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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.

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

Goa —- A complete package for vacationers

When it’s about assorting with friends on any event, we simply want to make it as big and vibrant as it can be. The most important thing in all this is the place where you’re planning your sojourn, and there’s hardly any place in India that parallels the ecstasy Goa has to dish out to you.

Goa is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in India. This tiny emerald land, lying at the western coast of India, is popular worldwide for its festivities, culture, lovely beaches, and hospitality. Goa is studded with a host of architectural beauties and natural wonders, ranging from scenic buildings, churches, sun-kissed sea sides, azure waters, among others. You’ll surely fall in love with the spicy treats and the party spirits of this happening place.

Though it’s one of the smallest states in India, still you’d need days to experience and cherish true essence of Goa’s beauty. It’s not just about cool sea breezes and a majestic coastline, the state has bevy of old churches and other architectural splendors. It also has some highly-revered temples, along with other classical buildings built in characteristic Goan style architecture.

Goa is popular world-over for its beach trance parties, especially on the Anjuna beach. The beach is a major attraction for vacationers not just because of its parties, but also because of the flea market it hosts once in a week. Another major attraction near to the Anjuna beach is the magnificent Albuquerque Mansion. Built back in 1920, the Mansion is flanked by a beautiful roof and octagonal towers.

You can also take a lounge on other popular beaches, like Calangute Beach, Dona Paula Beach, Baga Beach, among others. There you can enjoy a variety of fun and water sport activities, such as water skiing, surfing, wind surfing, fishing and sailing, scuba diving, dinghy sailing, jet skiing, etc. So, what are you waiting for, just pack your travel-kit and call your friends to take on all the fun and frolic Goa has to offer, and pass on all your journey related onus to us at Shikhar.

Check the link for more details:  http://shikhar.com/GoaTravelPack/destinations/goa.html

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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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.

Wishing to Explore Manali, Here are Some Tips to Enjoy the Best of it

The mesmerizing curvaceous valley of Manali has offered real visual treat to vacationist since ages. It has lofty Himalayan peaks capped with glossy snow covers in winter, picturesque landscapes, charming valley wrapped with colorful vegetation and meadows of flowers filling up the valley with their captivating fragrance, and much more. Manali is a complete tourist destination for the backpackers seeking to bask in the calmness and serenity of a hill station. No wonder, Kullu and Manali has been attracting thousands of tourists from all parts of the world every year. Regarded as the “Switzerland of India”, Manali boasts of some of the most cherishing scenic beauties, coupled with thrilling option of adventure sports and trekking. If you’re yet to explore this enthralling tourist spot in India, give Shikhar Travels the opportunity to make your stay there an immensely cozy and memorable experience.

However, touring these highly enigmatic hilly regions of Himalaya has never been a cake walk. You have to keep various things in mind in order to ensure safe and exciting touring for you and your family. There are a number of important precautions you ought to take before visiting places like Manali. Of all, physical fitness comes at the top. An excursion to hill places could turn into a nightmare if your body isn’t in a good state, especially if you plan to undertake adventure sports activities offered in Manali. These activities require sound physical and mental being. Along with the physical fitness, the route map you’d follow on these hilly terrains is also vital. However, this isn’t a big issue if you have a credible touring partner at your service.

Now let’s move on to the things you need to have in your rucksack. Always carry a fully-equipped first aid kit, which should have some basic medicines, bandages, antiseptic, among other necessities. Further, it’s always good to have a handy map of the place you’re visiting. It actually gives you an idea of the landscapes you’d get to see during your traveling course. Above all, just be prepared to get familiar with new cultures and lifestyles. There are several unexplored cultures nestling in the lap of Himalayan region and you’ll surely enjoy exploring them. In addition to being a hill station, Manali also has several religious spots. You can imagine the kind of mental composure and calmness you’d attain in performing meditation there. All in all, you’ll find Manali a wholesome destination!
For details, please visit http://shikhar.com/default.asp

Seeking Adventure Sites in India – Count On Shikhar Travels

India has long been regarded as ‘The Land of Saints’ and people from all parts of the world throng here to attain mental solace and composure. Conceivably, expeditions to India have largely been religious in nature. However, there is a serious shift in this ever since cutting-edge technologies in the travel space have come to the fore. Today, India has become a highly sought-after destination for adventure activities. Whether it is a rafting trip through the picturesque Zanskar river gorge challenging the daunting grade III-IV rapids, or a trekking expedition to Ladakh, or a Himalayan Safari, India has a whole lot to offer to fulfill your appetite for adventure sports. Shikhar Travels is all-equipped to take you through these thrilling adventure-rides in India. We have experts for these electrifying activities who ensure a safe yet immensely exciting excursion for you.

Adventure activities in India aren’t confined solely to rafting, trekking, or Himalayan safari trips. Besides, the list goes on and on with a number of appealing entries, including Mountain Biking Tour from the curving valleys of Manali to Leh, Festive Tours, Camel Safari in Thar, keep pooling in. We also conduct mystique adventure tours to some of India’s exclusive places like havelis and forts in Rajasthan, Temples of Khajuraho, as well as holy cities of Varanasi and Allahabad. This isn’t just it, as people wishing for an exciting jungle safari would also find India a destination of choice.

We’ll take you closer to some of the world’s rarest and eye-catching creatures. Our, Valley of Flower, as well as Nandadevi and Bandhavgarh wildlife sanctuary treks would give you a chance to come across the world’s most fascinating flora and fauna. However, we also offer special interest tours for people seeking something new to spice up their life. An engrossing trip to Madhubani Paintings, Sailing Down the Water of Ganges, and Romance of Steam Loco are some of the key features of our special interest tour package.

If you are looking ahead to an excursion in India in the coming holidays you can always count on us. We vow to offer you a full array of adventure activities in India and be there for you for all your sojourn needs.

For details, please visit http://shikhar.com/category.asp?CatID=12

Usher In An Ecstatic Change In your Lifestyle; Come Join Shikhar Yoga Tour

When it comes to jotting down a list of things that India has given to the modern world, the vast list would range from religious sites and rich culture, to entertaining Bollywood flicks and software applications. However, Yoga has surpassed them all to become the India’s most selling brand of late. Shikhar Travels tenders you the opportunity to explore this age-old mental and physical healing technique from India through its specifically-designed Yoga tour.

The word Yoga is derived from a Sanskrit word “Yuj”, which means to integrate or unite. Yoga is an ancient Indian science that involves specialized breathing techniques, coupled with physical exercises, that help individuals achieve mental and physical well-being. The principal idea behind Yoga is to fill body with abundant energy and prevent decay of tissues. Not only this, as Yoga is also practiced to release negative energies and pessimism. There’s absolutely no wonder that many people across the globe are relying on Yoga techniques to keep their mind and body in a healthy state. In this highly-stressed and programmed world, Yoga serves as a savior for many.

India has gradually become the hub where people from all parts of the world come to learn Yoga. However, it’s perhaps difficult to find one suitable place where you can learn the right Yoga techniques and asanas in a vast country like India. Pass on the onus to us, as Shikhar Travels has designed its Yoga tour package to address the same need. In this package, we take you to a popular Delhi-based Yoga centre where you’d find almost everything you ever needed to learn about Yoga. So come rejuvenate your otherwise stressed lifestyle with a soothing Yoga tour with us and bring in the all important change to your life.

For details, please visit http://thedelhitours.com/yoga_tour.php?id=11


Shikhar Eco-Foundation – Championing Eco-Tourism In India

While there is incessant buzz over the probable impacts global warming could have on our planet Earth, environmental experts and advocates from across the globe have been pouring concerted efforts to take control of the situation. Environmentalists are busy devising ways to help people ‘go green’ in almost every aspect of their life. And tourism industry is no exception to this at all. Keeping this in mind the concept of Ecological Tourism, or simply Eco-Tourism, was brought in a few years back. Despite its immense utility, Eco-tourism is still into its nascent stages and only a few travel companies across the world have employed it as of now. Shikhar Travels takes the pride in being one of the forerunners who have championed the cause of Eco-tourism in India.

Eco-tourism, as the term itself suggests, includes implementing tourism practices that can help in preserving environment and natural luxuries, as well as fostering cultural integrity of the indigenous people. The International Eco-tourism Society has defined some guidelines that tourists need to follow in order to ensure maximum touring pleasure while causing no or minimal adverse impacts to the place they are visiting. Catching on the same, Shikhar Group of Companies has launched Shikhar Eco-Foundation. The first project of the Eco-Foundation is based in Agoda village of Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand, on the picturesque Dodital trek trail. We have already forged partnerships with the Uttarakhand Forest Ministry and Dodital Eco Vikas Samiti to carry out eco-friendly tourism activities in the region. As a part of our Eco-tourism drive, we have already conducted a two-day program for “Lodge Owners and Trekking Guides” in August 2010, in which we imparted training on ways to keep the Dodital trek clean and green. We issued guidelines to help the lodge owners develop eco-friendly lodges as well as planting saplings in their surroundings.

We owe to the community where we work, and this is very much evident in our efforts. In addition to preserving flora and fauna, providing employment opportunities to the natives and tendering due respect to the local cultures also feature at the top in Shikhar Eco-Foundation’s priority-list. Furthermore, we also encourage the use of alternate fuels in place of wood to save the purity of the environment. Not only this, Shikhar Eco-Foundation is also promoting the use of solar energy for electricity generation, which is by far less polluting and highly economical than its thermal counterpart.

It’s high time you should start playing a proactive role in promoting the going green drive. Come explore the pristine and natural sites in India while serving the humanity with Shikhar Eco-Foundation.

For more, please visit www.shikhar.com