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  • 0 About Kochi or Cochin (Kerala) Travel Information

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    About Kochi or Cochin (Kerala) Travel Information Cochin or Kochi is a booming business metropolis, a fascinating mixture of the old and the new, is having the finest natural harbours in the world. Cochin underlined by the sobriquet ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, was once a major centre for commerce and trade. At Cochin, the blue water of the Arabian Sea merges with Kerala’s Emerald Backwaters. Even today, Cochin continues the tradition of welcoming visitors with its customary warmth and hospitality… Places of interestArt Complex - Madhavan Nayar Foundation, Edappally: This Art Complex is 10 kms north of Ernakulam en route to Alwaye. The centre also exhibits certain larger-than-life mural reproductions of ancient Indian Art. The complex consists of two units: the Gallery of Paintings and Sculptures which presents over 200 original paintings by contemporary Indian artists, some of them internationally acclaimed, and works of reputed Indian sculptors. The other unit, the Centre for Visual Arts is reserved for authentic reproductions of selected world masters from Leonardo da Vinci to those of the present century. Chinese Fishing Nets Chinese Fishing Nets, Fort Cochin: These fixed, cantilevered fishing nets, at the entrance of the harbour and along the backwaters, were introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan. Records show that they were first erected between AD 1350 and 1450. The best place to watch these nets is from Vasco da Gama square, a narrow promenade that lies parallel to the beach. Cherai Beach: The beach is located 25 kms from Ernakulam in a typical village ambience is this lovely unspoilt stretch of sand, ideal for swimming. But if the sea and sand still do not whet your appetite, there are many numbers of food outlets and ice-cream parlours to do so. At Cherai, life guards are always on the look out for the over adventurous. Dolphins are also commonly seen in the waters. Siva Temple Ernakulam Siva Temple, Ernakulam: The temple is facing the historical Rajendra maidan is this famous temple, considered to be amongst the most ancient in central Kerala. Though no historical records exist to indicate a precise date, an inscription found above the main entrance in Vattezhuthu, an antiquated script, suggests that the sanctum was built in the year 1614. The deity is popularly referred to as Ernakulathappan. The temple's 8-day annual festival is celebrated in the month of Jan-Feb with colourful rituals and exciting cultural events. The bathing of the idol, on the eighth day, is particularly significant here. The ceremony of Ashta Bandham Kalasam, where the deity is anointed in a herbal paste, is performed once in 12 years. Dutch Cemetery Dutch Cemetery, Fort Cochin: Consecrated in 1724, here's an authentic reminder of the many men and women from Europe who came down all the way to play out their roles in the colonial 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Cochin Beach Fort : The Beach is an ideal place for an evening stroll and to watch a spectacular sunset. Bathing and swimming are not recommended here. The colourful carnival at New Year's Eve is a feature of this beach. Hill Palace Museum, Tripunithura: The Museum is set on top of a hillock, these prodigious palace-turned-museum display 13 categories of exhibits, including paintings, carvings and other royal antiquities donated by the Cochin and Travancore royal families and the Paliam Devaswom. The Heritage Museum, located on the rear side of the palace buildings, familiarizes you with the traditional lifestyles of ancient Kerala. The museum premises have also been converted into a botanical garden with exotic tropical trees from Central America to Australia. Sree Poornathreyesa Temple, Tripunithura: The legend says that Arjuna, the great archer and warrior, had established this sanctum. Formerly belonging to the Cochin royalty, this temple has Maha Vishnu as its presiding deity. The annual temple festival is held in Nov-Dec, while the colourful Athachamayam, a cultural extravaganza, is celebrated every year during the festival of Onam. Marine Drive Marine Drive: One side of the Marine Drive is backwater while the opposite side is 70-ft Road, city’s widest road. At the place of ruined old jetty there is Marine Drive Promenade. Sit here and watch the backwaters and the Fort Kochi beyond. The world’s highly densely populated Vypeen Island is in clear view from here. Mount Carmel Church, Varapuzha: The most interesting things are the Portuguese church bells. This 1642 church is the second Indian vicariath established by Holy See after Goa. Sree Rajarajeswari Temple, Chottanikara: The Temple is located 15 kms from Ernakulam, this 10th century temple, one of the most renowned in Kerala, is an important pilgrim centre. The goddess here is worshipped in her three forms, one after another, as the day progresses - as Saraswathy in the morning, as Bhadrakali at noon, and as Durga in the evening. The temple's annual festival is held in Feb-Mar for nine days with 'Makam Thozal' considered the most important day. The Navaratri celebrations are also worth seeing. Vamanamoorthy Temple, Thrikkakara: The Temple is set in a land of great mythological significance, this ancient temple, dedicated to Vamana - the fifth avatara of Lord Vishnu - is venerated by the Vaishnavaites as one among the 108 holy places in India. The temple holds a large number of lithic records, some of great historical significance. The annual festival is held in the month of Chingam Things to Do in CochinThere are innumerable options available to travelers in Cochin. Some of the popular ones are - Houseboat cruises: Cochin, with abundant widening and narrowing canals and lakes is best experienced with a houseboat cruise. Houseboat is the best way to enjoy the labyrinthine of Kerala backwaters these backwaters have always supported a unique waterfront lifestyle for the people of Cochin. Tourists can experience this unique lifestyle by renting one of the large thatched-roofed house boats known as “Kettuvallams”. Kettuvallams lazily move around the canals and lakes giving you the perfect sense of peace and tranquility. These boats cater equally to the needs of a family of two or a group of over a dozen people. They usually come with a captain, a cook and a steward. Ayurveda Ayurvedic Spas: Kerala acclaimed as the birthplace of Ayurveda, a trip to this fabulous land is never complete without a visit to one of those refreshing Ayurvedic spas. The state of Kerala is synonymous with wellness. There are different sorts of treatments available guaranteed to rejuvenate your body and soul. Treat yourself and indulge in this amazingly refreshing Ayurvedic spa experience.

  • 0 About Kovalam (Kerala) Travel Information

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    About Kovalam (Kerala) Travel Information Kovalam, the enchanting tropical beach of Kerala holds a cult status in the touristitineraries of Kerala. An erstwhile fishing hamlet, which was a favorite haunt of the hippies in the seventies, Kovalam has perfectly evolved to be world class beach destination today. Kovalam Beach is the internationally renowned beach in Kerala. This beach is located about 16 kms from Trivandrum and has been a favorite tourist place since 1930. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent shaped and palm fringed beaches. The southernmost beach is known as the Lighthouse beach and is the most popular beach. The Lighthouse beach and Hawah beach are separated from less populated beaches north and south by rocky highlands. The town proper is at Kovalam Junction, about 1.5 kms. from the beaches. Accommodation of every type and to suit every type of budget is available here. The beaches are visited for sunbathing, water sports, shopping, catamaran cruising, yoga, meditation and rejuvenative Ayurvedic body toning massages.Kovalam, the enchanting tropical beach of Kerala holds a cult status in the tourist itineraries of Kerala. An erstwhile fishing hamlet, which was a favorite haunt of the hippies in the seventies, Kovalam has perfectly evolved to be world class beach destination today. AttractionsThe LighthouseThe renowned lighthouse building is also located on a local hillock known as local Kurumkal area, which is near to the sea. However, the southeast end of the renowned Kovalam seaside is known as after this mountain house. However, the lighthouse is only thirty-five gauge high framework that is colored with red and white color that is quickly noticeable from a long-distance. However, it is open to guests and provides amazing opinions of the lighthouse seaside, during Eve's seaside and its environment. The renowned lighthouse street is a practical location for riding a bike and walking. It is one of the best kovalam beach tourist attractions. Karamana Stream and BoatingThe renowned Karamana Stream passes across the road at local Thiruvallam area, around 12 miles far from famous Kovalam town. The position provides spectacular opinions of the backwater and plants. But The renowned Thiruvallam vessel club, also located on the right bank of the stream provides cruise trips, local kayak trips, windsurfing and houseboat cruise trips hence you can discover various places to visit near kovalam beach . Vellayani LakeThe position is also located seven miles far from renowned Kovalam area. However, there are various vessel services available from renowned Kovalam. However, it is still one of the few water ponds in state Kerala. It looks wonderful in the moonlight. The renowned Vellayani Pond is the location of well-known yearly vessel competition structured during local Onam event. The renowned Vellayani Durga sacred Forehead is located just near to the lake; the specialized of this temple is that it allows only sacred non-Brahmin monks. That why it is considered as one of the popular kovalam beach tourist attractions. Valiyathura PierThe renowned Valiyathura Pier is greatly located around ten miles away from famous Kovalam. Area The shoreline of this area up to local Kovalam area is noticeable from this connect. The renowned Valiyathura indicates highly Big Port. However, there is another slot in this area known as renowned Cheriyathura, but indicates very small port area. This position provides excellent opinions of the establishing sun and sea. In addition, Fishing is the significant activity here. EdakalluThe renowned Edakallu is the popular sundown watching point that may be found between the famous Lighthouse Beach and renowned Eve's Beach. However, it gives you wonderful perspective of the red and lemon sun establishing in the skyline with amazing new styles in the sky. However, it is one of the best places to perspective the sundown in renowned Kovalam and the best position to catch the images of different styles of the wonderful sky. This is the reason; it lies among the best places to visit near kovalam beach. Kovalam Art GalleryThe renowned Kovalam collection in town of Kovalam shows relics, traditional artwork and art works. The artwork in this collection involves historical Native Indian artwork related to the Sanskrit lifestyle. European countries, European performers, and art fans are the significant guests in this collection even though there are other guests also. Thiruvallam Parashurama TempleThe renowned Thiruvallam Parashurama sacred temple is greatly located around 12 miles from famous Kovalam area. However, it is one of the significant sacred Hindu shrines, in Native Indian. It is considered that this temple is total 2000 years old and is great situating at the local banks of famous Karamana Stream. However, the unique temple is devoted to lord Parashuramaji. It is one of the very famous kovalam beach tourist attractions. Vizhinjam Stone Cut Cavern TempleThe renowned Vizhinjam Stone Cut local Cavern sacred Forehead contains the rock cut statues of around 18-th millennium. The sacred temple is devoted to Goddess Vinandhara Dakshinamurthiji. However, the incomplete statues of Master Shiva as well as Parvathyji are also significant locations in this position. It is considered the best places to visit near kovalam beach. Aruvikkara DamThe popular Aruvikkara dam area is located only ten miles from famous Kovalam town. The dam is a wonderful eats outside spot on the shoreline of renowned Karamana Stream. The Devi Durgaji temple and aquarium are the main locations. Ancient Aruvikkara dam provides water to the capital. The position is readily available by street. Hence, it lays among the best kovalam beach tourist attractions. Varkala / Papanasham BeachThe famous Varkala beach area is located just near to famous Kovalam area. The significant holiday locations include seaside, famous Sivagiri monastery and around 2000-year-old Hindu Janardhana sacred temple. However, it is an important Hindu pilgrimage location.

  • 0 About Munnar (Kerala) Travel Information

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    About Munnar (Kerala) Travel Information Munnar was a summer resort of British Government in South India at around 5400 ft above sea level. It is pronounced "Moon-aar" meaning "Three rivers" in Tamil and Malayalam. There are in fact three rivers - Madupetti, Nallathanni and Periavaru which flow through this town, but join some distance away from Munnar.The organic landscape, and all its overwhelming colossuses, has been left untouched with the magnificent stretch of wilderness of tall trees where cardamom covered tufts of land beckons one into an aromatic and dreamy landscape. Beautiful landscape, cool climate and wonderfully scented tea leaves are some of the other aspects that make this place a much sought after tourist destination. One can almost feel the divine vibrations of the past history echoing alive in every tree. And in the silence, hear one's own thoughts taking shape. In this virginal remoteness, even time moves at a different pace. Places to SeeMattupetty Dam:Mattupetty is situated at a height of 1700m above sea level, 14 km from Munnar. Mattupetty Lake and Dam is a beautiful picnic spot with the panoramic view of the tea plantations and the lake. Boating facilities especially speed boat ride through the dam is available. Mattupetty is also well known for its highly specialized dairy farm - Indo-Swiss Live Stock project. The Shola forests in and around Mattupetty are ideal for trekking and are habitat to a variety of birds. Rivulets and cascades crisscross the terrain here, which again adds more attraction to the place. Eravikulam National Park Situated 13 Km away from Munnar, a sanctuary for the endangered mountain goat of South India, the Nilgiri Tahr ( Hemitragus hylocrious), the Eravikulam National Park stands out for the stark beauty of its rolling grasslands and shola, spread over 97 sq km in the Rajamalai hills. NyayamakadLocated between Munnar and Rajamalai, Nyayamakad is a land of breathtaking waterfalls. The waters cascade down a hill from a height of about 1600 meters. The enchanting surroundings make an excellent picnic spot and trekking point. Kundala DumKundala is a picturesque town on the way to Top Station at a distance of 23 km from Munnar. The Golf Course which belongs to Tata Tea Ltd. is located here. The Kundala artificial arch dam is another attraction. Aruvikkad Waterfall is also near Kundala. Devikulam Located 7 Km away, tourists are attracted to this lake town which has hills after hills covered with tea plantations. Echo Point Has a natural echo phenomenon and offers panoramic views along the road to Top Station. Power House Waterfalls (18 km from Munnar) - The waterfall on the way to Thekkady from Munnar cascades down a steep rock 2000 mtrs above sea level. The spot is enriched with the scenic Western mountain ranges, and is an ideal place for a break on the way to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady. Anayirangal(22 kms from Munnar) - It's a lush green carpet of tea plants. A trip on the splendid reservoir is an unforgettable experience. The Anayirankal dam is surrounded by Tata Tea plantations and evergreen forests. It is an ideal picnic spot. Tourist Circuits in Munnar1. Mattupetty Dam - Indo Swiss Livestock Project - Echo Point - Kundala Dam - Top Station (34 km).2. Munnar - Pothamedu - Chitrapuram - Pallivasal - Cheyappara - Adimali - Valara (40 km). 3. Munnar - Rajamalai - Marayoor - Chinnar (70 km).4. Munnar - Devikulam - Lock Heart Gap - Power House Waterfalls - Anayirankal (32 km).

  • 1 About Thekkady (Kerala) Travel Information

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    About Thekkady (Kerala) Travel Information The very sound of the word Thekkady conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice-scented plantations. In the Periyar forest of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great apportunities for treks and mountain walks. Tourist Attractions in ThekkadyThe various tourist attractions in Thekkady are Kumily, Murikkady, Pandikuzhi, Mangala Devi Temple, Chellarkovil, Vandiperiyar, Vandanmedu, Pullumedu and Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. KumilyKumily is the plantation ton which is closely associated with Thekkady. This plantation town is located about 4 kms from Thekkady and offers excellent experiences of the spice scented plantation towns. Kumily is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar national park. Shopping centre, spice trade centre, the main bus stand and most of the medium range accommodation are situated in Kumily. Murikkady Murikkady is situated about 5 kms. from Thekkady. Washed in fresh spice scented air, Murikkady is a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations. VandiperiyarThe river Periyar flows through the centre of Vandiperiyar and nourishes its vast tea, coffee and pepper plantations. Vandiperiyar is a major trade centre and also home to a number of tea factories. The Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Garden have a delightful array of rose plants, orchids and anthurium at this place. Tea Plantation, Vandiperiyar PullumeduPullumedu is a famous hill town in Thekkady, located about 43 kms from Thekkady. The winding journey to this hill town, along the Periyar river, offers a stunning view of the rolling hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns, rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of Pullumedu which can be accessed only by jeep. The famous Sree Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala and the Makara Jyothi illuminations at the shrine are visible from here. Since it is part of the restricted forest zone, special permission to visit Pullumedu has to be obtained from the Wildlife Preservation Offer or the Range Officer. Mangala Devi Temple Mangala Devi Temple is hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak 1337 m above sea level. The ancient temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture. Visitors are allowed here only on the Chithra Pournami festival day. The peak commands a panoramic view of the eastern slopes of the ghats and some hill villages of Tamil Nadu. ChellarkovilChellarkovil, about 15 kms from Kumily is the sleepy village. This little village offers breathtaking view of the plains and cascading waterfalls. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Cumbum in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. PandikuzhiPandikuzhi, about 5 kms from Kumily is cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu border. It is a popular picnic spot and offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographer’s delight. This picturesque region is famous for its exotic flora, fauna and gurgling streams. VandanmeduVandanmedu, about 25 kms. from Kumily is one of the world’s largest auction centres for Cardamom. A walk through the sprawling cardamom plantations of Vandanmedu is a heady experience. Periyar National Park and Tiger ReserveThe Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is situated within the confines of the Western Ghats in Kerala. This park is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world and also one of the largest and finest wildlife reserves in India. This national park is known for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty and attracts visitors from all over the world. The major wildlife attractions in the Periyar National Park are the wild elephants, Tigers and Nilgiri Tahrs. Besides these animals various other animals, birds, snakes and frogs are also found in this park. The best time to visit the park is from October to June Wildlife Attractions in Periyar National Park About 35 species of mammals are found in the Periyar National Park. The major wildlife attractions in the Periyar National Park are the wild elephants, Tigers and Nilgiri Tahrs. There has been considerable increase in the population of tiger due to proper conversation. Besides these animals various other animals are also found in this park which include Gaur, Bison, Leopard, Sambar, Bear, Wild oxen, Wild boar, Spotted deer, Wild dog, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Nilgiri langur, Bonnet macaque, Porcupine, Squirrel and Sloth bear. Along with animals, the Periyar National Park is also the home of various reptiles and amphibians like Monitor lizards, Pythons, King cobras and Flying lizards, Frogs, toads, limbless Aeolians including the colourful Malabar gliding frogs, common Indian toads, fungoid frogs and bicoloured frogs. About 265 species of birds including the migratory birds like Darters, Cormorants, Ibises, Grey herons, Mynas, Flycatchers, Orioles, Wood pigeons, Kingfishers, Ospreys, Thrushes, the great Indian hornbill, peafowl, brahminy kite, black-winged kite and Parakeets can be seen here. The Periyar lake and stream is rich with several species of fish including the masheer, the famous and endangered game fish of India. Otter, the only mammal of the lake can be seen from the boat. Jungle Safari in the Periyar National Park The Periyar National Park is the only park in India from where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. You can watch the activities of various animals by just having a walk or having a elephant ride in the Periyar National Park. You can also watch the animals from the watchtowers but only after prior permission. A guide will always accompany you during the safari in the park.

  • 0 About Amarnath Yatra (J & K) Travel Information

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    About Amarnath Yatra (J & K) Travel Information Amarnath Yatra is one of the well known Yatra devoted to the Lord Shiva or Mahadev located at the height of around four thousand meters on the Amar Nath Mountain in Jammu & Kashmir. The Yatra of Amarnath is popular pilgrimage site for Hindus from the old days which is reported to be around 5000 years old. About 400,000 faithful devotees make their Yatra to Amarnath every year during the festival of Shravan Mela in June to August.There are several mythological stories related to Amarnath Yatra. According to one of the mythological tales of Amarnath, it is here in the cave of Amarnath Lord Shiva revealed the secrets of immortality to his wife Parvati and therefore that place was named Amreshwar and has become the a sanctuary of Hindu community. Amarnath Yatra attracted the tourists mainly for the Darshan of ice Shiva Linga along with two other ice formations representing Shri Ganesh and Mata Parvati. Multiple Routes of Amarnath Holy Cave YatraThough the holy pilgrimage to Baba Amarnath is one of the toughest Yatra of spiritual tourism of India, still the devotees of Amarnath flock to this holy cave every year in lakhs and lakhs. Broadly speaking there are generally three routes that take the tourists to this holy place of Amarnath out of which two are from roadways and one is by airways i.e by helicopter. 1. Jammu - Pahalgam - Amarnath CaveJammu to Pahalgam is about 315 Km that can be covered by the conveyance of Taxi and Buses. The Government of Jammu & Kashmir has provided the facility of running Taxi and Buses from Raghunath Bazaar early in the morning but the visitors can also come to Jammu by air and then move Pahalgam. So, the holy Yatra of Amarnath starts from the first route of Pahalgam located at a distance of 96 Kms from Srinagar situated on the banks of Lidder River surrounded by the natural beauty of valleys and mountains. The important destinations covered under this route are Chandanwari 16 Kms away from Pahalgam, Pissu Top, Sheshnag second day s trek of 12 Kms from Chandanwari, Panchtarni, and finally the Holy Cave Shri Amarnath. 2. Jammu - Baltal - Amarnath This is another route trek to reach to Amarnath from Jammu with a total distance of about 400 Kms. It is here on this trek route the visitors experience Jammu & Kashmir as a heaven or a paradise on earth while passing through the natural bounty of beautiful valleys, steeped mountains that make Amarnath Yatra memorable throughout the lifetime. The important destinations covered under this route are Udhampur - Kud - Patnitop - Ramban - Banihal Kazi Gund - Anantnag - Srinagar - Sonamarg - Baltal. The width of the pebbled road is somewhat narrow in comparison to Pahalgam route. 3. Helicopter Route To AmarnathThe holy Yatra to Amarnath glamoured the tourists when they are moving by helicopter passing through the tremendous wilderness, mountain and rambling forest. We are one of the best service providers with exciting helicopter rides to Amarnath. We are the best in market for helicopter Amarnath Yatra. Our helicopter services start from Sonmarg Baltal to Amarnath and Panjtarni to Amarnath. Improve Your Physical FitnessAs Amarnath Yatra involves long distance of walking, so it is advisory to start preparatory morning / evening walk of about 4 - 5 Kms per day at least a month before the actual date of Yatra. This will make your Yatra smooth and trouble-free as your body already accustomed with long walking. Apart from walking, daily massage of body with mustard (sarson) oil or body oil and bathe in the lukewarm water helps your body to become flexible and you will not feel tired. This will also reduce the effect of sudden change in temperature & climate to a large extent. 2. Improve your Breathing Efficiency As you walk through the trek, you may face the scarcity oxygen; that is why it is advisable to increase your body efficiency of oxygen through deep breathing exercise or through Yoga exercise like Prana Yam. 3. Useful Things to Take AlongYou have to trek through high mountains like Pahalgam to Chandanwadi with an average walking distance of 4 hours; Chandanwadi to Sheshnag with a walking distance of 5 to 6 hours; Sheshnag to Panchtarni with a walking trek of 6 hours; and Panchtarni to Baba Amarnath Cave that finally takes 5 hours. While passing through these treks you may face number of problems like unpredictable climate that may change abruptly from sunny weather to rain and snow, the temperature may fall even up to (-5) degree C! So, prepare yourself by taking the essential belongings before departure.

  • 0 About Gulmarg (J & K) Travel Information

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    About Gulmarg (J & K) Travel Information Gulmarg literally means &Meadow of flowers&. Gulmarg is located 60 KMs away from Srinagar which is an hour and half journey by car. Gulmarg has attracted millions of tourists throughout its existence with the scenic beauty of the Himalayan Mountains in the back drop. One of the main attractions in Gulmarg is the Gulmarg Gondola, the Highest Cable Car in the world. The 1st phase of the Gondola takes tourists to the height of 8530 ft to Kongdori Station and the second stage of the Gondola goes up to the height of 12293 ft. Tourists can enjoy horse Riding and can go riding to the magnificent &Strawberry Valley& , Leopards Valley and ride up to & Kongdori & to see the frozen lake of &Al- Pathar&. Gulmarg in winter is a magnificent experience, fully covered in a white blanket of Snow which turns it into a skiers paradise. The natural slopes here are untouched and prove to be a challenge to ace skiers! Besides the scenic side to Gulmarg, winter time in Gulmarg is a season of festivities with celebrations of &White Christmas& and New Year parties. Tourist Attractions in GulmargThe gorgeous hill resort of Gulmarg is dotted with various places of interest like Khilanmarg, Alpather Lake, Wular Lake and Manasbal Lake. GondolaGulmarg Gondola is one of the most prominent attractions of the world famous resort of Gulmarg. It is the only cable car system in Asia which travels up a height of 13,500 feet above sea level. The Gondola was designed in technical collaboration with a French Company PUMA and is operated by the JKCCC (Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation). The Gondola operates in two phases, PHASE 1 and PHASE 2. Each Gondola is a small yellow colored cabin with space for 6 adults. The cabins are slung on high tensile strength cables which move continuously. The Gondolas have two stops, where they slow down to enable Embarking and Disembarking of Tourists. Phase 1.Phase 1 Gondola carries people to a height of 10,000 feet above sea level from Gulmarg to Seven Springs Kangdori. The journey is an exhilarating 15 minutes among tall pine trees and looming mountains. Fare is Rs.200 per adult passenger. Phase 2:Phase 2 is the recently completed stage opened in May 2005. It carries the passengers to a scary 13,500 feet above sea level to Alpanther. The journey is of 25 minutes, ascending steeply to the rocky mountain peak. The Gondola occasionally travels above the clouds. The fare is Rs. 500 for adults. WARNING: Patients of Heart Disease, Respiratory in-sufficiency and children below 5 are not allowed. Also the weather can be chilling at any time of the year so Tourists are advised to carry along warm clothings. KhilanmargKhilanmarg is the famous spot for skiing in winters. From Khilanmarg, you can enjoy the views of the Kashmir valley and the Himalayan range. It takes a couple of hours by pony, to reach Kilanmarg as it is slightly longer on foot. Alpather LakeThe Alpather Lake is a picturesque alpine lake that remains frozen until late June. The lake lies across the Apharwat peak. The adventure tourists can take the one-day and thirteen km trip to the Alpather Lake from Gulmarg. Wular LakeThe Wular Lake is situated on the route from Gulmarg to Srinagar on Baramula Road at Sangrama. The Wular lake is the largest fresh-water lake in Kashmir and the second largest in India. It looks like the Genevo Lake of Switzerland. It has a beautiful setting, with Haramuk Mountain at its head. The sunset at the lake is breathtaking. How to reach hereBy Air: The nearest airport is located in Srinagar about 57 km from Gulmarg. Regular flights connect Srinagar with the other major cities in India. By Rail: The nearest railway station is located in Jammu. By Road: Gulmarg is well connected by road with Srinagar, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Jammu and various other cities of Jammu and Kashmir

  • 0 About Leh Ladakh (J & K) Travel Information

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    About Leh Ladakh (J & K) Travel Information Ladakh is a mountainous place located in Jammu & Kashmir, Northwest India. It is the largest and least populated area of Jammu & Kashmir. Leh is the district area of Ladakh located in Jammu & Kashmir. The population is a mixture of Buddhist and Muslims equally. Leh Ladakh architecture is much influenced by Tibet style of building. The residential buildings and the monasteries both are very similar to Tibetan style. Tour of Ladakh starts with exploring Buddhist monasteries. Ladakh is very much famous for the distinguished style of monasteries. Some of the popular monasteries of Ladakh include Alchi, Hemis Monastery, Likir, Spituk, Thikse, Sankar etc. There are enough opportunities for adventure sports such as trekking, river rafting, mountain climbing, cycling, camel safari, yak safari etc. in Ladakh. You can also enjoy exotic wildlife species like Yak, Nyan, Urial, Churu, Snow Leopard etc. These wild animals live on minimal vegetation, bitter cold, poor habitat and rock landscape. AttractionShanti StupaBuilt by a Japanese Buddhist order as part of a global peace drive that constructs Peace Pagodas, this domed stupa was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1985. The pristine white stupa& magnificent even by moonlight& offers spectacular views of the sunrise, sunset and the Zanskar range. Leh PalaceThis almost forgotten monument was built in the 17th century by King Singe & Lion& Namgyal as the nine-storied royal residence. Meander your way through massive buttressed walls and overhanging wooden balconies to soak up some old world charm. Currently, the Leh Palace is being used as the headquarters of the Indian Government's archaeological conservation organisation. Sankar Gompa This is small but more interesting place to visit than the Leh Gompa and can easily be visited on foot. The Sankar Gompa is an under Gompa of Spitok Gompa. At the most only 20 monks live here and few are permanently in residence although the monastery itself is fairly active. Thus the Gompa is only open to the public from 7.00 am to 10.00 am and from 5.00 to 7.00 pm. It is, however, well lit, so an evening visit is worthwhile. At these times the monks will welcome the visitors and may offer one yak butter tea, 'Tsampa' and boiled and spiced mustard plant. Leh Gompa The Leh Gompa stands high above the palace and also overlooks the ruins of the older palace of the King of Tagpebums. The Red Gompa also known as Namgyal Tsemo Gompa was built in 1430 by King Gvags-Pa-Bum-Ide and has a fine three-storey high seated Buddha figure flanked by Avalokitesvara on the right and Manjushri on the left. In all there are three Gompas at the top of the hill, the topmost one is in a very ruined condition but offers extremely fine views over Leh and the surrounding countryside. To the right of the palace one can see a Buddha painted on the rocks, a remnant of an earlier monastery. Other Leh Gompas There are a number of lesser Gompas in the old town of Leh - such as the Guru Lakhang to the left of the palace, beneath the large Chorten. The Chamba Lakhang, south of the palace, and the Chenrezig Lakhang, to the southeast, are similarly less famous since they contain little of interest compared to other more splendid Gompas around Leh. In the centre of Leh the Buddhist association of Ladakh in 1957 built the new monastery or Gompa Soma or Jokhang. It contains an image of the Buddha Sakyamuni that was brought form Tibet. Meetings of the Buddhist association are held in this monastery. Leh Fort The Leh fort, built by Zorawar Singh, contains three temples but cannot be visited because it is within the military camp area. The Bazaar And Old Town After settling into a hotel or guesthouse, most visitors spend their first day in Leh soaking up the atmosphere of the bazaar. Sixty or so years ago, this bustling tree lined boulevard was the busiest market between Yarkhand and Kashmir. Merchants from Srinagar and the Punjab would gather to barter for Pashmina wool brought down by nomadic herdsmen from western Tibet, or for raw silk hauled across the Karakorams on Bactrian camels. These days, though the street is awash with kitsch curio shops and handicraft emporiums, it retains a distinctly central Asian feel. Clean shaven Ladakhi Lamas in sneakers and shades rub shoulders with half bearded Baltis from the Karakoram and elderly Tibetan refugees whirring prayer wheels, while now and again, snatches of Chinese music crackle out of the shopkeepers transistor radios. At the bottom of the bazaar, women from nearby villages, stovepipe hats perched jauntily on their heads, sit behind piles of vegetables, spinning wool and chatting as they appraise the passers by. Namgyal Tsemo GompaStanding on a hill above the city behind the Leh Palace is the NamgyalTsemo Gompa& Temple of the Guardian Deities& which houses a three-story high, gold idol of Maitreya Buddha(also known as the Laughing Buddha). Built in 1430, this temple is a part of a fort, and the best time to visit is in the wee hours of the windy morning, during the daily prayers. The Monastery CircuitDotted along the Indus, you can find a grand number of Buddhist Monasteries; namely Shey, Thiksey, Hemis, Stakna and Matho. Each of these holy sites offers a little something unique for the day-tripper, from castle locations and ancient Buddhas to the largest thangka in the world. MUSEUMStok Palace MuseumStok Palace has been the official residence of the Ladakhi royal family for the last two hundred years& since they were ousted from Leh and Shey. The only part of the 77-room Palace that is open to tourists has now been converted into a museum which houses a collection of the royal family& s attire, thangka paintings, prayer instruments and crowns. OUTSIDE THE CITYHemis National ParkBounded by the great Indus and spread over nearly 4,440 sq km, the Hemis National Park is Ladakh& s wild-and-hidden wonder. About 200 snow leopards call this park their home along with Asiatic ibex and Himalayan Griffon vultures.

  • 0 About Mata Vaishno Devi Temple (J & K) Travel Information

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    About Mata Vaishno Devi Temple (J & K) Travel Information Katra:You must pass through Katra to get to Vaishno Devi. It is where the road ends. There is an ISKCON temple (01991-33047)in Katra. It is located at the Kalka Mata Mandir, opposite the petrol pump. The Kalka Mata Mandir is an ancient Siva and Kali temple which has been put under the care of ISKCON. The deities are said to be self-manifested. This temple is visited by many pilgrims. construction has begun on a temple and large guest house here. About Mata Vaishno Devi TempleThe abode of the Goddess Vaishno Devi is in the Moutains of Trikuta Hills, in the Jammu and Kashmir State of Northern India. The Goddess resides in a beautiful cave in the form of 3 'Pindis' namely, "Maha Kali", "Maha Laxmi" and "Maha Sarawati". The Goddess Durga is said to have killed the demon Bhairon here. Vaishno Devi is 61-km north of Jammu and 14-km from Katra. The cave is at an elevation of 1,700m (5,100ft) and is 30m (93 ft) long and just 1.5m (5ft) high. Vaishno Devi is a hard four-hour (13-km) climb from Katra. The best time to come is March to July, as th rest of the time of the year it can be very cold. The main pilgrimage time is March-April and September-October. In 1986, 1.6 million people came here, or 15 to 20 thousand people a day. The cave ideally handles just 8 or 10 thousand people a day, as only 12 or 15 people are let into the cave at a time. On the full moon day in Kartika (October/ November) the line to get into the cave can be 4-km long. It is believed that the arm of Goddess Sati fell at this place. Legends of Vaishno DeviDuring the time when the Goddesses were wreaking havoc on the evil Asuras, the 3 main manifestations, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati, pooled their collective strength and sent a divine child to be born in the house of one Ratnakar. She was to uphold righteousness and attain a level of consciousness by which she would merge with Vishnu. An extraordinary child, she went deep into the forest, in search of god. Intrigued by reports of her piety, Gorakhnath the mahayogi siddh purush sent his disciple Bhairon Nath to look for her. But he began invading her privacy and even suggested that she become his wife. To escape him, Vaisnavi left Trikuta mountains. While passing through a ravine she shot an arrow into the earth from where water gushed out -- this stream came to be known as Banaganga. Charan Paduka, marked by the imprints of her feet, is the place where she rested. The Goddess then meditated in the cave at Adhkawari. It took Bhairon Nath nine months to locate her, the reason why the cave is known as Garbh Joon. Mata Vaishno Devi blasted an opening at the other end of the cave with Her Trident when Bhairon Nath located her. On arriving at the Holy Cave at Darbar, she assumed the form of Maha Kali and cut off Bhairon Nath's head which was flung up the mountain by the force of the blow and fell at the place where the Bhairon Temple is now located. The boulder at the mouth of the Holy Cave according to the legend is the petrified torso of Bhairon Nath who was granted divine forgiveness by the benevolent Mata in his dying moments. Other Shrines at Vaishno DeviBhumika Temple:Bhumika Temple: At Darshani Darwaza, 1-km from Katra, the Goddess disappeared. This place is called Darsani Darwaza because the Trikut mountain is visible from here Tikuta Parvat is three high peaks that are the abodes of the Goddess Vaishno Devi. Ban Ganga Temple:After the Goddess left the Bhumika Temple, she went to the Trikuta Hills passing through here. At this time, Langoor Vir (Veer Langur) felt thirsty. The Goddess shot an arrow into the stone and a holy river was produced, now known as Ban Ganga. It is called Ban Ganga because the Goddess washed her hair at this place. Most pilgrims take bath here. You must show the slip you got near the Bus Stand in Katra to pass this point. Ban Ganga is about 3-km from Katra. Charan Paduka Temple:This is where the Goddess stopped for some time while Bhairon was chasing her. Her footprints are supposed to be visible on a stone at this place. Charanpaduka means " holy footprints." It is about 1.5-km from Ban Ganga at 3,380 feet. Ardh Kuwari :Ardh Kuwari is the halfway point and some pilgrims stay here for the night. There is a 15-foot-long cave called Garbha Joon where the Goddess hid herself for nine months and showed her self to a saint. The cave is narrow, and you have to almost crawl all the way though it. When Bhairon entered the cave, the Goddess made a new opening with her trident and ran away. Ardh Kuwari is 4.5-km from Charan Paduka and 4,800 ft above sea level.After ardh Kuwari the path gets very steep for 2.5-km. This ascent is called Hathi Matha ascent, because the mountain is shaped like the forehead of an Elephant. It is best to use the footpath rather than the stairs, as the climb will be easier. From here it is another 1,500-ft climb to Sanjhi Chatt, and from there another 4-km to the carve. The Sri Ram Temple: The Sri Ram Temple is near Vaishno Devi cave. There is a Shiva-linga in a cave 125 steps down from the Ram Temple. The Bhairon (Bhairav) Temple:This temple is about 2.5-km from Vaishno Devi cave at about 6,700 feet. It is traditional to visit this temple after visiting the Vaishno Devi Temple. Bhairon (Bhairav) was absolved of all sins when Durga killed him. When Bhairon was killed by the Goddess his head flew to this place. There is a huge stone outside the cave that represents the body of Bhairon. After he was killed, her prayed to the Goddess to forgive him. It is said that the Goddess gave the benediction that the desires of her devotees who visit this place would be fulfilled.

  • 0 About Pahalgam (J & K) Travel Information

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    About Pahalgam (J & K) Travel Information Pahalgam is probably the most popular hill resort in the Kashmir valley. Since it is rather lower than Gulmarg the nighttime temperatures do not drop so low and it has the further advantage of the beautiful Lidder River running right through the town.Pahalgam is situated at the junction of the Aru and Sheshnag Rivers and surrounded by soaring, fir-covered mountains with bare, snow-capped peaks rising behind them. The Aru flows down from the Kolahoi glacier beyond Lidderwat while the Sheshnag from glaciers along the great Himalayan. It is also known as the Valley of Shepherds. It is surrounded by tall mountains full of lush green forests and a gushing stream. River Lidder flows through its heart. Pahalgam serves as the base camp for many expeditions and excursions such as Kolahari Glacier, Sheeshnag, Sonasar, Harwag and the Amarnath Yatra. Pristine camping grounds under the shadow of tall pines trees are delightful. Pahalgam is situated at a distance of 95 kms from Srinagar at a height of about 2130 mts (7200 ft). Pahalgam offers excellent opportunities for hiking, riding, fishing etc. Places of Interest in Pehalgam:Baisaran: 5 kms from Pahalgam is a lush meadow surrounded by hills and covered with dense vegetation. This region looks very similar to European resorts and is a good campsite. Beautiful meadows surrounded by Pine trees. There is a Tulian lake at 3353 metres covered by Ice. Chandanwari: 16 kms away from Pehalgam and starting point of Amaranth Yatra. Aru: 2408 metrs, 11 Kms. Here river Lidder disappears at Gur Khumb and reappears after 27mtrs. A small village, 11 kms upstream the Lidder River, is a beautiful locality. The route is picturesque with ample campsites. This village is the starting point for treks to the Kolahoi glacier. Lidderwat: 11 kms from Aru, Meadows and dense forests make i a good camping place. Situated at 3408 meters. You can trek from here to Sindh Valley. Tarsar Lake: 3962 meters. 34 Kms. Delightful camping site, on thee way to peaceful meadows. Marsar' Lake: Another lake just 243 meters from Tarsar lake, Kolahoi Glacier: 1467 mts. Trek from Pehalgam and back completed in 3 days. This is the head of the Lidder valley and the base of a glacier of the same name. The glacier has twin peaks at 17,827 ft. It is a spectacular sight and there are camp sights around 14,000 ft. From Kolahoi, Sonmarg can be reached via Sarbal. Things to DoHorse Riding: Ponies can be hired directly or through the Tourist Office. Tariff boards are displayed at all important locations. Golf: Pahalgam Club has a 9-hole golf course, which can be used by tourists. Golf sets can be hired from the Tourist Office. Fishing: The Lidder River has excellent fishing beats for brown trout. The fishing season stretches from April to September. Permits are issued, for a maximum of three days at a time, on a first-come - first-served basis and are charged on a per day per rod basis. Fishing equipment can be hired in Srinagar. Live baits and spinning are not allowed. For permits contact the Directorate of Fisheries, Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar. Trekking: The environs of Pahalgam offer exciting trekking opportunities, the best known being: Pahalgam - Chandanwari- Sheshnag- Panchtarni- Amarnath Cave Temple- Sonamarg

  • 0 About Pangong Lake- Ladakh (J & K) Travel Information

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    About Pangong Lake- Ladakh (J & K) Travel Information The Pangong Lake or “lake of the great hollow” lies about 160 km to the north-east of Leh across the chang la pass and is considered as the largest lake in Asia. The water is clearer though salty. It is believed that these waters must have been fresh at some ancient age. The mountain ranges at the pangong’s north-western extremity are of lime stones which seem to affect its water. The Crystal clear salty water shines in many shades of blue depending upon its depth. It literally changes shades with sunlight. With a backdrop of mountains of various hues and colors, It is a sight for the Gods. At an elevation of 4300 meter, the air is cool even in summers at Ladakh. Pangong Lake is about 4 Km wide on the average and at least 136 Km long. The extent of the known portion is, therefore, upwards of 250 square miles (400 sq km) or about the same size as the holy lake of Mansarovar. Only about a fourth of Pangong Lake is in India-till it takes an easterly turn and disappears into Tibetan territory. Towards the east, pangong is supposed to have sweet water. With its rare black necked cranes and other birds, it is the sight beyond one’s wildest imagination. But sadly Pangong is also ‘sensitive’ with some of the opposite bank being controlled by the Chinese. The man and merak village with the backdrop of the snowy peaks of the pangong range offer a grand view. The series of lakes going under the name of pangong extend over 150 km, the longest lake of the series being 60 km in length and between 3 to 6 km in width. It is a saltwater lake. The color of the water ethereally entrancing passes through the various shades of lovely green and blue as the sun changes its position in the sky or a passing clouds floats over the lake. Near Spangmik Village : Pangong LakeThe farthest village of pangong area is spangmik located at 6-7 km along the southern shore up to which the foreign tourists are permitted. One can have a spectacular view of mountains of the Chang-Chenmo range to the north west of the Pangong Lake with its image reflecting in the lake’s ever-changing blue blue and green water. Above Spangmik are the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Pangong range. Spangmik Village near Pangong LakeBesides Pangong, there are some other lakes in the region of which Hanle Tso is the largest fresh water lake in Ladakh fed by a small fresh water stream and drained from the lofty range of mountains. The Hanle monastery is situated to the east of the lake. Tsearh Tso is 6 km towards north of Pangong Lake at an elevation of 13950 ft adjoining the Merak Tso situated in the village of man at an elevation of 13900 feet. Tso Rul is another lake situated in Chushul at a distance of 10 Km towards south of pangong lake. This lake runs 25 km in length with breadth 2-3 km. it is a bitter water lake. The famous Khurnak fort near the international border stands on the bank of Pangong Lake. Pangong Lake in winter:During winters, the Pangong Lake freezes and the yaks, ponies and goats walk over the frozen hard surface of the lake when they migrate from place to place. A number of animals and birds roam around the Pangong Lake which are protected by the wild life department of the state government. Spangmik and some other small villages along the pangong’s southern shore are the summer homes of a scanty population of changpas. Changpas are the nomadic tribes of Changthang Valley in Ladakh range. The pangong Changpas cultivate sparse crops of barley and peas in summer. In winter they go to distant warmer places. Pangong Lake lies on the border between Ladakh and Tibet with half the lake in India and the other half in Tibet. This immense salt water lake measures 162 km long and 23 km width and is surrounded by high peaks and passes. ItineraryDay 1 Drive from Leh to Pangong Lake via the 5320 m Chang La with the option to visit the monastery of Chamde en route. Spend a few hours walking along the lake and return to Leh or spend the night in the village of Spangmik which sits along the shores of Pangong Lake. Pangong Lake near Spangmik. Day 2 (optional)Sleep at village of Spangmik and watch the sunset and sunrise over the lake. After a morning to see around the lake return to Leh.

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