Assam (North East State of India)
The state of Assam is situated in the north east, just below the eastern Himalayan foothills and it is surrounded by the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya, which together with Assam are known collectively as the seven sisters. Assam also shares international borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh.
The capital of Assam is at Dispur, in the suburbs of the Guwahati city. Assam comprises of Brahmaputra River and the Barak river valleys, the karbi Anglong and the North Cashar Hills. With as area of 78,438 square kilometers, it equivalent to the size of Ireland or Austria. Assam tea is very popular world over and it is also a producer of high quality silk, called pat and Muga. Assam is a major supplier of oil and natural gas in India and it also has rich biodiversity. Kaziranga and Manas National parks, both a World Heritage Sites are located in Assam.
Goa (city of beaches)
Goa is located on the western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan Goa, a tiny emerald land on the west coast of India, a place of sun, sand and sea squeezed between the seas and the lush forested hills. It offers glistening sands, swaying cononut palms, and ultra fresh seafood. With its natural scenic beauty, abundant greenery, attractive beaches and temples, churches and even mosques with a distinctive style of architecture, colorful and lively feasts, festivals and above all hospitable people with a rich cultural milieu, has an ideal tourist profile.
Amazing legends of heroism and romance still resound from its equally amazing architecture, which still stands to narrate its tale of a bygone era. The magic of Rajasthan is unequalled in the world for its heritage, culture, safaris, sand dunes and lush green forest with its wildlife. Rajasthan is often expressed as huge open-air museum with relic so well preserved for the travelers and the curious of the day. The history of India dates back almost five thousand years and Rajasthan plays a crucial and unique role, especially with regard to the development of Indian culture. Its impressive story reaches through a heroic past. Its extravagant splashes of bright hues against the desert landscape and the purity of its dry and sandy reaches, the miniature elegance of its small villages and impeccably maintained forts brings alive the story of the yore.
Agra (City of Taj Mahal)
Agra is elegant, well paced and comprehensive in its beauty and grandeur. Adorned by the emphatic beauty of the Taj Mahal and enduringly stylish in its ambience, Agra is culturally, religiously and geographically the epicenter of Mughal history and its opulence. The city's history can be traced back to the very roots of Hinduism in India but it was sikander Lodhi in 1501AD, who consolidated his empire by building a fort and laying out the city of Agra. After the reign of the Babar and a line of other Mughal rulers like Humayan and Akbar, Agra became a prominent part of the Mughal culture that has bent to many winds yet remained deeply rooted. The city receives international acclaim mainly by the Taj Mahal built by Shah Jahan in memory of his wife.
Agra is still a hugely important artery in almost every travel itinerary in India. For many a trip to Agra is an implausible history class or a crash course in culture and religion of an era that still manages to impress us. The city allows easy ramblings amid beautiful building and medieval monuments like the Agra fort, Sikandra, Itmad-ud-Daulah's tomb, Fatehpur sikri and one of the most importantly, the Jaj Mahal.
Kerala (God' own country)
The lush and serene state of Kerala is one the favorite tourist destinations of India. Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. From the Malabar Coast and its impressive network of rivers, canals and lakes that from the backwaters, the long stretch of palm trees leads up to verdant hills covered with tea and spice plantations. Cochin, documented since Roman times is the oldest European settlement in India. From the quaint Jewish quarter to the bustling spice bazaars it has a seamless blend of diverse architectural and religious influences.
Kerala backwaters are the backbone of rural existence in this region. To experience this reality of life on backwaters a cruise along the backwaters on your own private houseboat is the best choice.
You can witness daily village life unfolding before you with woman washing their clothes and fisherman casting their nets as small boys swim alongside your boat shouting excitedly. Undoubtedly kerala is also very famous for its plantations of Tea, Coffee, Cardamom, pepper and many other aromatic plants. Apart from, there are also forested valleys and wildlife reserves. When you speak about Ayurveda the first name that strikes in most peoples mind is Kerala. It is the harmony of body, mind and soul. Ayurveda in Kerala has roots in the history, geography and culture of this land.
In a nutshell Kerala is a state of unparalleled natural beauty, enriched by ancient art forms such as Kalaripayatt (martial art), kathakli, Theyyam dancing and a seductive Cuisine that will redefine your concepts of Indian food. Kerala is rated by National Geographic traveler as one of world top 50 must see destination.
Gujrat (city of cultures and festivals)
Gujart is as ancient city which was founded by Raja Bachhan pal in 460 BC according to General Cunningham the British historian. Historical consensus is that it existed in the time of Alexander the Great and that the city's Raja Porus put up a fierce challenge to Alexander's invasion at the bank of the Jehlum River. The establishment of Gujrat city was realized early in the 1900 century after the British Empire and in support of regional land lords.
West Bengal - The city of Joy
West Bengal covers the bottleneck of India in the east, stretching from Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south. It is bounded on the north by Sikkim and Bhutan, on the east by Assam and Bengladesh. On the south by the Bay of Bengal and on the west by Orissa and Bihar. It has therefore, there international frontiers-to the north, east and west, west Bengal is rich in flora and fauna and has a diverse ecosystem because of its varying terrain from the high altitudes to the sea level plains. Protected forests cover 4% of the state area. There are 15 wildlife sanctuaries, 5 National Parks and 2 Tiger Reserves. The sunderban, in south Bengal, is home to the famous Tiger project - a conservatory effort to save the Bengal tigers from extinction.
Planned by Edwin Lutyens, a leading 20th century British architect, New Delhi is known for its wide, tree lined boulevards and houses numerous national institutions and landmarks as well.
At the heart of the city is the magnificent president house which sat atop Raisina Hill. The Rajpath also known as king's way, stretched from the India Gate to the president house. The sectaries which houses various ministries of the Government of India, flanked out of the president house. The parliament house is located at the sansad Marg, which runs parallel to the Rajpath.
Attractions in New Delhi
The magnificent Akshardham Temple in Delhi has been constructed under the patronage of the Bochasanvasi A. Swami Narayan Sanstha (BAPS) and was inaugurated of November 7th 2005. The inaugural ceremony was attended by past president APJ Abdul Kalam and the temple was formally inaugurated by Pramukh Swami maharaj built on the banks of the serene River Yamuna and lies over a sprawling 100 acres of lush manicured lawns adorned with water fountains and carved pavilions. A whopping 2 billion was spent on the construction of this grand place of worship that took about 2 years to build.
India Gate is situated on Rajpath, New Delhi and was previously called the ' All India War Memorial. In order to memorialize the departed War heroes of World War 1st, it was built by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The Gate was completed in 1931 and the names of the soldiers who died are inscribed on its walls. In 1971 a flame was ignited under the gate and it has been burning ever since calling itself the Amar Jawan Jyoti which means the flame of the immortal soldier. There is also a cenotaph in the middle which marks the sacrifices of the brave soldiers. The India Gate is 42 m tall and this is one of the most important monuments in India built out of love and respect for the heroes who sacrificed for the lives of others.
Masjid - Jahan Numa commonly known as Jama Masjid is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding twenty - five thousand worshippers and is one of the best known mosques in India. The mosque stands in one of the busiest and popular street in old Delhi called Chandni Chowk. It was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan who built Taj Mahal and was completed in the year 1658. The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40m - high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. The mosque also houses several relics in a closet in the north gate including a copy of the Qur'an written on deer skin.
One of the most spectacular pieces of Mughal Architecture is the Lal Quila of the Red Fort. Built by the Mughal Emperor (Shah Jahan between 1638 and 1648 ) the Red Fort has walls extending up to 2 km. In length with the height varying from 18m on the river side to 33m on the city side.
The entry to this splendid fort is from the Lahori Gate or the Chatta Chowk. Lal Quila is now a busy market place called the Meena Bazaar. The Fort sports all the obvious trappings befitting a vital centre of Mughal governance: halls of public and private audiences domed and arched marble palaces, plush private apartments, a mosque and elaborately designed gardens. Even today, the Fort remains an impressive testimony to Mughal Grandeur, despite being attacked by the Persian Emperor Nadir Shah in 1739, and by the British soldiers during the war of independence in 1857.
Two weeks holiday in Nepal with Mission Eco-Trek
My wife and I took a 2 week tour in Nepal with Mission Eco-Trek in Feb 2011 and had a fantastic time. Mission Eco-Trek provided the very highest caliber guides and Ram Kumar (the proprietor) personally made sure that everything went smoothly. When storms caused our original flights to be cancelled and then cancelled for a second time, he graciously accommodated our changes at no extra cost. The cost was reasonable and the services provided were exceptional -even beyond what we had expected from the contract....
Kevin & Jacque
New York, USA