My trip to the Dariya Daulat Palace during a Mysore Tour

Mysore has earned the sobriquet of the City of Palaces as it is dotted with many palaces as well as royal buildings. Therefore, this area, often referred as Mysooroo, is a popular tourist destination of South India. The city was once ruled by the Wodeyar kings (more information about them can be found on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadiyar_dynasty), who played an important role in the development of art and culture marking the rich heritage of this region. Apart from the royal buildings, this place is also famous for temples, gold-leaf paintings, products made of sandalwood as well as Dasara Festival that is observed every year. The popular art forms of this place are

Yakshagana

Yakshagana

Yakshagana, Beesu Kamsale and Somanakunitha, which form an important part of celebrations during Dasara.

Beesu Kamsale

Beesu Kamsale

Besides taking part in festival processions, holidaymakers can shop for rosewood, teakwood, stone carved products as well as silk and incense sticks during their Mysore tour. Also, locally available perfumes made from jasmine and sandalwood are exported to other parts of the world, and buying them can be a good choice.

Somanakunitha

Somanakunitha

Shopping and Sightseeing Delight

If vacationers have a fetish for exquisite artefacts and handicrafts, they can visit the Government Silk Weaving Factory to look for crepe silk sarees with zari border or may shop at Government Handicrafts Emporium. The artisans make the best use of its sandalwood either by enhancing its value with the intricate carvings or by using it in the form of powder, oil and incense sticks.  Some well-known attractions in the area which shall also be in your tour packages are the Mysore Palace, Museum of Regional Natural History, Chamundi Temple and Brindavan Gardens.

The Royal Palace, Mysore

The Royal Palace, Mysore

Besides these, there are excursions to the Bandipur National Park and Sravanabelagola, where tourists must visit.

Sravanabelagola

Sravanabelagola

If travellers wish to spend some more time in this place, they can plan a trip to Srirangapatna that is famous for attractions, such as the Dariya Daulat Palace, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary and Masjid-e-Ala.

Dariya Daulat Palace

Dariya Daulat Palace is situated amidst the beautiful garden of Dariya Daulat Bagh. This place was built in 1784 by Tipu Sultan, who ruled over Mysore from this place. An important thing to notice about this palace is its Indo-Sarcenic architecture and that it is mostly made up of teakwood. Having a rectangular plan, this building is constructed on a raised platform. Along each side of the platform, open corridors have been provided with wooden pillars on the edges of its plinth. The eastern and western wings of this building have walls whereas its other two wings are provided with recessed bays including pillars to support the roof. Its four staircases are in-built in four partition walls leading to the division of audience hall into four corner rooms, and there is a central hall to connect the eastern and western corridors.

Dariya Daulat Palace

Dariya Daulat Palace

This palatial structure features colorful frescoes on pillars, walls, canopies and arches that imparts a stunning look to this majestic building. Frescoes on the exterior walls depict battle scenes and portraits. The inner walls have embellishments of thin foliage scrolls and floral patterns. The wooden ceilings includes canvas with floral paintings. The western wall is adorned by paintings that have depictions of victories achieved by Tipu Sultan and Haidar Ali over the English soldiers. The palace also houses the Tipu Sultan Museum that contains his memorabilia, Persian manuscripts and European paintings.

 

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Behold the Sight of the Interiors of Taj Mahal during an Agra Tour

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

An Agra tour is incomplete without a trip to the famous Taj Mahal, a symbol of love. This mausoleum was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. In order to fulfil her wish to construct an unforgettable monument to immortalise their love, the ruler organised a worldwide competition to finalise one particular design of the structure, which is now a masterpiece called Taj Mahal. Ustad Ahmad Lahauri designed its present day structure that took almost 22 years to get completed. Moreover, it was the hard work of approximately 20,000 craftsmen that resulted in such a magnificent masterpiece. This heritage building, an architectural marvel, showcases a fusion of both Islamic and Mughal architecture. The memorial complex includes many independent structures like tombs, mosques, gardens, fountains and gateways.

The Splendid Architecture of the Memorial

The enchanting mausoleum is made in the Pietra Dura technique, inlaid in geometrical and floral patterns with semi-precious and precious stones, such as Cornelian, Agate, Emerald, Mother of Pearl and Lapis-lazuli. The magnificent architecture of this Mughal era edifice describes the obsession of the emperor for perfection. The Mughal ruler himself paid attention to the minutest details of the construction and architecture of this majestic structure. The white marble was brought from quarries in Rajasthan and the red sandstone was transported from Delhi. Talking about the precious stones, if Jasper was carted from Punjab, then Carnelian was imported from Baghdad. On one hand, Turquoise was brought from Tibet, on other, jade, malachite and crystal transported were from Turkistan.

Taj Interiors

This UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated at the banks of Yamuna River, boasts of perfect symmetry across the length and width and therefore, seems intriguing to every passing visitor, leaving them gasping in awe. The visual appeal of this monument is enhanced on the night of a full moon that leaves it shining like a pearl.

Also called the Rauza-i-Munauwara, the mausoleum is the main attraction erected at the northern most end of the entire complex. The Taj Mahal is built on a square-shaped plinth and has an iwan (arch-shaped doorway) with a big dome and finial. The base is a multi-chambered cube with corners resembling an unequal octagon. Each of its four sides has a pishtaq (vaulted archway) to frame the iwan that comprises two arched balconies placed on either side. The tomb is framed by four minarets, one on all four corners of the square plinth. The main chamber consists of false sarcophagi of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal while their actual graves lie on a lower level.

The spectacular view of this architectural masterpiece is mesmerising as its huge dome and minarets having a slightly inward tilt and the walls are inscribed with verses of the Holy Quran in arabesque ornamentation. For a memorable trip to Agra with family, travellers can opt for family holiday packages in India that can offer them great deals and discounts.

Famous Buddhist and Hindu Shrines of Gangtok

Enveloped by mystic clouds at a height of around 5500 feet, Gangtok is the capital of the eastern state of Sikkim. Once a significant trade route for merchants travelling between India and Tibet, the city is now a hub for travellers seeking peace and tranquillity. It is a perfect base for a picturesque view of the world-famous Kanchenjunga Peak that makes it one of the favoured tourist destinations in India.

Kanchenjunga Peak

Kanchenjunga Peak

This serene paradise is home to several monasteries, exquisite temples, heritage museums and colonial churches that attract a huge influx of both domestic and international tourists. This cosmopolitan city is also dotted with many shopping complexes, cyber cafes and nightclubs, which make it as vivacious as any other thriving city in India.  A Gangtok tour remains incomplete without tasting its local delicacies like momos, thukpa, wai-wai and shah-phaley that are served at all big and small eateries.

Sightseeing in Gangtok

While planning a sightseeing tour of this mesmerizing hill station, travelers must divide their travel itinerary in such a way so that they can visit all its natural and cultural marvels. Tsomgo Lake, also known as the Changu Lake, is not only considered sacred among local people, but is also one of the most stunning locations in the country.

Tashi Point

Tashi Point

Surrounded by giant mountains, it is certainly a heavenly sight that needs to be captured in a camera. To behold more natural beauty, vacations must visit the Tashi Point, from where they can see a breathtaking view of the Kanchenjunga Peak. This point also offers a majestic view of Phodong and Labrang monasteries.

For a spiritual experience, visit various centuries-old Buddhist shrines dotted across this less trodden city. Spend quality time in exploring Do-Drul Chorten, which is among the biggest stupas in the state, features around 108 prayer wheels (or Mani Lhakor).

Do-Drul Chorten

Do-Drul Chorten

The other famous religious attraction is the Rumtek Monastery that is mainly known for the Kagyu (Red Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. While there are many small and large Buddhist monasteries, the place also has various revered Hindu shrines, such as Ganesh Tok and Hanuman Tok, which are dedicated to namesake Hindu deities.

Rumtek Monastery

Rumtek Monastery

Tourists who want to delve deeper into the rich history of Gangtok, can explore the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (NIT), which is esteemed for its architectural grandeur. NIT is a library, museum and general reference centre that houses a huge collection of rare Tibetan, Lepcha and Sanskrit manuscripts, statues, unique Thankas and other art objects. It is considered to be among the best Tibet institutes in the world with such a heritage collection.

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

At the end, travellers can undertake an excursion to the MG Marg, the main shopping street of Gangtok town. It is much acclaimed as the first litter and spit free zone in the country. With no vehicular traffic, travellers can have a great time relaxing and shopping in this pollution free area.

So, while booking India tour packages make sure to add this mesmerising hill city in your travel itinerary.

Wildlife Sanctuaries of Sikkim

Home to majestic Tibetan monasteries and spectacular vistas, Sikkim is one of the most enchanting tourist destinations of India. This place is adorned with beautiful waterfalls, unmatched natural beauty and snow-capped mountains that make it a paradise for tourists. There are numerous attractions that showcase its rich culture, history and heritage. Some popular ones include Pemayangtse Monastery, Borong Ralong Hot Spring and Ban Jhakri Falls. Travellers who want to explore this state can avail Sikkim Tour packages available on various travel portals. While visiting this region, tourists must explore myriad wildlife sanctuaries that boast of rich flora and fauna.

Biodiversity

Sikkim Protected Areas

Sikkim Protected Areas

Sikkim is a state that houses some of the must-visit national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. These places were established by the government in order to protect its rich biodiversity from hunters. Some of the famous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries include Khangchendzonga, Singba Rhododendron, Famlong Lho, Kyongnosla Alpine and Maenam.

Kanchendzonga National Park (KNP)

Set in the northern part of Sikkim, Kanchendzonga National Park is surrounded by mountains, glaciers and forests. It is the largest national park of the state and serves as a natural habitat to diverse animal and bird species. Travellers can spot the Clouded leopard, Himalayan black bear, Red panda, Blue sheep, Musk deer, Himalayan thar, Tibetan wolf, serow and Great Tibetan sheep. Owing to its hilly terrain as well as rich flora and fauna, this park is a favourite haunt among birdwatchers, adventure seekers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary

It is located in the famed Lachung Valley and has the picturesque Yumthang River traversing across its terrain. This place is known across the country for featuring a plethora of Rhododendron shrubs and trees. Sprawling across 43 sq km, this area is also rich in flora and other types of vegetations.

Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary

Situated at an elevation of 10,000 ft, Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is famous for offering a breathtaking view of mountainous surroundings. This region is rich in both flora and fauna that include Indian fox, Wild Boar, Himalayan Palm Civet and Red panda.

National Parks and Sanctuaries, Sikkim

National Parks and Sanctuaries, Sikkim

Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary

Spread across 3100 hectares, Kyngnosla Alpine Sanctuary has an abundance of Alpine flowers, such as Primulas and Poppies. It is covered with snow during winters and lies around the area near the Changu Lake. This area inhabits species like Musk deer, Himalayan black deer and Red panda. Some rare orchids and rhododendrons can also be spotted here.

Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary

It has an area of around 52 sq km, and features dense vegetation with plants like ferns, wild orchids and rhododendrons. This place inhabits a wide variety of butterflies and birds along with leopards, Red panda, Civet cats and Himalayan black bear.

International tourists opting for India holidays must include a visit to these nature reserves of Sikkim in their travel itineraries, without which their tour is incomplete.

Darjeeling Honeymoon Package to Experience Nature at its Best

Darjeeling is an enchanting hill station situated in the state of West Bengal. Located at 6982 ft above the sea level, this Queen of Hill Stations impresses visitors with its colourful culture, dances, Toy Train and the Darjeeling-Rangit Valley Ropeway. On a Darjeeling tour, travellers can also enjoy excursions to the famous nearby areas like Kurseong, Kalimpong, Pedong, Mirik, Sandakphu, Jorapokhri and Lepchajagat. The picturesque lush green forests, acres of tea gardens, scenic villages and snow-capped peaks here mesmerise the visitors in the very first sight. Besides, its diverse topography offers ideal conditions to enjoy a range of exciting activities like mountaineering, trekking, white water rafting, mountain biking and birding to name a few.

The place also offers a unique shopping experience for tourists. One can buy the famous trinkets, handloom, bamboo fretwork, woollen knitted garments, woven fabrics and blankets for their loved ones back home. The shops are also flooded with non-Indian items like Bhutan paintings, Bhutia chaddars and Nepali khukuris. Tourists can also look for the beautiful curios on copper plates that are engravings of different deity replicas on the stone-studded copper plates. Here, they can find wonderful Tankas that have paintings to depict the life of Lord Buddha.

Popular Attractions in the hill resort

Batasia Loop

Batasia Loop

Darjeeling has plenty of attractions like Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, Peace Pagoda, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Ghoom Monastery and Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre to keep the visitors engaged.

Peace Pagoda, Darjeeling

Peace Pagoda, Darjeeling

For those looking to enjoy panoramic sunrise view over Kanchenjunga or an unforgettable sight of Mount Everest, then visiting Tiger Hill can fulfil their dreams. Tourist can head to Batasia Loop to see the famous Toy Train, winding its way around this railway loop. The place also houses a war memorial that was built to commemorate the death of those soldiers who laid down their lives for the motherland. During their tour, travellers can see the Japanese Peace Pagoda built by Nichidatsu Fujii, a famous Buddhist monk from Japan. This 94 ft tall pagoda is situated on the Jalapahar Hill and it showcases four different incarnations of Buddha. There are other Peace Pagodas built by the Japanese. Another famous one in India is at Ladakh.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling

The place also houses the well-known Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, the oldest mountaineering institute of India offering various courses in this discipline. This institution is currently under the supervision of the Defence Ministry and it also houses a museum. Adjacent to the institute, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is home to a rich and diverse wildlife, inhabiting Snow Leopards, Siberian Tigers, Red Pandas and Himalayan Black Bears. The Ropeway or the Darjeeling-Rangit Valley Passenger Cable Car connects Darjeeling to Singla Bazaar. Then there is Ghoom Monastery, popular for preserving the rarest manuscripts of Buddhism and the place also has an idol of Maithreya Buddha installed. With plenty of things to see and do, Darjeeling Honeymoon Package can be an unforgettable experience for newly weds.

Explore Shooting Locations of Bollywood Films during Leh Ladakh Tour

Flanked by the Great Himalayas on the south and the Kunlun Mountains to the north, Ladakh is a picturesque region located in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The rock carvings that have been found here assert that the area has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age. Ladakh is often referred to as the Little Tibet, owing to its location on the eastern border of the namesake country and the influence of the Tibetan culture. Replete with rich history and adorned with a number of religious edifices, Leh Ladakh attracts tourists from near and far. For an unparalleled holiday experience, take a Leh Ladakh tour and gain an insight into different facets of this breathtaking destination.

Nestled in the lap of nature, this fascinating land features soaring snow-laden mountains, clear blue lakes, steep valleys and long stretches of cold desert. Apart from being a perfect getaway from hustle-bustle of cities, it is a paradise for adventure seekers. Situated at a high altitude, the place experiences cold weather year-round, which makes it an ideal summer retreat for holidaymakers. This place has a lot to offer to all kinds of travelers and is thus one of the most popular holiday destinations in India.

A Popular Destination for Filming Bollywood Movies

Besides globetrotters, the majestic mountains and bewitching beauty of this land allures film makers. Peppy music, dramatic scenes, appealing attire and beautiful locations are the highlights of Bollywood films. Apparently, the land of Leh Ladakh is one of the most favourite shooting locations in India for Hindi film directors. It is featured in numerous Bollywood films as a backdrop for different scenes and song sequences, the first one being a war film. Haqeeqat released in 1964 and since then, the place has been a perfect setting for many others.

Dil se, a 1998 movie starring Shah Rukh Khan and Manisha Koirala, also has multiple scenes shot in different parts of Ladakh. Parts of the song – Satrangi re – were filmed at the mud-brick citadel called Basgo Gompa and on the banks of Pangong Lake. The climax of 3 Idiots, starring Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi, was also shot along the banks of this crystal blue lake.

Furthermore, this place has made appeared in films of 2013, such as Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Many parts of Jab Tak Hai Jaan have been shot in Ladakh, including the one where Anushka Sharma dives into the cold waters of Pangong Lake and the climax scene when Shah Rukh Khan reunites with Katrina Kaif. This tough terrain has also been the setting for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, which is based on the life struggles of the namesake Indian athlete. The lead hero – Farhan Akhtar – is seen training in the Nubra Valley, which is an extremely challenging task owing to the lack of oxygen at its high altitudes.

A trip to this awe-inspiring destination gives visitors an opportunity to explore the paradisiacal beauty, which has been captured in various movie sequences. This has left an indelible mark on the minds of audiences, provoking them to behold these appealing movie locations from up-close. However, visitors do need to take certain precautions before visiting this place.

Watch a Tiatr Performance on a Goa Tour

Goa is a state where every person, be it a tourist or native, believes in celebration. With beach parties, nightclubs and colourful festivals, Goans have a lot of ways through which they can celebrate and have fun. Even the local folk arts believe in spreading the same message. Ironically, these art forms, especially the folk dances like Fugdi, Dhalo, Mando, Corridinho, and performing folk arts like Khell-Tiatro and Jagar-perani have almost been forgotten. However, there have been efforts to revive this cultural legacy by organising several events and performances all round the year. Tourists can get an opportunity to witness a live performance of these forms, if they opt from a selection of Goa Vacation Packages that are available online.

Among these forgotten jewels is Tiatr, which is an art form weaved around contemporary and topical themes.

Tiatr

What is distinct about this dramatic art form is its songs that are based on controversial and burning issues. These songs gently target the government by poking fun at it. Konkani tiatrists always try to expose follies of public authorities and ridicule them. Even though Tiatr relies on satire to a great extent, all its acts mostly offer clean and good fun avoiding any malice. Concerned with problems of society, the art form demonstrates a great deal of social awareness. The main theme of its shows is weaved around issues of alcoholism, drug addiction, difficulties of inter-caste marriage and fall in values.

Importance

Though this dramatic art has been traditionally preserved by the Christian community, the tiatrists come from different sections of the society. To develop and promote this genre, Tiatr Academy was constituted under the patronage of state government. It has been instrumental in conducting research in this field and providing necessary training to newly established institutions. To provide a platform to amateur performers, Tiatr festivals are hosted by Kala Academy, which brings in new ideas and innovations on the stage. With 36 such events organised till date, the Academy has a significant amount of contribution in popularizing this dramatic form.

This popular entertainment art caters to a family audience with its earthy dialogues. Besides putting up regular commercial shows, these acts commemorate every feast at churches and chapels present in the region. Its critics acknowledge this fact that the dramatic art form holds a historical importance as it helped in keeping alive the Konkani language when the Portuguese rulers tried to suppress it. Therefore, Tiatr played an important role in the struggle towards making it an official language of the region.

Structure

Analyzing the structure of its performances, it can be found that an appealing story line, attractive songs with soothing music as well as comedy linked with the play are the basis of all acts. During their trip to the state, tourists can watch a show put up by native artists for a unique experience. On their Goa tour, they can witness different types of acts in this dramatic form that includes social, religious, political and historical subjects.