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 chicken dishes of India

India is not only a great holiday destination but also has mouth watering dishes to offer. Apart from a large number of vegetarian dishes, India has large number of chicken dishes that can be considered the best in the world. No wonder, more Indian restaurants than ever before are coming up all over the world. Although, many people in India are vegetarians, there is significant appetite for chicken dishes. In fact, some of the best chicken preparations are from India.

It is thought that the domesticated chicken came to India around 2000 BC ago from the South East supposedly from Malaysia where it was first domesticated from the fusion of 2 varieties of foul. It is from India where the chicken was then exported to Africa and Europe. It then went to the Americas with the Spanish adventurers. Thanks to the British colonialism, the great culinary traditions of India, chicken dishes in particular were then exported to the rest of the world that still continues to rule the world.

Chicken dishes of India

Chicken dishes of India

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Badami Caves – Rocks with story to tell

Badami, situated in Bagalkot districtof Karnataka, was once capital of mighty Chalukya Empire, but is now famous as tourist destination for its historical monument – The Badami Caves. These caves are considered to be the most spectacularly carved caves found in South India. The four major caves, hewn out of the hill at great height, are temples dedicated to different deities of Hindu and Jain religion. They are considered to be places of utmost importance by the architectures and archaeologists, for the reason that these caves hold significant clues to the styles followed by the south Indian architectures of past. The caves were carved out of the Deccan sandstone that is abundantly available in the area, during the 6th century, under the rule of Chalukya Empire. The color of the Deccan sandstone is believed to have given the place its name, i.e. the color of Badam which means almond in local dialect.

Town of Badami seen from the caves

Town of Badami seen from the caves. Source: Andrea Kirkby’s photostream Flickr

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Red Fort of Delhi – Lal Qila

The Red Fort (known as the Lal Qila in Hindi) is an old fort complex located in Delhi. It was constructed by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who also constructed the world-famous Taj Mahal, in the 17th century. The fort served as the residence of the Mughal emperor, his acolytes and their families. It was also the place from where the emperors ran their vast empire. Currently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage, the fort complex serves as a tourist spot and is a powerful symbol of the Indian Republic. The prime minister addresses the nation from this complex on the Independence Day each year. Today the Red Fort is seen as the symbol of the seat of power of government of India. The Red Fort is heavily guarded and has been a subject of a terror attack in 22 December 2000 by Lashkar-e-Taiba (one of the most militant terror outfit in South Asia).

Red Fort Delhi India

Red Fort Delhi India

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Train surfing, India’s extremely stupid sport

After gaining popularity among teens practising extreme sports at the risk of their own lives in South Africa, Russia, Germany and other European countries; train surfing has arrived in India. Hanging outside the trains is not new to Indian citizens, as it is a necessity for them at times when the trains are overcrowded and next available train is not scheduled for hours. Train surfing is different in a way, that instead of hanging there with their hearts in their mouths, these youth treat it as wave surfing, skiing or bungee jumping and enjoy it to the fullest even at the cost of risking their own lives.

Train Surfing in India

Train Surfing in India

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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…