Rajasthan

Is the land of royal elegance, gorgeous women, warriors and vibrant colors. Place of majestic forts & palaces that rise from the sands. Here the mood and rhythm can overpower even a seasoned traveler. Rajasthan has something for every kind of traveler, for an action packed holiday, you can choose trekking, horse and camel safaris through the desert sands or along the Aravallis - oldest mountain range in India, for a great outdoor experience. A peaceful quiet holiday in one of the historic places or a tryst with tigers and other wildlife in various Wildlife sanctuaries.

  • Udaipur
    Better known as City of Lakes, it is one of the most romantic cities of Rajasthan. The marble palaces, the beautiful gardens and the placid blue lakes enhance the beauty of the city.
    The City Palace having several carved balconies, arches and decorated pillars is the land mark of Udaipur. Close to the City Palace is Jagdish temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath.
    The Ahar village and museum is of great archaeological importance. On the outskirts is Shri Eklingji Temple complex that houses 108 temples. More temples can be found at Rajasamand and Kankroli located close to Udaipur.
    Haldighati lies 27 kms north of Udaipur, where the armies of Emperor Akbar and Maha Rana Pratap met in 1576.
    Jaisamand, Nathdwara, Dungarpur, Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh are other places of interest around Udaipur.
  • Mount Abu
    The only hill station in Rajasthan is a major pilgrim center. The Jain temples here draw millions of visitors every year. The Dilwara temples are the best Jain temples in the country with unmatched beauty. Other places to visit are Gaumukh temple, Achalgarh
    Fort, Toad's Rock, Sunset Point and Trevor's Tank.
  • Shekhawati
    It is known as the open-air art gallery of Rajasthan and comprises districts of Jhunjhunu & Sikar in the northeastern region of the state. Nowhere else in the world is there such a profusion of wall paintings, so intricate and finely executed, in hundreds of havelis,
    temples, cenotaphs, well and forts as in this region. This region has been the home of the Marwari community, which for more than a century has been the backbone of commercial entrepreneurship in India.
    Some of the best towns for fresco-seeing are Jhunjhunu, Mandawa, Fatehpur, Ramgarh, Churu, Mahansar, Mukundgarh, Dundlod, Nawalgarh, Lakshmangarh and Sikar.
  • Mandawa
    The fort of Mandawa on the horizon rises like a mirage. There are many havelis and notable among them is Chokhani, Saraf, Goenka & Ladia havelis. From the terrace of the Castle Mandawa you can have a breathtaking view of the town.
  • Desert Triangle
    Rajasthan forms part of Thar, the Great Indian Desert. This sea of tawny golden sand is best experienced in what is popularly referred as "Desert Triangle" - Jaisalmer, Bikaner & Jodhpur. Apart from visit to the forts you can have a "Desert Safari" in the middle of a
    desert in Swiss Cottage Tents with local music and dance filling the desert air and a choice of buffet meals from Indian, Continental and local Rajasthani sit-down buffet.

Nepal

This Himalayan kingdom is a great destination for a family holiday or adventure alike.

  • Kathmandu
    Emerald Buddha stupas, tranquil pagoda temples, ornate grand palaces and royal Mansions - Kathmandu is a city with endless sight-seeing. The beauty of its natural landscape and traditional temple architecture and shrines is a testimony to its rich heritage. A beautiful landscape stretches around the capital with a variety of
    getaways.
  • Pashupatinath Temple
    This is the country's pre-eminent Hindu temple on the banks of Bagmati River, dedicated to Lord Shiva and one of the most significant Shiva temples on the subcontinent. The ghats (river steps) in front of the temple are reserved for the cremation of royalty.
  • Pokhara
    This lake city is renowned for its great setting. It's location by the lake and proximity to the mountains make it an ideal place for honeymooners, a quiet family holiday, trekking adventure or simply a peaceful holiday by yourself. There are Tibetan settlements nearby, a hilltop monastery, magnificent views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Mchhapuchchhre and the pretty Devi Falls nearby. Day walks can be taken to Sarangkot (1592m), the limestone caves at Mahendra Gufa or Rupa and Begnas Tals lakes. Another option is the three to four-day Annapurna Skyline Trek.
  • Royal Chitwan National Park
    This magnificent park was once the hunting ground for British and Nepalese aristocrats. Today elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, leopard and deer in the park are all protected, not shot. The greatest thrill here is to go for an "Elephant Safari" & scout for wildlife on the back of
    an elephant. You have an option to go for a safari in the Jeep or canoe or go jungle walking with trained & experienced guides.
  • Sagarmatha
    This is a world heritage site. Mount Everest on the right -- along with several other famous peaks, this park features extremely high mountains, deep gorges, and amazing bird and animal life.
  • Bodhnath
    The huge stupa of Bodhnath, which is the largest in the country and among the largest in the world. It's also the centre for Nepal's considerable population of Tibetans. Late afternoon is a good time to visit. This is when prayer services are held and the locals turn
    out to walk around the stupa (if you want to join in, do walk in a clockwise direction). Surrounding Bodhnath are a number of monasteries, it is advised to be discreet and respectful when visiting them.
  • Trekking
    Nepal is a trekker's paradise. During a trek, the Himalaya disappears behind Nepal's continual hills, but dominates the northern skyline at each pass. Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, Gauri Shankar and Everest will become familiar names. Your idea of the Himalaya alters as you turn from peaks famed only for their height to gaze on far more picturesque summits that you may never have heard of - Kantega, Ama Dablam, Machhapuchhare and Kumbhakarna. Everest, Annapurna, Central, Western and Eastern
    regions offer exciting trekking opportunities.
    Trekking Permits are required and issued by the Department of Immigration located at Tridevi Marg, Thamel, for the tourists who intend to trek any part of the country.

Kashmir

It is the principal region in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and a favorite destination of the whole world. Nestling in the lap of the dazzling snow capped Himalayas; the Kashmir valley is indeed "Heaven on earth" as described by Mughal Kings. It is an inspiration for art, music and poetry; a honeymooner's paradise, a nature lover's wonderland and a shopper's dream come true, in one word - a "Paradise".

Kashmiri's look after their tourists, reason you find them everywhere, soaking up all that Kashmir has to offer - the pony treks, walks, cable car rides in Gulmarg or a serene Shikara ride at the sun-set on Dal lake.

It is situated at an altitude of 1,730 meters above the sea level. The lush greenery of the valley, with its terraced rice fields, fruit orchards, and swirling waterways spill into the city of Srinagar via the Dal Lake. You can see avenues of poplar and chinar trees. And the water world of the two lakes in the middle of the city - Dal & Nigin lakes can be explored in the decadent comfort of Shikaras and Houseboats. A gorgeous river Jehlum flows through the heart of the city dividing the city into two which are linked by seven bridges.

  • Nagin Lake
    A beautiful circular drive through apple orchards and rice fields connects Shalimar with Nagin Lake and the old city of Srinagar. Visitors take this drive to visit the white marble mosque of Hazratbal, which possesses the hair of Prophet Mohammed. Just beyond Hazratbal and separated from Dal Lake by a causeway, is the Nagin Lake. Nagin Lake is popular with tourists searching for a quiet vacation. Four swimming boats anchored in the deepest part of the Lake offer facilities for swimming, water skiing and surf-board riding.
  • Hari Parbhat
    Behind Nagin Lake looms the Hari Parbat fortress, atop a small hill built by Mughal Emperor Akbar. Across the combined lakes from Hari Parbat, on the Takht-e-Suleiman (throne of Slomon) hill is the temple of Sankaracharaya. A motor road leads up the hill to this ancient Shiva temple.
  • Mughal Gardens
    The famous Boulevard Road circles the Dal Lake and leads out towards the magnificent Mughal Gardens. The first two gardens - Chashma Shahi & Pari Mahal - are to the right of the boulevard, set into the slope of the circling hills.
    Two larger gardens, Nishat and Shalimar are located much further down the Boulevard. Nishat is the larger of the two and has an impressive plantation of huge chinar trees on the highest terrace, planted in all likelihood by the great Mughals themselves. The Shalimar is more famous because of the celebrated romance between its builder, Emperor Jahangir, and his queen Nur Jehan.
  • Mosques
    Foremost among the mosques is the Jami Masjid, a massive congregational mosque. The wonderful mosque of Shah Hamdan is built on the banks of Jhelum River. As with many mosques in Kashmir, a screened verandah running around it is used by women for their prayers, since they can not enter the central hall.
    Other places to visit are Makhdoom Sahib, Akhund Mulla Shah, Old city, Zaina Kadal, Rozabal, Patthar Masjid, Jama Masjid, and Pratap Singh Museum.
  • Pahalgam
    It is one of the premier resorts in Kashmir, cool even during the height of summer. It is a staging point for the famous pilgrimage to the sacred ice lingam in Amarnath, dedicated to Lord Shiva. A large number of tourists go there as the surroundings compare with the famous Swiss Alps. You can play golf on the rough little nine-hole course or go for the treks into the high altitude meadows.
    It spreads along the banks of Lidder River, the focal point of interest for the fisherman looking for delicious trout fish. There are many popular treks to the surrounding mountains. Trek to Kolahoi Glacier via Aru, Satlanjan & Dudsar Lake and to the high altitude lakes that dot the meadows & mountain ridges between Pahalgam and Sonmarg.
  • Gulmarg
    Meaning "meadow of flowers" is a huge cup-shaped meadow that is lush green, with slopes where the silence is broken only by the tinkle of cow bells. The place looks like a fantasy set in a film and no wonder so many Indian films have been shot here. All around are snow capped mountains and on a clear day you can see Nanga Parbat in one direction and Srinagar in the other. From here is Alpather Lake, a picturesque alpine lake, frozen till late June.
    Gulmarg has one of the world's highest green 18-hole golf courses which attract golfers just as its ski runs make it India's premier skiing centre in the winter.
  • Sonamarg
    It is a quiet valley at an altitude of 3000 meters. 80 Kms northeast of Srinagar, the road leading to Sonamarg is like heading for an enchanted journey into wonderland of nature. Sonamarg, which means "meadow of gold", has in the backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky. The river Sindh meanders along here and abounds with tasty trout and mahaseer fish.
  • Dachigam National Park
    Located 22 Kms from Srinagar Dachigam National Park offers splendid forests and magnificent scenery. This park is home to endangered hangul or the Kashmir stag - the only species of red deer to be found in India. Other inhabitants of this park include the Himalayan black bear, species of wild goat and varieties of exotic Himalayan bird.

Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh is an unexplored endless journey. It has witnessed many civilization and dynasties from 300 BC onwards. The Mauryas, Satavahanas, Ishvakus, Pallavas, Eastern Chalukyas, Cholas, Kakatias, Vijayanagar Kings, Qutb Shahis, Mughals, the Asaf Jahis and even the Dutch, French and the British have left a mark on this land. Such influences have given birth to a synthesis of cultures set against a beautiful natural backdrop. You will see a perfect blend of history and modernity.

  • Hyderabad
    The capital city is a blend of old and new - modern buildings and fascinating 400 year old Edifices - the remains of the city's Islamic roots. The tourist enjoy the sight of the picturesque sight of Hussain Sagar Lake which has a huge monolithic statue of Lord Buddha near it. On the outskirts of the city is the HI-TEC City, a techno-park that
    symbolizes the software revolution sweeping Andhra Pradesh. The Film City here is another self contained world, equipped to make about 100 films at one time. Charminar is a landmark of Hyderabad. The historic gateway has four graceful minarets each 56 mts. high. Medak Church is a gothic structure largest in the country. The huge stained glass windows recapture the story of the Bible in blazing colored pictures.
  • Golconda Fort
    Located at a distance of 13 Kms. from Hyderabad this structure reflects the genius of its builders. A clap at the foot of the fort can be heard at the top of the citadel at a height of 61 meters. The significant features of the fort include 87 bastions and over eight 69 feet high gates that can withstand elephants battering them during a siege. The Golconda rulers were rich and the world famous Kohinoor diamond stands as evidence of their property. The sound and light show held daily is worth a visit.
  • Palaces and Museums
    Royalty has always been a part of Hyderabad. There were fourteen palaces and among the big ones, Chowmohala has been described as a part of Arabian Nights by the Prince of Wales. Faluknuma Place has a priceless collection of jade, statues and more. The Paigah Tombs, Hill Fort Place and State Buildings are also remarkable.
    The Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad is the repository of the artistic achievements of diverse European, Asian and Far Eastern countries of the world. Nawab Salar Jung III's passion for rare objects of art can be seen here. The 35 rooms of the museum display 35, 000 objects! It is the largest one-man collection of priceless antiques, giving a glimpse of Nizam's royal life.
  • Temples
    Temples galore in Andhra like in Tamil Nadu. Tirumala and Tirupati are visited by millions daily. The Lord Venkateswara temple on Tirumala hills is one of the most venerated shrines in India. The main temple is the epitome of Indian temple architecture. In Tirupati, the Govindaraja Swamy Temple and Sri Mangapuram temple are famous. Close to Tirupati, is the sacred shrine of Vayu, the wind God, at Sri Kalahasti.
  • Wildlife sanctuaries and Parks
    In the state of Andhra Pradesh there are twenty sanctuaries and four National Parks. Around Tirupati, the backwaters of the Pulicat Lake, serve as a feeding ground for flamingos, grey pelicans, terns, herons, ducks, storks, teals and a number of waders. Around 20 kms from here is the Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary, an ideal nesting spot for open bill storks, cormorants, the white ibis and the night heron. Near Warangal, the Eturnagaram sanctuary is another haunt for the gaur, tiger, spotted dear, black buck sambar, panther, nilgai and the chowsingha.

North East

Embarking on a journey of India's remote eight states of the North East is a tumultuous but rewarding one. The infinite variety of its geographical setting, its topography, its varied flora and fauna, and bird life, the history of its people and the variety of its ethnic communities and their rich heritage of ancient traditions and lifestyles, its festivals and crafts make it a holiday wonderland.

Spread over an expanse of 265, 000 sq kms, north eastern states comprises the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The raw natural beauty, rare orchids & butterflies, brightly painted monasteries, mighty rivers, indigenous sports and crafts - each one has its own special message, as one passes from one state to another. 

The North East's amazing diversity makes it a holiday destination for all seasons. However, it is best to avoid period between June-September due to torrential monsoons. October to March is the finest months to explore this diversity at leisure. There are plenty of good hotels to choose from in big towns, but you will also find forest rest houses in most places.

Entry formalities

Restrictions are in place for entry of foreign tourists to visit some places in the following areas: Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland & Sikkim.

Permits for the foreign tourists can be obtained from all the Indian Missions overseas and the Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners Regional Registration Offices and the Immigration Offices at the airports in New Delhi, Kolkatta, Mumbai and the Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai.
Foreign tourists are allowed to visit the above places for a maximum period of ten days and in groups of 4 or more persons with the exception of married couples.

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