Tag Archives: Indian Culture

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.

Diverse ways of celebrating Navaratri in a diverse India

Navaratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga. The word Navaratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit; nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The tenth day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or “Dussehra” (also spelled Dasara). Navaratri represents a celebration of the Goddess Amba, (the Power) and is celebrated in a large number of Indian communities. The mother goddess is said to appear in 9 forms, and each one is worshiped for a day. These nine forms signify various traits that the goddess influences us with. The Devi Mahatmya and other texts invoking the Goddess who vanquished demons are cited. Diwali the festival of lights is celebrated twenty days after Dussehra. During this vowed religious observance, a pot is installed (ghatasthapana) at a sanctified place at home. A lamp is kept lit in the pot for nine days. The pot symbolizes the universe. The uninterrupted lit lamp is the medium through which we worship the effulgent Adishakti, i.e. Sree Durgadevi. During Navaratri, the principle of Sree Durgadevi is more active in the atmosphere. This festival corresponds to a nine-day Taoist celebration beginning on the eve of 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar, which is observed primarily by the ethnic Chinese of Min Nan linguistic group in Southeast Asian countries like Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and also the Riau Islands called the Nine Emperor Gods Festival.wallpaper durga puja wallpaper bhavya roop maa durga

The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are considered to be important junctions of climatic and solar influences. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother Durga. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar. Navaratri is celebrated five times a year. They are Vasanta Navaratri, Ashadha Navaratri, the Sharad Navaratri, and the Paush/Magha Navaratri. Of these, the Sharad Navaratri of the month of Puratashi and the Vasanta Navaratri of the Vasanta kala are the most important. Other two are observed by Shaktas only. The Chaitra Navaratri culminates in Ram Navami and the Sharad Navaratri culminates in Durga Puja and Dussehra.

North India

Navaratri is celebrated in different ways throughout India. In North India, all three Navaratri are celebrated with much fervor by fasting on all nine days and worshiping the Mother Goddess in her different forms. The Dussehra of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh is particularly famous in the North. In North India, as the culmination of the Ramlila which is enacted ceremoniously during Dussehra, the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Meghanada are burnt to celebrate the victory of good (Rama) over evil forces on the ‘Vijaya Dashami’ day.

Eastern India

The last four days of Sharad Navaratri take on a particularly dramatic form in the states of West Bengal and Odisha in Eastern India where they are cdurga pujaelebrated as Durga Puja. Eighth day is traditionally Durgashtami which is big in Bengal, Odisha and Bihar. This is the biggest festival of the year in these states. Exquisitely crafted and decorated life-size clay idols of the Goddess Durga depicting her slaying the demon Mahishasura are set up in temples and other places. These idols are then worshiped for five days and immersed in the river on the fifth day.

Western India

In Western India, particularly in the state of Gujarat and Mumbai, Navaratri is celebrated with the famous Garba and Dandiya-Raas dance. Since the past few years, the Government of Gujarat has been organising the “Navaratri Festival Celebrations” on a regular basis for the nine days of Navaratri Festival in Gujarat. People from all over Gujarat and even abroad come to participate in the nine days celebrations. It is also popular throughout India and among Indian communities around the world including the UK, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and USA.B_Id_425976_Garba_

In the temples of Goa, on the first day of the seventh month of the Hindu calendar Ashwin, in some temples, a copper pitcher is installed surrounded by clay in which nine varieties of food grains are sown inside the sanctum sanctuary of the temple. All the nine nights are celebrated by presenting devotional songs, and through religious discourses. Later in the night the idol of the goddess is put in a specially-decorated colorful swing and for nine nights, this swing is being swung to the tune of temple music (called as ranavadya) by devotees who throng in large numbers to participate in the festival.

South India

In South India, people set up steps and place idols on them. This is known as golu. Photos of typical golu displayed in Tamil Nadu style can be found here.

In Karnataka, Ayudha Puja, the ninth day of Mysore Dasara, is celebrated with the worship of implements used in daily life such as computers, books, vehicles, or kitchen tools. The effort to see the divine in the tools and objects one uses in daily life is central to this celebration, so it includes all tools that help one earn one’s livelihood. Knowledge workers go for books, pen or computers, farmers go for the plough and other agricultural tools, machinery for industrialists and cars/buses/trucks for the transportation workers—all are decorated with flowers and worshiped on this day invoking God’s blessing for success in coming years. It is believed that any new venture such as starting of business or purchasing of new household items on this day is bound to bring success and prosperity.

Mysore is well known for the festivities that take place during the period of Dasara, the state festival of Karnataka. The Dasara festivities, which are celebrated over a ten-day period, made official festival of the state by Raja Wodeyar I in 1610. On the ninth day of Dasara, called Mahanavami, the royal sword is worshipped and is taken on a procession of decorated elephants, camels and horses. On the tenth day, called Vijayadashami, the traditional Dasara procession (locally known as Jumboo Savari) is held on the streets of Mysore. An image of the Goddess Chamundeshwari is placed on a golden howdah on the back of a decorated elephant and taken on a procession, accompanied by tableaux, dance groups, music bands, decorated elephants, horses and camels.[5] The procession starts from the Mysore Palace and culminates at a place called Bannimantapa, where the banni tree (Prosopis spicigera) is worshipped. The Dasara festivities culminate on the night of Vijayadashami with a torchlight parade, known locally as Panjina Kavayatthu.

In Kerala and some parts of Karnataka, Ashtami, Navami, and Vijaya Dashami of Sharad Navarathri are celebrated as Sarasvati Puja in which books are worshiped. The books are placed for Puja on the Ashtami day in their own houses, traditional nursery schools, or in temples. On Vijaya Dashami day, the books are ceremoniously taken out for reading and writing after worshiping Sarasvati. Vijaya Dashami day is considered auspicious for initiating the children into writing and reading, which is called Vidyarambham. Tens of thousands of children are initiated into the world of letters on this day in Kerala.

In Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, people c2elebrate Bathukamma festival over a period of nine days. It is a kind of Navaratri celebration. Here Navaratri is divided into sets of three days to adore three different aspects of the supreme goddess or goddesses.

First three days: The goddess is separated a spiritual force called Durga also known as Kali in order to destroy all our evil and grant boons.

Second three days: The Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees inexhaustible wealth, as she is the goddess of wealth.

Last three days: The final set of three days is spent in worshiping the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. In order to have all-round success in life, believers seek the blessings of all three aspects of the divine femininity, hence the nine nights of worship. During the eighth or ninth day, Kanya Puja, pre-pubescent girls are ceremonially worshipped. On the 10th day, the effigy of Ravana is burnt

In some parts of South India, Saraswati puja is performed on the 9th day. Ayudha Puja is conducted in many parts of South India on the Mahanavami (Ninth) day with much fanfare. Weapons, agricultural implements, all kinds of tools, equipment, machinery and automobiles are decorated and worshipped on this day along with the worship of Goddess. The work starts afresh from the next day, i.e. the 10th day which is celebrated as ‘Vijaya Dashami’. Many teachers/schools in south India start teaching Kindergarten children from that day onwards.

During Navaratri, some devotees of Durga observe a fast and prayers are offered for the protection of health and prosperity. Devotees avoid meat, alcoholic drinks, grains, wheat and onion during this fast. Grains are usually avoided since it is believed that during the period of Navaratri and seasonal change, grains attract and absorb lots of negative energies from the surrounding and therefore there is a need to avoid eating anything which is produced from grains for the purification of Navaratri to be successful. Navaratri is also a period of introspection and purification, and is traditionally an auspicious and religious time for starting new ventures.

A Pious Trip to North Indian Sikh Shrines with Shikhar Travels

India is a melting pot of a host of cultures and religions, and Sikhism is one of the most notable of them all. North Indian regions of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, among others are dotted with loads of popular Sikh Shrines, popularly known as Gurudwaras. These are popular worldwide for their philanthropic and harmonical virtues, and absorbing “Shabad Kirtans” that will take you to the worlds of enormous tranquillity.

Shikhar Travels, in its Gurudwara Darshan tour package, takes you to all the renowned Gurudwaras of the North India. Gurudwaras covered in our package are:

1. Hemkund Sahib: Regarded as the World’s Highest Gurudwara, Hemkund Sahib is perched on the banks of the glacial lake Hemkund. This highly revered shrine marks the place where the 10th and the last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, unified with God after prolonged meditation. This scenic shrine is encircled by seven snow-capped peaks and their associated glaciers. Streams from Sapt Rishi peaks and Haathi Parvat feeds the Hemkund lake and a small stream Himganga flows out of this.

2. Ponta Sahib: Situated at the banks of river Yamuna, Ponta Sahib is also related to the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, who lived here. It is said that he achieved a great victory over 2 hill country-kingdom at Bhangani, a place 23 kms away from the Gurudwara.

3. Anandpur Sahib: Ranked as one of the important places in Sikh religion, Gurudwara Anandpur Sahib was founded by the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, back in the year 1664. It was the place where the Khalsa sect was born under the leadership of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Gurudwara Sri Sis Ganj, the place where severed head of Gurur Teg Bahadur was cremated, and Gurudwara Kesgarh Sahib, where five brave followers of Guru Gobind Singh Ji offered their heads – are the places that would interest you.

4. Amritsar: Home to the immensely popular Golden Temple, Amritsar is the most important city for the Sikh community. The city stands as an emblem for the economic prosperity and widespread felicity in Punjab. Also known as Harmandir Sahib, the temple is built at the center of a “holy sarovar”.

5. Nanakmatta: A place of extreme religious interests for Sikhs, Nanakmatta is situated on the Khatima-Tanakpur Road. It is believed that the founder of Sikhism and the first Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, visited this place during his visit to Kailash Parvat in 1515 A.D.

For more info, visit: http://www.shikhar.com/package.asp?PackID=103

A Trip to Ravishing Rajasthan

Rajasthan is the land of imperial living, opulent cultural heritage, commendable hospitality, picturesque sand dunes, and delectable recipes. It’s the largest state of India popular worldwide for its vivid tourist attractions and cultural sites. It ranks amongst the league of those places where you can actually bask in the lives that the kings and priced used to have in earlier times. The state is studded with a variety of eye-catching tourist spots, which include sumptuous forts and palaces,highly-revered temples, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, mountain ranges, just to name a few.

Be it the tranquility of the Thar Desert, or magnificent lakes of Udaipur, or invincible forts of Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, everything about Rajasthan is incredible. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that your trip to India would be incomplete if you wouldn’t visit Rajasthan. Well, let’s take you through some of the must-visit places of this remarkable north-western state of India.

Jaipur: Popularly named as the Pink City of India, Jaipur has a host of scenic buildings and cultural spots to dish out to you. Among all its forts and castles, Amber Fort is arguably the grandest of all. Its rugged forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate refinement. Other attractions of Jaipur include the princely Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, the City Palace, and the list goes on and on.

Udaipur: The jewel in the crown of this City of Lakes is its majestic City Palace. The magnificent palace started by Maharana Udai Singh II and completed in a long time lag is the largest palace complex of Rajasthan. Built in glittering granite and marble it majestically towers high on the Pichola Lake. Another notable tourist spot in Udaipur is Fatehsagar Lake. This artificial lake was built in 1678 by Maharana Jai Singh. After heavy rains destroyed it the reconstruction took place under the guidance of Maharana Fateh Singh.

Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary: Nestled in the district of Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for tigers. Perhaps, this is one of those few places across the globe where you can see the big cats playing in the wild. This is one of the finest tiger reserves in the country Park’s abandoned fortress,lakes and above all it’s `friendly’ tigers have made it one of the most filmed wildlife reserves in the world.

Rajasthan is unarguably the vacationer’s paradise. If you’re planning a visit to this wonderful place then just pack your bag and leave the travel related concerns to us. With all the expertise and proficiency in destination management and tourism, we’ll make your sojourn at Rajathan an unforgettable one.

Visit us at: http://www.shikhar.com/


A Trekking Trip to South India

South India has long been regarded as the backbone of Indian tourism industry with a slew of landscaping splendors that the backpackers worldwide cherish enormously. The renowned tourist sites in South India are studded with opulent cultural heritage sites, scintillating sightseeing spots, tranquil environs, and everything that vacationers would find engaging and absorbing.

Further, if you’re a die-hard adventure sports and trekking fan then a visit to South India is the place for you. The region is dotted with a raft of challenging mountain and river treks where you can let loose and enjoy the daunting mountainous terrains and riverside tracks. If you don’t have a clue about the trekking spots in South India, then let’s give you a glimpse of some of the hugely popular trekking spots herein.

Cavery River Trek: Originated in the Western Ghats, Cavery is the second-most revered Indian river after the Ganges. The trek follows the river when it enters the most exciting part of its 760-long journey in the state of Karnataka. The trek runs through nerve-chilling valleys, dense forests, and ravines. You’d also have the opportunity of getting vis-a-vis with the wildlife during the course of the trek.

Coorg Trek: Coorg is a charm and serene hill station situated in the lap of picturesque peninsular region of South India. The well laid coffee and spice plantations in Coorg has earned it a distinction of the Spice country. You’d experience the aroma of coffee and spice plantation throughout the Coorg trek. A perfect destination for the trekking enthusiasts who love a ride through lush green hilly expanse having a rendezvous with nature.

Kanoor Fort Trek: The state of Karnataka abounds in pristine natural beauty, rich floran and fauna, and a bevy of thrilling trekking routes. Nandi Hills, Biligirirangana Hills, Kudremukh, Kemman Gundi and Mercara are the popular hills on the Western Ghats that present the trekkers from all parts of the globe a great trekking delight.

 

Wildlife Safari in Central India — An Experience worth your Diary Entry

Just imagine yourself attired in Khaki clothing, wearing pith helmets and belted bush jackets, sitting in an open Gypsy cruising through a rugged lane formed in a dense forest? A forest where you have the opportunity to click a tiger in camouflage waiting to pounce on its unwary target. Or a beautiful lake surrounded by lavish green forests where animals of all kinds, from elephants and rhino, to small birds and swift deer’s, come to quench their thirst. A mere imagination of such a situation has the potential to fill your nerves with immense thrill and adventure. And all this can be turned into a tangible reality with a wildlife safari in Central.

One of the widely cherished wildlife spots in Central India that registers substantial footfall every year is Bandhavgarh National Park. Situated in the Sahdol district of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh is known for a dense population of big cats, especially the Royal Bengal Tiger and leopards. Nestled in Vindhyan Mountains, this scenic park is covered with reeds and marshes. In addition to tiger, in Bandhavgarh you’ll also come across several other intriguing wild animals, like Chital, Dhole, Nilgai, Sloth Bear, Hyena, Langur, Rhesus, Monkey, Chinkara, Porcupine, just to name a few.

Another gem in the crown of Indian wildlife is Kanha National Park. Situated along the borders of Balaghat and Mandla districts of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha is hailed as the most natural habitat for wild beings. Lush sal and bamboo forest, picturesque ravines, flanked with green meadows served as an inspiration to Rudyard Kipling’s epic literary work ‘Jungle Book’. The Park is popular for the Royal Bengal Tiger and Swamp Deer. Some strict conservation policies and concerted efforts have made the place rank amongst the most well-maintained parks in Asia.

Both these places treasure incredibly large varieties of the world’s rarest species of flora and fauna, making them the perfect destinations for an outing with family and friends. Exploring these parks wouldn’t take even an effort more than letting us know about your touring plans. So get set for a adventurous wildlife safari with Shikhar Travels. Cheers……….

Check the link to know more: http://www.shikhar.com/category.asp?CatID=18

South India Temple excursion – an enchanting experience for lifetime

Owing to the spellbinding natural beauty and picturesque architectural and cultural marvels, the peninsular region of South India has been grabbing eyeballs of tourists since ages. Bordered by seas and ocean on three sides, South India is home to some of the most scenic beaches in the world. Aromas of spices and coffee plantation, exhilarating wildlife sanctuaries, pristine backwater beauty, are unarguably the hallmarks of the majestic South Indian peninsular region. But, above them all, the entities that distinguish the region from the rest of the world are its splendid temples and sumptuous cultural sites. For those who have religiously oriented and have an eagerness to explore traditional Indian architectural styles and culture, Temple Tour of South India has lot to offer to them.

Southern region of the country is dotted with myriad of exquisite temples which are popular world-over for their architectural grandeur and festivities. Whether it’s in terms of reverence, or architectural glory, temples of South India ranks among the best across the globe. While the hallowed land is filled with plethora of temples and shrines, there are some that should be enlisted in your itineraries to South India. These must-visit temples include:

Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram: Overlooking the Bay of Bengal, Shore Temple has been the prime attraction for tourists. Listed in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, it’s a structural splendour built way back in 8th century. The temple includes an assortment of three shrines, two dedicated to Lord Shiva and one to Lord Vishnu.

The Five Rathas in Mahabalipuram: The Five Rathas is actually a collection of five monolithic temples, each built in a distinct style. It’s also knows as Panch Pandavas Rathas – and four out of the five temples are supposed to have been carved out of the same rock.

Meenakshi Temple in Madurai: Erected almost around 2000 years ago, Meenakshi Temple epitomizes the Dravidian architecture and art. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is known as Sundareswara or Beautiful Lord, and to his consort, Parvathi, also known as Meenakshi. It contains as many as 14 wonderful Gopurams, or towers, including two Gopurams for the main deities.

Kapleshwar Temple in Chennai: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kapleshwar Temple stands among the masterpieces of Dravidian architectural style. It also houses sixty three Saivite saint idols impeccably carved in Bronze. Constructed way back in the 8th century, it attracts thousands of pilgrimages and sannadhis every year.

Sri Parthsarthy Temple in Chennai: Located at Triplicane, Chennai, Sri Parthsarthy Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. In fact, it is one among the 108 divyadesams, or holy abodes of Lord Vishnu. Built by the Pallavan king Narasimhvarman I in the 8th century, the temple houses idols of four of Lord Vishnu’s ten avatars.

Brihadeeshwar Temple: Situated at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, Brihadeeshwar Temple is the world’s first complete granite temple. Listed in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites as a part of “Great Living Chola Temples”, it exemplifies the great heights achieved by Cholas in architectural skills and capabilities. It stands as the one of the India’s most-prized historical site.

The temples of South India has long been venerated by architecture mavens as well as devotees around the world. They portray the most prosperous period of Hindu Dynasties and religion. Shikhar Travels offers you the opportunity to be vis-a-vis with these magnificent temples and experience the Indian culture to its best.

 

Experience Galore with North India Cultural Expedition

Are you yearning for an excursion that can offer you the rare blend of lush greenery and cultural heritage sightseeing? If so, then just pack your bags and get geared to explore the culturally and ecologically opulent land of North India. It has all the ingredients to sweep you off your feet, and add great memorable moments to your souvenirs. While the entire region is simply filled with a number of imposing tourist attractions, there are some that shouldn’t be missed when you’re touring this wonderful part of the world. These are:

Ladakh: Popularly dubbed as ‘Little Tibet’ because of its close proximity to the scenic Tibet region, Ladakh ranks in India’s least populated regions. Nestled in the Himalayan ranges, the land has glistening lofty snow-capped peaks and plunging green valleys as its hallmarks. The stark mountain landscape, with its rocky ridges, glassy lakes, is studded with vivid gompas (Buddhist monasteries), palaces, villages, and seasonal plantations.

Agra: Agra is renowned world over for the Taj Mahal – the epitome of love. Thousands of tourists from all across the world flock in Agra every year to have a feel of classic Indian architecture and arts. It’s not just the Taj Mahal, but the city has several other historical places, such as Red Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, among other architectural landmarks that would spellbind you.

Delhi: The capital city of India, Delhi, can be labeled as cultural melting pot where diverse Indian cultures dwell together. It presents a perfect combination of modern and traditional lifestyles. You’ll find a slew of wonderful spots here, ranging from cultural sites like India Gate, Jama Masjid, and Red Fort, to towering malls and other contemporary architectural wonders.

To explore more click below –
http://shikhar.com/category.asp?CatID=13

A Rendezvous with Real Indian Village at Shikhar’s “A Village Retreat”

Our professional front has increasingly been encroaching upon our personal sphere, causing unnecessary stress and other psychological nuisances. In this situation, at times, we wonder if we can spend some quality time with our near and dear ones at some soothing place filled with equanimity and fresh air. When it comes to clean and refreshing environment along with serenity, there’s hardly anything that matches life in an Indian village. In a bid to offer tourists the same, Shikhar Travel proudly brings ‘A Village Retreat’(AVR) in Haryana’s Wazirpur Village for you.

Situated near Gurgaon, this is an ideal location for a village camping trip that offers a wholesome rural experience to backpackers. The Village Resort has been designed specifically to render adventurous experience to tourists. This is pretty much reflected in its accommodation settings as well as the activities that are undertaken at the AVR

Furthermore, its proximity to Gurgaon makes it a perfect destination for corporate conferences, off-sites, and other such activities. Besides, people who seek a break from their tedious professional life will find AVR a place of choice.

Additionally, the resort is perfect for educational tours, as students wouldn’t only have fun and frolic there, but would also have a close look at various aspects of Indian village life. Different adventure activities available in there would further add to the learning experience of students. It is also a magnificent getaway for tourists looking for a peaceful place near Delhi Airport, which is just a 30 minutes’ drive from AVR.

All in all, a marvellous destination for all those who have been wishing to explore and experience Indian village life. We have poured in all the efforts to make your experience as close to the real-world Indian village as possible. So, all you have to do is to hit the place and relish the experience of its own kind.

For details, please visit www.avillageretreat.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.