Travel Category

14 Tiger Reserves in India accredited with Global Conservation Assured Standards

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India is rich in wildlife and a blessed home to Tigers. From India, 14 tiger reserves have received the accreditation of the Global Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS). The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) recognized the ‘BaghRakshaks’ for their efforts in protecting Tigers and forests. 

Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS) has been agreed upon as an accreditation tool by the global coalition of Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) and has been developed by tiger and protected area experts. Officially launched in 2013, it sets minimum standards for effective management of target species and encourages assessment of these standards in relevant conservation areas. CA|TS is a set of criteria which allows tiger sites to check if their management will lead to successful tiger conservation.  The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) recognized the ‘BaghRakshaks’ for their efforts in protecting Tigers and forests.

The 14 tiger reserves of India that have received prestigious global accreditation from CA|TS are:

  • Mudumalai and Anamalai Tiger Reserves, Tamil Nadu

 

  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka

Bandipur National Park

  • Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Kerala

 

  • Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal

Sundarbans National Park

  • Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Uttar Pradesh
  • Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar
  • Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra

 

  • Satpura, Kanha and Panna Tiger Reserves, Madhya Pradesh

 

Tiger conservation in India took off as a major activity under Project Tiger in 1973. A tiger census conducted in 1972 (tiger hunting was banned in 1970) estimated there were 1,827 tigers in the country against an estimated 40,000 at the turn of the 20th century. The Wildlife Protection Act also came into force in 1972. According to the 2018 tiger census, there is an estimated 2,967 tigers in India, of which 2,461 tigers have been photographed through camera traps. Guinness World Records (in 2020) has also recognised the camera trap survey as the largest such wildlife survey undertaken.

It is well established that tigers are an ‘umbrella species’, and by focusing on tiger conservation, the forest they live in is also protected to the highest standards, with all the faunal and floral species benefiting from it too.

The Indian tiger reserves recognised under CA|TS are also part of the tourism circuit of the states they belong to. Although winter is the most convenient time to visit these tiger reserves, peak summer is the best time when the chance of meeting the magnificent beast is more. Most of these reserves have well-defined tourist zones, accessible with special permits.


14 Tiger Reserves in India accredited with Global Conservation Assured Standards

by

India is rich in wildlife and a blessed home to Tigers. From India, 14 tiger reserves have received the accreditation of the Global Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS). The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) recognized the ‘BaghRakshaks’ for their efforts in protecting Tigers and forests. 

Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS) has been agreed upon as an accreditation tool by the global coalition of Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) and has been developed by tiger and protected area experts. Officially launched in 2013, it sets minimum standards for effective management of target species and encourages assessment of these standards in relevant conservation areas. CA|TS is a set of criteria which allows tiger sites to check if their management will lead to successful tiger conservation.  The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) recognized the ‘BaghRakshaks’ for their efforts in protecting Tigers and forests.

The 14 tiger reserves of India that have received prestigious global accreditation from CA|TS are:

  • Mudumalai and Anamalai Tiger Reserves, Tamil Nadu

 

  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka

Bandipur National Park

  • Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Kerala

 

  • Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal

Sundarbans National Park

  • Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Uttar Pradesh
  • Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar
  • Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra

 

  • Satpura, Kanha and Panna Tiger Reserves, Madhya Pradesh

 

Tiger conservation in India took off as a major activity under Project Tiger in 1973. A tiger census conducted in 1972 (tiger hunting was banned in 1970) estimated there were 1,827 tigers in the country against an estimated 40,000 at the turn of the 20th century. The Wildlife Protection Act also came into force in 1972. According to the 2018 tiger census, there is an estimated 2,967 tigers in India, of which 2,461 tigers have been photographed through camera traps. Guinness World Records (in 2020) has also recognised the camera trap survey as the largest such wildlife survey undertaken.

It is well established that tigers are an ‘umbrella species’, and by focusing on tiger conservation, the forest they live in is also protected to the highest standards, with all the faunal and floral species benefiting from it too.

The Indian tiger reserves recognised under CA|TS are also part of the tourism circuit of the states they belong to. Although winter is the most convenient time to visit these tiger reserves, peak summer is the best time when the chance of meeting the magnificent beast is more. Most of these reserves have well-defined tourist zones, accessible with special permits.


UNESCO recognized Creative Cities in India

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India is a kaleidoscope of colours and charms. It is home to cities bustling with creativity, culture and charisma. UNESCO recognizes cities for their creativity and tried to keep intact the traditions and culture. India has been part of the network of Creative Cities since 2015, featuring five cities in the network (Mumbai, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Varanasi and Chennai) across four themes. These cities are chosen for their cultural heritage that is unique.

There are five Indian cities in UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) as follows:

Jaipur -Crafts and Folk Arts (2015)

Jaipur Crafts and Folk Arts

Varanasi - Music (2015)

Varanasi

Varanasi city of Music

Chennai -  Music (2017)

Chennai City of Music

Mumbai – Film (2019)

Mumbai

Hyderabad – Gastronomy (2019)

Hyderabad Gastronomy


India’s 13 Gems on UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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India’s cultural legacy is thousands of years old. Its vast and diverse heritage comprise of not just monuments but traditions, rituals and way of life. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization makes effort to keep intact the cultural heriatge. It has an elite list of sites that 13 such gems of India that make its name on the UNESCO representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

Kutiyattam

Kutiyattam

A form of Sanskrit theatre practised in Kerala, Kutiyattam is synthesis of Sanskrit classicism and local traditions of Kerala. The theatrical production has unique characteristics that include neta abhinaya (eye expression) and hasta abhinaya (the language of gestures) are prominent. It is performed in theatres called Kuttampalams, which are located in Hindu temples.

The tradition of Vedic chanting 

Tradition of Vedic Chanting

The verses of the Vedas were traditionally chanted during sacred rituals and recited daily in Vedic communities. It is known for the rich content of its oral literature and the ingenious techniques employed by the Brahmin priests. Only 13 of the over one thousand Vedic recitation branches have survived. Four noted schools: Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Orissa are under threat

Ramlila 

Ramlila

 A theatrical prodcution of Ramayana, Ramlial is performed across northern India during the festival of Dussehra. The staging of the Ramayana is based on the Ramacharitmanas by Tulsidas. Most representative Ramlilas are those of Ayodhya, Ramnagar and Benares, Vrindavan, Almora, Sattna and Madhubani.

Ramman              ·       

It is a religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas. Performed every year in late April, in the honour of the tutelary god, Bhumiyal Devta at the twin villages of Saloor-Dungra in  Uttarakhand.It reflects the environmental, spiritual and cultural concept of the community

Mudiyettu

Mudiyettu      

It is a ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala  performed annually in ‘Bhagavati Kavus’, the temples of the goddess. It was performed in different villages along the rivers Chalakkudy Puzha, Periyar and Moovattupuzha. It performs the mythological tale of a battle between the goddess Kali and the demon Darika.

Kalbelia folk songs and dances

Kalbelia

Performed by kalbelia community of Rajasthan. Women dance replicating the movements of serpent. Men accompany them on the ”khanjari” percussion instrument and the ”poongi,” a woodwind instrument traditionally played to capture snakes. Special traditional dances are performed during Holi

Chauu Dance

Chauu Dance     

Performed in Eastern India, the dance enacts episodes from epics including the Mahabharata and Ramayana, local folklore and abstract themes. It has three distinct styles: Seraikella, Purulia and Mayurbhanj- the first two uses masks. Chhau dance is intimately connected to regional festivals, notably the spring festival Chaitra Parva.  Folk music played on reed pipes ”mohuri” and ”shehnai.”

Buddhist chanting of Ladakh

Buddhist Chanting of Ladakh

It is the recitation of sacred Buddhist texts by major sects viz. Nyngma, Kagyud, Shakya and Geluk.

Sankritana

 It is the ritual singing, dancing, the drumming of Manipur narrating the  lives and deeds of Lord Krishna.

Craft of the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru

Craft of the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru

Constitutes the traditional technique of manufacturing brass and copper utensils in Punjab. Metalwork defines Tathehara’s family and kinship structure, work ethic and status within the social hierarchy of the town.

Nowruz                ·       

Marks the Persian new year-celebrated on March 21st. The day is marked with a variety of rituals, ceremonies and other cultural events take place for a period of about two weeks.  Also celebrated in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

Yoga 

Yoga 

Yoga is an ancient Indian art of unifying the mind with body and soul for greater spiritual, mental and physical well-being. It consists of a series of poses, meditation, controlled breathing, word chanting and other techniques.

Kumbh Mela 

Kumbh Mela

The largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims on the earth. During the festival pilgrims bathe or take a dip in the Ganga River  It takes place every third year at one of the four places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik and Ujjain

 


The Best Budget Luxury Stays in India

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India is a welcoming country and has been for centuries. And, even in today’s era it is as hospitable as it was in the past. Travellers from all over the world are made to feel right at home in this incredible country. Making the country special is the fact that it has a wide range of options of stay. Be it the vibrant cities, tourist hotspots, scenic beaches, remote hill stations, offbeat places or any place you would like to explore in India, there are always options.

Luxury hotels in India

From 5-star hotels, heritage hotels, luxury properties and boutique hotels, guests have comfortable accommodations equipped with world-class amenities. And, even this wide variety the choices are very pocket-friendly. In fact seven of the world’s 10 cities with the least expensive five-star hotels are in India. This affordable luxury is one of the reasons India is a hot favorite among luxury-seeking travellers.

Here are the cities in India with the most affordable luxury stays.

Chennai

Luxury hotels in Chennai

Chennai is the least expensive city for a five-star stay in the world, the results declared, with the starting price of an upscale hotel room at GBP34/ INR3,530 per night. The city has some terrific business hotels, with several top-voted hotel restaurants at the Top Restaurant Awards. There’s lots to sightsee, and if you have more time on your hands, Chennai also has many sweet deals from farmstays to quick getaways.

The Best Options for stay in Chennai: Radha Regent, Taj Coromandel, The Leela, The Park

Bengaluru

Luxury hotels in Bengaluru

Bengaluru nabs the third spot. The baseline for a five-star stay is the same in both cities, and about Rs1,000 more than Chennai, at GBP41/ INR4,260. India’s IT hub has super business hotels of course, many top-voted restaurants. (Incidentally, ITC Windsor recently became the world’s first hotel to receive the LEED Zero Carbon Certification.) Plus for those getting out of the city, there are amazing homestays, wonderfully offbeat getaways nearby, and even more great stays to consider if other South Indian cities are on your itinerary.

The Best Options for stay in Bengaluru: Hotel Regaalis, Southern Star, Taj MG Road, The, Leela Palace, The Park, Villa Pottipatti

Agra

Agra comes in at number 4 on the list of the best budget luxury stays in India at GBP42/ INR4,360 per night. With the Taj Mahal in the neighbourhood, it’s a popular choice for a destination wedding of course though there’s plenty else to do too including restored Mughal gardens.

The Best Options for stay in Agra: The Park, Crystal Sarovar Premiere, Hotel Grand Imperial, Howard Plaza - The Fern, ITC Mughal, Jaypee Palace, Radissin Blu, Ramada, Royal Regent, Royal Residency, Taj Gateway. Tajview, Agra - IHCL SeleQtions, The Lalit, The Oberoi Amarvilas, Trident, Utkarsh Vilas

Kolkata

Kolkata makes its place on the list of luxury budget stays in India with an average tariff at GBP50/ INR5,200 per night. The City of Joy as it is called is east India's vibrant cultural hub. Home to exquiste architceture, arts, crafts, music 

The Best Options for stay in Kolkata: The Lalit Great Eastern Kolkata, The Oberoi Grand, The Park, The Peerless Inn

Delhi

The colorful capital city of Delhi is the fahas stellar hotel deals not to mention star restaurants and ample getaways: here’s a big fat hotel guide to road trips from the capital.

Mumbai comes in at #7 at GBP52/ INR5,400 per night. Visitors to India’s cultural capital are spoiled for choice when it comes to city hotels, superb restaurants and beautiful weekend resorts.

Jaipur

Luxury hotels in Jaipur

Jaipur is the eighth least expensive city for a plush stay at GBP56/ INR 5,800. Two of the city’s newest hotels made it to the 2021 Hot List. Both have excellent dining options, alongside the city’s more established eateries, and they’re only the latest in a slew of great hotels in Jaipur and Rajasthan (which has many lesser-known gems).