Amarnath Yatra Start Date 2015

Registration for Shri Amarnathji Yatra 2015 would start from March 1st, 2015.

Amarnath Yatra 2015 starts on 02 July, 2015 and concludes on 29 August, 2015, Compulsory Health Certificate required for registration

Chardham Kapat Opening Date 2015

Kapat Opening Dates 2015: -

Badrinath Temple Opening Dates – The kapat of Shri Badrinath Temple will open on 26th April 2015 at 5:15 AM
Yamunotri Temple – The kapat of Shri Yamunotri Temple will open on 21st April 2015
Gangotri Temple – The kapat of Shri Gangotri Temple will open on 22st April 2015
Kedarnath Temple – The kapat of Shri Kedarnath Temple will open on 24rd April 2015 at 8:50 AM.
Chardham Yatra Booking Open – Shri Yamunotri Gangotri Kedranath Badrinath 4 Dham Yatra start form 21 April 2015 onwards.

Top Places to Visit in Gulmarg

Gulmarg, the enchanting meadow which was once studded with numerous wild flowers that won the heart of the royal kings can offer you a great and exotic vacation indeed. Read on to learn what all places you need to visit during your Gulmarg sightseeing to enjoy and entertain yourself

Gulmarg, a picturesque hill station in vicinity to Srinagar draws thousands of tourists from far and wide owing to its legendary beauty. The rustic ambiance and pastoral green stretches of Gulmarg present you with a total refreshing and revitalizing scenery. Gulmarg in the yesteryears was called Gourimarg but later it came to be known as Gulmarg. The term ‘Gulmarg’ was coined in sixteenth century by Mughul King Usuf Shah who was enthralled at the sight of the grassy slopes of Gulmarg being emblazoned with various sorts of colorful wild flowers. Emporer Jahangir was fascinated by the floral bounty of Gulmarg and frequented the place quite often. Today Gulmarg is famous world wide as on the best golf resorts if you’re planning a vacation at Gulmarg of late then you must know what all places you should visit in an around Gulmarg to enjoy really fulfilling vacation out there. Here follows the listed

Gandola Lift

Gandola Lift

Gandola Lift

Gandola lift no doubt is Gulmarg’s prime attraction. It has been designed in technical collaboration with foreign company Puma and is administered by Jammu and Kashmir Rope Way Corporation. This Gandola lift is one of Asia’s most notable cable car Structure that would transport you to an altitude of about 13500ft. You can experience a unique, totally out of the world Gulmarg from such a high altitude once you are seated in your Gandola.

Golf Course Gulmarg

Golf Course Gulmarg

Golf Course Gulmarg

The Gulmarg golf Course is quite famous all across the world in that it is one of the highest Golf Courses in the entire world. This golf course comprises of 18 holes and is administered completely by the Tourism department of Jammu and Kashmir. It would indeed be a wonderful experience on the part of any tourist to visit the Gulmarg Golf Course and get the scope to view a class apart golfing

Ski Area

Gulmarg Ski area

Gulmarg Ski area

Gulmarg is a well known paradise for passionate skiers. Heavy snow fall makes the region a wonderful ski resort. The ski resort of Gulmarg falls amid the Pir Panjal mountain rangers. It receives skiiers from all across the globe. This ski area consists of various types ski terrains such as Gondola terrain, Puma Terrain, Lower tree ski terrain. Snow scooter riding, snow bobbing are some of the common activities that skiers practice in this area.

Baba Reshi Shrine

Baba Reshi Shrine

Baba Reshi Shrine

This Shrine has been built in memory of the great Muslim ascetic Baba Reshi. The Shrine was built around 1480. This great saint served during the rule of king Zain ul Abdin, who was the ruler of Kashmir at that time. The architecture of the Mosque shows a fine blend of Mughal and Persian architectural styles. Also the intricate wood carvings that decorate the interior of the Mosque would fascinate a tourist like anything

Apharwat Peak

Apharwat Peak

Apharwat Peak

If you wish to get some really thrilling experience, don’t miss your trek to the Apharwat Peak. It would indeed elate your heart, mind and soul giving you sufficient rush of adrenalin

Gulmarg Biosphere Reserves

Gulmarg Biosphere Reserves

Gulmarg Biosphere Reserves

The Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve extends over a sprawling 180sq meters. It houses some of the rarest species of fauna, avifauna, flora and is thus the source of richest biodiversity at an elevation of 4300 meters above the sea level. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, this Biosphere Reserve would indeed interest you a lot

Shiva Temple

Shiva Temple Gulmarg

Shiva Temple Gulmarg

The Shiva Temple Gulmarg too is a wonderful place to visit when you are at Gulmarg. This temple stands on the hill top and is emblematic of the royal era. Mohini Bai Sisodhia, queen of King Hari Singh the erstwhile king of Kashmir was the one who constructed this temple. That’s the reason why it’s also called ‘Maharani temple’. The uniqueness of this temple lies in the fact that you can get a glimpse of it from every corner of Gulmarg.

ST Mary’s Church

ST Mary’s Church

ST Mary’s Church

This Church of Gulmarg holds special significance because it is the oldest religious structure of Gulmarg, constructed some 110 years ago. It comes with a unique Victorian architectural style and the construction of this church dates back to the British colonial era. In the year 2003, it came with a new look because it received a renovation in the shape of a new façade. Nearly 14 years later the holy Mass of Christmas was held in this church post renovation. It is indeed a must-visit place once you are at Gulmarg

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir – Popularly Known as Venice of the East

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir is a land blessed with unique natural beauty. The Dal Lake, the Mughal gardens, the temples and mosques of Srinagar impart the city with a unique charm of its own. For Kashmir travelers Srinagar is indeed a must-visit place. If you have plans to embark on a tour of Srinagar, this travel guide below will prove helpful. Read on-

srinagar city aerial view

Srinagar city aerial view

Srinagar is the well known amidst the lovely queen summer capitals in India. Being the capital of India’s most beautiful state Kashmir; Srinagar has nevertheless been under a lot of political turmoil recently. However since the tumultuous times of 2003-2004 the city has revamped its security and tourist facilities and is now a safe and comfortable destination for tourists. The city is very beautiful especially in the summer months when, Srinagar sightseeing it draws thousands of tourists from India and abroad.

How to Reach Srinagar

The easiest route to enter Srinagar is by taking the train which has a major stop at Jammu and then by taking a 3 hour cab ride to Srinagar City. There are also dozens of State buses that commute between Jammu and Srinagar on a daily basis. However its best to opt for State Transport operated ones for Kashmir tour and Srinagar sightseeing.
Srinagar has its own Airport which is also known as Sheikh ul Alam Airport. there are steady flights operated by Jet Airways, Jet Lite, Spice Jet and Indigo which sometimes have a mid stop at Jammu. Most of these flights come from Delhi and Mumbai.

It’s very important to keep Visa and personal Identification papers ready as the city is filled with check posts where papers are scrutinized.

Attractions of Srinagar

Srinagar has lots of beautiful landscaping, gushing fountains, culturally rich monuments and wonderful natural beauty. Its gardens and lakes are of special interest as they have lovely structure; There are many lovely gardens in Srinagar as under.

Nishat Bagh

Nishat Bagh Srinagar

Nishat Bagh Srinagar

The garden named Nishat Bagh is situated right on the bank of the famous garden of bliss. It’s lovely landscaping and exuberant foliage has earned its name as Garden of Bliss.

Shalimar Bagh

The Mughal Garden which flanks the lovely Dal Lake as constructed by Jahangir is known as Shalimar Bagh. This is also known as Garden of Perfume.

Nehru Garden

This is 15 km away from Dal Lake and has serious floricultural practices operated by Jammu Government. Sample local Khawa here and if you are lucky you might be able to glimpse the 168 varieties of Tulips blooming in the Tulip garden.

Hazratbal Mosque

This is a famous mosque and probably the most beautiful religious monument in India. The mosque is marble white and there are a lot of options outside for sampling Mughlai and Kashmiri snacks.

Hazrati Youza Asouph

This is also known as the tomb of Roza Bal and also obliquely referred to be the tomb of Jesus. Photography however, is not permitted here.

Shankaracharya Mandir

The Shankaracharya Temple

The Shankaracharya Temple

this is one of the few Hindu temples in Srinagar. There is a 25 steps flight to the temple which is perched atop a hillock and the place has an amazing view.

Monuments of Srinagar are very beautiful like the Pari Mahal and Parihaspora ruins.

Things to Do in Srinagar

Srinagar is such a beautiful city that you can just spend your days in careful abandon in the lap of nature. However there are many activities that are a must do while you are here on Srinagar tourism.

Shikara Ride in Dal Lake will let you enjoy the magnificent view of the city. The average cost of a Shikara ride is 600 INR.

There is a village in the lake which has a floating vegetable and flower market.

Paragliding is organized from the Astamarg Point near the Harwan Garden. You can opt for either the 15 minute or the 1 hour ride from this point and it offers splendid opportunities for the adventurous soul.

Srinagar sightseeing and Trekking in Srinagar will offer opportunities for nature viewing, adventure and exercise. Alpine lakes like Nundkol lake, Satsar lake and Vishansar Lake are also covered in the trekking circuits.
Kashmir Treks and Trekking Srinagar Express are two organizations in Srinagar which offer beautiful trekking expeditions.

Shopping in Srinagar

For the shopaholic Srinagar is a wonderful destination as the local arts and crafts here are exquisite. Here are a few must buys.

Pashmina or Fine Cashmere shawls are finely spun and so light that they can be compressed through a wedding ring. These shawls are exquisite are wonderfully embroidered with traditional floral patterns.

Woodwork of Srinagar is quite famous and you can shop for bangles, toys, artifacts, show pieces and carved boxes.

Shop for saffron, kesar and dry fruits that are available in abundance here.

Chainstich Ruga in English and Kilim Design are also available at reasonable price and stunning variety.

Cuisine of Srinagar

Check in to the Royal Kashmir Palace in Srinagar to sample the famous 36 course of Wazwan. Dig into Seekh Kebabs, Yakhni, Rista, Gushtaba, Aloo Dum, Shamam, Tujji, Lavash and Mint Paste. Kashmiri Naan with sultanas and Nuts are also very delicious.

Go straight to Lal Chow in Srinagar as it has the best Kashmiri food. For sampling delicious beverages check out Café Robusta and Café Arabica on MA Street.

Valley of Flowers National Park – Uttarakhand

Valley of Flowers perched amid the snowy peaks of Uttarakhand mountain ranges is a region of ethereal beauty. The colorful Himalayan flowers growing there plus many other rare vegetations and animal life found there pull travel thirsty people to the region every year. To know all details about ‘Valley of Flowers’ read on:

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

The ‘Valley of Flowers’ is a region that lures thousands of passionate nature lovers and adventure lovers every year. They all trek to this land of divine beauty perched in the lofty peaks of West Himalayas ignoring the difficult journey across the rigorous terrain only to drink its beauty to the lees. The region got its name from the numerous Alpine flowers that bloom in the vale, just with the melting away of the snow. It appears, as it were, the valley that was lying dry and drab under the cold sheets of ice so long has suddenly awaken to youthful beauty, presenting a real riot of colors! To get to view such a sight of rare natural beauty is indeed a lifetime experience for any traveler and so it’s a worthwhile to set out on a trip of this enchanting valley.

The region was unchartered and not even known for all the natural gems hidden in it before the botanist Frank Smith discovered it and was spellbound by its enchanting floral view. In 1982, Valley of Flowers was announced as World Heritage Site plus National Park. UNESCO recognized this vale as ‘Heritage’ because it was discovered that some very vital medicinal herbs grow naturally in the Valley of Flowers. We can relate this fact to the myths easily. According to Hindu mythology, Hanuman Ji picked the Sanjeevani Buti from this very region to save the life of Lakshmana who received fatal wounds at a battle field.

Valley of Flowers Trekking

Valley of Flowers Trekking

The flowers that bloom in the ‘Valley of Flowers’ belong to some of the rarest species and the most renowned ones are Cobra Lily, Brahamakapal, Blue Poppy. It is indeed wondrous to find such a floral valley at a height of some 3600 meters from sea level. So flower lovers and botanists leave no stone unturned to reach the Valley of Flowers and witness its panoramic floral splendor.

How to Reach

The Valley of Flowers falls in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. To reach Valley of Flowers, you have to first reach Govindghat (1828meters from sea level). From Govindghat you need to first trek to Ghangharia, a difficult 13 km of trek over a steep enough terrain. From Ghangharia onwards the remaining part of the trek route becomes less difficult comparatively and you need to cover only 4km to reach Valley of Flowers after Ghangharia. From Delhi you need to cover 505 kms to reach Govindghat. Well developed road transports like buses, taxis are available to make enthusiasts reach Govindghat comfortably and then your 17 kms of the unique trek starts. The location of Govindghat on NH58 makes it easily reachable by road transport. It is connected via road transport to all key Uttarakhand destinations such as Ukhimath, Rishikesh, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag, Chamoli. If you wish to come by flight, then you can fly from Delhi airport to land at the Jolly Grant Airport and thereafter avail road transport to reach Govindghat. If you wish to know about the rail route, then you must know that you have Rishikesh by train in order to reach Govind Ghat because that’s the rail station falling nearest to Valley of Flowers. From Rishikesh you can access the motorable route to Govindghat, the point from where your memorable trek to the valley of flowers commences.

When to Visit

As you can understand the region is a high altitude region. Visiting it in the winters is not only risky but also impossible. The travel season for Valley of Flowers is between June-September as for the other parts of the year, the region remains inaccessible due to heavy snowing.

Sightseeing

Enroute your Trek to Valley of Flowers, you can visit some other significant attractions like Hemkund Sahib, Ghangharia, Nanda Devi National Park.

Hemkund Sahib

Hemkund Sahib

Hemkund Sahib is a lake situated at an altitude of some 4329 meters from sea level. Myths hold that Guru Govind Singh Ji went into deep spiritual meditation at the Hemkund Sahib. The lake is adjoined by a Gurdwara characterized by a unique star shape. ‘Hem Kund’ stands for ‘Lake of Snow’ and indeed the pellucid water of this lake, set in the midst of the snow clad mountains, is icy cold. Nearby is a temple too; i.e. the famed Lakshman temple where Lord Rama’s brother, Lakshmana is the residing deity.

Ghangharia, perched at height of 3050 meters from sea level, is a picture perfect hamlet and the last habitat of humans that falls on the course of your trek. The sprawling meadows, blue sky, snow clad peaks around indeed create a blessed ambiance for any passionate nature lover.

Nanda Devi National park

Nanda Devi National park

For wild life enthusiasts Nanda Devi National park will indeed prove a thrilling visit. The renowned peak of Nanda Devi towers over this sprawling National park which was declared as World Heritage site in the year 1988 by UNESCO. The area covered by the park is 630.30 sq km. This park falls within the Biographical zone of the Himalayas and includes some rare species of fauna like snow leopard, blue sheep, Asiatic black bear, Himalayan musk deer, Brown bear, Serow, Goral, Himalayan black bear etc. The abundance of flora in the park too leaves one wonder-struck. You get to see wide variety of Rhododendrons here plus plant species like Juniper, Birch, Fir. Visit between April-October and have a real fun time exploring the gifts Nature has endowed the park with.

If you wish to meditate on the beauteous sights of ethereal Nature, come to the Banks of Pushpawati River which courses through the beautiful floral valley and then confluences with Rishi Ganga. Its considered a sacred confluence by the many pious souls. For Nature lovers, it is a privilege to watch the cascading river making its way with a gurgling sound across the Valley of Flowers.

Fairs & Festivals

The Butter Festival

The Butter Festival

There is no fair or festival taking place directly on the Valley of Flowers. However in the nearby regions many fairs and festivals are celebrated with great pomp and grandeur which you can attend. The Chamoli district where Valley of Flowers falls is notable for Fairs like Gaucher Fair, Fairs held on the occasion of Nag Panchami, Holi, Ram Navami, Bishwat Sankranti, Butter Festival, Nanda Devi Raj Jat. If you schedule your visit to the Valley of Flowers with time period when these fairs are held, you can of course enjoy a visit to these fairs as well.

Accommodation

There are Government rest houses plus hotels with decent accommodation facilities like 24/7 hot water supply, food and lodging, laundry etc at Ghangharia. So regarding accommodation you need not worry

Cuisine
At Ghagharia, there are many Dhabhas and hotels serving local food. You can sample some of the mouth-water regional cuisines of Uttaranchal therein. For your trek route its is advisable to carry with you dry fruits and nuts that would boost your energy level and provide warmth to your body in a really cold ambiance

Shopping:
The region is not for shopping. So forget about splurging money on souvenirs and just focus on the bounties of Nature out there. It is truly a fairy land atop the snow capped mountains and it’s time for you to meditate on nothing else other than its splendid beauty.

So now you know all about Valley of Flowers. Hurry up and plan for a trip to this wonderful vale.

Things to Do In the North East India during Your Vacation

The North East India tour will introduce you to India in its most fecund and exotic form with abundant dense green forest covers, a vast array of rich and rare fauna and flora, undulating hills carpeted with lush green tufts of grass and the famous tea gardens. Furthermore the tribes residing in that part of the country, their lifestyle, the crafts, the famous Bihu festival all would fascinate you a lot. Adventure, wildlife, Nature-North East India actually has everything that a traveler’s heart seeks. If you wish to know in details about the things to do in North East during vacation, go through the article below.

Nne Horned Rhino

Nne Horned Rhino

The Golden Triangle is so visited and talked about it is rather worn at the edges. The princely tour of Rajasthan loses its glitter after a while and Goa is now so overcrowded that you might just as well stroll along Chowpatty for the beach experience. Kerala and the south have become so familiar it would be better to head to Sri Lanka or Maldives for the price but the sameness of sand, coconut and the sea can make you go nuts. So what do you do if you want something transcendentally different for your next tour? Look East they said and with wisdom so it is time to pack your bags and take a deeper look at the mystique of the North Eastern sister states of Arunachal, Mizoram, Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland. Between them the sisters will keep you happily occupied and come away feeling fully replete.

Arunachal Pradesh

  1. Start with Arunachal Pradesh, the most North-Eastern part of the country and home to people speaking over 50 dialects.
  2. Try conversing with the locals and it is an adventure in itself. Give it up and head to the Tawang Monastery, the largest one in India and second only to the one in Lhasa.

    Tawang Monastery

    Tawang Monastery

  3. After you pay your respects to the Wise Buddha it is time to get some extremely fresh air and to do this you head to the Sela Pass in Tawang District. Find time to meditate in typical Buddhist setting or alongside the Sela Lake.
  4. Refreshed you can now head for Bomdilla Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary and do what you came here for: trekking in the wilds with the valleys and peaks making for a visual treat with the crowning glory going to the Gorichen peaks of the Himalayas in the distance.
  5. The still waters of Shungatser Lake bordered by stately conifers are sheer poetry of Nature and worth the trek.
  6. After you have admired the Nuranang Falls and then visited Rukhmininagar rear Roing and then traipsed over to Ganga Lake, set out on a river rafting expedition on the Siang River or the Subansiri River. It is exhilarating and if you love fish, you will get your fill.
  7. Some of you might simply visit Itanagar, and visit the fort and then ignore everything else, preferring to live in the tribal villages with their simple lifestyle.

Assam

Assam is the largest of the seven sisters, a plump rotund matron if you like to call her that, well filled with nature, wildlife and also bustling cities.

  1. Are you brave enough to face a rhino? They are dangerous and you could do it from a distance as you travel on elephant back along well worn trails of the Kaziranga National Park.
  2. Now for some peace and quiet of another kind and this time it is pleasant boating on the Brahmaputra during which you might come across lively river dolphins cavorting in the fresh waters of this mighty river.
  3. Get a bit of spirituality and head for the unique Kamakhya temple, one of the shakti peeths in India where you can pray devoutly to have your wish fulfilled as to millions of devotees.

    Bihu Festival

    Bihu Festival

  4. Majuli is what makes your trip worthwhile. It is one of the largest river islands and even if you spend only a couple of hours here, you will find the food, people and way of life so distinctly different.
  5. Assam can be your cup of tea in more ways than one. The tea cup of India has numbers of tea gardens and if you are lucky you could get to stay in one for a day and pick the delicate tea leaves alongside other pickers working to the chant of songs. Brew a fresh cup of tea and then move on.
  6. If you have the time visit the Manas National Park, the Dibru Saikhowa National Park and the Orang National Park or drop in at Umananda Island, the smallest island in the middle of a river. Before you leave sample local bamboo shoot delicacies and the spicy foods for which Assam is so well known.

Manipur

Manipur is heartbreakingly beautiful with its abundance of greenery and water bodies as well as temples.

  1. Alight on the Sendra Island in the middle of Loktak Lake. Soak in the sunshine or walk around and admire the scenery. This is a photographer’s paradise so be sure to have your camera ready and then indulge yourself in well earned rice beer. Round off the evening with a Manipuri dance show or a display of martial arts for which the state is so famous.

    Sendra Island, Manipur

    Sendra Island, Manipur

  2. Much as you love the Loktak lake it is time to move on and the Keilbullamjao National park is the next thing to visit in Manipur after which you could drip in at a Metei tribal village and consider staying for a day or two to soak in the tribal life.
  3. The Dzuko Valley, however, can be the highlight of your tour with its rolling and undulating grassy meadows bejeweled with flowers, a truly lovely sight to delight your heart and soul.
  4. Just as attractive is the Barak Waterfalls which you should not miss for its picturesque beauty.

Meghalaya

The land of clouds invites you to explore its beauties.

  1. Start with the Khosi Hills about 11 KM from Mairang and admire the unique mammoth rounded dome of red granite that looks like an inverted superbowl. Climbing it is a challenge and you can pat yourself on the back if you do succeed.
  2. The Jaintia Hills about 65 Km from Shillong are easier and offer more by way of attractions chief of which are the monoliths or Menhirs that would delight Obelisk of the Gauls. These menhirs are symbolic stones erected by erstwhile Jaintia Kings to commemorate victories in battle. While here explore the Thadlaskein Lake, the Umhang Lake and cross the stone bridge at Thlumuwi to be rewarded by the sight of the Muwi Waterfalls. The Umlawan Cave in the same region is one you must explore for it being the longest and deepest in India. Be warned though: it is all of 21 km long.
  3. The Garo Hills are equally fascinating and the Tura Peak will challenge you to navigate the forests and steep foot tracks. Do not forget to visit the Nokrek Biosphere in the vicinity and then move on to Chibragre where you will see the confluence of the Rongram and Ganol Rivers. Boating along the yellow-ochre rocky shores is a joyful experience. Head into the Baghmara Reserve Forest and you will be impressed by the splendid variety of wildlife and colorful birds. Do not leave this area without visiting Siju where you will love to explore the Dobakkol or bat cave and lose yourself in its cool serenity as your boat glides in the semi-darkness. Round off the trip with a visit to the Imilchang Dare waterfall and take a dip in the pool, alive with multicolored fish.

    Living Root Bridges, Meghalaya

    Living Root Bridges, Meghalaya

  4. If sight seeing does not interest you can always go trekking in the Living Root Bridge area, explore the Kyllang Rock or saunter along the David Scott Trail, admiring water falls and native habitats as you go along. For the really tough the trek from Cherrapunjee to Pynursula or Krang is the one to take. River canyoning on the Sohra is only for the very fit so be sure before you under this perilous activity.
  5. Try your hand at skiing on water, yachting if you more sedate or travel on high speed boats or water scooting. Simply exhilarating. Then you can pick up a bow and try to hit a target. Archery is quite popular here.

Mizoram

Mizoram is the land of misty blue mountains and home to people believed to have migrated from China with their unique blend of culture. The region is strikingly green and you will see quaint wooden houses built n stilts, rolling green farms, hills and rivers flowing through deep gorges.

  1. A climb up the Phawngui or the Blue Mountain is soul lifting since the locals consider it the abode of Gods. You will love the unique combination of flora that includes striking trees and colorful flowers, as also the view of haze covered valleys and hills below.
  2. The Dampa Sanctuary offers ample opportunities to come face to face with leopards, elephants, deer and tigers but it is the lush greenery that will impress you even more. The Ngengpui sanctuary is the larger one, spread over an area of 110 square kilometers and home to plethora of wildlife. Trekking under the tall green canopies is a wonderfully soothing experience.

    Vantawng Falls

    Vantawng Falls

  3. Just as lovely is the Vantawng Falls a scenic spot to take a break, have a picnic and walk around.
  4. The Tadmil Lake reflects tranquility and you can take a boat out to the middle, lean back and relax to the sound of water and the quiet whisper of the wind.
  5. If you are fond of caves then Mizoram has its fair share of caverns in the mountain sides.

Nagaland

Nagaland is home to rich tropical forests, rolling hills and plains and also a number of tribes with their own customs and way of life. You could consider living in a Naga village for a day just to live life their way.

  1. The Japfu Peak is a challenge for the adventurously inclined. Bamboo predominates and navigating the dense growth is physically strenuous but the view from atop, especially the sunrise, is quite enchanting.

    Japfu Peak

    Japfu Peak

  2. From the mountains to the Dsukou valley is a lovely journey made even more rewarding with the sight of flowers in full bloom. The valley is aptly called the Valley of Flowers and is magically enchanting enough to make you want to stay here for a longer time.
  3. Fakim Sanctuary is another must visit place, a medley of bubbling rvulets, rich green forest cover and an abundance of animals such as monkey,s bears, boars, jungle cats and tiger coexisting with pheasants, jungle fowls and horn bills.
  4. The Intanki Wildlife sanctuary is another attraction not far from Dimapur and is home to Sloth Bears, tigers, elephants, deer and wild dogs as well as colorful birds. Trekking on well worn trails is a wonderful experience and the cool atmosphere keeps you going for miles.
  5. Round off your visit to Nagaland with a visit to Meluri and the Shilloi Lake. The area is a lovely picnic spot with a number of rivers and hillocks presenting a magnificent view.

Tripura

Tripuri is a motley collection of tribes and settlers from Bengal and Manipur and as such presents a rich cultural mileu. However, of more interest are the wildlife sanctuaries and the temples of which the tripura Sundari Temple is the most famous.

  1. Only 25 km from Agartala you will come upon the Sepahijala wildlife sanctuary spread over 18.5 kms and home to birds, lovely orchids and animals. A well developed Park, the facilities here include elephant rides and boating.
  2. Another one a bit farther of is the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary where birds are the attraction and you can enjoy trekking here as well.

    Gomati Sanctuary

    Gomati Sanctuary

  3. Gomati Sanctuary is larger with an area of 389 sq. km and home to thousands of birds clustered around the Gumti reservoir, a huge man made reservoir covering 300 sq. km. Boating on this reservoir is the ideal way to get close to the birds and observe them in their natural habitat.
  4. If you love dense green forests, then the Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary will prove a more attractive destination. The Sanctuary also has a large number of birds and animals but you will love the variety of flora more than the fauna.

North East India presents a different face not just in the lush greenery that is in stark contrast to the desert of Rajasthan but also in the people and customs that vary from one city to the other and one region to the other. It is quite unlike any region of India and is refreshingly interesting. This land challenges the brave to go on treks into the wild green interiors or climb mountains and then go white water rafting in the swirling waters.

Explore the Best Offbeat Destinations in India

India is truly a traveler’s hotspot. The country fraughts with some wondrous attractions gifted by Mother Nature, visiting which and viewing which is indeed a lifetime experience for any passionate traveler. Apart from the usual and quite popular tourist destinations of India, there are also places less known and only seldom visited by tourists on account of their remoteness. You can visit those places to experience real calm and solace, far away from all crowds and chaos and also capture Nature in its most pristine, untainted beauteous form. To know more about the best remote destinations in India, read the article below

It’s a pity that almost all the usual tourist places in India have become as crowded as its major big cities. If you are a nature loving person then the commercial nature of over explored tourist destinations will probably bore you. The next time you feel that the busy city life and the demands of an urban existence are getting on your nerves then choose one of the below mentioned remote destinations. These destinations unlike the usual tourist circuit of India presents a lot of unexplored opportunities for the tourist who is in search of that elusive whiff of fresh air and a spot of tranquility.

Western Ghats

Western Ghat

Western Ghat

One of the loveliest places of India…the Western Ghats allow you to get lost in the bountiful lap of nature. Even UNESCO has recognized the rich natural heritage of this beautiful place and has labeled it as an UNESCO heritage site. The Ghats have more than 1600 km of thick and natural forests that soothe the eyes and host more than 1000 species of flora and fauna. If you are interested in ornithology or botany or any other type of wildlife then the Western Ghats are heaven for you. Camping, hiking, nature watching or simply walking around is sure to be a memorable activity for people who are lucky enough to visit the Western Ghats.

Thar Desert

Thar Desert

Thar Desert

Riding the single humped camel in India is not as much fun anywhere as it is in Thar Desert. The Thar Desert is the largest hot desert in India but it’s enhanced with a riot of colors that are mainly created by the colorful tribes populating the desert. The Thar Desert is one place where you should switch off your laptop, mobile phone and tablet and just lose yourself in the songs and dance forms of Rajasthan Tribes. Life in the desert will teach you how humans can infuse such joy and spirit in the most arid of conditions. A clear full moon night in the Thar Desert will be an experience to cherish forever.

Ladakh

Chadar Ladakh Trek

Chadar Ladakh Trek

Pristine blue colored sky along with ice capped mountains dotted with colorful flags will create a wonderful picture for you when you visit the land of Ladakh. There is an awesome aura of mystique and adventure that permeates the very air of the remote valleys of Ladakh. The deep mountain gorges and the fierce craggy scenery will inject you with a sense of calm and peacefulness and make you feel on top of the world. Ladakh is truly a place where you can experience cultural and natural utopia all under one roof.

Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch

The Rann of Kutch or the great white desert is another name for “nothingness”. There is nothing but miles and miles of pristine white sands all around just dotted by wild craggy shrubs. The Rann takes on colorful attire during October and a cornucopia of colors, sights and sounds descend here as the 19 tribes of Gujarat deserts showcase their crafts and arts. For the more adventurous minded a trek up to the famous Kala Dungar or Black hill will allow the opportunity to experience an amazing view of the only white salt desert of India.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andana Beaches

Andana Beaches

In case you ever had the romantic fantasy of getting marooned in a beautiful island then the Andaman and Nicobar islands are your best bet. THE SECLUSION and the romanticism of the place will thrill you. There are a conglomerate of 300 islands in Andaman and Nicobar group and each of them allows the traveler to discover some new aspect and unseen beauty in them.

Backwaters of Kerala

Kerala Backwaters

Kerala Backwaters

The Backwaters of Kerala allow you to feel like a decadent king or monarch who can sit and entertain himself with wonderful views as the lush groves of coconut and palm glide by. The Backwaters of Kerala are unique in their structure and geographical context and you will not be able to experience this kind of beauty elsewhere in India. Enjoy the absolute solitude and the mind soothing tranquility as you feast on sumptuous sea food that is the signature of the Backwaters of Kerala. While Alleppy is traditionally known as the capital of the Backwaters in India there are other spots too which you can target.

Kasol in Himachal

Kasol Himachal

Kasol Himachal

It’s an anthropological wonder as to how this tiny Hill Station in Himachal Pradesh contains so many Jews as its local inhabitants. Once you manage to reach Kasol 9which is right beside the famous Manikaran Hot Water Springs) you will be surprised to see so many white skinned black eyed beautiful Jewish people. Look at them smoking chocolate, spinning yarns and listening to exotic Trance music and you will feel that you have entered Jerusalem. Kasol is a town that serves authentic Jewish food so if you have a penchant for trying out exotic cuisine this is the place for you.

Meghalaya

Nohkalikai Falls Meghalaya

Nohkalikai Falls Meghalaya

Because of the occasional political disturbances and the turmoil that surrounds Meghalaya tourists hardly consider it as their to-go destination. But one has to just glance at the lovely caves of Meghalaya like Krem Mawmluh, Krem Liat Prah and Krem Phyllut to fall in love forever. There are so many natural rocky constructs in Meghalaya that they will delight any traveler who comes here searching for the unusual or the unknown. Meghalaya is one of the most remote places of India and as its name suggests ….this is the land of the quiet skies and clouds.

Valley of Flowers in Uttarkhand

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

The Valley of Flowers in Uttarkhand is the perfect recipe for a beautiful romantic getaway in a remote destination. If you can manage it do visit this place in July when the whole Valley bursts into life as thousands of bloom spring up their heads. International Botanists target the Valley of Flowers every year in the summer as it presents an incomparable opportunity to explore the flora and fauna of the place. Take in the fresh and crisp air of Uttarkhand and let your mind take a break from Urbanization.

Andaman Islands
If you are interested in studying the exotic magical world of underwater life then the Andaman Islands should be your next remote destination. There are a multitude of colorful reefs that will enthrall you with unusual sea life like star fish, volcanic lava formations, and prismatic structures. This is the best place for snorkeling and deep sea diving in India and the experience has to be gathered at least once in a lifetime. Andaman Islands are also known as the underwater Heaven of India because of its diverse deep Sea flora and fauna.

Udaipur Attractions and Tourist Places to Visit

Rajasthan, the state of sand dunes, palatial Buildings, mahals, lavish crafts has many to offer to a tourist. Udaipur is one city where you can get enough to quench your thirst for travel. If you are planning for a trip to Udaipur of late, this city guide and list of top Udaipur tourist places would help.

Udaipur City

Udaipur City

Udaipur is the capital of the erstwhile royal state of Mewar which is now a part of Rajasthan in India. Udaipur is one of the premier tourist destinations in India and in the recent years it has commanded a lot of interest as destination wedding spot for celebrities. Movies including the well known James Bond Flick Octopussy were filmed in Udaipur. The incredible sights and sounds of Udaipur coupled with its grand history has earned it the eptiteph of “Most Romantic City of India” and “ Venice of East” etc. It’s a wonder how in spite of being in the desert state of Rajasthan Udaipur has such magnificent lakes like Fateh Sagar Lake, Swaroop Lake and Pichhola Lake. Udaipur owes much of its cultural artifacts to Mughal ruler Akbar who captured Chittorgarh and developed it as a city. Udai Singh the Rajput warlord renamed it as Udaipur and the city has entertained the best of the British and Indian royalty since its inception.

How to Reach Udaipur

Udaipur has a very good connection to all major Indian cities. The distance from nearby cities to Udaipur is given below:

  • Agra- 620 km
  • Delhi- 670 km
  • Mumbai-740 km
  • Jodhpur-275 km
  • Jaipur- 405 km
  • Ahmedabad- 260 km

The city of Udaipur is well connected by flights to Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai etc by airlines such as Indian Airlines, Spice Jet and Jet Airways. From the airport you can easily take a taxi to inside the city and the standard fare is INR 500. Udaipur Airport doesn’t have an ATM so better come with hard cash.

The train jouney from Delhi to Udaipur is also picturesque and Mewar Express which leaves from the Nizamuddin station is the best train to take. Alternatively you can take the Gwalior- Udaipur express train if you are travelling from Jaipur of the Ajmer Udaipur Express if you are travelling from Ajmer.

Udaipur lies on the golden Quadrilateral Highway NH 8 and so it’s equally reachable by road from Delhi and Mumbai. State transport agencies and private tour organizers have competent and efficient bus services with Volvo sleeper coaches for travel to Udaipur.

What to See in Udaipur

The beautiful city of Udaipur offers a lot of options to the travel hungry tourist. The attractions can be split into 5 categories; Palaces, Lakes.

Palaces of Udaipur

Udaipur City Palaces:

Udaipur City Palaces

Udaipur City Palaces

Udaipur City Palace is a magnificent building that towers over the serene Lake Pichola and its built by the flamboyant Maharaja Uday Singh. There are a number of small and big palaces inside the Udaipur City Palace Complex and the architecture style is a mix of Mughal, Chinese, European and Medival. The interiors of the palace is intricately designed with elegant mirror work, silver filigree, marble sculpture, wall décor and murals along with cut glass mosaics.

Durbar Hall

Durbar Hall was built in 1909 inside the Fateprakash Palace and its initial purpose was to witness the proceedings of the court. Right now it’s a luxuriant heritage hotel which has the royal weaponry collection on display.

Badi Mahal

This is also known as the Garden Palace and is situated at a height of 27 meter above sea level. The Badi Mahal is surrounded by fragrant blooms and exotic shrubs kept in the hanging garden style.

Amar Vilas:

Amar Vilas

Amar Vilas

The top court of the City Palace which is built in the style of a sensual Pavillion with its cusped arcades enclosing a squarish marble lake. You can view the entire city complex from Udaipur.

Krishna Vilas

This was a chamber in Fatehprakash Palace and is now converted into a boutique hotel. There are several miniature paintings depicting processions, games and festivals of the Maharajas on display here.

Peacock Square

The Peacock Square has a multi pillared hall that is filled with exquisite mirror and cut glass work. There are 3 magnificent peacocks on display and they represent the changing seasons of summer, winter and monsoon. More than 5000 pieces of glass were used to construct the peacocks which reflect gold, blue and green colors.

Sheesh Mahal

Sheesh Mahal, Udaipur

Sheesh Mahal

Sheesh Mahal is also called the palace of mirrors and its one of the oldest parts of city comples where a shrine of Dhuni Mata is established. This is a very good place for meditation.

Bagore Ki Haveli

This is a palace that is built in the 18th century on the water body bank of the Lake Pichola by Amir Badwa. The palace is now used as a museum and it has 100 rooms that possess grand costumes and magnificent displays of modern art. Every night there is an hour long dance performance at Bagore ki Haveli.

Zanana Mahal (ladies quarters), Rang Bhavan (royal treasure palace) and the Manak Mahal (containing the Sun Emblem) are three other palaces of Interest in Udaipur.

Lakes of Udaipur

Fateh Sagar Lake

Fateh Sagar Lake

Fateh Sagar Lake

Maharana built the Fateh Sagar Lake to the North of the Pichola Lake in 1678 and in the north western direction of Udaipur. There are 3 pretty garden islands in the Fateh Sagar Lake and there are 3 parks here namely the Nehru Park, Solar Observatory Island and the Public Park Island.

Pichola Lake

This lake was established in the year of 1362 AD and its named after the Pichola Village. The surrounding of the lake and the small islands within the lake have been built up painstakingly by rulers of Udaipur. Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir are the two islands inside the Pichola Lake. The Lake Palace in the middle of the island is now converted into a heritage hotel.

Badi Lake

This is a magnificent lake that lies about 12-15 km away from the main city of Udaipur. It’s best if you can rent a bike or a bicycle to ride up to Badi Lake.

Gardens of Udaipur

Udaipur is a very romantic city with lots of gardens some of which date back to the Rajputana and the Mughal era.

Saheliyon ki Bari

Saheliyon ki Bari

Saheliyon ki Bari

This is alternatively known as the Garden of Miads and the garden lies in the northern part of Udaipur City. There is a lot of see in the Garden of Maids like marble of elephants, pool of lotuses and kiosks of singing fountains. It’s interesting to note how this lovely garden is managed by 48 female attendants who accompanied the royal princess to Udaipur.

Nehru Garden

Nehru Garden lies in the center of Fateh Sagar Lake and it spreads across the huge area of 41 acres with fragrant blooms and ponds of lilies. Nehru Garden will give you a splendid view of the Aravalli Hills.
Aapni Dhani: This is a great place for a family outing in Udaipur as it has all the provisions of entertainment. There is a mini zoo, facilities for puppet show, dance show programs and a sumptuous Rajasthani dinner spread every evening.

Gulab Bagh

Gulab Bagh

Gulab Bagh

Gulab Bagh or the garden of roses is situated on the Eastern side of Lake Picchola. The library in Gulab Bagh contains a collection of rare and precious ancient manuscripts and hand decorated books. There is a Zoo inside Gulabh Bagh which has an exotic collection of wildlife specimens.

What to Eat in Udaipur

Udaipur is the place to sample some delicious dishes like Daal Bati Churma, Gatte ki Sabzi and Ghewar. There are sumptuous snacks like Mirch Pakora, kachori and vegetable samosa which are found in every corner of the city. Rajasthani Thali is available at the top restaurants in Udaipur and the selection of roti, savories, rice dishes, sabzi and sweets have to be tasted to be believed.

Ambrai Hotel Near Lake Pichola is a good place to eat and watch the marvelous fireworks show. This is a great place for a long and relaxed romantic dinner.
Cool Café is a great place to catch a movie and drink beer with spicy Rajasthani savory bites. This is a super affordable place and the décor and service are both modeled on the European cafes.
Bawarchi Restaurant: This is a simple local Thali joint that serves unlimited food for a very affordable sum. There is a total number of 12 items in the Thali and this is the best place to target if you are interested in authentic Rajasthani Cuisine.
Mewar Rooftop Restaurant and Natraj are just of the other well known restaurants in Udaipur while for sweets its best to target Udaipur Sweets on the Chetak Circle or Millets of Mewar near foot bridge of Hanuman Ghat.

What to Shop for in Udaipur

Udaipur is a shopper’s paradise and you are sure to return from its bazaars with your bags packed full. Be it handicraft or pottery items or toys or paintings or jewelry there is a lot to please your eye in the Udaipur bazaars. There are lovely miniature paintings that are inspired by the Rajputs and Mughals which are sold in Udaipur. Gothwal Art is a good place to target if you want to purchase miniature paintings.

Both metal and adobe pottery of Udaipur present a lot of shopping opportunities for the discerning traveler. It’s difficult to find such items in the rest of India. Hathi Pol, Bada Bazaar and the Circle of Cetak are some of the best places to go shopping in Udaipur.

Top 10 Hidden Destinations in India

India is often considered the traveler’s paradise. The diversity of culture and linguistic plus regional diversity also reflects itself in the diversity of nature as well as in the geographical diversity. Thus this is a country where you get snow-capped mountains, undulating sand dunes, vast stretches of desert land, far-flung meadows and green valleys, and dense dark forest covers, rare wild species all in one. If you are passionate about traveling, you would love to explore the various travel destinations of India; not only the popular ones but also the rare, less known, rather hidden ones which still retain the wildness and pristine beauty of pure nature. Read on to learn more:

So you consider yourself a well seasoned traveler who has seen most of what is to be seen in the Indian tourist Circuit? Well, this list will stun you and give you a whole new box of hidden wonders that are sure to have you packing your bags real soon…

1. Majuli

Majuli Island

Majuli Island

State: Assam
Because of the lack of political stability and lack of tourist infrastructure there is a dearth of tourist traffic to the picture perfect state of Assam. Many travel magazines have unofficially declared Assam as the natural beauty capital of India and Majuli is the leading example of this. There is almost zero pollution here and the air is fresh and invigorating. This is the perfect place to go for a change of scenery or to recuperate from an illness as its serene and unbelievable lovely. The place Majuli is considered to be the biggest river Island in the world and so has been officially declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

2. Tarkarli Beach

Tarkarli Beach

Tarkarli Beach

State: Maharashtra
Just a few hours away from the hustle bustle of India’s busiest metropolis Mumbai lies a perfect piece of heaven called Tarkarli Beach. It’s surprising to see the slow trickle of visitors to this beach as it undoubtedly possesses all the things tourists look for when they visit a beach. The pristine blue water, clean tan colored sandy stretches and lines of palm trees make Tarkarli look like a calmer version of the famous Kovalam beach of Kerela. Tarkarli offers a lot to the adventure lover as scuba diving and snorkeling activities are on here in full force. This is an ideal place to go if you love to hear the whisper of the waves and see the unlettered stretches of sandy bay only dotted with precious sea shells.

3. Lepchaghat

Lepchaghat

Lepchaghat

State: West Bengal
Lepchaghat lies very close to Darjeeling which is one of the busiest tourist destinations in West Bengal. The small intimate hamlet of Lepchaghat has a magical mystical feel to it as it’s surrounded by all sides by thick oak trees. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) it avoids noisome tourist traffic because most of it is diverted to Darjeeling. The amazing flora and fauna of the place has helped Lepchaghat is securing the interest and attention of leading naturalists, ornithologists and botanists and this place has featured prominently in many travel magazines.

4. Tawang

Tawang Monastery

Tawang Monastery

State: Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh is known as the prettiest of the seven sisters of the north east and Tawang is one of the finest examples of its breathtaking natural beauty. Reaching Tawang is no mean feats it will require the traveler to battle out the harsh unforgiving weather and weather the risk of frequently occurring landslides. However Tawang holds a lot of mystique as its home to the ancient 400 year old Tawang Monastery. The landscape is virgin, pristine and offers a lot of promise to rock climbing enthusuasists. Tawang is unfishable for its panoramic views but yet remains unexplored by the tourist traffic of India.

5. Wayanad

Wayanad Lake

Wayanad Lake

State: Kerala
If you are completely stressed out from the demands of the big city life, then head off to Kerela for getting your much needed shot of tranquility. It’s not the famous places like the back waters or Kovalam or even Periyar that is being discussed here but a small piece of rural landscape called Wayanad that is guaranteed to steal your heart away. The district of Wayanad possesses only less than 4% urbanization but is uniquely beautiful in a way that only poets could describe. History lovers will love the ancient Edakkal caves where they can explore the intricacies of Neolithic Period etchings and inscriptions. There is marvelous greenery all around making Wayanad a nature lover’s paradise and the serenity is so complete that you can hear your own soul breathing.

6. Unakoti

Unakoti Hills

Unakoti Hills

State: Tripura
If History and spirituality excites you then Unakoti in Tripura is sure to capture your mind and imagination. Unakoti has a rich and detailed history in Hindu Mythology and yet it’s surprising to see that this place remains so underrated. Legend says that Shiva was travelling to Kashi with more than hundred thousands of Gods and Goddesses. Shiva made a night halt at Unnakoti and asked everybody to wake up before sunrise. However no one woke up which angered Shiva so much that he cursed everybody to become stone images while he set off on his own. Unnakoti has marvelous stone carving of Hindu Mythology and these represent an amazing feat of artistry.

7. Kasar Devi or the Crank’s Ridge

Kasar Devi Temple, Almora

Kasar Devi Temple, Almora

State: Uttarakhand
Visit Kasar Devi not for religious symbolism as the name suggests but for a taste of the full bodied hippie way of life. The same atmosphere which draws huge number of tourists to Old Manali reigns in Kesar Devi or Crank’s Ridge albeit on a milder and less noisy scale. There is also a hill here called the Hippie Hill which has fully fledged trance music playing on here all the time while the shops sell regular hippie wear at throwaway prices. Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg used to frequent this place during their heydays and at the peak of the Hippie movement in India.

8. Keibul Lamjao

Loktak Lake, Keibul Lamjao

Loktak Lake, Keibul Lamjao

State: Manipur
Another illustrious member of the Seven Sisters of the North East is Manipur which contains a lot of gems for the truly adventurous traveler. One such place is the Keibul Lamjao which is situated on the majestic Loktak Lake. This is the only floating park in the world and you have to see it to believe its splendor. There are endangered species of Sangai deer which frequent this place in huge numbers. The afloat garden has been mostly formed by decomposing plant material that is locally referred to as Phumdi. You have to see this place at least once in your life.

9. Osian

Osian Temple

Osian Temple

State: Rajasthan
For once in your life give the usual tourist circuit of Udaipur-Jaipur-Jaiselmer a miss and head off straight to Osian in Rajasthan. As evident the name Osian is derived from the word Oasis and this lovely place is actually a splash of blue and green in the middle of the sandy stretches of Rajasthan. There are several 8th and 9th century temples in Osian that makes it very attractive for history, art and culture lovers. Visit it to get a glimpse of the beauty and the contrast of the peaceful oasis in the middle of the sandy hot Thar.

10. Lambasingi

Lambasingi

Lambasingi

State: Andhra Pradesh
Did you know that there is a place in the fiercely hot state of Andhra Pradesh that actually boasts of snowfall? Did you also know that this place is called Kashmir of South as it possesses unbelievably beautiful flora and fauna Well, Lambasinghi is all this and more….All through the year the temperature ranges only from 4 degrees to 10 degrees while in winter it sometimes touches sub zero. Better catch it soon before it becomes as crowded as the other hill stations in India.

Top 25 Tasty and Popular Dishes in India

Our country India with its cultural diversities is also a paradise for foodies and gluttons. There is a vast array of cuisines in our country, each one reflecting cultural, regional uniqueness. If you are passionate about food, you would surely love to taste and gain some knowledge on the most popular Indian dishes. This article below will help you in that. So read on:

India is a land of diversity and variety and this applies to its cuisine as well. There is no standard form of Indian cuisine as each of its states has something different and unique to offer to the discerning foodie. Savory, sweet, curried, steamed, fried, roasted, slow cooked and garnished with fiercely guarded recipes these dishes will simply blow your mind away. Here is a comprehensive list of ever popular dishes as well as state wise popular delicacies that you must aspire to taste once in your life.

1- Madra from Himachal Pradesh

Madra

Madra

Himachal Pradesh boasts a lot of different cuisines but Pahadi cuisine is counted amongst one of the best. One of the best examples of traditional Pahari cuisine is Madra which is a creamy concoction perfect for those short and chilly winter days. Madra is slow cooked over a charcoal fire and boasts of an eclectic mix of ingredients like chick peas, sultana (long raisins), yoghurt, almonds and finely grated coconut. The aroma from this dish will make your mouth water and it tastes equally good with rice or chapattis.

2- Irachi Ishtu or Kerala Chicken Stew

Chicken Stew

Chicken Stew

Irachi Ishtu tastes unlike the usual coconut flavored dishes of the south. This is comfort food at its best and is best had on a lazy Saturday or Sunday brunch when you are done sleeping in late. Irachi Ishtu is flavored with full bodied spices like cardamom, elaichi and cinnamon using chicken, tender leg of lamb or beef. The Keralean Chicken Stew should be served piping hot with fluffy white appam or plain slices of white bread. If you are a vegetarian then try the Ishtu made with button hole mushrooms…it’s equally delicious.

3- Makki Roti and Sarson Saag from Punjab

Makki Roti and Sarson Saag

Makki Roti and Sarson Saag

This dish has been innumerable Bollywood movies, cookbooks and named by several high profile celebrities as their favorite winter recipe. Almost all good Indian Restaurants serve this Punjabi delicacy in the months of November to February. The subtly flavored earthy textured Makki Roti made with corn meal tastes wonderful with tender cooked mustard green (sarson saag) that is generously flavored by cumin and cooked in butter. A plate of freshly cut green salad and a tall glass of cold creamy salty lassi is all you need to complete this flavorsome true blue Punjabli meal.

4- Daab Chingri from West Bengal

Daab Chingri

Daab Chingri

King Sized Prawns infused with tender coconut juice equals culinary utopia in the Bengal heartlands. It’s no easy feat to cook up this dish as the prawn has to be cooked inside tender coconut till all its flavors get infused in the tender succulent meat. Like most traditional Bengali dishes this one too is soaked with pungent mustard oil. Cream, mustard seeds, coconut grating, red chili, salt and turmeric foes in Daab Chingri to give it its distinct taste, This delectable prawn curry has a soupy texture and is best savored with steaming white long grained rice.

5- Pork with dried Bamboo strips from Nagaland

Pork with dried Bamboo Strips

Pork with dried Bamboo Strips

Nagaland brings to you its signature dish the Naga Pork curry spiked with tender Bamboo shoots. This is a dish that will make your eyes water by its sharp flavors and delicious spicy taste. If you are a meat lover then you will be hooked to this dish from the very first bite. Made with tender pork pieces which are slow cooked over medium flame with an infusion of local herbs, red chili flakes and lots of freshly ground ginger. This dish is spicy without being oily and heavy and has an exotic appeal about it. Have it with hot boiled rice and pickled onions.

6- Thalipeeth from Maharashtra

Thalipeeth

Thalipeeth

Finally we have a dish which scores full marks on the health front as well as taste!! The Maharshtrian Thalipeeth is low calorie, full of fiber and beats mueseli and oats in taste any day. These pancakes take a long time to make but once made can be preserved for days. Roasted Chana lentils, urad daal, wheat extracts, sorghum flakes, pieces of millet, rice extracts all go into making this wholesome flavoursome Thalipeeth The flavor of the multi grain pancakes comes from coriander, onion powder, cumin and fresh coriander pieces. Served with thick buffalo cream this dish spells Delicious with a capital D.

7- Litti Chokha from Bihar

Litti Chokha

Litti Chokha

This humble dish from the streets of Bihar has made it to many international food festivals and graced the covers of pan India gourmet magazines. This dish can be had as a snack or can serve as main course on winter mornings. Litti is made from wheat balls which are stuffed with masala Pitthi which is a mixture of coarsely ground spices along with roasted gram flour. Chokha is made up of charcoal grilled Brinjals or roasted charred mashed potatoes. Litti Chokha tastes amazing with a delicious dollop of pure ghee on the side.

8- Masor Tenga from Assam

Masor Tenga

Masor Tenga

Masor Tenga comes from Assam and is a fresh take on the traditional fish curry of Bengal. The Asameese version is made with fresh water fish only and is slow cooked with baby tomatoes, long lemons (Asamese Kajinemu) and preserved dried mangosteen. This dish is made sans onion or garlic and has an unique spicy tangy flavor to it. Masor Tenga is best savored with long grained Basmati rice and sweet coconut chutney. This is a dish that is traditionally cooked as a lunch item.

9- Rogan Josh from Kashmir

Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh

The Persians brought this dish into India and many Indians have since then mentally thanked Persians for introducing them to this exotic and wonderfully delicious pattern. The Rogan Josh has to made with chunks of meat cut from tender lamb or a very young goat. The meat has to be slow cooked over charcoal fire and mixed with fiery red chilies and an assortment of Persian spices. Sultanas and blanched almonds are sometimes added to the Rogan Josh and it is believed to induce vitality and vigor in the body. Best had with soft buttery naans or fluffy white rice the Rogan Josh still rules the Indian culinary palette.

10- Biryani

Biryani

Biryani

Biryani is the quintessential favorite of almost every Indian belonging from whichever state. There are a total of 16 different types of Biryani which are cooked in India with the hot favorites being Lucknow Biryani, Hyderabadi Biryani, Awadhi Biryani, Calcutta Biryani etc. The type of spice used in Biryani dictates its flavor but the rice used is almost always Basmati. Biryani is slow cooked over a dim fire in a covered pot while the rice, meat/ vegetables, spices are all layered on top of each other till the flavors all infuse into each other and give the dish a whole bodied flavor. There is sometimes a succulent aloo or a boiled egg (or sometimes both) in this delicious staple Indian favorite.

11- Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta

Even if you are a meat lover you will be seduced by the charms of this creamy concoction made with vegetable deep fried balls cooked in a saucy delectable curry. A selection of vegetables are fried and rolled together with arrow root to form small balls that are then cooked in a cram and tomato onion curry. If you are still craving for the meaty version then try the meatball kofta which is equally tasty. This is a signature Mughlai dish.

12- Paranthas

Paranthas

Paranthas

One of the most versatile items of Indian food this Parantha is a hot favorite with Indians of every age, sex and economic status. In fact there are entire lanes like Delhi’s Paranthe Wali Gali which is dedicated to the Parantha made with a variety of fillings like potato, cauliflower, radish, methi, and even unusual choices like okra, aubergines, chillies and gourd. However the potato and the cauliflower versions of the North Indian Parantha wins hands down for their popularity. This dish can be best described as deep fried flatbread stuffed with choice of vegetables (or meat) and savored with a dollop of cold creamy yoghurt. Add on some white butter and fiery pickle for added taste.

13- Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer

This is one dish rich in vitamins and minerals and a true vegetarian’s delight indeed. The white cubes of cottage cheese sunken in the smooth creamy pureed green spinach sauce tossed and fried with garam masala, green chilies and generous amount of garlic, looks utterly mouthwatering. Enjoy this authentic Punjabi dish with parathas or jeera rice and have a truly memorable dining experience

14- Dosa

Dosa

Dosa

Who can forget the humble yet delicious and healthy Dosa that has tempted people for ages. Though Dosa originally came from South India it is now found in every street in India as it’s amazingly versatile and easy to prepare. Fermented rice batter crisp fried into golden circles and combined with tangy sambhar and creamy coconut chutney is what makes this dish such a delectable combination. Dosa can be filled with a variety of stuffing’s from potatoes to carrots to cauliflowers to egg and chicken and can serve as a breakfast or lunch item.

15- Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken

This is yet another Indian dish that tastes exceptionally well apart from being very healthy too. The only effort you really need for this dish is to remember to soak the chicken pieces overnight in a mixture of yoghurt and finely ground spices for one night before you actually cook the dish. You will also need a tandoor or clay oven to cook this dish. Cooking it requires very less effort and results are always delicious.

16- Dhokla

Dhokla

Dhokla

Dhokla originated from Gujarat but now it’s famous all over Inddia as a tea time or a breakfast item. Dhokla is light, delicious and easy on the digestive system and cooking it doesn’t take too much time or effort. Fermented rice and batter made of chickpeas are all you are going to need for making Dhokla. Sprinkle on grated coconut, salted chillies, chopped coriander on top of the dhokla and have it with tangy tamarind chutney.

17- Aloo Gobhi

Aloo Gobhi

Aloo Gobhi

Come winter and you are sure to sniff the flavor of the hearty aloo gobhi curry wafting out from every North Indian home. This is a true blue Punjabi dish that has been embracd whole heartedly by people of all religions all across india. Medium diced potatoes and cauliflower along with peas and tomato is what goes into this wholesome curry that tastes amazingly good both with rice and roti. Aloo Gobhi is seasoned with jeera, dhaniya and garam masala powder while freshly chopped coriander on the top gives this dish that added burst of colour.

18- Gajar Halwa

Gajar Halwa

Gajar Halwa

How can a discussion about tasty Indian dishes be complete without the famous Indian desserts. Come winter and gajar Halwa is on every desi food lust list. As identified by its name this delicious dssert is entirely made up of carrots and so is stocked with vitamin A. Gajar Halwa is esoned with cashews, almonds and pista and should be consumed piping hot. The halwa simply melts into your mouth when you taste it taking you into gastronomic heaven. You have to try this dish to believe it.

19- Shrikhand

Shrikhand

Shrikhand

This is a traditional summertime dessert that originated from Gujarat. Though this dish takes a long time to prepare as the yoghurt has to be processed correctly; the cooking technique is extremely simple. Strands of pure Saffron added to Shrikhand hiks up its taste and makes it taste even more delicious. Generally Pistachios make fr a good combination with cold Shrikhand.

20- Jalebi

Jalebi

Jalebi

Jalebi is a sweet that almost every Indian loves from the bottom of their hearts. Though the dish essentially looks like a messed up piece of orange sugar strings overlapping each other aimlessly the art of making those rings require quite a bit of practice. Just bite off a piping hot piece of jalebi after dipping it into cold rabri and then suck on it to forget all the care in the world.