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.
Named after Tribhuvan Eshwar or the 'lord of the three worlds' is the capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar. It is set on the Mahanadi Delta but is not restricted to only coastal areas. Caves, hills, zoological parks, museums, art galleries, temples, amusement parks – you'll find all this and more at Bhubaneswar. The 180 ft tall, majestic Lingaraja Temple is the most popular in the locality. It is a sculptural feat featuring gods, goddesses, kings, queens, hunters and musicians. Lord Harihara, a union of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu is the presiding deity. The Mukteshwar Temple is smaller in comparison to others, but is famed for its beautiful ceiling of an eight petalled lotus and a glorious archway. The other prominent temples are Brahmeswar and Rajarani. The captivating natural beauty of the Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves will compel you to lose yourself in historical wonder. However, be prepared to deal with numerous langoors jumping all over the place. The dense and tranquil forests of Nandankanan will welcome you on your way to its national park. Apart from the wildlife and the white tiger safaris, you can also spend some quiet time in the gardens and indulge in an exciting ride on the ropeway. Another wonderful site to visit is the Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa. Situated on Dhauli hills, it is a well-maintained edifice where you can visit for beautiful views and solitude. If you want to be enlightened about the tribes of Orissa make sure you visit the tribal villages, markets and the Museum of Tribal Arts & Artifacts. Among places to stay, the Mayfair Lagoon or Trident are great options, but there are also other hotels that are light on the pocket.
Home to the world famous World Heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora, Aurangabad is on every traveller's list. The city is located on the banks of the Kham River and is known as one of the most historically significant cities in Maharashtra. The Ajanta caves represent stories of Buddhism spanning from the period of 200 B.C. to 650 A.D. The Ellora caves were carved during 350 A.D. to 700 A.D. and represent the three different faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Aurangabad sees a lot of tourists from across the world and it is a great place for like-minded tourists to meet. A history lover's delight, the museums here will keep you super busy. Some of the more popular ones are Sunehri Mahal Museum, University Museum and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum. You must also visit Lonar – it is said to be the site where a meteor crashed on earth some 50,000 years ago and formed a large crater in the ground. The cafes and restaurants here are warm, welcoming and offer world class cuisines. Colourful, intriguing and vibrant, Aurangabad is a traveller's delight so if it's not on your list yet, add it.
As the name suggests, the history and significance of this place revolves around the Bodhi tree which is actually a peepal tree. The original name of the place is Gaya and the Bodhgaya is the combination of the two words Bodhi and Gaya. This is the tree under which Gautama Buddha had attained enlightenment and became Buddha- The Enlightened one. The main attraction of this place apart from the history of the Mauryan Empire is the Mahabodhi Temple. This is the oldest seat of Buddhist worship and dates back to the 2nd or 3rd Century. The initial temple structure was built by Emperor Ashika when he visited this place after he had left violence and adopted the path of peace and love. What we see at present is not at all the temple the Chinese Ambassador Fa Hien had mentioned in his account. This is a beautiful ornate temple and monastery with a beautiful spire and a large complex. What Fa Hien had mentioned was just the Bodhi Tree surrounded by brick walls. No doubt this was the forst brick Buddhist temple in the country, but presently it is much more beautiful and the magical sense of inner peace you recieve on visiting this place cannot be explained in words.
Located in the South Western Part of Maharashtra, this is a small city on the coast of the Arabian Sea and is surrounded by the beautiful Sahyadri Hills. This place was once the administrative capital of the Bijapur Kingdom who also built a fort here in 1670. this fort was later strengthened by Chhatrapati Shivaji before the city was taken over by the British East India Company in the year 1818. This beautiful fort is the only one here and is known to be the destination where the last king of Burma, Thibaw and Veer Savarkar were confined. There are also a number of tourist attractions in and around this region including the Parashuram Temple, Pavas and caves of Chiplun, Khed, Dabhol, Sangameshwar, Gauhani Velgaum and Vade Padel. The Ganapatipule is a little away from the city and a very famous tourist attraction too. according to Indian mythology, during the Mahabharata, the Pandavas also visited this place during their 13th year and the king of this region accompanied both Pandavas and Kauravas to the battleground of Kurukshetra.