Thursday, 15 May 2014

Lakshadweep - The Blue Paradise

Scuba diving

Coral reefs

Aerodome at Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep Samudram (By M. V. Kavaratti):- Lakshadweep Samudram is a five day cruise to visit the island of Kavaratti, Kalpeni and Minicoy by ship – M.V. Kavaratti. The island tour is organized during the day with lunch and refreshments ashore. Nights are spent on board of ship. M. V. Kavaratti has 100 Diamond class accommodations. Swimming, snorkelling and other water sports are arranged during the day’tour.One of world’s most spectacular tropical island systems, Lakshadweep is trucked away at 220-440kms. Off the Kerala Coast. The island offer a precious heritage of ecology and culture. The unique feature of the islands is its coral reef, making it a pristine leisure spot to come back to 4200 sq.kms. of lagoon, rich in marine wealth, is spread over 36 islands in an area of 32 sq.kms.The underwater view at Lakshadweep is kaleidoscopic and breathtaking. The lagoon offers excellent potential for water sports like swimming, wind-surfing, diving, snorkelling and kayaking. No wonder Lakshadweep is fast becoming India’s one of its kind “Adventure sports – Nature Tourist” location. Each island is fringed by snow white coral sands. The crystal clear water and the abundant marine life enhance the beauty of these island. Against the vast expanse of the blue sea, the island look like emeralds. The huge shallow calm lagoon on the side with wall like reef made o marine live coral boulders blocks the incoming sweels of the outer sea. The islands are linked to the mainland by ship, helicopter, Indian Airlines, Kingfisher Airlines and merchandized sailing wooden vessels. The Island like Agatti and Bangaram can be reached by ship and air from Cochin. From Agatti, Kadmat Kavaratti are linked by speed ferry. In all the islands, elaborate infrastructure is in place to meet the needs of tourists. Lakshadweep was given the National Eco-Tourism Award 1997.

Package Seats: 100 (5 Days):-
Class of Accommodation        Transportation cost     Tour Charges  Total
Diamond (Adult)                     Rs. 13000                    Rs.9000                       Rs.22000
Diamond (Child)                      Rs.13000                     Rs.2500                       Rs.15500
Coral Reef Package (By M. V. Arabina Sea):- Coral Reef is a five-days cruise to visit any of the three islands of Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Minikoy or Kadmat by ship – M. V. Arabina Sea. The island tour is organized during the day with lunch and refreshment ashore. Nights are spent on board of ship. M. V. Arabina Sea have 36 first class and 120 tourist class accommodation. Swimming, snorkeling and other water sports are arranged during the day’tour.
Packages :- First class - 36 and Tourist class – 120
Class of Accommodation        Transportation cost     Tour Charges  Total
Diamond                                 Rs. 10000                    Rs. 6000          Rs. 16000
Gold                                         Rs. 6000                      Rs. 6000          Rs. 12000
Get in:-
Everybody requires a special permit to visit Lakshadweep. The easiest way to obtain it is to book a package tour through the government's tour operator SPORTS (A society under Lakshadweep Administrstion that provides various tours and packages, for more information visit  or arrange a hotel to sort it out for you. Indians may visit the other islands as well, but accommodation is very limited.
Nearly everybody going to Lakshadweep has to pass through Kochi from where you can continue by plane or ship:
By plane
Air India has 1 flights from Kochi to the airstrip at Agatti, the only one on the islands. Flights to Goa have been terminated.
By ship
There are occasional cruises directly from Mumbai.
Get around
Both boat and helicopter transfers are available from Agatti to Bangaram and Kadmat. The helicopter may be the only option in monsoon season from May to September.
By boats/ferries: These can be used for getting around from one island to the other
Once on an island, there aren't too many options. You can travel by foot or hire a bicycle.
Agatti Island Beach Resort

  0484 236 2232

  Ground Floor, Island Tower, Behind H.P.O, Market Road, Cochin, Agatti
  Lakshadweep, Lakshadweep - 682553

Kadmat Beach Resort

  0484 6062011, 4011134, 4011135
  096051 77000, 096052 77000

  Kadmat Beach Resort, Kadmath
  Lakshadweep, Lakshadweep - 682555

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Chardham and Hemkund Sahib Yatra-2014

Kedarnath Temple

Badrinath Temple

Gangotry Temple

Yamunotry Temple
The popularly waited Chardham Yatra begins once again after a year's gap due to the natural disaster.Uttarakhand tourism and Govt. of India jointly took several steps to unite pilgrims and god.
Yamunotry – Date of opening: 2nd May 2014
Gangotry – Date of opening: 2nd May 2014
Kedarnath – Date of opening: 4th May 2014
Badrinath --- Date of opening: 5th May 2014
Hemkunda Sahib – Date of opening 25th May 2014

The special services for the pilgrims started by Uttarakhand Tourism:-

1. Chardham control room – Pilgrims has to register here before their journey for their safety.Every information about the route will be provided to them in detail.
2. Police and Combined force of Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi - For the new trake route between Bhimwali and Kedarnath they will  be up for the safety of the pilgrimage.
3. Mobile Tower and P.C.O. in every 15 km. Mobile health service for the connection of entire area.
4. Health camp in Guptakashi, Sonprayag and Gourikunda for the pilgramage.
5. Helicopter service for Kedarnath by a private service provider.
6. Pilgrim helpline: 1364 (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.)

Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board:-
Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay Paryatan Bhawan,Near ONGC Helipad,Garhi Cantt.,Dehradun-248001.
Tel-91 135 2559987,2559900
For more information please

Thursday, 3 April 2014

AMRITSAR --- India Begins Here

Golden Temple

Flag ceremony at Wagah Border
Standing at the ancient gateway to India on the Grand Trunk Road, the historic city of Amritsar has stood in the path of Mughal, Persian and Afghan invaders and the British Raj, all of whom have left their mark in different ways. With a population exceeding 1.5m, Amritsar today is the largest city in Punjab.
Golden Temple: The main attraction of the city is the Golden Temple. A harmonious blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture, the Golden Temple is the spiritual home of the Sikh faith. The Temple itself sits at the centre of the Amrit Sarovar, or ‘pool of the nectar of immortality’. The gold ornamentation of the Temple was donated by the legendary Maharaja Ranjit Singh.The main entrance, leads down to the polished-marble Parikrama that surrounds the holy pool where Sikh pilgrims immerse themselves. Opposite the causeway leading to the Temple is Sri Akal Takht Sahib, the sacred shrine where the Sikhs’ holy book the Adi Granth is ceremoniously brought every night. No pilgrimage is complete without a meal at the Guru-ka-Langar, where free food is offered to all visitors 24 hours a day, a symbolic manifestation of the egalitarian Sikh faith.
Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib:  It is built 1770-84, octagonal tower is 45m high. Site of martyrdom of Atal Rai, 9  year old son of Guru Hargobind. Unique murals on 2nd and 3rd floors are worth a visit.
Jallianwala Bagh: Site of the infamous massacre in 1919 of unarmed demonstrators who were fired upon by troops under the command of General Dyer. The event was significant in hardening resistance to British rule.
Rambagh Gardens: The garden was laid out in 84 acres by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the north of the city. It also houses the Summer Palace of the Maharaja. The garden was named by the ruler himself as a tribute to Guru Ram Das, the founder of the city.
Summer palace: It is now being restored and converted into a museum, this elegant early 19c building is notable for one of the earliest examples of a maintenance-free cooling system. On display are weapons dating back to Mughal times, portraits of the ruling families of Punjab, coins, manuscripts, and a replica of the “Kohinoor” diamond. The adjoining Darshani Deorhi gatehouse is architecturally unique.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama: The battles fought and won by the Punjab’s most illustrious ruler are brought vividly to life in a series of dioramas in a circular display chamber. Illustrations and mementos tell the story of 200 years of Sikh history. Excellent entertainment and education for children and adults.
Gobindgarh Fort: Vast mud fort was built by a chieftain of Bhangi misl and was taken over by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and named after 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh ji. The specially constructed Toshakhana, in the centre of the fort, is believed to have housed some treasures and large amount of grain and provisions for the army.
Durgiana Mandir: Hindu temple and repository of Hindu scriptures. Virtual replica of Golden Temple, rebuilt in early 20th century, decorated in marble and gold leaf.
Attari Samadhi Complex: The Samadhis are the memorials of the martyrs. This complex is home to the Samadhi of Sardar Shyam Singh Attariwala, a close friend and general of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and was built after Shyam Singh’s martyrdom.
Khalsa College: Designed by famous architect S. Ram Singh, the Khalsa College building is a striking example of the Indo-Saracenic style. It is one of the oldest colleges in northern India.

Major Events:
Flag ceremony, Wagah (30km): daily at sunset. Extraordinarily colourful and boisterous ceremony on the Pakistan border crossing, where impressively moustachioed guards of both countries in extravagant headgear formally lower the national flags.
Diwali:(Oct/Nov) the fireworks at the Golden Temple at Diwali are the most spectacular in India, and the festive atmosphere makes for an unforgettable family experience.

Getting there:

By Air: Raja Sansi International Airport, located just 11 kms from Amritsar is one of the major international airports. This airport is well connected to all major cities in India and abroad.
By Rail: Amritsar has an extensive rail network connecting the city to all the major places in the country, like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, etc. Golden Temple Mail (Mumbai-Amritsar), Akal Takht Express (Howrah-Amritsar), Shatabdi Express (Delhi-Amritsar) are few of the important trains from major cities.


1. Ritz Plaza, 45 The Mall, Tel: 2562836-39
2. Mohan International, Albert Road, Tel: 3010100
3. Ranjit Svassa, 47-A The Mall, Tel: 2566618

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Gangtok is knocking

View of Gangtok

Mt Kangchendzonga

Gangtok is situated at 5,047ft, in the Eastern Himalaya in the little state of Sikkim. It is 97km from Darjeeling, 114km from Siliguri. Gangtok offers much to do, there are many sightseeing spots like Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok, Tashi View Point but to truly enjoy the town, walk a lot. Take a walk from the main bazaar to the Ridge, stroll on the Ridge itself, or walk up from there towards Enchay Monastery. On a good day after the monsoons, one can see Mt Kangchendzonga and the rest of the range in all its majestic glory. The peaks change colour through the day. For the best views of Mt kangchendzonga in Gangtak, visit after monsoon, in the month of October.
The Ridge :- Just above the main town, and a few minutes walk up from the main bazaar is the Ridge, a small but delightful stretch of flat road lined with trees. Everyone, either local or tourist comes here for a stroll.On the end of the Ridge are the chief minister’s official recidence and the White Hall. Near the White Hall is the Flower Exhibition centre where there is a display of variety of orchids.
Enchey Monastery :- This Monastery is located a 10-minutes walk above the Ridge. In the morning here listening to the hypnotic chants of the monks during morning prayers.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology :- Every tourist must visit this place where there is museum that exhibits a rare collection of ancient manuscripts, statues, ritual objects and thangkas.
Himalayan Zoological Park :-This open zoo sprawls across an area of 205 hectares in mountainous terrain and is a delightful place for long undisturbed walking as well as spotting some rare animals. Asnow leopard, Tibetan wolves, red pandas, Himalayan palm civets, leopard cats and many colourful Himalayan pheasants are the main attraction of the park.
Rumtek Monastery :- It is the largest monastery of Sikkim which is located 24km from Gangtok on a picturesque road across the Rangeet River.

Getting There:-

Bagdogra  is thenearest airport which is connected to Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati by daily flight. Taxi to Gangtok is around Rs 1,500.
New Jalpaiguri is the nearest Rail station which is connected to Kolkata by Darjeeling Mail, Kanchankanya Express, Kanchanjunga express and Delhi by Guwahati rajdhani express. Taxi to Gangtok costs about Rs 1,500.

Accommodation :-

1.The Royal Plaza (Tel: 281571,280032; Tariff; Rs 6,500-20,000).
2.Hotel Tashi-Delek (Tel: 202991; Tariff; Rs 3,375-5,750).
3. Hotel Chumbi Residency (Tel: 226618-19; Tariff; Rs 2,950-3,450).
4. Hotel Sonam Delek (Tel: 202566; Tariff; Rs 1,000-3,000).
Besides these there are many hotels in Gangtok.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Shantiniketan --- Heritage hangout


Prayer Hall
Black House

Shantiniketan is a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal. It is approximately 200 km from Kolkata. In the middle of the 19th century  Maharshi Devendranath Tagore purchased 20 bighas of land from the zamindars of Raipur. In1863 he constructed a house named, Shantiniketan Griha, the name later came to denote the surrounding locality. Later Rabindranath Tagore started here Patha Bhavan school which was his dream project because he believed studying in the natural atmosphere in open air is much enjoyable and fruitful. In 1921 this school expanded in a university and in 1953 it had been conferred as one of India's  best central universities. Many world famous teachers came to teach here. Indira Gandhi, Gayatri Debi, Satyajit Ray, Amartya Sen and many other famous students of Shantiniketan  have spreaded in various parts of the world.
Kalabhavan is the art college of Shantiniketan. It is one of the best art college in the world. Besides this there are various departmet of education and culture.
Upasana Griha or the prayer hall is another attraction of Shantiniketan. The four side of this hall is made of various coloured  Belgium glass with marble step. In the evening it gives a beautiful look  in the candle light. On Wednesday prayer are held here.
Uttarayana complex  associated a group of building such as Udayana, Shyamali, Punascha, Konark, Udichi where Rabindranath lived and worked in various time.
Chatimtala is famous and it was used for meditation by Rabindranth Tagore's Father Maharshi Devendranath Tagore.
The central library of Viswa Bharati is a paradise for book lovers.
The most popular  festival of  Shantiniketan is Poush mela, held in December  from 23th to 25th and Basanta utsab, held in Holi. Millions of people gather in this festivals from around the globe.

Getting There:

The trains are available from Kolkata to Bolpur.
Buses are available from Esplanade to Bolpur.
Nearest airport is at Kolkata.


1.Santiniketan Tourist Lodge (a unit of WBTDC Ltd)

Rate : Rs 700/- - Rs 900/- (Non AC) ; Rs 1900/- - Rs 2400/- (AC)

Phone : 03463-252398 Mobile : 09732100920
Booking at : Tourism Centre (Kolkata), Shantiniketan Tourist Lodge, All units of WBTDC Ltd
Online booking at: 

2.Hotel Camellia
Address:Prantik, Shantiniketan, Bolpur, Birbhum, West Bengal
3.Ranga Mati Tourist Lodge
Address:Bolpur Road
Telephone: 03463-252305

Kaziranga National Park

In Kaziranga National Park
Elephant safari in Kaziranga
A group of  Elephant in Kaziranga

 One  horn Rhinoceros 
Kaziranga in Central Assam is the state’s premier wildlife habitat and stretches east to west along the south bank of the Brahmaputra, which marks its northern boundary and the Karbi hills run along its southern boundary.  It spreads across two districts, Nagaon and Golaghat. The best tourist season is from November to early April.
Kaziranga is internationally acknowledged as one of the last undisturbed habitats of the Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros. There are over 1,500 rhinos n Kaziranga. It is also home to over 70 percent of the world’s wild buffalo population. The rare swamp deer is also found in plenty here. Kaziranga National Park is demarcated into three main tourist ranges---Kohora,Baghori and Agaratoli. Kohora is the central range, and most tourist facilities and park entry formalities are based here.
There are three tourist routes that you can choose for inside Kaziranga, and you can go either for a jeep or an elephant safari.The jeep and elephant safaris are must-dos’ if you have  go to Kaziranga. In the right season, you can spot many animals in just two days.
Kohora is the longest tourist routes, a 3-to 4-hr safari in this range offers almost a complete sense of Kaziranga and its wildlife. You may see rhinos, elephant and wild buffaloes. The large water bodies here offer different sights in different seasons. Catching elephants at play in these water-bodies is about the most rewarding experience there can be in Kaziranga.
Baghori is in the western end of the park. This circuit is known for guaranteeing sighting and its strategic watchtower. An evening trip on this route is almost always a gift for the wildlife tourist. Head to the watchtower before sunset to take in the view of the large clearing beyond the water, bathed in a golden light.
Agaratoli is the easternmost of the three routes and is 21 km from the Kohora base. This range is more wooded than the other two and animal sightings are slightly less frequent. Birds are abundant along this route.
A lesser-known fact about Kaziranga is that it is also a birdwatcher’s paradise. There are over 450 species of birds here, with the usual wetland resident and migratory birds. The endangered Bengal florican, the pied hornbill, raptor and owl species are found here.
Non-wildlife options could include a visit to a nearby tea plantation and factory and a trip to a local Karbi or Mising village where you can spend a day with the locals and see some of their craft and weaving. It is also possible to take a boat cruise on the Brahmaputra River.

The nearest airport is Jorhat which is connected to Kolkata. Guwahati is the option, convenient for visitors from Delhi and Mumbai. Car hire to Kaziranga is Rs 3,500 for a drop.
The nearest rail station is Jorhat.

1. Aranya Tourist Lodge(Tel-03776-262429)
2. Wild Grass Lodge(Tel-262085; Tariff: Rs 850-1,650)
3.Hotel Bonhabi (Tel-262710, 262575; Tariff- Rs.1,000-1,650)
4. Soil inspection Bungalow (Tel-262409, Tariff- Rs.450-500)

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Jungle safari-----------Corbett National Park

Jeep Safari

A group of Elephant

Tigers territory

Good luck
Corbett National park is located in the Ramnagar Valley near the Himalayan foothills. It is 19km from Ramnagar and 263km from Delhi. The ideal tourist season is between mid-November and April. The park closes for the monsoon season, from mid-June to mid-November.
Most people come to Corbett for the tigers---- of which there were, at the last estimation, approximately 140. The best time of year for tiger-spotting is April to mid-June. If birding is more your thing, mid-December to end March is when most migratory birds appear. But whatever time of year you come, there will always be deer, elephants, crocodiles, and a whole host of other animals including wild boars, otters, mongoose and snakes to see and hear, as well as the year round ever-changing natural beauty of the scenery to enjoy.
Corbett was the first sanctuary to come under Project Tiger. The territory is hilly, consisting of mixed deciduous forests of sal and sheesham trees and open grassy pastures. The park is bisected by the Ramnagar River, the Kosi River and their main tributaries. Corbett National Park has two main tourist zones. To the south-east, nearest to Ramnagar, is the smaller portion called the Bijrani  Range.  The other, much larger range  is referred to as Dhikala. Visitors are allowed to take in their own vehicles, but must be accompanied by an official guide or you can hire a jeep at the gate. Walking is strictly prohibited in the park, which closes at sunset. Conducted bus tours are available at Bijrani for 4-5 hours, and at Dhikala for a full day.

Getting There:

The nearest rail station is Ramnagar. Corbett National Park is easily connected from Delhi by the overnight Ranikhet Express, which depart from Old Delhi Railway Station.Taxi charges about Rs 450 from Ramnagar, Fares will vary depending on your place of stay .


1. Corbett Riverside Resort (Tel: 284125; Mobile: 09719244451; Tariff: Rs 6,700-10,300).
2.The Corbett Hideaway (Tel: 05947-284132/34 ; Tariff: Rs 6,750-11,000).
3. The Forest Department runs Forest Rest Houses inside the park. Corbett’s main camp, Dhikala Forest Lodge (Tel: 251489; Tariff: Rs 800-1,300).