The city of the supreme god Brahma, spread out around its sacred lake, exudes the heady scent of spirituality that emanates from all leading pilgrimage centres. In October the peaceful town comes alive as pilgrims and camel drivers gather in their thousands for the Pushkar Fair.
In West Bengal and its capital Kolkata, the great festival of Navaratri celebrating the Divine Mother is called Durga-Puja or Durgotsava (Durga Festival). It marks the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. During the festival the city is up all night, decked in lights and embellished with temporary temples vying to, Read More
If there is one imperishable memory to be brought back from a trip to Kerala it is the fascinating Aranmula regatta. The snake-boats glide gracefully and majestically along the River Pampa and the hypnotic chanting of the oarsmen will echo in your mind like a happy refrain long after the race is over.
Onam is Kerala’s biggest festival. It falls in the Hindu month of Chingam (August-September) and marks the return to Earth of the legendary king Mahabali. It is the occasion for colourful festivities that spotlight all that’s best in Kerala culture. Although the origin of the festival lies in Hindu mythology, Onam is celebrated with, Read More
Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, is not the most popular city of the state. Travelers usually prefer the mystic Varanasi or Agra and its famous Taj Mahal. Yet, what a wonderful surprise! Lucknow amazes us with the splendor and refinement of its historic buildings. From the 18th to the 19th century, it was, Read More
Buddhism has more than 300 million followers around the world, which makes it the 4th religion (or philosophy) after Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. The history of Buddhism begins around the 5th century BC, when Siddharta Gautama, prince of the Shakya kingdom, got enlightened under a ficus tree. Siddharta Gautama then became the ‘Buddha Samyaksam’ or, Read More
At the age of 29, Siddharta Gautama, Prince of Kapilavastu, abandoned his material and worldly life to find the truth of existence. He went as a wandering hermit and in Bodhgaya, under a ficus tree, Siddharta Gautama became the ‘Buddha’, ‘the one who is awake’. Buddhism, or the philosophy of the middle way, thus, Read More
On 17th March 1959, Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama fled Tibet following the Chinese invasion and took refuge in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, where he established the Tibetan government in exile. McLeod Ganj or ‘Upper Dharamshala’ located 10km above Dharamshala became the official residence of the Dalai Lama and the haven of thousands of, Read More
Kinnaur is like a precious and rare little treasure consisting of majestic mountain ranges, orchards, undulating hills and verdant valleys, temples-towers and picturesque hamlets with glittering slate tiles. The valley is lying in the south eastern corner of Himachal Pradesh and borders Tibet to the east. Trekkers and lovers of untouched landscapes will find there a, Read More
Who could fail to fall for Srinagar, summer capital of Kashmir? The meandering, lotus-dotted lakes and the houseboats with their surprising air of Old England will immerse you in an irresistibly romantic mood while the Mughal gardens, fragrant with rose and magnolia, induce a more contemplative frame of mind. While you sip a delicious cardamom, Read More
Leh, capital of Ladakh, reveals a very different side of Jammu & Kashmir. Here verdant meadows give way to grandiose mountains whose bare austerity is broken only by white-clad monasteries. The air is bracing and the faces make one think of nearby Tibet.
Bikaner is a place apart. It is not yet touristy but it holds some wonderful surprises. The magnificent fort should make the one in Jodhpur green with envy and the old town is like an oriental tale that envelops you in a whirlwind of colours and fragrances.
Gangaur is a colourful women’s festival that is mainly celebrated in Rajasthan. It starts in spring and lasts up to 16 days in some part of Rajasthan. It is the celebration of marital happiness. In Udaipur it coincides with the Merwar Festival.
Rajasthan’s bustling capital, designed according to Vedic concepts, has a lot to offer. From the “palace of winds” to the “floating palace”, the pink city has no close rival except neighbouring Amber, the Jaipur Maharajas’ previous capital.
Located 260 km from the capital Raipur, Bastar is the tribal region of Chhattisgarh.The adventurous travelers in search of change of scenery and authenticity will find there what they are looking for. Ancestral temples, dense forests, natural caves and exuberant tribal festivities will leave you with some unforgettable memories.
Vrindavan, on the Yamuna river, is an important pilgrimage centre. Over 500,000 Hindu worshippers come to Vrindavan each year. They come to bathe in the atmosphere of the place and dance to the rhythm of the dark-faced Lord Krishna. It is said he spent part of his childhood here.
Barsana is a peaceful small town and an important pilgrimage centre for Hindus. It seems still to resonate with the divine love between Radha and Lord Krishna. The “temple of the beloved”, built like a Rajput palace, stands majestically on Bhanugarh hill. Absolutely not to be missed if you visit Mathura and Vrindavan.
Siddhpur “the pious” is a surprising town, on the banks of the Saraswati river. Its sacred atmosphere is rather reminiscent of Varanasi while the mansions of the Bohra merchants immerse you in the totally different atmosphere of Victorian era.
Tattooing and camel races, moustache contests, moonlight concerts among the dunes: for three days in January-February Jaisalmer, golden city of the desert, becomes a colourful showcase of Rajasthan folk culture exuding good humour and a friendly atmosphere.
Jaisalmer is a diadem of gold and sand set gracefully down in the arid wastes of the Thar desert. The beauty of this honey-coloured city is matched only by the luminous desert all around it, where camel caravans laden with precious goods once tramped across the dunes.