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

Devanahalli Fort

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.’

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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.

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Humayun’s Tomb

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 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”.

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The Rani Sati Temple and Arrival in Mandawa

by Marie McCarthy

The main attraction at Jhunjhunu is the beautiful Rani Sati Temple. The center of the main building is five stories with three-storied wings on each sides, all colonnaded. The building is painted pale green. The temple is behind another gateway within the complex and looks like a mansion. Typical of so many places in India, there was a garbage dump next to the parking area, just across the road from the temple, where bony holy cows and skinny dogs nosed through the refuse, looking for something edible.

"Rani Sati Temple"
Rani Sati Temple in Jhunjhunu

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Visiting places in Hyderabad

Hyderabad is fondly referred to as the city of Nawabs and sometimes also as the city of Pearls as till the 20th century it probably was the only global center for large diamonds. Hyderabad is also famous as the birthplace of Tollywood besides hosting a thriving IT industry. But probably the most distinctive aspect of this historical city is that it is the only city in South India with a distinctly North Indian culture. This makes Hyderabad a veritable treasure house of amazing buildings and great food – and me like a kid in a candy store.

"Mecca Masjid Hyderabad"
Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad India

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Poor people in India

India is already Asia’s third largest economy by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It’s the second fastest growing country in the world after China. It’s one of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, which optimists think, are rated to become world’s leading economies in the coming decades. Consumer surveys repeatedly talk of upbeat Indians, who are hopeful of the future. The country is young, and that adds more potential to its growth curve. Its dynamic software industry and huge internal market add to its attractiveness as a place to do business. Combined, all this presents a very rosy picture of India. However, this is only a part of the story.

"Poor people in India"
India houses some of the poorest people in the world

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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

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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

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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.

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