Monthly Archives: November 2010

7 Best shopping spots in Delhi

Being a confluence of diverse Indian cultures and towering shopping malls, Delhi is a true paradise for shopaholics. From the captivating Indian handicrafts, flashy garment, and spicy Indian delicacies, to some of the highly sought-after gizmos, here you can have almost everything to satiate your itchy shopping urge. While the capital city is flooded with a slew of shopping spots, we have picked some of the best of them all. These must-visit shopping zones in Delhi include: 

Chandni Chowk – Situated just opposite to the Red Fort, was famous for fountains and swamped with shopping stores during the Mughal era. Over time, the fountains have disappeared but the shops are still there. Unlike any other market, Chandni Chowk doesn’t boast big showrooms, but the place is studded with innumerable small shops. It’s main attractions are Sadar Bazaar and Khari Baoli, which till date are counting among the largest wholesale markets in North India, along with Dariba Kalan, which is famous all across India for its perfumes and silver jewellery.

Connaught Place – Located at the heart of the capital, this is perhaps the most happening spot in Delhi. Popularly called CP, it is home to the underground Palika Baazar, where you can find all sorts of snazzy gadgets, cool apparels, and other accessories. CP is constructed in a circular shape with a lush green park situated at its centre. So, when you feel tired of carrying those bulky shopping bags, you can have a relaxing time there.

Dilli Haat – This is where you will discover the diverse Indian handicrafts, and variety of food items. Craftsmen from all over India come and exhibit their products here. The food stall’s at Delli Haat represent the different states of India and offer their traditional foods. It also holds festivals and fairs from time to time. All in all, a cool place to hang out with your friends.

Cottage Industry Handicraft Emporium – If you’ve been looking out to explore real Indian stuff, then Cottage Industry Handicraft Emporium is the spot for you. Situated at the junction of Tolstoy Road and Janpat this departmental store offers you Indian cottage industry goods and handicrafts.

Karol Bagh – If you have fad for jewellery and apparels, then a walk through Karol Bagh could be an unforgettable experience for you. The beauty of this crowded Delhi market is that the visitors have the choice to walk through big air-conditioned stores, or through the narrow alleys comprising of small.

South Extension – Designed specifically for the young audience, this happening place renders international shopping experience to visitors. Divided into two sections, namely South Extension I and South Extension II, the market is flanked with glittering showrooms and restaurants.

Nehru Place – Nehru Place in Delhi represents the face of Indian IT industry, where you can get all sorts of IT-related tools and software’s. You’ll perhaps be amazed to see a number of street hawkers selling hardware as well as software applications there. A must-visit for those looking for buying some IT stuffs at reasonable prices.

To know more: http://www.thedelhitours.com/

Enthralling Royal Train Tours in India

India ranks among some of those few nations where railways were introduced in as early as second half of the nineteenth century. India’s first passenger train ran between Bombay and Thane way back in 1853. History of Indian Railways has been phenomenal since then, and it is unarguably a Jewel in the nation’s crown. Of its wide array of services, Royal Train Tours have been grabbing backpackers’ attention the most. These train tours are simply captivating, and above all, they dish up the glimpse of diverse Indian culture in a very distinct way. The joy of Royal Train Tours gets multiplied when you have a credible touring partner in the guise of Shikhar Travels. Let us run you down through some of the most fascinating royal train tours in India:

Palace on Wheels and The Royal Orient – These two incredible train services take you through the majestic expanse of Rajasthan, Land of Sand dunes, Forts, Palaces, and Rich Art and Culture. Touted as one of the best luxury trains in the world, these trains are furnished with all the necessary things, from charming furniture to regal ambience, that would give you the royal feel. The seven day trip in these trains would give you the chance to explore royal forts, palaces, deserts, cuisines, and everything the soil of Rajasthan has to offer.
http://shikhar.com/package.asp?PackID=106

Fairy Queen – For those who find it difficult to take out one whole week for train touring, a weekend tour on Fairy Queen could be the apt choice. Dubbed as the world’s oldest working locomotive across the world, this vintage train would take you to Sariska National Park. This would provide you a magnificent opportunity to experience the royal treatment as you travel through the royal land of Rajasthan.
http://shikhar.com/package.asp?PackID=104

Deccan Odyssey – True to its name, this majestic train takes you through various exotic destinations in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Ganpatipule, Pune, Sindhudurg, Goa, and Ajanta and Ellora. It’s a wonderful luxury train that helps you explore multitude of bewitching places covering the vast expanse of Maharashtra.
http://shikhar.com/package.asp?PackID=107

There are a couple of what can be called as Toy Trains that run through the hilly regions of India, mainly to transport people from plains to the laps of Himalayas. These trains run in various regions across India, including Northeast, Shivalik in the Northwest, and the western Ghats and Nilgiri in the South. Of all these trains, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway gauge is the most notable one. It has already been included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list.
http://shikhar.com/category.asp?CatID=22

These imposing train tours have been among the most noteworthy part of Indian Tourism business so far. Tourists from all parts of the world come to India to enjoy these royal and adventurous rail rides. Don’t be left out on it, and savor the royal train sojourn with Shikhar Travels.

Shikhar Eco-Foundation drive – A step towards nurturing clean environment

Shikhar Eco Foundation has clubbed hands with the Forest Department, WWF India and the Agora village community to clean up Dodital Lake and trek route and discard the non-biodegradable litter left by the end of the tourist season before snowfall. Along the same line, we carried out an intense four-day expedition running from 7th to 11th November 2010. During this drive twenty-five sacks of non-biodegradable garbage was brought to Sangamchatti for recycling purposes. This is the first time concerted efforts to clean up the Dodital lake was carried out with such a vigor.

A team led by Rajbeer Rana, Senior Manager and Passang Sherpa, instructor adventure Department, Shikhar Travels with support from Dr Sanjeev Sharma, Senior Project Officer WWF India (Himachal Pradesh) and Man Singh Panwar, Kamal Singh, Suman and thirteen other village youths from Agora village cleaned the Dodital lake and trek route to dispose off the non-biodegradable litter. Twenty-five sacks full of non-biodegradable waste were brought on six mules hired for this purpose. Fifteen sacks were collected from around the Dodital lake, five from the camping site at Majhi and rest from Bebra and Agora village. The refuse included all sorts of non-biodegradable stuffs, like glass bottles, mineral water bottles, tin cans, polythene and Gutkha packets. The material has already sent to Sangamchatti where it will undergo recycling processes.

The best part of the entire exercise was the involvement of village community into it. This was made possible because of the efforts from Capt. Swadesh Kumar, who during the ATOAI meet in Dehradun two years back, advocated for the inclusion of a villager for encouraging Rural Tourism. Capt. Kumar, the CMD of Shikhar Travels, runs Shikhar Nature Resort at Uttarkashi. He chose Agora, the first Rural Tourism village in Uttarakhand to be funded by Ministry of Tourism Govt. of India for this initiative. However, he went a step further and laid the foundations of Shikar Eco-Foundation. Under this, we had already organized a two-day hospitality-training course for as many as twenty-one youths from Agora, and Of those twenty-one, eleven were lodge owners.

Incidentally, the purpose of Shikhar Eco-Foundation is multidimensional. In addition to keeping the environment clean and green, Capt Kumar also has vision for job creation in the tourism industry. In order to achieve the same, Shikhar Eco-Foundation is also working to ensure jobs for at least twenty youths from Agora before the next tourist season sets off.

Best Picks for Wildlife Safari in India

The exclusive topography of India has made the country home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. These huge varieties include some of the rarest species and a majority of them are being preserved in various national parks as well as wildlife sanctuaries. Indian national parks and sanctuaries are famous world over for tigers, elephants, colorful birds, rhinoceros, lions, to mention a few. It’s always a visual treat to have an adventurous wildlife safari in India, and Shikhar Travels is all-equipped to make your expedition a memorable experience. Here’s the list of top wildlife spots that shouldn’t be missed out when you are in India for a jungle safari:

  • Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary – Also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, this fascinating sanctuary ranks among one of the finest bird sanctuaries across the globe. It comprises as many as 365 varieties of birds from 57 distinct families. Of all the bird species, endangered Siberian Cranes are perhaps the most awaited.  http://shikhar.com/package.asp?PackID=108
  • Corbett National Park – Initially established as Hailey National Park back in August 1936, it was rechristened as Ramganga National Park in 1952. However, it was eventually renamed as Jim Corbett National Park in the year 1957, in the commemoration of late Jim Corbett, a renowned traveler and wildlife photographer who had helped in setting up the park.  It is famous worldwide for its big cats, especially Tiger. In spite of immense efforts from environmentalists and the Indian government, Tiger population has been dwindling in India. However, Corbett National Park is among few places in the world where Tigers can still be seen.

http://shikhar.com/package.asp?PackID=109

  • Gir Lion Sanctuary – This popular sanctuary houses the Asiatic lion, which once inhabited a broad stretch of land from Greece through India, encompassing Asia Minor and Persia. Along with the Asiatic lion, the sanctuary also has a considerable variety of smaller animals, preys, etc.

http://shikhar.com/package.asp?PackID=113

  • Periyar National Park – Nestled in the picturesque land of Kerala, Periyar National Park stands in one of the India’s most visited national parks. It is established around an artificial lake dotted with snags of deadwood that offers perches to several waterbirds. It is regarded as the finest habitat for Asiatic Elephants.

http://shikhar.com/package.asp?PackID=122

  • Ranthambore National Park – Located in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is popular for tigers. The park is touted as an engrossing place where you can see the majestic predators in the wild. Tigers can be seen in the daytime too. The fascinating atmosphere and the amicable wild cats of the preserve have together made Ranthambore National Park as one of the most-filmed wildlife reserves across the world.

http://shikhar.com/package.asp?PackID=110

So if you wish to come vis-a-vis with the Indian tiger, or see those wonderful Siberian Cranes, then just pack your bag and get geared for a thrilling jungle safari with Shikhar Travels.

Top 7 Indian Gateways by Shikhar

1. Taj Mahal, Agra: “The epitome of love”, “a monument of immeasurable beauty” stands majestically on the banks of River Yamuna. One of the Seven Wonders of the World in the old and the new list, Taj Mahal is known for its epic beauty that combines sublime human emotions with beauty of the precious stones. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan got this monument constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, with whom he fell in love at the first sight.

http://thedelhitours.com/taj_tour.php?id=14

2. The Golden Temple, Amritsar: Harmandir Sahib or the Golden Temple of Amritsar is representative of all that is glorious in Sikhism. Amritsar is the most holy city for the Sikh community where life is influenced by the Golden Temple, their most important shrine. Economically it’s the showpiece of the prosperity and wealth of Punjab.

http://www.gurudwaraindia.com/gurudwara.htm

3. Pink City, Jaipur: Known to be as Pink City and Capital of Rajasthan. Built by the warrior-astronomer Raja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727.Jaipur is a charming place, which dazzles the eye of tourist with several architectural landmarks, stylish monuments, palaces, museums, wide avenues and colorful bazaars. Hill top forts such as Amber Fort, Jaigarh and Nahargarh surround Jaipur.

http://thedelhitours.com/pink_city_jaipur.php?id=16

4. Varanasi: Also known as Kashi and Banaras, is the cultural capital of India. The city of important Hindu religious place and is closely associated with the river Ganges. In Varanasi, you can enjoy morning boat cruise on serene Ganges and can also dot on some of the most fascinating temples at Khajuraho that depict human love.

http://thedelhitours.com/varanasi_tour.php?id=21

5. Ladakh: Ladakh is a land like no other in terms of its splendid beauty. Bounded by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the great Himalaya and the Karakoram. Ladakh which means the “land of passes” offers exciting opportunities for Monastery tours, great Himalayan Treks, Mountain expeditions, Mountain Biking, river Rafting, Tribal tours, Jeep Safaris, festival tours and Camel Safaris.

http://www.ladakhtoursandtravel.com/

6. Delhi: Handful of option to explore Delhi, the list starts from Chandni Chowk, Jama Masjid, Red Fort to Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate and Qutub Minor. Delhi is not just a city; it’s a book to be read which summarizes the past, present and future of India.

http://thedelhitours.com/old_delhi_tour.php?id=1

7. Wildlife of India: It is a mix of diverse origins. Want to come face to face with the famed Indian tiger!! Or see the rare Siberian crane at close range? There are many wildlife destinations in India.

http://shikhar.com/category.asp?CatID=18

Delhi – A Perfect Destination for Your Diwali Gala

When it comes to sorting out places in India where Diwali is feted the most, no other city could perhaps match the fun and ecstasy that the capital city Delhi has to dish out to you. Delhi could be seen as a confluence of several cultures, and hence any celebration in the city is markedly vivid. It is known world-over as a magnificent tourist spot, with masses of tourists herding in the city every year. In fact, a striking blend of historical sites and modern architecture makes Delhi a destination of choice for all. So, it’s a good idea to take your friends and family to Delhi for an unforgettable Diwali bash, and Shikhar Travels will help you transform this striking idea into reality.

From electric night-life and showy cineplexes, to lush green parks and historical places, Delhi has a flavor for all ages. Besides, all these entertainment sites further get spruced up on occasions. It’s really difficult for a person to choose from a multitude of entertainment choices Delhi has to offer on Diwali. However, this can be made simpler by creating a priority-list for the same.

It’s always good to start your trip with some cultural heritage site. Delhi has loads of historical attractions, such as Red Fort, India Gate, Jama Masjid, Humayun’s Tomb, Jantar Mantar, just to name a few. These attractions are simply at their visual best during the Diwali season. So, just prepare your list well, and explore them to have real feast for your eyes.

After having a wonderful historical ride, it’s recommended for you to have a visit to some religious places, like the Akshardham Temple, ISKCON Temple, Lotus Temple, and the likes. These places portray the mythological significance of Diwali and help you get closer to the highly-venerated Indian culture.

Once these religious visits are over, you can always switch to culturally opulent Delhi markets to get some rare handicrafts and Indian goodies. Delhi has a bunch of places where you can find eye-catching handiwork, garments, decorative items, along with some tasty delicacies. There is a long list of happening spots, but places like Connaught Place, South Extension, Dilli Haat, Chandni Chowk, Greater Kailash, should defenietly be on your priority list. So be in Delhi at on Diwali and feel the felicity in the air with Shikhar Travels.