Category: Within India

Travel within India

Discover the Golden Triangle of India

‘Golden Triangle’ consists of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur as the tourist destinations in India.

Golden triangle of India in the map of India
Golden triangle of India in the map of India

International Travellers begin their journey from Delhi by arriving at the main airport, Indira Gandhi International Airport, a state-of-the-art airport.

Inside Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi international airport
Inside Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi international airport

Delhi– Lal Qila or Red fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is made of red sandstone in the 17th century by Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. The fort held a strategic place of power in the Mughal era.

  • India Gate-It is an important landmark in the Indian capital. Sir Edwin Lutyens designed it in 1931 during the British rule. British soldiers who fought in World War were commemorated here. After independence, the Indian government has redesignated the monument for ‘Unknown Soldier of the Indian Army’ in memory of Indian soldiers who have lost their lives in wars.
India Gate in Delhi
India Gate in Delhi
  • Qutub MinarIt is the tallest brick minaret on earth at 234 feet high from ground level. It was built to celebrate Muhammad Ghori’s victory over Rajputs. It is made of sandstone and has inscriptions of verses from the Holy Quran. The complex comprises of a large area with many ancient and medieval structures that lie in ruins.
  • Qutab Minar
    Qutab Minar
  • Mughal Gardens in Delhi It covers over 13 acres of land and is a renowned garden in Delhi. It is a fusion of British Garden concept and Mughal style. The gardens consist of Mughal style fountains, terraces and canals. Beautiful flowers like Bougainvillea, roses, sweet William, Marigold, viscaria and many more can be found here.
  • Mughal gardens in Delhi
    Mughal gardens in Delhi
  • Rail Museum of Delhi Situated in Chanakyapuri is a popular haunt for rail fans. Here you can see old train engines and coaches. The first train with a steam engine that covered Bombay to Thane in 1853 is the pride of this Rail Museum in Delhi. A miniature rail track ride is an attraction for tourists with kids in the museum.
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  • AgraSituated in the eastern point of the renowned tourist destinations called Golden Triangle that includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Agra has one of the Wonders of the World and UNESCO World Heritage site, Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal is not only beautiful from outside but also charming from the inside. Flowers in marble can be seen decorated on its walls. Stone work is par excellence and speaks volumes about the skilled workers of the era.

    Taj Mahal
    Taj Mahal
    • Fatehpur Sikri It was constructed by Akbar to celebrate the victory over a Rajput Emperor.
    Fatehpur Sikri (https://www.flickr.com/photos/hectorgarcia/322050866)
    Fatehpur Sikri
  • Jama MasjidIt is constructed in the complex of Fatehpur Sikri and the entry is through Buland Darwaja.
  • Anup TalaoIt is a red sandstone water pool with a platform that has a raised seat in the middle.
  •  Jaipur– the capital city  of Rajasthan is popular among the tourists. The city is bounded by beautiful hills and mountains. The pink-painted and beautiful architecture gives the city its name- ‘Pink City’. Architectural tours, palaces, fabulous food and gardens allow the tourist to immerse in the local culture. Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Amber Fort and Jantar Mantar are worth checking out.

    Pink city jaipur , rajasthan

    So, go ahead and discover Golden Triangle of India today!

    Golden Triangle Tour

    Monsoon Getaway

    With the onset of monsoon, we planned a trip to the hill station. We decided to go to Lonavla in Maharashtra. The lush green hill station springs to life during the Monsoon season. Lonavla is blessed with waterfalls, lakes and greenery.

    By Road

    Lonavla is set on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is well-connected to several towns in Maharashtra such as Karjat, Dabhade and Khopoli.

    IMG_8769
    Copyright image – 8769 (please do not use without permission)

     By Rail 

    Lonavla is well-connected by train as well. Local trains from Pune stop over at Lonavla and trains plying between Mumbai and Pune also stop at Lonavala. The nearest railway station is the Karjat Railway station.

    Lonavla is a perpetual favourite for those travelling from Mumbai to Pune or vice versa. This hill station is an ideal weekend getaway and is not too far from two big cities-Mumbai and Pune. Nestled in the Western Ghats, Lonavala is situated at a height of 625 metres above sea level and promises a truly unique, hill-station experience.

    IMG_8768
    Copyright image

    Once in Lonavla, you have these picturesque sites. If you are the adventurous kind you can go trekking in these waterfalls.

     ‘Lonavla’ derived its name from ‘Len’ and ‘Avali’ that roughly translates to ‘the resting place of stones’.  It is said that the Mughals used this beautiful hill-station as a strategic location against their rivals. In 1871, Lonavla and Khandala, another hill station were discovered by Lord Elphinstone.

    IMG_8790
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    Little friend in Lonavla eating corn

    IMG_8785
    Copyright image (8785)

    Our little friends on the side of the hill.

    We also went to the Bushi dam which overflows in the monsoon. This hill station is also well-known for its production of hard candy (chikkis).

    Assorted chikkis
    Assorted chikkis

    We had these wonderful chikkis on our way back.

    Chocolate fudge
    Chocolate fudge

    Walnut chocolate fudge is simply amazing.

    While returning home in the rains, we also sang this lovely song.

    All, in all it was wonderful monsoon getaway.

    */Copyright images. Please do not use without permission.*/

    3 Offbeat sites in South India

    India is a country with many destinations worth exploring for a holiday. I shall focus on 3 offbeat sites in South India. Here is an insight into the unexplored, offbeat sites of Kodaikanal, Coorg and Yelagiri.

    Kodaikanal is situated in the hills of taluk division of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is also known as the ‘Princess of Hill stations’. The climate is pleasant and the best time is April to June and from September to October.

    Berijam Lake (Img. courtesy-commons wikimedia.org)
    Berijam Lake
    (Img. courtesy-commons wikimedia.org)

    • Berijam Lake– the most beautiful lake in South India is 21 km from Kodaikanal. The lake has pure water and is the main resource of water for Periyakulam, that is located in the valley below Kodaikanal. Pine forest surrounds this lake where ‘magic mushrooms’ can be found in abundance. It is an excellent trekking route, but one has to be careful as there are wild animals like bison and leopard.

    Kodai Lake (wikipedia.org)
    Kodai Lake
    (wikipedia.org)

    • Kodai Lake The lake is beautiful and contributes to the picturesque hill station of Kodaikanal. It is in a shape of a star and has been artificially constructed over an area of 60 acres.
    There are other places worth visiting here like Bryant Park, Kurinji Temple, Flora and Fauna Museum, SilverCascade Falls and Subrahmanya Temple.

    Coorg– Located in the state of Karnataka, is a charming place with its range of hills, coffee plantations, and sweet oranges. Coorg has a lot to offer an adventure tourist with its high hills and valleys for amazing trekking experience. Coorg can be approached from 3 states of India; Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Beautiful coffee plantations can be seen here.

    Coffee plantation in Ammathi, Coorg (pixabay.com)
    Coffee plantation in Ammathi, Coorg
    (pixabay.com)

    Jungles of Coorg: Poisonous snakes can be spotted in the jungles of Coorg. Green snake and a viper resting on the leaves is an awesome experience. You can also find cardamom plantations. The atmosphere is peaceful.
    Dubare Elephant camp: You can take an elephant ride in Dubare. Dubare elephant camp lets you explore them closer and watch elephants.
    One could stay in Kodagu valley which is a secluded place away from the commotion of Madikeri town. A stay in Coorg or Kodagu valley is different in many ways; weather, the people, the greenery, the smell of spices….

    Coorg-Kodagu (indianjaunt.com)
    Coorg-Kodagu
    (indianjaunt.com)

    Yelagiri it is situated in the state of Tamil Nadu near the leather town Vaniambadi, Jolarpettai Railway station around 20 kms and from Tiruppattur around 27 kms. Yelagiri is not a renowned tourist destination in South India Holiday packages like Ooty, Munnar etc. but is worth exploring. The tall hill is visible from other hills in the surroundings as you cross Vaniambadi. Yelagiri Hill is located at a height of 1050 meters above sea level. Some renowned spots for sight-seeing at Yelagiri Hills are

    Yelagiri Lake (commons.wikimedia.org)
    Yelagiri Lake
    (commons.wikimedia.org)

    Punganur Lake span across 57000 square meters is an ideal place for boat riding.

    Nature Park (commons.wikimedia.org)
    Nature Park
    (commons.wikimedia.org)

    Nature Park has plenty of trees, walkways, beautiful lighted fountains, flower gardens and a fish aquarium.

    Yelagiri Hills Adventure Camp, amazing bird nest
    Yelagiri Hills Adventure Camp, amazing bird nest

    Trekking at Yelagiri Hills: trekking assistance is given by Tourist Information center at Yelagiri. Some of the  trekking options worth checking out are – information center to Sunset Point 2km, Puthur to Perumadu Waterfalls -3km, Nilavur to Jalagamparai-6km. A visit to Yelagiri is quite enjoyable and refreshing.

    So, go ahead and check out these offbeat destinations and have a wonderful time!

    God’s Own country indeed!

    Any guesses which state in India I am referring to? It is the land of coconuts, backwaters, elephants and the land of opulent cultures and traditions. It is one of the renowned places for tourists from across the globe who love the marvelous beaches along the Malabar Coast to the labyrinth of backwater canals traversing rice fields to the magnificent hillside tea plantations in the Western Ghats. It is called ‘Gods Own Country’.

    Kerala (Image courtesy-waytoindia.com)
    Kerala (Image courtesy-waytoindia.com)

    Whether it is the awesome seashores to the backwater pathways in Alleppey and Kumarakom or fabulous tea gardens in Munnar, Kerala offers some of the best destinations for a family vacation, holiday or honeymoon.

    Kochi situated in Ernakulam district, which is in central Kerala is an important seaport in India. Kochi is the starting point of any tour package in Kerala. Some of the places of attractions here are the Jewish synagogue, Cherai Beach, Fort Kochi and Mattancherry Palace. Around 1568, a beautiful structure was built in Jew Town which is the Jewish synagogue. The synagogue has been decorated with splendid Chinese tiles and remarkable Belgian chandeliers.

    Jewish synagogue
    Jewish synagogue (Image courtesy-www.trawell.in)

    Fort Cochin, a historic place has some beautiful imitations of the foreign heritage. Kochi has an interesting history behind it, becoming one of the best natural harbours in the world. Around 1341, a major flood created an estuary at Kochi until then it was a landlocked region. The Portuguese were the first European settlers in the 15th Century when it became a port for seafarers. Mattancherry place is an old Portuguese architecture with the influence of the Orient. It has unique historical and architectural perspective.

    Munnar– You can hire a cab and reach Munnar which is a 3-hour journey from Cochin. Kerala’s most beautiful hill station has an alluring terrain. It has splendid views of mountain slopes covered with green tea farms, low-flying clouds, and misty valleys. Munnar has a cold and soothing climate with organic tea farms.

    Munnar (Image courtesy-www.keralaholidays.com)
    Munnar (Image courtesy-www.keralaholidays.com)

    If you’re an adventure tourist then you can go hiking and see dazzling waterfalls. Places of attractions are Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary, Tata Tea Museum, and Idukki Arch Dam.

    Idukki Dam
    Idukki Dam
    • Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary– This sanctuary is among the 12 Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Protected areas of Kerala. On the southern side, it is covered by the Eravikulam National Park and on its north is Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. You can also check out the widespread sandalwood forest close to this sanctuary. The sanctuary has over 1000 species of flowering plants and over 225 bird species. Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India can also be found here, which is an endangered species. Mammals, like the elephant, tiger, leopard, sambar, spotted dear, etc. can be spotted here.

    (commons.wikimedia.org).
    Grizzled Giant Squirrel from Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary Kerala India(commons.wikimedia.org).

    It is an ideal haunt for trekkers with deciduous forests and grasslands; river trekking, cultural site trekking, nature trail, Thoovanam falls trek, trekking and camping at Vasayappara organized by the Forest department, which is part of the eco-tourism activities of the sanctuary.

    • Tata Tea museum– A museum for tea opened by Tata tea is dedicated to the legacy of the origins and evolution of tea plantations. It houses curios, photographs and machines which depict the growth and origin of tea plantations in Munnar. Here, you get to sample different kind of teas from mild, average and strong.

    Tea Museum at Munnar (Image courtesy- commons.wikimedia.org)
    Tea Museum at Munnar
    (Image courtesy- commons.wikimedia.org)

    Food A variety of Fish curry/seafood is a specialty in Kerala.

    Fish Curry-Kottayam style (mnlive.com)
    Fish Curry-Kottayam style
    (mnlive.com)

    Other places are worth visiting:

    Alappuzha You can hire a Houseboat here and enjoy and relax in the backwaters.

    Ayurveda Center- Kerala is renowned for Ayurveda treatment. The center is surrounded by many plants and trees. It has experienced professional doctors. You will enjoy the Ayurveda treatments.

    Ayurveda center in Alappuzha
    Ayurveda center in Alappuzha

    WayanadIf you love nature then this has scenic forest area. A drive to Wayanad is through the Bandipur Forest, which is quite a sight. Wayanad flourishes with scenic beauties of nature and one can smell the flavor of pepper floating through certain areas.

    Wayanad Bamboo Road
    Wayanad Bamboo Road

    Truly, Kerala is God’s Own Country!

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