Tag Archives: tourism

SHILLONG

Location

Shillong is a hill station in the northeastern part of India and the capital of Meghalaya, which means “The Abode of Clouds”. Shillong lies on the Shillong Plateau, the only major uplifted structure in the northern Indian shield. The city lies in the centre of the plateau and is surrounded by hills, three of which are revered in Khasi tradition: Lum Sohpetbneng, Lum Diengiei, and Lum Shillong.

It is the headquarters of the East Khasi Hills district. Shillong is the 330th most populous city in India with a population of 143,229 according to the 2011 census. It is said that the rolling hills around the town reminded the British of Scotland. Hence, they would also refer to it as the “Scotland of the East”.

Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya is just 100 km from Guwahati, which can be accessed by road along NH 40, a journey of about 2 hours 30 minutes through lush green hills and the magnificent Umiam Lake in between.

History

The Shillong Municipal Board has a long history dating back to 1878, when a proclamation was issued constituting Shillong and its suburbs, including the villages of Mawkhar and Laban, into a station under the Bengal Municipal Act of 1876. Inclusion of the villages of Mawkhar and Laban (Lumparing, Madan laban, Kench’s Trace and Rilbong) within the Municipality of Shillong was agreed to by Hain Manik Syiem of Mylliem under the agreement of 15 November 1878. But, there is no trace of Shillong in the British era maps dating back to 1878, up to 1900.

Shillong was also the subject of the great earthquake that occurred on 12 June 1897. The earthquake had an estimated moment magnitude of 8.1. Twenty-seven lives from Shillong town alone were lost and a major part of the town was destroyed.

How to go

By air: Shillong Airport in Umroi is a small airport that is available for the flights and is located at a distance of 40 km from Shillong. Bus services are provided by Meghalaya Transport Corporation from the airport to the various cities of the state. There are regular flights from Shillong to Ahmedabad, Aizawl, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and various other destinations.

 By rail: There are as such no proper rail lines in Meghalaya. Guwahati railway station is the nearest railway station situated at a distance of 105 Km from Shillong. The city is well connected to all other major cities of the country via rail medium. There are also taxi as well as bus facility for Shillong.

By road: Assam State Transport Corporation and Meghalaya Transport Corporation run buses from Guwahati to Shillong. The main interstate bus stand is located near to Guwahati railway station. Reasonable prices for different types of buses like AC, AC Sleeper, luxury and Volvo buses are available for Shillong. Some of the places nearby which you can visit are Cherrapunji and Jowai.

Places to visit

Umiam Lake: Umiam Lake, a mesmerizing man-made reservoir, is located at a distance of 15 kilometres north of Shillong which is the capital of the north-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya. The lake was formed after a dam was constructed to generate hydroelectric power. The scenic Umiam Lake is encircled by lush green East Khasi hills that form one of the best panoramic sights for nature-lovers in the country. The sunrise at the lake is a treat to watch and shouldn’t be missed. The Umiam Lake has a park adjoining it which is a hotspot for picnics and frequented by locals for a getaway from their busy scheduled.

 Elephant Falls: Named after an Elephant like stone at its foot, the Elephant Falls are amongst the most popular falls in the North-East, situated next to Shillong. It is a tourists’ paradise with three layers of the falls accessible to the layman from different vantage points. The Britishers named this fall so owing to the presence of an elephant-shaped rock on one side of the fall. However, the stone disintegrated and was washed away due to an earthquake in 1897. Elephant Waterfalls is a superb place for spending some time in the midst of nature while capturing the incredible moments for your keepsake.

Police Bazaar: Police Bazaar is the major market of Shillong, and a popular shopping haunt for locals and tourists alike. In addition to an array of restaurants, hotels and big brand stores, the Police Bazaar also has a flea market section which is pocket-friendly and draws the maximum number of tourists owing to its traditional handicrafts stores, exquisite Meghalaya merchandise, regional apparels, junk jewellery and the like. The colourful market is thronged by shopping enthusiasts as well as foodies.

Laitlum Canyons: Perched on the East Khasi Hills, Laitlum Canyons is a less explored but one of the most picturesque tourist and trekking destinations in Shillong. The canyons are located about 21 kilometers south of Shillong which is about a half-hour drive away. Literally, translating to ‘End of hills’, this exotic viewing site offers the best panoramic views of the whole of Meghalaya embraced by the majestic hills and valleys. The spot is secluded and serene, ideal for quiet and peaceful getaways. It can be visited by families, friend groups as well as couples. To catch this place at its best, visit Laitlum Canyons either during sunrise or sunset.

Shillong Peak: At the height of 6449 ft or 1965 m above sea level, Shillong Peak is the highest point of Shillong. It offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city, the Himalayas, its waterfalls as well as of the Bangladesh plains. A telescope is available for tourists to get a bird’s eye view. Trekking up to this semi-circular Shillong Peak is highly recommended for the best views but it is often bounded by heavy fog.

Mawphlang: Mawphlang, home to Meghalaya’s Sacred Forest, is a beautiful village situated 25 kilometres away from Shillong, the capital city of the north-east Indian state of Meghalaya. The village lies in the district of East Khasi Hills and is famous for its sacred groves. The village is named Mawphlang as it is one of the several monoliths in the Khasi Hills. The name Mawphlang means Grassy Stone and is a land of legendary stories, sacrifices and unique culture. For the ones who want a glimpse of the tradition, culture and lifestyle of the Khasis that is fading away in the modern world, Mawphlang is the place to visit.

Ward’s Lake: A pretty artificial lake surrounded by gardens is an ideal evening get away! Also known as the Polok Lake, it is usually flocked by couples, picnickers and locals.

Don Bosco Museum: Hailed as Asia’s largest Museum of Indigenous Cultures, the Don Bosco Museum is the house of the beautiful culture and tradition of North East India. It is conveniently located in the Mawlai area, near the Police Bazaar. With its seven storeys, it rises into the skyline of Shillong and flaunts 16 laid out galleries that showcase artifacts, paintings, figures significant to the Northeastern culture. Not only do these provide a feast to the eyes of the visitors, but also give an insight into the lifestyle of the North-Eastern people.

David Scott Trail: Most popular trekking routes of Meghalaya, this path was originally laid by David Scott, a British officer as early as in the 1800s. It is still used to commute between Assam and Bangladesh.

Mawlynnong: Mawlynnong is a small village situated around 90 km from Shillong in the East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya and is also known as God’s own Garden. It was declared as the cleanest village in Asia in 2003 by Discovery India which certainly which makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Indian state. Mawlynnong village is a community-based ecotourism initiative where the entire community made collective efforts in making and maintaining the cleanliness of the village.

Why visit Shillong?

Rarest and friendly tribes: The Shillong population mostly belongs to the Khasi tribe, who are predominantly Christian. There are also a significant number of Assamese, Bengali and Nepali minorities. An interesting aspect of the Khasis is that they are a matrilineal society. Therefore the mother’s surname is passed on to the children and the youngest daughter inherits the ancestral property.

Can you imagine the celebration the birth of a daughter entails? And the special pampering the youngest daughter receives?

Thrilling peak: Located at a height of 1,496 meters above sea level, Shillong is a great destination and a treat for nature lovers. Situated 10 kilometers from the city, the Shillong Peak offers spectacular views of the city from a lofty height of 1,965 meters above sea level. Being the highest point in Shillong, it gives impressive views of lush greenery and cascading waterfalls. On a cloudless day you will be able to view the majestic Himalayan peaks and the forever inundated Bangladesh plains in the distance. The Indian Air Force has its radar station here.

Cherapunjee: Meghalaya or the Abode of the Clouds is famous for Cherrapunji and Mawsynram, which are the wettest places on earth. This makes it a popular monsoon destination. Cherrapunji, which lies 15 kilometer to the east of Shillong, offers guest houses, resorts, cottages and home-stays for visitors. Eating in Cherrapunji is a great experience. You can enjoy the succulent Khasi cuisine like pork rice. Sohra Pulao, which is rice cooked with oil and vegetables without spices, should not be missed.

Living Root Bridges: Deep in the dense tropical forests of Meghalaya, and shrouded in cloud and rain for much of the year, are some astonishing natural wonders. Known as living root bridges, and preserved as UNESCO heritage site, these roots of ancient rubber trees or Ficus Elastica have been trained by the Khasi tribesmen, to grow in a tangled mess, which have then been intertwined and intermingled to form double and single decker root bridges that are intriguing the world. Strong as they are, the bridges take 10 to 15 years to become functional enough to hold the weight of more than 50 people at a time. The wonderful bridges are alive and still growing and thus get stronger over time.

Mawsmai Caves: Meghalaya has the longest cave system of India situated in the Jaintia Hills. Of them all, Mawsmai are easily the most favourite caves for many travellers, as it is one of the few caves one can explore without a guide. Just about 6 kilometers from the main town of Cherrapunji and an enchanting drive through golden autumnal grasslands, one finally reaches a thick grove. Mawsmai, the limestone caves, lie hidden beneath these trees! The cave has a wide opening but it soon gets narrower and is best avoided if one is claustrophobic, has health issues or weight problems.

The cave is a one way road, so the adventurous visitor enters from one end and goes out of the other. In the middle, there are places where you’ve to bend and squeeze yourself out. The channel gets narrower and the walking pace is slow, but there is no turning back! The cave is well lit with electricity and you can see each and every detail of the rock formation.

The colours and shapes come alive and you can interpret different figures for the fun of it. Rocks glint in the light as water drips down from the stone tips. It’s a marvel how these tiny drops change the appearance of hard rocks, working on them tirelessly for decades like a patient artist. With bats and insects flying around, tiny passages where one shrinks and crawls, shadows and shapes filling the air and the thrill of being inside a cave, the mere 150 meters of the cave length appears unending and hugely exciting.

So what are you waiting for? Pack up your bags and set out to seek the unknown!

AGRA

Location

Agra is a city on the banks of the Yamuna river in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is 206 kilometres (128 mi) south of the national capital New Delhi. Agra is the fourth-most populous city in Uttar Pradesh and 24th in India.

Historical Significance

There was an early reference to an “Agravana” in the ancient Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, and Ptolemy is said to have called the site “Agra.” The city was founded by Sultan Sikandar of the Lodhi dynasty in the early 16th century to be the capital of the Delhi sultanate. Agra also served as the Mughal capital during some periods of that empire. In the late 18th century the city fell successively to the Jats, the Marathas, the Mughals, the ruler of Gwalior, and, finally, the British in 1803. It was the capital of Agra (later North-Western) province from 1833 to 1868 and was one of the main centres of the Indian Mutiny (1857–58).

Places to visit         

  1. Taj Mahal – Agra is best known for the Taj Mahal (17th century) which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. A complex mausoleum, the Taj Mahal is often considered to be the world’s best example of Mughal architecture. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built it for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Maḥal, in the mid-17th century. Agra Fort (16th century), called the Red Fort for its massive red sandstone walls, was built by the emperor Akbar; it contains the Pearl Mosque (Moti Masjid; 17th century), constructed of white marble, and a palace, the Jahangiri Mahal. The fort was also designated a World Heritage site in 1983.
  2. Agra Fort – A stone tablet at the gate of the Fort states that it had been built before 1000 but was later renovated by Akbar. The red sandstone fort was converted into a palace during Shah Jahan’s time, and reworked extensively with marble and pietra dura inlay. Notable buildings in the fort include the Pearl Mosque or Moti Masjid, the Diwan-e-Aam and Diwan-e-Khaas (halls of public and private audience), Jahangir’s Palace, Khaas Mahal, Shish Mahal (mirrored palace), and the Musamman Burj. The forbidding exteriors of this fort conceal an inner paradise. The fort is crescent-shaped, flattened on the east with a long, nearly straight wall facing the river. It has a total perimeter of 2.4 kilometres (1.5 mi), and is ringed by double castellated ramparts of red sandstone punctuated at regular intervals by bastions. A moat 9 metres (30 ft) wide and 10 metres (33 ft) deep surrounds the outer wall.
  3. Fatehpur Sikri – The Mughal Emperor Akbar built Fatehpur Sikri about 35 km (22 mi) from Agra, and moved his capital there. Later abandoned, the site displays a number of buildings of significant historical importance. A World Heritage Site, it is often visited by tourists. The name of the place came about after the Mughal Emperor Babur defeated Raṇa Sanga in a battle at a place called Sikra (about 40 km from Agra). Then the Mughal Emperor Akbar wanted to make Fatehpur Sikri his headquarters, so he built a majestic fort; due to the shortage of water, however, he had to ultimately move his headquarters to Agra Fort.
  4. Buland Darwaza – or ‘the lofty gateway’ was built by the great Mughal emperor, Akbar in 1601 CE at Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar built the Buland Darwaza to commemorate his victory over Gujarat. The Buland Darwaza is approached by 52 steps. The Buland Darwaza is 53.63 metres (175.95 feet) high and 35 metres (115 feet) wide. It is made of red and buff sandstone, decorated by carving and black and white marble inlays. An inscription on the central face of the Buland Darwaza demonstrates Akbar’s religious broad-mindedness; it is a message from Jesus advising his followers not to consider this world as their permanent home.
  5. Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah – It is a Mughal mausoleum in the city of Agra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Often described as a “jewel box”, sometimes called the “Bachcha Taj”, the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah is often regarded as a draft of the Taj Mahal. Along with the main building, the structure consists of numerous outbuildings and gardens. The tomb, built between 1622 and 1628, represents a transition between the first phase of monumental Mughal architecture – primarily built from red sandstone with marble decorations, as in Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi and Akbar’s tomb in Sikandra – to its second phase, based on white marble and pietra dura inlay, most elegantly realized in the Taj Mahal. The mausoleum was commissioned by Nur Jahan, the wife of Jahangir, for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg, originally a Persian Amir in exile, who had been given the title of Itimad-ud-Daulah (pillar of the state). Mirza Ghiyas Beg was also the grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal (originally named Arjumand Bano, daughter of Asaf Khan), the wife of the emperor Shah Jahan, responsible for the construction of the Taj Mahal. Nur Jahan was also responsible for the construction of the Tomb of Jahangir in Lahore. It is noticeable for the first use of pietra dura (floral design made up of semiprecious stone) technique.

6. Akbar’s Tomb – The Tomb of the mighty Mughal Emperor Akbar is situated in the outskirts of Agra. The emperor got his tomb monument constructed while he was alive as his final resting place. His son Jahangir finished the complete construction which is totally done with sandstone and white marble. The monument that is found in Sikandra within the suburbs of Agra is built over a region of 119 acres surrounded by lovely gardens designed by the Emperor Akbar. Overseeing the tomb of himself while living is part of the Tartary tradition which Akbar followed for his own tomb. The tomb is toward the rising sun and roughly a kilometer close to his wife’s tomb also in Sikandra.

Other details

Tourism, handicrafts, agriculture and manufacturing make up Agra’s economy. Agra has a thriving small scale industry sector connected to leather goods and iron foundries.

The delicate inlay and carving work in white marble of the Taj Mahal started getting affected by the rising air pollution levels in Agra. In response in year 2000 the Supreme Court mandated that a “safe” zone of 50 kilometres around the monument – or the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) – be free of polluting industry and diesel vehicles. This has had scant impact on the pollution levels in the city in general as Agra ranked 4th most polluted city in 2016. The severe pollution is affecting tourism – both for visibility and health reasons.

Luxembourg

Introduction

Luxembourg is European landlocked country, situated in northern-western Europe. Luxembourg is one of the world’s smallest countries. Its surrounded by Belgium on the west and north, France on the south, and Germany on the northeast and east. Luxembourg has come under the control of many states and ruling houses in its long history, but it has been a separate, if not always autonomous, political unit since the 10th century.

Its capital, Luxembourg City is one of the four official capitals of the European Union. Luxembourg has three official languages i.e. French, German and national language Luxembourgish. Its culture is specially affected by the France and Germany. The repeated invasion by Germany, especially during the World War 2, resulted in the country’s strong will for mediation between France and Germany as well as including the foundation of European Union.

This country spread an area of 2,586 sq. km. (as per Wikipedia site), it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe. In 2019, Luxembourg recorded 6.26 hundred thousand as population. It is one of least populated country in the world. Luxembourg is a developed country, it is empowered with advance economy and of the world’s highest GDP.

Political System:

This country is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a prominent financial center. The country is a member of the Benelux Economic Union and was one of the founding members of European Union. Monarchical chief of the state is the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Head of the government is the Prime Minister appointed by the Grand Duchy (normally most popular voted candidate).

Geographical Condition

The northern third of Luxembourg, known as the Oesling, compromises a corner of the Ardennes Mountains, which lie mainly in southern Belgium. It is a plateau that averages 1,500 feet(450 metres) in elevation and is composed of schists and sandstones. This forested highland region is incised by the deep valleys of a river network organized around the Suer (or Sauer) River, which runs eastward through north-central Luxembourg before joining the Moselle (or Mosel) River on the border with Germany. The Oesling’s forested hills and valleys support the ruins of numerous castles, which are a major attraction for the region’s many tourists. The fertility of the relatively thin mountain soils of the region was greatly improved with the introduction in the 1890s of a basic-slag fertilizer, which is obtained as a by-product of the grand duchy’s steel industry.

Climate

Luxembourg has a mild climate with considerable precipitation. The north is slightly colder and more humid than the south. The mean temperatures in Luxembourg city range from the mid-30s F (about 0.7 °C) in January to the low 60s F (about 17 °C) in July, but in the Oesling both extremes are slightly lower. The Oesling receives more precipitation than the Bon Pays, but the greatest amount, about 40 inches (1,000 mm), and the least, about 27 inches (about 685 mm), fall in the southwest and southeast, respectively. The sheltered valley of the Moselle River benefits from a gentler and sunnier climate than does the rest of the duchy.

Quwwat Ul Islam mosque – place that reveals a great dynasty

Situated at the center of the Qutub Minar complex in the city of Mehrauli,the Quwwat Ul Islam Mosque is the first ever mosque made in India, during the sultanate period. Today, stand by only it’s walls which represents extravagant yet very minute architecture of the Slave dynasty. It’s marvelous architecture and design makes it an attraction point of the Qutub complex, against which stands the Mehrauli iron pillar. And is added up as UNESCO‘s World Heritage Site. The history of this site is both so interesting and large that makes a huge amount of visitors to pay a visit to this place every year.

The history –

It was in the year 1193 AD, when Qutub ud – din Aibak, founder of The Slave dynasty conquered the Quila Rai Pithora of the Chauhans and was eager to leave the imprints of his religion to the new territory. He commissioned the mosque using the ruins of 27 Hindu and Jaina temples. And was built over the site of a large temple located at the center of the citadel.
Quwwat ul Islam mosque, also known as Jami masjid or the Friday mosque  then came to be used for performing the adhan and became one of the best architectures of the sultanate period, that also made a benchmark for the coming sultans to think upon.

Architecture and design –

Archaeological Survey of India states that the mosque was raised over the remains of a temple, and in additio, it was also constructed from materials taken from other demolished temples. Historical records compiled by a Muslim historian Maulana Hakim Saiyid Abdul Hai corroborate to the use of iconoclasm by Qutub ud din Aibak, which was common during his reign.
The mosque was further extended by Sultan Iltutamish (1296), who gave a more complexity to its design.
The iron pillar of Mehrauli, located on the stone pavement in front of it adds to its beauty and history.
The complexity of its design and architecture is what intrigues most of the visitors paying visit to the place. The central arch of the mosque is ogee in shape and the screen is sculpted with religious texts and floral patterns. One of the historians believe that it was not constructed on scientific approach, but in Corbel style as indicated by the variations in the patterns of the arches. The front wall that we see standing still today came to be known as the Western Wall. Though it was a magnificent monument, built with an entrance to the courtyard, and grey colonnades made of greystone.

Quwwat Ul Islam mosque today –

It is a great example of Muslim architecture and establishes a prominent role of the sultans in portraying their power and rule over the city of Delhi. But today it stands in ruins with only it’s front wall remaining with indigenous corbelled arches, floral morifs and geometric patterns, along with other Islamic structures. As per the government data reviewed by ET, Qutub minar complex is the second most visited monument in the country in 2018-19. It is estimated that 2.9 million people visited the place in 2018-19.It’s really a place worth appreciating, and attracts the visitors due to its everlasting beauty. The place is a true example of establishment of the power of Slave dynasty in Delhi and India.

Slow Death Of Tourism

Tourism is dead! Dead for the next two years atleast. It’s going to stay dead for years to come unless a vaccine or a treatment springs out of somewhere. With Covid-19 raging with its full might, people are choosing to stay cooped up within the safety of their own homes instead of venturing out and risking their safety. Although the economy is slowly opening up, no one wants to risk falling sick in an unknown place with a deadly virus preying on them.

The exotic fruits, smell and visual splendour will cease to attract when a person’s well being is at stake! Small tours and travel businesses are closing down while the big companies are left groping for the scarce tourists to garner. The monuments, the different wonders of the world will lie bare with very few to gasp at their magnificence. The exotic cuisines will be left undiscovered by many while the world grapples to survive.

The Indian government and governments around the world promote travel and tourism as it helps the economy a lot. Japan recently in a bid to attract tourism has offered treatment for coronavirus for free if someone happens to contract the virus in the country. The economy is reeling under the impact of the virus and no one knows how long the pandemic will last and with some predicting that the virus isn’t going away anytime soon and the fact that we would all have to live with it is scary.

Vloggers are taking the place of actual tourists, providing beautiful and virtual tours of different places through videos. Popular vloggers like Volpe, Best Ever Food Review Show, Karl Rock etc have gaining followers for the same reason even before the pandemic. The virtual tours through the videos are captivating and addictive, providing an alternative to actual tourism through videos. Virtual tourism is economical and allows you to see the globe from the comfort of your homes.

Though Virtual tourism is growing at a rapid pace, it can never replace actual tourism wherein one gets to bask in the new smells, enjoy visually and savour new foods. The added excitement that comes with going to a foreign place without knowing what to expect can never be replaced virtually or otherwise. One can avail and purchase goods indigenous to a particular place or country. So many industries will suffer from the paucity of tourism to greet them.

With many places already strapped of tourism due to reasons like pollution and crime rate, Covid-19 has been like a final nail in the coffin for many places.  People will not travel or barely travel anywhere unless compelled to do so. Many are doing so for business purposes and for official work but apart from that people are staying away from booking the flight tickets to different places. No one knows what the future holds and for the time being people are taking virtual tours through the vloggers around the globe to enjoy the visual splendour of places that our planet has to offer.









Lucknow – The City of Nawab

Introduction

Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh. It is also known as the City of Nawab. It has been listed as the 17th fastest growing city in India and 74th in the world. It is situated on the bank of river Gomti. Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula is known as the Creator of this city. This city is known as the centre of Urdu poetry and courtly diction and reached its zenith during the reign of Wajid Ali Shah who was the expert of music and poetry. Lucknow has always been a multicultural city that flourished as a North Indian Culture and artistic hub. It was the seat of power of Nawabs in the 18th and 19th century. It continues to be an important centre of governance administration, education, commerce, design and tourism etc. It was bounded on the east by Barabanki, on the west by Raibarelli and in the north by Sitapur and Hardoi. Lucknow along with Agra and Varanasi is listed in the UP Heritage Arc, a chain of survey triangulation created by UP govt to boost tourism.

History

Historically, Lucknow was the capital of the Awadh region controlled by the Delhi Sultanate and later the Mughal Empire. It was transferred to the nawabs of Awadh. Lucknow also claims that this is one of the most ancient Hindus states with rich cultural heritage and monuments. Its original name was Lakhimpur or Laxmanpur because it was gifted to Lakshman bother of Lord Rama after their period of exile from the forest. In 1856, The British East India Company abolished local rule and took complete control of the city along with the rest of Awadh and in 1857, transferred it to the British Raj. It got independent in 1947 along with whole India. It got its title City of Nawabs after the reign of the third Nawab when Lucknow became their capital. It was best remembered for extra emergence and redefined culture and lifestyle. Here, you will found a mix of Hindu – Muslim culture which is known as “Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb

Climate and Geographical Touch

In Lucknow, you will find humid subtropical climate with cool, dry winters from mid-November to February and dry hot summers with sunshine from March mid – May. Fog is quite common from mid – December to late January. As earlier, it was mention that Lucknow was situated in the bank of river Gomti. The city surrounded by rural town and villages. 

Famous Festival 

Lucknow Festival: This is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in Lucknow during November – December. This festival is celebrated for ten days and it mainly showcases the culture, heritage, arts and cuisines of people of this state. Other common festivals celebrated in Lucknow include – HoliDiwali and Dussehra.

Famous Places for Visit

Lucknow’s buildings show different styles of architecture with the many iconic buildings built during the British and Mughal Era. The UP Tourism Department organizes a “Heritage Walk” for tourists covering the popular monuments. 

Husainabad Clock Tower

Kaiserbagh Palace of Complex

National Botanical Research Institute

State Museum Zoo

Hussainabad Imambara

Shah Najaf Imambara

Marietas Islands

Location

The Marietas Islands are a group of small uninhabited islands a few miles off the coast of the state of Nayarit, Mexico, located in federal waters approximately 7.9 kilometres (4.9 mi) southwest of the peninsula known as Punta de Mita, in the municipality of Bahía de Banderas. The islands are a popular tourist destination because of the abundant marine life populations due to the islands being protected from fishing and hunting by the Mexican government. The ocean water depth around the islands is between 70 and 110 feet.

Geography

The Marietas islands were originally formed many thousands of years ago by volcanic activity, and are completely uninhabited. The islands are about an hour-long boat ride west-northwest from the coast of Puerto Vallarta or a 15-minute boat ride from the resort area of Punta Mita and are visited daily by hundreds of tourists. However, visitors cannot legally set foot on the islands. In the early 1900s, the Mexican government began conducting military testing on the islands since they were uninhabited. Many bombings and large explosions took place on the islands causing caves and rock formations to be created. After a massive international outcry, started by scientist Jacques Cousteau in the late 1960s, the government eventually decided to declare the islands a national park and therefore protect it against any fishing, hunting or human activity. Situated in a sort of open sun-drenched crater, this beach is affectionately nicknamed the “hidden beach” or “beach of love”. It is accessible only when the tide is low.

Tourism

Protection by the government has created an environment conducive to the development of the marine ecosystem, and is a popular location for snorkeling and scuba diving. Not even during whale watching tours, people often report seeing sea turtles, manta rays, octopus, wild dolphins, humpback whales and thousands of species of tropical fish around the islands. The islands are also home to a few thousand birds, with species such as the blue-footed booby. Currently, the Mexican government allows only a few companies to go to the islands and allows the landing of passengers onto one secluded beach with the necessary permit from SEMARNAT.

From Punta de Mita, small boats do tours through the islands to see the wildlife of this region. From December to March, gray and humpback whales can be observed that come from Alaska to give birth off the coast of Nayarit.

It has been estimated in studies that the so-called “hidden beach” or the “love beach” can accommodate up to 116 visitors a day without degrading. The carrying capacity of the entire park is 625 visitors. However the actual number of visitors is typically three or four times this limit with more than 2500 visitors landing on it each day during 2016. During the Easter holidays more than 250 boats landed on the island per day, some of them carrying as many as 400 tourists. This has been due to recent interest in the Island. The number of tourists in 2012 was only 27,500, but this skyrocketed to 127,372 in 2015.

Things to do

  1. Islas Marietas Eco Discovery

In terms of pristine natural beauty and scenic seaside vistas, few areas in the world are richer than the Marieta Islands. Protected as part of Islas Marietas National Park, these natural wonders are home to a number of native wildlife species, as well as some of the most breathtaking landscapes in all of Mexico. On this tour, guides give you the opportunity to enjoy the natural majesty of the Las Islas Marietas at your own pace. Explore the serene seawater while snorkeling, kayaking, or paddle boarding. No matter what type of natural wonder you’re looking for, on the tour of Islas Marietas, the guides will make sure you find it.

The Bay of Banderas is one of the few places in the world that is a natural sanctuary for a profusion of natural land and sea life. Within the Bay of Banderas, there are few areas lusher in life than the waters surrounding Islas Marietas National Park. During the winter months, it is common to see humpback whales in the bay, since this is a centuries-old breeding ground and respite following their annual migrations. Dolphin encounters are a regular year-round occurrence. You may see them in large groups leaping out of the water or in pairs riding along near the bows of boats in the bay.

2. Rhythms of the Night –SAVIA

Deep in the heart of the steamy tropical rainforest at Las Caletas, near a crumbling pyramid, there is a mystical amphitheater where excitement is waiting for you. As the stars appear in the sky, the spirit world convenes here in a dazzling world-class show that will take your breath away. Conceived of, written and directed by Gilles Ste-Croix, co-creator of Cirque du Soleil, Rhythms of the Night – SAVIA is a celebration of spectacular acrobatic skill, pulsating rhythms, vibrant dance, amazing costumes and Ste-Croix’s breathtaking interpretation of the Aztec creation story.

SAVIA: The Legend of the 5 Suns is truly a feast for the senses. Great entertainment, food, and adventure await. As you take your place in the incredible outdoor amphitheater for a show at the pyramid under a serene starry sky, you’ll feel like you’re entering another time, another place. And perhaps you are, for each night in Puerto Vallarta, this is where the spirit world of the ancients once again comes alive!

An explosion of color, sound and spectacle, SAVIA tells a powerful story about the persistence of the human spirit using colorful imagery, music, dance and movement. Legend has it there were four civilizations of humanity prior to ours. Each new period saw the evolution of the human race, as well as its demise. These previous worlds were destroyed by tornadoes, fires and floods, yet rituals and sacrifices have kept the human spirit alive. From the bones and ashes of the ancients comes a celebration of the fifth sun and the unflagging hope for a better world. Rhythms of the Night dinner and show, with its intimate setting, vibrant story and stunning feats of acrobatics, are nothing short of magical.

3. Valarta Canopy tour

A canopy tour zip line tour is a pre-established route through a forested or other beautiful landscape, often with mountains and valleys making use mainly of zip-lines and suspended bridges between platforms that are built upon trees. Visitors are harnessed to steel cables all the time while on these tours, ensuring their safety.

Canopy tours have existed for a long time, but just recently have they become a tourist attraction and a popular tour in Mexico, Costa Rica and many other places around the world. Canopy tours in Puerto Vallarta are a truly thrilling ecological experience that offers you the unique opportunity to glide through the treetops on a network of cables suspended high above the jungle trails in the local tropical forest. The list of the main canopy zip line tours in the area includes – Canopy River, Canopy Los Veranos, Extreme Zip Line Adventure, Canopy La Vista, Mundo Nogalito Canopy, Las Animas Adventure Park and Rancho Mi Chaparrita, to name a few.

Why visit the Marietas Islands?

  1. Hidden Beach

Officially it’s called Playa del Amour, but visitors reckon Hidden Beach does the job better. After all, it’s tucked away in a cave underneath one of the islands and can only be reached by swimming through a tunnel. But what makes it really bucket list-worthy is the fact that the cave has no lid, opening it up to the sunshine – and savvy aerial photographers.

2. The snorkeling scene

With a snorkel and fins, the Marieta Islands are your oyster. There are more than 10 kinds of coral around these parts, reeling in the biggest load of reef fish in Banderas Bay. In winter, the kings of the ocean and humpback whales mooch through the waters.

3. The boobies

It’s not all about the amazing sea life. Around 100 bird species hang around the Marieta Islands, including a few record breakers. There’s the world’s largest colony of brown boobies, for starters, and the islands are also home to biggest swallow breeding grounds in Mexico.

4. The castaway vibe

Hidden Beach is the closest you can get to actually stepping foot on the Marieta Islands. And thanks to their uber protected status – they’re national park territory – only a few tour operators can weigh anchor in their waters. With all that peace and quiet, it’s hard to believe you’re only an hour’s boat ride from Puerto Vallarta.

5. The History

Way back in the early 1900s, the Mexican government used the Marieta Islands as a military testing site. These explosions carved out some of the caves and oddly-shaped rock formations you’ll see when you visit today. In fact, rumour has it that even Hidden Beach was created by one of these test bombs.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and set out for this paradise on the face of the earth!

LADAKH

Location and history

Ladakh (“land of high passes”) is a region in northern India. It is located between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Himalayas to the south. Ladakh is well-known for its remote mountain scenery. It is inhabited by a mix of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan people. Their la nguage is an archaic dialect of the Tibetan language. It is sometimes called “Little Tibet”, because it has been strongly influenced by Tibetan culture. Ladakh is one of the least populated regions in the area.

Historically, the region of Ladakh included neighboring Baltistan, the Indus and Zanskar Valleys, Lahaul and Spiti, Aksai Chin and the Nubra Valley. The modern region borders Tibet to the east, Lahaul and Spiti to the south, and Kashmir, Jammu and Baltistan to the west. The largest town in Ladakh is Leh. It is one of the few remaining places in South Asia where Buddhism is very strong. A majority of Ladakhis are Tibeta Buddhists and the rest are mostly Shia Muslims. Leh is followed by Kargil as the second largest town in Ladakh. 

How to go

The nearest airport to Ladakh is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh which is just 3.8 km from the main city. The cabs are available outside the airport; by which you can get transferred to the heart of Ladakh easily. This is one of the highest commercial airports that is directly connected to the major cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Srinagar and Jammu. The International travelers can directly board a flight from the major cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi to reach Leh Airport by air and then ultimately to Ladakh, by a cab.

Places to Visit

Pangong Lake:

Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to the Tibetan Autonomous Region, China. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies within the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. All together it covers 604 km2. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water. It is not a part of the Indus river basin area and geographically a separate landlocked river basin.

Zanskar valley:

Zanskar or Zahar (locally) or Zangskar is a subdistrict or tehsil of the Kargil district, which lies in the Indian union territory of Ladakh. The administrative centre is Padum. Zanskar, together with the neighboring region of Ladakh, was briefly a part of the kingdom of Guge in Western Tibet. The Zanskar Range is a mountain range in the union territory of Ladakh that separates Zanskar from Ladakh. Geologically, the Zanskar Range is part of the Tethys Himalaya, an approximately 100-km-wide synclinorium formed by strongly folded and imbricated, weakly metamorphosed sedimentary series. The average height of the Zanskar Range is about 6,000 m (19,700 ft). Its eastern part is known as Rupshu.

Chadar trek:

The Chadar Trek or the Zanskar Gorge is a winter trail in the Zanskar, in the Indian administered union territory of Ladakh. Traditionally the only means of travel in the area during the harsh winter months, the trail has become popular with international adventure tourists.

Nubra valley:

Nubra is a subdivision and a tehsil in the Indian union territory of Ladakh. Its inhabited areas form a tri-armed valley cut by the Nubra and Shyok rivers. Its Tibetan name Ldumra means “the valley of flowers”. Diskit, the headquarters of Nubra, is about 150 km north from Leh, the capital of Ladakh. The Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachan River to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and Karakoram Ranges. The Shyok River is a tributary of the Indus River. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 ft. i.e. 3048 metres above the sea level. The common way to access this valley is to travel over the Khardung La pass from Leh town.

Hemis National Park:

Hemis National Park (or Hemis High Altitude National Park) is a high altitude national park in the eastern Ladakh Union Territory of the Republic of India. Globally famous for its snow leopards, it is believed to have the highest density of them in any protected area in the world It is the only national park in India that is north of the Himalayas, the largest notified protected area in India (largest National park) and is the second largest contiguous protected area, after the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and surrounding protected areas. The park is home to a number of species of endangered mammals, including the snow leopard. Hemis National Park is India’s protected area inside the Palearctic ecozone, outside the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary northeast of Hemis, and the proposed Tso Lhamo Cold Desert Conservation Area in North Sikkim. The park is bounded on the north by the banks of the Indus River, and includes the catchments of Markha, Sumdah and Rumbak, and parts of the Zanskar Range.

Magnetic Hill:

Magnet Hill is a “Cyclops hill” located near Leh in Ladakh, India. The layout of the area and surrounding slopes create the optical illusion of a hill. The hill road is actually a downhill road. Objects and cars on the hill road may appear to roll uphill in defiance of gravity when they are, in fact, rolling downhill. It is 7.5 km southeast of Nimmoo and 26.5 km west of Leh on Srinagar-Ladakh road.

Why visit Ladakh?

Sweeping scenic beauty

Enclosed in between the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges, the Ladakh region is a highland that is layered in spectral of red, orange, brown, green, and grey with large crystal blue water bodies. The rugged landscape under the stark blue sky, aligned by snow crested peaks and some lush green patches of vegetation along the valleys formed by the perennial streams together make for a surreal scenic beauty. So if you are still thinking that Ladakh is just a barren landscape, I’m afraid, you are going to miss the shelter in heaven.

Foodie benefits

I know you must have tried out both momos and thukkpas out here in the city at some Indo-Tibetan restaurant or at any edge eateries. But out there in the mass of indigenous Indo-Tibetan sphere you will just relish each bite of momos and slurp of thukkpa. Just imagine that there is a mystical spice hidden in the valley that top-ups the steamy momos to a lip smacking snack and lashing of red chilli in the bowl of thukkpa will just counteract the chilly and dry winds ensuing a great solace.

Vibrant and indigenous festivals

You might have read or heard about the indigenous culture of the Indo-Tibetans – about their lifestyle, rituals and festivals. I bet it will be a pleasure to your eyes if you are visiting Ladakh during the auspicious festivals of Losar, Hemis, Naro Nasjal, Kalachakra, Dosmoche, Tak, and Phyang. These festivals are not just vibrant and unique in their own ways, but if you trigger the traveler inside you, you will find a sensational vibe of ritual that drives away the evil spirit. And if you can’t trigger that out, you have got to capture and enjoy the drama performance, which is a fusion of drums and trumpets, and thumping steps of the masked Lamas.

Lose yourself in the barren panorama

So, when you can afford your sound health to that altitude then why not to spend a bit more and explore the barren and rugged beauty that is dispersed throughout the region.  It is a region where you can breathe in some fresh air, let go all the weariness and explore the untraceable landscape of Ladakh.

Limber up your photography skills

The mountainscapes, desertscapes and riverscapes altogether offers a wonderful scenic frame to limber up your photography skills. So you have got a chance to click countless candid moments. Not to miss moments are the heavenly horizons, unplugged landscapes, wildlife and culture and sparkling blue lakes.

Conquer the highest trekkable peaks and mountain passes

You know Ladakh is quite popular for certain trekkable peaks like Stok Kangri, Nun-Kun and Kang-Yatse? Well conquering that altitude isn’t a cup of tea but you are still fit to go for it. You can dream of a strenuous climb and days like Eskimos! Even if you think it is hard for you to get acclimatized to the high altitude of 6,000 meters and above, you got those historical mountain passes that used to be the trade routes once upon a time between India and China. Once you conquer one of these mountain passes I bet you will receive the best bird’s eye view of the distant valleys and remote villages tucked in the midst of the Trans-Himalayan ranges. Some of the notable mountain passes are the Khardung La, Tanglang La, Chang La, Wari La, and Namshang La.

Being an abode of some of the ancient Buddhist monasteries and gompas

The Ladakh region is also notable for housing some of the ancient Buddhist monasteries and gompas that chronicle the footsteps of Buddhism in India. The vibrant festivals, indigenous attire and strange rituals are some other things that you are going to see in addition when you visit these monasteries. Further, the artistic décor, ancient manuscripts and antiques like statues, thangkas and murals are simply going to take you back to the pre-historic era. Some of the notable Buddhist monasteries and gompas in the Ladakh region are the Hemis monastery, Alchi monastery, Matho monastery, Spituk monastery, Thiksey monastery, Stakna monastery, Stok monastery, and Lamayuru monastery.

Acclimatize your driving skills and snaking through mountain passes

If you are a traveler on wheels the aslant roads snaking through the barren mountains will give you an opportunity to acclimatize your driving skills. The drive from Manali to Leh, crossing some of the highest motorable mountain passes in the world; an expedition through Khardung La to Nubra Valley; and a thrilling journey from Leh to Srinagar is some of the best routes in Ladakh region where you can whizz and snake through the mountainscapes.

Stretch your money with cheap accomodations

Ladakh is one such destination where you are going to spend much on travelling than lodging. You will find neat and tidy rooms in Leh starting at just Rs. 600 even during the peak tourist season. Then you can also find accommodation in some local villages in the Ladakh region and experience the local culture throughout your trip. Further, you have plenty of options for camping in Ladakh.

Away from the Hi-tech life, live like a nomad

Overlooking the sparkling blue Pangong Lake an overnight camping is much needed for techies like you. Just imagine a life other than technology, civilization and infrastructure and you step into the wide open space of nature. How about a part of your life spending at the Hunder Sand Dunes? It is beyond your dreams. Amid the towering mountains camping in Hunder Sand Dunes makes you feel like you are living life like a nomad. There again if you can afford further couple of days, camping at the Tso Moriri Wetland will surely give you an opportunity to get acquainted with some of the beautiful species of high altitude birds and animals.

So if you are still thinking why to visit the Ladakh region once in your lifetime, you have got your own vibe to add further as another reason. If you are an adventurer then the winter is the best time to exploit every bit of Ladakh. The Snow Leopard trek and Frozen River trek are some of the notable winter expeditions in the Ladakh region which you can go for. If you are a leisurescaper, then you have time to plan a customized trip starting from April and continuing till October. So what are you waiting for?

HAMPI

What is Hampi?

Hampi or Hampe (in Kannada) also referred to as the Group of Monuments at Hampi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in east-central Karnataka, India. It became the pilgrimage centre of the Hindu religion. It was the capital of Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century. Chronicles left by Persian and European travelers, particularly the Portuguese, said that Hampi used to be a prosperous, wealthy and grand city near the Tungabhadra River, with numerous temples, farms and trading markets. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world’s second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing and probably India’s richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal. The Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by a coalition of Muslim sultanates; its capital was conquered, pillaged and destroyed by sultanate armies in 1565, after which Hampi remained in ruins.

Located in Karnataka near the modern-era city of Hosapete, Hampi’s ruins are spread over 4,100 hectares (16 sq mi) and it has been described by UNESCO as an “austere, grandiose site” of more than 1,600 surviving remains of the last great Hindu kingdom in South India that includes “forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures and others”. Hampi predates the Vijayanagara Empire; there is evidence of Ashokan epigraphy and it is mentioned in the Ramayana and the Puranas of Hinduism as Pampaa Devi Tirtha Kshetra. Hampi continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, an active Adi Shankara-linked monastery and various monuments belonging to the old city.

Location

Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in the eastern part of central Karnataka near the state border with Andhra Pradesh. It is 376 kilometers (234 mi) from Bangalore, 385 kilometers (239 mi) from Hyderabad and 165 kilometers (103 mi) from Hubli. The closest railway station is in Hosapete, 13 kilometers away and the closest airport is 32 kilometers at Jindal in Toranagallu which has connectivity to Bangalore and Hyderabad. Overnight buses and trains also connect Hampi with Goa, Secunderabad and Bangalore.  It is 140 kilometers (87 mi) southeast of the Badami and Aihole archaeological sites.

History

A place of such great magnificence and opulence is sure to have a rich cultural heritage to it too. Hampi was a part of the Mauryan Empire back in the third century BC. There has been enough evidence of the fact that the rock edifices found in the Bellary district were a common form of recording relevant information in the times of Ashoka. Hampi was the capital city during the four different dynasties altogether in the Vijayanagar city that came into existence in the year 1336 AD. The Vijayanagara Empire reached unfathomable heights under the guidance of King Krishnadeva Raya of the Tuluva Dynasty. There is a legend associated with the place in relation to Ramayana. It is well known that the epic Ramayana is divided into seven ‘Kaands’ or episodes. One particular episode named ‘Kishkindha Kaand’ which has special significance concerning Hampi. According to the legend, the episode took place when Lord Rama and Lord Lakshman reach the Land of Monkeys. The place where they reach is said to be Hampi, and there are many geographical proofs in relation to that too.

Iconic spots

  • The Lion God Narsimha: Hampi also has a story which related it to Lord Narasimha. There is a temple known as Lakshmi Narasimha Temple which is just a little south of the famous Krishna Temple. Intricately designed pillars here show the different shades of Prahlad’s life, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. Lord Narasimha’s destruction of the demon king Hiranyakashyap is displayed here in the form of articulate carvings.
  • Bhima’s Gate: It is said that during the exile of the Pandavas, Draupadi came across a flower named Saugandhika which had a lovely smell. Enchanted, she desired more of these flowers, so Bhima set forth to find its source. After overcoming many obstacles, he found a pond full of the Saugandhika flower. At this point, Lord Hanuman took the form of an old man and lay across on the pathway. When Bheem asked him to move, he said that he is too old and that Bheem should move his tail himself. When repeated attempts by Bheem failed, he realized that he was facing Lord Hanuman. Bheem then fought two demons guarding the pond and returned with the flower for Draupadi.
  • Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple: Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple is present at a distance of around 2km from the famous Virupaksha temple. This temple is a part of a cave standing at the peak of a hill and is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Hanuman. Also, the Tungabhadra flows through the steps of this hill. Here, you can find Lord Hanuman indulged in a state of deep meditation. Within a distance of five minutes from here, you can find another temple dedicated to Lord Srinivasa. In case you feel hungry, you can approach small stalls nearby selling mangoes, biscuits or cucumbers. It is best if you plan on your itinerary to this place in between October to March.
  • Queen’s Bath: Reckoned as a large bath of Hampi, Queen’s Bath exemplifies the Vijayanagara’s architectural excellence. It lies close to one of the most awful places to visit in Hampi- the Royal Enclosure. Although built around 500 years ago, this magnificent structure still remains intact in its construction. Its simplest exterior perfectly blends with an ornate interior to embrace its overall appearance. It a rectangular building admeasuring around 30 square meters and has a large sunken bath at its center. It may interest you to find arched corridors all around this Royal bath.
  • Prasanna Virupaksha Temple (Underground Temple): Underground Shiva Temple’s every single piece of the structure reflects a perfect blend of mythology and history. This is amongst the only places to visit in Hampi lying under water. The central portion of this ancient shrine always lies immersed in water. According to local beliefs, it is the Tungabhadra which flows through the interior of this temple through canals. There is the main hall, a courtyard, a small hall that leads to the innermost sanctum. All around the temple is a lush green lawn where you can sit and relax for some time.

Reasons why you should visit Hampi

  • Heaps of giant boulders perch precariously over miles of undulating terrain. The Vijayanagara kings chose Hampi/Vijayanagara as their capital because of its location because surrounded by hills on three sides and fronted by the Tungabhadra; it offered enemies a difficult target. Today, the hillside and the river offer tourists some unforgettable natural and archeological splendor. Any visitor to South India should not miss this epitome of Hoysala architecture.
  • Hampi is charismatic even in its ruined state, attracting thousands of visitors every year. Vast stretches of boulder-strewn hills make the backdrop of Hampi unique. Dotted around the hills and valleys are 500 plus monuments. Among them are beautiful temples, basements of palaces, remains of aquatic structures, ancient market streets, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, treasury buildings.., the list is practically endless.
  • Hampi is a backpacker’s paradise, the same way a pilgrim’s delight. Unreal and bewitching, the forlorn ruins of Hampi, around 330km from Goa, make a highly worthwhile and popular, side trip from the coast. They lie scattered over a landscape that leaves you spellbound.
  • Hampi is also famous for its religious history rather than just the architectural beauty of its ruins. There are many well known temples here including the Virupaksha Temple, the Vittala temple and Anjeneyadri. The Tungabhadra, one of the major rivers of Karnataka flows serenely along this town, providing an awe-inspiring natural setting near the ruins.
  • The stone chariot at the Vittala Temple stands as an icon of the rock carving traditions of the Vijayanagara kings, and has been adopted as the emblem of the state’s tourism department.
  • Thought it is not primarily known for climbing, Hampi has a number of places where the bouldering folks camp. There are even some guesthouses who rent out the basic gadgets.

The best time to visit Hampi is during the winters between November and February. Unfortunately quality hotels in Hampi are hard to find. Therefore, if you are looking for better facilities then Hospet is a better option.

JAIPUR: -THE PINK CITY

Hello everyone Today, I am going to discuss the Pink City. From the title, you all must have known about which city I am going to tell. The city is nor other than Jaipur-The Pink City.

Jaipur is known as the Pink City the largest city of Rajasthan in India. Jaipur was founded in 1727, by the Rajput ruler Jai Singh II, who was the ruler of Amer. The city name happened by the Rajput ruler Jai Singh II. Jaipur is known as Pink City because of the dominant color scheme of its building. It is a particularly popular tourist section. Jaipur has grand places and haveli which is surrounded by mighty fortresses which make Jaipur a welcome respite from high rise malls and urban living. Jaipur is the most famous tourist destination forming a part of the Golden Triangle.

Jaipur is also popular for its ancient beauty which is enclosed by colorful markets, and their events. In Jaipur, you can find fascinating cityscape which is completely covered in a smooth, glowing shade of blush, and that depends on the sunset of each evening.

In Jaipur, there are many festivals like:-

1. Elephant Festival:- Every year in February and March, the Elephant festival is celebrated. In this Elephant, Polo and Elephant dances are the highlight of this festival. The city brings over the six and a half million people with a diverse array of backgrounds.

2. Kite Festival:- In every year, January 14 is celebrated as Kite Festival. The Kite Festival brings the contrast of bold colors in the sky. In every year the kites fly in the sky which makes the sky more beautiful than other days. In the daytime sky is a full of Kites, whereas, in the night, the fireworks glow the sky with light. This lovely festival marks a transition of the sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn.

3. Teej Festival:- In the month of late July and early August, this joyful festival brightens the Jaipur street with parade of color and sound. This Festival is focused on the story of the reunion of Lord Shiva and Parvati after 100 years. In this festival married women pray for the long life of their husbands.

4. Gangaur Fair:- This festival is celebrated in Spring for the goddess of abundance Gauri. In this festival, the young girl prays for their future husband while the married women pray for there husband for long life.

So this was a famous festival in Jaipur city.

Let see the most famous places in Jaipur City to witness the beauty of the city.

1. Hawa Mahal:- The most romantic Pink fortresses was originally built in 1799 for the ladies of the royal household. It is made up of 152 windows into rounded balconies which showing the beauty of Rajput architecture. In every sunset, it displays the statues the relics, and other historical memorials.

2. Jantar Mantar:- Jantar Mantar is one of the most lookout located in the heart of Jaipur. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II executed the whole idea of making Jantar Mantar.

3.City palace:- City palace is the centerpiece of Jaipur city and the heart of founder Jai Singh II leave. City palace is the combination of Rajput, Mughal and European styles which are made with highly trained architectural care. It showcases the historical monuments and art from the city and region.

4.Albert Hall Museum:- It is an industrial Art Exhibition which is located near the city center. This museum presents the history and arts of Jaipur and Rajasthan.

So these are famous places in Jaipur. So these are analyses why Jaipur is known as the Pink City.

There are some facts about Jaipur which will definitely will make you surprise.

First Jaipur has the most expensive hotels in India. The most famous hotel in Jaipur is The Raj Palace Hotel which is about US$ 50,000.

Second Jaipur is the only city that organizes the largest free festival in the whole world.

Third Jaipur is not only known for monuments but also for handicrafts and beautiful jewelry.

Fourth. it is the most photographed place in India.

So these are some facts about Jaipur.

If you all like this article let me know. Let me know in the comments what do you think about Jaipur!

Thank you for reading this and have a nice day!