What do Indians wear?

India is a diverse country with different cultures and religions. The customs followed by Indian people vary across length and breadth of the country. Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, and Christianity, are some of the major religions people believe and follow. Not only the religion affects the way people think, live and dress but also the region or the state they belong to has great influence.

What do Indian women wear?

Traditionally the dress for Indian women devoid of caste, creed and culture is sari. Sari (saree) is a four to nine yard unstitched garment draped in different styles and worn on an upper stitched garment called choli/blouse. Here’s how to wear the sari.

"Indian women sari"
Indian women wearing the sari

Read more…

What to buy in India?

India is a shopper’s paradise. India has one of the most dynamic retail industries in the entire world. For the shopaholic, it might be difficult in controlling the demon inside them.

When you visit India, there are a number of things you could buy to take home. However there are limitations of what you can actually take back home on your baggage allowance. Here is a compilation of the things that you could buy when you are in India at really cheap prices.

Remember that the currency in India is the Indian rupee coded INR which stands for “Indian National Rupee”. It is also called the “Rupaya or Rupya” in Hindi. The rupee is divided into 100 paisas.

"What to buy in India"
Indian handicrafts

Read more…

Tourist places in East India

Bodh Gaya Temple in Bihar
Bodh Gaya Temple in Bihar

Typically the states Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal are referred to as Eastern India; whereas Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh are referred to as North East India. But in a broader sense all these eleven states together form the Eastern part of India. This article will highlight the most popular destinations in East Indian states of Bihar, Orrisa, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Eastern India demonstrates the cultural riches, historical structures, Buddhist sites of importance, Hindu and Jain temples and the beauties of Indian wild life.

Places to visit in Eastern India:

Bihar

It is well known as the land of Lord Buddha. Ganges, the mother of all rivers in India flows along the state. India’s most powerful empires originated from Bihar such as the Mauryas, the Guptas and the Palas all ruled and built their dynasties in Bihar.

Patna is the capital city of Bihar. This was also the capital of ancient India – Pataliputra. If you are visiting Patna then you must not miss on these attractions – Hanuman Mandir, Khuda Baksh Oriental Library, Patna Museum, Kumhrar, Qila house, Gandhi Setu, Golghar, etc. Read, introduction to Bihar for further information.

Read more…

Jantar Mantar observatory

Jantar Mantar is the name of a series of astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II during the early 18th century in five cities, which included: Jaipur, Mathura, New Delhi, Ujjain and Varanasi. The most spectacular and largest of them is the Jaipur Jantar Mantar. It’s also the only one to have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It’s the best preserved of the four (the one in Mathura no longer exists), in part due to the extensive efforts of a British officer and an amateur astronomer Major Arthur Garrett. Currently the Archaeological Survey of India oversees the preservation of these magnificent instruments. The Jantar Mantars in New Delhi and Jaipur are a major tourist attraction.

"Jantar Mantar Jaipur"
Jantar Mantar in Jaipur

Read more…

Ladakh: Visit The Paradise

Ladakh means “Land of high passes” and lies in the extreme far flung corners of north of India. Near the Indus valley lies the historic city of Leh, capital of Ladakh. Leh is the only city in Ladakh which has decent population count and offers you some basic amenities. Ladakh is surrounded by Kunlun Mountains in the north and The Great Himalayas in the south. It’s the one of the most picturesque but uninhabited place in India.

Read more…

101 travel tips to India

Delhi Street Food

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 will forget from the moment they step off the plane. Here is a compilation of travel guide and travel tips for India that you need to know before you make your trip to India. But mind you, these travel to India tips is not the complete list. Bookmark this page for more tips on India from me!

Read more…

Beware of child abduction in India

"Madeleine Mccann"
Madeleine Mccann

India is a fun place but if your child is kidnapped all the fizz would just disappear from your life forever. If you happen to travel to India, you need to be careful with your children and keep an eye on them.

As a parent myself, I need to tell you about the child kidnapping industry in India. Tourists and Indian residents alike are venerable to child kidnapping. Although something like this can happen anywhere in the world as in the case of Madeleine Mccann. Madeleine Mccann was abducted by an unknown person on the evening of 3 May 2007 while holidaying with her parents in the Algarve of Portugal and has still not been found. Similarly, as a parent you too need to take utmost care of your child when holidaying in India.

Read more…

Lotus Temple – Must see Bahai Temple

"Lotus Temple New Delhi"

In a country of more than a billion people where close to 70% people are Hindus and nearly 28% adhere to Islam, the Bahá’í form only a small community, less than five million. Despite their small numbers, the followers of this one of the newest religions in the world have built one of the largest temples in the world which due to its magnificent architectural design has compelled many to term it as “the Taj [Mahal] of modern India.” Officially known as the Bahai House of Worship, this structure in New Delhi is more famous as the Lotus Temple or the Bahai Temple, because of its partly-opened Lotus shaped praying hall. It’s one of the six major Bahai houses of worship in the world. The other five are in Apia, Western Samoa; Sydney, Australia; Kampala, Uganda; Panama City, Panama; Frankfurt, Germany and Wilmette, USA.

Read more…

Heritage hotels in India

The word luxury brings in different meaning to different people. It might mean indulgence, relaxation, comfort, sumptuous or enjoyment. When you are in India the luxury should definitely mean Royal experience similar to what you will get to the Maharaja Express. India has a rich history of Royal lifestyle with numerous kings ruling the country for hundreds of years. They have left behind a rich heritage to experience.

The palaces that are part of Indian luxury till date are something that you will defiantly not find in any other parts of the world. You can welcome yourself to India as a royal ambassador and give yourself the palatial treat by opting to stay in these heritage hotels. That is the reason I suggest you to experience the luxury of Indian Heritage hotels when it comes to choosing luxury hotels in India.

"Heritage hotels in India"
Taj Lake Palace in the middle of Lake Pichola

Read more…

Are cabs in Delhi safe for tourists?

hire auto rickshaw in india
"Autorickshaws"
Auto-rickshaws at Connaught Place, New Delhi. Source: Prolix6x’s photostream

Delhi is a big city. It’s home to more than 18 million people. More than 5.18 million foreign tourists came to India in 2010. (Annual Report 2012-11, Ministry of Tourism) A large proportion of those tourists first land in the capital and from there set off to explore this vast land. According to another report titled ‘Tourism survey in the State of Delhi,’ about 1.8 million foreign tourists and more than 21 million domestic tourists come to see the splendid capital each year. A large number of those tourists hire taxis or cabs to move around the city. Unfortunately, a small proportion of them become victims to impostors pretending as taxi drivers. This makes tourists uneasy and quite soon all taxis are regarded as driven by crooks. While it’s understandable why this happens, it’s not wise to put them all in the same category.

In this article, we will have a balanced look at the current situation and you will also read how you can stay safe while still enjoying your visit to this wonderful city in a taxi.

Read more…

On the Way to Jhujhunu

"Travels in India"On the Way to Jhujhunu by Marie McCarthy

In March of 2011, I made my first trip to India. I was not a backpacking, college aged woman. Rather, I was in my last decade of work before retirement. Adventure is not just for the young. Sometimes you’re better able to appreciate things when you have a few more years of life experience under your belt.

As I nearly always travel alone, I had engaged the services of an Indian based travel agency, which had an itinerary of Rajasthan which covered all the places I wanted to visit plus a few I hadn’t heard of. I was traveling in a private car with a driver, which I thought would be prudent for my first visit. I could stop or change the itinerary as I wished, and my driver would not only keep me out of trouble, but he would be my personal ambassador. I could ask him anything and everything I wanted to know about life in India, the people and the culture.

Having been invited by Shalu to share some of my travel stories here on ShaluSharma.com, here is the first one, an excerpt from my recently published book.

* * *

Read more…

Visiting the capital of India, Delhi

Parathe-wali Gali in Old Delhi

Delhi is a wonderful city with a fascinating history and a promising future. It’s a city of contrasts, where the old and the new exist simultaneously. It is the place where important decisions are made and what direction this nation of a billion people should take is discussed everyday. Despite having only a fraction of the area of Australia, it has a population comparable to that vast continent-size country. In terms of money, it’s one of the richest cities in India. However, unlike many other big cities, it has managed to preserve its heritage while keeping in pace with the rest of the world.

Map of Delhi

History of Delhi

There is archaeological evidence to suggest people were inhabiting in Delhi as long ago as third millennium BC. There are signs of urban dwellings going back to 6th century BC. From 12th century to until the arrival of the British in 17th century, it was one of the most powerful cities in the world. The English moved the capital to Calcutta (Kolkata). They later changed the capital to Delhi and since then it’s remained the seat of most powerful men and women in South Asia.

Read more…

How to wear a saree

"rani mukherjee saree"If you ever wondered what the women of India wear, then the answer is the traditional sari (saree). Majority of the Indian women wear it. Sari or Saree is worn in many different styles in India. The styles are either culture specific or region specific. A few styles are –

Nivi style and Kaccha nivi style– It is commonly worn in Andrapradesh where the pallu hangs on the left shoulder. There is slightly different form of Nivi called Kaccha Nivi where the pleats are passed through the legs and tucked back in the waist.

Read more…

Places to visit in Delhi

How can anyone describe Delhi, the 5000 year old capital city of the world’s largest democracy? Some call it the city of extremes; extreme weathers, from clean areas to congested ones, to open roads to chocking traffic, posh areas to poverty stricken. Whatever it may be, Delhi is best known as ‘Dillee Dilwalo ki’ which means ‘Delhi belongs to large hearted people’. Delhi, the capital India is the largest metropolis by area in India. It is also the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population. The city is also the one of the most historical capitals in the world and has a rich and numerous tourist sites.

The city can be divided into Old Delhi and New Delhi. Old Delhi represents the history of India with mosques, forts and other monuments. New Delhi is the seat of government and houses the government buildings and embassies.

Read more…