Travel

Tiger Safari in India at the Ranthambore National Park

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A legendary reputation for tigers precedes India. The gorgeous country with its lush forests, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries invest in a safari experience like no other. Tiger safari in India offers a wildlife experience that by far is some of the best in the world. A billion-year-old forest, a thousand-year-old hill fort and the allure of tigers in the wild, to start with jungle safari in India, Ranthambore National Park is a thrilling option. Formerly the hunting grounds of royalty, the national park is a popular wildlife reserve that is sanctaury to wildlife. The popular tiger reserve in Rajasthan lies a short distance from Jaipur and is easily well-connected. Also it is a wonderful extension to a Golden Triangle Tour. Besides the exciting safaris, Ranthambore is well-known for stay at the luxury wildlife resorts. Ranthambore was a number of them.

Jeep Safari in Ranthambore

Why Choose Ranthambore for Tiger Safari in India?

For a start, Ranthambore is one of the largest national parks in Northern India and is widely considered to be one of the best places to see tigers. It’s accessible from Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai making it an easier spot to get to than some other wildlife destinations in the country, and the tourist infrastructure is therefore pretty well established with plenty of hotels etc to choose from.

It’s not just tigers either, you’ll get to see beautiful jungle landscapes as well as having the opportunity to spot all kinds of other wildlife – from bears and leopards to monkeys and wild boars to name just a few of the species that live in the park.

Ranthambore National Park is best known for its high tiger population. The visitors to the park can easily see the tigers roaming freely or playing with their cubs and click wonderful pictures with their camera. Apart from the tigers, the national park has its share of panthers too. Kachida Valley is believed to be the place to sight these rather elusive cats. One can also find Marsh Crocodiles, Hyenas, Jungle Cats and Sloth Bears, Chital, Nilgai, and Chinkara.

The Ranthambore National Park also houses a large avian population comprising of Black Storks, Quails, Bonelli's Eagles, Spur Fowls, Crested Serpent Eagles and Painted Storks. During the winter months, the park attracts a lot of migratory birds, including a variety of ducks. The park is a heaven for the wildlife photography lovers as they can get a wonderful opportunity to capture the enchanting beauty of the nature and amazing wildlife.

Wildlife Safari in Ranthambore

Tourists have an option to enjoy a jeep or canter safari to explore the park. Tiger safari is conducted in a 6 seater jeep and 20 seater open top canters. A very important point to be considered here is that the Jeep Safari in Ranthambore must be pre booked well in advance, since the park authorities limit the number of jeeps entering the Park. Another prominent thing to remember here is that the safari timings may change according to the season. For instance, during winter season, the entry and exit timings tend to vary primarily because of the short daylight hours.

Best Time to Visit

The Park remains open from 1st October to 30th of June every year. The best time to visit Ranthambore would be from November to March as far as the weather is concerned.

How to Reach

By Air: Jaipur is the closest airport to the Ranthambore National Park, which is around 180 kms away from Jaipur city.

By Train: Sawai Madhopur is the nearest railway station connected to all the major regions of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, etc.

By Road: The park is just 11 kms away from Sawai Madhopur and one can hire private cabs or take state transport buses to reach Ranthambore conveniently.

Our suggested itineraries:

  • Tigers and the Golden Triangle
  • Bandhavgarh, Ranthambore and the Golden Triangle
  • Wild Wonders of The North India and The Taj Mahal
  • Birds, Tigers and The Taj Mahal
  • 4 Days Ranthambore Extension
  • Tigers, Leopards and Luxury Rajasthan


Goa: India’s Own Tropical Paradise

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India’s most popular beach destination, Goa earns its spot on the  Popular Destinations of the World at the Trip Advisor's Travellers' Choice Award 2020. India’s tropical paradise gets the 11th rank on the elite list. Goa is synonymous with its wonderful beaches, therefore undoubtedly it is India’s favourite beach getaway. Set along the cerulean spread of the Arabian Sea, Goa is the land of sun, sand and sea. The tropical haven is the most-preferred holiday destination in the country. Be it a family vacation, romantic honeymoon, fun-time with friends or any kind of vacation, Goa tours suit all!

Goa's colonial heritage

Under the rule of the Portuguese till 1961, Goa still retains its colonial past. The Indo-Portuguese character of the culture of Goa is very visible amongst its architecture as well as its people. Churches in Goa are elegant specimens of architecture that has been named among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. On a walk through Old Goa, come across the beautiful churches. Also, a part of the glorious past are the forts of Goa. These defensive structures now serve at beautiful lookouts that still retain the charms of the olden days.

The major tourist attractions of Goa are its sparkling blue of the waters and the sky in contrast of the golden sands, green paddy fields, swaying coconut trees and not to forget the lively spirit of the people. Goans make you feel at home, every moment spent here is nothing like you have experienced before. In the smallest state of India, there are quite a number of big surprises. Cruises that you cherish forever, casinos to try your luck, nightlife that keeps you up till the early hours of the day, food that combines the delicious flavours of the sea and the very different culinary style are some highlights of your holiday in Goa.

Beach in Goa

Beyond the stretch of the golden coastline that comprise of more than 50 beaches, Goa has much to offer. Watersports add to the pleasure of your dream beach holiday. The lush Western Ghats are close by, where there is much to explore. There are scenic waterfalls, especially the Dudhsagar Falls that is unmissable. The wildlife sanctuaries are blessed with rare flora and fauna, it is also a rare bird watcher’s heaven. If the unexplored backwaters, beautiful villages and best of all history that is fascinating. So, be it relaxation, sightseeing, adventure or whatever your heart desires, Goa has it all.

Lush greenery

The allure of Goa is that it remains quite different from the rest of India. While it is small enough to be explored in a way that other Indian states are not, it still has so much to provide you a wonderful vacation. Undoubtedly, Goa's tourism byline of "Goa - 365 days on Holiday" is absolutely true.
 


The Must-Visit Masterpieces of Temple Architecture in South India

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Indian Architecture has been one of the many reasons that India is a favourite among travellers from all around the world. While Rajasthan and North India, in general, is known for the magnificent royal palaces, forts and other incredible architecture; South India is known for incredible masterpieces of temple architecture.

An extraordinary confluence of art, craftsmanship and religion, temples in South India are a testament of cultural heritage and diversity of India. While there are millions of temples in India, some of the finest architectural creations are a must-visit highlight of tours in India. Dating back to thousands of years, the pride of many rulers and their dynasties, the temples of South India are some glorious creations that to date fascinate visitors with the beauty, devotion and their impressive architecture. Many of the temples in South India are on the elite list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Great Living Chola Temples

So, for the incredible craftsmanship or the spiritual bliss or just to awe at masterpieces of cultural heritage, here are a some of the must-visit temples with South India tour packages:

Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

One of the oldest temples in Tamil Nadu, built in the 7th century is the astounding seaside pilgrimage site in Mahabalipuram. The temple has been noted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 3 major shrines in the temple are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. The best time to visit the temple would be during the Mahabalipuram Dance Festival held on the exterior of the temple complex.

Our tours to visit Mahabalipuram - Glimpses of the South

Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai

Madurai Temple

Our tours to visit Madurai - Glimpses of the South

Hoysala Temple Architecture – Belur and Halebidu

Belur and Halebidu towns are home to treasures of Hoysala architecture. The ancient temples that date back to the days of the ruling Hoysala Empire.

Halebid is the local language translates to the meaning of the ruined city. Tough ravaged by the Bahmani Sultanate, the city was the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. Here lie the finest examples of Hoysala's workmanship. The beautiful Kedareswara and Hoysaleswara temples are adorned in beautiful carvings that are tales of Indian mythology as well as regular incidents. Walk through history as you walk past these exquisitely-carved temples.

Hoysala Temples in Halebidu

Belur is a small town in Karnataka and a former charming city of the Hoysala Empire. Though small in proportion, the city has a tall reputation worldwide for its Chennakeshava temple. The temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala style architecture along with splendid craftsmanship adorning the exteriors.

Ranganathswamy Temple, Trichy

Ranganathswamy Temple

The Ranganathswamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and was well known as the religious seat of learning as far back as the 11th century. Presently the temple includes a series of walled courts with 21 towers, and the tallest of these towers reaches up to 72 meters. The temple is surrounded by busy streets with some street vendors selling sweets, garlands and holy images to the worshippers and the tourists.

Rock Fort Temple, Trichy

Rockfort Temple

The Rock Fort Temple stands on an 84 m tall rock in the center of the town. In the 18th century, for the possession of the Fort the British fought and defeated the French at Trichy. The cave-shrines and temples are constructed on the rock. The Hall of a Thousand Pillars and the shrine of Shiva are something worth seeing. One can relax and enjoy the panoramic views of Trichy from the top of the temple.

Shravanabelagola, Karnataka

Shravanabelagola is a historic destination of Karnataka famous for its collection of Jain temples. The highlight of the town is the statue of Gommateshvara Bahubali as well as many attractive Jain temples, each exquisitely carved and adorned.

Kaidala, Karnataka

Hoysala temple

Famous for the two beautiful Hoysala temples, the town of Kaidala include the Chennakeshava Temple and Gangadareshwara Shrine. Master sculptor Jakanachari who sculptured the famous Hoysala temples of Somnathpura, Belur and Halebedu is said to have was born and brought up at Kaidala. Chenna Keshava temple is said to be a fusion of the Hoysala, Dravidian and Vijayanagara styles of architecture. The complete temple complex has a tall fort-like wall or Prakara around it. The Mahadwara or the Gateway Gopuram is a three-tiered massive structure with beautiful carvings and the large doorway is flanked by pillars with beautifully carved relief works of nubile dancing girls, sages, gods and goddesses.  

Kanchipuram Temples

Kailasanathar Temple

Kanchipuram, in the state of Tamil Nadu, is one of the most sacred cities in southern India and the second holiest after Varanasi. Also known as “The City of Thousand Temples”, Kanchipuram is an important holy pilgrimage for Hindus. People travel from far and wide to admire the magnificent stone cravings, chariot processions and shrines.

The Bull Temple, Bangalore 

Bull Temple, Bangalore

The Bull temple is located in the South of Bangalore. The deity is a huge 15-foot Basava or bull, which is the vehicle of Lord Shiva. The reason for curiosity about this huge Bull is that it has been carved from a single stone.

 


10 Amazing Things to Do On Your Golden Triangle Tour

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India’s favoured Golden Triangle circuit needs no introduction when it comes to a brief tour of the country’s history, architecture, heritage, culture, and tourist experiences. The Golden Triangle Tour covers cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, the three major tourist destinations in North India.

Delhi is the magical “City of Cities” with lots of heritage sites, culture excursions and some of the best hospitality. Agra makes its name on the world map with the beautiful ‘wonder of the world’ Taj Mahal. The most-photographed landmark in India needs no introduction; its ethereal beauty tells many tales of Mughal grandeur. Jaipur, the vibrant capital of Rajasthan and the newest entry on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites is a city of royal architecture, hospitality and the magnificence of Rajputana.

Now that you are aware of the charms of the Golden Triangle tour packages take a look at the amazing things to do on your holiday.

        1. Rickshaw ride in ChandniChowk

ChandniChowk in Old Delhi is a treasure of heritage and culture, in fact, the most amazing there is to explore in Delhi or all of the Golden Triangle circuit. Dating back to the Mughal days but now a vibrant shopping area, the old town area of ChandniChowk deserves to be explored and that too on a rickshaw ride. Explore the old alleys lined with heritage sites, watch the centuries old-shops trading spices, and do not miss out to shop for some great takeaways.

        2. Taste a palate of rich Indian gastronomy

Indian food is a palate of rich flavours, smells and unique tastes. Any India tour remains incomplete without trying the dishes. Street food in Old Delhi, especially the ParathewaliGali and the Mughlai dishes near Jama Masjid deserves a try. Agra is a city of Mughal splendour and not just in architecture but also gastronomy. The city is known for the delicious ‘Petha’, a sweet made of pumpkin dipped in sugar syrup. Do not miss to try over 50 types of savoury local chaats across the city. Jaipur is known for the delicious daal-baati-churma, kachoris, laalmaas and other pleasures.

        3. Heritage Tours of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur

When it comes to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, heritage is the prized attraction. The historic cities are home to incredible monuments, architecture and landmarks including the “Wonder of the World” Taj Mahal. Heritage tours of the cities allow a proper exploration of the architectural splendours. Learn about the history, characteristics of design, layout and more with a guided tour. Understand the incredible legacy at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and other sites.

        4. Relive history in the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri

On the last leg of Golden triangle tour, en route Jaipur from Agra lies Fatehpur Sikri. Exuding the same charm and marvellous architecture of the Mughal Empire, the abandoned city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for intricate, detailed carvings and designs.

        5. Discover Kathputhli Colony

The Kathputhli Colony is slum dwelling in the heart of Delhi. The colony is home to artists, dancers, singers, and of course, puppeteers. Watch performances of local dances like Chari, Ghumar, Bhawai and Dandiya here. There are puppet shows, magic and fire show to enjoy. Take the Art of Hope tour for enriching experiences.

        6. Experience Sufism

Sufism is not just a religion but more of a life-changing experience. For such a soulful rendezvous get to the NizamuddinDargah in Delhi, the tomb of Sufi Saint NizamuddinAuliya. Enjoy the divine Qawwalis sung by the devotees at the Dargah every Friday. After the soothing Sufi experiences try out delicacies at Karim’s or GhalibKabab Corner.

        7. Visit the Lotus Temple

The beautiful Lotus Temple is one of the popular landmarks of Delhi and also the Golden Triangle circuit. The architectural wonder deserves complete attention to bask in the soothing aura. Set in the middle of well-manicured lawns, the temple appears like a white lotus, and is a place of worship, of solitude and bliss.

        8. Cook like the locals

Indian food is a delight that deserves some special attention. While you can indulge in some great tastes a Golden Triangle tour becomes memorable when you also learn to create some Indian dishes. Learn cooking the local dishes with a local family and afterwards enjoying a delicious meal with them. Learn the local way of cooking, the use of spices and recipes.

        9. Watch the creation of impressive handicrafts

The Golden Triangle tour gives you a chance to explore the best of Indian arts and artisans. Enjoy a hands-on experience of the creation of impressive handicrafts. Learn about hand-block printing at the Sakshi Block Printing Factory or blue pottery, creation of traditional jewellery and more, at Sanganer Village in Jaipur.

        10 Shopping in Jaipur markets

All stops of the Golden Triangle Tour are all great shoppers’ paradise. No holiday in India is ever complete with a shopping trip. You can get beautiful handicrafts, clothes, handlooms and arts at the various markets in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.

A journey of a lifetime, the Golden Triangle Tour offers an incredible experience of Indian history, heritage, culture, gastronomy and other charms. To make the vacation all the more amazing, there is a golden chance of extending the trip with a visit to places such as Bharatpur, Ranthambore, Udaipur, Varanasi, Kerala or Goa or any other place that suits your interest.


The 10 Best Travel Books That Will Ignite Curiosity and Deepen your Love for India

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There is a famous saying “the thing about books is they let you travel without moving your feet” and this is one of the best ways to travel when you are unable to do so. A way to satiate your travel lust till you can actually travel to India, travel books make you travel to places, uncover the deepest of secrets and enrich you with incredible experiences. India is a land of infinite travel experiences and the travel books capture the charms of the land that ignites curiosity and deepen your love for India.

If you are a voracious reader and lived life through the books or just starting with reading, the travel books about India will take you to a world of wonders, inspire you, and in fact change you forever.

Let’s run down some of the best travel books about India that are a must read for the love of the country.

1. City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi - William Dalrymple

The City of Djinns is written with much love by William Dalrymple who has been enamored by India and especially the capital city, Delhi. The book narrates a curious tale of the centuries-long history of the eight cities of Delhi along with the legend of the djinn, the spirit that assures the restoration of the city like a phoenix, no matter the times it has been destroyed.

2. Chasing the Monsoon - Alexander Frater

As the name suggests the travelogue by Alexander Farter is all about Chasing the Monsoon in India and thereby exploring this vast and diverse land in all its glory. The beautiful descriptions of flooded paddy fields to rain-washed monuments, the blissful season of monsoons is lovingly captured in all its moods, soothing the reader and te traveller.

3. No Full Stops in India – Mark Tully

A must read for travellers in love with India, the book beautifully capture the love story between this BBC correspondent and India. The half-century long love affair with India is fondly captured with an account of travels through the country and his reflections. The everyday stories make you fall in love with India and experience affectionate feelings for the country.

4. Q&A – Vikas Swarup

A thought-provoking tale of the diversity of India, this novel is the script of multiple Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire. The story speaks about the contrasts which exist in the urban landscape of metropolitan India. The of various cultures, various people and all their stories and the hope that make India a true treasure to explore.

5. A Passage to India – E.M Forster

A must read for the tarvellers in love with India, a Passage to India is one of the 100 great works of 20th century English literature by the Modern Library and is considered to be one of the most beautiful accounts describing pre-Independence India. The story is set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. It paints the colourful and charming painting of vast and diverse India.

6. Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India ­– Pankaj Mishra

A light-hearted book that narrates the tale of travelling in India, Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India is a fascinating read. The name of the book is taken from one of India’s most favorite meal for non-vegetarians- the savory Butter Chicken. The tale is about the author’s encounters with the charming people of India and the fascinating culture while exploring places such as Mandi, Pushkar, Kottayam, Murshidabad, and extensive travel through small towns in India.

7. Wanderings in India and Other Sketches of Life in Hindostan – John Lang

A fascinating travelogue for travellers who are want to explore India or discover the country in a new light, the Wanderings in India and Other Sketches of Life in Hindostan is a must-read. The fantastic narrative of India during the colonial times and the many lifestyle habits of the British, this book helps travelers explore the colonial architecture of India in its various hill stations and cities now.

8. Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India – William Dalrymple

An Indian travelogue, the Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India is another masterpiece by William Dalrymple. The novel captures an experience of the spirituality of this diverse land through the narration of the lives of nine Indians from different religious backgrounds and the uniqueness that each exudes. This is a must-read for the ones who are in awe of the magical world of India.

9. Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found – Suketu Mehta

This Pulitzer Prize finalist, Maximum City is a must read for travellers curious about India or in deep love with India. The chronicle of India’s most vibrant metropolis, Mumbai, the novel captures the extremities of life, the colourful characters within the ‘the biggest, fastest, richest city in India’ and the unity and charms within the vast diversity.

10. All Roads Lead to Ganga – Ruskin Bond

A lovely piece of writing by the classic novelist Ruskin Bond, this is also a must read. It is a masterfully-crafted painting of the Himalayan foothills of Uttarakhand and the author who has lovingly made his home here. It reads like a love letter to the Indian countryside and especially the nature of Dehradun, Mussoorie, and the Char Dham pilgrimage routes to the source of the Ganga (Ganges) River.

While the list of travel books that deepens the love for India is vast, we specifically chose the top ten must reads.