Tag Archives: Travel to India

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.

Kochi First City in India to Become World Tourism Cities Federation Member

Kochi has become the first city in India to be a member of Beijing-headquartered World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Council, with the Kerala Tourism Department accepting the Council’s invitation to join its league of leading tourism cities across the world.

Kerala Tour packages

Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany handed over the membership acceptance document to Chinese Ambassador to India Le Yucheng at a function here today in the presence of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson, Kerala Tourism Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao and Tourism Director P I Sheik Pareeth.

State Principal Secretary for IT and Industries P H Kurian and Former Secretary T Balakrishnan also attended the function.

The Roman Catholic Basilica of Santa Cruz Cochin

Speaking on the occasion, Yucheng said the two regions need to explore the possibilities for partnerships in culture, sports and tourism as there are many striking similarities between their cultures, like the cuisine, martial arts and snake and dragon boat races.

The Chinese Ambassador also expressed interest in bringing investment from China to Kerala’s tourism sector, especially for construction of an entertainment city and an oceanarium.

Cochin tourist places

He urged the government to convene a meeting of tour operators of both countries while agreeing to support Kerala’s efforts to increase inflow of Chinese tourists to the state. He also responded positively to Kerala’s request to facilitate chartered flights from China to the state.

Chandy said the state government would send a detailed proposal to Beijing on various investment possibilities in Kerala, including in the tourism sector.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

5 Things You Must Try When Travelling in India

India’s palette has a lot to offer. Many interesting sounds, smells and sights come along the road you travel here. While you see the best of India don’t miss out on the best of experiences you can get at bare minimal prices. We bring to you the FIVE must try outs when travelling in India. This is not a ‘travel guide’ or ‘tips to travel’ blog, these are just few things you shouldn’t be missing out on. To live and feel like the locals try some of these desi things every Indian does almost as part of their daily routine. No matter where you are in India or which road you are travelling, you can try your hands on these things very easily.

Paan Corner in India
1. Eat a Paan – Paan has been a favorite mouth freshener available at the local Paanwaala shops located around every corner or street in India. It’s a burst of flavours wrapped in an edible betel leaf. Oozing liquid fills up your mouth leaving your tongue red and longing for more. Paan has been a part of Indian tradition and customs since time immemorial with many famous variations of it. But today’s Paan has been experimented with many ingredients to give it a modern twist. Fused with strawberry, chocolate, crushed ice, mint and other relishing ingredients has changed the way Paan is eaten today. To avoid any health issues try it at a known or branded shop like Panchayat and Prince Paan in Delhi . ‘Meetha(sweet) Paan is our recommendation if this is your first time.

wedding in India

2. Attend an Indian Wedding – Weddings in India are not less than a circus or a Bollywood movie. There is dance, drama, emotions, lights, camera and action. We love all this and so will you. Go ahead and ask a local friend or your agent to help you get an upclose experience of an Indian wedding. We are sure you will enjoy it thoroughly. Two things to look out for in an Indian wedding are crazy dancers on the dance floor doing the funny ‘cobra dance’ and some mischievous kids in the wedding trying to hide or find the groom’s shoes (an Indian tradition). Rest of the fervor comes along.

barber shops in India
3. Visit the local Barber – Just like our street food and paanwaalas, our barbers have hundreds of tiny outlets which are simply dirt cheap. A visit to the local non-branded shop/barber is an unusual and thrilling experience of all. Barbers in India can be found sitting under a tree with just a table, a mirror and some simple instruments that they carry back home every evening. The mirror and the chair is left on the road tied up without any guarantee of finding it there the next day. We recommend you to get a the special head massage done, and if you want a shave too, try to carry your own blade/ razor to avoid any infections.

panipuri stall
4. Relish over Golgappas – The ever favourite ‘Dilli (delhi) ka golgappa’; Mumbai ki paanipuri or Kolkata’s puckas. So many names for this one bursting bomb found in every market or street. So in the evening if you see a small stall swarmed by a group of ladies saying out ‘Bhaiya ek aur de do’ (brother give one more) that’s the stall with the yummiest ‘Golgappa’ of the town. There is no end to the street foods of India so we can’t list all of them but this is ‘IT’. If you have a weak stomach please visit the branded ‘Chat Corners or restaurants’ and if you are really desi at heart you have to go to Old Delhi or Mumbai’s Chowpati because there is lot’s more to explore..

Rickshaw ride in old Delhi
Rickshaw ride in old Delhi

5. Tricycle Ride – ‘Trin trin’ – it’s riding time. A rickshaw is a tricycle used as a local mode of transport in India. A quided rickshaw ride of Old Delhi or the rickshaw pullers of Kolkata are one of the best experience to sink in the frenzy of colors, vivacity and irresistible charm of India. It’s arguably better to explore the city on a rickshaw than on a walking tour as you are much higher so you have a better vision and you will have less chances of being stalled by beggars.

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

Discover the Indian Cultural Heritage with Shikhar Travels Museum Tour

Indian civilization stands in the league of the oldest and the most venerated civilizations across the world. Various architectural sites, sumptuous palaces and forts, highly revered religious places, among others stand testimony to India’s opulent and grand culture. Along with these architectural and artistic grandeurs, Indian museums are the ones that spell out the captivating story of evolution of Indian civilization throughout these ages.

Although these museums are scattered in different cities of the country, Delhi museums are arguably the richest of them all. These could be a good option for those who’ve been looking for spending some quality time with their near and dear ones. If you think this could be a hassle in any way, then just leave it on us. We’ll make it an effortless and memorable journey for you. During the course of this touring you’ll visit following museums:

National Museum : Regarded as the country’s most prominent treasure house, it portrays India’s glorious past in its full gleam. It boasts of valuable collectibles from various ages of the Indian civilization. Its gilded collections contain 5000-year old relics of the Indus Valley civilization, exotic paintings and artworks, old manuscripts and mural paintings from Buddhist shrines in Central Asia. Established on August 15, 1949, the museum showcases antiques and historical memorabilia ranging from sculpture, carvings, paintings, jewelry, manuscripts, arts and crafts.

Rail Museum : Spread in the expanse of around 10 acres of land, this museum depicts the splendid 150-year old history of Indian Railways. There are various models of train, engines and coaches that are unique in the world, unmatched in splendor. It is also home to the model of India’s very first train, a steam engine that made its journey from Mumbai to Thane in 1853. Kids would love the ride of the toy train around this museum.

Doll Museum : It ranks amongst one of the most visited museums in India. Its assortment comprises of a whopping 6,000 types of dolls collected from 85 countries across the world. Each doll is resplendently dressed in costumes that represent the country or the region they come from.

To Explore more click below –
http://thedelhitours.com/museum_tour.php?id=8

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

Shikhar Travels Winter Bonanza – Time for a Memorable Sojourn in India

Planning for an ecstatic touring with friends this fall? How about a trip to Taj, and that too without burning a hole in your wallet? Yes…Shikhar Travels is all set to spice up your winter vacations with a bouquet of exciting offers and touring packages and the foremost of them all is a free trip to the majestic Taj Mahal for Facebook fans.

Shikhar Travels has decided to recognize and reward its Facebook fans with some fascinating tour packages and premium offers. There are hefty discounts, cool promotional offers, early bird discounts, for all those who actively engage with us on our Facebook fan page. Just participate in several exciting games and quiz contests on our Facebook page, and you could stand a chance to win huge discounts of up to 25 percent on domestic tours listed on our website http://www.thedelhitours.com. An enticing offer for all those who have been seeking to explore Indian cities in their full swing, isn’t it?

Not only this, you can also jazz up your New Year’s Eve at our A Village Retreat Resort at Wazirpur Village, Gurgoan . Our Facebook friends can avail heavy discounts of up to 25 percent on group bookings At A Village Retreat Resort around New Years.

If you’re a true vacationist and wishing to discover India in its complete form, then don’t stop, and become our “Fan of the Week” to enjoy even bigger benefits and exclusive discount offers.

“LIKE” the Shikhar’s fanpage today to make the most of this opportunity…
http://www.facebook.com/ShikharTravelsIndia

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.