The Challenging Routes of Leh-Ladakh

Ladakh is a beautiful region situated in Jammu and Kashmir that is surrounded by the majestic mountain ranges of Kunlun and the great Himalayas from the north and south, respectively. The ethnicity of this sparsely populated place mainly consists of the Tibetan natives and Indo-Aryan tribes. A strong Tibetan influence can be felt in the culture of this place, which is why it is also called Little Tibet. The scenic hilly environs, gleaming tarns and virgin valleys of this place have made it a well-known destination. Leh is the largest town in Ladakh and a significant administrative division. This place, which is among the prominent centres of Buddhism in South Asia, attracts several tourists round the year. There are a number of well-connected routes to reach Leh from major cities of the country. The available options to reach here include flights, buses and trains. However, there are some travelling enthusiasts who like to drive to this isolated location. Travelers returning home from here usually take either of the two prominent routes, which pass through Manali and Chandigarh.

 

Manali-Leh route

Manali-Leh route

Driving is considered one of the best ways to come back as it lets people behold the stunning landscapes that lie along the route. Starting from Leh, travellers can cross several small locations like Shey and Karu to reach Taglang La, which offers scenic views of the greenery along the Indus River and its tributaries.

Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Chandigarh-Delhi

Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Chandigarh-Delhi

From here, people can reach the high-altitude plains of Pang, where the nomadic Changpas and their livestock herds can be seen. A number of eating points are available at this place to let travellers have a delicious meal break. Medical help is offered for tourists at the nearby Army base. Few more hours of driving takes people to the Gata Loops, where the roads start to loop up for around 10 km. These loops are the reason behind the naming of this place as Gata Loops. This location offers a panoramic view to behold that is worth capturing in the camera. Sarchu can be reached within a driving distance of 40 minutes and is the end point of Ladakh as well as the starting point of Himachal Pradesh.

 

After entering personal particulars and travel permits at the check post, vacationers can proceed further. Blue Poppy Camp is the next stop on the route and is recommended for spending a relaxing night. People staying here are advised to stay inside the tented accommodation as walking out in the midnight can expose them to the howling winds around. Travelers can also drive straight to Jispa, which takes around 11 hours in all. The only issue with this alternative is that people may get late due to traffic snarls or roadblocks; hence, forcing them to drive in the dark. In that case, it is advisable to have a night sleep and start early in the morning so that Leh can be reached within daylight, even if there are short delays in the journey. Unseasonal snowfalls can be witnessed at Baralacha La, which is among the high mountain passes of the area. The roads are often blocked by ice walls or reduced to a single lane, thus becoming difficult to drive through.

 

Suraj Tal

Suraj Tal

A 3 km drive from Baralacha La takes travellers to Suraj Tal – the big and scenic lake, which remains fully or partially frozen during the summer season. Deepak Tal is another beautiful but small lake, on whose banks tourists can stop to have a meal, tea or snack break at the nearby Hozer’s shack. From here, Jispa is located at a driving distance of just an hour. The route from Leh to Jispa is quite rough and calls for careful driving as it offers long stretches of broken roads and dust tracks. Driving from Jispa to Manali is one of the most memorable experiences on the route as tourists get to see some lovely monasteries and natural vistas of the Rohtang Pass. This long drive of about 5 hours calls for an attentive journey as the route comprises some rough stretches and the weather conditions can change within a few hours. Some more hours of driving lead vacationers to the Delhi/Haryana border, which is just about 30 km away from the centre of Delhi.

How to Reach Kodaikanal and What to See

India is a land of diverse cultures and ancient heritage passed on from a legacy of several generations. Beautiful locations and scenic natural resources are its well-known features that attract hordes of travellers every year from across the globe. The southern region of India offers some magnificent destinations, which are replete with natural beauty and are a treat to the eyes. Tamil Nadu is one of such state in the Indian Peninsula. Surrounded by significant natural resources like Anamalai and Nilgiri hills, Eastern Ghats and Indian Ocean, Tamil Nadu comprises picturesque green cover, splendid hills and pleasing weather. Ooty, Yercaud, Yelagiri and Kodaikanal are some of the popular hill stations of this place, which attract thousands of travellers every year.

How to Reach

Kodaikanal is a small hill station located in the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. The beauty of this place has made it popular among tourists as Princess of Hill Stations. Reaching this location is not a hard task as the place is well-connected to all major neighbouring cities and towns. The nearest airport is Madurai, which is around 120 kilometres away. Other feasible options include Trichy Airport and Coimbatore Airport. Tourist, also consider taking a train journey till Kodai Road Railway Station, which is about 80 kilometres away from here or the Palani Railway Station, which is around 64 kilometres away. After deboarding at the railway station, visitors can hire a taxi to reach from Kodai Road to Kodaikanal.

Taking a bus is another alternative to reach this destination as regular services are provided from several major cities like Chennai, Pondicherry, Coimbatore and Madurai. Prior bookings of these services are advisable for easy and comfortable journey. Travellers, sometimes, prefer self-driven vehicles to reach the destination as this enables them to enjoy the scenic landscapes that pass through the route. Kodaikanal can be easily reached from Chennai, which is at a distance of about 440 kilometres, via road and from Bangalore, it is around 300 kilometres. From Madurai, the place is accessible within four hours, but driving to this location calls for proper precautions to be taken by travellers to cover this long route comfortably.

What to See

Kodaikanal Lake – a 24-hectare lake, commissioned in around 1863 by Sir Vere Henry Levinge, is considered the central point of this place. There is a boathouse is constructed at this location that was opened for tourists in around 1932. The eastern side of this lake houses Bryant Park, which is well-known for its spectacular collection of graft and hybrid flowers. Numerous fine varieties of beautiful flowers present in the glasshouse at this place are exported. In the month of May, each year, a flower show is organised at this place that receives a large number of spectators.

At a distance of around 4 kilometres of the lake lies the Solar Physical Observatory, which is at a height of about 2343 metres. This observatory, which was founded in late 1980s, is visited by hundreds of people for observation of planets and stars. A prior appointment and knowledge of visiting hours will let travellers have a pleasing trip to this attraction.

Coakers Walk is a hill-edged pathway that runs on the southern side of Kodai, along a steep slope. Some of the best views of the plains are available from this place. This hill station also features a religious site known as Kurinji Andavar Temple, located at distance of about 3 kilometres. Dedicated to Lord Muruga, this shrine is associated with the popular kurinji flowers, which bloom only once in every 12 years. The main deity – Lord Muruga is revered as God of the Hill and hence, the temple is named as Kurinji Andavar – meaning Hill God.

Visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the nearby amazing valleys and towns through chargeable telescopes at the Telescope House situated at Coakers Walk. Green valley View is positioned near to the golf club and provides splendid views of the Vaigai Dam below. The Pillar Rocks, located at some distance from the Kodaikanal Lake, consisting a set of three rocks, standing tall at a height of around 122 metres.

On a tour to this picturesque destination, making a trip all these places is a must for a holiday like never before.

Searching Divinity in the Desert Land of Rajasthan

Rajasthan, one of the picturesque and enigmatic destinations of India, is visited by thousands of tourists from within the country and beyond, each year. Sometimes referred to as the Land of Royals owing to it being ruled by Rajput rulers in the past, this place boasts of grand palaces, majestic forts, serene man-made lakes and bustling traditional markets. Another facet of it that draws hordes of international tourists is its vibrant festivals and fairs, such as Puskar Fair, Bikaner Camel Festival, Desert Festival, Gangaur Festival and Elephant Festival. Such is the celebrations during these events that each year, the number of people attending it increase manifold.

Divine Desert Land

This destination also finds its name in the list of places in India that boast of numerous religious sites. These holy shrines receive a huge influx of tourists and devotees all through the year. During important Hindu festivals, most temples in the region buzz with chants of the priests and people indulge in worshipping singing melodic hymns. The prominent sacred sites of this destination include temples of Lord Brahma, Goddess Karni Mata, Sri Ramdevji, Rishabhdevji, Lord Mahavir and Govind Devji. Temples that are famously known for their architecture include Dilwara Jain, Ossian and Birla Mandir. Another important holy site, which attracts devotees from far and near, is Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti.

Dilwara Temples

Located in the only hill station of the state of Rajasthan – Mount Abu, these temples were constructed between 11th and 13th centuries. Devoted to Jain Thirthankars (saints), these shrines depict the mastery of Jain architecture. The carved decorations on pillars, doorways, ceilings and panels are mesmerising and so is the depiction of the life of Lord Krishna on the walls. A point to remember while visiting this shrine is that photography is strictly prohibited over here. The ideal time to visit this place is from February and June, and September to December

Govind Devji Temple

Built in the 18th century and dedicated to Lord Krishna, this shrine is situated in the Pink City of Jaipur. Located inside the famous City Palace, it has a delightful amalgamation of Indian and European architecture. The idol that lies in the main sanctum was brought from Vrindavan. The best time to come to this holy place is during the festivities of Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna.

Birla Mandir

Constructed in the year 1988, Birla Mandir is devoted to Lord Laxmi Narayan. It is positioned at the foot of the Moti Doongri Fort and houses the idol of Lord Laxmi Narayana and his companion, Goddess Laxmi. The highlight of this temple is its inner halls and outer walls that display great images of revered deities from different religion. October to March is considered to be the ideal time to come to this place.

Brahma Temple

Dedicated to Lord Brahma, who is considered to be the creator of the universe in Hindu mythology, this holy site is situated in the sacred town of Pushkar. There are many beliefs and folklores about this temple that makes it one of the most important pilgrimages for Hindus in India. This 14th century, white marble structure lies beyond Anasagar Lake. The perfect time to visit this place is in the months of October-November, when the whole town can be seen involved in the Puskar Fair.

Karni Mata Temple

Situated in Bikaner, this shrine is devoted to Karni Mata, who is a manifestation of Goddess Durga. Constructed in the early part of the 20th century, it is made entirely of marble. Its architecture is simply splendid, featuring gold and silver domes, and an intricately-carved entrance gate. A unique aspect of this holy site is that in the premises, hundreds of rats can be seen that are respected by devotees. The winter months are the ideal time to visit this revered shrine.

 

Ajmer Sharif

Ajmer Sharif, also known as Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, is a holy pilgrimage for people who follow Islam. Dedicated to Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, who was a revered saint, this mosque receives devotees from across the globe every year. This structure is a fine example of the famous Mughal architecture. The best period to pay a visit to this place is from November to March, especially during the annual anniversary of the saint.

Popular Beach Destinations of Port Blair

One of the largest cities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair is termed as the Veritable Garden of Eden by the state tourism department. It is the capital city of the aforementioned union territory, which lies at the meeting point of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. It is home to people migrating from different towns and cities of India, as a result of which it consists of several ethnic groups, religions and faiths. This city houses certain sites and structures, which are known for their historical significance. People who like to visit these exotic destinations avail Port Blair packages to have a delightful travelling experience. Being situated on an island, the city features some mesmeric beaches, which are known for their picturesque charm.

 

Corbyn Cove Beach

 

Hordes of leisure travellers, spectacular environs and thick green coconut palms characterise the Corbyn Cove Beach of Port Blair. It is one of the busiest and favoured destinations in the vicinity as it is hardly 8 km away from the centre of the city. Travellers can enjoy driving to the place as they get to see splendid views of the Marina Park and the gleaming blue sea, which runs along the whole route. The place is dotted with several recreational options like water sports and local eating outlets. People coming here like to take an adventure ride in a jet ski or motor scooter.

 

A sea-facing dining venue here offers refreshing drinks and snacks while visitors can sit and relax on the blue bench lining, which provides a perfect view of the vistas around. Delicious South Indian cuisine can be savoured at certain nearby resorts. Other services at the location include hygienic and spacious changing rooms and bathrooms for the convenience of visitors. Apart from leisure and relaxing, visitors with a penchant for wildlife can take a visit to the place called the Snake Island by availing a motor boat. This place is home to several poisonous serpents. A souvenir shop is present on the beach, from where people can buy fancy items to take back as memorabilia. These souvenirs can be purchased at lower prices than the city.

 

Water sports and other related activities are facilitated here with proper arrangements and informatory guides to enable visitors have a wonderful and safe experience. The gleaming water of the beach is enough to rejuvenate the senses and fill them up with enthusiasm. It is easily reachable through well-connected routes, and the Port Blair Airport is roughly at a distance of 15 km from here.

 

Travellers on a long trip can easily find comfortable accommodation options near the beach. There are a large number of luxurious private and government resorts and guest houses in the city to choose from. People come here to spend a rejuvenating and delightful vacation away from the hectic and monotonous daily life, and take back great memories of the place to share with their near and dears. For this purpose, they look for family tour packages to enjoy such spectacular destinations with their loved ones.

Birla Mandir of Hyderabad– A Blend of Beauty and Serenity

Hyderabad is a big and prominent city located in the south-eastern coastal part of India. The place is an important location from a historical point of view as it has witnessed reigns of many legendary and famous rulers. From the great Mughals to the Nizams of Hyderabad, this city has been a remarkable administrative centre for many rulers. Replete with many remarkable monuments, lush gardens and gleaming lakes, this city offers enticing choices to visit and explore its richly old culture. Hyderabad tours are a popular choice among globetrotters to India. Some magnificent religious structures can be found in the region, which add to its grandeur.

 

Birla Mandir

Birla Mandir

Birla Mandir

 

Among the famous temples of Hyderabad, Birla Mandir is a remarkable one situated at the southern end of Hussain Sagar Lake. It is nestled in the lap of Kala Pahad, which is a small hill at Naubat Pahad. The pilgrimage is made of white marbles brought from Rajasthan, providing it with splendid architectural beauty. Famous industrialists of the country, the Birlas commissioned the construction of this edifice in 1970s. Each day, the whole temple environ gets echoed with the holy chants for Lord Venkateshwara to whom the temple is dedicated. Devotees get joyful with melodious sounds of singing birds, and the soulful kirtanas of Annamayya, Ramadas and Tyagaraja.

 

Architecture and Surroundings

 

The architectural style of this shrine is inspired by typical Orissan architecture and blend of other South Indian temples. These forms have been applied in the tower, built over the main figure of Lord Venkateshwara, called Jagadananda Vimanam and the towers over other shrines of consorts, respectively. The splendid structure of Rajagopuram is the first thing that visitors come across in the premises. Marbles are beautifully carved to depict the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The inner part of the shrine features a structure resembling Venkateswara Temple of Tirupati. A brass flagstaff is perched on top of the temple, at a height of 42 feet. The tall image of the presiding deity is made of granite, featuring a curved lotus-like structure that forms a shed over it.

 

There are many other exquisite carvings in the adjoining shrine of Mukha Mandapam, which displays various popular scenes from Indian mythology. Many other spectacular and charming statues and images can be found in this pilgrimage, which is flooded with devotees and travelers from far off places. Visit this popular shrine with your dear ones for a memorable tour. The environs of this place is replete with scenic landscapes and many other important attractions to make for an enchanting visit. The view of this temple with a backdrop of a lovely sunset is a delight to watch.

 

Separate sacred areas are dedicated to the consorts of Padmavati, Venkateshwara and Andal. The complex also features a shrine dedicated to Buddha decorated with fresco paintings detailing his life and doings. Illuminated view of the religious site at the night is splendid to watch. People can visit the site throughout the week from morning to evening. Visitors availing travel packages India are advised to visit this charming place, without which, the trip to Hyderabad remains incomplete.

A Tour to The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple In Rishikesh

Rishikesh is an important city of Uttarakhand and is known for its cultural and traditional significance. Surrounded by many other prominent religious sites, this place is situated at the foothills of the great Himalayas. It is home to several revered shrines like Sivananda Ashram and Swargashram, which have a unique historical aura about them. Visitors flock from faraway places to take part in the Ganga Aarti, which is performed in the evening at the popular Triveni Ghat over here. Lush green cover and mountainous environs make this place a famous tourist destination. Rishikesh packages are availed by a large number of travellers and devotees, who wish to visit the tranquil locations of the city.

 

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

 

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Among these religious places, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a prominent one, which receives thousands of visitors and devotees each year. Located on a hilly area over Swargashram, this site offers splendid views of the hills. It lies in the vicinity to the Nar-Narayan ranges and is considered a revered shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. This place is a natural heaven for people who come here for the purpose of sightseeing as it is situated amidst three beautiful valleys and at the meeting point of rivers, Pankaja and Madhumati. Located at a high altitude, this shrine welcomes a large number of visitors round the year.

 

Even the route going towards the temple is delightful as people get to behold steep roads leading to the hills, flowing rivers by one side and mountainous terrain on the other. These streets are quite narrow and proper knowledge coupled with careful driving is required while passing these areas. People, who are not habitual of driving on high altitudes, must park their vehicles at taxi stand of Ram Jhula and hire a cab for the rest of the journey. The temple is at a feasible driving distance from there and people can also walk to reach here. Despite the minor difficulties, the whole journey is quite enjoyable.

History and Architecture

A spiritual aura can be found within and around this pilgrimage, which provides visitors with engrossing mythological stories and legendary folklore. There is an interesting old story behind construction and development of the location. According to the Puranas, it is the place where Lord Shiva drank the poison, which was obtained after Samudra Manthan. The poison was so toxic that it turned his throat into blue colour. Thus, the shrine has derived its name from Lord Shiva, who was popularly named as Neelkanth, which means blue throat.

The scene of Samudra Manthan is depicted on the top of the temple in an explicit manner. The exteriors of the complex are brightly colored and ignoring them is just not possible. The interiors are equally amazing with a huge statue of Goddess Parvati, positioned at the entrance. The arena around the sacred lingam is made of shining marbles and intricately done statues of Dwarpals or the guards. The complex around the place also features a Peepal tree, on which devotees tie threads for their wish fulfillment. On a Rishikesh tour,a visit to this and other sacred shrines of the city are a must.

 

Exploring the Ethnicity of Shillong at DBCIC

Shillong is the beautiful capital city of Meghalaya, which is counted amongst the smallest states in India. Although small, this place houses several scenic locations, including a significant number of waterfalls. The natural splendor of the city has made it famous as Scotland of the East. Remnants of British architecture are still visible in its old-styled houses, which feature slanting roofs, wooden floors and numerous windows. Sprawling pine covers, vast hilly areas, mesmerizing greenery and gleaming water bodies make this place an ultimate tourist destination. Travelers who come to visit this lovely place look for a suitable and full-fledged Shillong tour package, which provides convenience in exploring it.

 

Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures

 

Don Bosco Centre of International Culture

Don Bosco Centre of International Culture

Apart from places of natural beauty, this region has many esteemed cultural institutions, where people can learn about the regional lifestyle and its significance. One such prominent place is the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures, which is shortened as DBCIC. It is a special endeavor aimed at creating facilities for the improvement and promotion of indigenous cultures of this hilly land. This organization has exhibitions of traditional arte-facts, which are orderly arranged on its different floors and galleries. Beautiful paintings are used to display various cultural aspects of the north-eastern regions. It also provides an option of conducting studies and researches on different cultural themes.

 

The complex features a large library with specialized volumes of informatory books on various subjects. Publication and circulation of newsletters and other related material are widely done by this organization, which regularly holds seminars and workshops for promotional activities. A host of facilities can be found in the building that make the visitors comfortable. Besides, lift, parking, washrooms, touch-screen tabs, computer area for students and air-conditioned media hall are also available. During informal visits, people can also take a short walk and enjoy the impressive displays in the art gallery.

 

A number of products are exhibited in various galleries, such as the language gallery and agriculture gallery, in order to provide information and awareness. Costumes and ornaments of the North East are showcased and promoted in the gallery dedicated to this aspect of the region, whereas musical traditions and instruments are displayed in the musical instruments gallery. The institution has been gaining so much prominence in past few years that it has received significant personalities as its visitors, who are planning to expand its reach.

 

The state government of Meghalaya is planning to come up with more such institutions to provide information about various unexplored aspects of these culturally rich destinations. These institutions are going to increase its worth and popularity among tourists all over the world. Shillong offers many other recreational options to amuse its visitors, including explorations trips, on which travelers can visit the enchanting caves of the area. This beautiful city houses many market areas, where people can shop for intricate local artefacts or can simply take a relaxing stroll along their narrow streets, which are surrounded by beautiful vistas. Globetrotters planning to explore a picturesque destination with cultural richness are always in search of tour packages India to such destinations for a memorable holiday experience.