My top 8 unforgettable moments in India Golden Temple- More than guys with turbans and a temple covered with shiny gold Kumbh Mela 2013 – where chaos meets peace Personal experience of visiting the Taj Mahal Arriving at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport

My top 8 unforgettable moments in India

Manuela, my friend from Colombia describes some of her best moments of her stay in India. Those who don’t remember who Manuela is, well she’s a girl from Colombia who decided that she wanted to live in India. You can read about her arrival here and about her adventures in Chandigarh. By Manuela Last Tuesday, […]

Golden Temple- More than guys with turbans and a temple covered with shiny gold

My friend Manuela shares her experience of her visit to the Golden Temple Amritsar (also known as Swarn Mandir) in the Punjab. Golden Temple: More than guys with turbans and a temple covered with shiny gold By Manuela Osorio Pineda I’ve always considered myself as an ‘off-the-beat-traveler’ who craves visiting the remote little spots of a […]

Kumbh Mela 2013 – where chaos meets peace

This is a story of my friend Rishabh Oberoi who went to the Kumb Mela this year. This is the part 1 of his visit to the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. Part 1: The World Largest Religious Gathering of People on the Bed of Sangam I believe Indian culture is the most colorful and diverse culture […]

Personal experience of visiting the Taj Mahal

My friend Natalia from Brazil was recently in India where she happened to visit the Taj Mahal along with other places in India. She sent me her account of her visit along with some of her photos that she took on her visit. This is the personal account of her visit to the glorious Taj […]

Arriving at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport

Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi will perhaps be the entry point for most foreign travellers to India. I have always wondered why this airport was not named after Mahatma Gandhi since he is considered as the father of the nation. Anyway, from a personal point of view, this is the worst International airport I […]

Top winter destinations of India

There are many winter destinations even in a tropical place. The scene is so true for a country like India. Come the summer and everybody has plans for one or the other hill station or snow adventure. The cool high altitude places puts the unbearable heat of the plains on somewhere forgotten and absolute bliss of the welcoming winter is on. It feels like somebody is constantly humming lines like these on back of his mind:

“”The rest is where 
“I” is either satiated
Or suffocated
Here, I avow
My “I” is merged
In the Pristine of Nature
I am at rest now
Even if it is
Just for a while!””

Such places, kind of which the poet is talking about, might include the following:

Auli

Lying on the way to Badrinath, Auli is a popular winter destination in Uttarakhand, more popular for its adventure of Ski. Bugyal is the local name for the place by which locals will brag about it. The meadow is also a part of popular trekking trips. Apart from Ski and Trekking, tourists can also enjoy views and boating in the artificial lake. Being surrounded by pilgrimages like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Joshimath, Nandaprayag, Rudraprayag; Auli is a must visit for tourists and pilgrims alike. April is best season to visit but skiing is good in November.

Trekking in Auli

Trekking in Auli. Source: Flikr Shikhar Sethi’s photostream

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Journey along the Ganges

Four cities on the banks of the holy river you should visit

Even if you have never before ventured to go on a trip to the magnificent country of India, the chances of you never having heard about the river Ganges are pretty slim. It is one of the world’s longest rivers and, according to Hindu mythology, is the daughter of the mountain God – the Himalaya. The river is of great cultural and religious significance for the whole Indian peoples. Not only do they believe that bathing in the river’s waters purifies one’s soul and heals the body, but the religious importance of the Ganges is so big that its banks are also used as cremation grounds. Those cremated there and their ashes immersed in the holy waters are believed to be granted instant salvation. All of this makes the Ganges a must for all tourists who wish to encounter all of India’s diverse beauty in terms of both culture and nature. However, this leads to an important question: Which city to visit in order to admire the holy river? Even though there are more than a dozen cities along the banks of the Ganges, following is a suggestion list of four cities that if you feel adventurous, you can even try and visit all.

Indian woman floating lamps in the Ganges

Indian woman floating lamps in the Ganges

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India’s enchanting hiking treks

India is a splendid country, well known for its flamboyant and impressive culture. Everyone who has been lucky enough to venture a trip to any Indian city was left captivated by all the diverse aspects of the country – its people, traditions, historical monuments, cuisine, and so on. However, tourists who decide to indulge in India’s diversity predominantly choose to dive exactly into the aforementioned tourist features India offers and often neglect a type of an unconventional entertainment that is sure to satisfy their touristic desires – hiking. This glorious country possesses many hills, summits and mountain ranges that are just waiting for you.

Trekking in India

Trekking in India

There are hiking tracks for both novice and experienced hikers. You just need to choose according to your overall hiking experience. Of course, there are a couple more things you need to consider prior to embarking on a hike. Even if you don’t have previous experience, you just need to be physically fit and have the proper equipment (shoes, clothes, first aid kit) as well as a little courage. That is all it takes. India’s magnificent flora and fauna will welcome you with open arms once you commence hiking. What follows is a list of four often picked trails for hiking in India. Note that besides them, there are plenty more! Read More…

Rajputs of Rajasthan

The word “Rajputs” translates literally as “sons of kings”.

Among the warrior castes of north western India, Rajputs are famous for their chivalry, gallantry, their zest for life and the pride they take in being associated with their culture, their values and traditions.

Rajputs were once the pride of this vast, limitless desert in the heart of India which stretched as far as the eye could see. There are some elaborate customs associated with Rajputs.

Rituals and customs for every occasion right from the womb to the tomb.

While the birth of a son in the family was celebrated with fanfare and rejoicing, the birth of a girl was frowned upon. So deep ran the bias against the girl child that it was customary among many Rajput plans to kill the newborn girl to death by strangling her, burying her alive or by choking her by stuffing wet mud down her throat.

A Rajput of Rajgarh

A Rajput of Rajgarh

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India a beautiful place for a bicycle tour

I have been fascinated with India for years. The country has a beautiful spiritual culture, diverse scenery and amazing cuisine. One of the ways to experience India is by going on a bicycle tour.

These tours allow the travelers to experience the country in a close up, personal manner. You can often see, hear and smell things while riding a bike which you may have missed while driving a car or travelling by train.

Beautiful Kerala decent

Beautiful Kerala decent

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Places to visit in Bangalore

Places to visit in Bangalore

Bengaluru, which was earlier known as Bangalore is one of the most sought of exotic tourist destinations in South India. Bengaluru is the capital city of Karnataka and is the blend of ultra modern cosmopolitan culture and the traditional extravaganza. It is known to be the silicon city of India and the capital of information technology or the IT world of the country. It is the house for numerous multinational companies and is also recognised as one of the growing economical cities on the world map. It is also known as the ‘Garden City of India.’ Read More…

Ideal travel pants

Travel Pants

Travel Pants

When you come to India, I suggest you wear combat pants. They are the best travel pants you can get. Combat pants also known as Combo or Cargo pants have numerous pockets and will keep your hands free. They are practical, lightweight, and decent looking, styled to look good and you can go almost anywhere in them. Just make sure they are made of cotton and light in colour usually khaki that goes well in the hot Indian climate. They are basically designed as loose pants with numerous pockets for outdoor activities. Typically they have 6 deep pockets on each leg each with a secret pocket inside of cargo pocket giving it increased carrying capacity. Some of these pants have pockets near the feet making it almost impossible for pickpockets to steal your money. Read More…

Humayun’s Tomb

Located in the Indian capital New Delhi, the Tomb of Humayun is a mausoleum constructed in 1569-1572 for the second Mughal Emperor Humayun. The tomb was the first of its kind, in fact it was the first tomb surrounded by gardens, ever constructed on the Indian Subcontinent by the Mughals. The architect of the tomb was Mirak Mirza Ghiyath and built by Biga Begum (also known as Hamida Banu Begum) after the death of her husband. The Persian architect was specially brought from Herat in Northwest Afghanistan who incidentally died before he could complete the monument and was completed by his son instead in 1572.

This construction marks the beginning of the Mughal architectural style which will reach its zenith in the construction of Taj Mahal. It also marks the first time when red sand stone was used on such a grand scale. UNESCO currently designates the tomb as a World Heritage Site.

Tomb of Humayun

Tomb of Humayun as seen through the gateway. Source: Wikimedia Commons

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A brief travel guide to Goa

Have you finally decided to take that long awaited holiday to India but aren’t sure where to go? If you’re looking for the perfect blend of colonial and modern charm, rich in history, cuisine and extraordinary culture, then look no further — Goa is your dream destination. Whether you’re looking to submerge yourself in vibrant city life or unwind by the seaside, Goa offers something for everyone.

"Goa coastline"

Goa coastline

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How to pack a suitcase

Going on holiday is fun and the last thing you need is agony over packing a suitcase. If you are travelling to India on holiday then you really don’t need to take a lot of things. Remember, India is a country where you can buy cheap goods. Things like clothes, toothbrushes, shaving kits and other toiletries etc can be bought at next to nothing prices so you can always buy them when you are there.

So you must plan your holiday and need to think of the things you need to carry in your suitcase. In addition, if you pack your suitcase with items that are not permitted, you’re bound to get in trouble at the airport.

"How to pack a suitcase"

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Aryabhatta the Indian mathematician

Aryabhatta the Indian mathematician

Aryabhatta, also known as Aryabhatta I or Aryabhata (476-550?), was a famous Indian mathematician and astronomer, born in a place called Taregana, in Bihar (though some people do not agree with the evidence). Taregana (also spelled as Taragna) which literally means songs of stars in Bihari, is a small place situated nearly 30 km from Patna, which was then known as Kusumpura later Pataliputra, the capital of the Gupta Empire. This is the very empire that has been dubbed as the “golden period in Indian history”. The best introduction to the genius of past is seen in the words of Bhaskara I who said, “Aryabhatta is the master who, after reaching the furthest shores and plumbing the inmost depths of the sea of ultimate knowledge of mathematics, kinematics and spherics, handed over the three sciences to the learned world”. Read More…