Essence of India Tours: Temples of Wonder & Amazing Features

by pateluday

India is a paradox. A country perceived as living in dark ages by some and colorful, free and exotic by others. Well come and experience yourself the delights and distress.

India excels as a tourist destination, but traveling can be stressful at times if not planned beforehand. All countries have good to offer to a tourist, and so has India. Here we will discuss and visit some of the key places, and write about many activities that intrigue and perplex first time visitors.

We will journey down from vibrant North to verdant South in order to discover the known and unknown. The country exists in layers of centuries, you discover your own niche and experience what you wish for.

In this amazing cauldron of humanity, treasure troves and dingy pot holes coexist side by side. This is a land of spiritual awakening in the cluttered alleys of pilgrimage towns and scattered isles of ultra modern conglomerations.

Himalaya Mountain Ranges

Himalayan Range
Himalayan Range
Neeraj Vegad

Taj Mahal the Edifice of Love

Agra in North India

Taj Mahal at Agra is introduction to the splendorous architecture of India. Built by an eccentric king for his most beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal,  the edifice is considered as epitome of love. The structure encapsulates the characteristics of Mughal architecture in India under the influence of local construction techniques.Taj Mahal Gate

The Taj Mahal by the Yamuna River boasts of simplicity and picturesque settings,  popular as much for the marble and for its design. Built by a megalomaniac architect, submersed into anonymity deep under the annals of history by the overwhelming edifice that he so craftily constructed.    

The mansion was a product of toil and drudgery of hundreds, many of them were under the sacrificial altar. Nevertheless it is one of the prime tourist destination of India and thousands visit it every year.  

There is long cue for buying the entrance ticket in the sweltering heat,  but it is all worth it. The edifice towers much above your imagination that you carried along with ever since you came to know about.  

Indian Monument

Agra Fort
Agra Fort
Agra Fort
John Matthai

Mehrangarh Fort

Jodhpur in Rajasthan

Imposed by majestic walls, the fort looms four hundred feet on mountain top in Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The fort is not much of a symbol of conquest and seize that Rajasthani Forts were subject to by Mughal Invaders. But it did witness infighting among the Rajputs. It has a history sketched on its walls of internecine warfare. Megrangarh Fort

On the altar of sacrifice was a commoner who was buried alive in order to get rid of a severe drought that wrecked havoc for a long period. Raja Ram Meghwal was buried alive in order to make this area propitious and to mitigate Cheeria Nathji's curse.  This is also the place of a thousand Sati whence women burnt themselves alive on the face of Mughal onslaught.  

The majestic structure of the fort encompasses numerous gates, palaces, temples and residential quarters making it a virtual colony of Maharajah Rao Jodha. 

The fort museum is an exhibit of paraphernalia used in the walled city, famous Marwari paintings,  musical instrument, armory, palanquin, decorated elephant howdahs, furniture and what not. 

River Brahmaputra

River
River
Neeraj Vegad

Khajuraho Temples

Central India

Tiger at PannaSituated deep in inaccessible region were number of forgotten temples that were to astound the world.

The temple complexes were rediscovered by T. S Burt of British India. Today they are abuzz with tourism. The 10th century temples contain extensive carvings of erotic nature on the outer walls, a phenomenon created by Chandela Rajput Kings in a deeply conservative era.   

About twenty five temples remain - some of which pertain to Jainism. The erotic carvings adorn the Hindu Temples. The carvings depict angelic expressions involved in sexual acts between buxom females and men, and at times with animals. The meaning of these carvings is perplexing, in nature some believe it as Kamasutra Treatise meant to accord sex education to young princes.    

Close by to the temple city is Panna National Park and Ken Gharial Sanctuary. Tourists visit these places from the temple city.   

Khajuraho Temple

Central India
Temple at Khajuraho in MP
Temple at Khajuraho in MP

India on Video

Wilderness Unexplored

Racket Tailed DrongoIndia is rich in biodiversity and home to many charismatic mammals, birds and reptiles. The best places to see the majestic tiger are the Central Indian Tiger Reserves. Endemic animals inhabit various regions in protected areas. These can be visited on a package tour or independently.

Black BucksThe most popular reserves  are Ranthambhore, Kaziranga, Gir, Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Periyar, Wynad and Namdhapa to name a few.  Some of the rare and endangered animals to see are the Asiatic Lion, Indian One Horned Rhino, Hard Ground Swamp Deer, Brow Antlered Deer, Hangul, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Brown and Black Bears, Hog Deer and many more.Tiger

Among the birds most prized is the Siberian Crane which visits no more. Other interesting birds, are the Sarus Crane, Pheasants and Bustards. Thirteen percent of the bird species are found in India. Some of the popular destinations are Bharatpur. Little & Great Rannof Kutch, Ranganthitoo, Chilika, Western Ghats in Kerala. 

Among the reptiles many snakes, turtles, Marsh Crocodile, Salt Water Crocodile and Gharial are sought after by the tourists.

Classical Dance

Kathkkali
Kathkkali
BitofVacation

Classical Dance Forms

Indian performing and fine arts have taken roots since centuries. One of the perfect system in the country has been the development of music and dance. All aspects of life have been governed by highly evolved Vedas which encompass the Natya Sashtra a treatise on dance. Vedas  are a collection of written materials which are scientific, instructional and religious in nature. Dance Festival Khajuraho

Classical dance forms like Bharat Natyam, Kuchipudi, Mahiniattam, Kathakali, Oddisi and Manipuri have evolved in various parts of the country. These are one of the main tourists attractions among those who are culturally inclined. Annual dance festival takes place in Khajuraho which is the best venue for enjoying Indian performing arts.

Backwater in Kerala

Kerala Waterways
Kerala Waterways
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House Boat on Water Ways

House Boat
House Boat
BitofVacation

Backwater Tours in Kerala

An intricate network of lagoons, rivers and lakes create amazing waterways that identify lifestyle and culture of Kerala. The little state of Kerala in Southern India is a tourist paradise. Backwaters are intrinsic character of the state and a major tourist attraction.

The destinations for starting a houseboat tour are many and one can choose the packages available with the tour operators . The prices and amenities range for budget  and elite tourist, so does the journey and duration.

These tours can be associated with Ayurvedic massages and treatments in luxury spas and beach resorts that abound in the state.

Festival of India

Diwali Festival
Diwali Festival
Neeraj Vegad
Navratri - Durga Immersion
Navratri - Durga Immersion
Neeraj Vegad

Festivals of India

Fairs & Festivities

The festivals are religious occasions that are more of recreation.  Most of the Hindu festivals are colorful and filled with vivacity. People look forward to these events with unbridled zeal and passion.

Some of the major Hindu festivals celebrated in India are Diwali, Holi, Dusshera, Ganesh Utsav and Janamastmi. There are many local or regional festivals that are equally celebrated with gaiety and pomp. Lot of fairs are organized during the festivities that entertain people and also offer opportunity to shop and trade livestock.Holi Festival

Festivals which celebrate augmentation of new year or are considered highly auspicious encourage lot of economic activities. This results in increased shopping, purchasing of vehicles and jewelry. New businesses or product launches are initiated during these periods.   

Curry

Indian Food
Potato Curry
Potato Curry
Nandita Amin

Food in India

Indian Cuisine

Poha JalebiIndian cuisine is unique and the variety is mind boggling. Each and every recipe has a regional flavor and a different cooking style. The food is not all curries, some dishes are sweet and some are bland but yes hot chilli dominates.

There are three elements that create hot Indian curries.

Garam Masala (Mix of spices)
Red ChilliChai Tea
Green Chilli

Further addition of clove and pepper accords a fiery tinge to the curry. In order to balance the hot stuff chapatis, naan, tandoori roti (breads) and rice comes into the picture.

The sweets are very sugary unlike the cakes and pastries of West.  Extensive use of milk, flour,  mawa and other cottage cheese products is used to make sweets in the country. 

Large populations of Indians are vegetarian by habit but non vegetarian food is consumed with gusto on many occasions.  

There is an amazing variety of snacks mostly fried which is available throughout India. People are very fond of snacks available as street food, in small restaurants and hand carts.

Each region has its own hallmark cooking style and recipes. Some North and South Indian recipes are popular nation wide.    

Indian Palace Hotel

Udaipur
Lake Palace Hotel
Lake Palace Hotel
Bitofvacation

Traveling in India

Visa is required for most nationalities to enter India. There are plans to offer open visa to inbound tourists from some countries. Most of the International flights land at New Delhi and Mumbai but many also operate from other Metros. River Sindh Kashmir

The best means of travel in India are the taxis and luxury buses. These are costly options if temperature controlled. Train is the most viable option for travel in India but the journey has to be planned before hand and tickets booked in advance. Local buses offer a cheap option for short distances. 

Advance preparation helps in making your tour experience better.  You should use services of package tour operators in India to organize your journey.  

The best season for inbound tourists is the winters. But you can experience the mind boggling flavors of India season wise.

Hawa Mahal Jaipur

Hawa Mahal Palace at Jaipur
Hawa Mahal Palace at Jaipur
Neeraj Vegad

India Map

India

Taj Mahal From Along the Yamuna River at Dusk, India
Waterfront with Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel and Gateway of India, Mumbai (Bombay), India
Hindu God Ganesh, India, Asia
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Updated: 09/20/2016, pateluday
 
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