Category Archives: India

Diwali Delight: Unique Ways and Places to Celebrate the Festival in India

dipawali

Diwali is one of the biggest and brightest festivals of India, celebrated all over the country with great enthusiasm. Different parts of the country have different traditions and to be in the country around the festival, which usually takes place in October-November, is a nice opportunity to enjoy the many aspects of it. Read on and find out for yourself!

Discover the sparkling lights of Jaipur

The glow of lights and lamps, adorning homes and shops and the streets, is the essence of Diwali and the “Pink City” Jaipur is a terrific place to see it all. Not just the buildings even the street markets are lit up beautifully; in fact, a competition for the best decorated market is held every year on Diwali! Johari Bazaar, one of the famous markets of the city, is also known as “The Strip” when the festival comes up and attracts large crowds during the time.

diwali

Treat your eyes to fireworks over the Ganges in Varanasi

Varanasi is an ancient Indian city renowned for its great religious and cultural wealth. But it is during the time around Diwali when this wonderful city seems to be illuminating literally in the radiance of traditions! Opt for one of the riverside hotels in the city and enjoy a stunning view of the fireworks over the Ganges River from the comfort of your room. Besides, you can attend the special Ganga Aarti and can explore the ghats lit with candles and diyas.

Go shopping at the markets of Delhi

Diwali is a lovely time to be holidaying in the capital city. Along with the wonderful balmy weather, you can enjoy the terrific line-up of treats that sprout up for the locals and visitors during the festival.  A number of special Diwali markets and fairs are organised all over the city. You can explore the famous shopping spot, Dilli Haat that hosts the amazing Diwali Bazaar every year, and can also shop for a range of fine handicrafts at the annual Dastkar Festival of Lights Diwali Mela.

Enjoy gambling and the destruction of Demon Narakasura in Goa

Goa might be more popular as a beach holiday destination but there’s much more to the state that makes it an ideal spot for Diwali holidays. The major Diwali celebration in the state includes the destruction of demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Many competitions are held across the villages and cities of Goa for coming up with the scariest image of the demon, which are all burned a day before Diwali. Moreover, you can try your luck at one of the top casinos enjoying gambling, a famous activity that takes place during the festival all over the state.

5 of the Highest Lakes in India You Must Explore

lakes-in-india

India is a home to some of world’s most beautiful lakes. The most exquisite of them are perhaps located high in the mountains. Read on and learn about five of the highest lakes in India that you must explore!

Cholamu Lake

The highest lake in India, Cholamu lies in the North Sikkim district and is just 4 kilometres from the Chinese border. Located at a height of 5330 metres, the lake remains relatively and understandably lesser explored. Also known as Tso Lhamo Lake, Cholamu Lake is best explored during the months of March, April, May and June, when the weather is pleasantly warm. Moreover, the lake attracts an array of migratory birds from Russia and China and various parts of the Indian Subcontinent.

Gurudongmar Lake

Located at an altitude of 17,800 feet in Sikkim, Gurudongmar Lake is the second highest lake in India. Named after Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, the lake is considered sacred by the Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs. It is very close to the south Tibetan (Chinese) border and remains frozen throughout the winter season.

Pangong Lake

A 134 km long, endorheic lake, Pangong extends from India to China and witnesses huge crowds of tourists. Lying in the Himalayas, the lake is 5kms wide at its broadest point and appeals to all eyes with its picturesque beauty. The ever-changing colours of the lake make it one of the most beautiful spots in the country. It is a 5-hour drive from Leh, one of the major towns in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Tsomgo Lake

Loved by the tourists for its picturesque beauty, Tsomgo Lake is located in the Indian state of Sikkim, around 40 kms away from the capital Gangtok. Also known as Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake, this glacial lake changes its colour with the change of season and remains frozen during the winter. A large number of tourists choose to explore the lake during their visit to Sikkim and attend the popular Guru Purnima festival that’s celebrated here on a grand scale.

Kedartal Lake

Also known as Kedar Tal Lake and Shiva’s Lake, Kedartal is a glacial lake lying at an altitude of 4,750 metres in the Garhwal region of the Indian Himalayas. It is a popular trekking destination in India due to the thrilling trek opportunities it offers to the visitors. Moreover, it appeals to the visitors with its camping opportunities.

5 Indian Cities with the Best Nightlife

Nightlife

India has a flourishing nightlife, best reflected across most of its key urban centres, promising an exciting time to everyone who wants to have a good time. Read on and learn about the five Indian cities with the best nightlife.

Mumbai

The epithet ‘the city that never sleeps’ makes it clear that Mumbai remains one of India’s most famous nightlife hubs. While it is a joy to enjoy the inimitable views of the Arabian Sea and the beaches in the night, the incredible clubs and bars, that line up the street from Andheri West to Cuffe Parade, promise a terrific time to the revellers. Spot Bollywood celebs in Bandra and Juhu, and for a diverse range of entertainment, be in Colaba or the Kala Ghoda neighbourhood.

Delhi NCR

The capital city of India, Delhi and the surrounding region has limitless options for partying and dining. Hauz Khas Village, Connaught Place and Greater Kailash are some of the spots in the city where you’ll find plenty of nightclubs, themed restaurants and rooftop bars. The neighbouring IT hub, Gurgaon has an even more vivacious nightlife highlighted by exciting night clubs and spectacular restaurants.

Bangalore

The IT capital of India, Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru, has unsurprisingly become a hub for night-time revellers and the young crowd. Jungle Lounge, Opus, High Ultra Lounge, Athena, Skyye, and Loveshack are some of the top spots where party lovers can have a splendid time with their partners or friends. MG Road, Church Gate, JP Nagar and Brigade Road are few places in the city teeming with many exciting bars and clubs. Besides, you can also enjoy an overnight stay in a forest camp in Coorg and Bheemeshwari.

Goa

Goa is the undisputed party capital of India. The smallest Indian province has a lot to offer to the holidaymakers in the form of happening nightclubs and bars, music concerts and international festivals. Visit the famous Calangute Beach, Anjuna Beach, Baga Town and Colva to be a part of full moon trance parties and head to Vagator to make the most of the fabulous beach parties. Also, party animals love to visit Panjim to enjoy jazz shows and shoreline parties.

Chandigarh

Chandigarh is a paradise for party lovers where they can dance to the bhangra beats and feel the spirit of boogie all throughout the night! From enjoying a stroll through the wonderful sculptures at Rock Garden to putting your dancing shoes on at some amazing nightclubs such as Tao Lounge, Lava Bar, Oriental Lounge and Antidote, you can do it all to make the most of Chandigarh’s nightlife. Also, do explore Hops n Grains and English-themed Peddlers’ Pub – the two favourite partying spots of the locals.

10 Sacred Spots in the Indian Sub Continent

Here are the top ten sacred spots of the Indian Sub Continent, each promising a memorable time to the visitors.

Varanasi, India

Lying on the banks of the River Ganges in North India, Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world and is generally regarded the spiritual capital of India, attracting Hindu pilgrims from all

Varanasi

over the world. New Vishwanath Temple, Kathwala Temple and Kashi Vishwanath are some of the popular Hindu temples here.

Golden Temple, Amritsar

The famous Sikh shrine, Golden Temple is the most renowned tourist attraction of Amritsar,

Golden Temple

Punjab. The incredible architecture of the temple and the mesmerising lake attract travellers from all over the world.

Faisal Mosque, Islamabad

Lying at the foot of the Margalla Hills in Islamabad, Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque of Pakistan visited by a large number of tourists every year. It holds the attention with its eclectic

Faisal Mosque

blend of traditional and ultramodern Islamic architectural designs and its Bedouin tent-like shape.

Dambulla Cave Temple, Sri Lanka

With five caves, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and 153 statues of the Lord Buddha, Dambulla Cave Temple is the largest cave temple complex of Sri Lanka. The temple invites Buddhists and

Dambulla Cave Temple

others from all corners of the world. Also known as Jumbukola Vihara, it is situated in the north west of Kandy.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Nepal

Home to several pagoda and shikhara-style temples, Bhaktapur Durbar Square reflects the historical and cultural heritage of Nepal. The most stunning architectural delight of the

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Kathmandu Valley and one of the most popular tourist attractions of Nepal, it remains a must visit for all.

Rishikesh, India

Rishikesh is a holy Indian city, well known all over the world – credit goes to the Beatles who used to frequent the city in the late ’60s! It is the yoga capital of the world and features a

Rishikesh

distinctive old world charm with many ashrams, temples and yoga institutes. Moreover, the city is famed for offering a number of adventure sports.

Bodh Gaya, India

Bodh Gaya, in the Indian province of Bihar, is one of the most prominent Buddhist pilgrimage sites. It is where the Lord Buddha gained enlightenment under the famous Mahabodhi tree.

Bodh Gaya

Home to dozens of Buddhist temples, monasteries and shrines, it is bustling with pilgrims all throughout the year.

Basilica De Bom Jesus, Goa

A 400-year old church in Goa, Basilica De Bom Jesus has the Baroque architectural style and remains one of the most visited churches in the tiny Indian state. It is home to the mortal

Basilica De Bom Jesus

remains of St. Francis Xavier, which are displayed once every ten years.

Dhakeshwari Temple, Dhaka

The national temple of Bangladesh, Dhakeshwari Temple is the primary Hindu temple in the country built by Ballal Sen, the King of the Sena dynasty in the 12th century. Situated in Old

Dhakeshwari Temple

Dhaka, it has a permanent altar outside the main temple premises which houses four identical structures dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Jama Masjid, Delhi

The largest mosque in India, Jama Masjid was built by Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor who built the Taj Mahal. Built in the 17th century, it is a true Islamic architectural wonder with a

Jama Masjid

courtyard that can accommodate over 25,000 people, three large gates, four towers and two 40-metre high minarets.

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.