Chennai was formerly known as Madras, India. The city is over 360 years old, and currently has a population well over 7 million people. Although fast growing, the city maintains a ranking in the top 20 cleanest cities worldwide. With a thriving and vibrant cultural climate and beautiful surroundings, visitors come for the wonderful beach resort accommodations and the stunning coast on the Bay of Bengal. Those visiting also enjoy the amazing diversity of quality cuisine options available within the city of Chennai.
Crimes against women in India (large scale female infanticide/gender-bias/rape/dowry deaths/domestic violence) are very common but crimes against female tourists to India should not be overlooked by the tourism industry of India.
A Swiss woman has been gang-raped by a group of men in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is thought the woman was camping in a forest with her husband on cycling trip when about 8 men attacked the couple on the 15th of March 2013, robbed the pair and raped the woman in front of her husband. The woman (aged 40) was later admitted to a hospital in Gwalior city.
The Hindu holy man called “sadhu” seen in this picture seems to be smoking a chillum. A chillum is a smoking device invented in India used to smoke cannabis, charas or hashish. Cannabis (often called the bhang or ganja) is illegal in India however the use of this drug is so ingrained in the culture of India that is difficult to ban it completely. You can read more about Bhang here.
India has to be one of the best countries on earth for photography. With its dramatic scenes and vibrant colors, even mediocre photographers like me can leave India with hundreds of great-looking photos on their memory cards and hard drives. In a country where even bad photos often end up looking pretty good, a few simple tips can result in some pretty incredible shots.
If want to buy some Indian clothes then you might consider going to BigLife by Ritu Wears located in the cities of New Delhi, Faridabad (Haryana), Jalandhar (Punjab), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) and Indore (Madhya Pradesh). They are one of the biggest retailers in North and Central India.
At a height of nearly 13,000 feet in Garhwal hills of Western Himalayas lies the valley of flowers famous for its colourful pastures of alpine flowers and clear streams set against snowy mountain peaks. The smoothness and flowery calmness of the fairyland kind of valley makes a wonderful contrast against some of the other places to see in India. The Valley of Flowers National Park has been part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004.
One of the most valuable assets of India is its people and diversity. You go from one Indian state to another and you will find a difference in culture, language, mannerisms, tradition and food and amazingly we coexist in a very peaceful way. Nowhere in the world will you find such diversity There are places to visit and then there is India. Here are some of the reasons why you should visit this great country.
If you happen to visit Patna the capital of Bihar on your way to Bodh Gaya, I suggest you take a look at the building called the “Golghar” (that literally means “round house”). The Golghar situated near the Gandhi Maidan in Patna was built by Captain John Garstin, in 1786 as a granary. India faced a severe famine in 1770 that killed 10 million people in Bengal and Bihar. India at that time was a British colony. The then Governor General of India, Warren Hastings ordered the construction of this building to store grains for the British Army (not for the starving Indian people). Now the building serves as a picnic and site seeing spot.
India is one of the very few countries in the world where you will find an elephant walking down the road. We as Indians don’t find this surprising but as a tourist to India, you might find an elephant strolling down the road quite amusing or even frightening. Don’t worry, most of these elephants are domesticated and are used to being watched, photographed and ridden on. Elephants are of special significance in India as an animal that resembles Lord Ganesha (god of luck) and for being the mount of Goddess Laxmi (goddess of wealth).
The Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Located in the Northern Indian city of Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh, near the capital New Delhi, the Taj Mahal is the world’s most splendid mausoleum which houses the tombs of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666) and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Built in the 17th century, the Taj Mahal is an architectural marvel, surrounded by lush green gardens. It also houses a mosque and guest house inside the complex.
You must have seen commercials on CNN and other channels about Incredible India. In fact, India is indeed incredible in many ways. There is no denying that Americans and Europeans come to India looking for spirituality and to explore this amazing country. But to honest, there are certain things that can make you incredibly insane which the Government of India adverts do not tell you.
This is a ritual that would terrify most mothers. The worshippers at the shrine of Baba Sheikh Umar Saheb Dargah at the “Musti village” in the district of Solapur, in the state of Maharashtra, Western India have been carrying out this tradition to bring good luck and health to the child. If you want to see this ritual, you must visit Solapur, in the state of Maharashtra on the first of May. The tradition is also carried out in other parts of the state where the babies are tossed off the roof of temple roofs. The people of this village have been practising this for about 500 years. In Bijapur, 550 km west of Bangalore, similar practice is carried out where children between 8 months to 5 year olds are thrown from temple tops.
Have you ever wondered why Indian women are shy?
I think they are shy because they are told from a young age not to associate with boys. I hardly talked to boys as I went to Catholic convent school and then all women’s college. However, we aren’t shy with our family members, just other people. The shyness goes away after a while. But not all Indian women are shy, it’s all about family culture and how an Indian girl is brought up.
I took these photos of the Maha Bodh Temple in the town Gaya town in Bihar. Bodh Gaya is an extremely historical place in Bihar. This is where Lord Buddha got his enlightenment. It is here that he sat under the banyan tree now called the “Bodhi Tree” for 40 days and used to think about life. The photograph below shows the exact spot where he used to medicate. Although the tree may not be exact tree but it certainly seems to have been derived from it.