Travel Category

Explore Nature’s Best at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

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Haven for birds, the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary also known as Keoladeo National Park is one of the best places for wildlife safaris in India.  A UNESCO-recognized World Heritage, the natural paradise is located in Rajasthan. Its location, close to the capital, Delhi and on the route of the Golden Triangle Tour makes it one of the popular weekend getaways and holiday destinations.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Home to more than 366 species of birds, 379 species of plants, and around 30 mammals, the sanctuary is a wild haven. The bird population in the park includes species that migrate from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China, and Siberia only during winter. The native population as well as the migratory ones makes Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary an interesting getaway for bird watchers and wildlife photographers.

When making plans to explore nature’s best at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, here is your guide.

Best Time to Visit Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary can be visited all through the year but the best time to visit is from October to March.

Opening timings: 6 am – 6 pm (summers) | 6:30 am – 5 pm (winters)

History of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Keoladeo National Park, the present name of Bharatpur Sanctuary was formerly a duck shooting preserve of the Maharaja of Bharatpur. In the 1980s after seeing the diverse range of flora and fauna flourishing in the park, UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site. It is now a green haven for birds and animals.

Flora and Fauna of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Bharatpur is a blessed lush oasis in the middle of the crowded getaways of Agra and Jaipur. The semi-arid forest has significant vegetation of medium size trees and shrubs. Kadam, Jamun, and Babul trees cover the major area with small amount of Kandi and Ber. The park has an aquatic vegetation of the park is rich and suffices the food requirement for waterfowl.

Bharatpur Sanctuary is one of Asia’s finest birding areas, with over hundreds of resident and migrant birds. Once a duck-hunting reserve of the Maharajas, Keoladeo now sees a lot of birds such as cranes, pelicans, geese, ducks, eagles, hawks, shanks, stints, wagtails, warblers, wheatears, flycatchers, buntings, larks, and pipits.

The 29 sq km area of the bird sanctuary, Bharatpur is not just known for birds. It is also a great place to watch mammals like the golden jackal, jungle cat, nilgai, sambar, and wild boar. It’s a treat to watch them play, pounce and move around freely in their natural habitat. During the month of winter, pythons can also be found moving around sluggishly.

Watch out for: Demoiselle, the rare Siberian Cranes, Striped Hyaena, Fishing Cat, and Blackbuck

Bird Safari at Bharatpur National Park

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Bird safari makes for the most surreal experience at Bharatpur sanctuary. Bharatpur wildlife sanctuary has spread over 29 sq km with well laid-out forest trails and can be easily covered on foot, a rickshaw, or a cycle. However, motor vehicles are not permitted inside the sanctuary premises. Add lots of excitement to your birding tour by going for an early morning or late evening boating trip. Make the most of your photography skills by taking candid shots of birds flying around.

Timings: 8 am – 5 pm all days; to get the best value of your time, plan an outing early in the morning or immediately after the sunset.


5 Reasons that New Delhi is an Incredible Holiday Destination

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New Delhi is unlike any other city in the world. For many travelers this means that their first visit is one marked by sensory overload—by chaos and color, pollution and poverty, enticing smells and exotic history. While it is certainly not an easy place to travel, when you visit New Delhi, India the uniqueness and the vibrancy of the culture are exactly what make it such a fascinating place to explore.

1. Monuments and relics abound

Red Fort in Delhi

Many monarchs have established their kingdoms in Delhi since the 11th century, so it goes without saying that the city is a library of historical monuments – every neighbourhood will have some kind of fort or ruin. These monuments are also marvels because of their architectural style, influenced by Persian, European, Islamic and Indian designs.

In Delhi, you will find fascinating historical monuments and historic structures that showcase India’s unique heritage. Beautiful ancient buildings perfectly combine with modern structures to bring out a rich Indian heritage. Delhi was ruled by the Mughal empire and by the British, therefore its present day sites include an eclectic mix of buildings. Some of the most famous constructions in Delhi include the tall minaret known as Qutub Minar, one of the largest and oldest masjids known as Jama Masjid and the India Gate for the homage. Additionally, there are prominent modern-day places to visit, including museums, gardens, the metro system, and modern temples like the Bahai Lotus Temple.

2. Shopping opportunities

Delhi markets

In Delhi shopping can become a memorable experience in itself. Flea markets such as Sarojini Nagar and Janpath have significantly discounted products while market places such as the Khan market and Connaught place offer branded products. Other famous market places in Delhi are Palika Bazaar, Gaffar Market and INA Market. You can do lots of shopping in Delhi on a budget, from clothing jewelry, footwear, scarfs, bags with the sounds of shoppers and sellers adding up to a true experience of the senses.

Delhi’s street food is so much more than just North Indian – due to considerable northeastern settlement, Delhi is also famous for momos, a steamed rice cake filled with meat or vegetables. Try the different flavours of paranthe (flatbreads) as well as the famous matar kulchas and gol gappe.

3. Diverse Cuisines

Delhi cuisines

Delhi is a popular tourist destination because it offers a wide range of tasty Indian cuisines that leave memorable tastes to every visitor’s tongue. You can enjoy Mughalai cuisine, steamed rice cakes filled with veggies, the famous parantha, meat paste called momo, and the mouth-watering chaats of the Nagar market. From the eateries to street food, everything is worth giving a try in Delhi. Tangy gol gappe and matar Kucha are well-known street foods. Apart from the street food, various eateries and restaurants offer the best delicacies from all over the world, and you can even take coffee and relax if that is all you want.

4. Events and Festivals

You will find popular festivals and events that happen all year round in Delhi. From cultural shows, food festivals, religious events, theatrical play festivals, etc. The Grub Festival is famous for entertainment, music and is the biggest food festival in Delhi. There is the London market shopping festival, Qutub festival for cultural performances, Delhi international jazz festival and Holi Festival, among others.

5. Wide range of luxury properties

Hotels in Delhi

New Delhi, being India’s capital city is a very welcoming metropolis. Travellers visit from all walks of life and in the city there are multiple options of stay. From luxury properties to budget stays, there is a wide range of options. Be it the Taj Hotels or the Oberoi or the boutique properties in Hauz Khas or even swanky hotels near the airport, staying in Delhi is a wonderful experience.

 


Exploring the Tropical Paradise of Indian Subcontinent: Sri Lanka

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The Indian Subcontinent is nothing short of wonderful. From the mightiest mountain peaks of the Himalayas to the deep blues of the Indian Ocean, from the vast Thar Desert to its backwaters, jungles to thriving cities, there is so much to discover. When it comes to a tropical paradise, the Indian Subcontinent is blessed with Sri Lanka. The pearl of the Indian Ocean, the beautiful island country of Sri Lanka offers a glimpse into the beautiful beaches, tropical weather, heritage, culture, Buddhist traditions and more.

Explore the many mesmeric charms and the places to include in your itinerary. Sri Lanka tours has lots to suit your interest.  Whether its the cloud-piercing mountains, tea covered hill slopes, verdant greenery, diverse wildlife, sandy beaches, and amiable hospitality, there are lots of reasons that you must explore Sri Lanka, the tropical paradise of the Indian Subcontinent.

1. Colombo

Colombo

The bustling capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is one of the best places to visit in the island. Famous for its rich colonial heritage, shopping centers, stylish eateries, and beautiful art galleries. Leisure travelers can pamper themselves with Ayurvedic massage. Seek to explore the underworld world at the certified diving sites.

2. Sigiriya

Sigiriya

An iconic attraction of Sri Lanka Tourism, Sigiriya is a true treasure. Many written manuscripts record that Sigiriya has ancient roots and is actually the place described in the Indian epic Ramayana. Though mostly in ruins, the site still displays unmatched grandeur. Reach the top of this ancient rock fortress by climbing around 1,200+ (approx.) stairs in three phases. UNESCO has titled Sigiriya as a Heritage Site of Sri Lanka because it proudly sits in the middle of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle, including Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura. During the hike with locals guides to understand the terraced gardens and cave temples. 

3. Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya

Feel like you are vacationing in the mini version of England without actually going there. Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka is the extension of the beauty of Munnar, Coorg, Ooty, Wayanad, and Darjeeling because it is the tea capital of Sri Lanka. Suppress all your stress with a hot piping cup of Dilmah chai from the colonial-style accommodation in the middle of the tea plantations. Dilmah, the world’s famous tea brand, originated from Sri Lanka, which is enough to measure the hype of this cool climate place in Sri Lanka.

Located in the central province of Sri Lanka at an elevation of 6,199 feet (1,889 meters) above sea level, Nuwara Eliya is one of the best romantic places to visit in Sri Lanka for couples due to its cool climate, like in the Munnar. However, what is icing to the cake at this tea capital of Sri Lanka is the scenic train rides that run to Kandy.

The Battered Victorian Railway Engines crawl up into the hill country through undulating tea estates, and you must stand at the open doorways and watch the sweeping views of the manicured greenery. All you just need to do is keep a tight grip on the handrails while soaking the breathtaking lushness.

Dambulla

Dambulla, Sacred Tooth Temple

In the fertile valley of Matale district of Sri Lanka, Dambulla is located, which is famous for its 5 cave temples that are a treasure trove of Sinhalese Buddhist Architecture. Dambulla is one of the most impressive places to see in Sri Lanka with family where several elements of Buddhism in Sri Lanka could be traced.

Here there is a Pidurangala Rock where you will enjoy the staircase hike to enjoy the commanding views of the Lion’s Rock. A hot air balloon ride in Dambulla at Kandalama Lake is a great chance for couples to exchange promises amidst the heights overlooking Sri Lanka’s top cultural and heritage attractions like a bird.

You can also go to Minneriya National Park near Dambulla for wildlife safaris. And if you are lucky and ICC events are going on, don’t miss celebrating the evening at the live-action at Dambulla International Cricket Stadium.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Watch the largest herd of captivating elephants in the world at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. It is one of the best tourist places to visit in Sri Lanka with kids where they can cuddle and feed friendly elephants. At Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, these giant creatures take a bath in the River and watching them getting pampered with the tourists is one of the best experiences to cherish in Sri Lanka.

Yala National Park

Yala National Park

Put on your binoculars, charge your cameras because Yala National Park in Sri Lanka in the southeastern corner of Sri Lanka has the highest degree of leopards in the world. Yala National Park is, without doubt, one of the best places to see wildlife in Sri Lanka for couples, families.

One must spend their half-day at Yala National Park to witness the other flora and fauna flourishing in the park. The park remains closed for maintenance from September to October first week.

You must hire a guide to understand the zones in the park because a few of the drivers speak less frequent English. Did we mention you can stay in cocooned-shaped tented logs and inhale the raw wildlife experience?

Kandy

Kandy

Backpacking through Sri Lanka and missing Kandy in your itinerary is a sin because bio-diverse rainforests and tea plantations embrace the beauty of this hill station snuggled at an elevation of 500 m (approx.). The unique Temple of Tooth is the highlight of Kandy tourism which is supposedly known to house the tooth of the Buddha.

However, UNESCO has decreased Kandy, a heritage site, back around two decades because Sri Lanka Tourism considers Kandy the cultural capital of the teardrop-shaped nation.

Couples will love a romantic stroll at the shimmering Kandy Lake in the night. Behold the roaring sound of the Hulu River Waterfall cascading from the height of 75 m (approx.) if you want to enjoy some time amidst the cooling drizzles.

We forget to mention that the Kandy to Ella train ride is a rewarding train journey that takes you through the narrow tunnels and lush green tea plantations. Kandy is one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka in July or August because the Esala Poya Perahera is Sri Lanka’s most extravagant festival at its full hype.

Galle

Galle

Lace up your sneakers and drive around 2.5 hours (approx.) to Galle from Colombo via the country’s first modern superhighways. Galle, famous for its 17th century Galle Fort built by dutch colonists, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fortified city has plush resorts and hotels influenced by the Dutch style of architecture. If you are looking to enjoy some good time in Sri Lanka with your near or dear ones, Galle is a modern town bestowed with charming eateries, trinkets, shops and art galleries to explore.

Although the largest remaining European building is Sea Fort, Gale Fort is the major pull of tourism in Galle. Apart from it, couples will love to laze around the secluded beaches in Galle, including Pitiwella Beach, Jungle Beach, Unawatuna Beach and Mihiripenna Beach. Family travelers would love taking a day trip to National Museum Galle and excursions to the Sea Turtle Hatchery. A visit to the Galle in late January or early February will be an icing to the cake because Galle Literary Festival attracts locals and like-minded tourists.

With 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites under its belts, Sri Lanka is a teardrop-shaped island nation by size, not by the encounters. You will gain larger than life experiences no matter which province in Sri Lanka you will drift.


Relive History with the Top Heritage Walks in India

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India has a glorious legacy with millions of tales to narrate. Exploring the old days, learning about culture and understanding the traditions make for an enriching experience. India is a land of colours, festivities, magnificent architecture, delicious cuisines, intricate craftsmanship and so much more. Capturing the essence of this diversity are heritage walks. Relive history and experience India’s incredible legacy especially through heritage walks helps build memories for travellers visiting the country.

So, if you want to expereince

Old Delhi Street Food Tour

The bylanes of Old Delhi are a treasure for foodies and calls for a walk. Savor the best of street food delights of the Old city of the 18th century in the original nooks and corners of Chawri Bazaar and Chandni Chowk. Check out the popular eateries, reputed for their authentic delicious fares along with hygiene and superior quality. Relish delectable flavours of parathas, kebabs, butter chicken, jalebis, aloo chats, miscellany of chutneys, masala chai, selection of sweet kulfis and more.

Old Delhi Heritage

Jama Masjid

Old Delhi Heritage Walk

The fascinating bylanes of Old Delhi are a treasure of rich heritage of the 18th century. The Mughal city was once the capital of the empire and thus lovingly crafted with grandeur and attention to detail. Begin the heritage walk from the UENSCO World Heritage Site of Red Fort, historical mansions, bustling bazaars, beautiful temples and shrines to observe the craftsmanship of local artisans.

Jaipur

Jaipur City Palace

The Pink city of Jaipur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site brimming with fascinating sites, culture and experiences. The heritage walk begins Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) and ends at the Tripolia Gate, enjoying the architecture, sampling culinary delights, like Pakoras, Aloo Tikki, Samosa and local sweets and observing the local artisans in their workshops, Jewellers and Silversmiths, Gold painters and Bangle making experts.

Varanasi

Varanasi

The holy town of Varanasi is a living legacy of thousands years. The oldest inhabited city of the world is dotted with ancient temples, alleys, river ghats and more. The Varanasi heritage walk begins at the sacred Kashi Vishwanath Temple, moving to the bylanes of the old city and ends with the famous foodie experiences. A must visit experience is observing the craftsmen weave the finest Banarasi sarees.

Old Goa and Latin quarters

Old Goa and Latin Quarters Heritage Walk

Goa hidden rich history and culture are a treasure to explore. The UNESCO World Heritage churches and convents are a glorious chapter of the legacy.  On the heritage walk, discover wonderful Portuguese era architecture, ethereal churches, gaily painted buildings, original wrought iron railings and terracotta tiled roofs.

Fort Cochin

Discovering Fort Cochin (Cochin’s heritage area) on foot, is a great way to experience it’s sights and sounds. Walk past the Vasco Da Gama Square, home to the remains of Fort Immanuel and Dutch cemetery ,  Bishop House and Santa Cruz Basilica St Francis Church & Chinese fishing nets. Then board a vehicle to move to Mattanchery area to visit the Dutch Palace and the Jewish Quarter on foot, before boarding your vehicle to return to the hotel.

Mumbai

Mumbai heritage

Introducing you to the bygone days of glory we bring the guided walking tour of Mumbai. Walk past iconic landmarks of the city. Take a look at the Gateway of India overlooking the cerulean spread of the Arabian Sea regaling the tales of the past. Next, walk past the Bombay Yacht Club, Regal Cinema, the Wellington Fountain, the Prince of Wales Museum, and the city’s Victoria Terminus Railway Station, which is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India.


10 Reasons Rajasthan is a must visit on a India Holiday

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Rajasthan is an incredible travel destination in India. Featuring a unique mixture of historical marvels and cultural treasures, the Land of Kings is known for memorable experiences of India. The golden hues of the undulating sand dunes of the Thar Desert along with vibrant colors, make the land a fascinating kaleidoscope. In Rajasthan, get the chance to explore colossal forts and amazing palaces. Marvel at intricate craftsmanship and unique style of the Rajputs. Go camping under the stars in the desert, wildlife safaris in Ranthambore National park or bird watching in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. The pleasures include stay at lavish heritage hotels, tasting the royal cuisine and shopping for treasures, there is so much to see and do.

When thinking of a holiday in India, here are 10 reasons to must visit Rajasthan:

1. Magnificent Architecture

Hawa Mahal

Historical forts and splendid palaces make Rajasthan unique. Ruled by Rajput kings, the land is dotted with magnificent blend of architecture and design. Many of the Hill Forts of Rajasthan are listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Jaipur’s Amer Fort, the golden hued Jaisalmer Fort, the massive Mehrangarh Fort, and the hidden Ranthambore Fort are some of the best sites to visit. Jaipur’s City Palace, intricate havelis of Shekawati and many more wonders are lavish palaces. Some of the splendid properties are converted to the best heritage hotels of India.

2. Gastronomic Delights

Rajasthani cuisine is a gastronomical delight. The lavish cuisine is all rich with ghee and spices. The classics include dal bati churma or gatte ki sabzi or kachoris, there is something to suite everyone’s palate. The must try meat curries, are laal maas and safed maas.

3. Colorful Cities

Colors are a part of Rajasthan’s culture. From the dress of its people to the golden desert sands, from the many vividly coloured cities to the vibrant markets, there are multiple hues. From the golden city of Jaisalmer, the pink city of Jaipur, the blue city of Jodhpur, to the white marvels of Udaipur, each city has something unique to offer.

4. Stay in a Lavish Heritage Hotel

Heritage hotels of Rajasthan are transformed from the many opulent palaces, forts and havelis, with all the royal comforts of the royalty who once lived there. The Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, the Lake Palace in Udaipur, Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, and Samode Palace in Jaipur are just a few of the popular hotels that keep alive the princely traditions and culture of the state.

5. Diverse Wildlife

Rajasthan’s vast landscape is home to some incredibly varied wildlife. From the tigers at the Ranthambore National Park and the Sariska Tiger Reserve, to the endangered river dolphins and rare birds the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, the National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary and the Keoladeo National Park, you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with some amazing animals.

6. Exciting Festivals

Rajasthan is famed all over the world for its colourful fairs and festivals, held throughout the year. It seems that every month hosts some exciting event, such as the International Kite Festival (Jan), the Desert Festival (Feb), the Elephant Fair (Mar), the Teej Festival (August), Rajasthan International Folk Festival (Oct), the Pushkar Fair (Nov), and the Magnetic Fields Festival (Dec). These are of course separate from the many religious festivals, such as Holi.

7. Fascinating History

The historic forts, palaces, and stepwells hint at a long and fascinating history of the people who thrived in this arid and at times inhospitable area. It has many innovations such as the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur. This astronomical observatory was built in 1734 by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II and lets people observe astronomical positions with the naked eye.

8. Truly Unique Experiences

The diverse landscapes of Rajasthan offer an endless choice of exciting experiences. From the camel safaris at Jaisalmer, to hot-air ballooning in Pushkar, trekking Alwar and Mount Abu, there are many adventures to be found. Of course there are less adrenaline packed adventures as well, like the many tribal folk dances, the Bhavai with its pitchers, the Kathputli with its puppets, and the famous Ghoomar.

9. Natural Beauty

10. Lots and Lots of Shopping

The bustling bazaars of Rajasthan have some of the best places for shopping. Some are full of ethnic handicrafts and artifacts, while others are dedicated to traditional jewelry, spices, miniature paintings, textiles, and so much more. Some of the best places are Johari Bazar in Jaipur, Bada Bazar in Udaipur, Clock Tower Market in Jodhpur, and Sadar Bazar in Pushkar.