The capital city of India is a glorious concoction of the old and the new. Temples that are centuries old, archaic Muslim quarters, and modern residencies, all exist alongside each other. Home to over a crore people, Delhi is a treasure trove of historic gems, gardens, museums and a thriving food culture. Travel to the metropolis for the vibrant bazaars of Chandni Chowk that give way to Lutyens’ New Delhi, which is the historic heart of the city. For an insight into the legacy of the Mughal era, go to the 16th century Humayun’s Tomb, the towering sandstone mosque of Jama Masjid, and experience the sound and light show at Red Fort. Tourists can spend mornings at the extravagant Akshardham Temple and evenings at the Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Dargah (shrine) that boasts of sufi music and delicious kebabs. Another popular attraction of Delhi are its pulsating markets that sell everything from baubles to handicrafts, sell everything you can possibly think of. Those who have travelled to Delhi for its particular brand of food, will have a lot on their plates. From hole-in-the-wall eateries and local student cafes in North Delhi to lavish restaurants and bars in South Delhi, there is no dish or cuisine you won’t find here. A huge incentive for travellers is the variety of public transport, wherein the Delhi Metro is the cheapest and easiest way to get around the city.
India’s second largest city, Mumbai, previously known as Bombay, is home to a few hundred captivating contrasts and creeds. Mumbai is bursting with frenetic bazaars, shaded avenues thronged by commuters and roads brimming with traffic. The dynamic Maharashtrian metropolis is also a powerhouse of India’s business and trade sectors. But regardless, the city’s ethos lies in its biggest railway station - Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, in people-watching and eating bhelpuri by the iconic arch of the Gateway of India and in the exquisite Taj Mahal Palace, that holds a decade worth of stories about both Bombay and Mumbai. A few other places to visit in Mumbai are Nariman Point - a legion of office blocks in the heart of the city and the Prince of Wales Museum for its eclectic architecture. Watching the sunset with a plate of vada pav at Marine Drive and experiencing the vibrant festival of Ganesh Chaturthi at Juhu Beach are few of the best things to do in Mumbai. One must also travel to Mumbai to be dazzled by the country’s biggest, and most prolific film and media industry, wherein if you’re lucky, you might stumble upon a Bollywood star or two.
If you live in a hot part of the country, Bangalore's good weather will immediately put you into a good mood. While the centre of the city has remained as it was during the British Raj, the area encircling it is on a constant boom with a vibrant student culture, popular pubs and a major electronic and industrial lifestyle. As a tourist, you can go see the Bangalore Castle. Modelled on the lines of the Windsor Castle, the one on Bangalore is a great example of the Tudor architectural style. It has beautiful gardens and the wooden carvings. The glass house at Lal Bagh and its botanical garden is a good place to relax while taking a walk. Cubbon park is one of the primary reasons why Bangalore was formerly nicknamed as the Garden City. The picturesque greenery in the middle of the city is stupefying. You can visit the Peninsular Gneiss to witness the oldest granite formations and also the look at the city from an elevated land. For a perfect end to the day, grab a beer at Toit or Peco’s. Follow it up with a grand meal at Koshy’s or Ebony, or the hundreds of other quirky restaurants in the city.
Located off the coast of Bay of Bengal is Tamil Nadu’s capital and India’s fourth largest city. Formerly known as Madras, the metropolis is the main transportation hub for southern India. Travel to Chennai for the unique exhibit of architecture from the British Raj, peaceful pilgrimage sites and a delectable South Indian cuisine. Tourists can start their day with a walk by the beautiful Marina Beach, teeming with fishermen and their boats, and makeshift bazaars fringing the shore. Among the other places to visit in Chennai, start with the characterful neighbourhood of Mylapore that houses the vibrant Kapaleeshwarar Temple. Then head to Rajaji Salai’s Fort in St George that once was home to the British East India Company. The Government Museum inside the imposing Pantheon complex of the colonial era is a popular attraction. The state museum is decked with bronze antiques dating back to the 7th century Pallava era. Surfing along the Covelong beach and walking through the bustling bazaars of George Town are a few of the most common things to do in Chennai. Also, don’t leave here without getting yourself an authentic South Indian thali from the illustrious Saravana Bhavan.
Rajasthan’s opulent capital is a magical land brimming with desert camps and lakeside palaces. Sitting on the edge of the Thar desert and surrounded by the Aravali hills, the Pink City boasts of hilltop forts, bustling bazaars and the best pyaaz kachoris you’ll ever taste. Among the places to visit in Jaipur, the grandiose pink sandstone Palace of Winds, or Hawa Mahal, towering over the hustling streetscapes and the majestic City Palace are the ones attracting the most tourists. The 18th century old astronomical observatory of Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a UNESCO world heritage site and a major tourist attraction. Perched proudly on the top of a hill is Amber Fort, dating back to the 16th century. The red sandstone structure houses palaces, temples, gardens and a lake inside its premises. One of the most favoured things to do in Jaipur is to walk through the lively Bapu Bazaar, and come out with bags stocked with bandhani-printed sarees, lac bangles, meenakari trinkets and blue pottery. And while you’re at it, shop for some string puppets or kathputlis that make for some excellent souvenirs. Galtaji temple, also called the Monkey Temple, is another must visit. If your eyes just can't get enough, visit Amber Fort, which has its own 600-year-old story to narrate, through its spectacular light and sound shows, cultural performances and folk music. Rajasthani tailored clothes, jewellery and handicrafts are a huge hit as souvenirs, for their exquisite mirror work, embroidery, leather and splashes of colour. Some famous places this illustrious workmanship can be bought from are Rajasthali, Anokhi, Johari bazaar and Sireh Deori Bazaar, but remember to bargain. Central Museum and Albert Hall museum are great places to learn about Rajasthan's rich history and culture and also to buy handicrafts. The Jaipur Literature Festival, the world's largest free literature festival, is dear to almost every bibliophile around the globe. Here, enjoy literature and music, amidst the likes of William Dalrymple, Stephen Fry and many other renowned writers and personalities. The 5-day festival is hosted in Diggi Palace, which gives people around the world an insight into Rajasthan's captivating cultural heritage. For those interested in pampering their palates with the flavourful Rajasthani cuisine against the backdrop of a picturesque village should visit Chokhni Dani. For a regal experience, a stay at the Suvarna Mahal is a must visit.
Kolkata, or Calcutta (also Cal), is a kaleidoscopic melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. There's quite possibly no Indian festival that the city doesn't celebrate with glorious hoopla. Each month sees small festive marquees popping up at every corner of the street and come October, throngs of women enwrapped in silk sarees and red bindis convene around the city, undeterred by the ever-present rains. This celebration alone is reason enough to travel to Kolkata. From the glut of vibrant attractions, the city also holds a rich vehicular heritage ranging from the big yellow taxi that floods both parts of the city (Calcutta and Howrah) divided by the reticent river Hoogly, to the hand-pulled rickshaws and rickety trams meandering the roads. Tourists will hardly ever run out of things to do in Kolkata. Starting from Kumartuli, a traditional potters’ quarter, famed for its sculpted idols of gods and demons, to the architectural spectacle, that is the Howrah Bridge, Kolkata city will engulf you with its sights, sounds and scents. Calcutta’s biggest, most prismatic wholesale flower market on Mullick Ghat, Victoria Memorial, the old Chinatown Tiretta Bazaar, the magnificent Nakhoda Masjid and Jorasankho (Rabindranath Tagore’s ancestral home) are few of the most picturesque places to visit in Kolkata.
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Just 15 minutes away from the capital of Port Blair, Ross Island used to be the capital and served as the same from 1858 to 1941 until it was hit by a massive earthquake and attacked by the Japanese. It stands today are an important tourist destination in the archipelago and some attractions are the ruins of the Chief Commissioners house and the church. There are a number of machine gun nests that have been left behind by the Japanese who took over the island during World War II.
If you are looking for a good picnic spot in Wayanad then you would need to travel to a place called Kuruva Dweep. The place lies on the tributaries of the Kabini River and is home to a number of rare species of herbal plants, orchids and birds. To get to this place, one will need to travel around 17 kilometres from Mananthavady. The place is known to have a bamboo canopy that allows one a glimpse of the confluence of the rivulets of the Kabini. The board authorities responsible for the promotion of the place have introduced boat rides here for the tourists to enjoy.
3. Divar Island, GoaThe island of Divar lies in the Mandovi river in Goa. The rather huge island is home to some fascinating people and cultures. The island in itself has four villages which are diverse and fascinating in their practices. Its relative isolation has kept Divar in a unique state, which appears to be stuck in time. According to folktales, Divar was originally occupied by people of Old Goa who migrated here to escape a disastrous plague, which spread across Goa at that time.Every year Divar is decorated with lights to celebrate three festivals – two of them being Bonderam and Potekar. Bonderam is a carnival that takes place on every fourth Saturday of August, when each part of the village takes out their floats for the parade. Potekar, like Halloween, is celebrated three days before Lent and is a spectacle where locals roam around wearing handmade masks and bells!How to reach: Ferry from Ribandar and Old Goa. The island is about 10 km upriver from Panjim.
Jolly Buoy Island
One of the 15 islands that is a part of Wandoor, Jolly Buoy is famous for its clear beaches and corals. About an hour away from Wandoor, the island forms a part of the Mahatma Gandhi National Park. Visitors to the island are not allowed to carry any plastic item and must deposit them at Wandoor with an amount of INR 100.00 which is returned. Snorkeling and scuba diving are what one should try here apart from the glass-bottomed boat rides. Do keep in mind that one needs a permit to visit Jolly Buoy and these are available at the Wandoor Jetty.
North Bay Island Andaman
Take a ferry from Port Blair for a days trip to the beautiful North Bay Beach. The North Bay Beach organizes a great number of water based sports and activities like walking underwater and snorkeling, However, the star attractions here are the glass bat riding that comes at INR 300.00 per head and scuba diving at INR 4000.00 per head. There is a huge coral reef that is home to many marine species that put on a colorful display. The beach has a lighthouse that one can visit. They view from the top of the lighthouse leaves one in awe.
Who knew this little island oﬀ the Karnatic coast could be the visiting waters for whale sharks, turtles, cobias, string rays, stonefish, the Napoleon Wrasse, and the Great Barracuda! Scuba diving here (the deepest being at 18 metres which requires an Advanced Level certiﬁcation) opens the Arabian Sea up in ‘ﬁshy’ ways, and you needn’t even go as far as the Lakshwadeep for an underwater experience. Accessible through a boat ride from Murudeshwara (on the mainland), Netrani Island is a popular day-trip for locals and tourists.WHAT TO DO:Introduce your children to the wondrous milieu of coral reefs. Scuba diving is appropriate for all ages, and there are numerous diving companies such as Adventure Nation (Rs 15,000 per person; adventurenation.com) and Barracuda Diving India (Rs 18,000 per person; barracudadiving.com) oﬀer amateur and professional diving expeditions.5. Havelock Island - RITCHIE’S ARCHIPELAGO
The water level had covered the main stem of the trees we first walked on the path made by filling the soil and keeping it compact with the help of retaining wall.Then came the bamboo bridge painted blue and white which was kind of cute. In the mangrove forest this little bridge definitely stood out.
Right in the lap of nature lay Kadmat Island. Just 150 kms away from Kalpeni, the clear waters surrounding the isle is enough to keep you captivated all day all night long.Water sports are so abundant by the beach that it will eventually leave you tossing to come to a decision. The island is big on landscape and scenery, just as the water below is brewing with marine life. Reefs are one of the many places to discover here. Winds blow strong, creating a typical sound against the waves. The rhythm that follows is one that should not be missed.Kadmat Island is one of the best places to visit in Lakshadweep.The 8 kms long atoll will make a great time come out of your vacation here. Magnificent with lime stones, it is in the news for the sandy beaches and the sea banks ideal for sunbath. An entire universe altogether, the island is a right site to vanish from your mundane life.
When it comes to beautiful and serene tourists spots in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, there is no lack of places. Around 40 kilometers from the world famous place Port Blair is Neil Island that is referred to as the Vegetable bowl of Andaman. The island got tagged as this due to the fact that much of the produce comes from here. A favorable climate and high farming standards has resulted in great harvests and thus the place has become extremely famous. Neil Island is as beautiful as the others and some famous places close to this spot are Bharatpur, Laxmanpur, and Sitapur.
Crescent shaped, Minicoy Island is the second largest isle of Lakshadweep. With one of the most superlative lagoons in its possession, it is surrounded all around by beautiful villages named Avah. The island certainly earns its position in the list of the best places to visit in Lakshadweep. Fishing is a popular sport and men and women are seen flocking to the nearest water body every time there is a high tide.Tuna fishing is an adventure in itself and if you get lucky there is a chance you might catch a game on play.You ought to check out the view tower that offers a serene view of the surrounding around, loaded with coconut trees and sand beaches.
This is a dazzling island in the midst of the mighty Krishna River. This is a tpurist hotspot due to the wonderful views and the luxurious holiday resorts such as the Haritha and the one which is supervised by the APTDC. You can drive till the banks and then reach the island via boats. Boating is a favorite activity you can do here and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings slowly while you boat around the river. The lights of the resorts and buildings on this small island makes it look like a piece of celebration from far off.
This is a very remote island with absolutely no facilities for you. You can take a boat ride from the Kali River and reach here. You just have to make sure that you come back before 5 PM since you will not find anything to get back after it is dark. There is nothing much to see here except the wild flora and vegetation of this place. If you are too much in need of adventure, you can make arrangements and stay back here to camp on the island. This is however an ideal place for photography.
2. Kavvayi, KeralaKavvayi is a small island in the largest backwaters of North Kerala, Kavvayi Kayal. The island holds vast history in its small area. Several global travellers such as Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta and even Adbul Fida have written about Kavvayi in their travels. This hidden place was also of great relevance to the British East India Company, as this land of zamindars hosted a large port and was home to the magistrate court.The wetland of 37 square kilometre makes Kavvayi the largest ecosystem of North Kerala. Valiyaparamba Island is also on the same backwaters and is only 5 km from the Kavvayi island.How to reach: Either use ferry from the mainland or cross through the Mavila Kadappuram Bridge. Nearest railway station is Cheruvathur, on the Kozhikode-Mangalore route.
Piram Bet Island
One of the oldest educational institutions of Uttar Pradesh, this was earlier known as the Uttara Kasi University or the Hindu College. This is the public Central University of Benaras and the land for this place was donated by the formal ruler of kashi who is known as the Kashi Naresh. This is also one of the most prominent universities of the country and still partly follows the system of Vedic Education like in the early days. They have a very large campus which is spread over many acres of land. Within this there are not only the university units but also a number of big trees under which classes are helf till now. This is one of the very universities where you can opt for a specialization in Vedic scriptures and studies and the very learned Pandits here will train you with a lot of discipline. Apart from this they have all sorts of subjects from Science, Arts, Commerce, Economics, Astrology, Astronomy, Literature, Philosophy and much more. Modern developments and technologies along with very modernized studying techniques have found very distinctive positions in this university in spite of the traditional methods of teaching in existence.
Ponnumthuruthu Island/ Golden island: (15 km south of Varkala) A delightful getaway surrounded by the Anjengo backwaters. This uninhabited isle is accessible by boat from the makeshift jetty at the nearby Nedunganda Village. A 100-year-old Siva-Parvathi Temple, rebuilt a decade back, is situated here and the entire island is temple property. We were not able to visit this place due to time constraint.To be frank you would not see so many foreign tourists at one single place as I saw in Varkala. You hardly find any Indians other than the locals who run the shops and the restaurants.Do not expect the markets to shut down with the sunset as the night life is simply amazing, and it goes on till midnight. All the shops remain open and the restaurants display their fresh catch for the day to tempt the tourists in the evenings. Drinking beer and having the sea breeze hit in the dark of the night, with some music in the background, can’t be described in words.. The restaurants are quite expensive but never restrict yourself from exploring the delicious sea food. They do have live bands and they keep playing and dancing till midnight.This is one place you should go to if you want to just laze around. The feel of going back home would never be there. I just did not feel like leaving the clear blue waters & the fine sand.I just wish that the beauty and calmness of this place doesn’t get lost with greater influx of tourists.
Looking for a getaway from the humdrum of city life with your partner? Head to this romantic place to visit in Mumbai called Madh Island Beach will leave you spellbound with its beauty and calmness. Coast lined by mangroves, calm waters, soothing scenery, Madh Island provides few other optional private places for couples in Mumbai. Erangal, Madh Fort and St. Bonaventure can also be visited with your loved ones, also one of the best places to visit in Mumbai with friends.How to reach: The nearest railway station to the beach is situated at Malad district. Once you reach the Malad station, you can opt for local transport to reach the venue.Timings: Enjoy sunsets at the Madh Island beach.4. Bandra Fort