Pangong Tso Lake

Pangong Tso: Lake that extends from Ladakh (India) to Tibet
Pangong Tso: Lake that extends from Ladakh (India) to Tibet

Pangong Tso is a lake of breathtaking beauty in Ladakh, lying just about 160 km from Leh. A nearly 5 hour drive from Leh is a wonderful journey in itself, which first passes through huge monasteries and then a vast expanse of endless mountain range and finally cuts through the Changla Pass- the third highest pass in the world which has access to motor vehicles.

About Pangong Tso Lake

Pagong Tso means long, narrow, enchanted lake in the Tibetan language. It is situated at the height of about 4,350m, and measures nearly 134 km in length, though, at its widest it is just 5 km. Despite the fact that the lake is full of brackish water, it freezes to a depth of several meters in winter season. The lake changes in color during the day, appearing deepest hues of blue when the sun is high, a turquoise shade near the bank and deeper hues in the middle of the lake. It loses its shades and turns dull as the day progresses with the sun moves towards the horizon.

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Types of ghosts and haunted places in India

Real Ghost And Paranormal Stories From India

If you happen to be one of those people who are believers of the paranormal then why not come to India to explore some of the haunted places India has to offer. India is a nation of believer of gods, demi-gods and at the same breath they are quick to accept that ghosts (called bhoot in Hindi), demons, witches, the possessed and the un-dead exist side by side. Before I tell you some of the most haunted places, here are some of the types of ghosts Indians believe in and you’ll expect to find. They are different to the ones found in the West such goblins, monsters, demons or zombies.

1920 Evil Returns
1920 Evil Returns

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Complete guide to Mysore city

Ranganathaswamy Temple Mysore

Mysore, locally known as Mysuru was the prominent city of Karnataka prior to Bangalore. This mystical and mythological city derives its name from the buffalo headed demon Mahishasur who is known to have been slain atop the Chamundi Hills by Goddess Chamundeshwari, an avatar of Parvati. The 10 day dussehra festival is organized every year to celebrate this victory of the good over the evil. The city can boast of its rich past given to it generously by the dynasty of the Wodeyars, which has created such an appealing charm about the city that it can enthrall tourists even to this day.

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State of Bihar – Places of interest and tourist attractions

I am happy to talk about my own state of Bihar. The more I learn about this state, the more I fall in love with it. The history of this great state to Bihar is essentially the history of ancient India. Its capital, Patna (ancient Patliputra) built by Ajatashatru in 490 B.C. as a small fort later became the capital of Magadha that stretched from Eastern India to Afghanistan. It was from here that the mighty Indian empires such as the Nandas, Mauryans, Sungas, Guptas and Palas used Patliputra as their capital. During the reign of famous Indian king called “Ashoka the Great”, the city became one of the biggest cities of the world. It was the Afghan king, Sher Shah Suri who made Patliputra the capital of his empire and changed its name to what is called “Patna” today.

Bihar is well known as the land of monasteries, which is well evident from its name itself, which is derivation of the word “Vihara”. The serendipity of the state offers a pleasant escape from the humdrum monotony of city life. The temples, monasteries, mosques, and mausoleums of Bihar boast of a great historic past, which are related to the all major religions of India like Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism Sikhism and Islam. The holy river Ganga flows wide and deep through the enriched plains of Bihar, and passes through the middle of the state from west to east. The other important rivers of the state are Kosi and Gandak which flow from the north, and river Sone which flows from the south join the Ganga.

Nalanda University Ruins
Nalanda University Ruins

The crowning glory of the state is its cherished linkage to the ‘Light of Asia’ Lord Buddha. The state boasts of special tourist attraction known as the Buddhist circuit, which is linked to the trail of the pilgrimage undertaken by Lord Buddha. The special circuit begins at Patna, the capital city, where you can view the exclusive Buddhist sculptures and the terracotta urns that contains ashes of Lord Lord Buddha at Patna museum. The trail then passes through Vaishali, Nalanda, Rajgir, Hills of Gridhrakuta and finally Bodh Gaya. All these places have special connection to the life of Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira.

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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

Red Fort Delhi India

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).

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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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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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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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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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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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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

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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.

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