Gods own Country
Kerala is known for its ecotourism initiatives and in this segment it promotes mountaineering, trekking and bird-watching programmes in the Western Ghats as the major products
The most popular tourist attractions in the state are beaches, backwaters and hill stations. Major beaches are at Kovalam, Varkala, Kappad, Muzhappilangad andBekal. Popular hill stations are at Munnar, Wayanad, Wagamon, Peermade, Nelliampathi and Ponmudi. Kerala’s ecotourism destinations include 12 wildlife sanctuaries and two national parks: Periyar Tiger Reserve, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, and Eravikulam National Park are the most popular among them. The “backwaters” are an extensive network of interlocking rivers (41 west-flowing rivers), lakes, and canals that center around Alleppey, Kumarakom, Kollam and Punnamada (where the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held in August). Padmanabhapuram Palace and the Mattancherry Palace are two notable heritage sites. According to a survey conducted among foreign tourists, Elephants, fireworks display and huge crowd are the major attractions of Thrissur Pooram. Nemmara Vela is also famous for the fireworks.
Bombay to Goa
Renowned for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture, Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year. It also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, which is classified as a biodiversity hotspot.
Goa has two World Heritage Sites: the Bom Jesus Basilica and churches and convents of Old Goa. The Basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, regarded by many Catholics as the patron saint of Goa (the patron of the Archdiocese of Goa is actually the Blessed Joseph Vaz). Goa also has the Sanctuary of Blessed Joseph Vaz in Sancoale, Pilar monastery which holds novenas ofVenerable Padre Agnelo Gustavo de Souza from November 10 to 20 November yearly. There is also a claimed Marian Apparition at the Church of Saints Simon and Jude at Batim Ganxim, near Pilar, where a number of Goans and non resident Goans visit. There is also the statue of the bleeding Jesus on the Crucifix at the Santa Monica Convent in Velha Goa. There are a number of churches (Igorzo), There are many forts in Goa such as Tiracol, Chapora, Corjuem, Aguada, Reis Magos, Nanus[disambiguation needed], Mormugao, Fort Gaspar Dias and Cabo de Rama
Agra the former capital of Hindustan, is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India.
The golden age of the city began with the Mughals. It was known then as Akbarabād and remained the capital of the Mughal Empire under the Emperors Akbar, Jahāngīr and Shāh Jahān. Shāh Jahān later shifted his capital to Shāhjahānabād in the year 1649.
Since Akbarabād was one of the most important cities in India under the Mughals, it witnessed a lot of building activity. Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of river Yamuna. The garden is called the Arām Bāgh or the Garden of Relaxation. His grandson Akbar raised the towering ramparts of the Great Red Fort, besides making Agra a center for learning, arts, commerce and religion. Akbar also built a new city on the outskirts of Akbarabād called Fatehpūr Sikrī. This city was built in the form of a Mughal military camp in stone.
The hill stations are high-altitude towns used, especially by European colonialists, as a place of refuge from the summer heat. The Indian subcontinent has seven principal mountain ranges and the largest of all is the Himalayas that lies in the northern part of India. Then there is Shivalik range that also lies within the same region has some famous hill stations that include Dalhousie, Kullu, Shimla, Nanital and many more.
Most of the hill stations in India were developed by the British, around a central mall, to get respite from the oppressive summer heat. Many have picturesque lakes as their focal point, making them excellent places for boating activities. One thing is for sure, you won’t be short of things to do at any of the hill stations in India. And to add to the adventure, it’s possible to take a toy train ride up to some of the hill stations. You’ll find hill stations all over India.
Land of Maharaja
Rajasthan known as “the land of kings”, is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It comprises most of the area of the large, inhospitable Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, which parallels the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with Pakistan to the west.
The Indus Valley Civilization, one of the world’s first and oldest, was in parts of what is now Rajasthan. Kalibangan, in Hanumangarh district, was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization
Rajasthan is famous for its forts, intricately carved temples, and decorated havelis, which were built by Rajput kings in pre-Muslim era Rajasthan.Rajasthan’s Jaipur Jantar Mantar, Dilwara Temples, Chittorgarh Fort, Lake Palace, miniature paintings in Bundi, and numerous city palaces and havelis are an important part of the architectural heritage of India. Jaipur, the Pink City, is noted for the ancient houses made of a type of sand stone dominated by a pink hue.Itinerary
Paradise on Earth
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state in India. In the seventeenth century the Mughal
emperorJahangir set his eyes on the valley of Kashmir. He said that if paradise is anywhere on
the earth, it is here, while living in a houseboat on Dal Lake.
Leh was the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh, now the Leh District in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India
Leh was an important stopover on trade routes along the Indus Valley between Tibet to the east, Kashmir to the west and also between India and China for centuries. The main goods carried were salt, grain, pashm or cashmere wool, charas or cannabis resin from the Tarim Basin, indigo, silk yarn and Banaras brocade.Itinerary
City of joy
Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly river, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India’s oldest operating port as well as its sole major riverine port.
Kolkata is known for its literary, artistic, and revolutionary heritage; as the former capital of India, it was the birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thought. Kolkata has been called the “City of Furious, Creative Energy” as well as the “cultural [or literary] capital of India”.
Varanasi is a city on the banks of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh. It is holiest of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism. Hindus believe that death at Varanasi brings salvation. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest in India . Many of its temples were plundered and destroyed by Mohammad Ghauri in the 12th century. The temples and religious institutions in the city now are of 18th century vintage.
Varanasi is the spiritual capital of India. Scholarly books have been written in the city, including the Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas. Today there is a temple of his namesake in the city, the Tulsi Manas Mandir.
Ghats are embankments made in steps of stone slabs along the river bank where pilgrims perform ritual ablutions. Ghats in Varanasi are an integral complimentary to the concept of divinity represented in physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements.Itinerary