Yelagiri – lesser known hill resort in Tamilnadu

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A lesser known hill station in Tamil Nadu, Yelagiri is a congregation of 14 villages or hamlets covering an area of 29 square kilometers. Since it is comparatively smaller and has fewer visitors compared to Ooty or Kodaikanal, the most amazing point about Yelagiri is the noiseless life there. The entire surroundings are so quiet that one would want to stay back and enjoy the proximity of nature. Yelagiri offers the joy having no business calls, no cell phone messages, no shouting from the boss and no pressure or deadlines to meet. It’s a pure relaxation spot where the only sound that one can hear is of the birds chirping.

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Magnificent view of the Yelagiri Lake amidst Yelagiri Hills

About Yelagiri

Yelagiri in Tamil Nadu is not as developed or as popular as other hill stations like Ooty or Kodaikanal, but recent initiatives by the Tamilnadu government and locals has given it a permanent place in the tourism map of the state. The hill station is surrounded by orchards, rose gardens, and green valleys. The climate here being moderate all-round the year though the best time to visit the place is between November and February.

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Numerous hairpin bends on way to Yelagiri

The entire area of Yelagiri used to belong to the Yelagiri Zamindar family and it was taken over by the Government of India in the early 1950’s. The Zamindar’s place of residence still exists in a village called Reddiyur. It is said that the hills were first inhabited about 400 years back by the soldiers from Tipu Sultan’s army. They settled down and became cultivators.

Local government bodies are putting in efforts to promote adventure sports like trekking, rock climbing, para gliding and many more at this little hamlet town of Tamilnadu.

Yelagiri had been awarded the second best natural spot in India for Paragliding next to Panchgani in Maharashtra. A Paragliding festival is organized every year where both both Indians and foreigners participate.

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Paragliding – a major attraction of Yelagiri

Where is Yelagiri

Yelagiri is about 3460 feet above sea level and is a hill station located in the Vellore district amidst the towns of Jolarpettai and Vaniyambadi in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is situated between four mountains. To reach the Yelagiri hill top one has to drive on the Ghat road that has 14 hairpin bends. One would enjoy the awesome panoramic views of the hills and its surroundings watching the slopes of the mountains and the green forests that are all over the hills.

Yelagiri Sightseeing

Spending a weekend would be ideal to have great fun and excitement at the Yelagiri hills. Here is an account of some of the best known sightseeing spots of Yelagiri that one must not miss.

Punganoor Lake

This centrally located artificial lake is the most popular tourist attraction of Yelagiri. One can cruise across the lake enjoying the surrounding hills in the pedal or manned rowing boats. A garden and children’s park surrounds the lake and adds to the charming beauty. There is an entrance ticket to be purchased to enter. Picnicking is not allowed inside the park.

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Awesome view of the Punganoor lake at Yelagiri

Jalagamparai Waterfalls

The whispering Attaru River flows through the hills and plunge down to form highly captivating waterfalls. It is about 5 kms walk from the Yelagiri and takes about an hour by walk. It would be an ideal place for a day long trek but because of lack of amenities it is better to be stocked well with water and food. It is important to note that the waterfalls depend on the river being full which in turn depends on heavy rainfall. Since there is no particular monsoon season, the hills are most of the time dry unless it rains there.

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View of the gushing waters at the Jalagamparai waterfall in Yelagiri

Swamimalai

Swamimalai the highest peak in the hills at 4338 feet is a perfect place to trek to. This one hour trek is a major highlighting point of Yelagiri tour. It is in a cake’s shape and one can have magnificient views of the countryside. It is advisable to carry water and snacks while trekking. One can view the entire hill from a small peak.

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Nature at its very best on way to Swamimalai

Kodai Vizha Thidal

The park spread across 6 acre land is one of the main attractions and maintained very well near Kodai Vizha Thidal. A boating lake park is located nearby and has a variety of children’s playing facilities. It has a small zoo too. The place is being upgraded to a Nature Park in a 10 acre campus that would be having an artificial falls, aquarium, musical fountain in the evenings and landscaping. Must see shows at 7.00 PM and 8.00 PM.

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Park at Kodai Vizha Tidal in Yelagiri

Nilavoor Village

A tribal village about 3 kms away from the hills where a well maintained garden and lake are situated. One can go on a boat ride on the lake. On full moon day, the people here enjoy Kummy Dance, Nila Pattu. There is a Temple of Kadhava Nachiyamman Goddess (the traditional Goddess of the tribals).

Kavalur Observatory

The second biggest observatory in Asia is situated in Kalavur about 25 kms from Yelagiri. It is a restricted area and one has to have permission to visit. The Vainu Bappu Observatory at Kavalur is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by Indian Institute of Astrophysics.

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Students being briefed inside the Vaini Vapu Observatory at Yelagiri

How to reach Yelagiri

By Air

The nearest airport is the Bangalore International Airport. It is about 145 kms away from the hill station.

By Train

Jolarpettai railway station is the nearest train connection to Yelagiri and is about 21kms away. There are taxis available at the station to reach Yelagiri.

By Road

Yelagiri is well connected with different cities by road. Bangalore is about 156 kms away while Chennai is 218 kms. Driving and taking a train is advisable as bus journeys could cut through major parts of the day time.

Where to Stay at Yelagiri

Still being in a developing state, the services at the hotels leaves a lot to be desired. Here is an account of some of the best of Yelagiri hotels.

Peter’s Park

With fifteen individually owned cottages, Peter’s Park is undoubtedly an ideal place to be in during your Yelagiri vacation. With all the modern amenities that suit a discerning traveler, this star level property has uniquely blended natural beauty with modern-day comfort.

For all the more details, on Peter’s Park, just click HERE. You can also call the Peter’s Park reception at: +91-9629957711, +91-9442357711 and +91-9443811922.

Hotel Kumararraja Palace

One of the best rated hotels of Yelagiri is the Kumararraja Palace. With 56 well-crafted rooms, swimming pool, banquet hall, Wi-Fi connectivity and many more, Kumararaja Palace is a place to be in for the most memorable weekend ever.

To know more about this Yelagiri hotel, just click HERE. You can also give a call at: Tel: 44 4316 8555, +91 98410 55422.

Hotel Aruvi

This is a comparatively new hotel at Yelagiri where you can enjoy a descent stay at a budget price.

To know more about this Yelagiri hotel, just click HERE. You can also give a call at: +91-9626192474, +91-9486939746.

Hotel Nigress

With a wide variety of room types ranging from heritage cottages, rooms with sit-outs and those with panoramic views of Yelagiri, hotel Nigresss meet every traveler’s taste. Exquisite interiors, impeccable service and fine cuisine combines to make hotel Nigress as one of the most graceful, modern and elegant hotels in Yelagiri.

To know more about this Yelagiri hotel, just click HERE. You can also give a call at: 04179-245264, +91-59416400, +91-8098761407, +91-9786667968.

Mahabaleshwar – exotic hill station of Maharashtra

Mahabaleshwar – once the summer capital of the Bombay Presidency during the British Raj, is now Maharashtra’s most popular hill station, a perfect honeymoon spot and an important pilgrimage destination for the Hindus. This wonderful weekend holiday destination with its alluring and magnanimous natural exquisiteness makes it the most popular hill stations positioned on the Western Ghat ranges. Soaring peaks, breathtaking valleys, lush flora, cool crisp mountain air, are some of the best snapshots that best describes Mahabaleshwar.

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A tour of Mahabaleshwar and the bordering countryside will reward the visitors with a blend of old-style charisma, natural exquisiteness and modernity. Mahabaleshwar witnesses a huge influx of tourists almost throughout the year, except during the rainy season, when the hill station virtually shut its door.

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Mesmerizing greenery of Mahabaleshwar

Where is Mahabaleshwar?

The fascinating of Mahabaleshwar is in the Indian state of Maharashtra at a distance of about 120 Km from Pune and 285 Km from Mumbai. With an average elevation of 1353 m, Mahabaleshwar is basically a vast plateau bounded by valleys on all sides.

About Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar – the largest hill station in the Sahyadri range was established as a hill station in 1828 by the then British governor Sir John ‘Boy’ Malcolm. The tour of Mahabaleshwar, which is a land of picturesque landscapes and bountiful greenery, refreshes the mind and soul. Nearness to two big Indian cities of Mumbai and Pune makes it an ideal weekend holidaying destination to spend a day or two amidst nature’s bounty.

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Way to exotic Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar is the source of the Krishna River. The legendary source of the river is a spout from the mouth of a statue of a cow in the ancient temple of Mahadev in Old Mahabaleshwar. An interesting thing to notice is that 4 other rivers, Koyna, Venna (Veni), Savitri, and Gayatri also come out from the cow’s mouth apart from Krishna and they all travel some distance before merging into Krishna.

Mahabaleshwar is very popular for the fruit products, honey, strawberries, jams, chikki and crushes. It is also famed for handcrafted foot wears made up of leather.

Mahabalehswar Sightseeing

The exotic hill resort of Mahabaleswar offers a number of sightseeing spots that makes the tour of Mahabaleshwar an everlasting and refreshing experience. Moreover, the hill town is having appropriate motorable roads in every point. So, tourists can explore this holiday destination by jeep, car and even in horseback.

Here is an account of the some of the most popular Mahabaleshwar sightseeing spots.

Venna Lake

The Venna Lake, constructed in 1842 by Shri Appasaheb Maharaj, who was the Raja of Satara in the year 1842 is one of the major tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar. Boating on the sparkling waters of this artificial lake is indeed a wonderful experience in itself. Horse riding can also be enjoyed surrounding the lake.

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Venna Lake Mahabaleshwar – mesmerizing view

Wilson Point

Named after Sir Leslie Wilson, the Governor of Bombay from 1923–26, Wilson Point is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar at 1439 m. Wilson Point is popularly called the “Sunrise Point” because it is from here that the spectacular view of Sunrise and Sunset will mesmerize you. Also the spectacular view of the entire Mahabaleshwar from Wilson Point adds to its attraction.

Connaught Peak

Perched at an altitude of 1400 m above sea level, Connaught Peak is the second highest peak of Mahabaleshwar offering excellent valley views. Situated 7 km from the chief market, this peak offers beautiful sight of Lake Venna and Krishna Valley stealing your breath away with their distant magnificence. Named after the Duke of the Connaught, the peak is also a vantage point for observing the Kamalgadh, Rajgarh and Torana in the north and Ajinkyatara in the south. Tourists can see Panchgani and Pasarani Ghat in the east, while Pratapgad can be seen in the west.

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View from Connaught’s Peak of Mahabaleshwar

With its unique terrain, the place is quite popular among trekkers and riders too, offering great opportunities for some thrilling adventure.

Chinaman’s Fall

This stunning waterfall at a distance of 2.5 km from Mahabaleshwar town is a major attraction for tourists. Positioned to the south of Koyana Valley, Chinaman’s fall got its name because of the presence of Chinese cultivated gardens nearby. The calm surroundings and the exotic waterfalls makes it a perfect place for holidaying.

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Chinaman’s waterfall – Mahabaleshwar attraction

Dhobi Waterfall

This is another of the stunning Mahabaleshwar waterfalls located about 3 Km from Mahabaleshwar town. Sight of the water cascading down into a deep valley before finally merging with the Koyana River will virtually hypnotize you. The surrounding greenery and the perfect serenity of the place provide a unique solace to mind and soul. The waterfall is a popular picnic spot for locals and a popular sightseeing destination of Mahabaleshwar.

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Magnificent view of Dhobi Waterfall in Mahabaleshwar

Lingamala Waterfall

The awesome view of the Lingamala waterfall, cascading down from a height of about 600 feet will make you feel just how miniature we are in comparison to the enormity of nature. Located at a distance of 6 km from Mahabaleshwar town, the waterfall is formed by River Venna and is seen in full glory during rainy season and after it.

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Lingamala waterfall Mahabaleshwar

The falling water of the falls looks like thin silver streaks. It encircles with rainbow colors. The beauty of the Lingamala Waterfall makes it extremely popular among tourists and the visitors.

Mahabaleshwar Temple

The temple of Lord Mahabaleshwar, after which the city derives its name, is an important Hindu pilgrimage destination. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Mahabaleshwar Temple is situated in the Old Kshetra Mahabaleshwar, about 6 Km north from the main city.

The temple was built by the Chanda Rao More dynasty in the 16th century and is a model of the Hemadant architectural style of South India. The temple is encircled by a 5-feet wall, with the sanctum housing the Shiva Linga and is visited by devotees from around the world.

Panchanganga Mandir

Constructed at the confluence of five rivers, Krishna, Venna, Savitri, Koyna and Gayatri, the Panchganga temple (mandir) of Mahabaleshwar is a major religious destination for devotees. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, the temple was constructed by Raja Singha Deo, the ruler of the Yadavs of Devgiri, in the 13th Century. In the 16th and 17th Centuries, Raja Chanda Rao More of Jaoli and the Maratha ruler Shivaji improved upon its structure.

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Panchganga Temple Mahabaleshwar

All the five rivers come out of a cow’s mouth which is carved out of stone. Inside the temple two pools are there into which water coming from all the five rivers flows.

Pratapgad Fort

At a distance of just 22 Km from the hill station of Mahabaleshwar is the historical Pratapgarh Fort which is now extremely popular among tourists. The fort offers excellent and exhilarating views of the coastal Konkan.

Built by the Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj, Pratapgarh Fort is divided into 2 parts namely the lower fort and upper fort. The upper fort is built across the northern and western crest of the hill measuring about 180sq.metres. The lower fort is built on the southern and the eastern terrace with walls and strong bastions at corners on projecting spurs.

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Pratagarh Fort near Mahabaleshwar

Situated at an altitude of 1080 m above sea level, it is here that the legendary Battle of Pratapgarh was fought between the greatest of Maratha rulers Shivaji and mighty Afzal Khan Commander of the Bijapur Adishahi forces on November 10, 1659. Afzal Khan was overpowered and killed by Shivaji. Now there exists a grave at the place where Afzal Khan was killed. To commemorate the tercentenary of that historic event, an equestrian statue of Shivaji was installed at the top of the Pratapgarh fort in 1959 AD.

Tapola – The Mini Kashmir

At a distance of just 25 Km from the exotic hill station of Mahabaleshwar is the rustic little hamlet of Tapola famously called the mini Kashmir of the west. Tapola is an ideal destination for a back to nature experience. Because of the hilarious view of the dam, the rivers – Koyana and Solshi, the beauty of the hill ranges of Sahyadri and the deep forest, Tapola is aptly called the mini Kashmir of the west.

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Tapoli -water sports activity

Jungle treks from Tapola are very popular with trekkers. Tapola is the base camp for one of the most exhilarating treks that one can go for in Maharashtra. Vasota fort and Jaygad fort located within the Koyna wild life sanctuary is completely cut off from civilization and can be reached only in a boat.

Morarji Castle

Morarji Castle is another popular sightseeing spot of Mahabaleshwar reflecting the spectacle of British Pattern architecture. The castle is positioned on a hilly terrain with commanding views of the surrounding area.

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Morarji Castle – Mahabaleshwar attraction

The hill town of Mahabaleshwar is known for its numerous viewpoints each providing a unique perspective of the majestic hill range. There are more than 14 viewpoints which present i panoramic views of the amazing landscapes. These points are within close range of each other and are named after notable Britishers. Apart from the Wilson Point and Connaught Peak, about which an account has already been given earlier, other popular points are: Elphinstone Point, Arthur’s Seat, Galoni Point, Lodwick Point, Babington point and Hunter Point.

How to Reach Mahabaleshwar?

By Air

This exotic hill town of Maharashtra does not have its own airport. The nearest airport is in Pune, which is about 120 Km away. If you plan to travel to Mahabaleshwar by air, you can board a flight till Pune, and then easily avail a bus, taxi or a private car from the Pune airport.

By Train

Wathar Railway Station at a distance of 62 Km is the nearest railhead of Mahabaleshwar. However, Pune at a distance of 120 Km is the more convenient one. One can also reach Mahabaleshwar via Satara Railway Station which is at a distance of about 47 Km.

Although Pune is a little far compared to both Satara and Wathar railway stations, but Pune is well connected to all other Indian cities. From Pune tourists can travel to Mahabaleshwar by either State Transport Buses or private luxury buses or by hiring a taxi.

By Road

Mahabaleshwar is very well connected by road with all the major cities of Maharashtra and adjoining states as well. Maharashtra State Transport (MST) buses ply from Pune, Mumbai, Nasik, Satara, Panchgani and Kolhapur to Mahabaleshwar daily at regular intervals.

Driving down to Mahabaleshwar from the neighbouring cities of Alibagh, Adavali, Pune, Nasik, Panchgani is a good option. Private and shared cabs/taxis can also be hired from Mumbai and Pune.

Where to Stay at Mahabaleshwar?

The exotic hill town of Mahabaleshwar being a popular tourist destination has numerous accommodation options that range from budget hotels to star category hotels. Accounts of only a few of them are given below:

Hotel Citrus Chambers

Right in the heart of Mahabaleshwar, Citrus Chambers, a true vintage English villa with a scenic view overlooking a misty valley and a thick blanket of green forest is located on an impressive century – old heritage land. Citrus Chambers is spread over 5 acres of land that includes 2 acres of forest. With 29 elegantly decorated rooms having all the modern amenities, this popular 3 star hotel apart from commanding a gorgeous serene location is also acclaimed for its old world heritage charm.

For everything you want to know about this hotel, just click HERE or call the hotel reception at: 180030014001 (Toll Free) or 02168 – 260432 / 632.

Cloud Green Resort

Situated at a distance of only 5 Km from Mahabaleshwar town, Cloud Green is one of the best resorts of this exotic hill town and that too at a reasonable rate. Apart from providing all the facilities of comfort, Cloud Green resort offers awesome forest-side view taking you closer to nature.

For reservations and other information, click HERE or call at: 9422600577, 9420633577.

Hotel Savoy Village

With nine cottages, hotel Savoy Village situated within 3-4 minutes walking distance from the market is another very fine staying option in Mahabaleshwar. With large spacious rooms, the hotel is designed to offer maximum comfort to its guests.

For reservations and other information, click HERE or call at: 02168 -260310/261743 or Mobile: +91 (0) 9422403636.

Hotel Panorama

Located opposite Petit Instittue and next to Roman Catholic Chruch, Hotel Panorama offers unmatched tranquil environment, in spite of its proximity to the famous commercial avenue of the town. This hotel offers praiseworthy services and cordial hospitality. This hotel is designed keeping in mind both the business and pleasure travelers. The hotel features 20 neatly maintained rooms, cottages and suites.

For reservations and other information, click HERE  or call at: (02168) 260404 / 260604.

Fountain Village

Though situated very close to the Mahabaleshwar marketplace, yet inside the hotel Fountain Village prevail tranquility. Apart from extreme use of eco-friendly technologies, the hotel with its well-designed rooms provides the best of luxurious comfort. A fine swimming pool, lawn area and sit outs add to the aesthetics.
For reservations and other information, click HERE or call at: 02168 – 260135 / 260136.

Saj Resort

Spread over an area of 5 acres with spectacular views, Saj Resort is one of the most preferred luxurious hotels in Mahabaleshwar. The resort houses 78 fully furnished rooms that are spacious, lavish and comfortable, consisting of all modern amenities. A swimming pool and a children’s park, a state of the art conference room, landscaped gardens and a variety of recreational facilities makes Saj Resort all the more popular among tourists visiting Mahabaleshwar.

For reservations and other information, click HERE or call at: 02168 – 272001 to 272005.

10 days best of Himachal tour package

The Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is blessed with some of the most spectacular and beautiful landscapes anywhere. Known to be a traveller’s paradise with lofty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, fast flowing rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower bedecked meadows, beautiful temples, monasteries and many more, Himachal Pradesh has something for every tourists. May it be for relaxing, sightseeing, Trekking, Mountaineering, Fishing, Para-Gliding, Skiing, Ice Skating and Golf, Himachal has it all.

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Here is guidance for your Himachal Tour where you will have a real feel of this incredible Indian State in just 10 days.

Day 01

Reach Shimla from Delhi, Chandigarh or Kalka and check into one of the numerous hotels of your choice. For some awesome experience the best option is to travel Shimla from Kalka by the historic UNESCO World Heritage Kalka-Shimla toy train. Known for dramatic views of the hills and surrounding villages, the toy train journey enlivens passengers as it gradually winds its way steeply upwards along the narrow track, though mystical mountains and pine forests.

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Snow-clad Shimla during winter months

Don’t miss out to enjoy a walk up to the Mall road in the evening. Stay overnight at the hotel.

Day 02

After having breakfast in the hotel leave for a day’s excursion to cover the popular and beautiful landscapes of Kasauli and Kufri Valley. Enjoy fun activities here such as nature walk, camping and adventure activities like hiking, trekking, Paragliding etc. You can also take a pony ride to explore the surroundings. Stay overnight at the Shimla hotel.

Day 03

The third day of the tour is dedicated for Shimla Sightseeing. In the morning visit the Sankat Mochan Temple and Jakhu Temple. In the afternoon visit the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies; this historical edifice, surrounded by a beautiful garden, provides ideal settings for photography.

In the evening shop at very famous Mall Road and enjoy a stroll at The Ridge area. Stay overnight at your hotel in Shimla and retire into bed early.

Day 04

Have your breakfast and leave for Manali as early as possible. On the way explore the Kullu valley, an extremely beautiful place where you can enjoy sightseeing, shopping along with other activities; Sundernagar Lake, a beautiful and Pandhoh Dam, an embankment on river Beas. Also visit Manikaran and enjoy a dip in the Suplhur Spring Waters here. This is a religious site of the devotees of Sikhism and Hinduism.

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Couple in a romantic mood at Manali in Himachal

Once you reach Manali, check into the hotel. If energy permits, you can explore the surroundings on foot. Stay overnight at Manali hotel.

Day 05

After having breakfast at the hotel leave for having a city tour visiting Hadimba Devi Temple, Manu Temple, Tibetan Monastery, Vashisht Village and several other sightseeing spots. For all the details of what to see in Manali, just click HERE.

Day 06

The whole day is dedicated for excursion of some stunningly beautiful places around Manali including Kothi, Solang Valley and Rhotang Pass. If Rohtangpass closed due to heavy snow fall then you can visit till snow point. Awesome view of the Beas River flowing through a very deep and narrow gorge at Kothi will make you bow down before the power of nature. Solang Valley is where Himachal’s best ski slopes can be found. At Rohtangpass one can find snow for almost nine months in a year.

You are free to spend the evening at your leisure. Dinner and overnight at Manali hotel.

Day 07

fter having breakfast at the Manali hotel drive to McLeodganj (Dharamsala) at a distance of about 200 Km en-route visiting Palampur Tea Gardens. The beauty of the journey is just amazing.

Upon arrival check-in into a hotel. Dinner & Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 08

The entire day is reserved for local city tour of McLeodganj visiting Dal Lake, Church, Bhagsu Nag Temple and Tibetan Monastery. Later excursion tour to Dharamsala & surrounding if time permit.

Day 09

After having breakfast at the hotel, drive from McLeodganj to Dalhousie at a distance of about 125 Km. After reaching Dalhousie in about two and half hours, check-in at a hotel of your convenience.

After having your lunch walk down to the Gandhi Chowk and feel the essence of this small Himachal hill town. The colonial era buildings, old churches, pine covered slopes and view of snow-capped mountains will mesmerize you for sure. To know everything about your Dalhousie tour, just click HERE.

Day 10

In the morning after having your breakfast leave the Dalhousie hotel and drive to Chamba en-route visit Khajjiar. Situated at a distance of 27 Km from Dalhousie, the saucer-shaped grassland (meadow) of Khajjiar will make you spellbound.

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The grassland at Khajjiar in Himachal

From Khajjiar drive to Pathankot in just two and half hours. You will reach Pathankot comfortably by 4 pm.

From Pathankot railway station board your convenient train for return journey to your hometown.

7 days best of Madhya Pradesh tour package

Day 01

Reach Bhopal at your convenience and check in into one of the numerous hotels according to your budget and preference.

Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh is often described as the “City of Lakes”. So don’t forget to visit the two magnificent lakes at Bhopal – the Upper Lake (Badaa Talaab) and the Lower Lake (Chota Talaab) in the afternoon. The charming beauty and serenity of the place will definitely make you wonder struck.

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However if you are a student of history or is interested in discovering the culture and history of India, then you must visit the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (National Museum of Mankind) and the Bharat Bhawan.

Day 02

After having breakfast leave the Bhopal hotel and drive towards Pachmarhi, which is about 195 Km from Bhopal.

On the way make sure to visit the impressing Shiva Temple in Bhojpur that boasts the largest Shiva lingam in India. Don’t also miss the remains of the Cyclopean dam at Bhojpur that dates back to 1010-53 A.D.

Next visit Bhimbetka, a UNESCO recognized world heritage site that exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India. With more than 600 rock caves having Stone Age rock paintings that are approximately 9,000 years old, Bhimbetka spells awe and wonder in the heart and mind of every traveler. For all the more information on Bhimbetka, just click HERE

After witnessing the treasure trove of Bhimbetka drive straight to reach Panchmarhi in four hours. Check into one of the numerous hotels at Panchmarhi and relax.

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Panchmarhi waterfall

Day 03

After breakfast, enjoy full day sightseeing in Panchmarhi. Don’t miss out to visit the Pandava caves, Jata Shankar Caves, Apsara Vihar and several others. For all the information on what to see in Panchmarhi, just click HERE.

Day 04

After breakfast give adieu to the hill resort of Panchmarhi and depart for Bandhavgarh. This is the day of your whole tour where you will travel the longest, so start early and leave Panchmarhi by 7.30 am.

On the way, stop at Bheda Ghat, to see the world famous “Marble Rocks Canyon.” You will reach Bheda Ghat in 3 hours.

At Bheda Ghat you will witness an awesome spectacle of nature where the majestic huge stones form a valley and the River Narmada silently makes its way through. The rocks rise to about hundred feet height on either sides of the River Narmada.

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Marble Rocks at Bheda Ghat

The best way to enjoy the sheer charm of these white marble rocks is by taking a boat ride on the holy river of Narmada. The boat ride between the gleaming marble rocks is an awesome experience.

Don’t miss out the Dhuandhar or the smoke cascade waterfall situated just a kilometer from Bheda Ghat. To capture the best comprehensive pictures of the waterfall one must opt for rope-way ride over the river.

Later in the day begin your journey to Bandhavgarh where you can reach comfortably in the evening. Check into one of the hotels for your overnight stay at Bandhavgarh. From Bheda Ghat, you can reach Bandhavgarh National Park main entrance gate at Tala in near about 3 hours and 30 minutes comfortably.

Day 05

The fifth day of your tour is dedicated for visiting the Bandhavgarh National Park and surroundings. During your Jungle Safari you do have a fair amount of chance of coming across a tiger roaming freely in the wilderness of its natural habitat. Experience the thrill of Jungle Safari and appreciate the natural beauty & fascinating landscape of Bandhavgarh National Park.

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Tiger strolling at Bandhavgarh National Park

Day 06

After breakfast, depart for Khajuraho, which is at a distance of about 235 Km from Bandhavgarh. It will take a maximum of 5 hours to reach Khajuraho.

After reaching Khajuraho check into one of the hotels. It is important to reach Khajuraho within 12 noon, so that you can be ready to visit the fascinating temple complex of Khajuraho after having your lunch.

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Khajuraho temples

Khajuraho temple complex is acclaimed worldwide because of the numerous images with erotic sculptures that depict innocent form of love and passion. The thousand year old Khajuraho temples with exquisitely carved stone shrines manifest the essence of the philosophy of Kamasutra and are unique in the world.

For all the more information on what to see in Khajuraho, where to stay at Khajuraho and many more, just click HERE.

Day 07

Only half a day is not enough to have a glimpse of all the important temples at Khajuraho. So this is sixth day of your tour is also dedicated for Khajuraho.

Don’t miss out to visit the Archaeological Museum and Shilpgram.

This is the last day of your tour and you are at your liberty to leave Khajuraho by evening and proceed towards your home. You can also stay overnight at Khajuraho and proceed next day.

Darjeeling tour – travelling to the queen of hill stations

Darjeeling – one of the oldest Indian hill resorts is popular across the globe not only for its scenic beauty but also for the world famous “Darjeeling Tea” that grows here. The hill town of Darjeeling resembles an old Victorian town, complete with cobbled roads, old-world bungalows and endless greenery of the tea estates. An introduction of Darjeeling can’t get complete without the mention of “toy train,” which runs on the world’s smallest gauge between Darjeeling and Siliguri and which has been in operation since the mid 1800’s.

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Incredible view of the Kanchenjunga from Darjeeling town

Where is Darjeeling?

The hill town of Darjeeling, often referred to as the “Queen of hill stations” is situated in the Indian state of West Bengal at an average altitude of 2042 m above sea level. The hill resort of Darjeeling, located in the lesser Himalayan ranges is the headquarters of Darjeeling district which has a partially autonomous status within the state of West Bengal.

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About Darjeeling

Reckoned as one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world, Darjeeling invokes visions of snow peaks, serenity of vibrant green hills, a land of breathtaking beauty crowned by the majestic Himalayan ranges. At a height of 2050 meters above sea level, Darjeeling is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Indian state of West Bengal.

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Darjeeling town with view of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayan ranges

The town of Darjeeling was once the home base to the British tea planters and eventually became the summer residence of the British Raj. Even to date, Darjeeling retains the flavour of the colonial past giving the town a historically rich texture.

Darjeeling is an all-weather hill station bathed in hues of every shade. Not only for the weary souls looking to rejuvenate the mind and body, Darjeeling has something to offer for everyone, may it be a tourist or a trekker, an ornithologist or a photographer, a botanist or an artist.

Darjeeling Sightseeing

There are a number of extraordinarily beautiful sightseeing spots in Darjeeling that makes this Bengal hill station all the more popular. Here is a brief account of some of them:

Tiger Hill

Situated at a distance of about 13 Km from the Darjeeling town, Tiger Hill is perhaps the most popular sightseeing spot of Darjeeling. Known as a sunrise view point, the spot has earned international fame for the magnificent view of the sunrise over the “Kanchanjunga” and the great eastern Himalayan Mountains. Even the tip of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, is visible from here on a clear day.

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View of sunrise from Tiger Hill

Peace Pagoda

This 28.5 metre tall all white structure is another popular Darjeeling sightseeing spot which can be reached by foot or on taxi from the Darjeeling town. Built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii, a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan-Myōhōji Buddhist Order, the Peace Pagoda was inaugurated on 1 November 1992.

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Peace Pagoda in Darjeeling

Situated on the slopes of the Jalapahar Hill, this Buddhist Peace Pagoda is part of a grid of around 30 pagodas built across the whole globe. Designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds to help unite them in their search for world peace, the pagoda showcases the four avatars of Lord Buddha.

Batasia Loop

This is a unique sightseeing spot of Darjeeling where tourists from around the globe flocks in large number to watch the legendary “Toy Train” of Darjeeling making a full circular (360 degree) loop. The place is also popular as there is no better place to get a 360 degree view of Darjeeling’s landscape including the hill town and the snow covered peaks of the Eastern Himalayas with the majestic Kanchenjunga on one side.

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Batasia Loop in Darjeeling

This railway loop is an remarkable example of engineering feat, which was constructed with the purpose of allowing the toy train to take the sharp drop in altitude between Ghoom and Darjeeling, with ease. From Darjeeling station joy rides in the toy train can be availed of to Batasia Loop and back.

A War Memorial situated in the centre of a well-maintained eco-garden in the Batasia Loop is an added attraction of the place. The War Memorial was inaugurated in 1995 to commemorate the brave deeds of the Gorkha soldiers of the Darjeeling Hills who sacrificed their lives in various wars after India’s independence.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI)

For a normal tourist this may be another popular sightseeing attraction of Darjeeling hard to miss out, but for all climbing enthusiasts of the world this is no less than a pilgrimage destination.

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Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling

Founded by late Tenzing Norgay who conquered Mt Everest for the first time with Sir Edmund Hillary on 28 May 1953, the museum within the institute complex traces the history of different attempts on the world’s highest peak. One may also contact the institute for mountaineering courses for all levels.

Himalayan Zoo (Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park) is located in the same premises where HMI is. The zoo houses animals of high altitude and mostly from upper Himalayas. You can see some rare animals here like Red Pandas, Snow Leopards, Tibetan Wolf and lot more.

Shrubbery Nightingale Park

This beautifully decorated park within walking distance from the Darjeeling market provides one of the best views of the Kanchenjunga range. After remaining closed for nearly four years due to renovation work, the park was reopened on 8 May 2011.

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Shrubbery Nightangle Park – Darjeeling sightseeing

The park has a big statue of Lord Shiva and a Hindu Temple as well. Best time to visit the park is from 4 pm to 8 pm as varieties of traditional dances are performed daily during the tourist seasons. Tourists visiting Darjeeling may think alternative of Tiger hill to see the sunlight magic on Kanchenjunga from this Park. This is an extremely ideal spot for photographers.

Darjeeling Ropeway

Darjeeling-Rangit Valley Passenger Cable Car, popularly known as the Ropeway connects Darjeeling with Singla Bazaar at the bottom of the valley and is India’s oldest passenger ropeway. The ropeway was started in 1968 and over the years it has become one of the key tourist attractions in Darjeeling.

However since an unfortunate accident in October 2003 causing death of four passengers and injuries to several others, the ropeway remained closed for some time due to major up gradation process. Now it is fully operational after extensive modernization.

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Darjeeling tea plantation as viewed during ropeway ride

A ride of the Darjeeling ropeway over the clouds, offers mind blowing view of the valley below. The spread of lush tea gardens, dense forests, mountain streams in their full flow, waterfalls, and the awesome snow peaks at the background will make you feel wonder struck. One can also get off at a lower station and enjoy the tea estates, walk through the tea gardens, or just relax and enjoy the view around.

The ropeway timings are: 10 am to 4 pm during winter (off peak) and 10 am to 2 pm during summer (peak). Capacity of each cabin is 6 persons. The service shuts down on the 19th day of each month for maintenance.

Rock Garden

Situated 10 Km from the Darjeeling town, Rock Garden has now developed into a very attractive destination for tourists visiting Darjeeling. Rock garden is basically a terraced garden that has been cut through the rocks. Waterfall of the Rock Garden adds to the charming beauty of the place.

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Darjeeling Rock Garden – popular Darjeeling sightseeing spot

3 Km from the Rock Garden is the Ganga Maya Park which is another prominent sightseeing spot of Darjeeling. Ganga Maya is more spread out and has a beautiful stream flowing through it on a valley, has flower gardens, fountains and more. The park offers boating facilities and is endowed with great scenic beauty. Ample eateries are available where visitors can get a taste of the local delicacies.

Other prominent sightseeing spots in Darjeeling includes: Observatory Hill, Mahakaal Temple, Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre, Ghoom Monastery, Lloyd Botanical Garden, Bengal Natural History Museum and quite a few others.

How to Reach Darjeeling?

By Air

One can reach Darjeeling by flying to the closest airport Bagdogra. It is 94 Km from the Darjeeling town. From the airport one can either hire a private vehicle of his choice to reach Darjeeling town. Else he can opt for shared vehicle also.

By Train

You can get a train to reach the nearest railway station New Jalpaiguri from most of the major Indian cities. From there one can choose from plenty of shared jeeps, buses or private taxis available to travel the 3.5 hours journey to reach Darjeeling. Else you can take the World Heritage Toy Train of Darjeeling and chug along the mountainous terrain to reach the hill station in nearly 7.5 hours.

By Road

Reach Siliguri bus station located on the Hill Cart Road from anywhere in the country. From the Bengal capital, Kolkata and other major Bengal towns like Durgapur, Asansol one can opt for Volvo bus or plethora of other services to reach Siliguri. From there you can hire a private taxi or take a shared jeep to cover the 80 Km stretch to reach Darjeeling.

Where to Stay in Darjeeling?

Being a popular tourist destination of Bengal for not only travel freak Bengalis but for tourists from around the globe, Darjeeling has numerous hotels to suit the need of every tourist. Here is a list of excellent Darjeeling hotels that are based on my personal experience and findings by considering the location, comfort, service, friendliness, ambience and amenities.

Mayfair

This 3-star heritage hotel right opposite to the Governor house is one of the premier Darjeeling hotels where you can get a real taste of royal lifestyle amidst serenity. This wonderful heritage property used to be the summerhouse of Maharaja of Nazargunj. With 44 well-appointed luxurious rooms surrounded by lush greenery and tranquility, Hotel Mayfair is a dream staying option in Darjeeling.

To know more about this prime and popular Darjeeling hotel, including its tariff, facilities, accommodation availability and online booking just click HERE. You can also give a phone call at the hotel’s phone number at: +91-354 2256376, +91-8588808374.

Shangrila Regency

Located near the famous Darjeeling Mall and Chowrastha, hotel Shangrila Regency with 12 thoughtfully designed rooms offers one of the best staying options in Darjeeling. With floor to ceiling windows, guests are offered the best of views of the spectacular Kanchenjunga mountain range and the tea gardens below.

To know more about this prime and popular Darjeeling hotel, including its tariff, facilities, accommodation availability and online booking just click HERE. You can also give a phone call at the hotel’s phone number at: +91-354 2255466, +91-9932022788.

Golden Heights Enclave

Located in a serene and peaceful surrounding, hotel Golden Heights Enclave is just 5 minutes’ walk from the Darjeeling Mall. The hotel towers above the town and hence offers a visual treat of the majestic Mt. Kanchenjunga, Singalila Range, the whole Darjeeling town and the rolling tea gardens. Each of the rooms has been designed with a Tibetan theme.

To know more about this prime and popular Darjeeling hotel, including its tariff, facilities, accommodation availability and online booking just click HERE. You can also give a phone call at the hotel’s phone number at: +91-354-2257570 / +91-9476386358 / +91-9800702611.

Hotel Fairmont

Located at 10 minute’s walking distance from the Mall and the vibrant, busy shopping centre Hotel Fairmont is known for its serene and quiet surrounding where you can wake up in the mornings, to be greeted by the Chirping of birds and the exotic sight of the snowcapped Himalayan range. Though this hotel falls in the budget category but is a very good staying option of Darjeeling.

To know more about this prime and popular Darjeeling hotel, including its tariff, facilities, accommodation availability and online booking just click HERE. You can also give a phone call at the hotel’s phone number at: +91-354-2253646.

Hotel Grace Inn

This small and nice budget hotel with a distinctive and exquisite style is located on a higher level and little away from the town center of Darjeeling. The ambience at Hotel Grace Inn is defined by its intricate polished woodwork and the fine hand chipped stone walls rare in this age.

To know more about this prime and popular Darjeeling hotel, including its tariff, facilities, accommodation availability and online booking just click HERE. You can also give a phone call at the hotel’s phone number at: +91 9593888555, +91 9932257830, +91 9434538851.

Hotel Vila Everest

Located at 10 minutes walking distance from the famous Mall Road in Darjeeling, Hotel Vila Everest was once a summer home of British days. The original 105 year-old building has been re-modeled, the basic structure being the same, into a 10 room lovely boutique hotel.

To know more about this prime and popular Darjeeling hotel, including its tariff, facilities, accommodation availability and online booking just click HERE. You can also give a phone call at the hotel’s phone number at: +91-354 – 2257202, +91-9800853070, +91-9800930663.

Best of Kashmir in 8 days

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Kashmir, known to be the “Heaven on Earth” is frequented by tourists from around the world for its unmatched natural beauty. The northernmost Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is abound with unparalleled beauty everywhere hardly found anywhere in the world. Kashmir is also rich in historical and cultural heritage, that makes it a sought after tourist destination all the year round.

Here is an exhaustive guidance on Kashmir tour that can be accomplished in just eight days. The tour itinerary has been prepared keeping in mind the comfort of the visitors and the aspect of relaxation, which every tourist wishes to have during holidaying.

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Day 01

Reach Jammu by air, rail or road according to your convenience and proceed to Katra which is at a distance of about 50 Km from Jammu. Check into one of the numerous hotels that are available at Katra.

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Mata Vaishno Devi Bhavan – Katra

It is highly advisable to reach Katra by noon. After checking into a hotel, take a short nap in the noon. Then get ready and start for the Darshan of the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi which is known to be one of the “Shakti Peeths” of goddess ‘ Durga’. This holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi which is situated in the folds of mighty ‘Tirkuta’ Hills’ attracts lakhs of devotees from all parts of India and abroad.

From Katra, after getting the ‘Yatra Parchi’ (Journey Slip) for “Darshan”, proceed towards the temple of Mata Vaishno Devi. The way to the temple at a distance of about 13 Km from the foothills is steep and requires a long walk uphill. Alternatively ponies and palanquins are also available. Helicopter service can also be taken for a large part of the trip.

If you start by 5 pm you must comfortably return back to your Katra hotel by 2 am next day. However the time can increase immensely on those days that are considered as holy according to Hindu calendar.

Day 02

Leave Katra by 11 am and proceed towards Patnitop at a distance of about 80 Km. In roughly 2 hours you will reach Patnitop. Check into one of the hotels and after having lunch get ready to soak in the mesmerizing beauty of the hill station of Patnitop lying at an altitude of 2,024 m above sea level in the Lower Himalayan Ranges of the Pir Panjal Mountain.

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Patnitop – resting cotages

To know everything about Patnitop Tour, including what to see, where to stay, how to reach and many more, just click HERE.

Day 03

After having breakfast leave Patnitop by 9 am and proceed towards Pahalgam at a distance of about 175 Km. you will reach Patnitop comfortably in four hours and in the way you will cross the historic Jawahar Tunnel.
Check into one of the many hotels. You can take leisurely stroll in the Pahalgam town and soak yourself in the basking beauty of the place. The rest of the day you are at your liberty to move freely in and the Lidder River that flows through Pahalgam.

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Baisaran Valley – Pahalgam sightseeing attraction

For all the latest and updated information on Pahalgam Tour, including how to reach, where to stay, what to see and all the more, just click HERE.

Day 04

This day is dedicated for Pahalgam Sightseeing. In the morning after breakfast, hire a pony and travel to the lush green meadow of Baisaran surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine at a distance of about 5 Km from the Pahalgam Taxi Stand. Return back by 11 am and have your lunch early.

In the second half hire a cab according to your need for travelling to Aru, Betab Valley and Chandanwari. You must leave Pahalgam to cover all the above three destinations by 1 pm.

To know about all the popular sightseeing destinations of Pahalgam just click HERE.

Day 05

Have your breakfast and give adieu to Pahalgam by 9 am. Your next destination is Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. You can reach Srinagar from Pahalgam in just 2 hours as the distance is a little less than 90 Km. However, don’t miss out the numerous Apple Orchards in the way. Take your time and reach Srinagar by 1 pm.

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Dal Lake – attraction of Kashmir

Check into one of the hundreds of available hotels here. For the next 4 days, you will be staying at Srinagar. Get fresh, have your lunch and get ready for the “Shikara” ride in the Dal Lake in afternoon.

Day 06

Have your breakfast early, hire a car of your choice and start for Sonmarg. You will reach Sonmarg in less than 2 hours covering a distance of about 80 Km. You must try to reach Sonmarg by 11 am.

As you are on a day trip of Sonmarg, so you must book your lunch at the hotels near the Sonmarg Taxi Stand. Remember, your car won’t move anywhere ahead of the taxi stand of Sonmarg. For visiting the incredibly beautiful sightseeing spots of Sonmarg you need to hire pony or another car from Sonmarg.

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Sonmarg glacier – attraction of Kashmir

For all the latest and up-to-date information on Sonmarg sightseeing, click HERE.

After spending the whole day in Sonmarg, return to your hotel in Srinagar. Retire early for Gulmarg tour, the very next day.

Day 07

Leave Srinagar for a day trip of Gulmarg after having your breakfast. Gulmarg, the premier skiing destination of Kashmir nestled within the imposing Himalayan peaks is just 55 Km from Sringar.

Hire a car from Srinagar and try to reach Gulmarg by 11 am. From the Gulmarg taxi stand, you can walk to the Gondola Cable Car ticket counter, or can hire a cab. From the Gulmarg taxi stand, beyond which your hired car from Srinagar won’t move the Gondola Cable Car ticket counter is just about 3 Km.

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Gondola Cable Car – attraction of Gulmarg

This land of white powdery snow, reckoned to be one of the best skiing destinations of the world will mesmerize you by its heart stopping beauty.

For all the latest and up-to-date information on Gulmarg sightseeing, click HERE.

Day 08

This eighth day is dedicated for the city tour of Srinagar. Start early and begin with the Shankaracharaya Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Don’t miss out the incredible view of the entire Dal Lake from the temple.

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Mughal Garden- Srinagar attraction

After that, one by one visit the Nishat, Shalimar and Chashma Shahi, the three famous Mughal gardens situated around the Dal Lake. You can also visit the Hazrat Bal Mosque.

In the evening you can indulge yourself in shopping and collecting tour memoirs. Kashmiri Shawls and Phirans are extremely popular worldwide. You can buy some for your family and friends.

And here you are at the end of your Kashmir tour. Depart for your home the very next day with lifelong cherishable memories.

Jairambati-Kamarpukur – pilgrimage destination of Bengal

Jairambati and Kamarpukur are considered to be one of the holiest tour destinations of Bengal. Jairambati and Kamarpukur may be two separate places 10 Km apart but the tour of one is considered to be incomplete without the other. Both these places associated with the life of great saint and religious preacher Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, bear great religious significance and have been a popular tour destination for almost a century now.

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Kamarpukur Ramakrishna Math entrance

About Kamarpukur

Kamarpukur, renowned world over as the birthplace of the great Indian saint Sri Ramakrishna is frequented by lakhs of visitors from around the world every year. Devotees and followers of Thakur Sri Ramakrishna visits Kamarpukur not only to pay their homage but also to get spiritually refreshed and elevated.

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Kamarpukur, synonymous with Sri Ramakrishna is now a small hamlet town in the Hooghly district of West Bengal. It is the place where the great 19th century Indian philosopher Sri Ramakrishna was born in 1836 in a poor Brahmin family. With his advent and on account of the frequent visits of his disciples and devotees, this hamlet has now become a place of pilgrimage.

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Inside view of the Kamarpukur Ramakrishna Math

Apart from being a pilgrimage site for peace loving holy mind in search of spirituality, the natural beauty and calmness of Kamarpukur attract thousands of solitude seeking tourists to this place round the year. This small hamlet town with signs of ancient prosperity still visible everywhere makes your journey to spirituality all the more fascinating. It is the Kamarpukur Ramakrishna Math which has gave Kamarpukur a permanent place in the tourist map of Bengal.

Apart from the Kamarpukur Ramakrishna Math, there are many other attractions in this place including the ancestral home of Sri Ramakrishna, Raghubir Temple, Yogi’s Siva temple, Haldar-Pukur and Manik Raja’s Mango Grove. The temples in this city are really imposing and are places offering secluded worship. Temple of Gopeswar Siva, Dhani Kamarini’s Temple and Mukundapur Siva Temple are some among them.

Kamarpukur Ramakrishna Math

It was in 1951, that the monks of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission built the Kamarpukur Ramakrishna Math. For lakhs of followers and disciples of Sri Ramakrishna from across the globe, the Kamarpukur Ramakrishna Math is considered to be one of the most revered places.

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The temple of Sri Ramakrishna inside Kamarpukur Math

The beautiful temple of Thakur Sri Ramakrishna with his marble statue within the Kamarpukur Ramakrishna Math complex is now an important place of visit for pilgrims and tourists alike. The temple is 45 ft. high and the marble statue of Sri Ramakrishna installed in it, was planned by Nandalal Basu.

With the construction of guest houses for accommodation of visitors, a library, a dispensary and school the Math has now became a centre of activity. Re-excavation of the tank called Haldarpukur and with the development of the surroundings, the place has really become one of the beauty-spots in the whole locality.

About Jairambati

About 7 Km west of Kamarpukur is Jairambati, known to be the birthplace of Sarada Devi, wife of Sri Ramakrishna. Worshipped as the “Holy Mother”, Sarada Devi is better known as “Ma Sarada”. Sarada Devi was born in Jairambati village in 1853. This village with its sacred traditions has now become a holy place of pilgrimage, particularly among followers of Sri Ramakrishna.

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Jairambati Matri Mandir – exquisite view

Jairambati is now a small town in Bankura district with all the signs of village life very much visible everywhere. Being surrounded by green pastures on all sides the place is in itself an ideal place to enjoy the simplicity of a village life and breathe fresh air free of pollutants.

Matri Mandir

It is the Matri Mandir in the centre of Jairambati which draws large number of visitors from around the world. Also known as Jairambati Math, the Matri Mandir is in fact a beautiful temple built exactly on the place where the Holy Mother was born. This temple was dedicated to the Ma Sarada by Swami Saradananda on 19th April 1923.

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Idol of Ma Sarada in Jairambati Matri Mandir

The white marble statue of the Holy Mother was installed in the temple on 8th April 1954, and a spacious Prayer Hall was also added as an extension to this temple. The sacred relies of the Holy Mother have been preserved in the Sanctum. A small-sized Shiva Lingam (the stone emblem of God Shiva) which was found at the time of digging the earth for the construction of this temple is also worshiped here.

Inside the temple premise on the right side of the main gate is Mother’s ancestral house. On the opposite side of this house is a relatively new house where she stayed from 1916 to 1920.

The MatriMandir remains open from 4:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and again from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

How to reach Kamarpukur-Jairambati?

By Air

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata at a distance of about 95 Km is the nearest airport of Kamarpukur. From the airport one can hire pre-paid taxis or other vehicle to reach Kamarpukur or Jairambaiti (at a distance of about 103 Km) in less than 2 hours. Road conditions are pretty good.

By Train

Neither Kamarpukur nor Jairambati has its own railway station. Tarakeswar railway station at a distance of about 50 Km from Kamarpukur is the nearest railhead. Plenty of local and express trains are available from Howrah and Sealdah railway stations in Kolkata to take you to Tarakeshwar in an hour. From Kamarpukur railway station one can hire vehicle of his choice to reach Kamarpukur in just one hour.

Bishnupur railway station at about 48 Km away is the nearest railhead of Jairambati. However there are not too many trains from Howrah and Sealdah railway stations in Kolkata to take you to Jairambati. From Bishnupur railway station one can hire a vehicle to reach Jairambati in about one hour.

Tarakeshwar railway station is about 50 km away from Kamarpukur. From Howrah local trains are available to reach Tarakeshwar. From Tarakeshwar taxi and bus services are available to reach Kamarpukur and Jairambaiti comfortably.

By Road

From Kolkata bus services also connect Kamarpukur with Kolkata. During morning buses are available approximately after every one and half hour.

From Burdwan one can reach Kamarpukur comfortably by road in just one and half hour. Private and state buses are available in every hour. Buses in the route of Burdwan to Ghatal, Burdwan to Haldia etc passes through Kamarpukur.

Where to stay in Jairambaiti and Kamarpukur?

Both Jairambati and Kamarpukur have quite a few hotels and lodges that offer a decent staying option. However the best staying option at both these places is within the Math Complex.

Staying at Jairambati

The best place to stay in Jairambati is undoubtedly within the Matri Mandir Complex. But one just can’t go there and ask for accommodation. Written application has to be submitted two months prior to the trip. It’s a free stay. However visitors are expected to donate generously to the temple fund.

A letter has to be sent giving details of your name, number of visitors, and dates of staying at: Principal Maharaj Ji, Sri Sri Matri Mandir & Ramakrishna Mission Sarada Sevashrama, P.O. – Joyrambati, District – Bankura, West Bengal, Pin – 722 161, India.

One can also send a query mail at: mm244214@bsnl.in / mm244214@gmail.com / ssmmandir@vsnl.net.
For getting further details one can also call at any of the following phone numbers: +91-3244-244214, +91-3244-244910, +91-3244-244911.

For accommodation query in Jairambati Matri Mandir just click HERE.

Nilachal Lodge

Among private lodges in Jairambati, Nilachal Lodge provides the best staying option at a cheap rate. For more on this hotel in Jairambati, one can call at – 03244-244268.

Sarada Tourist Lodge

This is another decent staying option of Jairambati. For details contact at – 03244 – 244263.

Staying at Kamarpukur

Staying inside the Ramakrishna Math complex is an experience in itself as it offers a chance to spend a few days amidst holy and spiritual atmosphere. The Math owns two guest houses for the devotees. There are three, four and five-bedded rooms with or without attached baths and also dormitories.

The devotees who want accommodation in the guest houses are required to contact the management of the Math seeking their prior permission over phone or through e-mail first and then should confirm the booking by return post or telephone. They should write to the President, Ramakrishna Math, Kamarpukur, two to three months in advance.

For booking accommodation in Kamarpukur Ramakrishna Math a letter has to be sent giving details of your name, number of visitors, and dates of staying at: President, Ramakrishna Math, Kamarpukur, Hooghly, West Bengal, Pin – 712 612 two to three months in advance
03211-244221, 244222.

For booking and related queries one can send a mail at: rkmkpukur@gmail.com, rkmkpukur@yahoo.com
There are also quite a few other private hotels and lodges in Kamarpukur that provide comfortable accommodation. Some of them are:

Relax Lodge

This newly renovated lodge close to the Kamarpukur Ramakrishna Math provides a very good staying option. The lodge is quite neat and clean with ac and non-ac rooms. The hotel also has parking facilities. For booking rooms in this hotel and for other related queries, call the hotel at: 03211-244699.

Kamarpukur Lodge (Contact Phone Number – 03211-244699) and Gadadhar Lodge (Contact Phone Number – 03211-244041) are the other two hotels in Kamarpukur that provides comfortable staying facilities at a cheap rate.

NOTE

Don’t miss out the Lunch and Dinner at both Jairambati and Kamarpukur Maths. At both the place vegetarian meal is served to everyone free of cost. However the Math authorities’ requests for generous donations while giving the meal coupons. Don’t forget to collect the lunch coupon latest by 11.15 am and dinner coupons latest by 6.30 pm at both the places.

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Free public dinning in Jairambati and Kamarpukur

The meals are served as “Prasads” is not only delicious but has a great significance for all the devotees visiting Jairambati and Kamarpukur.

Tirupati tour – travelling to the abode of Lord Venkateswara

Tirupati – synonymous with the Venkateswara Swamy temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara is among the most visited temples of India. The temple of Lord Venkateswara on the top of Tirumala Hills at a distance of about 20 km north west of Tirupati, is visited by 30 to 40 million people annually. Though Tirupati is basically a holy temple town and an important destination for Hindu pilgrims, yet the natural beauty of the place makes it an attractive and popular tourist destination.

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The holy temple of Lord Venkateswara

Where is Tirupati

The cultural city of Tirupati is in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The city located at the foothills of the Eastern Ghats is famous throughout the world for being the abode of Lord Venkateswara.

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About Tirupati

The ancient city of Tirupati in the midst of the Seshachalam Hills finds mention even in the Puranas. Apart from the several sacred shrines and ancient temples, Tirupati boasts of a rich vibrant culture and a myriad of cuisines to relish. For shopaholics, this traditional city offers various handicrafts like woodcarving and kalamkari crafts, whitewood toys, traditional Tanjore style gold leaf paintings, and books and periodicals on Hindu religious treatises.

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View of the Tirupati Town

Nestled in the verdant Eastern Ghats – a mountain range that runs along south-eastern India – the region is a treasure-house of ancient temples, waterfalls and other places of interest.

The holy city of Tirupati draws tourists and pilgrims alike who flock to the Lord Venkateswara Temple, located at the hilltop of the Tirumala hills. Several other temples dot the town, and the lush countryside contains numerous waterfalls. Tirupati is also home to a unique, naturally-occurring pre-Jurassic stone arch that is 25 feet long and 10 feet high, one of only three of these kinds of geological features in the world.

Tirupati Sightseeing

As said in the beginning, Tirupati is so much identical with the Lord Venkateswara Temple that the holy shrine is often referred as Tirupati Temple. Though people visits Tirupati chiefly to offer prayers in the holy shrine of Lord Venkateswara, but there are a few places around Tirupati which are worth visiting.

Lord Venkateswara Temple

The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of the Tirumala Hill that comprises seven peaks, representing the seven heads of Adisesha. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The temple is on Venkatadri (also known as Venkatachala or Venkata Hill).

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Temple of Lord Venkateswara at the top of Tirumala hills

The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Venkateswara, an incarnation of lord Vishnu. Venkateswara is known by other names: Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa. Known for its elaborate Dravidian style, the temple has a mesmerizing idol of the Lord, completely made out of pure gold and ornamented with a magnificent crown.

Millions come to Tirumala at an altitude of 3200 ft., from all over the world for visual delight of the divine and charismatic vision of Lord Venkateswara. One glimpse of the majestic idol in Srivari temple is said to provide relief and solace to all devotees. There are elaborate arrangements of darshan tickets for the affluent and free darshan for poor. While Sarvadarshan is the order of the day and availed by lakhs, for those who are too busy to afford time in the long standing queues, there is the option of Sheegra Darshan priced at Rs.300 per head.

For an awesome virtual tour of the Lord Venkateswara Temple of Tirumala-Tirupati, click HERE.

Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple

In the midst of all the Vaishnava temples in Tirupati, Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple situated at about 3 km to the north of Tirupati is the only temple dedicated to Lord Siva. Apart from its significance as a pilgrimage destination, the attractive natural setting of the Kapileswaraswami Temple makes it all the more popular among tourist and visitors to this holy temple town of Tirupati.

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Kapila Teertham Tirupati

A natural waterfall adjacent to the temple, known as Kapila Teertham or Alwar Teertham is considered to be extremely sacred by holy travellers.

Agastya Swamy Temple

This is another important sightseeing spot of Tirupati. The Agastyaswamy Temple is situated at the confluence of three rivers, namely Swarnamukhi, Bhima and Kalyan, at a distance of about 12 Km from Tirupati. Agastya Muni, a revered Vedic sage, is one of the Saptarishis (“seven sages”) who are eulogized in the Vedas. Agastya is also another name of Lord Shiva.

The Agastya Swamy temple has three entrances adorned with beautiful sculptures that lead to the main hall inside. Within the temple complex is a separate shrine for Goddess Parvati. There is also a small shrine dedicated to Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Anjaneya near the adjacent water tank. Just across the the Agastya Swamy Temple and seemingly floating in the middle of the river (on a tiny island), is a mandapam on which the statues of Balaji, Ayyappa and Ganapati have been installed in recent times.

Govindaraja Swamy Temple

Known to be the temple dedicated to the brother of Lord Venkateswara, the Govindaraja Swamy temple situated within 2 Km from the Tirupati railway station is another important of Tirupati sightseeing spots. The imposing seven-storied Gopuram (elaborately carved entrance gateway) of the temple can be seen from a long distance.

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Govindaraja Swamy temple of Tirupati

The temple’s courtyard is quite spacious and also observed are stone halls which are built centuries ago. They are beautiful carved and will definitely attract any ones attention. The huge doors at the entrance of the temple stand to the grandeur and architecture excellence carried out in the olden times. There also other shrines within the temple premises that are abode to Sri Venkateshwara, Sri Parthasarathi and Sri Andal. The principal deity is an impressive Sayanamurti (the Lord in a sleeping posture).

Since it is the temple of Lord Balaji’s brother, the festivals celebrated here are similar to the ones celebrated in Lord Balaji’s temple.

Sri Kodandarama Swami Temple

Situated in the middle of Tirupati Town, within a distance of about a kilometer from the Tirupati railway station, Kodandarama Swami temple is another popular sightseeing spot of Tirupati. Dedicated to Lord Rama, the Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple, built during the 10th century AD stands as a marvelous piece of work by the Chola kings.
According to Varaha Purana, while returning from Lanka, Sri Rama, Lakshmana and Sita camped at Tirupati along with Lakshmana for a while. The temple commemorates Sri Rama’s visit to Tirupati.

Sri Kodandaramaswami temple stands in the centre of a rectangular courtyard, facing west. The entrance is in the west and is adorned by a Gopuram. The temple has a Maha Mandapam and a mukha-mandapam. The Maha Mandapam consists of five pillars in four rows each with two rectangular blocks and two octagonal shafts in between. These pillars have fine sculptures of Maha Laxmi, Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna, Parasurama and Venugopala, all reflecting the Vijayanagara style of architecture. On the wall, on either side of entrance, leading into the interior of the Maha Mandapam, there is an emblem of the Vijayanagara.

The festivals of Ugadi and Sri Ramanavami are celebrated in this temple on a grand scale.

Tiruchanur

Tiruchanur, also known as Alamelu Mangapuram is another important Tirupati sightseeing destination. Situated at about 5 Km from Tirupati, it is the place where the temple of Sri Padmavathi Devi or Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Sri Venkateswara is situated. It is believed that a visit to Tirupati is fruitful and complete only after visiting to the Sri Padmavathi Devi temple.

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Padmavati Ammavari temple at Tirichanur

This temple of Sri Padmavathi Devi had been built around the southern banks of Swarnamukhi Pushkarini (pond) in Vijaynagara style. Like any other Southern temple constructions, it has a Gopuram, a Mandapam, and a Garbalayam. There are 3 sub temples housed in the premises are: Sri KrishnaswamyTemple, Sri Sundararaja Temple and Sri
Suryanarayana Swamivari Temple.

At Trichanur, Devi is worshiped as the main deity. Sitting in padmasana, She is represented with four hands, two of them each holding a lotus and the front two hands showing Abhaya and Varada mudras protecting the devotees and assuring them to fulfill their desires.

Sila Thoranam

If you think that Tirupati is just a temple town, then probably you have not heard about Sila Thoranam about 1 Km from the Lord Venkateswara temple. This geological wonder has in recent time garnered a lot of interest and is now a popular Tirupati sightseeing destination.

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Sila Thoranam – Tirupati sightseeing

Silathoranam is a natural rock formation in the form of an arch which is 26.2 ft. in length and 9.8 ft. in height. The geological stone arch is one among the world’s three naturally formed arches of stone and is dated back to 150 crore years from now, probably to the days of evolution of life on earth. There are believed to be only two similar formations in the world – the Rainbow Arch Bridge of Utah in the USA (which is no longer any more because of its recent collapse in the year 2008) and the arch that cuts through the headland of the Dalradian Quartzite in the UK.

The place have now been converted into a rocky garden, full of flowers, with benches and more for the weary tourists to rest. There are birds in cages for kids to amuse themselves with, and lots of shops selling wooden articles for elders.

There are quite a number of other temples and places of interest in and around Tirupati that are worthy of visits as well. To know about all the Tirupati temples click HERE.

How to reach Tirupati?

By Air

The Renigunta Airport of Andhra Pradesh at a distance of about 15 km is the nearest airport of Tirupati. Flights from Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore operate on all days on a regular basis. For international tourists to Tirupati, Chennai is the nearest international airport. One can hire car and taxi from the airport to reach Tirupati.

By Rail

Tirupati railway station is well connected to metro cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam and Madurai. Travelers from other cities can get to Renigunta railway station and then reach the city as well.

It takes just 5 hours to reach Tirupati station from Chennai and Bangalore railway stations. Two intercity trains operate between Chennai and Tirupati on all days.

By Road

Tirupati is well connected to cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chittoor and Vijayawada. National Highway NH 205 passes through Renigunta and hence is accessible from Chennai (3-4 hrs), Bangalore (5 hours) and Hyderabad (10-12 hours). APSRTC buses connect all towns in Andhra Pradesh with Tirupati. Tamil Nadu public transport corporation buses connect many cities in the state with Tirupati. KSRTC buses connect many cities in Karnataka with this holy city.

Where to Stay at Tirupati?

Tirupati being a very popular pilgrim destination is visited by a large number of devotees round the year. It is said that when you are in the abode of the Lord don’t worry about finding a suitable accommodation to suit your need.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) – an independent trust that manages the Venkateswara Temple ensures that comfortable accommodation is provided to pilgrims at a reasonable cost. It has constructed over 5000 cottages, guest houses and choultries both at Tirupati and Tirumala. TTD even provides accommodation free of cost to pilgrims who cannot afford to pay for their stay in Tirupati and Tirumala. Further, to ease the demand for accommodation, TTD has built Public Amenities Complexes at both Tirupati and Tirumala, which provide dormitory-type accommodation with lockers, free of cost.

To know about TTD provided free and paid accommodation facilities at Tirupati and Tirumala, click HERE.

Besides the staying facilities provided by TTD, there are numerous hotels at Titupati and Tirumala to suit your budget. An accont of only a few are given below:

Hotel Bliss

Located in the heart of Tirupati Town, Hotel Bliss is a three star hotel that is known to be one of the best hotels of Tirupati. With 117 well furnished rooms and having state-of-the-art modern amenities, Hotel Bliss is a place where you can experience Indian tradition without compromising on comfort.

To know more about this hotel, click HERE. You can also call the hotel phone number at: +91 877 2237773

Kalyan Residency

This 3 star hotel with 58 well-appointed rooms is another popular and reputed hotel of Tirupati. Kalyan Residency is a fully centralized air-condition hotel offers good quality accommodation with an added touch of a natural relaxing atmosphere and a panoramic view of Tirumala Hills.

To know more about this hotel, click HERE. You can also call the hotel phone number at: +91-877-2259780 / +91-877-5569080 / 098481 59700

Fortune Select Grand Ridge

This 138-roomed five star hotel ranks among the best of Tirupati hotels. Situated at a distance of 1.5 Km from the Tirupati city center at the intersection of by-pass road and Tiruchanoor road, Hotel Fortune Select Grand Ridge is set in a quiet 17 acre park like setting. This hotel offers a variety of rooms to fit your budget.

To know more about this hotel, click HERE. You can also call the hotel phone number at: 0877-222 1818

Sri Sai Residency

This is one of the most popular of Tirupati hotels for budget travellers. Located close to the Tirupati railway station, Sri Sai Residency offers visitors to Tirupati an ideal and convenient location as well as comfortable accommodation.

To know more about this hotel, click HERE. You can also call the hotel phone number at: 0877 – 2222276, 2222277, 2222278, 2222279 / 090524 20885.

PVR Residency

This 3-star accommodation near the famous Kapileswara Temple at a distance of about 2 Km from Tirupati Railway Station is another prime Tirupati hotel. With an array of different kinds of rooms, PVR Residency suits the budget of every traveller.
To know more about this hotel, click HERE. You can also call the hotel phone number at: +91 8772282289 / +91 9494930404

7 days best of Kerala tour package

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Kerala – a South Indian state in peninsular India is popularly called as the “God’s own country”. There are ample reasons for Kerala being called so. An equable climate, a long shoreline with serene beaches, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush green hill stations, exotic wildlife, sprawling plantation, cascading waterfalls, divine temples, historic monuments and many more makes Kerala one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia.

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Though Kerala is ranked 22nd among Indian state according to size, but there are at least a dozen of incredibly beautiful different places in Kerala that are unique in their own way. Here is an effort to cover the best of Kerala in just 7 days.

Day 01

Reach Kochi (also known as Cochin) by Rail or Air from any part of India. Kochi has an international airport by the name of Cochin International Airport (IATA: COK, ICAO: VOCI). The Ernakulam Junction (also known as Ernakulam South, code: ERS) is the largest railway station in the city of Kochi and is well connected with all the major Indian states.

From Kochi, travel towards the hill resort of Munnar at an altitude of 1600 m above sea level. Munnar is at a distance of roughly 130 Km from Kochi and can be reached in less than three and half hours of driving. En-route visit Cheyyappara Waterfalls. On the way to Munnar you will be mesmerized by the awesome view of tea gardens spread like a green carpet over hundreds of kilometers. Check into one of the many hotels according to your budget. Relax for the rest of the day and prepare yourself to explore the unending beauty of Munnar.

To know more about the breathtakingly beautiful hill resort of Munnar which is indeed a haven of peace and tranquility, click HERE.

Day 02

Dedicate the entire day for sightseeing in Munnar. Though there are numerous place to cover in a single day, yet some of the best and most popular sightseeing spots of Munnar that must be included in your tour itinerary are: Mattupetty Lake & Dam, Eco-Point, Nyayamakad and Atukkad Waterfall, Tate Tea Museum and Pothamedu.

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Munnar – popular hill resort of Kerala

Day 03

In the morning leave Munnar by 8 am and drive to Thekkady at a distance of about 110 Km. After having lunch visit spice plantations like cardamom and Pepper.

Thekkady is the location of the famous Periyar National Park, which has been declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. The best part of the Thekkady tour is cruising along the Priyar Lake and accessing the rich flora and fauna of the Periyar National Park.

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Periyar National Park

Get on to a boat by 3 pm and you will definitely be enchanted by the herds of wild elephants that come down to drink in the lake. Tigers are sighted when the forest water holes dry up and these animals come and drink water from the lake. The one and half hour boat cruise will definitely be an experience of a lifetime.

In the evening you can opt to shop in the local market. It will be a great opportunity to shop for some locally grown fragrant spices. Take rest and relax in your hotel overnight.

Day 04

The best thing would be to leave your Thekkady hotel by 7 am in the morning and proceed towards Alapuzha or Alleppey at distance of about 145 Km. Known to be the “Venice of East” Alleppey can be reached within 4 hours from Thekaddy.

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Alleppey – known for houseboat cruise

On arrival check into a Traditional Houseboat of Kerala Style (Kettuvallam) and cruise lazily through the backwaters and explore the fascinating beauty of Kerala. If budget is not a constraint then opt for a Luxury Houseboat or else you can also pick a Deluxe Houseboat. As the cruise begins to meander slowly through the canals and backwaters you will have a taste of the traditional beauty and culture of Kerala.

These houseboats are virtually a floating cottage having a sleeping area with western-style toilets, a dining area and a sit out on the deck. The living-dining room is usually open on at least three sides providing a grand view of the surroundings. All these houseboats have a generator and most bedrooms are air-conditioned. You will also get to pamper yourself by the Kerala Cuisine on board. The houseboat will cruise along the backwaters all the night and after serving a breakfast you will be back at the same place where you start at Alleppey.

For a virtual tour experience of a Kerala Houseboat, click HERE.

Day 05

Disembark from the houseboat latest by 9 am in the morning after having breakfast in the houseboat itself. Proceed towards Kovalam at a distance of about 160 Km. It will take a maximum of three and half hours to reach Kovalam.

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Kovalam beach snapshot

Check into one of the many hotels at Kovalam. Kovalam – known to be the international beach destination of Kerala with shallow water for swimming and perfect for other water sports activities is one of the most popular of Indian beaches. After lunch enjoy the beach till the sun set in the Arabian Sea.

Kovalam first shot into fame during 1970s, when the town witnessed a heavy influx of hippies and since then, it became popular among international tourists. It still ranks high among international tourists who arrives mostly from Europe and Israel. To know more about Kovalam Tour click HERE.

Stays overnight at your hotel and don’t forget to try sea fishes cooked in Kerala Style.

Day 06

After having your breakfast proceed to Thiruvananthapuram (also known as Trivandrum), at a distance of 17 Km from Kovalam beach. Thiruvananthapuram – the capital of Kerala have several popular and important sightseeing spots that are reckoned as must-visit sites.

It is advisable to begin with the ancient Hindu temple of Sree Padmanabhaswamy dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple which is a blend of the Keralian and Dravidian styles of architecture is one of the 108 sacred Vishnu temples or Divya Desams. Entries into Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple are restricted only to those who profess the Hindu faith. Devotees have to strictly follow the dress code. Dresses in accordance with the model dress code are available for rent at the temple entrance.

For a virtual tour of Padmanabhaswamy Temple and to know its rich history, click HERE.

Napier Museum & Art Gallery – situated in the heart of the city of Thiruvananthapuram must be the next place to visit. This Indo-Saracenic architectural masterpiece with with Gothic roof and minarets is in itself an exceptional piece of architecture set amidst green surroundings and platonic gardens. The museum is a treasure house of a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, ancient ornaments, bronze idols, ivory carvings, chariots and paintings.

Return back to Kovalam hotel by evening. You can opt for a Keral Ayurvedic massage in the evening at any one of the numerous Ayurvedic Massage & Spa Centres at Kovalam. You can have the facility in your hotel also; as most of the Kovalam hotel offers this facility at a decent cost.

Getting rejuvenated have your dinner and retire early to start afresh for your home the next day.

Day 07

After having your breakfast proceed towards Trivandrum International Airport or Trivandrum Central Railway Station, to take your flight or train for your journey towards your home with some unforgettable memories.

Tawang tour – journey of unexplored paradise in North East

Tawang – a small town in the remote North East corner of India is an unexplored hidden treasure of “Incredible India”. A tour of Tawang is a journey where your heart gets filled with Buddhist chants, benign monks and heavenly views of the nature at every step. This spiritually enlightened Buddhist outpost offer a fine blend of sightseeing and adventure.

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Tawang – paradise of North East

Where is Tawang?

The town of Tawang at an altitude of 3048 m above sea level is the district headquarters of Tawang district in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Tawang – the beautiful land of the Monpa tribe is an important strategic location for India because of its closeness to the international borders of China and Bhutan.

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About Tawang

Located remotely cut-off from civilization, the small hill town of Tawang is best known for China’s invasion during 1962, the world famous Tawang Monastery and the politically important McMahon line that passes through the town. It is the remoteness of Tawang that has kept its beauty and serenity intact that unravels at every bend.

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View of the Tawang Town and the 400 year old Tawang Monastery

A tour of Tawang will amaze you by the exotic landscapes that looked like another world. Nourish your souls to the heavenly views, immerse yourself in the serenity and marvel that nature has in store for you at Tawang. This earthly paradise in the North-west extremity of Arunachal Pradesh is one of the first places to witness snowfall in Indian Himalayas. Tawang is an adventure seekers paradise and offers wonderful trekking opportunity to travellers while on a holiday in Tawang.

Buddhism reigns in all its glory at Tawang. The only sounds heard are the silence in the air, the chants of monks and the beats of traditional Buddhist instruments.

Sightseeing in Tawang

Tawang tour with a heady mix of nature’s grandeur, Buddhism and history offers a number of options for sightseeing in and around Tawang. Here is an account of some of the most popular Tawang sightseeing spots:

Tawang Monastery

Undoubtedly the most popular sightseeing spot of Tawang is the Tawang Monastery which is an important seat of Mahayana Buddhism. This 400 year old Tawang monastery from which the town and in fact the district derives its name is the largest Buddhist monastery in India.

Situated right on the hill-top, the monastery dominates the whole landscape and an aura of purity radiates from this ancient structure.

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Inside the historic Tawang Monastery

Founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso in accordance with the wishes of the fifth Dalai Lama, the Tawang Monastery is also known in Tibetan as Galden Namgey Lhatse, which translates to ‘celestial paradise in a clear night.’

The Tawang Monastery, which is the second biggest and oldest in Asia is three stories high and houses 65 residential buildings for monks, a museum, a school for basic education, a three-storied library and a few other structures. The three-storied Parkhang library inside the monastery complex with valuable old scriptures mainly Kanjur and Tanjur numbering 850 bundles is believed to hold the secrets of Tibetan Buddhism.

Covering an area of 135 sq. meters and enclosed by a compound wall of 610 meter long, the monastery at Tawang is no less than a fortified complex. The monastery controls 17 gompas and a few nunneries in the region.

The main building comprising of the temple and prayer hall is an exquisite example of art. A giant 27 ft. golden Buddha statue stands at the centre of the temple. Images of life and death and of Buddhist mysticism elaborately displayed on every wall translate the whole place into a canvas of art.

To watch an incredible video on the 400 year old Tawang monastery click HERE.

Tawang War Memorial

The second most popular Tawang sightseeing spot is the Tawang War Memorial. The 40-foot high memorial dedicated to the martyrs of the 1962 Indo-China war is located on a slope just before reaching the main town of Tawang.

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Tawang War Memorial

This memorial, locally referred to as the ‘Namgyal Chortan’ has names of 2420 dead soldiers etched in gold on 32 black granite plaques. The memorial is flanked by two memorial halls –– one houses personal articles of the martyrs, maps, photographs and remains of the war; while the other is used for a sound and light show in the evening depicting the heroic deeds of the martyrs.

Stupa shaped Tawang War Memorial is nestled among picturesque snow-capped peaks overlooking the imposing Tawang-Chu valley. This scenic location ensures that the tourists get a chance to soak in the pristine nature, while admiring the heroic deeds of our unsung heroes.

Sela Pass

The only road that connects the Buddhist town of Tawang with the rest of the world passes through Sela Pass. The awesome beauty of this high altitude pass makes it a popular sightseeing spot of Tawang tour.

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Sela Pass and the adjacent Paradise Lake

At an altitude of 4170 m Sela Pass is in fact world’s second highest motorable pass. The Sela Pass located at a distance of about 78 Km from Tawang remains snow covered to some extent all through the year. Though the region receives heavy snowfall during winter months, the Sela Pass remains open all throughout the year unless landslides or snow require the pass to be shut down temporarily.

With awesome heavenly views all round and a very beautiful lake nearby, the tourists visiting Sela Pass will definitely appreciate the hardship in reaching here. The ever-windy Sela Pass is also known to be a place where the weather keeps changing every five minutes.
To watch an awesome video on the thrill of crossing the Sela Pass, click HERE.

Pankang Teng Tso Lake

You may be amazed to know that the district of Tawang has more than 108 lakes, and this is probably the largest concentrations of lake found anywhere else in the world. Out of these the Pankang Teng Tso Lake situated at a distance of about 17 Km from Tawang town is the most beautiful and is a popular sightseeing spot in Tawang.

This natural lake formed by the water of the melting snow offers a soothing and tranquil atmosphere to the tourists. Calmness of the crystal clear blue water, silently moving clouds, abundance of Lazuli flowers all around, chirping of birds and the grandeur of nature are some of the snap shots that best describes the beauty of the Pankang Teng Tso Lake.

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Sangetser Lake also known as Madhuri Lake

Two other lakes that are quite popular sightseeing spot in Tawang are – Sangetser Lake and Banggachang Lake. The Sangester Lake situated about 42 km from Tawang became popular after shooting of a dance sequence for the movie Koyla and has since been rechristened as Madhuri Lake.

Nurunang Fall

Just 20 Km from Tawang town is the spectacular Nurunang Waterfall which can easily be ranked as one of the five best waterfalls of India. This 100 m high huge waterfall is also known as Jang Waterfall as it is located 2 Km detour from the town of Jang on the road connecting Tawang and Bomdila.

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Awesome view of the Nurunang waterfall hitting the river below

This hidden gem of Tawang Tour first came to limelight when a song from the Bollywood movie Koyla featuring superstar Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit, Tanhai Tanhai Tanhai was shot here and at Sangetser Lake in 1997. The spectacle of huge volumes of milky white water hurtling down into the river below throwing up sprays up to several feet high provides an exhilarating experience.

To experience the beauty and vigour of this wondrous waterfall which can easily be ranked among the best waterfalls of the country, click HERE.

Jaswant Garh

Tawang tour can never get complete without visiting the Jaswant Garh Memorial that stands as a fitting tribute to the valiant warrior of Indian soldier Jaswant Singh Rawat. A rifleman of the fourth battalion of the Garhwal Rifles, Rawat immortalized himself by virtue of his excellent deed of bravado in the 1962 Indo-China war where he fought an undaunted and continuous battle for 72 hours.

This war memorial located at Nuranang, about 25 kms from Tawang and 14 Km from Sela Pass stands at the same place where the Chinese invaders captured and hanged Jaswant Singh Rawat.
Set in scenic terrain just below the Sela pass this temple-like Jaswant Garh memorial has a garlanded bronze bust of Jaswant Singh, a portrait of the war hero and his belongings including the Army uniform, cap, watch and belt. It is more of a temple than a war memorial for Indian Army soldiers.

Some of the other popular sightseeing spots in Tawang tour includes: Khinmey Gumfa, Urgelling Gompa, Bhramdungchung Ani Gompa, Jong-Nga-Tser Lake, Taktsang Gompa, Bab-Theng-Khang (BTK) waterfall, Gorzam Chorten Zemithang and the 600 year old unique iron chain bridge named Chagzam Bridge over Tawang – Chu River.

How to reach Tawang?

By Air

The nearest Domestic Airport from Tawang is Salonibari Airport at Tezpur at a distance of about 330 Km (roughly seven hour drive from Tawang). It is well connected to Kolkata, Guwahati and other domestic airports. The nearest International Airport from Tawang is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, roughly 480 Km from Tawang.

By Road

Rangapara North is the nearest railhead from Tawang. From Rangapara North railway station one can reach Tawang at a distance of about 324 Km in 8 hours by car. However Guwahati railway station at a distance of around 540 Km is a better option as Guwahati is very well connected with all the major cities of India.

By Road

Tawang town is connected with Guwahati, Tezpur and in fact with rest of the country via Sela Pass. One can reach Tawang from other parts of the country via Guwahati and Tezpur in Assam. From Guwahati (Assam) or Tezpur (Assam), one has to go to Bhalukpong in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh and from there via Bomdila and Sela Pass one can go to Tawang by road.

Where to stay at Tawang?

Tawang being a popular tourist destination of Arunachal Pradesh has a number of good hotels to suit the need of various travellers. Account of some of the prominent Tawang hotels are given below:

Gayki Khang Zhang

This is one of the best and popular of Tawang hotels that provides a host of facilities. For all the gracious comfort and elegance of your home this is one of the best hotels of Tawang.

For all the more information on hotel Gayki Khang Zhang click HERE. You can also contact the hotel at its phone numbers: + 91 3794 224647/48/49.

Hotel Zax Star

Nestled in the heart of nature and surrounded by snow-capped Himalayan ranges, Hotel Zax Star is an ideal place to spend your holiday in Tawang. Located among the lakes and mountains in Tawang, the hotel offers an exotic living in a homely atmosphere with all the comforts that a traveler asks for.

For all the more information about this Tawang hotel just click HERE. You can also call the hotel reception at its number: 03794 224652/224280/09862220859.

Dolma Group of Hotels

The group has three different hotels in its kitty. Tourists can choose from a variety of options offered, ranging from modern hotel stay amidst the busy market area to a pleasant and peaceful home stay away from the chaotic town.

Hotel Dolma is a budget hotel of the group where tourists don’t have to compromise on necessities. It is cozy yet inexpensive.

Hotel Dolma Chhinkar is situated in the heart of the Tawang town. Here you will have the option to get mingled with the sweet locals of the town. The hotel has the class and the comfort you deserve.

Dolma Khangsar Guest House is one of the best staying option available in the Tawang Town. Situated just a few steps away from The Majestic Tawang Monstery, you can feel peace and spirituality like you have never felt before.

For all the more information about this Tawang hotel just click HERE. You can also call the hotel reception at its number: 03794-223271/222327, +91-09886808206, +91-09686760517, +91-9436051011, +91-9436252319.

For a list of hotels and lodges in Tawang click HERE.