Famous Tourist Places to Visit in Pune

Pune, a city lying adjoining Mumbai bears marks of rich culture and historic past. The relics you find scattered all around the city intermingled with the superfine modernity create a unique ambience that’s truly worthy of relish. Thus tourists flock the city in large numbers these days to get a glimpse of the many tourist spots that Pune has. Read on to learn more.

Though Mumbai is the glamorous attraction in Maharashtra, Pune is a place that you shouldn’t miss either. Pune is the 2nd largest city in Maharashtra. It is known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra and for a reason too. There are lots of places of historical as well as religious value that you must visit in Pune. Let us have a look at some of the recommended tourist areas.

1- AGA KHAN PALACE

Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace

This monumental palace was constructed in the year 1892 by Sultan Mohammed Shah Aga Khan III. Thereafter, it has gone on to become one of the biggest landmarks in Indian history. This palace was made as an act of charity by Sultan who wanted to help people in the neighboring areas of Pune who were adversely affected by the famine at that point of time.

2- OSHO COMMUNE INTERNATIONAL
Osho’s vision was ‘Zorba the Buddha’ and the Osho Commune International set up in Pune strives to fulfill Osho’s thoughts. Countless tourists are seen here all the time either for brief visits or extended stays that go up to several months. They take part in the meditation process of Osho University or take active part in the practical side of things.

3- KASTURBA SAMADHI
The Kasturba Samadhi is situated within the peaceful area of the Aga Khan Palace located in Pune. The details regarding the Aga Khan Palace has already been mentioned above in this article. This monument is also called as the Kasturba Gandhi Memorial and was constructed as a token of respect to Mahatma Gandhi’s wife Kasturba Gandhi who is believed to have spent her last moments in this palace.

4- SHIVNERI FORT

Shivneri Fort

Shivneri Fort

This fort is of big significance as it is the place where the legendary Maratha warrior Shivaji was born. He was a mighty ruler of Maharashtra and was immensely popular among his people due to his incredible bravery. It was in this fort that Shivaji spent his entire childhood taking up lessons regarding military combat. It is situated at a distance of approximately 105 km from Pune.

5- LAL MAHAL
Some of most historically significant monuments that were built in the 16th and 17th century can be viewed in the city of Pune. Lal Mahal is one of those monuments and was constructed in the year 1643. Lal Mahal was witness to one of Shivaji’s epic battles against the Mughals. The Lal Mahal is located in the heart of Pune city and hence transportation is never an issue.

6- SHANIWAR WADA
This is another hugely popular monument located in Pune. It was in the year 1729 that Peshwa Baji Rao commissioned this building of Shaniwar Wada. This building has some wonderful fountains, courtyards, fruits, trees, offices, audience halls as well as places for residential purposes too. There is a famous story regarding Shaniwar Wada that says about how this monument miraculously survived a fire accident thanks to its absorption skills.

7- SARAS BAUG

Saras Baug

Saras Baug

The Saras Baug is a gracious and elegantly maintained garden area in Pune. It is a popular hangout place for people as well as a venue for devotional purposes. During the British rule, the lush green lawn areas were the garbage disposal venues. It is situated in the heart of Pune city and is easily accessible. It is at distance of about 4 km from Deccan and 3 km from Pune station. It is at a walking distance from Swargate. Loads of buses and auto rickshaws are available to Saras Bagh.

8- EMPRESS GARDEN
This place is situated near the Pune Solapur road. It is a huge garden spread over an area of 59 acres. Basically, it is a botanical garden that is located near Pune racecourse. Different kinds of flower and fruit bearing trees can be viewed in this garden. The Empress Garden is a big picnic spot among the tourists and people of Pune. It is well known for its wide array of tropical trees and a small zoo. The main products present in the Empress garden are mangoes, tamarind and cut flowers. The Empress Garden is a widely visited place in Pune.

9- GANAPATI TEMPLE
This temple is situated on the Krishna river banks at Saingli. It is one of the most elegant temples that are located in the Southern parts of Maharashtra. The Ganapati Temple is best known for its lavish designs and outstanding architecture which started way back in the 17th century. The Ganapati temples all represent Lord Ganesha in his inimitably different forms. There are many Ganapati temples that are wide spread in Pune. Just like we had mentioned about Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha is also immensely popular in Pune and you can obtain all the information you want in Pune.

10- OMKARESHWAR TEMPLE

Omkareshwar Temple

Omkareshwar Temple

This is a place of religious significance located near Pune. It was constructed on the Mutha river banks during the times of Sadashiv Bhau. The temple is about 250 years old and gives the tourists an excellent view with its varied layer of architectural designs. The temple provides a charm of the India of the past. This religious place is also known for the fact that it has the two famous Shivalayas – Amruteshwar and Omkareshwar. Shivalaya means the place of Shiva. In such Shivalayas, we can get to view the Shiva Linga that is worshipped deeply by the devotees. If people want to gain more knowledge about Lord Shia, then this is the place they must never miss at any cost.

11- PARVATI HILL AND TEMPLE
This is a temple that has been made as a tribute to the Hindu deities Parvati, Vishnu, Shiva, Karthikeya and Devadeshwar. It is situated in the Southern parts of Pune and we can obtain a clear view of the city from these areas. This title of the monument is the joint name of the Parvati temple that is located on top of the Parvati Hill. It is located at a height of 2100 feet above sea level. People who want to explore Hinduism as well as the Maratha folklore can visit the Parvati Hill and Temple for more references.

12- KATRAJ SNAKE PARK
This is a reputed conservation park located in Pune. It has a wide range of some of the most dangerous species of snakes, reptiles, birds as well as turtles. In the year 1999, it became a portion of the Rajiv Gandhi Udyan. As many as 160 species of snakes can be seen here. The King Cobra which is about 9 feet long is the most prized collection here and it is about 6 years old! All the details regarding snakes have been kept inside a library that is situated inside the park. In recent times, they have added a zoo to the package to make the place more appealing to tourists. It is a hugely popular tourist spot and a venue for wildlife zone too. The Snake Park is open from 10.30 in the morning to 6 in the evenings and doesn’t function on Wednesdays.

13- SPLASH MOUNTAIN WATER PARK

Splash Mountain Water Park pune

Splash Mountain Water Park pune

This is one of the most popular amusement parks in India. It is of international standards and is a big draw among tourists in Pune. The theme park has been set up in such a way that the rides here appeal to people of diverse age groups. It is right up there among the largest amusement parks in India. There are food courts available for you to have a bite in between the funky rides. Other facilities provided here include rental prams, costumes, tubes, towel and lockers where you can keep your belongings safely. The fees for entry here are priced at Rs.200 for children and Rs.300 for adults. During the hot weather, this is a tempting option for people to beat the heat at affordable prices and in world-class amenities.

Awesome Christmas Holiday Destinations in India

When Christmas arrives, there’s a spirit of carnival and merriment all around. It is as it were, the blessings of the Holy Spirit descends on to the earth with full fervor, giving everyone immense positivity and a heart to enjoy to the fullest. As bells jingle, Santa Clause brings you gifts, you too perhaps plan for some exciting ways to celebrate your Christmas. There are some fabulous places in our country which you might visit to make your Christmas vacation special. Read on to learn more:

Hope you have been a good boy/girl the whole year as Christmas is around the corner and is time for good old Santa to visit!!! Though India doesn’t embrace Christmas fervor as heartily as the western countries do there are still a few places in India which celebrate Christmas with a lot of love and gaiety. So even if you do not have plans of going abroad to celebrate Christmas there are quite a few places here where you can go to have a blast. These are the top ten places in India which add their unique flavor to Christmas with their own customs and traditions.

Gorgeous Goa

Christmas in Goa

Christmas in Goa

Goa is a hotspot for Christmas celebration in India and it can easily be named as the best destination in India for amazing Christmas parties. There is a big chunk of Roman Catholic Christians residing in India and Goa also has a rich history of Portuguese rule. There are some amazingly beautiful churches in Goa which are full of the Christmas spirit celebrated in the old fashioned way; should you want to listen to Christmas carols and attend mass. Goa is the party capital of India and during the Advent season the Christmas gaiety is evident in the tiniest nooks and corners of Goa. The whole city is brilliantly decorated with colorful twinkling lights, poinsettia and orchid blooms and candles of all shapes and sizes. Don’t forget to attend the Christmas mass if you are there in Goa in the festive season. There are several restaurants and small cafes and even beach shacks (centered around Anjuna and Candolim) which serve delicious lunches and Christmas brunches.

Magnificent Kerala

Christmas in Kerala

Christmas in Kerala

Kerala is also home to a lot of Christians and Christmas is one of the most celebrated festivals in India. The God’s own Country is filled with several antique churches that are architectural marvels in themselves. There is more focus in Kerala on the spirit of Christmas and the religious lore that accompanies it. The nativity of the festival is represented through dazzling miniature models present in various shops and homes of residents. You will see the shining Christmas stars outside each home in Kerala and each street is decorated with twinkling Christmas lights. The spirit of Christmas is subtle in Kerala and wafts in through the sounds of soulful hymns sung in homes and churches and the faint aroma of pancakes cooking in every home. The flavor of Christmas in Kerala is best experienced on a personal visit.

Contemporary Mumbai

Celebrating Christmas in Mumbai

Celebrating Christmas in Mumbai

Mumbai presents a wide platter of experiences for the discerning Christmas visitor. On one hand there are famous churches like Mount Mary Basilica, St Andrew Church, St Michael’s Church, Wodehouse Church, St Peter Church etc where hundreds of people swarm in to experience the true spirit of Christmas. On the other hand there are happening Christmas parties at some of the best hotels and pubs. The discotheques and night clubs of Mumbai buzz to the tune of unending revelry and the season of drinking and dancing is at its peak. The bakeries in Mumbai serve up some of the most delicious cakes, pies and puddings around Christmas time and if you are a foodie then a visit to Mumbai during Christmas is a must for you.

Fun Filled Manali

Manali X'mas Celebrations

Manali X’mas Celebrations

The best place in India for a dazzling white Christmas is Manali. A visit to Manali will give you a feeling akin to the one experienced when you visit the European countries. There is usually a lot of snowfall around Christmas so the beautiful landscape of Manali will be covered all over with dazzling white snow. Skiing, snow balling, Para gliding, skating and many other types of winter sports are played in full force. This is also the peak tourist season in Manali and there are many tourists who come here specially to experience the Christmas culture and snowflake drizzle here. Delectable Christmas turkey and treacle pudding are available in many restaurants in Manali.

Dazzling Daman and Diu

Beaches of Daman Diu

Beaches of Daman Diu

There is a strong Portuguese connection in Daman and Diu which makes Christmas here a special affair. Located as this place is in the western coast of Gujarat the quiet Daman and Diu become colorful cultural hotspots around Christmas time. Some of the finest dance and music shows are organized between 20th December to 1st January and some rare forms of Portuguese dance like Corrindinho are showcased in the dance festival. Daman is famous for its vibrantly colored paper lamps which are lit to brighten up the night scape in Daman during Christmas time.

Pretty Pondicherry

pondicherry christmas celebration

Pondicherry Christmas Celebration

There is a lot of French colonial influence in Pondicherry which gives this place a distinct French feel especially in Christmas. The weather in Pondicherry is very pleasant in winter and this is a good family spot for a hearty traditional Christmas. Basilica Sacred Jesus Church an d Eglise de Notre Dame Anges are two of the many fantastic churches in Pondicherry which celebrate Christmas with a lot of spirit and gaiety. This is a great chance for you to sample some great French food as Pondicherry has lots of restaurants and cafes run by descendants of French immigrants.

Joyous Kolkata

Christmas in Kolkata

Christmas in Kolkata

Aptly named as the city of joy, Kolkata is a city which encourages its citizens to partake in Christmas revelry notwithstanding their religion, caste and creed. Kolkata takes on a cheery red hue during Christmas as hundreds of people throng the famous Park Street in Kolkata shaking hands and spreading the Christmas revelry. People of other communities also participate in the Christmas mass giving impetus to the feeling of well being and felicity. The best part about Christmas in the city of Joy is that there are heavy discounts offered in the bazaars so you can shop for as much stuff as you want. Rock music, amazing light and sound shows as well as mouth watering food stalls all around the city make Kolkata a must visit destination during Christmas. Don’t forget to sample the yummy pastries and cakes sold in Flurry’s in Kolkata on your Christmas visit.

Romantic Shillong

X-mas in Shillong

X-mas in Shillong

Shillong is perfect for a quiet intimate and romantic Christmas with your partner as it’s a peaceful and beautiful place which is as yet shielded away from the prying eyes of tourists. Come Christmas and the whole town is decked up with traditional wax candles and shimmery lights. Delectable festive North Eastern dishes are prepared in homes while the songs of carols and hymns fill the streets. There are many local bands here which play fusion Gospel music that is interesting to hear.

Unexplored Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Dadra and Nagar Haveli have a strong British Colonial influence which very few people know about. Christmas here has a distinct old colonial touch with a tribal twist. About 19 different types of tribes reside here and each of them infuses their own special customs into the celebration of Christmas. There are beautiful beaches here where you can hang out having a fun time with friends and family.

Marvelous Mumbai
Mumbai is the best place to target if you want to go to really cool Christmas Parties. Head off straight to the western suburbs of Bandra which is completely abuzz with lights and a multitude of Christmas trees decorated in imaginative ways. The magnificent churches of Mumbai like Lady of Immaculate Conception, Gloria Church, Holy Name Cathedral and St Michael Church are places where you can go to attend the joyous Christmas mass and soulful carols.

Kargil, A Land of Glaciers

Thousands of Tourists visiting Kashmir are also making their way to Kargil these days. Tourists brushing aside their fear of gunshots and bloodshed at the border have actually started responding to the beauties of nature that surround the land of Kargil. If you have plans to go on a Kargil tour, the Kargil tourism guide below might be of great help. So read on.

Kargil Tourism

Kargil Tourism

Kashmir is popular among tourists for its scenic locations and Kargil is no different. It is located in the region of Ladakh and is the 2nd largest town over there. Kargil lies on the boundary in the border that joins Pakistan. The location of Kargil is in sync with its name as it is sandwiched at the intersection point of two countries. There are many locales in Kargil that could tempt the tourists. Most of the best tourist spots in Kargil are at Mulbek which is located at a distance of about 45 km from the Wakha river banks.

  • The main attraction of this place is the Buddhist monuments that are plenty in number.
  • An ancient sculpture of Buddha Maitreya composed of stone can be seen on the highway Mulbek Chamba. It has a height of 9 meters.
  • The Wakha River Valley consists of a number of cave monasteries as well as Buddhist nunneries.

Kargil is a place to halt for tourists travelling to the Kashmir Valley as it is the Eastern Gateway of the Valley. Not only are the locations here scenic but also big fun for people on the lookout for adventure trips. Loads of adventure activities are available here such as trekking and mountaineering. The spirituality of Kargil is another aspect that is welcoming for tourists. There are lots of places belonging to both historical as well religious categories that are blissful. The literal meaning of the word ‘Kargil’ implies ‘A place between kingdoms’.

Siachen Glacier

Siachen Glacier

ACCOMMODATION

Kargil has several hotels of various ranges depending on the comfort levels that you wish for and the budget that you have in your mind. There are deluxe hotels of different star-rating as well as small hotels available. Some of the popular hotels available there are Hotel Siachen, Carvan Sarai Hotel and D’zojilla hotel are the deluxe hotels. All the hotels available here are of high comfort levels be it of any budget or star rating. You can have a comfortable stay with the choices of local and foreign cuisines at these hotels.

HOW TO REACH
The routes from Srinagar to Leh are open from May to October every year. It is a distance of about 440 kms.  You can get there through buses, taxis or even motorbikes.

  • Buses – You can opt for Government buses as well as private bus operators to reach Leh. It takes about 2 days to complete the journey with the night stop at Kargil.
  • Taxis – You can book taxis that too in different ways – solo taxi or shared depending on your comfort levels and budget.
  • Motorbikes – If you are into biking, then you can opt for renting motorbikes preferably from Delhi.

The route from Srinagar to Sonarmarg is filled with majestic vistas that Kashmir is famous for. The ride is pretty much safe considering the presence of a heavy batter of army soldiers at frequent points. Sonarmarg is a beautiful place and a stoppage in between allows you to enjoy the scenery of the place for a short while before resumption. From there you shall have to take the route to Drass and the this road isn’t in great condition due to the rains which makes it slushy. On the way through to the summit of the pass, tourists will have to undergo the registration process to travel further to Drass. From Drass, you shall have to go through a straight route that takes you to Kargil within an hour. On the way to Kargil, you shall witness the memorials built as a tribute to the brave soldiers of the 1999 Kargil War. You can easily find accommodation on arrival at Kargil as it is a main pit stop for travelers going to Leh.

EVENTS AND FESTIVALS

Losar festival, Kargil

Losar festival, Kargil

  • Hemis festival is celebrated in June-July as a tribute to Guru Padmasambhava.
  • Dosmoche festival comes in the month of February and is celebrated with great amount of passion.
  • Losar festival comes in the December-January phase and is celebrated by the Ladakhi Buddhists.

TOURIST SPOTS

Some of the recommended tourist spots in Kargil are:-

  • Pashkum – This is situated on the Leh road at a distance of about 15 km. There are many ruins of lovely ancient castles that give a glimpse of the history of the place.
  • Mulbek – Another nice spot to visit which is located on the Kargil-Leh road about 42 km away from Kargil. It is a Buddhist village and the prime attraction here is the Mulbek Chamba which contains a huge rock sculpture belonging to the 7th This is said to be of the Maitreya (Future Buddha) and also has a lovely monastery consisting of decorated walls with statues.
  • Shargole – Another beautiful village that is located on the Kargin-Leh road at a distance of about 35 km to the right side. Here again a monastery is the key attraction containing nice interiors and statues. It offers a scenic view as it is situated at a nice altitude above a cliff. Both Mulbek and Shargole have proper transport facilities to Kargil making your trips comfortable.
  • Fokar Urgiyan Rzong – This is located near Shargole about 8 km further up streams. A natural fortress is located in front of Fokar Urgiyan Rzong and the place is most famous for its cave monastery. This place used to be the favorite area of meditation for Guru Padma Sambhava. His hand prints along with some statues can be seen here.
  • Rgyal Wakha – This is yet another village which is a bit far from Mulbek. From a distance, you would think that it is a beehive as it is almost hidden on a cliff that is vertical. You can get some incredible scenic views from here.
Shargole Monastery

Shargole Monastery

Overall, Kargil is a place that you must visit at least once in your lifetime. The place might be more known for the wrong reasons but there is a beautiful side to the place that you shouldn’t miss. It is a pleasing experience which you would surely remember for the rest of your lives.

Holy Places to Visit During Chardham Yatra

The yatra to the Chardhams is what any pious Hindu looks forward to at least once in his or her lifetime. When you visit the Chardhams, your yatra should follow a definite pattern and you shouldn’t miss any place that holds special religious significance in the entire yatra. To get an idea of all the must-visit places during your Chota Char Dham Yatra, you must go through the article below.

Char Dham Yatra of Uttakarakhand is one of the most acclaimed and sought after trips that every pious Hindu wishes to undertake once in his lifetime. The trek through the rugged mountainous terrains of Garwal Himalayas adds to the delight of every adventure lover as well.

The Char Dhams of Uttarakhand include- Gangotri Dham, Yamunotri Dham, Kedarnath Dham and Badrinath Dham.

Here’s a detailed plan of travel for you which you can adhere to if you are planning to set out for the Char Dham Yatra…

Haridwar

Haridwar

Haridwar


Ideally your journey should begin from Haridwar. Haridwar, located at a distance of 230Kms from Delhi, can be reached from Delhi airport or railway station by car. It takes 6 hours to reach Haridwar. Stop by any roadside Dhaba for lunch. You’ll get ample lunching options at Khatauli, which falls en route to Haridwar.

In the evening witness the Aarti at Har Ki Paudi Ghat of Haridwar. The evening aarti at the ghat is a surreal sight when the priests offer their homage to Goddess Ganga, the Sun and Lord Shiva. The brilliant display of countless lighted diyas adds to the beauty of the place.

Other major attractions at Haridwar are – Mansa and Chandi Devi temple, Anandamani Ashram, Vaishno Devi temple etc.

On the second day, at sunrise you may like to perform Surya Pranam (offering prayer to sun god) at Saptarshi Ghat. Set out for Barakot in the morning via Dehradun and Mussouri. Experience the beauty of the mountain valley while you go through the narrow mountainous tracks. Stop by the Kempty Falls for some time and resume your journey again.

Yamunotri Dham

Yamunotri Dham

Yamunotri Dham

Set out for Yamunotri Dham on the third day of your visit. Go to Janki Chatti by local jeep. From here, start your journey towards the holy shrine of Yamunotri by mountain hiking. It would be a 6km long journey. Soak yourself in the holy water of the kund before offering prayer to the Goddess. Devotees offer their prayer to Divya Shila before entering into the main temple. Another common practice by the pilgrims over here is boiling rice in the warm water of the kund (hot water spring).

After performing all the rituals get back to Barakot once again.

Uttarkashi

Uttarkashi should be your destination on the fourth day of your tour. The quaint and colorful town, standing at a height of 1158 meters, is itself an attraction to the tourists. Other important places to visit over here are the Vishwanath temple, Kuteti Devi ki mandir, Bhairav temple etc.

Gangotri Dham

Visit the second of the char dhams on this day – The Gangotri Dham. Start your journey from Uttarkashi by car. Halt by the Gangnani hot water spring to offer prayers and head towards Gangotri. Another attraction over here is the famous submerged Shivling. Return to your homestay at Uttarkashi after vising Gangotri.

Guptkashi

Guptakashi

Guptakashi


Start from Uttarkashi to Guptkashi on this day. It’s a 9hours journey by car and you’ll reach Guptkashi only in the evening.On your way, stop by at Charangikhal for breakfast and Kirtinagar for lunch. Enroute to the beautiful town you’ll see the Tehri Dam.

Gauri Kund

Set out for Gauri Kund from Guptkashi on the 7th day of the tour. After offering your tribute to Parvati Devi in the holy water of Gauri Kund, you are to start your trek to Kedarnath. This 14kms long trek is considered the most exhausting one in the whole Char Dham Yatra. Visit the temple in the evening and lose yourself in the captivating and spiritual ambience.

However, due to the sudden flash flood in 2013, almost whole of Kedarnath got washed away.

Rudraprayag

Rudraprayag Valley

Rudraprayag Valley

From Kedarnath, trek downhill to Gaurikund and from there set out for Rudraprayag by car. Rudraprayag is the place where Alokananda and Mandakini rivers converge. The numerous lakes and glaciers at Rudraprayag also attract tourists.

Badrinath

Set out for Badrinath, the final Dham via Joshimath. The Nar and Narayan ranges encircle Badrinath and the Nilkantha peak adds to the awesomeness of the town. Worship the god in the evening at the Badrinath temple. Immerse yourself in the holy water of Tapt Kund before entering the temple. Other sights of attraction at Badrinath are the Naradkund (where the idol was found) Brahmakapal, Sheshnetra, Charanpaduka etc.

Badrinath marks the end of the Char Dham Yatra and from here your travel downhill would begin. Before that you would also like to pay a visit to Mana Village, the last village of India. Drive downward from Badrinath to Kirtinagar via Joshimath and Karn Prayag and Nanda Prayag. From here drive back to Haridwar and then to Delhi, thus completing this spiritual journey.

10 Places to See Snowfall in India

Snowfall has a scenic beauty that many people long to see all year round. When the white pellets of snow drop down the hazy blue sky the ambience around turns truly heavenly and mystical. If you wish to enjoy the beauty of snowfall, read on to learn about the top 10 places where you can witness snowfall in India:

As a tourist, one of the most compelling sights is to see the snowfall that makes an exotic location look even more beautiful. There are a number of such places in India where you can go as a couple, extended family or with friends to beat the heat as well as to enjoy stunning views. Let us have a look at the top 10 places that come under such list in random order.

Pahalgam (Jammu & Kashmir)

Pahalgam

Pahalgam

It is a small village that is located at a point that is the confluence of two streams. It is located at a stunning height of 8957 ft above sea level. As the years have gone by, Pahalgam has become a massively popular tourist spot for tourists as well as trekkers not only in India but also across the globe. June and July are the months were tourism is at its peak in Pahalgam. There is a heavy influx of Pilgrims in the months of July and August as the Amarnath Cave is just 45 km away. The location is not just visually appealing but also very romantic as you can go for long walks where you can view interesting flora and fauna. The Mamkeshwar temple is another important landmark of Pahalgam that is highly recommended to tourists.

Mashobra (Himachal Pradesh)

Mashobra

Mashobra

This place is one of the famous twin settlements namely Mashobra and Chharabra. These locations used to be preferred by the then ruling British officials and their families whenever they wanted to take out for private moments. There are two massive ancient structures here which are the remains of the battles fought in this region during Pre-Independence times. They are called The Retreat and The Wildflower. Going for long walks and gazing at the snowy regions is the best past-time one could have here. Tourists can set out for a picnic to Craigano and Shaily peaks after buying the local food that is both tasty and priced reasonably.

Harsil - Gangothri (Uttarakhand)

Harsil Valley

Harsil Valley

These regions are located on the high mountain ranges in the state of Uttarakhand. They are located at very high altitudes of 9005 ft and 10000 ft above the sea level. Tourists coming here can have the perfect view of the dashing Himalayan mountain ranges and peaks, flowing rivers and streams and what not! Hot springs give relief to the tourists while there are dense forests too to explore. Presence of green meadows and glaciers add another dimension to the place giving it a heavenly feel. In order to reach Harsil, you need to take a drive from the Uttarkashi district and the route is an adventure in itself with the road having sharp turns all the way. There are abundant places to have short and pleasant walks with the Dharali village located at a distance of 2 km while a group of 7 lakes titled Sattal is located at a distance of 7 km.

Darjeeling (West Bengal)

Beauty of Darjeeling

Beauty of Darjeeling

Darjeeling is one of the best visual spots in West Bengal and you can view snowfall from the Tiger Hill in the months of December. Winters are chilly and the snowfall visual is a blissful treat to tourists. The sight of the sun rays falling on the slow is an epic sight indeed. Most people in Darjeeling love to keep time out for watching these special moments. The town has plenty of places where you could go out for romantic walks in a cool environment to view the lovely architecture of the place most of which were done during the Colonial rule. Cottages, Churches and other monuments are on view. Main time-pass methods are to visit the tea estates, Monasteries, having a ride in the steam engine and doing some local shopping.

Kufri (Himachal Pradesh)

Kufari, Himachal

Kufari, Himachal

Many people prefer Kufri over Shimla when it comes to being a destination of snowfall. The ski resorts here have garnered terrific popularity among tourists over recent years. The presence of snowy slopes and peaks, options for adventure sports, stunning visuals and the orchards are the standouts of Kufri. Tourists who come here have the option of performing several activities like skiing, trekking, horse rides and temple stops. The availability of steaming hot masala tea and spicy hot snacks serves as good refreshments for tourists.

Nathula-Gangtok (Sikkim)

Nathula Pass

Nathula Pass

These are regions located in the state of Sikkim where you can witness serious amount of snowfall throughout the year. A hill town is located at a 2 hour drive from the snowy Nathula region. These places are not only visually attractive but also less-populated among tourists which mean you can have a calm and peaceful experience. The Nathula-Gangtok package is the perfect combo for Tourists coming to Sikkim to witness snowfall. The color of the peaks change on a daily basis and that is a stunning sight. Monasteries, Antiques, Zoological parks, paintings, sculptures and scriptures are some of the main attractions of this place. There are markets too from where you can buy awesome local goodies of different kinds. Walking is a pleasure in these parts of India.

Thanedar (Himachal Pradesh)

Thanedar, Himachal

Thanedar, Himachal

Thanedar is located at an altitude of 7300 ft above sea level. This is the place where the cultivation of apple is believed to have started in India. A missionary man named Samuel Stokes was responsible for this cultivation to begin in this region. As much as the snow-filled peaks are a sight to behold, tourists can also have a good time at the orchards here where different types of apples are cultivated. The Sutlej river flows near this area. Paramjyoti temple is another important place to visit for tourists here while Barobargh hill and St.Mary’s Church are other good options. There is a lake called Tani Jubbar lake where you can go for picnics and have a nice time.

Narkanda (Himachal Pradesh)

Narkanda

Narkanda

It is located at a breath-taking height of 8884 ft above sea level and is near to Shimla. Snowy mountain peaks and ranges along with dark forests are the main attractions here. Trekking and skiing are highly enjoyable here as a 7 km walk shall take you to an incredible height of 10827 ft above sea level. Different types of trees like blue pines, fir, spruce and deodar can be seen here. You can visit the Hatu Mata temple that is situated at the very top to get a panoramic view. A stunning view of snow-filled hills and ranges can be seen from here.

Auli (Uttarakhand)

Auli, Uttarakhand

Auli, Uttarakhand

It is located in the Garhwal mountain ranges of the Himalayas at an altitude of 9500-10500 ft above the sea level. Skiing is the best adventure sport here. Auli is at a distance of 268 km from Rishikesh and 490 km from Delhi. It is a hugely popular ski resort and temperatures here go as low as -5 degrees Celsius with snow all round.

Gulmarg (Jammu & Kashmir)

Gulmarg in Winter

Gulmarg in Winter

This was constructed as a Ski resort by the British during their rule and has become immensely popular thereafter. This place is a huge hit among honeymoon couples as well as film-makers. Such is the greatness of the place that the National Winter games are held here annually. The Dondola cable cars are a major attraction here as you can use them to reach Mount Apharmat. Despite the snowfall starting in December, the best time to visit is in January and February.

Badrinath Dham, Uttarakhand

Badrinath shrine is one of the holiest shrines of India and every year thousands of tourists flock there to get the blessings of the deity. The shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and there’s many stunning mythological tales woven based on the shrine of Badrinath. It is a vital part of the Char dham yatra, a significant pilgrimage yatra for the Hindus. Get detailed info on Badrinath Tourism from the article below.

Badrinath Temple

Badrinath Temple

The pious town of Badrinath is regarded as one of the most religious places in India. It is also one of the reputed Char Dham destinations. It is located on the scenic locales in between the mountain ranges of Nar and Narayan of the Garhwal Hills. Badrinath is situated on the banks of River Alaknanda which is in the district of Chamoli in the state of Uttarakhand. The term ‘Badri’ is given to the region where berries grow in abundance and it is from this term that the name Badrinath has been obtained. The shrine is one of the most famous ones in India and people throng in numbers to experience the bliss and calmness.

Badrinath is full of stunningly scenic locales and great vantage points of breath-taking beauty as far as the visuals go. There is a rich amount of heritage involved as well and the feel is just mind boggling to say the least. Not just in India, but also in the entire sub-continent, Badrinath is very famous as far as pilgrimage places are concerned. The visuals of Badrinath are given an extra dimension by the two rivers that flow in the region namely Alaknanda and Rishi Ganga. As much as the place is famous for the religious experience, it is also a location for people who have a fondness in adventure sports and similar recreational activities. Every year, you can see tourists coming in droves to Badrinath to enjoy the spirituality as well as the picturesque beauty of the visuals.

Places to visit in Badrinath

Let us have a look at the places or tourist attractions at the town of Badrinath.

  • Badrinath Temple – The Badrinath temple is located at a height of 3133 meters above the sea level. It is a tribute to Lord Vishnu who is believed to have meditated here. The temple is along the banks of river Alaknanda and is one of the main attractions of Badrinath.
  • Surya Kund – It is a place that has great relevance both among the locals as well as the tourists. This Kund has the presence of hot water springs and it is considered to be divine to have a dip there. It is located besides the Tapt Kund.
Yogadhyan Badri

Yogadhyan Badri

  • Yogadhyan Badri – This is located at a distance of about 13 km from Badrinath. It is a tribute to the mother of Shri Badrinath Ji. Popularly known as Yoga Badri and the place is known in Mythology as the area where King Pandu, father of the Pandavas, meditated as a part of compensating for his sins of killing two mating deers. This place is also believed to be the birthplace of the Pandavas.
  • Mata Murti Temple – It is located at a distance of 3 km from Badrinath and is a tribute to Mata Murti. It is located on the banks of river Alaknanda. Tourists come out in numbers to visit the place to worship Mata Murti on religious occasions. The belief among the locals is that the Goddess gives Vairagya to those followers who give prayers regularly and keenly there.
  • Neelkanth Hill – Another name of this place is the Garhwal Queen and it is shaped like a Pyramid which constitutes the background of Badrinath. It is situated at a stunning height of 6597 m above the sea level. People wishing to watch the sunrise can have their ultimate experience here while those interested in activities like trekking can also have a great time.
  • Tapt Kund – These are known for their powers of healing. The belief is that before going to the Badrinath temple, you need to immerse yourself in the Tapt Kund. The Kund is believed to be the place where Lord Agni dwells.
Neelkanth Hill

Neelkanth Hill

Special Festivities and Events

Not only does Badrinath have a rich amount of religious heritage but also has immense value in terms of cultural heritage too. During the festive times, the environment gets heated up and it is a sight to behold indeed. Let us have a look at some of the renowned festivities and events in Badrinath.

  • Holi – It is known as the festival of colors and you can see people celebrating it with aplomb by firing colors over each other. It is one of the biggest festivals of Badrinath and the celebrations are very colorful. It is in the month of March.
  • Diwali – Known as the festival of lights, Diwali is one of the important festivals for Hindus and is celebrated with grandeur in Badrinath. It is celebrated generally in the months of October or November. The deity worshipped in this festival is Goddess Lakshmi.
  • Dussehra – Another festival that is celebrated with panache in Badrinath is Dussehra. The festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil (Lord Rama over Ravana).
  • Rakshabandhan – It is another beautiful festival in Badrinath where girls tie ‘Rakhis’ on the hands of their siblings or people they consider as their siblings.

The Story Behind Badrinath

According to the myths, the Badrinath temple was initially built by Adi Shankaracharya. After the construction phase, the temple was modified several times. It is considered as one of the Panch Badris. The other Badris are Yogadhyan Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Bridha Badri and Adi Badri.

The region of Badrinath is best known for the stunning Hindu sculptures that are on view here. The significance of the place is for Lord Vishnu especially for His dual form of Nara-Narayana. Another myth is that Goddess Ganga was sent to earth as a part of saving humanity. As earth wasn’t able to resist her strength, the powerful Ganga (Ganges) got divided into 12 different channels among which Alaknanda was one as well.

Alaknanda River

Alaknanda River

The hills and mountains around the town of Badrinath have their reference in Mahabharata as the places where the Pandavas are believed to have ended their lives. They did so by getting down a peak’s slopes. This peak was located in the western part of Garhwal and called as Swargarohini. Approximately 4 km to the north of Badrinath is Mana where the Pandavas are believed to have passed on their route to Swarga (heaven). The cave where the sage Ved Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata epic is also in Mana.

Weather

The climate in Badrinath is generally cold and there are few best phases in a year that are apt for tourists. Let us have a look at the different seasons.

  • Summer season – This season is from March to June and the temperatures are moderate giving a pleasant feel in the environment. The average temperature is about 18 degrees Celsius. This season is the perfect time for sight-seeing as well as pilgrimage.
  • Monsoons – This season is from July to November as the rains set into Badrinath. The temperatures drop further down to 15 degrees Celsius though the rainfall isn’t heavy.
  • Winters – The winter season in Badrinath starts from November onwards and carries on till February. It is extremely cold and the temperatures go as low as 5 degrees Celsius on an average with sub zero levels often experienced. Heavy snowfall is another specialty of the winters here. People who love to travel in such chill weather can come here in this period.

Ideally, the best phase to visit Badrinath is from May to October except during the Monsoon phase as the roads get affected by the rains thereby making the place inaccessible.

Winter in Badrinath

Winter in Badrinath

How to Get There

In recent times, the access via roads has improved a great deal. However, safety is still an issue though road travel is still the most preferred way to reach Badrinath. Incidents of landslides as well as bus and jeep accidents occur on a regular basis. The main issue is the road which is often jam-packed. The reason for this is that another place of religious importance named Hemkund Sahib is also on the same route. This place is of great importance to the Sikhs who throng there in huge numbers. All this congestion in the roads leads to freakish accidents on a regular basis. From Joshimath, the motor transport is escorted with the presence of convoys and during night time, the roads are closed. The route leading up to Badrinath is entertaining with great visuals of the hills, bends of the roads as well as the Himalayan vistas. At Badrinath, the natural wonders are the hot water springs. Some other pilgrimage sites that are present on the way to Badrinath are Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Nandaprayag and Vishnuprayag.

Food and accommodation

Badrinath is a town that has huge crowds throughout the year and hence tourists are recommended to make their reservations for accommodation well in advance to avoid inconvenient situations. Hotels of different types are available while people preferring economical accommodation can stay at Ashrams where the food is also cheap. Badrinath being at the high altitudes means that you don’t need air-conditioning as the place is already cool. The place is a pilgrimage region and hence only vegetarian food is available here. Coming in season time is recommended as food shall not be abundant otherwise. People preferring alcohol will have a hard time as it isn’t legal here though an illegal attempt can be made at your own risk.

Chardham Yatra of Uttarakhand

Chardhams come with a special significance for any pious Hindu. If you want your sins to be washed way, at least once in your lifetime you must make a yatra to the ‘Chardhams’; that is what is commonly believed in Hinduism. Those who are unable to visit the greater circuit, make a yatra of the Chota char dhams of Uttarakhand and gather all the blessings of Almighty. Read on to learn in details about Chardham Yatra of Uttarakhand.

Chardham Uttarakhand

Chardham Uttarakhand

Being guarded by the mighty Himalayan mountain range, the Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand, hosts four of India’s most sacred sanctuaries – The Char Dham. Literal meaning of the word Char Dham is the ‘four abodes of god. The Chardham include – Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. The common belief of the pilgrims about these places is that the Chardham yatra helps you attain Moksha (Liberation from Samsara, the course of birth and death) by washing out all your sins and crimes. This is why thousands of pilgrims opt for these places once in their lifetime to pay their tributes to these holy shrines.

Historical Background of Chardham 

The chardham Yatra was initiated for the first time by the great missionary Guru Adi Shankaracharya, thousands of years ago, back in the 8th century. Since then, pilgrims from across the globe have been visiting this place every year with the hope of attaining redemption. However, during the cold winter months the temples become out of reach of the devotees due to much snowfall.

The Yamunotri Dham

This religious shrine is situated at a distance of approximately 3164 meters above sea level.  This shrine is significant as it cleanses countless moods and spirits as it brings the origin of River Yamuna. The specialty of this place is that pilgrims can experience a mixture of hot and cold climate simultaneously. The cold weather is brought up about by the Himalayan environment that causes glaciers at peaks while the hot climate is brought about by the presence of thermal springs called Kunds of Goddess Shakti.

While starting from any of the main towns of Uttarakhand like Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun, it would take you almost a day’s travel. The shrine can be reached from Hanuman Chatti by a 13 km trek and by a 6 km trek from Janki Chatti. The best phases to visit this shrine in a year are from May to June and from September to November.

Yamunotri Temple

Yamunotri Temple

The Gangotri Dham

According to the Hindu Mythology, Goddess Ganga appeared in the form of the river after listening to the prayers of king Bhagirath, to wash the sins of his predecessors. It is believed that Gangotri is the place from where Ganga originated. The Gangotri dham was constructed after goddess Ganga. Built at a height of 3200 meters above sea level, the temple is situated at a distance of 100 kms from the Uttarkashi district.

The main shrine where the devotees are worshiping currently was constructed by Gorkha leader, Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century.

The temple gate is opened to the visitors during Akshaya Tritiya (usually in the month of May) and the gate gets closed during Yama Dwitiya(Usually during late October or early November). During this time thousands of pilgrims soak themselves in the holy water of Ganga and enter the temple for offering their prayer to the Goddess. During the other 6 months of the year, the temple gate remains closed to common people. During this time Goddess is worshiped at Mukhwa.

Badrinath Temple

Another religious shrine that is extremely pious and a symbol of devotion to humanity is the Badrinath Temple that is located at a height of 3415 meters. It is present on the Garihwal hill which is located on the banks of the river Alaknanada. This is a holy shrine that has been built as a tribute to Lord Vishnu. The story behind the shrine being named Badrinath is that Lord Vishnu is believed to have meditated under the Badri tree for ages thereby giving the name to this shrine.

The shrine is an ideal pilgrimage spot especially for the devotees of Lord Vishnu. The deity here is composed of Shaligram statue and has Lord Vishnu in a meditating pose. The temple is believed to have been constructed way back in the 9th century by Adi Shankaracharya. The shrine is easily accessible from tourists coming from the major cities of Uttarakhand.

Shri Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple

The Shri Kedarnath Temple is a holy shrine that is located a stunning height of 3584 meters above the sea level. It is situated in the district of Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand. This shrine has been built as a tribute to Lord Shiva. There is a belief that it was on the hills of Mandar that the 12 distinct forms of Lord Shiva namely the Jyotirlingas were dropped near the temple location.

These shrines called as Jyotirlinga shrines are highly recommended spots for pilgrims and Lord Shiva was believed to have appeared as a fury of light here. Pilgrims from all over the country visit these shrines to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. The temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya and it was King Kedar who privileged the same. The temple is open from the months of April to November after which the presence of heavy snowfall makes it inaccessible to pilgrims. During the extreme winter season, the deities are brought over for a 6 month period to Ukhimath where it is worshipped till April.

So, when you are seeking to go for a pilgrimage in pursuit of religious peace and bliss, opt for the Char Dham Yatra to feel the difference.

Famous Hill Resorts Near Delhi

Delhi is an important stop-over for tourists before they can move to other popular tourist spots. There are many hill stations located around Delhi and have great transport connectivity to the capital city of Delhi as well. So if you have a mind to visit any of these hill stations, visiting Delhi first is quite indispensable. Read on to learn more in details about the hill stations around Delhi

When the British made Delhi their capital, the sweltering heat in summer simply became unbearable and led to their developing hill resorts around Delhi. Their legacy survives and undoubtedly, the most famous of them all is Shimla, the queen of hill stations and their summer capital. Shimla still has remnants of British culture to remind us of the colonial past. That is not the only hill resort around Delhi. There are dozens, some very popular and some not so well known; some close by and some at a distance, but each a pearl in its own way. So take your pick.

Famous Hill Resorts Near Delhi

Famous Hill Resorts Near Delhi

Hill Stations According to Direction:
Go west to Himachal and it is a veritable paradise. Shimla, Kasauli and Manali are inarguably the most famous with Dalhouse, Kufri and Dharmshala equally popular. Then there are other less popular resorts such as Solan, Renukaji, Kandaghat and Chail. Go North to Kashmir and you have the ever-popular Yousmarg, Sonamarg and Gulmarg with Srinagar a city resort you can enjoy just as much as the more remote hill stations. Go North-East to Uttaranchal and here you have some lovely resorts of which Nainital, Kausani and Mussoorie are undoubtedly the most beloved of tourists. Then there are others such as Ranikhet, Kanatal, Binsar, Chamba, Ramgarh and Auli to keep you enchanted and cool during sweltering summer months. Haryana has Morni and Rajasthan to the South West has Mount Abu but this is at quite a distance. Your best bet would be to choose popular resorts located closer to Delhi.

The Not So Well Known
People rush off to well known spots but these can be crowded. Why not choose not-so-well-known spots for some peace and quiet? One such resort is Kangojodi, a pristine, unspoilt place where you can enjoy solitude. Everyone rushes off to Kullu but Tirthan in the same valley is about a day’s drive from Delhi and is more beautiful and enchanting. Not many have heard of Churwadhar, about 90 Km from Simla but it is off the beaten track and lets you commune with Mother Nature. Just as isolated is Chindi near Solan where you can lose yourself in the tranquility and recharge your batteries. Mandi is on the road to Manali and is a hidden sanctuary next to Prashar Lake

The Famous and the Popular

Auli
About 500 kms from Delhi, this charming resort is in Uttarakhand and its pride is the longest cable car that takes you on a 4 kilometer journey giving an enchanting view of the lovely terrain. You can go skiing or spend time by the world’s highest artificial lake.

Palampur

Palampur Himachal

Palampur Himachal

To the West of Delhi in Himachal Pradesh you will find Palampur, about 494 kilometers from Delhi. It is Nature at its unspoilt best with pine forests and streams gamboling playfully along the countryside. Visit Mata Bandla Devi temple and the village of Andretta while you are here.

Kausani
This endearing retreat is only 394 kilometers from Delhi, famous for its forests of pine and a lovely view of the Himalayas. You may want to explore the tea gardens of the Baijnath temples or simply lose yourself in the beauties of nature.

Kufri
Not so well known as Shimla but a beautiful spot about 380 km from Delhi. Kufri is home to the Himalayan Wild Life Zoo and also lets you enjoy skiing in season. You can ride a Yak or go trekking. It is as yet unspoilt and lovely beyond words.

Chail
Like Kufri, Chail, about 350 km from Delhi, is overshadowed by Shimla but has a distinct personality with the Chail Sanctuary in the vicinity. Most of all it is as yet unspoilt and is relatively calmer for a soul refreshing sojourn.

Nahan
You may not have heard of this reclusive retreat about 260 km from Delhi, located in the Shivaliks but it is picturesque and quiet, perfect for a soliloquy with nature. It is the nearest to Delhi and is a charming resort town that will win your heart.

Mukteshwar

Mukteshwar

Mukteshwar

If you love greenery, then it is Mukteshwar that will enchant you with its verdant scenery. About 330 Km from Delhi, Mukteshwar is close to Nainital and has green deodar forests as well as a wonderful view of the Himalayas.

Kasauli
This tiny hill hamlet in Solan district is only 295 km from Delhi and is cool rather than cold. Once you visit it, you will fall in love with this place and enjoy its marvelous serenity. You can visit the Baptist Church, Manki Point and Kasauli Brewery to pass the time or just walk on the gentle slopes.

Mussoorie
About 284 km from Delhi, Mussoorie is elegant, charming and enticing, bearing traces of a colonial past. It has a dreamy ambience unlike any other resort. The landscape is varied and has its own points of interest highlighted by the quaint and attractive houses dotting the slopes. You could take a trip to Kempty Falls, Mussoorie Lake, Jharipani Falls, Sir George Everest’s House and Gun Hill while you are here. Mussorie grows on you and you will want to tarry here awhile.

Ranikhet
Not many choose Ranikhet when they have options of Mussoorie, Dalhousie, Nainital and other famous resorts. Located about 279 km from Delhi in Almora district of Uttarakhand, Ranikhet is a medium sized town at an altitude of about 1870 metres. Places worthy a visit in the vicinity are the Army Museum, Ram Mandir and Chaubatia Gardens. Wander off and you can come across a variety of animals in the forests lining the slopes.

Nainital
Nainital is a resort town about 276 km from Delhi and the automatic choice of most people when they think of visiting a hill station. The weather is cool and visitors can have an enjoyable stay here, sauntering alongside Nainital Lake or taking side trips to the Naina DeviTemple, Naini Peak, Tiffin Top and Gurney House.

Kanatal

Kanatal

Kanatal

Only those who value peace and quiet will know the worth of Kanatal, about 300 km from Delhi. The view is marvelous and you feel as if you have the world all to yourself. Take time off to visit Kodia Jungle and the Tehri Dam while here.

Lansdowne
Lansdowne is located in Pauri Garwahl district of Uttarakhand, about 270 km from Delhi. What strikes you about Lansdowne is the presence of military. However, that is no damper to the lush scenery it presents and the somewhat laid back air it has. You could spend days doing nothing and still not feel bored. You can just as well go trekking, boating or bird watching. Take some time off to visit Tip n Top, the Regimental Museum, Bhim Pakora and the Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple. If you time your visit for the Autumn Festival the resort takes on a festive air and you will enjoy your trip all the more.

With so many hill stations accessible so easily from Delhi, you could well ask yourself before you decide as to what exactly you want from this trip. Do you want a lovely time? Visit some of the well known resorts. Do you want some peace and solitude? Pick resorts off the beaten track. You can always find accommodation to suit your taste and dining on local street food is always an adventure. As for transportation, there are plenty of buses that will take you to Delhi or you can join a tour or hire a private cab. On a Friday evening close your eyes, move the mouse on the map at random and click to select at random. Pack your bags and set off for a weekend of sheer delight.

Places of Tourist Interest Around Mumbai

The tinsel town of Mumbai and the scintillating Bollywood city is indeed a dream city for many vacationers from all across the nation and the globe. ‘Mumbai’ holds a significant place in the map of India not only as a famous tourist destination but also as India’s commercial capital. The ups and downs in the stock exchange market are mainly controlled from the commercial capital of Mumbai. However for a passionate traveler, what are more fascinating are the various tourist spots of Mumbai. Read on to learn more.

Mumbai is among the dashing locations of India for tourists. The historical appeal of the city isn’t much when compared to Delhi. Nevertheless, Mumbai does have its own trademark places that do appeal to tourists. So, if you are planning to gatecrash into Mumbai anytime soon, there are some places that you shouldn’t be missing at any cost. Let us have a lookup of some of those areas that are a must for any tourist heading towards Mumbai.

GATEWAY OF INDIA

Gateway of India, Mumbai

Gateway of India, Mumbai

This is the most reputed monument of Mumbai. The Gateway of India was constructed to facilitate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary who were visiting the city. People who reach Mumbai via boat are greeted by this looming monument. For those who want to start exploring the enigma of Mumbai, the Gateway of India is the best place to start your trip. The atmosphere around this monument has become electric in recent times with all kinds of things available here ranging from balloons to tea. A carnival like atmosphere prevails there in recent times. It is located in the Southern part of Mumbai in Colaba on the waterfront.

HERITAGE BUILDINGS
Some of the most enthralling heritage buildings can be found in Mumbai. So, while you are there, do not miss out on the chance to have a peek at those. These heritage buildings are stunning examples of the colonial architecture. Some of the best heritage buildings that you can find are Prince of Wales Museum, Victoria Terminus, Bombay High Court and Horniman Circle that is located in the Fort area. The main feature of the Horniman Circle is the fact that the gardens which are massive. They are a welcoming sight for tourists who are usually squeezed by the business of the city. There is a Khotachiwadi Village where you can view the historic homes with 18th century architecture. They are situated in around the Southern parts of Mumbai.

KALA GHODA ART PRECINCT
The term Kala Ghoda in Hindi means ‘Black horse’ and here it refers to a statue that used to be located in Mumbai in the past. It is called as Mumbai’s cultural center. This stretch is shaped like a crescent and is host to some of the best art galleries and museums in Mumbai. It is stuffed with cultural delights as well which includes some galleries on the pavements. You can roam around the place at will and ensure that you do not miss the reputed Jehangir Art Gallery. In February every year, the Kala Ghoda Association is used to conducting a 9 day fest named as the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. It is located in the Southern part of Mumbai between the Fort and Colaba.

JUHU AND MARINE DRIVE CHOWPATTY BEACHES

Chowpatty Beache

Chowpatty Beach

Travelling is a tiresome process and after a day out in the sun, every tourist wishes to put their feet up to relax. The beaches of Juhu and Marine drive are the perfect choice for this. You can view the beautiful locales as well as have a glimpse of the sunset. There will be many vendors selling different types of local snacks that are a delight to munch. Bhel puri, pani puri and pav bhaji are the best of the lot. Exclusive Juhu is located at a distance of about 30 km to the north side of the city centre whereas the Marine Drive Chowpatty is located in central part of Mumbai. It is just a short drive from the Gateway of India.

MARKETS AND BAZAARS
Mumbai is well known for the wide array of markets and bazaars of various kinds that are at your service. You can see a line of colorful vendors selling various things in these places. Street shopping is something that people visiting Mumbai are recommended to do as you are bound to come across reasonably priced stuff. The Chor Bazaar Thieves Market is immensely popular as you get all sorts of things here ranging from shoes and clothes to fresh food and spices. The architecture of the Crawford Market is a sight to behold indeed. These markets and bazaars are mostly located on Colaba Causeway, in Bandra at the Linking road, Church Gate near Crawford Market and Chor Bazaar that is located on Mutton Street.

BOLLYWOOD
Mumbai is the hub of the hot and happening hindi film industry that is glamorously titled as Bollywood. Near the Churchgate Railway Station, you can view the dynamic structure Eros Cinema that possesses a solid architecture. A lot of Bollywood films are filmed here frequently. If you want to see more of the live action, Film City that is located in the heart of Mumbai is another option. It is located in Goregaon in the western parts of Mumbai.

MAHALAXMI DHOBI GHAT

Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai

Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai

This is a mammoth open air laundry that provides an incredible view into the interiors of the city of Mumbai. All the dirt in laundry that comes from different parts of Mumbai is gathered here. The washing is done with a great deal of effort by the Dhobis (local usage for washermen). The washing is carried out in big infinite rows of concrete troughs. Countless number of Dhobis performs this act for endless hours daily with help from the chemicals to clear out all the dirt from the laundry. It is located near the Mahalaxmi Railway Station in the central part of Mumbai.

MUMBAI DABBAWALAS
A dabbawala is a person who carries a container all the time. People who are used for transporting lunch boxes (dabbas) are usually called by this name. Such people can be spotted in droves in Mumbai as they go by their daily duty of supplying freshly prepared dishes to the workers in offices. This concept was initiated by the British rules but even after their exit, it has been continued in Mumbai mainly by people belonging to the business class. They can be seen around Mumbai near the railway stations mostly. The best place to view them is at the Churchgate terminus situated in the Southern part of Mumbai.

HAJI ALI
This astounding structure serves as a dual purpose – both as a mosque and also as a tomb. It was constructed in 1431 by a rich Muslim merchant named Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. He was also a known Sufi saint. His life took a drastic turn for the good after a visit to Mecca. This structure named Haji Ali also contains his body beneath it. The structure is located in the middle of the ocean. Haji Ali can be accessed only during a period of low tide from a long narrow walkway that is 500 yard long. It is located in the central part of Mumbai quite near to the Mahalaxmi Railway Station off the coast of Worli.

CAVES AND NATIONAL PARKS

Elephanta Caves Island

Elephanta Caves Island

Despite being an extremely busy city in terms of work, fun and travel, Mumbai does possess some amazing caves and a National Park as well which is not something you would expect considering the city’s dynamics. The National Park is definitely a place that you must visit at least once. You can view several ancient caves of Buddhists where hand carving is done a lot too. Lot of caves that are dedicated to Lord Shiva can be seen on the Elephanta Island. The Kanheri Buddhist Caves are located in Borivali at a distance of 40 km from the northern side of Mumbai city center. Elephanta island is about 6 miles to the eastern side of Mumbai.

These are some of the top tourist favorites in Mumbai and are recommended to every traveler who sets foot in Mumbai. Get to know about the diverse cultures of Mumbai through these tourist spots. If you haven’t been there yet, hurry up!

Places to Visit in Bangalore & Near Sightseeing

The IT Hub of Bangalore with so many top MNCs is one of the most populated cities of India with a mixed culture. The city of Bangalore is also a hot favorite tourist spot dotted with so many attractive visit-able locations in close proximity to each other. Therefore once you are at Bangalore, it will keep you busy always moving from one tourist location to another. Read more in details about the tourist spots in Bangalore.

Bangalore is one of the most happening cities in India. Be it in the field of development or partying in a holiday, Bangalore is always among the best options. People love to be in Bangalore both as a tourist spot as well as for settling down. So what are the main tourist spots in Bangalore that you should check out? Well we have a list of some of the best places. Have a look at those.

BANGALORE FORT

Bangalore Fort

Bangalore Fort


The hugely popular Bangalore Fort was built in the year 1537 by the feudal agents of the mighty Vijaynagar Empire who were also the founders of Bangalore, Kempe Gowda. This was initially a mud fort and was modified into a stone fort by Hyder Ali in the year 1761. The British seized control of the fort in 1791 and since then have dismantled it umpteen times for various purposes such as road construction, school construction, building hospitals and so on. So what now remains of this monument is its Delhi Gate along with the remnants of 2 bastions. Visiting the Bangalore Fort is a must for any tourist landing in Bangalore as it shall give you a view of the historical roots of the city.

BANGALORE PALACE
This is a famous palace made of stone and the construction was a lengthy affair indeed. The process started in 1862 and finished in 1944. In the year 1884, the then Maharaja of Mysore purchased the palace after being impressed by it. It is a massive 450 acre property that is located in a popular locality of North Bangalore. The Bangalore Palace is surrounded on all sides by a variety of trees belonging to several species. As much as 30000 paintings can be seen in the palace. Tourists visiting here are provided with an audio tour that provides them with info regarding the Mysore Empire.

BANNERGHATTA NATIONAL PARK
This is a massive park located over an area of 25000 acres. It is located at a distance of about 22 km from Bangalore city area. It is host to one of the riches sources of zoological reserves available in India as well as the world. Lot of wild animals can be spotted in this National Park such as tiger, lion, panther, deer and elephants along with a variety of reptiles as well. Birds also can be seen roaming around in the park. The forest department conducts Safari rides that allow the tourists to have a closer look at the wild animals in the park. The Zoological Park and the Biological Park located here are of utmost significance. Apart from these, you can also view a small museum that shows zoological exhibits as well as a conservatory of butterflies.

CUBBON PARK

Cubbon Park, Bangalore

Cubbon Park

The Cubbon Park is an exquisite green island that is located in the middle of the city of Bangalore. It was created in the 19th century. The British Chief Engineer of Mysore area, Major General Richard Sankey was the man responsible for the creation of the Cubbon Park. What started out as a 100 acre park eventually got extended to a 300 acre region. The presence of gardens consisting of thick bamboo adds another dimension to the beautiful park. Several heritage buildings can be viewed in the vicinity of the Cubbon Park and these do not affect the beauty of the place in any way. Some of the heritage buildings that can be seen here are the Sesadri Iyer Memorial Hall which has been converted into the Central Library and the Attara Kacheri that has now become Karnataka’s High Court. There are several places to visit in Cubbon Park and if you are with your kids, there is the option of Jawahar Bal Bhavan where kids can find pleasure.

INDIRA GANDHI MUSICAL FOUNTAIN
This is a dancing and musical fountain named as the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain which was set up in 1996. It is located in the heart of Bangalore city on the Raj Bhavan road. It is spread out on a 17 acre land that has been beautifully maintained by the Department of Horticulture, Government of Kerala. The fountain has been constructed using the latest technology available in multimedia mixed with variances of Indian-Western musical themes. Lovely patterns can be formed in three different levels and they give us an impression of a folk dance. This musical fountain is located on the opposite side of Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium. It is pretty close to the Vidhana Soudha and Cubbon Park.

INNOVATIVE FILM CITY
Bangalore does have its share of highly entertaining places and Innovative Film City is one of those. It is an entertainment theme park which is located about 40 km from Bangalore. The marvelous atmosphere has drawn comparisons to the famous Disneyland of USA. It is spread over a distance of 50 acres and has something for people of all age groups. Some of the popular visiting areas here are the Teddy Museum, Louis Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Mini Golf Field, Haunted Mansion, Bungee jumping and many other places too. A variety of food items are available at the lavish food court present here. There is a handicraft and Cultural Village too that can be seen here. The rate is Rs.599 which is a standard package while school children can avail discounts at different rates.

LAL BAGH

Lal Bagh, Bangalore

Lal Bagh

This is a wonderful botanical garden which was commissioned in the 18th century by Hyder Ali. His son, the legendary Tippu Sultan then modified it further once he occupied the throne. It is spread over 200 acres and you can see all kinds of trees here. A glass house that was constructed by the British can be seen here. Flower shows are conducted here twice a year on Republic Day and Independence Day respectively. A huge rock is present at the park and it is said to be about 3000 million years old! A 16th century tower built by Kempe Gowda is present on top of this rock. Overall, another must-visit place in Bangalore for any tourist.

MANTRI MALL
This was opened in 2010 and is the biggest mall in South India. It is situated at Malleshwaram which is known as one of the oldest residential areas of Bangalore. The mall consists of retail outlets of all the National and International brands in clothing, footwear, stationery, cosmetics, electronic goods, accessories, furnishings etc. The Mall has only one drawback and that is its location which at a very busy area of Bangalore. Therefore, entering and exiting the mall can be a difficult task for people. However, as mentioned earlier, the benefits are good enough for us to overlook this drawback.

MAVALLI TIFFIN ROOMS
The MTR brands are pretty famous and are known for the different types of ready mix food items offered by them. The MTR restaurant that is situated near the Lalbagh North Gate has always been a big craze among tourists even before the MTR brands hit the market. The Rava idlis, rava dosas, masala dosas and coffee at MTR are the best options for tourists. The coffee is served here on silver cups. There are 6 other branches of MTR in Bangalore and one in Singapore.

NANDI HILLS

Nandi Hills, Bangalore

Nandi Hills, Bangalore

They are an ancient hill fortress that is situated about 60 km from Bangalore city. It is a popular option for picnics among tourists belonging to all age groups. The presence of evergreen forests is its USP along with the presence of rich flora and fauna. The Nandi Hills are located at a distance of about 20 km from NH7. It is situated just after Devanahalli which is where the Kempegowda International Airport is located. Year after year, the Nandi Hills continue to attract tourists in droves due to its wonderful architectures and locales.

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