WELCOME TO S-E-A-S-O-N-S

SHIMLA SIGHTSEEING

 

Before Independence, Shimla was the most important British hill station, and in the hot season became the 'summer capital' of India. Rashtrapati Niwas: It is a huge, fortress-like building with six storeys and magnificient reception and dining halls. State Museum: This nice little museum has a modest collection of stone statues from different places in Himachal Pradesh. Jakhu Temple: This temple is near the highest point of the Shimla ridge. It offers a fine view over the surrounding valleys and snow-capped peaks. Chadwick Falls: The falls are 67 metres high and are at their best during the monsoon. Prospect Hill: This popular picnic spot gives fine views over the surrounding country. Also there is a temple of Kamna Devia. Sankat Mochan:This spot with its Hanuman Temple gives a fine view of Shimla Tara Devi:There is a PWD rest house with double rooms for Rs.40. Wildflower Hall: It is a huge mansion, surrounded by pine trees.From here one can have a fine view back to Shimla,mountain peaks and Badrinath ranges Kufri: This is the best known ski resort in Himachal Pradesh. Mashobra: This picnic spot has pleasant forest walks. Summer Hill : There are pleasant, shady walks in this Shimla suburb on the Shimla to Kalka railway line. It is 5 km from Shimla. Other Activities : In winter there is ice skating on the rink on the north side of the ridge, just down below ANZ Grindlays Bank. On The Mall, in the air of the Indian Coffee House, there are two billiards halls.


SHIMLA SHOPPING

 

There are number of craft shops along the road near the Hotel Diplomat. Woodcarvings are the main item on sale.


SIRMUR SIGHTSEEING

 

Paonta Sahib: It is a transit point for travellers from the hill stations of northern Uttar Pradesh to Shimla and other hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. It is linked with Gobind Singh, the 10th of the Sikhs' gurus who lived here.His weapons are displayed in the town and his gurudwara still overlooks the river. Nahan: It is in the Siwalik hills, where the climb to the Himalayan heights commences.There are a number of interesting walks around the town including the trek to Choordhar from where there are fine views of the plains to the south and the Sutlej river. Renuka: There is a small zoo and a wildlife sanctuary with deer and many water birds. Bhakra-Nangal:The Giant Bhakra dam,one of the largest in the world,provides irrigation water for a vast area of the Punjab and also produces hydro- electric power. Bilaspur and Naina Devi:In Bilaspur, on the route from Chandigarh and on the shore of the Govind Sagar (lake), are the interesting Vyas Gufa, Laxminarayan and Radhashyam temples. There are fine views over the lake from Naina Devi.


MANDI SIGHTSEEING

 

The town of Mandi on the Beas river, is the gateway to the Kulu valley. From here you climb up the narrow,spectacular gorge of the river and emerge from this grey and barren stretch into the green and inviting Kulu valley. At an altitude of only 760 mtrs,temperature are higher here and Mandi mainly serves as travel crossroads as its name,which means 'market', might suggest. Sivarati Festival - This is one of the most interesting festivals in Himachal Pradesh. It lasts for a week and deities from all over Mandi district are brought here. Large numbers of people have darshan at the Bhutnath Temple.


DHARAMASALA SIGHTSEEING

 

The hill station of Dharamshala is actually split into two totally separate parts.As in other hill stations there is a wide variety of short and long walks but Dharamshala has the additional attraction of its strong Tibetan influence.It was here that The Dalai Lama and its followers fled after the Chinese invasion of Tibetan. The Dalai Lama is the recipient of the 1989 Noble Peace Prize. Meditation Courses: His holiness The Dalai Lama gives teachings every year in March, and this is obviously a popular time to be in the Dharamshala. The Tushita Retreat Centre has facilities for the retreat,and also has Buddhism courses.Course fees are Rs.60 per day,plus RS.60 for meals. Live-in accommodation is available for Rs.25 in a dorm,or Rs.45/70 with common bathroom and Rs.65/80 with attached bathroom. Medical Services- The Tibetan Medical Centre, just across from the Koko Nor Hotel, will be of interest to followers of alternative medicine. Church of St John - It is only a short distance below McLeod Ganj and has beautiful stained-glass windows. Kangra Art Museum - It houses miniature paintings from the famous Kangra school of art. The rock wall of Dhauladhar rises behind McLeod Ganj. Near Bhagsu there is an old temple,a spring,slate quarries and a small waterfall.It is a popular picnic spot.Dharamkot is also a popular picnic spot, where you will also enjoy a very fine view.


DALHOUSIE SIGHTSEEING

 

The footpath from Subhash Chowk to Gandhi Chowk has brightly painted low relief pictures.There is a nice little Tibetan refugee handicrafts shop with carpets whose unusual designs features rabbits and elephants; it is near Gandhi Chowk. With its dense forest, old English houses and colourful Tibetans, Dalhousie can be good place to spend sometime. About 2 km. from Gandhi Chowk along Ajit Singh Road,Panch Pulla (Five Bridges) could be a pleasant spot.Along the way there is a small fresh water spring known as Satdhana.


MANALI SIGHTSEEING

 

Manali is the main resort in the valley.It's beautifully situated and there are many pleasant walks around the town,as well as a large number of hotels and restaurants. Manali is also the starting point for a number of interesting treks,as well as for the two-day journey along the spectacular road to Leh in Ladakh. Hadimba Temple:The temple of the goddess Hadimba, who plays such a major part in Kulu's annual festival,is a sombre wooden structure in a clearing in the dense forest about a km. from the tourist office. Tibetan Monastery:The colourful,pleasant new Tibetan Monastery has a carpet making operation;you can buy carpets and other Tibetan Handicrafts here.


JAMMU SIGHTSEEING

 

There are several interesting attractions in the town of Jammu. Raghunath and Rambireswar Temples:The Raghunath Temple is in the centre of the city and has a large complex.It makes a good sunset silhouette.The Rambireswar Temple is dedicated to Lord Siva. Dogra Art Gallery: The Dogra Art Gallery, in the Gandhi bhavan, has an important collection of miniature paintings. Amar Mahal Palace: On the northern outskirts of town,this palace museum has a family portrait gallery and another important collection of paintings. JAMMU TO SRINAGAR Aknoor: This used to be the route to Srinagar in the Moghul era. Basohli: This is the birth place of the Pahari miniature painting style. Surinsar and Mansar Lakes: East of Jammu, these lakes are picturesque. Vaishno Devi:There is a cave temple of the 3 mother goddesses of Hinduism. Riasi:It is the ruined fort of General Zorawar Singh. Nearby is a Gurudwara with some interesting old frescoes and another important cave temple. Ramnagar:The Palace of Colours has beautiful Pahari-style wall paintings. Kud: There is a well known mountain spring, Swami ki Bauli. Patnitop: Patnitop is intended to be the nucleus of tourist development. Batote:As in Kud, there is a spring close to the village - Amrit Chasma. Sanasar: This valley is a centre for the Gujjar Shepherds each summer. Bhadarwah:Every Two years a procession of pilgrims walk from this beautiful high-altitude valley to the Kalpash Lake. Sudh Mahadev:There is a Siva Temple.Five km from Sudh Mahadev is Man Talai, where some archaeological discoveries have been made.


SRINAGAR SIGHTSEEING

 

Srinagar is a colourful city with a Central Asian flavour. Dal lake:There are two picnic spots - 1)Sona Lane (Silver Island) and 2)Rupa Lane (Gold island) Jhelum River and Bridges:This wide,swift-flowing and picturesque river is famed for its nine old bridges.There are a number of interesting mosques and other buildings near it. Museum:The Shri Pratap Singh Museum is in Lal Mandi.It has an interesting collection of exhibits relevant to Kashmir,including tiles from Harwan. Shah Hamdan Mosque:This Mosque is shaped like a cube with a pyramidal roof rising to a spire. Pather Masjid: This is the fine stone mosque. Tomb of Zain-ul-Abidin: The tomb shows a clear Persian influence in its domed construction and glazed tiles. Shankaracharya Hill: Its a pleasant stroll to the top,from where you have a fine view over Dal Lake. MOGHUL GARDENS Nishat Bagh:These are the largest of the Moghul gardens. Other Gardens: Chasma Shahi, Pari Mahal, Shalimar Bagh, Nasim Bagh. HAZRATBAL MOSQUE: It is most interesting for its stunningly beautiful setting on the shores of the lake. NAGIN LAKE: The 'jewel in the ring' is held to be the most beautiful of the Dal Lakes and is ringed by trees. HARI PARBAT FORT: At this fort, there is a shrine to the sixth Sikh Guru. PANDRETHAN TEMPLE:This is a small but beautifully proportioned Siva Temple.


SRINAGAR TO LEH SIGHTSEEING

 

SRINAGAR TO LEH Alchi: Famous for massive Buddha statues and lavish woodcarvings. Lekir & Basgo: It is noted for its Buddha figures. Mulbekh:There are two gompas on the hillside above the village of Mulbekh Rizong:Beyond Khalsi,is the nunnery of julichen and the monastery of Rizong Lamayuru:It is the first of the typical Ladakhi gompas perched on a hilltop with its village at the foot of the hill. Other Places:Zoji La,Drass,Kargil,Shergol. LEH Leh Palace:The Zanskar mountains,look close enough to touch. Leh & Tsemo Gompas:It stands above the palace and houses manuscripts and paintings.It contains a fine three-storey-high seated Buddha image. Sankar Gompa:The gompa has electric lighting so an evening visit is worthwhile. GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR : Indian Airlines has flights from Delhi, Srinagar, Jammu and Chandigarh. BUS : There are two overland routes into Leh: the road from Srinagar and the road from Manali (Himachal Pradesh).


LADAKH SHOPPING

 

Things you buy include chang and tea vessels, cups and butter churns, knitted carpets with Tibetan motifs, Tibetan jewellery or, for just a few rupees, a simple prayer flag. Syed Ali Shah's postcard shop is well worth a visit.


MATHURA SIGHTSEEING

 

Mathura is an ancient cultural and religious centre. The Buddhists monasteries here received patronage from Ashoka. Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi-There is a small room which looks like a prison cell.Here pilgrims file past the stone slab onto which Krishna is supposed to have been born.There is the Aurangzeb's mosque and also a Hindu Temple. Along the Yamuna River - Vishram Ghat is the important bathing ghat.The Sati Burj is a 4-storey tower built by the son of Behari Mal.Also,there is the Jami Masjid and the Dwarkadheesh Temple. Archaeological Museum- There is a 5th century standing Buddha. Also,there are many other sculptures,coins,terracotta work and a pleasant garden. Gita Mandir - There is the Gita Stambh,a pillar on which the whole of the Bhagavad Gita is carved. MATHURA IS TRADITIONALLY RECOGNISED AS THE CAPITAL OF BRAJ BHOOMI, THE LAND WHICH GAVE BIRTH TO LORD KRISHNA. THE REGION IS RICHLY INTERWOVEN WITH THE LEGEND OF KRISHNA, KEPT ALIVE TODAY BY MILLIONS OF DEVOTEES WHO LOOK UPON HIM AS THE MOST ENDEARING INCARNATION OF LORD VISHNU, AND BY SPECIFIC LOCA- TIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE LEGEND. MATHURA'S HISTORY DATES BACK TO AT LEAST 600 BC AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS HAVE TESTIFIED ITS IMPORTANCE. IT WAS OF SIGNIFICANCE DURING THE MAURYAN ERA AND RECEIVED GREAT STIMULUS UNDER EMPE- ROR ASHOKA. THE TWIN CITY OF VRINDAVAN, 15KMS AWAY, IS ALSO INTEGRAL TO THE LEGEND OF KRISHNA. THIS IS WHERE LORD KRISHNA PLAYED HIS FLUTE AND SPORTED WITH THE GOPIS. THE TOWN WAS LATER IMMORTALIZED IN THE POEMS OF MIRABAI, A PRINCESS OF MEDIEVAL INDIA WHO BECOME AN ARDENT DEVOTEE OF KRISHNA. VRINDAVAN IS ONE


MUSSOORIE SIGHTSEEING

 

It can be peaceful in the off season and there are good walks along the mountain ridges.A ropeway runs upto Gun Hill. For the early morning views of the Himalaya including Bandar Punch, you have to walk up. At the top, photo agencies will dress you up in Garhwal national dress in which you can have your photo. The walks around Mussoorie offer great views. Camel's Back Road was built as a promenade and passes a rock formation that looks like a camel-hence the name. Another good walk takes you down to Happy Valley and the Tibetan Refugee Centre where there is a temple and a small shop selling hand-knitted jumpers. An enjoyable longer walk takes you through Landour Bazaar to Childers Lodge, the highest point in Mussoorie. At Kempty Falls and Dhanolti, one can have a good Himalayan view. One can visit to the astrologer, watch video games at the Tourist Complex, play Billiards at Hotel Clarks, join the library or roller skating on the wooden floor of "The Rink".


HARDWAR SIGHTSEEING

 

Haridwar means Gateway to the Gods. Haridwar's propitious location at the point where the Ganges emerges from the high Himalaya to begin its slow progress across the plains makes it a particularly holy place. There are many ashrams. Every 12 years the Kumbh Mela attracts millions of pilgrims. It takes place every 3 years at Haridwar. It is next due to take place in 1998. The main ghat, Har ki Pairi, is the spot where the Ganges leaves the mountains and enters the plains. It's worth taking the chairlift to the Mansa Devi Temple on the hill above the city. The Daksha Mahadev Temple is also an important temple. Other various interesting places includes Bhimgoda tank, Ashrams like Sapt Rishi Ashram and the Parmath Ashram which has fine images of the goddess Durga. The Bharat Mata Temple looks like an apartment block with a central dome. It is seven storeys high. Chandi Devi is also an important temple.


KANGRA SIGHTSEEING

 

To the north, the Kangra valley is flanked by the Dhauladhar mountain range, to the side of which Dharamsala clings. There are a number of places of interest along the valley. The Kangra school of painting developed in this valley. Baijnath - It is an important pilgrimage place due to its very old Siva Temple. There is a PWD Rest House in Baijnath. Palampur - It is a pleasant little town surrounded by tea plantations.There are some pleasant walks around the town. Kangra - There is the famous temple of Bajreshwari Devi. Kangra has a PWD Rest House. Jawalamukhi - The temple of Jawalamukhi is famous for its eternally burning flame. It is the most popular pilgrimage site in Himachal Pradesh. Chintpurni - It has an important temple. Masrur - It has 15 richly carved rock-cut temples in the Indo-Aryan style. Nurpur - It has finely carved reliefs. A Krishna Temple, also finely carved stands within the Nurpur Fort. It has a PWD rest house. Treks from Kangra Valley : From Baijnath you can make an interesting trek to Dharamsala, Chamba or Manali. The first day's trek to Bir Khas can be done by bus. At Bara Bhangal, reached on Day 6, you can choose to go east to Manali or west to Dharamsala or Chamba.


NAINI TAL SIGHTSEEING

 

Naini Tal is very much a green and pleasant land. This is certainly one of the most pleasant hill stations to visit and there are many interesting walks through the forests to points with superb views of the Himalaya. Naini Lake - This attractive lake is said to be one of the emerald green eyes of Siva's wife,Sati.There is a holy spot called the Naina Devi Temple. Ropeway to Snow View - A chairlift takes you up to this popular view point. At the top there are powerful binoculars for a close-up view of Nanda Devi. Hanumangarh and Observatory - There are good views and spectacular sunsets over the plains from this Hanuman Temple. You can rent ponies to climb to any of the view points. You can play Billiards at Naini Billiards. You can also rent fishing gear at the lake at Bhim Tal.


RISHIKESH SIGHTSEEING

 

Rishikesh is an excellent place to stay and study yoga, meditation and other aspects of Hinduism. It is also the starting point for treks to Himalaya pilgrimage centres like Badrinath, Kedarnath and Gangotri. The Triveni Ghat is an interesting place to be at dawn. After sunset priests set floating lamps on the water in the Aarti ceremony. The Bharat Mandir is the oldest temple. There is also the suspension bridge, the Lakshman Jhula. The old Lakshman Temple is on the west bank. Across the river are some turretted architectural oddities including the 13-storey Kailashanand Mission Ashram-there is a good view from the top. Pilgrims take Ganga water to offer at Neel Khanth Mahadev. There are great views from Kunjapuri, in the hills north of Rishikesh. Meditation: There is the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation Centre. On the other side of the river is Shivanand Ashram,founded by Swami Shivanand.At Yog Niketan One can take up yoga and meditation classes. Another popular place is the Yoga Study Centre at Koyalghati. Also, Ved Niketan is a very relaxed place.


ALMORA SIGHTSEEING

 

At Almora there is an interesting bazaar, excellent views of the mountains and some great walks. The 8 km. walk upto the Kasar Devi Temple is a good one - this is where Swami Vivekanand came to meditate. You can also visit the tweed mills above the Holiday Home, and the town museum. The clock tower was built in 1842. There is a small Siva Shrine in the room below it.


AROUND SHIMLA-SOLAN SIGHTSEEING

 

Solan is between Kalka and Shimla. It is named after the Soloni Devi Temple on the southern side of the town. Kasauli - This is a pleasant little hill stations. It is an interesting 15 km. trek from Kalka to Kasauli. Only 4 km. from Kasauli is Monkey Point, a picnic spot and lookout with a very fine view over the plains to the south and to the mountains in the north. Sabathu, 38 km. from Kasauli, has a 19th-century Gurkha-built fortress. Kalka-Pinjore (Haryana),which is 5 km. south-west of Kalka near Chandigarh, has a Moghul summerhouse and garden, built by Fidai Khan. Naldera - It has a golf course and cafeteria. Chabba - This Rest House is a pleasant 5 km. walk from Basantpur. Tattapani - There are popular sulphur hot springs. Fagu - It has very fine views. It is 22 km. from Shimla, and receives a lot of snow in winter. This town also has a potato research centre.


NARKANDA SIGHTSEEING

 

Narkanda is a popular spot for viewing the Himalaya, particularly from the 3300-metre Hattu peak. It has recently been developed as a skiing centre. From Narkanda you can make trips to Baggi and Khadrala, which are on the Hindustan to Tibet road leading to the Tibetan border. You can visit the apple-growing area around Kotgarh. Baggi and Khadrala - Due east from Narkanda there are Rest Houses in both these places, and Khadrala also has a Forest Rest House. Thanedhar - This is a centre for apple growing. There is a PWD Rest House. Rohru - This is the site for the Rohru fair which takes place during two days each April.The temple of Devta Shikri is the centre for this colourful fair. The Pabar River, which runs through Rohru is noted for its trout. Hakoti, a little before Rohru, has an interesting ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Durga.


CHAMBA SIGHTSEEING

 

Chamba has a grassy promenade known as the chaugan. Each year it is the site for the Minjar festival in August, with a colourful procession.An image of Lord Raghuvira leads the procession and other gods and goddesses follow in palanquins. TEMPLES The Chamundra Temple on top of a hill gives an excellent view of Chamba with its slate-roof houses, the River Ravi and the surrounding countryside. There is the temple complex of Lakshmi Narayan which contains six temples. There is the Hariraya Temple, dedicated to Vishnu and is in the Sikhara style of architecture. BHURI SINGH MUSEUM Chamba also has the Bhuri Singh Museum, which has an interesting collection relating to the art and culture of this region - particularly the miniature paintings of the Basohli and Kangra schools.


KULU SIGHTSEEING 1

 

There are a number of interesting things to see around Kulu,and some fine walks. Some of the main temples around Kulu are:- Raghunath Temple-It is one of the important temple. Jagannathi Devi Temple-From the temple there are fine views over the town. Vaishno Devi Temple-This small cave has an image of the goddess Vaishno. Bajaura-The famous temple of Basheshar Mahadev has fine stone carvings and sculptures.There is a PWD Rest House in Bajaura. Bijli Mahadeva Temple : A jeep track links Kulu with Bijli Mahadeva, 8 km away. Across the river, high on a projecting bluff, the temple is surmounted by a 20-metre-high rod said to attract blessing in the form of lightning. Dussehra Festival : The festival start on the 10th day of the rising moon, known as Vijay Dashmi, and continues for 7 days. Dussehra celebrates Rama's victory over the demon king Ravana. Kulu's festival is a great gathering of the gods from temples all around the valley. The Raghunathji rath is brought down, decked with garlands and surrounded by the other important gods. The procession with the cars and bands takes place on the evening of the first day of the festival. During the following days and nights of the festival there are dances, music, a market and festivities far into the night. Raghunathaji is carried back to his main temple in a wooden palanquin.



MEERUT SIGHTSEEING

 

The Suraj Khund is the most interesting Hindu temple in Meerut and there is a Moghul mausoleum,the Shahpir,near the old Shahpir Gate. At Sardhana,18 km north of Meerut, is the palace of Begum Samru. She was converted to Roman Catholicism and built the basilica here in 1809, which has an altar of white Jaipur marble. There are several Hotels in Meerut. Hotel Shaleen is the best.


ALWAR SIGHSEEING

 

At Alwar there is a tourist office near the Purjan Vihar Garden. Bala Quila Fort: This huge fort stands 300 metres above the city. Predating at the time of Pratap Singh,it is one of very few forts in Rajasthan which was constructed before the rise of the Moghuls. Palace Complex: Below the fort sprawls the huge city palace complex,its massive gates and tank lined by a beautifully symmetrical chain of ghats and pavilions. Examples of miniature writing,miniature paintings of the Bundi school and ivory,sandalwood and jade,as well as the usual armoury displays,are among the museum's unusual exhibits.


SHEKHAWATI SIGHSEEING

 

There are painted havelis built by the merchants.There is also the obligatory forts,a couple of minor castles,distinctive wells,stepwalls, chhatris,and mosques. The major towns of interest in the region are Fatehpur,Mandawa,Ramgarh,Jhunjhunu and Sikar. Havelis: The main entrance is usually a large wooden gate leading into a small courtyard,which in turn leads into another large courtyard. The houses were decorated with murals,and it is these murals which are of major attraction. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Access to the region is easiest from Jaipur or Bikaner. The towns of Sikar and Fatehepur are on the main Jaipur to Bikaner road and are served by many buses. Churu is on the main Delhi to Bikaner railway line. Mandawa : It has some of the finest painted havelis in the region. Of the havelis the Bansidhar Newatia Haveli has some curious paintings on its outer eastern wall. Gulab Rai Haveli is one of the finest in the region,and has superb murals. Other buildings worth seeking out are the Harlalka well, and the Majisa ka Kuan well,north of the central bazaar. Jhunjhunu: The main item of interest is the Khetri Mahal.The Sri Bihariji Temple contains fine murals.The Modi and Tibrewala havelis are covered with murals.The town also has a number of chhatris and wells. Ramgarh: It has the greatest concentration of painted havelis and is a fascinating place to wander around.The Poddar Chhatris and the Poddar havelis are all fine examples.


PATNA SIGHTSEEING

 

Patna is a pleasant city situated along the southern bank of the Ganges. Golghar: It is a beehive-shaped building. It has steps winding around the outside to the top. It provides a fine view over the town and the Ganges. Patna Museum: This excellent museum has metal and stone sculptures,terraco- tta figures and archaeological finds from sites in Bihar such as Nalanda. Kumrahar Excavations: The main points of interest are the assembly hall,and the foundations of the brick Buddhist monastery known as Anand Bihar. Har Mandir: At the eastern end of the city,in the Chowk area of old Patna, stands one of the holiest Sikh shrines. Qila House (Jalan Museum): It contains an impressive private collection of antiques including a Marie Antoinette's Sevres porcelain,a dinner service. Khuda Baksh Oriental Library: This library has a renowned collection of rare Arabic and Persian manuscripts,Moghul and Rajput paintings. Other attractions:The heavy,domed Sher Shahi is the oldest mosque.


BODHGAYA SIGHTSEEING

 

Bodhgaya is the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.It is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the world.The best time to visit Bodhgaya is when the Tibetan pilgrims come during the winter. Mahabodhi Temple:A 50-metre high pyramidal spire tops the Mahabodhi Temple, inside which is a large gilded image of the Buddha.There is the carved and sculptured stone railing around the temple.There are Stone stupas erected by visiting pilgrims. Bodhi Tree: A red sandstone slab under the tree is said to be the Vajrasan, or diamond throne,on which the Buddha sat. Monasteries:They are built in a representative architectural style.The Thai temple looks very much like the colourful 'wats' you see in Thailand.The Tibetan temple and monastery contains a large prayer wheel.There is also the Sakya monastery and the Karma Temple.The Japanese temple has a very beautiful image of the Buddha brought from Japan. The Tai Bodhi Kham mon- astery is being built by Buddhist tribes from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Other attractions: The archaelogical museum has collection of Buddha figures and pillars.The Hindu Shankaracharya Math has a temple.Also,there are Dungeshwari and Suraya temples.There is the 25-metre Great Buddha Statue in the Japanese Kamakura style. Meditation Course: Courses and retreats take place in the winter,from November to early February.Some of the most accessible courses are run by the Root Institute for Wisdom Culture,set in a peaceful location of the edge of Bodhgaya.


GAYA SIGHTSEEING

 

Gaya is about 100 km south of Patna. It is a centre for Hindu pilgrims. Vishnupad temple: This sikhara-style temple was constructed in 1787 by Queen Ahalya Bai of Indore on the banks of The River Falgu. Inside the temple the 40-cm long 'footprint' of Vishnu is imprinted in solid rock and surrounded by a silver-plated basin. Other Attractions: A flight of 1000 stone steps leads to the top of the Brahmajuni Hill, one km south-west of the Vishnupad Temple.There is a good view over the town from the top.Gaya has a small archaeological museum. A temple of Surya, the sun god,stands 20 km to the north at Deo.The Barabar Caves, are 36 km north of Gaya. These are the 'Marabar' caves of E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. Two of the caves contain inscription from Ashoka himself.


RANCHI SIGHTSEEING

 

SOUTHERN BIHAR Ranchi: In the past,it was Bihar's summer capital. The Kanke hospital for the mentally handicapped is the best known in the country. One of the most interesting things to see here is the Jagannath Temple,a small version of the great Jagannath Temple at Puri,which celebrates its own,smaller festi- val of the cars. It's 6 km south-west of Ranchi and visitors are welcome. There are a number of hills on the edges of Ranchi for sunset views over the rocky landscape.There is a Tribal Research Institute with a musuem.


AJMER SIGHTSEEING

 

Ajmer is a green oasis on the shore of the Ana Sagar.It is a major centre for Muslim pilgrims during the fast of Ramadan. It has some superb early Muslim architecture, a fort overlooking the town and a lively bazaar. Ana Sagar: This is an artificial lake. On its bank is a fine park,the Dault Bagh,containing a series of marble pavilions.It's popular for an evening stroll. There are good views from the hill beside the Dault Bagh. Dargah : At the foot of a barren hill in the old part of town, this is one of India's most important places for Muslim pilgrims.The Dargah is the tomb of a Sufi saint.As you enter the courtyard, a mosque constructed by Akbar is on the right.In an inner court, there is another mosque. Constructed of white marble, it has 11 arches and a Persian inscription running the full length of the building.The saint's tomb is in the centre of the second court. It has a marble dome and the actual tomb inside is surrounded by a silver platform.The tomb attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims. Adhai-din-ka-jhonpra:The mosque is a particulary fine piece of architecture with different pillars and the 'arched' screen with minarets is noteworthy. Three km and a steep climb beyond the mosque,the Taragarh,or Star Fort commands an excellent view over the city. Akbar's Palace : This fort was built by Akbar and today houses the Ajmer Museum. Nasiyan Temple : The Red Temple on Prithviraj Marg is a Jain temple.Its double-storey hall contains a series of large,gilt wooden figures from Jain mythology which depict the Jain concept of the ancient world.It's certainly worth a visit.


PUSHKAR SIGHTSEEING

 

The interesting little town of Pushkar is one of those travellers' centres where people go for a little respite from the hardships of life on the Indian road.The town clings to the side of the small but beautiful Pushkar Lake with its many bathing ghats and temples.For Hindus,Pushkar is a very important pilgrimage centre.Pushkar is also world famous for the huge camel and cattle fair which takes place here each October or November. CAMEL FAIR: The Rajasthan tourist office has promoted the fair as an inter- national attraction by adding Rajasthan dance programmes and other cultural events and by putting up a huge tent city for the Indian and foreign visitors.It's one of India's biggest and most colourful festivals. TEMPLES: The most famous temple is the temple dedicated to Brahma.It's marked by a red spire,and over the entrance gateway is the 'hans', or goose symbol,of Brahma. The Rangji Temple is also important.The one-hour trek upto the hilltop temple overlooking the lake is best made early in the morning;the view is magnificent. GHATS: There are numerous ghats which run down to the lake.


RANTHAMBHOR NATIONAL PARK-SIGHTSEEING

 

Near the town of Sawai Madhopur ,midway between Bharatpur and Kota, Ranthambhor National Park is one of the prime examples of Project Tiger's conservation efforts in Rajasthan.There are 40 tigers in the park and so you have a good chance of a sighting on your first safari.Even if you don't see a tiger,it's worth the effort for the scenery alone. The park itself covers some 400 sq.km and its scenery is very beautiful. A system of lakes and rivers is hemmed in by steep high crags and, on top of one of these,is the extensive and well-preserved fortress of Ranthambore, built in the 10th century. A good network of four gravel tracks crisscrosses the park and safaris are undertaken in open-sided jeeps driven by a ranger.The best time to visit the park is between October and April.


PUSHKAR SHOPPING

 

Things to Buy -------------- Pushkar has a wide selection of handicraft shops all along the main bazaar and is especially good for embroidered fabrics such as wall hangings,bed covers,cushion covers and shoulder bags.There's something to suit all tastes and pockets. In between these shops are the clothing shops. The music shops are well worth a visit if one is interested in picking up some examples of traditional or contemporary classical Indian music. There are a number of bookshops in the main bazaar selling secondhand novels in various languages and they'll buy them back for 50% of what you pay.


KOTA SIGHTSEEING

 

Kota is Rajasthan's industrial centre. The Chambal Gardens, the Fort and the Kota Barrage are to the south. City Palace and Fort : Standing beside the Kota Barrage, overlooking the Chambal River, the City Palace and Fort is one of the largest complexes in Rajasthan. Entry is from the south side through the Naya Darwaza, or New Gate. Just inside the New gate is the small Government Museum. It has a collection of stone idols and other such fragments. The Rao Madho Singh Museum is on the right-hand side of the complex's huge central countryard and is entered through a gateway topped by rampant elephants like those at the Bundi Fort. Inside, you will find displays of weapons, clothing and the best preserved murals in the state. Indeed, everything about this former place is colourful.After visiting the museum, it's worth wandering around the rest of the complex just to appreciate how magnificent this place must have been in its heyday. Chambal Gardens : The gardens south of the fort at Amar Niwas are popular for picnics and feature a pond well stocked with crocodiles. Jagmandir : Between the City Palace and the Tourist Bungalow is the picturesque artificial tank of Kishore Sagar.


BUNDI SIGHTSEEING

 

Bundi, only 39 km. north-west of Kota, was the capital of a major princely state during the heyday of the Rajput. Today, Bundi is a picturesque little town. The town's Rajput legacy is well preserved in the shape of the massive Taragarh Fort which broods over the town in the narrow valley below and the huge palace which stands beneath it. In this palace are found the the famous Bundi murals. Taragarh Fort : It is also known as the Star Fort. It is reached by a steep road leading up the hillside to its enormous gateway, topped by rampant elephants. Inside are huge reservoirs carved out of solid rock and the Bhim Burj, the largest of the battlements, on which is mounted a famous cannon. Views over the town and surrounding countryside are excellent. Palace : The palace itself is reached from the north-western end of the bazaar, through a huge wooden gateway and up a steep, cobbled ramp. Only two parts of the outer perimeter of the palace, known variously as the Chitra Mahal and Ummed Mahal, are open to the public. Some of the famous Bundi murals can be seen on the upper level. Nawal Sagar : Also visible from the fort is the square artificial lake of Nawal Sagar. In the centre is a temple to Varuna, the Aryan god of water. Baoris : Bundi has a couple of beautiful baoris. The Nagar Sagar Kund is a pair of matching step-wells. Ranijiki baori has superb carving. Other Attractions : The modern palace, known as the Phool Sagar Palace, has a beautiful artificial tank and gardens. There is another palace, the smaller Sukh Mahal, closer to town on the edge of Jait Sagar. Shikhar Burj is a small hunting lodge and picnic spot.


BUNDI SHOPPING

 

The Bundi Cafe Crafts shop has a good range of local souvenirs, including miniatures and jewellery.


CHITTORGARH SIGHTSEEING

 

The hilltop fortress of Chittorgarh epitomises the whole romantic, doomed ideal of Rajput chivalry. Fort : All of Chittor's attractions are within the fort. A zigzag ascent of over one km. leads through seven gateways to the main gate on the western side,the Ram Pol. Within the fort there is a circular road and a deer park. Rana Kumbha Palace : It contains elephant and horse stables and a Siva temple. There is a treasury building or Nau Lakha Bhandar. Fateh Prakash Palace : It is just beyond the Rana Kumbha Palace. Tower of Victory : Hindu sculptures adorn the outside of the tower. There is the Sammidheshwar Temple. Gaumukh Reservoir : It is a deep tank and a spring feeds the tank from a carved cow's mouth. Padmini's Palace : It is built beside a large pool with a pavilion in its centre. There is a deer park, Bhimlat Tank, the Suraj Pol Gate and the Neelkanth Mahadev Jain Temple, before the Tower of Fame. Tower of Fame : Chittor's famous tower, the Kirti Stambha, or Tower of Fame is older. It is dedicated to Adinath, first Jain tirthankar. Other Buildings :The Meera Temple was built during the reign of Rana Kumbha in the ornate Indo-Aryan style. The larger temple is the Kumbha Shyam Temple, or Temple of Vriji. There is also the Jain Singa Chowri Temple. Across from Padmini's Palace is the Kalika Mata Temple, an 8th-century Surya, or Sun God, Temple. At the northern tip of the fort is another gate, the Lokhota Bari.


TREKS FROM CHAMBA

 

There are a number of interesting treks from Chamba, both short out-and-back treks and longer treks to places like Dharamsala. The shorter ones include the 8 km. walk to Sarol, 24 km. to Bandal and the 40 km. trek to Chhatrari. In Chhatrari, on the route to Brahmaur, the temple of Devi Adi Shakti is dedicated to the goddess of primeval energy. Brahmaur (Brahmpura) : Vehicles can cover the whole 65 km. from Chamba to Brahmaur, although the last 16 km. from Kharamukh require 4WD. Buses run upto Kharamukh. It is also known as Shivbhumi. There are some very old temples grouped in a compound known as the Chaurasi. From Brahmaur you can make the 35 km. trek to Manimahesh Lake. This important pilgrimage spot is at tne base of the 5575 meter Manimahesh Kailash. Thousands flock here on the 15th day after Janmashtami,which falls in August or September each year. Pangi Valley : Kilar, 167 km. north-east of Chamba, is in the deep and narrow gorge of the Chenab River.Here you are in the high Himalaya, in the scenic Pangi Valley, between the Pangi and Zanskar ranges.


LUCKNOW SHOPPING

 

The bazaars of Aminabad and Chowk are fascinating places to wander. Down the narrow lanes of Aminabad you can buy "attar" - perfume made in the traditional way from essential oils which are mixed with flower fragraces. In Chowk, Nakkhas is the bird-sellers' district. Several states have their government emporia in Hazratganj. The Gangotri government emporium is a good place for local handicrafts including the hand-woven embroidery known as chikan. It's made into saris for women and kurtas for men.


ALLAHABAD SIGHTSEEING

 

The city of Allahabad is 135 km. west of Varanasi at the confluence of two of India's most important rivers - the Ganges and the Yamuna. This meeting point of the rivers is called Sangam. Sangam : At this point the shallow, Ganges meets the deeper Yamuna.The most propitious time of all happens only every 12 years when the massive Kumbh Mela takes place. Sunrise and sunset can be spectacular here. Fort : The Fort, which was built by Akbar stands at the confluence on the Yamuna side. It has massive walls and pillars and 3 magnificent gateways flanked by high towers. It is made from huge bricks and is at its most impressive when viewed from the river. Patalpuri Temple and Undying Tree : A small door in the east wall of the fort near the river leads to the one area in the fort you can go without permission- the underground Patalpuri Temple and the 'Undying Banyan Tree'. Hanuman Temple : This popular temple is open to non-Hindus. Anand Bhavan : This shrine to the Nehru family is the best kept museum in the country. In the well-manicured gardens is a planetarium, built in 1979. Khusru Bagh : This peaceful garden, close to the railway station contains the tomb of Prince Khusru, son of Jehangir. All Saints Cathedral : The polished brass memorial plaques inside the Cathedral make interesting reading. Allahabad Museum : Set in a peaceful park, this large museum has galleries devoted to local archaeological finds and natural history. Other Attractions : The Nag Basuki Temple is mentioned in the puranas and is in the banks of the Ganges, north of the railway bridge.


FAIZABAD SIGHTSEEING

 

The mausoleum of Bahu Begum is said to be the finest of its type in Uttar Pradesh. Nawab Shujaddaula, husband of Bahu Begum also has a fine mausoleum. There are large mosques in the market area and pleasant gardens in Guptar Park.


AYODHYA SIGHTSEEING

 

Ayodhya is a holly Hindu city and popular pilgrimage place. The Hanumangadhi (dedicated to Hanuman) is the first major temple you come to. It was built within the thick white walls of the fortress and there are good views from the ramparts. There is also the Kanak Mandir and a ghat; the town is on the Gogra River. There are over 100 other temples.


VARANASI SIGHTSEEING

 

Varanasi, situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges, is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India and also a major tourist attraction. Ghats : Varanasi's principal attraction is the long string of bathing ghats which line the west bank of the Ganges. The best time to visit the ghats is at dawn when the light is magical and Varanasi looks an exotic place. Golden Temple : The temple, with gold plating was built in 1776. Near the temple, which is interesting to visit in the evening, are narrow alleys filled with many shops. Great Mosque of Aurangzeb : This great mosque has minarets towering 71 mtr. above the Ganges. Durga Temple : It was built in the 18th century by a Bengali maharani and is stained red with ochre. The small temple is built in north Indian Nagara style with a multitiered sikhara. Tulsi Manas Temple : This modern marble sikhara-style temple is next to the Durga Temple. The walls of the temple are engraved with verses and scenes from the Ram Charit Manas, the Hindi version of the Ramayana. Benares Hindu University : The university was founded by Pandit Malaviya as a centre of education in Indian art, culture and music, and for the study of Sanskrit. The Bharat Kala Bhavan at the university has a fine collection of miniature paintings and also sculptures from the 1st to 15th centuries. New Vishwanath Temple : It is about a 30-minute walk from the gates of the university. The interior has a Siva lingam and verses from Hindu scriptures inscribed on the walls. The temple is supposed to be a replica of the original Vishwanath Temple.


VARANASI SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Alamgir Mosque : It was built by Aurangzeb and is a curious Hindu/Muslim mixture . Bharat Mata Temple : Dedicated to 'Mother India', this temple has a marble relief map of India. It gives an excellent impression of the high isolation of the Tibetan plateau. The temple was opened by Mahatma Gandhi. Ram Nagar Fort and Museum : This 17th century fort is the home of the Maharaja of Benares. The interesting museum contains old silver and brocade palanquins for the ladies of the court, elephant howdahs made of silver,old brocades and an armoury of swords and old guns.


VARANASI SHOPPING

 

Varanasi is famous all over India for silk brocades and beautiful Benares saris. There is a market near the GPO called Golghar where the makers of silk brocades sell directly to the shops in the area. You can get cheaper silk brocade in this area than in the big stores. The big shops selling silk brocades are all in the Chowk area of the old cities.


SARNATH SIGHTSEEING

 

Only 10 km. north-east of Varanasi, the most holy of Hindu cities, is Sarnath, one of the major Buddhist centres. Having achieved enlightenment at Bodhgaya, the Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his message of the middle way to final nirvana. Later, Ashoka erected magnificent stupas and monasteries. The city was known as the Deer Park, after the Buddha's famous first sermon, The Sermon in the Deer Park. Dhamekh Stupa : This 34-metre-high stupa has geometrical and floral patterns. Main Shrine and Ashoka Pillar : Ashoka is said to have meditated in the building known as the 'main shrine'. Standing in front of the main shrine is the Ashoka pillar. An edict issued by Ashoka is engraved on the column and below this are representations of a lion, elephant, horse and bull.


JAUNPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

This town is of great interest to architectural historians for its mosques, built in a unique style that is part Hindu and Jain, and part Islamic. The most impressive mosques are notable for their odd mixture of architectural styles, their two-storey arcades and large gateways, and for their unusual minarets. There is the Atala Masjid one km. from the station near the GPO. Continue 500 metres south of here and you come to Jaunpur Fort and the stone Akbari Bridge. The largest of the mosques is the impressive Jami Masjid, 1km north of the bridge. Other places to see include the Jhanjhri Masjid, the tombs of the Shaqui Sultans, the Char Ungli Masjid and the Lal Darwaza Masjid.


GORAKHPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

Eastern Uttar Pradesh --------------------- Gorakhpur :


KUSHINAGAR SIGHTSEEING

 

Eastern Uttar Pradesh ----------------------


LAHAUL SIGHTSEEING

 

Rohtang Pass :The 3978 mtr. Rohtang Pass is the only access into Lahaul and is open only from June to September each year. The tourist office operates a daily Rs.80 bus upto the pass, mainly for tourists to 'see the snow'. It is a very spectacular trip over the pass.


KEYLONG SIGHTSEEING 1

 

KEYLONG ------- It is the main town in the Lahaul and Spiti region; there are a number of interesting monasteries within easy reach of this oasis-like town. The old Kharding Monastery, formerly the capital of Lahaul, overlooks Keylong, only 3.5 km away. Other monasteries include Shashur, Tayal and Guru Ghantal.


PADUM (ZANSKAR) SIGHTSEEING

 

PADUM ------ Padum : It is on the southern part of a wide fertile plain where two rivers join to form the Zanskar River.


ZANSKAR SIGHTSEEING

 

Manali to Padum : It is a 10-day trek. The motor road by bus from Leh to Manali takes you to Baralacha La. On the second day you cross the Baralacha La, a double pass where even the lower side is higher than Europe's highest mountain and twice the height of Australia's highest. At the end of Day six you continue north to Padum or turn back south and cross the Shingo La back to Darcha in two days. On Day 7 you can make a detour to the spectacular Phuctal Gompa. Padum to Lamayuru : There are a number of alternatives for this trek from Padum into Ladakh, intersecting the road at Lamayuru, about halfway from Kargil to Leh. The trek starts from Padum to Thonde, as on the short treks to the Zangla and Karsha gompas. Padum to Kishtwar : This trek is in the southern part of Kashmir and crosses the 5234-metre Umasi La.On the second day you reach the Zongkhul Gompa, which can also be visited on a short trek from Padum. Day 3 is a long climb and long descent over the snow-covered Umasi La. Other Treks : Padum to Nimmu follows the Padum to Lamayuru route for most of its length, then turns off eastwards to join the Srinagar to Leh road at Nimmu. Padum to Leh by the Markha Valley is a trek which goes via Zangla before turning east over the Charcha La and the Ruberung La to the Markha Gompa, and eventually reaching Hemis near Leh.


DELHI TO KANPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

Aligarh : Aligarh (High Fort) is 3 km. north of the town. It is best known today for the Aligarh Muslim University. Muslim students come here not just from India but from all over the Islamic world.


KANPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

Kanpur is the largest city in the state. It is a major business and industrial centre on the Ganges. There is a All Soul's Memorial Church. There are also several temples. The most interesting temple is the JK Glass Temple. This is actually made of white marble but has some unusual glass statues. Kanpur also has a large zoo.


KANPUR SHOPPING

 

The main shopping centre, Navin Market, is famous for its locally produced cotton goods. The main leather market is on Matson road and articles such as bags and shoes are very cheap.


CALCUTTA SIGHTSEEING

 

Botanical Gardens : On the west bank of the Hooghly River, south of Howrah, are the extensive Botanical Gardens. The gardens' prime attraction is the 200-year-old banyan tree, claimed to be the largest in the world. The cool and tropical tall-palm house in the centre of the gardens is also well worth a visit. The gardens are at Sibpur over the Howrah Bridge and 19 km. from Chowringhee. They are peaceful and make a pleasant escape from the crowds of Calcutta. Indian Museum : It is certainly the largest and probably the best museum in India, and one of the best in Asia. Its widely varied collection includes oddities such as a whole roomful of meteorites. Other exhibits include fossils, stuffed animals, skeletons and so on. There are a number of unique fossil skeletons of prehistoric animals, among them are giant crocodiles and an amazingly big tortoise. The art collection has many fine pieces from Orissan and other temples, and superb examples of Buddhists Gandharan art. Rabindra Sarobar and Ramakrishna Mission : Rabindra Sarobar, in the south of the city, is a park and picnic spot with a central lake. Beside the park is the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, which has a library, reading rooms and lecture halls. Maidan and Fort William :The area around Fort William is called the Maidan. It is bound by Strand Road along the river to the west and by Chowringhee road. In the north-west corner of the Maidan is Eden Gardens, while Raj Bhavan overlooks it from the north.Within the gardens are cricket and foot- ball fields, ponds, trees and the latest attraction, the musical fountains.


CALCUTTA SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Ochterlony Monument : Also known as the Shahid Minar, this 48 metre high column towers over the northern end of the Maidan. The column is a curious combination of Turkish and Syrian architectural elements. There is a fine view from the top of the column. Eden Gardens : In the north-west corner of the Maidan are the small and pleasantly laid-out Eden Gardens. A tiny Burmese pagoda brought from Myanmar is set in a small lake and is picturesque. Near the garden is a pleasant walk along the banks of the Hooghly River. Victoria Memorial : It is a huge white-marble museum. The imposing statue of Queen Victoria fronts the memorial. Inside the museum there are portraits and statues of the main participants in British-Indian history. French gun captured at the Battle of Plassey are on exhibit along with the black stone throne of the nawab whom Clive defeated. There is a good view over the Maidan from the balcony above the entrance. St Paul's Cathedral : It is one of the most important churches in India. It stands to the east of the Victoria Memorial at the southern end of the Maidan. Inside, the memorials are interesting and there is some impressive stained glass, including the great west window by Burne Jones. Birla Planetarium : It is one of the largest planetariums in the world. You can have a better view of the stars from here. Nehru Children's Museum : This small museum, situated at 94/1 Chowringhee Road, is worth visiting for its models depicting the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.


CALCUTTA SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Kali Temple :The temple is about 2km. directly south of St Paul's Cathedral and is easily accessible by metro. It is an important pilgrimage site. Zoo and Horticultural Garden : The zoo is to the south of the Maidan. Some of the animals are displayed in near natural environments. Just south of the zoo on Alipore Road are the pleasant and quiet horticultural gardens. Howrah Bridge : The cantilevered bridge is similar in size to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is the busiest bridge in the world, built across the Hooghly river. The bridge is also known as Rabindra Setu. The ferries running from below Howrah Station are a more convenient way to cross the river and give you a good view of the bridge. BBD Bagh (Dalhousie Square) On the north side of the square stands the huge Writers' Building. Also on BBD Bagh is a rather more useful place, the Calcutta GPO, and on the eastern side of the square is the West Bengal tourist office. St John's Church : A little south of BBD Bagh is the Church of St John. It has a number of interesting monuments, including the octagonal mausoleum of Job Charnock, founder of Calcutta. Other British Buildings : Raj Bhavan, the old British Government house, is now occupied by the governor of West Bengal. Next to Raj Bhavan is the Doric-style Town Hall, and next to that is the High Court. Just south of the zoo in Alipur is the National Library, the biggest in India. There are marvellous tombs and inscriptions at the peaceful site of South Park St Cemetery.


CALCUTTA SIGHTSEEING 3

 

Other Museums : The Asutosh Museum at Calcutta University has a collection of art objects with emphasis on Bengali folk art. At 19A Gurusday Road is the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum. There is also the Birla Academy of Art and Culture. It has a good collection of sculptures and modern art. The Academy of Fine Arts,on Cathedral Road beside the cathedral in Chowringhee, has a permanent exhibition and runs an artists' studio. On Muktaram Babu St, a narrow lane in north Calcutta, is the Marble Palace with a collection of statues and paintings. Nearby is the old Tagore House, a centre for Indian dance, drama, music and other arts. This is the birth- place of Rabindranath Tagore, India's greatest modern poet. Sitambara Jain Temple : This temple is in the north-east of the city. It is an ornate mass of mirrors, coloured stones and glass mosaics. It overlooks a garden. Nakhoda Mosque : This mosque is to the north of BBD Bagh and is Calcutta's principal Muslim place of worship. The red sandstone mosque has two 46-mtr. high minarets and a brightly painted onion-shaped dome. Belur Math : It is to the north of the city, on the west bank of the Hooghly River. It is the headquarter of the Ramkrishna Mission. Ramkrishna was an Indian philosopher. Dakshineshwar Kali Temple : Across the river from Belur Math is this Kali temple where Ramkrishna was a priest, and where he reached his spiritual vision of the unity of all religions. The temple is surrounded by 12 other temple, dedicated to Siva.


CALCUTTA SHOPPING

 

Calcutta has the usual government emporiums and quite a good Centre Cottage Industries Emporium at 7 Chowringhee Road. There are numerous interesting shops along Chowringhee Road selling everything from carpets to handicrafts. The shops along the entrance arcade to the Oberoi Grand Hotel are particularly interesting. There is also an amazing variety of pavement vendors selling everything imaginable. New Market, formerly Hogg Market, is Calcutta's premier place for bargain shopping. Here you can find a little of almost everything, and it is always worth an hour or so wandering around. There is another good street market (mainly clothes) along Lenin Sarani in the evenings.


GANGTOK SIGHTSEEING

 

Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, occupies the west side of a long ridge flanking the Ranipool River. The scenery is spectacular and there are excellent views of the entire Kanchenjunga range from many points in the vicinity. It is an interesting and pleasant place to stay and people here are friendly. The town has undergone rapid modernisation in recent years. Tsuk-La-Khang : The Royal Chapel is the Buddhists' principal place of worship and assembly and the repository of a large collection of scriptures. It is a beautiful and impressive building, and its interior is covered with murals. Lavishly decorated altars hold images of the Buddha, and Tantric deities and there are also a great many fine woodcarvings. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology : It has one of the world's largest collection of books and rare manuscripts on the subject of Mahayana Buddhism, many religious works of art and a collection of beautiful and finely executed silk-embroidered thankas (cloth paintings). It also has a number religious art and craftworks, as well as books, for sale. Chorten and Monastery : The gold apex of a huge white chorten, about 500mt beyond the institute, is visible from many points in Gangtok and is surrounded by prayer flags attached to bamboo poles. Orchid Sanctuary : Surrounding the institute and itself enclosed by a peaceful forest is the Orchid Sanctuary. Here we can see 454 species of orchid found in Sikkim. Deer Park : This popular viewpoint is on the edge of the ridge next to the Secretariat building. In it are deer and a replica of the Buddha image.


GANGTOK SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Enchey Monastery : Above the Tourist Lodge, about 3km. from the centre of town, the 200-year- old Enchey Monastery is well worth a visit, particularly if you are in Gangtok when religious dances are performed in December. It sits on a spectacular ridge overlooking Gangtok, and there are views across to Kanchenjunga. Lall Market : There are craft shops. There is also vegetable market which is colourful and there is a plenty of activity. GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR : Indian Airlines has an agency on Tibet Road. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra near Siliguri. PUBLIC BUS : Sikkim Nationalise Transport (SNT) is the main bus operator to Gangtok. SNT operates the following interstate bus services: To/From Siliguri- There are 2+2 buses four times daily in either direction which takes 4.5 hour. There are also 3x2 buses 6 times daily in either direction. In Siliguri, these buses depart from and arrive at the SNT bus station. To/From Bagdogra- There is one 2+2 bus daily in either direction which leaves Gangtok at 7 am, and takes 4.5 hours. To/From Darjeeling- There is one 2+2 bus daily in either direction which leaves at 7 am and takes 7 hours. To/From Kalimpong- There is one 2+2 bus daily at 8.30 am and one 3+2 bus daily at 1.30 pm.


DARJEELING SIGHTSEEING

 

Straddling a ridge at 2134 metres and surrounded by tea plantations on all sides, Darjeeling has been a very popular hill station since the British period. Outside of the monsoon season the views over the mountains to the snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga and down to the swollen rivers in the valley bottoms are magnificent. Darjeeling is a fascinating place with Buddhist monasteries. It has the unique attraction of the famous toy train which loops and switchbacks its way up the steep mountainsides from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. Tiger Hill : It is the highest spot at 2590 metres, about 11 km. from Darjeeling. The hill is famous for its magnificent dawn views over Kanchenjunga and other eastern Himalayan peaks. On a clear day even Mt Everest is visible. Senchal Lake : It is close to Tiger Hill and is a scenic area and a popular picnic spot. Kanchenjunga : It is at 8598 mtrs. and is the world's 3rd highest mountain. From Darjeeling, we can have the best views from Bhan Bhakta Sarani. Ghoom Buddhist Monastery : It is the most famous monastery and is about 8 km. from town, just below Hill Cart Rd and the railway station near Ghoom. It enshrines an image of the Maitreya Buddha (the coming Buddha). Foreigners are allowed to enter the shrine and take photographs. Aloobari Monastery : This monastery, near to Darjeeling on Tenzing Norga Rd, welcomes visitors. The monks often sell Tibetan and Sikkimese handicrafts and religious objects.


DARJEELING SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Observatory Hill : Situated above the Windamere Hotel this viewpoint is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. There is a Kali shrine here. Butia Busty Monastery : This is a colourful monastery, with Kanchenjunga providing a spectacular backdrop. There is an old library of Buddhist texts upstairs. Dhirdham Temple : It is the most conspicuous Hindu temple in Darjeeling and is just below the railway station. It is modelled on the famous Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu. Natural History Museum : It contains collection of Himalayan and Bengali fauna which includes estuarine crocodiles. Zoological Park :The zoo houses India's only collection of Siberian tigers, and some rare species, such as the red panda. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Museums : Entered through the zoo, on Jawahar Rd West about 2 km. from the town, the HMI runs courses to train mountaineers. There are a couple of interesting museums. The Mountaineering Museum contains a collection of historic mountaineering equipment,specimens of Himalayan flora and fauna and a relief model of the Himalaya. The Everest Museum next door traces the history of attempts on the great peak. Passenger Ropeway : At North Point, about 3 km. from town, this was the first passenger ropeway to be constructed in India. It is 5 km. long and connects Darjeeling with Singla Bazaar on the Little Ranjit River at the bottom of the valley. Botanical Gardens : Below the bus and taxi stand near the market, these gardens contain a collection of Himalayan plants, flowers and orchids.


DARJEELING SHOPPING

 

Curio Shops : The majority of these are on Chowrasta and along Nehru Road. The things sold here are - thankas, brass statues, religious objects, jewellery, woodcarvings, woven fabrics, carpets etc. Woodcarvings are excellent. There is also a market off Hill Cart Road next to the bus and taxi stands.Here you can get excellent and relatively cheap woollen sweaters. For Tibetan carpets, the cheapest place in the area is at Hayden Hall, opposite the State Bank of India on Ladel La Road. It is a women's co-operative, excellent value and well worth checking out. West Bengal's Manjusha Emporium, on Nehru Road, is a shop selling Himalayan handicrafts, silk and handloomed products. About 2 km. from town on the way to Ghoom is the Ava Art Gallery, featuring embroidered pictures.


KALIMPONG SIGHTSEEING

 

Kalimpong is a rapidly expanding bazaar town set amongst the rolling foothills and deep valleys of the Himalaya at an altitude of 1250 metres. It's attractions include 3 monasteries, an excellent private library, a sericulture centre and the fine views over the surrounding countryside. Monasteries : The Tharpa Choling Monastery belongs to the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism, founded in Tibet in the 14th century. It is a 40 minutes walk (uphill) from town. Lower down the hill, the Thongsa Gompa is the oldest monastery. Zong Do Palri Fo-Brang Monastery was built at Durpin Dara Hill. There are good mountain views from Durpin Dara Hill. Flower Nurseries : Kalimpong is an important orchid-growing area and flowers are exported from here to many cities in northern India. The Sri Ganesh Moni Pradhan Nursery and the Sri L.B. Pradhan Nursery are among the most important in the area. Sericulture Centre :At this centre silkworms are bred and silk is produced. This centre is on the road to Darjeeling. Nearby is the Swiss Welfare Dairy and the source of the delicious hard cheese you can buy here. Arts and Crafts : Kalimpong tapestry bags and purses, copperware, scrolls and paintings are sold at the Kalimpong Arts and Crafts Co-operative. Rabindranath Tagore has started Chitrabhanu, a home for destitute women, a Gauripur House. Crafts produced here are also for sale.


SILIGURI SIGHTSEEING

 

Siliguri is a town with major trade centre for the north-east, Darjeeling, Sikkim and the east of Nepal. New Jalpaiguri, the main railway junction, is 8 km. south of Siliguri. 12 km. from Siliguri is Bagdogra, the airport serving this northern region.


MURSHIDABAD SIGHTSEEING

 

Murshidabad is a quiet town on the banks of the Bhagirathi River. The main attraction is the Hazarduari, the classical-style Palace of a Thousand Doors built for the nawabs. A vast chandelier, presented by Queen Victoria, is suspended above the nawab's silver throne. There are portraits of British dignitaries, an ivory sofa, ivory palanquins and silver sedan chairs. In the armoury downstairs is a cannon used at Plassey. The Jain Parswanath Temple is at Kathgola and south of the railway station there is the Moti Jhil, or Pearl Lake, a fine place to view the sunset. It is worth taking a boat across the river to visit Siraj's tomb at Khusbagh, the Garden of Happiness. There are a number of other interesting buildings. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Murshidabad is also on the Sealdah to Lalgola line and there are several trains daily from Calcutta. For long distance buses you must go to Berhampore. Malda and English Bazaar : Malda is 349 km north of Calcutta on the route to Darjeeling. There is a small museum in Malda. English Bazaar is now a suburb of Malda. Old Malda is nearby, at the junction of the Kalindi and Mahananda Rivers. It was once an important port for the former Muslim capital of Pandua. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Situated on the main railway line, Malda is a directly connected to Calcutta and Newjalpaiguri. There are buses to Siliguri for Darjeeling, Berhampore for Murshibad and Calcutta.


BHUBANESWAR SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Bhubaneswar is known as Temple Town and Cathedral City on account of its many temples . Lingaraj Temple : It is the great temple of Bhubaneswar surrounded by a high wall. The temple is dedicated to Tribhuvaneswar or Lord of the Three Worlds. The granite block which represents Tribhuvaneswar is said to be bathed daily with water and milk. The temple compound is about 150 metres square and is dominated by the 40 metre high temple tower. The ornately carved tower is intricately sculptured. Around the tower there are more than 50 smaller temples and shrines. In the north-east corner is a smaller temple to Parvati and is of particular interest. Bindu Sagar Tank : The Ocean Drop tank just north of the great temple is said to contain water from every holy stream, pool and tank in India. There are a number of temples and shrines around the tank. In the centre of the tank is a water pavilion. Vaital Temple : It is close to the Bindu Sagar Tank and has a double-storey 'wagon roof', an influence from Buddhist cave architecture. Parsurameswar Temple : It is a Siva Temple and has interesting and lively bas-reliefs of elephant and horse processions, lattice windows and Siva images. Raj Rani :This interesting temple is surrounded by well-maintained gardens. It is one of the latest of the Bhubaneswar temples and is famous for its ornate deul, decorated with some of the most impressive Orissan temple sculptures. Around the compass points are statues of the eight 'dikpalas' (temple guardians), who protect the temple, two for each side.


BHUBANESWAR SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Mukteswar, Siddheswar and Kedargauri : Not far from the Parsurameswar is the small Mukteswar Temple, one of the most ornate temples in Bhubaneswar. The finely detailed carvings show a mixture of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu styles. In front of the temple is a beautiful arched torana (architrave) showing clear Buddhist influence. The later Siddheswar Temple is in the same compound. It has a fine standing Ganesh figure. Also by the road, across the path from the Mukteswar, the Kedargauri is one of the older temples at Bhubaneswar. Brahmeswar : About a km. east of the main road, the Brahmeswar Temple stands in a courtyard flanked by four smaller structures. It is notable for its very finely detailed sculptures. Other Temples : The Bhaskareswar Temple has an unusual stepped design. About 300 metre east along the same road is the Megheswar, in a courtyard beside a tank. North of the Bindu Sagar is the Lakshamaneswar Temple. State Museum : It is opposite the Hotel Kalinga Ashok and has an interesting collection relating to Orissan history and culture. Other Attractions : In the north of the city, the botanical gardens and regional plant reserve have a large collection of plants including many cacti. A recent attraction is the city's planetarium.


BHUBANESWAR SIGHTSEEING 3

 

AROUND BHUBANESWAR Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves : South of the new bus station in Bhubaneswar, these 2 hills facing each other across the road are riddled with ornately carved caves.On the right of the road, Udayagiri, or Sunrise Hill,has the more interesting caves, which are scattered at various levels up the hill. All are numbered. At the base of the hill, round to the right, is the two-storey Rani ka Naur or Queen's Palace Cave (Cave 1). Both levels have eight entrances and the cave is extensively carved. Khandagiri Hill is across the road and there is a fine view back over Bhubaneswar from its summit. You can see the airport, the tower of the Lingaraj Temple rising behind it and, further away, the Dhauli Stupa. The steep path divides about a third of the way up the hill. The right path goes to the Ananta Cave (3) with carved figures of elephants and athletes. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Only a few buses go to the caves, but there are plenty which pass the nearby junction, the main Calcutta to Madras highway. Nandankanan Zoo : This zoo, 25 km. north of Bhubaneswar, is famous for white tigers. There are also lion and tiger safaris in 'armoured buses', elephant rides and boating on the lake. Dhauli : Around 260 BC, King Ashoka had his famous edicts carved onto a large rock, halfway up the hill here at Dhauli, 8 km south of Bhubaneswar, just off the Puri road. At the top of the hill is a dazzling white Peace Pagoda. You can get to the place where you turn off the main road on any Puri or Konark bus.


PURI SIGHTSEEING

 

The seaside resort of Puri, 60 km from Bhubaneswar, is one of the four dhams (holiest Hindu pilgrimage places in India). Religious life in the city revolves around the great Jagannath Temple and its famous Rath Yatra. Puri's other great attraction is its long sandy beach that draws large numbers of Western travellers and Indians. Jagannath Temple : The temple makes Puri one of the four dhams, cardinal centres of pilgrimage. The temple is protected by two surrounding walls. The outer enclosure is nearly square. The walls of the enclosure are six metres high. Inside, a second wall encloses the actual temple. The conical tower of the temple is 58 mtr. high and is topped by the flag and wheel of Vishnu. In front of the main entrance is a beautiful pillar, topped by an image of the Garuda. The main entrance is known as the Lion Gate due to the two stone lions guarding the entrance. The southern, eastern and northern gates are guarded by statues of men on horseback, tigers and elephants respectively. Gundicha Mandir : The walls enclose a garden in which the temple is built. It is also known as the Aunt's House. It is the Garden House, in which the images of the god reside for 7 days each year.


KONARK SIGHTSEEING

 

The great temple of Konark is 3 km. from the coast, 33 km. from Puri and 64 km. from Bhubaneswar. It is a wonderful and peaceful place. An open-air theatre has been built near the temple. Sun Temple : The entire temple is the chariot of the Sun God, Surya. Around the base of the temple are 24 gigantic carved-stone wheels. Seven mighty horses haul at the temple and the immense structure is covered with carvings, sculptures, figures and bas-reliefs. The main entrance, from the Tourist Bungalow side, is guarded by two stone lions crushing elephants. Steps rise to the main entrance, flanked by straining horses. There are the 3 impressive chlorite images of Surya, aligned to catch the sun at dawn, noon and sunset. Between the main steps upto the jagamohan and the entrance enclosure is an intricately carved dancing hall. To the north is a group of elephants and to the south a group horses rearing and trampling men. Nine Planets' Shrine : The 6 mtr. chlorite slab is the centrepiece of a small shrine just outside the temple walls. The carved seated figures represent Surya (the sun), Chandra (the moon), Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. Archaeological Museum : Outside the temple enclosure is a museum containing many sculptures and carvings. Some of the small pieces are excellent.


CUTTACK SIGHTSEEING

 

CUTTACK : It is only about 35 km. north of Bhubaneswar, on the banks of the Mahanadi and Kathajuri Rivers. The stone revetment on the Kathajuri River, which protects the city from seasonal floods, dates from the 11th century. The Kadam Rasul is a Muslim shrine which contain the Prophet's footprint and has become a place of pilgrimage for Hindus as well as Muslim. Paradip, 90 km. from Cuttack, is a major port.


GAWAHATI SIGHTSEEING

 

Gawahati (Gauhati/Guwahati) : It is the capital of Assam and is on the banks of the Brahmaputra River.It has many ancient Hindu temples but its main importance is as a gateway to the northeast and the wildlife reserves. Temples : The Umananda Temple is a Siva temple on Peacock Island in the middle of the river. There is a pleasant ferry across the river. The Navagrah Temple is the Temple of the Nine Planets.It is on Chitrachal Hill, near the city. Gawahati's best known temple is the Kamakshya Temple on Nilachal Hill. It attracts pilgrims from all over India. The temple is the centre for Shakti worship. In the centre of Gawahati, the Janardhan Temple has an image of Buddha. Other attractions : The Assam State Zoo has tigers, lions, panthers and Assam's famous rhinos and also African two-horned variety.There is an Assam State Museum as well as the Assam Government Cottage Industries Museum.


KAZIRANGA SIGHTSEEING

 

Kaziranga : North-east of Gawahati, on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, is the Kaziranga Wildlife Reserve, famous as the last major home of Rhinoceros unicornis.The park also has wild gaur(buffalo), deer, elephants, tigers, bears and many water bird species including pelicans. One of the standard ways of observing the wildlife is from elephant-back, and the rhinos are said to have become accustomed to elephants carrying camera-toting tourists.


SHILLONG SIGHTSEEING

 

Shillong is a pleasant hill station, standing at 1496 metres and is renowned for its climate and breathtaking views. It is also known as 'Scotland of the East'. The State Museum covers the flora, fauna, culture and anthropology of the state. The town has a number of parks,gardens, a Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum beside the central Ward Lake. The Crinoline Waterfalls are near Lady Hydari Park, and there are various other waterfalls around Shillong. The town takes its name from the 1960-metre high Shillong Peak, from which there are fine views. The Anglican graveyard and All Saints' Cathedral may be of interest to fans of the Raj.


BHARATPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

Bharatpur is best known for its World Heritage-listed bird sanctuary, the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Bird Sanctuary : There are about 328 different kinds of birds, 117 of which migrate from as far away as Siberia and China. Today some 80 types of ducks are among the species which nest in the sanctuary. The best time to visit the sanctuary is from October to February when many migratory birds can be seen. Entry costs Rs.25, plus Rs.10 for a still camera and Rs.1500 for a video camera. There is also an entry fee for cycles (Rs.3.00), scooters(Rs.10.00) and cycle-rickshaws (Rs.5). A guide book including a map is available at the ticket checkpoint. It contains a short history of the park and an endless list of birds species. The best way to see the park is to hire a bicycle. Some of the hotels rent bicycles. If you plan to visit the sanctuary at dawn (one of the best time to see the birds), you will have to hire your bicycle the day before. Boats can also be hired from the ticket checkpoint for Rs.5.00 per person per day (minimum charges of Rs.20.00). This is a very good way of getting close to the wildlife in this park. There is a snack bar and drink kiosks about halfway through the park, next to the so called Kaeoladeo Temple. This is one bird sanctuary which even non-ornithologists should visit. It is open daily from 6 am to 6 pm (exit by 7 pm).


JODHPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

Jodhpur stands at the edge of the Thar Desert and is the largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur. The city is totally dominated by the massive fort, topping a sheer rocky hill which rises right in the middle of the town. The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by a 10 km. long wall. From the fort, you can clearly see where the old city ends and the new begins. It is fascinating to wander around the jumble of winding streets in the old city. 8 gates lead out from the walled city. It is one of India's more interesting cities. Meherangarh Fort : Sprawled across the 125 mtr. high hill, this is the most impressive and formidable fort in fort-studded Rajasthan. A winding road leads up to the entrance from the city below. The first gate is still scarred by cannon ball hits, indicating that this was a fort which earned its keep. The gates include the Jayapol and the Fatehpol, or Victory Gate. The final gate is the Lahapol, or Iron Gate. Inside the fort, there is a whole series of courtyards and palaces. The palace apartments have names like the Moti Mahal, the Sukh Mahal and the Phool Mahal. They house a fantastic collection of the trappings of Indian royalty, including an amazing collection of elephant howdahs, miniature paintings, superb folk music instruments, furniture and costumes. In one room, there is even an exhibit of rocking cradles. Finally, there is an enormous, luxurious and stunningly beautiful tent. The palace apartments are beautifully decorated and painted and have delicately carved lattice- work windows of red sandstone. It is one of the best palace museums in Rajasthan.


JODHPUR SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Jaswant Thanda : This white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II is a short distance from the fort, just off the fort road. The cenotaph, built in 1899, was followed by the royal crematorium and three later cenotaphs which stand nearby. Inside are portraits of the various Jodhpur rulers. Clock Tower and Markets : The clock tower is a popular landmark in the old city. The colourful Sardar Market is closed to the tower, and narrow alleys lead from here to bazaars selling textiles, silver and handicrafts. Umaid Gardens and Museums : The Tourist Bungalow is on the edge of the Umaid Gardens on High Court Road. The gardens contain a zoo and a library. Umaid Bhawan Palace : It is constructed of marble and red sandstone and is known as the Chhittar Palace. This immense palace was designed by the president of the British Royal Institute of Architects. Today, part of the palace has been turned into a hotel. The maharaja still resides in another part of the palace, and yet another part has been turned into an excellent museum. On display here is an amazing array of items belonging to the maharaja-model aeroplanes, weapons, antique clocks and fob watches, priceless crockery, and hunting trophies and there is even a private cinema.


AROUND JODHPUR 2

 

Maha Mandir : The Great Temple is a small walled town north-east of the city. It is built around a 100-pillared Siva temple. Balsamand Lake and Palace : This lake and garden are to the north of the city. A palace stands by the lakeside. This is a popular excursion spot. Mandore : It has extensive gardens with high rock terraces and has become a popular local attraction. The garden also contains the cenotaphs of Jodhpur rulers, including Maharaja Jaswant Singh and largest and finest of all, the soaring temple-shaped memorial to Maharaja Ajit Singh. The Hall of Heroes contains 15 figures carved out of a rock wall. The brightly painted figures represent Hindu deities or local heroes on horse- back. The Shrine of 33 Crore Gods is painted with figures of gods, spirits and divinities. Osian : The ancient Thar Desert town of Osian is about 55 km. from Jodhpur. It is an oasis with numerous peacocks. There is a large temple dedicated to Mahavira, the last of the Jain tirthankars. The sculptural detail on the Osian temples rivals that of the Hoysala temples of Karnataka and the Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. GETTING THERE AND AWAY About 6 buses a day make the 2-hour trip from Jodhpur. Nagaur : It has a historic fort and palace and also sports a smaller version of Pushkar's cattle and camel fair. The week-long fair takes place in late January or early February and attracts thousands of rural people from far and wide. As at Pushkar, the fair includes camel races and various cultural entertainment programmes.


AROUND JAISALMER-POKARAN SIGHTSEEING

 

POKARAN : The junction where the Jaisalmer to Bikaner and Jaisalmer to Jodhpur roads split is the site of magnificent Rajasthan fortress. The yellow sandstone fort rises from the yellow desert sands and shelters a tangle of narrow streets lined by balconied houses decorated with parrots, elephants and Rajasthan's inevitable peacocks. The usually quiet town springs to life during its annual cattle fair.


BIKANER SIGHTSEEING

 

Bikaner is a desert town in the north of the state. The old city is surrounded by a high crenellated wall. The city is chiefly interesting for its superb large fort, but it is also known for the fine camels bred here. There is a government camel breeding farm near the city. Junagarh Fort : It was constructed by Raja Rai Singh between 1588 and 1593. It has a 986 mtr. long wall with 37 bastions and two entrances. The Suraj Pol, or Sun Gate, is the main entrance to the fort. The palaces within the fort are at the southern side and make a picturesque ensemble of towers, courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows. A major feature of this fort and its palaces is the superb quality of the stone carving and is the best in the world. Among the places of interest are the Chandra Mahal, or Moon Palace, with paintings, mirrors and carved marble panels. The Phool Mahal, or Flower Palace, is also decorated with glass and mirrors. Other palaces include the Rang Mahal, Bijai Mahal and Anup Mahal. The contents include the Rajput weapon collection. The Durga Niwas is a beautifully painted courtyard while the Ganga Niwas, another large courtyard, has a finely carved red sandstone front. Har Mandir is the royal temple dedicated to Lord Siva. Lalgarh Palace : It is about 3 km. north of the city and is also known as the Red Fort. The Bikaner royal family still lives in part of the palace, which is made of red sandstone and has beautiful latticework. The rest of the palace has been turned into a luxury hotel, and a museum known as the Shri Sadul Museum. The museum, covering the entire 1st floor of the palace, houses an incredible array of photos.


AROUND BIKANER 1

 

Bhand Sagar Temple : The 16th century Jain temple to the 23rd tirthankar, Parasvanath, is the most important of the complex. Others include the Chintamani Temple and the Adinath Temple. There is a fine view of the city wall and surrounding countryside from the park behind the temple. Devi Kund : This is the site of the royal chhatris of many of the Bika dynasty rulers. The white marble chhatri of Maharaja Surat Singh is among the most imposing. Camel Breeding Farm : This is a government-managed camel breeding station and is probably unique in Asia. There are 100's of camels here and it is a great sight at sunset as the camels come back from grazing. Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary : A number of animals can be seen in this reserve, 32 km. from Bikaner on the Jaisalmer road. Imperial sand grouse migrate here in winter. The old royal summer palace stands on the bank of the lake and is sometimes used as a hotel. Karni Mata Temple : At Deshnok on the Jodhpur road, this temple is dedicated to the mystic Karni Mata. The huge silver gates to the temple and the marble carvings were donated by Maharaja Ganga Singh; a golden umbrella tops the temple.


BHUBANESWAR SHOPPING

 

Orissan handicrafts including applique work can be bought at the market off Raj Path in the Orissa State Handloom Co-operative or Utkalika.


PURI SHOPPING

 

You will come across quiet a few craft and salespeople offering fabric, bead and bamboo work. Some of it is well worth a second look.


AHMEDABAD SIGHTSEEING

 

Ahmedabad has been called the 'Manchester of the East' due to its many textile industries. It has a number of attractions for travellers. Gandhi's ashram at Sabarmati is open to tourists and features a small museum. In the city, there are some of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in India, as well as number of other interesting buildings. Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaja : The ancient citadel, the Bhadra, was built by Ahmed Shah and later named after the goddess Bhadra, an incarnation of Kali. It now houses government offices. There is a post office in the former Palace of Azam Khan, within the citadel. In front of the citadel stands the triple gateway, or Teen Darwaja. Jami Masjid : It is beside Gandhi road, a short distance from Teen Darwaja. About 260 columns support the roof with its 15 cupolas. Tombs of Ahmed Shah and his Queen : The Tomb of Ahmed Shah, with its perforated stone windows, stands just outside the east gate of the Jami Masjid. Across the street on a raised platform is the tomb of his queens. Sidi Sayad's Mosque : This small mosque is close to the river end of Tilak road. It is noted for its beautiful carved stone windows, formed by the intricate interwining of the branches of a tree. Ahmed Shah's Mosque : It is in the south-west of the Bhadra. The front of the mosque is now a garden. Rani Rupamati's Mosque : It is to the north of the centre. The mosque displays elements of both Hindu and Islamic design. Rani Sipri's Mosque :This small mosque is also known as the Masjid-e-Nagira because of its extremely graceful and well executed design.


AHMEDABAD SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Sidi Bashir's Mosque and Shaking Minarets : It is to the south of the railway station, outside the Sarangpur Gate and is famous for its shaking minarates, or Jhulta Minar. When one minaret is shaken, the other rocks in sympathy. Raj Babi Mosque : It is to the south-east of the railway station in the suburb of Gomtipur. It also has shaking minarets. Hathee Singh Temple : Just outside the Delhi Gate, to the north of the old city, this Jain temple is built in typical style and is made of white marble. It is dedicated to Dharamanath, the 15th Jain tirthankar. Dada Hari Wav(Step Well) : Step wells are strange constructions, unique to northern India, and this is one of the best. The curious well has a series of steps leading down to lower and lower platforms, eventually terminating in a small octagonal well. The depths of the well are cool, even on the hottest day. It is a fascinatingly eerie place with galleories above the well and a small portico at ground level. There is a second step well, that of Mata Bhavani, a couple of 100 mtrs. north of Dada Hari's. Kankaria Lake : South-east of the city, this artificial lake, complete with an island summer palace has 34 sides, each 60 mtrs. long. It is a local picnic spot. The huge zoo and children's park by the lake are outstanding and the Ghattamendal pavilion in the centre houses an acquarium. Other Mosques and Temples : The other mosque includes the Dastur Khan's Mosque, Haribat Khan's Mosque, Saiyad Alam's Mosque and Shuja'at Khan's mosque. Near the old part of town is the brightly painted Swami Narayan Temple enclosed in a large courtyard.


AHMEDABAD SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Other Attractions : Ahmedabad can be an interesting place around which to wander. The bazaar street are narrow, colourful, and lots of the houses have ornately carved wooden facades. The Victoria Gardens beside M G Rd. are pleasant. The western side of Ahmedabad across the river is full of modern buildings such as the Ahmedabad Mill Owner's Association Building and the museum, both designed Le Corbusier. Other places of interest in and around town include the Tomb of Darya Khan, north-west of the Hathee Singh Temple. The tomb has a particularly large dome. Nearby is the Chhota Shahi Bagh, across the railway line. Museums : Ahmedabad has a number of museums. The Calico Museum of Textiles exhibits antique and modern textiles including rare tapestries, wall hangings and costumes. Also on display are old weaving machines. The museum is in Sarabhai House, a former haveli, in the Shahi Bagh gardens. The N C Mehta Museum of Miniatures at Sanskar Kendra, Paldi, has excellent examples of the various schools of Indian miniature painting. The Shreyas Folk Museum displays the folk arts and crafts of Gujarat. There is also the National Institute of Design, the Tribal Research and Training Institute Museum and Philatelic Museum. The Institute of Indology on the university campus has an important collection of illustrated manuscripts and miniatures and one of the finest collections relating to Jainism. Sabarmati Ashram : It is 6 km. from the centre of the town, on the west bank of the Sabarmati River and was Gandiji's headquarters during the peirod of Indian independence. The ashram makes handicrafts and spinning wheels. Gandhiji's spartan living quarters are preserved as a small museum.


AROUND AHMEDABAD SIGHTSEEING 3

 

Sarkhej : It is only 8 km. from the centre of Ahmedabad. It is noted for its elegant group of buildings, including the Mausoleum of Azam and Mu'assam. As you enter Sarkhej, you pass the Mausoleum of Mahmud Begara. Also, there is the Tomb of Ahmed Gaj Buksh, a renowned Muslim saint. Batwa : It is to the south-east of Ahmedabad and has tombs of a noted Muslim saint. It also has an important mosque. Adalaj Vav : 19 km. north of Ahmedabad, this is one of the finest of the Gujarati step wells. Cambay : The old seaport of Ahmedabad is to the south-west, at the northern end of the Gulf of Cambay. Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary : Between November and February, this lake is home to vast flocks of indigenous and migratory birds. Ducks, geese, pelicans and flamingoes are best seen early in the morning and in the evening. Lothal : About 80 km. south of Ahmedabad, towards Bhavnagar, this site is of great interest to archaeologists. It has neatly laid-out street patter,. carefully assembled brickwork and scientific drainage system. The name Lothal means Mount of the Dead in Gujarati. There is an archaeological museum at the site. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Lothal is a day trip from Ahmedabad. You can reach it by rail, disembarking at Bhurkhi on the Ahmedabad to Bhavanagr railway line, from where you can take a bus. Alternatively, there are direct buses from Ahmedabad.


AROUND AHMEDABAD SIGHTSEEING 4

 

Unjha and Sidhpur : A little north of Mahesana and a base for those visiting the Modhera Temple, the town of Unjha is interesting for the marriage customs of the Kadwakanbis who live in this region. Patan : It is about 120 km. north-west of Ahmedabad. It has over 100 Jain temples and is famous for the manufacture of beautifully designed Patola silk sarees. There is also a step well here. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Patan is 25 km north-west of the Mahesana Railway Station, which also serves as a departure point for Modhera. Dasada : It is a small town to the north-west of Ahmedabad and is very close to the Little Rann of Kutch. Modhera : There is a beautiful Sun Temple. The main hall and shrine are reached through a pillared porch and the temple exterior is intricately and delicately carved. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Modhera is 106 km north-west of Ahmedabad. There are direct buses to Modhera, or you can take the train to Mahesana and then catch a bus for the 40 km trip to Modhera.


VADODARA(BARODA) SIGHTSEEING

 

Present-day Vadodara is a pleasant, medium-sized city with some interesting museums and art galleries and a fine park. The city's well-known Fine Arts College attracts students from around the country and abroad. It is a good place for a short pause. Sayaji Bagh and Vadodara Museum : This extensive park, encircled by a mini- railway, is a popular spot for an evening stroll. Within the park is the Vadodara Museum and Art Gallery. The museum has various exhibits, while the gallery has Moghul miniatures and a collection of European masters. Also within the park grounds is a planetarium. There is also a small zoo. Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum : A little south of the centre, this royal art collection includes European works by Raphael and examples of Greco-Roman, Chinese and Japanese art, as well as Indian exhibits. The museum is in the palace grounds. Other Attractions : The flamboyant Laxmi Vilas Palace has a large collection of armour and sculptures. The Naulakhi Well is 50 mtr. north of the palace.These interesting multi-level wells are unique to western India. There are others in Ahmedabad as well as just outside the city. The Gaekwad rulers' family vault, the Kirti Mandir, is decorated with murals created by Indian artist Nandilal Bose. The town centre is built around a lake swarming with fish.


AROUND VADODARA (BARODA) SIGHTSEEING

 

Champaner : This city is 47 km. north-east of Vadodara. The Jami Masjid here is one of the finest mosques in Gujarat.


BHARUCH(BROACH) SIGHTSEEING

 

The fort overlooks the wide Narmada River from a hilltop and, located at its base, is the Jami Masjid, constructed from a Jain temple. On the river- bank, outside the city to the east, is the Temple of Bhrigu Rishi. The nearby island of Kabirwad, in the river, features a gigantic banyan tree.


SURAT SIGHTSEEING

 

Surat stands on the banks of the River Tapti. Castle : It was built in 1546.It is on the riverbank, beside the Tapti Bridge. There is a good view over the city and river from its bastions. Other Attractions : Surat has a number of mosques and Jain, Hindu and Parsi temples. Cotton, silk and the manufacture of bangles are the important industries here.


DAMAN SIGHTSEEING

 

DAMAN A PORTUGUESE ENCLAVE FOR FOUR CENTURIES AND HALF TILL THE CLOSE OF THE COLONIAL RULE IN 1961, DAMAN HAS BEEN A COVETED PRIZE FOR WHICH PRINCES AND POTENTATES, INDIGENOUS SATRAPS AND ALIEN POWERS WAGED WARS. MUTED MEMO- RIES OF HISTORY LIE VAULTED IN THE MONUMENTS OF DAMAN. IT HAD BEEN A MELT- ING POT WHERE RACES AND CULTURES MET AND MIXED TO BRING FORTH A MULTI-COLO- URED IDENTITY. CULTURE DAMAN CAN BOAST OF RICH AND MULTI-FACED CULTURE HERITAGE. DANCE AND MUSIC ARE VERY MUCH PART OF THE DIALY LIFE OF DAMANITE. HERE IS A TRUE FUSION OF CULTURES-TRIBAL, URBAN, EROPEAN AND INDIAN. THIS OMATE AMALGAM IS REFLECTED IN THE TRADITIONAL DANCES OF DAMAN. VARIOUS POR- TUGUESE DANCES WITH CAUSITC SOCIAL COMMENTS ARE MUCH IN VOGUE. DAMANGANGA TOURIST COMPLEX. AN UNIQUE INTEGRATED PROJECT WITH A CAFETERIA, COTTAGES, CONFERENCE HALL, HEALTH CLUB(UNDER CONTRUCTION) AMPHI THEATRE, GAINT WATER FALLS, WATER SPO- RTS, ISLAND GARDENS, FOUNTIANS WHICH PROVIDE THE VISITING TOURIST LL FACLI- ITIES IN ONE LOCATION. THIS COMPLEX WILL MESMERISE ANY TOURIST VISITING DAMAN WITH ITS BAEUTY, FACLITIES AND SIZE. GETTING AROUND(DEVKA BEACH) THE LONG SHORE-LINE AT DEVKA HAS ALWAYS FASCINATED THE TOURISTS. THE BEAUT- IUL AND WELL TENDED AMUSEMENT PARK WITH ITS MUSICAL FOUNTAIN AND KIDS CORNER HAS BECOME VERY POPULAR, ATTRACTING BUS LOADS OF TOURIST EVERY WEEKEND.


BHAVNAGAR SIGHTSEEING

 

Bhavnagar is an important trading post for the cotton goods manufactured in Gujarat. It has a beautiful old bazaar area with overhanging wooden balconies and thousands of little shops. Takhteshwar Temple : This temple sits on the highest hillock in Bhavnagar. The views over the city and out into the Gulf of Cambay are excellent. GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR : The Indian Airlines office is on Diwanpara Road. Indian Airlines flies daily between Bombay and Bhavnagar. BUS : State transport buses connect Bhavnagar with Ahmedabad and other centres in the region. For Una and (Diu) there are morning departures. To Palitana there are frequent departures throughout the day. The main private bus company is Punjab Travels, Parag Travel Agency, Waghawadi Rd, near the Takhteshwar Temple. It operates buses to Ahmedabad at 6.30 am daily. TRAIN : Bhavnagar is 268 km by rail from Ahmedabad. To Palitana there are a couple of steam trains daily. AROUND BHAVNAGAR Valabhipur : It is to the north of Palitana. Extensive ruins have been located and archaeological finds are exhibited in a museum.


PORBUNDER SIGHTSEEING

 

On the south-east coast, about midway between Veraval and Dwarka, modern day Porbandar is chiefly noted as the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. It has several large cement and chemical factories and a textile mill. Kirti Mandir : It is Gandhiji's birthplace and houses one of India's many collections of Gandhian memorabilia. There is also an exhibit of photographs, some with English captions, and a small bookshop. Nehru Planetarium : Across the creek, which is spanned by the Jynbeeli Bridge, are the Nehru Planetarium and the Bharat Mandir. Bharat Mandir : The large Bharat Mandir hall is in a charming irrigated garden opposite the planetarium. On the floor inside is a huge relief map of India and the building's pillars are brilliantly painted with bas-reliefs of over 100 religious figures and legendary persons from Hindu epics. Hazur Palace : It is a massive, forlorn-looking building near the shore.


DWARAKA SIGHTSEEING

 

On the extreme western tip of the Kathiawar peninsula, Dwarka is one of the most holy Hindu pilgrimage sites and is closely related to the Krishna legend. The exterior of the temple has tall five-storey spire supported by 60 columns. Dwarka is the site of an important festival at Janmashtami which falls in August or September.


JAMNAGAR SIGHTSEEING

 

Jamnagar was built around the small Ranmal Lake, in the centre of which is a small palace, reached by a causeway. It is well known for having the only Ayurvedic University in India and a temple listed in the Guinness Book of Records. The old part of town has a number of interesting and impressive old buildings, such as the Mandvi Tower, and is very colourful and vibrant. The centre of the old town is known as Darbar Gadh, a semicircular gathering place. Lakhota Palace : It houses a small museum with displays from archaeological sites in the area. The museum is reached by a short causeway from the northern side of the tank. Bala Hanuman Temple : It is on the south-eastern side of Lakhota Tank. Early evening is a particularly good time to visit the temple.


RAJKOT SIGHTSEEING

 

Rajkot is a pleasant town where Gandhiji had spent the early years of his life. The Gandhi family home, the Kaba Gandhi no Delo, now houses a permanent exhibition of Gandhi items. The Rajkumar College is regarded as one of the best private schools in the country. Watson Museum : The Watson Museum and Library is in the Jubilee Gardens. The entrance is flanked by two imperial lions and among the exhibits are copies of artefacts from Moenjodaro, 13th-century carvings, silverware, natural history exhibits and textiles as well as dioramas of local tribal costumes and housing styles. The most startling piece is a huge marble statue of Queen Victoria seated on a throne.


BHUJ SIGHTSEEING

 

Bhuj, the major town of Kutch, is an old walled city. The walls enclose the palace along with the entire bazaar area and a lake. The bazaar is lively and extremely colourful. There are walls within walls, crenellated gateways, old palaces with intricately carved wooden pavilions, Hindu temples and camels pulling huge cartfuls of produce into the various markets. All this exists right next to one of the largest Indian Air Force bases in the country. Aina Mahal (Old Palace) : It is built in traditional Kutchi style and is in a small fortified courtyard in the old part of the city.It is a beautifully presented museum and is the highlight of Bhuj. The entrance to the palace houses the tourist office, and this is also the site of the Maharao Sinh Madansinhji Museum, which has a varied collection of paintings, photos and embroideries. There is also a collection of old princely-state coins. The real attraction are the rooms known as the Fuvara Mahal and Hira Mahal. The Fuvara Mahal is a room devoted entirely to leisure. Most of the floor area is an ornamental pool, lined with tiles. In the centre of the pool is a small platform. The Hira Mahal has some superb embroidery pieces. Prag Mahal (New Palace) : Across the courtyard from the Aina Mahal is the new palace, an ornate Italianate marble and sandstone building. Parts of it are now used for government offices but the vast and amazingly kitsch Darbar Hall and the clock tower are open to the public. High up on the walls of this hall are portraits of past maharaos. The clock tower adjacent to the Darbar Hall is well worth climbing for the superb views.


BHUJ SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Kutch Museum : Built in 1877, it is the oldest museum in Gujarat and has an excellent collection. The well-maintained and labelled exhibits include a picture gallery, an anthropological section, archaeological finds,textiles, weapons, musical instruments and shipping section. Sarad Bagh Palace : This palace has been turned into a small museum. Set in spacious and beautifully tended gardens, the palace is of very modest proportions, with just a drawing room and bedroom. The dining room is in a separate building and on display here are a number of the maharao's personal possessions, including his video player. Other Attractions : A huge old wall stretches around the hills overlooking the city-the view is best from near the railway station but now it is a restricted military area. The very colourful and richly decorated Swaminarayan Temple is near the bazaar.


GANDHIDHAM SIGHTSEEING

 

Gandhidham is a new town near Kandala. Kutch Villages : The villages of the Kutch region each specialise in a different form of handicraft, be it embroidery, tie-dye, block printing or weaving. It is a fascinating area to explore, and it would be easy to spend a week visiting some of these villages, using Bhuj as a base. Some of the more important villages, and the craft they specialise in are: Bhujjodi, wool and cotton weaving; block printing; Lilpur, tie-dye; Anjar, nut-cutters and Ahir embroidery. Anjar also has an old Deputy Collector's bungalow. The interior walls of the bugalow are decorated with interesting Kamagar paintings. Dholavira is a small village on a small 'island' north-east of Bhuj. Here archaeologists have unearthed a city belonging to the Harappan civilisation. An interesting two day trip would involve catching a bus from Bhuj to Lilpur, with an overnight stop in the Gandhi Ashram. Mandvi : It is a beach resort and is about 60 km. south-west of Bhuj, and there are regular bus connections between the two places.


PALITANA SIGHTSEEING

 

Situated 51 km. south-west of Bhavnagar, the town of Palitana is little more than a gateway to Shatrunjaya, the Place of Victory. The 600 mtr. ascent from the town to the hilltop is a walk of some two kilometre. There are a number of temples. The hilltop is dedicated entirely to the gods. Almost all the temples are Jain. The hilltops are bounded by sturdy walls and the temples are grouped into nine enclosures or tunks-each with a central major temple and many minor ones clustered around. The hilltop affords a very fine view in all directions; on a clear day you can sea the Gulf of Cambay beyond Bhavnagar. The most notable of the temples is dedicated to Shri Adishwara, the first Jain tirthankar. The Chaumukh, or Four-Faced shrine, has images of Adinath facing out in the four cardinal directions. Other important temples are those to Kumar Pal and Vimal Shah. There are so many marble temples on the hill summit that, from a distance, it looks like a giant, glistening, white wedding cake.


VERAVAL SIGHTSEEING

 

Veraval is on the south coast of Saurashtra. It is one of India's major fishing ports and as the base for a visit to Somnath Temple, 5 km. south of the town. It is well worth a wander around the port. Between Veraval and Somnath, a large ship lies on the shore. GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR : Keshod, the nearest airport, is serviced by Vayudoot but there is no Vayudoot office in Veraval. Somnath Travels in Satta Bazaar will obtain tickets for a fee. BUS : Daily buses run from the bus station to Diu via Kodinar, Porbandar, Junagadh, Rajkot and Bhavnagar. There are daily departures for Porbundar, Dir, Rajkot and Junagadh. TRAIN : It is 431 km from Ahmedabad to Veraval. There are slow steam passenger trains for Sasan Gir and one daily passenger service to Delwada (for Diu). There are daily trains to Rajkot. AROUND VERAVAL Chorwad : The summer palace of the Junagadh nawabs, situated at the popular beach resort of Chorwad, 70 km from Junagadh and 20 km from Veraval, was converted by the Gujarat State Tourism Department into the beautiful Palace Beach Resort. The hotel is surrounded by well-tended gardens and overlooks the sea.


SOMNATH SIGHTSEEING

 

Inside the Somnath temple there are fine views from the second floor, as well as a photo collection on the archaeological excavation of the seven temples. The temple is built to traditional patterns and is by the sea. It is one of the 12 sacred Siva shrines known as jyoti lingas. Museum : Down the lane from the temple is a museum. There are pottery shards, a sea-shell collection and a glass case of water bottles containing samples from the Danube, Nile, River Plate and even the Australian Murray. Other Sites : The town of Somnath Patan is entered from Veraval by the Junagadh Gate. Close to the second gate is an old mosque. The Jami Masjid, reached through the town's picturesque bazaar, was constructed using parts of a Hindu temple and has interesting bo tree carvings at all four corners. It is now a museum with a collection from many of these temples. To the east of the town is the Bhalka Tirth. The legendary spot is at the confluence of three rivers. You can get to it through the small sangam, which is known as the Nana, or Small Gate. North of this sacred spot is the Suraj Mandir, or Temple of the Sun. This temple has a frieze of lions with elephant trunks around its walls.


JUNAGADH SIGHTSEEING

 

Junagadh is an interesting town situated at the base of the temple-studded Girnar Hill. It is also the departure point for visits to the Gir Forest. Uparkot : This very old fort, stands on the eastern side of Junagadh. The walls are 20 mtrs. high and an ornate triple gateway forms the entrance to the fort. Paths lead from one point of interest to the next. Inside the fort is the mosque, the Jami Masjid. Other points of interest include the Tomb of Nuri Shah and two fine baolis(step wells) known as the Adi Chadi and the Naughan. The Naughan is reached by a magnificent circular staircase. Cut into the hillside close to the mosque are some ancient Buddhist caves. The double-storey cave has 6 pillars with very fine carvings. There are many other caves in Junagadh. The soft rock on which Junagadh is built encouraged the construction of caves and wells. The colossal 5 mtr. long cannon, called Nilam,is another point of interest. Mahabat Maqbara : This incredible mausoleum of one of the nawabs of Junagadh with its silver doors, intricate architecture, minarets and spiralling stairways predates Disneyland. Durbar Hall and Museum : The museum has the usual display of weapons and armour from the days of the nawabs, together with their collections of silver chains and chandeliers, settees and thrones, howdahs and palanquins, and a few cushions and gowns. There is a portrait gallery of the nawabs. Ashokan Edicts : On the way to the Girnar Hill temples, you pass a huge boulder on which Emperor Ashoka inscribed 14 edicts in around 250 BC. The 14 edicts are moral lectures.


JUNAGADH SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Girnar Hill : The 600 mtr. climb up 10,000 stone steps to the 1118 metre high summit of Girnar is best made early in the morning, preferably at dawn. From the summit, the views are superb. The temple-topped hill is of great significance to the Jains. The sacred tank of Damodar Kund marks the start of the climb to the temples. The path ascends through a wood to the marble temples near the summit. Five of them are Jain temples, including the largest and oldest Temple of Neminath. There is a large black image of Neminath in the central shrine and many smaller images around the temple. Nearby is the triple Temple of Mallinath. During festival, this temple is a favourite gathering place for sadhus and a great fair is held here during the Kartika Purnima festival. On the top of the peak is the Temple of Amba Mata. Other Attractions : Junagadh's zoo at Sakar Bagh, 3.5 km. from the centre of town on the Rajkot road, has Gir lions. The zoo is good with well kept lions, tigers and leopards being the main attractions. The town also has a fine local museum with paintings, manuscripts, archaeological finds and various other exhibits including a natural history section. The Ayurvedic College at Sadar Bagh on the western edge of town is housed in one of the ex-nawab's palaces, and has a small museum devoted to ayurvedic medicine. Other old buildings include the gate opposite the railway station on Dhal road, the clock tower near the GPO and the building opposite the Durbar Hall.


AHMEDABAD SHOPPING

 

On Ashram road, just before the tourist office, is the Gujarat state crafts emporium, called the Gujari. Handloom House is over the road.


BHUJ SHOPPING

 

If you are genuinely interested in the embroidery from the various Kutch villages, get in touch with Mr. A A Wazir. Some of the emroidery pieces are for sale but most are for display and exhibition only.


CHANDIGARH SIGHTSEEING

 

Chandigarh is on the edge of the Siwalik Hills, the outermost edge of the Himalaya. Government Buildings : The Secretariat and the Vidhan Sabha buildings are in Sector 1. Between 10.00 a.m. and noon you can go to the top of the Secretariat, from where there is an excellent view over Chandigarh. The huge open hand here is a symbol of unity, and is supposed to be the centrepiece of the government sector. Rock Garden : Close to the government buildings is the Rock Garden, a sort of concrete maze with a lot of rocks and very little garden. This strange and whimsical fantasy has grown and grown over the years and is now very extensive. Close by is the artificial Sukhna Lake. Museum and Art Gallery : The art gallery in Sector 10 contains a modest collection of Indian stone sculptures and some miniature paintings and modern art. The adjacent museum has fossils and implements of prehistoric humans found in India. Rose Garden : The rose garden in Sector 16 is claimed to be the biggest in Asia and contains more than a 1000 varieties of roses.


AMRITSAR SIGHTSEEING

 

Amritsar is both the centre of the Sikh religion and the major city of Punjab state. Amritsar, or Pool of Nectar, is the name of the sacred pool by which the Sikhs' Golden Temple is built. Golden Temple : The holiest shrine of the Sikh religion, also known as the Hari Mandir, is in the centre of the old part of the town. It is a beautiful place, especially early in the morning. Hari Mandir : Standing in the middle of the sacred pool, the Golden Temple is a two storey marble structure reached by a causeway known as the Gurus' Bridge. The lower parts of the marble walls are decorated with inlaid flower and animal motifs in the pietra dura style of the Taj Mahal. The golden dome is supposed to represent an inverted lotus flower. Granth Sahib : The original copy of the Granth Sahib is kept under a pink shroud in the Golden Temple. It is the Sikhs' holy book. Sikh Museum : The Central Sikh Museum is upstairs in the clock tower and comprises a gallery of paintings. Akal Takhat : The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, or Sikh Parliament, tradionally meets in this building. Guru Ka Langar and Gurdwaras : All Sikh temples have a community kitchen and in this one volunteers prepare free meals for 1000's of people every day. Nearby are the gurdwaras, offering free accommodation to all. Pilgrims are well provided for and there is a good library, a post office, bank and railway booking agent. Other Buildings : To the south of the temple enclosure is a garden in which stands the Baba Atal Tower. The Ramgarhia Minars are outside the temple.


AMRITSAR SIGHTSEEING 1

 

The Old City : A 15-minute walk from the Golden Temple through the narrow alleys of the old city brings you to the Hindu Durgiana Temple. This is a small temple, dedicated to the goddess Durga. A larger temple, built like the Golden Temple in the centre of a lake, is dedicated to the Hindu deities, Laxmi and Narayan. There are a number of mosques in the old city, including the mosque of Mohammed Jan with 3 wide domes and slender minarets. Jallianwala Bagh : This park is just five minutes walk from the Golden Temple and commemorates the 2000 Indians who were killed or wounded at this site, shot indiscriminately by the British. Ram Bagh : This beautiful garden is in the new part of town and has a museum in the small palace built by the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The museum contains weapons dating back to Moghul times and some portraits of the ruling houses of the Punjab. Other Attractions : In the south-west of the city is the Fort, Gobind Garh. Tarn Taran is an important Sikh tank about 25 km. south of Amritsar. There is a temple and a tower on the east side of the tank.


LUDHIANA SIGHTSEEING

 

Ludhiana is an important textile centre. It was the site of a great battle in the First Sikh War. Hero bicycles, the world's largest manufacturer, with a production of nearly 3 million bikes annually, are manufactured here.


PATHANKOT SIGHTSEEING

 

The town of Pathankot in the extreme north of the Punjab, 107 km. from Amritsar, is important to travellers purely as a crossroad. It is the gateway to Jammu in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. There is the picturesque Shahpur Kandi Fort about 13 km. north of the town on the River Ravi.


OTHER PLACES-PUNJAB

 

PATIALA ------- It is located to the south of the road and rail lines from Delhi to Amritsar. There is a museum in the Motibagh Palace of the maharaja in the Baradari Gardens.


AMRITSAR SHOPPING

 

Woollen blankets and sweaters are supposed to be cheaper in Amritsar than in other places in India, as they are locally manufactured. Katra Jaimal Singh, near the telephone exchange in the old city, is a good shopping area.


CHANDIGARH SHOPPING

 

Woollen sweaters and shawls from the Punjab are good buys, especially in the Government Emporium. The Sector 17 shopping centre is probably the most extensive in India.


GWALIOR SIGHTSEEING

 

Just a few hours from Agra by train or road, Gwalior is famous for its old and very large fort. Within the fort walls are several interesting temples and palaces. Fort : Rising 100 mtrs. about the town, the fort hill is about 3 km. in length. The walls, which encircle almost the entire hilltop, are 10 metres high and imposingly solid. On a clear day the view from the fort walls is superb - over old Gwalior at the north-eastern end and far across the plains. You can approach the fort from the south or the north-east. The north-eastern path starts from the Archaeological Museum and follows a wide, winding slope to the doors of the Man Singh Palace. The southern entrance is a long, gradual ascent by road, passing cliff-face Jain sculptures. Southern Entrance : The long ascent on the southern side climbs up through a ravine to the fort gate. Along the rock faces flanking this road are many Jain sculptures. Teli Ka Mandir : Beyond the Suraj Kund tank, this temple has a peculiar plan and design.The roof is Dravidian while the decorations are Indo-Aryan. A Garuda tops the 10 metre high doorway. This is the highest structure in the fort. Between the Teli Ka Mandir and the Sasbahu temples is a modern Sikh gurdwara. Sasbahu Temples : The 'mother-in-law' and 'daughter-in-law' temples stand close to the eastern wall about midway along that side of the fort. The two temples are similar in style. The larger temple has an ornately carved base and figures of Vishnu over the entrances.


GWALIOR SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Man Singh Palace : The palace, a delightfully whilsical building, is also known as the Chit Mandir or Painted Palace because of the tiled and painted decorations of ducks, elephants and peacocks. Painted blue, with hints of green and gold, it still looks very good today.The east face of the palace, with its 6 towers topped by domed cupolas, stands over the fort entrance path. Other palaces : There are other palaces clustered within the fort walls at the northern end. The Karan Palace, or Kirti Mandir, is a long, narrow two- storey palace on the western side of the fort. At the northern end are the Jehangir and Shah Jahan palaces with a very large and deep tank, the Jauhar Kund. North-East Entrance : There is a whole series of gates as you descend the steps of the path to the archaeological museum. The fifth gate, the Hathiya Paur, or Elephant Gate, forms the entrance to the palace. Descending, you pass a Vishnu shrine known as Chatarbhujmandir, Shrine of the Four-Armed. The interesting fourth gate is named after the elephant-headed god, Ganesh. There is a small pigeon house or Kabutar Khana here. There is also a small 4-pillared Hindu temple. The third gate is known as the Badalgarh. The 1st gate is known as the Alamgiri Gate. Archaeological Museum : The museum is within the Gujri Mahal Palace. There is a large collection of Hindu and Jain sculptures and copies of the Bagh Caves' frescoes.


GWALIOR SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Jai Vilas Palace : Although the current maharaja still lives in the palace, a large part of it is now a museum. Old town : The old town of Gwalior lies to the north and north-east of the fort hill. The 1661 Jami Masjid is a fine old building, constructed of sandstone. On the eastern side of town is the fine Tomb of Mohammed Gaus, a Muslim Saint. It has hexagonal towers at its 4 corners, and a dome. It is a very good example of early Moghul architecture. Close to the large tomb is the smaller Tomb of Tansen.


JHANSI SIGHTSEEING

 

Jhansi is situated 101 km. to the south of Gwalior. Jhansi Fort and Rani Mahal Museum : The fort was built in 1613 by Maharaja Bir Singh Deo of Orcha. There are excellent views from the ramparts. Close to the fort, the Rani Mahal was the palace of the Rani of Jhansi. It is now a museum with a large collection of sculptures.


KHAJURAHO SIGHTSEEING

 

The temples of Khajuraho are one of India's major attractions. The temples are superb examples of Indo-Aryan architecture, but it is the decorations with which they are so liberally embellished that has made Khajuraho so famous. Around the temples are bands of exceedingly fine and artistic stonework. The sculptors have shown many aspects of Indian life 1000 years ago - gods and goddesses, warriors and musicians, real and mythological animals. Large number of visitors come to Khajurao in March for the dance festival. Western Group : The main temples are in the western group, conveniently close to the tourist part of Khajuraho. Most are contained within a fenced enclosure which is very well maintained as a park. Lakshmi and Varaha : Facing the large Lakshmana Temple are these two small shrines. The Varaha Temple is dedicated to Vishnu's boar incarnation. Inside this small, open shrine is a huge, solid and intricately carved figure of the boar incarnation. Lakshmana Temple : This temple is dedicated to Vishnu. It is one of the best preserved, with a full 5-part floor plan and 4 subsidiary shrines. Around the temple are two bands of sculpture. Around the base of the temple is a continuous frieze with scenes of battles, hunting and processions. The temple platform gives you a good view of the Matangesvara Temple. Kandariya Mahadev : This temple is not only the largest of the temples,but is also artistically and architecturally the most perfect. The central shrine is superb and shows the typical 5-part design of Khajuraho temples. The main spire is 31 mtrs. high, and the temple is lavishly carved.


KHAJURAHO SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Devi Jagadamba : This temple is dedicated to Kali. The sculptures around the temple are in 3 bands. Chitragupta : This temple is dedicated to Surya, the Sun God. It has some very fine sculptures that include processions, elephant fight and hunting scenes. In the inner sanctum, Surya can be seen driving his chariot and seven horses. Vishvanath Temple and Nandi : A large image of the bull Nandi faces the temple from the other end of the common platform. Steps lead up to this high terrace, flanked by lions on the northern side and elephants on the southern side. Matangesvara Temple : This temple stands next to the Lakshamana Temple. Inside the temple is a polished linga, 2.5 metres. high. Chausath Yogini : It is the only temple constructed entirely of granite. Chausath means 64. A further half kilometre west is the Lalguan Mahadev Temple, dedicated to Siva. Archaeological Museum : Close to the western enclosure, this museum has a fine collection of statues and sculptures. There is a wonderful dancing Ganesh figure in the entrance gallery. Eastern Group : The eastern group of temples can be subdivided into two groups. The 1st is made up of interesting Jain temples in the walled enclosure. The other four temples are scattered through the small village of Khajuraho. Jain Museum : Outside the Jain enclosure is this recently constructed circular gallery, filled with statues of the 24 tirthankars.


KHAJURAHO SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Parsvanath : The largest of the Jain temples in the walled enclosure is also one of the finest at Khajuraho. It is notable for the exceptional skill and precision of its construction, and for the beauty of its sculptures. Adinath : It is adjacent to the Parsvanath Temple. It has fine carvings on its 3 bands of sculptures. Shanti Nath : This temple is a relatively modern one built about a century ago. There is the 4.5 metre high statue of Adinath. Ghantai : This is a small Jain temple. It is interesting for the delicate columns with their bell and chain decoration and for the figure of a Jain goddess astride a Garuda which marks the entrance. Javari : This temple is dedicated to Vishnu and is a particularly fine example of Khajuraho architecture. Vamana : About 200 mtrs. north of the Javari Temple, this temple is dedicated to Vamana, the dwarf incarnation of Vishnu. It is notable for the relatively simple design of its sikhara. Hanuman : The Hanuman Temple contains a large image of the monkey god. This 2.5 metre statue has on it the oldest inscription here,dating it to 922 AD. SOUTHERN GROUP : There are only two temples in the southern group. Duladeo : This is the latest temple at Khajuraho. It is a fine and graceful temple. Chaturbhuja : This temple is to the south of the river and is about 3 km. from the village. It has a fine 3 metre high image of Vishnu.


AROUND KHAJURAHO

 

Dhubela : In the old fort in this town, 64 km. from Khajuraho along the road to Jhansi, there is a small museum. Exhibits include Shakti cult sculptures, weapons, clothes and other personal belongings of the Bundella kings. Panna National Park : The road to Satna passes through this park, lying along the River Ken, 32 km. from Khajuraho. It contains large areas of forest and a variety of wildlife. The numerous waterfalls in this area are popular picnic spots. Day trips often also take in a visit to the diamond mines at Majhgawan, the Rajgarh Palace and the temples of Panna town, 48km. from Khajuraho. Ajaigarh and Kalinjar Forts : At Ajaigarh, 80 km. from Khajuraho, is the large isolated hilltop fort, designed to protect the local population during attacks and sieges. Kalinjar Fort, 25 km. north is much older, built during the Gupta period. Chitrakoot : It was here that Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are believed to have been 'born' and taken on their incarnations, which makes this town a popular Hindu pilgrimage place. It is on the banks of the Mandakini River by the border with Uttar Pradesh, and is 195 km. from Khajuraho.


BHOPAL SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh and was founded by Raja Bhoj. Taj-ul-Masjid : It is one of the largest mosques in India. It is a huge pink mosque with two massive white-domed minarets and three white domes over the main building. Other Mosques : The Jama Masjid is surrounded by the bazaar and has very squat minarets. The Moti Masjid, similar in style to the Jama Masjid in Delhi, is a smaller mosque with two dark-red minarets crowned by golden spikes. Lakes : The larger Upper Lake covers six sq. km. and a bridge separates it from the Lower Lake. You can rent boats to get out on the lakes, which are very picturesque when they reflect the lights of the surrounding city at night. Lakshmi Narayan Temple and Birla Museum : There are good views over the lakes to the old town from the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, also known as Birla Mandir. Beside it on Arera Hill is an excellent museum that is well worth visiting. It contains a selective collection of local sculptures. The exhibits are all beautifully displayed. The stone sculptures are mainly of Vishnu and Siva. There is a small selection of terracotta exhibits from Kausambi. Bharat Bhavan : It is regarded as one of the most important centres in the country for the preservation of traditional folk art. There are workshops and theatres, as well as Roopankar, the impressive art gallery. The Bharat Bhavan is in the Shamla Hills.


BHOPAL SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Tribal Habitat Museum : Tribal buildings from all over India are being reconstructed in what promises to be an interesting open-air exhibition. The display is at Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya in the Shamla Hills, on a 40-hectare site overlooking the Upper Lake. There are craft and pottery demonstrations, and film shows.


INDORE SIGHTSEEING

 

Indore is a major textile-producing centre. Rajwada : In the old part of town, the multistorey gateway of the Rajwada or Old Palace looks out onto the palm-lined main square in the streets of the Kajuri Bazaar. Kanch Mandir : On Jawahar road, not far from the Rajwada, is the Kanch Mandir or Seth Hukanchand Temple.This Jain temple is very plain externally, but inside is completely mirrored. Museum : The museum, near the GPO, has one of the best collections of medieval and premedieval Hindu sculptures in Madhya Pradesh. Some pieces are stunning in their delicacy. Lal Bagh Palace : In the south-west, surrounded by gardens, lies the grand Lal Bagh Palace. It has entrance gate, a wooden ballroom floor mounted on springs, marble columns, chandeliers and stuffed tigers. Other Attractions : The chhatris stand in the Chhatri Bagh on the banks of the River Khan. The cenotaph of Malhar Rao Holkar I, founder of the Holkar dynasty, is the most impressive. At the western end of MG road, the Bada Ganapati Temple contains an 8 mtr. high day-glo orange statue of Ganesh, which is reputed to be the world's largest. The Kajuri Bazaar streets are a good place to take a stroll. They are always very busy and there are many examples of old houses with picturesque overhanging verandahs.


AROUND INDORE 1

 

Omkareshwar : This island at the confluence of the Narmada and Kaveri rivers has drawn Hindu pilgrims for centuries on account of its jyoti linga, one of the 12 throughout India, at the Siva Temple of Shri Omkar Mandhata. The temple is constructed from local soft stone. There are other temples on this island including the Siddhnath. Also, there are other Hindu and Jain temples. The island temples present a very picturesque sight and are well worth visiting. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Omkareshwar Road, on the Ratlam-Indore-Khandwa line, is the nearest railway station. Omkareshwar itself is 12 km form here by road. There are regular local buses to Omkareshwar from Indore, Ujjain and Khandwa. Maheshwar : The principal sights are the fort which is now a museum displaying heirlooms and relics of the Holkst dynasty (open to othe publi), the three ghats lining the banks of the Narmada River, and the many-tiered temples distinguished by there overhanging balconies and intricately worked doorways. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Maheshwar is best reached by road as the nearest railhead is 39km away. Local buses run here on a regular basis from Barwaha and Dhar both of which, in turn, can be reached by local bus from Indore. Maheshwar is often included on bus tours from Indore to Mandu.


JABALPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

Jabalpur is famous for the gorge on the Narmada River known as the Marble Rocks. Bazaar : The old bazaar area of Jabalpur is huge and full of typically Indian sights, sounds and goods for sale. The Rani Durgavati Museum, south of the bazaar, is also worth a visit. Madan Mahal : This Gond fortress is on the route to the Marble Rocks, perched on top of a huge boulder.


UJJAIN SIGHTSEEING

 

Ujjain is one of India's holiest cities for Hindus. It is one of the sites of the Kumbh Mela which takes place here every 12 years. It ranks equal as a great religious centre with such places as Varanasi,Gaya and Kanchipuram. TEMPLES Mahakaleshwar Temple : It is the most important temple dedicated to Siva. The temple enshrines one of India's 12 jyoti linga. Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir : Above the tank near the Mahakaleshwar temple, the large ornate statue of Ganesh here makes this temple a popular pilgrimage spot. Harsiddhi Temple : Built during the Maratha period, this temple enshrines a famous image of the goddess Annapurna. The two large pillars adorned with lamps were a special feature of Maratha art and are spectacular when lit at Navratri in September-October. Gopal Mandir : The marble-spired Gopal Mandir is an excellent example of Maratha architecture. The doors of the sanctum are silver-plated. This is a very large temple. Chintaman Ganesh Temple : On the opposite bank of the River Shipra, this temple is believed to be of considerable antiquity. The pillars of the assembly hall are artistically carved. Ghats : The largest of all the ghats is the Ram Ghat, close to the Harsiddhi Temple.


UJJAIN SIGHTSEEING

 

Ved Shala (observatory) : Since the fourth century BC, Ujjain has been India's Greenwich, with the 1st meridian of longitude passing through it. The observatory is smaller but interesting. Kaliadesh Palace : On an island in the Shripa River, 8 km. north of town is the water palace. The central dome of the palace is a good example of Persian architecture.


SANCHI SIGHTSEEING

 

Sanchi is a very special place and the sculptures here are full of vitality and freshness. It is a small village at the foot of the hill. Archaelogical Museum : The most interesting pieces are the lion capital from the Ashoka pillar, a yakshi hanging from a mango tree and a beautiful Buddha figure in red sandstone. Great Stupa : Stupa 1 is the main structure on the hill.It stands 16 mtrs. high and 37 mtr. in diameter. A railing encircles the stupa and there are 4 entrances through magnificently carved gateways or toranas. This toranas are the finest works of art at Sanchi and amongst the finest example of Buddhist art in India. Toranas : The scenes carved onto the pillars and their triple architraves are mainly tales from the jatakas, the episodes of the Buddha's various lives. The lotus stands for the birth of Buddha, the bo tree represents his enlightenment, the wheel his teachings and the footprint and throne symbolise his presence. Northern Gateway : The gateway topped by a wheel of law is the best preserved of the gateways. It shows many scenes from the Buddha's life, both in his last incarnation and in earlier lives. Elephants, facing in four directions, support the architraves above the columns, while horses with riders and more elephants fill the gaps between the architraves. Eastern Gateway : One pillar on this gateway includes scenes of the Buddha's entry to nirvana. The figure of a yakshi maiden, hanging out from one of the architraves, is one of the best known images of Sanchi.


SANCHI SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Southern Gateway : The oldest of the gateways, this includes scenes of the Buddha's birth and also events from Ashoka's life as a Buddhist. Western Gateway : The gateway, with the architraves supported by dwarves, has some of the most interesting scenes at the site. The top front architraves shows the Buddha in 7 different incarnations. The colourful events of the Chhaddanta Jataka are related on the front face of the bottom architrave. Pillars : The most important is pillar 10, which was erected by Ashoka and stands close to the southern entrance to the great stupa.The 3 back-to-back lions are an excellent example of the Greco-Buddhist art of that era at its finest. They now form the state emblem of India. Other Stupas : There are many other stupas on the hill. Stupa 2, one of the most interesting is halfway down the hill to the west. The 'medallions' which decorate the surrounding walls are of great interest. Flowers, animals and people are found all around the stupa. Stupa 3, stands north-east of the main stupa and is similar in design to the great stupa. Stupa 2, down the hill, also contain relics of important Buddhist teachers. Between stupa 1 and stupa 3 is stupa 5. Temples : Immediately south of stupa 1 is temple 18, a chaitya hall which in style is remarkably similar to classical Greek-columned buildings. Beside this temple is the small temple 17. The large temple 40 is to the south-east of these two temples. Temple 6 stands between 40 and 18. It is known as the Gupta Temple. This temple is interesting in that it displays the Indian temple style with a porch leading to the central shrine.


SANCHI SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Monasteries : Monasteries 45 and 47 stand on the higher, eastern edge of the hilltop. There is a good view of the village of Sanchi below and Vidisha in the distance from this side of the hill. Monastery 51 is partway down the hill on the western side towards stupa 2. Close to it is the 'great bowl' in which food and offerings were placed for distribution to the monks. It was carved out of a huge boulder.


AROUND SANCHI SIGHTSEEING

 

AROUND SANCHI Sonari, 10 km south-west of Sanchi, has eight stupas, two of them important. At Satdhara, west of Sanchi on the bank of the Beas River, there are two stupas, one 30 metres in diameter. Another 8 km south-east is Andher, where there are three small but well-preserved stupas. VIDISHA The ruins of the 2nd century BC Brahmanical shrine here show traces of lime mortor - the earliest use of cement in India. HELIODORUS PILLAR Between Vidisha and the Udaigiri caves, one km north of the Udaigiri turnoff, is this inscribed pillar, known locally as the Khamb Baba pillar. It is dedicated to Vishnu. UDAIGIRI CAVES Cut into the sandstone hill, five km from Vidisha, are about 20 Gupta cave shrines, two are Jain, the other 18 Hindu. In cave 5 there is a superb image of Vishnu in his boar incarnation. Cave 20 is particularly interesting with detailed jain Carvings. RAISEN On the road to Bhopal, 23 km south of Sanchi, the huge and colourful hilltop fort of Raisen has temples, cannons, three palaces, 40 wells and a large tank. There are also ancient paintings in the caves in this area.


PACHMARHI SIGHTSEEING

 

Pachmarhi is Madhya Pradesh's peaceful hill station and stands at an altitude of 1067 metrs. It is a very attractive place. Ravi Shankar has a music school and the arts and crafts mela is held here a number of times. There are fine views out over the surrounding red sandstone hills,pools and waterfalls to bathe in, ancient cave paintings and some interesting walks through the sal forests. A long day walk is to the hilltop shrine of Chauragarh, 4 km. from Mahadeo. You can see the cave paintings at Marodeo on the way. There is a golf course and a couple of churches.


MANDU SIGHTSEEING

 

Mandu is one of the most interesting sights in central India. To the south of Mandu the land drops steeply away to the plain far below and the view is superb. Royal Enclave Buildings : Jahaz Mahal (Ship palace) : It is the most famous building in Mandu. It really is shiplike. Just south of the Jahaz Mahal is the Taveli Mahal, now the Archaeological Survey of India's Rest House. Hindola Mahal : This churchlike hall is known as the Swing Palace because the inward slope of the walls is supposed to create the impression that the walls are swaying. Champa Baoli : To the west of the Jahaz Mahal and Hindola Mahal is this interesting building on the north shore of the lake. Other Enclave Buildings: Several other buildings in the enclave include the 'house and shop' and 'Mosque of Dilwar Khan'. Village Group Buildings : Jami Masjid : This huge mosque is the finest and largest example of Afghan architecture in India. Hoshang's Tomb : Immediarely behind the mosque is the imposing marble tomb of Hoshang. Reputed to be India's oldest marble building, the tomb is entered through a domed porch. The interior is lit by stone jali screens- typical of the Hindu influence on the tomb's fine design. It has a double arch and a squat, central dome surrounded by four smaller domes.To one side of the tomb enclosure is a long, low colonnade with its width divided into three by rows of pillars.


MANDU SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Rewa Kund buildings : Palace of Baz Bahadur : This palace is beside the Rewa Kund and is a curious mix of Rajasthani and Moghul styles. Darya Khan's Tomb and Hathi Mahal : The Hathi Mahal or Elephant Palace is so named because the pillars supporting the dome are of massive proportions like elephant legs. Nearby is the tomb of Darya Khan. Rupmati's Pavilion : At the very edge of the fort, perched on the hillside overlooking the plains below, is the pavilion of Rupmati. From its terrace and domed pavilions Rupmati could gaze down on the Narmada River, winding across the plains far below. It is a romantic building, the perfect setting for a fairytale romance. Nil Kanth Palace : This palace, at the end of one of the ravines which cut into the fort, is actually below the level of the hilltop and is reached by a flight of steps down the hillside.


MATHERAN SIGHTSEEING

 

Matheran, the nearest hill station to Bombay, is 171 km. from the city via Neral on the Bombay to Pune railway line. The name means Jungle Topped or Wooded Head. Matheran sprawls north-south along the hilltop. On a clear day the view can be fantastic and it is possible to see, and even hear, Bombay from Porcupine or Louisa Point. Even in the hazy air of the pre-monsoon dry season, the eerie views of surrounding hills are fine. Porcupine Point is a good place for catching the sunset,but Panorama Point, at the extreme north, is said to have the finest views. The western side, from Porcupine to Louisa Point, is known as Cathedral Rocks, and Neral can be seen far below, straddling the central railway line. At the south, near One Tree Hill, a trail down to the valley below is known as Shivaji's Ladder.


PUNE SIGHTSEEING

 

Pune has a pleasant climate. Shivaji, the great Maratha leader was raised in Pune. Raja Kelkar Museum : This interesting museum is one of Pune's real delights. Amongst the item you might see are Peshwa and other miniatures, a coat of armour made of fish scales, carved doors and windows, strange locks, oil lamps and a superb collection of betel-nut cutters. The museum is housed in a quaint purple, red and green Rajasthani-style building. Shanwarwada Palace : In a section of the town where narrow and winding streets form a maze stands the imposing, fortress-like Shanwarwada Palace. Inside the palace is a pleasant garden. Tribal Museum : Just south of the railway line and east of the railway station is this excellent museum. Temples and Gardens : The Empress Botanical Gardens have fine tropical trees and a small zoo nearby. The moated Saras Baug Ganesh Temple is in Peshwa Park. The Bund Gardens, on the banks of the river, are a popular place for an evening stroll. The bridge here crosses the river to Yeravada and the Gandhi National Memorial (Aga Khan's Palace). The Parvati Temple is on the outskirts of the town on a hilltop. There is a good view from the top. There is also the rock-cut Panchaleshwar Temple. There is a fine equestrian statue of Shivaji close by. The Wellesley Bridge crosses the Mutha River. Gandhi National Memorial : Across the river in Yeravada is this fine memorial set in a garden.


AROUND PUNE 1

 

SINHAGAD : Sinhagad, the Lion Fort, is 25 km. south-west of Pune. It makes an excellent day trip from Pune, which will give you a good chance to get some fresh air. The fortress stands near the telecommunications mast at 1270 mtrs., on top of a steep hill. The climb up from the end of the road takes 1.5 to two hours and the views from the top are superb . The Pune city bus No 50 takes you to Sinhagad village at the end of the road.


MAHABALESHWAR SIGHTSEEING

 

Mahabaleshwar is a popular hill station, at an altitude of 1372 mtrs. and has pleasant walks and good lookouts. Elphinstone Point, Babington Point, Bombay Point, Kate's Point and a number of other lookouts around the wooden plateau offers fine views over the plains below. Arthur's Seat, 12 km. from Mahabaleshwar looks out over a sheer drop of 600 mtrs. to the coastal strip between the ghats and the sea, known as the Konkan. There are pleasant waterfalls such as Chinaman's Waterfalls, Dhobi Waterfalls and Lingmala Waterfalls. Venna Lake, within Mahabaleshwar, has boating and fishing facilities.


KOLHAPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

KOLHAPUR It was once the capital of an important Maratha state. Maharaja's Palace : The old maharaja's palace has been turned into the Shahaji Chhatrapati Museum and it contains a wonderful array of the maharaja's old possessions including his clothes, old hunt photos and the memorial silver spade used by the maharaja to 'turn the first sod of the Kolhapur State Railway'. The gun and sword collection is comprehensive, and the ashtrays and coffee tables made from tigers' and elephants' feet, are unbelievably gross.


NASIK SIGHTSEEING

 

NASIK This interesting town with its picturesque bathing ghats makes a good stockover on the way from Bombay to Aurangadabad. The town is about 8 km. north-west of the station . Temples and Caves : Nasik stands on the Godavari River, one of the holiest rivers of the Deccan. Kumbh Mela takes place here every 12 years. The river banks are lined with steps above which stand temples and shrines. The Sundar Narayan Temple, to the west of the city, is worth seeing. Other points of interest in Nasik include the Sita Gupta Cave. Near the cave, in its grove of large banyan trees, is the fine house of the Panchavati family. Also nearby is the Temple of Kala Rama, or Black Rama, in a 96-arched enclosure. The Kapaleswar Temple upstream is said to be the oldest in the town. Kumbh Mela : Kumbh means Pot, and in Hindu mythology, 4 drops of the nectar of immortality fell to earth, one in each at Allahabad, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar. AROUND NASIK Pandu Lena : About 8 km. south of Nasik, close to the Bombay road, are these 21 Hinayana Buddhist caves. The most interesting caves are numbers 3, 18 and 10. Cave 3 is a large vihara with some interesting sculptures. Cave 18 is a chaitya (temple) cave. It is well sculpted and its elaborate facade is particularly noteworthy. Cave 10 is also a vihara and almost identical in design to cave 3. Cave 20 is another large vihara.


NASIK SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Trimbak : This is the source of the Godavari River, 33 km. from Nasik. From this source high on a steep hill, the river dribbles into a bathing tank.


NAGPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

NAGPUR It is the orangegrowing capital of India, situated on the River Nag.


MARGAO SIGHTSEEING

 

The capital of Salcete province, Margao is the main population centre of southern Goa and a pleasant provincial town which displays many reminder of its Portuguese past. Old Margao church is worth a visit and the covered market is the best of its kind in the whole of Goa. The covered market is a fascinating place to wander. The market behind the Secretariat building is excellent for pots, pans and other kitchen equipment.


BANGALORE SIGHTSEEING

 

Bangalore is one of India's most pleasant cities. The central area is studded with beautifully laid out parks and gardens, white tree-lined avenues,imposing buildings and lively bazaars. It is also one of India's most progressive and liberal cities. It's important industries include machine tools, aircraft, electronics and computers. Vidhana Soudha : This is one of Bangalore's, and indeed one of India's, most spectacular buildings. The cabinet room is famous for its massive door made of pure sandalwood. The entrance is on the ground floor behind the grand steps. From the entrance lobby you can admire the impressive dome. Cubbon Park and Museums : This is a beautiful shady park, full of flowering trees. In it are the red Gothic buildings which house the Public Library, the High Court,the Government Museum and the Technological and Industrial Museum. Also in the gardens is a huge children's park. The Government Museum, one of the oldest in India and houses collections on geology,art, numismatics and relics from Mohenjodaro. There are also some good pieces from Halebid and Vijaynagar. The Technological and Industrial Museum, also on Kasturba Road and adjacent to the Government Museum. It is full of happy children pressing the buttons of exhibits that reflects India's technological progress. Lalbagh Botanical Gardens : This is a beautiful and popular park in the southern suburbs of Bangalore. It contains many centuries-old trees, lakes, lotus ponds, flower beds, a deer park and one of the largest collections of rare tropical and subtropical plants in India.


BANGALORE SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Fort : It is located close to the City Market. Tipu Sultan's Palace : It resembles the Daria Daulat Bagh at Srirangapatnam near Mysore. Bull Temple : It is situated on Bugle Hill at the end of Bull Temple Road this is one of Bangalore's old temples. It contains a huge monolithic of Nandi similar to the one on Chamundi Hill, Mysore. Other Attractions : Ulsoor Lake, to the north-east of Cubbon Park, has boating facilities and a swimming pool. The Karnataka Folk Art Museum at Kumara Park West has displays of folk art, costumes, toys and extensive recorded music collection.


BANGALORE SHOPPING

 

The Cauvery Arts and Crafts Emporium stocks a huge range of superb handicrafted tables, carvings (many of them in sandalwood), jewellery, ceramics, carpets and incense (agarbathis). Another excellent place to look for handicrafted items is The Cottage Arts. For silk sarees the Government Museum sell good quality material.


MYSORE SIGHTSEEING

 

Mysore is also known as Sandalwood City. It is surrounded by the lingering aromas of sandalwood, jasmine, rose, musk, frangipani and many others. It is one of the major centres of incense manufacture in India. It is also a crafts centre and there are numerous shops selling a large range of sandalwood, rosewood and teak carvings and furniture. Maharaja's Palace : The walled Indo-Saracenic Palace in the centre of the city is a major attraction. Inside it's a kaleidoscope of stained glass, mirrors, gilt and gaudy colours. There are also beautiful carved wooden doors and mosaic floors, as well as a whole series of mediocre paintings. The beautifully carved mahogany ceilings, solid silver doors, white marble floors and superb columned Durbar Hall are noteworthy. The Palace even has its own Hindu temple inside the walls, complete with gopuram (gateway tower). Chamundi Hill : You can spend a very pleasant half-day walking up the 1000-odd steps to the top of this hill, where the temple to Sri Chamundeswari stands 1062 mtrs. above sea level. The views over the city and surrounding countryside are superb. Three quarters of the way up the hill you will come across the famous Nandi carved out of solid rock, which is one of the largest in India. The temple is a huge structure with a 7-storey Gopuram. Devaraja Fruit and Vegetable Market : This market stretches along Sayaji Rao Road from Dhanvantri Road to New Statue Square and is one of the most colourful in India. It provides excellent subject material for photographers.


MYSORE SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Jaganmohan Palace : Another place worth a visit is the Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery in Jaganmohan Palace. It displays paintings by Ravi Varma and It has handicrafts, historical objects and rare musical instruments. St Philomena's Cathedral : It is one of the largest churches in India and is built in neo-Gothic style. Railway Museum : This interesting railway museum has the maharani's saloon carriage. Festivals : During the 10 day Dussehra Festival, the palace is illuminated every night and on the last day the maharaja leads one of India's most colourful processions. Richly caparisoned elephants, cavalry, and the gaudy and flower-bedecked images of deities make their way through the streets. This festival is one of India's spectaculars.


BIJAPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

Bijapur is the Agra of the south, full of mosques, mausoleums, palaces and fortifications. Golgumbaz : It is the largest and most famous monument. It is a building with 4-walls that enclose a majestic hall, buttressed by octagonal 7-storey towers at each of the corners. This basic structure is capped by an enormous dome said to be the world's second largest. Around the base of the dome at the top of the hall is a gallery known as the 'whispering gallery'. Access to the gallery is via a narrow staircase up one of the towers. The view over Bijapur from the base of the dome are superb. The monument is set in well-manicured gardens which are stunningly green during and just after the monsoon season. Ibrahim Roza : The beautiful Ibrahim Roza was constructed by Ibrahim Adil Shah II for his queen. It is famous for its elegancy and delicacy. It has 24 mtrs. high minarets. It is one of the few monuments in Bijapur with substantial stone filigree and other sculpturally decorative work. Jami-e-Masjid : This is finely proportioned building with graceful arches, a fine dome and a large inner courtyard containing fountains and a reservoir. It is quite a large monument and has room for 2250 worshippers. Asar Mahal : It is to the east of the citadel. The rooms on the upper storey are profusely decorated with fresco paintings, many of them using foliage and flower motifs. The front of the building is graced with a square tank.


BIJAPUR SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Citadel : The Gagan Mahal gives the best impression of the scale on which things were built here. It is completely open to the north, so that an audience outside the hall had a full and unobstructed view of the proceedings on the raised platform inside. Nearby is the seven-storey palace, the Sat Manzil. Just across the road stands one of the most delicate pieces of architecture in Bijapur, the Jala Manzil or Jala Mandir. Opposite the citadel on the other side of Station Rd are the graceful arches of Bara Kaman,the mausoleum of Ali Roza. Malik-e-Maidan : This huge cannon is one of the largest medieval guns ever made. It measures over 4 mtrs long and almost 1.5 mtrs in diameter, and is estimated to weigh 55 tonnes. Its outer surface is polished dark green and adorned with inscriptions in Persian and Arabic. The name of the cannon, Malik-e-Maidan, means Monarch of the Plains. Upil Buruj : This is a watchtower,25 mtrs high and on high ground near the western walls of the city. The tower can be climbed by a flight of steps which winds around the outside of the building. The top commands a good view of the city and is well furnished with guns,powder chambers and water cisterns. Other Monuments : There are a number of other monuments worth visiting in Bijapur. The most important among them are the Anand Mahal and the Mecca Masjid,both in the citadel. Also there is the Mehtar Mahal. The much-photographed Mehtar Mahal is typical of the architecture of Bijapur and has been richly decorated with sculptural work. It serves as an ornamental gateway leading to a small mosque.


BADAMI SIGHTSEEING

 

Badami is famous for its rock-cut temples. There are five caves, four of them are artificial and one is natural,all connected by flights of steps. Of the rock-cut temples, two are dedicated to Vishnu, one to Siva and the fourth is a Jain temple. The natural cave is a Buddhist temple. There are excellent views over the town and surrounding plains from the caves. All over the sides and top of the hills, which enclose the tank on three sides, are temples, fortifications, carvings and inscriptions. Some of the most beautiful monuments are the two groups of lakeside temples (known as the Bhutanatha temples). The Archaeological Museum, on the north side of the tank, is also well worth a visit. Between the second and third cave is a stone staircase.


AIHOLE SIGHTSEEING

 

At Aihole you can see Hindu temple architecture in its embryonic stage, from the earliest Ladkhan Temple to the later and complex structures like the Kunligudi and Durgigudi temples. The Durgigudi temple is particularly interesting, and probably unique in India, being circular in shape and surmounted by a primitive gopuram. There are over 70 structures in and around this village which are monuments to the vigorous experimentation in temple architecture undertaken by the Chalukyans.


PATTADAKAL SIGHTSEEING

 

At Pattadakal there are many temples. The most important monument here,the Lokeshwari or Virupaksha Temple, is a huge structure with sculptures that narrate episodes from the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The other main temple is Mallikarjuna. It has sculptures which tell a different story from Bhagavad Gita. The old Jain temple with its two stone elephants about a km from the centre is also worth visiting.


BELGAUM SIGHTSEEING

 

Belgaum is in the north-west corner of the state Karnataka. There is an old town area, a more modern cantonment, and Sunset Point on the old racetrack road which offers fine views. Fort : The old oval-shaped stone fort is near the bus station of Belgaum. Outside the fort gate to the left is the local cattle market, which is colourful and aromatic. Mosques, Temples and Other Buildings : The Masjid-Sata mosque dates from 1519. There are also two interesting Jain temples, one with an intricate roof, while the other has some fine carvings of musicians. Belgaum's watchtower gives a nice panorama of the countryside. Gokal Falls : A little north of Belgaum, 8 km of the railway line from Gokak road, are Gokak Falls where the Ghataprabha River takes a 52-mtr drop.


HUBLI SIGHTSEEING

 

Hubli is important to the traveller principally as a major railway junction on the routes from Bombay to Bangalore, Goa and North Karnataka. This is an industrial city.


HOSPET SIGHTSEEING

 

Most people who come to see the Vijayanagar ruins at Hampi use Hospet as a base. It is a fairly typical Karnataka country with roads, plenty of bullock carts, bicycles and an industrial area near Tungabhadra Dam. Here you will find the firewalkers, who walk barefoot across the red-hot embers of a fire that's being going all day and night.


HAMPI SIGHTSEEING

 

The Vijaynagar city ruins at Hampi are one of the most interesting sites in south India. It is set in a strange and beautiful landscape-hill country strewn with enormous, rounded boulders - with the Tunghabhadra River running along the northern edge of it. The best plan for a visit to the ruins is to start and finish in Hampi Bazaar. From here it is possible to walk to all the main sites and down to the museum at Kalampuram. The old Hampi Bazaar is now a bustling village. The town has become something of a travellers Mecca, and is a superb place to stay. There is also a good bookshop as well as a lot of soft drink stalls. The village is dominated by the Virupaksha Temple with its 52-mtr-high gopuram. From the far end of the bazaar an obvious track leads left to the highlight of the ruins, the Vittala Temple, some 2 km away. This temple is a World Heritage Monument. The incredible sculptural work of the Vittala Temple is of the highest standard and is the pinnacle of Vijaynagar art. The outer pillars are known as the musical pillars. The stone chariot or cart in front of the temple is one of the most photographed objects in this part of India. The Achyutaraya Temple is more atmospheric and the carvings are just as fine. From the Achyutaraya Temple to the other major area of Hampi-the Royal Enclosure, Lotus Mahal, Elephant Stables, and associated temple is quite a walk (about 2 km). The Lotus Mahal is a delicately designed pavilion in a walled compound known as the Janana enclosure. The building gets its name from the lotus bud carved in the centre of the dome and vaulted ceiling. The Elephant Stables consists of a grand building with 11 domed chambers for housing the state elephants.


HAMPI SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Further south are the Royal Enclosure with its various temples, the Underground Temple and the Queen's Bath. The Museum at Kamalapuram has some very fine sculptures and coins and is worth a visit


MANGALORE SIGHTSEEING

 

The west coast railway line through Kerala crosses the border into Karnataka and terminates at the Mangalore port. It is a major centre for the export of coffee and cashewnuts. GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR : The Indian Airlines and Air India offices are in the Poonja Arcade of the Hotel Poonja International on K S Rao Rd. in the centre of town. Indian Airlines flies from Bombay to Mangalore in either direction and also to Bangalore in either direction. BUS : There are daily departures to Hassan, Hospet, Karwar, Goa, Madras, bombay, Mysore and Bangalore. TRAIN : The Bangalore to Mangalore is fast passenger train. Trains run from Thiruvananthapuram to Mangalore via Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Kollam. The Mahalaxmi Express and the fast passenger runs from Mangalore to Hassan.


JOG FALLS SIGHSEEING

 

Near the coast, 348 km north-west of Mysore and not far from the terminus of the Birur Junction railway line, Jog Falls are the highest in India. The Shiravati River drops to 53 metres in four separate falls known as the Rani, the Rocket, the Raja and the Roarer. The most exciting view is from the top of the Raja, where you can see it fall over the Roarer. Even in the dry season the ever-changing fans of rainbows over the falls are superb. The views of the falls from in front of the Inspection Bungalow is also excellent, and there are steps leading down the side of the cliff.


SRAVANABELAGOLA SIGHTSEEING

 

Sravanabelagola is one of the oldest and most important Jain pilgrimage centres in India and the site of the huge 17-metre-high statue of Lord Bahubali(Gomateshvara), said to be the world's tallest monolithic statue. It overlooks the small town of Sravanabelagola from the top of the rocky hill known as Indragiri. The word Sravanabelgola means the Monk on the top of the hill. Gomateshvara Statue : The statue is the subject of the spectacular Mahamastakabhisheka ceremony, which takes place once every twelve years, when the small town of Sravanabelagola becomes a Mecca for thousands of pilgrims. The climax of the Mahamastakabhisheka involves anointing of Lord Bahubali's head with thousands of pots of coconut milk, yoghurt, ghee, bananas, jaggery, dates, almonds, poppy seeds, milk, gold coins, saffron and sandalwood. Other Temples : In addition to the statue of Lord Bahubali there are several very interesting Jain's bastis (temples) and mathas(monasteries) both in the town. The Bhandari basti and the Akkana basti, are in the Hoysala style and also there is the Chandragupta basti. The well-preserved paintings in one of the temples are like a 600-year-old comic strip of Jain stories.


MYSORE SHOPPING

 

Mysore is famous for carved sandalwood and ivory articles, inlay works, silk sarees and incense. The best place to see the whole range is at the Cauvery Arts and Crafts Emporium on Sayyaji Rao Road. There are many other craft shops along Dhanvantri Road. Some of them specialise in ivory chess sets. Here, we can buy best carved sandalwood images of Indian deities.


MADIKERI SIGHTSEEING

 

The small town of Madikeri, the capital of Coorg region, is 124 km. west of Mysore. It is a mountainous area in the south-west of the state where the western ghats start to tumble down towards the sea, and is green, scenic and fertile. Coorg is an important coffee-growing area. The view from Raja's Seat, the local scenic lookout, is wonderful. There is a fort and also the Omareswara Temple. A small museum is housed in an old church within the walls of the fort, while the old palace itself is now used as the local municipal headquarters.


MANDYA SIGHTSEEING

 

There are beautiful Hoysala temples in Mandya district which stretches north and east of Mysore. Some 30 km. north of Mysore via the town of Pandavapura, is the Cheluvarayaswami Temple at Melkote. It is an important religious centre and there is a festival each year during March/April. Some 6 km. away is the lake of Tirumalasagara where there are two other examples of Hoysala architecture. North of Melkote is an important town, Nagamangala and its principle attraction is the Saumyakeshva Temple. West of Melkot is Krishnarajpet and some two km. from here is the village of Hosaholale. Here there is a superb example of Hoysala temple architecture in the form of the Laxminarayana Temple. Some 25 km. north of Mandya stands the village of Basaralu where there is the exquisite Mallikarjuna Temple. It is adorned with beautiful sculptures including a 16-armed Siva dancing on Andhakasura's head and Ravana lifting Kailasa. Getting to any of these towns involves the use of local buses. Mysore is your best base for all of them except Basaralu for which you might find Mandya town a better base.


ANKOLA SIGHTSEEING

 

ANKOLA : There is a little beach at Ankola. Near the main road are the walls of King Sarpmalika's Fort, and a temple. Near the temple are two giant chariots, carved all over with scenes from the Ramayana. Near Ankola is the village of Gokarna, an important pilgrimage place due to the Mahabaleshwara Temple.


GULBARGA SIGHTSEEING

 

Gulbarga's old fort has a number of interesting buildings inside. The Jami Masjid, inside the fort, is reputed to have been built by a Moorish architect who imitated the great mosque in Cordoba, Spain. The mosque is unique in India, with a huge dome covering the whole area, four smaller ones at the corners, and 75 smaller still all the way around. The fort itself has 15 towers. Gulbarga also has a number of imposing tombs of Bahmani kings, a shrine to an important Muslim saint and the temple of Sharana Basaveshwara.


BIDAR SIGHTSEEING

 

Bidar is a pleasant town in the extreme north-east corner of the state Karnataka. It has a splendid fort containing the Ranjeenmahal, Chini Mahal and Turkish Mahal palaces. The impressive Khwaja Mahmud Gawan Madrasa and the tombs of the Bahmani and Barid kings are also worth seeing.


MAPUSA SIGHTSEEING

 

Mapusa is the main centre of population in the northern provinces of Goa and the main town for supplies if you are staying either at Anjuna or Chapora. If you are staying at Calangute or Baga, you have a choice of Panaji or Mapusa as a service centre. The market on Friday is worth a visit.


HYDERABAD SIGHTSEEING

 

Hyderabad is an important centre of Islamic culture. Here, lively crowded bazaars surround huge and impressive Islamic monuments. Charminar : This triumphal arch is standing in the heart of the old walled city and is surrounded by lively bazaars. An image of this building graces every packet of Charminar cigarettes, one of India's most popular brands. The arch is illuminated daily from 7 to 9 pm. Mecca Masjid : Next to the Charminar is the Mecca Masjid. This is one of the largest mosques in the world and is said to accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers. The colonnades and door arches are made from single slabs of granite. To the left of the mosque is an enclosure containing the tombs of the nizams. Birla Mandir (Naubat Prahad) Temple : This stunningly beautiful modern Hindu temple, built out of white marble, graces the rocky hill which overlooks the south end of Hussain Sagar. There are excellent views over the city from the summit, especially at sunset. The temple is a very popular Hindu pilgrimage centre. It is open from 4 to 9 pm. on weekdays, and from 7.30 to 11 am. and 3 to 7.30 pm. on weekends. There is no entry fee. Nearby is the Birla Planetarium. Admission is Rs. 5. Buddha Statue : One of the largest stone Buddhas in the world is in Hyderabad. The 17.5 mtr. high, 350 tonne, monolithic statue is erected across the Hussain Sagar dam wall.


DEEG SIGHTSEEING

 

Deeg is a stunningly beautiful place and busy market. It's an easy day trip from Bharatpur, Agra or Mathura. Gopal Bhavan : Suraj Mal's palace, Gopal Bhavan, is one of India's most beautiful and delicately proportioned buildings. Built in a combination of Rajput and Moghul architectural styles, the palace fronts onto a tank, the Gopal Sagar, and is flanked by two equisite pavilions. The tank and palace are surrounded by well maintained gardens which also contain the Keshav Bhavan, or Summer Pavilion, with its hundreds of fountains. The palace is open daily from 8 am to noon and 1 pm to 7 pm; admission is free.


BHARATPUR SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Lohagarh Fort : Maharaja Suraj Mal, the fort's constructer and founder of Bharatpur, built two towers within the ramparts, the Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj. The fort occupies the entire small artificial Island in the centre of the town, and the three palaces within its precincts. It is open Saturday to Thursday from 10 am to 4.30 pm.


HYDERABAD SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Salar Jang Museum : It contains 35,000 exhibits from all corners of the world and includes sculptures, woodcarvings, religious objects, Persian miniature paintings, illuminated manuscripts, armour and weaponry. You will also see the swords, daggers and clothing of the Moghul emperors and of Tipu Sultan. The museum is open daily, except Fridays, from 10 am to 5 pm. Entry is Rs. 2.00. Archaeological Museum : It is in the public gardens between Public Gardens Road and the branch railway line which leads to Hyderabad railway station. It has a small collection of archaeological finds from the area, together with copies of the Ajanta frescoes. Opening hours are 10.30 am to 5 pm daily, except Mondays, and entry is Rs. 0.50. The gardens also feature an aquarium in the Jawahar Bal Bhavan. It is open from 10.30 am to 5 pm daily, except Friday. Nehru Zoological Park : It is one of the largest zoos in India and is spread out over 1.2 sq. km. of landscaped gardens with animals leaving in large, open enclosures. There is also a prehistoric animal section, a toy train around the zoo and a lion safari trip. The park is open daily from 8.30 am to 5 pm, except Mondays, and entry costs Rs. 1.00. Golconda Fort and Tombs of Qutab Shahi Kings : This is one of the most magnificent complexes in India. The citadel is built on a granite hill 120 mtrs. high and is surrounded by crenellated ramparts constructed of large masonry blocks. The massive gates are studded with large pointed iron spikes. Outside the citadel stands another crenellated rampart.One of the most remarkable features of Golconda Fort is its system of acoustics.


HYDERABAD SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Tombs of Qutab Shahi : The tombs of the Qutab Shahi kings lie about 1 km. north of the outer perimeter wall of Golconda. These graceful structures are surrounded by landscaped gardens, and number of them have beautifully carved stonework. The tombs are open daily except Friday. A small guide book, Guide to Golconda Fort and Qutab Shahi Tombs, is on sale for Rs.2 at the tombs and the fort. You need at least half a day to explore these extensive ruins. City bus Nos 119 and 142 take you from Public Gardens Rd, outside the public gardens, to the main fort entrance at Balahisar Gate.


HYDERABAD SHOPPING

 

Hyderabad is famous for glass bangles and these can be bought in Lud Bazaar, the street running to the right of the Charminar. Prices range from as little as Rs.8 for a box of a dozen or so up to Rs.30 for one.


NAGARJUNAKONDA AND NAGARJUNA SAGAR

 

Nagarjunakonda is 150 km. south-east of Hyderabad on the Krishna River. The site was discovered in 1926. Subsequent excavations have unearthed the remains of stupas, viharas, chaityas and mandapas, as well as some outstanding examples of white marble carvings and sculptures depicting the life of the Buddha. These finds were taken to an island following the decision to flood this entire area to build the Nagarjuna Sagar. This dam which touted as one of the largest masonry construction in the world.


TIRUPATHI AND TIRUMALA

 

The 'holy hill' of Tirumala, 20 km from its service town of Tirupathi in the extreme south of Andhra Pradesh, is one of the most important pilgrimage centres in all India because of the ancient Vaishnavaite temple of Lord Venkateshwara (Sri Balaji). It is considered auspicious to have your head shaved when visiting the temple. In order to cope with the army of pilgrims, everything at Tirupati and Tirumala is organised to keep the visitors fed, sheltered and moving. The temple is one of the few in India which allow non-Hindus into the sanctum sanctorum. After paying Rs.25 for 'special darshan', you are allowed into the temple. As you face the entrance to the temple there is a small museum at the top of the steps to the left. Among other things, it has a good collection of musical instruments, including a tabla-type drum called a Ubangam. It is an engrossing place where you can easily spend a whole day just wandering around.


WARANGAL SIGHTSEEING

 

If you have an interest in the various branches of Hindu temple development then an outing to Warangal is worthwhile. Facilities are adequate for an overnight stop-over, or it can be visited in a long day trip from Hyderabad. There is a colourful wool market a couple of 100 mtrs. past the bus stand. Fort : Warangal's main attraction is the enormous, abandoned mud-brick fort, which has many interesting features. Carved stones from wrecked Chalukyan temples are set in the massive stone walls which form a distinct fortification almost a km. inside the outer mud walls. Chalukyan Temples : The most notable Chalukyan temples are the 1000-Pillared Temple on the slopes of Hanamkonda Hill,the Bhadrakali Temple on a hillock between Warangal and Hanamkonda, and the Shambu Lingeswara or Swayambhu Temple.


PUTTAPARTHI SIGHTSEEING

 

Prasanthi Nilayam, the ashram of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, is in Puttaparthi. Known as the Abode of Highest Peace, it is spacious and beautiful with good food and accommodation.


WALTAIR AND VISAKHAPATNAM

 

Waltair and Visakhapatnam (Vizag) have merged into one. The northern residential area can be thought of as Waltair and the booming southern business and industrial area towards the docks as Visakhapatnam. The railway station roughly in the centre, is called Visakhapatnam Junction. Waltair, a popular seaside resort, boasts rocks and pools as well as several km. of sand. There are two beaches: Mission Beach, about 3 km. from the centre, and Lawson Beach, a distance of about 6 km. Simhachalam Hill, about 10 km. north of Waltair, has a Vishnu temple in fine Orissan style.


VIJAYAWADA SIGHTSEEING

 

On the banks of the Krishna River, only 149 km. south of Rajahmundry and the Godavari River, Vijayawada is the junction for the railway line to Warangal and Hyderabad. Today it is a major industrial centre. There is a colossal black granite Buddha housed in the city's Victoria Museum. It also has a number of important Hindu temples as well as two 1000-year-old Jain temples. Only a few km. from Vijayawada, but across the river, are the ancient Hindu cave temples of Undavalil. It is the most convenient place from which to visit Amaravathi, the Sanchi of Andhra Pradesh.


KOZHIKODE (CALICUT) SIGHTSEEING

 

Vasco da Gama landed at Calicut in 1498, becoming the first European to reach India via the sea route around the southern Cape of Africa. 5 km from Calicut at East Hill is the Pazhassirajah Museum, an archaeological museum with copies of ancient mural paintings, bronzes and old coins as well as models of temples and megalithic monuments. It is open daily except Monday from 10 am to 5 pm. Next road to it is the Krishnamenon Museum, which houses paintings of Raja Ravi Verma and Raja Raja Verma as well as memorabilia of a former president of India. It is open daily except Monday and Wednesday morning from 10 am to 5 pm.


THRISSUR (TRICHUR)

 

Thrissur, 74 km. north of Ernakulam, has the old Temple of Guruvayur (Hindus only), a museum and a zoo with a notable of collection of snakes. The annual Pooram Festival, held in April-May is one of the biggest in the south, with fireworks and colourful processions, including brightly decorated elephants.


KOCHI (COCHIN) AND ERNAKULAM

 

Kochi(Cochin), with its wealth of historical associations and its beautiful setting on a cluster of island and narrow peninsulas is the interesting city which reflects the eclecticism of Kerala perfectly. Here, you can see the oldest church in India, winding streets crammed with 500-year-old Portuguese houses, cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, a 16th-century Synagogue, a palace built by the Portuguese and given to the Raja of Cochin (latter renovated by the Dutch, it contains some of India's most beautiful murals) and several places where you can see a performance of the world-famous Kathakali dance-drama. Kochi is also one of India's largest ports and a major naval base. On any day of the year, the misty silhouettes of huge merchant ships can be seen anchored off the point of fort Kochi. This artificial island, created with material dredged up when the harbour was deepended, also provides a site for the airport. FORT COCHIN St Francis Church : This is India's oldest European-built church. It is used by the Church of South India. Also in Fort Cochin is the much later Santa Cruz Basilica, which is worth a visit. Chinese Fishing nets : Strung out along the tip of Fort Cochin opposite Vypeen Island, these cantilevered fishing nets were introduced by traders from the fort of Kublai Khan. You can also see them along the backwaters between Kochi and Kottayam, and between Alappuzha (Alleppey) and Kollam (Quilon). They are mainly used at high tide.


KOCHI (COCHIN) AND ERNAKULAM 1

 

MATTANCHERRY Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace) : It is double-storey quadrangular building surrounding a courtyard containing a Hindu temple. The Central hall on the first floor was the Coronation Hall of the rajas of Cochin; on display are their dresses ,turbans and palanquins. The most important feature of this palace, is the astonishing murals in the bedchambers and other rooms, which depict scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranik legends connected with Siva, Vishnu, Krishna, Kumara and Durga. These murals are most beautiful and extensive to be seen anywhere in India. The Siva temple in Ettumanur(a few km north of Kottayam) has similar murals. The palace is open daily except Friday and national holidays from 10 am to 5 pm. Entrance is free. There are three black-and-white photographs of the murals in the Archaeological Survey of India's booklet,Monuments of Kerala. Jewish Synagogue : This is the oldest Synagogue in the Commonwealth. It is an interesting little place with hand-painted, willow-pattern floor tiles. There is a clock tower which tops the building. The Synagogue is open daily from 10 am to noon and from 3 to 5 pm, except Saturdays and Jewish holidays. Entrance is Rs. 0.50. The area around the Synagogue is known as Jewtown and is one of the centres of the Kochi spice trade. There are many interesting curio shops on the street leading up to the Synagogue.


KOCHI (COCHIN) AND ERNAKULAM 2

 

Ernakulam and Bolgatty Island Kathakali Dancing : There are 100 different arrangements, all of them based on the stories from the Ramayan and Mahabharata, those two epics of Indian mythology. A government run school, near Palakkad (Palghat) in northern Kerala, teaches Kathakali dances. The centres offering Kathakali are : Indian Performing Arts Centre; Shaunmughan Road, Cochin Cultural Centre, Devan Gurukalum, in Kalathiparamvil Lane near the Pizza Lodge. Parishath Thampuram Museum : It contains collection of 19th-century oil paintings, old coins, sculptures and Moghul paintings. The museum is open daily, except Mondays and public holidays, from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm and 3 to 5.30 pm. Entry is free. Gundu Island : This island in Kochi harbour is close to Vypeen Island. The only building on the island is a coir factory, where attractive doormats are made out of coconut fibre. The only way to get there is on the Kerala Tourist Development Corporation boat tour.


KOTTAYAM SIGHTSEEING

 

In Kottayam, there are several of Syrian Christians Churches,including Cheriyapalli and Valliapalli, about 3 km. north-west of the heart of the town. The former is famous for its beautiful murals and the latter for its Persian cross and Phalvi inscriptions. Today, Kottayam is also a centre for Indian rubber production. Its main street is busy and colourful. There is a regular ferry service (more than 10 boats a day) through the lagoons from Alappuzha to Kottayam - a fascinating alternative to the Kollam (Quilon) backwater trip. Here the scenery is more varied.


ALAPPUZHA (ALLEPPEY) SIGHTSEEING

 

Alappuzha (Alleppey) is a pleasant, easy-going market town surrounded by coconut-palm plantations and built on the canals which service the coir industry of the backwaters. There is one event on the second Saturday of August. This is the snakeboat race for the Nehru Cup. Nehru Cup Snakeboat Race : The famous regatta takes place every year on 14 August. On that day, scores of long, low-slung dugouts with highly decorated sterns and upto 100 rovers shaded by gleaming silk umbrellas compete for the cup, watched from the banks by thousands of spectators. The annual events celebrate the seafaring and martial traditions of ancient Kerala. Tickets for the race are available on the day from numerous ticket stands. This entitles to a seat on the bamboo terraces which are erected for the occasion and from which you will get an excellent view over the lake.


KOLLAM (QUILON) SIGHTSEEING

 

Kollam is a typical small Keralan market town, nestled amongst coconut palms and cashew tree plantations on the edge of the Ashtamudi Lake, with old wooden houses whose red-tiled roofs overhang winding streets. If you are coming up from the south, it is also the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala. The trip by boat to Alappuzha (Alleppy) through these backwaters is a unique and fascinating experience. At Thangasseri, only 3 km from the centre of town, stands the ruins of a fort as well as there are a number of churches. In Ashtamudi Lake, there are Chinese fishing nets.


TRIVANDRUM SIGHTSEEING

 

Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) : It is a city built over 7 forested hills. Museum, Gallery and Zoo :These are all in the same area, in the park at the north end of the city. The zoo is open daily except Monday from 9am to 5pm. Housed in an attractive building, the Napier Museum has a good collection of bronzes, historical ornaments, temple carts, ivory carvings and life-size figures of Kathakali dances in full regalia. On display at the Sri Chitra Art Gallery are paintings of the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools, together with works from China, Tibet, Japan and Bali. There are also many modern Indian paintings, especially those of Ravi Varma. The Zoological Gardens are among the best laid-out zoos in Asia. They are set amongst woodland, lakes and very well-maintained lawns. The zoo's botanical gardens includes examples of every tropical tree. Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple : This is a temple dedicated to Vishnu. It was constructed in the Dravidian style by a maharaja of Travancore.


AROUND THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

 

Padmanabhapuram Palace : The palace is superbly constructed of local teak and granite and stands within the massive stone town walls. The architecture is exquisite, with ceilings carved in floral patterns, windows laid with jewel-coloured mica, floors finished to a high polish with a special compound of crushed shells and coconuts, eggwhite and the juices of local plants. The murals in the pooja room on the upper floors are excellent. With its banqueting halls, audience chamber, women's quarters, courtyard, cool, louvered galleries and many other features, the palace is a must for anyone visiting this part of the country. The palace is closed on Mondays. Vijnana Kala Vedi Centre : The centre is at Aranmula, a village 12 km. from Changannur. It offers many courses to those who would like to study Indian arts. Main subjects include : Kathakali, Mohiniattam and Bharat Natyam dancing, Karnatic vocal music, woodcarvings, mural paintings, languages, Kalaripayat (Keralan martial art), astrology and many other subjects.


MAHE SIGHTSEEING

 

Mahe is 60 km. north of Kozhikode (Calicut). The English factory established here in 1683 by the Surat presidency to purchase pepper and cardamom was the first permanent English factory on the Malabar coast. The East India Company also had a fort here in 1708.


KOVALAM SIGHTSEEING

 

Kovalam is to the south of Thiruvananthapuram and is one of India's best beaches and the favourite watering hole of travellers in southern India. The main beach consists of a too fairly small, palm-fringed coves which are separated from the beaches on either side by rocky headlands. There is a plethora of places to stay ranging from cheap, simple concrete boxes with shared showers to comfortable and well-positioned mid-range hotels and a five-star luxury hotel belonging to the Ashok Group. Likewise, there is a bewildering choice of beach-style restaurants, most right on the water's edge, all of which offer a variety of seafood as well as Western dishes and desserts. In the high season (November to February) it is awash with bronzed sun, sand and wave worshippers from all over the world and, at weekends, it attracts hordes of Indian tourists. There are numerous craft and carpet shops, clothing stores, book exchanges, general stores, travel agents and yoga schools.


LAKSHADWEEP SIGHTSEEING

 

The Lakshadweep archipelago consists of 36 islands some 200 to 300 km. off the Kerala coast and forms a northern extension of the Maldives chain. 10 of the islands are inhabited. The islands form the smallest of the Union Territories of India and are the country's only coral islands. The main occupation of the people is fishing and the production of copra and coir. Tourism is an emerging industry. These palm-fringed coral islands with their beautiful lagoons are every bit as inviting as those in the Maldives archipelago. Four of the inhabited islands (Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Minicoy and Kadmat) are open to Indian tourists and the building of a resort complex on the uninhabited island of Bangaram, which is open to both Indian and foreign tourists. Boat Package tours by luxury ship are arranged through SPORTS, Lakshadweep Office, Indira Gandhi Road, Willindon Island, Kochi (Cochin) 682003.


MADRAS SIGHTSEEING

 

Madras, India's fourth-largest city, is the capital of Tamil Nadu state. Fort St George and St Mary's Church : It was built in 1653 by the East India Company. Now, it houses the Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly. The Fort Museum, open from 10 am to 5 pm but closed on Fridays, has a fascinating collection of memorabilia. Upstairs is the banqueting hall, built in 1802, around the walls of which hang many paintings of Fort St George's governors and other high officials of the British regime. Just south of the museum is the pay accounts office. St Mary's Church, built in 1678-80, was the first English Church and the oldest surviving British construction in India. There are reminders in the Church of Robert Clive. North of the fort is the old 1844 light house. High Court Building : This red Indo-Saracenic monaster at Parry's Corner is the main landmark in George Town. It is said to be the largest judicial building in the world after the Courts of London. Court No.13 has the finest furniture and decor. Kapaleeshwara Temple : Off Kutchery Rd, in the southern part of the city, this ancient Siva temple has a typical Dravidian gopuram. San Thome Cathedral : Near Kapaleeshwara Temple at the southern end of South Beach Rd, close to the seafront, this Roman Catholic church is said to house the remains of St Thomas the Apostle ( Doubting Thomas). Parathasarathy Temple : On Triplicane High Road, this temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna.


MADRAS SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Government Museum and Art Gallery : This museum and gallery is on Pantheon Rd, near Egmore Station. The most interesting part of the museum are the archaeological section and the bronze gallery. The archaeological section has an excellent collection of pieces from all the major south Indian periods including Chola, Vijaynagar, Hoysala and Chalukya. There is also a good zoology section. The bronze gallery has some fine examples of Chola bronze art. The museum and gallery are opened daily, except on public holidays, between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm. Entrance is Rs. 0.50 and the ticket includes entry to the bronze gallery. Marina and Aquarium : The sandy stretch of beach known as the Marina extends for 13 km, as far south as the San Thome Cathedral. This beach is supposed to be the longest in the world. The aquarium, on the seafront near the junction of Pycroft's Rd and South Beach Rd, is open daily between 2 and 8 pm, except on Sundays and holidays when it is open from 8 am. Entrance cost Rs. 0.50. Near the aquarium is the 'ice house'. Guindy Deer and Snake Parks : Close Raj Bhavan at Guindy, on southern outskirts of Madras, this is the only place where it is possible to see large numbers of the fast-dwindling species of Indian antelope (black buck). It also has small numbers of spotted deer, civet cats, jackals, mongoose and various species of monkeys. The reptile house is open daily between 9 am to 5.30 pm and entrance costs Rs. 50.


MADRAS SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Festivals : From the end of November until the second week of January, Madras is host to a Carnatic classical dance and music festival. Performances are held at various music academies.


MADRAS SHOPPING

 

The stalls which clutter the footpaths in both Mount Rd and around Parry's Corner are excellent places to pick up cheap 'export reject' clothes. There are similar stalls lining Gandhi Irwin Rd in front of Egmore station. They specialise in T-shirts with logos. There are also a lot of stalls selling watches and electronic goods. There is a whole range of craft shops and various government emporia along Mount Rd near the tourist office.


VELLORE SIGHTSEEING

 

Vellore, 145 km from Madras, is a semirural bazaar town full of bullock carts and street markets. It also has one of the best hospitals in India. Vijayanagar Fort : The fort is constructed of granite blocks and surrounded by a moat which is supplied by a subterranean drain fed from a tank. It houses various public departments and private offices, and is open daily. Jalakanteshwara Temple : It is a gem of late Vijayanagar architecture. Church : The modern church is built in an old British cemetery. There is also a memorial to the victims of the little known ' Vellore Mutiny '.


KANCHIPURAM SIGHTSEEING

 

Kanchipuram is one of the seven sacred cities of India. It is a spectacular temple city and its many gopurams can be seen from a long way away. It is also famous for its hand-woven silk fabrics. Kailasanatha Temple : It is one of the earliest temples, dedicated to Siva. It is the only temple at Kanchi which is not cluttered with the more recent addition of the Cholas and the Vijayanagar kings, and so reflects the freshness and simplicity of early Dravidian architecture. The temple is run by Archaeology Department and is very interesting. It is closed between 12.30 and 4 pm. Vaikuntaperumal Temple : Parameshwara and Nandi Varman II build this temple between 674 and 800 AD. It is dedicated to Vishnu. The cloisters inside the outer wall consists of lion pillars and are representative of the first phase in the architectural evolution of the grand 1000-pillared halls of later temples. Ekambareshwara Temple : It is dedicated to Siva and is one of the largest temple in Kanchipuram. The temple's name is said to be a modified form of Eka Amra Nathar - the Lord of the Mango Tree - and in one of the enclosures in a very old mango tree, with four branches representing the four Vedas. Inside the temple are five-separate enclosures and a 1000-pillared hall. Kamakshiamman temple : It is dedicated to the goddess Parvati, is the site of the annual car festival, held on the 9th lunar day in February-March. The temple has a golden gopuram in the centre.


KANCHIPURAM SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Varadarajaperumal Temple : Like the Ekambareshwara Temple, this is an enormous monument with massive outer walls and a 1000-pillared hall. One of its most notable sculptural features is a huge chain carved from a single piece of stone. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu and was built by the Vijayanagar kings. Entrance is Rs.1.


MAHABALIPURAM (MALLAPURAM) SIGHTSEEING

 

Mahabalipuram is famous for its shore temples. The sculpture here is particularly interesting because it shows scenes of day-to-day life. The carvings throughout the state depict gods and goddesses. Stone carving is still very much a living craft in Mahabalipuram. It is a very pleasant and easy-going little village of essentially two streets. Here you can find an excellent combination of cheap accommodation, plenty of mellow restaurants catering to Western tastes (especially in terms of seafood), a good beach, handicrafts and fascinating remains of an ancient Indian kingdom. Arjuna's Penance : Carved in relief on the face of a huge rock, Arjuna's Penance is the mythical story of the River Ganges issuing from its source high in the Himalaya. The panel depicts animals, deities and other semidivine creatures, fables from the Panchatantra, and Arjuna doing a penance to obtain a boon from Lord Siva. It is one of the freshest, most realistic and unpretentious rock carvings in India. Mandapams : There are 8 mandapams (shallow, rock-cut halls) scattered over the main hill. They are mainly of interest for their internal figure sculptures. Krishna Mandapam : This is one of the earliest rock cut-temples.It features carvings of a pastoral scene showing Lord Krishna lifting up the Govardhana mountain to protect his kinfolk from the wrath of Indra. Rathas : These are the architectural prototypes of all Dravidian temples, demonstrating the imposing gopurams and vimanas, multipillared halls and sculptured walls which dominate the landscape of Tamil Nadu. Though they are popularly known as the 'Five Rathas', there are actually eight of them.


MAHABALIPURAM (MALLAPURAM) SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Shore Temples : These are the most beautiful and romantic temples. The two spires of the temples, containing a shrine for Vishnu and one for Siva, were modelled after the Dharmaraja Ratha. The significance of the shore temples is that they were given World Heritage listing some years ago. The temples are approached through paved forecourts, with weathered perimeter walls supporting long lines of bulls, and entrances guarded by mythical deities. Tiger Cave : This shady and peaceful group of rathas is 5 km north of Mahabalipuram and signposted off to the right of the road. To get there, take any Madras bus or rent a bike. Beach : The village itself is only a couple of 100 mtrs. from the beach. Festival : Mahabalipuram is the site of the annual Mamallapuram Dance Festival which runs from 15th January to 16th February. During the month-long festival, dances from all over India are staged here including Kathakali, Kuchipudi as well as tribal dances, puppet shows and classical music.


MAHABALIPURAM SIGHTSEEING 2

 

TIRUKKALIKUNDRAM (Tirukazhukundram) : 14 km. from Mahabalipuram, this pilgrimage centre with its hilltop temple is famous as the place where two eagles come each day. The temple complex is amazing with its enormous gopurams at the base of the hill. You can get here from Mahabalipuram by bus or by bicycle.


PONDICHERRY SIGHTSEEING

 

Together with the former French enclaves of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam, Pondicherry now forms the Union Territory of Pondicherry. The houses and institutions in the streets between the waterfront and the canal are now very chic, their gardens ablaze with flowering trees and bougainvillea, and their entrances adorned with shiny brass plates. The main reason people visit Pondicherry is to visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and its offshoot, Auroville, 10 km. outside town. The ashram is one of the most popular in India and is also one of the most affluent. Its spiritual tenets represent a synthesis of yoga and modern science. Sri Aurobindo Ashram : The main ashram building is on Rue de la Marine and is surrounded by other buildings given over to the various educational and cultural activities of the Aurobindo Society. The ashram is open everyday. The room in which Aurobindo used to mediate is open for viewing daily between 11.30 and 11.45 am., by appointment only. Opposite the main building is the educational centre. French Institute (Alliance Francaise) : The French Institute on Dumas St includes French classes, a French restaurant and library. Pondicherry Museum : The museum has an interesting, eclectic and well-displayed variety of exhibits ranging from French furniture to a history of bead making. It is at 1 Romain Roland St, south of the main square, and is open between 9.00 am. and 5pm. from Tuesday to Sunday.


AUROVILLE SIGHTSEEING

 

Designed by French architect Roger Anger, Auroville was conceived as 'An experiment in international living where men and women live in peace and progressive harmony with each other above all creeds,politics and nationalities'. The huge Matri Mandir, designed to be the spiritual and physical centre of Auroville, is clearly visible from many points.


THANJAVUR SIGHTSEEING

 

There are numerous enormous Chola temples in Thanjavur. Brihadeshwara Temple and Fort : It is the crowning glory of Chola temple architecture. This superb and fascinating monument is one and only a handful in India with World Heritage listing and is worth a couple of visits. On top of the apex of the 63 mtr. high temple, a dome encloses an enormous Siva lingam. The dome is constructed from a single piece of granite weighing an estimated 81 tonnes. The gateway to the inner courtyard is guarded by one of the largest Nandis in India, also fashioned from a single piece of rock. The carved stonework of the temple, gopurams and adjoining structures is riched in detail. Inside the inner courtyard, off to the left, the well-arranged Archaeological Museum has some interesting exhibits and photographs as well as charts and maps detailing the history of the Chola Empire. The museum is open daily from 9 am. to noon and 4 to 8 pm. The temple is open everyday from 6 am to noon and 4 to 8.30 pm. Palace, Art Gallery and Saraswati Mahal Library : This is a vast labyrinthine building in the centre of the old town with huge corridors, spacious halls, observation towers and shady courtyards. The Art Gallery has a superb collection of bronze statues. The view from the tower on the far side of the courtyards is worth the climb. The Saraswati Mahal Library is next door to the gallery. It contains a collection of over 30,000 palm-leaf and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages. It is open from 10 am. to 1 pm. and 2 to 5 pm. daily, except Wednesday.


AROUND THANJAVUR 1

 

There is highly decorated Dharbar Hall off to the left of the Saraswati Mahal Library. The Tamil University Museum contains a good coin collection.


DHARASURAM AND GANGAKONDACHOLAPURAM

 

DHARASURAM It is a small town, 4 km. west of Kumbakonam. Set behind the village, the Dharasuram or Airatesvara Temple is a superb example of Chola architecture. The temple is fronted by columns with unique miniature sculptures. The best way to visit Dharasuram is to hire a bicycle in Kumbakonam.


CHIDAMBARAM SIGHTSEEING

 

South of Pondicherry, towards Thanjavur, is another of Tamil Nadu's Dravidian architectural highlights - the temple complex of Chidambaram with the great temple of Nataraja, the dancing Siva. The complex is said to be the oldest in southern India. It has 4 gopurams, the north and south ones towering 49 mtrs. high. Two of the gopurams are carved with the 108 classical postures of Nataraja, Siva in his role as the cosmic dancer. Other notable features of the temple are the 1000-pillared hall, the Nritta Sabha court carved out like a gigantic chariot, and the image of Nataraja himself in the central sanctum. The Nataraja Temple courtyard with its many shrines is open from 4 am to noon and 4.30 to 9 pm. The pooja ceremony, held at 6 pm. every Friday evening, is certainly spectacular with fire rituals and clashing of bells and drums.


KARAIKAL SIGHTSEEING

 

KARAIKAL : It is an important Hindu pilgrimage town with its Siva temple (Lord Darbaranyswar Temple) and another dedicated to Punithavathi, a female Saivite Saint subsequently elevated to the status of a goddess (Ammaiyar Temple).


TIRUCHIRAPALLI SIGHTSEEING

 

Tiruchirappalli is usually known as Trichy or Tiruchy. Its most famous landmark is the Rock Fort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive outcrop of rock which rises abruptly from the plane to tower over the old city. Rock Fort Temple : It is reached by a steep flight of steps cut into the rock, and the views from the summit are magnificent. The monument is open daily from 6 am until 8 pm. Entry is Rs. 0.50. Srirangam (Sri Ranganathaswami Temple) : It is the largest and one of the most interesting temple complexes in India. It is surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams. The temple is very well-preserved, with excellent carvings throughout and numerous shrines to various gods. The main temple is dedicated to Vishnu. Opposite the shoe deposit is the 'Art Gallery', where you buy the Rs.2 ticket to climb the wall for a panoramic view of the entire complex. The inner temple is open daily from 6.15 am to 1 pm. and from 3.15 to 8.45 pm. An annual car festival is held here between 15 December and 25 December each year, drawing pilgrims from all over India. Sri Jambukeshwara Temple : On the opposite side of the main Madras to Salem Rd to Sri Ranganathaswami Temple,the Sri Jambukeshwara Temple is dedicated to Siva and has 5 concentric walls and 7 gopurams. Its deity is a Siva lingam. It is open daily between 6 am and 1 pm and between 4 and 9.30 pm. St John's Church : It has louvered side doors which can be opened to turn the church into an airy pavilion. It is interesting for its setting and architecture and also for the surrounding cemetery.


UDHAGAMANDALAM

 

Udhagamandalam (Ootacamund, Ooty) : It is a famous hill station near the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, 2268 mtrs. above sea level in the Nilgiri mountains. Ooty is a place for outdoor activities. There are any number of long walks and some superb views over Ooty and the Nilgiris - just head in any direction. Rowboats and motorboats for use on the lake can be rented from the Tourist Cafe.


KOTAGIRI AND COONOOR SIGHTSEEING

 

Kotagiri and Coonoor are hill stations and are within easy reach of Ooty. From Kotagiri, the more pleasant of the two, about 28 km from Ooty you can visit Catherine Falls (8 km away), Elk Falls (8 km) and Kodanad View Point (16 km), where there is a fine panoramic view over the plains and the eastern slopes of the Nilgiris.


COIMBATORE SIGHTSEEING

 

Coimbatore is a large industrial city at the foot of the Nilgiri mountains. It's main interest for travellers is as a way station en route to Ootacamund (Ooty) and the other Nilgiri hill stations.


MADURAI SIGHTSEEING

 

Madurai is one of southern India's oldest cities, and has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. Its main attraction is the famous Shree Meenakshi Temple in the heart of the old town. Shree Meenakshi Temple : It attracts pilgrims in their thousands from all over India. Its enormous gopurams, covered with gaily coloured statues, dominate the landscape and are visible from many of the rooftops in Madurai. There are four entrances to the temple, which occupies 6 hectares. It has 12 towers, ranging in height from 45 to 50 mtrs, and 4 outer-ring 9-storey towers, the tallest of which is the 50-mtr-high southern tower. The hall has 985 columns. The museum, called the Temple Art Gallery, is worth a visit. It contains some beautiful stones and brass images. On most evenings between 6 and 7.30 pm and 9 and 10 pm temple music is played outside the Meenakshi Amman shrine-mantras, fiddle, squeez box, tabla and bells. The temple is open between 5 am and 12.30 pm and again between 4 and 10 pm. Tirumalai Nayak Palace : This Indo-Saracenic Palace is about a km from Meenakshi Temple. Today, only the entrance gate, main hall and dance hall remain. It is open daily from 9 am to 1 pm and 2 to 5 pm. There is a Son et Lumiere in English, daily at 6.30 pm, telling the history of the city with sound and coloured lights on the temple carvings. The sophistication of both the sound tracks and the lighting is surprising.


MADURAI SIGHTSEEING 1 & FESTIVAL

 

Gandhi Museum : It is housed in the old palace of the Rani Mangammal. It provides some little-known facts about the Mahatma Gandhi. The museum also has an excellent walk through History of India display with fine old photographs. The local government museum is in the same grounds. Mariamman Teppakkulam Tank : This tank is several km east of the old city. It is the site of the Teppam festival (Float Festival) in January and February, which attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over India. FESTIVALS : Teppam (Float) Festival : This very popular festival attracts pilgrims from all over India. Images of Shri Meenakshi and Lord Sundareshwara (Siva) are mounted on floats and taken to the Mariamman Teppakkulam Tank where, for several days, they are pulled back and forth across the water to the island temple in the tank's centre, before being taken back to Madurai. The annual festival occurs in January or early February. Chithirai Festival : It is held in late April-early May, celebrates the marriage of Shri Meenakshi to Lord Sudareshwara. Avanimoola Festival : In late August-early September, temple cars are drawn round the street of Madurai.


KODAIKANAL SIGHTSEEING

 

Of the three main hill stations of the south - Udhagamandalam (Ootacamund), Kodaikanal and Yercaud - Kodaikanal is the most beautiful. Kodaikanal is on the southern crest of the Palani Hills, about 120 km north-west of Madurai, surrounded by thickly wooded slopes, waterfalls and precipitous rocky outcrops. Some of the views to the south are spectacular, and the viewpoints are within easy walking distance of the centre of town. It has its own landscaped, artificial lake with boating facilities. Kodai Walks : The main activity in Kodai is walking around enjoying the sights and views. The rolling lawns of the numerous stone and wood cottages from the British period are edged with flowering shrubs and trees. The views from Coaker's Walk, where an observatory with telescope is available, and from Pillar rocks, a 7 km hike, are two of the most spectacular in India. Bryant Park is also worth a visit. Flora and Fauna Museum : It is at the Sacred Heart College nearby Shembaganur. It is a 6-km hike and all uphill on the way back. The museum is open from 10 to 11.30 am and 3.30 to 5 pm and is closed on Sundays. There are numerous waterfalls in the area, Silver Cascade is the main one. Astrophysical Laboratory : It is built on the highest point in the area, 3 km uphill from the lake. It houses a small museum which is only open from 10 am to noon on Fridays. Boating and Riding : The lake at Kodai has been wonderfully landscaped, and rowboats are also available.


AROUND KODAIKANAL

 

AROUND KODAI Palani : There are fine views of the plains and scattered rock outcrops on the bus ride from Kodaikanal to Palani. The hill temple is dedicated to Lord Maruga, and an electric winch takes pilgrims to the top.


RAMESWARAM SIGHTSEEING

 

Rameswaram is the Varanasi of the south and a major pilgrimage centre for both Saivaites and Vaishnavaites. Ramanathaswamy Temple is one of the most important southern temples. Ramanathaswamy Temple : It is the town's most famous monument,a fine example of late Dravidian architecture. Its most renowned feature is its magnificent corridors lined with massive sculptured pillars, noted for their elaborate design, style and rich carving. Its gopuram is 53.6 mtrs. high. The temple is open from 4 am to 1 pm and 3 to 9 pm. Kothandaraswamy Temple : This is another famous temple, about 3 km from the extreme tip of the island. Adam's Bridge : It is the name given to the chain of reefs, sandbanks and islets that almost connects Sri Lanka with India. Other Attractions : There is a lovely bathing pool at Dhanushkodi on the very tip of the peninsula.


KANYAKUMARI SIGHTSEEING

 

Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) : It is the ' Land's End ' of India. It is also a popular pilgrimage destination of great spiritual significance to Hindus. It is dedicated to goddess Kanyakumari, Youthful Virgin, who is an incarnation of Devi, Siva's wife. Kanyakumari Temple : Picturesquely located overlooking the shore, the Kumari Ghat attracts pilgrims all over India to worship and to bathe. The temple is open daily from 4.30 to 11.45 am and from 5.30 to 8.45 pm. Lighthouse : There are excellent views of the countryside from the lighthouse. It is open from 3 to 7 pm. Vivekananda Memorial : It is on two rocky islands projecting from the sea about 500 mtrs. offshore. The Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda came here in 1892 and sat on the rock, meditating, before setting out as one of India's most important religious crusaders. The mandapam which stands here in his memory employs architectural styles from all over India. The islands are open to visitors from 7 to 11 am and 2 to 5 pm. Suchindram Temple : Dedicated to Indra, the temple is about 13 km from Kanyakumari. It's worth joining the Friday sunset ceremonies.


PORT BLAIR SIGHTSEEING

 

Port Blair, the administrative capital and only town of any size on the islands,has the lively air of any Indian market town. It's pleasantly situated on the main harbour and, as it's a hilly town, there are good views from quite a few vantage points. Cellular Jail : Built by the British at the beginning of this century, the cellular jail is now a major tourist attraction,preserved as a shrine to India's freedom fighters. It is open daily from 8 am to noon and 2 to 5 pm. The Sound and Light show is excellent. The English-language show is at 7 pm each night. Marine Museum : This museum is worth visiting. The Nicobarese curator is very friendly and informative about the 350 species on display here. It is open everyday from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm and 1.30 to 5 pm. Anthropological Museum : At this small museum there are displays of tools, dress and way of life of the indigenous tribes. It is open from 9 am to noon and 1 to 4 pm daily except Sunday. Mini Zoo and Forest Museum : Over 200 Andaman and Nicobar species are found nowhere else in the world. Some can be seen at the Mini Zoo, including the Nicobar pigeon and Andaman pig. The saltwater crocodile breeding programme has been very successful and many have been returned to the wild. The zoo is open from 7 am to noon and 2 to 5 pm but is close on Monday. Nearby is the small Forest Museum with a display of the different types of woods that grow here including padauk,light and dark coloured wood occuring in the same tree. Elephants are still used at some of the lumber camps. The museum is open from 9 am to noon and 3 to 5 pm (daily except Sunday).


MUDUMALAI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

 

Wildlife sanctuaries : There are six wildlife sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu, three close to the east coast and the others in the richly forested mountains on the borders of Kerala and Karnataka. Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary : It is part of a much larger sanctuary which includes Bandipur and Wynad in neighbouring Karnataka and Kerala. The main attractions here are the herds of Chital (spotted deer), gaur (Indian bison), elephant, tiger, panther, wild boar, sloth, and otters and crocodiles which live in the River Moyar. It is possible to see all these animals if you have made arrangements with the forest department for a vehicle to take you to the more remote parts of the sanctuary. The main service area in this sanctuary, Theppakadu, is on the main road between Udhagamandalam (Ooty) and Mysore. The Wildlife Sanctuary Reception Centre, Sylvan Lodge, Youth Hostel and Elephant Camp are here. Even around Theppakadu, you can sometimes see spotted deer, elephant and wild boar. It is advisable to book sanctuary accommodation and transport in advance, either with the Forest Officer in Ooty on Coonoor Rd, or at a Tamil Nadu tourist office. Jeeps and minibuses can be hired in the park, and elephant rides are available. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between February and May, though you can visit at any time of the year, except during the dry season when it may be closed. Heavy rain is common in October and November.


VEDANTANGAL WATER BIRDS SANCTUARY

 

Vedantangal Water Birds Sanctuary : This is one of the most spectacular breeding grounds in India. Water fowl gather here for about six months of the year from October/November to March, depending on the monsoon, and their numbers peak in December and January. At the height of the breeding season, you can see up to 30,000 birds at once. The best times to visit are early morning and late afternoon. Cormorants, egrets, herons, storks, ibises, spoonbills, grebes and pelicans come here to breed and nest, and many other species of migratory birds also visit the sanctuary. The best way to get there is by bus from Madras to Chengalpattu.


CALIMERE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

 

Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary : Point Calimere, on the east coast just south of the Pondicherry territory of Karaikal in Tanjavur district, is noted for its congregation of black buck, spotted deer and wild pig, and the vast flocks of migratory water fowl, especially flemingoes. Every winter, the tidal mud flats and marshes are covered with masses of birds- teals, shovellers, curlews, gulls, terns, plovers, sandpipers, shanks, herons and up to 3000 flamingoes at one time. In the spring, a different set of birds - koels, mynas and barbets - are drawn here by the profusion of wild berries. Visit between November and January. You can get to Point Calimere either by rail on the Mayavaram to Thiruthuraipoondi section, or by regular bus from either Thanjavur or Mayavaram.


MUNDANTHURAI TIGER SANCTUARY

 

Mundanthurai Tiger Sanctuary : It is in the mountains near the border of Kerala. As the name implies, this is principally a tiger sanctuary and the best time to visit is between January and September. The main rainy season is between October and December. The closest railway station is at Amabasamudram, and regular buses run from there to the sanctuary. From Tirunelveli, buses go to Popanasam and, from there, you can catch another bus to the Forest Rest House.


ANAMALAI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

 

Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary : This is the third of the wildlife sanctuaries in the mountains along the border between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Anamalai's major attraction are elephant, gaur, tiger, panther, spotted deer, bear, porcupine and civet cat. The Nilgiri tahr, commonly known as ibex, can also be seen here. Anamalai is south of Coimbatore and can be reached by regular bus from Coimbatore, or by rail to Pollachi and then bus to the sanctuary, the Reception Centre is at Parambikulam Dam. Transport within the sanctuary can be arranged through the Forest Department. The Sanctuary can be visited at any time of the year, and very early morning or late evening is the best time for wildlife viewing.


AROUND PORT BLAIR 1

 

Chatham Sawmill : The seasoning chambers and furniture workshop in one of Asia's largest wood processor can be visited. Here you can see tropical timber like padauk. It's open from 6.30 am to 2.30 pm.


AROUND PORT BLAIR 2

 

Wandoor National Park : This 280 sq.km park comprises 15 islands and diverse scenery including mangrove creeks, tropical rainforest and reefs supporting 50 types of coral. You can reach Wandoor by bus from Port Blair or by joining a tour. There are number of good sandy beaches at Wandoor and a Forest Guest House with great views over the sea. Chiriya Tapu : This small fishing village with beaches beside the mangroves is 30 km south of Port Blair. It is possible to arrange boats from here to Cinque Island. OTHER ISLANDS Cinque Island : The coral and beaches here are more impressive. It is 2 hrs by boat from Chiriya Tapu or 3 hrs from Phoenix Bay. This island has been targeted for future tourist development. Neil Island : This forested island is 40 km east of Port Blair. Havelock Island : It is 40 km north-east of Port Blair. There are good beaches, coral reefs and basic government accommodation. Ferries depart from the Phoenix Bay jetty.


CHANDIGARH - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

AIR The Indian Airlines office is in the Sector 17 shopping centre. Vayudoot has no office in town so you will have to make the trek out to the airport to make a booking. There are Indian Airlines flights between Delhi and Chandigarh 4 times a week, and the flight continues to Jammu and Srinagar. Twice a week there are flights to Leh. Vayudoot has daily flights to Delhi and Kulu. There are also Vayudoot flights from Shimla and Dharamsala.


AMRITSAR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

AIR The Indian Airlines office is in the centre of town at 48 The Mall. Amritsar is linked by a daily IA flight to Delhi. There is also a daily flight to Srinagar. There is the twice-weekly flight to Kabul on Ariana Afghan Airlines.


SHIMLA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

AIR The Vayudoot agent is the tourist office on The Mall. The agent for the new operator, Jasgan Airlines, is Span Tours N Travel at 4 The Mall. Vayudoot has a daily flight to Delhi via Chandigarh. Jasgan operates a flight 3 times weekly to Delhi.


MANDI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

There are three buses to Dharamsala daily, to Kulu and Manali they leave hourly, and there are also departures to Shimla and Pathankot.


DHARAMSALA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

The main bus station is in Dharamsala, about 300 mtrs. below the tourist office. Take the new road next to Laj Printers, and then the flight of stairs to the left. All long distance buses leaved from here; the buses from McLeod Ganj only ferry passengers to the Dharamsala bus station. You can also make train reservations at the railway booking office in the bus stand. There are about 4 buses a day to Shimla and Delhi, and just 1 or 2 to other destinations.


CHAMBA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

Taxis and jeeps can be hired in Dalhousie. The local bus takes 2 hours, or you can walk there in two days, resting overnight in Khajiar. Buses from Pathankot take 5 hours and leave every 2 hours. From Chamba trekkers can make an interesting trek through Brahmaur and Triund to Dharamsala. Or via Tisa you can trek all the way into Lahaul or Kashmir.


PORT BLAIR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

AIR Indian Airlines has flights between Port Blair and Calcutta on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. There are flights between Port Blair and Madras on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The Indian Airlines office is in the orange wooden shack round the corner from the post office. They have a computer link. Flights can be heavily booked and you need to have a confirmed ticket to be sure of a seat.


VELLORE - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

BUS : The area is serviced by the regional state bus company and the statewise Thiruvalluvar transport corporation. Thiruvalluvar buses run to Trichy, Tiruvannamalai and Madurai. All these buses originate in Vellore and can be booked in advanced. Others, which pass through en route go to Madras, Bangalore, Tirupathi, Thanjavur and Ooty.


KANCHIPURAM - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

BUS There are 5 direct buses daily to Mahabalipuram. Take one of the more frequent buses to Chengalpattu and then catch another one from there to Mahabalipuram. There are direct Thiruvalluvar buses to Trichy, Pondicherry, Madras and Bangalore.


MAHABALIPURAM - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

The most direct route to/from Madras is on bus Nos. 188, 188A/B/D/K. Bus No.19C and 119A go to Madras via Covelong. To Madras via the airport you need to take No.108B. To Pondicherry take bus Nos. 188 or 188A. There are daily buses to Kanchipuram. These buses go via Tirukkalikundaram and Chengalpattu. Alternatively, take a bus to Chengalpattu and then another from there to Kanchipuram. Taxis are also available from the bus stand.


PONDICHERRY - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

AIR Vayudoot flies from Madras to Pondicherry and vice versa.


AUROVILLE - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

There are several ways to enter Auroville but the best is from the coast road, at the village of Chinna Mudaliarchavadi. Here there is a signpost on the left hand side indicating Auroville off to the left along a gravel track. It is also possible to enter from the main Madras to Pondicherry road at Promesse. The best way to get around is by bicycle.


UDHAGAMANDALAM - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

BUS The orderly bus station is fairly central at the western end of the racecourse. From there, it is only about 10 minutes walk to the centre of the bazaar and about 20 minutes to Charing Cross. Cheran Transport Corporation, the regional bus company, operates buses to Bangalore, Coimbatore, Kodaikanal and Mysore. If you are heading for the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, take one of the Mysore buses and get off at Theppakadu-the Reception Centre. The trip from Ooty takes about 2.5 hrs. In addition to the state and local bus lines, there are a number of private bus companies which offer daily services to Bangalore, Kodaikanal and Mysore. All of these are superdeluxe buses with videos. Ooty to Mysore takes about 4.5 hours. From Coimbatore to Ooty there are Cheran departures every half-hour throughout the day, which take about 3.5 hours. TRAIN Ooty has a miniature railway connecting it with the lowlands. The trains, with their quaint yellow-and-blue carriages are pretty tiny. The unique feature of this line is the toothed central rail onto which the locomotives lock on the steeper slopes. The miniature railway starts at Mettupalayam, north of Coimbatore, and goes via Coonoor to Ooty. The departures and arrivals at Mettupalayam connect with the Nilgiri Express, which runs between Mettupalayam and Madras. The 116-km journey takes about 4.5 hours up to Ooty and about 3.5 hours going down.


COIMBATORE - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

AIR The Indian Airlines (Ph.22-743) and the Air India (Ph.23-933) offices are in Indian House on Trichy Road.


MADURAI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

AIR The Indian Airline office (Ph.26-795) is at the northern end of West Veli St. There are daily flights to Tiruchirappalli, Madras and Bangalore.


KODAIKANAL - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

BUS The bus station in Kodai is off Bazaar Rd and opposite the Hotel Astoria. There are ordinary state buses to Madurai (3.5 hours), Tiruchirappalli, Coimbatore, Kanyakumari and Madras.


MUDUMALAI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

The buses from Ooty to Mysore, Bangalore and Hassan stop at Theppakadu. The route to or from Ooty involves taking a bus to Masinagudi, then one of the small government buses which make the trip up (or down) Sighur Ghat road.


AROUND KOTTAYAM

 

Kumarakoyam : 16 km. west of Kottayam is the bird sanctuary of Vembanad Lake. Domestic birds such as water fowl, cuckoo and wild duck can be seen in abundance here, as well as Siberian storks which migrate to this area each year.


KOLLAM (QUILON) SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Backwater Boat Trip : This trip to Alappuzha (Alleppey) is one of the highlights of a visit to Kerala. It takes you across shallow, palm-fringed lakes studded with cantilevered Chinese fishin nets, and along narrow shady canals where coir, copra and cashews are loaded on to dugouts. It is interesting to see how people live on narrow spits of land only a few metres wide, practically surrounded by water, and still manage to keep cows, ducks and cultivate small vegetable gardens. On the more open stretches of canal, you will see dugouts with huge sails and prows carved into the shape of dragons. There is a normal state ferry from Kollam to Alappuzha. Also from the same jetty is a State Water Transport Tourist Service boat which leaves Kollam daily. There is another tourist boat operated by the Alleppey Tourism Development Co-op. Society which has its office in the Hotel Sea Bee, just up the road from the jetty in Kollam. They have departures from Kollam to Alappuzha and the trip takes 8 hours. One point of interest on the backwater trip is the Mata Amritanandamayi Mission at Amritapuri. VARKALA Only 19 km south of Kollam and 55 km north of Thiruvananthapuram, the seaside resort of Varkala boasts a mineral-water spring on the beach and the Jarnardhana Temple.


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM SIGHTSEEING

 

BUS The bus station is opposite the railway station. There are frequent buses to all the main cities in Kerala and to Kanyakumari. Also available are long distance buses to Madras and Bangalore. There are buses to Kochi which also pass through Alappuzha. There are frequent buses to Kollam, Kanyakumari and Thekkady. Most of the bus services to places in Tamil Nadu are operated by Thiruvalluvar which has its office at the east end of the central bus station. It has services to Madras, Madurai, Pondicherry and Coimbatore as well as Nagercoil and Erode. TRAIN Trains which go all the way up the coast as far as Mangalore include the daily Parasuram Express and Malabar Express. There is also the daily Vanchinad Express which goes to Ernakulam and the Cannanore Express which goes to Cannanore. For the long-haulers, there is the daily Kerala Express to Delhi. There is also the Himsagar Express to Jammu Tawi which goes via Delhi. To Madras, there is the daily Trivendrum-Madras Mail. The daily Nagercoil/ Bangalore Express from Thiruvananthapuram to Bangalore takes 18 hours. The trip to Bombay on the Kanyakumari Express takes 45 hours. To go direct to Calcutta without a change must take the weekly Gawahati Express.


AROUND VIJAYAWADA

 

AROUND VIJAYAWADA Masulipatap : It is 80 km. south-east of Vijayawada. Amaravathi : Some 60 km. west of Vijayawada stands the ancient Buddhist centre of Amaravathi. Here you can see the 2000-year-old stupa with its intricately carved pillars and marble-surfaced dome which itself is equally richly carved. The carvings depict the life of the Buddha as well as scenes from everyday life. There is a on the site containing relics found in the area. Buses run to Amaravathi from Vijayawada along a sealed road.


AROUND BANGALORE SIGHTSEEING 2

 

AROUND BANGALORE Nandi Hills This hilll station is 68 km north of Bangalore. It is a popular summer retreat. Tipu's Drop, a 600-metre-high cliff face, provides a good views over the surrounding country. There are two ancient temples here.


AROUND MYSORE 4

 

BRINDAVAN GARDENS These ornamental gardens are laid out below the Krishnaraja Sagar across the Cauvery River, 19 km from Mysore. They are popular for picnics and pleasant enough. They are colourfully lit for two hours each night-'cosmic kitsch' is how somebody described the lighting - and there is a musical fountain! There are buses from the Mysore City bus stand every half-hour.


HASSAN SIGHTSEEING

 

Hassan is the most convenient base from which to explore Belur, Halebid and Sravanabelgola. It is a good place for accommodation and transport.


AROUND MANGALORE

 

Dharmastala : A little south of the Mangalore to Belur road, about halfway between the two, there are a number of Jain bastis at Dharmastala, including the famous Manjunatha Temple. There is also a 14 metre high statue of Lord Bahubali. Venur : Midway between Mangalore and Dharamstala, 41 km. from the latter, Venur has 8 bastis and the ruins of a Mahadeva Temple. An 11 mtr. high statue of Lord Bahubali stands on the south bank of the Gurupur River. Mudabidri : At this site, 22 km. from Venur, there are 18 bastis, the oldest of which is the Chandranatha Temple with its 1000 richly carved pillars. Karkal : A further 31 km. north of Mudabidri are several important temples and a 13 mtr. high statue of Lord Bahubali.


ARAMBOL SIGHTSEEING

 

The seashore at Arambol is beautiful and the village quiet and friendly with just a few hundred locals, mostly fishers, and a couple of hundred Western residence in the November to February high season.


PUNE - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR : The Indian Airlines office is next to the Hotel Amir on Connaught Rd. Air India is on Moledina Road. Indian Airlines flies Delhi to Pune and vice versa. It also flies Madras/Bangalore/Pune and vice versa. Vayudoot flies Pune to Bombay. Continental also flies Bombay to Pune. BUS : Pune has 3 bus stations - the Railway bus stand for points south, including Goa, Belgaum, Kolhapur, Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani; the Shivaji Nagar bus stand for points north and north-east-Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Belgaum, Lonavala and Nasik; and the Swargate bus stand for Sinhagad. There are regular and air-con buses between Bombay and Pune. The MTDC operates deluxe buses to Mahabaleshwar. Reservations can be made at the tourist information counter at the railway station. To Aurangabad for the Ajanta and Ellora caves there are regular buses from the Shivaji Nagar bus stand. Pune to Aurangabad takes about 6 hours. Try Bright Star Tours and Travels, 13 Connaught road, which has luxury buses daily to Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Goa, Hubli, Hyderabad, Mangalore, Nagpur and Sholapur; or Sohrab Tours and Travels, 13 Moledina road, which has daily buses to Mapusa (Goa). TRAIN : Pune is one of the Deccan's most important railway stations and all expresses and mail trains stop here. The computerised booking hall is to the left of the station as you face the entrance. The fastest train to Bombay is the Deccan Queen. Going south-east, the best trains to take are the Sahyadri Express and the Udyan Express. The Sahyadri Express continues on to Madras Central.


AROUND MAHABALESHWAR 1

 

Panchgani : It is just 19 km. from Mahabaleshwara. It is also a popular hill station. On the way up to Panchgani from Pune you pass through Wai, a site featured in the Mahabharata. Pratapgarh Fort : This fort is about 24 km. from Mahabaleshwara. It is connected with one of the notable feats in Shivaji's dramatic life. There is another Shivaji fort at Raigarh, 80 km. from Mahabaleshwara.


JALGAON AND LONAR METEORITE CRATER

 

JALGAON : The railway and bus stations in Jalgaon are a long way from each other and you will need to take a tonga or auto-richshaw between the two.


AROUND GWALIOR 3

 

AROUND GWALIOR Shivpuri : It is 114 km south-west of Gwalior and 94 km west of Jhansi. Set in formal gardens, the Chhatris are the main attraction here. With Moghul pavillion and sikhara spires this beautiful memorials to the Scindia rulers are inlaid in pietra dura style, like the Taj Mahal. Nearby is Madhav National Park, essentially a deer park. On the edge of the park is the Sakhya Sagar lake. The road from Gwalior passes through Narwar, with its large old fort. Towards Agra : Between Gwalior and Agra is Dholpur. The Shergarh fort in Dholpur is very old. Near Bari is the Kanpur Mahal. Towards Jhansi : To the east of the railway line, 61 km south of Gwalior towards Jhansi, a large group of white Jain Temples is visible scattered along a hill. Only 26 km north of Jhansi is Datia with a 7-storey palace. It is an impressive building and contains murals.


ORCHHA SIGHTSEEING

 

Orchha is a village, set amongst a complex of well-preserve palaces and temples. It is definitely worth a visit. Palaces : The Jehangir Mahal Palace is of impressive size and there are good views of the countryside from the upper level. The Raj Mahal Palace nearby has superb murals. Below the Jehangir Mahal is the smaller Raj Pravin Mahal, a palace built near a garden. There is also the Dinman Hardaul's Palace. The walled Phool Bagh gardens, a cool summer retreat, are also worth visiting. Temples : In the centre of the modern village is the Ram Raja Temple with its spires. The Laxmi Narayan Temple is worth the walk for its well-preserved murals.


JALANDHAR SIGHTSEEING

 

Jalandhar is about 80 km from south-east of Amritsar. The town has a large serai built in 1857.


AROUND INDORE 2

 

Dhar : There are good views from the ramparts of Dhar's well-preserved fort. Dhar also has the large stone Bhojashala Mosque with ancient Sanskrit inscriptions, and the adjoining tomb of the Muslim saint Kamal Maula. Dhar is best visited en route to or from Mandu, 33 km away.


AROUND JABALPUR 1

 

Marble Rocks : Known locally as Bhedaghat, this gorge on the Narmada River is 22 km from Jabalpur. The gleaming white and pink cliffs rise sheer from the clear water and are a very impressive sight, especially by moonlight. The cliffs at the foot of the gorge are floodlit at night. Above the lower end of the gorge, a flight of over 100 stones steps leads to the Chausath Yogine or Madanpur Temple.


AHMEDABAD - GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR : Indian Airlines is on Tilak Rd, close to the Nehru bridge. Vayudoot is represented by Vyas Travels, Tilak Road. Air India is in Premchand House, near the High Court building on Ashram Rd, west of the river. Ahmedabad has an international airport and there are direct flights with Air India to the UK and the USA. Indian Airlines flies from Bombay to Ahmedabad at least once a day. Other destinations are Vadodara, Indore, Goa, Banglore and Madras. East West Airlines flies daily in either direction between Ahmedabad and Bombay. BUS : There are a number of agencies running luxury buses to most of the main centres of population, and most hotels will book tickets for you. One such agency in Ahmedabad is Punjab Travels, with offices at Delhi Gate, Shahapur Rd, and Embassy Market off Ashram Road. It operates luxury buses to many places within Gujarat, as well as to various cities in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bombay. Another agency is Eagle Travels. If you are heading north into Rajasthan, there is a direct bus to Mt Abu. TRAIN : The trip from Delhi to Ahmedabad is 934 km and takes 17 hours on the Ashram Express. There are plenty of daily trains between Ahmedabad and Bombay. The Delhi trains on the northward metre-gauge line will get you to Abu road, Ajmer and Jaipur. If you are heading for Bhavnagar and Palitana, there is the overnight Girnar Express. For other places in Saurashtra, such as Rajkot and Jamnagar, there is the daily Saurashtra Express.


AROUND RAJKOT

 

Wankaner : The palace at Wankaner, about 50 km from Rajkot, has been put to good use as a place to stay. It is an amazing Greco-Roman Gothic Indo-Scottish baronial extravagance. As the royal family still live in the palace,guests are accommodated a couple of km away in a building known as the Oasis House, a wonderful Art Deco building, complete with indoor swimming pool. GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are regular buses to Rajkot every half hour, and Wankaner Junction is on the main railway line to Ahmedabad. Surendranagar (Wadhwan) : This town on the route from Ahmedabad to Rajkot features the very old Temple of Ranik Devi. Tarnetar : Every year in the month of Bhadra (around September), the Tirineteshwar Temple at Tarnetar, 65 km north-east of Rajkot, hosts the 3-day Tarnetar Fair. There's much singing and dancing, although the fair is most well known for the different chhatris (umbrellas) made specifically for the occasion.


DIU SIGHTSEEING

 

Diu Town : The town is sandwitched between the massive fort to the east and a huge city wall to the west. The main gateway in the wall has some nice carvings of lions, angels and a priest, while just inside the gate is a miniature chapel. Diu Town has two churches, St Paul's and St Francis of Assisi, and a third which has been converted into a hospital. At the back of the town square, there is a tiny but interesting bazaar. In a small park on the esplanade, there is a tiny crocodile 'farm'. Fort : Piles of cannon balls litter the place and the ramparts have a superb array of cannons, many old and in good condition. There is also a museum within the fort.


AROUND DIU 1

 

Vanakbara : At the extreme west of the island, Vanakbara has a church, fort,lighthouse, small bazaar, post office and fishing fleet. A ferry crosses from here to Kotla village on the mainland and you can get a bus from here to Kodinar. Nagoa : It is Diu's beautifully palm-fringed beach. Ghogla : In the village of Ghogla on the mainland part of Diu is the new Tourist Complex. This building also houses the tourist office. Samudra Beach : Just over the state border beyond Ghogla stands one of Gujarat State Tourism's prestige developments, the Samudra Beach Resort. It is a beautiful place to stay.


SHEKHAWATI SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Fatehpur : One of the main points of interest is the Goenka Haveli. The main feature is the painted room upstairs, which features mirrorwork and some fine murals. There's the remains of a huge 17th-century step-well in the middle of town opposite the cinema. Dundlod : It is a tiny town right in the heart of the the Shekhawati region. Here is a fort which dates back to 1750. The Diwan-i-Khas audience hall is a worth visiting. Nawalgarh : The main building in this town is also the fort. It houses govenrment offices and a branch of the Bank of Baroda. One of the main havelis is the Anand Lal Paddar Haveli. Today it houses a school, but has many fine paintings; also worth a look is the Kulwal Haveli.


AROUND KOTA

 

AROUND KOTA Bardoli : One of Rajasthan's oldest temple complexes is at Bardoli, 56 km from kota on the way to Pratap Sagar. You can see a lot of Sculptures displayed in the Government Museum in Kota. Jhalara-Patan : It is some 80 km south of Kota on the Jhalawar road. Here we can see the Surya, or Sun God, temple containing magnificent sculptures as well as one of the best preserved idols of Surya in the whole of India. Jhalawar, about 7 km from the temple, is also worth a visit and has a good collection of sculptures from nearby temples dispayed in the Government Museum in Kota. Gagron Fortress : It is about 10km from Jhalawar. If you like to explore in peace and quiet, this is the fort for you. The fort is close to the road between Kota and Ujjain and Indore. Local buses run from Kota to Jhalawar and you can arrange transport to the fort from there.


BUNDI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

It takes about 5 hours by bus from Ajmer to Bundi. From Kota, it is only 45 minutes to Bundi. Buses also go from Bundi to Chittorgarh, Sawai Madhopur and Udaipur. Bundi also has broad-gauge rail links with Chittorgarh and Kota.


JODHPUR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

AIR : The Indian Airlines office is south of the centre on Airport Road. Indian Airlines flies daily to Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Bombay and Aurangabad. BUS : State transport buses and private luxury buses connect Jodhpur with other cities and places of interest in Rajasthan. The best bus to Jaisalmer is the daily super deluxe which departs from the Ghoomar Tourist Bungalow at 6 am and arrives in Jaisalmer five hours later. The private buses to Jaisalmer only run during the offseason months. Buses to Ajmer go hourly and take 4.5 hours. The fastest state transport buses to Mt Abu leave from the bus stand at 6.30 am and 6 pm. Private luxury buses are also available. TRAIN : The railway booking office is on Station Road, between the railway station and Sojati Gate. There are superfast expresses between Delhi and Jodhpur and Ahmedabad and Jodhpur. To Udaipur there is a nightly train which takes 10.5 hours. For Barmer in the west of the state the daily train takes 5.5 hours.


AROUND JODHPUR 3

 

Sadar Samand Lake : The route to this wildlife centre passes through a number of colourful villages. The maharaja's summer palace is here and accommodations can be arranged. Dhawa, or Dholi,is another wildlife sanctuary with many antelope, 45 km from Jodhpur on the road to Barmer.


JODHPUR SHOPPING

 

The usual Rajasthani handicrafts are available here. Jodhpur is famour for its antiques. The greatest concentration of antique shops is along the road connecting the Ajit Bhawan with the Umaid Bhawan and the well-known Abani handicrafts is next to the Tourist Bungalow.


SATNA SIGHTSEEING

 

You may find convenient or necessary to stay overnight here on your way to or from Khajuraho. The tourist office is at the railway station.


AROUND BHOPAL SIGHTSEEING 3

 

Bhojpur : Here is a huge Bhojeshwar Temple, dedicated to Siva. Nearby is a monolithic temple, a Jain shrine containing a colossal statue of Mahavira over 6 mtrs in height. Bhimbetka : Amongst forests of teak and sal in the craggy cliffs of an almost African setting 45 km south of Bhopal, some 1000 rocks shelters have been discovered. Because of the natural red and white pigments which the painters used, the colours have been remarkably well preserved. There's everything from figures of wild buffalo, rhinoceros, bears and tigers to hunting scenes, childbirth and religious rites.


MANDU SIGHTSEEING 2

 

BAGH CAVES The Bagh Caves are 7 km from the village of Bagh and 3 km off the main road. Bagh is about 50 km west of Mandu, on the road between Indore and and Vadodara in Gujarat.


WESTERN SIKKIM SIGHTSEEING

 

Pemayangtse Monastery : It is surrounded on 2 sides by snow-capped mountains, Pemayangtse is one of the states oldest and most important monasteries. The monastery is a 3-storied structured field with walled paintings and sculptures including a seven-tired painted wooden model of paradise and hell complete with rainbows, angles and the whole panoply of Buddhas and bodhisatvas on the 3rd floor. Peyangtse is about 6 km uphill from Gezing or 2 km from Pelling. The SNT bus from Gezing to Pelling passes by the turnoff for Pemayangtse. Khechepari Lake : The standard high from Pelling is to walk to the lake in one day by taking one of the several downhill trains to the Rimbi River, crossing either a bamboo or still bridge, and then going uphill either by a steep train or via the winding motor road. The sacred lake lies in a depresion surrounded by prayer flags and forested hill. It is a good place for a pleasant walk. Yuksam : It is 34 km by road from Pemayangtse. It is the trailhead for those intending to trek to Dzongri. Gezing is a bus centre for West Sikkim. There are SNT buses daily to Silliguri, to Jorethang and to Yuksam.


WESTERN SIKKIM SIGHTSEEING

 

Tashiding Monastery : Coming from Yuksam, the trail to Tashiding goes via Norbugang chorten, Dubdi Monastery, Phamrung waterfalls and finally to Tashiding. The climb uphill to the monastery on top of the hill between the Ranjit and Ratong rivers from Tashiding village is very interesting. From Tashiding there is a shortcut trail back to Pelling or it is about 16 km by way to Legship. TREKKING IN SIKKIM The only trekking route available in Sikkim at present is from Yuksam to Dzongri at the base of Kanchenjunga and on to Goechala. It is a beautiful trek but you can only do it with a trekking permit. There are trekking huts at all of the overnight stops (Yuksam, Bakhim, Tsokha, Dzongri and Thangsing).


BHUBANESWAR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

AIR : Indian Airlines has daily flights between Bhubaneswar and Calcutta and also Delhi. There are 3 flights a week to Madras, Raipur, Hyderabad, Nagpur and Bombay. There are 4 direct flights a week to Bhubaneswar from Varanasi. BUS : The impressive new bus station is on the main highway to Calcutta. Some buses still stop at the old bus stand. From the new bus station there are numerous departures to Calcutta and Berhampur. Private video coached are faster and run to most popular places including Berhampur, Baripada and Sambalpur. The best way to get from Bhubaneswar to Puri is on the small Canter minibuses that leave from outside the old bus station. The trip takes over an hour. All Puri buses go through Pipli, where the Konark road branches off. It is then possible to catch another bus from there to Konark. TRAIN : On the main Calcutta to Madras railway line, there are plenty of trains to Bhubaneswar as well as services terminating at Puri. The Coromandal Express departs Calcutta at 2.30 pm and arrives in Bhubaneswar. There are also direct rail connections to Berhampur, Madras, Delhi, Varanasi and Agra.


MURSHIBAD SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Gaur : It is 12 km south of Malda and right on the border with Bangladesh. Most impressive are the Bara Sona Mosque and nearby brick Dakhil Darwajah. Qadam Rasul Mosque enshrines a foot print of the Mohammed and nearby is the tomb of Fath Khan. There are still some colourful enamelled tiles on the Gumti gate and Lattan Mosque. GETTING THERE AND AWAY The cycle-ricksaw-wallahs offers half-day trips from Malda for anything up to Rs.100. Taxis cost Rs.250 and also Pandua. Pandua : The main site is the vast Adina Mosque, built by Sikandar Shah. Nearby is the Eklakhi mausoleum. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Pandua is on the main highway, 18 km north of Malda. The main sites are at Adina 2 km north of the village of Pandua, and right by the highway.


PATNA TO NEPAL SIGHTSEEING 1

 

PATNA TO NEPAL Sonepur : A month-long cattle fairs is held in October-November at Sonepur, 25 km north of Patna. This is probably the largest animal fair in Asia and not only cattle but all types of animals are traded here. Vaishali : It is the birth place of Mahavira, one of the Jain Tirthankaras. There is an Ashoka pillar (with its lion capital intact), a couple of stupas (one contains an 8 of the Buddha's ashes) and a small museum. There is a Tourist Bungalow at Vaishali.


PATNA TO GAYA(NALANDA) SIGHTSEEING 2

 

PATNA TO GAYA : Nalanda : Founded in the 5th century BC, Nalanda was one of the world's great Universities and important Buddhist centre. The brick-built remains are extensive and include the great stupa, with steps, terraces and a few intact votive stupas around it, and the monks' cells. There is an interesting archaeological museum housing the Nalanda University seal, sculptures and other remains found on the site. The newest building here is the Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall, built as a peace Pagoda by the Chinese. There is also an international centre for the study of Buddhism.


AROUND MATHURA

 

Vrindaban : Ten km north of Mathura, this is the place where Krishna indulged in his adolescent pranks. The large Govind Dev Temple is the most impressive building in the area. The Rangaji Temple dates from 1851 and is an incredible mixture of architectural styles including a South Indian gopuram and an Italianate colonnade. At the entrance are two amusing electronic puppet shows telling the stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. There are 4000 other temples in Vrindaban including the popular Bankey Bihari, Radha Ballabh, Madan Mohan, the 10-storey Pagal Baba, and the Nidhi Van. The International Society of Krishna Consciousness has its Indian base in Vrindaban. By the Krishna Balaram Temple here an impressive marble mausoleum is being built for their founder Swami Prabhupada. GETTING THERE AND AWAY From Mathura there are tempos from Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi and from the railway station. There are three stream trains a day on the metre-gauge run to Vrindaban. GOKUL and MAHABAN : Sixteen km south-east of Mathura, this is where Krishna was secretely raised. BARSANA and GOVERDHAN : Krishna's consort, Radha, was from Barsana, 50 km from Mathura. This is an interesting area to be during the festival of Holi.


ALMORA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

The nearest railhead is Kathgodan, where buses connect with arriving trains. From Almora there are buses to Naini Tal, Kausani, Ranikhet, Pittorgarh and north to Song for the Pindari Galcier Trek.


SUNAULI SIGHTSEEING

 

Right on the border with Nepal Sunauli is just a bus stop, a couple of hotels, a few shops and the border post. The Nepalese border post is actually called Belhiya but everyone also refers to it as Sunauli. Nepalese visas are available here.


JAMMU - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

AIR : The offices of Indian Airlines and Vayudoot are at the Tourist Reception Centre. Indian Airlines has flights to Delhi, Srinagar, Chandigarh, Leh and Amritsar. Vayudoot flies to Delhi 5 times a week. BUS : Srinagar buses depart from various locations: superfast mini-coaches, A class and deluxe go from the Tourist Reception Centre; B class leave from the bus station; and private buses depart from various parts of the city. Buses also run from the railway station where they meet arriving trains- thus you can take the overnight 4645 Shalimar Express from Delhi and catch a bus as soon as you arrive at around 7 am. Southbound, there are frequent buses from Jammu to Delhi, Amritsar, Pathankot and other cities. Pathankot is the departure point for Dharamshala, Dalhousie and the other Himachal Pradesh hill stations. TRAIN : The 4645 Shalimar Express leaves Delhi at 4.10 pm and arrives in Jammu at 7 am. This is the only train that arrives early to link out with the early buses to Srinagar. There are also direct rail links with Madras, Bombay, Calcutta, Varanasi and Gorakhpur. TAXI : As a faster alternative to the buses, you could take a share taxi to Srinagar, from outside the railway station in Jammu.


MANALI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

BUS : There are deluxe buses daily to Delhi and Shimla, and semideluxe buses to Shimla and Dharamsala. Ordinary buses run to many destination including Shimla, Dharamsala, Mandi, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jammu and Delhi. There are many buses to Kulu, a few of which travel via the left bank of the Beas River. For Keylong there are buses hourly in summer.


AROUND SHIMLA

 

Craignano : At 2279 metres and 16 km from Shimla, Craignano, with its hilltop Municipal Rest House, is only 3 km from Mashobra. Chail : Today the old palace is a luxurious hotel. Chail is 45 km from Shimla via Kufri, or you can reach it via Kandaghat on the Shimla to Kalka road or narrow-gauge rail line. Chail, at an altitude of 2250 metres, is built on three hills, one of which is topped by the Chail Palace, and one by the ancient Sikh Temple. Chail also boasts a temple of quite another religion - cricket. Here you will find the highest cricket pitch in the world. There are direct buses to Chail from Kalka and Shimla. Rampur : It is 140 km from Shimla, beyond Narkanda, is the gateway to the region. It is the site for a major trade fair in the second week of November each year.


AROUND KULU 2

 

Parvati Valley : The Parvati Valley runs off north-east from Bhuntar, which is south of Kulu. You can travel up the valley by bus. Manikaran is built near sulphur hot springs and it's interesting ti watch the locals cook their food in the pools of hot water. There are also hot baths at the temple. There's great trekking and wonderful scenery here. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Buses from Kulu to Bhuntar take 1.5 hours. Bhuntar to Manikaran is another 1.5 hours. Sainj Valley : The area from Aut to Sainj has a charm of its own. GETTING THERE AND AWAY A bus from Bhuntar to Aut takes an hour. KULU TO MANALI There are a number of interesting things to see along the 42-km road between Kulu and Manali. There are actually two Kulu-to-Manali roads; the direct road road runs along the west bank of the Beas, and the winding east bank road take you via Naggar with its delightful Forest Rest House. Raison : Only 8 km from Kulu there's a camping place on the grassy meadow beside the river. It's a good base for treks. There are 14 Tourist Huts at the site. Katrain : At about the midpoint on the Kulu to Manali road, this is the widest point in the Kulu Valley . Naggar : High above Katrain, on the east bank of the river, is Naggar with its castle hotel.


AROUND KULU 3

 

Naggar Castle : The old fort is built around a courtyard with verandahs right round the outside and absolutely stupendous views over the valley. Inside the courtyard is a small temple. Temples : There are a number of interesting temples around the castle. The great sandstone Siva temple of Gauri Shankar is at the foot of the small bazaar below the castle. Almost opposite the front of the castle is the curious little Chatar Bhuj Temple to Vishnu. Higher up the hill is the pagoda-like Tripura Sundri Devi Temple and higher still, on the ridge above Naggar, the Murlidhar Krishna Temple. Roerich Gallery : Also up the hill above the castle is the Roerich Gallery, a fine old house displaying the artwork of Professor Nicholas Roerich and his son, Svetoslav Roerich. Its location is delightful and the views over the valley are very fine.


AROUND SRINAGAR

 

Harwan : At the northern end of Dal Lake, archaeologists have discovered unusual ornamented tiles near Harwan. Sangam : It is 35 km north-east of Srinagar, it is centre for production of cricket bats. Verinag : It is in the extreme south of the Kashmir Valley. The spring here is said to be the actual source of the Jhelum River. SRINAGAR TO PAHALGAM The route to Pahalgam passes through some interesting places. Pampore is the centre of Kashmir's saffron industry. At Avantipur there are two temples. The Avantiswami Temple, the larger of the temple is dedicated to Vishnu and the smaller temple is dedicated to Siva. At Anantnag the road forks, and the Pahalgam road turns north. Just beyond the Pahalgam turnoff is Achabal, a moghul garden. Kokarnag is famous for its rose gardens. Back on the Pahalgam route Mattan has a fish-filled spring which is an important pilgrimage spot. PAHALGAM It is about 95 km from Srinagar. The beautiful Lidder River flows right through the town, which is at the junction of the Sheshnag and Lidder rivers and is surrounded by fir-covered mountains with snow-capped peaks rising behind them. There are many short walks from Pahalgam and it is an ideal base for longer treks to Kolahoi Glacier or Amarnath Cave. Pahalgam is also famous for its many shepherds.


AROUND SRINAGAR

 

Pahalgam Walks :- Mamaleswara : It is only a km away and on the opposite bank of the Lidder, this small Siva temple has a square stone tank. Baisaran : There are excellent views over the town and the Lidder Valley from this meadow, 5 km from Pahalgam. A further 11 km takes you to the Tulian Lake at 3353 meters. It is covered with ice for much of the year. Aru : The pleasant little village of Aru makes a very interesting day walk, following the Lidder River for 11 km upstream.


GULMARG SIGHTSEEING 1

 

The large meadow of Gulmarg is 52 km south-west of Srinagar at 2730 metres. The name means meadow of Flowers and in spring it is just that. This is also an excellent trekking base. Gulmarg Walks :- Outer Circular Walk : A circular road, 11 km in length, runs right round Gulmarg through pleasant pine forest with excellent views over the Kashmir Valleys. Khilanmarg : This smaller valley is about a 6 km walk from the Gulmarg bus stop and car park. The meadow, carpeted with flowers in the spring, is the site for Gulmarg's winter ski runs and offers a fine view of the surrounding peaks and the Kashmir Valley. Alpather : It is beyond Khilanmarg, 13 km from Gulmarg. Ningle Nallah : Flowing from the melting snow and ice on Apharwat Peak and Alpather Lake, this pretty mountain stream is 10 km from Gulmarg. Ferozpure Nallah : Reached from the Tangmarg road, or from the outer circular walk, this mountain stream meets the Bahan River at a popular picnic spot known as Waters Meet. Ziarat of Baba Reshi : This Muslim shrine is on the slope below Gulmarg and can be reached from either Gulmarg or Tangmarg. The Ziarat, or tomb, is of a well known Muslim saint.


SOUTH OF SRINAGAR

 

Interesting places in the south-west of the Kashmir Valley include Yusmarg, reputed to have the best spring flowers in Kashmir, and a good base for treks further afield. Chari Sharif is on the road to Yusmarg and has the shrine, or Ziarat, of Kashmir's patron saint. SIND VALLEY : This is a scenic area north of Srinagar through which the road to Ladakh passes. Anchar Lake is close to Srinagar and has a variety of water birds. There is a Moghul garden built by Noor Jahan at Manasbal Lake. Wular Lake is the largest freshwater lake in India. Sonamarg, at 2740 metres, is the last major town before Ladakh and an excellent base for trekking. Its name means meadow of gold. The tiny village of Baltal is the last place in Kashmir, right at the foot of the Zoji La.


AROUND LEH AND LADAKH 1

 

Spitok Gompa : On a hilltop above the Indus and beside the end of the airport runaway, the Spitok Gompa is 10 km from Leh. There are fine views over the Indus from the gompa. Phyang : About 24 km from Leh, on the road back towards Srinagar, the gompa has 50 monks. There is an interesting little village below the gompa. Shey : This was the old summer palace of the kings of Ladakh. The palace gompa has a 12-metre-high seated Buddha image. Tikse Gompa : The monastery is very picturesque and superbly sited on a hilltop overlooking the village and the Indus. Beside the car park is the small Zan-La Temple. The gompa has an important collection of Tibetan-style books in its library and some excellent artwork. Karu : The road to Manali climbs out of the Indus Valley after this village. Hemis Gompa : It is one of the largest and most important gompas in Ladakh and is 45 km from Leh on the western side of the Indus. The Hemis Gompa is famous for its Hemis Festival, which usually falls in the second half of June or in early July. This is one of the largest and most spectacular of the gompa festivals. The festival takes two days and features elaborate mask dances. The gompa has an excellent library, well preserved wall paintings and good Buddha figures. Matho Gompa : It is in a side valley 5 km from Stagna, and in an important festival here the monks are possess by spirits.


AROUND LEH AND LADAKH 2

 

Stok Palace : Close to the Choglamsar bridge, a road turns off the west-bank road to the palace of Stok. Pharka Gompa : This small cave gompa is directly opposite the Spitok Gompa on the Stok side of the Indus. You can reach it by crossing the Choglamsar bridge or the bridge near Spitok. LEH TO MANALI Taglang La : There is a little temple here. There are superb views back down the valley. Pang Camp : A number of restaurant in tents have been set up by the river and most buses stop here for lunch. Lachlung La : This is the second highest pass on the Leh-Manali road. Sarchu : It is just over the state line into Himachal Pradesh, and most buses stop at Himachal Tourism's Tourist Camp here. Baralacha La : It is only a short climb to this 4883 metre pass. Darcha : There are half a dozen small restaurant in this small community by the Chenab River. Keylong to Manali : At Kosar, there is an impressive waterfall, you cross the Rohtang La and descend to Manali.


FATEHPUR SIKRI

 

Jami Masjid : It is a beautiful building containing elements of Persian and Hindu design. The main entrance is through the Buland Darwaja, the Gate of Victory. The impressive gateway is reached by an impressive flight of steps. The eastern gate of the mosque is known as the Shahi Darwaja. Inside the mosque is the dargah or tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti. The superb white marble tomb, is in the northern part of the courtyard, opposite the main gate. The carved marble lattice screens are probably the finest examples. Palace of Jodh Bai : North-east of the mosque is the main entrance to the old city. The first building inside the gate is the Palace of Jodh Bai. The Hawa Mahal is projecting room with walls made entirely of stone latticework. Birbal Bhavan : This small palace is extremely elegant in its design and execution. Karawan Serai and Hiran Minar : It is actually outside the fort grounds. Diwan-i-Khas : The exterior of the Hall of Private Audience is plain, but its interior design is unique. Diwan-i-am : Just inside the gates of the north-east end of the deserted city is the Hall of Public Audiences. This consists of a large open courtyard surrounded by cloisters. Other Monuments : The Khawabgah, in front of the Daftar Khana, or record office, was Akbar's own sleeing quarters. Beside the Khawabgah is the tiny but elaborately carved Rumi Sultana.


FATEHPUR SIKRI 1

 

There is a Hakim, or Doctor's House, and the fine hammam beside it. Outside the Dargah Mosque are the remains of the small stone cutter's mosque.


PATNA(RAJGIR) SIGHTSEEING 3

 

RAJGIR It is a thriving Indian holiday centre. In winter, visitors are drown by the hot springs and the healthy climate of this hilly region, 19 km south of Nalanda. Rajgir is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. It is also an important place for Jains. The hills are topped with Digambara shrines. The pink building by the crowded hot springs is the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. There is also a Burmese temple, an interesting Jain exihibition, a modern Japenese temple and on the top of Ratnagiri hill, three km south of the hot springs, the Japanese Shanti Stupa.


RANIKHET SIGHTSEEING

 

North of Naini Tal, this peaceful hill station offers excellent views of the snow-capped Himalaya including Nanda Devi. There are several good walks - to Jhula Devi Temple and the orchards at Chaubatia.



ARSIKERE SIGHTSEEING

 

Arsikere is convenient base from which to explore the temples of Belur and Halebid and the Jain centre of Sravanabelagola. Arsikere is also a railway junction with express trains to Bangalore, Bombay, Jog Falls and Goa.


SRINGERI SIGHTSEEING

 

In the lush coffee-growing hills of Chikmagallur, near Harihar is the southern seat of the orthodox Hindu Hierarchy. The very interesting Vidyashankarr Temple has zodiac pillars and a huge paved courtyard. A beautifully clean second temple is dedicated to Sharada, the goddess of learning.


CHIDAMBARAM - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

The railway station is 20 minutes walks south of the temple. There are express and passenger trains to Madras, Kumbkonam, Thanjavur, Trichy and Rameshwaram. The bus station is more central and is used by both Thiruvalluvar and local buses. Thiruvalluvar buses leave for Pondicherry and Madras almost every hour and others go to Nagapattinam and Madurai.


KODAIKANAL - SHOPPING

 

The Cottage Crafts shop on Bazaar Road opposite the post office has some excellent bits and pieces for sale. It is run by Corsock, the Co-ordinating Council for Social Concerns in Kodai. This organisation, staffed by volunteers, self crafts on behalf of development groups, using the commission charge to help the needy. Corsock also runs the Goodwill Centre on Hospital Road. Above the junction of Bazaar Road and Hospital Road on a patch of lawn you will find a number of stalls run by Tibetan selling clothing and other fabrics.


LUCKNOW SIGHTSEEING

 

The capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow rose to prominence as the capital city of the nawabs of Oudh (Avadh). Safdar Jang lived in and ruled from Delhi and his tomb is a familiar landmark near Delhi's Safdarjang airport. The huge mausoleums of the nawabs and the pock-marked ruins of the Residency make Lucknow an interesting place to visit. It has recently become popular with Western followers of the octogenarian guru, Poonjaji. Bara Imambara: The central hall of the imambara, 50 metres long and 15 mtrs high, is one of the largest vaulted galleries in the world. An external stairway leads to an upper floor laid out as an amazing labyrinth known as the bhulbhulaiya. From the top there is a fine view over the city and the Aurangzeb Mosque. There is a mosque with 2 tall minarets in the courtyard of the Imambara. To the right of this, in a row of cloisters, is the baoli, the 'bottomless' well. Rumi (Roomi) Darwaza : Beside the bara Imambara and also built by Asaf-ud-Daula, this huge and finely design darwaza (gate) is the replica of one Istanbul. Lakshman Tila : This high ground on the right bank of the River Gomti was the original site of the town which became known as Lucknau in the 15th century. Aurangazeb mosque now stand on this site. Hussainabad Imambara : It is also known as the Chhota, or small Imambara. The large courtyard encloses a raised rectangular tank with small imitations of the Taj Mahal on each side. One of them is the tomb of Mohammed Ali Shah's daughter, the other that of her hushband.


LUCKNOW SIGHTSEEING 1

 

The main building of the Imambara is topped with numerous domes (the main one is golden ) and minarets, while inside are the tombs of Ali Shah and his mother. The watchtower opposite the Imambara is known as Satkhanda, or the 7-storey tower. Clock Tower : Opposite the Hussainabad Imambara is the 67-mtr-high clock tower and the Hussainabad Tank. Picture Gallery : Also facing the Hussainabad Tank is a baradari or summer house, built by Ali Shah. Now it houses portraits of the various nawabs of Oudh. Jami Masjid : West of the Hussainabad Imambara is the great Jami Masjid with its 2 minarets and 3 domes. This is one of the few mosques in India. Residency : There is a model room in the main residency building which is worth visiting. The whole place would make an excellent film set and indeed during the winter months there is supposed to be a Sound and Light show here. Shah Najaf Imambara : The Imambara is the tomb of Ghazi-ud-din Haidar Khan. Inside the mausoleum are chandeliers. Other Attractions : There is the Kaiserbagh palace and also a summer house in a well-kept garden. The State Musuem is in the Benarasi Bagh. The zoo here has a large collection of snakes. Sikandarbagh is the home of the National Botanical Research Institute. Nadan Mahal is the tomb of the first governor of Oudh. Other buildings nearby include the Sola Khamba pavilion and the tomb of Ibrahim Chisti.


LUCKNOW-FESTIVAL

 

Festivals : The Lucknow Festival is held in February.There are processions, plays, Kathak dancing, gazal and sitar recitals as well as kite flying and cock fighting during the 10 day festival. Lucknow is a good place to see the Shi'ite Muharram celebrations.


SOUTH OF CALCUTTA SIGHTSEEING

 

Diamond Harbour : A resort 51 km south of Calcutta by road, Diamond Harbour is at the point where the Hooghly turns south and flows into the open sea. It can be reached by bus or train from Calcutta. Launches run from here to Sagar Island. Haldia : The new port of Haldia is 96 km south of Calcutta, on the west bank of the Hooghly. There are regular buses between Calcutta and Haldia. Sagar Island (Sagardwip) : At the mouth of the Hooghly, this island is considered the point where the Ganges joins the sea, and a great three-day bathing festival takes place here in mid-January. Digha : Close to the border with Orissa, 185 km south-east of Calcutta on the Bay of Bengal, Digha is another self-styled 'Brighton of the East'. The beach is 7 km long and very wide. There are daily buses between Calcutta and Digha. The Chandeshwar Siva Temple is just across the border in Orissa, 8 km from Digha. Bakkhali : Also known as Fraserganj, this is another beach resort, 132 km from Calcutta, on the east side of the Hooghly. From here you can get boats to the small island of Jambu Dwip to the south-west. Sunderbans Wildlife Sanctuary : It has one of the largest tiger populations of any of the Indian parks. There's a heron sanctuary near Sajnekhli. At the Sanjekhli visitor centre there is a crocodile enclosure, shark pond, and an interesting Mangrove Intrepretation Centre. From here boats are available for excursions through the mangroves. There are watchtowers here and at several other points around the park. In the south of the Sunderbans are 2 other sanctuaries at Lothian and Halliday Island.


SOUTH OF CALCUTTA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

West Bengal Tourism organises a couple of boat tours each month. Private operators have cheaper tours and day trips. From Calcutta it is quickest to get the bus to Sonakhali/Basunti. Continuing from Sonakhali/Basunti the next step is a boat to Gosava.


NORTH OF CALCUTTA

 

Serampore and Barrackpore : It is 25 km from Calcutta on the Hoogly River. There is the old Danish church and cemetery. Mahesh, 3 km from Serampore, has a large and very old Jagannath Temple. In June-July each year the Mahesh Yatra car festival takes place here. Chandernagore : This was one of the French enclaves in India. Hooghly and Satgaon : The historic town of Hooghly is 41 km north of Calcutta and very close to two other interesting sites- Chinsura and Bandel. The imambara with its gateway flanked by lofty minarets, is the main sight. Chinsura : There is a fort and the Dutch cemetery, with many old tombs, a km to the west. Bandel : A couple of km north of Hooghly, and 43 km from Calcutta, Bandel is the site of a Portuguese church. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Get off the train at Naihati and take the hourly shuttle service across the river. Bansberia : A further 4 km north of Bandel, Bansberia has the Vasudev Temple, with interesting terracotta wall carvings, and the Hanseswari Temple. Vishnupur : This interesting town of terracotta temples is a famous cultural centre. The temples to see are the highly decorated Jor Bangla, the large Madan Mohan, the pyramidal Ras Mancha and the Shyam Rai. Vishnupur is in Bankura district,famous for its pottery and silk. In August the Jhapan Festival draws snake charmers to honour the goddess Manasa.


NORTH OF CALCUTTA 1

 

GETTING THERE AND WAY There are buses from Calcutta. The Purulia Express, from Howrah, is the fastest train. Jairambati and Kamarpukur : There is a Ramkrishna Mission ashram at Kamarpukur. Jairambati, 5 km away, is another important point for Ramkrishna devotees. Shantiniketan : The Visvabharati University is at Shantiniketan, 3 km from Bolpur. The brilliant and prolific poet, writer and nationalist Rabindranath Tagore founded a school here. It later developed into a university. There are colleges of science, Hindi, art and crafts, and music and dance. There is a museum and art gallery within the Uttarayan complex where Tagore lived. 4 km away in Sriniketan, started as a project to revitalise traditional crafts such as kantha embroidery, weaving, batik and pottery. GETTING THERE AND AWAY The Shantiniketan Express leaves Howrah daily at 9.55 am, reaching Bolpur at 12.30 pm.It departs from Bolpur at 1 pm for Howrah. Many other trains stop here. Nabadwip : It is ancient centre for Sanskrit culture, 114 km north of Calcutta. There are many temples at this important pilgrimage centre. Mayapur : Across the river from Nabadwip, this is a centre for the ISKCON(Hare Krishna) movement. There is a large new temple, gardens and accommodation available in the ISKCON Guest House. A bus tour is run from Calcutta on Sundays.


NORTH OF CALCUTTA 2

 

Plassey : It is 172 km north of Calcutta. The famous battle of Plassey was fought here. Berhampore : 11 km south of Murshidabad is this large town, a notable centre for silk production. The Government Silk Research Centre is interesting to visit. GETTING THERE AND AWAY On this branch line between Sealdah and Lalgola, there are several trains a day from Calcutta. There is a bus from Calcutta leaving at 6.45 am and other buses to Malda, Bolpur and Siliguri. Across the river is Khagraghat Road Station which is on the Howrah to Azimganj line.


DARJEELING SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre : A 22 to 30 minute walk from Chowrasta brings you down to this Tibetan centre. The centre produces superb carpets, woollens, wood carvings and leatherwork, and has various Tibetan curios for sale. The viewing and dyeing shops and the wood carving shop are particularly interesting. Tea Plantations : Tea is Darjeeling's most famous export. The most convenient garden to visit is the Happy Valley Tea Estate, only 2 km from the centre of town. If you are buying tea, Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (unbroken leaves) is the top quality. Other Activities : In the autumn and spring you could go the races. A lap round Lebong race course may only be 440 metres but it is the world's highest race course, 1809 metres above the sea level.


CORBETT NATIONAL PARK

 

Corbett is famous for its wide variety of wildlife and its beautiful location. It covers 520 sq km on the banks of the Ramganga River in the foothills of the Himalaya. More commonly seen wildlife includes wild elephant, langur monkey, rhesus macaque, peacock and several types of deer including chital, sambar, hog deer and barking-deer. There are also crocodile, the odd-looking gharial, monitor lizard, wild boar and jackal. Leopard are occasionally seen. Corbett is also a birdwatcher's paradice, and since the creation of the Kalagarh Dam on the Ramganga River, large numbers of water-fowl have been attracted here. Dhikala is the main accommodation centre in the park, 51 km from Ramnagar. There is a library and interesting wildlife films are shown at Dhikala. The elephant rides at sunrise and sunset are not to be missed.


TREKKING IN KASHMIR

 

There are various treks both within Kashmir and from Kashmir to Ladakh or Zanskar. The short Pahalgam to Kolahoi Glacier trek is particularly popular. The Pahalgam to Amarnath Cave trek is well known not only for the superb scenery, but for the great religious festival that takes place here. The two trekking companies are the Summit Treks and the Choomti Trekkers. Most houseboat owners can also help organise treks. Pahalgam to Kolahoi Glacier : This short and very popular trek takes only four days from Pahalgam to the Glacier and return. The first day from Pahalgam takes you to Aru along the bank of the Lidder River. This is also a very popular day trek from Pahalgam since Aru is a pretty little village. The second days walk takes you to Lidderwat which has a Government Rest House and a very pleasant campsite, and where the stream from the glacier meets the stream from Tarsar Lake. There is also the Paradise Guest House. On the third day you trek up to the lake and back to Lidderwat.The glacier, climbing from 3400 metres to 4000 metres, descends from the 5485 - metre Kolahai moountain. On day 4 you can either walk straight back to Pahalgam in one day or the trek can be extended another day by walking from Lidderwat to Tarsar Lake and back. Pahalgam to Amarnath Cave : At the full moon in the month of July-August, 1000's of Hindu pilgrims make the yatra to the Shri Amarnath Cave when a natural ice lingam, the symbol of Lord Siva, reaches its greatest size. The 1st day's walk out of Pahalgam can be done by jeep.


TREKKING IN KASHMIR

 

Sonamarg to Wangat : This 81 km trek takes 5 days and reaches a maximum altitudes of 4191 metres. It starts from Sonamarg, then climbs to Nichinai, crosses a mountain chain and drops down to the pleasant campsite at Krishansar. Gangabal Trek : This trek also goes to Gangabal but approaches it from the other side. The trek commences from Errin, north of Wular Lake, and takes 5 days in all. On Day 4 you need ropes and ice-axes to cross the glacier between the Kundsar and Gangabal Lakes. The final day's trek also ends at Wangat. Narannag, just before Wangat, there is an interesting old temple. Konsarnag Trek : This short trek in the south of the Kashmir Valley ascends into the Pir Panjal mountains. The first day's trek is a short walk only taking about 3 hours. With an early start from Srinagar you can bus to Aharbal and complete the first walk in the same day. Konsarnag Lake is a beautiful deep-blue stretch of water at 3700 metres. Daksum to Kishtwar : Starting from the south of the Kashmir Valley at Daksum, this trek is an interesting route to Jammu, although you can also trek from Kishtwar into the Zanskar Valley or to Himachal Pradesh. The maximum altitude is reached on the first day's trek to the Sinthan Pass. On the last day it is only a short walk to Dadhpath from where buses depart at 10 am and 4 pm to Kishtwar. Pahlgam to Pannikar : This is a hard trek into the Suru Valley which leads to Zanskar. The first two days of the trek follow the Amarnath Cave route. The following days cross the Gulol Gali Pass, climb to Lonvil Gali, go over the Chalong Glaciers and continue down to Pannikar.


PATHANKOT-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY The bus station and the railway station are only a hundred or so metres apart.Buses from Pathankot to Jammu take about three hours. The trip to Dalhousie takes about four hours, to Dharmasala five hours. You can also get taxis for these longer trip next to the bus station; to both Dalhousie or Dharamsala.


DALHOUSIE-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Pathankot, 80 km away, is the usual departure point for buses to Dalhousie. There are also direct buses to Amritsar, Jammu, Dharamsala (10 hours) and Shimla (15 hours). For Shimla and Dharamsala it is far quicker to catch a bus to back Pathankot, and take another from there. For Chamba there are four buses daily doing the two-hour trip.


KHAJIAR SIGHTSEEING

 

KHAJIAR This grasy 'marg' is 22 km from Dalhousie. Over a km long and nearly a km long it is ringed by pine trees with a lake in the middle. There is golf course here and a goldendomed temple. The wood carving in the temple are very impressive.


KHAJIAR-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

You can walk there in a day from Dalhousie, or go by bus.


FATEHPUR SIKRI-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY The tour buses only stop for an hour or so at Fatehpur Sikri. If you want to spend longer it is worth taking a bus from Agra's Idgah bus station. Along the way you pass milestones, known as kos minars, about three km. You can spend a day in Fatehpur Sikri and continue on to Bharatpur in the evening.


BODHGAYA-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Bodhgaya is 13 km from Gaya. There is daily bus to Patna and Rajgir, many more from Gaya.


MUSSOORIE-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are hourly buses between the railhead at Dehra Dun and Mussoorie and these go to either Library or Kurli Bazaar (


DEHRADUN SIGHTSEEING

 

This pleasant town is situated in an intermontane valley in the Siwalilks, the foothills of the Himalaya. Forest Research Institute : It is now reputedly one of the finest institute of forest sciences in the world. In the six galleries of the extensive museum, exhibits are laid out in glass cases with Victorian attention to detail. They include examples of wood types, before and after models for social forestry programmes, a furniture gallery, stuffed examples of forest dwellers from bugs and pests to tigers, and a cross-sections of a deodar which is over 700 years old. At the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology there is a museum containing rock samples, semiprecious stones and fossils. The main temple is Tapkeshwar Temple, dedicated to Siva. A large fair is held here on Sivaratri day. Othere places to visit include the Lakshman Sidh Temple; Sahastradhara with cold sulphur springs and a Tourist Rest House; the Robbers Cave, a popular picnic spot just beyond Anarwala village; and Tapovan where there is an ashram.


DEHRADUN-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Jolly Grant Airport is 24 km from the city. Vayudoot and Jagson have daily flights between Dehra Dun and Delhi. BUS The Mussoorie bus stand, by the railway station, is for destinations in the hills. There are frequent departures to Mussoorie and other buses go to Naini Tal, Uttarkashi and Tehri. The Delhi bus stand, serves destinations on the plains: Haridwar, Delhi, Rishikesh, Lucknow and Shimla. TRAIN Dehra Dun is the terminus of the Northern Railway. The Mussoorie Express is the overnight service to Delhi. The Doon Express is the overnight to Lucknow.


HARIDWAR-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS There are frequent buses for the 45 minute trip to Rishikesh and hourly buses to Dehra Dun where there are conncetions to Mussoorie. There are several buses every hour to Delhi and regular departures to Agra. Other destinations include Shimla, Naini Tal, Almora, Uttarkashi, Gangotri and Badrinath. TRAIN The Mussoorie Express is an excellent overnight train service from Delhi. Other direct trains connect with Calcutta, Bombay, Varanasi and Lucknow.


RISHIKESH-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY It is 18 km along the Dehra Dun road to Jolly Grant Airport. There are daily flights to Delhi with Vayudoot or Jagsan. A small branch line runs from Haridwar up to Rishikesh. From the government bus stand there are four buses to Haridwar. There are hourly buses to Delhi and morning bus to Ramnagar. In the summer there are regular departures to Gangotri.


NAINITAL-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY The nearest airport is Pantnagar, 71 km away, with Vayudoot flights three times a week to Delhi. Kathgodam is the nearest railway station, and the railway booking agency in Naini Tal has a quota for trains to Agra, Lucknow and Jodhpur. Other bus destinations include Bhim Tal, Ramnagar, Almora, Ranikhet, Kausani, Pithoragarh, Bareilly, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Dehra Dun. There is one early morning bus to Song (for the Pindari Glacier Trek).


KANPUR-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are daily flights to Delhi operated by Vayudoot via Lucknow. Kanpur is on the main Delhi to Calcutta railway line and less than five hours from Delhi on the Shatabdi or Rajdhani Express. Other expresses take five to six hours from Delhi to Kanpur. There are also direct rail links to Calcutta, Bombay, Agra, Allahabad and Varanasi.


VARANASI-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Varanasi is on several Indian Airlines routes including the popular daily tourist shuttle Delhi/Agra/Khajuraho/Varanasi and back. There are also flights to Lucknow, Jaipur and Bhubaneswar. BUS From the bus station opposite the main (Varanasi Junction) railway station there are frequent departures to Jaunpur, Allahabad, Lucknow, Faizabad, and Gorakhpur. There are morning and evening buses to Saunali. TRAIN There are three railway stations - Kashi, City and Varanasi Junction (also known as Varanasi Cantonment), which is the main station. From Varanasi Junction, expresses take 13 to 16 hours to Delhi and 13 hours to Calcutta . The Rajdhani Express is the fastest train to Delhi or Calcutta and it depart from Moghulserai in the middle of the night. Other expresses run to Bombay, Madras, Allahabad, Patna, Lucknow, Jaunpur and Gorakhpur. For Khajuraho take the overnight 4248 Varanasi-Bombay Express to Satna and a bus from there to Khajuraho.


JAUNPUR-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Varanasi is 58 km away, a journey of two hours by train or bus.


GORAKHPUR-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS There are regular departures for the border at Sanuali between 5 am and 8 pm from the bus stand near the railway station. There are also private buses from the road in front of the railway station. Buses to Varanasi depart from the Katchari bus station. There are also regular buses to Lucknow and Faizabad as well as Kanpur and Patna. Buses to Kushinagar depart from the bus stand near the railway station. TRAIN Gorakhpur is the headquarters of the North Eastern Railway and is an important junction. There are evening departures for Delhi via Lucknow. There are early-morning departures for Bombay and Varanasi. There are also metre-gauge trains to Nautanwa for Nepal.


KUSHINAGAR-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Kushinagar is 55 km east of Gorakhpur and there are bus services.


SANAULI-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY From Sanuali there are direct buses to Varanasi and to Allahabad. Buses to Gorakhpur depart every half hour from 5 am to 7 pm. To/From Nepal : There are numerous private buses from here to Kathmandu leaving hourly between 5 and 9 am. The government 'Saja' buses are faster but leave from Bhairawa, four km from Sanuali. They are very popular and booking is essential. From Sanauli there are also morning and evening buses to Pokhara. From Lumbini (the birthplace of the Buddha) there are numerous buses from Bhairawa.


KONARK-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

Buses and overcrowded minibuses run along the coastal road between Puri and Konark. There are buses fairly regularly to Bhubsneswar.


KAZIRANGA-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

Calcutta/Jorhat flights land 84 km from the park. Furketing is the most convenient railway station, 72 km away; from here buses and jeeps run to Kaziranga.Gawahati is 233 km away on Highway 37. There are state transport buses from Gawahati.


MANAS SIGHTSEEING

 

In the foothills of the Himalaya, north-east of Gawahati, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is on the Bhutan border. Three rivers run through the sanctuary, which has abundant bird and animal life. The rare pigmy hog and the golden langur (monkey) are amongst the notable animals here, although you may also see rhinos.


MANAS-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Gawahati, 176 km away, has the nearest airport. Barpeta Road, 40 km from Mothangiri, is the nearest railway station. Transport from Barpeta Road to Mothangiri must be arranged in advance.


SHILLONG-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY A good road runs the 100 km from Gawahati in Assam to Shillong. Cherapunji is 58 km south of Shillong, and there are daily buses. The views from here over Bangladesh are superb.


PUSHKAR-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Buses depart Ajmer from the stop near the railway station. It is possible to continue straight on from Pushkar to Jodhpur without having to backtrack to Ajmer, but the buses go there via Metra and can take eight hours.It is much faster to go to Ajmer and take the 4.5 hour express bus.


RANTHAMBHOR NATIONAL PARK-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Sawai Madhopur is on the main Delhi to Bombay broad-gauge railway line and, as most train stop here, there is a wide range to choose from. The 108 km trip to Kota takes two hours 10 minutes, while to Agra Fort it is 226 km which takes eight hours. Sawai Madhopur is also the junction of the metre-gauge spur to Jaipur and Bikaner.


KOTA-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS There are bus connections to Bundi, Ajmer, Chittorgarh, Jaipur, Udaipur and other centres in Rajasthan. If you are heading into Madhya Pradesh, several buses a day go to such places as Gwalior, Ujjain and Indore. Buses leave for Bundi every hour. TRAIN Kota is on the main broad-gauge Bombay to Delhi line via Sawai Madhopur, so there are plenty of trains to choose from.


SURAT-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Surat is on the main Bombay to Ahmedabad railway line so there are many to both places.


AROUND SURAT

 

There are a number of beaches near Surat. Only 16 km away, Dumas is a popular health resort. Hajira is 28 km from the city and Ubhrat is 42 km out, while Tithal is 108 km away and only five km from Valsad on the Bombay to Vadodara rail line. Udvada, only 10 km north of Vapi, the station for Daman, has the oldest Parsi sacred fire in India. Sanjan, in the extreme south of the state, is the small port.


DAMAN-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Vapi station, on the main railway line, is the access point for Daman. Vapi is about 170 km from Bombay and 90 km from Surat. A number of trains stop at Vapi. It is about 10 km from Vapi to Daman.


PALITANA-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS If you are coming from the north, plenty of state transport buses make the 1.5 trip from Bhavnagar. Express buses to and from Ahmedabad take 4.5 hour. There are a few direct buses daily to Una (for Diu), or you can take local buses in stages to Talaja, then to Mathura and another bus on to Una. TRAIN Express trains make the trip from Ahmedabad in nine to 11 hours with a change at Sihor shortly before Palitana. Local trains between Bhavnagar and Palitana take about 1.5 hours.


SATNA-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are buses to Khajuraho and a morning bus to Tala for Bandhavgarh National Park.


BHOPAL-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Airlines has daily connections between Bhopal and Bombay, Indore, Gwalior and Delhi. The private airline, Continental, has taken over Vayudoot's routes between Bhopal and Bombay, Indore, Jabalpur and Raipur. BUS There are numerous daily buses to Sanchi. MP Tourism operates an impressive air-con bus to Indore. A second bus leaves at 2.30 pm from the railway station having collected passengers off the Shatabdi Express from Delhi. TRAIN Bhopal is on one of the two main Delhi to Bombay railway lines. At present it is the terminus of the daily Shatabdy Express, which leaves New Delhi at 6.15 am at reaching Bhopal at 2 pm, returning to New Delhi after a stop here of 20 minutes. Other express trains connect Bhopal with Delhi, Bombay, Agra, Gwalior and Jhansi.


AROUND BHOPAL-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY From Bhopal, 45 km away, take a Hoshangabad bus, although you may need to change at Obaidullaganj, 50 minutes south of Bhopal. Get off the Hoshangabad bus 6.5 km after Obaidullaganj by the sign pointing right with '3.2, and some Hindi on it. Follow this sign, crossing the railway track for the 3.2 km walk to the hills in front of you.


PACHMARHI-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY From the bus stand near bazaar is Pachmarhi there is early morning bus to Bhopal and departures every couple of hours to Pipariya.


UJJAIN-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS There are frequent daily buses to Indore which are generally faster than the train. Other buses go to Bhopal and there are two buses a day to Mandu. A few buses connect Ujjain with Kota in Rajasthan. TRAIN The overnight Malwa Express is the fastest link with Delhi. It leaves Delhi at 7.15 pm, stop in Ujjain with Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur and Bilaspur. To Bombay requires a change of train at Nagda.


MANDU-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are numerous buses from Mandu to Dhar and lot of buses from there on to Indore. There are also buses to Mhow and Ujjain. The buses stop near the Jami Masjid.


JABALPUR-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Jabalpur is served by the Bombay-based airline, Continental. There are flights between Jabalpur and Raipur, Bhopal, Indore and Bombay. BUS There are buses to Jabalpur from Allahabad, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Bhopal, Nagpur and other main centres. For overnight bus journeys private buses are better. Madhya Pradesh state transport buses are mostly in an advance state of decay. For Kanha National Park there are state transport buses to Kisli. There is one bus a day to Khajuraho. It is more comfortable to take the train to Satna from where there are regular buses to Khajuraho. TRAIN There are direct connections between Jabalpur and Satna, Varanasi and Bhopal. If heading for the Ajanta and Ellora caves, catch a train on the Bombay line to Bhusaval and take another train to Jalgaon. There are buses to the caves from there.


AROUND JABALPUR-GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Tempos run to the Marble Rocks from the city bus stand in Jablpur. Buses from here are even cheaper. An alternative way to get there is to hire a bicycle for the 22-km trip. Follow the road for Nagpur out of Jabalpur, then take the right fork below Jain temples high on the hill. After about 15 km turn left at the crossroads following the 'Bhedaghat 5 km' sign.


MATHERAN-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY TRAIN From Bombay, only a few of the Pune expresses stop at Neral Junction. They include the Deccan Express and the Miraj Express. On the other hand, all expresses from Bombay stop at Karjat further down the line from Nepal. From here you can backtrack using local trains to Neral. Alternatively, take a local Karjat train from Bombay VT to Neral. From Pune, the most convenient express which stop at Neral is the Sahyadri Express. Alternatively, take any exppress to Bombay and get off at Karjat and then take a local train to Neral. If you are goiong back to Pune or Bombay after Matheran, it is best to take any local train first to Karjat after which you have a choice of all the trains running between Bombay and Pune. There are also the toy train from Neral to Matheran. There are no local trains There are no local trains between Karjat and Lonavla (for the Karla Caves) so you must use the expresses between Bombay and Pune if Lonavla is your base. TAXI There are plenty in either direction daily and the trip takes half an hour.


AROUND PUNE-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Lonavla is on the main Bombay to Pune road and railway line so there are plenty of trains and buses from both cities. BUS The timetable at Lonavla bus station is entirely in Marathi except for the buses to Dadar (a suburb of Bombay). TRAIN Unlike getting to Neral (for Matheran), all express trains between Bombay and Pune stop at Lonavla. The 128-km trip to Bombay takes about 3 hours. The 64 km trip to Pune takes about 1.5 hours by express train and about two hours on the shuttle train.


MAHABALESHWAR-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Pune is the normal departure point for Mahabaleshwar although Satara Road is the closet convenient railway station. Mahabaleshwar is 120 km from Pune via Panchgani. There are daily buses to Kolhapur, Pune and Panchgani. There is also an MTDC luxury bus daily in either direction between Bombay and Mahabaleshwar.


KOLHAPUR- GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS For buses originating in Kolhapur, it possible to book 24 hours in advance. There are daily departures for Satara, Bijapur, Mahabaleshwar, Pune, Ratnagiri and Belgaum. TRAIN The railway station is close to the centre of town. The broad-gauge line connects Kolhapur with Miraj, from where there are daily trains to Pune, Bombay, Madras and Vasco da Gama (Goa). The daily Koyna Express goes all the way to Bombay, taking 13 hours.


MARGAO-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS Margao has good connections with beaches and other towns in Goa. TRAIN Train are dealt with in the Panaji section but bookings for all classes can be made at Margao station except for Indrail Pass holders who must go to Vasco da Gama to make bookings.


AROUND MARGAO 2

 

RACHOL SEMINARY AND CHURCH There are some interesting places around Margao. About three km from the small village of Raja, which is on the road from Margao to the Borim bridge, is the Rachol Seminary and Church. The seminary has interesting architecture and paintings Christian characters done in Indian styles. CHRIST ASHRAM To the east of the Margao to Cortalim road near the village of Nuvem is the Christ Ashram. VASCO DA GAMA Close to the Mormugao Harbour and Dabolim Airport, Vasco da Gama is the terminus of the railway line to Goa.


MAPUSA-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Mapusa to Panaji takes about 25 minutes. There are also buses to Calangute and to other population centres in northern Goa. Instead of buses you can take either a taxi or a motorcycle. A motorbike to Anjuna or Calangute takes about 15 minutes. Taxis fares are government controlled.


SRAVANABELAGOLA-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are direct buses from Sravanabelagola to Arsikere, Hassan, Mysore and Bangalore. If your time is short and you have to see Belur, Halebid and Sravanabelagola in one day, your only choice is the very rushed KSTDC tours from Mysore.


MADIKERI-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY The State bus stand is right in the centre of town and, as Madikeri is on the main Mysore to Mangalore road, there are plenty of buses running to both places. The buses run to Mysore, Mangalore, Bangalore, Hassan, Arsikere, Belur and Chikmagalur.


HAMPI-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are two main points of entry to the ruins, Hampi Bazaar and Kamalapuram, and buses run frequently throughout the day to these two places from Hospet.


WARANGAL-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Rregular buses run between Warangal and Hyderabad, Nizamabad and other major centres. Local buses connect Warangal with Kazipet and Hanamkonda. Warangal is a major railway junction in Andhra Pradesh and many expresses stop here. The 152-km journey to Hyderabad or Secunderabad takes about 3.5 hours . Warangal to Vijaywada takes about the same time.


PUTTAPPARTHI-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Puttaparthi is in Andhra pradesh, but it is most easily reached from Bangalore, 150 km away. Take a train or bus to Dharmavaram or Anantapur, the nearest railway station.


VIJAYAWADA-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Vayudoot flies from Hyderabad to Vijayawada. BUS Buses travels to all prats of Andhra Pradesh, and also to Madras. TRAIN Vijayawada is on the main Madras-Calcutta and Madras-Delhi lines and all the expresses stopp here. The quickest train from Vijayawada to Madras is the Calcutta Madras Coromandel Express. There are slower expresses, such as the Tirupathi Express, which you can catch to Puri. The Tamil Nadu Express takes 50 hours to cover the 1761 km to New Delhi. There are also direct trains to Kanyakumari, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Bangalore and Varanasi.


KOVALAM-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are direct services to Ernakulam and Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin). Kanyakumari is two hours away and there are four departures daily. One bus leaves each morning for Thekkady in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Direct buses go to Kollam if you want to do the backwater trip.


LAKSHADWEEP-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Vayudoot flies to Agatti from Kochi, Koxhikode and Madras. Transfer to Bangaram Island is by speedboat or helicopter during the monsoon season. The island are interconnected by helicopter flights. BOAT Package tours by luxury ship are arranged through SPORTS, Lakshadweep Office, Indira Gandhi Road, Willingdon Island, Kochi 682003. These tour take place on the MV Tipu Sultan which plies regularly between Kochi and Lakshadweep. The other vessel which plies the same route as the Tipu Sultan on a regular basis is the MV Bharat Seema.


RAMESWARAM-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS The bus station is 2 km west of town. Thiruvalluvar buses run to Madurai four times daily and to Kanyakumari, Trichy and Madras. There are also a number of buses to Pondicherry, Trichy and Thanjavur via Madurai. TRAIN There are two expresses to/from Madras daily, the Sethu Express and the Rameswaram Express. The only way go get from Rameswaram to Madurai or vice versa direct is on the daily Rameswaram-Madurai Passenger train.


AURANGABAD SIGHTSEEING

 

Aurangabad has a number of attractions and it was known as Khadke. Bibi-ka-Maqbara : It is an interesting building and the only example of Moghul architecture on the Deccan plateau. Panchakki : It is a cool, relaxing and serene place. Aurangabad Caves : They are a couple of km north of the Bibi-ka-Maqbara. The 10 caves are all Buddhist; five are in the western group and five about a km away in the eastern group. Western Group - cave 1 to 5 Cave 4 is fronted by stupa. Cave 3 is square and is supported by 12 highly ornate columns. It has an interesting series of sculptures depicting scenes from one of the jatakas. Eastern Group - Cave 6 to 10 Cave 6 has a large Buddha figure and Ganesh figure. Cave 7 is the most interesting of the Aurangabad caves, particularly for the figure and sculptures.


AURANGABAD-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY The cave group at Ajanta and Ellora are off the railway lines and are usually approached from either Aurangabad or from Jalgaon. Air The Indian Airlines office is on Dr. Rajendra Prasad Marg next to the Aurangabad Ashok. Indian Airlines flies from Bombay to Aurangabad daily, and these flies continue on to Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur and Delhi. It is a popular tourist route and the flights can be booked up several days in advance. BUS There are bus connection between Aurangabad and Pune, Nasik, Indore and Bombay. Several luxury buses are available to Bombay. TPH Tours and Travels at the Hotel Rajdhani, Station Rd, go daily to Bombay. MTDC offers daily luxury buses to Bombay. To Ellora and Ajanta Caves : Aurangabad is good base for visiting either the Ellora or Ajanta caves. TRAIN Jalgaon is 420km from Bombay. From Jalgaon there are frequent buses to Ajanta and Aurangabad. From Bombay you change trains at Manmad, 261 km to the north-east, for the 113-km trip to Aurangabad. The best trains to take from Manmad are the Marathwada Express, Ajanta Express or the Ellora Express.


AURNAGABAD SIGHTSEEING 1

 

DAULATABAD Between Aurangabad and the Ellora Caves is the magnificent hilltop fortress of Daulatabad. The fort is surrounded by sturdy walls, while the central bastion tops a 200-metre-high hill. It is worth making the climb to the top for the superb views over the surrounding country. There is the magnificent tower of victory, the Chand Minar. Higher up is the blue-tiled Chini Mahal Palace. Finally you climb the central fort to a huge six-metre cannon, cast from five different metals. RAUZA It is also known as Khuldabad, the Heavenly Abode, this walled town is only three km from Ellora. It is the Karbala or holy shrine of Deccan Muslims. ELLORA CAVES The caves of Ellora are about 30 km from Aurangabad. They are famous for remarkable sculptures. In all there are 34 caves at Ellora: 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain. The caves are cut into a hillside running north-south. Buddhist Caves : Apart from cave 10, all the Buddhist caves are viharas. Cave 1 to 4 : These are all vihara caves. Cave 2, with its ornate pillars and figures of the Buddha, is quite interesting. Cave 5 : This is the biggest vihara cave. Cave 6 to 8 : In cave 6 there is a large seated Buddha in the shrine room. Cave 10 : The Viswakarma or Carpenter's Cave is the only chaitya cave in the Buddhist group. The temple is entered by steps to a courtyard, followed by further stepps to the main temple.


AURANGABAD SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Cave 11 : The Do Thal (Two-Storey) Cave is also entered by a courtyard. Cave 12 : The Teen Thal (Three-Storey) Cave has three storeys and is entered through a courtyard.


AURANGABAD SIGHTSEEING 3 - HINDU CAVES

 

The Hindu caves are the most dramatic and impressive of the Ellora cave temples. Cave 14 : It is dedicated to Siva, who appears in many of the carvings. You can see Siva dancing the tandava, a victory dance over the demon Mahisa. The seven 'mother goddesses' can also be seen, and Ravana makes yet another attempt to shake Kailasa. Cave 15 : The Das Avatara Cave is one of the finest at Ellora. The two-storey temple is reached by a long flight of steps. Inside there is a modern image of Siva's vehicle. We can also see Vishnu resting on a five-hooked serpent or rescuing an elephant from a crocodile. Cave 16 : The mighty Kailasa Temple is the central attraction at Ellora. The temple consists of a huge courtyard. In the centre, the main temple rises up and is connected to the outer enclosure by a bridge. Around the enclosure are galleries, while towards the front are two large stone elephants with two massive stone. The most impressive being the image of Ravana shaking Kailasa. Other Caves : Cave 21, known as the Ramesvara, has number of interesting scenes. The figure of Ganga, standing on her crocodile or makara, is particularly notable. The very large cave 29, the Dumar Lena, is similar in design to the Elephanta Cave at Bombay. Jain Caves : The Jain caves mark the final phase of Ellora. Cave 30 : The Chota Kailasa or Little Kailasa is a poor imitation of the great Kailasa Temple.


AURANGABAD SIGHTSEEING 4 - OTHER CAVES

 

Cave 21, known as the Ramesvara, has a number of interesting scenes. The figure of Ganga, standing on her crocodile or makara, is particularly notable. The very large cave 29, the Dumar Lena, is similar in design to the Elephanta Cave at Bombay. Jain Caves : The Jain Caves mark the final phase of Ellora. Cave 30 : The Chota Kailasa or little Kailasa is a poor imitation of the great Kailasa Temple. Cave 32 : The Indra Sabha (Assembly Hall of Indra) is the finest of the Jain temples. The upstairs area, reached by a stairway, is an ornate and richly decorated as downstairs is plain. There are images of the Jain tirthankars. Inside the shrine is a seated figure of Mahavira. Traces of paintings can still be seen on the roof of the temple. Other Caves : Cave 31 is really an extension of 32, Cave 33, the Jagannath Sabha, is similar in plan to 32 and has some particularly well-preserved sculptures. On the hilltop over the Jain temples a five-metre-high image of Parasnath looks down on Ellora. Grishneshwar : Close the Ellora Caves in the village of Verul, this 18-th century Siva temple has one of the jyoti lingas (important shrines to Siva) in India, so it is an important place of pilgrimage of Hindus.


AURANGABAD SIGHTSEEING 5 - AJANTA CAVES

 

Ajanta Caves are all Buddhist and famous for the magnificent paintings. The caves are cut into the steep face of a deep rock gorge. There are 29 caves in a curve of the gorge, and there is a good viewpoint across the ravine. Five of the caves are chaityas or temples while the other 24 re viharas or monasteries. Caves 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 are the older Hinayana caves, while the older are Mahayana. There are also many interesting sculptures here. Cave 1 : A veradah at the front leads to a large square hall which has elaborate carvings and paintings. Amongst the interesting sculptures is one of four deer sharing a common head. There are many paintings of women. Notable paintings includes scenes from the jatakas, and portraits of the Bodhisattvas Padmapani and Vajrapani. Cave 2 : This one has important paintings. There are murals as well as paintings on the ceiling. The scenes include a number of jatakas and events connected with the Buddha's birth. Cave 4 : This is the largest vihara cave at Ajanta and is supported by 28 pillars. The cave has some fine sculptures. Cave 6 : This is only two-storey cave at Ajanta. Inside is a seated figure of the Buddha with an intricately carved door to the shrine. Upstairs the hall is surrounded by cells with fine paintings on the doorways. Cave 7 & 8 : At cave 7, there are porches before the verandah, which leads directly to the four cells and elaborately sculpted shrine. Cave 8 is used solely for the generating equipment which lights the caves. Cave 9 : This is a chaitya cave at Ajanta.Columns run down both sides of the cave and around the three-metre-high dagoba at the far end.


FAIZABAD-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Faizabad is three hours by train from either Varanasi or Lucknow. There are numerous buses for Allahabad, Lucknow, Gorakhpur and Sinauli. For Ayodhya there are many buses and tempos from the main road near the chowk.


PATNA-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Airlines has daily flights between Patna and Delhi, Calcutta and Ranchi. A few flights connect Patna with Lucknow and Bombay. BUS The main bus station is at Harding Park, just west of Patna Junction Railway station.Buses for Siliguri, Gaya, Ranchi and Sasaram go from Gate 7. Buses fpr Raxaul on the Nepalese border go from Gate 6, via Muzaffarpupt. The Gandhi Maidan bus station is used by gobernment buses to many places in Bihar.There are night buses to Ranchi and Deluxe bus to Siliguri. TRAIN Patna Junction is the main railway station. The fastest trains of the Calcutta-Delhi line take 15 hours to Delhi and 9 hours to Calcutta. The Amritsar Mail leaves early in the morning for Varanasi. There are direct trains to Ranchi, Bombay and Madras.


PATNA TO GAYA(NALANDA)-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Shared Trekkers cost Rs.2 from Rajgir to Nalanda village, and from there it is Rs 1 for the 10 minute ride on a shared tonga to the university side. Take another jeep from Nalanda village to Bihar Sharif for buses to Patna.


AYODHYA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are regular regular tempos and buses for faizabad.


ARAMBOL - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are regular buses from Napusa to Arambol. Another way to get there is to take the ferry across the river from Siolim, north-east of Chapora, to Chopdem.


BADAMI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS There are daily buses to Bagalkot, Hospet, Hubli, Bangalore, Kolhapur and Gadag. TRAIN All the train passing through Badami station are passenger trains. There are daily trains from Badami to Bijapur. Heading south, there are passenger trains to the railway junction of Gadag, Guntakal or Hubli. For Hospet and the Vijaynagar ruins at Humpi, there is one passenger train via Gadag.


BHARATPUR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS Bharatpur is on the Agra to Jaipur road, just two hour by bus from Agra or an hour from Fatehpur Sikri. Buses from Jaipur take about 4.5 hours. TRAIN Bharatpur is on the New Delhi to Bombay broad-gauge line as well as the Delhi/Agra/Jaipur/Ahmedabad metre gauge-line.


KOZHICODE (CALICUT)- GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR : The Indian Airlines office is in the North Centre on Bank Rd, close to the junction with Mayoor Rd, (also known as Indira Gandhi Road). as Indira Gandhi Road). Indian Airlines and East West Airlines fly to and from Bombay daily. BUS : The main bus station is on Mavoor Rd, a few minutes walk from Bank Rd. There are regular departures to Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Ooty, Madurai, Coimbatore, Pondicherry, Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Kochi and Kottayam. The bus to Ooty or Mysore climbs up and over the Western Ghats. TRAIN : The railway station is not far from the town centre and within walking distance of the bazaar area. Heading south-east, there are trains via Palakkad (Palghat) to Coimbatore, Bangalore, Bangalore, Madras and Delhi.


DWARAKA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There is a railway line between Dwarka and Jamnagar, 145 km away, and there are trains to Bombay via Rajkot and Ahmedabad. STC buses run to all points in Saurashtra, and to Ahmedabad.


AROUND DWARAKA 1

 

Island of Bet There are modern Krishna temples on the Island and other important important religious sites around Dwarka.


GUHAWATI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Airlines flies from Calcutta to Gawahati. Othere regional flights from Calcutta include : Agartala, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Imphal, Jorhat, Silchar and Tezpur. Fllights to Agartala are twice daily, to Gawahati at least twice daily, and to Silchar and Imphal once daily. Vayudoot flies from Calcutta to Agartala and Shillong three times a week; to Aizwal four times a week, and to Gawahati three times a week, via Aizwal and Silchar. TRAIN The most convenient points from which to get to Gawahati are Calcutta and New Jalpaiguri. From Calcutta (Howrah) it is 993 km and about 24 hours to Gawahati on the Kamrup Express.


HASSAN - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS There are buses in either direction between Belur and Halebid. There are buses from Hassan to Belur. From Belur there are buses to Halebid. Also there are buses from Hassan to Sravanabelagola. There are also direct buses from Sravanabelagola to Mysore, Arsikere and Bangalore. TRAIN The station at Hassan is about two km from the centre of town, so either hire an auto-rickshaw or walk. There are three passenger trains to and from Mysore daily.These trains from Mysore also continue on to Arsikere. There is also a passenger train daily Mangalore. The daily Mahalaxmi Express is marginally quicker. Thid line may be closed during the monsoon season from June to September.


HOSPET - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS The bus stand in Hospet is faily well organised with the bays marked in both English and Kannada. Ten express buses run daily between 7 am and 11.45 pm on the 358 km trip from Hospet to Bangalore. Heading towards Goa, there are three buses daily for the 3.5 hour trip to Hubli. Hyderabad is 445 km away and there is one express bus daily TRAIN Hospet railway station has a healthy sleeper quota for the express trains between Hubli and Bangalore. There is direct train between Hospet and Bangalore. Heading to or from Goa, the best train to get is the Guntakal-Vasco express which comes through Hospet and does not involve change at Hubli. From Badami and Bijapur, there is one direct train daily which does not involve a change at Gadag.


HUBLI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS Buses to Panaji (Goa) take 11 hours. The bus destination Hubli include Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Bijapur, Bombay and Pune. Opposite the bus station are plenty of private companies operating superdeluxe video coaches. These buses run to Bombay and Bangalore. TRAIN Hubli is a major rail junction on the Bombay to Bangalore route and for trains to Bijapur and Hospet.


GAYA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Buses to Patna and Ranchi leave from the Gandhi Maidan bus stand. Buses to Rajgir leave from the Gaurakshini bus stand which is across the river. Gaya is on the main Delhi-Calcutta line and there are direct trains to Delhi, Calcutta, Varanasi, Puri and Patna. Gaya is on the main Delhi-Calcutta line and there are direct trains to Delhi, Calcutta, Varanasi, Puri and Patna.


JAMNAGAR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR The Indian Airlines office on Bhid Bhanjan Rd. Indian Airlines has flights five times weekly from Bombay and these continue on to Bhuj. BUS There are STC buses to Rajkot every 30 minutes or less, and other departures to Dwarka, PPorbandar, Bhuj, Junagadh and Ahmedabad. Somnath Travels, is the agent for private bus companies, and these have services to Rajkot, Dwarkaa, Porbandar and Ahmedabad. TRAIN There are direct trains from Bombay and Ahmedabad via Rajkot. To Dwarka the 138-km journey takes three hours by express train.


JHANSI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS Buses to Khajuraho leave from the railway station. Also from the bus stand there are buses to many other places including Gwalior, Shivpuri and Datia. TRAIN Jhansi is on the main Delhi/Agra/Bhopal/Bombay railway line with good rail connection. Other expresses connect Jhansi with Delhi, Agra, Gwalior, Bhopal, Indore and Bombay. There are also direct trains from Jhansi to Bangalore, Lucknow, Madras, Pune and Varanasi.


KOTTAYAM - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS The bus station is in the centre of town. There are plenty of buses to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) via Kollam and to Kochi, and daily buses to Thekkady. Buses to Madurai also go through Thekkady. TRAIN Kottayam is well served by express trains running between Trivandrum and Kochi. BOAT The ferry jetty is about three km from the railway station and about one km from the bus station. Boats daily make the 2.5 hour trip to Alappuzha.


MANGALORE - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR The Indian Airlines and Air India offices are in the Poonja Arcade of the Hotel Poonja International on K S Rao Rd in the centre of town. Indian Airlines flies Bombay to Mangalore in either direction and to Bangalore in either direction. BUS There are daily departures to Hassan, Hospet, Karwar, Goa, Madras, Bombay, Mysore and Bangalore. TRAIN The Bangalore to Mangalore fast passenger train takes about 16 hours for for the 447 km trip.


ORCHA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are regular buses and tempos from the Jhansi bus stand for the 18 km journey.


PORBUNDER - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Vayudoot offers daily services to Bombay and Keshod. BUS The STC bus stand is a 15-minute walk from MG Rd. There are regular services to Dwarka, Jamnagar, Veraval and Rajkot. The private bus companies have their offices on MG Rd, in the vicinity of the Flamingo Hotel. The main companies are Jay, Dagle and Raviraj, and there are departures for Jamnagar, Veraval, Rajkot and Ahmedabad. TRAIN Porbandar is the terminus of a rail line; the main service is the Saurashtra Express to and from Bombay via Rajkot and Ahmedabad.


RAJKOT - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Airlines has daily direct flights between Rajkot and Bombay. A minibus between the Indian Airlines office in town and the airport connects with the flights. BUS STC buses connect Rajkot with Jamnagar, Junagadh, Porbandar, Veraval and Ahmedabad. The trip from Rajkot to Veraval via Junagadh takes about five hours. Rajkot to Jamnagar is a two hour journey.


RANIKHET - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY As with the other hill stations in the Kumaon region, Kathgodam is the nearest railhead. There are buses to Kathgodam, Naini Tal, Almora, Kausani, Ramnagar, Delhi as well as to Lucknow, Haridwar and Badrinath. Buses depart from the government and the private bus stands, which are one km apart on the main road.


SILIGURI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Bagdogra airport is 12 km from Siliguri. There are daily flights to Calcutta, and flights daily, except on Monday and Saturday, to Delhi and Gawahati. Flights to Dimapur and Dibrugarh go twice weekly. BUS State Transport Corporation buses leave from the new Tenzing Norgay Central Bus Terminal, private buses from just outside. There are day and overnight services between Siliguri and Calcutta. Other destination to the south inculde Malda, Berhampore and Patna. For Darjeelling there is a direct bus connecting with flights. From Siliguri there are several an hour from 6 am to 5 pm. There are also private Mazda buses which are faster. Direct buses connect Siliguri with Kalimpong. Sikkim Nationalised Transport run hourly buses to Gangtok between 7 am and 4 pm from its office on Hill Cart Td, opposite the main bus station. The buses between Darjeelilng and Kathmandu also run through Siliguri. TRAIN From Calcutta, trains go from Sealdah and Howrah to New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri. The NE express is the fastest train between New Jalpaiguri and New Delhi. It also goes by Moghulserai near Varanasi, and Patna. This train also links New Jalpaiguri with Gawahati.


MIRIK AND KURSEONG SIGHTSEEING

 

MIRIK It s ppromoted as a 'new' hill station and is about 50 km from both Siliguri and Darjeeling at an altitude ofo 1767 metres. The lake is the main attraction here and there is a 3.5 km papth around it. Mirik is surrounded by tea estates, orange orchards and cardamom plantations.


SRINGERI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are plenty of buses from Sringeri to virtually all points in Karnataka, including Mysore, Hassan, Chikmagalur, Sagar and Bangalore.


TIRUPATHI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR The Indian Airlines office is in the Hotel Vishnupriya complex, opposite the main bus station in Tirupathi. Vayudoot flies to Madras and Hyderabad. BUS It is possible to see Tirupathi on a long day trip from Madras if you make a very early start. Thiruvalluvar has express buses from the Thiruvalluvar bus station in Madras. There are also many other ordinary buses. The Express buses can be booked in advance in Madras. TRAIN As a popular pilgrimage centre, Tirupathi is well served by express trains. The daily Rayala Express connects Hyderabad and Tirupathi Express. There are three expresses to Vijayawada daily and one oof these, the Tirupathi Express, goes on to Puri.


BHUJ - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR The Indian Airlines office have a minibus which connects with all incoming and outgoing flights. Indian Airlines flies Bombay-Jamnagar-Bhuj-Bombay five times a week. BUS Buses run to other centres in Gujarat including Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Kandla Port. The private bus companies have their offices in the bus station area, and have services to Rajkot. For Jaisalmer in Rajasthan there are no direct services, so you need to go first to Palanpur, and take a bus from there to Barmer, and yet another on to Jaisalmer. TRAIN New Bhuj Railway station is one km north of town. There are daily connections with Ahmedabad via Palampur, and there are through carriages direct to Jodhpur and Delhi. As the direct train to Ahmedabad goes the long route via Palanpur, it is much quicker to take a local train or bus to Gandhidham, and then catch the nightly Gandhidham-Kutch Express which does the 300-km journey to Ahmedabad in six hours.


AROUND BHUJ SIGHTSEEING

 

AROUND BHUJ The city is connected by road with the old port of Mandvi to the south-west and by road and rail to the new port of Kandala. There is a boat service from Kandala to Navlakhi, which is on the Kathiawar peninsula and connected to Morvi and Wankaner by rail.


HYDERABAD - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR There are Indian Airlines flights in either direction daily between Hyderabad and Bangalore, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Madras,, Bhubaneswar via Nagpur, and to Vishakhapatnam. Vayudoot operates services from Hyderabad to Tirupathi, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry and Madras. BUS Buses leave from the main APSRIC bus station, Gowliguda, for all parts of the state. There are also a number of private bus companies offering superdeluxe video buses to such cities as Bangalore, Bombay, Madras, Nagpur and Tirupathi. Most of their offices are on Public Gardens Rd close to the Hyderabad railway station entrance road. They include Asian Travels, inside the Asian Lodge, and Noble Travels, next to the New Asian Lodge. TRAIN Secunderabad is the main railway station. The 1675-km trip from New Delhi to Hyderabad on the Nizamuddin-Hyderabad Express takes 33.5 hoours. The quickest route from Calcutta is to take the daily Coromandel Express from Howrah Station and change at Vijaywada. The line from Secunderabad to Aurangabad too Manmad, on the Bombay to Delhi line. The Secunderabad to Ajmer line is also metre gauge. This 1138 km route passes through Khandwa, Mhow, Indore, Ratlam and Chittorgarh.


KULU - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR The vayudoot office is at the airport at Bhuntar, 10km south of Kulu. Jagson Airlines has its office in the Hotel Amit, also in Bhuntar. Vayudoot has a daily Delhi/Chandigarh/Kulu and return flight. Jagson Airlines has fllights to Kulu from Delhi. Their Flight stops at Shimla on the way out but the return flight is direct to Delhi. Another new airlline, Trans-Bharat Aviation flies between Delhi, Chandigarh and Kulu. BUS AND TAXI There are direct buses to Kulu from Dharmsala, Shimla, Chandigarh or Delhi. The Kulu to Chandigarh buses do not go via Shimla. All these buses continue to Manali. Buses run regularly along the main road from Kulu to Manali. Cars can get to Naggar by crossing the river at Patlikuhl near Katrain. Or you can get off the Kulu to Manali bus there and walk up.


LUCKNOW - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR There are daily connections to Delhi and three flights a week to Patna, Calcutta, Varanasi and Bombay on Indian Airlines. Vayudoot also operates flights to Kanpur and Delhi. BUS There are two bus stations : Charbagh near the railway station, and Kaiserbagh. From Charbagh there are several buses to Kanpur regular departures to Allahabad. From Kaiserbagh there are buses for Delhi, Gorakhpur, Sanauli and Faizabad and an overnight bus to Naini Tal. TRAIN The two main stations are side by side in Charbagh : Lucknow and the mainly metre-gauge Lucknow Junction. On the Shatabdi Express, Lucknow is only 6.5 hours from Delhi and 1.5 hour hours from Kanpur. Varansi is 4.5 hours on the Himgiri Express three times a week. There are overnight trains to Agra, Dehra Dun and Kathgodam. TO/FROM NEPAL From the border at Sanauli, where you enter Nepal, it is an 11-hour bus ride to Lucknow.


MAHABALIPURAM SHOPPING

 

Mahabalipuram has revived the ancinet crafts of the Pallava and sculptors. The yards have contracts to supply images of deities and restoration pieces to many temples throughout India and Sri Lanka. Some even undertake contract work for the European market. Also for sale in these shops are soapstone images of Hindu gods, woodcarvings, jwellery and bangles made from seashells and other similar products. This is one of the best places to buy sopastone work. Another recent introduction is the leaf paintings of rural and family life more commonly found in Kerala.


SRINAGAR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Indian Airlines has daily flights to Delhi, Amritsar and Jammu. There are flights on Monday and Saturday to Chandigarh and on Tuesday and Thursday to Leh. BUS The routes between Jammu and Leh are reserved for the Jammu and Kashmir Road Transport Corporation buses which go from the Tourist Corporation buses which go from the Tourist Reception Centre. For Leh, J&KRTC buses leave from the Tourist Reception Centre at 8 am. If the buses around the Kashmir Valley are running, they go from the Batmalu bus stand, which has two sections : buses to Pahalgam, Sonamarg and the Mughal gardens depart from the Eastern bus stand; buses to Gulmarg, Tangmarg and Wular Lake leave from the Western bus stand. TRAIN There is no railway line to Srinagar, but train reservation can be made at the railway booking office at the Tourist Reception Centre for train departures from Jammu.


THANJAVUR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Although there is an airport at Thanjavur, Vayudoot, which used to service the city, no longer flies here. The nearest domestic airport is at Tiruchirappalli. BUS Buses, which can be booked in advance, depart for Madras, Pondicherry and Tirupathi. There are also numerous buses passing through on their way to Tiruchirappalli and Madurai. TRAIN It is nine hours and 351 km between Thanjavur and Egmore Station in Madras on the Cholan Express. The 50-km trip to Trichy takes two hours. The trip to Kumbakonam takes one hour, and it is 2.5 hours to Chidambaram.


TIRUCHIRAPALLI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR The Indian Airlines office is in the Railway Co-operative Mansion Dindigul Rd. There are daily Indian Airlines flights to Madras, Madurai and Bangalore. Indian Airlines has one flight a week to Colombo on Mondays. Air Lanka also services this sector. BUS Trichy has a State bus stand, and a Thiruvalluvar bus stand only two minutes walk away. The Thiruvalluvar buses originating in Trichy can be computer booked in advance. These buses include : Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madras, Nagarcoil via Madurai and Tirupathy via Vellore. There are also superdelude buses in Madras from the Thiruvalluvar station. In addition to the above buses, there are private buses to Madras. TRAIN Trichy ison the main Madras to Madurai railway line and some trains run directly from Madras. Other trains go via Chidambaram and Thanjavur. The Madras to Madurai and Madras to Rameswaram trains also go through Trichy. The fastest train is the Vaigai Express.


ALLHABAD - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS From Civil Lines bus stand, beside the Tourist Bungalow, there are regular buses to Varanasi, Faizabad, Gorakhpur via Jaunpur, and Sunauli for Nepal. TRAIN The main station is Allahabad Junction in the central part of the city. However, most trains to Varanasi leave from the Allahabad City Station at Ram Bagh, which is a metregauge line. From the main station, direct expresses take 10 hours to Delhi, 15 hours to Calcutta, 3.5 hours to Lucknow and 4 hours to Satna for Khajuraho.


MADRAS - GETTIMG THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Madras is an international arrival point for India as well as an important domestic airport. There are flights from Singapore (Singapore Airlines, Air India and Indian Airlines), Penang and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysian Airlines), Colombo(Air Lanka and Indian Airlines), Male (Indian Airlines), and London (British Airways). Indian Airlines also operate on the international routes to Sri Lanka (Colombo), Maldives (Male) and Singapore. Vayudoot has flights from Madras to Bangalore, Kochi, Hyderabad, Tirupathi and Pondicherry. BUS The Tamil Nadu state bus company is called thiruvalluvar, and the bus station is on the Esplanade in Geofge Town, around the back of High Court building. This is also known as the Express bus stand, and all interstate buses leave from here. The Tamil Nadu state bus stand is on the other side of Popham's Broadway. There are also a number of private bus companies which have their offices mainly in the Egmore area. They all run superdeluxe video buses on a daily basis to major centre of population such as Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madurai and Trichy. TRAIN The Ganga Kaveri Express connects Madras and Varanasi. The 2147-km journey takes 38.5 hours. The Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi trains all depart from Madras Central Station.


MADRAS - GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

The daily Cochin Express runs from Central to Ernakulam - a 708-km trip taking 14 hours. To Trivandrum, The Trivandrum Mail is the quickest over the 925 km. From Egmore there are a number of daily trains to Trichy. The most convenient overnight train is the Rameswaram Express which covers the 401 in 10 hours. There are also trains from Egmore to Cjidambaram and Tanjavur.


AJMER - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS : There are buses from Jaipur to Ajmer every 15 minutes. State transport buses also go to Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Kota, Ranakpur, Bharatpur and Bikaner. There are also regular buses to Kota and Bundi. Also available are private deluxe buses to Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Delhi and Bombay. TRAIN : Ajmer is on the Delhi/Jaipur/Marwar/Ahemdabad line and most trains on this line stop at Ajmer. The Pink City Express takes about the same time as the buses to cover the distance. To Udaipur the fastest express takes takes 7.5 hours.


ALAPPUZHA (ALLEPPEY) - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY TRAIN There is a new broad-gauge line which runs up the coast to Ernakulam. The 57 km journey takes 1.5 hours. BOAT The nornal state backwaters ferry between Alappuzha and Kollam, which the local use, departs Kollam at 10.30 am and from Alappuzha at 10:30 pm. If you want to travel during the hours of daylight between Alappuzha and Kollam, you will have to take a more expensive boat. There are two options. The cheaper of the two is the State Water Transport Tourist Service boat which depart Alappuzha daily at 10 am, and arrives in Kollam at 6.30 pm. The other option is the tourist boat operated by the Alleppey Tourism Development C0-op. Society which has its office in the Karthika Tourist Home.


VADODARA (BARODA) - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR The Indian Airlines office is on University Rd, Fateh Ganj. There are Indian Airlines flights from Vadodara to Bombay, Delhi and Ahmedabad. BUS The long-distance bus stand is half a km north of the railway station, and there are STC buses to many destinations in both Gujarat and Western Madhya Pradesh and northern Maharashtra. The private companies all have their offices in the vicinity of the bus stand. TRAIN Vadodara is 100 km south of Ahmedabad and 392 km north of Bombay. Between Vadodara and Ahmedabad you pass through Anand, a small town noted for its dairy production.


BIJAPUR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS Buses run from Bijapur to Badami, Bangalore, Belgaum, Bidar, Hubli, Hyderabad, Hospet, Pune, Kolhapur and Sholapur. TRAIN All the main trains pass Bijapur to Sholapur (Solapur) and Gadag. There is a daily express to Bangalore. You can take trains from Guntakal to go to Badami or Hospet. Going north, there are trains daily to Sholapur. Sholapur is where you connects with the broad gauge system for trains to Hyderabad and Vijayawada, and Pune and Bombay.


BIKANER - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS The bus station is three km north of the city centre, right opposite the Lalgarh Palace. There is a sealed national highway to Jaipur and to Jaisalmer. There are state transport buses daily. These buses go via the Shekhawati town of Fatehpur. Other places served by bus from Bikaner include Agra, Delhi, Ajmer and Udaipur. TRAIN Day and night trains take about 12 hours to make the 463 km trip from Delhi to Bikaner. There are also trains to Jodhpur and Jaipur.


CALCUTTA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Airlines is in the Housing Board Buildings, Kempegowda Rd, and Air India is in the Unity Buildings, Jayachamaraja Rd. Indian Airlines has flights three times daily connecting Bangalore with Bombay, Delhi, Hyderabad, Madras and Calcutta. Vayudoot has flights from Bangalore to Puttaparthi and Madras. East West Airlines has one flight daily to Bombay. BUS Bangalore's huge and well-organised Central bus station is directly in front of the City Railway Station. All the regular buses within the state are operated by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). Interstate buses are operated by KSRTC as well as the state road transport corporation of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The interstate bus corporation have their offices at Stand 13 in the central bus station. Thiruvalluvar also has frequent daily buses to Madras, Madurai and Coimbatore, and APSRTC have several daiy buses to Hyderabad. In addition to the various state buses, numerous private companies offer buses between Bangalore and the other major cities in central and southern India.


CHITTORGARH - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Chitor is on the main bus and rail routes. By road, it is 182 km from Ajmer and 112 km from Udaipur. It is possible to take an early bus from Udaipur to Chittorgarh. Chittorgarh also has rail links with Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Ajmer, jaipur and Delhi. The new broad gauge line to Kota and Bundi would be convenient.


COCHIN - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR The Indian Airlines office is in Durball Hall Rd, next to the Bharat Tourist Home. Indian Airlines has flights between Kochi and Bombay, Bangalore, Goa, Delhi, Madras and Thiruvananthapuram. Vayudoot flies to Kozhikode, Madras and Agati. BUS The bus stand is right by the railway tracks in Ernakulam, between the railway stations. Going South : More than a dozen buses a day go to Alappuzha (Alleppey). You can also get to Alappuzha on any of the express buses heading south to Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. There are numerous fast passenger service to Kollam. You can reach Kollam at other times of the day by taking a Thiruvananthapuram bus via Alappuzha. There are two routes to Thiruvananthapuram bus via Alappuzha. There are two routes to Thiruvananthapuram, one via Alappuzha and other via Kottayam. Going East : Interstate express buses make the 565 km trip to Bangalore. There are buses every half hour throughout the day to Kozhikode. In addition to the state buses, there are a number of private bus companies, mostly along Shanmugham Rd and M G Road, which have super-deluxe video buses daily to Bangalore, Bombay and Coimbatore.


COCHIN - GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY TRAIN Ernakulam has two stations, Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. The weekly Himasagar Express connects Delhi and Ernakulam. The 221 km trip to Thiruvananthapuram takes four hour on the Vanchinad Express. Ernakulam to Bangalore is a 629 km trip taking 14 hours. Bombay is 1481 km and 35 hours away on the three-times-weekly Netravati Express. The Madras Express makes a daily run along the Kerala coast from Mangalore to Thiruvananthapuram, through Kozikode, Trissur, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Kollam. Other trains follow part of this coastal route.


INDORE - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indore Aerodrome is 10 km from the city. Indian Airlines has daily flights to Bombay and Delhi, via Bhopal and Gwalior. The small private airline Continental flies to Bhopal, Jabalpur, Raipur and Bombay. BUS There are re frequent departure from Sarwate bus station to Ujjain. For Mandu, there are only a few direct buses. From Sarwate bus station there is a direct bus to Ajanta and an evening bus that also goes to Ellora. The most impressive bus in the state, and possibly lin the country, is the air-conditioned service between Bhopal and Indore. Alternatively there are frequent departure from Sarwate to Bhopal. From Gangwal bus stand there are many buses for Dhar and a few departures to Udaipur. There are several private bus companies. Vijayant Travels is a large one operating deluxe overnight buses to Bombay, Pune, Nagpur, Gwalior and Aurangabad. TRAIN Indore is connected to the main broad gauge lines between Delhi and Bombay by tracks from Nagda via Ujjain in the west and Bhopal in the east. The r other broad gauge line runs from Indore to Bilaspur via Ujjain, Bhopal and Jabalpur. There is also a metre gauge line through Indore.


KALIMPONG - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY DARJEELING - There are frequent jeeps for a back seat, and a few taxis in either direction for the three hour trip. All the transport other than the taxis leaves from the Bazaar bus stand. SILIGURI - The road to Siliguri follows the Teesta River after the bridge so it is much cheaper and quicker than going via Darjeeling. The views are magnificent. GANGTOK - Several bus companies operate this route from the bus stand. BAGDOGRA - Mintri Transport operates one bus daily to Siliguri and the Bagdogra airport.


KANYADUMARI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS There are Thiruvalluvar buses to Madurai, Madras, Thiruvananthapuram and Rameswaram. Local buses go to Nagercoil, Thiruvananthapuram and Kovalam, among other places. TRAIN Grandiose transport centres are definitely the rage in Kanyakumari. The one daily passenger train to Thiruvananthapuram does the 87 km in a dazzling three hours . The Kanyakumari Express travels to Bombay daily in a shade under 48 hours, departing Kanyakumari at 5.15 am. The weekly Himsagar Express runs all the way to Jammu Tawi, a distance of 3676 km, taking 10 hours under four days.


SARNATH - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY From Varanasi, an auto-rickshaw for the 20 minute journey costs Rs.25. For Rs. 40 you could take the afternoon tour from Varanasi which returns via Ram Nagar Fort. There is bus service from Varanasi station to Sarnath for Rs.2 and a few trains stop here. It is easier to get a shared auto-rickshaw from the stand by the Civil Court or from the stands in Lahurabir or Godaulia.


PURI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS Puri's new bus station is beside the Gundicha Mandir, though some of the private buses depart from around the nearby junction of Grand Rd and Hospital Rd. TRAIN There are two overnight trains each way between Puri and Calcutta. There are several trains between Puri and Bhubaneswar. If you are travelling to or from Madras and stations in the south it is not necessary to go via Bhubaneswar. There is a booking office with a 2nd-class quota on Grand Rd opposite the police station.


GANGTOK - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Airlines has an agency on Tibet Rd. The nearest airport is Bagdogra near Siliguri. PUBLIC BUS Sikkim Nationalised Transport (SNT) is the main bus operator to Gangtok. SNT operates the following interstate bus services: T0/From Siliguri : There are 2+2 buses four times daily in either direction which take 4.5 hours. In Siliguri, these buses depart from and arrive at the SNT bus station which is different to but not far from the West Bengal bus stand. To/From Bagdogra : There is one 2+2 bus daily in either direction which leaves Gangtok at 7 am, takes 4.5 hours. To/From Darjeeling : There is one 2+2 bus daily in either direction which leaves at 7am, takes seven hours. To/From Kalimpong : There is one 2+2 bus daily at 8.30 am and one 3+2 bus daily at 1.30 pm which take four hours. PRIVATE BUS There are private buses which run between Siliguri and Gangtok, and Darjeeling and Gangtok. All the private buses depart from and arrive at the private bus stand adjacent to the Sunny Guest House in Gangtok. In Siliguri, these buses leave from the West Bengal state bus stand. Private buses are a mixture of 2+2 and 3+2 buses. The Hotel Tashi Delek in Gangtok also operates a 3+2 bus from Gangtok to Darjeeling.


GANGTOK - GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

LOCAL BUSES There are plenty of domestic bus routes within Sikkim operated by Sikkim Nationalised Transport (SNT). To Phodang : To get to this monastery (38 km from Gangtok) you need to take a bus going to Mangan or Singhik. To Rumtek : There is a daily bus from Gangtok at 4.30 pm which returns at 8 am the next day. To Jorethang : This is the bus to take if you are heading for Darjeeling via Naya Bazaar. To Gezing : This is the bus to take if you are heading for Pemayangtse, Dzongri or Tashiding in western Sikkim. From Gezing there is a daily bus to Pelling. This passes the turnoff to Pemayangtse Monastery. TRAIN The nearest railheads are at Siliguri/New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. There is a railway booking office in the SNT bus station. You can make reservations here for trains passing through or originating from Siliguri/New Jalpaiguri. TAXI From the booking office at the private bus stand, you can also arrange private taxis to Siliguri, Darjeeling, Calcutta and Kathmandu.


MYSORE - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Aairlines is in the Hotel Mayura Hoysala on Jhansi Lakshmi Bai Rd. BUS The central bus station is not far from the centre of Mysore, just north of the Ritz Hotel, and it handles all the KSRTC long distance buses. From the central bus stand there are nonstop buses to Bangalore. Buses to Arsikere depart 12 times daily. You can use Arsikere as a base from which to visit Belur, Halebid and Sravanabelagola. There are daily buses to Hospet (for Hampi/Vijaynagar). To Ooty there are daily buses. These buses passes through Bandipur National Park. There are plenty of buses from the City bus stand to Srirangapatnam. There are a number of private bus companies which run to such places as Bangalore, Bombay, Goa, Hyderabad, Madras, Mangalore, Ooty and Pune. TRAIN The most convenient way of getting to Bombay is to take any train as far as Hassan or Arsikere in time to pick up the daily Mahalaxmi Express which comes through those places from Mangalore. There are three passenger trains daily between Mysore, Hassan and Arsikere. Hassan is the nearest place to the Hoysala temple towns of Belur and Halebid. One of the daily passenger trains to Arsikere connects with the daily Vasco Mail train from Bangalore and goes right through to Vasco da Gama. An alternative route to Goa is to take a train from Mysore to Talguppaa via Arsikere and Birur and then a bus from there to Goa.


AROUND MYSORE 2

 

SRINANGAPATNAM Sixteen km from Mysore on the Bangalore road stand the ruins of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan's capital. The dimgeon where Tipu held a number of British officers has also been preserved. Inside the fortress walls there is also a mosque and the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, a popular place of Pilgrimage for Hindus. In the inner sanctum, there is a black stone image of sleeping Vishnu. Across the other side of the main road from Srirangapatnam stands the Daria Daulat Bagh and the Gumbaz. These are the most interesting parts of a visit to Srirangapatnam. The Daria Daulat Bagh is set in well-maintained ornamental gardens and is now a museum which houses some of Tipu's belonging as well as many ink drawings of him and his family. All around te internal walls of the ground floor are paintings depicting Tipu's compaigns, with the help of French mercenary assistance, against the British.


AROUND MYSORE - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are scores of buses every day to and from the Central bus station in Mysore. It is also possible to take any of the Mysore to Bangalore trains.


AROUND MYSORE 3

 

RANGANATHITTOO BIRD SANCTUARY The sanctuary is on one of three islands in the Cauvery River, three km from Srirangapatnam. If you are interested in birds this is a good place to visit at any time of year, though it is best between May and November. Acess is by a motorable road, open all year.


GWALIOR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Airlines has a daily flight from Delhi through Gwalior to Bhopal, Indore and Bombay and vice versa. BUS From the government bus stand there are regular services to Agra, Jhansi, Shivpuri and Ujjain, Indore, Bhopal and Jabalpur. There are also departures from the private bus stand in Lashkar. TRAIN Gwalior is on the main Delhi to Bombay rail line with connections to most places. The superfast Shatabdi Express links Gwalior with Delhi, Agra, Jhansi and Bhopal. On other express trains it is five hours to Delhi, two hours to Agra, 12 hours to Indore and 24 hours to Bombay.


DARJELLING - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR The nearest airport is 90 km away aat Bagdogra down on the plains near Siliguri. Indian Airlines is in the Bellevue Hotel at Chowrasta. The airport bus depart from the Tourist Lodge. BUS Most of the buses from Darjeeling depart from the Bazaar bus stand (Hill Cart Rd). There are many different companies sperating buses, jeeps and taxis. New Jalpaiguri/Siliguri : There are numerous buses, jeeps and taxis in either direction daily between 6 am and 10 pm. The journey takes 3.5 to 4.5 hours. Bagdogra : West Bengal Tourism buses connect with the arrival of flights from Calcutta and New Delhi. Kalimpong : Land Rovers, taxis and buses make this 2.5 hour trip regularly. Gangtok : There is one bus line to Gangtok. This is run by Sikkim Nationalised Transport(SNT). Kathmandu : There are several companies which operate daily buses between Darjeeling and Kathmandu. A more comfortable alternative is to take the bus from the border as far as Biratnagar where there are several flights daily to Kathmandu. Once in Nepal, buses travel west as far as Narayanghat on the Mahendra highway, skirting the foothills and passing a number of interesting places and sights on the terai.


DARJEELING - GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

Other Places Deluxe buses are also available to Calcutta, Patna, Gawahati, Shillong, Silchar and Agartala. TRAIN New Jalpaiguri/Siliguri is the railhead for all trains other than the narrow-gauge toy train. TOY TRAIN The journey to Darjeeling from New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri on the famous miniature railway is a superb experience.


AROUND ALLAHABAD SIGHTSEEING

 

BHITA Excavations at this site, 18 km south of Allahabad, by the Yamuna River, have revealed the remains of an ancient city. Layers of occupation dating from the Gupta period back to the Mauryan period and even earlier have been uncovered. There is a museum with stone and metal seals, coins and terracotta statues. GARWHA The major temple has 16 beautifully carved stone pillars, and inscriptions reveal that the temples date back to the Gupta period at the very least. KAUSAMBI This ancient Buddhist centre, once known as Kosam, is 63 km from Allahabad. There is a huge fortress near the village. Many of the archaeological finds here are on display in the museum at Allahabad University. CHITRAKUT Rama is supposed to have spent some time in the hills here, making this a popular Hindu pilgrimage site.


AROUND MYSORE 5

 

BELLUR AND HALEBID The temples at Belur and Halebid, along with that at Somnathpur east of Mysore are most interesting. The sculptural decoration on these superb temples even rivals the temple of Khajuraho(Madhya Pradesh) and Konark (Orissa) or the best of European Gothic art. The wealth of sculptural detail on the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebid makes it easily the most outstanding example of Hoysala art. Every cm of the outside walls and much of the interior are covered with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, stylised animals and birds, and friezes depicting the life and times of the Hoysala rulers. The Hoysala temples at Halebid and Belur are open every day. A spotlight is available inside to enable you to see the sculptural work. The Halebid temple is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, and there is a samll Museum adjacent to the temple.


BHUBANESHWAR (SIMLIPAL NATIONAL PARK)

 

In the north-east of the state, 250 km from Calcutta and 320 km from Bhubaneswar, this park covers 2750 sq km and is part of Project Tiger. There are leopard, tiger, elephant and several types of deer among the many species here. The scenery is beauriful and varied with hills, waterfalls. The only entrance to the park that is currently open is on the western side at Jashipur. OTHER ATTRACTIONS In the north of Orissa, 50 km from Jashipur, khiching has a number of interesting temples. Further inland is the important industrial city of Rourkela, which has a major steel plant. A little north-west of Cuttack is the Siva temple of Kapilas. The crocodile sanctuary at Bhitarakanika is on the coast north-east of Cuttack. In the west on the border with Madhya Pradesh is the 24-km-long Hirakud Dam, built to control monsoon floods in the Mahanadi delta around Bhubaneswar. The town of Sambalpur, 22 km south, is a textile centre but Sonapur, 80 km south is more interesting. It is the heart of the ikat weaving district and there are Tantric temples here. Bronze-casting is done in the Bolangir area. Harishankar, west of Bolangir, has a number of temples and a waterfall. The twin villages of Ranipur-Jharial are 30 km from Titlagarh and are noted for the extensive collection of temples on a rock outcrop. They include include a circular 64-yogini temple, similar to the one at Khajuraho. Gupteswar Cave is 85 km west of Koraput. This is in Orissa's large southern district which is inhabited by several tribal peoples including Bonda.


BANGALORE - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Airlines is in the Housing Board Buildings, Kempegowda Rd, and Air India is in the Unity buildings, Jayachamaraja Rd. The Vayudoot agent is Paramount Travelsm Embassu Centre, Race Coourse Rd. Indian Airlines has flights connecting Bangalore with Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Hyderabad and Calcutta. There are also flights from Bangalore to Ahmedabad, Goa, Madurai, Pune, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappali and Thiruvananthapuram. Vayudoot has flights from Bangalore to Puttarpathi and Madras. East West Airlines has one flight daily to Bombay. BUS Bangalore's huge and well-organised Central bus station is directly in front of the City railway station. All the regular buses within the state are operated by the Karnatake State Road Transport Corporation(KSRTC). Interstate buses are operated KSRTC as well as the state road transport corporation of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The interstate bus corporation have their office at Stand 13 in the central bus station. KSRTC, has departures to Bombay, Coimbatore, Kannur, Kozikode, Ernakulam, Jog Falls, Kodaikanal, Madurai, Madras, Ooty, Pondicherry, Panjim and Tirupati. Thiruvalluvar also has frequent daily buses to Madras, Madurai and Coimbatore, and APSRTC have several daily buses to Hyderabad. In addition to the various state buses, numerous private companies offer buses between Bangalore and the other major cities in central India.


BANGALORE - GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

TRAIN Bangalore is connected by direct daily express trains with all the main cities in southern and central India. There is the Karnataka Express which leave from New Delhi to Bangalore. The only direct service is the Udyan Express which leaves from Bangalore to Bombay. There are daily express trains between Bangalore and Madras. Various trains operate between Bangalore and Hyderabad/Secunderabad but the best to take is the daily Hyderabad Express. The only direct express between Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram is the Rajkot-Trivandrum Express. Those who want to go direct from Bangalore to Hampi (Vijayanagar) should take the convenient overnight Hampi Express to Hospet. The only direct express between Bangalore and Goa is the Vasco Mail.


AROUND CHANDIGARH SIGHTSEEING

 

PINJORE The Moghul gardens at Pinjore are situated 20 km from Chandigarh, near Kalka, the gardens include the Rajasthani-Moghul-style Shish Mahal Palace. Below it is the Rang Mahal and the cubical Jal Mahal. There is an otter house, and other animals can be seen in the mini-zoo near the gardens. CHANDIGARH TO DELHI There are many places of interest along the 260-km route from Chandigarh to Delhi. The road, part of the Grand Trunk Road, is one of the busiest in India. Karnal and kurushetra : Events in the Mahabharata are supposed to have occurred in Karnal, 118 km from Delhi, and also at the tank of Kurukshetra, a little further north. The Kurukshetra tank has attracted as many as pilgrims. It also has an interesting small mosque, the Lal masjid, and a finely designed tomb. Gharaunda : The gateway of an old Moghul serai (rest house) stand to the west of this village, 102 km north of Delhi. Shah Jahan built kos minars along the road from Delhi to Lahore. Panipat : It is the site of three great battles. Sultanpur : There are many birds, including flamingoes at the bird sanctuary here. September to March is the best time to visit, and you can stay at the Rosy Pelicon complex. Delhi to Sirsa This route take you north-west through Haryana towards the Punjab and Pakistan, south of the Delhi to Amritsar route.


AROUND CHITTORGARH

 

MENAL Menal is a complex of Siva temples built during the Gupta period. BIJOLIA It has a huge figure of Ganesh. MANDALGARH It is the third fort of Mewar built by Rana Kumbha - the others are the great fort of Chitorgarh and the fort at Kumbhalgarh. NAGRI Hindu and Buddhist remains from the Mauryan to the Gupta period have found here. JAGAT At this small town, 20 km south of the road between Udaipur and Chittorgarh is a small 10 th century Durga temple. There are some fine carvings.


KHAJURAHO - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Airlines is in the Hotel Temple Building. They have a daily Delhi-Agra-Khajuraho-Varanasi flight that returns by the same route to Delhi. BUS AND TRAIN From the west there are bus services from Agra, Gwalior and Jhansi. Jhansi is the nearest approach to Khajuraho on the main Delhi to Bombay rail line. Overnight buses for mascochists connect Khajuraho with Bhopal and Indore.


MATHURA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Mathura is 57 km north of Agra and 141 km south of Delhi. It is an important railway junction with direct trains to many cities. The fastest train from Delhi is the early morning Taj Express which takes 2.5 hours. It is also possible to rent bikes here.


SANCHI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS Local buses connect Bhopal with Sanchi (and other towns and villages in the area) about every hour from dawn to dusk. The longer route goes via Raisen (an interesting town with an extensive hilltop fortress), takes 3 hours for the 68-km trip. The


ARSIKERE - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS : Buses to Arsikere depart many times daily to Belur and Halebid. If you intend heading heading for Goa after Arsikere then there is an interesting alternative to taking the train if you have a few days to spare. TRAIN Arsikere to Bangalore is 156 km and from Arsikere to Bombay is 1055 km. For those heading to Goa, there is the daily Vasco Mail from Bangalore to Vasco da Gama which departs Arsikere at 9.10 pm and arrives in Vasco 16 hours later. There are three passenger trains daily between Arsikere, Hassan and Mysore which take 1.5 hours to Hassan and 6 hours to Mysore.


AROUND BIKANER - GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY You can reach the temple on the hourly bus from Bikaner or hire a taxi or jeep from in front of the railway station for the round trip.


DARJEELING SIGHTSEEING 3

 

TREKKING IN THE DARJEELING REGION The best months to trek in this region are April, May, October, and November. In planning what cloths to take, bear in mind that you will be passing through valley bottoms as low as 300 metres and over mountain ridges as high as 4000 metres, so you will need clothing for low, tropical climates and high mountain passes. Sandakphu/Phalut Trek : This trek to the Himalayan viewpoint at Phalut is the most popular trek in the area. It involves a short bus trip from Darjeeling to Manaybhanjang from where you walk steadily towards the mountains via Sandakphu. Here you can turn back or continue to Phalut and walk down to Rimbik for a bus to Darjeeling. Day one : Darjeeling to Jaubari - From Darjeeling take the 7 am bus to Manaybhanjang. The first 30 minutes walk out of Manaybhanjang is steep but after about 3.5 hours you reach Meghma, a good place for lunch. Jaubari, about 3 hours further on, is the night halt. There are three places to stay here: the Everest Lodge, the Indira Lodge and Teacher's Lodge. Day two : Jaubari to Sandakphu - There are good views for most of the 2nd day. Start with a half hour descent to Gairibas then climb up to Kalimpokhari. This is about 3.5 hours from Jaubari. A further 3 hours takes you through Bikhay Bhanjang to Sandakphu ; the last few km are steep. Day three : Sandakphu to Molley - Between Sandakphu and Sabarkum, it is a two hour walk to Phalut. There are superb views from here of Kanchenjunga. From Phalut it is an easy 3 hours down to Gorkhey for a night halt.There is a new Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Trekkers' Hut and also private houses


DARJEELING SIGHTSEEING 4

 

where you can stay. Day five : Gorkhey to Rimbik - A 2.5 hour walk through the forest brings you to Raman where there is the friendly Sherpa Hotel, a nice place to stay. From here it is a level 3.5 hour stroll through a number of small villages to Rimbik. Day six : Rimbik to Darjeeling - You can catch the early morning bus from here to Darjeeling (five hours). Alternatively you can walk on for 5.5 hours to Bijanbari where buses also run to Darjeeling. Shortcuts : If you don't have time for a six day trek, there are a number os shortcuts you can take. You can go just as far as Sandakphu where there are good views. Sandakphu is actually slightly higher than Phalut, although further back from the mountains. From here you can backtrack to Bikhay Bhanjang and cut strait across to Rimbik in 5 to 6 hours for a bus to Darjeeling. The other shortcut is between Molley and Raman (3.5 hours).


DIU - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS Una is the access pooint for Diu, and there are direct buses to there from Bhavnagar, Palitana, Veraval and Talaja. Once in Una, you have to get yourself the 10 or so km to Ghoghla and Diu. There are a number of Gujarat STC buses which actually run all the way to Diu from places such as Veraval and Bhavnagar. A quicker and more comfortable option to the STC buses are the private minibuses. Goa Travels on the main square has buses to Veraval and Junagadh at 6.30 am, 2 and 6.30 pm; to Bombay at 10.30 am; and RR Travels plies to Veraval. TRAIN Delwada, between Una and Ghoghla and only about eight km from Diu, is the nearest railhead. Trains run from Delwada to Veraval, Sasan Gir and Junagadh.


AROUND PURI

 

RAGHURAJPUR Famous for its patachitra painting, this artists' village, 10 km from Puri, makes an interesting excursion. The paintings are done on specially prepared cotton which is coated with a mixture of gum and chalk and polished, before natural colours are applied. The best way to get to the village is by taxi or bicycle as it is 1.5 km off the main road. PIPLI Twenty-three km from Puri, at the junction where the Konark road branches from the Bhubaneswar to Puri road, this small village is notable for its applique craft. The colourful materials are used to make temple umbrellas and wall hangings. CHILKA LAKE South-west of Puri, Chilka Lake is dotted with islands and is noted for the many migratory birds which flock in winter to the nesting sanctuary here. The shallow lake is about 70 km long and averages 15 km wide, and is one of the largest brackish-water lakes in the country. It is separated from the sea only by a narrow sand bar. The railway line and the main road run along the inland edge of the lake. GOPALPUR-ON-SEA The sea is clean and there is an excellent beach at this popular seaside resort, 18 km south east of Berhampur. The only buses from Gopalpur are to Berhampur which is on the main Calcutta-Madras railway line.


AROUND JABALPUR 2

 

KANHA NATIONAL PARK Kanha, 175 km south-east of Jabalpur, is one of India's largest national park. It is a beautiful area of forest and lightly wooded grassland with many rivers and streams, and it supports an excellent variety of wildlife. It is also part of Project Tiger. The park is very well organised and a popular place to visit. You are almost guaranteed one or even more sighting of tiger, gaur and many herbivores on every outing, especially if you go on elephant-back. The local market at Sarekha on Fridays is worth going to, drawing the colourful Baiga tribal people. Visitor Centres In the joint project with the US National Park Service and the Indian Centre for Environment Education, three visitor centres have been set up. The interpretative displays in these centre at Khathia and Mukki gates and at Kanha itself are of a very high standard and well worth looking round. The Kanha display is the most impressive with five galleries and a research hall. As well as displays of the animals and the environment, there is a novel Sound & Light show 'Encounters in the Dark'.


GETTING THERE AND AWAY 2

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are direct state transport buses from the city bus station in Jabalpur to Kisli Gate twice daily at 7 am and 11 am. In the opposite direction, the buses depart from Kisli at around 8 am. On the Kisli to Jabalpur run you may have to change buses at Mandla. The nearest station to Kisli is 1.5 hours by bus at Chiraidongri. It is reached on a slow journey by narrow gauge trains.


AROUND JABALPUR 3

 

BANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK This national park is 197 km north-east of Jabalpur in the Vindhyan mountain range. Bandhavgarh's setting is impressive. It is named after the ancient fort built on the top of cliffs 800 metres high. There is a temple at the fort which can be visited by jeep and below it are numeous rock-cut cave shrines. There are animals such as nilgai, wild boar, jackal, gaur, sambar and porcupine as well as many species of birds. Elephants are only used for the "Tiger Show" which takes place in the morning.


GETTING THERE AND AWAY 3

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Umaria, on the Katni to Bilaspur rail lilne , is the nearest railhead, 32km away. Local buses are available from there to Tala. From Satna there is a morning bus to Tala which takes around four hours via Amarpatam.


AROUND JABALPUR 4

 

MANDLA AND RAMNAGAR Mandla is about 100 km south-east of Jabalpur on the road to Kanha. Here there is a fort on a loop of the Narmada River built so that the river protect it on three sides. About 15 km away is Ramnagar with its ruined three-storey palace overlooking the Narmada. BHORAMDEO AND KAWARDHA At Bhoramdeo, 125 km east of Kisli (Kanha) is a small but interesting 11-th century Siva temple. A few km away there are two other temple, the Mandwa Mahal and the Madanmanjari Mahal. Twenty km south of Bhoramdeo, well off the tourist trail, the Maharaja of Kawardha has recently opened part of his palace to guests. The Palace Kawardha is a delightfully peaceful place and you are made to feel very welcome here.


MADIKERI SIGHTSEEING

 

The small town of Madikari, the capital of Coorg region, is 124 km west of Mysore. It is a mountainous area in the south-west of the state where the Western Ghats start to tumble down towards the sea, and is green, scenic and fertile. Coorg is an coffee-growing area. The view from Raja's Seat, the local scenic lookout, is wonderful. There is a fort which has played an important in Karnataka's tumultuous history, and there is also the Omareswara Temple. The temple is one km from the centre of town back towards Mysore. A small museum is housed in an old church within the walls of the fort, while the old palace itself is now used as the local muncipal headquarters.


AROUND MADIKERI

 

NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK This 634 sq km wildlife sanctuary is in the south-east of Coorg. The best to visit the park is from October to May. The forest Department has jeeps available for wildlife viewing.


AROUND PUNE 2

 

KARLA AND BHAJA CAVES Situated 126 km south-east of Bombay on the main rail line to Pune, Lonavla is the place from which to visit the Karla and Bhaja caves. Karla Cave It is a steep 500-metre km climb up the hillside to Karla Cave. The cave temple is Hinayana Buddhist and was completed around 80 BC. A beautiful carved 'sun window' filters the light in towards the small stupa at the inner end of the deep, narrow cave. Inside, the pillars are topped by two kneeling elephants and two seated figures. A pillar topped by four back-to-back lions, an image usually associated with Ashoka, stands outside the cave. There are some small monastery, or vihara, caves at Karla, further round the hillside. Some of these have been converted into Hindu shrines. Bhaja Caves It is fairly rough route from the main road the 18 Bhaja Caves. Cave 12, a chaitya cave similar in style to the Karla Cave, is the most important. About 50 metres past this is a strange group of 14 stupas, five inside and nine outside the cave. The last cave is a beautiful waterfall which, during the monsoon and shortly afterwards, has enough water for a good swim. Other Caves and Forts Further along the line, six km south-east of Kamshet station, are the Bedsa Caves. There are a number of old forts in the vicinity, including the hilltop Lohagen Fort, 6 km from Malavli.


AROUND KOLHAPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

RATNAGIRI It is on the coast 135 km west of Kolhapur, was the place where Thibaw, the last Burmese king, was interned by the British from 1886. PANHALA AND PAWANGARH These are interesting hill stations. At Panhala there is a fort with a long and convoluted history. The Pawala caves are nearby, plus a couple of Buddhist cave temples.


PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

 

This 777 sq km sanctuary in the Thekkady district, on the Tamil Nadu border, is one of the most important in India. There are elephants and bison in this sanctuary. If you intend to spend several days in the park and stay overnight in one of the observation towers well away from the main area, you could be well rewarded. The park is centred around a large artificial lake, and there is a choice of private or KTDC accommodation.


KUMILY SIGHTSEEING

 

Mangaladeve Temple A visit to this temple, 13 km Kumily, is an interesting excursion. Although the temple is just a few ruins, the views are magnificent.


KUMILY-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS The bus station in Kumily is just a bit of spare land at the northern edge of town, near the barrier on the state border. Alll buses originating in Kumily start and finish at Aranya Nivas by the lake, but also stop at the bus station. There are direct connections with Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kovalam, as well as buses to Madurai and Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu.


PATIALA SIGHTSEEING

 

Patiala is located to the south of the road and rail lines from Delhi to Amritsar. There is a museum in the Motibagh Palace of the maharaja in the Baradari Gardens.


SIRHIND SIGHTSEEING

 

The Pathan-style Tomb of Mir Miran and the later Moghul Tomb of Pirbandi Nakshwala, both ornamented with blue tiles, are worth seeing. The mansion or Haveli of Salabat Beg is the largest private home. South-east of the city is an important Moghul serai.


JALANDHAR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Trains take about 6 hours from Delhi to Jalandhar, and there is also a bus stand where frequent services run to other northern centres.


THAKKEKKAD BIRD SANCTUARY

 

This sanctuary is 20 km from Kothamangalam, on the Ernakulam to Munnar road. It is home to such birds as the Malabar grey hornbill, woodpecker, parakeets and rarer species like the Sri Lankan frogmouth and rose-billed roller. The best time to visit is from 5 to 6 am. Boat cruises are available from Boothathankettu to Thattekkad.


PALAKKAD SIGHTSEEING

 

PARAMBIKULAM WILDLIFE SANCTUARY It is 48 km south of Palakkad (Palghat), stretching around the Parambikulam, Thunakadavu and Peruvaripallam dams and covers an area of 285 sq. km. adjacent to the Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. It sports elephant, bison, gaur, sloth bear, wild boar, sambar, chital and the occasional tiger and panther, as well as numerous crocodiles in the reservoirs. The sanctuary is open daily from 7 am to 6 pm and entry cost Rs.0.50 per person plus Rs.5 for night vehicle. There are also two watchtowers, one at Anappadi (8km from Thunakadavu) and another at Zunjam (5 km from Thunakadavu). The best access to the sanctuary is by bus from Pollachi (40 km from Coimbatore and 49 km from Palakkad Palghat). There are 4 buses in either direction between Pollachi and Parambikulam daily. Boating facilities are available at Parambikulam. Rooow boats can be hired at Thunakadavu.


AROUND ALWAR

 

SARISKA TIGER RESERVE AND MATIONAL PARK Situated 107 km from Jaipur and 200 km from Delhi, the sanctuary is in a wooded valley surrounded by barren mountains. It covers 800 sq km and has blue bulls, sambar, spotted deer, wild boar and, above all, tigers. This park contains ruined temples as well as a fort, pavilions and a palace built by maharajas of Alwar. The best time to visit this sanctuary is between November and June.


ALWAR-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Sariska os 35 km from Alwar, which is a convenient town from which to approach the sanctuary. There are direct buses to Alwar from Delhi and Jaipur.


AROUND JUNAGADH SIGHTSEEING

 

SASAN GIR LION SANCTUARY The last home of the Asiatic lion is 54 km from Junagadh via Visavadar. The best time to visit the sanctuary is from December to April, and it is closed completely from mid-May to mid-October. Apart from the lilons there are also bears, hyenas, foxes and a number of species of deer and antelope. The deer include the largest Indian antelop, the graceful chinkara gazelle, the chousingha and the barking deer. You may also see parrots, peacocks and monkeys.


JUNAGADH-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Keshod, 40 km from Junagadh, is the nearest airport. Vayudoot has daily flights tto and from Bombay. BUS The timetable at the state bus stand is entirely in Gujarat. Buses leave for Rajkot, Sasan Gir, Una, Bhuj, Palitana, Veraval and Ahmedabad daily at 9.45 pm. Raviraj Travels at the Hotel Vaibhav has deluxe minibuses to Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Bombay, Porabndar and Jamnagar. TRAIN The Somnath Mail and Girnar Express run between Ahmedabad and Veraval via Junagadh. The Veraval-Rajkot Mail runs between Rajkot and Veraval via Junagadh.


AROUND JUNAGADH-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Share transport buses make the two-hour trip between Junagadh and Veraval via Sasan Gir four times a day. Slow steam trains run to Veraval twice daily, and to Delwada and Junagadh once a day.


GARHWAL AND KUMAON SIGHTSEEING 1

 

There are a number of famous peaks, including Trisul and Nanda Devi. India's second-highest mountain. There are also many important pilgrimage sites, such as Badrinath, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Gangotri, near the source of Ganges. The trekking routes pass through rich, green forest and cross beautiful meadows carpeted with flowers in summer. The best time to trek here are May-June and September-October. Some places, like the valley of flowers and the high altitude bugyals, are at their best ]during the July-August rainy period. HAR-KI-DUN VALLEY This popular trek up the beautiful Har-ki-Dun Valley can be undertaken from April to November. Accommdation is available in PWD Rest Houses along the way and food can be bought in the villages. During July and August it would be possible to cross from Har-KI-Dun Valley to Yamunotri via the Majhakanda Pass. The trail starts at Osla and since it's sometimes difficult to follow, it's advisable to hire a guide there. Osla to Yamunotri takes four to five days. DODITAL Most people go only from Kalayani to the lake at Dodital and back, but with a tent you can continue on to the other roadheat at Hanumanchatti. The turnoff to Kalayani is at Gangori, five km after Uttarkashi on the Gangotri to the railhead at Kalyani. Then it's three to four hours walk to the Forest Rest House at Agoda. From there five to six hours walking bring you to another Forest Rest House at Dodital. Set in a forest of oak, pine, deodara and rhododendron, the lake is filled with trout.


TREKKING IN GARHWAL AND KUMAON 2

 

It is at 3307 metre and is fed by natural springs in its depths. To continue from Dodital to Hanumanchatti, ascend to the fields below Sonpara Pass, a good place to camp. Cross the pass next day and descend to the treeline for the second night. Then it's a steep descent to Hanumanchatti, where there are buses to Mussoorie and Rishikesh. GSNGOTRI AND GAUMUKH The popular pilgrimage destination of Gangotri can be reached from Rishikesh by bus via Tehri and Uttarkashi, a 10 to the 12-hour journey. There are also some buses from Mussoorie. The trek to the source of the holy Ganges starts from the tiny village of Gangotri which stands at 3140 metres. The temple of the goddess Ganga is on the right bank of the Bhagirathi River, which eventually becomes the holy Ganges. Gaumukh, the actual source of the river, is at the base of the Bhagirathi peaks. At 4225 metres, the Ganogotri Glacier is nearly 24 km long and two to four km wide. The glacier ends at Gaumukj, where the Bhagirathi River finally appears. At Bhujbasa there is a Tourist Bungalow with dorm beds and restaurant. From here it takes about an hour to reach Gaumukh and it is worth continuing to Tapovan where you can camp. From Gangotri it is also possible to trek up to Kedartal Lake. Although this takes only two days, some acclimatisation is necessary as the glacial lake is at 4500 metres. KEDARNATH This is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre.


TREKKING IN GARHWAL AND KUMAON 3

 

Sonprayag, 205 km north-east of Rishikesh, or you can follow the longer yatra route from Gangotri. Along the way you pass through beautiful scenery and many colourful mountain villages. The trek starts from Malla, 20 km beyond Uttarkashi towards Gangotri. KHATLING GLACIER It is a lateral glacier from the centre of which the Bhilangana River emerges. The rich pasturelands here make ideal camping sites- the summer rains turn the flat land on the glacialmoraines into excellent pastures. The glaciers are associated with giant hanging glaciers of Ratangian, Jogin and Phating. Around Khatling Glacier are the snow-capped peaks of the Jogin ground, spectacular Sphetic Prishtwan, Kirti Stambh and Barte Kanta. Ghuttu is three hours by bus from Tehri which is five hours from Rishikesh. There are hotels at Ghamsali and at Ghuttu, a Forest Rest House at Buranschari and at Gangi you can stay in the school shelter. Gangi is the last proper village before the glacier. The Khatling Glacier trek can also be made from the kedarnath side. On Day 3 you reach Ghuttu and then the route is the same as from the the Gangotri side. NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY Some of the most outtstanding peaks in the central Himalaya are clustered between the glaciers of Gangotri and Milam. Nanda Devi with its camel-humped summit is the most important peak at 7817 metres. The Nanda Devi Sanctuary is surrounded by almost 70 white peaks which form a natural fortress, enclosing an area of 640 sq. km.


TREKKING IN GARHWAL AND KUMAON 4

 

The seven-day trek from Lata, the roadhead 15 km from Joshimath, to Tilchaunni is at times difficult but the scenic grandeur compensates for weary bodies. The first six km, from Lata to Lata Kharak, is a 1524-metres climb and there are glorious views from the broad grassy ridge of Lata Kharak. Another long uphill trek crosses the 4253-metre Dharansi Pass to Dharansi. From Dharansi the trail winds across the Malatuni Pass, and then descends 750 metres to a stream. Cross the stream to the hospitable meadows of Dibrugheta, where a camp can be made by the river. From here to Deodi the track rises steeply at first, then makes a long traverse across several ridges. Cross a bridge over the Rishi Ganga to Deodi, then it is an 8-km trek through rhododendron forests to Ramani. There are three other routes in the sanctuary: Dunagiri and Chanbang base, Trisul base and Nanda Devi north base. Kuari Pass - The Curzon Trail : The route from Joshimath to the Kuari Pass is also known as the Curzon Trail. There are two routes : one goes through Auli and Gorson, Tali and Chitrakhanta and is more rewarding than the other route via Tapovan to Kuari Pass. From Auli the path trais its way through green forests with the mountains always in view. The camping grounds are a delight - undulating slopes, carpeted in grass and set in beautiful natural surroundings. From Tali to Chitrakhanta there is only a narrow goat track. At 4268 metres, Kuari, reached by a narrow pass, offers a superb panorama of the Himalaya to the north-east and the vast stretches of verdant valleys to the south-east.


TREKKING IN GARHWAL AND KUMAON 5

 

Nanda Devi, Dunagiri, Bethartoli, Hathi Parvat and Devastan are some of the peaks which can be seen. On a clear day it is possible to make out the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. Gailgarh, just 5 km from Kuari, is a little gem in wonderful surroundings. Six in south-east of Gailgarh is the snow-capped 5183-metre peak of Pangarchulia. It can be easily scaled with only normal trekking gear, and from its summit, Badrinath and other snow-covered peaks can be seen. Delisera, six km east of Gailgarh, is little hamlet at 3354 metres. In late June the entire land is a tapestry of flowers. Bore Kund, six km north-east of Gailgarh, is a lovely lake reputed to be very deep. Badrinath, Valley of Flowers and Hemkund : The beautiful Valley of Flowers National Park and the holy Hemkund Lake can be reached from Govind Ghat. In addition, you can visit the pilgrimage centre of Badrinath on the same trip. From Rishikesh it is 252 km by bus to Joshimath, where there is a Tourist Bungalow and hotels, and a further 44 km to Badrinath. You then have to backtrack 30 km to Govind Ghat for the start of the trek. From June to September the trail up to Hemkund Sahib is crowded with Sikh pilgrims. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, Badrinath, just a short distance from the Tibetan border, is a Hindu pilgrimage centre. There are many temples, ashrams and dharamsalas here. The most important temple, on the left bank of the Alakananda, shows clear Buddhist influence in its architecture. The shrine is open between May and October and there is a Tourist Bungalow here. Between mid-June and mid-Septermber the valley is an enchanting sight with a dazzling variety of flowers flluttering in the gentle breeze.


TREKKING IN GARHWAL AND KUMAON 6

 

As a backdrop, snow-clad mountains stand in bold relief against the skyline. The valley is diivided by the Pushpawati stream, into which several tiny streams and waterfalls merge. The huge Ghoradhungi mountain blocks one end of the valley. From Ghangaria, you can follow the Laxma Ganga to the lake of Hemkund. Roopkund Lake : Every 12 years thousands of pilgrims make an ardous trek when following the Raj Jay Yatra from Nauti village, near Karnapravag. A golden idol of the goddess Nanda Devi is carried by the pilgrims in a silver palanquin. The small market town of Gwaldam is 78 km from Almora or 131 km from Naini Tal and there are bus connections. There is a Tourist Rest House at Gwaldam and it is an 8-km walk to Debal. Alternatively you can catch a bus from Gwaldam to Debal via Tharali. The road continues through Debal to Mandoli and is being pushed further north. There are Forest Rest Houses at Debal, Lohajanga and Wan. The route passes through delightful alpine pastureland and snow fields, with magnificent views of the Trisul and Nanda Gunti peaks. On the way back you can either follow the route below to Nandprayag and Rishikesh or return to Naini Tal via Gwaldam. Pindari Glacier : The magnificent Pindari Glacier is the most easily accessible in the region, and is formed by snow from Nanda Kot and other lofty peaks. The glacier, three km long and nearly half a km wide, is at an altitude of 3353 metres. Close to it is an undulating meadow, and to the east a moraine projects into the glacier.


NAGARJUNKONDA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY The easiest way to visit Nagarjunakonda aand Nagarjuna Sagar is to take the deluxe tourist bus from Hyderabad organised by the APTTDC. The tour include visit to the Nagarjunkonda Museum, Pylon, Nagarjuna Sagar, Ethiopothala waterfalls and the working model of the dam. If you'd prefer to make your own way there, regular buses link Hyderabad, Vijaywada and Guntur with Nagarjuna Sagar. The nearest railway station is at Macherla - a branch line running from Guntur - and regular buses leave there for Nagarjuna Sagar.


TREKKING IN GARHWAL AND KUMAON 7

 

This popular trek offer view of the soaring peaks all the way and passes throough pine forests, glades of ferns nad wildflowers and tumbling waterfalls. From mid-May to mid-June there are many wildflowers, while from mid-September to mid-October the air is clear. From Naini Tal there is an early morning bus to Sonog, a km or so before Loharkhet. Alternatively you can stay in Bharari, between Kapkot and Loharkhet, and catch a bus or jeep the next day for the ride to Song. It is also possible to stay in the excellent Tourist Bungalow in Bageshwar and catch one of the several daily buses to Song. The first couple of days from Song through Loharkhet and up to the Dhankuri Pass is little long but this is a fine walk with wonderful scenery. A km or two over the pass is the Dhakuri Dak Bumgalow. There is an excellent view of the glacier from Purkiya. On the return trek you can travel by road from Bajnath to Rishikesh or return via Almora to Naini Tal. SKIING IN UTTAR PRADESH Auli : This skiing resort, reportedly the best equipped in the country, boats over three km of satisfying run and a portable skilift. Open from Janunary to March, Auli is 15 km from Joshimath and until the road is built you have to walk the last 8 km. There is a Tourist Bungalow at Joshimath and Auli. Skis and boots can be hired here and seven or 15-dau ski courses are offered.


AROUND MANDI-REWALSAR LAKE

 

The Rewalsar Lake, a pilgrimage centre for Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, is high up in the hills 24 km south-east of Mandi. There is a mountain cave-refuge near here. The festival, known as Tso-Pema, is particularly important in the Year of the Monkey, which falls every 12 years. It is a very colourful event and was last held in 1992. There are regular buses from mandi, and the trip takes one hour.


AROUND MANALI SIGHTSEEING

 

VASHISHT It is a picturesque little place, clinging to the steep hillside about three km out of Manali. JAGATSUKH It is about 12 km north of Nagar and six km south of Mananli on the left bank-road. There are some very old temples in the village, particularly the sikhara-style Siva Temple. KOTHI It is a pretty little village, 12 km from Manali on the Keylong road. There are very fine views from Kothi, and the Beas River flows through a very deep and narrow gorge at this point. The trip to Rahla Falls, 16 km away, is another popular excursion. OTHER PLACES Five km from Manali, Arjun Gufa, with a legendary cave, is near the village of Prini. The Solang Valley is north-west of Manali, before Kothi.The glacier nearest Manali is here, only 13 km from town.


KEYLONG -GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Between Manali and Keylong there are buses hourly from 5 am in summer. The trip take six hours. You can also pick up ordinary buses from here but at present the more comfortable HPTDC buses run only from Manali.


AROUND KEYLONG SIGHTSEEING

 

AROOUND KEYLONG A short distance before Keylong on the Manali to Keylong road, is Gondhla with its eight-storey castle of the Thakur of Gondhla and the historically significant gompa. Between Gondhla and Keylong is Tandi, where the Chandrabagha or Chenab River meets the road. Following the Chenab Valley to the north-west towards Kilar will bring you to Triloknath with its white-marble, six-armed image of Avalokitesvara.


SPITI SIGHTSEEING

 

The 4500 metre Kunzam Pass connects the Lahaul and Spiti valleys. Kaza is the main village. Slightly north-west of it is Kibar, which at 4205 metres is reputed to be the highest village in the world. Tabo Kye and Dhankhar are two of the most important gompas.


PADAM (ZANSKAR) SIGHTSEEING

 

ZANGLA AND KARSHA GOMPA This is an interesting four-day trek around Padum. The first day takes you to Thonde on the riverbank with a monastery high above it. The second day takes you from Thonde to Zangla, where the king of Zanskar has his castle. On day three you backtrack towards Thonde, cross the river and continue to Karsha, the most important gompa in Zanskar. On the final day you can cross the river directly by ferry or continue down to the wooden Tungri Bridge and double back to Padum. Tungri-Zongkhul Gompa Round Trip This four-day trip trek around Padum takes you to the Sani and Zongkhul gompas by following the route up towards the Muni La, then cutting across to the base of the Umasi La.


TREKS IN LADAKH AND ZANSKAR

 

There are a number of ageencies in Leh that will organise things for you for between Rs.500 and Rs.1000 per day depending on on the length of the trek and the number of people. Many travellers organise their treks independently, renting a horse and horseman at the start of the trek. Treks into Zanskar are principally down the valley from the north or up the valley from the south (from Manali in Himachal Pradesh).


LEH SIGHTSEEING

 

LEH PALACE The Zanskar mountains, across the Indus River, look close enough to touch. LEH AND TSEMO GOMPAS The Leh Gompa stands high above the palace and houses manuscripts and paintings. The Red Gompa, conains a fine three-stoorey-high seated Buddha image. SANKAR GOMPA The gompa has electric lighting so an evening visit is worthwhile. Upstairs is an impressive representation of Avalokitesvara complete with 1000 arms and 1000 heads. CENTRE FOR ECOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT Next door to the Tsemo-La Hotel is the HQ of the Ladakh Ecological Development Group(LEDeG). This include solar energy, environmental and health education, strenthening the traditional system of organic farming and publishing books in the local language.


PITHORAGARH SIGHTSEEING

 

Situated at 1815 metres, Pithogarh is the main town of a region that borders both Tibet and Nepal. It sits in a small valley that has been called 'Little Kashmir' and there are a number of picturesque walks in the area. Yoou can climb up to Chandak for a view of the Pithoragarh Valley.


AROUND ALMORA

 

KATARMAL AND JAGESHWAR There are a number of ancient temple sites in the area. At Katarmall is the 800 year old Sun Temple. A much larger group is 34 km away at Jageshwar in an attractive valley of deodars.


KAUSANI SIGHTSEEING

 

For an egen clooser view of the Himalaya, Kausani, 53 km north of Almora, is the place to head for. At 1890 metres, it is a small peaceful place that is perfect for quiet contemplation. Gandhi stayed at the Anashakati Ashram in 1929 and was inspired by the superb Himalayan panorama. Among the numerous hikes in the area, the 14-km walk to the 12-century temples at Baijnath is definitely worth it. Kathgodam is the nearest railhead and there are buses from Kausani to Almora, Ranikhet and Naini Tal.


AROUND RANCHI SIGHTSEEING

 

HAZARIBAGH This pleasant leafy town lies 107 km north of Ranchi, at an altituded of 615 metres. There is Hazaribagh National Park, 19 km to the north. The railway station, Hazaribagh Rd, is 67 km away. There are private minibuses for Gaya from outside the bus station. PARASNATH Just inside the Bihar state boundary from West Bengal, and only a little north of the Grand Trunk Road, Parasnath is the major Jain pilgrimage centres in the east of India. Like so many other pilgrimage centres, it is perched on top of a steep hill and is reached by a stiff climb on foot. The 24 temples, representing the Jain tirthankars, stand at an altitude of 1366 metres. Parsnath, the 23rd tirthankar, achieved nirvana at this spot 100 years after his birth in Varanasi.


RANCHI - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Ranchi has good air, bus and train connections. The railway station is 500 metres from the bus stand. There are buses to Gaya, Hazirabagh and Netarhat. Althrough bus to Puri takes 15 hours.


HOGENEKKAL SIGHTSEEING

 

HOGENEKKAL This beautiful, quite waterfall is 25 km from Dharampuri and 80 km from Bangalore towards Salem. Here, the Cauvery River enters the plains and the river dashing against the rocks is a great sight. It is particularly impressive in July-August. A huge weekly fair is held in the nearby village of Pennagaram.


YERCAUD SIGHTSEEING

 

Yercaud is 33 km uphill from Salem. A quiet and low-priced hill town with many coffee plantations, this is a good for trekking and boating.


KARAIKAR-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY The bus station in Karaikal is close to the mosque. Bus No. 459 connects Kumbakonam with Karaikal.


OOTACAMUND ( UDHAGAMANDALAM )

 

Udhagamandalam (Ootacamund, Ooty) : It is a famous hill station near the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, 2268 mtrs. above sea level in the Nilgiri mountains. Ooty is a place for outdoor activities. There are any number of long walks and some superb views over Ooty and the Nilgiris - just head in any direction. Rowboats and motorboats for use on the lake can be rented from the Tourist Cafe.


OOTACAMUND - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

BUS The orderly bus station is fairly central at the western end of the racecourse. From there, it is only about 10 minutes walk to the centre of the bazaar and about 20 minutes to Charing Cross. Cheran Transport Corporation, the regional bus company, operates buses to Bangalore, Coimbatore, Kodaikanal and Mysore. If you are heading for the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, take one of the Mysore buses and get off at Theppakadu-the Reception Centre. The trip from Ooty takes about 2.5 hrs. In addition to the state and local bus lines, there are a number of private bus companies which offer daily services to Bangalore, Kodaikanal and Mysore. All of these are superdeluxe buses with videos. Ooty to Mysore takes about 4.5 hours. From Coimbatore to Ooty there are Cheran departures every half-hour throughout the day, which take about 3.5 hours. TRAIN Ooty has a miniature railway connecting it with the lowlands. The trains, with their quaint yellow-and-blue carriages are pretty tiny. The unique feature of this line is the toothed central rail onto which the locomotives lock on the steeper slopes. The miniature railway starts at Mettupalayam, north of Coimbatore, and goes via Coonoor to Ooty. The departures and arrivals at Mettupalayam connect with the Nilgiri Express, which runs between Mettupalayam and Madras. The 116-km journey takes about 4.5 hours up to Ooty and about 3.5 hours going down.


SHOLAPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

THIS RAPIDLY DEVELOPING AND BUSY TOWN NORTH OF BIJAPUR (IN NEIHBOURING KARANATAKA) IS AMAJOR RAILWAY JUNCTION, IS ON THE BROAD GAUGE SYSTEM.YOU'II PASS THROUGH HERE HEADING NORTH OR SOUTH TO/FROM BIJAPUR OR BADAMI AND, DEPENDING ON THE STATE OF THE BOOKING ON THE BROAD GAUGE SYSTEM, MAY HAVE STAY THE NIGHT. THERE'S NOTHING MUCH FOR THE TOURIST HERE BUT IT'S WORTH CHECKING OUT THE SUPERBLY DECORATED MUNCIPAL OFFICES.


SHOLAPUR PLACES TO STAY & EAT

 

THE HOTEL RAJDHANI NEAR THE RAILWAY STATION IS A REASONABLE PLACE TO STAY. OTHERWISE FOR COMFORT, STAY AT THE THREE-STAR HOTEL PRATHAM (TEL 29-581), 560/61SOUTH SADAR BAZAR. IT'S EXCELLENT VALUE AT Rs.195/- A DOUBLE WITHOUT AIR-CON AND Rs.275/- WITH AIR-CON. THERE ARE ALSO MORE EXPENSIVE DELUXE ROOMS AND SUITES. THE HOTEL HAS ITS OWN VEGETARIAN AND NON-VEGETARIAN(VERY TASTE FOOD) AND A BAR.


SRIRANGAPATNAM SIGHTSEEING

 

SIXTEEN KM FORM MYSORE ON THE BANGALORE ROAD STAND THE RUINS OF HYDER ALI AND TIPU SULTAN'S CAPITAL FROM WHICH THEY RULED MUCH OF SOUTHERN INDIA DURING THE 18TH CENTURY. IN 1799, THE BRITISH, ALLIED WITH DISGRUNTLED LOCAL LEADERS AND WITH THE HELP OF A TRAITOR,FINALLY DEFEATED THEM. TIPU'S DEFEAT MARKED THE REAL BEGINNING OF BRITISH TERRITORIAL EXPANSION IN SOUTH. THERE ISN'T MUCH LEFT OF SRIRANGAPATNAM AS THE BRITISH DID A GOOD JOB OF DEMOLISHING THE PLACE, BUT THE EXTENSIVE RAMPARTS AND BATTLEMENTS AND SOME OF THE GATES STILL STAND.THE DUNGEON WHERE TIPU HELD A NUMBER OF BRITISH OFFICERS HAS ALSO BEEN PRESERVED.INSIDE THE FORTRESS WALLS THERE'S ALSO A MOSQUE AND THE SRI RANGANATHASWAMY TEMPLE, A POPULAR PLACE OF PILGRIMAGE FOR HINDUS. NON-HINDUS CAN GO ALL THE WAY INSIDE EXCEPT TO THE INNER SANCTUM, WHERE THERE IS A BLACK STONE IMAGE OF SLEEPING VISHNU. THE POPULATION OF THE TOWN INSIDE THE FORT IS ABOUT 20,000. ACROSS THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MAIN ROAD FROM SRIRANGAPATNAM STANDS THE DARIA DAULAT BAGH (TIPU'S SUMMER PALACE) AND THE GUMBAZ (TIPU'S MAUSOLEUM). THES ARE PERHAPS THE MOST INTERESTING PARTS OF A VISIT TO SRIRANGAPATNAM. THE DARIA DAULAT BAGH WAS LATER USED AS A RESIDENCE BY COLONEL ARTHUR WELLESLY. IT IS SET IN WELL MAINTAINED ORNAMENTAL GARDENS AND IS NOW A MUSEUM WHICH HOUSES SOME OF TIPU'S BELONINGS AS WELL AS MANY INK DRAWING OF HIM AND HIS FAMILY. IT ALSO HAS 'ARTISTS' IMPRESSIONS' OF THE LAST BATTEL, DRAWN BY EMPLOYEE OF THE BRITISH EAST INDIA COMPANY. ALL AROUND THE INTERNAL WALLS OF THE GROUND FLOOR ARE PAINTINGS DEPICTING TIPU'S CAMPAIGNS, AGAINST THE BRITISH THE DARIA DAULAT BAGH IS OPEN DAILY UNTIL 5 pm.


SRIRANGAPATNAM PLACES TO STAY

 

SRIRANGAPATNAM CAN COMFORTABLY BE VISITED IN A DAY TRIP FROM MYSORE, BUT IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE TO STAY HERE. THE KSTDC OPERATES THE BEAUTIFULLY LOCATED HOTEL MAYURA RIVER VIEW (TEL 2114), A FEW Km FROM THE BUS STAND AND RAILWAY STATION. COTTAGE COST Rs.150/- FOR A DOUBLE (NO SINGLES) AND THERE IS A RESTAURANT. JUST UP THE MAIN ROAD FROM THE BUS SATAND IN SRIRANGAPATNAM ARE A COUPLE OF BASIC LODGES WHICH WOULD DO FOR AN OVERNIGHT STAY.


SRIRANGAPATNAM GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

THER ARE SCORES OF BUSES EVERY DAY TO AND FROM THE CENTRAL BUS STATION IN MYSORE, AND THE FARE IS Rs.3/- IT'S ALSO POSSIBLE TO TAKE ANY OF THE MYSORE TO BANGALORE TRAINS.


SRIRANGAPATNAM GETTING AROUND

 

GETTING AROUND WALKING AROUND THE SIGHTS IS NOT REALLY AN OPTION AS THE POINTS OF INTEREST ARE WELL SPREAD OUT. THE BEST PLAN IS TO HIRE A BICYCLE IN SRIRANGAPATNAM. THERE ARE A COUPLE OF HIRE SHOPS IN THE MAIN STREET, ABOUT 500 METERS FROM THE BUS STAND OR RAILWAY STATION. ALL THE ROADS ARE WELL SIGNPOSTED SO IT'S NOT DIFFICULT TO FIND YOUR WAY AROUND. THERE ARE ALSO TONGAS AND AUTO-RICKSHAWS FOR HIRE.


SRIRANGAPATNAM RANGANATHITTOO BRID SANCTUARY

 

THE SANCTUARY IS ON ONE OF THREE ISLANDS IN THE CAUVERY RIVER, THREE KM FROM SRIRANGAPATNAM. IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN BIRDS THIS IS A GOOD PLACE TO VISIT AT ANY TIME OF YEAR, THROUGH IT'S BEST BETWEEN MAY AND NOVEMBER. ACCESS IS BY A MOTORABLE ROAD, OPEN ALL YEAR. BOATS ARE AVALIABLE FOR USE ON THE RIVER BUT THERE IS NO ACCOMMODATION.


WANKANER SIGHTSEING

 

LIKE SO MANY INDIAN PALACES, THE PALACE AT WANKANER (TEL(02828) 324), ABOUT 50 KM FROM RAJKOT, HAS BEEN PUT TO GOOD USE AS A PLACE TO STAY. THE DIFFRENCE BETWEEN THIS PLACE AND THE PALACE HOTELS OF RAJASTHAN IS THAT HERE GUESTS ARE ACCOMMODATED BY THE ROYAL FAMILY, AND THE PLACE IS MORE A PRIVATE GUEST HOUSE THAN A HOTEL. IT WAS BUILT IN 1907 AND IS AN AMAZING GRECO-ROMAN GOTHIC INDO SCOTTISH BARONIAL EXTRAVAGANCE TRAPPED IN A 60-YEA. AS THE ROYAL FAMILY STILL LIVE IN THE PALANCE,GUESTS ARE ACCOMMODATED A COUPLE OF KM AWAY IN A BUILDING KNOWN AS THE OASIS HOUSE, A WONDERFUL ART DECO BUILDING BUILT IN THE 1930S, COMPLETE WITH INDOOR SWIMMING POOL. WHILE HARDLY PALATIAL, THE ROOMS ARE VERY COMFORTABLE AND SPACIOUS, AND MEALS ARE TAKEN AT THE PALACE WITH THE FAMILY. ROOMS COST Rs.800/-PER PERSON, INCLUDING MEALS, SO IT'S DEFINITELY NOT A CHEAP PLACE TO STAY. RIGHT NEXT TO THE PALACE IS THE ROYAL GUEST HOUSE, A BUILDING ORIGINALLY BUILT BY THE BRITISH IN 1882 TO HOUSE THE RESIDENT THEY INSTALLED, WHO ADMINISTERED THE STATE FOR 17 YEARS UNTIL THE THEN MAHARAJA CAME OF AGE (HE WAS ONLY THREE WHEN HIS FATHER DIED).ACCOMMODATION IN THIS GUEST HOUSE IS Rs.1000/-PER PERSON, INCLUDING ALL MEALS.


WANKANER GETTING THERE & AWAY

 

THERE ARE REGULAR BUSES TO RAJKOT EVERY HALF HOUR, AND WANKANER JUNCTION IS ON THE MAIN RAILWAY LINE TO AHMEDABAD.


WANKANER SIGHTSEEING

 

THIS TOWN ON THE ROUTE FROM AHMEDABAD TO RAJKOT FEATHERS THE VERY OLD TEMPLE OF RANIK DEVI, WHO BECAME INVOLVED IN A DISPUTE BETWEEN LOCAL RULERS SIDH RAJA (WHO PLANNED TO MARY HER) AND RAO KHENGAR (WHO CARRIED HER OFF AND DID MARRY HER).WHEN SIDH RAJA DEFEATED RAO KHENGAR, SHE CHOSE SATI OVER DISHONOUR AND SIDH RAJA BUILT THE TEMPLE AS HER MEMORIAL.


WANKANER SIGHTSEEING

 

EVERY YEAR IN THE MONTH OF BHADRA (AROUND SEPTEMBER), THE TRINETESHWAR TEMPLE AT TARNETAR, 65 KM NORTH-EAST OF RAJKOT,HOSTS THE THREE-DAY TARNETAR FAIR. THERE'S MUCH SINGING AND DANCING, ALTHOUGH THE FAIR IS MOST WELL KNOWN FOR THE DIFFRENT CHHATRIS (UMBRELLAS) MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR INTO THE TANK HERE ONCE A YEAR.


SOLAN SIGHTSEEING

 

POPULATION : 20,000 THIS TOWN IS BETWEEN KALKA AND SHIMLA, ON BOTH THE RAILWAY LINE AND THE ROAD. IT'S NAMED AFTER THE SOLONI DEVI TEMPLE ON THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF THE TOWN ALTHOUGH IT'S MORE FAMOUS THESE DAYS AS THE HOME OF GOLDEN EAGLE BEER; THE MOHAN MEAKIN BREWERY IS ABOUT FOUR KM FROM TOWN ALONG THE ROAD TO SHIMLA, AND TOURS CAN BE ARRANGED ON REQUEST.


SOLAN PLACES TO STAY & EAT

 

THE COMFORTABLE AND QUIET HPTDC TOURIST BUNGLOW (TEL 2497) HAS ROOMS FROM RS.97/-, OR RS.108/- WITH A SEPARATE SITTING ROOM. IT IS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN ON THE WAY TO SHIMLA, HAFL A KM FROM THE BUS STATION AND 800 METERS FROM THE RAILWAY STATION. THERE ARE ALSO A COUPLE OF BASIC LOCAL HOTELS NEAR THE BUS STAND, BUT DON'T EXPECT TOO MUCH.


WARANGAL SIGHTSEEING

 

POPULATION : 467,000 THIS WAS ONCE CAPITAL OF THE KAKATIYA KINGDOM, WHICH SPANNED THE GREATER PART OF PRESENT-DAY ANDHRA PRADESH FROM THE LATTER HAFL OF THE 12TH CENTURY UNTIL IT WAS CONQUERED BY THE TUGHLAQS OF DELHI EARLY IN THE 14TH CENTURY. THE HINDU KAKATIYAS WERE GREAT BUILDERS AND PATRONS OF THE ARTS, AND IT WAS DURING THIER REIGN THAT THE CHALUKYAN STYLE OF TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE AND DECORATION REACHED THE PINNACLE OF ITS DEVELOPMENT. IF YOU HAVE INTEREST IN THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF HINDU TEMPLE DEVELOPMENT AND HAVE EITHER VISITED OR INTEND TO VISIT THE EARLY CHALUKYAN SITES AT BADAMI, AIHOLE AND PATTADAKAL IN NEIGHBOURING KARNATAKA STATE, THEN AN OUTING TO WARANGAL IS WORTHWHILE. FACILITIES ARE ADEQUATE FOR AN OVERING STOP-OVER, OR IT CAN BE VISITED IN A LONG DAY TRIP, FROM HYDERABAD. THERE'S A COLOURFUL WOOL MARKAT A COUPLE OF HUNDRED METERS PAST THE BUS STAND.


WARANGAL SIGHTSEEING

 

FORT WARANGAL'S MAIN ATTRACTION IS THE ENORMOUS, ABANDONED MUD-BRICK FORT, WHICH HAS TERREFIC ATMOSPHERE AND MANY INTRESTING FEATURES.CARVED STONES FROM WRECKED CHALUKYAN TEMPLES ARE SET INDISCRIMATELY IN THE MASSIVE STONE WALLS WHICH FORM A DISTINCTFORTIFICATION ALMOST A KM INSIDE THE OUTER MUD WALLS.


WARANGAL SIGHTSEEING

 

CHALUKYAN TEMPLES THE MOST NOTABLE REMAINING CHALUKYAN TEMPLES ARE THE 1000 PILLARED TEMPLE ON THE SLOPES OF HANAMKONDA HILL (ONE SHRINE OF WHICH IS STILL IN USE)THE BHANDRAKALI TEMPLE ON A HILLLOCK BETWEEN WARANGAL AND HANAMKONDA AND THE SHAMBU LINGESWARA OR SWAYAMBHU TEMPLE (ORIGNALLY A SIVA TEMPLE)BUILT IN 1162THE 1000 PILLARED TEMPLE IS HOWEVER INFERIOR TO THOSE FOUND FURTHER SOUTH. IT IS IN A SAD STATE OF DISREPAIR AND LOOTERS HAVE REMOVED MANY OF THE BEST PIECES AND CHISELLED AWAY THE FACES OF STATUES.



WARANGAL SIGHTSEEING GETTING THERE & AWAY

 

REGULAR BUSES RUN BETWEEN WARANGAL AND HYDERBAD NIZAMBAD AND OTHER MAJOR MAJOR CENTERS & LOCAL BUSES CONNECT WARANGALWITH KAZIPET HANAMKONDA WARANGAL IS A MAJOR RAILWAY JUNCTION IN ANDRAPRADESH AND MANY EXPRESSES STOP HERE. THE 152 KM TO HYDERBAD OR SECUNDERBADTAKES ABOUT 3 1/2 HOURS WARANGAL TO VIJAYWADA TAKES ABOUT THE SAME TIME AND THE COST OF RS 36/129 IN 2ND1ST CLASS.


WARANGAL GETTING AROUND

 

THE BUS STATION IS GETTING AROUND DIRECTLY OPPOSITE TO THE ENTRANCE TO THE RAILWAY STATION BUT THE TIMETABLE IS ENTIRELY IN TELGU SO ON YOU WILL MAKE INQUIRIES BUS NO 28 WILL TAKE YOU FIVE KM TO THE FORT AT MANTUKONDA OTHERWISW IT WOULD BE WORTHNEGOATION A FIXED PRICE FOR AN AUTORICKSHAW TO TAKE YOU THERE BACK AND ALLOW YOU SUFFICENT TIME TO SEE THE RUINS.


GULMARG SIGHTSEEING

 

THE LARGE MEADOW OF GULMARG IS 52 KM SOUTH-WEST OF SRINAGAR AT 2730 METRES.THE NAME MEANS MEADOW OF FLOWERS AND IN SPRING IT'S JUST THAT. THIS IS ALSO AN EXCELLENT TREKKING BASE.IN WINTER IT USED TO BE INDIA'S PREMIERE SKIING RESORT,UNTIL THE ACTIVITIES OF THE MILITANTS FRIGHTENED OFF THE TOURISTS.THE SKIING EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE WAS FAIRLY GOOD AND THE COSTS VERY LOW. THE AREA WAS ALSO WONDERFUL FOR SKI-TOURING ALTHOUGH VERY LITTLE CROSS-COUNTRY EQUIPMENT WAS AVAILABLE. GULMARG CAN GET PRETY COLD AT TIMES, EVEN COMPARED TO PAHALGAM, SO COME PREPARED WITH PLENTY OF WARM CLOTHES.IN 1992, THE HOTELS AND SKI-LIFTS HERE REMAINED CLOSED.THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS INCLUDED IN THE HOPE THAT THE SITUATION MAY IMPROVE.


GULMARG SIGHTSEEING INFORMATION & SKIING

 

INFORMATION ----------- THE TOURIST OFFICE, IN THE VALLEY BOTTOM ABOUT HALF A KM BEYOND THE GOLF COURSE, IS THE GREEN-BLUE BUILDING COMPLEX WITH THREE PATCHES OF NEW WOODEN ROOF.


GULMARG SIGHTSEEING OUTER CIRCULAR WALKS

 

OUTER CIRCULAR WALKS -------------------- A CIRCULAR ROAD 11 KM IN LENGTH, RUNS RIGHT AROUND GULMARG THROUGH PLEASANT PINE FORESTS WITH EXCELLENT VIEWS OVER THE KASHMIR VALLEY. NANGA PARBAT IS VISIBLE TO THE NORTH, AND HARAMUKH AND SUNSET PEAK ARE ARE VISIBLE TO THE SOUTH-EAST.


GULMARG SIGHT SEEING WALKS

 

NINGLE NALLAH FLOWING FROM THE MELTING SNOW AND ICE ON APHARWAT PEAK AND ALPATHER LAKE THIS PREETY MOUNTAIN STREAM IS 10 KM FROM GULMARG. THE STREAM CONTINUES DOWN IN TO THE VBALLEY BELOW AND JOINS THE JHELUM RIVER NEAR SOPORE. THE WALKING PATH CROSSES THE NINGLE NALAH BY A BRIDGE AND CONTINUES TO THE LIENMARG ANOTHER GRASSY MEADOW AND A GOOD SPOT FOR THE CAMPING


GULMARG SIGHT SEEING WALKS

 

FEROZOPORE NALLAH REACHED FROM TANGMARG ROAD OR FROM THE OUTER CIRCULAR WALK THIS MOUNTAIN STREAM MEETS THE BAHAN RIVER AT THE POPULAR PICNIC SPOT KNOWN AS THE WATERS MEET THE STREAM IS REPUTED TO BE PARTICULARLY GOOD FOR THE TROUT FISHING ITS ABOUT FIVE KM FROM GULMARG. YOU CAN CONTINUE ON FROM HERE TO TOSAMAIDAN, A THREE DAY 50KM WALK TO THE KASHMIRS AND THE MOST BEATIFUL MEADOWS.


GULMARG SIGHT SEEING WALKS

 

PLACES TO EAT LIMITED AND NOT VERY GOOD SUMMED UP THE SITUATION. FOR CHEAP MEALS THERE WERE THE SOUTH INDIAN CAFES BY THE BUS STAND. ELSE WHERE PRICES WERE CONSIDERABLY AHDOOS NEXT TO THE BUS STAND WAS PROABLY THE BEST IN THE GULMARG.


MIZORAM SIGHT SEEING

 

THIS FINGER LIKE EXTENSION IN THE EXTREME SOUTH-EAST OF THE REGION POKES BETWEEN MYANMAR AND BANGLADESH. THE NAME MEANS HILL PEOPLES LAND FROM MIZO, MAN OF THE HILL AND RAM, LAND. ITS PICTURESQUE PLACE WHERE THE POPULATION IS BOTH PREDOMINANTLY TRIBAL AND OVERWHELMINGLY CHRISTIAN.


TRIPURA

 

THE TINY STATE OF TRIPURA IS ALMOST TOTALLY SOURROUNDED BY BANGLADESH.ITS A LUSH WOODED REGION WITH MANY BEAUTIFUL WATER FALLS. AGARTALA IS THE CAPITAL NEAR IT IS THE LAKE PALACE OF NIRMAHAL.HERE TOO THE POPULATION IS LARGELY TRIBAL.


SAHARANGPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

POPULATION : 374,000 -------------------- SITUATED 178 KM NORTH OF DELHI, THE LARGE BOTANICAL GARDENS HERE, KNOWN AS THE COMPAMY BAGH, ARE OVER 175 YEARS OLD.


COONOOR

 

PERHAPS THE BEST PLACE TO STAY HERE IS THE YWCA WHICH IS LOST WITHIN GREENERY AND IS A HANDSOME OLD HOUSE WITH VIEWS OVER COONOOR TWO TERRACES, LARGE,CLEAN ROOMS MONKEYS ALL AROUND AND AN ECENTRIC OLD HOSTESS. DOUBLES COST RS 140 THERS HOT WATER AND GOOD FOOD AVAILABLE PLUS YOUR BUDGET IS TIGHT THEY ALSO HAVE DORM BEDS THE VIVEK TOURIST HOME IN THE BEDFORD AREA IS ALSO WORTH CHECKING OUT IF THE YWCA IS FULL. IN COONOOR, THE SRILAKSHMI TOURIST HOME 635 OFFERS BASIC SINGLES/DOU- BLES FOR RS 4O/75(LOW SEASON) AND RS 50/100 (HIGH SEASON). BETTER ARE THE HAMPTON MANOR HOTEL(244) AT RS 125/255 LOW SEASON AND RS 150/300 (HIGH - SEASON) FOR SINGLES/DOUBLE, AND HOTEL RITZ (TEL 242) ON ORANGE GROVE RD WHERE ROOMS COST Rs.175/200 (LOW SEASONS) AND Rs.250/300 (HIGH SEASON). ONE OF THE BEST REATAURANTS IN THE AREA IS THE BLUE HILL RESTAURANT WHICH WILL COST YOU AROUND Rs.60 FOR A MEAL AND DRINK.


JHALAWAR SIGHTSEEING

 

JHALAWAR, ABOUT SEVEN KM FROM THE TEMPLE, IS ALSO WORTH A VISIT AND HAS A GOOD COLLECTION OF SCULPTURES FROM NEARBY TEMPLES DISPLAYED IN THE GOVERN- MENT MUSEUM IN KOTA. GAGRON FORTRESS --------------- WHILE YOU'RE IN THE AREA,YOU SHOULD ALSO TAKE A LOOK AT THE GAGRON FORTRESS 10 KM FROM JHALAWAR. THOUGH PERHAPS NOT AS FAMOUS AS OTHERS LIKE CHITTORGAH JODHPUR AND JAISALMER, THIS HUGE FORT OCCUPIES A PROMINENT PLACE IN THE ANNALS OF RAJPUT CHIVALRY AND HAS BEEN FOUGHT OVER FOR CENTURIES. IF YOU LIKE TO EXPLORE IN PEACE AND QUIET, THIS IS THE FORT FOR YOU. VERY FEW TOURISTS EVEN SUSPECT ITS EXISTENCE. THE FORT IS CLOSE TO (AND VISIBLE FROM) THE ROAD BETWEEN KOTA AND UJJAIN AND INDORE. LOCAL BUSES RUN FROM KOTA TO JHALAWAR AND YOU CAN ARRANGE TRANSPORT TO THE FORT FROM HERE.


SIRMUR SIGHTSEEING

 

THER ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST IN THE SOUTH OF THE STATE, WHERE HIMACHAL PRADESH BORDERS UTTAR PRADESH AND HARYANA. THIS DISTRICT IS KNOWN AS SIRMUR.


SIRMUR SIGHTSEEING AROUND

 

PAONTA SAHIB => POPULATION : 13,000 ------------ SITUATED ON THE YAMUNA RIVER, ON THE BORDER WITH UTTAR PRADESH, PAONTA SAHIB IS A TRANSIT POINT FOR TRAVELLERS FROM THE HILL STATIONS OF NORTHERN UTTAR PRADESH TO SHILMA AND OTHER HILL STATIONS IN HIMACHAL PRADESH. PAONTA SAHIB IS LINKED WITH GURU GOBIND SINGH, THE 10TH OF THE SIKHS'GURU WHO LIVED HERE. AT BHANGANI, 23 KM AWAY, HE ACHIVED A GREAT MILITARY VICTORY WHEN HIS FORCES DEFEATED THE COMBINED MIGHT OF 22 HILL-COUNTRY KINGDOMS. HIS WEAPONS ARE DISPLAYED IN THE TOWN AND HIS GURDWARA STILL OVERLOOKS THE RIVER.


SIRMUR SIGHTSEEING & PLACES TO STAY

 

THERE'S THE HPTDC HOTEL YAMUNA WITH DOUBLES FROM Rs.100 TO Rs.200.THERE ARE ALSO LOCAL HOTELS.


COVELONG SIGHTSEEING

 

SPELT IN VARIOUS WAYS, COVELONG IS A FISHING SETTLEMENT WITH A FINE BEACH AND IS THE SITE OF THE EXPENSIVE TTDC FISHERMAN'S COVE RESORT (TEL 268)


COVELONG SIGHTSEEING AROUND

 

TIRUKKALIKUNDRAM (TIRUKAZHUKUNDRAM) ----------------------------------- FOURTEEN KM FROM MAHABALIPURAM, THIS PILGRIMAGE CENTRE WITH ITS HILLTOP TEMPLE IS FAMOUS AS THE PLACE WHERE TWO EAGLES COME EACH DAY,JUST BEFORE NOON, TO BE FED BY A PRIEST.LEGEND HAS IT THAT THEY COME FROM VARANASI (BENARES).FIVE HUNDRED VERY STEEP STEPS LEAD TO THE TOP OF THE HILL WHERE THE SOFT DRINK SELLERS AT THE TOP DO A BRISK TRADE WHEN IT'S HOT! SOME LESS -FIT VISITORS GET THEMSELVES CARRIED UP IN THE BASKETS.WHAT MOST GUIDEBOOKS IGNORE ABOUT THIS PLACE,HOWEVER,IS THE AMAZING TEMPLE COMPLEX WITH IT'S ENORMOUS GOPURAMS AT THE BASE OF THE HILL.IT'S VERY IMPRESSIVE,YET SEEMS TO HAVE FEW VISITORS.YOU CAN GET HERE FROM MAHABALIPURAM BY BUS OR BY BICYCLE. CROCODILE FRAM -------------- THIS FARM BREEDS CROCODILE TO AUGMENT THE CROCODILE POPULATIONS OF INDIA'S WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES.THERE ARE NOW ONLY A FEW HUNDRED OF THESES REPTILES LEFT.VISITORS ARE WELCOME AND YOU CAN SEE CROCODILES OF ALL SIZES,FROM THE NEWLY HATCHED TO ADULTS.THE FRAM IS ABOUT 15KM FROM MAHABALIPURAM ON THE ROAD TO MADRAS,AND IS SIGNPOSTED.YOU CAN GET THERE BY BICYCLE OR ON ANY MADRAS BUS FROM MAHABALIPURAM. TIRUVANNAMALAI=>FURTHER SOUTH TOWARDS PONDICHERRY,66-KM DETOUR INLAND FROM TINDIVANAMWILL BRING YOU TO THE TEMPLE TOWN OF TIRUVANNAMALI.THERE ARE OVER 100 TEMPLES HERE,AND THE SIV-PARVATI TEMPLE OF ARUNCHALESWAR IS SAID TO BE THE LARGEST IN INDIA.THE MAIN GOPURAM IS 66 METERS AND 13 STOREYS HIGH,AND THERE IS A 1000-PILLARED HALL.THE SPLENDID OLD FORTRESS OF GINGEE CAN VISIT


COVELONG SIGHTSEEING AROUND

 

PLACES TO STAY ------------- TRY EITHER THE PARK HOTEL OR THE MODREN CAFE,BOTH OF WHICH ARE CLEAN. GINGEE=>GINGEE(PRONOUNCED "SHINGEE")IS ABOUT 150KM SOUTH-EAST OF MADRAS,ON THE ROAD TO TIRUVANNAMALAI.THERE IS AN INTERESTING COMPLEX OF FORTS HERE, CONSTRUCTED MAINLY AROUND 1200AD DURING THE VIJAYNAGAR EMPIRE.THE FORT IS BUILT ON THREE SEPARATE HILLS,JOINED BY THREE KM OF FORTIFIED WALLS.THE BUILDINGS-A GRANARY,AUDIENCE HALL,SIVA TEMPLE AND A MOSQUE IN MEMORY OF A FAVOURIE GENERAL-ARE FAIRLY ORDINARY,BUT THE BOULDER-COVERED MOUNTAIN LAND SCAPE IS IMPRESSIVE. GINGEE IS PLEASANTLY FREE OF POSTCARD SELLERS AND THE LIKE;IN FACT IT'S DESERTED.YOU CAN EASILY SPEND A WHOLE DAY HERE EXPLORING.THERE'S AN UNEVEN STAIRCASE OF STONE SLAPS UP KRISHNAGIRI HILL,BUT THE ROUTE TO RAJAGIRI FORT IS MUCH MORE DIFFCULT TO FOLLOW.A RICKSHAW FROM THE TOWN TO THE HILLS AND BACK,INCLULDING WAITING TIME AT THE SITE WHILE YOU EXPLORE,COSTS ABOUT Rs20.


AHMEDNAGAR SIGHTSEEING

 

POPULATION:222000 ON THE ROAD BETWEEN PUNE (82KM AWAY) ANDAURANGABAD, AHMEDNAGAR HAS HAD A COLOURFUL HISTORY. IT WAS HERE THAT EMPEROR AURANGZEB DIED IN 1707, AGED 97.THE TOWNS IMPOSING FORT WAS ERECTED IN 1550, AND AT ONE TIME NEHRU WAS IMPRISONED HERE BY THE BRITISH.


AHMEDNAGAR PLACES TO STAY

 

THERE ARE VARIOUS HOTELS, INCLUDING THE ASHOKA TOURIST HOTEL (TELE 3607) AND THE HOTEL SABLOK .THE ASHOKA IS AT KING'S GATE, ABOUT A KM FROM THE CENTRE, AND HAS ROOMS WITH AND WITHOUT AIR-CON.


BARODA SIGHTSEEING

 

POPULATION:1,100,000 BARODA WAS THE CAPITAL OF THE PRINCELY GAEKWAD STATE PRIOR TO INDEPENDENCE PRESENT DAY VADODARA IS A PLEASANT, MEDIUMIZED CITY WITH SOME INTRESTING MUSEUMS AND ART GALLERIED AND A FINE PARK.THE CITY'S WELL KNOWN FINE ARTS COLLEGE ATTRACTS STUDENTS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY AND ABROAD. IT'S A GOOD PLACE FOR A SHORT PAUSE. *ORIENTATION AND INFORMATION THE RAILWAY STATION, BUS STAND AND A CLUSTER OF A CHEAPER HOTELS ARE ALL ON ONE SIDE OF THE CITY. THE TOURIST OFFICE IS IN A SMALL, UPSTAIRS ROOM ACROSS FROM THE STATION TO THE LEFT.TILAK RD RUNS STRAIGHT OUT FROM THE STATION, ACROSS THE RIVER BY THE SAYAJIBAGH AND IN TO THE MAIN PART OF THE TOWN. THE STATE BANK OF INDIA, NEAR THE KIRTI MANDIR, IS OPEN FROM 11 AM TO 3PM MONDAY TO FRIDAY, AND 11AM TO 1PM SATURDAY. *SAYAJI BAGH AND VADODARA MUSEUM THE EXTENSIVE PARK, ENCIRCLED BY A MINI RAILWAY,IS A POPULAR SPOT FOR AN EVENING STROLL. WITH IN THE PARK IS THE VADODARA MUSEM AND ART GALLERY, OPEN FROM 9.30AM TO 4.45 PM DAILY, EXCEPT SATURDAY WHEN IT OPENS AT 10 AM THE MUSEUM HAS VARIOUS EXHIBITS,WHILE THE GALLERY HAS MOGHUL MINITATURES AND A COLLECTION OF EUROPEAN MASTERS. ALSO WITHIN THE PARK GROUND IS THE RELATIVELY NEW PLANETARIUM WHERE THERE IS AN ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PERFORMANCE EACH EVENING,AND THERE IS ALSO A SMALL ZOO.


BARODA SIGHTSEEING

 

*MAHARAJA FATEH SINGH MUSEUM A LITTLE SOUTH OF THE CENTRE,THIS ROYAL ART COLLECTION INCLUDES EUROPEAN WORKS BY RAPHAEL,TITIAN AND MURILLO AND EXAMPLES OF GRECO-ROMAN,CHINESE AND JAPANESE ART, AS INDIAN EXHIBITS. THE MUSEUM IS IN THE PLACE GROUNDS AND IS OPEN FROM 9 AM TO NOON AND 3 TO 6 PM BETWEEN JULY AND MARCH,4 TO 7 PM FROM APRIL TO JUNE. IT IS CLOSED ON MONDAY. *OTHER ATTRACTIONS THE FLAMBOYANT LAXMI VILAS PALACE HAS A LARGE COLLECTION OF ARMOUR AND SCULPTURES BUT IS NOT NORMALLY OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.THE NAULAKHI WELL,A FINE BAOLI IS 50 METRES NORTH OF THE PALACE. THESE INTRESTING MULTILEVEL WELLS ARE UNIQUE TO WESTERN INDIA.THERE ARE OTHERS IN AHMEDBAD AS WELL AS JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY. THE RAILWAY STAFF COLLEGE NOW OCCUPIES THE PRATAP VILAS PALACE;THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER PALACES IN THE CITY.THE GAEKWAD RULER'SFAMILY VAULT, THE KIRTI MANDIR,IS DECORATED WITH MURALS CREATED WITH INDIAN ARTIST NANDIAL BOSE.THE TOWN CENTERE IS BUILT AROUND A LAKE SWARMING WITH FISH- VENDORS SELL FOOD TO THROW TO THEM *ORGANISED TOURS CHECK WITH THE TOURIST OFFICE ABOUT THE DAILY TOURS OF VADODARA.


BARODA SIGHTSEEING PLACES TO STAY

 

*PLACES TO STAY-BOTTOM END THERE ARE A LOT OF CHEAPER HOTELS WITH IN WALKING DISTANCE OF THE RAILWAY STATION,ALTHOUGH LATER IN THE DAY YOU MAY HAVE LITTLE CHOICE AS PLACES SEEM TO FII UP AS THE DAY WEARS ON. IF YOU HEAD STRAIGHT OUT FROM THE STATION AND TAKE THE THIRD ROAD ON THE RIGHT,YOU'LL FIND THE JAGDISH HINDU LODGE,WITH GLOOMY AND BASIC BUT REASONABLY CLEAN ROOM RANGED AROUND ACOURTYARD.IT'S THE BEST OF THE CHEAPIS AND ALSO ONE OF THE CHEAPEST,AT RS 50 FOR A DOUBLE WITH BATHROOM ATTACHED. IN THE SAME STREET AND A NOTCH UP THE SCALE,IS THE HOTEL VIKRAM (TEL327737) WHICH CHARGES RS 80/125 FOR SINGLES/DOUBLES WITH BATHROOM ATTACHED,OR RS 140/180 WITH AIR-CON. IN THE NEXT STREET BACK TOWARDS THE STATION IS THE PLEASANT AND WELL-KEPT APSARA HOTEL (328251), WITH COMFORTABLE ROOMS AT RS 90/130 WITH IN BATHROOM ACROSS THE ROAD AND LITTLE FURTHER DOWN IS THE BIG AMBASSADOR HOTEL(327653) WITH LARGE QUIET ROOMS FROM RS 105/166, OR RS 162/287 WITH AIRCON.THEY HAVE A COUPLE OF GLOOMY,CUPBOARD SIZED CELLS ON THE GROUND FLOOR WHICH THEY MAY TRY TO FOB OFF ON YOU, SO ASK FOR A ROOM UPSTAIRS.CHECKOUT TIME IS 24 HOURS AFTER CHECK-IN. ON RC DUTT RD,THE GREEN HOTEL(63111) IS IN PLEASANT OLDER-STYLE BUILDING SET BACK FROM THE ROAD AND BOASTS 'HOMELY COMFARTS'!IT'S CLEAN,WELL MAINTAINED AND GOOD VALUE AT RS 50 PER PERSON WITH BATHROOM ATTACHED.


BARODA SIGHTSEEING PLACES TO STAY-MIDDLE

 

RIGHT NEXT TO AMBASSADOR HOTEL IS THE SPARKING NEW RAMA INN(TEL32-8192), WITH TOP-END FACILITIES SUCH AS SWIMMING POOL,CABLE TV IN EACH ROOM AND A DECENT RESTAURANT.AT RS225/375,OR RS325/500 WITH AIR-CON,THIS IS REMARKABLE VALUE.CHECHOUT TIME IS 24 HOURS AFTER CHECK-IN. THE HOTEL SURYA(TEL32-8282),OPPOSITE THE AMBASSADOR HOTEL,IS SOMEWHAT CHEAPER AT RS200/250,OR RS350/450 WITH AIR-CON,BUT IS OLDER AND HAS LESS IN THE WAY OF FACILITIES. THE EXPRESS HOTEL(TEL32-3131)ON R C DUTT RD,ONE KM WEST OF THE RAILWAY STATION,AS AIR-CON AT RS360/600.THERE'S A 24-HOUR COFFE SHOP AS WELL AS A RESTAURANT WHICH OFFERS A VARITY OF CUISINES. **PLACES TO ETA** ALONG THE MAN ROAD FROM THE STATION TOWARDS THE GARDENS AND THE RIVER, THERE'S A REASONABLE KAWALITY AND THE HAVMOR.EXPECT TO PAY ATLEAST RS40 FOR A MEAL AT EITHER PLACE.THE RAILWAY STATION ALSO HAS A GOOD RESTAURANT. FOR CHINESE FOOD TRY THE CHUNG FA ON R C DUTT RD.


BARODA GETTING THERE & AWAY

 

AIR =>THE INDIAN AIRLINES OFFICE IS ON UNIVERSITY ROAD FATEH GANJ.THERE ARE INDIAN AIRLINES FILGHT FROM VADODARA TO BOMBAY,DELHI AND AHMEDABAD.


BARODA AROUND

 

CHAMPANER=>THIS CITY,47KM NORTH EAST OF VADODARA WAS TAKEN BY SULTAN MAHMUD BEGARA IN 1484,AND RENAME IT MUHAMMADABAD.THE JAMI MASJID HERE IS THE FINEST MOSQUES IN GUJRAT AND IS SIMILAR IN STYLE TO THE JAMI MASJID OF AHMEDABAD. THE HILL OF PAVAGADH,WITH ITS RUINED FORT,RASIES BESIDES CHAMPANER IN THREE STAGES.IN 1553 THE MOGHULS,LED BY HUMAUYUN HIMSEFL,SCALED THE FORT WALLS USING IRON SPIKES DRIVEN IN TO THE ROCKS AND CAPTURED BOTH FORT AND ITS CITY.PARTS OF THE MASSIVE FORT WAS STILL STAND.ACCORDING TO HINDU HIMALYAN MOUNTAIN SIDE WHICH THE MONKEY GOD HANUMAN CARTED OFF TO LANKA IN AN EPISODE TO THE RAMAYANA HENCE THE NAME PAVAGADH,WHICH MEANS QUATER OF A HILL.TOO IMPORTANT FESTVALS ARE HELD HERE EACH YEAR. **PLACES TO STAY=>THE STATE TOURIST ORGANISATION RUNS HOTELS CHAMPANER IT HAS 15 DORM BEDS FOR RS10 PER PERSONS AND 32 DOUBLE ROOMS FOR RS125.CHECK OUT TIME IS 11am. **DABHOI FORT=>THE 13TH CENTURY FORT OF DABHOI IS 29KM SOUTHEAST OF VADODARA.FINE EXAMPLE OF HINDU MILITARY ARCHITECTURE,IT IS NOTEBLE FOR THE DESIGN OF ITS FOUR GATEWAYS PERTICULARLY THE HIRA,OR DIAMOND GATE. **DAKOR=>EQUIDISTANT FROM VADODARA AND AHMEDABAD,THE TEMPLE OF RANCHODRAI IN DAKOR IS SACRED TO LORD KRISHNA AND IS THE MOJAR CENTER FOR THE SHARAD PURNIMA FESTIVAL IN OCTOBER OR NOVMBER.


HALDIA SIGHTSEEING

 

THE NEW PORT HALDIA IS 96KM SOUTH OF CALCUTTA,ON THE WEST BANK OF THE HOOGHLY.PORT WAS CONTSTRUCATED TO TRY TO REGAIN THE SHIPPING LOST FROM CALCUTTA'S SILTING PROBLEMS.THERE ARE REGULAR BUSES BETWEEN CALCUTTA AND HALDIA. **SAGAR ISLAND(SAGARDWIP)=>AT THE MOUTH OF THE HOOGHLY, THIS ISLAND IS CONSIDERED THE PIONT WHERE THE GANGES JOINS THE SEA,AND GREAT THREE DAY BATHING FESTIVAL TEKES PLACE HERE IN MID JANUARY.A LIGHTHOUSE MARKS THE SOUTH WEST TIP OF THE ISLAND BUT NAVIGATION IS STILL DIFFICULT FOR A FURTHER 65KM SOUTH. **DIGHA=>CLOSE TO THE BORDER OF ORISSA,185KM SOUTH EAST OF CALCUTTA ON THE BAY OF BENGAL,DIGHA IS ANOTHER SELF STYLE 'BRIGHTON OF THE EAST'.THE BEACH IS 7KM LONG AND VERY WIDE BUT IF A BEACH HOLIDAY IS WHAT YOU WANT,CARRY ON SOUTH TO PURI OR GOPALPUR ON SEA. THERE ARE DAILY BUSES BETWEEN CALCUTTA AND DIGHA.THE CHANDANESHWAR SIVA TEMPLE IS JUST ACROSS THE BORDER IN ORISSA,8KM FROM DIGHA.


HALDIA PLACES TO STAY

 

THERE'S A TOURIST LODGE WITH ROMMS AND MEALS AT REASONABLE PRICES.DIGHA HAS A WIDE RANGE OF OTHER ACCOMODATION,INCLUDING NEW AND OLD TOURIST COTTAGES AND YOUTH HOSTELS WITH DORM BEDS.THE HOTEL SEA HAWK HAS RANGE OF ROOMS,WITH OR WITHOUT AIR-CON.


MUDUMALAI SIGNHTSEEING

 

*MUDUMALAI WILDLIFE SANCTURY =>IN THE LUXURIANTLY FORESTED FOOTHILLS OF THE NILGIRRIS,MUDUMALAI IS PART OF A MUCH LARGER SANCTURY WHICH INCLUDES BANDIPUR AND WYNAD IN NEIGHBOURING KARNATAKA AND KERALA.THE MAIN ATTRACTION HERE ARE THE HERDS OF CHITAL (SPOTTED DEER),GAUR (INDIAN BISON),ELEPHANT, TIGER,PANTHER,WILD BOAR,SLOTH,AND THE OTTERS AND CROCODILES WHICH LIVE IN THE RIVER MOYAR.IT'S POSSIBLE TO SEE ALL THIS ANIMALS IF YOU HAVE MADE ARRANEGMENTS WITH THE FOREST DEPARTMENT FOR A VEHICLE TO TAKE YOU TO THE MORE REMOTE PARTS OF THE SANCTURY. THE MAIN SERVICE AREA IN THIS SANCTURY,THEPPAKADU,IS ON THE ROAD BETWEEN UDHAGAMANDALAM (OOTY) AND MYSORE.THE WILDLIFE SANCTURY RECEPTION CENTER, SYLVAN LODGE,YOUTH HOSTEL AND ELEPLHANT CAMP ARE HERE.EVEN AROUND THEPPAKA- -DU, YOU CAN SOMETIMES SEE SPOTTED DEER,ELEPHANT AND WILD BOAR. TI'S ADVISABLE TO BOOK SANCTURY ACCOMODATION AND TRNSPORT IN ADVANCE, EITHER WITH THE FOREST OFFICER IN OOTY ON COONOOR RD,OR AT A TAMIL NADU TOURIST OFFICE.THERE ARE ENTRY FEES FOR VISITORS, VEHICLES AND CAMERAS.JEEP AND MINIBUSES CAN BE HIRED N THE PARK,AND ELEPHANT RIDES ARE AVAILABLE.THE ELEPHANTS GO CRASHING THROUGH THE BUSH OVER A FOUR TO FIVE-KM CIRCUIT AND GREAT FUN,BUT YOU'LL BE LUCKY TO SEE ANY THINGH OTHER THAN SPOTTED DEER, WILD BOAR,GAUR AND MONKEYS.THE ELEPHANT RIDES MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE IN OOTY. THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE SANCTURY IS BETWEEN FEBRUARY AND MAY,THOUGH YOU CAN VISIT AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR,EXECPT DURING THE DRY SEASONS WHEN IT MAY BE CLOSED.HEAVY RAIN IS COMMON IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER.


MUDUMALAI PLACES TO STAY & EAT

 

THEPPAKADU THE MOST CINVENIENT PLACE TO STAY IS THE TTDC YOUTH HOSTEL,WHERE DORM BEDS AND BASIC MEALS ARE AVAILABLE.THERE'S NO NEED TO BOOK IN ADVANCE. THE SYLVAN LODGE IS THE BEST AND LOOKS OUT OVER THE RIVER. THE ABHAYARANYAM REST HOUSE HAS ROOMS.THERE'S ALSO A DORMITORY AT THE RANGE OFFICE A SHORT WAY FROM THE REST HOUSE. AT THE RECEPTION CENTRE,THERE IS AN EIGHT-BED DORMITRY(FOUR PER ROOM) WITH TOILET AND SHOWER BUT NO CATERING FACILITIES.IF YOU'RE STAYING HERE, YOU CAN EAT AT THE SYLVAN LODGE OR YOUTH HOSTEL AS THERE ARE NO OTHER RESTAURANTS-THEPPAKADU IS NOT REALLY A VILLAGE,JUST THE PARK HEADQUATER ON THE MAIN ROAD. **MASINAGUDI=>MASINAGUDI IS A SMALL VILLAGE EIGHT KM EAST OF THEPPAKADU.THE PRIVATELY RUN MOUNTANIA LODGE HAS CABINS WITH BATHROOM.MEALS ARE AVAILABLE HERE,OR YOU CAN TRY THE COUPLE OF BASIC 'MEALS' PLACES IN THE VILLAGE. BAMBOO BANKS IS MORE EXPENSIVE AGAIN AND IS INACCESSIBLE WITHOUT YOUR OWN TRANSPORT.THE CHITAL WALK (JUNGLE TRAILS) LODGE,EIGHT KM EAST OF MASINAGUDI IS A GOOD PLACE IF YOU HAVE A KEEN INTEREST IN WILDLIFE.IF OFFERS A ROOMS AND DORM BEDS.GOOD MEALS ARE AVAILABLE.THE SIGHUR GHAT BUSES TO OR FROM OOTY CAN DROP YOU OFF ON THE ROAD NEAR THE VALAITOTAM TURNOFF IF YOU ASK AND,FROM THERE,IT'S A FEW HUNDRED METERS OFF THE ROAD. RIGHT OPPOSITE THE POLICE STATION IN MASINAGUDI IS A TRAVELLERS BUNGALOW WITH A COUPLE OF DOUBLE ROOMS.


MUDUMALAI GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

THE BUSES FROM OOTY TO MYSORE,BANGALORE AND HASSAN STOP AT THEPPAKADU,AND IT'S NOT TO DIFFICULT TO WAVE THEM DOWN. THE MORE INTERESTING ROUTE TO OR FROM OOTY INVOLVES TAKING A BUS TO MASINAGUDI,THEN ONE OF THE SMALL GOVERNMENT BUSES WHICH MAKE THE TRIP UP (OR DOWN) THE TORTUOUS SIGHUR GHAT ROAD.IT'S ACTUALLY SHORTER THAN THE MAIN ROAD,BUT YHE BENDS ARE SO TIGHT AND THE GRADIENT SO STEEP THAT LARGE BUSES CAN'T USE IT.IN FACT,THERE'S A SIGN ON THE ROAD LEAVING MASINAGUDI WARNING THAT 'YOU WILL HAVE TO STRAIN YOUR VEHICLE TO REACH OOTY'! YOU CAN ALSO VISIT THE SANCTUARY ON TOURS FROM OOTY,BUT YOU'RE UNLIKELY TO SEE ANYTHING OTHER THAN TAME ELEPHANTS.


LONAR SIGHTSEEING

 

LONAR METEORITE CRATER ---------------------- AT THE SMALL VILLAGE OF LONAR,THREE HOURS BY BUS NORTH-EAST OF JALNA OR 4 1/2 HOURS SOUTH-EAST OF AJANTA,IS THIS HUGE AND IMPRESSIVE METEORITE CRATER.IT'S ABOUT TWO KM IN DIAMETER AND SEVERAL HUNDRED METERS DEEP,WITH A SHALLOW LAKE AT THE BOTTOM.A PLAQUE ON THE RIM NEAR THE TOWN STATES THAT THIS IS 'THE ONLY NATURAL HYPERVELOCITY IMPACT CRATER IN BASALTIC ROCK IN THE WORLD'. THERE ARE SEVERAL HINDU TEMPLES ON THE CRATER FLOOR,AND LANGUR MONKEYS INHABIT THE BUSHES BY THE LAKE.THE CRATER IS ONLY ABOUT FIVE MINUTES WALK FROM THE BUS STATION - ASK FOR LONAR TANK. IT'S POSSIBLE TO VISIT LONAR IN A DAY EN ROUTE BETWEEN FARDAPUR AND AURANGABAD,BUT THIS WOULD BE RUSHING THINGHS.


LONAR PLACES TO STAY

 

THER IS A BASIC HOTEL BY THE BUS STATION IN LONAR,AND OTHER IN BULDHANA, THREE HOURS TO THE NORTH.


LONAR GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

FROM LONAR THERE ARE BUSES TO BULDHANA FROM WHERE IT'S EASY TO CATCH A BUS FOR THE BUMPY 1 1/2 HOUR JOURNEY TO FARDAPUR.HEADING SOUTH FROM THE LONAR THERE ARE DIRECT BUSES TO JALNA,FROM WHERE THERE ARE TRAINS AND BUSES TO AURANGABAD,A TOTAL OF ABOUT FIVE HOURS.


TRIVANDRUM SIGHTSEEING

 

AS YOU STROLL AROUND THIS FRIENDLY,RELAXED CITY BUILT OVER SEVEN FORESTED HILLS,IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE THAT IT IS A STATE CAPITAL.THE CITY OF THE SCARED SNAKE IS UNLIKE ANY OTHER INDIAN STATE CAPITAL AND HAS MANAGED TO RETAIN THE MAGIC AMBIENCE SO CHARATERISTIC OF KERALA IN GENERAL - RED-TILED ROOFS,NARROW WINDING LANES,INTIMATE CORNER CAFES,DILAPIDATED MUNICIPAL BUSE AND NECESSARY BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHED IN A FRIENDLY MANNER WITH A RELATIVELY HIGH DEGREE OF EFFICIENCY.THE ONLY REAL BUSTLE YOU'LL ENCOUNTER HERE IS DURING RUSH HOURS. AT LEAST,THIS IS HOW IT IS WHEN POLITICAL TENSIONS BETWEEN THE VARIOUS FACTIONS HAVEN'T REACHED THE STAGE WHERE THEY ERUPT INTO VIOLENCE ON THE STREETS.POLITICAL SLOGANS,EMBLEMS AND FLAGS,ESPECIALLY THOSE OF THE COMMUNIST AND MUSLIM PARTIES,ARE A NOTABLE FEATURE OF THE URBAN LANDSCAPE OF KERALA.LUCKILY,EVEN WHEN THERE IS VIOLENCE,IT RARELY EFFECTS THE VISITOR ON THE OTHER HAND,THERE ISN'T A GREAT DEAL TO SEE IN THRIUVANANTHAPURAM ITSELF,AND NON-HINDUS AREN'T ALLOWED INTO THE FAMOUS SRI PADMANABHASWAMY TEMPLE.THE MAIN REASON PEOPLE COME HERE TO STAY AT MAGNIFICENT KOVALAM BEACH,16 KM SOUTH.YOU MIGHT ALSO FIND YOURSELF HERE FOR A DAY OR SO IF YOU PLAN TO FLY TO SRI LANKA,THE MALDIVE ISLANDS OR THE PERSAIN GULF. **ORENTATION => THRIVANANTHAPURAM COVER A LARGE AREA,BUT MOST OF THE SERVICES AND PLACES OF INTEREST ARE ON OR VERY CLOSE TO MAHATAM GANDHI RD- THE MAIN ROAD RUNNING THROUGH THE CENTRE OF THE CITY FROM THE MUSEUM AND ZOO TO SRI PADMANABHASWAMY TEMPLE. THE LONG-DISTANCE BUS STATION,RAILWAY STATION AND TOURIST RECEPTION CENTRE ARE ALL CLOSE TO EACH OTHER,AS ARE MANY OF THE BUDGET HOTELS.


TRIVANDRUM SIGHTSEEING

 

THE MUNICIPAL BUS STAND IS 10 MINUTES WALK FROM THE RAILWAY STATION, OPPOSITE SRI PADMANABHASWAMY TEMPLE. THE MUSEUM,ZOO AND AIRLINE OFFICES ARE ALL IN THE NORTH OF THE CITY AND YOU'LL NEED AN AUTO-RICKSHAW TO REACH THEM. **INFORMATION**TOURIST OFFICES =>THE TOURIST RECEPTION CENTRE IN FRONT OF THE CHAITHRAM HOTEL,NEAR THE RAILWAY STATION AND CENTRAL BUS STATION,HAS BASIC INFORMATION BUT IS ESSENTIALLY THERE TO PROMOTE THIER GUIDED TOURS TO THIRUVANANTHAPURAM,KANYA-KUMARI,PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTURY AND KODAIKANAL. IF YOU WANT MORE DETAILED INFORMATION OR ANY OF THE BOOKLETS THAT THE KTDC PRODUCE YOU'LL HAVE TO MAKE A TRIP TO THE MAIN OFFICE,THE TOURIST INFORMAT- ION CENTRE,MUSEUM Rd,OPPOSITE THE MUSEUM/ZOO AT THE NORTH END OF M G Rd.THE PEOPLE WHO STAFF THIS OFFICE ARE VERY ENTHUSIASTIC INDEED AND THEY HAVE A RANGE OF WELL RESEARCHED AND INFORMATIVE BOOKLETS WHICH INCLUDE,KERALA - TRAVEL FACTS(FREE),FAIRS & FESTIVALS OF KERALA(FREE),TRAVEL INFORMATION - KERALA,TAMIL NADU,KARNATAKA,GOA,AND HOTELS OF KERALA PLUS MANY OTHER FREE LEAFLETS. **POST & TELECOMMUNICATIONS =>THE GPO IS TUCKED AWAY DOWN A SMALL SIDE STREET OFF M G Rd,ABOUT 10 MINUTES WALK FROM THE STATION Rd AREA.MOST OF THE COUNTERS,INCLUDING POSTE RESTANTE,ARE OPEN MONDAY TO SATURDAY FROM 8am TO 8pm. THERE'S NO PACKING SERVICE AVAILABLE HERE BUT THERE'S A SMALL TAILOR'SSHOP OPPOSITE WHICH WELL STITCH UP AND SEAL PARCELS AT A VERY REASONABLE RATE. THE CENTRAL TELEGRAPH OFFICE IS ON M G Rd,MIDWAY BETWEEN STATION Rd AND THE MUSEUM AND 20 MINUTES WALK FROM EITHER.IT IS OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY.


TRIVANDRUM SIGHTSEEING

 

**VISA EXTENSIONS =>APPLY FOR VISA EXTENSIONS AT THE OFFICE OF THE COMMMISSIONER OF POLICE ON RESIDENCY Rd.EXTENSIONS TAKE BETWEEN FOUR DAYS AND A WEEK TO ISSUE BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIVE YOUR PASSPORT THERE.IT SPEED THINGHS UP IF YOU GIVE THE NAME OF A THIRUVANANTHAPURAM HOTEL AS YOUR ADDRESS RATHER THAN SOME WHERE IN KOVALAM.SURPRISINGLY.THIS OFFICE IS OPEN ON SATURDAY AS WELL AS WEEKDAYS,FROM 10am TO 5pm. **BOOKSHOPS & LIBRARIES =>THE BRITISH LIBRARY,IN THE YMCA GROUNDS NEAR THE SECRETARIAT BUILDING,IS SUPPOSEDLY ONLY OPEN TO MEMBERS,BUT THEY SEEM TO WELCOME THE VISITORS.IT HAS THREE-DAY-OLD BRITISH NEWSPAPERS AND A VARIETY OF MAGAZINES. THERE'S A BRANCH OF HIGGINBOTHAMS BOOKSHOP ON M G Rd,JUST UP FROM THE STATION ROAD. **MUSEUM,GALLERY & ZOO =>THESE ARE ALL IN THE SAME AREA,IN THE PARK OF THE NORHT END OF THE CITY.THE ZOO IS OPEN DAILY EXCEPT MONDAY FROM 9am TO 5pm AND THE OTHER TWO DAILY EXCEPT MONDAY BETWEEN 10am TO 5pm.THERE IS ENTRYFEE HOUSED IN AN ATTRACTIVE BUILGING,THE NAPIER MUSEUM HAS A GOOD COLLECTION OF BRONZES,HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY ORNAMENTS,TEMPLE CARTS,IVORY CARVING AND LIFE SIZE FIGURES OF KATHAKALI DANCERS IN FULL REGALIA.THE SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY MUSEUM IS NOT THAT INTERESTING UNLESS YOU ARE A HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE STUDENT. ON DISPLAY AT THE SRI CHITRA ART GALLERY ARE PAINTINGS OF THE RAJPUTS, MUGHAL AND TANJOR SCHOOLS TOGETHER WITH WORKS FROM CHINA, TIBET, JAPAN AND BALI.THERE ALSO MANY MODERN INDIAN PAINTINGS,ESPECIALLY THOSE OF RAVI VARMA


TRIVANDRUM SIGHTSEEING

 

ALTHOUGH THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS ARE AMONG THE BEST LAID-OUT ZOOS IN ASIA SET AMONG THE BEST LAID-OUT ZOOS IN ASIA,SET AMONGST WOODLAND,LAKES AND VERY WELL MAINTAINED LAWNS,SOME OF THE ANIMAL ENCLOSURES ARE STILL MISER- ABLE. THE ZOO'S BOTANICAL GARDEN INCLUDES EXAMPLES OF ALMOST EVERY TROPICAL TREES. ** SRI PADMANABHASWAMY TEMPLE THIS TEMPLE,ALTHOUGH TO BE TO THE 'PRESIDINGDEITY' OF THIRUVANANTHAPURAM IS DEDICATED TO VISHNU.IT WAS CONSTRUCTED IN THE DRAVIDIAN STYLE BY A MAHARAJA OF TRAVANCORE IN 1773.ONLY HINDUS ARE ALLOWED INSIDE,ANDEVEN THEY HAVE TO WEAR ASPECIAL DHOTI WHICH CAN BE RENTED FOR RS 1.THE TEMPLE IN- CORPORATES A TANK IN WHICH THE FAITHFUL BATHE. ** ORGANSED TOURS CITY TOUR THE THIRUVANANTHAPURAM CITY TOUR LEAVES DAILY AT 8AM,RETURNING AT 7 PM,AND COST RS 60 PER PERSONS.IT INCLUDES VISITS TO SHRI PADMANABHAS- WAMY TEMPLE (FOR HINDUS ONLY), THE MUSEUM,ART GALLERY,ZOO,VELILAGOON AND KOVALAM BEACH.THIS TOUR IS OF LITTLE INTREST TO TRAVELLERS SINCE THE TEMPLE IS OFF LIMITS TO NON-HINDUS AND WHO WANTS TOGAWP AT FELLOW TRAVELLERS SUNBATHING ON THE BEACH AT KOVALAM IN ANY CASE? **KANYAKUMARI THE DAILY KANYAKUMARI (CAPE COMORIN) TOUR DEPARTS AT 7:30 AM,RETURNS AT 9 PM AND COST RS 100.IT INCLUDES VISITS TO PADMANABHAPURAM PALACE (EXCEPT ON MONDAY)AND KANYAKUMARI.THIS ISNT BAD VALUE IF YOU WANT TO AVOID THE TYPICAL PUBLIC BUS SYSTEMRUBY SCRUMS AND ARENT PARTICULAR INTRESTED IN STAYING OVER NIGHT IN KANYAKUMARI.


TIVANDRUM SIGHTSEEING

 

**PONMUDI THER'S A DAILY TOUR TO THIS HILL RESORT IN SOUTHERN KERLA WHICH DEPARTS AT 7.45 AM RETURNS AT 7 PM AND COST RS 85. **PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY THE TOUR TO THIS SANCTUARY,IN THE MOUNTAINS OF KERALA NEAR THE TAMILNADU BORDER,DEPARTS EVERY SATURDAY AT6.30AM AND RETURNS THE FOLLOWING EVENING AT 9 PM EXCLUDING BOARD AND LODGING.THIS MUST BE ONE OF THE SILLIEST TOURS IN INDIA, AS THERE'S NO WAY YOU 'RE GOING TO HAVE THE TIME TO SEE ANY WILD LIFE AT ALL EVEN IF IT WERE THAT EASY IN THE COMPANY OF A BUSLOAD OF GARRULOUS HONEYMOONERS. ** OTHER TOURS THERE ARE THE TOURS TO PLACES FURTHER AFIELD SUCH AS KODAIKANAL (THREE DAY) BANGALORE (SEVEEN DAYS), TIRUPATHI(FIVE DAYS) GOA(SEVEN DAYS) AND EVEN BOMBAY (15 DAYS) BUT THEY'RE OF LITTLE INTREST TO MOST PEOPLE. **PLACES TO STAY- BOTTOM END THERE ARE MANY CHEAP LODGING PLACES ALONG OR CLOSE TO THE STATION RD AREA (NEAR THE RAILWAY STATION AND BUS STAND) BUT MANY ARE VERY BASIC AND THIS ROAD IS BUSY AND NOISY. THE BEACH AT KOVALAM IS SO CLOSE AND SO FAR MORE PLEASANT PLACE TO STAY.IT IS POSSIBLE,HOWEVER,THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE BUISNESS TO TRANSACT WHICH MIGHT INVOLVE AN OVERNIGHT STAY IN THIRUVANANTHAPURAM. ASSUMING THAT THE CASE, THE BEST HUNTING GROUND FOR A REASONIBLE CHEAPIE IS ALONG MANJALIKULAM RD,A NARROW ROAD HEADING NORTH OFF STATION RD.THIS ROAD IS LINED WITH ALL MANNER OF HOTELS,FROM BOTTOM END THROUGH MID RANGE TO TOP END, FOR ALMOST A KM SO YOU'RE GUARANTEED TO FIND SOMEWHERETHAT SUIT


JALANDHAR SIGHT SEEING

 

POPULATION:519,000 ONLY 80 KM SOUTH-EAST OF AMRITSAR,THIS WAS ONCE THE CAPITAL OF AN ACIENT HINDU KINGDOM.IT SURVIVED A SACKING BY MAHMUD OF GHAZNI NEARLY A THOUSAND YEARS AGO AND LATER BECAME IMPORTANT MOGHUL CITY.THE TOWN HAS A LARGE SERAI BUILT IN 1857.


POKRAN SIGTHSEEING

 

**POKRAN THE JUNCTION WHERE THE JAISALMER TO BIKANER AND JAISALMER TO JODHPUR ROADS SPLIT IS THE SITE OF ANOTHER MAGNIFICIENT RAJASTHAN FORTRESS.THE YELLOW SANDSTONE FORT RISES FROM THE YELLOW DESERT SANDS AND SHELTERS A TANGLE A NARROW STREETS LINED BY BALCOINED HOUSES DECORATED WITH PARROTS, ELEPH- ANTS AND RAJASTHANS'S INEVIATABLE PEACOCKS.THE USUALLY QUIET TOWN SPRINGS TO LIFE DURING ITS ANNUAL CATTLE FAIR. IT MUST ALSO HAVE SPRUNG TO LIFE IN MAY 1974 WHEN A NUCLEAR EXPLOSION TOOK PLACE NEARBY !


POKRAN PLACES TO STAY

 

**PLACES TO STAY THE RTDC MOTEL MIDWAY IS A BRAND NEW PLACE OF THE EDGE OF TOWN.IT HAS JUST TWO ROOMS WITH ATTACHED BATH FOR MEALS ARE AVAILABLE.


BARMER SIGHTSEEING

 

**BARMER BARMER IS A CENTRE OF WOODCARVING, CARPETS, EMBROIDERY,BLOCK PRINTING AND OTHER HANDICRAFTS AND ITS PRODUCTS ARE FAMOUS THROUGHOUT RAJASTHAN.OTHER WISE,THIS DESERT TOWN, 153 KM FROM JAISALMER AND 220 KM FROM JODHPUR,ISN'T VERY EXCITING.THERE'S NO FORTRESS HERE AND THE MOST INTRESTING PART IS PROBABLY THE JOURNEY TO BARMER THROUGH SMALL VILLAGES,THIRD MUD-WALLED HOUSES DECORATED WITH THE CHARACTERESTIC GEOMETRICAL DESIGNS OF EACH DIFFERENT VILLAGE. WHILST WALKING AROUND BARMER,I WAS STOPPED BY AN ARMY CAPTAIN DRIVING A JEEP.HE ASKED ME,WHY HAVE YOU COME TO BARMER? THERE'S NOTHING HERE !BY THE END OF THE DAY,I FOUND MYSELF IN SUBSTANTIAL AGREEMENT WITH HIM. THERE'S ALSO HARDLY ANYWHERE TO STAY HERE. THE ONLY OBVIOUS HOTEL I CAME ACROSS WAS THE AGRA REST HOUSE ON STATION RD,THOUGH THERE MUST BE OTHERS. BUSES RUN BETWEEN BARMER AND JAISALMER, AND SOUTH TO PALANPUR IN GUJRAT. BARMER IS ALSO CONNECTED TO JODHPUR BY METRE-GAUGE RAILWAY.ALTHOUGH THE LINE CONTINUES ON TO THE PAKISTANI BORDER,THERE ARE NO THROUGH TRAINS TO THAT COUNTRY AND,IN ANY CASE,FOREIGNERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CROSS THE BORDER AT THIS POINT.


SAWAI MADHOPUR SIGHTSEEING 1

 

RANTHAMBHOR NATIONAL PARK NEAR THE TOWN OF SAWAI MADHOPUR, MIDWAY BETWEEN BHARATPUR AND KOTA, RAN- THAMBHOR NATIONAL PARK IS ONE OF THE PRIME EXAMPLES OF PROJECT TIGER'S CONSERVATION EFFORTS IN RAJASTHAN.SADLY,IT ALSO DEMONSTRATES THAT PROGRAM'S OVERALL FAILURE; STATE THAT THE TIGER POPULATION MAY NOW BE AS LOW . OFICIALLY,THERE ARE 40 TIGERSIN THE PARK SO YOU HAVE A GOOD CHANCE OF A SIGHTING ON YOUR FIRST SAFARI.TO BE SURE,PLAN ON TWO OR THREE SAFARIS.OTHER GAME,ESPECIALLY THE LARGER AND SMALLER HERBIVORES,ARE MORE NUMEROUS.EVEN IF YOU DON'T SEE A TIGER, IT'S WORTH THE EFFORT FOR THE SCENERY ALONE:IN INDIA IT'S NOT OFTEN YOU GET THE CHANCE TO VISIT SUCH A LARGE AREA OF VIRGIN BUSH,AND THE CONTRAST WITH THE OFTEN DENUDED LAND ELSEWHERE IS STARK. THE PARK ITSELF COVERS SOME 400 SQ KM AND ITS SCENERY IS VERY BEAUTIFUL A SYSTEM OF LAKES AND RIVERS IS HEMMED IN BY STEEP HIGH CRAGS AND,ON TOP OF ONE OF THESE, IS THE EXTENSIVE AND WELL PRESERVED FORTRESS OF RANTHAMBORE, BUILT IN 10 TH CENTURY.THE LOWER-LYING GROUND ALTERNATES BETWEEN OPEN BUSHLAND AND FAIRLY DENSE FOREST AND IS PEPPERED WITH RUINED PAVILIONS,CHHATARIS (TOMBS) AND 'HIDES'THE AREA WAS FORMERLY A HUNTING PRESERVE OF THE MAHARAJAS. A GOOD NETWORK OF OUR GRAVEL TRACKS CRISSCROSSES THE PARK AND SAFARIS ARE UNDERTAKEN IN OPEN-SIDED JEEPS DRIVEN BY A RANGER.IF YOU'VE EVER BEEN ON SAFARI ON AFRICA,YOU MIGHT THINK THIS IS AN UNDULY RISKY VENTURE BUT THE TIGERS APPEAR UNCONCERNED BY JEEP LOADS OF GARRULOUS TOURISTS TOUTING CAMERAS ONLY METERES AWAY FROM WHERE THEY'RE LYING.NO ONE HAS BEEN MAULED OR EATEN YET!


SAWAIMADHOPUR SIGHTSEEING 2

 

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE PARK IS BETWEEN OCTOBER AND APRIL,AND THE PARK IS ACTUALLY CLOSED DURING THE MONSOON FROM 1 JUNE TO 1 OCTOBER.EARLY MORNING AND LATE AFTERNOON AND THE BEST TIMES TO VIEW GAME. * ORIENTATION & INFORMATION THER'S A TOURIST OFFICE IN THE PROJECT TIGERS OFFICE IN SAWAI MODHPUR.IT IS TUCKED AWAY HALF A KM SOUTH OF THE RAILWAY STATION.JUST FOLLOW THE TRACKS SOUTH FROM THE STATION THROUGH THE OVERPASS,AND THE OFFICE IS ON THE LEFT, JUST BEFORE THE CINEMA,WHICH IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS. THERE ARE 4 TRAILS WITHIN THE PARK,AND ON EACH SAFARI 6 JEEPS TAKE EACH TRAIL.WHILE THIS MAY SOUND LIKE A LOT,THEY USUALLY SPREAD THEMSELVES OUT SO IT IS NOT JUST A NOISY CONVOY. IT'S 1O KM FROM SAWAI MADHOPUR TO THE FIRST PARK GATE,WHERE THE JEEPS QUEUE AND YOU PAY THE ENTRY FEES,AND A FURTHER 3KM TO THE MAIN GATE AND THE JOGI MAHAL.THE ACCOMDATION IS STRUNG OUT ALL THE WAY ALONG THE ROAD FROM THE TOWN TO THE PARK.ADVANCE BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL DURING THE BUSY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR PERIODS. IF YOU ARE TAKING PHOTOS, IT'S WORTHWHILE BRINGING SOME 400 OR 800 ASA FILM, AS THE UNDERGROWTH IS DENSE AND SURPRISINGLY DARK. THER'S ENTRY FEE TO THE PARK,PLUS FOR A CAMERA.YOU'LL ALSO HAVE TO PAY THE ENTRY FEE VEHICLE.THE PARK ENTRANCE IS ABOUT 10 KM FROM THE SAWAI MADHOPUR RAILWAY STATION.


SAWAIMADHOPUR

 

**PLACES TO STAY THER'S SOME BASIC ACCOMMODATION IN THE TOWN ITSELF, WHILE THE BETTER PLACES ARE ALONG THE PARK ROAD.WHEN THE STEPPING OFF THE TRAIN YOU'LL BE BESIEGED BY TOUTS AND JEEP DRIVERS TRYING TO DRUM UP BUSINESS. DON'T BE INTIMATED INTO TAKING A JEEP TO YOUR SELF,OR INTO STAYING SOMEWHERE YOU DON'T WANT TO RIGHT IN TOWN ITSELF,ABOUT HALF A KM FROM THE RAILWAY STATION IS THE HOTEL SWAGAT.IT'S PRETTY BASIC,BUT REASONABLE FOR WHAT IT OFFERS,FOR A DOUBLE WITH BATHED ATTACHED.THE HOTEL VISHAL IN THE SAME STREET, IS SIMILAR. ALSO IN TOWN, BY THE RAILWAY FLYOVER,IN THE MORE UPMARKET HOTEL PINK PALACE WHERE A DOUBLE WITH BATHROOM ATTACHED AND HOT WATER. MOVING OUT OF TOWN ALONG THE ROAD TO THE PARK,THE FIRST PLACE IS THE CAVE (ONE KM FROM TOWN), WHICH IS TENTED CAMP OF A DOZEN OR SO LARGE TENTS,EACH FITTED WITH A BATHROOM !SUPPLIED WITH BUCKET HOT WATER.IT'S NOT CHEAP PER PERSON; TRY BARGAINING NEXT UP IS THE SAWAI MADHOPUR LODGE FORMERLY BELONGING TO THE MAHARAJA OF MAHARAJA OF JAIPUR.ITS SUITABLY LUXRIOUS,AND HAS A BAR,RESTAURANT AND BEATIFUL GARDEN.THE PRICE FOR FULL BOARD ACCOMODATION AND JEEPS ARE AVAILABLE FOR TRIPS AROUND THE PARK. A FURTHER 500 METERS BRINGS YOU TO THE SMALL AND VERY PLEASANT ANKUR RESORT (1 1/2 KM) FORMERLY BELONGING TO THE MAHARAJA OF JAIPUR.IT IS SUITABLY LUXRIOUS, AND HAS A BAR RESTAURANT AND BEAUTIFUL GARDEN THE FULL BOARD ACCOMDATION AND JEEPS ARE AVAILABLE FOR TRIPS AROUND THE PARK. A FURTHER 500 METERS BRINGS YOU TO THE SMALL AND VERY PLEASANT ANKUR RESORT (1 1/2 KM).


SAWAI MADHOPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

PLACES TO STAY THIS IS A CLEAN MODERN PLACE WITH A GOOD SIZED MODERN ROOMS, WITH BATH ATTACHE.STANDARD ROOMS WITH AIR COOL.THER'S AN ATTACHED DINNING ROOM,AND GOOD VEGETARIAN MEALS ARE AVAILABLE IT'S CERTAINLY ONE OF THE BEST PLACES FOR THE MONEY. VERY SIMILAR IS THE ANURAG RESORT A FORTHER 500 METRES TOWARDS THE PARKPRICES HERE ARE WITHAIR COOLING THE NEXT PLACE IS OF THE RTDC PLACES THE KAMDHENU TOURIST BUNGLOW.IT'S A FAIRLY MODERN AND CHARACTERLESS BUILDING,OFFERING THE UNREMARKABLE ACCOMADATION THE PRICE WITH SINGLE DOUBLE ROOMS WITH BATH ATTACHED WITH AIR COOL MEALS ARE AVAILABLE HERE. THE OTHER RTDC PLACES IS A TOTAL CONTRAST THE CASTLE JHOOMAR BAORI(5KM THEN 2KM OFF THE ROAD)IS A FORMER ROYAL HUNTING LODGE, AND IS STUNNINGLY SIDTED ON THE HILLSIDE TO THE RIGHT OF THE ROAD. THE 11 ROOMS ARE COMFORTABLE SPACIOUS AND WELL FURNISHED AND HAVE MODERN TOILET AND BATHROOM FACILITIES WITH HOT WATER.THER'S ALSO A BEATIFUL LOUNGE AS WELL AS OPEN ROOFTOP AREAS. THE ORDINARY AIRCOOLED ROOMSBUT THER'S ALSO APANTHER SUITE AND TIGER SUITE IF YOU'RE MOST INTRESTED IN WILDLIFE AND SOUNDS OF JUNGLE THEN THE BEST THOUGHCERTAINLY NOT THE CHEAPEST, PLACE TO STAY IS THE JOGI MAHAL,THREE KM INSIDE THE PARK FROM THE MAIN GATE AND OVER LOOKING ONE OF THE LOTUS STUDDED LAKES IT'S THE ONLY ACCOMDATION WITH IN THE PARK ITSELF.THIS FORMER HUNTING LODGE, WHICH ONCE BELONGED TO THE MAHARAJAS IS THE ONE FEATURED IN ALL THE GLOSSY TOURIST BROCHURES.IT'S A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO STAY BUT,AS THEY HAVE ONLYFOUR ROOMS WHICH ARE ALWAYS IN HEAVY DEMAND, ADVANCE BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL.ROOMS PER PERSON INCLDING ALL MEALS.MEALS AREN'T AVAIL.NON RES.


SAWAI MADHOPUR GETTING THERE &AWAY

 

**GETTING THERE & AWAY SAWAI MADHOPUR ON THE MAIN DELHI TO BOMBAY BROAD GUAGE RAILWAY LINE AND AS MOST TRAINS STOP HERE, THER'S A WIDE RANGE TO CHOOSE FROM.THE 108 KM TO KOTA TAKES 2 HOURS 10 MIN WHILE AGRA FORT IS 226 KM WHICH TAKES 8 HOURS SWAI MADHOPUR IS ALSO THE JUNCTION OF THE METERE GUAGE SPUR TO JAIPUR AND BIKANER.THREE TRAINS A DAY TRAVEL THIS LINE IN EITHER DIRECTION.BUT THE EARLY MORNING DEPARTURE FROM SAWAI MADHOPUR CAN BE PACKED SOLID,EVEN IN FIRST CLASS.THE 130 KM TRIP TAKES AROUND THE HOURS **GETTING AROUND JEEPS CAN BE HIRED FROM MOST OF THE LODGES,AND YOU'LL BE APPROACHED REGULA- RLY BY HOPEFUL DRIVERS.THE FEE FOR JEEP HIRE IS SET AT FOR A MORNING OR AFTERNOON SAFARI, AND THIS CAN BE SHARED BY UP TO SIX PEOPLE,ALTHOUGH FOUR IS PREFERABLE . THIS INCLUDES ALL KM CHARGES , SO STAYING FURTHER FROM THE PARK ENTRANCE ISN'T GOING TO COST MORE . SAFFARI TIMES ONE HOUR LATER IN SUMMER . ONLY 24 JEEPS ARE ALLOWED IN THE PARK AT ANY ONE TIME , & DURING THE PICK WINTER SEASON IT MEANS GETTING A JEEP & ARRIVING AT THE PARK GATE AT LEAST 30 MINS. BEFORE IT OPENS TO BE SURE OF GETTING IN . IF YOU ARE ALONE & CAN'T FIND OTHER'S TO SHARE THE COST OF A JEEP , IT'S POSSIBLE TO HIRE A BICYCLE & RIDE THE 10 KM TO THE GATE . HERE YOU CAN ASK AROUND,AS MANY JEEPS HAVE ONLY ONE OR TWO PASS. & OFTEN THEY DON'T MIND TAKING AN EXTRA PERSON,OFTEN FOR FREE.


SAWAI MADHOPUR GETTING AROUND

 

****GETTING AROUND THE OTHER ALTERNATIVE FOR A SAFARI IS THE OPEN BACKED RTDC MINIBUS, ALTHOUGH THIS HAS THE DISADVANTAGE OF NOT VENTURING FAR INTO THE PARK . HOWEVER , IT WILL PICK UP FROM THE PROJECT TIGER OFFICE , THE SAWAI MADHOPUR LODGE , THE ANKUR RESORT , THE RTDC PLACES AND THE PARK GATE ITSELF .


AGRA SIGHTSEEING

 

TAJ MAHAL: Agra has a magnificent fort and also the building which many people come to India solely to see-the Taj Mahal. The main entrance to Taj is a high red sandstone gate which is inscribed with verses from Koran in Arabic.The Taj Mahal stands on a raised marble platform.Tall,purely decorative white 'minarets' grace each corner of the platform.The centre Taj structure has 4 small domes surrounding the huge, bulbous,central dome.The tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan are in a basement room. AGRA FORT: There are many fascinating buildings inside the massive walls surrounded by a moat.Some of the important buildings within the fort are: Moti Masjid-It is a marble mosque.A Persian inscription inside the building compares it to a perfect pearl. Diwan-i-Am- The Hall of Public Audiences was built by Shah Jahan.The throne is inlaid with marble work.Nearby there is the Nagina Masjid or Gem Mosque. Diwan-i-Khas- The Hall of Private Audiences was built by Shah Jahan. Octagonal Tower(Musamman Burj or Saman Burj)- It was built by Shah Jahan for Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the finely designed buildings. Jehangir's Palace- It is the largest private residence in the fort built by Akbar for his son.It reflects Hindu and central Asian architectural styles. Other Buildings- Khas Mahal,Shish Mahal,Anguri Bagh,Hauz-i-Jehangri,the Amar Singh Gate,Itimad-ud-daulah,Ram Bagh. Chini Ka Rauza- The squat,square tomb was built by Afzal Khan. Jami Masjid-It was built by Shahjahan in the name of his daughter,Jahanara. Other attractions-Kinari Bazaar,Loha Mandi,Sabji Mandi,Nai Ki Mandi.


AGRA SHOPPING

 

Agra is well known for leather goods, jewellery and marble items inlaid like the pietra dura work on the Taj. The Sadar and Taj Ganj areas are the main tourist shopping centres. Around Pratapur there are many jewellery shops.About one km. along the road running from the east gate of the Taj is Shilpgram,a crafts village and open-air emporium. At festival times there are live performances by dancers and musicians; the rest of the time there are displays of crafts from all over the country. The quality is very good.


JAIPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan and is popularly known as the 'pink city' because of the pink paint applied to the buildings in its old walled city. Old City :It is partially encircled by a crenellated wall with seven gates. Broad avenues, over 30 metres wide, divide the pink city into neat rectangles. It is an extremely colourful city and, in the evening light, the pink and orange buildings have a magical glow which is complemented by the brightly clothed Rajasthanis. Camel-drawn carts are a characteristic of Jaipur's passing street scene. The major landmark in this part of town is the Iswari Minar Swarga Sul, the Minaret Piercing Heaven, near the Tripolia Gate,which was built to overlook the city. The main bazaars in the old city are Johari Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar and Chandpol Bazaar. Hawa Mahal : This is also known as Palace of the Winds and is one of Jaipur's major landmarks. This five-storey building, which looks out over the main street of the old city, is a stunning example of Rajput artistry with its pink, semioctagonal and delicately honeycombed sandstone windows. You can climb to the top of the Hawa Mahal for an excellent view over the city. There is a small archaeological museum. Central Museum : The museum is housed in the architecturally impressive Albert Hall in the Ram Niwas Gardens, south of the old city. The upper floor contains portraits of the Jaipur maharajas and many other miniatures and artworks. The ground floor has a collection of costumes and woodwork from different parts of Rajasthan.


JAIPUR SIGHTSEEING 1

 

City Palace : In the heart of the old city,the City Palace occupies a large area divided into a series of courtyards, gardens and buildings. The seven-storey Chandra Mahal is the centre of the palace and commands fine views over the gardens and the city. The ground and 1st floor of the Chandra Mahal form the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh 2 Museum.The apartments are maintained in luxurious order and the museum has an extensive collection of arts, carpets, enamelware and old weapons. The paintings include miniatures of the Rajasthani, Moghul and Persian schools.The armoury has a collection of guns and swords. The textiles section contains dresses and costumes of the former maharajas and maharanis of Jaipur. Other points of interest in the palace include the Diwan-i-Am, or Hall of Public Audiences and the Diwan-i-Khas, or Hall of Private Audiences, with a marble-paved gallery. There is also a clock tower and the Mubarak Mahal. Outside the buildings is a large silver vessel. Jantar Mantar : It is adjacent to the entrance to the City Palace and is also known as the observatory. The Jaipur observatory is one of the largest observatories. At first glance, Jantar Mantar appears to be just a curious collection of sculptures but, in fact, each construction has a specific purpose, such as measuring the positions of stars, altitudes or calculating eclipses. The most striking instrument is the sundial with its 30-metre high gnomon. The shadow this casts moves upto 4 metres an hour.


JAIPUR SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Other Attractions : The Ram Niwas Gardens also has a zoo with birds, animals and a crocodile breeding farm. Jaipur has a modern art gallery in the 'theatre' near the zoo. The Museum of Indology is an amazing private collection of folk art objects. There are many interesting things, for e.g. a map of India painted on a rice grain. Raj Mandir is an opulent, grandiose and extremely well-kept cinema in Jaipur. Kripal Kumbh is famous for blue pottery.


AROUND JAIPUR

 

Tiger Fort : The Nahargarh Fort overlooks the city from a sheer ridge 6.5 km. away. Jaigarh Fort : The imposing fort offers a great view over the plains from the Diwa Burj watchtower and it is within walking distance of Amber. Samode : It is a small village about 50 km. north of Jaipur, via Chomu. There is the beautiful Samode Palace. It is a beautiful building built on three levels, each with its own courtyard. The highlight of the building is the absolutely exquisite Diwan-i-Khas, which is covered with completely original painting and mirrorwork, and is the finest example of its kind in the country. Galta : The temple of the Sun God at Galta is 100 mt. above the city to the east,a 2.5 km. climb from the Surya Gate. A deep temple-filled gorge stands behind the temple and there are fine views over the surrounding plain. Sisodia Rani Palace and Gardens : It is 8km. from the city on the Agra road and is surrounded by terraced gardens. The outer walls are decorated with murals depicting hunting scenes and the Krishna legend. Vidyadhar's Garden : This beautiful garden, nestled in a narrow valley was built in honour of Maharaja Jai Singh's chief architect, Vidyadhar. Balaji : It is a Hindu temple and is about 1.5 km. off the Jaipur to Agra road, about 1.5 hours by bus from Bharatpur. Sanganer : It is a small town and is about 16 km. south of Jaipur. It has a group of Jain temples with fine carvings. The town is noted for handmade paper and block printing.


UDAIPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

Udaipur is very romantic with fantastic hilltop fortresses, exotic fairy-tale palaces and gripping legends of medieval chivalry and heroism. Udaipur is also known as the 'Venice of the East'. It is full of palaces, temples and havelis. It is also proud of its heritage as a centre for the performing arts, painting and crafts. Also, there are plenty of parks and gardens. Lake Pichola : The beautiful lake was enlarged by Maharana Udai Singh after he founded the Udaipur City. He built a masonry dam, known as the Badi Pol. The City Palace extends a considerable distance along the east bank of the lake. South of the palace, pleasant garden runs down to the lake. North of the palace, you can wander along the lake. Out in the lake are two islands- Jagniwas and Jagmandir. One-hour boat rides around the lake can be boarded at the City Palace jetty. Jagniwas Island : The Lake Palace island, is about 1.5 hectares in size. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh II in 1754. Today, it has been converted into a luxury hotel with courtyards, fountains,gardens and a swimming pool. It is a delightful place. Jagmandir Island : The view across the lake from the southern end, with the city and its great palace rising up behind the island palaces, is a scene of rare beauty. Jagdish Temple : Only 150 mtr. north of the entrance to the City Palace, this fine Indo-Aryan temple enshrines a stone image of Vishnu as Jagannath, Lord of the Universe. A brass image of the Garuda is in a shrine in front of the temple and the steps upto the temple are flanked by elephants.


UDAIPUR SIGHTSEEING 1

 

City Palace and Museums : It is a huge palace towering over the lake and is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. It is surmounted by balconies, towers and cupolas and there are fine views over the lake and the city from the upper terraces. The palace is entered from the northern end through the Bari Pol and the Tripolia Gate. The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum with a largest and varied collection. The museum includes the Mor Chowk with its beautiful mosaics of peacocks, the favourite Rajasthani bird. The Manak, or Ruby, Mahal has glass and porcelain figures while Krishna Vilas has a remarkable collection of miniatures. In the Bari Mahal,there is a fine central garden. More paintings can be seen in the Zanana Mahal.The Moti Mahal has beautiful mirrorwork and the Chini Mahal is covered in ornamental tiles. Enter the City Palace Museum through the Ganesh Deori which leads to the Rai Angam,or Royal Courtyard. There is also a government museum within the palace complex. Exhibits include a stuffed kangaroo and Siamese-twin deer. The other part of the palace is up against the lake shore and, like the Lake Palace,it has been converted into 2 luxury hotels, named as Shiv Vilas Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel. Bagore ki Haveli : This 18th-century house is on the lake shore, below the Jagdish temple. Now it has been converted into the Western Zone Cultural Centre. The labyrinthine haveli houses a graphics studio, art gallery, and some fine coloured glass and inlay work.


UDAIPUR SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Fateh Sagar : It is to the north of Lake Pichola and is overlooked by a number of hills and parks. A pleasant lakeside drive winds along the east bank of the lake. In the middle of the lake is Nehru Park, a popular garden island with a boat-shaped cafe. You can get there by boat from near the bottom of Moti Magri Hill. Pratap Samak : Atop the Moti Magri, or Pearl Hill, overlooking Fateh Sagar, is a statue of the Rajput hero Maharana Pratap. The path to the top traverses elegant gardens, including a Japanese rock garden. Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum : The interesting collection exhibited by this small museum and foundation for the preservation of folk arts includes dresses, dolls, masks, musical instruments, paintings and puppets. Saheliyon ki Bari : It is in the north of the city and is also known as Garden of the Maids of Honour. It is a small ornamental garden with fountains, kiosks, marble elephants and delightful lotus pool. Ahar Museum : East of Udaipur are the remains of an ancient city. Here you will find a small museum and the cenotaphs of the maharanas of Mewar. Other Attractions : Patel or Sukhadia Circle is north of the city. The huge fountain in the centre is illuminated at night. Sajjan Niwas Gardens have pleasant lawns, a zoo and a children's train. Beside it is the Rose Garden, or Gulab Bagh. Opposite Bapu Bazaar is the Nehru Park with topiary work, a giant cement teapot and children's slides incorporating an elephant and a camel. On the distant mountain range, the gleaming white edifice visible from the city is the former maharaja's Monsoon Palace.


UDAIPUR SHOPPING

 

Udaipur has countless small shops and many interesting local crafts, particularly miniature paintings in the Rajput - Moghul style. There is a good cluster of these shops on Lake Palace Road, next to the Ranga Niwas Palace Hotel, and others around the Jagdish Temple.


JAIPUR SHOPPING

 

Jaipur is well known for precious stones, which seem cheaper here than elsewhere in India, and is even better known for semi-precious stones. For precious stones find a narrow alley called Haldion ka Rasta of Johari Bazaar ( near the Hawa Mahal ). Semi-precious stones are sold in another alley, called the Gopalji ka Rasta, on the opposite side of the street. Shops around the City Palace and Hawa Mahal have many interesting items including miniatures and clothes. Marble statues, jewellery and textile prints are other Jaipur specialities. The Rajasthali government emporium in M I Road is reasonably priced. For khadi, the Khadi Gramodyog shops are the best. These government-run shops have a wide range and everything is hand-made. There is one just inside Sanganeri Gate in Bapu Bazaar, and another at the Panchbatti intersection. For cotton there is the Rajasthan Handloom House on M I Road, next to the Rajasthali Emporium.


JAISALMER SIGHTSEEING

 

Jaisalmer is a magic and incomparably romantic city and has been dubbed the 'Golden City' because of the colour imparted to its stone ramparts by the setting sun.The merchants and townspeople have built magnificent houses and mansions,all exquisitely carved from wood and from golden-yellow sandstone. These havelis are very exotic. Havelis : The beautiful mansions built by the wealthy merchants of Jaisalmer are known as havelis, and several of these fine sandstone buildings are very beautiful. Patwon ki Haveli : This most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis stands in a narrow lane. One of its apartments is painted with beautiful murals. You can go inside the mansion and there is a fine view from the roof. Salim Singh ki Haveli : This haveli was built about 300 years ago and has a beautiful arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of peacocks. It is just below the hill. Nathmal ki Haveli : The left and right wings of the building are carved. Yellow sandstone elephants guard the building, and even the front door is a work of art. Gadi Sagar Tank : This tank is to the south of the city walls and there are many small temples and shrines around it. A wide variety of water birds flock here in winter. There is a beautiful gateway which arches across the road down to the tank.


JAISALMER SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Fort : It was built in 1156 by Rawal Jaisal and crowns the 80 mtr. high Trikuta Hill. About a quarter of the old city's population resides within the fort walls, which have 99 bastions around their circumference. It is fascinating to wander around this place. It is honeycombed with narrow, winding lanes, all of them paved in stone and with a remarkably efficient drainage system. The fort walls provide superb views over the old city and surrounding desert. The fort is entered through a forbidding series of massive gates leading to a large courtyard. The formal maharaja's seven-storey palace fronts onto this. Part of the palace is opened to the public. One of the room has some beautiful murals. Jain Temples : Within the fort walls are a group of beautifully carved Jain temples built between the 12th and 15th centuries. The Gyan Bhandar, a library containing some extremely old manuscripts, is also in the temple complex. There are also Siva and Ganesh temples within the fort. Festivals : The annual Desert Festival have camel races and dances, folk music, deserts ballads and puppeteers. The festival takes place between late January and mid-February, depending on the lunar calendar.



OLD DELHI SIGHTSEEING

 

The old walled city of Shahjahanabad stands to the west of the Red Fort. To the west of Kashmir Gate, near Sabzi Mandi, is the British erected Mutiny Memorial to the soldiers who lost their lives during the uprising. Near the monument is an Ashoka pillar. Chandni Chowk : The main street of Old Delhi is the colourful shopping bazaar known as Chandni Chowk (Silver Street). At the east end of Chandni Chowk, and north of the Jami Masjid, there is a Jain temple with a small marble courtyard surrounded by a colonnade. The west end of Chandni Chowk is marked by the Fatehpuri Mosque. Red Fort : The red sandstone walls of Lal Qila, the Red Fort, extend for 2 km. and vary in height from 18 mtrs. on the river side to 33 mtrs. on the city side. The Yamuna River is over 1 km. to the east. Entry to the fort is free on Fridays. Lahore Gate : The main gate to the fort faces towards Lahore, now in Pakistan. You enter the fort here and immediately find yourself in a vaulted arcade, the Chatta Chowk. The shops in this arcade cater to the tourist trade. The arcade leads to the Naubat Khana, or Drum House, where musicians used to play for the emperor. Diwan-i-Am : The Hall of Public Audiences was where the emperor would sit to hear complaints from his subjects. Shahi Burj : It is a modest, 3-storey octagonal tower. It was once Shah Jahan's private working area. Moti Masjid : It was built by Aurangzeb for his own personal use. The Pearl Mosque, made of marble, is next to the Baths.


OLD DELHI SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Diwan-i-Khas : The Hall of Private Audiences, built of white marble, was the luxurious chamber where the emperor would hold private meetings. Centrepiece of the hall was the magnificent Peacock Throne. Inscribed on the walls of the Diwan-i-Khas is that famous Persian couplet : If there is a paradise on earth it is this, it is this, it is this. Royal Baths : Next to the Diwan-i-Khas are the hammams or baths with 3 large rooms surmounted by domes, with a fountain in the centre. The baths are closed to the public. Other Features : The Khas Mahal, south of the Diwan-i-Khas, was the emperor's private palace, divided into rooms for worship, sleeping and living, The Rang Mahal pavilion or Palace of Colour, further south again, took its name from the painted interior. On the floor in the centre is a beautifully carved marble lotus. There is a small Museum of Archaeology in the Mumtaz Mahal. The Delhi Gate to the south of the Red Fort led to the Jami Masjid. Gardens : Between all the exquisite buildings were highly formal gardens, complete with fountains, pools and small pavilions. Sound and Light Show : Each evening an interesting 'Son et Lumiere' show re-creates events of India's history, particularly those connected with the Red Fort. There are shows in English and Hindi, and tickets are available from the fort.


OLD DELHI SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Jami Masjid : The great mosque of Old Delhi is both the largest in India and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan. It has 3 great gateways, 4 angle towers and 2 minarets standing 40 mtrs. high and constructed of alternating vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble. Broad flights of steps lead upto the imposing gateways. There is a fine view of the Red Fort from the east side of the mosque. Feroz Shah Kotla : The ruins of Ferozabad, the 5th city of Delhi, can be found at Feroz Shah Kotla between the old and new Delhis. In the fortress- palace is a 13 mtr. high sandstone Ashoka pillar. Raj Ghat : North-east of Feroz Shah Kotla, on the banks of the Yamuna, a simple square platform of black marble marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. It is now a beautiful park.


NEW DELHI SIGHTSEEING 1

 

MUSEUMS ------- National Museum : On Janpath just south of Rajpath, the National Museum has a good collection of Indian bronzes, terracotta and wood sculptures, miniature and mural paintings, and costumes of the various tribal peoples. The museum is definitely worth visiting. There are film shows most days of the week. Right next door is the Archaeological Survey of India office. Nehru Museum : On Teen Murti road near Chanakyapuri, the residence of the first Indian prime minister, Teen Murti Bhavan, has been converted into a museum. Photographs and newspaper clippings on display give a fascinating insight into the history of the independence movement. Rail Transport Museum : This museum at Chanakyapuri is a collection of railway engines. The exhibit includes an 1855 steam engine. Tibet House : This small museum has a fascinating collection of ceremonial items brought out of Tibet. Downstairs is a shop selling a wide range of Tibetan handicrafts. International Dolls Museum : In Nehru House on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, this museum displays 6,000 dolls from 85 countries. Crafts Museum : In the Aditi Pavilion at the Pragati Maidan Exhibition Grounds, Mathura road, this museum contains a collection of traditional Indian crafts in textiles, metal, wood and ceramics. Gandhi Darshan : At Raj Ghat the Gandhi Darshan is a display of paintings and photos about Mahatma's life and deeds.The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya also at Raj Ghat has displays of Gandhi's personal possessions.


NEW DELHI SIGHTSEEING 2

 

1 Safdarjang Road : The former residence of Indira Gandhi has also been converted into a museum. Other Museums : The Museum of Natural History is opposite the Nepalese Embassy on Barakhamba road. Fronted by a large model dinosaur, it has a collection of fossils, stuffed animals and birds. There is a National Philatelic Museum at Dak Tar Bhavan, Sardar Patel Square on Sansad Marg. At Indira Gandhi International Airport there is an Air Force Museum. PURANA QILA : Just south-east of India Gate and north of Humayun's Tomb and the Nizam-ud-din Railway Station is the old fort, Puran Qila. The fort has massive walls and 3 large gateways. There is the small octagonal red sandstone tower. ZOO : It is on the south side of the Purana Qila. There is a white tiger in the zoo. HUMAYUN'S TOMB : The tomb was built by Haji Begum, wife of Humayun, the second Moghul emperor. The elements in its design - a squat building, lighted by high arched entrances, topped by a bulbous dome and surrounded by formal gardens. An excellent view can be obtained over the surrounding country from the terraces of the tomb. HAZRAT NIZAM-UD-DIN AULIA : Across the road from Humayun's Tomb is the shrine of the Muslim saint, Nizam-ud-din Chishti. His shrine, with its large tank, is one of several interesting tombs here. LODI TOMBS : About 3 km. the west of Humayun's tomb and adjoining the India International Centre are the Lodi Gardens. In these well-kept gardens are the tombs of the Sayyid and Lodi rulers.


NEW DELHI SIGHTSEEING 3

 

SAFDARJANG TOMB : Beside the small Safdarjang Airport is the Safdarjang Tomb. The tombs stands on a high terrace in an extensive garden. HAUZ KHAS : This area is between Safdarjang and the Qutub Minar.Interesting sights here include Feroz Shah's Tomb and the Moth ki Masjid, said to be the finest in the Lodi style. BAHAI HOUSE OF WORSHIP : Lying to the east of Hauz Khas is this relatively new building shaped like lotus flower. It is set amongst pools and gardens. It looks particularly spectacular at dusk when it is floodlit. GETTING THERE AND AWAY Bus No 433 from opposite the Jantar Mantar on Sansad Marg near Connaught Place will bring you very close to the temple. SWIMMING POOLS : The New Dehli Municipal Corporation has its pool at Nehru Park, near the Ashok Hotel in Chanakyapuri.


DELHI SHOPPING

 

Good buys include silk products, precious stones, leather and woodwork, but the most important thing about Delhi is that you can find almost anything from anywhere in India. Two good places to start are in New Delhi, near Connaught Place. The Central Cottage Industries Emporium is on Janpath, opposite the tourist office. Along baba Kharak Singh Marg, two streets round from Janpath, are the various State emporiums run by the state governments. There are many other shops around Connaught Place and Janpath. In Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk is the famous shopping street.


BOMBAY SIGHTSEEING

 

Gateway of India : Architecturally it is a conventional Arch of Triumph, with elements in its design derived from the Muslim styles of 16th century Gujarat. It is built of yellow basalt and stands on the Apollo Bunder, a popular Bombay meeting place in the evenings.The Taj Mahal intercontinental Hotel overlooks the Apollo Bunder and launches run from here across to Elephanta Island. Close to the gateway are statues of Swami Vivekanand and of the Maratha leader Shivaji, astride his horse. Colaba Causeway : It is now renamed as Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, extends to the end of the Colaba promontory, the southern end of Bombay Island. Sassoon Dock is always interesting to visit around dawn. St John's Church : This church also known as the Afghan Church, is dedicated to the soldiers who fell in the Sind campaign. Prince of Wales Museum : Beside the Wellingdon Circle, close to the Colaba Hotel enclave, this museum was built to commemorate King George V's first visit to India. It has sections for art and paintings, archaeology and natural history. Among the more interesting items is a very fine collection of miniature paintings, images and bas-reliefs from the Elephanta Caves, and Budhha images. Jehangir Art Gallery : Within the compound of the museum stands Bombay's principal art gallery. There are often special exhibitions of modern Indian art here. University and High Court : University is dominated by the 80 metre Rajabai Tower. This impressive clock tower rises above the University library. Statues of Justice and Mercy top the huge High Court building.


BOMBAY SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Flora Fountain : This is the business centre of Bombay, around which many of the major banks and business offices are centred. Now it is renamed as Hutatma Chowk. Close to the fountain is the Cathedral of St Thomas. There are several interesting memorials inside the cathedral. Horniman Circle : Several interesting old Bombay buildings stand close to Horniman Circle. The old Mint has an Ionic facade.It adjoins the Town Hall. Behind the Town Hall stand the remains of the old Bombay Castle. The Town Hall houses the library of the Royal Asiatic Society. There are a number of statues of the government officials and wealthy benefactors of Bombay's golden period. Continuing on, you pass the old Customs House. The old Bombay dockyards are behind this building. Marine Drive : It is renamed as Netaji Subhash Road. It runs along the shoreline of Back Bay, starting at Nariman Point and sweeping around by Chowpatty Beach and upto the Malabar Hill. The road is backed with high residential buildings and is one of Bombay's most popular promenades. Taraporewala Aquarium : The aquarium on Marine Drive has both saltwater and freshwater fish. Also along the Marine Drive, before the aquarium is a series of cricket pitches. Chowpatty Beach : Sand-castle sculptors make elaborate figures in the sand. Family groups stroll around the beach. Mani Bhavan : At 19 Laburnum Rd, near August Kranti Maidan, is the building where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his visits to Bombay. Today it has a pictorial exhibit of incidents in Gandhi's life and contains a library of books by or about the Mahatma.


BOMBAY SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Malabar Hill : At the end of Back Bay, Marine Drive climbs upto Malabar Hill. There are fine views over Back Bay and Chowpatty Beach and right across to the central business district. At the end of the promontory is Raj Bhavan. Close by is the temple of Walkeshwar, the Sand Lord, an important Hindu pilgrimage site. Jain Temple : This is a marble temple,dedicated to the 1st Jain tirthankar, Adinath. It is typical of modern Jain temples. The walls are decorated with pictures of incidents in the lives of the tirthankars. Hanging Gardens : They are on top of Malabar Hill and are known as the Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens. They have a notable collection of hedges shaped like animals and there are good views over the city. Kamala Nehru Park : Directly across the road from the Hanging Gardens, this park offers more superb views over Bombay. An unusual feature is a large nursery-rhyme 'old woman's shoe' which children love to play in. Towers of Silence : Beside the Hanging Gardens are the Parsi Towers of Silence. Mahalaxmi Temple : Descending from Malabar Hill and continuing around the coastline, you come to the Mahalaxmi Temple, the oldest in Bombay. Near here is the Mahalaxmi Racecourse, said to be the finest in India, where horse races are held each Sunday from December to May. Haji Ali's Tomb : The tomb and mosque are devoted to a Muslim saint. The buildings are reached by a long causeway. Here a scene of typical Indian ingenuity and resourcefulness takes place.


BOMBAY SIGHTSEEING 3

 

Victoria Gardens : These gardens, which contain Bombay's zoo and the Victoria and Albert Museum, have been renamed the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan. The museum has some interesting exhibits relating to old Bombay. Just outside the museum building is the large stone elephant. Juhu : Close to Bombay's airport, Juhu is 18 km. north of the city centre. It is the nearest beach to the city and has quite a collection of upper-notch hotels. Other Attractions : The Nehru Planetarium is on Dr. Annie Besant Road at Worli near the Haji Ali Tomb.


AROUND BOMBAY 4

 

Krishnagiri Upavan National Park : Reached via Borivli station, the national park contains the Kanheri Caves and lakes Vihar, Tulsi and Powai. At the entrance to the park there is a huge outdoor movie lot, including a fort frontage. Also near the park entrance is a Lion Safari Park. Kanheri Caves : Within the national park, about 42 km. from Bombay, 109 caves line the side of a rocky ravine. The most important is cave 3, the Great Chaitya Cave, which has a long colonnade of pillars around the dagoba at the back of the cave. Beaches : Manori beach is about 40 km. out of the city. There is an interesting fishing village and an old Portuguese church nearby. Other beaches around Bombay include Madh, 45 km. out and reached via Malad. Versova is 29 km. from the city, reached via Andheri station. Montpezir and Jogeshvari Caves : There are a few Hindu caves at Montpezir near Borivli. The Jogeshvari Caves are near Andheri Station. Bassein : Just across the river which separates the mainland from Bombay island is Bassein.The Portuguese has built a fort containing a city of such pomp and splendour that it came to be known as the Court of the North. Bassein is 11 km. from the Bassein Road Railway Station. About an hour by bus from the station are the Vajreshwari hot springs. Chaul : There are a few remains and an old ruined churches within the Portuguese fortifications. Looking across the Portuguese fort from the other side of the river is the hilltop Muslim Korlai Fort. Ferries run to Revas from the New Ferry Wharf, 1.5 hour trip.


BOMBAY SHOPPING

 

Bombay has a number of markets. Chor Bazaar is Bombay's 'thieves' market'. It is off Grant Road and here you will find phenomenal collection of antiques, jewellery, wooden items, leather and many other things. Mutton St has a particularly interesting collection of shops for miscellaneous 'junk'. Crowford Market renamed as Mahatma Phule Market, is the centre for flowers, fruits, vegetables, meat and fish in Bombay. The market building is one of the most colourful and photogenic places in Bombay. Nearby is Jhaveri Bazaar, the jewellery centre off Mumbadevi road. Nearby is the brass bazaar on Kalbadevi road. There are all sorts of places selling handicrafts, artefacts, antiques and art around the Colaba Area. One of the best places in Bombay to buy silver and gold is at Gupta Prakash Emporium, next to the American Express Bank at Flora Fountain. Another is Suit A43 at the President Hotel. For handcrafted shoes you can go to Wing Son Chinese Shoemaker next to the Regent Cinema behind the Taj intercontinental. Those searching for a good selection of Indian music tapes should try the Asiatics Department Stores facing Churchgate Station. Mereweather road at the back of the Taj Hotel is a centre for Kashmiri carpets. In the World Trade Centre near Cuffe Parade are the Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir emporiums. The Uttar Pradesh and Bihar emporiums are on Sir P M Road.


BOMBAY - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY There is an extensive network of flights operating to and from Bombay's Sahar and Santa Cruz arports. The domestic terminal (Santa Cruz) is some distance away from the international terminal. On the major trunk routes, Indian Airlines has direct flights daily in either direction between Bombay and Delhi, Calcutta, Madras, Hyderabad and Bangalore. On other routes, there are flights to Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bhavnagar, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Goa, Indore (this flight continues on to Bhopal, Gwalior and Delhi); once daily direct to Jaipur; 5 times weekly to Jamnagar twice daily to Kochi, once daily to Khozikode, twice daily to Mangalore, once daily to Nagpur, twice a week to Patana, once daily to Rajkot, once daily to Thiruvananthpuram, once daily to Udaipur (this flight continues on to Jodhpur, Jaipur and Delhi); once daily to Vadodara, and 3 times a week to Varanasi. Vayudoot has two flights daily in either direction between Bombay and Pune, daily between Bombay, Kolhapur and Belgaum, daily between Bombay, Porbandar and Keshod, and 6 times weekly between Bombay, Kandla and Rajkot. Continental Aviation flies twice daily in either direction between Bombay and Pune, 3 times weekly to Delhi, Vadadora, Goa, Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur and Raipur. East West Airlines has flights once daily in either direction between Bombay and Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Madras, Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram.


BOMBAY - GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

BUS : Long-distance buses depart from State Transport Terminal opposite Bombay Central railway station. The state bus companies of Maharashatra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh all have offices here. There is computerised advance booking availabe for journeys for deluxe buses. The MTDC operates deluxe buses to Mahabaleshwar and to Aurangabad. Bookings should be made in advance at the CDO Hutments, Madame Cama Road. TRAIN : 2 railway systems operates out of Bombay. Central Railways handles services to the east and south, plus a few trains to the north. The booking office is at VT. The other system operating out of Bombay is Western Railways, which has services to the north from Churchgate and Central stations. There are a number of central railway trains that depart from Dadar station, further north of central. These trains can still be booked at the Central Station and include the Dadar to Madras Express, the fastest train to Madras. Bombay to Calcutta is a lengthy 1968-km trip whcih takes 32 hours. Bombay to Madras is 1279 km and takes 27 hours. There are no direct trains between Bombay and Goa (Vasco da Gama/Margao) and you must change at Miraj. If you go by The Mahalaxmi Express you have to get down at Miraj and catch the Mandovi Express to go to Goa. If you go by the Konya Express you have to get down at Miraj and catch the Gomantak Express to go to Goa.


AROUND BOMBAY 5

 

AROUND BOMBAY Elephanta Island : The island of Elephanta is about 10 km north-east of Apollo Bunder and is Bombay's major tourist attraction due to its four rock-cut temples. Before it was known as Gharapuri, the Fortress City. The caves are reached by a stairway up the hillside from the ferry landing. There is one main cave with number of large sculpted pannels, all relating to Siva and a separate lingam shrine. The most interesting of the pannels includes one of Trimurti, or the three-headed Siva, where he also takes the role of Brahma, the creater, and Vishnu, the preserver. One of the best pannels is that of Ravana shaking Kailasa. Launches leave regularly from Appolo Bunder by the Gateway of India. Aarey Milk Colony : Fresh milk is produced at this model milk production centre. It is notable also for its hilltop viewpoint with a fine view over the island.


JAIPUR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

AIR : The Indian Airlines office in Jaipur is on Ajmer Road. The Air India office is in Rattan Mansion on M. I. Road. Indian Airlines flies Delhi/Jaipur twice daily, and all flights continue on to Bombay, via any one or all of Jodhpur, Udaipur and Aurangabad. There is also a daily direct flight to and from Bombay and a three times weekly connection to Calcutta via Varanasi. East Airlines has daily flights to Bombay. BUS : Buses to all Rajasthan's main population centres and to Delhi and Agra are operated by the Rajasthan State Transport Corporation from the bus station. The deluxe buses all leave from platform 3, which is in the right- hand rear corner of the bus station yard. These buses should be booked in advance. Deluxe state transport buses leave for Agra five times daily. Deluxe buses run nine times a day to Ajmer. Five deluxe buses per day take 7 hours to reach Jodhpur. To Udaipur, there are 4 deluxe buses daily. There are also deluxe buses to Kota and Jaisalmer. A number of private companies cover the same routes and also offer services to Ahmedabad, other cities in Gujarat and Bombay. TRAIN : The Pink City Express leaves Old Delhi station at 6 am and reaches Jaipur at 11 am. The Jaipur to Delhi service leaves at 5 pm and arrives at 10.10 pm. The Ahmedabad Mail runs overnight, leving Delhi at 10 pm and arriving in Jaipur at 4.30 am, while the Chetak Express leaves Delhi at 1 pm and arrives in Jaipur at 8.30 pm. All Jaipur trains leave from the Old Delhi station, The daily superfast express between Jaipur and Agra takes only 5 hours.


JAIPUR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

There are plenty of express trains to Ajmer, Abu Road and Ahmedabad. To Udaipur, the most convenient train is the Chetak Express. There are also daily connections with Sawai Madhopur and Bikaner.


JAISALMER - SHOPPING

 

Jaisalmer is famour for embroidery, Rajasthani mirrorwork, rugs, blankets, old stonework and antiques. Tie-dye and other fabrics are made at the Kadi Bundar, north of the city.


AROUND JAISALMER 3

 

Bada Bagh and Cenotaphs : Only a km or so north of Jaisalmer, Bada Bagh is a fertile oasis with a huge old dam. Above the gardens are royal cenotaphs with beautifully carved ceilings and equestrian statues of former rulers. In the early evening, this is a popular place to watch the setting sun turn Jaisalmer a beautiful golden brown.


AROUND AGRA SIGHTSEEING

 

Dayal Bagh Temple : It is 10 km north of Agra. There is the white marble samadhi (or temple) of the Radah Soami. Akbar's Mausoleum : At Sikandara, 10 km north of Agra, the tomb of Akbar lies in the centre of a large garden. The building has 3-storey minarets at each corner and is built of red sandstone inlaid with white marble polygonal patterns. Four red sandstone gates lead to the tomb complex : one is Muslim, one Hindu, one Christian, and one is Akbar's patent mixture. The Baradi Palace, in the mausoleum gardens, was built by Sikandar Lodhi. Across the road from the mausoleum is the Delhi gate. Between Sikandra and Agra are several tombs and 2 kos minars, or milestones.


AROUND NEW DELHI 1

 

KHIRKI MASJID AND JAHANPANAH This is an interesting mosque with four open courts. Close to the mosque are the remains of the fourth city of Delhi, Jahanpanah, including the high Bijai Mandal platform and the Begumpur Mosque with its multiplicity of domes. TUGHLAQABAD The massively strong walls of Tughlaqabad, the third city of Delhi, are east of the Qutab Minar. The walled city and fort with its 13 gateways was built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. The fort walls are constructed of massive blocks and outside the south wall of the city is an artificial lake with the kings tomb in its centre. The easiest way to visit Tughlaqabad is to combine it with a visit to the Qutab Minar, and catch a bus from there.


AROUND NEW DELHI 2

 

Points of interest in and around the mosque include : Iron Pillar : This 7 mtr. high pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. Alai Minar : It stands to the north of the Qutab Minar and the mosque. Other Features : Alai Darwaja gateway is the main entrance to the whole complex. It was built of red sandstone and stands just south-east of the Qutab Minar. There are some summer palaces in the area. You can get out to the Qutab Minar on a No 505 bus from the Ajmer Gate side of New Delhi Railway station, or from Janpath, opposite the Imperial Hotel.


AROUND JAIPUR

 

AMBER It is about 11 km out of Jaipur on the Delhi to Jaipur road. The fort is a superb example of Rajput architecture, stunningly situated on a hillside and overlooking a lake which reflects its terraces and ramparts. An impossing stairway leads to the Diwan-i-Am, or a hall of Public Audience, with a double row of columns and latticed gallaries above. Steps to the right lead to the small Kali temple. There is also the white marble Sila Devi Temple. The maharaja's apartments are on the higher terrace-you enter through a gateway decorated with mosaics and sculptures. The Jai Mandir, or Hall of Victory, is noted for its inlaid panels and glittering mirror celling. Opposite the Jai Mandir is the Sukh Niwas, or hall of pleasure, with an ivory-inlaid sandalwood road, and a channel running right through the room which once carried cooling water. From the Jai Mandir you can enjoy the fine views from the palace ramparts over the lake below. GAITOR The cenotaphs of the royal family are at Gaitor, 6.5 km from Jaipur on the road to Amber. The white marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jai Singh II is the most impressive and is decorated with carved peacocks. Oppoosite the cenotaphs is the Jai Mahal water palace in the middle of a lake and reached by a causeway.


NEW DELHI-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR The domestic terminal 7 km from the centre, and the newer international terminal is a further 0 km. Domestic Airline : Indian Airlines has a number of offices. The Malhotra Building office in F block is probably the most convenient. The Barakhamba Road office handles Indian Airlines international routes (Kabul, Colombo, Singapore, Kathmandu, Karachi, Lahore, Bangkok, Dhaka and Chittagong) as well as domestic flights. The main domestic carrier, Vayudoot, also has its office in the Malhotra Buindling, F Block, Connaught Place. Jagsan Airlines is a small operator running flights from Delhi to Kulu and Shimla. Their office is at 12E Vandava Building, 11 Tolstoy Marg. Domestic Flights : Indian Airlines flights depart from Delhi to all the major Indian centres. The destination served from Delhi are : Agra, Leh, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Goa, Patna, Srinagar, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. Vayudoot has flights to : Chandigarh, Dehra Dun, Dharamsala, Jammu, Kulu, Lucknow and Shimla. Jagsan Airlines operates flights to Kulu and Shimla. East West has flights from Delhi to Bombay. International Flights : The international routes served by Indian Airlines from Delhi include - Lahore, Karachi, Kabul and Kathmandu.


NEW DELHI- GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

BUS The large Interstate bus station is at Kashmir Gate, north of the (Old) Delhi Railway Station. Buses popular with travellers include the approximately hourly buses to Agra. There is also a frequent and fast service to Jaipur. Deluxe buses for Jaipur leave from Bikaner house. There are direct buses to Shimla, Dharamsala and there is a daily deluxe service to Manali. Other destinations served by bus from Delhi include : Bharatpur, Bikaner, Jammu, Lucknow, Mussoorie, Naini Tal and Srinagar. TRAIN There is a special foreign tourist booking office upstairs in New Delhi Station. The main ticket office is on Chelmsford Rd, between New Delhi Station and Connaught Place. Take a numbered ticket from the counter. There are two main stations in Delhi - Delhi Station in Old Delhi, and New Delhi Station at Paharaganj. New Delhi is much closer to Connaught Place. There is also the Nizam-ud-din station south of the New Delhi area where some trains starts or finish. It is worth getting off here if you are staying in Chanayakapuri or elsewhere south of Connaught place. There are special tourist trains opperating from Delhi. The Taj Express is ideal for day tripps to Agra, 199 km south. The train departs and returns to the New Delhi Station and takes three hours each way. The air-con Shatabdi Express is faster. This train continues on to Gwalior, Jhansi and Bhopal.


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The Pink City Express is a direct train from (Old) Delhi Station to Jaipur. The Rajdhani Express is the faster train. It connects Delhi and Calcutta. The Rajadhani Express is the faster train; it is a special one-class train. The Rajadhani also connects Delhi and Calcutta, 1446 km away, in 18 hours five times a week. Some other important connections by mail or express include : Amritsar, Bangalore, Gorakhppupr, Jammu Tawi, Lucknow, Madras, Shimla, Udaipur, Varanasi.


JAISALMER - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS The main bus station is some distance from the centre of town, near the railway station. There eight daily STC buses on the route to Jodhpur, the deluxe one leaving at 5 pm. Every day there are five state transport buses each way between Jaisalmer and Barmer. Private buses only run to Jaisalmer in the off season. TRAIN At the railway station there is an International Tourists Bureau. There is a day and a night train in either direction between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer.


UDAIPUR - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Airlines has twice daily flights to Delhi, via Jodhpur and Jaipur, and also twice daily to Bombay, one direct and one via Aurangabad. The Indian Airlines office is at Delhi Gate. BUS Frequent transport buses run from Udaipur to other regional centres, as well as to Delhi and Ahmedabad. For long-distance travel, it is best to use private buses. Destinations served by express buses include Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota/undi, Jodhpur via either Ranakpur or Nathdwara and Chittorgarh. There are quite a few private bus companies which operate to such places as Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bombay, Delhi, Indore, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota abd Mt Abu. TRAIN The best train between Delhi and Udaipur is the daily Pink City Express, which goes via Jaipur, Ajmer and Chittorgarh. There is also a daily Udaipur-Jodhpur Fast Passenger does the 221 km trip to Jodhpur in 12 hours.


GOA - PANAJI SIGHTSEEING 1

 

The former Portuguese enclave of Goa, one of India's gems, has enjoyed a prominent place in the travellers' lexicon for many years. The main reason for this is its magnificent palm-fringed beaches and 'travellers'scene'. Gleaming whitewashed churches with Portuguese - style facades pepper the hillsides, rice paddies and dense coconut palm groves, while forts guard rocky capes and estuary entrances.


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GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Airlines is at Dempo Building, D Bandodkar Marg, on the riverfront. The Vayudoot agent is Alcon Travels in the Hotel Delmon building. Indian Airlines have flight between Bombay and Goa. There are daily flights to and from Delhi and Cochin, and twice weekly flights to Bangalore, Madras and Ahmedabad. East West Airlines flies daily in either direction between Bombay and Thiruvananthapuram. BUS Many private companies offer luxury/deluxe, super deluxe and super deluxe video buses to Bombay, Bangalore, Pune and Mangalore from Panaji and Margao daily. Buses go to Londa (where you can get a direct railway carriage to Mysore everyday), Hubli ( a railway junction on the main Bombay to Bangalore line, where you can also get trains to Gadag for both Bijapur and Badami, and Hospet and Hampi ) and Belgaum. There are daily buses to Mysore which take 16 hours. If you go from Kadamba Luxury bus it will take 11-hour to reach Mangalore. Other buses include those to Pune and Bangalore.


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Old Goa is surrounded by huge churches and convents. Some of them remain in active use while others have become museums. Se Cathedral : It is one of the largest church in Old Goa. Architecturally, the building is Portuguese-Gothic in style with a Tuscan exterior and Corinthian interior. There were two towers on either side of the facade. One of the tower houses a famous bell, one of the the largest in Goa, often called the 'Golden Bell' because of its rich sound. The main altar is dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandria, and old paintings on either side of it depict scenes from her life and martyrdom. Convent and Church of St Francis of Assisi : This is one of the most interesting buildings in Old Goa. It contains gilded and carved woodwork, old murals depicting scenes from the life of St Francis, amd a floor substantially made of carved gravestones. The convent at the back of this church is the Archaeological Museum. It houses many portraits of the Portuguese viceroys. Professed House and Basilica of Bom Jesus : The Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous throughout the Roman Catholic world. It contains the tomb and mortal of St. Francis Xavier. Apart from the richly gilded altars, the interior of the church is remarkable for its simplicity, and this is the only church which is not plastered on the outside. The centre of interest inside the church is the Tomb of St Francis. The Professed House, next door to the Basilica is a two-storey laterite building. There is a modern art gallery attached to the Basilica.


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Church of St Cajetan : It is modelled on the original design of St Peter's in Rome. Church of St Augustine Ruins : There is the enormous 46-metre-high tower which served as a belfry and formed part of the facade of the church. Church and Convent of St Monica : The building is now used by the Mater Dei Institute as a nunnery. There are murals on the western inside walls. Other buildings : Other monuments are the Viceroy's Arch, Gate of Adil Shah's Palace, Royal Chapel of St Antony, Church of St John of God and Chapel of St Catherine.


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GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are frequent buses to Old Goa from the bus stand at Panaji; you can also use all buses from Panaji to Ponda. Whenever there is a festival at Old Goa ( such as the Festival of St Francis Eavier on 3 December) boats ply between Panaji and Old Goa.


GOA - FESTIVALS

 

The Christian Festivals in Goa take place on the following dates: 6 January : Feast of Three Kings at Reis Magos, Cansaulim and Chandor. 2 February : Feast of Our Lady of Candelaria at Pomburpa. February/March : Carnival Monday after 5th Sunday in Lent : Procession of the Franciscan Order at Old Goa. 1 Sunday after Easter : Feast of Jesus of Nazareth at Siridao. 16 days after Easter : Feast of Our Lady of Miracles at Mapusa. 24 August : Festival of Novidades. 1st fortnight of October : Fama de Menino Jesus at Colva. 3rd Wednesday of November : Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. 3 December : Feast of St Francis Xavier at Old Goa. 8 December : Feast of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception at Panaji and Margao. 25 December : Christmas


AGRA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Agra is on the popular daily tourist route Delhi/Agra/Khajuraho/Varanasi and return. It is only a 40 minute flight from Delhi to Agra. BUS Most buses leave from the Idgah bus station. There are deluxe between Agra and Jaipur. They leave from a small booth right outside the Seetal Lodge on Ajmer Rd, very close to the Idgah bus station. TRAIN Agra is on the main Delhi to Bombay broad-gauge railway line, so there are plenty of trains coming through. Agra is 200 km from Delhi and 1344 km from Bombay. The fastest train between Delhi and Agra is the daily air-con Shatabdi Express. There is also the daily Taj Express to and from Delhi. There are also direct trains to Goa, Madras and Thiruvananthapuram. Agra Fort Station is on the metre-gauge system, and this links Agra with Rajasthan. The daily Agra-Jaipur Express does the 208 km trip in 5 hours. The line also passes thruough Bharatpur. There are daily connections with Ajmer and Jodhpur.


OTHER ATTRACTIONS IN GOA-SIGHTSEEING

 

BONDLA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY Up in the lush foothills of the Western Ghats, Bondla is a good place to see sambar and wild boar, among other things. There is a botanical garden, fenced deer park and a zoo, which is better than most with spacious enclosures. Getting there and away Take a bus to Ponda, and from here a taxi to the park. Alternatively, you can take the Molen bus as far as Tiskar, from where a motorcycle taxi to the park. TEMPLES Five of the most important Hindu temples are close to Ponda on the inland route between Panaji and Margao. The Siva temple of Shri Mangesh is at Priol-Ponda Taluka, about 22 km from Panaji. This tiny 18th-century temple with its white tower, a local landmark, is on top of a small hill. Less than further down the road is Shri Mahalsa, a Vishnu temple. About 5 km from Ponda are Shri Ramnath and Shri Nagesh, and nearby is the Shri Shantadurga Temple. Further south are the temples of Shri Chandreshwar, west of Quepem; the Shantadurga, east of Betul; and the Shri Mallikarjuna, east of Chauri. MOSQUES The only mosque remaining in Goa is the Safa Shahouri Masjid at Ponda. FORTS There are quite a few old Portuguese forts dotted around Goa, mostly on the coast, and most are in a reasonable state of preservation.


GOA BEACHES

 

COLVA AND BENAULIM Colva stretches sun-drenched, palm-fringed and virtually deserted for km after km. There are air-conditioned resort complexes, close-packed ranks of tourist cottages, discos, trinket stalls and cold-drink stalls. If you like a really quiet life you can always head further south to Benaulim. VARCA AND CAVELOSSIM The 10-km strip of pristine beach south of Benaulim has become Goa's resort beach. Varca is five km south of Benaulim and the first resort you come to is the new Resorte de Goa. It is a reasonably small place with rooms and villas set around a swimming pool. Cavelossim is another seven km south, and the first place here is the Dona Sylvia. It is very clean and new, and is a popular place with package groups from sunstarved Europe. The Old Anchor Resort is next door to the Doma Sylvia. CALANGUTE AND BAGA People who find Colva to quiet may find Calangute just the right place. Only two km north of Calangute is Baga, where the beach is much better and where there is a good choice of restaurants and accomodation. The atmosphere is much mellower and the landscape more interesting. AGUADA South of Calangute, near the mouth of the Mandovi River, Aguada is Goa's jet-set beach. Its main attraction is the 16th century Portuguese Aguada Fort in which the main hotel built.


GOA BEACH(CALANGUTE & BAGA) - SHOPPING

 

There are numerous stall all the way from the crossroads to the beach selling genuine and reproduction Tibetan and Rajasthani crafts. Most of them are well made and some of them stunningly beautiful. Intresting Jewellery, bangles and other ethnic trinets (usually Tibetan, Kashmiri and Indian tribal in origin) are available.


GOA BEACHES

 

CHAPORA AND VAGATOR This is one of the most beautiful, interesting areas of Goa. Much of the inhabited area nestles under a canopy of dense coconut palms and the village is dominated by a rocky hill on top of which sits an old Portuguse fort. The port is fairly well preserved and worth a visit, and the views from its ramparts are excellent. Secluded sandy coves are found all the way around the northern side of this rocky outcrop, though the main beaches face west towards the Indian Ocean, and this part is known as Vagator. There are fairly frequent buses to Chapora from Mapusa throughout the day. A bus to Vagator is almost as convenient. There are also occasional direct buses from Panaji which follow the coast and do not go via Mapusa. The bus stand is near the road junction in Chapora village. It is often easier and much quicker to rent a motorbike from Mapusa.


JAIPUR - FESTIVAL

 

FESTIVAL Jaipur's elephant festival is held in early to mid-March (depending on the lunar calendar) and is actually part of the Holi Festival.


AROUND UDAIPUR

 

SHILPGRAM It is a crafts village 3 km away west of Fateh Sagar. It is an interesting place with traditional houses from four state - Rajasthan, Gujrat, Goa and Maharashtra - and there are daily demonstration by musicians. dancers or artisans from the various states. The open-air Shilpi Restaurant next to the site serves very good Indian and Chinese food, and snacks. EKLINGI This interesting little village with a number of ancient temples is only 22 km and a short bus ride north of Udaipur. The Siva Temple in the village itself was originally built in 734 AD. The walled complex includes an elaborately pillare hall under a large pyramidal roof and features a four-faced Siva image of black marble. At Nagada, about a km off the road and a km before Eklingi, are three old temples. The Jain temple of Adbudji is essentially ruined, but its architecture is interesting and it is very old. The nearby Sas Bahu, or Mother and Daughter-in-Law, group has very fine and intricate architecture and carvings. HALDIGHATI It is 40 km from Udaipur. The site is a battlefield and the only thing to see is the chhatri to the warrior's horse, Chetak, a few km away. NATHDWARA The important 18 th century Vishnu Temple of Sri Nathji stands here, 48 km from Udaipur. It is a popular pilgrimage site.


AROUND UDAIPUR

 

KANKROLI AND RAJSAMAND LAKE At Kankroli, Dwarkadhish has a temple similar to temple, at Nathdwara. Nearby is a lake created by the dam constructed in 1660 by Maharana Raj Singh. There are many ornamental arches and chhatri and huge bund. KUMBHALGARH FORT This is the most important fort in the Mewar region after Chittorgarh. It is 84 km from Udaipur. The walls of the fortress stretch some 12 km and enclose many temples, palaces, gardens and water storage facilities. There is also a game reserve here. The scarcity of waterholds between March and June makes this the best time to see animals. There is a lot of wildlife including antelope, panther and bear, and it is a good area for walking. RANAKPUR One of the biggest and most important Jain temples in India, the extremely beautiful Ranakpur complex lies in a remote and peaceful valley of the Aravalli range. The main temple in the complex is the Chaumukha Temple. This huge, beautifully crafted and well-kept marble temple has 29 halls supported by 1444 pillars, no two alike. Within the complex are two other Jain temples to Neminath and Parasnath and, a little distance away, a Sun Temple. One km from the main complex is the Amba Mata Temple. JAISAMAND LAKE There are beautiful marble chhatris around the embankment, each with an elephant in front. The summer palaces of the Udaipur queens are also here and a wildlife sanctuary is nearby.


SIGHTING SEEING

 

AT 652 METERS,RANCHI DOESN'T REALLY DESERVE ITS TITLE OF HILL STATION, ESPECIALLY SINCE IT'S NOW LOST MOST OF IT'S TREE- COVER. IN BRITISH TIMES IT WAS BIHAR'S SUMMER CAPITAL,WITH A REPUTATION AS A HEALTH RESORT. THE KANKE HOSPITAL FOR THE MENTALLY HANDICAPPED IS THE BEST KNOWN IN THE COUNTRY AND WAS UNTIL RECENTILY,A STOP ON THE LOCALTOURIST OFFICE'S CITY TOUR. ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING THINGS TO SEE HERE IS THE JAGANNATH TEMPLE A SMALL VERSION OF THE GREAT JAGANNATH TEMPLE AT PURI, WHICH CELEBRATER IT'S OWN, SMALLER FESTIVAL OF THE CARS.IT'S SIX KM SOUTH WEST OF RANCHI AND VISITORS ARE WELCOME. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF HILLS ON THE EDGES OF RANCHI FOR SUNSET VIEWS OVER THE ROCKY LANDSCAPE. THERE'S ALSO A TRIBAL RESURCH INSTITUTE WITH A MUSEUM HERE


PLACES TO STAY & EAT

 

THERE ARE NUMEROUS HOTELS AROUND THE BUS STAND. THE BEST SMALL PLACE IS THE FRIENDLY HOTEL KONARK WITH CLEAN SINGLES/ DOUBLES AT RS 60/85 WITH ATTACHED BATHROOMS AND A GOOD RESTAURANT. ANOTHER GOOD PLACE IS THE HOTEL PARADISE AT RS 40/50 THE HOTEL YUVRAJ, "A HOUSE OF RESPECTABLE LIVING,"IS 15 MINUTER FROM THE STATION WITH ROOMS FROM RS 150/250. NEARBY, THE CENTRALLY AIR -CONDITIN HOTEL YUVRAJ PALACE (TEL 30-0805)HAS ROOMS FROM RS 500/600 THIS IS RANCHI' BEST HOTEL.


GETTING THERE & AWAY

 

RANCHI HAS GOOD AIR, BUS AND TRAIN CONNECTION. THE RAILWAY STATION IS 500 METERS FROM THE BUS STAND. THERE ARE BUSES TO GAYA(RS,36,SEVEN HOURS) HAZARIBAGH(RS 16,THREE HOURS)AND NATARHAT(RS20, FOUR HOURS) A THROUGH BUS TO PURI TAKES 15 HOURS.


SIGHTSEEING

 

POPULATION 51,000 THE LAKSHADWEEP ARCHIPELAGO CONSIST OF 36 ISLANDS SOME 200 TO 300 KM OFF THE KERELA COAST AND FORMS A NORTHEN EXTENSION OFTHE MALDIVES CHAIN. TEN OF THE ISLANDS ARE INHABITED. THEY ARE ANDROTT,AMINI,BITRA,CHETLAT, KADMAT, KALPENI,KAVARATTI,(HEAD QUARTERS) KILTAN, AND MINICOY THE ISLANDS


PLACES TO STAY &EAT

 

EXCEPT ON BANGARAM, WHERE THERE IS A PURPOSE-BUILT TOURIST RESORT WITH LIMITED RECREATIONAL FACILITIES, NO TOURIST ACCOMODATION EXISTS ON THE ISLAND OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT REST HOUSES AND THE PRIVATE HUTS OF THE PACKAGE TOUR ORGANISATION, SPORTS (SOCIETY FOR THE PROMOTION OF RECREAT- IONAL TOURISM & SPORTS), ON KAVARATTI & KADMAT. LIKE WISE THERE ARE NO RESTAURANTS OR SNACK BARS OTHER THAN THOSE AT THE TOURIST COMPLEXES APART FROM THE OCCASIONAL "MEALS" RESTAURANT SERVING LOCAL FOOD. PACKAGE TOURISTS ARE ACCOMADATED AND FED ON BOARD SHIP EXCEPE AT BANGARAM, KAVARATTI AND KADMAT. ON BANGARAM ISLAND THERE IS THE BANGARAM ISLAND RESORT WHICH OFFERS FULL BOARD FOR US$75 TO US$125 (TWIN SHARE PER PERSON),US$140 TO US$625 (DELUXE BUNGLOW ACCOMODATING FOUR PEOPLE)DEPENDING ON THE SEASON. LEISURE ACCTIVITES (SCUBA DIVING, SNORKLING, DEEP SEA FISHING &BOAT TRIPS) ARE EXTRA. RESERVATIONS SHOULD BE MADE THROUTH THE MANAGER, BANGARAM ISLAND RESORT,CASINO HOTELS(TEL 34-0221)WILLINGDON ISLAND,KOCHI682003.


SIGHTSEEING

 

BALASORE IS THE FIRST MAJOR TOWN ON THE RAILWAY LINE FROM CALCUTTA IN NORTH ORRISA.IT WAS ONCE AN IMPORTANT TRADING CENTRE WITH DUTCH,DANISH, ENGLISH &FRENCH FACTORIES. IN 1634 IT WAS THE FIRST BRITISH EAST INDIA COMPANY FACTORY IN BENGAL. REMINA,EIGHT KM AWAY HAS THE GOPINATH TEMPLE AN IMPORTANT PILGRIMAGE CENTRE.


PLACES TO STAY

 

THE MUNICIPAL TOURIST BUNGLOW IN BALASORE KNOWN AS DEEPAK LODGING, IS PLAESANT AND REASONABLY PRICED. WALK FROM THE STATION TO THE MAIN ROAD, TURN LEFT &IT'S ON THE RIGHT -HAND SIDE,TWO BLOCKS FROM THE CORNER AND ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE CINEMA.THERE ARE A FEW SMALL HOTELS SUCH AS THE HOTEL SAGARIKA OR THE HOTEL NOONLIGHT.


VAISHNO DEVI SIGHTSEEING

 

THIS IMPORTANT CAVE TEMPLE IS DEDICATED TO THE THREE MOTHER GODDESS OF HINDUISM. THOUSANDS OF PILGRIMS VISIT THE CAVE EACH YEAR AFTER MAKING A STEEP 12 KM CLIMB FROM THE ROADHEAD AT KATRA OR TAKING A SHORTER AND EASIER CLIMB FROM A NEW ROAD.


AKOLA SIGHTSEEING

 

AMRAVATI & AKOLA ARE TO TOWNS BETWEEN JALGAON & NAGPUR. AMRAVATI HAS THE BIGGEST COTTON MARKET IN INDIA & IS THE SITE OF THE OLD ABBA TEMPLE NEAR THE WALLED CITY.THE TOWN HAS A FAMOUS SPORTS COLLEGE WHICH HAS OLD FASHIONED WRESTLING PIYS.


PLACES TO STAY

 

YOU CAN TRY THE MAHARAJA GUEST HOUSE AT AMRAVATI OR THE HOTEL DREAMLAND AT AKOLA THE LATTER IS ANOTHER OF THOSE PLACES ON THE DOWNHILL PATH TO INDIAN HOTEL OBLIVION


BAREILLY SIGHTSEEING

 

FORMER CAPITAL OF THE REGION KNOWN AS ROHILKHAND, BAREILLY CAME UNDER BRITISH CONTROL WHEN THE ROHILLAS, AS AFGHAN TRIBE, BECAME TOO IVNOLVED WITH THE MARATHAS AND THE NAWAB OF OUDH. POPULATION:608,000


BATHINDA SIGHTSEEING

 

THE RAILWAY LINE FROM SIRSA(HARYANA) TO FIROZPUR STOPS AT BATHINDA. WHICH WAS AN IMPORTANT TOWN OF THE PATHAN SUR DYNASTY.


SIGHTSEEING

 

CHINGLEPUT OR CHENGALPATTU IS ON THE ROAD BETWEEN MADRAS AND TRICHY AND THE JUNCTION OF THE RAIL SPUR TO KANCHIPURAM. IT IS NOTEWORTHY FOR THE RUINS OF AN ANCIENT VIJAYNAGAR FORT WHICH HAD A CHEQUERED HISTORY DURING THR BRITISH PERIOD.


NAVSARI SIGHTSEEING

 

29 KM SOUTH OF SURAT, NAVRARI HAS BEENA HEADQUARTERS FOR THE PARSI COMMUNITY SINCE THE EARLIEST DAYS OF THEIR SETTLEMENT IN INDIA.



PLACES TO STAY & GET

 

THE HOTEL SIDDHARTA IS A SHORT WALK FROM THE BUS STAND. SET WITHIN A PLEASENT WALLED COUNTRY YARD THERE ARE SINGLES FROM RS 50 OR RS 70/95 WITH ATTACHED BATHROOMS. NEARBY IS HOTEL AJATSHATRU VIHAR (TOURIST BUNGLOW NO 2) WITH ONLY DORM BEDS (RS 20) IT;S IN A VERY PEACEFUL LOCATION NAER THR BURMESE TEMPLE. YOU CAN ALSO STAY AT THE BURMESE TEMPLE FOR A SMALL DONATION AND THERES A GOOD RESTAURANT AND COFFEE HOUSE IN THE GROUND. THE HOTEL GAUTAM VIHAR (TOURIST BUNGLOW NO 1) IS A GOOD PLACE WITH DORM BEDS FOR RS 20 SINGLES/DOUBLES WITH WATER HEATERS IN THE ATTACHED BATHROOMS FOR RS80/100, AND SOME AIR-CON ROOMS THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER CHEAP PLACES CATERING TO CALCUTTAN HOLIDAY MAKERS. THE HOTEL RAJGIR HAS A PLEASANT GARDEN AND THE ROOMS ARE GOOD VALUE AT RS 40/65 WITH ATTACHED BATHROOMS. TRIPTEE'S HOTEL HAS SOME GOOD ROOMS WITH BALCONIES FOR RS 100 THE TOP HOTEL HERE IS THE CENTAUR HOKKE (TEL 245) AN INDO JAPANESE JOINT VENTURE, COMPLETE WITY TATAMI MATS IN THE BEDROOMS (US$61/92) AND IT'S OWN PRAYER HALL.IF YOU'RE GETTING BOARED WITH INDIAN COUSINE TRY THE JAPANESE DISHES HERE FROM RS 50 SET MEALS WITH TEMPURA COST RS 140.


GETTING THERE & AWAY

 

RAJGIR IS ON THE BRANCH LINE WITH DAILY TRAINS TO PATNA BUT THE BUSES ARE FASTER.THERE ARE ALSO BUSES TO GAYA(RS 11,TWO HOURS)AND PAWAPURI.FOR NALANDA TAKE A SHARED JEEP FOR RS 2.


LADAKH SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Ladakh the northern most part of India and the largest of the three cons- tituent geo-cultural unit of the State of Jammu and Kashmir ,is highly elevated cold desert where human habitation occurs at altitude exxeeding 4000 Meters.Ladakh Ocupies A very Strategic Position in Asia as it did during its long history as an independent kingdom.In the past it commanded some of the busiest trede routes of central Asia.Covering an area of 99,000 Sq.Kms.Ladakh has a Sparse Population of about 1,35,000.The World's largest glacier,72 kms. long out-side the polar region siachen is here. Ladakh Has also one of the largest and most beautiful nature Ladakh has also one of the largest and most beautiful nature lakes in india.pangong Tso,150 Kms.long and 4 Kms. wide is nearly an inland sea at a height of 14,000 fee with intensely clear water. Tsomoriri and Tsokar lakes also offer scenic attraction and set like jewels in rocky terrain.


LADAKH SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Ladakh is considered today to be one of the most adventurist travel destin- ation in world because of its unusaul topography.It has3parallel mountains ranges Viz Zanskar Himalayas Ladakh Himalayas and Karakoram Himalayas Running from South east to North west inhabiting the three valleys of Zanskar,Ladakh and Nubra in between these ranges. The great rivers of Ladakh the Zanskar,the Indus and the Shayok Made up of hundredsa mountain streams finally make their way into the ocean.The topography is typically rugged with miles and miles of sun-beaten and wind-swept mountains,in hospitable and craggy terrains and challenging peaks.The absence of any kind of habitation in most its parts makes the whole region look a lunar surface offering highland treks and challengin climbings. Hundreds of religious and cultural monuments dots its gray desert;its concealed sub-valleys hide centuries old monasteries and hermitages which are store houses of artefacts,centre of learning and practice of Mahayanic Buddhism, thus Providing motivation to the world tourists as a completely distinct destination of the world.Ladakh formerly called as Western Tibet been the scene of countless conflicts. Invaders from Tibet Mongolia and India braved severe winters and high mountains in their attempt to control ancient central Asia Caravan routes that converged at Leh.Miraculously, Ladakh's Cultural life Survived and the visitor still find the colourful costumes,the exotic tranquil villages and the profound religious life i.e. their centuried old heritage unchanged.The Thankas murat-paintings,stuccos frescoes, scriptures and Statues of Buddhas and scores of other deities are feast to the eyes and the monasteries are fullof all these art treasures.


LADAKH SIGHTSEEING 3

 

Them,alchi Choskor (built in 958)coud aptly be called the art palace of Ladakh.The Lamayuru gonpa perched on arock looks like a fairy castle.Ladakh has arts and craftsmanship to equal any of that Asia,overwhelming the heart of all who see them.it has inspred the minds and pens of many scholars, adventurers and explorers and still has the power to impress even the most blasee travellers of today.The personalities of people their language their complex house-hold structure monastic leadership and the intinerant nuns and monks reflect a rhythm of a Ladakh civilization in the continent.Ladakh have a number of festival taking place in the Monasteries. Ladakh can be approached by road air.Leh the capital town is connected with Srinagar,Jammu,Chandigarh and Delhi by Frequet Boeing Service operation by Indiaa Airlines. The Leh-Srinagar and leh manali Highways are the Artery that links Ladakh with rest of India for about 5 months During June/July to Oct/Nov. Zanskarr Nubra and Changthang areas are also connec- tedwith main highway by subsidiary heavy vehicular roads. The Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal transport Corporations are operating regular Busservce on all important routes and Taxis are available in abundance. A number of Hotel rooms are Available in Leh and Kargil But Require Advance booking.Tourist Season is Normally May to October and winter subzero temperature is as low as (-)30 c.


RAMPURS DETALIES

 

IN THIS FORMER ROHILLA CAPITAL, THE STATE LIBEARY HAS AN IMPORTANT COLLECTION OF OLD MANUSRIPTS AND MINIATURES,SOME OF GREAT IMPORTNCE,HOUSE IN FINE BULDING IN THE OLD FORT. THERE'S A LARGE JAMI MASJID NEAR BY AND INTERSTING BAZAARS AROUND THE WALLS OF THE PALACE.


CHUNAR SIGHTING

 

IF THE NARROW ALLEYS OF VARANASI ARE GIVING YOU A TOUCH OF CLAUSTROPHOBIA, CHUNNAR FORT OVERLOOKING THE GANGES MAKE A GOOD DAY TRIP. IT'S HAD A SUCCESSION OF OWNWRS REPRESENTING MOST OF INDIAN'S RULES OVER THE LASTYUN 500 YEAR.SHER SHAH TOOK IT FROM HUMAYUN IN 1540, AKBAR REVAPTURED IT FOR THE MOGHULS IN 1575 AND IN THE MID-18 CENTUREY IT PASSED TO THE NAWABS OF QUDH. THEY WERE SHORTLY FOLLOWD BY THE BRITISH, WHOSE GEAVESTONES HERE MAKE INTERESTING READING. CHUNAR IS 36 KM FROM VARANASI AND CAN BE REACHED BY BUS.


MUZAFFARPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

APART FROM BRGING A BUS-CHANGING POINT ON THE WAY TO THE NEPAL BORDER, MUZAFFARPUR IS OF LIMITED INTEREST. THIS IS A POVERTY-STRICKEN, AGRICULTURALLY BACKWARD AREA. THERE ARE A NUMBER IF PLACES TO STAY, INCLUDING THE HOTEL DEEPAK WITH RESONABLE FOOD AND VERY SPARTAN ROOM. THE HOTEL ELITE, NEAR THE RAILWAY STATION ON SARAIYA GUNJ, IS MORE EXPENSIVE.


SIGHTSEEING

 

SOUTH-WEST PF PURI, CHILKA LAKE IS DOTTED WITH ISLAND AND IS NOTED FOR THE MANY MIGRATORY BIRD WHICH FLOCK IN WINTER (DECEMBER TO JANUARY) TO THE NESTING SANCTUARY HERE. THE SHALLOW LAKE IS ABOUR 70 KM LONG AND AVERAGES 15 KM WIDE, AND IS SUPPOSEDLY ONE OF THE LARGER BARACKISH-WATER LAKE IN THE COUNTERY. IT'S SEPARTED FROM THE SEA ONLY BY A NARROW SAND BAR. THE RAILWAY LINE AND THE MAIN ROAD RUN ALONG THE INLAND EDGE OF THE LAKE.IT'S A PEACEFUL ENOUGH PLACE BUT PROBABLY OF GREATEST INTEREST TO ORNITHOLOGISTS.


PIPAS SIGHTSEEING

 

PIPARIYA PIPARIYA IS THE NEREST ROAD/RAIL JUNCTION TO PACHMARHI, 47 KM AWAY. IT'S ON THE RAILWAY LINE THAT RUNS FROM BOMBAY TO JABALPUR. OPPOSITE THE RAILWAY STATION,THERE'S AN EXCELLENT LITTLE MP TOURISIM TOUREST MOTEL WITH DOUBLE AT RS 75 AND A RESTAURANT.


BAGH-SIGHTSEEING

 

THE BAGH CAVE ARE SEVEN KM FROM THE VILLAGE OF BAGH AND THREE KM OFF THE MAIN ROAD. BAGH IS ABOUT 50 KM WEST VADODARA IN GUJARAT. THE BUDDHIST CAVE DATE FROM 400- AD AND ALL ARE IN VERY BAD SHAP. CAVE-INE, SMOKE AND WARER DAMAGE HAVE REDUCED THEM TO SUCH POOR COUNDITION THAT RESTORATION WORK IS BAERLY WORTHWHILE. COMPARED TO THE CAVES OF AJANTA OR ELLLORA, THE BAGH CAVES ARE HARDLY WORTH THE CONDIDERABLE EFFORT GETTING TO THEM. THERE'S A PWD DAK BAUNGALOW HARE.


SIGHTSEEING

 

RATLAM & MANDSAUR


SIGHTSEEING

 

DAULATABAD BETWEEN AURANGABAD AND THE ELLORA CAVES IN THE MAGNIFICENT HILLTOP FORTRESS OF DAU;ATBAD. THE FORT IS SURROUND BY FIVE KM OF STURDY WALLS, WHILE THE CENTREL BASTION TOPS A 200-METRE-HIGHT HILL.IN THE 14TH CENTURY THE SOMEWHAT UNBALANCE MOHAMMED TAGHLAQ, SULTAN OF DELHI,CONCEIVE THE CRAZY PLAN OF NOT ONLY BULDING HIMSELF A NEW CAPITAL HERE,BUT MARCHING THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF DELHI 1100KM SOUTH TO POPULATE IT. HIS UNHAPPY SUBJECT PROCEEDE TO DROP DEAD LIKE FILES ON THIS FORCE MARCH,AND 17 YEAR LATER HE TURNED ROUND AND MARCHED THEM ALL BACK TO DELHI. THE FORT REAMAINED. IT'S WORTH MAKING THE CLIMB TO THE TOP FOR THE SUPERB VIEWS OVER THE SURROUNDING COUNTERY. ALONG THE WAY YOU'LL PASS THROUGH A COMPILCATED AND INGENIOUS SERIES OF DEFECES, INCLUDING MULTIPLE DOORWAYS TO PRVENT ELEPPHANT CHARGE AND SPIKE-STUDDED DOORS JUST IN CASE. A MAGNIFICENT TOWER OF VICORY, THE CHAND MINAR BULT IN 1435,SOARS 60 METERS HIGH. HTE QUTAB MINAR IN DELHI,


SIGHTSEEING

 

THE QUTAB MINER IN DELHI, FIVE METRESS HIGHER,IS THE ONLY LOFTIER VICTORY TOWER IN INDIA. ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ENTRANCE PATH IS A ,OSQUE TEMPLE. HIGER UP IS THE BLUE-TILED CHINI MAHAL PALACE WHERE THE LAST KING OF GOLCONDA WAS IMPRISONED FOR 13 YEARS UNTIL FORT TO A HUGE SIX-METRE CANNON,CAST FROM FIVE DIFFERENT METALS AND ENGRAVED WITH AURANGZEB'S NAME.THE FINEL ASCENT TO THE TOP GOES WHICH THE FORT'S DEFENDERS COULD HURL BURNING COALS AT ANY INVADERS. OF COURSE, YOUR GUIDE MAY TELL YOU,THE FORT WAS ONCE SUCCESSFULLY CONQUERED DESPITE THESE ELABORATE PRECAUTION BY THE SIMPLE EXPEDIENT OF BRIBING THE GUARD AT THE GATE. IF YOU TAKE ONE OF THE MTDC BUS TOURS TO DAULATABAD AND ELLORA YOU WON'T HAVE TIME TO CLIMB TO THE SUMMIT. THE HILL ON WHICH THE FORT STAND WAS ORIGANALLY KNOW AS DEVAGRI, THE HILL OF THE GOD, BUT MOHAMMED TUGHLAQ RENAMED IT DAULATABAD, THE CITY OF FORTUNE.


SIGHTSEEING

 

RAUZA ALSO KNOW AS KHULADBAD, THE HEAVENLY ABODE,THIS WALLED TOWN IS ONLY THREE KM FROM ELLORA. IT IS THE KARBALA OT HOLY SHRINE OF DECCAN MUSLIMS. A NUMBER OF HISTORICAL FIGURE ARE BURIED HERE, INCLUDING AURANGZEB, THE LAST GREAT MOGHUL EMPEROR. AURAGEZEB BULT THE CRENELLATED WALL AROUND THE TOWN, WHICH WAS ONCE AN IMPORTANCE CENTRE, ALTHOUGHT TODAY IT IS LITTLE MORE THEN A SLEEPY VILLAGE. THE EMPEROR'S FINEL RESTING PLACE IS A SIMPLE AFFAIR OF BAR EARTH IN A COURYARD OF THE ALAMGIR DARGAH AT THE CENTER OF THE TOWN. AURANAGZEB'S PIOUS AUSTERITY EXTENDE EVEN TO HIS OWN TOMB, FOR HE STPULSTED THAT HIS MAUSOLEUM SHORT BE PAID FOR WITH MONEY HE EARNED HIMSELF BY COPING OUT THE KORAN. WHITIN THE BULDING THERE IS ALSO SUPPOSED TO BE A ROAL WORN BY THE PROPHET MOHAMMED; IT IS ONLY SHOWN TO THE FAITHFUL ONCE EACH YEAR. ANOTHER SHRINE ACROSS THE ROAD FROM THE ALAMGIRI DARGAH IS SAID TO COUTAIN HARIS OF THE PROPHET'S BEARD AND LIMP OF SILVER FROM A


SIGHTSEEING

 

THALASSERI (TELLICHERRY) THALASSERI IS A TYPICAL KERALAN FINESH VILLAGE (AND SMELL LIKE IT) RIGHT OFF THEM TOUREST CIRCUIT. PERHAPS ITS BIGGGEST CLAM TO FANME IS AS THE HOME TOWN OF MANY INDIAN CIRCUS PERFORMERS. IT'S CERTSINLY NOT WROTH A SPECIAL DETOUR BUT, IF YOU ARE MAKIONG YOUR WAY ALONG THE COST, TI'S A PLEASANT,UNHURRIED PLACE TO STOP FOR THE NIGHT. TOURISTS ARE DEFINITELY A RARE BREED HARE. THE TOWN'S FISHING FLEET RETURNS IN THE LATE AFFTERNOON, AND THE BEACH BECOME AS PEOPLE HAGGLE OVER THE CATCH.


GETTING THERE AWAY

 

GETTING THERE & AWAY FREQUENT TRAIN AND BUSES HEAD UP HTE COST TO MANGALORE AND SOUTH TO KOZHIKODE AND KOCHIN.


SIGHTSEEING

 

PICHAVARAM THE SEA RESORT OF PICHAVRAM, WITH ITS BACK- WATERS AND MANGROVE FOREST, IS 15 KM EAST OF CHIDAMBARAM. A MARINE RESEACH INSTITUTE IS AT NERELY PORT NOVA,A FORMER PORTUGUESE AND DUTCH PORT.


TRAN SHGHSEETING

 

TRANQEBAR TRANQUEBAR, SOUTH OF POOMPUHAR, WAS A DINESH TRADING POST IN THE 18TH CENTURY AND HAS A CHURCH BULT BY THE LUTHERENCE. LATER, IT CAME UNDER BRITESH RULE. DANESBORG FORT


SIGHTSEEING

 

NAGORE & VELANGANNI THE NAGORE ANDAVAR DARAGH IS AN IMPORT MUSLIM PILGRIMAGE CENTER AT NAGORE, 45 KM FROM THANJAVUR. VELANGANNI(90KM) IS THE SITE OF THE FAMOUS ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF GOD HELTH. PEOPLE OF ALL RELIGIONS FLOK TO THE CHURCH,MANY DOILY PARTS A MAJOR FESTIVAL IS HELD HERE ON 8 SEPTEMBER. THERE'S A PWD REST HOUSE AT ETTUKUDI,SIX KM AWAY, OR WRITE TO THE VICAR OF ST MARY'S CHURCH,VELANGANNI, ABOUT ACCMMODATION. THE ST JOSEPH'S PILGRIMS QUARTERS AT VELANGANNI, AND THE MATH RESTURANT NEXT DOOR IS GOOD.


POOMS SIGHTSEEING

 

POOMMPUHAR ONLY A SMALL VALLAGE NOE STANDS AT THE MOUTH OF THE CAVERY RIVER BUT IT WAS HERE AT POOMPUCHAR THAT THE RULE OF THE CHOLA EMPIRE CONDUCTCTED TRAD WITH ROME AND WITH CENTRES TO THE EATS. THE TOWN HAS A FINE BEACH, AGOOD REST HOUSE AND SOME HAS VERY CHEAP SOUTH INDIAN VEGETARIAN RESTURANTS.THIS CHOLA SEAPORT HAS ALSO GIVEN ITS NAME TO THE CHAIN OF CRAFT EMPORIS RUN BY THE TTDC.


SIGHTSEEING

 

TIRUCHENDUR SOUTH OF RAMESHWARAM AND TUTICRIN IS THIS IMPRESSIV TEMPLE. YOU MAY BE ABLE TO ENTER THE INNER SANTUMS HERE AND WATCH THE ENTHUSIASTIC PROCEEDING.JUST BE CARE IF THEY OFFER YOU A GULP OF THE HOLY WATER. POURING IT OVER YOUR HAND AND RUBBING THEM TOGETHER JOYOUSLY IS AN ACCEPTABLE SUBSTITUTE FOR DRINKING IT!


KINNAUR & LAHAUL SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Kinnaur & Lahaul Spiti aera of Himachal Pradesh, the most unique geography anywhere in the world, the beauty of Kashmir & landscape of Leh, all within a couple of hours driving distance of each other. Away from the urban rigmarole to the silent wilderness of wysterious forests, picturesque valleys & snow clad peaks which come together to offer a romance hitherto unseen, unheard or untold. Experience a complete holiday with timberline trekking camps at Kalpa & Chitkul. Each of our planned programs include a wide range of experiences. Jeep Safaris: Our comfortable jeeps are driven by highly experienced drivers on these mountains to move you safely over rugged roods,high passes & breathtaking gorges. these cross country journey are adventurous. Trekking: Penetrate the scenic roadless area where natures is untouched. Sporting just a light day pack for your camera,sweater,binoculars you're unencumbered & free to enjoy the sights & surrundings. All camping equip- ment food, supplies & most of your camera,sweater,binoculars you're unencumbered & free to enjoy the sight & surrundings. All camping equipment food, supplies & most of your belonging are carried for you by your support team which includes a leader,cooks & assistants. Doubtlessly an adventurous journey on foot.


KINNAUR & LAHAUL SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Wildlife & Nature walks: Discover a fascinating variety of animals,birds, flowers herbs&medicianal plants around our camps. Forests of Bhoj- Patra, mountain slopes wooded with trees of pine,Chilgoza, Walnuts,Almonds&Orchards of apples, Peaches,Plums&Pears.Miles of Alpine meadows dotted with flowers. Lammergeier's& golden eagles rule the skies, ibexes, Snow leapard & Black bears abound the snow line. Cultural Tours & Natural History: You experiences the life-styles,strange customs, relgion & art of this region. Visit the famous Pandav Forts, Bud- dhist Gompas, Ancient Temples & villages, witness the exquistc IndoChines architecture,discover fossils & much more. Nature Conservation: You learn to save & enjoy the environment. Our camps effectively use non Fossil energy for lighting & water heating by tapping solar energy. The Italians Biodegradable western style loos are very hyge- inic & environmental friendly. Our Facilites: Our super Deluxe 14 ft/12 ft tents have been specially des- igned to provide all Hotel comforts while staying in camp which is an adventure by itself. Each Tent Has: *Wooden Flooring*Carpeting*Comfortable Beds* Poly fill Quilts*Fresh White Linen*Chairs & Tables* Independents Changes Area with Wash Basin* Fresh towels*Herbal Soaps&Tissue Paper *Each tent has its own change area with Basin*Independent attached wash & toilet* Imported Biodegardable western style chemical toilets from Italy which are most hygeinic & ideally which are most hygeinic &ideally suited for outdoor activities.


KINNAUR & LAHAUL SIGHTSEEING 3

 

Camp activites:*Star Gazing * Fishing * Rock Climbing * Mountain Biking *Photography & Camp Games * Kite Flying* Sunbathing * River Crossing Kinnaur famously known by the name of Dev Bhumi is set within the imposing greater Himalayas on the international border with Tibet. Legend has it that these inaccessible & impassable valleys mountain ranges were the abode of Gods.Pandavas of the great epic Mahabharata spent some time here while in exile.Various primitive traditions, beliefs,superstiti- ons&strange customs still survive here. The imposing forts, exquisite Gom- pas & Temples of Kinnauri Architecture are things of beauty to behold which leaves one breathless. So dramatic is this land that on the side there are dense forests,fruit orchards, lush green valleys while on the other rugged & barren Mountains, Miles & Miles of high altitude desert. River Satluj enters India near Shipki La & literally cuts the greater Himalayan belt of Kinnaur in the centre, carving in the process spectacular gorges. Kalpa: Looming in front of Kalpa(9800 ft)is the impressive Kinner Kailesh (19800 ft.)it has religious significance for a huge Shiva Lingam, the representation of lord Shiva which changes colours several times a day with change of weather conditions. Trek around the whole range attracts many pilgrims every year.


KINNAUR & LAHAUL SIGHTSEEING 4

 

Sangla Valley : It is by far the most beautiful valley of Himachal Pradesh full of wooded slopes as far as Chitkul (12000 ft.) the inhabited village in this valley surrounded by green fields &high mountain peaks. Chitkul is the a fairyland. The bewitching scenery & the eternal snow view from here is an unforgettable sight. A trek through lush green meadows to the grazing fields of Nagasti on the banks of Baspa river is a delight.


SKYLARK TRAVELS

 

SKYLARK TRAVELS(REGD.BY U.P.GOVT) MALL ROAD, NAINTAL TEL:-OFF:(05942)36519,35165,RESI:35365 FAX:-05942-36096 DAILY PACKAGE TOUR KAUSANI(TWO DAYS) COVER: BHOWALI, KAINCHI TEMPLE, ALMORA KAUSANI(NIGHT HALT)NEXT DAY KALIKA TEMPLE, GOLFLINK RANIKHET. RATES: SUPER LUXURY COACH 2*2 RS. 300/-, DELUXE COACH 2*3 RS.250/- TAXI RS 1800/-, TATA SUMO RS.2500/- INCLUDES: LOADING AND BOARDING(Veg.) AT KAUSANI(EVENING TEA, DINNER BED TEA AND BREAKFAST) TOLL TAXES GUIDE CHARGES AND TRANSPORT, GOOD AND COMFORTABLE ACCOMODATION PROVIDED TO EVERY FAMILY. RANIKHET(FULL DAY) COVER: BHOWALI, KAINCHI TEMPLE, RANIKHET, KALIKA TEMPLE, GOLFINK, HERAKHAN TEMPLE. RATES: SUPER LUXURY COACH 2*2 Rs.175/-,DELUXE COACH 2*3 Rs.150/-,TAXI Rs 1000/-, TATA SUMO RS.1500/- INCLUDES:TOLL TAXES GUIDE CHARGES AND TRANSPORT.



DAMAN SIGHTSEEING

 

JAMPORE BEACH. TOWARDS SOUTH, JAMPORE BEACH LEADS ON TO THE BORDER OF GUJARAT. IT IS A PL- EASANT SPOT, WHERE ONE COMMUNES WITH NATURE IN SUBLIME SOLITUDE. THIS BEACH IS MOST SUITED TO SWIMMING AS IT IS DANGER-FREE. DURING LOW-TIDE, ONE CAN WALK ON THE SOFT WET SAND RIGHT INTO SEA. DON'T MISS A PICNIC WITH YOUR FAMILY IN THE SHADE OF CASURINA PLANTATION ON THE SEASHORE. SATYA SAGAR UDYAN. SATYA SAGAR UDYAN ABOUT 3 KMS. FROM THE TAXI PARK AT NANI DAMAN AND VERY CLOSE TO COAST GUARD AIR STATION, ON THE DAMAN-VALSAD ROAD SQUATS A SPELL- BINDING LAKE-GARDEN SATYA SAGAR UDYAN WITH ITS COLOURFUL FOUNTAINS AND SHR- UB-SKIRTED PROMENADES OFFERS AN ENCHANTING VIEW. THE RESTAURANT AND SNAKEB- AR PROVIDE A VARIETY OF DISHES OF DIFFERENT REGIONAL FLAVOURS. ONE CAN UNB- END FOR HOURS ON A LAKESIDE SEAT SIPPING A SOFT BEVERAGE OF ONE'S CHOICE. CHURCH OF BOM JESUS. THE CHURCE OF BOM JESUS WAS COMPLETED IN ITS PRESENT FORM IN 1603 AD. THE RICHLY CARVED DOORWAY AND HIGHLY DECORATED INTERIORS TOGETHER WITH THE LOF- TY CEILING AND BURNISHING ALTER INTIVE AESTHETIC ATTENTION. FORT OF MOTI DAMAN THE MASSIVE FORT THAT RUNS ROUND THE SETTLEMENT LIKE GRIDLE, DATES BACK TO 1559 AD. THIS STRUTURE IN THE PRESENT FORM ENCOMPASSES ABOUT 30,000 SQ.MTS. WITH 10 BASTIONS AND GATEWAYS. THE FORT IS PROTECTED BY A MOST ON THE LAND SIDE AND ALSO CONNECTS THE RIVER TO THE SEA. THE GOVERNOR'S PALACE, COLLE- CTORATE, SECRETARIAT AND OTHER OFFCIAL BUILDINGS ARE WITHIN THE FORT.


DAMAN SIGHTSEEING

 

FORT OF NANI DAMAN. THE SMALL FORT WITH HIGH STONE WALLS ENCLOSED AN AREA OF 12250 SQ.MTS. THE MOST CONSPICUOUS PART OF THE FORT IS THE GAINT GATEWAY FACING THE RIVER WITH A LARGE STATUE OF ST.JEROME AND TWO GAINT HUMAN FIGURES, ON EITHER SIDE OF THE GATEWAY. MORE TO SEE. SATYA NARAYAN TEMPLE-NANI DAMAN, SOMNATH TEMPLE-DABHEL, OUR LADY OF REMEDI- OS- MOTI DAMAN, OUR LADY OF ROSARY- MOTI DAMAN. THE CLIMATE. TEMPERATE CLIMATE ROUND THE YEAR IT IS A GET AWAY-HOME IN ALL SEASONS. SEP- TEMBER TO MAY IS THE BEST TOURIST SEASONS.


DIU SIGHTSEEING

 

FLANKED BY SIMMERING BLUE WATER OF ARABAIN SEA ON THE THREE SIDES AND FABULOUS CHASI ON THE NORTH, LIES A SMALL UNEXPLORED PIECE OF PARADISE. THIS ISLAND CALLED DIU LIES OFF THE SAURASHTRA COAST OF GUJARAT STATE. MYTHOLOGY AND HISTORY THE NAME `DIU' IS DERIVED FROM THE WORD `DWEEP' MEANING AN ISLAND.ACCORDING TO MYTHOLOGY. DIU WAS RULED BY THE GREAT KING JALLANDHAR WHO WAS A DEMON KING AND WS KILLED BY LORD VISHNU WITH HIS SUDARSHAN CHAKRA. THE TEMPLE OF JALLANDHAR HARRASSED THE GODS, LORD VISHNU KILLED HIM BUT WAS CURSED BY HIS WIFE VRINDA.THE PLACE WHERE LORD VISHNU LEFT SUDARSHAN CHAKRA AFTER KILLING JALLANDHAR IS KNOWN AS CHAKRA TIRTH WHICH IS SITUATED IN DIU. DIU HAS A CHEQUERED HISTORY. DIU WAS RULED BY THE MAURYANS DURING 322-320 B.C., AND WAS THE MAIN TRADE CENTRE ON THE SAURASHTRA COAST. IN A.D.1064. THE CHALUKYAS CAME BACK AGAIN IN POWER ND DIU WAS SUCCESSIVELY UNDER THE SWAY OF CHAVDA AND VAGHELA RAJPUTS. DIU WAS ATTACKED SEVERAL TIMES BY THE PORTUGUESE BECAUSE OF ITS STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE RIGHT FROM 1518 TO 1535. WHEN THE MOGHUL EMPEROR HUMAYUN ATTACKED BAHADUR SHAH, THE LATTER ENTERED INTO TREATY ON 5TH OCTOBER, 1535 WITH PORTUGUESE FOR THEIR HELP AGAINST MOGHUL KING HUMAYUN. GOVERNOR NUNO DE CUNHA CONSTUCTED A FORT IN DIU AT A SITE GIVEN BY THE SHAH. DIU WAS FINALLY SEIZED BY THE GOVERNOR JOAO DE CAS- TRO ON 1TH NOVEMBER, 1546. SIMBOR, A VILLAGE OF DIU ABOUT 42 KMS. AWAY WAS CONQUERED IN 1722. TOURISM POTENTIAL. THIS FORMER PORTUGUESE ENCALVE MEASURES BARELY 40 SQ.KMS. YET IT OFFERS A VARIETY OF ATTARACTIONS TO PAMPER AN ENTIRE SPECTRUM OF TOURIST INTERESTS.


DIU SIGHTSEEING.

 

FOR NATURE LOVERS, DIU'S FLORA, FAUNA AND SCENIC SPLENDOUR OFFER AN ENTIC- ING GETWAY FROM CIVILSATION. ITS QUIET PRISTINE BEACHES ARE A TREAT TO AVID SUN BATHERS. FOR ADVENTURE LOVERS,THE PLACID WATER OFF DIU'S COAST PROVIDE THE IDEAL SETTING FOR WATER SPORTS. THE HORSE SHOE SHAPE OF NAGOA BEACH AND ITS GRAD- UAL CONTINENTAL SHELF MAKES IT ONE OF THE SAFEST AND BEST WATER BODIES FOR WATER SPORTS LIKE SURFING, SAILING, PARA SAILING AND CANOEING. FOR PEOPLE INTERESTED IN ART & ARCHITECTURE, DIU OFFERS AN ENCOUNTER WITH FASCINATING PORTUGUESE AND INDIAN STYLES. THE- RE ARE ALSO INNUMERABLE TEMPLES, CHURCHES AND PALCES OF RELIGOUS SIGNIFICA- NCE. DIU FORT, ST. PAUL CHURCH AND A UNIQUE MONUMENT IN THE SEA CALLED FORTIM DU MAR (PANIKOTHA) ARE PROMINENT LAND MARKS OF THE ISLAND. AND, EVEN THE COLOURFUL CULTURE OF DIU IS MESMERISING, WITH ITS VIBRANT MIX OF PORTU GUESE CUSTOMS ALONG WITH TRADITIONS THAT ARE DISTINCTLY INDIAN. TO ADD TO THESE ATTARACTIONS ARE THE VARIOUS EXCURSION SPOTS A SHORT DRIVE ALWAY FROM DIU. JUST ABOUT 100KMS. FROM DIU LIES GIR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY,THE ONLY ABODE OF THE FAMOUS ASIATIC LION. THE HISTORIC SOMNATH TEMPLE IS LOCA- TED ABOUT 90 KMS. FROM DIU IN VERAVAL. THE ANCIENT TEMPLES OF DWARKA AND PALITANA ARE ALSO A FEW HOURS AWAY IN GUJARAT WOULD OFFER A MEMORABLE VISIT


SIKKAM SISHTSEEING 1

 

SITUATED IN THE LAP OF EASTERN HIMALAYA SHARING ITS BORDER WITH TIBET (NOR- TH), NEPAL(WEST), BHUTAN(EAST), WEST BENGAL(SOUTH), SIKKAM IS STILL BEING DISCOVERED......FOR ITS UNENDING HIDDEN BEAUTIES. NATURE, LIKE GOD, HAS NE- VER BEEN AS AWESOME AND BREATHTAKING AS IN SIKKAM. SHANGRI-LA-A TIBETAN WORD WHICH, MOST APTLY DESCRIBES SIKKAM....ITS MEANS "AN IMAGINARY PARADISE ON EARTH". LACHUNG VALLEY: ONE OF THE MOST EXCUISITE VALLEYS IN SIKKAM, LACHUNG IS RESPLENDENT WITH SNOW-CAPPED MOUNTAINS, BREATHTAKING WATERFALLS AND ALL THAT NATURE CAN OFF- ER. ITS A 5 HOUR DRIVE FROM GANGTOK ALONG THE NORTH SIKKAM HIGHWAY A HIGHW- AY WHICH CAN BOAST OF BEING ONE WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SURROUNDING. LACH- UNG IS SITUATED AT A HEIGHT OF 8610 FT. IT HAS BEEN DESCRIBED BY MR.JOSEPH DALTON HOOKER, THE EMINENT NATURLIST, IN HIS BOOK "THE HIMALAYAN JOURNAL" IN 1855 AS THE "MOST PICTURESQUE VILLAGE OF SIKKAM"...... WHERE THE TIME STANDS STILL. YUMTHANG: AS STUNNINGLY EXCUISITE AS LACHUNG VALLEY, YUMTHANG SITUATED AT A HEIGHT OF 11,800 FT, GETS COVERED WITH RHODODENDRON FLOWERS IN APRIL TO MAY. ITS A TOURISTS'"DREAM COME TRUE"....... WITH THE RIOT OF COLOURS BURSTING ON EACH OTHER. IT'S A ONE AND A HALF HOURS DRIVE FROM LACHUNG. YUMESAMDONG: A 1HR. DRIVE FROM YUMTHANG VALLEY TAKES YOU TO YUMESAMDONG AT A HEIGHT OF 15,300 FT, ENROUTE, THE HILLS ARE THICKLY COVERED WITH EZILIA(A PLANT THAT IS USED AN INCENSE BY THE LOCALS)AND THE ATMOSHPHERE HEAVY WITH ITS SWEET


SIKKAM SIGHTSEEING 2

 

OUDER. NORTH SIKKIM: 4 TO 5 DAYS REQUIRED TO DO JUSTICE TO THIS MOST PICTURESQUE OF THESE THREE CIRCUITS. THERE ARE SIX STUNNINGLY EXCUISITE LOCATIONS IN NORTH SIKKIM, NA- MELY LACHUNG (8600 FT), YUMTHANG (11800 FT), YUMESAMDONG(15500 FT), LACHEN (9600 FT), CHOPTA VALLEY(14500 FT), GURUDONGMR LAKE(17000 FT).THE LAST FOUR PLACES ALSO HAPPEN TO BE NEW DESTINATIONS OPENED FOR TOURISM IN RECENT TIMES. THE GURUDONGMAR LAKE REMAINS FROZEN IN WINTER TO THE ARMY. THE WHITISH WAT- ER OF THE HOLY LAKE IS SAID TO BE A MIRACLE CURE FOR VARIOUS DISEASE. IT IS NOT ADVISABLE TO VISIT NORTH SIKKAM IN MONSOON( JUNE-AUG). ADVANCE BOOKING IS ADVISED TO GET ACCOMMODATION IN SNOWLION MOUNTAIN RESORT THE BEST CHOICE IN LACHUNG WITH ALL MODERN FACLITIES INCLUDING GENERATOR. SOME LOGHUTS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE WITH LESSER FACLITIES. PERMITS REQUIRES FOR INDIAN NATIONALS ALSO. WEST SIKKAM. 3 TO 4 DAYS REQUIRED TO COVER THIS CIRCUIT, RECOMMENDED PLACES TO VISIT: PELLING, PEMEYANGTSE, YUKSOM, RAVANGLA. AVERAGE HEIGHT OF WEST SIKKAM TOURIST SPOTS: 7000 FT. ACCESSESIBLE THROUGTOUT THE YEAR. NO PERMITS REQUIRED FOR INDIAN NATIONALS. GANGTOK AND AROUND: 2 TO 3 DAYS REQUIRED TO COVER THIS CIRCUIT INCLUDING YTHE TSANGU LAKE 12400 FT.


GARHWAL SIGHTSEEING 1

 

THE HIMALAYAS. HIMALAYAS, THE WORLD OVER HAVE ALWAYS ATTRACTED PEOPLE THROUGH THE AGES. INVINCIBLE AND MIGHTY, THEY HAVE POSED A CHALLENGE TO AWESTRICKEN MAN, WHO BELIEVED THAT THEY WERE THE ABODE OF THE GODS. CRADLED IN THE FOOTHILLS OF THE MIGHTIEST MOUNTAINS IN THE WORLD, GARHWAL OFFERS THE HIGHTEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAINS FOR THOSE INTOXICATED WITH SPRIT OF ADVENTURE FOR TREKKING. GARHWAL THE HISTORY OF GARHWAL IS OLDER THAN THAT OF RAMAYANA AND MAHABHARATA. THE FIRST RECOURDED NAME OF THIS REGION WAS KARTRIPUR. LATER ON, SINCE IT WAS SURROUNDED ON ALL SIDES BY MOUNTAINS, IT CAME TO BE KNOWN AS "GIRI-AVIL" WHICH, BY PASSAGE OF TIME GOT TRANSFORMED INTO GARHWAL. THE TYICAL TRIBESM- EN OF GARHWAL ARE THE BHUTIAS WHO ARE CONSIDERED TO BE BEST MOUNTAIN CLIMB- ERS. GARHWAL HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS "THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LAND IN MOUNTAINS OF THE ASIAN SUB-CONTINENT" BY DR. T.LONGTAFF, WORLD RENOWNED MOUNTAINEER, NATURALIST AND TREKKER. TREKKING TREKKING HAS ITS OWN DELIGHTS.IT IS VERY OFTEN CONFUSED WITH MOUNTAINEERING MOUNTAINEERING IS MORE TECHNICAL IN NATURE AND CAN BE HAZARDOUS BUT THIS IS NOT IN THE CASE OF TREKKING. ONE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A PROFESSIONAL CLI- MBER TO ENJOY THE SERENITY AND SUBLIME BEAUTY OF THE MOUNTAINS. A TREK IN THE GARHWAL HIMALAYAS, IS THE BEST MOUNTAIN HOLIDAY FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO GET AWAY FROM NORMAL SURROUNINGS OR THOSE SEEKING THE DISCOVERIES WHICH FALL OUT SIDE THE NORMAL AND MUNDANE.


GARHWAL SIGHTSEEING

 

PANWALI BUGYALS. BUGYALS ARE EXTENSIVE PASTURE LANDS GENERALLY FOUND AT HEIGHTS OF OVER 3000 METRES. GENERALLY THE SNOW CAPPED MOUNTAINS STAND IN BOLD RELIEF AGAINST THE SIKLINE, BUT SOMETIMES THE BUGYALS ARE SO VAST, THEY SEEM TO DWARF THE MOUNTAINS.FOR RECREATION AND ADVENTURE THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A TREK TO THE- SE BUGYALS AND CHAMPING OUT UNDER THE STARS. PRETTY AND PEACEFUL, THE PAN- WALI BUGYALS LIE AT FAR FLUNG HEIGHTS, RANGING FROM 3000 METRES TO 4060MTS ON THE OLD PILGRIM TRAIL FROM GANGOTRI TO SRI KEDAMATH. HEAT 99. HEAT 99 BECONS YOU TO BEAT THIS SUMMERS HEAT. HEAT 99 WELCOMES WITH THE PROMISE OF UNTRODDEN TRAILS, MAJESTIC PEAKS, TRANQUIL VALLEYS, ABODES OF WYRAID GODS AND THE MESMERIC TREK TO PANWALI BUGYALS FOR IT'S MATCHLESS PA- LETTE. NATURE HAS SHOWERED HER RICH BOUNTY ON THE VALLEY OF BHILANGANA.FULL OF ENCHANTMENT WITH A PANORAMMIC VIEW OF THE SNOW-CAPPED PEAKS AND HANGING GLACIERS SUCH AS JOGIN GROUP(6,466M), SPHETIC PRISHTWAN(6905M), KIRITI STAMBH(6402M) BHARTIYA KANTA(6579M) MERU ETC. THE WHOLE TREK PASSES. FOOD:- CLEAN, WHOLESOME AND NUTRITIOUS VEGETARAIN FOOD IS PERFERED IN THE CAMP KITCHENS WITH HYGIENE AS MAIN PRIORITY. EQUIPMENT:- COLOURFUL,4,6 AND 10 MEN ALPINE TENTS, WILL BE PERMANENTLY PITCHED AT ALL THE CAMP SITES. PROPER MATTRESSES IN EVERY TENT WILL BE PROVIDED FOR INS- ULATION. WARM SLEEPING BAGS WILL ENSURE YOU ATLEAST 40 LITRES OF SPACE AND PERFECT BALANCE SO AS TO KEEP YOUR SHOULDERS AND BODY ABSOLUTELY COMFORTABL


MATHRURA-VRINDAVAN SIGHTSEEING.

 

VRINDAVAN IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT RELIGIOUS CENTRES OF BRAJ BHOOMI. PLACES OF INTEREST. 1 SHRI KRISHNA JANMABHOMI 2 GHATS 3 KANS QILA 4 GITA MANDIR 5 SHAHJI TEMPLE 6 GOVIND DEV TEMPLE.


AROUND PITHORAGARH

 

EXCURSIONS. JAULJIBI: (68KM) A LARGE FAIR IS HELD ANNUALLY AT THE CONFLUENCE OF RIVER GORI & KALI IN MOUNTH OF NOVEMBER. THAL KEDAR: 16 KM AN IMPORTANT RELIGIOUS CENTRE, ALSO NOTED FOR NATURAL BE- AUTY. A LARGE FAIR IS HELD ON SHIVRATRI(JAN/FEB) EVERY YEAR. RAMESHWAR: 36 KM SITUATED AT THE CONFLUENCE OF RIVER RAM GANGA(EAST) AND SARYU. A LARGE FAIR IS HELD EVERY YEAR IN THE TEMPLE OF LORD SHIVA ON MAKAR SANKRANTI(JAN/FEB).


DAKPATHAR SIGHTSEEING 1

 

LOCATED AT THE FOOTHILL OF SHIVALIKS, ON THE BANKS OF RIVER YAMUNA. DAK- PATHER IS THE NEWLY DEVELOPED RECREATION CENTRE OF GMVN. IT IS A TOURIST COMPLEX WITH SPACIOUS LAWN & GARDENS WITH A FULL STANDARD SIZE SWIMMING POOL, WHERE FACLITIES FOR COACHING ARE AVAILABLE. ACCESSIBILITY. AIR: NEAREST AIRPORT IS JOLLY GRANT, 70KMS. RAIL: NAREST RAILHEAD IS DEHRADUN, 45KMS. ROAD: WELL CONNECTED BY A MOTORABLE ROAD TO ALL MAJOR CITIES OF INDIA. DEHRADUN(45KMS) CHANDIGARH(140 KMS) & DELHI (300 KMS.) ACCOMMODATION: GMVN TOURIST REST HOUSE, PRIVATE HOTELS, GUEST HOUSE (IRRIGATION DEPT.) EXCURSIONS: WATER SPORT RESORT:- ASAN: (11KMS) FROM DAKPATHER, GMVN OFFER WATER SPORT FACLITIES HERE WHICH INCLUDE WATER SKILING, SAILING, BOATING, KAYAKING, CANOEING AND HOVERCRAFT RIDE. KALSI: (6KMS.) FROM DAKPATHER ENROUTE CHAKRATA ON THE BANKS OF CONFLUENCE TWO RIVERS, TONS & YAMUNA. HERE EXISTS AN ASHOKAN EDICT INSCRIBED ON A SIZEABLE ROCK AND PRESENTED BY THE ARCHEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA. POANTA SAHEB:(16KMS.) FROM DAKPATHER ACROSS THE YAMUNA RIVER IS POANTA SAH- EB. HERE ON THE BANK OF YAMUNA RIVER GURUDAWARA OF GURU GOVIND SINGHJI. DEVOTEES AND TOURISTS COME HERE IN LARGE NUMBERS TO WORSHIP AND SEE THE BEAUTY OF THE PLACE.


CHOPTA SIGHTSEEING 1

 

SITUATED ON THE GOPESHWAR UKHIMATH ROAD ABOUT 40KMS. FROM GOPESHWAR AT AN ALTITUDE OF ABOUT 2,900 MTRS. ABOVE SEA LEVEL, CHOPTA IS ONE OF THE MOST PICTURESQUE SPOT IN THE ENTIRE GARHWAL REGION. IT PROVIDES A BREATHTAKING VIEW OF THE HIMALAYAN RANGES AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS. ACCESSIBILITY: AIR: NEAREST AIRPORT IS JOLLY GRANT, 226 KMS. RAIL: NEAREST RAILHEAD IS RISHIKESH, 209 KMS. ROAD: WELL CONNECTED BY A MOTORABLE ROAD. ACCOMMODATION TOURIST REST HOUSE, DHARAMASHALAS. EXCURISIONS: TUGNATH:(3KMS.) SITUATED AT AN ELEVATION OF ABOUT 3,680MTRS, ABOVE SEA LEV- EL, THE TEMPLE IS DELICATED TO LORD SHIVA. ENROUTE EXOTIC VARIETIES OF RHO- DODENDRONS, WHITE FLOWERS AND SHRUB LIKE TREES CAN BE SEEN IN ABUNDANCE. KANCHULA KORAK MUSK DEER SANCTUARY:(7KMS) ON THE CHOPTAGOPESHWAR ROAD, KAN- CHULA KORAK MUSK DEER SANCTUARY IS THE FAMOUS FOR BREEDING MUSK DEERS. THIS SANCTUARY COVER AN AREA OF 5 SQ.KMS AND IDEAL PLACE FOR TOURIST TO VIEW RARE HIMALAYAN WILDLIFE. THIS PLACE IS POPULAR FOR ITS DENSE FORESTS AND NATURAL AROMATIC FLOWER. GOPEHWAR:(39KMS)THE DISTRICT HEADQUARTERS OF CHAMOLI, SITUATED AT AN ELEVA- TION OF 1500 MTRS. ABOVE SEA LEVEL IS A PICTURESQUE PLACE WITH SALUBRIOUS CLIMATE. UKHIMATH:(31KMS) THIS IS THE WINTER SEAT OF LORD KEDAMATH AND WORSHIP IS DONE HERE DURING THE WINTER WHEN THE TEMPLE OF KEDERNATH REMAINS CLOSED.


DHANAULTI SIGHTSEEING 1

 

DHANAULTI LOCATED AMIDIST THICK, VIRGIN FOREST OF DEODAR, RHODODEN-DRON AND OAK HAS AN ATOMSPHERE OF PERFECT PEACE & TRANQUILITY. THE LONG WOODED SLOPES, LAZY OUTINGS, COOL CARESSING BREEZE, WARM AND HOSPITABLE INHABITA- NTS, LOVELY WEATHER AND FABULOUS VIEW OF SNOW COVERED MOUNTAINS MAKES IT AN IDEAL RETREAT FOR A RELAXED HOLIDAY. SITUATED ON THE MUSSOORIE - CHAMBA ROUTE, DHANAULTI IS 25KMS. FROM MUSSOORIE. ACCESSIBILITY AIR: NEAREST AIRPORT IS JOLLY GRANT, 82 KMS. RAIL: NEAREST RAILHEAD IS DEHRADUN, 60 KMS. ROAD: WELL CONNECTED BY A MOTORABLE ROAD DEHRADUN- 60KMS., DELHI:- 325 KMS. & RISHIKESH- 107KMS. ACCOMMODATION: GMVN TOURIST BUNGLOW, FOREST REST HOUSE, HOTEL DHAHAULTY BREEZE AND A COUPLE OF GUEST HOUSES. EXCURSIONS: SURKANDA DEVI:(10KMS) THE TEMPLE OF SURKANDA DEVI IS SITUATED ON THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN. THICKLY COVERED BY DENSE FORESTS AT A ALTITUDE OF ABOUT 2,903 MTRS. ABOVE SEA LEVEL, IT IS A PLACE OF GREAT RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE. A FAIR IS HELD EVERY YEAR ON "GANGA DUSSEHRA" (MAY -JUNE) IN WHICH THOUSAND OF PEOPLE PARTICIPATE. FOR REACHING THE TEMPLE, ONE HAS TO TREK ABOUT 2KMS. FROM THE MOTOR ROAD AT KADDU KHAL. NEW TEHRI: (37KMS) THE DISTRICT HEADQUARTERS OF TEHRI GARHWAL IS A RECENT DEVELOPMENT. IT WILL SOON BECOME AN IMPORTANT CENTRE OF ATTRACTION ON THE COMPLETION OF THE DAM AT TEHRI WHEN THE HUGE LAKE WILL BECOME A PIC- TURESQUE SPOT. FACLITIES ARE BEING DEVELOPED HERE.


TAWANG SIGHTSEEING 1

 

NATURE HAS BESTOWED ITS PLENTIFUL BOUNTIES ON ARUNACHEL PRADESH, INDIA'S LAND OF RISING SUN. THE EVERGREEN FORESTS THE VIRGIN FLORAL AND FAUNAL VARIETIES, THE TURBULENT STREAMS AND ROARING RIVERS MEANDERING THEIR WAY THROUGH DEEP GORGES AND LUSH GREEN VALLEYS, THE INSPIRING MOUNTAINS AND SNOW CLAD PEAKS ALL MAKE THE STATE A UNIQUE PLACE OFFERING THE TOURIST NUMEROUS OPPORTUNTIES FOR RAFTING, HIKING AND MOUNTAINEERING. ARUNACHAL PRADESH FINDS ITS MENTIONS IN LITERATURE SUCH AS THE "KALIKA PUR- ANA" AND IN THE EPICS OF "MAHABHARATA" AND "RAMAYANA". IT IS BELIEVED THAT SAGE VYASA MEDITATED HERE AND THE REMAINS OF THE BRICK STRUCTURE, SCATTERED AROUND TWO VILLAGES IN THE HILLS NORTH OF ROING WAS THE PALACE OF RUKMINI, THE CONSORT OF LORD KRISHNA. THE SIXTH DALAI LAMA WAS ALSO BORN ON THE SOIL OF ARUNACHAL PRADESH. TAWANG, A BUDDHIST PILGRIMAGE SITE IS WHERE DALAI LAMA, THE SPRITUAL LEADER OF THE TIBETANS, GOES TO PREACH AND PRAY.THE MOST STRIKING BUILDING IN THIS BUDDHIST VILLAGE IS THE TALL CENTRAL MONASTERY, THE TAWANG GOMPA. THE 400 YEAR OLD MONASTERY DOMINATES THE VELLY WITH A GRAND VIEW OF THE HIMALAYAAS. THE TIBETAN INFLUENCE HERE IS UNMISTAKEABLE, WITH ELEBORATELY PAINTED WOOD- EN WINDOWS AND OTHER MOTIFS.PRAYER FLAGS FLUTTER IN THE BREEZE AND INSIDE ABOUT 500 LAMAS LIGHT LAMPS, RUSH ABOUT THEIR CHORES AND DRONE IN JOINT PRAYER. AN 8 MTR HIGH GILDED. STATUE OF THE BUDDHA IS HERE, AS ARE NUM- EROUS ANCIENT THANKAS OR TRADITIONAL PAINTINGS AND MANUSCRIPTS. HOLIDAY MOODS the GREAT OUTDOORS HAS EXCITING TOUR PACKAGES FOR THE WHOLE OF ENCHANTNG ARUNACHAL PRADESH. COME AND DISCOVER YOURSELF AMIDIST THE CHA- RMING TRIBAL PEOPLE AND DENIZENS OF THE ENDLESS GREEN AND MEASURE YOUR


TAWANG SIGHTSEEING 2

 

YOUR APPETITE FOR THE ELIXIR OF LIFE WHICH NATURE HAS NO PAINSTAKINGLY BRE- WED HERE. COME AND TAKE HOME A LITTLE BIT OF WHAT HEAVEN IS MADE OF. SEASON TO VISIT: THE BEST TIME TO VISIT ARUNACHAL IS FROM SEPTEMBER TO APRIL. IT BECOMES EXCEEDINGLY COLD IN THE HIGHER ALTITUDES WHEREAS THE CLIMATE IS HIGHLY HOT AND HUMID AT THE LOWER ALTITUDES. THE VALLEYS ARE COVERED BY SWAMPY DENSE FORESTS PARTICULARLY IN THE EASTERN SECTION. THE PEOPLE: THE PEOPLE OF ARUNACHAL PRADESH ARE OF MONGOLOID STOCK WITH A GLORIOUS HER- ITAGE OF ARTS AND CRAFTS, ENCHANTING FLOK SONGS AND ARE A SIMPLE, FRIENDLY AND HOSPITABLE LOT. THERE ARE AS MANY AS 25 TRIBAL GROUPS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE HUMAN MASS IN THE STATE, ALTHOUGH THE DENSITY OF POPULATION IS ONLY EIGHT PER SQ.KM. ACCOMMODATION AVAILABLE. THERE ARE GOVT. TOURIST LODGES, CIRCUIT HOUSES AND GUEST HOUSES IN ALL IMP- ORTANT PLACES OF TOURIST INTEREST IN ALL DISTRICTS. AT ITANAGAR, WELL FURN- ISHED ACCOMMODATION WITH MODERN AMENITIES IS AVAILABLE AT HOTEL DONYI-POLO ASHOK, HOTEL ARUN SUBANSIRI, HOTEL KAMENG AND HOTEL BOMDILA. FAIR AND FESTIVALS. THE MAIN FESTIVALS CELEBRATED ARE THE LOSAR FESTIVAL, OJIYALE, TAMLADU, KHAN FESTIVAL, SAGKEN FESTIVAL & THE MOL FESTIVAL.


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEING.

 

AT THE SOUTHERN TIP OF GUJARAT, FOLDED INTO THE DENSELY WOODED HILLS OF THE SAHAYADRIS, LIES THE ABODE OF SERPENTS SAPUTARA. IN THE PICTURESQUE DANGS DISTRICT, THIS IS A HILL STATION WITH A DIFFERENCE, WHERE YOU CAN IMMERSE YOURSELF IN A TIMELESS LAND THATS STILL PRETTY MUCH THE WAY GOD MADE IT. AFTER ALL LEGEND HAS IT THAT LORD RAMA SPENT 11 YEARS OF HIS EXILE IN THESE VERY FORESTS. THE TRIBALS OF DANGS. DANGS IS INHABITATED BY TRIBES LIKE BHILS, KUNBIS, WRLIS, AND GAMITS. THEY ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR DANCES WHICH ARE PERFORMED WEARING MASKS MADE OUT OF BAMBOOS AND WOOD. DANGS-DEMOGRAPHICS AND CLIMATE. AREA: 1,725 SQ.KM. POPULATION: 1.5 LACS WITH 94% POPULATION AS TRIBALS LOCATION: S.E. OF GUJRAT. BOUNDRIES: NORTH:SURAT AND DHULIA DISTT, EAST: DHULIA AND NASIK DISTRICT, WEST VALSAD AND SURAT DISTT. CLIMATE: SUMMER ~32 TO 27 C, WINTER ~22 TO 17 C, RAINS ~MID JUNE TO END OCT., VARIA- TION IN TEMP: 9.2 C (MIN.) TO 36.4(MAX). CLOTHING: COTTONS IN SUMMER, PROTECTIVE GEAR IN MONSOONS, LIGHT WOOLLENS IN WINTER. SUGGESTED CIRCUITS: VISITORS CAN COVER DANGS IN THE FOLLOWING THREE CIRCUITS: 1. SAPUTARA TOWN


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEING.

 

LONG WALKS ALONG THE BEAUTIFUL LAKE ARE SOME OF THE TREATS OF THIS UNCLUTT- ERED AND SIMPLE HILL STATION. THE MORE ADVENTUROUS CAN TREK DOWN TO NEARBY VILLAGES, THE HATGADH FORT OR THE LEGENDARY PANDAVA CAVES. THE HILL STATION DOES NOT REQIRE ANY LOCAL TRANSPORT AND IS BEST COVERED ON FOOT. SOME OF ITS HIGHLIGHTS ARE: THE ROPEWAY:- A TEN MINUTE RIDE STRADDLES THE VALLEY TO THE SUNSET POINT. THE COMFORTABLE COUPE IS SAFE AND IDEAL FOR A FAMILY. THE VIEW FROM THE HALT MIDWAY IS BREATHTAKING. UNFORGETTABLE ON A MOONLIT NIGHT. REFRESHMENTS AVAILABLE AT SUNSET POINT AND AT THE VAITY RESTAURANT. BOATING: RIGHT IN THE HEART OF THE VALLEY IS THE EXTREMELY CALM SAPUTARA LAKE ROW AND PADDEL BOATS ARE AVAILABLE FOR HIRE. VALLEY VIEW POINT:- A BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF THE VALLEY, A SOMEWHAT ADVENTUROUS CLIMB(1.5)KMS. SUNSET POINT: A LOVELY VIEW OF THE SUNSET OVER THE ENTIRE VALLEY. VISTORS CAN CLIMB OR USE THE ROPEWAY TO APPROACH THE POINT. ARTIST VILLAGE: VISITORS CAN PICK UP PREETY PIECES OF POTTERY, JEWELLERY, VASES, PAINTINGS, PEN STANDS, KEY CHAINS, ALL MADE FROM BAMBOO CHIPS AND OTHER LOCALLY FOUND MATERIAL. CHILDREN CAN LEARN TO MAKE SIMPLE ITEMS IN THE WORKSHOP ORGANISED BY THE CRAFTSMEN. MUSEUM. A SMALL MUSEUM WITH A TRIBAL THEME DISPLAYING THE LIFESTYLE, ORNAMENTS AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS OF THE TRIBES OF DANGS. THERE IS ALSO A WORKSHOP MAKING SOME OF THE TRADITIONAL DISPLAYS.


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEING.

 

GARDENS: THE LAKE GARDEN, STEP GARDEN AND THE ROSE GARDEN OFFER SCENIC PLA- CES FOR THE TOURIST TO LAZE IN, WHILE WALKING AROUND SAPUTARA. WAGHAI: 49KM FROM SAPUTARA BEGINS THE TOWN OF WAGHAI AROUND WHICH MANY DEL- IGHTFUL TOURIST SPOTS ARE SITUATED. THE DRIVE ITSELF IS SCENIC AND THE AIR PURE AND REFRESHING. HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS CIRCUIT ARE: GIRA FALLS:- A KM. OFF THE SAPUTARA-WAGHAI ROAD, LEADS TO VAST CLEARING WH- ERE THE PICTURESQUE GIRA FALLS EMERGING FROM THE PICTURESQUE GIRA FALLS EMERGING FROM THE KAPRI TRIBUTARY CAN BE VIEWED. AN ABSOLUTE MUST FROM JUNE TO NOVEMBER. VISTORS CAN GET REFRESHMENTS FROM A SMALL TEA AND SNACK STALL. PICNIC HUTS MAKE IT AN IDEAL SPOT FOR RELAXING AND PICNICKING. BOTANICAL GARDEN: A LARGE(24 HECTARE) GARDEN WITH 1,400 VARIETIESOF PLANTS FROM ALL OVER INDIA. THE AMATEUR NATURE LOVER CAN MARVEL AT DIFFERENT VAR- IETIES OF BAMBOO LIKE THE CHINESE BAMBOO, GOLDEN BAMBOO, BEER BOTTLE BAMBOO ETC. AND ENJOY STROLLING ALONG THE BEAUTIFUL WALKWAYS EACH LINED WITH DIFF- ERENT SPECIES OF TREE. VISITORS CAN ALSO PICK UP CACTUS PLANTS AND ENJOY A PICNIC AT THE PICNIC SPOT IN THE GARDEN. PERMISSION IS REQUIRED TO ENTER. DRINKING WATER AND TOILET FACLITIES ARE AVAILABLE. SHOPPING: A SMALL PRIVATE OUTLET SELLING LOCALLY CRAFTED ITEMS FASHIONED OUT OF BAMBOO ROOTS AND CHIPS. UNIQUE ITEMS THE BIG SIZED BAMBOO LAMPS, KANGAROOS, DEER ARE AVAILABLE ONLY HERE AND NOT ELSEWHERE IN THE RE- GION. UNNAI MATA TEMPLE AND HOT SPRINGS: A DRIVE OF ABOUT 19KMS. FROM WAGHAI BRI- NGS ONE TO THE UNNAI MATA TEMPLE. VISITORS CAN BATHE IN THE HOT SPRING ATTACHED TO THIS FAMOUS TEMPLE OF CONSIDERABLE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE.


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEING

 

VANIL UDYOG: A SPARWLING SAWMILL CUM WOODWORKING UNIT WHICH ALSO SELLS FUR- NITURE THAT THE TOURIST CAN BOOK AND GET DELIVERED BY PAYING AN ADVANCE.THE VISITOR CAN ENJOY A GUIDED TOUR AND WATCH THE TRANSFORMATION OF LOGS OF WOOD INTO TASTEFUL FURNITURE. PERMISSION IS REQUIRED TO ENTER. VANIL UDYOG PROVIDES EMPLOYEES TO ASSIST AS TOUR GUIDES. DRINKING WATER FACLITIES ARE AVAILABLE. VANSDA NATIONAL PARK: A RICH AND OLD FOREST, PREDOMINANTLY COVERED BY VERY TALL TEAK TREES, MANGO GROVES AND GIGANTIC CREEPERS.THE FOREST IS EXTREMELY DENSE AND SOME PARTS ARE DARK EVEN DURING NORMAL DAYTIME. THE FOREST IS A HABITAT OF MONKEYS, DEER, A FEW LEOPARDS AND A WIDE SPECIES OF BIRDS.PER- MISSION IS REQUIRED TO ENTER THE PARK. AMBAPADA: A TYPICAL DANGI VILLAGE LOCATED ABOUT 1KM OFF THE SAPUTARA-WAGHAI ROAD, NEAR THE GIRA FALLS, THE ROUTE TO IT IS SOMEWHAT TRICKY BUT VERY SCE- NIC AS IT IS SURROUNED ON ALL SIDES BY LUSH AND TALL BAMBOOS. THE TOURIST CAN TAKE A WALK IN AND AROUND THE VILLAGE AND ALSO SEE SOME TRIBALS ENGAGED IN MAKING OF TOYS AND LAMPS OUT OF BAMBOO ROOTS. THE CIRCUIT HAS NUMEROUS WAYSIDE TEA AND BISCUIT STALLS AND ALSO SMALL WAY- SIDE DHABAS NEAR WAGHAI. MAHAL: THE MAHAL REGION SITUATED 60KM AWAY FROM SAPUTARA IS DOMINATED BY THE PURNA SANCTUARY. THE LONGISH DRIVE PASSES THROUGH THE MOST BEA- UTIFAL PARTS OF DANGS WITH HIGH WOODED SLOPES OF BAMBOO. IT IS ENDOWED WITH RIVERS & BAMBOO GLADES AND IS A MUST FOR PICNICS, WALKS AND TREKS.


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEING

 

THE MAHAL REGION SITUATED 60KM AWAY FROM SAPUTARA IS DOMINATED BY THE PURNA SANCTUAARY. THE LONGISH DRIVE PASSES THROUGH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PARTS OF DANGS WITH HIGH WOODED SLOPES OF BAMBOO. IT IS ENDOWED WITH RIVERS & BAMBOO GLADES AND IS A MUST FOR PICNICS, WALKS AND TREKS. PURNA SANCTUARY:- A VAST AND RICH FOREST LACED WITH THE PURNA AND GIRA RIV- ERS. THE HILLY REGION WITH ITS COOL INTERIORS WOULD TEMPT ANY TOURIST TO EXPLORE. YOU WOULD NEED A PAIR OF STURDY SHOES AND PACKED LUNCH TO BEST EXPLORE THE COOL INTERIOR OF THIS HILLY FOREST. LESS STRENU- OUS AND EASY WALKS ARE PLEASURABLE. PICNIC HUTS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR USE. PERMISSION IS REQUIRED TO ENTER THE FOREST. GIRMAL FALLS:- EASILY THE MOST MARVELLOUS SIGHT DURING MONSOONS, THE GIRMAL FALLS IS A LITTLE OFF THE MAHAL-SINGANA ROAD. THE APPROACH LEADS VIA A TRI- BAL VILLAGE TO A STEEP FALL ON THE GIRA RIVER. THE FACING HILLSIDE IS RICH WITH RARE FLORA AND IS WORTH EXPLORING BY THE MORE ADVENTUROUS TREKKARS. PROVISION FOR LIGHT REFRESHMENTS ARE AVAILABLE. PICNIC HUTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR USE. CULTURAL SHOW AT AHWA:AS THE TOURIST HEADS BACK TO SAPUTARA, A HALT AT AHWA TO ENJOY THE FAST PACED AND ACROBATIC DANGI DANCE WOULD BE THE BEST WAY TO SAY GOODBYE TO DANGS. THE DANCE HAD BEEN PERFORMED AT THE FESTIVAL OF INDIA IN PARIS AND IS ONE OF THE MOST ENTERTAINING DANCES OF THIS REGION. HELD AT THE OPEN AIR THEATRE RANGUPVAN HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. DANGS DARBAR: AN ANNUAL COLOURFUL TRIBAL FESTIVAL HELD PRIOR TO HOLI (GEN- ERALLY MARCH/APRIL), AT AHWA. ITS A FIVE DAY FUN FILLED COLOURFUL AFFAIR WHERE THE TRIBALS CONGREGATE TO CELEBRATE AN OLD CUSTOM OF POLITICAL


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEING

 

PENSIONS GIVEN TO THE TRIBAL KINGS. THERE IS MERRY MAKING, DANCE, MUSIC, COLOUR AND A BRISK BUYING AND SELLING OF TRIBAL WARES. THE TOURIST CAN PARTICIPATE AND ENJOY THE FESTIVITIES OF THIS UNIQUE CELEBRATION. GETTING THERE: BY ROAD: DIVERSION FROM NATIONAL HIGHWAY 8 (TO AHMEDABAD) AT CHIKLI-WAGHAI- SAPUTARA-NASIK-VANI-SAPUTARA. FROM BOMBAY-PRIVATE LUXURY BUS ON ALTERNATE DAYS DURING SEASON(MODERN TRAV) FROM NASIK RD:- SEMI-LUXURY BUSES RUN BY STATE TRANSPORT. FROM VALSAD/BILIMORA:- ST BUSES/HIRED CAR. FROM SURAT/AHMEDABAD/BARODA:- ST BUSES. IF YOU ARE DRIVING DOWN IN YOUR OWN CAR, BE SURE TO FILL PETROL NEAR WAGHAI(51KMS FROM SAPUTARA) OR AT A PETROL PUMP 40KMS TOWARDS NASIK BEFORE YOU ENTER SAPUTARA AS THERE ARE NO PETROL PUMPS IN SAPUTARA. DISTANCES:- BY ROAD: BOMBAY 255KM (VIA NASIK,MAH.) 345KM(VIA CHIKLI, GUJ.) NASIK 80KM, SURAT 135KM, BILIMORA 110KM, VALSAD 135KM, AHMEDA- BAD 400KM, CHIKLI 100KM, TITHAL 140KM, BARODA 300KM BY RAILWAY- BILIMORA, NASIK, VALSAD, WAGHAI (NARROW GAUGE): 49 KM FROM SAPUTARA. BY AIR: NEAREST AIRPORT SURAT AND BOMBAY. WHERE TO STAY: AT SAPUTATRA,A DECENT RANGE OF HOTELS ARE RUN BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR AS WELL AS BY TCGL. BOOK IN ADVANCE DURING PEAK SEASON. YOU CAN NEGOTIATE DISCOUNTS DURING OFF PEAK SEASONS.


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEINGS.

 

AMENITIES: FOOD:WHOLESOME AND GOOD VALUE GUJARATI THALIS, PROVIDED BY MOST HOTELS AT SAPUTARA. GENERAL RESTAURANTS (1 AT THE MAIN CIRCLE/ 1 AT THE ROPEWAY AT HOTEL VAITY) NUMEROUS WAYSIDE STALLS. LITTLE OR ON AVAILABILITY OF NON.VEGARAIN FOOD. MEDICAL: FIRST AID HELP AVAILABLE AT WAGHAI, MAHAL AND SAPUTARA. STD FACLITIES:- SAPUTARA, AHWA. LOCAL TRANSPORT: HIRED JEEPS FROM AHWA ORGANISED TOURS WITHIN AND OUTSIDE SAPUTARA IN MINI-BUSES BY CHITRAKOOT/VAITY DURING PEAK SEASONS(TWO BUSES). ORGANISED TOURS BY TCGL. GENERAL TIPS FOR VISITORS: DONT FORGET TO BRING A PAIR OF STURDY SHOES SUITABLE FOR WALKING/TREKKING. PLEASE DONT LITTER THE FOREST AREA WITH PLASTIC BAGS AND OTHER WASTE. APART FROM BEING UGLY, THIS CAN BE DANGEROUS TO ANIMALS. ADD TO YOUR PEASURE BY BRINGING A PAIR OF BINOCULARS TO BETTER OBSERVE THE RICH BIRDLIFE OF THE REGION. THE NIGHT SKY AT SAPUTARA IS REMARKABLY CLEAR. IF INTERESTED IN ASTRONOMY, DON'T FORGET YOUR TELESCOPE AND STARCHARTS. A LIGHT HAVERSACK TO CARRY SOME PACKED LUNCH(RECOMMENDED) AND A WATER BOTT- LE WILL ENABLE HOURS OF PLEASURABLE WALKING.


GARHWAL SIGHTSEEING

 

THROUGHOUT THE TREK. TRAVEL: IN CHARTERED 3*2 SEATER BUSES FROM DELHI TO GHUTTU(B.C) AND BACK. ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS: TO KEEP THE HIMALAYAS CLEAN & SAVE THE FOREST AND THE MOUNTAINS, HAS BEEN THE PRIME INTEREST OF "M/S HOLIDAY MOODS the GREAT OUTDOORS."WE ENCOURAGE EVERY PERSON TO KEEP THE TRAIL CLEAN AND CARRY WRAPPERS, TOILET PAPER,EMPTY BOXES ETC. TO THE NEXT CAMP. PLASTIC CARRY BAGS, AEROSOL CAN, AND NON ECO- FRIENDLY MATERIALS SHOULD NOT BE CARRIED. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: TO MAINTAIN THE DECORUM AND TO MAKE THE TRIP A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE FOR EV- ERY CAMP SITE THROUGHOUT THE TREK. HOWEVER THOSE ON SPECIAL MEDICATION OR WITH KNOWN DRUG ALLERGIES SHOULD BRING THEIR OWN NECESSARY MEDICINES. YOU ARE REQUESTED TO INOCULATE YOURSELF WITH ANTI TITANUS. SAFETY FIRST: EXTENSIVE AND PAINSTAKING PREPARATIONS HAVE GONE INTO THE PLANNING OF TREK ROUTES KEEPING SAFETY IN MIND. OUR EXPERIENCED CAMP LEADERS HAVE BEEN CONS- TANTLY VISITING THE AREA TO CHEAK ALL THE BETAILS. STRINGENT SAFETY STANDA- RDS ARE ADHERED TO STRICTLY, AND ONLY QUALITY EQUIPMENT IS USED.


AROUND MANALI

 

NEHRU KUND: A SPRING OF CLEAR, COLD WATER NAMED, AFTER THE LATE PRIME MINI- STER JAWAHAR LAL NEHRU, IS 6KM FROM MANALI ON THE KEYLONG ROAD. SOLANG VALLEY, A SPLENDID VALLEY BETWEEN MANALI AND KOTHI, OFFERS THE VIEWS OF THE GLACIERS AND SNOW-CAPPED MOUNTAIN PEAKS. 13KM FROM MANALI, IT HAS GOOD AKILING SLOPES EQUIPPED WITH AN EXCELLANT LIFT. KOTHI IS A QUIET BUT PICTURESQUE SPOT, AT THE FOOT OF THE 13,400 FT.ROHTANG PASS, ABOUT 12KM AWAY FROM MANAI TOWN, SITUATED ON THE LAHAULSPITILEH HIGH- WAY.IT USED TO BE THE CAMPING PLACE WHEN THE PASS HAD TO BE CLIMBED BY BUS, JEEP OR PONY. ITS OPEN SURROUNDINGS, AFFORD A MAGNIFICENT VIEW OF THE SNOW CAPPED PEAKS AND GLACIERS AND AN AWEINSPRING GORGE WHERE THE BEAS ENTERS A CHASM ABOUT SIXTY METRE DEEP AND JUST A FEW METRES BROAD. GULABA CAMP 20KM FROM MANALI,A BEAUTIFUL PLACE KNOWN AS "VALLEY OF FLOWERS" FAMOUS FOR SIGHTSEEING, PICNIC AND PHOTOGRAPHY. RAHALLA FALLS:ABOUT 16KM FROM MANALI TOWN AT THE START OF THE CLIMB TO THE ROHTANG PASS, ARE THE BEAUTIFUL RAHALLA FALLS AT AN ALTITUDE OF 2501 MTRS. 9,500 FT. ROHTANG PASS SITUATED ABOUT 50KM FROM MANALI TOWN, AT AN START OF THE CLIMB TO THE ROHTANG PASS. HERE ONE SEES THE MAJESTY OF THE MOUNTAINS AT ITS HEI- GHT ND SPLENDOUR. AT THE TOP OF THE PASS THE AIR SEEMS TO GLITTER AGAINST THE SNOW AS YOU LOOK DOWN OVER HERRINGBONED RIDGES INTO THE LAHAUL VALLEY. THERE IS THE BEAUTIFUL DASHOHAR LAKE LEFT OF THE PASS. A FEW KILOMETERS AWAY FROM THE PASS IS THE SONAPANI GLACIER AND SLIGHTLY TO THE LEFT ARE THE TWIN PEAKS OF THE GAYPAN-JAGGED PYRAMID OF ROCK, SNOW STREAKED AND SNOW CROWNED.


AROUND MANALI.

 

MARRHI 35KM FROM MANALI, IS FAMOUS FOR ITS NATURAL BEAUTY. RANI NALA 46KM FROM MANALI. IT IS GLACIER POINT WHERE SNOW IS AVAILBLE THR- OUGHOUT THE YEAR. JAGATSUKH TEMPLE: ABOUT 6KM FROM MANALI IS THE FAMOUS SHIVA TEMPLE IN "SHIKHARA" STYLE AND NEARBY IS THE OLD AND INTERESTING DEVI SHARVALI TEMPLE NAGGAR CASTLE IS THE OLD CAPITAL OF KULLU. THE CASTLE WAS BUILT BY RAJA BHOSAL. ROERICH ART GALLERY IN NAGGAR, THERE IS A MUSEUM, WHICH HOUSES A COLLECTION OF THE PAINTINGS BY THE RUSSION ARTIST NICHOLAS ROERICH. HADIMBA TEMPLE BUILT IN 1550 A.D. IN A FOREST GROVE, HADIMBA DEVI'S TEMPLE IS A FOUR STOEYED WITH A PAGODA SHAPED ROOF AND A FRONT DOORWAY COVERED WITH FIGURES AND SYMBOLS. VASHIST SPRING ACROSS THE BEAS RIVER ABOUT 3KM AWAY FROM MANALI, AT AN ALT- ITUDE OF 1982 MTRS(6200FT.) IS THE RENOWNED SPRING, NAMED AS VASHIST, EN- DOWED WITH GREAT HEALING POWERS. TIBETAN MONASTERY IS NEW AND COLOURFUL. A PLEASANT PLACE TO VISIT. IT IS FMOUS FOR CARPET WEAVING. BEAS KUND THE FAMOUS BEAS KUND,THE SOURCE OF THE BEAS RIVER, AT THE ROHTANG PASS IS EASILY ACCESSIBLE. THE GREAT RISHI, VYAS PERFORMED `TAPA' HERE DURING THE MAHABHARAT TIMES. THE PLACE IS STILL HALLOWED BY THE CELESTIAL LIGHT. IT WAS BECAUSE OF THIS THAT THE RIVER GOR PRESENT NAME OF BEAS. THE MOUNTAINEERING INSTITUTE:THE MOUNTAINEERING INSTITUTE LOCATED AT MANALI PROVIDES TRAINING FACLITIES FOR BASIC AND ADVANCED CLIMBING, BOTH FOR INDI- AN NATIONALS AND FOREGNERS.THIS INSTITUE ALSO CONDUCTS ROCK CLIMBING.


MOUNT ABU SIGHTSEEING

 

Mt Abu has a number of important temples,particularly the superb Dilwara group of Jain temples.It has its own artificial lake. Nakki Lake: Around the lake we can find strange rock formations.The best known Toad Rock,looks like just a toad about to hop into the lake. Viewpoints: Sunset Point is the most popular point.Other popular points include Honeymoon Point,The Crags and Robert's Spur.The terrace of the Maharaja of Jaipur's former summer palace provides good view over the lake. Museum and Art Gallery:The museum has items from archaeological excavations as well as Jain bronzes,carvings,brasswork and local textiles. Adhar Devi Temple: 200 steep steps lead to this Durga temple built in a natural cleft in the rock.There are good views over Mt Abu from up here. Madhuban: This is the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University,not far from the lake.Meditation and Raja Yoga courses are held here regularly. Dilwara Temples: These Jain temples are Mt Abu's main attractions and amongst the finest examples of Jain architecture in India.The complex includes two temples in which the art of carving marble reached unsurpassed heights.The older of the temples is the Vimal Vasahi,dedicated to Adinath.


MOUNT ABU SHOPPING

 

The Rajasthan Emporium is on Raj Bhavan road and there are a few shops on the road down to the lakefront. Jewellery shops have a good selection.


AROUND MT ABU SIGHTSEEING

 

AROUND MT ABU Achalgarh : The Siva temple of Achaleshwar Mahandeva, 11 km away, has a number of interesting features, including a toe of Siva, and a brass Nandi. Outside, by the car park, is a tank beside which stand three stone buffaloes. A path leads up the hillside to a group of colourful Jain temples with fine views out over the plains. Guru Shikhar : At the end of the plateau, 15 km from Mt Abu, is Guru Shikhar, the highest point in Rajasthan at 1721 metres. A road goes almost all the way to the summit. At the top is the Atri Rishi Temple, complete with a priest and good views all round. Gurumukh Temple : Down on the Abu Road side of Mt Abu, a small stream flows from the mouth of a marble cow, giving the shrine its name. There is also a marble figure of the bull Nandi, Siva's vehicle. An image of Vashista is flanked by figures of Rama and Krishna. ABU ROAD : This station down on the plains is the rail junction for Mt Abu.


MOUNT ABU - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY BUS From 6 am onwards, regular buses make the 27-km climb from Abu Road up to Mt Abu. The bus schedulr from Mt Abu is extensive and, to many destinations, you will find a direct bus faster and more convenient. For Ahmedabad there are many departures and the journey takes seven hours. Other destinations served include Ahmedabad, Ajmer and Jaipur. TRAIN Abu Road, the railhead for Mt Abu, is on the metre-gauge line between Delhi and Ahmedabad via Jaipur and Ajmer. There is a variety of trains, the best is the daily superfast Delhi to Ahmedabad Ashram Express. Direct trains also run from Abu Road to Ajmer, Jodhpur and Agra. For Bhuj and the rest of the Kathiawar peninsula in Gujarat, change trains at Palampur, 53 km south of Abu Road.


AROUND MT ABU - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY Although there are state transport buses from Abu Road to other cities such as Jodhpur, Ajmer, Jaipur, Udaipur and Ahmedabad. there is little point in catching them here as they are all available from Mt Abu itself. Buses operated by private companies also run from Mt Abu. The railway and bus stations are right next to each other on the edge of town.


DELHI SIGHTSEEING

 

Connaught Place : At the northern end of New Delhi, Connaught Place is the business and tourist centre. Jantar Mantar : Only a short stroll down Sansad Marg from Connaught Place, this strange collection of salmon-coloured structures is one of Maharaja Jai Singh II's observatories. It is dominated by a huge sundial known as the Prince of Dials. Lakshmi Narayan Temple : Due west of Connaught Place, this is a modern temple dedicated to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and good fortune, and is commonly known as Birla Mandir. Rajpath : It is immensely broad and is flanked on either side by ornamental ponds. At its eastern end lies the India Gate, while at the western end lies Rashtrapati Bhavan. It is flanked by the two large Secretariat buildings. India Gate : The 42 mtr. high stone arch of triumph stands at the eastern end of the Rajpath. Secretariat Buildings : The north and south Secretariat buildings lie either side of Rajpath. These imposing buildings are topped with chhatris. Rashtrapati Bhavan : The official residence of the President of India stands at the opposite end of the Rajpath from India Gate. The palace-like building is a blend of Moghul and Western architectural styles, the most obvious Indian feature being the huge copper dome. Parliament House : Sansad Bhavan, the Indian parliament building, stands at the end of Sansad Marg. The building is a circular colonnaded structure 171 mtrs. in diameter.


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