Travel Category

Unlock the Secrets of Wellness at the Ayurveda Resorts in India

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Wellness tourism is on the rise with more and more people seeking to travel for health and wellness. India caters to tourists from far ends of the globe with wellness retreats, holidays and experiences. Wellness tours refers to travelling wherein activities planned for health and well-being are on top priority. These include spa treatments, meditation, Yoga, Ayurveda and luxury activities. Ayurveda is the ancient science of health & wellness dating to the Vedic Era, almost 5000 years back

India’s vast and diverse landscape makes the ideal destination for a spa holiday, with a wealth of specialist and traditional Ayurveda spa centers and some extraordinary luxury accommodation options. Stay by peaceful Kerala backwaters, sunny beaches, in the foothills of the Himalayas or follow the footsteps of the Maharajas in sumptuous historic palaces.

Take a look at a comprehensive collection of some of the best Ayurveda Resorts in India. Make the most of your Ayurveda, Wellness and Yoga holidays in India.

  1. Ananda in the Himalayas, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Situated on a forested hillside along the River Ganga, Ananda in the Himalayas is an ultimate spa getaway in India. Built in the former palace estate of the Maharaja of Tehri-Gahrwal, the 100-acre luxury resort is a luxurious refuge from the cacophony of everyday life.

Wake up to yoga classes based on the principles of the Bihar School of Yoga, snooze under the trees on the tranquil lawns, and tuck into healthy meals. There are complimentary cooking classes on offer. The award-winning 24,000 sq. ft. spa is one of the best spas in the world and not just India. With over 80 body and treatments both Indian and Western traditions, this is the ultimate wellness getaway. Sessions in alternative healing like reiki, chakra balancing and crystals are also available. For those who do want to leave the resort’s cocoon for Rishikesh, Ananda can arrange for white-water rafting, nature trails and wildlife safaris, and a view of the Ganga aarti.

Getting There: Ananda in the Himalayas is 32 km/1 hr from Dehradun airport, and 18 km/33 min from Rishikesh railway station.

  1. Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort, Pallakad, Kerala

Nestled at the foothills of the Western Ghats in ‘God’s Own Country’ Kerala, The Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort is one of the best wellness centres in the world. Featured among top 10 in Asia & top 50 in the world by National Geographic Traveler, the Ayurveda resort is settled on 50 acres of lush greenery in Palakkad. The refuge for weary souls to be pampered by Ayurveda, the health resort unlocks many secrets of wellness.

The health resort is a complete Ayurvedic healing village. Built adhering to Vaastu Shastra, the retreat grows herbs and trees which have immense curative & restorative powers. In addition of its eco-friendly features, the resort has many 5-star amenities for the utmost comfort of guests. Everything about the resort is soothing as it follows the concept of “Return to Nature”. Besides customized Ayurveda therapies, the health resort also offers Yoga, Meditation, Astrology, palmistry, nutrition, therapy, spiritual training and traditional Indian rituals (pujas).

Getting There: Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort is 60 km/ 2hr from Coimbatore Airport.

  1. Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort, Kovalam, Kerala

Overlooking the blue Arabian Sea, set atop a hill, Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort is a haven of authentic and traditional Ayurveda. Set amid 15 acres of beautiful tropical gardens, the resort enjoys views of endless blue of the sky and the sea. Classy amenities have been properly soothing bliss that unlocks many secrets of wellness.

A getaway from the mad hustle-bustle of the city, Somatheeram pampers with superb Ayurvedic facilities, yoga classes and meditation programmes. Ayurveda is the soul and essence of Somatheeram, as each and every treatment is practiced in the traditional way since its inception. Treatments in the Ayurveda centre includes Panchakarma / Detoxification / Body purification, Rejuvenation therapy, Stress management, Beauty care and various customized packages. Yoga and meditation are added delights of the resort.

Getting There: Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort is 15 km/ ½ hr from Trivandrum Airport and Railway Station.

  1. SwaSwara, Gokarna (near Goa)

SwaSwara is named from the Sanskrit words for “self” and “sound”. The soothing beach Ayurveda resort is set on 26-acres of natural bliss. Enveloped by the melody of the waves and refreshing breeze from the sea, the property is a soulful retreat. Fully dedicated for healing and recuperation with Ayurveda, yoga, meditation and other natural therapies. The Ayurvedic wellness retreat rejuvenates the body, mind and soul.

Start the day with sunrise yoga classes. Indulge in pampering massages as part of the treatment prescribed by an Ayurvedic doctor. Meditation sessions, walks on the nearby Om beach, pottery and art classes make your holiday healing and harmonious. The resort also arranges hiking, boating, and kayaking excursions. SwaSwara is one of the leading names for spa holidays in India.

Getting There: SwaSwara is 159km/ 3.5 hrs from Dabolim airport, and 14km/22min from Gokarna Road Railway Station.

  1. Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom, Kerala

Settled on the banks of the Lake Vembanad, overlooking the beautiful backwaters of Kerala, The Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom is among the best luxury Ayurveda resorts in India. Like its name the resort is surrounded by coconut groves and is accessible only by boat. The ethereal setting is the reason it knows the secrets of wellness and shares with its guests.

The eco-friendly resort has won several awards and is among the best in the wellness industry. Besides the scenic views, soothing massages and therapies, mouth-watering food and a pleasant experience. The Ayurveda centre offers customized treatments as prescribed by Ayurveda practitioners. The therapies include everything from beauty to rejuvenation and stress-management and cure for many maladies, all based on India's ancient healing art of Ayurveda. Bird watching tours, houseboat rides, canoe rides, village visit and more also enhance the wellness vacation.

Getting There: Coconut Lagoon is 58 km/1.5 hrs from Cochin Airport and 15 kms/ 25 min from Kottayam Railway Station.

  1. Spice Village Resort , Thekkady, Kerala

Like its name suggests, The Spice Village Resort is set literally in the midst of a spice plantation in Kerala. Located on the borders of the Periyar National Park in Thekkady, it is a complete wellness getaway in India. The Ayurveda resort is fragrant with the many spices Kerala is so well-known for. The entire property is modelled on the native dwellings which takes you back to the heart of natural bliss. The spices grown in the property are also a part of Ayurveda treatments. The laid-back and homely setting is blissful and the main reason why this is one of the most popular wellness destinations in India. Besides Ayurveda treatments, there is yoga and meditation, nature walks, delicious therapeutic food and so much more.  

Getting There: Spice Village Resort is 162 km/4.5 hrs from Cochin Airport and 108 kms/ 3.5 hours from Kottayam Railway Station.

  1. Shreyas Retreat in Bengaluru, Karnataka

Set on a lush 25-acre property on the outskirts of Bengaluru, Shreyas Retrat is a healing wellness centre. With 20 guests at one time, it is quite and calming. The ultimate getaway from the hustle-bustle of the city, this one is special place to escape from schedules and recuperate in natural bliss. Each of the cottages have tented canopies in the garden and beside the infinity pool (the latter is wheelchair-accessible).

The blissful features includes sessions of ashtanga and hatha yoga, meditation, chanting and massage. Other amenities includes gym, cricket nets, swimming pool, heated outdoor Jacuzzi, lush gardens and delightful vegetarian meals, with ingredients grown in the organic vegetable garden.

Getting There: Shreyas Retreat is 33km/1hr from Bengaluru airport, and 35km/1hr from Bengaluru City Junction railway station.


Experience Royal Hospitality At The Taj Palace Hotels In India

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Palaces in India are an indispensable part of Indian history, heritage, and culture. The Taj Group of Hotels has earned the reputation of transforming some of India’s royal palaces to some of the best luxury hotels in the world. Each of the palaces epitomizes royalty, luxury & elegance. A stay at the palace hotels in India is an experience of a lifetime. Revel in royal comforts, dine like kings, get pampered with some of the most revitalizing Ayurveda & Spa treatments and enjoy amazing experiences.

Take a look at the list of five most gorgeous Taj Palace Hotels across India.

1. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

The very vision of bliss, the Taj Lake Palace is one of the most celebrated luxury hotels in the world. The white-marble 18th-century palace lies in the middle of Lake Pichola with the beautiful Aravali hills in the backdrop. The property features open-air courtyards, lotus ponds, tree-shaded pool and breath-taking views from every nook and corner.

Built as a royal summer retreat, this heritage hotel has 65 luxurious rooms and 18 grand suites. The décor boast of traditional carved wooden furniture and royal interiors. The signature speciality restaurants at this palace serve a choice of cuisines. Pampering awaits at the Jiva Spa, with a spa boat experience like no other as well as specially-crafted Ayurveda treatments. The tradition of grand soirees and formal levees hosted by the royal family of Udaipur continue till today. The most romantic of hotels in the world, it is the ideal venue for fairy-tale weddings and magical honeymoons.

2. Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

Taj Rambagh Palace

A royal palace of the princely state of Jaipur, the Rambagh Palace is a jewel of Rajasthan. Built in the year 1835, the opulent palace has served as a residence to the queen’s favorite handmaiden and later to the King and Queen before it was passed to the Taj Group to be developed as their luxury heritage hotel. The stunning masterpiece of Indian architecture envelops traditional hospitality, pampering comforts and the experience of royalty.

Settled amidst the lush Mughal gardens, the palace hotel has 78 opulent rooms & suites steeped in royal splendor. Step into the world of royalty with exquisite antiques, rich tapestries and paintings. Exclusive butlers assist with introduction to the historic palace, arrange private dinners, shopping trips and excursions in Jaipur. The Jiva Grande Spa offers traditional Indian rejuvenation therapies and other pampering sessions. Making a stay at Rambagh all the more special are customized rides in old Pontiac (1939), Ford (1936), Plymoth (1937) and vintage horse-drawn carriage.

3. Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad

A testimony to the splendor of Nizams, Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad is luxurious property, one of the best hotels in the world. The grand palace features a royal 19th-century experience, enjoying the privilege of the famed Nizam’s hospitality. Known as the ‘palace in the clouds” Falaknuma towers over the city of Hyderabad.

The lavish palace hotel has 60 unique rooms & suites furnished in royal elegance. The heritage hotel boats of beautifully crafted objects from all over the world, lush gardens, interesting heritage walks, pleasures of rare manuscripts treasured in the magnificent oak-paneled palace library which is a replica of the library at Windsor Castle. Dinners at Taj Falaknuma is a treat for your taste buds with cuisines personally conceived by the Nizam. The palace promises a royal time, right from arrival in the hotel in a horse-drawn carriage to farewell from the lavish palace.

4. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

Umaid Bhawan Palace

A stunning masterpiece of Indian architecture and a magnificent piece of Rajasthan’s heritage, Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the best palace hotels in India. Home to erstwhile Jodhpur royal family and currently the world’s sixth-largest private residence, the royal palace is perched high above the desert city of Jodhpur. The palace offers its guests a taste of royal living, once only available to kings and queens.

The contemporary palace hotel is an extravagant property of the Taj group. The hotel interiors are embellished in art deco style, equipped with modern conveniences. A special feature is their Champagne Museum Walk, where the guests can admire the finest collection of Victorian and Edwardian antiques with a glass of the most expensive champagnes. The hotel offers specialized dining experiences & romantic settings with spectacular views from balconies & terraces. Do not miss a ride in the vintage horse-driven carriage at the Umaid Bhawan Palace.

 


Divulge into the secrets of the Walled City of Jaipur

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The royal capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur, globally known as the ‘Pink City’ has recently joined the elite UNESCO World Heritage list. One of the most popular places to visit in India, the regal city of Jaipur has for decades lured visitors from all over the globe with its opulence. Magnificent architecture, rich traditions, royal hospitality, Jaipur has so much to offer. Indulge in sightseeing, royal stay, a superlative shopping experience and more. Definitely a delight for those interested in Indian heritage, Jaipur has been one of the most popular places to visit in India. In fact, it is a part of the most-sought travel itinerary of India, the Golden Triangle Tour.

Besides a display of royal palaces, mighty forts, culture and heritage, there is fabulous food, fairs, and festivals, arts and crafts, music and dance and many treasures to explore. The city remains in welcoming spirit mode for the better part of the year except for a few summer months. Here is a Jaipur Travel Guide that will certainly assist you in planning a wonderful holiday in Jaipur.

Jaipur Walled City

The secrets of the Walled City

The 18th century walled city of Jaipur is one of the most glamorous testament of the era of Rajputs and the unique elegance of Rajasthan. Jaipur was conceptualised after studying the urban planning of several European cities. For the first time in Indian history, a blueprint was made, which brought to life India’s first aesthetic well-planned city. However, it was the vision of the Maharaja Jai Singh II and his business acumen and scientific temperament. Giving fruition to his vision was the architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya. The city was designed on the concepts of Shilpa Shashtra and Vastu Shashtra to ensure a lot of natural sunshine and breeze in residential and commercial establishments.

Jaipur city architecture

Spectacular arched pols (gates), located at seven entry points lead to a well-laid city in a geometric grid of streets cutting each other at right angles. The layout is such that every corner of the city gets adequate air and light. The water conservation and management system, drainage system, and the organisation of town space as different functional units was well thought of.

The three chaupars (squares) with temples of Hindu goddesses were established as settlements of priests, warriors, and a business hub. The entire city was divided into nine squares or chaukri, dedicated to nine planets. The jharokhas, and lattice work decorate the buildings. The city was painted in pink by Maharaja Ram Singh in 1876 to honour the visit of the Prince of Wales. The cultural significance of the city is the major reason for Jaipur’s entry to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Wonders of the ‘Pink City’

Jaipur comes with an extensive list of places to see, things to do and the most of all many cherished experiences.

City Palace Jaipur

The first among the places to visit in Jaipur is the City Palace, home to the rulers of Jaipur from the first half of the 18th century is an amalgamation of Rajput and Mughal architecture. It has a museum housing royal artefacts. The extravagantly decorated Chandra Mahal is closed for public but even the entrance to this palace is as gorgeous as the rest of the sprawling palace complex.

The UNESCO heritage site of Jantar Mantar (Observatory), built during 1728-1734, shows the founder-Jai Singh II's keen interest in astronomy. It is well-preserved and has 19 astronomical instruments that resemble large sculptures used to calculate time, the position of stars and the Sun, and to predict natural phenomena.

Hawa Mahal

The iconic Hawa Mahal or the palace of winds, erected by Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 is another iconic landmark in Jaipur. The projected windows, balconies and perforated screen with ornate pink façade makes it the most photographed places among tourists. The palace was built for royal ladies to observe the lively street scenes below unnoticed.

One outstanding feature of the walled city is that numerous temples co-exist with mosques. Even the shops in the markets in the walled city have been numbered and marked according to the city planning.

Beyond the Walled City

The seven-storied Jal Mahal that remains partly submerged, giving an illusion of a floating palace. Built in mid-18th century, it hosted duck-shooting events by the royalty. Nowadays, birdwatchers throng the lakeside as they present sighting of 84 species, including 72 species of migratory birds.

Drive a little further to visit the three elegant forts of Jaipur- Amber, Jaigarh and Nahargarh. The UNESCO heritage site of Amber Fort was built by Man Singh I in 1592 on a high hillock. Ride up on an elephant to the yellow-sandstone fortress or hike while enjoying the views. Sheesh Mahal here is a must-visit. Another highlight is the Light and Sound show in the evening. The nearby Jaigarh Fort is said to be connected to Amber through a secret passage. The fortress is home to the world’s largest cannon on wheels- a 50-tonne Jaivana, only fired once. Armouries, museums and photo-session opportunities make it worth visiting.

The rich legacy of royal Rajasthan is treasured in Jaipur’s museums. The majestic Indo-Saracenic architecture of Albert Hall Museum (1876), The Gems and Jewellery Museum, and the Doll Museum are worth visiting. The Jawahar Kala Kendra and Birla Auditorium host art and craft exhibitions and performing arts.

Other tourist attractions in Jaipur are the 18th century terraced-garden of Sisodiya Rani Ka Bagh, the Vidyadhar Garden set in the foothills of Moti Doongri Palace, Galta ji Ka Temple with its hot spring, Samode Garden and Sanganer- famous for block printed cotton, handmade paper, and blue pottery.

Shop till you drop

Shopping in Jaipur

It was the foresight of Sawai Jai Singh II that Jaipur city was developed as a commercial hub. Traders and investments were invited from far and wide, from Bengal to Iran, and were granted housing facilities. A thriving trade in jewellery, gemstones, handicrafts, artillery, and marble flourished in due course of time. Shopping in the Pink City is one of the most amazing things to do in Jaipur.

Each lane being dedicated to one business or crafts and named after the economic activity. The colourful markets are a treasure trove of traditional textiles and crafts. An array of traditional embroidery, tie and dye fabric, gems and jewellery, blankets, camel skin bags and belts, blue pottery, Rajasthani puppets, eatables are among the things to buy in Jaipur.

Festivals

Celebrated with great fervour are the grand processions of Teej and Gangaur. Diwali when the entire walled city is lit up, and Holi with a touch of royal traditions are the popular festivals in Jaipur.

Apart from religious festivals, Jaipur is popular for its art and culture, dance, music, theatre, food and literary festivals. The Jaipur Literature Festival is the most popular event that attracts renowned litterateurs from around the world. Other popular festivals and events include Jaipur Diwas, International Film Festival, and the Kite Festival.

Gastronomic delights

Rajasthani thali

Jaipur city has earned a reputation for its mouth-watering food. Chokhi Dhani offers a taste of rural cuisine while hip cafés offer farm-to-table experience of global food. Trendy cafes, bars with hookah, live music, and rooftop restaurants spoil you for choice.

Splurge on traditional royal recipes with a visit to the heritage Suvarna Mahal Restaurant at Taj Rambagh Palace or 1135 AD in Amber Fort.

The street food offers savouries and sweets in the maze of lanes. The hot mirch ka pakoda (chilli fritters), delicious pyaz ki kachori, spicy samosas, etc. are must-haves. Those with a sweet tooth have savory options of delectable paneer ghevar, rabdi and laddoos. The quintessential Rajasthani favourite dal-bati-choorma could be had at most traditional eating places.

Where to Stay?

Jaipur offer accommodation options in all categories and to suit all budgets. Heritage hotels in Jaipur steal the show when you think of where to stay. The Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, Oberoi Rajvilas, Jai Mahal Palace, Samode Haveli, Alsisar Haveli and Shahpura House are among the most popular options to stay in Jaipur.

Taj Rambagh Palace

The happening Pink City of Jaipur is among those places that every traveller to India must definitely visit !


Are E-Tourist Visas / Visa-on-Arrival Attracting More Tourists To India?

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Over 1000% growth! Whoa! Sounds unbelievable! But it's true that the number of foreign tourists coming to India on e-tourist visas has jumped by over 1000% in 2019.

These numbers are evidence to the success story of e-Tourist Visas in India.  Ever since the launch of the e-visa facility by the Indian government, there has been no looking back and the Ministry of Tourism has been continuously recording a sharp increase in tourists' number visiting India. Are e-tourist visas/visa-on-arrival attracting more tourists to India? See, the numbers bespeak its bemusing success story!

Tourist visa on arrival

With the launch of the e-tourist visas, the dynamics of tourism in India have changed drastically. It has emerged as a game-changer by bringing up new growth equations in the tourism arena.

According to a Press Information Bureau (PIB) report, a total of 445,300 tourists visited India on e-tourist visas during January-December 2015 as compared to 39,046 during January-December 2014. This was a phenomenal growth of 1040.4% in tourists' number entering India on e-visas.

The month of December 2015 had 1,03,617 tourists visiting India on e-tourist visas as compared to 14,083 during December 2014, recording a growth of 635.8%.
In January 2016, 88,162 tourists arrived in India on e-tourist visa as compared to 25,023 during the same month last year, registering a growth of 252.3%.

Visa on arrival in India

Similarly, in February 2016, a total of 1,17, 210 tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 24,985 during February 2015, registering a growth of 369.1 per cent.

UK stood on top to avail the e-tourist visa facility to visit India, followed by the USA, Russia, Australia and Germany. The New Delhi Airport grabbed the maximum share of tourists arriving and leaving the country on e-tourist visas in 2015, followed by the Mumbai Airport and the Goa Airport.

Family holiday in UK

It was on November 27, 2014 when the Indian Government had introduced the TVoA, enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), presently known as e-Tourist Visa scheme.

At initial stage, the ETA enabled TVoA scheme was limited to 43 countries, however, later, it was extended to 113 countries, enabling a large number of international tourists to take advantage of the facility. Recently, 37 more countries were added to the list to take the final number to 150.

Presently, the tourist travelling to India with an e-visa is allowed to enter and depart from 16 international airports in the country. However, at the time of launch of the facility, it was limited to 9 international airports in 9 cities of the country.

The e-tourist visa fee structure has also been revised with effect from 3rd November, 2015. The 113 countries that can avail the e-tourist visa facilities have been divided into four groups where each group has to pay a different rate. Even the bank charges are reduced now for the e-tourist visa fees.

These initiatives have helped to increase the number of tourists travelling to India.

The new system has really made things easier for tourists! While they can apply for a visa online without having to visit the Indian embassy, they will can also receive an email authorising them to travel to India when their visa application gets approved. This notification can then be presented to immigration authorities at one of 16 Indian airports, allowing the visitor to obtain a visa-on-arrival. The ETA remains valid for 30 days from the date of approval.

It will be valid for entry at the following 16 airports: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum, and Varanasi.

Looking at the spectacular rise in tourist numbers, it seems that eTourist Visa would help tourism in India attain newer heights.

As more people become net-savvy, there is a high possibility that the number of tourists visiting India with e-visas will grow many times in the coming years. Also the government has permitted to issue an E-Tourist Visa twice in a calendar year increasing the possibility of attaining higher foreign tourists’ number.

So let’s keep the fingers crossed and wait and watch to see the ETA scheme smashing old records by registering higher growth in the number of foreign travellers visiting India!

The countries eligible for an E-Tourist Visa!

Countries eligible for visa on arrival

Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Island, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Turks and Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Author Bio: Archana Sharma is freelance writer who is passionate about her profession. Travelling is something which excites her. She has been in the creative field for over 15 years and has been writing for print media and digital media.


90% Foreign Travellers Visit India Just To Explore the Indian Culture – Why So?

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Indian culture and its cultural sites have been on travellers' mind since time immemorial! Tourists from across the globe have been flocking to India to see and feel the mysterious cultural element in this holy land. Around 90% of foreign travellers visit India to explore the melting pot of its cultural diversity. This diversity exists in different forms such as history, archaeology, music, festivals, dance, etc!

The vibrancy of cultural diversity is at its epitome in states like Kerala, Rajasthan, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. While Uttarakhand basks in the light of culture and spiritual tourism, Tamil Nadu sheds light on Dravid tradition and culture. Cities like Varanasi, Allahabad, Vrindavan, and Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh encapsulates beautiful vignettes of India, attracting a large number of foreign tourists. Taj Mahal in Agra, one among seven wonders of the world, mesmerizes tourists with its majestic beauty.

Rajasthan is yet another state on top of foreign tourists’ minds. This state has been exhibiting its rich culture via its royal and majestic monuments and traditional festivals. Different fairs and festivals have also been singing the cultural saga of India. Pushkar Fair, Taj Mahotsav, and Suraj Kund Mela are a few to be named here which have marked their presence on international charts for exhibiting Indian culture.

Hence, it won’t be wrong to say that cultural tourism is the predominant factor behind India’s meteoric rise in the tourism segment. Let’s look at the important parameters of Indian culture that have been wooing tourists to this country…

1. Archaeology: The historical and archaeological monuments in India are the assets which have been attracting the biggest chunk of international tourists. These monuments reflect the influence of different rulers, and take the tourists back to an era of kings and queens.

Hampi-UNESCO World Heritage Site

2. Music: The synchronisation of rhythm with musical instruments has been mesmerising all since ages. From a variety of folk music to classical notes, Indian music comes with a wide range of traditions and regional styles. North Indian Hindustani, South Indian Carnatic traditions and their various forms of regional folk music are always soothing to ears and eventually foreign travellers have also fallen in love with these melodies.

Traditional & folk music in India

3. Festivals: Festivals form the heart and soul of India. While most of them have a religious origin, there are many others that are celebrated irrespective of caste and creed. Some of the most popular festivals in India are Diwali, Ugadi, Pongal, Holi, Onam, Vijayadashami, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Christmas, Buddha Jayanti, and Vaisakhi.

Holi Festival in India

4. Dance: Dances in India have come a long way from the ancient classical or temple dance to folk and modern styles. Indian folk dances such as Bhangra, Bihu, Ghumura Dance, Sambalpuri, Chhau, Garba and special dances in regional festivals have a high-speed rhythm and vibrancy Foreign travellers could also be seen shaking their legs on foot-tapping beats of folk songs in different states.

Classical dance in India

5. Art and Craft: Indian art and craft is yet another area where foreign tourists have a keen interest! Art and culture in India are classified into specific periods where each period is reflected in the form of a particular religious, political and cultural development. From ancient period (3500 BCE-1200 CE) to Islamic ascendancy (1192-1757), colonial period (1757–1947) to Independent and the postcolonial period (Post-1947), the Indian art and craft reflect the rich culture which evolved and progressed under different eras.

Arts & Crafts in India

6. Pilgrimage: India has been thronged by travellers from across the world to explore spirituality. Varanasi, Bodhgaya, Mathura, Vrindavan etc are places where tourists visit in high number seeking spiritual solace.

Pilgrimage in India

7. Cuisines: The Indian cuisine also symbolises the rich cultural diversity. While Lucknow and Hyderabad are known for the relishing Nawabi dishes, the cities in Rajasthan have also earned fame by serving the royal Daal baatis and choorma. Similarly, North India cities have its own delicious variety of cuisine and Kolkata in the East has made a mark with its yummy delicious sweets. South Indian food too has made its own distinguished identity with wada sambhar, idli sambhar and masala dosa!

Indian Cuisines

8. Clothing: The traditional attire in India changes as one travels from one state to another. Clothing is influenced immensely by local culture, geography and climate. While katha work has made a mark in Gujarat, the colorful bandhej sarees and dupattas have won a million hearts of tourists here. Phulkari work in Punjab and Haryana has also garnered the interest of foreign travellers.

9. Multiple religions: Many religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism were founded in India. This, yet again, brought diversity in culture and the different religious influences have made India a very popular destination!

10. History: The rich history of India has also made it culturally rich! The country was ruled by different rulers such as Rajputs, Mughals, English and Portuguese. And, it is due to the influence of different dynasties that the heritage and culture of India have become exhaustive and vibrant. 

 

Author Bio: Archana Sharma is freelance writer who is passionate about her profession. Travelling is something that excites her. She has been in the creative field for over 15 years and has been writing for print media and digital media.