Namaste Friends, Its getting hotter and hotter in India and if it's a tan you're seeking, there's no better time to be visitng India's beach destinations.Check the latest in cruise offers. For those who prefer cooler temperatures and lots of greenery, our hill stations beckon. What's more, havinga fun holiday to Kerala and Traveling the Palace on Wheels heritage train through Rajasthan. Be sure that you have Travel Insurance when you go into your exciting holiday journey to be sure that you enjoy it to its full potential.
Sindhu Darshan Festival, as the name suggests, is a celebration of the River Sindhu, better known as the Indus, the river that gave India her name. As much a national integration program as a festival, it seeks to project the Sindhu as a symbol of multi-dimensional cultural identity and communal harmony. Whilst promoting tourism to the Ladakh area, this festival is also a symbolic salute to the brave soldiers of India who have fought impossible odds at Siachin, Kargil and other place. It showcases a kaleidoscope of Indian culture and an exciting array of performing arts.
Indian history dates back to 3000 BC. Excavations in Punjab and Gujarat reveal that the Indus Valley civilisation was a highly developed urban civilisation. In fact the two cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro, situated on two sides of the river Ravi , are known to have been built on a similar plan. But that only meant a new wave of urbanisation was taking place along the Ganges around 1500 BC. This has been recorded in the Rig Veda - the earliest known literary source composed in this period that sheds light on India 's past.
India has always been considered the land of spirituality. Though Hinduism continues to be the oldest religion in the country, India has been the birthplace of various religions like Bhuddism, Jainism, Sikhism and Sufism, and has always embraced new religions that other cultures brought into the country. It is considered a milestone in a person's life and a char dhams yatra - a visit to the holy sites at cardinal points of the country - a necessity for the regeneration of the spirit. These points lie across the subcontinent. In the north they are the snow-capped mountains of Badrinath, Kedarnath and Amarnath. In central India , one of the holiest places to visit is Benares, Prayaga ( Allahabad ) where the Kumbh Mela is held, and Mathura - the birth place of Lord Krishna. In the East lies Puri in Orissa famous for its Jagannath Temple and its Rath Yatra. In the South is Rameswaram and Kanya Kumari and in the west is Dwaraka - the kingdom of Lord Krishna . But these aren't all the places that the Hindus take a pilgrimage to. Places like Tirupati, Vaishnodevi, Shirdi, Shabrimala, Tajore and Madurai towns are famous for their temples and shrines.
If it's diving you're looking for, there are three main centers of diving in India: . Andaman and Nicobar group of islands in the Bay of Bengal . Lakshadweep group of islands in the Arabian sea . Goa on the mainland Every destination is completely unique in its own way, and they all have widely different dive conditions and marine life. While Lakshadweep has the clear blue lagoons of coral atolls, Andaman and Nicobar are volcanic islands surrounded by deep, undisturbed waters that have an astounding bio-diversity. The third destination Goa, has many exciting things to do, on land as well as in water.
Over the centuries India has been known for its architectural splendor, tremendous wealth, grandeur and majesty. And nowhere is it more evident than in the many royal forts, palaces homes and retreats that dot the country's landscape. It in these royal homes that one gets to see the ultimate in craftsmanship of Indian artists be it in stone, clay, leather, wood or ivory. In fact prior to Independence 40% of the subcontinent was ruled by royalty. In all there were 562 princely states ruled by maharajas and raos, walis and nizams who were known for their outrageous wealth and whimsical fancies. The aristocrats lost their kingdoms with Partition, and their perks when the government abolished their privy purses prompting them to find ways to maintain their lifestyles. Today, three decades later, much of India's royalty is determined to restore their lost glory and lifestyle and they are doing so by opening up their homes and palaces much to the delight of the new age traveler. Many royal palaces, forts, hunting lodges, retreats and havelis (mansions) are now being turned into heritage hotels and offer travellers an experience of royal living and the grandeur that comes with it.
While Rajasthan has some of the most splendid palaces others across the country are no less grand. Since most are heritage hotels, one can actually stay in many of them and enjoy the regal experience. Some of the best known palace hotels in Rajasthan include Jaipur's Rambagh, Laxminiwas and Samode palaces. Jodhpur has the spectacular Umaid Bhavan - a fantastic monument that incorporates the art deco architecture that was in vogue when the palace was built in the last century. A relatively new palace it was built as a part of a famine relief project. Udaipur has several beautiful palaces built by generations of royalty and the jewel among them is the Lake Palace built as a royal summer residence on an island. Even smaller, relatively unknown places in Rajasthan boast of pretty royal homes and you can be sure to find one where ever you go. An excellent example of a royal home and township is Fatehpur Sikri built by the Mughal emperor Akbar. Though it lies abandoned today, it is a fascinating piece of architecture and town planning complete with royal homes. In the western state of Gujarat , one of the most beautiful palaces is in Wankaner. Now a heritage hotel one can enjoy staying in the royal suites while checking out the Maharaja's fantastic collection of vintage cars, many of them made to order. In central India , Madhya Pradesh's many towns and cities have many beautiful places, hunting lodges, and jungle retreats such as Mandu, Orcha, and Shivpuri.