Category Archives: Wildlife

Wildlife in Madhya Pradesh: Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Panna National Park

Known as the heart of the Indian Subcontinent, Madhya Pradesh has rich history and can be touted as the Mecca of Indian and Jain Temples. In fact, the culture of Madhya Pradesh remains unfazed even today. On the plus side, there is the presence of a very vibrant and exuberant wildlife in the Madhya Pradesh, not to mention the extensive biodiversity that you can observe here.

Tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park Continue reading Wildlife in Madhya Pradesh: Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Panna National Park

Explore the Indian National Parks and Know More about Wildlife

Indian wildlife has been the primary attraction for tourists since ages. Blessed with richness and diversity, India defines its wildlife with rare and endangered species. A major part of Indian land is covered by forests, giving an excellent opportunity for humans to explore some endangered species. There are 92 national wildlife parks and around 480 wildlife sanctuaries.

Tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park Continue reading Explore the Indian National Parks and Know More about Wildlife

The Chronicles of a Family Getway!

What can be better than discovering the adventures of the world with your family, an experience unlike any other? With the mad rush of life – the work & responsibilities, one barely gets to have the carefree fun that travel offers, and so it is time that you choose to have “the trip to remember” with your loved ones…

Camping in Goa Continue reading The Chronicles of a Family Getway!

Temples of Khajuraho

Khajuraho- The city of Temples

Khajuraho- The temple town of Khajuraho is famous for the erotic  sculptures and often connected to the Kama sutra. It is only when you visit the beautiful town and it’s temples, you realise that the  temples of Khajuraho are much more than just “erotic sculpture temples”.IMG_3578 (1)

     Khajuraho is a small town with 20,000 people . During peak season it gets almost 600 international tourist a day, in off season this number significantly reduces. That said , it was nice visiting Khajuraho in the off season as roads are empty,  we had the temples almost to ourselves for exploring,  we cycled on the boulevards without any problem and most importantly, hotel prices are really low!

We flew into Khajuraho by the midday flight from Varanasi. A short 40 minute  flight later we arrived at the beautiful ,secluded,  quite town of Khajuraho. The airport is a 10 min drive from the “downtown” of Khajuraho – which is a 2 kms long  circular boulevard with hotels on either sides of the boulevard  and the Western Temples . Khajuraho – the name comes from the numerous Date (kharjur) tress spread around the region during the period it was built in. Now, there is not a single Date tree left in the region.

Cycling in Khajuraho. beautiful buelevard of Khajuraho. Travel to khajuraho. tour to khajuraho
Boulevards of Khajuraho

All hotels in Khajuraho have only two floors- ground and first floor. They also do not have lifts. Please request for a room specifically on the ground floor incase you cannot climb to the first floor. The airport is a 10 minute drive away from the hotels and normally Khajuraho gets 1 flight a day during off peak season and 2 flights a day during peak season.

While driving on the boulevard, you do feel like you are in the 1990 or 1980’s . This is because the hotels (the only construction you will see as you exit the airport) were constructed during those years. However, when you enter the hotels , you feel more like you are in the 2016

IMG_3579 copySince it was a nice and cloudy day, we choose to visit the temples in the afternoon. We visited the Western Temples with our guide and learnt about the history and architecture of the temples. The temples of Khajuraho were built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty. There were originally over 85 temples which were constructed.About 25 temples are said to exist now.

Western Temples of Khajuraho
Western Temples of Khajuraho

The western temple compound consist of 6 temples; the temple of Lord Vishnu is considered the main temple. We learnt about different theories of  science and physics used to built the temple. From the angles the windows were placed at and the theory of ecology in the design to the depiction of all elements of a life, the temples were an extraordinary example of great architecture.

Khajuraho Temples
Khajuraho Temples

Later we walked around the compound and visited the other temples before returning to our hotel for some rest. In the evening we visited the temple site again for the Sound and light show. The show was nice with the temples light up in different colours. Shikhar Travels always recommends its client  to do the Sound and Light show after guided sightseeing of the temples so it is easy to keep up with the story .

IMG_3635The following morning , we relaxed at our hotel before departing at 3 pm for Panna National Park. We were excited and hopeful to view a Tiger. The National park is a 45 minute drive from Khajuraho. Our naturalist and driver , both came with a lot of experience and made the journey very exciting. We spotted one tiger, three crocodiles , numerous white spotted deers, peacock , peahens, Gray Langur, Sambar Deer and some beautiful brids.

The best part of our journey in Khajuraho was cycling- we hired cycles from our hotel and went on ride on the boulevard. The roads are always empty during off peak season and it was simply a beautiful experience, specially since we do not get to cycle at all in cities like Delhi. We visited the Eastern Temples during our ride, which were not half as exciting as the Western Temples.  We skipped the Southern Temples entirely! But the experience of cycling on the boulevard was just fantastic.

Cycling in Khajuraho
Cycling in Khajuraho

Shikhar Travels recommend Khajuraho as a two day destination. So you can enjoy the beautiful Ancient Temples and witness the Tigers at Panna National Park.

Indian Railways’ First Wildlife Tourism Train – Tiger Express

Union Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu on the occasion of the World Environment Day 5th June flagged off Tiger Trail Circuit Train from Delhi’s Safdarjung Station. He flagged off the Tiger Express through video conferencing between Delhi and Mumbai.

Tiger Express

Tiger Express was launched on World Environment Day to highlight the significance of environment in our lives. The Railway Minister took personal interest in conceptualising this train. The tourist train will be operated by Indian Railway PSU named Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

The route of the train:

Route of Tiger Express

The train has five days and six nights itinerary and it will start from Delhi’s Safdarjung Railway Station and travel via Katani, Jabalpur, Bandhavgadh, and Kanha. It is a semi-luxury train and it will take the guests onboard to the world famous Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks in Madhya Pradesh.

The tourists will also get to enjoy Dhuadhar Waterfall in Dedhaghat near Jabalpur. Railway Minister said on the occasion of the flagging off the train that, Indian Railways is fully committed to address environmental issues. He also pointed out that he is assuming charge took the initiative of creating a separate dedicated Environment Directorate in the Ministry of Railways.

Tiger Express Train

He informed the people that his ministry is taking various steps to be more environment friendly. Mr. Prabhu while flagging off the Tiger Express told that tiger is at the apex of the food chain and so it has tremendous ecological impact and hence the ministry found it befitting to launch a train on Tiger. He announced that Indian Railways through, its PSU, IRCTC will launch more tourist circuit trains like elephant circuit, desert circuit.

Here are some salient features of the Tiger Express:

The Tiger Express has been launched with the objective to create awareness about our national animal tiger. This train is one of the most innovative tourism product ever launched by Indian Railways.

Tiger Express - Dinning Car

The Kanha National Park which is part of the tour is known for the presence of tigers, swamp deer and barasingha. This national park is considered as source of inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel “The Jungle Book”.

The Bandhavgarh National Park which is also part of tour is famous for its biodiversity. The density of tiger population in this park is highest known in India. This park hosts a large breeding population of leopards and various species of deer too.

The train’s itinerary has been planned in such a way that tourists get to see three tiger safaris and have ample time to see the majestic wild cats in their natural environment and also get to see other wildlife.

Apart from journey by the semi luxury AC train the package also includes AC rooms in three star resorts, sightseeing and road transportation by AC vehicles, buffet meals, game safaris, inter-city transfers and travel insurance.

dinning car - Tiger Express

This is also the first semi-luxury train on a tourist circuit having a dining car. The objective behind it is to facilitate frequent interactions among travellers during the travel. No other semi-luxury train is equipped with a dining car.

The trip which was flagged off yesterday is the inaugural run and the regular monthly trips of this fully AC train will begin from October. The train has been decorated with vinyl wrapped motifs of the wildlife.

Indian Railways which efficiently conducts the Desert Circuit in Rajasthan and Heritage Circuit in North India is for the first time venturing into the exciting wildlife tourism.

Fare Structure:

The itinerary has a tariff structure starting from Rs. 38,500. For travelling in 1AC, tariff has been fixed at Rs. 49,500 for single occupancy, Rs. 45,500 for double occupancy, Rs. 44,900 for triple occupancy and Rs. 39,500 for child with bed (5-11 years).

The fares for those travelling in AC 2-tier is Rs. 43,500 for single occupancy, Rs. 39,000 for double occupancy, Rs. 38,500 for triple occupancy and Rs. 33,500 for child with bed (5-11 years).

However, these rates are valid for Indian citizens only. An additional surcharge of Rs. 4,000 per person will be charged from foreigners for the Safari booking at Bandhagarh and Kanha.

Itinerary:

Day 1 – Sunday Departure from Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station at 1500 hours. Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 2 – Monday Arrival at Katni by 5:40 hours. Breakfast on board, proceed for Bandhavgarh for hotel check in and lunch. Later proceed for evening safari (Khitauli Zone). Dinner and overnight at Bandhavgarh Hotel.

Day 3 – Tuesday Departure from Bandhavgarh and proceed for Kanha. Check in and lunch at Hotel. Later proceed for evening safari (Mukki Zone). Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

Day 4 – Wednesday Morning Safari (Mukki Zone) in Kanha with late morning breakfast. Lunch at hotel. Evening time for leisure, dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 5 – Thursday after breakfast proceed for Jabalpur. Lunch at hotel in Jabalpur. Proceed for Dhuadhar Waterfall in Bedhaghat. High tea in the evening before proceeding to train station. Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 6 – Friday arrival at Delhi Safdarjung Station at 1550 hours as tour ends with happy memories. Breakfast and lunch on board.

Source: www.oneindia.com

Uttarakhand – Enjoys the Comfort of the Himalayan Mountains

WHILE THE STATE OF UTTARAKHAND MAY BE AMONG THOSE WHICH ARE RELATIVELY NEW IN THAT THEY HAVE BEEN FORMED ONLY MORE RECENTLY, THEY ARE AS MUCH A PART OF THE HISTORY AND THE MAGNIFICENCE OF THE TIMELESS INDIA THAT WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE. THEY HAVE AS MUCH OF THE INDIAN SPIRIT, AND STAND FOR EVERYTHING THAT INDIA IS.

Almora Uttarakhand

Enjoys the comfort of the Himalayan Mountains which lend it as much colour, excitement and thrill that it gives to every other state. Adventure in the state of Himachal is almost as spirited as the mountains itself, with plenty of variety and several forms in which adventure can be enjoyed. The scenic beauty of Uttarakhand makes every element stand out better. The beauty of the state comes from the wonderful locales and the unpretentious beauty that surrounds it. There is so much that can be spoken of the state, and yet there is a quiet dignity it chooses to maintain. Adventure is a great experience in Uttaranchal.

India Rice paddies Uttaranchal
I differing kinds and forms, there are ranges of adventure activity that can be experienced and explored here. The support lent by nature and the state come together perfectly to allow you an experience that will always be cherished. The various forms of adventure take root in the landscape, which is mostly surrounded by hills. This is why trekking, skiing, white water rafting and paragliding are best experienced here. Apart from these, there is also camping and wildlife that must be experienced. The unique beauty of Uttaranchal is that, by way of its terrain and landscape, everything you do, from a tour of the wild to even a pilgrimage tour, all assumes the form of adventure here.

Auli Skiing
Trekking is among the most popular forms of adventure here. Whether to the Milam Glacier, the Pindari Glacier, or even to the Vasuki Tal, there are several sites where the thrill can be experienced fully. The best stretch to experience white water rafting is from Shivpuri to Rishikesh. This is the most gratifying location for rafting is perhaps all of India. Auli makes a scenic location for skiing, and a great place to allow the snow to befriend you. Pitoragarh is among the most preferred destinations for the avid paragliders. The dizzying heights with the sheets of white below, the conifers that dot the lands as you cruise over them and the chilly winds that blow through you make the attempt worth the effort.

Trekking in Uttarkashi
Ensure that you are in Uttarakhand any time of the year except for the bitter winters. The summers have their own charm, while spring is when you will enjoy the cold and not be hampered by it. The climate is largely favourable through the year except for the rains which could slow you down. There are no strict regulations and government restrictions, other than places which are restricted or sites which are closed to the public. To be able to access these, it is important that you seek prior permission.

 

Source: www.atoai.org

Government to Promote Golf Tourism to Attract More Foreigners

Government is ready to support golf tourism to attract more foreign visitors to the country, which has over 200 golf courses.

Golf Tourism in India

 

This was stated today by Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma who stressed that there is a lot of potential in golf tourism in India.”Golf is at nascent stage in the country and the government is ready to support this niche tourism product. There is a lot of potential of golf tourism in India,” Sharma said at the FICCI Golf Tourism Summit here. He said India has about 220 golf courses and some of these are best in the world.

Golf tours in India

 

Seeking industry cooperation, he said “how best it can be explored so that it becomes a strength of tourism industry in the country.” Disagreeing with tour operators, Sharma said there is no off season for tourism in country like India. India has the strength to provide round the year tourism to the world. Something or other is available for tourists in the country round the year, he said.” We have miles and miles of Himalayan range, longest sea beach, desert, wildlife, monuments. India is so vast that we have round the year tourism.”

Golf in South Zone

 

President of India Golf Tourism Association Rajan Sehgal said “we have about 220 golf courses in the country and about 25 are signature golf courses which are at par with international standard”. Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutsi said India is a late entrant in the golf tourism sector.” The government has given e-tourism visa facility to 113 countries and our aim is to extend the facility to total 150 countries,” he said.

 

Source: www.india.com

Kerala: India’s most advanced Tourism Destination

With the Arabian Sea in the west, the Western Ghats towering 500 – 2700 M in the east and networked by forty-four rivers, Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought-after tourist destination in Asia. An equable climate.

 

Chinese Fishing Nets Cochin

 

A long shoreline with serene beaches. Tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters. Lush hill stations and exotic wildlife. Waterfalls. Sprawling plantations and paddy fields. Kerala tours offer best houseboats in India.

 

Houseboat in Kerala

 

Ayurvedic health holidays. Enchanting art forms. Magical festivals. Hostoric and cultural monuments. A divine cuisine… All of which offer you a unique experience. And what’s more, every one of these charming destinations is only a tow hour drive from the other. A singular advantage no other destination offers.

 

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

 

Kerala, India’s most advanced society: A hundred percent literate people. World-class health care systems. India’s lowest infant mortality and highest life expactancy rates. The highest physical quality of life in India. Peaceful and pristine, Kerala is also India’s cleanest State.

 

Ayurveda - harmony of body

Madhya Pradesh: The Heart of Incredible India

Madhya Pradesh is not called the ‘heart of India’ only because of its location on the centre of the country. It has been home to the cultural heritage of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. Innumerable monuments, exquisitely caved temples, stupas, forts and palaces are dotted all over the state. The natural beauty of the state is equally varied. Consisting largely of plateu, the state has everything-spectacular mountain range, meandering rivers and miles and miles dense forests. In fact, a large part of the state is forested, offering a unique and exciting panorama of wildlife. In the National park of Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Pench you can spot the tiger, the bison and wide variety of deer and antelope. But perhaps the best part about Madhya Pradesh is its accessibility. Bordered by five states, it is equally close to major tourist destinations from the North, South, East and West. Whether you are in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Kolkata, You’re never very far from Madhya Pradesh!

Popular tourist places in Madhya Pradesh are:

 

Lowe Lake Bhopal
Lowe Lake Bhopal

Bhopal: The capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal is a fascinating amalgam of scenic beauty, a proud heritage and modern urban planning. An Afghan soldier of fortune, Dost Mohammed (1708-1740) was the founder of the existing city.

 

Buddha Stupa Sanchi
Buddha Stupa Sanchi

Sanchi: A World Heritage Site, Sanchi, is known for its stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars dating from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D. The Sanchi Stupa (Stupa 1), the best known, was originally built by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka.

 

Daly College Indone
Daly College Indone

Indore: Built by Rani Ahilyabai, the brave Holkar queen, Indore is one of the fastest growing economic regions in India. Situated on the banks of the rivers Saraswati and Khan, the vibrant city has some beautiful monuments associated with the Holkar dynasty.

 

Gwalior Fort
Gwalior Fort

Gwalior:  It is steeped in the splendor of its past. A multitude of reigning dynasties of the great rajput clans have left an indelible etching of their rule in the city of palaces, temples and monuments giving Gwalior a unique and timeless appeal. Today, it is a modern Indian city, vibrant and bustling. Gwalior fort was built by Raja Mansingh Tomar, dominates the city like a great monolith.

 

Cenotaphs in Orchha
Cenotaphs in Orchha

Orchha: At Orchha, grandeur has been captured in stone and frozen in time; a rich legacy of the ages. The palaces and temples built by its Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries, retain much of their pristine perfection.

 

Tiger in Kanha National Park
Tiger in Kanha National Park

Kanha National Park: Sal and bambee forests of Kanha and its rolling grasslands and meandering steams stretch over 940 sq km in dramatic natural splendor.

 

Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh National Park: This is one place where you can be almost certain  of seeing a tiger in its natural habitat. Stretching over 448 sq km, Bandhavgarh national park is rich in other forms of wildlife like deer, leopard, sambar and wild boar.

 

Lakshmana Temple Khajuraho
Lakshmana Temple Khajuraho

Khajuraho: The temples of Khajuraho are India’s unique gift to the world, representing a paean to life, love and joy; perfect in execution and sublime in expression.

Wildlife – Discover Your Inner Nemophilist in the Megical Fotests of India

NEMOPHILIST: ONE WHO IS FOND OF FOREST OR FOREST SCENERY. DISCOVER YOUR INNER NEMOPHILIST IN THE MAGICAL FORESTS OF INDIA. GET TO KNOW THE DEPTHS OF THESE LUSH GREEN JUNGLES AND THE WILD AND BEAUTIFUL FLORA AND FAUNA THAT INHABIT IT.

Elephant and Deer in Jim Corbet National Park

Picture yourself walking through landscapes that are filled with the most vibrant species of exotic birds, or on the back of a jeep, your eyes deep in concentration as you try to focus on the majestic tiger crouching behind the bushes. Exploring these ancient forests is an exciting, exhilarating and always surprising experience. India is filled with wildlife sanctuaries and it doesn’t matter which one you choose to explore because each one has the capacity of charming you in its own unique way.

Tiger lazing in the water, Bandhavgarh, India
There are a variety of ways you can choose to explore. In some forests, you can walk jungle trails while in others you can go on safaris or spot game from the back of a 4×4 jeep. Then there are the forests that have water ways and invite you to explore their depths on boats big and small so that you can watch animals come to watering holes and lie around restfully in the day without disturbing them. There are parks and reserves in virtually every state of the country. However, the better known ones are the larger ones simply because of the variety of wildlife they contain. These include the Corbett National Park, Bandhavgarh national park, Gir, Kanha, Kaziranga, Ranthambore and Sunderbans National Parks. Bear in mind that you are unlikely to catch any major sightings through the monsoon, so the rains are best avoided.

bharatpur bird sanctuary
The peaks of the summer are also when animals prefer to keep to the shade, although you may catch some precious moments as they advance towards watering holes. The milder months are ideal to visit any of the parks in the country. February and May are the ideal months to maximise your chances of viewing the animals. If you are looking to visit a bird park, it’s worth noting that the water birds nest between August and October, making this the best period to go birding. Before heading to a wildlife park ensure that you read up on the habitat, and also the behaviour patterns of the animals. This not only helps with the sightings, but also enhances your safety. Carry plenty of medication and first aid, and also some rope, a pen knife and torch.

One Horned Rhino at Kaziranga
Take with you plenty of mosquito repellent cream, swathe yourself with sunscreen and never ever feed the animals or try to attract their attention. It is best to travel with an experienced guide who will look out for you, and also take you on the best paths to ensure you enjoy as many sightings as possible. He is also the best resource for you to gain insights into the folklore surrounding the park. Finally and importantly, make sure you head off into the forests with a reliable operator who gives all the necessary importance to the environment and to safety, both yours and the jungle’s.

Source: www.atoai.org