Travel in India

The Himalayas from 20,000 ft in the first ultra HD footage

Teton Gravity Research released the first ever ultra HD footage of The Himalayas. The Footage has been captured from 20,000 Ft above the most advanced gyro-stabilized camera system in the world.

The vimeo update by the Teton Gravity Research states :

The aerial cinema experts at Teton Gravity Research release the first ultra HD footage of the Himalayas shot from above 20,000 ft. with the GSS C520 system, the most advanced gyro-stabilized camera system in the world. Filmed from a helicopter with a crew flying from Kathmandu at 4,600 ft. up to 24,000 ft. on supplemental oxygen, these are some of the most stable, crisp, clear aerial shots of these mountains ever released, which include Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, and Lhotse.

Hope you all will as much thrilled to watch the footage as we are!

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Travel in India

Snapshot of IRCTC Cancellation Rules for e-tickets

The e- tickets are booked and cancelled through IRCTC site and the refund of fare is credited to the customer’s account after deducting the applicable Service charges and taxes.

Cancellation of e-Tickets after the preparation of Reservation charts:-

Clause Time Before Scheduled Departure of train AC First Class/ Executive Class AC 2 Tier / First Class AC 3 Tier/   AC Chair car/ AC 3 Eco Sleeper Class Second Class
A More than 48 hrs 120 100 90 60 30
B 48 hrs to 6 hrs^ 25% 25% 25% 25% 25%
C less than 6 hrs* 50% 50% 50% 50% 50%
^subject to a minimum of the cancellation
charge referred to in clause(a)
*subject to a minimum of the cancellation
charge referred to in clause(a)

For Brief Insight, Travellers can check this Link and for detailed procedures realted to Refund Rules, Click Here

(P.S: The information provided above has been scrutinized with great care, However, please refer to rules provided on the IRCTC site, which get changed from time to time.)

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Incredible India, India

Pledge to Vote : Every vote counts

Google India has started a holistic campaign, keeping into mind the next Parliamentary Elections 2014 in India. The Campaign as such is  called as Google Politics & Elections which will act as Elections hub to study, watch, discuss, participate in digital campaign trail of various participating agencies such as Election Commission, Political Parties and Ordinary Voters.

Google India started the project with the video featuring Mr. Shyam Saran Negi, – oldest voter in Himachal Pradesh & Independent  India’s first-ever voter. Mr. Negi lives in  picturesque village called Kalpa, located at an altitude of 10,000 feet, in Kinnaur district  and he wants no Indian to miss out on the coming electoral battle as he has never missed to vote since 1951.

Google India has this Link where voters can Pledge to Vote with a message and as along with the Pledge can check latest Trends of Political Parties.

We hope, India’s 81.45 crore electoral population will choose a fair and stable government who will try to increase the Tourism, spread the Incredible India brand overseas and make policies & infrastructure for the betterment of Tourism in India.

Happy Voting & Happy Travelling!

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Travel in India

Insight into Rann Utsav at Great Rann of Kutch

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Rann of Kutch
Photo credit: nandadevieast / Foter / CC BY

The stark beauty of the salt desert of Kutch is the backdrop for the colourful affair of the celebrations!

 

When it comes to counting colours, moods, moments & occasions, no other place in India, if not the world, is more versatile than Gujarat. Blessed with rare geographical diversity & rich flora & fauna, Gujarat also attracts tourists for its ethnic, colourful people.

There are a few things in life as colourful as the desert- hidden in these barren land is a riot of colours, reflecting in the people who live there. A highlight to this is the tribal community of the hauntingly beautiful Rann of Kutch, that remains committed to tradition, rituals, customs & of course, Festivals. Here is my attempt at familiarizing the intrepid traveller with one of Gujarat’s Biggest & most popular fair-festival: The Rann Utsav. This festive extravaganza is the highest tribute to the beauty & spirit of this glorious region that is known for enveloping the state in a frenzy that can put the best vocabulary to shame.

A unique geographical feature of Kutch is the Great Rann of Kutch, an expanse of about 30,000 sq km of salt desert & seasonal marshland that lies between the Gulf of Kutch & the Indus River. The area was once the shallows of the Arabian Sea before geological uplift closed off the connection of the sea, leaving behind a vast lake which turns into a desert.  

The Rann Utsav, an annual festival, offers an incredible opportunity to explore the Great Rann of Kutch & the Banni grassland to the north of Bhuj. In December-January, a huge tented village near Dhorodo village is set up by the Gujarat tourist authorities to accommodate tourists for the festival. As the evening shadows lengthen, camel carts are readied to take tourists into the salt flats & marshes of the Great Rann of Kutch. You can witness the brilliant sunset from the camel carts. After disembarking, trudge on the salt flats to enjoy a superb view of the white desert shimmering in the moonlight. The atmosphere is especially breathtaking on a full moon night. Food is served in the desert wilderness & musicians sing folk songs of the region, known for its Sindhi ‘bhajans’ & Sufi music.

Another unique experience of the Rann Utsav is the trip to Kala Dungar, literally Black Hills, of Kutch. The drive winds up the hill to the Dattatray Temple which has a singularly beautiful view of the vast expanses of the salt desert of the Great Rann of Kutch stretching towards the India-Pakistanborder. The surrounding scrub vegetation trills with the call of birds. When the priests of the temple call, ‘Lo-Aang’, packs of jackals come out from the scrubland to feast on the temple offerings laid out for them.

Dhorodo lies in the heart of the Banni grassland where pastoral villages produce some of india’s finest hand-embroidery with a variety of styles that differ from one community to another. You can tour the gamut of villages that dot the grasslands like Sumrasar Sheikh, Bhirendiaro, Hodka, Gorewali, Dhorodo, Ludia, etc. to watch women doing embroidery. You can stay at Shaam-e-Sarhad, an endogenous tourism resort in Hodka designed using local craft skills.

Northwest of Bhuj, the villages of Zura & Nirona are home to many lesser known craft skills. At both these places, it is possible to watch ‘luhar’ (blacksmiths) hand-casting melodic bells. These villages are also known for their lacquered woodcrafts. The folk art that is now limited to just one family is ‘rogan’, which involves an intricate process of creating colours by mixing pigments with castor oils. Southwest from Bhuj, Mundra is the centre for ‘namada’, the art of felting.  Dhamadka is a traditional centre for ‘ajrakh’ block-printing. For bold embroidery of the Ahir community, visit the villages of Dhaneti & Padhhar.

Together with craft villages & the unique salt desert landscape of the Great Rann of Kutch, the Rann & its adjacent Banni grasslands are delightful for bird watching. Flocks of flamingos & storks mingle about the pristine fresh-water lakes & salt marshes, along with a good number of larks, eagles, falcons & other raptors. 

A visit to Bhuj is an experience of its sorts. Though the 2001 earthquake devastated Bhuj & destroyed its grand palaces, it is still one of the best places to get an introduction to Kutch with fine monuments, museums & markets.

Tera at Kutch is a heritage village with a scattering of mosques, temples, stepwells, havellis & a medieval fort with Ramayan-themed frescoes inside. A notable feature of Tera’s havelis is the gateway- carved wooden doors framed by ornate stonework featuring Indian & western motifs.

The north western tip of Kutch, with its fortified villages, was once an important centre for sea trade & the villages here grew prosperous from the maritime activities.

The festival also features folk performances, competitions & handicraft demonstrations. Choose from excursions organised to various sites, from the archaeological site at Dholavira to the holy lake of Narayan Sarovar.

FACTFILE:

  • Dates: varying from last week of December to mid January.
  • Places to stay: Gujarat tourism sets up tented village at Dhorodo, Shaam-e-Sarhad or Rann Riders.
  • Must eat: Dhabeli, Gulab Pak & the Gujarati thali.
  • Must haves: powerful sunscreen & enough cash in hand.
  • Kutch is a shutterbug’s paradise, so a good camera is a must.
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India, Travel in India

“The Heart of India”- a trip to Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh has often been referred to as “the heart of India” 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’t 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’s 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 ‘jabua,’ 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. “Hindustan ka dil dekho”.

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Travel in India

Contest Alert: “160 words to Review” Contest

Dear All,

TriporTrap.com is an Indian Travel Review Start-up. The main objective of the website is to provide platform for the travellers to share their Hotel experiences, upload candid photographs and build up a travel community so that people can save their trips from pitfalls or traps! In pursuant to this vision, Triportrap.com has come up with an Interesting Contest, named as ‘160 words to Review’ Contest.

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160 words to Review- Contest

 

Rules & Regulations:-

 

  • The contest is for Resident of India and the person has to fulfil all the pre conditions as set from time to time by the website.
  • Contestant age should be more than 18 and should adherent to the Rules & Regulations of the website.
  • Only registered members (those who have liked the Page of Triportrap) will be eligible to this contest.
  • Contest start date is September 1st and entries received till September 5th midnight will be eligible for the contest.
  • Reviewer should’ve visited the property within last 12 months as we have a very strict zero tolerance policy for fake Reviews.

 

 

How to apply for the contest:-

 

  1. Registered fan of the facebook page of Triportrap has to visit the website’s following url: www.triportrap.com/review
  2. User has to select the appropriate hotel which he/she wants to review.
  3. After selecting the Hotel and filling the necessary 160 words to review, user has to submit the review by giving his/her login credentials.
  4. The review will go for moderation and post moderation, if the user gets the confirmation mail; he/she gets automatically eligible for the contest.
  5. If any further clarity is required, please go through this link:http://youtu.be/PKobJrUknZU

 

 

In case of dispute, the decision of Triportrap management will be final.

For any inquiry, please contact:  info@triportrap.com

 

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Travel in India

Hyderabad- Blend of Traditions & Modernization

Hyderabad, a vibrant city in the state of Andhra Pradesh boasts to be a correct blend of Culture and Urbanization, of Mughal Cuisine and modern eateries.  A city that has evolved from a city of nizams to cyber city, yet remained grounded, Hyderabad can be soul stirring and colorful to the eyes of tourist.

Hyderabad is famous for a number of reasons, ranging from pearls to haleem, charminar to tech parks to name a few. Major tourist spots include:

The necklace road– One of the most popular boulevard in Hyderabad. The boulevard is complete with restaurants, stalls, recreational activities, and a wonderful view of the city of Hyderabad. Cuisine is also good all around, with the restaurants Eat Street and Water Front leading the charge of popular eating joints.

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Monolith of Lord Budha at Hussain Sagar Lake.

Hussain Sagar Lake– One of the largest man made lakes is situated at Hyderabad. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it connects the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. A famous monolith of Lord Buddha is installed at the center of the lake.

Golconda fort– Golconda was the capital of the Qutb Shahi kings. The inner fort has ruins of palaces, mosques, a hill top pavilion rising about 130 meters high from the surroundings and several other public buildings. A nice way to spend your day, reliving the history and thinking back on how olden days were.

Charminar– The Charminar depicts the Indo-Saracenic tradition – a symbiosis of the Hindu and the Muslim traditions, which has woven the magic of a rich Deccani culture. The nightly illumination of Charminar is spectacular. A beautiful mosque is located at the western end of the open roof and the remaining part of the roof served as a court during the Qutb Shahi times. Charminar will remind you of the times when India was untouched by western culture. Crude and pure to its form.

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Char Minar- Hyderabad
(Photo credit: skasuga / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA)

Shilparamam– Is the the arts, crafts & cultural village at Hyderabad.  Shilparamam is a kaleidoscope of India’s colour, diversity and talent. Shilparamam is conceived as an endless, year-round festival of arts and crafts showcasing ethnic art, crafts and skills of the rural folk from all parts of the country

Ramoji Film City– The classic Film City hosts a number of visitors around the studios on a guided tour. There are several settings in the studios which lead the visitors from streets of the Mauryan Empire or the Mughal Empire or even the American Old West. There’s also the famous Hollywood sign displayed on the hills at the studios.

Hyderabadi Biryani:- Popularly made from Basmati Rice and Lamb meat, The blending of Mughlai and Andhra Pradesh cuisines in the kitchens of the Nizam, resulted in the creation of Hyderabadi Biryani.

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Hyderabad Biryani
(Photo credit: Karan V / Foter / CC BY-SA)

Hyderabad has very strong educational body presence with world class colleges like ISB- Hyderabad, IIIT Hyderabad, Osmania University  and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University to name a few. The city also boasts of the only  Facebook office in the country and many top IT companies. Along with immense business potential, Hyderabad also flaunts a backdrop in arts.

Visit Hyderabad not because of it is places, but to enjoy the cultural flavor of urbanization and Nizami values. One can enjoy the modernity of present life amidst powerful cultural presence here in Hyderabad.

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