Travel Category

Beauty of Brewing- Tea tourism in India


The world celebrates the International Tea Day on the 21st of May, and what better place to celebrate it than India, which has Tea Estates in the East, in the South, as well as in Northern India, and is the second largest producer of Tea in the world.

If you love your morning Cuppa and cannot even think of starting your day without one, then engage your soul in exploring captivating and picturesque tea estates of India, which offer opportunities to explore the beautiful countryside and indulge in tea-related activities. Tea tasting in India is a unique experience that offers tourists the opportunity to explore the rich history and culture of tea in the country. The process of tea tasting is similar to that of wine tasting, where you can sample different varieties of tea, each with its distinct flavor, aroma, and appearance.  

From the rolling hills of Darjeeling to the sprawling tea estates of Munnar, India offers a wide range of unique and immersive tea tourism experiences, we have picked these top 5 tea destinations which provide a gateway to immerse you in the world of tea. Whether you're a tea connoisseur or simply seeking a tranquil retreat, these tea resorts and stays in India promise an unforgettable experience, surrounded by the beauty and flavors of the country's tea culture.

 Glenburn Tea Estate, nestled amidst the serene Himalayan foothills in Darjeeling, is a heaven for tea enthusiasts. Explore the tea estate, partake in tea plucking, witness the tea-making process, and indulge in tea tastings. The colonial-era bungalows provide a charming stay, and the breathtaking views of the Kanchenjunga range which add to the enchantment.

Mancotta Heritage Chang Bungalow, located on the outskirts of Dibrugarh, Assam is a classic example and an ideal representation of British lifestyle.  This working tea estate is 150 years old. When seen from afar, the bungalow seems to be floating over the tea bushes that surround it. Only when you get near will you find that it is supported on wooden stilts. Such bungalows are called the ‘Chang Bungalows or Chang Ghars,’ hence the name – Mancotta Heritage Chang Bungalow.

Wild Mahseer spread over 22 acres it is set in the midst of the Balipara division of Addabarie Tea Estate near Tezpur, which was established by the British Assam Tea Company in 1864. While staying right in the heart of Assam, a region famous for its black tea noted for its body, strong bright color and unique malty flavor, some may like to take this further and become initiated into the mystique of tea.

Lockhart Bungalow-CGH Earth is nestled within Munnar's famous Lockhart Tea Estate; this retreat resides on about 1,500 acres of tea plantations and is one of three colonial-era bungalows on the estate. The Lockhart Estate has a rich history. It originally cultivated cinchona, then transitioned to coffee, and finally to tea. Steeped in history, it's the perfect place for those seeking an escape from the present.

The Lodge at WAH Located in the North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, in the foot hills of the Dauladhar range of the Himalayas, The Lodge at WAH is a real gold trove for tea lovers. WAH has its history way back from 1857, and is now the largest Tea Estate and factory in this region, with 526 acres of plantation and a state of the art Tea Factory.

So, if you love your daily “CUPPA”, make India your next holiday destination.

Authored by: Richa Shandilya, Trans India Holidays

Kerala among TIME Magazine’s top 50 world destinations to explore


Time magazine has chosen Kerala among 50 ‘extraordinary destinations’ across the globe to explore in 2022. Kerala is ranked ninth in the ‘World’s Greatest Places 2022’ list as an ‘eco-tourism hot spot’. “With spectacular beaches and lush backwaters, temples and palaces, it’s known as ‘God’s own country for good reason.”

Tucked in South India, between the lush Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, Kerala is one among the best travel experiences India has to offer. Nicknamed “God’s Own Country”, the land is blessed with hill stations, backwaters, beaches, tea gardens, wildlife sanctuaries, quaint villages and multi-ethnic towns. The blissful experiences offered by Kerala tours is cherished by families, couples on honeymoon, adventure enthusiasts, solo backpackers, spiritual seekers and everyone seeking a vacation to cherish.

So, what does the land have, that is believed to be a heaven on earth? Here’s why this is one haven that is perfect for holidays in India. The land has abundance of natural beauty that includes lush hills dotted with waterfalls, tea gardens and spice plantations, azure backwaters, scenic shores and verdant jungles. Besides, there is the mouth-watering cuisine, adventure sports, relaxing Ayurveda breaks and spiritual quests that make Kerala tour packages worthwhile. While you are planning the ultimate post-COVID vacation in Kerala, here are the best places to cover.

Home to scenic backwater tours, Alleppey is one of the best tourist places in Kerala. The picturesque network of lakes, rivers, and lagoons is described as the Venice of the East. Exploring the backwaters is best enjoyed on houseboats. Cruise on the traditional houseboat of the romantic backwaters making it a memorable experience. Houseboats in Kerala offer overnight journeys while enjoying amenities like lavish rooms, attached washrooms, on-board food and more.
Must-visit places: St. Andrews Church, Chettikulangara Bhagawathy Temple and Punnamada Lake. The annual Snake Boat Races are the popular attraction of Alleppey.

Cochin is without doubt one of the most popular tourist destinations to visit in Kerala. Known as the “Queen of Arabian Sea”, the port city is a well-known for its heritage and multi-ethnic culture. The gateway to Kerala, the city has many ancient forts, palaces, churches, museums, restaurants, heritage walks and so much more. The charming sites, the colourful culture, cuisine, and experiences make every visit incredible.
Must-visit places: Santa Cruz Basilica, Hill Palace, Mattancherry Palace, Fort Kochi and Marine Drive

Nestled in the lap of the Western Ghats, Munnar is among the most beautiful hill towns in India. Hills covered in mist, roaring waterfalls, lush green tea estates, dense forests, rare wildlife, natural bliss as far as the eye can see, Munnar is the retreat to rest your weary souls. Be it adventure or relaxation, the hill town is an epitome of wanderlust.
Must-visit places: Anamudi Peak, Kuthumkal Waterfalls, Echo Point, Observatory Hills and Power House Waterfalls

One of the most popular beach destinations in India, Kovalam lies close to Kerala's capital. The meaning of Kovalam is the ‘grove of coconut trees’. Blessed with palm-fringed shores, the town is home to a number of beach resorts and spa therapy centers. A popular tourist destination, Kovalam is a haven for beach lovers, watersport-enthusiasts, honeymoon couples and everyone seeking respite from daily lives.

Must-visit places: Hawah Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Samudra Beach, Vellayani Lake, Halcyon Castle and Kovalam Art Gallery

Home to the famous backwaters of Kerala, Kumarakom is a pleasant town nestled on the banks of Vembanad Lake. This stretch of the backwaters are a haven for birds’ especially migratory ones. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a birdwatcher’s paradise where one can spot birds in their natural habitat. The soothing weather, swaying palms, mangrove trees, paddy farms and lagoons. Savor houseboat tours and pampering Ayurveda massages along with activities like sightseeing, canoeing and fishing.
Must-visit places: Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Pathiramanal, Bay Island Driftwood Museum and Chavara Bhavan


Last but definitely not the least, Thekkady is one of the best tourist destinations in Kerala to be included in your itinerary. The Periyar National Park is the star attraction along with tea, coffee and spice plantations. Explore the lush greenery, stay at the jungle resorts of Periyar. Wildlife safaris in Periyar include exploring herds of elephants, tigers, langurs and the species of the animal. Thekkady also offers the chance to enjoy an array of rare Indian spices.
Must-visit places: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Periyar Lake.

Palace on Wheels to be back on tracks by September


India’s famous luxury train, Palace on Wheels, will be back on the tracks by September. As per the reports, the luxury train was not operational for the past two years due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, as the situation seems to be gradually improving, the RTDC is now planning to get it back on track.

As for the luxury train, RTDC in association with Indian Railways has been operating it since 1982. If reports are to go by, this train has been inspired by the personal coaches of erstwhile rulers, and features all enhanced facilities amid a heritage backdrop. Every coach features several chambers, whereas each chamber is further decorated with furniture and details in accordance with local heritage.

It covers the most important destinations in India that includes Delhi, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Agra.

Free entry to national heritage monuments in India till August 15


India is celebrating its 75th Independence Day on August 15, 2022. Also occasionally referred to as a Diamond Jubilee, a 75th year celebration is a big one and India is leaving no stones unturned to make this celebration as great as possible.

One way to celebrate the grand 75th year of Independence is by paying a visit to as many national monuments as possible. And this can be done for free from August 5-15 as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Govt. of India, has announced that entry to all monuments protected under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will be completely for free, as a part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav campaign.

No fee will be charged at any of the ticketed ASI protected monuments as well as Archaeological Site museums. This is not just for domestic tourists but for visitors from all over the world as well. There are a total of 3,693 monuments under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Out of these, there are 116 ticketed monuments and 32 museums under the protection of ASI. Monuments including the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb, Safdarjung Tomb, Tughlaqabad Fort, Old Fort (Purana Qila), Red Fort, Jantar Mantar, Konark Sun Temple, Golconda Fort, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Charminar, Shaniwar Wada, are some of the many monuments that are also very popular tourist attractions.

Foreign tourists might get GST refund for local shopping In India


Good news for shopaholics! Very soon, the Indian government will kick-start a pilot project for the repayment of goods and services tax or the GST paid by international tourists coming to India as part of a decision to execute a step that is there in the law.

Regarding the GST, it’s the Integrated GST Act that was enacted five years ago, and provides for refund on goods, which are to be taken out of the county by a tourist, who is not a resident of India, and has been in the country for not more than 6 months for non-immigrant purposes.

If reports are to go by, most countries follow a system of GST or VAT refund for tourists for consumption outside the country, as taxes are typically not exported, which is a principle followed in duty-free shops at airports as well.

Referring to this, government sources added that with the GST regime settling down, the Centre is in the process of setting up the said pilot, which will initially involve outlets, such as the Cottage Industries Emporium and, based on the experience, it will be expanded.

With regard to this, tax experts are of the view that several changes will be required to implement the said plan and that it will take time. To start with, even for a pilot, the rules to operationalise the project will need to be put in place, whereas the invoicing system will also require updating, which will likely require tweaking the GST Network architecture.
Experts added that the system needs to be foolproof to make sure there is no potential misuse. The machinery provisions to enable foreign tourists to claim a refund of the GST paid on eligible purchases of goods, should be drafted very carefully to ensure that there is no misuse of the provisions, while foreign tourists get a quick refund on their eligible purchases without too much paperwork, stated a professional in the know-how.