India

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Nizam was a title given to the rulers of the state of Hyderabad in India. These rulers belonged to the Asaf Jah dynasty. Asaf Jah was a title assumed by Mir Qamar-ud-Din, a viceroy of the Deccan, under the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb who split from the crumbling Mughal Empire and in 1720 declared himself an independent state. His successors, henceforth were known by the title of Nizam.

Udaipur - A remarkable historical Indian city

Udaipur is a well preserved classic city. With its white washed onion domes and lattice windows overlooking the glittering lakes, the majestic City Palace and hundreds of crumbling heritage havelis stretching along one of its banks, Udaipur is one of the most remarkable cities in the world. The imposing City palace is magically transformed into a fairyland once the sun sets and pretty fairy lights garland the lakeside buildings, dazzling brilliantly in the water's reflection. It is truly a mesmerizing experience enticing tourists with its exotic beauty.

The city was founded in the mid 16th century after Maharana Udai Singh’s former capital of Chittorgarh was plundered by the Mughal emperor, Akbar. Legend has it that the city was named after Maharana Udai Singh, who on the advise of a holy man, laid the foundation stone of this arrestingly aesthetic location. The Maharana of Udaipur is also the leader of the Mewar Rajputs known to his people as the “Sun King” and has the royal emblem of the sun on his standard.

The Mewar dynasty is one of the oldest in the world. More than seventy six generations have been witness to the grandeur of the Palace which reflects the rich cultural heritage, and the equally impressive traditions of 'royal' regalia.

Legend has it that the city of Tanjore is named after a demon by the name of Tanjan - who was causing havoc and was destroyed by Sri Neelamegaperumal. Tanjore or Thanjavur rose to glory during the Chola reign between the 10th and the 14th Centuries and became a centre of art, music and culture. The Chola rule over Tamil Nadu spanned four hundred years and has left an incessant influence on its history. Besides the Cholas, the kingdom was also ruled by various other dynasties like the Pallavas, Pandyas and Cheras. The imperial city of the Cholas, Nayaks and the Mahrattas, Tanjore has a rich and distinguished cultural heritage and is renowned for its exquisite handicrafts, bronzes and South Indian Musical Instruments. Tanjore is located in the exceedingly fertile delta of the Cavery River on the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu and is also called the rice bowl of the state. The fertile, abundant land blessed its rulers with enough affluence and prosperity to support the construction of exquisite temples and stunning palaces. The land around the Cavery is so fertile that it has been able to provide upto 3 harvests of rice in a year.

Kozhikode - Paradise Discovered

When Vasco da Gama arrived at Kozhikode 500 years ago he put the sea port on the map of the world discovering the first sea route to the Indian subcontinent. Just as in the time of the ancient sea faring traders Kozhikode continues to be a prosperous centre for domestic and international trade of commodities produced locally as well as in the neighbouring districts of Wayanad, Malappuram and Kannu. Traders seeking its fragrant, exotic spices grown on layered hills plantations ushered in influences transmitted and incorporated into the culture and flavours of the region- Malabari food characterized by Arabic and Christian sensibilities, mappila pattu and oppana songs sung in Arabic and malayalam and history replete with interventions from overseas. Yet the land retains its culture unblemished- annual vedic debates, an ancient and magnificent tradition of martial arts kalaripayyattu, and the vadakkan pattukal or folk songs immortalising the exploits of a local hero. These influences and local traditions seem to flow together unhurried and time tested like the Backwaters  beckoning a revisit- and it does seem like a revisit even if its your first time - the natural beauty seems dreamlike and familiar from some land before time you know first hand. Kozhikode is at peace with itself and has much to offer therein…

Aurangabad – A Window to Many Doors

If it is the old Aurangabad, a sleeping giant amidst the stir and buzz of the modern world that you seek to find, brace yourself for the unexpected - a highly progressive and industrialized city with very sophisticated industries - pharmaceuticals, steel recycling, booming breweries, and automobile and automobile parts industry, an IT hub, malls, high rises, multiplexes and pizzerias.

Cradled in the Western Ghats, Goa is located on the coast of the Indian Peninsula and is bounded by the Arabian Sea on the west, Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the south. Also known as 'the pearl of the east', it is famous for its breathtakingly beautiful beaches, Silvery Sand fringed with palms, hill-top forts, little white-washed churches, soaring Portuguese-era cathedrals, Gothic churches, sprawling cashew plantations, coconut groves, intoxicating Feni, bubbly folk music and laid back way of life. With its Sprawling hills, meandering rivers, lush green fields, miles and miles of virgin beach and silvery waterfalls, the gift of nature has endowed Goa with enchanting exquisiteness and idyllic serenity.

Kullu - Laid back charm and natural beauty

Kullu is popularly known as the “Valley of the gods” famous for its emerald green landscape overlooking the mighty Dhauladhar’s snowy-clad peaks and virgin valleys scattered in the back drop of the white peaked Himalayas, all seemingly caught in a bewitching exquisiteness. The laid back charm of Kullu's natural beauty is spell binding, with the grandeur of snow clad mountains, desolate pathways between the magnificent pine trees in dense forests, lush green ascending valleys, kaleidoscope of exotic flowers, babbling brooks splashing their way through orchards weaving their own magic.

Ajmer - Scene of Many a Battle

Ajmer was found in 7th century AD by Ajay Pal Chauhan and remained with the Chauhans until it was lost by Prithviraj Chauhan to the invading Mohammed Ghauri in 1193 AD. Though it was lost to the Mughal emperor who established the sultanate in Delhi the internal government continued to be handled by the Chauhan dynasty by way of payment of a heavy tribute until 1365 when it was captured by the ruler of Mewar. It changed hands many times after that as the Mewars, Marwars, the Mughals and the Marathas fought for control of Ajmer. The British got control of Ajmer in 1818 and peace reigned thereafter.

Two Syllables, Myriad Thrills - Ooty

Ooty like many hill stations has earned itself some criticism - a loss of identity due to tourism, over commercialization stealing its quaint simple soul, large thronging crowds eating away at the solitude and allure of the honeymoon hill station – but that’s only when it’s compared to an Ooty that once was, because what it still is, is nothing short of magical. It remains a place that imbibes peace in your system, invites a long stretch of the limbs and several walks that rejuvenate your body-mind-soul.

Kolkata (Calcutta) - the City of Joy

An insignificant village, cradled between the Gangetic delta and the River Hoogly, Kolkata was transformed into an important port and trading centre when the British shifted their trade to the eastern belt post 1772. When the British moved downstream to three villages - Kolikata, Sutanuti and Gobindapur in 1686, they laid the foundations for one of the largest cities in India. The British went on to unite the three villages and build a massive post their. In 1707, Kolkata was awarded the status of a separate presidency under supervision of the directors of The East India Company. In 1717, Mughal emperor Aurangazeb's grandson Farrukh Siyar granted the Company duty-free trading rights in Bengal for an annual token amount of Rs 3,000. Over the centuries, Kolkata has experienced mutinies and wars, famines and floods, the Partition of Bengal in 1905 and the Bengal famine of 1943, many intellectual writers and artists have been born in Kolkatta. It’s seen the swadeshi movement and Gandhian Philosophy, passionate Marxists, and communists.
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