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Hawa Mahal, JaipurJaipur is a land of natural beauty and great history. It has a thriving tourism industry. Also called pink City, it is the capital of Rajasthan. It is well allied to the other parts of the world, through its immense network of airways, railways and roads. The palaces of Jaipur are the favourite spots for tourists, both Indian and foreign. Many old and derelict palaces and forts in Jaipur have been converted into heritage hotels. The service sector of Jaipur boasts of its tourism, real estate, insurance and hotel industry.

Jaipur is dotted with engaging historical legends. History has it that Raja Sawai Jai Singh, the Second, conceptualized the creation of Jaipur, led by reasons like the growing head count, the paucity of water resources and the gradual demise of the Mughal aura.  The astounding Jantar Mantar or the famous observatory, built between 1728 and 1734, is another architectural delight, credited to the Maharaja. An interesting wad of information for all those quiz buffs is that the incredibly talented Raja, is said to have contrived the mechanism for watering the rambling acres of Amber Fort, at the tender age of thirteen.  A fervent devotee of Lord Krishna, the King reestablished the idol of the blue hued God, at Jaipur in the year 1719.


City Palace, UdaipurThe city of sunup, Udaipur is a lovely land around the cerulean water lake, hemmed in by the thriving hills of the Aravalis. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers.

Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes speckled with stalls, carry the savor of a heroic past, epitomizing valour and chivalry. Their reflection in the serene water of the Lake Pichhola is an alluring sight.

On the fringe of the great Indian Desert State of Rajasthan is the City of Lakes – Udaipur. Founded in 1599 by Maharana Udai Singh, son of the legendary Maharana Pratap of Mewar; this "Venice of the East’ is a jewel tucked away in the Aravali hills. Its palaces and forts, interesting bazaars put Udaipur on the "must see" map of tourists to India. Its palaces in the lakes have been the location for many films and fashion magazines and a destination for honeymooners. Udaipur’s palaces speak of a by-gone age when gallantry was above life and royalty and culture flowered.

A series of canals connecting the several artificial lakes of Udaipur have dubbed it the Venice of the East. These beautiful lakes surround majestic palaces of marble and sandstone festooned with amber, coloured glass and insipid jade built in the seventeenth century. Courtyards, fountains, towers and Japanese styled gardens lend the palaces a truly majestic plea.

 One legend claims that he chose the present location of Udaipur for the capital after a sadhu, or itinerant holy man, told him that if he built his capital on the edge of Lake Pichola, it would never be captured. It is likely that the calculated advantages of the surrounding topography influenced his decision. Raised in the surrounding Aravali hills, Maharana Udai Singh was familiar with this region. His ancestor and the founder of the Sisodia dynasty of Mewar, Bopped Rawal, had lived here eight centuries earlier.

The inventive edifice of the palace was pioneered by Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodia clan soon after he founded the city of Udaipur. Subsequent Maharanas added their own structures within the palace complex later, but interestingly there is no sign of any inconsistency in the overall appearance. Infact, the entire City Palace complex exudes a beautiful harmony and consistency in its construction work.

The old part of the palace complex today serves as a museum that stores the legacy of the Rajput rulers for the visitors. Two of the newer portions of the palace have been converted into hotels.

The City Palace architecture reflects a wonderful blend of the European and Chinese architecture. The palaces, courtyards and gardens inside the palace have all a distinctive charm of their own, though together they create even grander scene for the visitors.

Built of granite and marble, the City Palace is entered through the Elephant Gate. The Bada Pol and the Tripoli Gate follow soon. The Tripolia Gate is the same place where the kings weighed themselves in gold and silver which was later distributed amongst the common people. This was a very popular customs in those days.

A beautiful palace, Moti Mahal, is breathtakingly beautiful with its exquisite mirror work. The name of the palace itself is an indication of the beauty that lies in store for the visitors.


Jaisalmer FortJaisalmer is a place worth visiting. The golden ray of the setting sun draws a blissful picture on the sands of Jaisalmer. The magnificent wood and stone carved mansions and buildings display the love of the Rajput towards the fine arts. The golden city of Jaisalmer, which lies audaciously as the western sentinel, was founded by Bhatti Rajput Rawal Jaisal in 1156. The history of Jaisalmer also discloses the courage and determination of the Rajput. The city used to be a major trade center as it was the trade route of the western countries to India. Rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden delusion is the city of Jaisalmer. A commanding fort engraved in yellow sandstone stands, with its entire awesome splendor, dominating the amber-hued city.

Jaisalmer too has its own glorious past to brag about. History of Jaisalmer draws heavily from the history of the Rajputana. Legends go by that he did it on the request of a local recluse named Eesaal. The Raja chose Trikut hill as the new site for his fort. This was because he thought that his previous abode at Luderwa (16 km from present Jaisalmer) was susceptible towards possible enemy assault.

Visiting Jaisalmer itself means a visit to the Jaisalmer Fort. This fort is the major and the most beautiful landmark of the city. The fort is occupied by shops, stalls, and a number of other business concerns. This fort accommodates a section of the city's population.

Havelis of Jaisalmer

The stunning mansions of Jaisalmer's wealthy merchants are known as 'havelis'. Their convoluted homes are engraved out in sandstone with infinite details and pains, carved and pieced together in different patterns. There is a perfect harmony that characterizes them and they are a treat for the eyes of the beholder.

There is no dearth of Havelis in Jaisalmer as the place has witnessed many wazirs and Landlords. The most famous among these is Patwon Ji ki Haveli. This Haveli was the first in Jaisalmer that is why it has greater significance. This Haveli became the pioneer of the constructions in Jaisalmer. Patwon Ji ki Haveli is actually the collection of five small Havelis.

Nathmal ki Haveli was built in the late 19th century. Its highlights are yellow sandstone elephants that stand majestically at its entrance and the intricately carved front door. It seems that the jewelers instead of the stone-carvers did the so-minute carvings of the building.

Salim Singh ki Haveli was built about 300 years ago and a part of this is still being used as residence. It was owned by Salim Singh and has an arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of peacocks. It is worth a lengthy look and admiration of the tourists who go on the town to see this pride of Jaisalmer architecture, which is now a part of the national heritage. Situated at the eastern end of the city, it seems to have sprung out of Arabian Nights, with its top blossoming like a wild flower.


KhajurahoThe Khajuraho Temple, named after the village Khajuraho, is sited in the Chhattarpur District, Madhya Pradesh, India. The temple is renowned for its erotic carvings and sculptures. It functions as the apex point of everyday life of the people of the place. Not only have the denizens of Madhya Pradesh, but tourists from far and across flocked in to the city to pay a visit to the temple since years. This largest cluster of Hindu and Jain temples has been enlisted among the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO.

The temples are supposed to be constructed in between the period of 950 and 1050 by the Chandela kings during the era of tantric conventions. The Khajuraho temples are renowned worldwide for their brilliant architecture, carvings, designs and painting. The temples have got gargantuan towers also called the Shikharas. One of the most celebrated temples belonging to the Western group, Kandariya Mahadeva, has eighty four shikharas, the tallest one sporting a height of about 116 feet. The other features of the temples are the ardhamandapa, mandapa, mahamandapa, porch, assembly hall, vestibule, garbhagriha, sanctum sanctorum etc. The temples are dedicated to the Hindu gods and goddesses, mainly the trio, Brahma-Vishnu and Mahesh; and goddesses like Devi Jagadambi. However there are few Jain temples among these as well.

The complex of the temples is adorned with a well maintained park with lush green lawns, colourful flower beds and decked up trees. Along with the exquisite interiors blend in rich work of fine arts, it stands as one of the optimum examples of temple architecture.


Varanasi GhatThe name of the holy city, Varanasi, is supposed to be derived from the river Varuna, meaning Varanasi. However, there are several other legends that follow behind the name of the place. The name Varanasi used to be written as Baranasi in the Pali language and thereby gradually the place got the name of Benaras. Varanasi is globally considered as one of the oldest recurrently colonized city. The place is situated left-west bank of the river Ganges or Ganga in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.

Varanasi is a religious city for Hindus, Buddhists as well as the Jains. It is a city of rich culture, lights and temples. The city takes pride in hosting innumerable number of nationwide and global tourists throughout every year. The rivers like Varuna and Assi with their respective convergence with the Ganga River, flowing by the land, are supposed to be the lifelines of the city and hold great religious significance. Varanasi is also renowned for being a n educational hub for the famous Benaras Hindu University and enriched, recognized classical music branch, Benaras Gharana, which was originated and spread all over India and the world.

Varanasi enjoys a humid subtropical climate. As located in the Gangetic plains of North India, it has a very fertile quality soil, suitable for cultivation. Kashika Bhojpuri is the common language of the place which is quite similar to Hindi. The city of Varanasi is a place for Hindu pilgrimage. Many Hindu rites and functions are carried on the ghats like the Kashi Vishwanath Ghat or Dwashashwamedh Ghat, kali Ghat etc. It is believed that Lord Shiva himself resided in Kashi (Varanasi). The city hosts the shrine of Lord Kashi Vishwanath (an appearance of Lord Shiva) as well as one of the twelve venerated jyotirlingyas of Lord Shiva. The Hindus believe to wash off their sins once they take a holy bath in the Ganga in Kashi. Vishalakshi Temple (dedicated to goddess Sati) is also another attraction for Hindu tourists here. Even Lord Buddha had stepped into this holy land and rendered his first sermon in the deer park at Sarnath. The Dhamek Stupa (of pre Ashokan era) and the Chaukhandi Stupa (where Lord Buddha met his first followers) are other attractions of Varanasi. The twenty-third Jain Tirthankara, Parsvanath, was believed to be born here. Many renowned social reformers, poets, musicians, historians and writers hailed from Varanasi like Kabir, Tulsidas, Bharatendu Harishchandra, Manu and others.

The Uttar Pradesh government has taken several initiatives to promote tourism in the holy city. Be it serenity of the river Ganga, exotic Ghats built chiefly by the Maratha rulers, temple visits, shopping or education – tourists would really carry back fond and everlasting memories on their visit to this pious place.


Gate way of India, MumbaiThe name of the city, Mumbai, earlier known as Bombay (named by the Portuguese), is supposed to be derived from Mumba or Mahaamba, the Hindu Goddess and Aai meaning mother in Marathi language. It is supposed to be the second highest densely inhabited city and fifth most populated metropolitan city in the world. The place is situated on the western coastline of India. Mumbai is the capital of the state of Maharashtra in Western India.

Mumbai is famous being an industrial based city, a naval base, its cultural aspects and music and the film industry - Bollywood. It is the fourth largest metropolitan city in India. The city takes pride in hosting innumerable number of nationwide and global tourists throughout every year. The lakes and water bodies like Vihar, Tulsi, Vaitarna, Powai and Tansa are supposed to be the lifelines of the city. Mumbai is also renowned all over India for its famous Juhu Beach.

Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city. Marathi is the official language of the state. Other languages also practiced are English and Hindi. Mumbai is the most prominent town of the state, being the capital. There is an amalgamation of Hidus, Muslims, Parsis, Sikhs and Christians. The people of Mumbai celebrate popular Indian festivals like Christmas, Dusshera, Diwali and Eid along with their traditional festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Navaratri. Dishes like bhelpuri, pav bhaji, paanipuri, dhan sak, bomli batata bhaji, kamag kakri, vada pav, khichedi and Bombay Duck are very popular.

The Maharashtra government has taken several initiatives to promote tourism in the capital city. Be it the beach, the film city, theatre and art galleries, classical dance shows or shopping– tourists would really carry back fond and everlasting memories on their visit to this city of versatility.


Madurai Meenakshi TempleThe name of the city, Madurai, is supposed to be derived from Nan mada kudal, pronounced as Majura. Madurai is the administrative capital of Madurai district in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. The place was the capital city during the reign of the Pandya kings of South India.

Madurai is famous for its temples and festivals – especially the Meenakshi Madurai Temple.  The city takes pride in hosting innumerable number of nationwide and global tourists throughout every year. The Meenakshi Temple, also known as Meenakshi Amman or Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple is bestowed to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It functions as the apex point of everyday life of the people of the city. Not only have the denizens of Tamil Nadu, but tourists from far and across flocked in to the city to pay a visit to the temple since years. The temple is supposed to be constructed in the 17th century. It is renowned worldwide for its brilliant architecture, carvings, designs and painting. The temple holds a great significance and has intricate references in old Tamil Literature. The shrine of the reigning deity, Lord Shiva, is in the form of Nataraja. The idol of Meenakshi or Parvati is placed on the left side of the shrine of Shiva. There is also a massive shrine of Lord Ganesha, Mukuruny Vinayakar in the premises. Another attraction of this temple is the thousand pillar hall or Aayiram Kaal Mandapam put up by Arya Natha Mudaliyar who was the Prime Minister of the first Nayaka of Madurai, the founder of 'Poligar System'.

The most vital festival of the temple, which unites the people together – all and one, is the Meenakshi Thirukalyanam which is supposed to be the marriage ceremony of Goddess Meenakshi. The other important occasions when the temple witnesses thousands of devotees swarming in the temple premises are the times of Aadi (July 15 – Aug 17) and Thai (Jan 15 – Feb 15). Ther Thiruvizhah (Chariot festival) and Theppa Thiruvizhah (Float festival) are also two prominent festivals associated with the temple.

The people of Madurai speak the colloquial Tamil language named as the Madurai Tamil. Other languages spoken are Sourashtra, Telugu and Kannada. Other attractions of the city are Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, Azhagar Koyil, Gandhi Museum, Kazimar Periya Pallivasal -The famous mosque (masjid) and Thiruparakundram temple.

Be it temples, sight seeing or shopping– tourists would really carry back fond and everlasting memories on their visit to this city of piety.


St. Fraccis ChurchThere are scores of mythical anecdotes regarding the legendary name of the city, Kochi.

It is believed that the ancient city of Balapuri(meaning ‘small town’)has been renamed as Cochinover the years. However, the city went back to its original Malayalam name, Kochi, in the year 1996, although the former name still tops the worldwide popularity index as one of the most sought after tourist destinations.

The city is located in the district of Ernakulam, roughly 220 kilometres north of the Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital. It is one of the leading seaports of India and the second largest city in Kerala after Thiruvananthapuram. Kochi lies on the south-west coast of India approximately at 9 degrees north, 76 degrees east, straddling an area of 94.88 sq. kms, at the northern end of a headland. It is approximately 19 kms long with a width of 1.6 kms. Kochi has a coastline of 48 kms with the Arabian Sea to the west and estuaries drained by the perennial rivers stemming from the Western Ghats, to its east.

Kochi was proclaimed as the Queen of the Arabian Sea and one of the finest natural harbours in the world. It was (and still is) a significant spice trading centre on the Arabian Sea since the 14th century. The present map of Kochi comprises the mainland Ernakulam (old Kochi), the peripheries of Edapally, Kalamassery and Kakkanad to the northeast; Tripunithura to the southeast and a group of mini closely spread out islands in the Vembanad Lake. Kochi is an ecologically susceptible area – with a wide range of mangrove species, bird sanctuaries (e.g. the famous Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary) and dolphins in the backwaters.

Kochi is one of the fastest emergent second-level metro cities in India. It is the economic capital of Kerala with respect to trade and commerce. The city is one of India’s largest ports and a major naval base. Round the year, deep water harbour is also open during the monsoon. A system of inland waterways running parallel to the coast proved cheap transport. Resultantly Kochi has become the commercial capital, a meeting junction for traders dealing in cashew, spices, timber, prawns, rubber and tea.

Kochi enjoys a cosmopolitan culture with a secular and varied community. The city celebrates conventional festivals of Kerala like Onam and Vishu. North Indian festivals like Holi and Diwali; Christian and Islamic fiestas like Easter, Christmas, Id-ul-Fitr and Milad-e-Sherif are also celebrated with verve and fervour.A grand gala fest namely the Cochin Carnival is celebrated at the Fort of Kochi during the last ten days of the month of December every year. Kochiites were great patrons of art and literature and continue to be so. The people of Kochi are equally passionate and fond of sports, particularly soccer and cricket. The Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium situated in Kochi is one of the largest multi-use stadiums in India.

Climatic Conditions

Kochi, being near to the equator and located in the coastal region, enjoys a seasonal temperature with varied levels of humidity.

How to Reach

To reach Kochi, one can avail any of the following options – air, road or rail. Kochi is reachable from every nook and corner of the state through the extensive run Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus service. There are two major railway stations in Kochi – Ernakulam Town and Ernakulam Junction – popularly known as North and South railway stations. Kochi/ Cochin International Airport is situated in Nedumbassery, about 29 kilometres from the city.

Flora and Fauna

Kochi is an ecologically susceptible area – with a wide range of mangrove species, bird sanctuaries (e.g. the famous Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary) and dolphins in the backwaters.


Alleppey BackwatersAlappuzha alias Alleppey, is a town in Alappuzha district of Kerala. It is a town with beautiful blue lagoons, canals, backwaters and beaches. It was entitled as the Venice of the East by Lord Curzon because of its large network of canals passing through the heart of the city. Alappuzha is now the commercial and industrial centre for the coir industry and for cashew nut processing. The supreme attraction for a tourist visiting Alleppey is the inland water-ways, lakes, lagoons etc. All these lakes are navigable and a houseboat or boat house journey through these lakes is a treasured experience. The freshwater from the rivers meets the seawater from the Arabian Sea to provide a unique ecosystem to the wide network of backwaters. Many exclusive species of aquatic life including frogs, crabs and mudskippers; water birds such as cormorant, darter, kingfisher ;and animals such as turtles and otters live in and alongside the backwaters. . One can enjoy the lush greenery on either sides with paddy fields, shrubs and trees, rejuvenates one’s mind while on a cruise in the houseboat (kettuvallam). The Kerala house boats (kettuvallams) are also made in the traditional Kerala style architecture and a houseboat journey is going to remain etched in mind forever. These house boats are available on a daily rental basis as well as for longer duration to take visitors on the old waterways. The peaceful cruises portray a highlight of the life on the water side with extravagant views of the water, land, birds and human civilization. The ‘backwaters’ are the major attractions in Kerala.  They form a distinctive feature of Kerala. The backwaters are popularly known as kayals in Malayalam. They are basically a wide network of canals, lakes and lagoons extending erratically along the coastal regions.

Flora and Fauna

It is a land of the water, land, birds and human civilization. Many exclusive species of aquatic life including frogs, crabs and mudskippers; water birds such as cormorant, darter, kingfisher ;and animals such as turtles and otters live in and alongside the backwaters. . One can enjoy the lush greenery on either sides with paddy fields, shrubs and trees, rejuvenates one’s mind while on a cruise in the houseboat.


Alleppey enjoys a pleasant coastal climate.

How to Reach

Alleppey or Alappuzzha is well connected to the other cities of Kerala by both rail and road.


Periyar Wildlife SanctuaryPeriyar, best known for its Wildlife, is a must – see for all visitors to Kerala. One can view the animals in their natural surroundings while cruising on the lake. Periyar’s   wildlife includes the tiger, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, lion tailed macaque, Malabar squirrel and sloth bear.

Periyar River is the second longest river in the state of Kerala with a length of 244 km. The river is also known as “The Lifeline of Kerala” as it is one of the few perennial rivers of Kerala. It provides drinking water for major towns.

It originates from the Sivagiri Peak of Sundaramala in Tamil Nadu. The total length is about 300 Km. On its journey to Arabian Sea at Cochin, the river is augmented with minor tributaries like Muthayar, Perunthuaiar, Chinnar, Cheruthony, Katappanayar and  Edamalayar.

Periyar has been performing a vital role in shaping the economic prospects of Kerala.

Its usage is in power generation, domestic water supply, irrigation, tourism.

Periyar is undergoing eco-degradation due to various anthropogenic stresses, deforestation, water pollution, large scale sand mining.

Periyar is also known for its Periyar National Park. This park is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world. The Periyar Lake is the central point of the famous Periyar National Park. Periyar National Park covers an area of 780 square km , out of which 360 square km is thick evergreen forest. In 1978 Periyar was declared as a Tiger Reserve under the Project Tiger.

One can behold some very beautiful sights in Periyar. Like elephants grazing or playing with each other or drinking water on the bank of river. The best time to visit Periyar National Park is in the winter season from October to March.

Boat Cruise in the Periyar Lake is the best way to see the wildlife in the park.

Herds of elephants come often to the lake for water. Hence the lake becomes a prime site for animal watching.
One can enjoy a bewildering boat ride on the Pamba River, which flows on the Western side of the reserve. Get into one of those motor boats and takes a stroll during the day and one can see the Malabar giant squirrel, Nilgiri Langurs and the great Indian elephants.

The tourists get the immense pleasure to view the wildlife while on a boat. One can see some rare species of bird that frequently visits Periyar, these include the Ceylon frog-mouth, and rose billed roller, Osprey and Ratchet – tailed Durango.

Herds of elephant can be seen on the bank of the Periyar Lake. Tourists can hear the squeal of the elephants. They squeal when they are very happy.


Fauna in Periyar

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady, about 4 km from Kumili in Idukki district, central Kerala.

It is situated on the banks of the Periyar Lake – an artificial lake, at Thekkedy. It is clothed in dense evergreen, moist deciduous forest. . In this thick green roam herds of elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and nilgiri langurs.

This sanctuary offers the unique opportunity to watch and photograph wild elephants at close quarter. In Periyar Tiger Reserve 49 species of mammals , 265 species of birds , 36 species of reptiles , 12 species of amphibians , 35 species of fishes and 160 species of butterflies are identified. Herds of elephant, sambar, gaur and wild pigs wander down to the lake side. Among the usual species found at Periyar are the flying lizard and the flying snake. With wings of orange and yellow, the flying lizard is seen as it glides from one tree to the other.

The loud calls of hornbills are distinctive amid the jungle. The great Malabar hornbill and grey hornbills are seldom seen flapping their ponderous way between trees.

The park is the nucleus of the Tiger Reserve. Its main prey is Sambar. The other prey animals of the tiger are the Indian bison and the wild boar. Cattle in the fringe area also form an important prey base.

Jungle Safari in the Park

One can watch the activities of different animals at close quarters by having a boat ride on the lake or by just having an elephant ride.

Along with animals, the Periyar National Park is also the home of various reptiles. Otter, the only mammal of the lake is a frequent sight from the boat. The thick vegetation of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary provides both excellent cover and nourishment in the form of succulent shoots and grasses.

How to Go

The nearest railway station for Periyar is the Kattayam, which is at a distance of 177 km distance. This railhead connects Periyar with tourists.

Cochin airport at a distance of 200 km and Madurai airport at 140 km serves the nearest air transportation for Periyar.


Char Minar, HyderabadHyderabad is the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh in South India. The place is situated on the Deccan Plateau. The city is also entitled with names like City of Pearls or City of Nizams. The city has boomed in information technology in the recent years. It is considered as the second silicon city, after Bangalore.

Hyderabad is famous being an industrial based city (which includes software and information technology, pharmaceuticals, BPOs etc.), its architecture, culture and rich history. It is the fourth largest metropolitan city in India. The chief attractions of the place are the Mecca Masjid and the Charminar. The city takes pride in hosting innumerable number of nationwide and global tourists throughout every year. The river Musi is supposed to be the lifeline of the city. Chennai is also renowned all over India and the world for its famous Marina Beach.

Hyderabad is the most prominent town of the state with a cosmopolitan society. The people of Hyderabad celebrate their traditional festivals like Muharram (by the Shia Muslim sect) and Ganesh Chaturthi (on Ananth Chaturdashi) with verve and fervour. Hyderabadi cuisine is very popular all over India, which is a fusion of Persian and Mughal cuisine. The Hyderabadi Biryani, a lip smacking rice dish, is worth having during one’s visit to Hyderabad. Other dishes like Haleem and Paya, Irani chai and samosa are equally popular; so are the sweet dishes like phirni, sewai, dilkhush, badaam ki jaali etc.

The Andhra Pradesh government has taken several initiatives to promote tourism in the city. Be it the Charminar; other architectural marvels like the Golconda Fort, the Faluknama Palace, Chowmahalla Palace etc.; the serenity of the Hussain Sagar Lake; the mouth watering dishes or shopping– tourists would really carry back fond and everlasting memories on their visit to this city of versatility.


Pangong Lake, LehEnclosed by the world’s two colossal ranges, the Karakoram and the Himalayas, Laddakh is the highest colonized territory in India. The state is bordered by four main ranges – Himalaya, Laddakh, Karakoram and Zanskar. The river Indus and its tributaries sliver their paths through the rocky stretches. During summer the temperature exceeds up to 270 degree centigrade whereas in winters they fall even below 200 degree centigrade. Leh is the present capital of Laddakh. Journey by road to Laddakh is quite exciting which provides a rare view of witnessing the beautiful valleys of Kashmir. One has to start from Srinagar and travel for a couple of days to reach Leh. Kargil would be the halfway halting ground.

The Stok Palace crossways the river from Leh was supposed to be the abode one-time regal family units. One can see the Spituk Monastery which gives a spectacular view of the river Indus. It is here that a tourist first gets a glance of Leh, drifting like a mirage at an expanse. Thangkas and ancient masks are also available in Leh. Hemis Gompa located here is the biggest gompa in Laddakh. The other gompas which are also equally attractive are – Lamayuru, Rizdong, Matho, Chemrey, Phyang and Likir Gompas.  The Thikse Monastery, well known for its beautiful mural work is also to be found here. Leh is the chief airport for this region.

The people of Laddakh celebrate their traditional festival of the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, which is a brilliant summer festival. The denizens of Laddakh are mainly Buddhists by religion and follow Mahayana Buddhism.

Be it scenic beauty, gompas or tranquility of the place – tourists would really carry back fond and everlasting memories on their visit to this wonderful state. It is certainly worth visiting Leh, the best time of the year being June to October.


Taj Mahal, AgraThe name of Agra, is supposed to be derived from the word Agrabana meaning Paradise, as mentioned in the longest Indian epic, Mahabharata. However, there are several legends that follow behind the name of the place. Agra is considered as the third biggest city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The city is situated on the banks of river Yamuna. It shares its political boundaries with Fatehabad to the South as well as some parts of the East, Bharatpur to its West, Firozabad on the East and Mathura to its North.

Agra is a historical resort with exquisite Mughal epoch buildings, world heritage architecture and forts. The state takes pride in hosting innumerable number of nationwide and global tourists throughout every year. Agra enjoys a sub tropical climate for maximum part of the year, being located on the Indo-Gangetic plain.

The chief attractions for tourists in Agra are the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort among others like Itmad-ud-Daulah’s tomb, Akbar’s tomb or Sikandra,  Chini Ka rauza, Jama Masjid, Mariam’s tomb, Ram Baagh, Swami Bagh Samadhi, Mankameswar Temple,Keetham Lake and Mehtab Bagh.

Taj Mahal:

One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal is one of the most magnificent buildings of the world with excellent and unique work of architecture. It is situated on the bank of the river Yamuna.  Apart from the Agra Fort and the Fatehpur Sikri, Taj Mahal is also considered to be one of the three World Heritage Sites in Agra. According to history, Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is supposed to be the latter’s interment. It is believed to be the world’s finest and most mesmerizing monument built of white marble.  This enticing edifice took almost twenty two years for the completion of its construction work. As per statistics, 20000 labourers, jewelers and masons were employed for the purpose. The main architect was Ustad Isa, who was roped in for the project from Persia, under whose guidance the monument was built. Verses from the holy book of Islam, the Koran, are found inscribed on it and even the number of years it had taken for completion of the work is also mentioned. The interiors are decked up with numerous precious stones of the Mughal era. It is erected on a marble platform above sandstone. The main dome, of the monument has a diameter of 60 feet or 18 metres and rises up to a height of above 80 feet or 24 metres over the structure. Under this dome lies the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. The tomb of Shah Jahan was put up beside hers by his son Aurangzeb. Ironically, Shah Jahan was arrested and kept in the Agra Fort during his later years by his son Aurangzeb. Those eight long years, spending his days as a prisoner, Shah Jahan’s only solace was the view of the masterpiece of art, the Taj Mahal on the river Yamuna, which looked like a mirage from the Agra Fort. Rested amidst lush green gardens, the Taj Mahal appears to be an idyllic creation, especially on a full moon night.

Agra Fort:

Although a stone inscription near the gate of the fort mentions that the fort was built before 1000 followed by renovations made by Akbar, yet it is believed to have been built by Akbar in 1565. Later on it was turned into a palace during the reign of Shah Jahan. Initially the fort was made of red sandstone. However, when it was renovated during Shah Jahan’s time, pietra dura and marble stones were used. The fort is semi-circular in shape. One can have a very good view of the Taj Mahal from Agra Fort. The main buildings seen in the fort are Diwan-e-khas and Diwan-e-aam (halls of special audience and general mass), Khaas Mahal, Mussaman Burj, Jehangir’s Palace, the Pearl Mosque and the mirrored hall, the Sheesh Mahal.

Fatehpur Sikri:

Located about 35 kilometres from the city of Agra, was built by Akbar who intended to have his headquarters here and shifted his capital here. However, due to scarcity of water he had to withdraw his plans. It was named after a place called Sikri, where Babar defeated Rana Sanga in a fierce battle. The main attraction is the Buland Darwaza or the mighty gateway built by Akbar in 1601 to venerate his triumph over Gujarat. It is the world’s highest gateway, 53.63 metres high with a width of 35 metres. It has got religious inscriptions on it, reveling Emperor Akbar’s tolerance to all religions. It is built of red and buff sandstones with inlaying of white and black marbles. A flight of 42 steps lead to the Buland Darwaza.


Fort St. George, ChennaiThe name of the city, Chennai, earlier known as Madras, is supposed to be derived from Chennapattinam or Chennapattanam. It was actually the name of the town that cropped up near Fort St George put up by the British. However, there are several other legends that follow behind the name of the place. The place is situated Coromondol Coast of the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu in South India.

Chennai is famous being an industrial based city, a naval base, its dance (Bharatnatyam) and music and the film industry - Kollywood. It is the fourth largest metropolitan city in India. The city takes pride in hosting innumerable number of nationwide and global tourists throughout every year. The rivers like Adyar and Cooum (Kovam) are supposed to be the lifelines of the city. Chennai is also renowned all over India and the world for its famous Marina Beach.

Tamil is the popular language of the city. Other languages also practiced are English, Telugu and Malayalee etc. Chennai is the most prominent town of the state, being the capital. The people of Chennai celebrate popular Indian festivals like Christmas, Diwali and Eid along with their traditional Buddhist festivals like Pongal, Tamil New Year (on April 14). Rice based dishes like pongal, dosai, idli and vadai are very popular. Filter Coffee is very much in demand to re-freshening up one’s spirit.

The Tamil Nadu government has taken several initiatives to promote tourism in the capital city. Be it the beach, temples, art galleries, classical dance shows or shopping– tourists would really carry back fond and everlasting memories on their visit to this city of versatility.


Kovalam BeachApproximately 15 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram is the astounding expanse of beach, called Kovalam. Kovalam is preferably suited for swimming, catamaran cruising and sun bathing. It comprises of three semi-circulars -shaped, sandy palm-fringed inlets separated by rocky cliffs. To experience a hale and hearty holiday each year from November to February, tourists from every corner of India and the globe flock into Kovalam. Kovalam is undoubtedly considered as one of the best beach resorts in the world. The sea water also makes it an ideal health resort for its special and unique curative quality.

The southern extension of Kovalam is called the Lighthouse Beach, for its 35 metre high light house which towers over it atop Kurumkal hillock. This is the point where most tourists prefer to pass their quality time. Several temporary eateries and huts turn up during the peak vacation periods. The central beach, also known as India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) is secured and sparkling; it also treasures its own cottages.

The second largest one is Hawah Beach. The northern part of the beach is known as Samudra Beach in tourism terminology. A large headland separates this part from the southern side. The local fishermen ply their trade on this part. The tranquil Arabian Sea stretches a long way and the tourists can laze around in the cool breeze pervading the place. This open beach is an ideal spot for swimming and bathing. The state’s large sediments of the thorium-bearing mineral monazite, obtained in the sandy beaches of Quilon district, are proved to be very advantageous in our national atomic research and energy programmes.

The amalgamation of refined herbal cures, basking in the sun while holidaying in the beaches and colourful cultural fiestas- has led to Kerala to stand amongst the ten best Paradise Found destinations.


Kovalam is famous for its special varieties of fish.


Primarily a wide range of shops are found selling good quality souvenirs.

How to go:

One can hire a taxi from Trivandrum to get into Kovallam which would take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to reach either Lighthouse Beach or Hawa Beach.


There are several resorts/hotels to stay in Kovalam. With an effort to cater to the requirements of different categories of tourists, the hotels are pocket friendly, ranging from luxury to budget hotels. All the popular hotels found here tender great amenities. The room facilities, dining facilities, recreational facilities and other facilities coupled with hospitality are worth experiencing. They have also bars and their kitchens serve national and international cuisines.

Leela Kovalam Beach Resort

The Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach, Kerala is a fleeting drive from Trivandrum. It houses 182 rooms and suites. The resort is considered to be Kerala’s largest beachside resort embraced between two sweeping beaches. The Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach, Kerala also has Diyya, an authentic Ayurveda Wellness Spa. One can also opt to relax in the marvelous pools that merge into the westerly horizon.

Le Meridien Kovalam Beach Resort

Le Meridien Kovalam is the first and the largest 5 star beach resort of Kerala. It is sited at the most famous beach Kovalam. It comprises a inestimable locale of 65 acres of picturesque beauty of 5000 swaying palms and shores of the Arabian Sea, Le Meridien Kovalam has a 2.5 km long beachfront. It offers 106 rooms with a variety of accommodation. The guests will take pleasure in merrymaking in an elite beach of the resort.

Taj Green Cove Resort

The Taj Green Cove Resort is situated 12 km from Trivandrum airport and 14 km from the station. It is found in Kovalam, a tourist- affable beach enclave on the southern coast of India. The ten-acre property mixes manmade and natural wonders. Sculptures and fountains are surrounded by lush green meadows, and distant views of Balinese-style gardens are accessible from the resort's thatched-roof hillside cottages. Visitors also have the option to stay in signature floating cottages. The 2,000-square-foot (186 square meters) Taj Spa offers vibes and models that are inspired by Kerala architecture.


Mysore PalaceThe name of the city, Mysore, is supposed to be derived from the name Mahisha, meaning Mahishasura or a demon in Hindu mythology. Mysore is the capital of the state of Karnataka in South India. The place is situated on the south-west part of Bangalore.

Mysore is famous for its palaces, festivals – especially the Dassara festival, art and paint work, rosewood inlay work, saris and a special sweet dish called the Mysore Pak. It is the second largest computer software exporter, very much next to Bangalore, in the state of Karnataka. This proves that the city has boomed in information technology in the recent years. The city takes pride in hosting innumerable number of nationwide and global tourists throughout every year. The rivers like Kaveri and Kabini are supposed to be the lifelines of the city. Mysore is also renowned all over India and the world for its sandalwood work, bronze work, salt and lime production and weaving work.

As mentioned, Mysore is well known for the number of palaces the city hosts. The Amba Vilas or most commonly named Mysore Palace; Rajendra Vilas located on the Chamundi Hills, also known as the summer palace; the Jagmohan Palace turned into an art gallery; Lalitha Mahal, converted into a hotel and the Jayalakshmi Vilas, now a part of the University of Mysore are all examples of the historical palaces. The interior work of the Amba Vilas or Mysore Palace is an outstanding example of the Hoysala period architecture pattern. However, the exterior view projects Indo-Saracenic architectural style and design, which makes it class apart from the other palaces of the city. The maintenance of the palace is undertaken by the government of Karnataka. In one portion of it, the descendants of the royal family still resides.

The Karnataka government has taken several initiatives to promote tourism in the place. Be it palaces, sight seeing or shopping– tourists would really carry back fond and everlasting memories on their visit to this city of palatial edifices.

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