India, Travel in India

Karnataka’s First luxury Train- The Golden Chariot

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The Golden Chariot – The Pride of the South India Rail journey

Royalty, Heritage, treasure of archaeology and cultural ethos manifest into one luxury train, which has been named after Stone Chariot in the Vitthala Temple at Hampi( A world heritage site); We are referring to India’s first disabled-friendly luxury train- The Golden chariot.

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Exterior view of The Golden Chariot
(Pic Courtesy: goldenchariot.info)

The train has got inspirations from India‚Äôs original luxury train ‚ÄĚPalace on wheels‚ÄĚ with greater detailing on comforts of the travellers. With 44 guest cabins,¬†two multi-cuisine restaurants,¬†on-site lounge bar, conference car, Spa,¬†gymnasium- Karnataka‚Äôs luxury train, The Golden Chariot vies with its illustrious counterparts in India and abroad.

Travel like royalty! Pic Credit: Official Facebook Page

Travel like royalty!
Pic Credit: Official Facebook Page

It has been awarded the title of “Asia’s Leading Luxury Train” at World Travel Awards, 2013 and Owing to its world class facilities; Golden Chariot has earned the recognition as one of the seven best luxury trains in the World from Vanity Fair Magazine.

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Colour of The Golden Chariot is deep purple & gold.
(Pic Credit: goldenchariot.info)

This train bears the royalty in its colour combinations and logo too- purple and gold- while its logo is a mythological animal having elephant face and the body of a lion. Whereas Purple symbolises elegance, sophistication and Royalty; on the other hand the use of golden colour showcase the golden jubilee celebrations of the Karnataka State.

Depending on the selected itinerary, Route of the train truly signifies as standing testimony to the skill and craftsmanship of Ancient southern India at Mysore, Srirangapatna, Sravanabelogola, Halebeedu, Belur-the 11th century cradle of Hoysala architecture and a world heritage site, Hampi, and thereafter entering into the triangular heritage site of Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole and The Nagarahole National Park (Kabini) is witnessed by travellers and the luxury train terminates in Goa.

The Golden Chariot Train is equipped with various kinds if modern amenities to satisfy the tastes of foreigners well as the domestic travellers. 11  coaches of this train are named after dynasties that ruled the region : Kadamba,  Hoysala,  Rashtrakuta,  Ganga,  Chalukya,  Bahamani,  Adil Shahi,  Sangama,  Satavahana,  Yadukula and  Vijayanagar.

Itineraries

The Golden Chariot offers 2 memorable itineraries. The itineraries are named Pride of the South and Splendor of the South.

Pride of the South:-

Pride of the South tour is a 7 nights and 8 days itinerary during which several tourist places in Karnataka are covered. The destinations covered during Pride of the South are

Bengaluru (Day 1), Mysore (Day 2), Nagarhole National Park  (Day3),  Hassan, Karnataka,  Belur and Halebidu (Day 4),  Hospet and Hampi (Day 5),  Aihole,  Pattadakal  and Badami (Day 6), Goa (Day 7), and back to Bengaluru (Day 8).

Splendor of the South:-

Splendor of the South tour covers tourist places in 3 South Indian states. During this 7 nights and 8 days itinerary, tourist places in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry are explored. Destinations covered during this itinerary include  Bangalore (Day 1),  Chennai (Day 2),  Pondicherry (Day 3),  Tanjavur (Day 4),  Madurai (Day 5),  Thiruvananthapuram (Day 6),  Alleppey and Kochi(Day 7)  and return to Bangalore (Day 8)

Executive Travel in India Photo Credit: Facebook official Page

Executive Travel in India
Photo Credit: Facebook official Page

Departure Schedule of The Golden Chariot

The Golden Chariot Departure Calendar ( October 2014 to April 2015)
Sr. No. Month 1st Week 2nd Week 3rd Week 4th Week 5th Week
Date Date Date Date Date
1 Oct-14 6-P 13-P 20-S 27-P
2 Nov-14 3-S 10-P 17-S 24-P
3 Dec-14 1-S 8-P 15-S 22-P 29-S
4 Jan-15 5-P 12-S 19-P 26-S
5 Feb-15 2-P 9-S 16-P 23-S
6 Mar-15 2-P 9-S 16-P 23-S
7 Apr-15 6-C 13-C 20-C 27-C
P Pride of the South tour
S Splendour of the South tour

(This is not final Calender and can vary with actual journey schedule. Please Re-check with the authorized authority.)

Indeed, embarking journey on a luxurious voyage and passing through timeless Historical Heritage Sites, memorable Palaces, Wildlife and Golden Beaches with the comfort of luxury train like The Golden chariot is an amazing experience and each traveller should witness this.

Happy Travelling!

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Freedom in the Mind, Faith in the words, and Pride In Our Hearts. Celebrating the spirit of India. Feel joy and pride of being an Indian.
TripOrTrap family wishes one & all a very Happy 65th Republic Day 2014.
Jai Hind !
One Nation, One Vision, and One Identity.

India, Travel in India

Happy 65th Republic Day of India!

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India, Travel in India

Theyyam- The ritual dance form showcasing the faith in divine.

To appease Nature, spirits and ancestors in ancient temples or ancestral homes (Tharavadu), artistes who’re believed to be the incarnate of God, perform a performing art form that is quite popular in the northern districts of Kerala.

This ritual dance form is a mix of art & ritualism. It embodies myth, dance and music & is called as  Theyyam  (Teyyam,  Theyyattam  or Thira).  The word Theyyam comes from  Deivam  that stands for God in Malayalam.

Each marked with a distinct costume, there are more than 400 different theyyam in Kerala. (Pic Credit: Kerala Tourism board)

Each marked with a distinct costume, there are more than 400 different theyyam in Kerala.
(Pic Credit: Kerala Tourism board)

Theyyams dress themselves in predominantly colour red for facial make up as well as in dazzling costumes, marked by headgears of varying size whereas each self made costume & facial make-up vary according to the role and myth of the forms.

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Make-up of Vishnumoorthi Theyyam
(Pic Credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons)

In the Malabar region of Kerala, the districts of Kannur and Kasaragod this art form has more dominance & from December to May, the region come alive with the sound of anklets, folk musical instruments & the thrill in the air.

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Theyyam,of northern Kerala showcase the faith in divine.
(Photo by binux on Flickr)

During the course of a Theyyam performance, the dancer along with the drummers recites a story in the form of ritual songs, of the deity to be propitiated. This performance is backed by playing folk musical instruments like chenda, tuti, kuzhal and veekni, played in a certain rhythm. So, Theyyam is a performance is a combination of playing of musical instruments, vocal recitations, dance, and peculiar make-up and costumes.

If you happen to be in Kerala these days- apart from Backwaters, spices gardens, Munnar hills fragrance; there is one more reason to spend winters here!

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Nine Days of Devotion: Navratri Celeberations in India

In a country with a myriad of religions, customs and beliefs, blended expertly in colours of democracy, there is one festival that stands out for other, perhaps in part due to the vibrancy of its celebrations, or perhaps due to the diversity of it. The Navratri is in many ways a celebration of celebrations.

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Goddess Durga Aarti in Navratras

The months of October-November arrive and India is completely dipped in colours of fun and frolic. Navratri Festival is celebrated in different regions of the country with a lot of vim and brio. Though these festive nine days are dedicated to Shakti or the nine forms of Goddess Durga. Throughout India, Navratri is celebrated in diverse ways but what remains same throughout whole country is the intensity of enjoyment and devotion, and it is these celebrations that highlight the culturally rich aspect of our incredible India. While the celebrations in the metropolitan cities have a very commercial feel to it, the traditional way of celebrating Navratri is a very different and far more spiritual.It wouldn’t be possible for an individual to visit the length and breadth of the country during the festive season to experience the fervor of Navratri in ways that are region specific, but this piece can make one go places virtually!

Here’s taking a look at how the different regions of India celebrate the auspicious nine nights of Navratri:

In West Bengal, and most parts of eastern India, it takes the form of Durga Puja, an occasion to celebrate the Triumph of Good over Evil. According to legend, a vicious buffalo-demon, Mahishasura, had raised hell at the gates of heaven, causing widespread terror. The Goddess Durga was actualised by the combined efforts of all the deities to slay him. Thus, Durga astride a lion, with an assortment of weapons in her 10 hands, slayed Mahishasura. Durga is also worshipped as Shakti, and beautiful idols of the Mother Goddess adorn elaborate pandals (marquees) for five days (starting from the fifth day of Navratri). Believers (and non-believers) flock to these pandals with gay abandon. On the tenth day of the celebrations, the idols are carried out in colourful processions to be immersed (visarjan) in a river or a pond. With a different style of celebrating this festival and a different name too, Poschim Bangal looks drenched in bright and vibrant colours as Maa Durga descends from heaven to visit her maternal home on Earth. She is received with much love and warmth through worships, fasts and cultural events. Bengalis play with red colours to mark Goddess‚Äô departure. The festivities go synonymous with the sound of the ‚ÄúDhol & Dhak‚ÄĚ, the ‚Äúpandal-hoping‚ÄĚ and the traditional ‚Äúbhog‚ÄĚ.

Even though religious festivals in the region are observed by the people according to their faith in the north-eastern states, Durga puja is a time when the entire region irrespective of State, community, ethnicity, tribe or religion is immersed in a festive spirit. In most parts, community pandals are set up in almost all urban localities and many villages to celebrate the festival. Idols of the Goddess are made by local artisans & Puja pandals are attractively decorated & to create public awareness a recent trend has been to have thematic displays highlighting the problems plaguing society like inflation, crime against women, corruption, violence, terrorism, flash- floods, rhino poaching etc. Durga puja is also conducted in the Kamakhya temple at Guwahati for five days. Kamakhya is known as a shaktipeeth. Tripura also celebrates Durga puja extensively. Manipur started celebrating Durga puja from 1714, when the then king Pamheiba Ningtou embraced Hinduism. Aizawl the capital of Mizoram has a long tradition of observing Durga puja dating back to 1904.

North India has a bit modified name i.e Navratras and is enjoyed by fasting and visiting decorated temples but the best feature about this festival is Ramlila. Ramlilas are organized by almost every area or block in New Delhi & around, where stage artists enact various scenes from the Hindu epic Ramayana. Food and huge bumpy rides along with various cultural shows add to the beauty and enjoyment of Ramlilas; which are also a great way to spread teachings of Lord Rama and to popularize the Epic Ramayana.

Himachal Pradesh celebrates Navratri with utmost devotion. The tenth day of this grand festive season is called Kullu Dusshera in the state. Unlike other states, the festival begins in Himachal when it ends elsewhere. People mark this day to rejoice the return of victorious Lord Rama to Ayodhya. Songs and dance are common ways to express devotion. On Dusshera or Dashami, the deities from the temples of the village are taken out in processions.

The Punjabis have a unique way of paying obeisance to Goddess Shakti. Most of the people in Punjab go on a fast for the first seven days. They also organize a jagraata (keeping awake whole night by singing devotional songs dedicated to the Goddess). On the eighth day or Ashtami, the fast is broken by organizing a bhandara for 9 young girls (Kanjika). A bhandara means a feast that includes puris and halawa chana. The girls are also gifted with a red chunri.

The festival of Navratri acquires quite a fascinating and colourful dimension in the region of Gujarat, and in some parts of Rajasthan and Maharashtra. The highlights of the festival are the extremely colourful dances of Garbha and Dandiya-Rasa during which, both men and women dressed in the traditional attires put up stunning performances to the vibrant rhythm of music. These dances are performed around the traditionally decorated terracotta pot called the garbi that has a small diya (lamp) burning inside signifying knowledge, or light meant to dissipate the ignorance, or darkness, within. Dholak players (drummers) accompany the dancers, and groups of singers sing songs ranging from songs handed down generations to popular bollywood hits.

In the South India, the Dravidian states add a different colour to this festive fabric. In Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the festival of Navratri is celebrated in a different manner. People adorn their houses with dolls (Bommai Kolu), draw traditional designs or rangolis (patterns made on the floor by using various coloured powders and flowers), and light lamps. During Navratri festival (also known as Kolu in the state of Tamil Nadu), families proudly display traditional ‚Äėgolu‚Äô and gather to sing songs and depict scenes from the various epics, for a period of ten days. `Golu` is an arrangement made on a make-shift staircase with nine stairs. Each stair symbolizes each day of Navratri. Decorative items, idols of Gods and Goddesses are placed on the stairs. In most cases, the dolls that are used for the ‚ÄėGolu‚Äô are handed over from generation to generation. Another runaway hit is the sundal, a special sweet made from lentil and brown sugar. Families and friends exchange the traditional gifts of coconuts, clothes and sweets on this occasion.

`Batukamma Panduga` is celebrated during Navratri in Andhra Pradesh, which means `Come Alive Mother Goddess`. These nine days are dedicated to Shakti and are celebrated in a very unique way. Women prepare `Batukamma` which is actually a beautiful flower stack, arranged with seasonal flowers, in seven layers. After preparing their respective Batukamma’s, women gather in the evening for the ritual. They place them in the centre and dance around them by singing folk songs dedicated to Goddess Shakti. Then they march towards a lake or any other water body and set afloat their Batukammas.

Unlike Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, Kerala celebrates only the last three days of Navratri. Ashtami, Navami and Vijaya Dashmi are of utmost importance for the Keralites. This South Indian state that tops the literacy rate in the country, considers these three days as the most auspicious time to initiate learning.

Karnataka will be celebrating its 403rd Navratri this year. Karnataka’s way of celebrating Navratri dates back to the times of Raja Wodeyar in the 1610 & they follow the same trend which was followed by the great Vijayanagara dynasty. It’s called `Naada Habba’ in the state. However, the basic reason for the celebrations remains the same Рvictory of Goddess Durga over demon Mahishasur. The celebrations include procession of elephants on the streets. Fairs and exhibitions of handicrafts and artifacts are common feature.

The festival of Navratri ends with the celebration of Dussehra or Vijaya Dashmi; literally meaning ‘The Day marking the Triumph of Good over Evil’). It is associated with another legend where Lord Rama killed the demon-king Ravana. Dusherra is celebrated all over the nation by burning down big idols of three demons i.e. King Ravana, Meghnatha and Kumbhkarna. Dussehrra conveys the message that goodness and humbleness can defeat power and evil intentions. It marks the happy ending to the 9 day-long celebrations.

It is not just in India that these festivals are celebrated; Indians abroad have not forgotten their roots and culture and celebrate each of the festival with immense fervor. Today, round the globe wherever there are Indians, these festive traditions are enjoyed!
I‚Äôm hoping that reading this has taken you places…..happy festivities! ÔĀä

Shristi Singh

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India, Travel in India

Backpack and Hit the Rough Routes

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Backpacking- To travel is to live
Pic credit: Pinterest

For some travelers it is the destination that matters, and for some it is the journey!

Backpackers are of the latter sorts! There are many reasons why people choose to take a backpacking trip. It is not just budget travelers who choose to do it, but rather people in search for an experience of the real. Backpacking in any country allows you to see past the superficial layers that exist in travel brochures. It leads you to encounter the soul of the county, beyond a typical bus.

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Backpacking- No place in Particular
Pic credit: Pinterest

The world is a crazy place to go backpacking and the sheer variety of countries and destination options means that you can travel for months and barely even scratch the surface of the world has to offer. Backpacking differs from typical tourist trips, starting with the amount it costs. For backpackers average accommodation is dirt cheap as you are on the lookout for the most basics.

Food is available to suit a variety of tastes and pocket sizes. With the variety of transport facilities, you can be sure to get to any parts across the world or locality, quite easily. If you are not a fan of moving around on two, get four. Hit the roads for a road trip, stop at all the small places and take Another highlight of backpacking, is the opportunity of meeting a multitude of people from varied walk of life, when you take the rough routes, you come to interact with the local people and get to know their native languages, food and also customs. People are happy to meet and talk to you, when you are one among them. This constant contact with people, despite language barriers, helps improve your social skills. You become street smart! A backpacker has to adapt and improvise as there is not always a fixed plan or routine! But on a backpack trip, it’s your own time and there is no late or rush, so you have the liberty to do whatever you like!

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Glow Sign- Let’s go anywhere
Pic Credit: Pinterest

Another fascination could be amazing culture and heritage. From art and craft to architecture, local¬†delicacies to dialects; as a backpacker the world is your oyster. Get away from the humdrum of¬†mundane life and venture into the unknown. It‚Äôs an experience in survival with bare minimum. You¬†can wear the same clothes every day because nobody will ever know. Remember you are on the¬†move! Click pictures and say, ‚Äėbeen there, done that!‚Äô

All these different experiences (good and bad) just make you feel alive. To go beyond your own¬†boundaries and discover the lesser known places and experiences which tell you so much about the¬†destination and about yourself; that‚Äôs what backpacking is all about. The reward for those who take¬†the back roads and are prepared to rough it; is an experience that is impossible to forget ‚Äďan up¬†close view of the land and its people and a real journey!

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Dream is to travel the world

Enjoy the rest of your journeys, for you have many left. So, keep few clothes & items for daily chores and let’s hit the Road.

Happy Traveling!

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India, Travel in India

‚ÄúThe Heart of India‚ÄĚ- a trip to Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh has often been referred to as ‚Äúthe heart of India‚ÄĚ and with a sense of the epithet. Not only does the state lie strategically in Central India- it is indeed an enigma, a region so vast, so diverse in culture & tradition and so rich in history that any visitor will be left spellbound by its magic. Charming colonial hill stations, wildlife parks, temple towns, historic cities, food streets, a calendar full of exciting festivals- Madhya Pradesh is indeed a state for all seasons. In whichever direction of the state you drive, you will be surprised by how gifted the region is.

The city that was praised to the skies for its forts & temple by Ibn Batuta (and much later, Warren Hastings), Gwalior, finds its charms in the chaos & commotion of the city. A city where Miya Tansen came from, Gwalior is a pilgrimage for art & history lovers. Ancestral capital of the Scindias, the city with its forts, palaces, temples, towers, canons & battlements are truly larger than life. The Gwalior fort is known to be the oldest surviving Hindu fort & dates back to 3rd century AD.

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Man Singh Palace
Photo credit: Carol Mitchell / Foter / CC BY-ND

Mysterious rocky silhouettes rise up into the velvet sky as ghats merge into the Satpura ranges. Soaring in glittering splendor, the marble rocks at Bhedaghat rise to a hundred feet on either side of the Narmada & provide the perfect reason to take a boat down the glistening water. Boating on a moonlit night is a MUST DO, when the whole stretch of water is transformed into a sheet of liquid silver is absolutely magical.

Dotted with hundreds of water bodies, Mandu becomes the countries romance capital in monsoons. The historic town of Mandu with its fantastic palaces still rings out loud with the story of love that has become the stuff of legends. Add to it the legend of Rani Rupmati & Baz Bahadur, and you have the recipe for a holiday full of drama.

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Jahaz Mahal, Mandu
Photo credit: Rahul Chhiber / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

A visit to the rock shelters of Bhimbetka is an experience of its kind. The rocks are situated approximately 45kms from Bhopal on the road to Hoshangabad. These rocks have paintings, some of which date back to the Mesolithic time, almost 10,000 years ago! It is also a UNESCO world heritage site. This could perhaps, give you a feel of time-travel.

If what you seek is an adventure in the wild, there are perhaps only a few places better than MP. Bandhavgarh, at the core of M.P.’s tiger belt, is a national park where you are likely to see more than just pugmarks. A must visit within the park is the Bandhavgarh fort. Elephant & open vehicle safaris are a good way to venture into the wild.

Sanchi is one of those places custom-built for black-and-white history text books. Known for one of the best conserved stupas, monasteries, temples & pillars in the world, dating from 3rd century BC to 12th century AD. There are a cluster of structures from the Ashokan period.

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Sanchi Stupa
Photo credit: Eileen Delhi / Foter / CC BY-NC

Orchaa, once the capital of the Bundela Rajputs, has a splendid collection of palaces, forts & temples sitting on the banks of the Betwa River and with a skyline consisting of chhatris that rise like apparitions from densely forested banks. There are 3 spectacular palaces on Orchha that stand fortified & the history of the town comes alive with the sound and light show in the evenings. The heritage town of Orchha is also where rafting safaris on the Betwa River are conducted.

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Orchha in Madhya Pradesh
Photo credit: Rita Willaert / Foter / CC BY-NC

Had it not been for the British soldier called Burt, we would have been deprived of this wonderful carnival in stone. Now a UNESCO world heritage site, Khajuraho group of temples built under the Chandelas, is a lot more than the erotic sculptures it is famous for. Today, only 22 out of 85 temples have survived the ravages of time, the walls of which depict a celebration of religion, love, joy & creativity; as a collective paean to the ultimate fusion of man with its creator. A sound-and-light show is also held daily when the temples come to life & it is bound to leave you gawking in admiration. Against the backdrop of the beautifully carved temples, ghunghroos resonate as leading dancers from India & the world over perform classical dances during the Khajuraho Festival of Dance.

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments in Khajuraho (Photo courtesy : flickr/rossburton)

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments in Khajuraho
(Photo courtesy : flickr/rossburton)

 

Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculptures (Photo courtesy: flickr/asianu)

Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculptures
(Photo courtesy: flickr/asianu)

Madhya Pradesh encourages the visitors to experience & indulge in not just culture and history, but also offers a great culinary and shopping experience. The street food capital of Madhya Pradesh, Indore is a shortcut to foodie heaven. Relish the flavours of MP, irrespective of whether you are a vegetarian or non-vegetarian, as in Indore, there is something for everybody. The most popular dishes are Bafla, Bhutte ki keesh & kababs. With a variety of sweets & savouries that the city offers, don‚Äôt be surprised if your jeans feel tight round your stomach after a guilt-free binge in Indore.¬† Ask a bhopali for Nawab-era food & you will be directed to nalli nehari, mutton samosa, sheermal & kababs. MP is also famous for Shahi Tukda, morena gajak, malwa shikanji and jalebi-rabdi….a sweet-tooth‚Äôs dreamland.

A must-buy while in MP are the locally made traditional handicrafts & the famous colourful Chanderi & Maheshwari sarees. A great place to go for shopping is Gwalior as the colourful bazaars of the city are perhaps the oldest in MP. For souvenirs you could pick items like lacquer ware, dolls, hand woven carpets, tribal jewellery & gun metal from MP. A popular pick would however be a miniature stone-carved replica of the sculptures of Khajuraho. Ujjain also has its own tradition of papier-mache work, and here you can find anything from decorative items to furniture.

The ‚Äėjabua,‚Äô right in the tribal heartland, is dominated by the Bhil tribe. Visit a weekly haat at any of these villages & meet local people. While at it, also look out out for tribal silversmiths & pick up rather attractive Bhil jewellery.

It is a state where the residents welcome visitors with open arms and are bound to make you feel at home. So, come & live the magic that is Madhya Pradesh. ‚ÄúHindustan ka dil dekho‚ÄĚ.

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Tea, Bamboo, Crude Oil, Brahmaputra, Silk, Natural Gas, Handicrafts, One Horned Rhinoceros, Elephants and the list goes on and on. The states namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura which together bear the sweet name of ‚ÄėSeven sister states of India‚Äô is the abode of all the vital gifts which are mentioned above.

From old times, India’s Seven Sister States has been the meeting point of many communities, faiths and cultures. A place far-famed for its magical beauty and flummoxing diversity, North East India is the home for more than 166 separate tribes speaking a wide range of languages. Some groups have migrated over the centuries from places as far as South East Asia; they retain their cultural traditions and values but are beginning to adapt to contemporary lifestyles. The luxuriance of its landscape, the range of communities and geographical and ecological diversity makes the North East quite different from other parts of the subcontinent. The most fascinating feature one can observe and enjoy in this part is the festivals and celebrations which are a vivid reflection of their lives.

Arunachal Pradesh Head gear

Arunachal Pradesh
Photo credit: rajkumar1220 / Foter / CC BY

The 24th state of the Indian Union, Arunachal Pradesh is bounded by Bhutan to the west, Myanmar to the east, China to the north and north-east and the plains of Assam to the south. It is recognized to be one of the most resplendent, motley and multilingual tribal areas of the world. The place is dowered with thick evergreen forests with various streams, rivers and gorges and hundreds and thousands of species of flora and fauna covering more than 60% of the total area. The land of the Dragon gates, hundred pristine lakes and numerous waterfalls, situated high up in the misty-eyed Eastern Himalaya, TAWANG, is a one of the most famous tourist destination.

Tawang Monastery

Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh

Tawang Monastery, locally called Gumpha, and the world’s second highest pass, Se La Pass, are also among great attractions in the Tawang valley.

Another fine place which is in Arunachal Pradesh is Bomdila, which offers spectacular panoramic views of Himalayan¬†landscapes and snow clad mountains. Bomdila, lies amidst apple orchards, wild orchids, forests and cascading waterfalls. Tipi, Asia’s largest orchidarium and Bhalukpong, a beautiful picnic are not the places to be missed.

The Zoo, Craft Centre, and Polo Park of Ita Nagar; the Pine covered mountains of Ziro; the Akashi ganga in Along; Dr. D. Ering Wildlife Sanctuary in Pasighat are the other mind blowing assets to visit.

 

One Horned Rhinoceros

One Horned Rhinoceros

¬†A state known for its breath taking scenic beauty, rarest flora and fauna, lofty green hills, vast rolling plain, mighty waterways and a land of fairs and festivals; Assam, is a gateway of north east. It forms part of a global bio-diversity ‚Äúhotspot‚ÄĚ, out of 41 listed endangered species of wildlife are found in Assam, which includes Golden Langur, Hoolock Gibbon, Pygmy Hog, Hispid Hare, White-Winged Woodduck, Tiger, Clouded Leopard, Swamp Deer, Gangetic Dolphins, etc.

The Srimanta Sankardeva kalakshetra, a grand exposition of the life and culture of the people of Assam is a wonderful place to visit in Guwahati. State Zoo cum Botanical garden; Dighalipukhuri, a water body in the heart of the city with boating facilities, cruises on the river Brahmaputra in the ‘Jolporee’, the famous Balaji Temple of Tirupati,Planetarium, the Saraighat Bridge over the Brahmaputra, the Guwahati Oil Refinery, Lachit Barphukan Park and the Guwahati University are places worth visiting.

Chandubi lake with a natural lagoon, Sualkuchi with its silk, Hajo with a meeting point of three religions( Hindu, Muslims, Buddhists), Majuli with the world’s largest river Island, Haflong with its rainbow, and Tezpur with its legends are the highlights of Assam.

The¬†‘land of gems,’ Manipur, is the land of rich valleys surrounded by beautiful hills and lakes, a land of blue blooded people who like to make merry. Due to geographical isolation and inaccessibility, Manipur remained almost unaffected by political vicissitudes in the subcontinent. The floating mass of vegetation on the Loktak Lake sustains small herds of the most unique ‚ÄėSangai- the dancing deer.‚Äô

The largest freshwater lake in the north eastern India, Loktak Lake, rich in bio-diversity has made it the perfect home of avian life. The beauty of the lake has been enhanced by the presence of floating weed. Sendra Island in the middle of the lake, with a tourist cottage offers a spectacular view of the surrounding. Moirang, Langthabal, Kaina, Ulkhrul are some beautiful destinations to visit in Manipur.

The abode of the cloud, Meghalya, is endowed with a rich variety of flora and fauna. Of about 17,000 species of orchids in the world, around 3000 varieties are found in Meghalaya. A botanical wonder, the pitcher plant, an insect eating plant is found in the district of Jaintia hills, West Khasi hills and South Garo hills of the state. The interesting birds found in the state include Hornbills, King Vulture, Crested Serpent, Eagle, Partridges, Teals, Snipes, Quails etc.

One can visit the Shillong peak, Ward’s Lake, Botanical Garden, Lady Hydari Park, Elephant Falls, Spread Eagle Falls and a old 18 hole Golf Course in the¬†‚ÄúScotland of East‚ÄĚ i.e. Shillong. Jaintia hills, Jowai, and the paradise of Naturalists, Garo Hills fall among most visited tourist attractions.

The land of the highlanders, which celebrates the festivals like Mimkut, Chapchar kut and Pawl, Mizoram, has a beautiful range of colorful wild flowers. The people of Mizoram, Mizos, ¬†are a close- knit society with no class distinction and discrimination on grounds of sex, status or religion. They are hospitable, sociable and love music, singing and dancing. Mizos are agriculturists, practising what is known as “Jhum Cultivation”or slash- and- burn system of cultivation.

One of the most well known enjoyable spots of Mizoram is Tamdil, which is endowed with a scenic lake with some of the most amazing locations of Mizoram in the backdrop. The resort village and the nearby jungles along with the fascinating flora and fauna have transformed this small location into a hustling tourism spot.¬†Another major tourism attraction in Mizoram is Champai which is also known as the ‚Äėfruit bowl of Mizoram‚Äô, as it is known for its vineyards

The land of Naga’s, Nagaland, is a hilly state whose hills are a continuation of the Burma Arc being joined with the Sub-Himalayan ranges in the north and stretching into the hills of Manipur. Even when the city is small, the people here speak many languages and differ widely in dress and other cultural traits, as well as in physical features. They belong to Mongoloid stock but yet there are great differences in the details between one tribe and other, as well as between different people of the same tribe.

The Ruins of the Medeival kachari Kingdom, Diezephe Craft Village, Rangapahar Reserve Forest situated in Dimapur are amazing destinations. Some of the alluring and popular places in Nagaland include the scenic Kohima, Mon, Wokha,Phek, Peren and much more.

Girded almost on the three sides by Bangladesh, linked with Assam and Mizoram in the northeast, the ancient home of Bodos, Tripura, has not only people hailing from different regions but also people constituting different ethnic groups. Each ethnic tribe has its own language and distinctive forms of cultural expressions, such as music, dance and festivals.

The Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary, located at a distance of 28 kms from the capital city of Agartala and on the way to Udaipur, the ancient capital of Tripura has an aura of its own. Neer Mahal, the royal summer palace built in the middle of Rudrasagar Lake is a fascinating view as the boat approaches the palace in the middle of the lake. Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya constructed the palace in 1930 perhaps inspired by the Lake Palace of Udaipur in Rajasthan and the palace was christened as Neer Mahal by none other than Rabindranath Tagore. The palace illustrates Mughal school of architecture with copious dome shaped minars. Jampui Hills, Dumboor Lake, and the temples are other soures of attractions in this state.

One must say that the seven states, ‚ÄúParadise Unexplored,‚ÄĚ is beautiful in many aspects and thus, a must-visit place to explore and enjoy

Paradise Unexplored ‚Äď Seven Sister States of India

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