Travel Category

What lies Beyond the Forts, Palaces and Legends of Rajasthan? The Best Experiences!

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Rajasthan is India’s quintessential chapter of history, architecture and culture. Home to beautiful architecture shaped in the royal places & majestic forts, vibrant culture, the Thar Desert and more, Rajasthan has been favoured by travellers in India. The “Land of Rajputana” as it was home to warrior clans of Rajputs was the first state to fully embrace tourism in India. This is reflected in the sophistication of the state’s infra-structure for tourists. Rajasthan tour packages have a way to keep you hooked, but beyond the forts, palaces and legends lie the real heart of Rajputana.

Take a look at checklist of the pleasures of Rajasthan to explore.

Stay in Heritage Hotels

Experience first-hand Rajasthan's rich history, architecture and hospitality with stay at the heritage hotels.  With careful addition of modern amenities and signature experiences, the heritage properties certainly make some of the fondest memories. From Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, to other offbeat locales there are aplenty options.

Attention to detail, personalized services, speciality dishes, spa services, sightseeing excursions and more make your stay unforgettable.

Wildlife safari in Ranthambore

Ranthambore National Park formerly was the hunting grounds of the royal family of Jaipur and now is among the best national parks in India. Home to Royal Bengal Tigers and many other species of the animal kingdom, the town introduces to thrilling wildlife tour in India.

Well-known for the resident Royal Bengal Tigers, the national park is also home to incredible bio-diversity including crocodiles, migratory birds and more. Jeep safaris acquaint with the wild animals, while wildlife resorts reminisce the days when Ranthambore served as hunting grounds of the royal family of Jaipur. The majestic Ranthambore Fort is also a major crowd puller besides the wildlife.

Cooking lessons

A journey to India can never be complete without a culinary experience. This is an opportunity to learn about the secret recipes and the culture of Rajasthan. Attend cooking sessions, where you learn about spices and participate in the preparation of the meal and then sit down to lunch or dinner with your hosts, learning about Indian lifestyle, as well as cuisines.

Bird watching in Bharatpur

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary also known by the name Keoladeo Ghana National Park is a bird watchers haven. Spread over an area of 29 sq. km., it is home to over 366 species of birds including migratory species, 379 species of plants, and around 30 mammals. The marshes and pools are home to the Sarus Cranes in winter and innumerable other birds. The best thing about experiencing the bliss of the wilderness of Bharatpur is with cycle rickshaw rides accompanied by guides that acquaint visitors with the avians at close quarters.

Horse riding

There is something magical about exploring countryside on horseback. Horse riding in Rajasthan is a thrilling activity as not you can explore the scenic rugged landscape but also feel aristocratic as these Marwari horses were specially trained for warfare.

On your horse ride, cross some farmlands, small villages, dried up riverbeds, hills and valleys of the Aravallis. Soak in the natural beauty, spot countless birds and enjoy the peaceful and quite surroundings. There are many interesting trails in Rajasthan, Jodhpur has some of the most amazing ones.

Spot Leopards

Leopards are rare elusive creatures. These fast cats are a marvellous breed. The thrill of sighting the leopards in their natural habitats is proving a conservation and tourism success in Rajasthan. The stretch of the Aravalli range is home to large numbers of the cats, ideally suited to the rocky landscapes. Specialist safaris are now available, especially in the Jawai Bandh area and Narlai.

Romantic boat rides

Rajasthan is romantic and especially while enjoying a boat ride in Udaipur’s many scenic lakes. Opt for a boat ride at sunset and feel yourself in love. The beauty of the lakes is matchless. The backdrop of the lush Aravali hills lend to the inherent charm of the city of lakes. Cerulean blue as far as you can see, the changing colours of the sky reflecting in the water and the serenity of the setting counts for some of the most cherished experiences.

Camp in the desert dunes

When you are at the desert state, it is completely unacceptable to not visit. The Desert dunes of the Thar are a prized highlight of Rajasthan. Indulge in moments of romanticism in the golden landscape. For the quintessential desert experience head to Jaisalmer. Camel safari, dune bashing and camping amid the dunes is truly amazing. Go try the gypsy life. Camels “the ship of the desert” are sure-footed taking you on a ride through the timeless desert at sunset. Back in the campsite, traditional folk performances mesmerize with melodies and beats of dance.

Camel-lovers can also visit the famous Pushkar Camel Fair which is touristy fun. Osian Sand Dunes and Manvar near Jodhpur too offer a charming desert experience as does Bikaner which hosts its very own Camel Festival celebrating the desert.

Heritage walks

Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan is the prime example of the glory of the days of Rajputana. Jaipur Walled City is a declared UENSCO World Heritage Site. A heritage walk is more than sightseeing, it is an authentic experiences of the culture of the city. Cover famous photographed landmarks as you walk through the town, mingle with the locals whilst sampling some of the regions culinary delights. The heritage walk also includes the skills and work of local artisans in their workshops, Jewellers and Silversmiths, Gold painters and Bangle making experts.

Similar to Jaipur, heritage walks in Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer introduce the city in a more personal way.

Awe at Puppetry & Folk performances

Puppetry is an ancient art form in Rajasthan. Known as Kathputli Dance, the puppet shows narrate the local tales. Rajasthani culture is a treasure of age-old traditions, attractive dance forms and soul-soothing folk music. The music is melodious and peppy. Ghoomar and Kalbeliya are two popular folk dances that trace its origin here.

Discover the Painted havelis of Shekhawati

The Shekhawati region of Rajasthan is known for the splendid examples of its haveli architecture, historic traditional homes with large interior courtyards and decorative frescoes. Although many other towns and cities have havelis, Shekhawati, and Mandawa in particular, have the greatest proportion of these buildings in the best condition. Murals depict local life and show the historic wealth of the region and there are also a number of grand temples and monumental step wells to visit too.

Explore Rajasthan aboard a luxury train

Luxury trains in India were first introduced in Rajasthan. These lavish rides make the experience of royal Rajasthan simply out of the world. The best known of Rajasthan’s luxury trains are the Palace on Wheels and the Maharajas Express. Both trains offer week-long journeys from Delhi covering Agra and further the royal cities, wildlife reserves and religious sites including Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park, Udaipur, Jodhpur, etc.


Girls' Guide to Last Minute Plans for India

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India is a country unlike another! Making way into cherished memories, the country is a bundle of life-changing experiences. For a female solo traveller there is absolutely nothing as amazing and educational at the vast and diverse country. From the snowy heights of the Himalayas to the tropical beaches, golden desert to a cold desert, lush jungles to backwaters, colourful towns steeped in history & culture, some even as old as civilization to cities matching pace with the world, there is so much to explore.

If you are making last minute plans for India then you have nothing to worry, here’s our guide. Once you are done with the visa, you need to simple book your tickets & hotels and simply get going to be amazed.

Our top three picks of India tour packages for last minute holidays for solo female travellers are:

Delhi & the Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle is certainly the most preferred of tours of India. Arrive at the Delhi International Airport and get an introduction of India’s heritage and culture. The capital city of India has is sorted to ensure a smooth transition into the very unique culture of the country. The well-travelled itinerary is well suited for the first-time traveller in India. With well-connected roads, range of accommodation, things to and places to see, it is an absolute winner!

Delhi, the city of cities has been witness to many eras and rulers, each of the episodes having left footprints in form of monuments and culture. Delhi has eight such cities to boast of, from the first of Muslim rulers, Mughals to the British Raj. The Golden Triangle tour packages is the most popular itinerary in India, covering the cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Agra is home to the ‘icon of love’ the Taj Mahal. The white-marble monument is pretty much one of the major reason to visit India. Jaipur is the land of the Kings, palaces, forts and colourful culture that is charmingly Indian!

For the girls, the itinerary has plenty to see, do and experience. The pleasure of shopping their hearts out certainly adds to the charm.

Kerala

Located in South India, Kerala is more than a destination, it is a bundle of wonderful experiences. Titled ‘God’s Own Country’ this place is actually heaven. From lush hills covered in tea gardens & spice plantations to golden beaches leading to azure waters, backwaters navigable by houseboat, traditional villages to historic towns, Kerala never fails to surprise. Arrive to the historic town of Kochi and then proceed with days and weeks of fun exploring the length and breadth of the earthly paradise.

One holiday in Kerala allow the bliss of the misty hills, romantic houseboat rides, relaxing on the beach, exploring history that dates over thousands of years, wildlife safaris, pampering Ayurveda sessions, the science of health and wellness and more. What more can a girl crave for?

Goa

The beautiful party destination of India, Goa is the land of sun, sand and sea. Goa conjures images of tropical bliss. Golden sands lead to the cerulean waters, coconut and palm groves sway in the breeze, and charming villages tucked away in the backwoods put a magical spell on visitors.  Goa has a reputation of being the hottest party destination in the country. The night-time activities include beach shacks, pubs, clubs, beach parties, casinos, cruises and more. Beyond the peppy setting, there are elegant churches intact in their olden charms, forts that withstood the changing times, spice plantations, bird sanctuaries, trekking trails, waterfalls and more. Additional delights include exciting water sports, mouth-watering food, shopping, and other thrills

Arrive at the Goa International Airport and be prepared to spend time in the tropical haven. With abundant options of stay in very budget (from villas, beach resorts, homestays to hotels), safe roads and a delightful crowd, this is got to be one of the places in India that you can visit anytime and be surprised every time. Girls got to rock their favourite beachwear lazing on the dreamy beaches.


Visiting India? Here Are the 10 Things You Should Keep In Mind

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Exotic, extravagant, elegant and eclectic! This is how we define India as a destination!
The country’s different languages, diverse culture, exotic flora, enticing fauna, quiet calmness, and serene spirituality have been wooing a lot many travellers from across the globe. There are cultural and geographical differences in India and hence when visiting this country, one should keep these 10 things in mind

1. Keep yourself well-equipped for all kinds of weather: India is a diverse nation. When you move from one place to another, the weather also keeps on changing.

travel tips for India

Hence you should ensure that you have clothes for all seasons. If you are traveling to northern regions during winter months, you might need winter wears; if in Rajasthan, summer clothes can serve the purpose. There might be rainfall in some parts of the country and hence you should be well-equipped with umbrellas and raincoats. The umbrella can also help in protecting you from the scorching sun in the summer.

2. Bargain to its fullest while indulging in shopping: India is a shoppers' paradise. You will get amazingly colourful products at throwaway prices. How-ever, you should be a skilled bargainer if you really want to get your stuff at the best price. This art of bargaining could come as a blessing if you are an ardent follower of street shopping. 

Shopping in India

3. Plan your day smartly and wisely: India is a vast, diverse, colourful and addictive country. The more you travel, the more you want to explore! Hence you have to be extra wise while planning your day. You should ensure that you don't get tired by the evening. Once you have a wisely planned day, you can experience the texture and spirit of the place in a much better spirit. 

4. Feel the pulse of India in villages: If you want to experience India, you should definitely visit at least one village! You can feel the pulse of real India in smaller villages. It's the only way to get a true sense of India. The colourful attire, local folks, cattle rearing and zig-zag roads in smaller villages will definitely woo you with its beauty. The other benefit of planning a day out in villages is that you are out of the sprawling and vastly overpopulated cities to feel the quietness of villages.

Indian villages

5. Start your day early: You should plan your day early enough to have some quiet and quality time for yourself. If you start early, you can easily beat city traffic and can reach your destination before noon, while preventing yourself from the woes of harsh heat. 

6. Remember India is hot so keep bottled water with you: Except for a few months, India is generally hot. There are many cities in northern India where temperatures escalate 40 degrees Celsius. Here you are advised to keep yourself well-hydrated. You should always carry bottled water with you and should cover your head when travelling under the sizzling sun. 

7. Taste the exquisite cuisine of each region: Except for a few months, India is generally hot. There are many cities in northern India where temperatures escalate 40 degrees Celsius. Here you are advised to keep yourself well-hydrated. You should always carry bottled water with you and should cover your head when travelling under the sizzling sun. 

Indian Cuisine

8. Be a part of the country's culture: When in India, you should follow a few trends to get the real feel of India. When venturing out to a religious place, you should cover yourself. Also, you should remember to take off your footwear before entering the shrine. In Sikh gurudwaras, you should always cover your head with a scarf or handkerchief. 

9. Be updated on multi-tiered ticket price system: The tourist spots in India have separate entry fees for Indian nationals, foreigners, and students. At many places, the entry points are different for Indian nationals and foreigners. Here, it is useful to carry an identity proof with you as you may get some concession based on it. If you have a student ID, you shall enjoy a student's discount which is generally valid here at all places regardless of your nationality. 

10. Pre-book your arrival and departures: Try and pre-book your arrival and departure transfers with a reliable travel agent/tour operator. That way you will not be overwhelmed by the crowds and touts at the airport who try to sell their services to you. You will definitely have more peace of mind if you make private travel arrangements. They are fortunately quite inexpensive in India and therefore give good value for the tourist's dollar. 

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.


What’s Nearby – Your Guide to the Areas around Delhi’s Major Hotels

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1. The Connaught

Bordering the city center, Connaught Place, and is only a 3-minute walk away from the outer circle of Connaught Circus. Connaught Place is an old-style low rise shopping area, with plenty to offer by way of shopping, bars, and restaurants. As far as food and drinks are concerned, in Connaught Place, one would find everything from fine dining Indian restaurants like Veda, to fast food outlets like Saravana Bhawan (serving well priced Indian fast food), Mc Donalds, Costa Coffee, etc.

Bordering Connaught Place to the south, is Janpath, which is about a 10-minute walk from the Connaught hotel. It has small shops selling everything from artifacts, costume jewelry, silk, leather garments, and souvenirs. Janpath is a great place for tourists to test their bargaining skills too. Also, located on Janpath, is the Cottage Industries Emporium, a government-run departmental store style shopping complex, spread over 3 floors, with a good selection of Brassware, Handicrafts, Furniture, etc – and with an added attraction of having fixed sticker prices for everything.

A 5 minute walk away from the Connaught hotel is Baba Kharak Singh Marg, which houses a complete row of State Government Emporiums, which are also great places to shop, with fair and fixed prices.

For those seeking to do a bit of sightseeing on their own, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, as well as the National Museum are only about 3-4 kms away from The Connaught hotel.

2. The Park

Bordering the city center, Connaught Place, and is only a 2-minute walk away from the outer circle of Connaught Circus. Connaught Place is an old-style low rise shopping area, with plenty to offer by way of shopping, bars, and restaurants. As far as food and drink are concerned, in Connaught Place, one would find everything from fine dining Indian restaurants like Veda, to fast food outlets like Saravana Bhawan (serving well priced Indian fast food), Mc Donalds, Costa Coffee, etc.

Bordering Connaught Place to the south is Janpath, which is a less than a 10-minute walk from the Park hotel. It has small shops selling everything from artifacts, costume jewelry, silk, and leather garments and souvenirs. Janpath is a great place for tourists to test their bargaining skills too. Also, located on Janpath, is the Cottage Industries Emporium, a government-run departmental store style shopping complex, spread over 3 floors, with a good selection of Brassware, Handicrafts, Furniture, etc – and with an added attraction of having fixed sticker prices for everything.

5 minute walk away from the Park hotel is Baba Kharak Singh Marg, which houses a complete row of State Government Emporiums, which are also great places to shop, with fair and fixed prices. For those seeking to do a bit of sightseeing on their own, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, as well as the National Museum are only about 3-4 kms away from The Park hotel.

3. The Shangri La & the Lalit

Both these hotels are just off the city center, Connaught Place, which is about a 10-minute walk away. Connaught Place is an old-style low rise shopping area, with plenty to offer by way of shopping, bars, and restaurants. As far as food and drinks are concerned, in Connaught Place, one would find everything from fine dining Indian restaurants like Veda, to fast food outlets like Saravana Bhawan (serving well priced Indian fast food), Mc Donalds, Costa Coffee, etc.

Bordering Connaught Place to the south is Janpath, which is about a 10-minute walk from these hotels. It has small shops selling everything from artifacts, costume jewelry, silk, and leather garments and souvenirs. Janpath is a great place for tourists to test their bargaining skills too. Also, located on Janpath, is the Cottage Industries Emporium, a government-run departmental store style shopping complex, spread over 3 floors, with a good selection of Brassware, Handicrafts, Furniture, etc – and with an added attraction of having fixed sticker prices for everything.

For those seeking to do a bit of sightseeing on their own, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, as well as the National Museum are less than 2 kms away from The Shangri La hotel, and less than 3-4 kms from the Lalit hotel.

4. The Imperial

Perhaps the best located amongst all of New Delhi’s hotels. It is located on Janpath, bordering the city center, Connaught Place, which is a less than a 5-minute walk away. Connaught Place is an old-style low rise shopping area, with plenty to offer by way of shopping, bars, and restaurants. As far as food and drink are concerned, in Connaught Place, one would find everything from fine dining Indian restaurants like Veda, to fast food outlets like Saravana Bhawan (serving well priced Indian fast food), Mc Donalds, Costa Coffee, etc.

The Imperial is located right next to the small stores on Janpath, which sell everything from artifacts, costume jewelry, silk, and leather garments and souvenirs. Janpath is a great place for tourists to test their bargaining skills too. Right across the road from The Imperial hotel, is the Cottage Industries Emporium, a government-run departmental store style shopping complex, spread over 3 floors, with a good selection of Brassware, Handicrafts, Furniture, etc – and with an added attraction of having fixed sticker prices for everything.

For those seeking to do a bit of sightseeing on their own, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, as well as the National Museum are less than 2 kms away from The Imperial hotel.

5. The Claridges  and The Taj Mahal Hotel

Located just south of the city center, the Claridges as well as the Taj Mahal Hotel are located only about a 10-minute walk away from Khan Market, a great place to shop, with small shops selling everything from books, to hi-fashion clothing, and everything in between. Khan Market also has a great selection of Indian and International Restaurants, as well as several bars and coffee shops. Another shopping area, that is less than 2-3 kms from both these hotels, is the Santushti Shopping Complex (opposite the Prime Minister’s residence), which is a calm green part of town, with boutiques set in beautiful surroundings.

Also, less than a 10-minute walk away from both these Hotels are the Lodi Gardens, an oasis of green in the heart of the city. Spread over about 100 acres of land, the Lodi Gardens are a great place to go for an early morning walk or a jog. The city center, Connaught Place is just a 5-minute drive away from both of these Hotels.

For those seeking to do a bit of sightseeing on their own, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, as well as the National Museum are less than 2 kms away from both these hotels.

6. The Oberoi, New Delhi

The Oberoi is about a 10-minute drive away from the city center, Connaught Place, and only about a 5 or 7 minutes walk away from the Sunder Nagar Market, which houses a few fashionable boutiques as well as restaurants. The Oberoi Hotel actually overlooks the Delhi Golf Club, an 18 hole Championship Course, which is less than 2 minutes' walk away.

7. The Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon

Located in the suburb of Gurgaon, just a 15-minute drive from the International Airport, The Leela Kempinski is actually connected by the walkway to one of India’s largest shopping mall, the Ambience Mall. The Mall offers excellent International and Indian branded shopping as well as over a dozen great bars and restaurants .


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