collection of artefacts in South India. Japanese engravings and paintings depicting scenes from the Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata are a major attraction here. The painting of a lady holding a white lamp is a big hit with the visitors.

Famous Hill Resorts in South India

Hill stations are among the top tourist attractions in India. While most of them are clustered in North India, there are few lovely ones in the Southern part of the country as well. Majorly spread across the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, these hill stations offer much needed relief from the notoriously hot Indian summers.

Munnar

munnar

Located in the state of Kerala, Munnar is a toy-town hill station. Fondly called the ‘Swiss of South India’, the tiny hill town is home to beautiful tea gardens, lakes, valleys and waterfalls. It has a subtropical climate and offers an exciting range of wildlife, including grizzled giant squirrels, Nilgiri wood-pigeon, elephants, the Nilgiri langurs, and the sambars. Some of the major attractions here include the Tea Museum, Echo Point, Kundala Lake, Anamudi Peak and Attukal Waterfalls.

Ooty

ooty

Also known as ‘Queen of Hill Stations’, Ooty is located in the state of Karnataka and is famous for its thick forests, extensive grasslands and miles of tea gardens. The toy train, known as Nilgiri Mountain Railways running from Mettupalayam to Ooty is loved by families. The Ooty Lake, Botanical Garden, Rose Garden, Wenlock Downs, Pine Forest and Pykara Dam are among the popular attractions here.

Chikmagalur

Located in the foothills of Mullayanagiri range, Chikmagalur is another well-known hill station in the state of Karnataka. It is known for its vast coffee gardens, green forests and soaring mountains. For coffee in India was first cultivated here, it is also known as the coffee land of Karnataka. Hirekolale Lake, Amruthapura, Baba Budangiri, Mulliyangiri, Ayyanakere Lake, Kemmangundi and Manikyadhara Falls are among the noteworthy attractions here.

Coonoor

Located 6000 ft above sea level, Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri Hills after Ooty. Featuring some of the best ravines and valleys, the hill town is famous for its landscapes. Providing a panoramic view of the Nilgiri Hills, Coonoor is visited in large number by tourists from all over the world. Sim’s Park is a must visit attraction here. Lambs Rock, Dolphins Nose, Law’s fall and St. Catherine Falls are the other important sites to visit in Coonoor.

Kodaikanal

kodaikanal

Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill town in South India. Established in 1845, the city today is a hub for youngsters and the newlyweds. Kodai Lake, Bryant Park, Bear Shola Falls, Silver Cascade, Pillar Rocks and Coaker’s Walk are some of the popular attractions here. Most tourists visit the city in the summer months of April and June.

Wayanad

Located in the north-eastern end of Kerala, Wayanad is one of the most affordable hill stations in South India. Founded in 1980, the town is home to several waterfalls, dams, lakes and wildlife sanctuaries. Meenmutty Falls, Soochipara Falls, Kanthampara Falls, Pookote Lake, Banasura Sagar Dam and Karappuzha Dam are among the must visit attractions here. The Brahmagiri and Chembra Peak are the perfect spots for hiking and trekking.

Famous Hindu Temples in ‘God’s Own Country’ Kerala, India

kerala

A land full of ancient legends and exciting myths, Kerala, India’s southern state, is home to magnificent Hindu temples. Here is a list of some of the most famous temples in the ‘God’s Own Country’!

Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Located in the city of Thiruvananthapuram (or Trivandrum), Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a beautiful temple. Constructed in the early 8th century, it is known for its Dravidian style architecture. The beautifully crafted idol of Lord Vishnu (one of the principle deities in Hinduism) sheltered by serpents is the most popular attraction at the temple. The Alpashy festival and Panguni festival are the best times to visit the temple. Cultural events and activities are organised regularly here.

Chottanikkara Temple

Located in the tiny Chottanikkara town, Chottanikkara Temple is one of the famous temples in Kerala. Constructed by a group of tribal merchants, the temple is dedicated to Chottanikkara Devi (one of the most worshipped forms of Goddess Laxmi). The temple has some of the ancient idols of the deity along with statues of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The traditional ‘Guruthi Pooja’, held every evening, is a great spiritual experience for all.

Guruvayur Temple

Also referred to as ‘Bhuloka Vaikunta’, Guruvayur Temple is a well-known Krishna temple in Kerala. Situated in the tiny town of Guruvayur, it is particularly acclaimed for its beautiful architecture. The four-armed standing statue of Lord Krishna carrying the conch and the sudarshan chakra is the biggest attraction at the temple. During the celebrations of the Ulsavam and the Malyali New Year, the place comes alive with wonderful decorations and crowd of devotees.

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple

Situated in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram, Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple is an ancient temple in the southern Indian province. Built by a group of merchants travelling to Kerala, the temple has a total of 32 different sculptures of Lord Ganesh. The main idol of Sri Mahaganapathy, in a seated posture, holds the attention of all visitors.

Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple

Located in the Pathanamthitta district, Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is one of the ‘Divya Desams’ in the state. Built in traditional Kerala-style architecture, the temple features beautiful idols and sculptures of Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna. Most paintings in the temple depict important events and incidents from the Mahabharata (one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India). The annual Snake Boat Race held annually at the nearby Pamba River is a popular attraction among tourists visiting the shrine.

Nilakkal Mahadeva Temple

Situated in the tiny district of Pathanamthitta, Nilakkal Mahadeva Temple is yet another famous temple and a halting place for the Sabarimala pilgrims. The tall idol of Shiva at the entrance gate is a popular attraction. Every year, hundreds of pilgrims visit the holy shrine during the Sabarimala pilgrimage and at the time of the Thiruvutsavam festival. The traditional rituals and daily prayers performed by the priests at the temple are enjoyed by both locals and tourists.

5 Famous Forts of Rajasthan, India

Located in the western part of India, Rajasthan is one of the most colourful and traditionally rich states in the country.  Flaunting a royal ambience mixed with tradition and culture, it is one of the best places to travel back in time to understand the country’s rich history. For the state was ruled by kings of different clans for many years, Rajasthan is aptly known as the ‘Land of Kings’. And the many forts and palaces here will tell you just that. Here’s a guide to some of the most beautiful forts of Rajasthan.

Amer Fort

Located in the district of Amer near Jaipur, Amer Fort is one famous structure in Rajasthan. The 15th century palace is believed to have been built by Maharaja Man Singh and later on improved by his descendants. The grand fort has 4 beautifully constructed courtyards, private quarters and the official chamber for the royal family. Mughal Gardens, The Tripolia Gate, The Lion Gate and Sheesha Mahal are among the popular attractions found within the structure. Today, the fort is one of the most visited sites in Rajasthan.

Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer-Fort

Situated alongside the barren stretches of Thar Desert, Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest fully preserved forts in Rajasthan. Built in 11th century by the famous Rajput ruler, Rawal Jaisal, the popular structure is well known for its beauty and architecture. The 4 massive gateways, Raj Mahal, Jain temples and Laxminath temple are the popular attractions of the fort. There are several houses of the nobles and the merchants known as merchant havelis within the fort structure. It is these havelis-turned-museums that allow visitors to travel back in time and understand the rich history of the state.

Ranthambore Fort

Located near the town of Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore Fort is a prominent attraction in Rajasthan. Constructed in 944 AD by Raja Sajraj Veer Singh Nagil, the fort was built in order to protect the kingdom from the invaders. Known for its design and architecture, the fort features a massive gateway, several courtyards and the king’s chamber. Ranthambore National Park, Bakula, Jain Temples, Raj Bagh Ruins and Surwal Lake are among the popular attractions around the fort. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Chittor Fort

Located in the city of Chittorgarh, Chittor Fort is one of the oldest forts in India. This 7th century construction features 7 grand entrance gates namely Pandan Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ganesh Pol, Jodla Pol, Laxman Pol and the largest of the lot, the Ram Pol along with the King’s chamber. Interestingly, the fort is house to several historical monuments including Vijay Stambh, Kirti Stambh, Fatah Prakash palace, Rana Kumbha palace, Gaumukh reservoir and Padmini’s palace. For its beauty and architecture, the fort is a World Heritage Site.

Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh-Fort

Located in Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India. Built in 1460 by Rao Jodha, this fort is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful courtyards. It is believed that the 7 massive gates leading to the fort were constructed by different rulers as a way to celebrate their victory in different parts of the state. On display at the fort museum are Elephant’s Howdahs, palanquins, Mehrangarh treasures, armoury and paintings. The Turban Gallery, a royal preservatory of different styles and designs of turbans used by kings in ancient Rajasthan is one popular attraction within the fort structure.

7 Popular Hill Stations in North India

Hill stations/resorts in India are among the top attractions for tourists in the country. Usually tiny settlements in between the hills or mountain ranges, these resorts are spread across all over the northern states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, offering a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

himachal

Shimla

Located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is one of the oldest hill stations in India. Popularly known as ‘Queen of the Hills’, the tiny resort city is known for its snow covered mountains and beautiful landscape. Featuring a subtropical highland climate, the city is home to numerous alpine trees, including pine, deodar and oak. Some of the city’s major attractions include the Viceroy Temple, Mall Road, Christ Church and the Ridge. Most of the buildings and structures in Shimla have neo-gothic architecture and colonial design of the Europeans. Shimla has the largest natural ice skating rink in South Asia.

McLeodganj

Located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, McLeodganj is again a famous hill resort in northern India. Popularly known as ‘Little Dhasa’, the town is a great place to enjoy trekking and mountain excursions in the Himalayas. Triund Hill and Dal Lake are two of the popular attractions in the city. The city is home to several Buddhist temples and monasteries and is an apt place for those willing to explore the culture and traditions of the region.

Auli

Situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Auli is a well-know hill station, also known as ‘Auli Bugyal’. This tiny hillside town is known for its snow covered mountains and beautiful coniferous trees. Located at an average elevation of 3050 meters above sea level, the resort town is a popular skiing destination in India. Gurso Bugyal, Kwani Bugyal, Trishul Peak and Rudraprayag are among the popular attractions around the town. The valley of Auli is also home to the largest ropeway ride in Asia.

Gulmarg

Located in Baramula district of Jammu and Kashmir, Gulmarg is one of the most beautiful hill resort towns in India. Originally named ‘Gaurimarg’, the popular town is referred to as the ‘heartland of winter sports in India’. Situated at an average altitude of 2,650 meters, the town is best to indulge in mountain trekking, snowboarding and skiing. Gulmarg Golconda, Seven Springs, Strawberry Valley, Apharwat Peak and Ningle Nallah are among the top attractions in the town.

Mussoorie

Located in the Dehradun District of Uttarakhand, Mussoorie is known for its scenic beauty and varied flora and fauna. Situated at an altitude of 1880 meters above sea level, Mussoorie is best to enjoy a quiet, peaceful holiday away from the city’s hustle bustle. Kempty Falls, Lake Mist, Mussoorie Lake, Jharipani Fall and Mossy Fall are among the popular attractions in the city.

Dharamshala

Dharamshala is a much loved hill resort in Himachal Pradesh. Formerly known as Bhagsu, the city was once the Dalai Lama’s residence and headquarters of Central Tibetan Administration. Situated at an elevation of 1457 meters above sea level, Dharamshala is famous for its ancient architecture and beautiful landscape. Although everything in the town is an attraction, Bhagsu’s water fall is among the most talked-about tourist sites.

Dalhousie

Named after Lord Dalhousie, Dalhousie, located in Himachal Pradesh, was established as the summer retreat for the British troops and officials. Situated at an elevation of 1970 meters above sea level, Dalhousie is known for its snow-capped peaks and old world charm. Popular attractions in the city include Karelanu, Bakrota Hills, Kalatop and Kalatop Forest and Dainkund Peak.

Tips To Survive a Holiday to India during summers

Being a tropical country, India bears harsh summers that could dampen the holiday spirit of unprepared travellers who are visiting the country during the summer months. However, with little preparation and knowledge you can turn a trip to India even during peak summers an enjoyable experience. Read on to know how to survive the ‘Great Indian Summers’!

summer

Destination

India is a vast country, which is home to varied landscapes including mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, beaches, jungles and deserts. The country has so many different destinations that it can be travelled throughout the year. Summers here start around April and stay until around September (reaching peak heat around May-June), with each place having its own cycle of dry and humid heat.

During the scorching summer months, the best bet would be to choose from the many hill resorts in the country. Spend you holidays chilling out at Manali in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, Gulmarg or Srinagar in the state of Jammu & Kashmir or the exotic Leh in Ladakh. The weather at these places is much cooler and pleasant, with picturesque surroundings and amazing views. Visiting national parks is also a good idea as they may be hot but they are lush with greenery and jungle safaris will be fun and relaxing as well. Travellers may avoid beach destinations, northern India and desert destinations. Also, it’s best to avoid road trips during peak summers.

Time Your Outings

Irrespective of where you choose to visit, a summer time trip to India means that you must choose the right time for your activities and outings. It will be a good idea to avoid outdoor activities (under direct sun) between 11am to 4pm. This is the hottest part of the day and it will be clever to use this time to visit indoor attractions including museums, galleries, movie halls, restaurants or shopping centres. Try to visit the attractions that require you to stay out in the open for longer periods early in the mornings or in the evenings.

Wear Light Clothing

Always wear loose and cotton or linen clothes to feel light and fresh. Also, keep yourself fully covered to protect yourself from getting sunburnt. Such clothes will keep you comfortable throughout your journey, even if you have to venture out in open spaces during the afternoon heat. Always keep your head covered with a cotton scarf or a cap to prevent exposure to sunlight. Keep in mind that light colours will keep you cooler and dark colours tend to absorb more heat. Wear a light pair of aerated shoes such as flip-flops or sandals when outdoors.

Protection from Heat

A little common sense and some precautions can help you to enjoy the best of India during summer time. Desert destinations including Rajasthan or North Indian destinations including Delhi or Punjab are places where the risk of getting sun tanned, sunburn or rashes could be highest. So, always put on a good waterproof sunscreen to all exposed body parts. Keep your mouth, nose and ears and most body parts covered to prevent dehydration. You can even use an umbrella, as many locals do for protection against the heat. Always wear sunglasses as this will protect your eyes from sunlight as well as from the dust. Carry a few packets of oral rehydration (ORS) to help you in case of dehydration.

To make things more fun, opt for traditional Ayurvedic therapies and massages, which will have a soothing effect on your skin as well as relax you after a hot day out in the sun. Even if they are a tad bit costlier, you can choose to travel in air-conditioned cars or buses.