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India Place to Visit

 
North India
Nourished by the Ganga and its tributaries and one of the most densely populated states of India, Uttar Pradesh lies on the foothills of Himalaya. Spread over an area of 295,000 sq km with a population of 155 million, geographically it consists of the vast Ganges plain and mighty Himalayas. High above the world where the mountains seem to touch the sky are the secret sources of India's sacred rivers. Here at a height of over 3000 metres the snow melts to form the Ganga and Yamuna rivers in a deep recess of the mountains. This hallowed ground is the destination of countless pilgrims every year. The holiest shrines of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Deoprayag and holy cities of Rishikesh, Haridwar and Varanasi (Kashi or Banaras) all are in this fascinating state of unequal match. The state is equally popular for Buddhist pilgrims for Sarnath where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon and Kushinagar-the place where Lord Buddha, the apostle of peace took Mahanirvana.

The World famous Taj Mahal - a mausoleum of matchless beauty, the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri in Agra, Mathura- the birth place of Lord Krishna, many beautiful hill stations like Mussoorie & Nainital and wildlife sanctuaries of world fame like the Corbett National Park all lie in the Northern India.
 
Delhi:
Delhi, the capital of India houses some of the magnificent monuments built from 12th century onwards: The Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb, Jama Masjid, India Gate (War Memorial), Parliament House, President's House and The Lotus Temple are worth a visit. Besides, there are number of interesting museums. The most important ones are National Museum - the premier museum of India, National Gallery of Modern Art, Rail Museum and Gandhi Museum.
 
Rajasthan:
Rajasthan is a land of superlatives-every thing herein is breathtakingly beautiful, impressive and fascinating. It is packed with history, art and culture that go back several centuries. Rajasthan has a total area of 343,000 square kilometers. The most striking feature of this land is its division by the majestic Aravelli range which runs from north east to south-west for about 688 km. Northwest of the Aravelli are the Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Barmer and Bikaner regions, it is the home of arid plains and the shifting sand dunes of the great Thar Desert. The other side of the hills is a land of rich in vegetation - Aravelli. Most famous for its Forts and Palaces; Rajasthan's Thar Desert and Cattle Fairs are no less interesting.
 
Central India:
Central India, located in the heart of India is the largest state in the country, sprawling over 4,43,000 km. It has one third of India's forests and hence numerous natural parks and sanctuaries, including Kanha and Bandhavgarh. Geographically it is a land of contrasts, with river valleys, dense forests and rolling plains overlooked by the ancient hills and high lands. It also proudly possesses the spectacular temples at Khajuraho known world over for their sheer beauty and masterpiece of artwork on stone and erotic figures.
 

Southern India:

Southern India emerges through the mists of antiquity. The historian is thrilled by the array of dynasties that marched their armies to battle and ruled over this land. It is here the skilled artists have treated stone like ivory and executed filigree work of great finesse.
The temples at Belur & Halebid are the masterpiece of most artistically exuberant periods of Hindu culture development. The city Palace of Mysore, the Brindavan Gardens, well laid out garden city of Bangalore, the wildlife sanctuaries at Nagerhole and Bandipur and rich spices and coffee plantation areas are many other attractions.
 
Banglore, The City of Baked Beans:
The capital city of Karnataka, Bangalore, the fifth largest city in India, is the perfect blend of natural beauty and man-made marvels of architecture and technology. Blessed with a salubrious climate and dotted with beautiful parks, its tree-lined avenues, its trendy, yuppie downtown, and the software flood, Bangalore truly offers one a picture of striking contrasts.

Bangalore -- located 1,000m above sea level is one of the most 'happening' places in India. Bangalore, which literally means the 'town of baked beans', was founded by Kempe Gowda, a chieftain of the Vijayanagar Empire, around the 16th century. He built four towers in four directions to specify its boundaries. However, Bangalore has far exceeded these limits since.
 
Mysore:
The third largest city in Karnataka, Mysore is the city of palaces, flowers and sandalwood. It was once the residence of the Maharajas of Mysore. Located 140km from Bangalore at a height of 770m above sea level, the city has a non-variant climate. Temperature varies from 20 degree C to 35 degree C during summer and 14 degree C to 28 degree C during the winter.
 
Kerala, God's own country
Kerala, packed with 26 million people in 38,900 sq km in a narrow strip of land between the Western Ghats and the beaches of the Arabian Sea, clings like a banana leaf to the southwestern coast of the Indian peninsula.

Green and serene, a paradise, God's own country, an ethereal vision or a poet's inspiration, a treasure of infinite beauty - all is said about Kerala. Lush plantations rise from the sea and sweep the entire state in verdant glory. Splendid festivals with mysterious rituals, herds of elephants leading processions or in the wild, exotic handicrafts, seafood preparations, Snake-boat races on the backwaters, Elephant March with hundreds of caparisoned elephants lined up, the martial art, Kathakali - the spectacular dance drama, and Ayurvedic Herbal Massage and Treatment all makes Kerala one of the most exciting destinations of India.
Eastern India:
Darjeeling:
the queen of hills:
Nestled in the Himalayas and surrounded by tea plantations, Darjeeling is one of the most popular hill stations of India. Its verdant hills and valleys are steeped in color, and are interspersed with vast stretches of lush green tea gardens. Presiding over all these is the 8568 m Mt. Kanchenjunga looming over the northern horizon giving a magical aura to the land that entices thousands to its environs and leaves all the senses intoxicated.
Until the beginning of the 18th century, Darjeeling (then called Dorje Ling) was with the rajas of Sikkim. It was invaded by Gurkhas in 1780 and later by the British after series of war. The major development of this pretty hill station took place between 1840-1857.Darjeeling town, Kalimpong and Kurseong are the major urban centers.
Darjeeling town is located on a spur with houses hugging the hillside. The places to visit are Chowrasta- a wide promenade atop a ridge lined with shops and restaurants amidst peaceful surroundings and splendid views; Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (also had the Siberian Tiger), the snow leopard breeding center and the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute- a training center for mountaineers which also houses the Everest museum. The Natural History Museum, the Observatory Hill, Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center - a major center for the production of Tibetan carpets, woodwork and leather goods, and the Tiger Hill- the highest point (2590 m) for its renowned sunrise view over Kanchenjunga and the eastern Himalaya are not to be missed.
Darjeeling is also famous for export of Tea. It has over 75 tea gardens employing over 40,000 people. The most convenient plantation to visit is the Happy Valley Tea Estates, only two km from the town. The best time to visit plantations is between April to November when plucking is in the progress. Toy Train, the journey to Darjeeling from New Jalpaiguri (main station connecting to east and north India) on the miniature railway (popularly called Toy Train) is a superb experience.
 

Sikkim:

Spread below the Mt. Kanchenjunga (8586 meters, the third highest mountain in the world and revered by the Sikkimese as their protective Deity) Sikkim is an amazing place
of hidden valleys, mystical monasteries, endless vistas of snow-crowned peaks, snow-fed lakes and a mountain setting covered with brilliant birds, butterflies, flowers and forests.
 
Gangtok:
The capital of Sikkim, is a picturesque town which cascades down the mountainside from a ridge 1520 meters high. Gangtok means the Lofty Hill, which has grown into a busy, bustling city with pagoda style houses, painted turquoise roofs and colourful people. Famous for its Royal Chapel, The Institute of Tibetology, Orchid Sanctuary, Gangtok is more popularly known for Rhumtek Monastery, an exact replica of the monastery of Chhofuk in Tibet.
 
Kalimpong
Kaimpong is a Hill Station between Darjeeling and Gangtok. Kalimpong's main attraction is the Tharpa Choling Monastery, established in 1922, belonging to the Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism founded in the 14th century in Tibet. This monastery is not visited by very many due to its location. It is a 40-minute walk (uphill) from the town. The other monastery situated down the hill is the Thongsa Gompa, or Bhutanese Monastery, which is the oldest monastery in the area and was founded in 1692.
 
Western India:
Mumbai

Mumbai, previously called Bombay, is the booming capital of Maharastra. It is the world's largest textiles market, a major industrial centre, the country's busiest port handling over 40 percent of India maritime trade and a major arrival point for overseas visitors. From Mumbai you can head off into India in number of directions but most travelers will either be heading south through Pune, with its famous ashram, to Goa or North-East to the amazing cave temples of Ajanta and Ellora

Mumbai's colonial legacy is the huge archway called the Gateway of India built to commemorate the royal visit of George V and Queen Mary in 1911. The Taj Mahal Hotel opposite the Gateway was built in 1903 by Jamshed ji N. Tata, founder of a prestigious industrial house, to counter a ban on Indian entering the then famous Watson's hostelry. The Prince of Wales Museum, Flora Fountain, St. Thomas Cathedral Crawford Market, Chor Bazaar (thieves market) and famous Marine Drive, Malabar Hill, Hanging Gardens and Kamla Nehru Park are the other places of interest.

The rock-cut Hindu temples at Elephanta, an island 6 miles across the harbour provide exciting glimpses of Indian sculpture daring from 600 AD. Huge panels depict episodes relating to Lord Shiva, the central one being the most imposing one - a five meter bust of the god, represents his three aspects as creator, preserver and destroyer. Motor-launch takes about an hour to reach the island where the caves are situated.

A British hunting party discovered Ajanta Caves in 1819. Their isolation had contributed to the fine state of preservation in which some of the paintings over 2000 years old remain to this day. Aurangabad is known more for the caves excavated and painted by Buddhist monks between 200 BC and AD 600. The 30 caves at Ajanta are the superb example of Indian's finest artistic treasures. They depict scenes from the life of the Buddha and Buddhist fables with skill and devotion.
At Ellora, 34 cave temples were carved out of the hillside with hand tools. Only 12 of these 34 caves are Buddhist. The 17 Hindu caves in the centre are the most impressive. The massive Kailash Temple (cave 16) is nearly one and a half times taller than the Parthenon and occupies almost twice its area. It is believed that it was constructed by excavating approx., 200,000 tones of rock and is possibly the world's largest monolithic structure. Representing Shiva's Himalayan home, the temple is exquisitely sculpted with scenes from Hindu mythology, each pulsing with drama, energy and passion. The depiction of the demon Ravana shaking Mount Kailash is a masterpiece.

PUNE, another fast grown industrial town with pleasant climate year around is also an institutional centre of Maharashtra, 170 kilometers southeast from Bombay.

GOA is the nature's paradise. Its over 100 kilometers long coastline is studded with some of the world's loveliest beaches - Calangute, Colva, Baga, Vagator and Miaramar. Golden Beaches, Blue Skies and Pale Green Hills, Silvery Sand fringed with palms - this is Goa - the land of Paradoxes, the land of Fun and Frolic, of calm and tranquility.