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Arriving at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport 101 travel tips to India

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 […]

101 travel tips to India

India is a place that can capture your heart, no wonder tourists come back for more. India is a hectic, daunting place with overcrowded bazaars, noisy music, pungent spices, dusty roads, cow dung on the streets; a mesmerizing place that will make you addicted to this amazing country. It will cast a spell that few […]

Indian Street Food

Street food in India: what to eat and how to be careful when trying out the Indian street food? 2BCTVSY27ZW5

India is a country of diverse cultures and traditions. It has rightly been called as a ‘Subcontinent’. Most states of India are different from each other in terms of culture, ethnicity, language and the food they eat.

Foods are tempting and if you aren’t a foodie then you will miss a lot on your trip to India. Apart from the region specific menu in India, there is one particular menu that is not only mouth-watering but available in almost the entire country. It is the menu of the Indian ‘street food’.

"Indian street food"

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Best destinations in South India

South India has the best destinations India has to offer. If you visit South India, here are the top destinations you should not miss.

Destination Karnataka

"South India"

Bangalore Palace was built to look like a smaller replica of the Windsor Castle. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Karnataka has the second highest number of protected historical monuments and is ranked as fifth best tourist’s destination in India.

Bangalore (Bengaluru) is the capital city of Karnataka also known as Silicon Valley of India. The tourist attractions list is exhaustive and the major ones include Bangalore Palace, Vidhana Soudha,  ISKON temple, Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, Lal-Bagh a botanical garden, Cuban Park, the large Shiva Idol/statue, Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, St. Mary’s Basilica and Infant Jesus Church, UB city to hang-out, Wonderla amusement park, huge sophisticated malls and various other temples and more.

Bijapur in South India is famous for Gol-Gumbaz and other historical monuments, Hampi is the ruins of Vijayanagar Empire and is famous for Virupaksha temple, Murudeshwara is famous for the world’s second largest Shiva-statue and has a beautiful beach, in and around Mysore for bird sanctuaries, wild-life sanctuaries and many more temples, Udupi Krishna temple, and Mangalore Malpe beach.

"Gol Gumbaz"

The Gol-Gumbaz of Bijapur in South India

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Maharaja Express

Is there any other way to explore the marvels and the rich cultural heritage of India than in style, this is exactly what the Maharaja Express has to offer.

"Maharaja Express"

The maharaja express is one is one of the most luxurious trains on offer by the Indian Railways and the Indian Tourism Department. It happens to be the most expensive as well. Think of it as the “Orient Express of Europe”. As a matter of fact, it was voted in the top 25 trains of the world by the “Society of International Railway Travellers”. Indeed, it has the best onboard accommodation and dining facilities, off-train excursion programs fit for a king hence the name “Maharaja”. Read More…

Try tradition Indian food at the Dhaba

Are you on a trip to India? Then you just cannot afford to overlook the Dhaba!

What is a Dhaba?

The Dhaba is form of restaurant traditionally found on highways famous for catering authentic Punjabi cuisine typically for Punjabi truck drivers. Dhabas are prominently located near or next to petrol pumps or the gas stations.

Some special features of a typical Dhaba that make it different from restaurants:

• Roadside eating place usually found on highways.
• Tasty and nourishing food yet very economical.
• Traditionally the ambience here is very different. Fresh air, big earthen oven called ‘tandoor’, the smell of tandoor, the Punjabi music, traditional bamboo cots called ‘chaarpai’ to sit and a wooden plank placed perpendicularly in the centre of the chaarpai that serves as the purpose of the table.

"dhaba"

Source: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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Travelling India Alone

Freya Stark says ‘To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.’ One cannot possibly ignore the romance associated with travelling alone, exploring new and wonderful places and experiencing the unknown. But when you are in a foreign land or town; it is always better to know certain dos and don’ts to ensure a safe and secure travel.

Tips on travelling India alone

"Travelling India Alone"

Source: Eric.Parker's on flickr

While travelling to India alone especially for a female, the key is to dress modestly and avoid travelling at nights in taxis, auto rickshaws unless in cities. In that too certain cities like Delhi are not the safest in the world at night especially for Women, hence avoid any sojourn at night alone. While travelling always opt for pre-paid services wherever available like cabs or autos; that way you could be sure of your safety to a certain extent. When travelling alone in India be sure to stay in reputed hotels.

The reviews on various travel sites could be of help to ascertain that you pick the right hotel. Hiking alone is a strict no-no especially for women. It goes without saying do not trust strangers, which in your case would be everybody and never accept food from an unknown person; a polite no is always better than taking the risk of being dazed and looted. Read More…

What to wear in India

What to wear in India? What kind of clothes would be safe to wear there? What should I pack? Can I carry my shorts along? Should I carry cotton or linen or woollens or all? Should I carry flats or high heels? Are these questions in your mind too? Well then read along, as I pen down some basic tips that would help you pack that bag for your trip to India.

What to wear in India

"What to wear in India"

Source: Eric.Parker's on flickr

The first rule of travelling in India or for that matter anywhere is to travel light, hence carry minimal clothing. If need be you can always purchase in India itself considering clothing is fairly economical here. The mindset across the world is as a country India is very traditional and conservative in terms of clothing and attires. However, there is more to that. If you are travelling to cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune in India, the dressing is fairly modern and liberal so you can wear jeans, t-shirts and skirts too. The only point to keep in mind is dressing in a way to avoid unwanted attention. The tip therefore is to avoid any clothing that is too revealing. In religious towns and villages on the other hand it is better to don fairly traditional clothing. Read More…

Wildlife of India

India is a land of splendours and has a bit of everything on offer-from the colossal Himalayas to the stunning beaches of God’s own country; from the amazing tribes of the north east to the beautiful desert forts of the west.

For a connoisseur of wildlife, there is a lot on the platter too. There are innumerable attractions that are world renowned and a must on the list of the wildlife aficionados. An approximate figure would be 80 national parks, 23 Tiger Reserves and 441 Wildlife Sanctuaries. It is also home to about 1250 different species of birds. Quite a number of rare and endangered species can be found in the country. The marine life is equally fascinating too. But there is not only a diversity of species but terrain too and that is what makes the experience more intriguing.

The wildlife of India

"Wildlife of India"

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Bengal tigers, one horned rhinoceros, elephants, black bucks, Asiatic lions, cobras and peacocks are among the prime wildlife attractions in India. A wildlife escape to India will let you have an experience worth cherishing for the rest of your lives. Seated on a jeep or the back of an elephant or on a boat you could see these animals moving around safely in their natural habitat. You could come face to face with the Asiatic Lions in the Gir National Park or the one horned rhinoceros at the Kaziranga National Park.

Bird watching, Tiger Tours and special Wildlife packages are on the offer online and you could choose from a variety of options. You could go for Bird watching in Sikkim, Uttarakhand or Andamans; Tiger watching in the Golden Triangle or the Sunderbans; spend exclusive weekends in Ranthambore or Corbett National Parks. The options are varied and one better than the other. Read More…

Mosquitoes in India

"Mosquitoes in India"Imagine this; you are out to explore the beautiful landscapes of India when one morning you wake up with very high temperature. Sick in a foreign land and looking for a doctor can be quite a drag. What could have caused this you think and the next moment you hear the buzzing sound of a mosquito. Mosquitoes can really get you down to that point but there are various ways to avoid that. Malaria and other nasty diseases are carried by these tiny creatures. Here are a few tips for avoiding mosquitoes in India; to help ensure yourself an itch and bite free stay!

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Auto Rickshaw in India

"Auto Rickshaw in India"

Source: Wikimedia Commons

To explore any city in India one must be aware of the various modes of commutation that are available at hand. In most cities in India you would find the local state transport buses, hired cabs while in addition to these Mumbai has the option for local trains and Kolkata has the Trams. However, the one mode of transport that is vital across most of India is the auto rickshaw. In fact, in cities and towns across the country the black-yellow or the green-yellow rickshaws are the backbone of city transport. The seating capacity of a normal rickshaw is 4, including driver. There are also six-seater rickshaws in certain towns and cities. Normally their fare rates are controlled by government. Read More…

Pickpockets in India, How to be Careful

"Pickpockets in India"Imagine yourself walking up to the counter at McDonald’s looking at the menu with you hungry eyes, you order your hearts out and are ready to gorge on burgers and fries but hold on a second. You need to pay the fellow behind the counter before that; but horrors of horrors you cannot find your wallet! It’s gone and along with it the credit cards, driver’s license and more! The pickpocket has robbed you off the joy of the burgers and more!

How would you get it back? Lodge a complaint at the police station you would think. Well that could hardly be of any use as the person who performed the little magic trick on you may have long disappeared into the crowded streets and also because you may have a jam packed itinerary!
Want to avoid the above situation then read on! Read More…

Beggars in India

A woman carrying a baby, seemingly sick and sound asleep, running around begging for food or money in the scorching sun is a common sight in India. Heart rendering isn’t it? The first reaction would always be to hand out any food or money available to give some sort of comfort to the child. But hold on a second and read through before acting on the very basic human instinct.

Beggars in India is a reality

"Beggars in India"

Source: ruffin_ready's on flickr

There is more to begging and beggars in India than meets the eye. Poverty is a sad reality about the country. It is a conundrum that is deep rooted and in spite of the efforts made by the Government and the Non Government Organisations (NGOs), it will take considerable time to phase out. The beggars are just one of the by-products of this mess.

Now there may be some who are genuine and forced to beg out of compulsion. But more often than not there are well organized gangs who run begging rackets. Yes unbelievable but true there are big syndicates whose sole source of income is begging. For them begging is the easy way to earn money and they do it by playing on the sympathy of the unsuspecting tourist or passerby. Read More…