The Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar

Located in the south of Delhi, this magnificent red sandstone building called Qutub Minar (Qutb Minar) is still the tallest tower in India, more than 800 years after its foundations were laid by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler to successfully establish an Islamic dynasty in India. It’s widely believed Qutab-ud-din issued orders to build this historic monument after defeating the Rajputs. Though the original tower was built as early as 1202 AD, it would be Qutab-ud-din’s successors who would add more storeys to it, make it taller and still more impressive. This splendid piece of architecture is the most popular tourist spot in India, attracting millions of tourists each year.

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Have your shoes polished in India

Shoe repair in India

When you are out and about in the markets of India, don’t be put off by those who come and approach you and offer you to polish your shoes. Its part and parcel of the Indian experience! You might feel a little intimidated about the situation but these shoe polishers (or shoe shiners or boot polishers – whatever you like to call them) are actually trying to make a living. They are not begging or trying to con you, they are simply offering a service which you will not get anywhere in the western world.

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Hindi help words and phrases with audio for your travels to India

Essential hindi words and phrases for travelers to India paperback

Here are some useful Hindi help related words and phrases that you might wish to memorise in case you need them in India. Remember these are Hindi words, so if you are travelling in the South of India particularly in the state of Kerala and Tamil Nadu; there is limited scope that they will understand them. But if you are travelling in North, Central and the Deccan areas of India (limited), you will be understood (covering large sections of India).

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Places to Visit in Delhi Ebook

Humayun's Tomb

Most visitors to India will probably land in Delhi – the capital of India. It is here that they will spend considerable amount of time site-seeing. Many would take day trips to Agra to see the Taj Mahal and spend a few days exploring Rajasthan particularly Jaipur and then coming back to Delhi before flying back to their own country. I personally think this is an excellent idea. So why not make the most of the stay in Delhi. 

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Tourist places in North India

Himachal Pradesh

North India has some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. This article will go though the best tourist places North India has to offer. Those who love India food will really enjoy this part of India. There are plenty of things to try. Read more articles on Indian food here. North India is also that part of India where you have the opportunity to make a trip to the Golden Triangle that includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The 7 prominent states of India together make North India include Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

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Rape in Delhi by a taxi driver

How safe is Delhi

Sadly another rape case has been reported in Delhi. This time it was a female passenger going back home from a party on a Friday night.  In this particular case, the rape was committed by Shiv Kumar Yadav, a 32 year taxi old driver. I have been reading news about this story and it seems that this man was a sexual predator and terrorised local women. By the time he was 21 years old, he was already molesting women and had several cases registered against him for assaults, rape and carrying firearms.

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Ice in your drink – think again

Ice in India

Take a look at the picture below and see if you can guess what those blocks are. If you have guessed it, well and good but if you haven’t then let me tell you! They are blocks of ice. These blocks of ice seem to have been frozen in some large container and thrown outside and destined to end up on a drink stall like a lassi bar or probably waiting to be delivered to a restaurant or a bar.

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Interview with Rob Cubbon from Thailand

Rob Cubbon during the Loi krathong celebrations

I would like to introduce my friend Rob Cubbon who is a graphic designer, an author, an internet marketer and a website designer. He’s from London but is currently visiting Thailand and is posting some amazing pictures on Facebook. I had a set of questions about his travels to Thailand and he was kind enough to answer them.

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My new book “India Travel Health Guide: Health Advice and Tips for Travelers to India”

India Travel Health Guide: Health Advice and Tips for Travelers to India

I am happy to announce my new book called “India Travel Health Guide: Health Advice and Tips for Travelers to India”.

Most of the time, a traveler to India will be fine if they have their travel jabs sorted out and if they take a little bit of precaution. But there are other risks such as rabies, insects, dengue fever, and so on that could be an issue for some. This book has all the health advice for traveling to India one will ever need, it even has a section on celiacs. In addition, the book also details what to eat, how to cope with traveler’s diarrhea, how to cope with air pollution, guide on street food, avoiding quacks or fake doctors, has a guide on restaurants, about India’s garbage problem and so on. I have also included essential health words, phrases and sentences in Hindi that might come in handy if required.

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Try chewing paan in India

Chewing Paan in India

If you are the adventurous type and love trying things to eat then I highly recommend trying chewing the “paan” in India especially if you consume tobacco. Some people would laugh at the sight of a westerner chewing the paan but it is something that you must experience.  You find little stalls on the roadside everywhere so you can’t escape it. There are different types of paan in India so I will go through what exactly paan is and which ones you should try?

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Burning dead bodies at the city of Varanasi

Hindu Cremation Banaras

The city of Varanasi or Banaras (or Kashi) as most Indians know it, is one of the holiest cities of India. It is here you will find Hinduism in its raw form. Many foreign tourists visit Banaras in large numbers to seek of spirituality. I have spent large parts of my childhood growing up in Banaras. I have seen tourists come to this place from all over India and the world. Indians come here to bathe in the holy river Ganges while foreign tourists come here to get to know about the Hindu religion. Some foreign tourists come here just to consume marijuana, one of the few places in India where you can drink bhang lassi (shake) on the streets.

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Guide to Diwali – The Indian festival of lights

Rangoli

If you are in India right now then you are going to see the best fireworks you have ever seen. Every single household in India will be lighting clay lamps and cracking fireworks. Here’s a brief guide to the festival of Diwali.

Diwali (also known as Deepavali) as it is known to the world is the Hindu festival of lights. It is a five day festival but the most important is the day when fireworks are displayed. Generally, it falls between mid October to early November every year. The 2014 Diwali falls on the Thursday 23rd of October. The date is dictated by the Indian lunar calendar. Many a times it coincides with Guy Fawkes Night (5th of November) of Great Britain.

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How to travel to India?

Kerala backwaters houseboat

If you are considering travelling to India but didn’t know how then keep on reading. First, let me congratulate you for considering visiting India. I think it’s an excellent choice and I am sure you will not be disappointed. You might find the country a little crowded and perhaps a little hot if you are coming to India during the summers but all in all, it’s a great choice and there is always something to do and fascinating to see. If you are considering India, then this is right time to come. India has the best weather between the months of November and March. Although it can get cold in some parts of India but generally the climate is suited for those coming from the West.

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Durga Puja in india

Durga Idols

We just had India’s most widely celebrated Hindu festival called the Durga Puja. If you were in India then you would have seen the festivities. Devotees install stages for the worship of the Goddess called “pandals” on the streets and market places – an absolute delight. Durga Puja is a festival that marks the victory of the Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. The festival also signifies the coming of autumn. The 10th day is called “Vijayadashami” or “Dussehra”. The festival lasts about 9 nights and 10 days (called Navratri) and is an annual holiday in India. On the 10th day, the idols of Durga are carried out in grand procession and immersed in the river. On this day, Lord Ram also killed the demon “Ravana” who had abducted his wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. An effigy of Ravana is burnt on the day of Vijayadashami.

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