India tourism

Festivals that can be experienced with the Golden Triangle Tour

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India's iconic travel itinerary, the Golden Triangle is a brief experience of rich heritage, colourful culture, hospitality and enriching memories. On a Golden Triangle tour, explore the vibrancy of Delhi, the royal charms of Jaipur and the mystique of Agra along with the finest of cultural bounty of India. And, when is about culture, festivals is an insight that is . After all, they are the foundation of the opulent heritage in the country.

If you too wish to know India a little closely, we’d recommend you travel it by the virtue of Indian festivals. Sounds like a plan? Then, here is a list of festivals that will make your Golden triangle trip a success. Relish every piece of information, who knows when you’ll have your India calling. Happy reading folks!

The Artistic Taj Mahotsav, Agra
 
With the backdrop of exquisite Taj Mahal, Taj Mahotsav is a 10-day gala event that celebrates the life and lifestyle of ancient India. During this festival, hundreds of imminent artisans get the opportunity to carry forward their family heritage. For anyone visiting India for the very first time, a trip to Agra during Taj Mahotsav is a feast for the senses.

Wood/stone carvings of Tamil Nadu, Bamboo/cane work from the North East India, Pashmina from Kashmir, marble and zardozi work from Agra and what not, there is no limit to the art on display here. However, this event is not just about exquisite craft work. In fact, it equally emphasizes on performing arts. In the gist of which, it entertains visitors with various cultural performances. So, if you are a sucker for folk and classical art forms, you’d definitely love every bit of this bonanza.Are you a connoisseur of good food? Then, this festival will be a gourmet delight for you. 

Date: 2nd week of February
Location: Shilpgram.

The International Kite Festival, Jaipur

Jaipur International Kite Festival
The clear blue skies of Jaipur are too bejeweled every January to celebrate the International Kite Festival. During this time of the year, thousands of enthusiastic folk take part in the kite flying competition. The craze of it is such, that people from across the country travel miles just to witness this phenomenon. Besides being an enthralling escapade, the Kite Festival is also the perfect place to bond regardless of age, gender and nationality.

Do you know that this festival was strategically planned in order to get the benefits of the winter sun? Yes, that’s a hundred percent true.  It is believed that when the sun moves in Uttarayana, its rays act as medicine for the human body. Celebrated on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, the kite festival is a cultural luxury that only a few get to experience on a cultural trip to India. However, if you are on a Golden triangle trip, you too can enjoy this cultural feast.

Time: February
Location: All Jaipur

The Colourful Holi

Holi in India

Have you ever wanted to paint the world in the colours of the rainbow? If your answer is yes, then, you’ve got a golden opportunity in hand in the form of Holi celebration in India. Although Holi is an auspicious festival celebrated with all hearts across the country, the celebration of it in Jaipur is a little off-beat and unique. Like everything else, Holi in Jaipur is celebrated with all the regal charms. It calls for a two day event, where the community bonds and basks in the glory of religious quintessence.

The first day of Holi celebration in Jaipur invites tourists to become the part of the Hindu folklore. During this time a huge bonfire is set up. Furthermore, people pray around it and celebrate the triumph of good over evil. However, the next day is marked by colours on the streets and people having the best of times. Beside the colour play, there is another aspect of Holi celebration that takes place in the Govind Ji Temple. Here, to celebrate holi with the deities, the devotees play with colours, flowers and even sandalwood.

Time: February- March
Location: Jaipur

Gangaur Festival and Teej Festival, Jaipur

Gangaur and Teej Festivals are Rajasthan’s prized possession. It is the crux of everything we love about the state, from attires to rich customs. Gangaur commences on the day following Holi whereas Teej marks the beginning of monsoon.  Out of which it is Gangaur that continues for 18 days and is very famous among the womenfolk of Rajasthan.

Both of these festivals revolve around love and marriage and venerate Goddess Parvati. During Gangaur, you will notice a procession of women raiding the streets of Jaipur, all decked up in blingy attires. Gangaur and Teej festivals are the apt representation of the Rajasthan. And, if you’d want to bind yourself with the threads of its plush heritage, it’s imperative to add this festival to your bucket list via the Golden triangle trip.

Jaipur Literature Festival

Jaipur Literature Festival

This 3 –day literature carnival invites authors from India and abroad. Literature enthusiasts from all over the world meet at this event to read, discuss, question and answer about the top literary works of the planet.  Moreover, there is even a range of stalls selling everything from food to handicrafts here, which is amazing. If you are a patron of quaint laid back vibes, then an outdoor lounge bar is also available here for relaxing. Furthermore, music performances adorn the evenings here after every literary session.

Time: Late January
Venue: Diggi Palace Hotel, Hawa Mahal and Amer Fort.

Every festival in India is unique. If you have the opportunity to experience any of these festivals on your trip to India, then no one is as lucky as you are. So, make the most of it!


India Tourism — A Case of Missed Opportunities

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It is certainly true that India as a tourist destination offers a whole lot more to tourists than most other destinations can, from the peaks of the Himalayas to the Tea Gardens of Assam to the backwaters of Kerala, to the white sandy beaches of Goa, and above all, monuments like the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world--- India has all of this and much more , but sadly, India gets fewer tourists than most of its competing nations.

There are quite a few reasons as to why India only gets a minuscule percentage of the world’s tourists. Prominent amongst these are our lack of infrastructure, visa’s being difficult and expensive, the perception regarding lack of safety and security, etc.

When it comes to infrastructure, sadly, we are way behind our neighboring countries or other Asian destinations – the drive from Delhi to Agra has improved and is now world-class, but, when you look at other highways, it’s a sad situation. The drive from Jaipur to Delhi, a distance of about 250 kms, could take up to 7 hours! Likewise, the drive from Bangalore to Mysore, a distance of only about 150 kms, could take up to 5 hours! It is just not the roads or the lack of them, it is basic facilities like clean toilets that are lacking in most of our highways.

Then there is air connectivity – while things have improved quite a bit in the last few years, our national carries Air India, unfortunately, hasn’t done much to improve connectivity to India from major tourism producing countries. Compare ourselves to Dubai or Singapore, where the national carriers because of their strength, network, and connections, bring in thousands of tourists.

A lot of tourists intending to travel to India are deterred by the high cost and the time taken to obtain a Visa for India. With short lead times and last minute vacation planning becoming more and more common, travelers obviously choose destinations that are easy to get to in terms of the visa. Competing destinations like Thailand, Singapore, Hongkong, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc, either require no visas at all or have visas that are available on arrival. Even countries like Turkey, that are serious about their tourism, have introduced e-visa that can be obtained on the internet.

As a country, we have so much to show, in terms of history and culture, but, unfortunately, greed and dishonesty seems to have crept in, and crept in so deep, that it mars the tourist’s good experiences too! Tourists visiting the Jama Masjid (the largest Mosque in India ) are forced to pay a camera fee when there is actually nothing to be paid. Tourists traveling in auto rickshaws often end up paying 3 or 4 times the usual fare!

We really need to get our act together , and the Government needs to understand the importance of tourism, both in terms of its cultural exchange value , and in terms of its economic value, and do things that will attract visitors to our shores--- getting our act together on the infrastructure front , lowering of taxes on tourism product ( taxes in Delhi for example constitute almost 40% of the Hotel costs) , ensuring the safety and security of tourists travelling (particularly female travellers), would be the first steps towards this .

We also need to have more leisure activities for tourists, travellers are very happy to see monuments, forts, and palaces, but a lot of them even want nightlife and evening entertainment, good golfing facilities, etc, facilities which sadly, most of our tourist destinations lack. For example, Goa, India’s most sought after beach holiday destination, does not till date, have a world-class Championship Golf course something that every other beach holiday destination offers.

Having said all of this, India certainly does have lots to attract tourists, monuments like the Taj Mahal, Tiger Reserves like Kanha and Bandhavgarh, the frozen deserts of Ladakh, the pristine backwaters of Kerala, the 400-year-old temples of Southern India, the list is actually endless !!!


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