Glorious Lucknow an experience of lifetime

Glorious Lucknow an experience of lifetime

(“Credit – Canva Photo Collages“)

“Pehle Aap”
Lucknow is the largest city in Uttar Pradesh with the highest Shia Muslim population in India. A city which is famous for its way of hospitality called ‘Adab & Tezjeeb’, dotted with the remnants of its former glory and known for producing a fine piece of embroidery that is ‘Chikankaari’, the City of Nawabs is a must-visit tourist destination where you get some unforgettable warm greetings.

Lucknow Railway Station – Charbagh (Reference: MouthShut)

Lucknow Railway Station – Charbagh (Reference: MouthShut)

 

Travelling to North India won’t be accomplished without your visit to the capital of Uttar Pradesh which is located on the bank of Gomti River. The word ‘Tu’ is considered very demeaning in Lucknow and the citizens feel proud while addressing someone with ‘Aap’. Instead of saying ‘Hi’ or ‘Thanks’, they prefer to use words such as ‘Aadaab’, ‘Namaste’, ‘Salaam-Alaikum’, ‘Dhanyawaad’ and ‘Shukriya’. When anyone uses ‘Hum’, he or she is not referring to multiple people while but they respect to our own self with the royal ‘we’.

Aasmaan Ki Kya Hai Taaqat Jo Churaae Lucknow,
Lucknow Mujh Par Fida Hai Mein Fida-e Lucknow

– Sheikh Imam Baksh Nasikh –

“Ama Ye Lucknow Hain Miyan” –

Lucknow is a historical city where a number of beautiful mosques, few wonderful memorials & museums, architectural buildings and natural parks have completely enriched the city and its cultural value. Here is the list of major tourist attractions

  1. Bara Imambara – Built by Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784, this beautiful building includes the Bhool-Bhulaiya (the labyrinth) which is a famous tourist attraction in Lucknow.
  2. Chota Imambara – Built as a congregation hall for Shia Muslims by Muhammad Ali Shah in 1838, this place is located near the Bara Imambara.
  3. Lucknow Zoological Garden – Established in 1921, it is situated in 29 hectares area with around 1000 animals of more than 100 species. Lucknow zoo is also known as Nawab Wazid Ali Shah Prani Udyan.
  4. Kukrail Picnic Spot – Located away from the centre of the city, it is one of the favourite picnic spots in Lucknow. It was developed by Forest Department which houses a deer park and few endangered species of crocodiles.
  5. Ambedkar Memorial Park – Also known as Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Prateek Sthal, this memorial is built using red sandstone brought from Rajasthan. A Bollywood movie Youngistaan (2014) was shot here.
  6. Janeshwar Mishra Park – It is claimed to be Asia’s 10th largest garden and spread over 376 acres. It is decorated with lakes, sports centre, gymnasium, cycle track, jogging track, theme park and trimmed lawns.
  7. Chandrika Devi Temple – It is one of the sacred temples of the Hindu goddess Chandika in Lucknow on the bank of river Gomti.
  8. Indira Gandhi Planetarium – Situated near Dali-Ganj Bridge in Lucknow, it is a novel attraction of the city and installed with an Art projecting system which gives special effects while projecting.
  9. Jama Masjid – The Mughal style of architecture – Jama Masjid is a place of worship for Shia Muslims especially on Fridays.
  10. Hazratganj Market – Hazratganj is a best place to have a whale of time in the evening and do not forget to taste the mouth-watering Basket Chat at Royal Café.
  11. La Martiniere College – Established in 1845, the college has seen generations turning in and transforming to the modern world. The building is an architectural marvel, preserving the history blended with the modern day advancements.
Ambedkar park

Ambedkar Park, Lucknow

“Muskuraiye Aap Lucknow Mein Hain” –

A popular adage ‘Muskuraiye Aap Lucknow Mein Hain’ is perfectly true because a research study has been conducted by IMRB International in 2015 where it has revealed that Lucknow is the 2nd happiest city in India, only after Chandigarh. (Reference)

(“Credit – Canva Photo Collages“)

SEE WHAT MISS ADIKA SAYS ABOUT LUCKNOW –

When I first went to Lucknow, I saw a huge crowd at various places and people were busy in community dining. The people on the temples were also squashed like sardines. I politely enquired and got to know about an auspicious occasion of BADA MANGAL celebrated exclusively in Lucknow, a festival devoted to a Hindu deity Lord Hanuman. This holy festival is being organized in the city for the last 400 years. It is celebrated on all Tuesdays of Hindu calendar of Jyeshtha month.

Lucknow (Photo Credits: Malavika Bhattacharya)

Lucknow (Photo Credits: Malavika Bhattacharya)

 

Piyush Tripathi

Piyush Tripathi

Blogger

I wanna make memories all over the world & would like to be richer in my life so I satisfy my strong desire to travel irresistibly & get some mind-boggling experiences because travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you richer. 

I am a health professional, traveler and content writer / blogger. I have completed my MBA from Rajasthan and currently working as a Regional Supply Chain Manager in Gujarat Medical Services Corporation.

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Aahana the Corbett Wilderness fascinating blend of nature and luxury

Aahana the Corbett Wilderness fascinating blend of nature and luxury

Aahana the Corbett Wilderness

FASCINATING blend OF NATURE AND LUXURY

Demonstrating its respect to the nature, the resounding sounds of birds, a rich cover of lush green trees, a perfect blend of nature and luxury, Aahana the Corbett wilderness resort has its own reasons to be loved and respected. The resort is situated in Sawaldesh, a 20 minutes drive to a beautiful town of Ramnagar. Offering a serene and peaceful environment and the luxury equivalent to any 5 star hotels. Aahana is a highly recommended luxury resort for families and peace lovers.

During our recent trip to Ramnagar we had a day to spend and leisure after completing the Jungle safari and that is when we thought of staying at Aahana. We had heard a lot about the resort from locals. The resort is very well crafted, curated, maintained and executed. We reached the resort around evening after completing our safari, the reception area followed by the reading lounge gives a very professional look and the staff is very courteous. As a gesture of welcome we were offered juices and hot towel. We had a short conversation with the reception staff and were answered well.

After completing the formalities we were shifted to our room, they call it Corbett club. It is more of a suite rather than an ordinary room. Consisting of multiple wardrobes, dressing table, mini bar, AC, television, a spacious balcony with sitting, a fire place for winters, a sofa set and a beautifully planned washroom with toiletries. The suite is located at 1 end of the resort where at the entrance one can view the village and from the balcony you get a beautiful view of the resort, the jungle in the backdrop and a beautiful sunrise in the mornings.

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The resort also offers other rooms such as the Den, Jim’s retreat, Jungle lore suite, Ranger suite, family suite and the villas. For more details about the rooms and tariff please refer to the resort website.

After settling down, we walked down towards the restaurant for the dinner. The restaurant is spacious and professionally maintained. The restaurant offers a lavish buffet for all the meals along with a live counter. The restaurant is segregated into multiple areas such as the dining hall where the main buffet or ala-carte is served, an outdoor seating for people to enjoy the nature and enjoy the meals, an elegantly built bar that offers a variety of options for drinks and live music during dinner time. The resort has an upper hand in terms of food quality as compared to other resorts as they have their own bakery unit, dairy farm and organic farms thus maintaining quality.

After the luxuriant dinner, we took a short walk around the resort, the pathways which are dimly lit to maintain harmony with the resident birds and humans give a mesmerising view and force you to stay there for a while and feel the serene calm of the night gazing at the starts. It reminds me of the days we used to be curious children and use the roof tops as our own observatory.

The next day was at leisure and looking at the exorbitant heat during the day we thought to roam around the resort in the morning and evening. So we started the day earlier than usual but not as early as seven. We freshened up and had a quick breakfast, the staff was there at the restaurant ready to greet us with smile no matter how early they would have woke up to prepare the food and the place to make our experience as good as possible.

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After the breakfast we took a walk around the resort and also a drive in the battery operated vehicles when our kid refused to walk anymore. The resort has some real good things to admire a well maintained kids play area which normally is the least looked after in other resorts, the play area has some good swings, a trampoline and cycling. Adjacent to the kids play area are the badminton and basketball court, within the resort premises there is a mini football and a mini golf course for people to rejuvenate. There is a separate place next to the reception for indoor games, pool table. The resort also holds a meditation/yoga room with daily yoga sessions provided to the guests. The resort holds a huge area under organic farming. The resort also holds a naturopathy centre offering various services to the guests. One of the major attractions apart from these is a buggy ride which is pulled by horses giving you a feel of the British era when effluent class people used to commute in those buggys. The ride would take you on a short village tour. However, due to some technical reasons we could not take the ride.

Post lunch, as the temperature soared above 40 degrees we went back to our room to rest and then in the evening we moved out for some more fun, after a quick high tea which is served in the lawn adjacent to the pool. It was play time with the kid.

After spending some time at the ground we went to visit another speciality of the resort and that is the Sewage treatment plant, one of the reasons why the resort is most eco-friendly resort. Unique and acclaimed to be one of the biggest in Asia, it runs on the principle of gravity. The sewage water using the force of gravity enters into two large chambers (15 feet deep and the dimension of 12.3 X 17 ft) where the sewage is segregated in to solid and liquid waste. The Wastewater from wash basins, bathrooms and kitchen goes into the Four Baffled Chambers filled with 40-60 mm gravel. These Baffled Chambers are 10 ft deep and are of 11.1 ft x 9.10 ft dimension each. This is also carried out through gravity.

Then from these Chambers the wastewater goes into the CANNA PLANTED FILTER ROOT ZONE Chambers which are Five in numbers and they are filled with 10-20 mm gravel having a depth of one metre. Cannae plants are planted in these chambers over the gravel. Their size is 49 ft x 19.9 ft each. The filtered water transparent in colour and having no odor goes in the Storage Tank having a capacity of 1,50,000 litres. We pump treated water through 2 HP Hydromatic Pumps to the Sprinklers which are located at different points throughout the garden area. The entire process takes about seven days.

This was something interesting to us and we spent some time there understanding the process. It was good to see this as the resort abides by its motto of Eco-friendly tourism.

Later in the evening had a detailed discussion with one of the directors of the resort Ms. Ayu, who told us about the inception of the idea of building this beautiful eco-friendly resort. There are lot of CSR activities that the resort as an organization takes up and ensures to keep to the values.

We were impressed to hear the initiatives that are taken up by the management such as employing local people and grooming them. They also support education initiatives for the children in the village, on a regular basis a village cleanliness drive is organized in support by the local population and sometimes the guests. Doing this they are not only connected to the local people they also earn a lot of respect and support from them in return. With all these discussions and finger licking food it was a lesson revised give respect, get respect. Not many profit making organizations take care of environment or the employees and the people around.

Next day we rose early to witness a lovely sunrise from the balcony though the most of it was in the backdrop of the trees but it was soothing to the eyes. We got ready, had the breakfast for one last time there and with a heavy heart bid adieu thinking to return again soon.

The Golden Tusk Resort a complete vacation package.

The Golden Tusk Resort a complete vacation package.

THE GOLDEN TUSK RESORT

All you need for a vacation

With the backdrop of Jim Corbett and the Shivalik ranges of the Himalayas, only thing you would be looking for is a nice home-like comfortable place to spend a few days far away from the hustle ‘n’ bustle of the city. The Golden Tusk Resort is a blessing in disguise for families, naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts. The resort not only offers some beautifully crafted rooms it also has a rich blend of flora and fauna. With more than 100 species of plants and trees, the resort has abundant birds throughout the year for the visitors to enrich. The resort, situated on the bank of a seasonal river is an eye candid during monsoon and give a soothing view during rest of the years. If you are nearby Ramnagar or planning to spend a long weekend then this is a not to miss, place.

We planned for an outing and a jungle safari a couple of months back and that’s when I stumbled across The Golden Tusk resort. I was a bit skeptical about the place initially but it was worth a try since this is considered to be a good season for the safari as the chances of wildlife sighting increases manifolds. We started our journey from Delhi to Ramnagar with a super excited kid, who was going to have some great experiences. Starting from his first train travel to exploring a lot of new things about the nature and wildlife. The temperature in Delhi was soaring 44 degrees when we started and expected an equivalent hot evening in Ramnagar based on the weather forecasts. However, by the time we crossed Kashipur the weather had changed and a thunderstorm had lashed the small town with sporadic rains and cool breeze. It was almost 9 pm  when we reached Ramnagar. We were picked up by the resort representatives at the station and we started our journey to the resort, located approximately 20 kms from the station. The resort representative were very enthusiastic and we had a lot of chit chat about our journey, Ramnagar, Jim Corbett during this 25 minutes drive including some chat with our kid who was excited to spot a tiger.

Upon reaching the resort we were given a very warm welcome by the General Manager Mr. Sujit and the reception staff. Welcome drink offered was the juice of Burans a famous flower in the Kausani region of the Himalayas. Later we were shifted to our country view room and we could see the village with limited movement of people. The room was very spacious, well laid out and had all facilities that would make you feel home starting from a comfortable bed, a TV, Refrigerator and an AC. Outside the room there was a neatly maintained sitting spot with a set of table and chairs for the guests to sit, relax and enjoy together with the village in their sighting.

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The resort also offers other rooms such as forest view, villas, grand villas, tiger suites, and luxury tents. For more details about the rooms and tariff please refer to the resort website.

After settling down, we walked down towards the restaurant which is built on an elevated platform and  away from the rooms. Standing on the front stairs of the restaurant one can have a clear view of the village where as the stairs at the rear side of the restaurant give a magnificient view of a well maintained ground followed by a perrinnial river bed with the mountains in the backdrop. The place can captivate any person and force them to sit there for hours cherishing the nature’s beauty.

We had a sumptuous dinner which was tasty and quality as compared to any famous restaurant in the cities. The restaurant offers a lavish buffet with Veg and Non-Veg options alongwith Ala-carte and live grill options. The staff at the restaurant was equally generous and courteous as the staff at the reception. After the dinner we took a walk around the resort listening to some of the insect and birds that we once used to hear in our native cities and are now lost in the harrowing sounds of mordenization in the cities.

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The next day was at leisure for us and we utilized the time properly by starting with a delicious breakfast followed by a walk around the resort. The resort offers a conference hall for official meetings, gymmnasium, swimming pool, indoor games, spa, cycling, bar for those who want to just relax and enjoy the ambience, nature’s beauty and spend some leisure time with family and friends. As the temperature increased we thought to cool down in the swimming pool and spend around a couple of hours there. Below are some random clicks around the resort.

Post lunch, as the temperature soared above 40 degrees we went back to our room to rest and then in the evening we moved out for some more fun, after a quick high tea which is served in the back lawn on the banks of the river and some games with the kid, we moved for some sports activities. The resort offers a few adventure sports such as military hurdle for children and wall climbing and flying fox for adults and other games like basketball, badminton, volley ball etc. It was a real fun in trying the wall climbing and flying fox.

With the dusk falling and the full moon on the horizon, it was time for the birds to return to their bases and we experienced a mesmerizing noise of the birds chirping all around the resort as if they were discussing their activities and experiences during the day, reminding me of the days we used to sit with our parents and grandparents telling them our daily experiences and question nuts and bolts of anything and everything. As my kid sat in my lap listening to the birds, It was a mixed feeling for me which filled me with joy on one hand and reminded me the pain long forgotten of being far away from our near and dear ones knowing that in times to come there will be nothing left other than memories to cherish. I gradually composed myself back to the present and starting explaining my kid about the sudden movement and chirping of the birds.

Next day we had the Safari planned and till evening we were masquerading in the resort as if we were the residents there. By evening 4 pm we were all set for the Safari, please note that the Safari is subject to prior booking and the availability depends on the permit from the government departments. Please check with the resort before planning the trip or safari. It was a real fun and a great experience, the presence of the qualified guide from the forest department and the knowledgeable representative from the resort made it more interesting, wherein a lot of information was shared by both the people. It is because of them that we were able to understand lot of things and also clear out the myths we have been growing up with about the jungle and the animals. It was a time well spent and we would  be taking up that experience in our next post.

We also got a chance to have a chat with the owner of the resort Mr. Anirudh who completed his MBA from Amity university and also had worked in some private sector organizations, it was a pretty informative meeting and he shared his vision and aspirations about the resort. He also told us about how the resort was built in that place and that the rooms were furnished differently based on specific concept in sync with various flowers. He also gave us a glimpse on the additions they would be bringing to the resort thus making it more family friendly and it becomes a one stop shop for all age groups. The resort also fulfills its responsibility towards the society and have taken up numerous CSR initiatives including a village and forest clean up drives in association with TCHRI. The idealogy being followed is to create memories for the people visiting the resort and I would admit that in a stay of 2 days i never felt away from home making some very good memories for years to come.

6 Scenic Dams in India That Will Mesmerize You with Its Beauty

6 Scenic Dams in India That Will Mesmerize You with Its Beauty

6 Scenic Dams in India That Will Mesmerize You with Its Beauty

Since our independence India has made a lot of progress in various sectors. From science to literature and arts, we are improvising in all fields of development. One of the important pillars of Incredible India has been its infrastructure. Some of them are the dams of India, the most prolific dam builders in the world. Dams are massive structures that that impound water or underground streams. 4,300 dams have already been built around the nation.

No wonder our dams are big tourist attractions considering their strong and massive structure and serene Beauty. So here is a list of six massive and beautiful dams that you must add to your travel bucket list.

  1. Idukki Dam
idukki dam

idukki dam

Photo by Hoshosh, CC BY-SA 3.0

Constructed across the Periyar River, Idukki Dam is a double curvature arch dam. This dam is owned and constructed by Kerala Electricity Board. Supporting 780 MW hydroelectricity in Moolamattom, this dam started generating power on 4th October 1975.

Idukki Dam is 554 ft. tall and built between two mountains, Kuravanmala and Kuravathimala.

Earlier there was a blanket ban on public entry for security reasons. Later, this ban was relaxed for ten days on the occasions of Onam and Christmas Season. Since last year, the duration has been extended to one month. Camera’s and cell phones are not allowed inside the dam.

  1. Srisailam Dam
srisailam

srisailam

Photo by JANGA NAVYA, CC BY-SA 4.0

Srisailam Dam is the second largest hydroelectric station in India. It is built at the border of Kurnool District in Andhra Pradesh and Mahabubnagar in Telangana. The dam is constructed over the Krishna river.  It is a prime tourist spot in Andhra Pradesh. Thus this place is kept clean and hygienic. Though the opening of all 12 gates of this Dam is very rare, but those few times a year, the scene is breathtakingly beautiful.

  1. Nathpa Jhakri Dam

Supplying underground power station with 1,500 megawatts of water, this is the prime hydroelectric power plant of Himachal Pradesh. Built across the Sutlej river, Nathpa Jhakri Dam has the largest and longest tunnel among all other dams in India.

The Nathpa Jhakri Dam has become the center of attraction for thousands of tourists visiting India from around the world. It is one of the highest and longest dams of India. The location of this dam is serene. It depicts the exotic beauty of nature and eye-catching surroundings.

The nearest Railway station and an airport are at Shimla. The dam is at a distance of 180 Km from the railway station and 200 km from the airport. The route to the Dam is well connected by NH 22.

  1. Indira Sagar Dam
indira sagar

indira sagar

Photo by Nvvchar, CC BY-SA 3.0

Indira Sagar Dam is in Khandwa District, Madhya Pradesh. Irrigation is the main purpose for which the dam was constructed. It is built with a collaboration of NHPC (National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) and MPIB (Madhya Pradesh Irrigation Board).

  1. Tehri Dam
tehri

tehri

Photo by Jeewannegi, CC BY-SA 3.0

The highest dam of India, was built with an elevation of 855ft. This dam was meant for a lot of purposes, which include municipal water supply, reservoir for irrigation and the most importantly it generates 1000megawatts of hydroelectricity.

Regarded as one of the Highest dams of Asia it offers a splendid view with large amount of water and magnificent mountains surrounding it.

  1. Bhakra Dam
bhakra dam

bhakra dam

Photo by KawalSingh, CC0 1.0

Bhakra dam built at an elevation of 226m, is in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh. In terms of quantity of water, this dam is the third largest reservoir in India followed by first in Madhya Pradesh with 12.22 billion cubic meters and a second is Nagarjunasagar Dam.

The dam creates a large reservoir of water which is 88 km long and 8 km wide with a storage capacity of 986,8 crore cubic meters. The reservoir is known by the name of Gobind Sagar Lake, after the name of Guru Gobind Singh. The primary aim of this project is to provide water for irrigation, generate hydroelectricity and prevent the Sutlej – Beas rivers.

Though this is the fourth largest Dam in India, it attracts many tourists. Though for security reasons, the dam is closed for common people since 2009.

Author’s Bio:

Rohit is a travel blogger who shares his wanderlust through transindiatravels.com. His works have appeared in various travel blogging websites. He is an architect by profession and this influenced him to explore India for its ancient monuments and architecture.

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Top places to see if you are in Chandigarh

Top places to see if you are in Chandigarh

Touted to be India’s first planned city, Chandigarh is the capital of states Haryana and Punjab. The city as compared to any other city in India is much organized, planned and executed in terms of architecture. It is said that the foundation of the city was laid keeping in mind it’s existence after a decade. The city’s proximity with New Delhi, the national capital of India and Shimla which is another famous tourist place, attracts lots of tourists all-round the year.

While approaching the city, one can witness the lower ranges of Himalayas also known as the Shivaliks, hosting the temple dedicated to goddess Chandi thus giving the name of the city. If one has a couple of days in hand, the city provides a lot of things to do.

It was sometime back when I got to visit the city for a short trip, I was searching for a decent budget friendly hotel offering some good services. It was when, I stumbled across Treebo hotels, with various options available I booked my stay in Treebo Ocean located at Phase 5 offering pretty decent rooms with a courteous staff and prompt services all at affordable rates. . If you are looking for a budget stay in Chandigarh, checkout Treebo Hotels in Chandigarh

image source: Wikimedia

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Rock Garden:

One of the major attractions in Chandigarh is the well renowned, Rock garden. The rock garden demonstrates that a well determined effort can do wonders. The garden was built by Nek chand who thought to build a small garden by clearing the forest area. That is when he built some sculptures from the recycled and waste products and gradually people started acknowledging the efforts and the beauty of the garden.

Rose Garden: This is one of the biggest rose gardens in India and hosts the annual rose festival. The garden is well maintained and a perfect spot to be in if you are an admirer of the nature’s beauty.

Sukhna Lake: The lake was formed as part of water conservation project by building a dam across the seasonal water stream Sukhna that flows from the Shivaliks. It has gradually turned into a recreation spot for the local and a tourist spot for travellers providing a jogging track, amusement park, and cafeteria. Watersport lovers can enjoy rowing and yachting. People can also hire a bicycle and witness the beauty of the lake.

The Secretariat: The Secretariat building is an architectural beauty. Being a high profile place, the entry is restricted and only after proper verifications and security check you can get entry. These checks and approvals take from 30 – 50 minutes, so if you have some spare time with proper documents (can be obtained from the tourist reception center at sector 17) and are okay to wait for the security checks do visit the place.

The Capitol and the High Court: In addition to the Secretariat, the Capitol and the High court building are also accessible to the general public only after obtaining permission from the tourist center and security checks. Once you get the clearance the visitors can witness the well-built and heavily guarded buildings.

Pinjore garden: Also known as Yadavindra garden, it is situated approximately 20 kms from Chandigarh on Chandigarh-Shimla road. The garden is famous for its design inspired by the Mughal workmanship. The garden also houses a mini zoo, nursery and Japanese garden. The gardens are very popular for picnic amongst the local population.

Cactus garden: Cactus garden is situated around 8 km from Chandigarh and covering an area of around 7 acres. Cactus garden is known for its rare & endangered species of Indian succulents. The garden houses around 3000+ species of cactus. Since the inception in 1987 the garden has been drawing huge crowd year on year.

Museum and Art gallery: The museum is situated in sector 10 and is one of the major attractions in Chandigarh. The museum houses artefacts from various eras including relics, coins and sculptures from the Harappa era to the fossils of dinosaurs found in and around the area. The art gallery houses paintings of ancient and modern values.

 

Art gallery

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Archives

Accessibility

The city is well connected from various parts of the country and some cities having direct flights to Chandigarh. In addition the travellers can opt for various bus services ranging from state transport buses to the private buses.

The visitors can also use the hop on hop off bus service to explore the city. Apart from the buses there are lot of other modes of travel available, take an auto rickshaw or a cycle rickshaw and enjoy the beauty of the city. There are some companies that offer cycle on rent.

Gangtok

Gangtok

Travel Guide

Sikkim the place with stunning cities for tourism boasts one of the stupendous city and its capital Gangtok. Among many beautiful cities of North-East India, Gangtok is one of the best place to visit. Surrounded by the Himalayan range the place is all time holiday spot as the weather here is mild throughout. The city is located at a height of approx. 5400 meters and lies in the eastern side of the Himalayan range. The city houses many people from different culture ethnicity like Bhutia, Nepali and Lepchas.

Lepchas are the natives while the other two are the immigrants. Mahatma Gandhi road lies in the center of the city and it has been converted into the paved walkaway and the place has been declared as the no vehicle zone, no litter zone and smoke free zone. There are many shops, bars and restaurants on both sides of the amble. One can spent time here sitting and enjoy watching the surroundings. Overall the city has developed quite good and a place to visit during leisure.

Tsomgo Lake

Tsomgo lake or Changu Lake is a lake formed from glaciers and is at an elevation of about 12000 fts. 35 kms from Gangtok the Lake is very attractive as the lights reflect on water from hills and make it look beautiful. The route was quite steep and some parts of the route were too dangerous such as the route below Karponang when the route was used for the trade between India and China before 1962. Though the routes are well developed but during the bad weather it is still dangerous. The lake is oval in shape and around 1 km long with a depth of 50 feet. You an see the alpine vegetation and primula flowers during autumn and summers while during winters the lake is frozen. There is a small temple of Lord Shiva on the banks of lake where native people offer prayers and believe temple to be sacred hence no littering is allowed in the adjoining areas. Some distance away from the lake you can find some stalls and shops where you can get a refreshment. These stalls also provide jackets, gumboots etc. but you cannot find any lodging accommodation, so do plan your travel accordingly and yes do not forget to get a permit for photography. The permit would be available from Sikkim Tourist Information Centre at MG Marg or you can request to arrange the permit from the hotel management where you are staying.

Saramsa Garden

Located near Ranipool and around 15 kms from Gangtok the place is to be quite romantic due to the visit of couples in huge number. The place is often used for picnic and leisure. In the early time the place was used for growing fruits but the practice was discontinued in 1940. Afterwards the place was introduced with medicinal plantation but due to non viable situation this practice was also discontinued in 1970. Then the authorities came up with the idea to plant flowers which also included some species of orchid. The plants that are blossomed today are since 1975 and the place also boasts a large nursery inside. There is a convention center present in the garden that has a capacity of 500 people where one can arrange any function or a meeting. Entrance holds a nursery followed by a convention center and just opposite to it there is a garden that is made in various forms and shapes with the help of hedging plants. At the end of the gate there is a mini pool, beside that you can relax on the benches in peace under the shade of canopy trees. The place is full of leafage and it is so dense that just a ray of sunlight could be seen.One can spend time here in the beauty of nature with no hustle and bustle.

Ganesh Tok

Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha is located at an elevation of 6500 feet. Apart from offering prayers at the temple the place is also visited for viewing the serene beauty of the nature. The temple is small in size and the view point of the temple captures the Rolling hill, Kanchanjunga mountains and the Gangtok town. Upper level of the temple can be reached by climbing the staircase but you will have to take your shoes off. Down the stairs you can find a complex where you can have snacks and take rest for a while.

Tashi View Point 

The view point is located 8 kms from gangtok in the Tashi. The speciality of the view point is the sunrise that is awesome, as the sun rises the mountain changes its colors but you will have to reach this place very early around 5AM. The circular viewing points accommodate 15-20 people only at once. The monasteries Phodong, Labrang can be seen on the opposite mountains. By paying a mere amount of ₹10 the closer view of the mountains can be seen through the binoculars and telescope available there. You can rest here and get some refreshment at shed cum shops that offer some tea, coffee, snacks etc.

Hanuman Tok

Tok or temple of Lord Hanuman is located at a 7200 feet elevation and 11 km from Gangtok. Similar to Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok is mainly visited not only for offering prayers but also to get the panoramic view of the serene beauty of the Kanchenjunga range. The best view of Kanchenjunga are observed from Hanuman Tok. There are benches installed in between the parking lot and temple. Bells are hanged from above and produces renosance when rung. There are audio appliances that play religious songs and prayers and you can offer prayers and get the divine feeling in the temple. It is believed that while carrying Sanjeevani Parvat from Lanka, Lord Hanuman took rest here for some moment and since then the place is served as Hanuman Tok. The temple is also known as wish fulfilling temple. Beside the temple there is a temple of Saibaba where devotees visit and offer prayers. There is also the cremation ground of Royal Family of Sikkim. Several stupas and tombs can also be seen here.

Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple

Baba Mandir is a distinguished sightseeing place of Sikkim. This “mandir” or shrine is dedicated to “Baba” Harbhajan Singh, who was a soldier of the Indian Army. He died near the Nathula Pass in eastern Sikkim, India. Two shrines have been built to show reverence to Baba Harbhajan Singh. The old one has been built at the site of the bunker, where Baba Harbhajan was posted during his tenure in the Indian Army. The new one has been built at close proximity from Changu Lake.

Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary

Boasting the various species of flora and fauna the sanctuary is surrounded by Tsomgo Lake. The place is padded with Rhododendron and dense bamboo. The place is located near Gangtok-Nathula highway, 31 km towards East Sikkim. Mountains covered with snow showcases the serene beauty of the nature. Some species of flora that are found here are Rhododendron, juniper, orchid, wild strawberries, gentians, silver fin, poppies, rare panax and primulasm. There are medicinal plants too like nilo bikh, kutki, polygonum and jatamasi. Species of fauna that are present are serow, black bear, leopard, goral, satyr tragopan, hinalayan marmot, musk deer, tibetian fox, kestrel, red panda, langur, blood pheasant, fire tailed sunbirds, black winged kite, griffon vulture, brown headed gull and lamnergeier. Some places around sanctuary that can be explored are phurchachu hot springs, do-drul chorten stupa, yumthang valley, mangal dham rumtek monastry etc.

Nathula Pass

Nathula Pass is located 52 kms from Gangtok and at an elevation of approx.14000 feet. The place was used for the trade of gold, silk and many other items from India to Tibet and vice-versa. The place was closed for trade after India-China war. The place is fenced as Indo-China border and soldiers of both the countries can be seen guarding at the border. Once former prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru visited here in 1958 and his visit has been engraved on a stone here that memorizes that event. There is a memorial that has been built for Indian soldiers who were martyred during the war. In July 2006 the old silk route was opened again but allows only limited trade between India and Tibet. The products that are for trade here includes silk broades, clothes, yak tail and hair etc. that too is limited to border only. Some interesting places that you can find nearby are India’s highest altitude internet cafe at Sherathang which also has a well developed market. Place named Kupup that is most of the time covered with clouds. Kupup also has the golf course that is at highest altitude in India. World’s highest altitude ATM is located at Thegu. The ATM is operated with a generator that contains a special fuel that has a very high freezing point. It is highly recommended that people suffering from breathing problem should carry special measures and visit the place with doctors' advise only. Oxygen cylinders are available at medical shops as the oxygen level is low at the place. Nathula pass is a protected area and no foreigners are allowed here. Indians require a permit and that is available from Sikkim Tourism Department in Gangtok or you can get it from a registered tour agency. The hotel can also provide it by charging some amount.

Himalaya Zoological Park

Also known as the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is named after the daughter of Sarojini Naidu, Padmaja Naidu. At an elevation of 7000 feet the zoo is at the highest altitude in India. The zoo was made public in 1958 and boasts the most sucessful breeding programs for snow leopard, red panda and the endangered Hiamalayan Wolf. As the park is known internationally for conservation and breeding programs, the zoo is the central hub for Central Zoo Authority of India’s red panda program. In 1983 the leopard from US, Leh Ladakh and Zurich were brought here and since then the zoo is actively breeding the species. Some species that are present are barking deer, asiatic black bear, blue and yellow macaw, leopards, himalayan monal, lady amherst, royal bengal tiger, sambar deer, yak, siberian tigers, etc. The place is a must visit for nature lover and animal enthusiast.

  • By Air

The nearest airport is in Bagdora, West Bengal that is 124 km from Gangtok. TSA helicopter is available from Bagdora to Gangtok that takes just 20 minutes to reach Gangtok in comparison with 2 hours via car or train.

  • By train

The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri and is about 148 kms from Gangtok. You can board a state transportation bus or train for Gangtok.

  • By road

The roads are well connected to the city and highway 31A connects the nearby cities to Gangtok. Buses are easily available on daily basis.

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  • State: Sikkim
  • District: East Sikkim
  • Population: 98,658 (2011)
  • Language: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Limbu, Newari, Rai, Gurung, Mangar, Sherpa, Sunwar, Tibetans, Hindi
  • Pincode: 737101
  • Std code: 03592
  • Best time: September-June
  • Famous for: Adventure and Leisure

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Travel guide to Agartala

Travel guide to Agartala

Travel Guide

Agartala, capital city of Tripura and the second largest city of North-East is a splendid one to explore about history, religion and culture. The city has been included in the list of India’s Smart Cities challenge. The city is situated on the banks of Haora river and is very close to the Bangladesh border. The city also holds the authority of International Internet Gateway after Chennai and Mumbai.

As the city has its main religion as hindu, you can find many temples across the city. The city also has a mixed blend of religion. The festival that attracts the crowd most is the Durga Puja. This period of time is believed to be the busiest and one can experience the most richness of the Indian culture at this time.

Ujjayanta Palace

Located at the centre of the city the Ujjayanta Palace was built in 1901. The palace exhibits the Indo-Saracenic style of the architecture, with a lake and garden built in the front in a mughal style. The palace is two storied having three domes, each 86 feet high. The entire palace has been laid with tiles on the floor and the doors and ceiling are carved out of wooden work. The palace owes the area of about 1 Sq.Km. that covers many temples too.

There are halls in the palace for several purpose that includes library, throne hall, public hall, reception hall and the chinese room. In 1949 this royal property was made nationalised after its merger with the Indian Government. The palace served as the State Legislative Assembly till 2011, as it was bought by the government of Tripura for a sum of ₹2.5 million from royal family in 1972-73.

State Museum

In 2011, after refurbishing the Ujjayanta Palace with an amount of ₹100 million palace was turned into a museum. The museum is the biggest in the entire North-East that exhibits the history, tradition, ethinicity,culture etc. of the region. The museum boasts various collection that includes coins, terracotta, copper and stone inscriptions, sculptures, textiles, sketches, drawings, bronze images, art and craft objects, musical instruments, oil paintings, life-size statues, tribal ornaments and folk articles.

Overall the museum is huge source of knowledge of culture, history, ethinicity etc. which exhibits the major festivals, maps of Tripura, flora and fauna, species of bamboo, religious sites and stuffed animals. The place is so informative and immense that you need to provide an entire day from your travelling schedule.

Neermahal Palace

The palace is situated in the center of the lake, Rudrasagar. The palace is a sceinec view as it seems to be floating on the lake water. The palace looks like a fort due to its architecture and its minars that are shaped in the form of dome. The British Company Martin and Burns that build the Uhjayanta Palace were recruited to build Neer Mahal. The palace is designed in the hindu and muslim architecture.

The mahal is divided into two parts, one is the andar mahal on the west side of the mahal and the other is open theatre on the east side. The extravagant halls of andar mahal are still undiminished and there are living quarters of the royal family on this side. The other side, open theatre, was used for performing drama, dance, entertainment, theatre show and other cultural events. The serene beauty of the palace can be seen at night when the palace is illuminated with lights and the reflection of the palace can be seen in the lake. The palace has a total of 24 rooms and is one of the Tripura’s beautiful place to visit.

Kamalasagar Kali Temple

Also known as Kasba Kali Bari and built back in the 17th century the shrine of the bengali’s residing in Tripura is located 27 kms from the main city and constructed at the India-Bangladesh border on the hillock of the lake Kamalasagar. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Kali and resembles the Dashabhuja Durga. The idol Maa Kaali is made of sandstone and is worshipped by many devotees during the festival. The temple is also named Kali Bari as there is Shivalinga present at the feet of Maa Kaali. The lake at the border of Bangladesh and its surroundings are breathtaking and elegant.

Laxmi Narayan Bari Temple

Built in the compound of Ujjayanta Palace, the temple is dedicated to the Laxmi Narayan and Almighty Lord Krishna. The idol of the deity is situated inside the temple and Krishnanada Sevayet of the temple consecrated it. There is tree named Bhagvat Tamal that is believed to be associate with the Lord Krishna’s life sport. During janmasthmi the palace grounds and the sanctum sanctorum are decorated beautifully and the festival of the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm.

Devotees visit here from various corners of the country to celebrate the festival and offer prayers to the Lord. One of the grand architectures of Tripura is a must visit place. The enormous temple is two storied and painted with white colour that flows the message of peace, purity and holiness.

Jagannath Bari Temple

The only temple in the entire Tripura that is built by stones was constructed in the 1673 A.D. and is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. The temple is built on the corner of the pond Puran Dighi or Jagannath Dighi. According to sayings there were many self carved images of god and goddess on the walls of the temple but now there are no more carvations left.

There were the images of Lord Vishnu and Uma-Maheshwar that were found near the temple in the pond which somehow justifies the story of self carved images on the walls of the temple. The images that were found in the pond are now preserved at the museum present in the city. Later the Idol of Shri Jagannath, Idol of Lord’s big brother Balarama and their sister Subhadra were sanctified in the temple and Jagannath Rath Yatra festival was started in 1904 A.D. and since then it is being celebrated every year and thousand of devotees visit here on the holy occasion.

  • By Air

The Agartala airport is located in Singerbhil i.e. 12 kms from the city and is well connected to major cities of India.

  • By Train

Agartala railway station can be reached from Silchar and Lumding in Assam as there is no direct train to the city, so its advised to travel via air if you dont reside in North-East.

  • By Road

One can reach Agartala by bus from Guwahati, Shillong and Silchar. The route also connects to the West Bengal.

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Fast Facts

State: Tripura

District: West Tripura

Famous for: History and Pilgrim

Language: Hindi, Bengali, Kokborok and English

Best time: October-May

Population: 522613 (2015 census)

Pincode: 799001

Std Code: 0381

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Travel guide to Trivandrum

Travel guide to Trivandrum

Travel Guide

Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum the land of Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy, is the capital city of Kerala. The city is surrounded by Tamil Nadu in the east whereas by Arabian Sea in the west. The scenic view of the city can be seen due to the presence of the wooded highlands of the western ghats on borders of east and north east side. The city attracts the most of the tourist due to the beaches, backwater stretches, historic monuments, mosaics, sculptures, temples and other holy shrines. Tiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum is among the most beautiful cities of India due to its cleanliness and lush greenery.

 

 

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

The 8th century ancient temple is built in the East Fort of the city and exhibits a mix blend of dravadian and Kerala style. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The deity of Lord Vishnu is reclined on the hooded serpent. The place where the temple is located is believed to be one of the seven Parasurama kshatras and Skanda Purana and Padma Purana also mentions about the sacred temple. The hindu shrine possesses incredible idol that is situated on a single stone which is 18 ft long and said that it was made of 12008 salagramams, bought from river Gandhaki of Nepal. There are three doors in the temple and the idol can be seen from all doors.

First door displays the head and chest, second door displays hands and third door displays feet of the Lord. The temple is carved out of stone and bronze and the interiors are spruced up by paintings and vista. Copper sheet with gold platings covering the enormous sacred dhwaja stambh which is 80 ft high. Sculptural skeleton of the temple is carved with hindu deities. On the eastern side of the temple classical form of dance kathakali is performed on the ground floor in the malyalam month during the ten day annual festival.

Note: Only hindus are allowed in the temple and the dress code for men is only dhoti with no kind of shirt and for women dress code is sari, half sari or skirt & blouse.

Pazhavanagadi Ganpathy Temple

Ganpathi temple is also situated in the East Fort and is famous temple of Lord Ganesha. The temple is close in proximity if one is going to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple as it is just at a throw away stone distance. The main idol of Lord Ganesha is very small in size with a folded right leg in sitting posture. There are about 32 types of paintings of Lord Ganesha inside the temple. The chaturthi and jayanti related to the deity are main festivals of the temple other than vijaya dashmi, mahashivaratri etc. The main offerings to the deity is coconut and the dress code for men is dhoti only and for women any traditional attire.

Sri Chitra Art Gallery

Established back in the year 1935, the art gallery is visit most by the tourists visiting Kerala. For art lovers the gallery is equivalent to paradise as one can find here the awesome creativity of renowned painters from all over the country. The art gallery of Raja Ravi Varma paintings and preserved art works of Mughals, Rajasthani & Rajputs by Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and the ancient times Indian mural paintings are some main attraction of the gallery. The art gallery exhibits the perfect mixed blend of the ancient and modern schools of Indian Art. The gallery also holds the beautiful artwork collections of China, Japan and Tibet.

Note: The art gallery is closed on Monday, Wednesday and Forenoons.

Napier Museum

Situated in the heart of the city and built in the 19th century Napier Museum possesses a rare and unique collection of bronze idols, archaeological and historic artifacts, ivory carvings, a temple chariot and ancient ornaments. The exhibition of Mahabharata and Ramayana by leather figures of Japanese shadow play is very curious and exciting. The museum depicts the glimpse of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. The museum was named after John Napier the former Governor General of Madras. The place is an exceptional piece of architecture that glorifies the natural air conditioning system and a beautiful combination of Kerala, Mughal, Italian and Chinese architectural style.

Note: The museum is closed on Monday, Wednesday and Forenoons.

Trivandrum Zoo

Spread over 55 acres of woodland, the place was established by the Maharaja of Travancore in 1857. With lakes and lawns the place was first planned for some leisure creation but due to excessive deforestation and danger&effect on wildlife, the goal of the place was changed to flora and fauna preservation. More than 130 years later the place got monetary and technical support from Central Zoo Authority and the place was refurbished by iron enclosures natural ambiance. There are about 82 species of fauna from all over the world.

The zoo also boasts native species like Indian Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Asiatic Lion, Asian Elephants, Nilgiri Langoor and Lion Tailed Macaque. Snake farm exhibits the both poisonous and non poisonous snakes. Zoo also contains some animals from Africa like Giraffes, Cape Buffaloes, Zebras and Hippos. The zoo is a good picnic spot and also a good source of knowledge for everyone.

Note: The zoo is closed on Mondays.

Kovalam Beach

Kovalam beach is one of the Internationally famous beach with an immense headland situated on the banks making inlet of the sea look elegant and attractive. There are plenty of things to do in your leisure time like body toning massages, cultural programs, sunbathing, swimming and catamaran cruising. Visit beach in the daytime can tan your skin as tropical sun is too painful to bear. The footfalls are seen maximum during the dusk and continues till the late night. There are many places to hang around in the beach complex that includes shopping zones, ayurvedic massage centers and health resorts, swimming pools, cottages, assembly rooms and yoga centers.

There is a huge attraction of European tourists since 1930 and the place offers cuisines of all variety in different restaurants and cafeteria. The staying facility is also available starting from budget hotels to five star ones.

Sanghumugham Beach

Sanghumugham beach is the beautiful beach with magical evenings located 8 km from Trivandrum city and can be accessed easily by own conveyance or through city transportation facility. The crowd visits here in the search comfort, relief and soothing of soul and mind as the sea breeze carries cool air that rejuvenates the minds. Wooden boats and canoes can be seen in action meanwhile in the sea during daytime and resting on the golden sand in the evenings. The attractions on the beach are Starfish Restaurants, Indoor Recreation Club, Nehru Park and huge Mermaid Statue. Another attraction at the beach is Veli Tourist Village which is a renowned picnic spot located nearby and connected to the beach by a floating bridge. You can hire paddle and speed boats and have a refreshing splash in the water. The area within holds several restaurants that can be used for refreshments.

Agastyamala

The peak is a approx 1900 mt high and offers a scenic view of Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary and located in the western ghats. The peak is believed to be the pilgrimage center for Hindus. Statue of Agathiyar is situated at the peak and devotees offer prayer. Many rivers originates from the mountain which includes river Thamirabarani, Neyyar and Karamana. A Tiger reserve, Kalakkad Mundanthurai lies in the agasthyamala range. If you want to reach the top of the peak, the only way to reach there is trekking which has strict guidelines from the Kerala Forest Department. Bonacaud is the starting point for trekking and is 50 km from Trivandrum. Bonacaud to peak takes 2 days of trekking to reach and is 28 km in distance. Trekking is open from January to mid March. The peak is full of medicinal plant with over 2000 species and can be accessed only with the permission of Kerala Forest Department.

  • By air

Trivandrum International Airport is located 6 kms from city has more than 30 airlines with several countries. Jet Airways and Indian Airlines can be boarded for domestic travel from and to different parts of the country.

  • By road

Long distance buses can be boarded from Central Bus Station at Thampanoor whereas, short distance buses can be boarded from City Bus Station, East Fort.

  • By train

Trains can be boarded directly from all major stations of Kerala as well as of India

  • State: Kerala
  • District: Thiruvananthapuram
  • Famous for: Pilgrim, historical, leisure and adventure.
  • Population: 3234356(2011 census)
  • Languages: Malyalam, English, Tamil and French.
  • Best time: October to February
  • Std Code: 0471
  • Pincode: 695001

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