India

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Big Temple Town- Thanjavur!

Thanjavur is a unique South Indian temple town, in that it is the home of The Big Temple. It evokes a flavour of South India as she was hundreds of years ago and still is essentially, even today. A flavour so strong it can only be compared to the aromatic experience of South Indian degree coffee that leaves no room for allusions to other brews.

Srinagar - the Capital of Jammu and Kashmir

Life in Srinagar centers around the Dal Lake, from floating vegetable markets to children being sent to school, the lake is indispensable to the Kashmiris. Popularly called Srinagar’s pride Dal Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes of India and the second largest in the state. Surrounded on three sides by majestic mountains and sprawling lush green gardens and orchards, the lake offers a postcard perfect view of this winter wonderland. The Dal Lake is famous for the hundreds of houseboats, which offer an opportunity to tourists to reside on the lake while observing the traditions and lifestyles of Kashmiris. The lake is not just a water body, but a complete city in itself. The houseboat and shikara owners have permanent homes on the lake, complete with floating vegetable markets and lotus gardens. Doctors, tailors, bakers, and grocers dot the edges of the lake in compact wooden cabins. The Dal Lake stretches over 5 km and is split into Gagri Dal, Lokut Dal and Bod Dal by a series of causeways. The causeways are a convenient route for walkers and bicyclists to get to their destination without having to worry about traffic or shikaras.

Delhi – Gateway to the Largest Democracy

The Capital city of the world’s largest democracy, Delhi is a mix of cultures and a land of extremities. It has a fascinating history and at the same time is leaving the past behind entering the new millennia with all guns blaring.

Ranthambhore – Live the Adventure

At Ranthambhore you are filled with a sense of space- desolate, silent and watching. Mysterious desert lands, awesome hills that surround, and your being geared for the next sighting of the Emperor of the Big Four. The adrenalin dance that accompanies a chance sighting is over the top and yet so real you can taste your fear and reverence.
The city of Varanasi (also known as Banaras or Benares) is where the revered and the earthly converge amidst color, drama and activity. Nestled on the banks of the holy Ganges the three thousand years old city is believed to be one of the holiest and the oldest cities in India. The city has an ethereal, almost magical feel to it with ash smeared saints and sinners, dilapidated colonial buildings and tiny shops selling aromatic flowers, children playing on the smooth ghats and women aggressively beating laundry on stones, devotees praying at the shrines and merchants vending their wares all sharing space here. This holy nerve centre of the Hindu religion is famed for releasing the physical body from the process of reincarnation.

Cochin - A Bustling Sea Side City

Easily the most cosmopolitan city in the tiny southern Indian state of Kerala, touted in tourist brochures as “Gods Own Country”, Cochin or Kochi as it is locally known, consists of several scattered islands. Strategically located on the coastline, Cochin is the biggest port in the city, its natural harbor forming a nucleus around which the city’s life revolves and lending to it the epithet “Queen of the Arabian Sea”. This is the commercial nerve center of Kerala, a bustling sea side city that is the preferred point of origin for travelers who want to explore Kerala’s much admired scenic beauty.
Dharamsala popularly known as “Little Tibet” is also home to the Dalai Lama as well as a large Tibetan community who have made this their home. When China invaded Tibet in the late 1940s the Dalai Lama fled to Mcleodganj in the 1950's followed by thousands of Tibetan refugees. People are still making the seventeen day journey across the Himalayas today. Dharamsala's laidback lifestyle coupled with the potpourri of international visitors gives it a very international village feel. Being the current capital of the Tibetan political movement, Mcleodganj offers plenty of educational opportunities - films and documentaries, the Tibetan museum that speaks of suffering and pain endured by its people, the Dalai Lama's temple, speakers in restaurants all do their bit to educate people about Tibet's troubled past. China occupied Tibet in the early 1950s, claiming that it had always been part of China. In the past, the two countries had an entente cordiale - Tibet offered spiritual advice to Chinese emperors and China playing an important role in the administration of Tibet's government. This combined with Tibet's self induced isolation from the rest of the world made it easy for China to occupy the territory.
Located on the banks of the Vagai River, Madurai is the oldest city in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The name Madurai, means “city of nectar.” According to legend, the Pandyan King Kurukshetra built a beautiful temple and constructed a city around it. During its christening ceremony, Lord Siva blessed the new city and its people. In the process, a few drops of “madhu”(Tamil word meaning “sweetness”) from his hair fell on to the city – thus the name. The center point of the city is undoubtedly, the venerated Meenakshi Amman Temple, a labyrinthine complex that celebrates the love of the Goddess Meenakshi for her consort, Lord Sundereshwar (“the Handsome God”) and easily the most celebrated temple in south India. The best time to visit is between April and May, when the Chittarai Festival, commemorating Meenakshis marriage to Sundareshwar, is celebrated-the excitement in this bustling temple town reaches fever pitch.
Delhi, the capital city of India is a city of significant standing which is evident in the city’s varied diversity. It is the marriage of a modern cosmopolitan complex with India’s diversified antiquity. Elegant restaurants, imported cars, gleaming glass shopping malls and glitzy discotheques share space with the ruins of a bygone era - heritage monuments like the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid, that have been witness to history, meandering narrow streets of Old Delhi, the temples and monuments that have seen the rise and fall of many glorious dynasties.

Delhi is also a highly polluted city which is a result of very fast (and chaotic) development and a rapid rise in wealth and buying power in India.
The city of Gwalior, named after the great fort built venerating the local wise-man-saint Gwalipa, is today the capital of Gwalior district. The fort built on a plateau - the Rock of Gwalior - overlooks the city of Gwalior.
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