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Qutub Minar, Delhi, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

I did not know that there was a Qutb complex till I started researching on Delhi UNESCO monuments - many monuments built around Qutub Minar (Victory tower) which was built to commemorate the victory of Islam or precisely to celebrate the victory of Muhammad Ghori over the Rajput king, Prithviraj Chauhan, in 1192 AD, by his then General, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, who is the first ruler of Delhi Sultanate.

The Qutb Minar is inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan, which is an important example of early Afghan architecture. The Qutb Minar built using red sandstone and marble is 72.5 meter high, has five distinct storey’s and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with surrounding buildings and monuments.

Note: Whilst the construction of Qutub Minar was commenced by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, in the end of 12th century - however he could only build the first storey. Many have added to the monument over centuries. It was further enhanced by Aibak's successor and son-in-law Shamsuddin Iltutmish who added three storeys. In 1369, a lightning strike destroyed the top storey and Firoz Shah Tughlaq than ruler had the damaged storey replaced, and added one more storey. In 1505, an earthquake damaged Qutub Minar; it was repaired by Sikander Lodi.

On 1 September 1803, a major earthquake caused serious damage to the Qutub Minar and the then British Governor-General of India , Lord Wellesly authorized Major Robert Smith to carry out the necessary repairs. Repairs were completed by 1828 just that Major Smith exceeded his brief had replaced an Indo-Islamic cupola with and capped the Qutub Minar with a Hindu chattri style cupola. Since it was out of place Governor General Lord Hardinge eventually had it taken down in 1848 and Smith’s Folly can now be found in the outer lawns of the Qutub Complex, where it still lies till date.

Iconic Qutub Minar is surrounded by several historically significant monuments that form the Qutb complex including Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque or the Qutub Mosque, Alai Darwaza,, Iron Pillar - world’s metallurgical curiosity, Tomb of Iltutmish, Tomb of Alauddin Khilji, the Zafar Mahal, the Jahaz Mahal, Sanderson's Sundial, Major Smith's Cupola…

Minaret of Jam built in 1190 is fairly inaccessible and located in Ghor Province of western Afghanistan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Minaret of Jam is made-up of baked bricks and is well-known for its exquisite brick, stucco and glazed tile decoration including calligraphy, geometric patterns, and verses from the Quran. How to reach the Qutub Minar in Delhi India?

(Delhi is one of the longest-serving capitals and one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.)


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Red Fort Complex Lahore Gate, Delhi, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Though named Red Fort as was built using red sandstone it was actually the palace fort of Shahjahanabad, the new capital of the fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan and took almost a decade to build.

Red Fort was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 as part of the Red Fort Complex and it literally represents a culmination or fusion of architectural traditions. The monuments including the namesake - Red Fort thrived with imported ideation technical prowess and craftsmanship a fusion of Islamic, Persian, Timurid and Hindu cultural traditions. The Red Fort Complex has been a stoic witness of it all victories of various Emperors or the theatrical impact of wars over centuries resulting into incessant bloodshed, tyranny, vandalizing, and plundering.

Just as the Red Fort has been a symbol of power since it was built right from the reign of Shah Jahan till date - Lahore (Lahori) Gate or main gate of Red Fort (Lal Quilla) has tremendous significance for all Indians especially on our Independence Day. Every 15 August since 1947 our Prime Ministers have unfurled the Indian tri-colour our National Flag at the Lahore Gate. How to reach the Red Fort Complex in Delhi India?


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Red Fort Complex Diwan-i-Aam, Delhi, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Diwan-i-Am in the Red Fort of Delhi was an open open court for junta (public) - a large hall where the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan ( ruled between 1628 to 1656) met his junta or general public and heard their grievances.

The Diwan-i-Am front hall is open on three sides divided into many square bays by a system of columns which support the engraved arches displaying high aesthetics and excellent craftsmanship. Once the hall had its ceiling and columns painted with gold.

There is a marble dais right below the throne which was used by the erstwhile prime minister or the wazir to receive public petitions. A silver railing separated the junta from the courtiers and a gold railing separated the emperor from the courtiers. How to reach the Red Fort Complex in Delhi India?


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Red Fort Complex Diwan-i-Khaas, Delhi, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Diwan-i-khaas at the Red Fort was constructed in 1648 and the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan received courtiers and state guests only in Diwan-i-khaas.

When you explore Diana-i-khaas you need to visualize the same in its former glory - Its a rectangular central chamber made of white marble and surrounded by arches rising from marble piers inlaid with precious stones and a silver and gold ceiling which has now been restored in wood. [All the valuables have been vandalized and plundered over centuries].

Fast scan a few Mughal paintings of the illustrious Peacock Throne that once stood in this hall towards the east side (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Peacock_Throne)

What you can still find at find Diwan-i-khaas is Amir Khusrow’s famous inscription on the northern and southern walls, over the two corner outer arches ‘Agar firdaus bar ru-ye zamin ast, Hamin ast-o hamin ast-o hamin ast = If there is heaven on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this! How to reach the Red Fort Complex in Delhi India?


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Red Fort Complex Moti Masjid, Delhi, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Moti Masjid also popularly known by the British as the Pearl Mosque was built in 1659 by Aurangzeb a much later addition as a private mosque for his second wife Nawab Bai.

Moti Masjid is a three-domed mosque carved in white marble, with a three-arched screen leading down to the courtyard. How to reach the Red Fort Complex in Delhi India?


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Red Fort Complex Rang Mahal, Delhi, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Rang Mahal in the Red Fort, Delhi, India was one of the zenana palaces and was known as the Imtiaz Mahal during the rule of Shah Jahan. Once the ceiling was intricately designed gilded and elaborate mirror work and the walls had marble relief carvings. Much has been destroyed over centuries but you could enjoy its original grandeur in many ancient paintings. How to reach the Red Fort Complex in Delhi India?


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Humayun Tomb Complex, Delhi, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The tomb of Humayun was a memorial, a stupendous mausoleum commissioned and supervised by his first wife Haji Begum or Empress Bega Begum in 1565 and was completed in 1572 few years after Emperor Human’s death in 1556.

Humayun’s tomb complex is a synonym of Mughal architecture as built on a monumental scale, grandeur of design and garden setting became the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent inspiring many architectural innovations over decades even the Taj Mahal.

Note: The site of Humayun Tomb Complex was chosen on the banks of Yamuna river, due to its proximity to Nizamuddin Dargah, the mausoleum of the celebrated a Sunni Muslim scholar, Sufi saint saint of Delhi, Nizamuddin Auliya, whose vision of the world was marked by a highly evolved sense of religious pluralism and kindness. Nizamuddin Auliya’s residence, Chilla Nizamuddin Auliya lies just north-east of the tomb.

Note: During India’s Partition in August 1947 Humayun’s Tomb complex and the Purana Qila became major refugee camps for Muslims migrating to the newly founded Pakistan and over years caused extensive damage till the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), took on responsibility for its preservation. How to Reach Humayun’s Tomb Complex, Delhi India?


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Humayun Tomb Complex, Iltutmish Tomb, Delhi, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Shams ud-Din Iltutmish, (ruled between 1211–1236) was the third king who ruled the Delhi Sultanate. His tomb was built in 1235 where the main cenotaph is white marble placed on a raised platform in the centre of the chamber. One can see exquisite carvings both at the entrance and the interior walls. Mihrab or the prayer niche is located near the interior west wall.

Note: Iltutmish was sold as a slave when young boy and was later ‘purchased’ around the 1190s, by the Ghurid slave-commander Qutb al-Din Aibak (who himself was a slave to Ghurid Emperor Mu'izz ad-Din). Iltutmish rose to prominence in Aibak's service, and his bravery gained him relief from slavery as Ghurid Emperor Mu'izz ad-Din manumitted him even before his master Aibak was manumitted.

Aibak ruled Ghurid territories after Mu'izz ad-Din's death in 1206, and after Aibak's death, Iltutmish dethroned his successor Aram Shah in 1211, and set up his capital at Delhi. He married a daughter of Aibak and gained control over much of the territory that had been lost after Aibak's death. How to Reach Humayun’s Tomb Complex, Delhi India?


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Humayun Tomb Complex Tomb of Isa Khan, Delhi, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Pashtun (Afghan) noble Isa Khan Niazi was a part of the ruling family and served Sher Shah Suri, founder of the Suri empire. Sher Shah Suri took control of the Mughal empire in 1538 forcing Emperor Humayun out of India.

Notes - Isa Khan's tomb was built during his lifetime (1547-48 AD) and is located near the Humayun's Tomb complex in Delhi which was built later (1562-1571). 

Sher Shah Suri the founder of the Suri Empire, with its capital in Sasaram or modern-day Bihar introduced the currency of rupee. Rupee known as Rūpiya was a silver coin weighing 11.53 grams minted in northern India by first Sher Shah Suri during his short rule between 1540 and 1545 and the same was standardized later by the Mughals. And the silver coin remained in use during the Mughal period, Maratha era as well as in British India. How to Reach Humayun’s Tomb Complex, Delhi India?


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Humayun Tomb Complex, Isa Khan Mosque, Delhi, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Right across from the Isa Khan’s tomb, lies Isa Khan’s Mosque with its mihrabs.

Mihrabs are a relevant part of Islamic culture and mosques as they indicate the direction for prayer and serve through its geometric designs, linear patterns, or calligraphy a religious purpose or focus. Calligraphic notations on the mihrabs are usually from the Quran with the belief - that God's word reaches the people. How to Reach Humayun’s Tomb Complex, Delhi India?


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How to reach the Qutub Minar in Delhi India?

Which is the nearest airport to Qutub Minar?
The nearest nearest airport to Qutub Minar would be the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi which is at a distance of about 13 km.

Which is the nearest nearest railway station to Qutub Minar?
The nearest nearest railway station to Qutub Minar would be the Old Delhi Railway Station or Delhi Junction which is at a distance of about 18 km.

Which is the nearest Metro Station to Qutub Minar?
Qutab Minar Metro Station is just a few stops from HUDA City Centre, Gurgaon part of the Yellow Metro Line of the Delhi Metro that consists of 37 metro stations from Samaypur Badli,Delhi to HUDA City Centre, Gurgaon.

Best time to visit Qutub Minar or Delhi is between November to February.


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How to reach Humayun’s Tomb Complex, Delhi India?

Which is the nearest airport to Humayun Tomb Complex?
The nearest nearest airport to Humayun Tomb Complex would be the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi which is at a distance of about 17 km.

Which is the nearest railway station to Humayun Tomb Complex?
The nearest railway station to Humayun Tomb Complex would be the Nizamuddin Railway Station which is at a distance of about 2.1 km.

Which is the nearest Metro Station to Humayun Tomb Complex?
JLN Stadium on the Violet Metro Line is the nearest Metro Station to Humayun Tomb Complex and is at a distance of 2.4 km from the monuments. Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Metro Station is few stops away from the starting station - Kashmere Gate on the Violet Metro Line.

Best time to visit Humayun Tomb Complex or Delhi is between November to February.


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How to reach the Red Fort Complex in Delhi India?

Lahore Gate painted by Ghulam Ali Khan (1817-55) part of his 31 painting series consisting of views of monuments in and around Delhi. He was the last royal Mughal painter.

Which is the nearest airport to Red Fort Complex?
The nearest nearest airport to Red Fort Complex would be the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi which is at a distance of about 20 km.

Which is the nearest railway station to Red Fort Complex?
The nearest railway station to Red Fort Complex would be the Old Delhi Railway Station or Delhi Junction which is at a distance of about 3 km.

Which is the nearest Metro Station to Red Fort Complex
Chandni Chowk Metro Station on the Yellow line is the nearest Metro Station to Red Fort Complex and is at a distance of about 3 km from the monuments. It is a few stops away from Samaypur Badli, Delhi part of the Yellow Metro Line that operates between Samaypur Badli, Delhi to HUDA City Centre, Gurgaon. 

Best time to visit Red Fort or Delhi is between November to February.


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Matera, Bari, Italy

Matera is popular for its old cave-houses turned into comfortable modern hotels, B&Bs and restaurants. Most tourists explore the famous sassi districts of Matera with its tumbling grey stone facades that are ancient caves - that help understand it's painful history as well as great example of unique atmosphere of the cave-dwellers.


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Sassi di Matera, Bari, Italy

Many churches in Matera are cut into the rock of hillsides and ravines and its well worth your time to visit one or two of these atmospheric ancient places of worship.

The 'Sassi' is a unique landscape and along with other monuments and sections in Matera is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO.


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Seaside village of Polignano a Mare, Bari, Italy

Polignano a Mare is located in the province of Bari is an historic old town perched on limestone cliffs with panoramic terraces overlooking the azure adriatic sea. Polignano a Mare Is known to be one of the most vital ancient settlements in Puglia and is also well-known in the world for cliff diving.


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Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy

Manarola a tiny village on the Cinque Terre coastline that is characterized by its brightly and multi-colored houses resembling an artist’s palette is built on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the Ligurian sea. You must spare time to check the sweeping views of Manorala and other villages when you reach the Church of San Lorenzo, that is in itself stunning both in and out.

Devoid of traffic lights or cars Manarola is hands-down one of Europe’s most photogenic and picturesque villages.

You could opt to walk or ride a shuttle bus to get around Manarola and it is up to you to either spend a day enjoying the cheerful mediterranean colors that spring out of the cliffs, turquoise waters lapping at its shore. Or settle in for a few nights wandering down winding narrow streets, and hiking paths connecting the various fairytale villages offering apart from jaw dropping panoramic views also options to snorkel or kayak.


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Isola di Loreto, Lago d-Iseo, Milan, Lombardy, Italy

The island of Loreto in Lombardy is located in Lake Iseo, north of Montisola, and is a private island. The property was bought by Vincenzo Richeri, captain of vessel in the Royal Navy in 1900. He built a neo - Gothic castle, a garden full of conifers, plus a marina as well as two light towers.


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Night Skyline Procida, Naples Italy

You need to head to Procida (sitting halfway between between Ischia and Naples) described as an idyllic island if you are looking for forts, abbeys, picturesque harbor or smooth beaches and a place that is ideally explored on foot!


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Pitigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Pitigliano with its quintessential rolling hills can be termed as a one of the most unusual and photogenic Tuscan towns with an extraordinary, steep fortress surrounding its commune and Etruscan tombs that are connected by a maze of caves and tunnels which are used to store local wine.

What to see in Pitigliano, would include a 16th century synagogue, Pitigliano Cathedral and the Medici Aqueduct with its Fountain of Seven Taps.


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Portofino a humble fishing village, Genoa, Italy

Though described as a humble fishing village – Portofino with its distinctive half moon harbor on the Italian Riviera is anything but that. One of the most stunning way to reach Portofino is to take a ferry ride. Alternatively a boat ride along its coastline takes you around the treacherous inlets and beaches like Paraggi, Camogli and Lavagna.

To enjoy stunning visuals of Portofino trek up to Church San Giorgio - combining the same with an alfresco lunch may make your visit more memorable.

You can add exploring of the 15th century Castello Brown to your Portofino trip - as it is known for its luscious gardens and magnificent views too.


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Stunning Portofino, Genoa, Italy

Though described as a humble fishing village – Portofino with its distinctive half moon harbor on the Italian Riviera is anything but that. One of the most stunning way to reach Portofino is to take a ferry ride. Alternatively a boat ride along its coastline takes you around the treacherous inlets and beaches like Paraggi, Camogli and Lavagna.

To enjoy stunning visuals of Portofino trek up to Church San Giorgio - combining the same with an alfresco lunch may make your visit more memorable.

You can add exploring of the 15th century Castello Brown to your Portofino trip - as it is known for its luscious gardens and magnificent views too.


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Polignano a Mare, Bari, Italy

Polignano a Mare is located in the province of Bari is an historic old town perched on limestone cliffs with panoramic terraces overlooking the azure adriatic sea. Polignano a Mare Is known to be one of the most vital ancient settlements in Puglia and is also well-known in the world for cliff diving.


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Pietrapertosa, Bari, Italy

Pietrapertosa is literally carved into the bare rock on the side of the mountain at an elevation of 3,500 feet above sea level. Pietrapertosa delivers on its promise of dramatic and picturesque views and engages you with its many ancient ruins especially the 9th century Saracen castle.

Thrill seekers may enjoy trying the highest zip-line in the world as it delivers an unbeatable aerial view of the entire town and dramatic landscape..


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Gubbio Piazza Grande, Umbria, Italy

Charming Gubbio is perfect to explore on foot - strolling down it's cobblestone streets lined with sober and imposing medieval and gothic buildings actually takes us centuries back.

You will be stumped by Gubbio's stunning preservation of its monuments as you wander through its evocative alleys and stairs that evoke textbook Italian dreaming. You most probably would say that Gubbio’s cathedral and the Basilica of St Ubaldo are impressive!



How to reach Gubbio, Umbria? 

The nearest train station to Gubbio is Fossato di Vico. Buses connect Gubbio with the station as it is about 12 miles away. You could also take a bus from Perugia which is about 50 kms away from Gubbio. Gubbio is at a distance of about 124 miles from Rome Fiumicino airport.


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Medieval Ostuni, Bari, Italy

Ostuni’s medieval walled city was built without a plan as its history is peppered with invaders, Greeks, Romans, Lombards, Saracens, Byzantines or Normans and many more - leaving behind monuments and ruins to explore. Ostuni is also a fabulous base to explore many charming Puglia towns like Alberobello and Cisternino.


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Maze of alleyways in Ostuni, Bari, Italy

Turning from the sapphire hued Adriatic Sea and wandering around the White City as Ostuni is often described would lead you through a maze of alleyways and arches leading to white washed houses constructed as tumbling clusters - pretty sight with their bold blue and green wooden doors.

 


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Monte Isola, Milan, Lombardy, Italy

The town of Monte Isola is a green mountain that sits right in the center of Lake Iseo impressing you with its tranquility and its ancient appeal. To get there, you’ll need to drive an hour and a half from Milan, then take a 20-minute ferry ride across the lake from the town of Iseo, but it’s well worth the effort. The sleepy quaint town has many excellent trattorias and lakeside cafés, and the beautiful Madonna della Ceriola chapel built in the 1500s.

Whilst walking to the top of the island or the Madonna della Ceriola Sanctuary do stop and explore the ancient hamlets where the ancient rural traditions still remain intact - such as artistic churches surrounded by small squares or homes made in white and local stone;


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Gubbio Ancient Theatre, Umbria, Italy

Charming Gubbio is the perfect to explore on foot to reach cobblestone streets lined with sober and imposing medieval and gothic buildings. You will be stumped by Gubbio's stunning preservation as you wander through its evocative alleys and stairs that evoke textbook Italian dreaming. You could say that Gubbio’s cathedral and the Basilica of St Ubaldo are impressive!



How to reach Gubbio, Umbria? 

The nearest train station to Gubbio is Fossato di Vico. Buses connect Gubbio with the station as it is about 12 miles away. You could also take a bus from Perugia which is about 50 kms away from Gubbio. Gubbio is at a distance of about 124 miles from Rome Fiumicino airport.


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Maiori, Amalfi Coast, Italy

With a shrouded mystical history Maiori is well known today as it has the longest beach on the Amalfi Coast and much of it has been rebuilt and restored as medieval Maiori was washed away in the floods.

Worth your time in Maiori are the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie that dates back to year 596 and the church of Santa Maria a Mare built in 12th century that hosts a wooden sculpture of the Madonna with Child of the 15th century.

Alternatively you may want to take a boat ride from Mamori to explore the spectacular sea cave called the Grotta di Pandora.

The Grotto Pandora is embellished with fairy outline of stalactites and stalagmites that make a spectacular statement around the emerald waves.

Note - a day trip to Capri from Maiori is possible during summertime as ferry services work only during the summer.


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Minori, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Looks for a scruffier and a genuine short break from Ravello - than head to Minori just 50-60 minutes steep walk from Ravello. With its atmospheric pedestrian shopping streets and noisy traffic jams did you know that Minori as per archaeological findings was the oldest inhabited site on Amalfi Coast? Minori does have spectacular ruins especially the Villa Marittima Romana, one of the most important Roman archaeological sites on the Amalfi coast. Minori has been a pasta powerhouse since centuries and its restaurants are popular haunts on Amalfi Coast itineraries.

 


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La Maddalena, Sardinia

La Maddalena is far cry from its violent past and intriguing history – today it’s a popular town with many legends and ancient fortresses and its beautiful beaches surrounded by a rocky terrain.

What not to miss in La Maddalena: La Maddalena is best experienced as a local so you need just relax and soak in the calm at the Piazza Umberto I erstwhile known as the Piazza Rossa that is surrounded by ancient buildings, cafes, bars and restaurants. Cala Francese and Bassa Trinita are popular beaches for both locals and tourists during weekends and in summers. With just a handful of sights La Maddalena is best explored by foot as all the talked about attractions are within easy reach of each other and located in the main town of La Maddalena.

How to reach La Maddalena?
The only way to reach La Maddalena is by boat or ferry that depart from many locations the nearest being Palau. Try to figure out the rush hours and avoid them for a unflustered or tranquil ride.


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Vertical hikes and Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Positano with its pastel-colored houses that literally tumble down steep is a vertical town and hence means strenuous hike/s and you need to also be prepared for a lot of steps.


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Roam-antique Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Romantic Positano been delivers picture postcards views since centuries - on all fronts be it the framed blue waters and cliffs that plunge into the sea or the the jaw-dropping sunsets that perfectly blend with its pastel colored houses that actually seem to spill down the mountain.


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Picturesque Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Does Positano really look exactly like it does in its picturesque photographs? Short answer is a vehement yes! Positano has a metamorphic effect on people inspiring millions to travel to check out this jewel of the Amalfi Coast in person.

Shoppers actually just traipse-in from any location across the Amalfi coast to just browse though it's pastel-colored cascade of chic boutiques


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Charming Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Positano with its rustic charm and expensive wisteria-draped accommodations is a boat ride away from Capri, Ischia and the Grotta dello Smeraldo.


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Procida, Naples Italy

You need to head to Procida (sitting halfway between between Ischia and Naples) described as an idyllic island if you are looking for forts, abbeys, picturesque harbor or smooth beaches and a place that is ideally explored on foot!


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Ravello, Campania, Italy

Ravello with its jaw-dropping Mediterranean views is an enticing haunt that has captivated millions through centuries. Apart from its monuments from the medieval period and its noble atmosphere Ravello is well known for its opulent villas - the Villa Cimbrone, Villa Rufolo or the Villa La Rondinaia.


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Salo, Lake Garda, Italy

Salo, a quaint town on the banks of Lake Garda has one of the longest promenades that makes it the perfect break to submerge in its natural wonder or spend many afternoons or evenings enjoying aperitifs at the many lakeside cafés.


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Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy

Riomaggiore is the first village and the largest on your Cinque Terre quest. You may hear the bell towers chiming away when you are walking around the very tiny harbor, colorful short buildings. If you are not the hiking type than settle downing cafe or a bar found on Riomaggiore main street.


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San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy

San Gimignano really doles out Tuscan charm as it is surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves, and cypress trees. Recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO San Gimignano is well known for its walled village’s and fifteen medieval towers fame. Most visitors agree whilst walking around its enchanting narrow streets that it feels like one has stepped back into time.


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Saluzzo, Piedmont, Italy

Saluzzo backed by the snow-capped Cottian Alps is a sleepy postcard perfect town in Piedmont with medieval gems like La Castiglia, a 14th century castle, and the Casa Cavassa, a Renaissance palazzo turned into a museum that showcases spectacular gold-leaf paintings and frescoes. It just takes about an hour to drive from Turin to Saluzzo.


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Paestum Ancient Greek Temples, Naples, Italy (4)

Painting by Jules Coignet (1798–1860) - dated 1860 - Paestum Temple in Morning Light. 

Paestum a short train ride away from Salerno or Naples is the erstwhile Greek city of Poseidonia. Its ancient temples of Poseidon, Hera, and Athena are amongst the few best preserved monuments

What not to miss in Paestum? - Foremost, what will stop you in your tracks in absolute awe is - The Temple of Hera II also known as the Temple of Neptune, one of ancient Greek temples in Italy dating its origin to 450 BC; Temple of Athena that is dedicated to the goddess of war, wisdom, and heroism in 500 BC - later used as a church. Plus the Temple of Hera I also dubbed as the Basilica of Hera; Do explore the incredibly well-preserved ancient tomb paintings that have been painted back in 470 B.C; and the ancient roman amphitheater at Paestum;


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Image from Le antichita di Pozzuoli, Baja, e Cuma, by Filippo Morghen (1730 - 1807), published in Napoli, 1769 housed in Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Paestum a short train ride away from Salerno or Naples is the erstwhile Greek city of Poseidonia. Its ancient temples of Poseidon, Hera, and Athena are amongst the few best preserved monuments

What not to miss in Paestum? - Foremost, what will stop you in your tracks in absolute awe is - The Temple of Hera II also known as the Temple of Neptune, one of ancient Greek temples in Italy dating its origin to 450 BC; Temple of Athena that is dedicated to the goddess of war, wisdom, and heroism in 500 BC - later used as a church. Plus the Temple of Hera I also dubbed as the Basilica of Hera; Do explore the incredibly well-preserved ancient tomb paintings that have been painted back in 470 B.C; and the ancient roman amphitheater at Paestum;


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Paestum Ancient Greek Temples, Naples, Italy (2)

Image from a book named - Italy from the Alps to Mount Etna - dated 1877+ by multiple authors - Publisher Chapman and Hall, London - Contributed by University of Illinois Urbana.

Paestum a short train ride away from Salerno or Naples is the erstwhile Greek city of Poseidonia. Its ancient temples of Poseidon, Hera, and Athena are amongst the few best preserved monuments

What not to miss in Paestum? - Foremost, what will stop you in your tracks in absolute awe is - The Temple of Hera II also known as the Temple of Neptune, one of ancient Greek temples in Italy dating its origin to 450 BC; Temple of Athena that is dedicated to the goddess of war, wisdom, and heroism in 500 BC - later used as a church. Plus the Temple of Hera I also dubbed as the Basilica of Hera; Do explore the incredibly well-preserved ancient tomb paintings that have been painted back in 470 B.C; and the ancient roman amphitheater at Paestum;


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Paestum Ancient Greek Temples, Naples, Italy (1)

Painting by Isidro González Velázquez -dated 1837 - View of the magnificent ruins of the ancient city of Pesto, housed in Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.

Paestum a short train ride away from Salerno or Naples is the erstwhile Greek city of Poseidonia. Its ancient temples of Poseidon, Hera, and Athena are amongst the few best preserved monuments

What not to miss in Paestum? - Foremost, what will stop you in your tracks in absolute awe is - The Temple of Hera II also known as the Temple of Neptune, one of ancient Greek temples in Italy dating its origin to 450 BC; Temple of Athena that is dedicated to the goddess of war, wisdom, and heroism in 500 BC - later used as a church. Plus the Temple of Hera I also dubbed as the Basilica of Hera; Do explore the incredibly well-preserved ancient tomb paintings that have been painted back in 470 B.C; and the ancient roman amphitheater at Paestum;


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Mood swings of Faroe Islands, Denmark

Faroe Islands means dramatic steep slopes with a unique architectural heritage quietly preserved and incredibly cherished by the locals. You are expected to roam around as the locals do via hiking or ferries in all kinds of weather. Its easy to fly in to the Faroe Islands from Reykjavik (Iceland), Edinburgh (Scotland), Bergen (Norway) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

Geographically, The Faroe Islands are group of 18 major islands off the coast of Northern Europe, between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about halfway between Iceland and Norway.


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Edge of its world Mykines Village, Faroe Islands

Someday will be hiking from the ancient Mykines village with its turf-roofed houses to the lighthouse at the end of the the islet of Mykineshólmur. Mykines rich in birds is pretty and secluded with its rolling hills and precipitous cliffs and hundreds of puffins.


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Mystical Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

On the island of Kalsoy do expect along with huge cliffs, green fields - unpredictable weather. Kalsoy no matter who has captured its stance is absolutely breathtaking and somewhat mystical at the same time. It takes around 25 minutes or lesser to get to Kalsoy via a ferry from the town of Klaksvik.


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Hagley Park, Christchurch, New Zealand

Hagley Park is enjoyed by the locals as well as visitors - it is renowned for its extensive area of 165 hectares or 407 acres, its wide-open green spaces and mature woodlands. Joggers make the most of the tree-lined avenues year-round.

Doesn't matter which season you prefer Hagley Park is a great place to stroll, whether on a misty autumn morning, or a warm spring day when the cherry trees lining are in flower.


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Piopio, New Zealand

Piopio is a small town or village in New Zealand that became famous as it was a featured in the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Piopio with its brusque and picturesque landscapes sits between the famous Waitomo Caves and rugged Taranaki Coast.Its dramatic limestone formations, inspire many to take forest walks and cycling routes around it.

Note - should try some locally-made berry ice cream at the Piopio orchard.


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Red sky of Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

Much of the Aoraki / Mount Cook Mackenzie region is a part of the Dark Sky Reserve - an area reserved for stargazing and mesmerizing views of the cosmos.

To explore the wonders of the night sky, you many consider joining a stargazing tour - or head to one of the observatories - Tekapo's Mount John Observatory as you will have access to professional telescopes and passionate guides that add to your stargazing experience.


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The Wanaka Tree, Wanaka, New Zealand

With the South Island's stunning Southern Alps as a backdrop this 'lone tree of Lake Wanaka' is supposedly the most photographed of all trees in all New Zealand.


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Nugget Point Lighthouse, Ahuriri Flat, New Zealand

Nugget Point Lighthouse is located at Nugget Point in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand.

Built in 1869-70 - the lighthouse originally was powered by an oil burner replaced by an electric one and then an LED beacon - that has been fully automated since 1989.

A simple walking track from the car park leads to a viewing platform right next to the lighthouse overlooking 'The Nuggets. Note the lighthouse itself is fenced off.


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Red silhouettes of Queenstown, New Zealand

Although colorful sunrises and sunsets can be seen anywhere, New Zealand its especially famous for its twilight hues... the blurred silhouettes of mountain ranges against a beautiful sunset at Queenstown...


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Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Franz Josef Glacier is about 5 km from Franz Josef village - yes they have the same name - you could either hike up to the glacier or opt for a guided ice walk - or opt for comfortable aerial views via air-safaris. Other options would be to explore the nearby rainforests, waterfalls, and lakes.

There are Glacier Hot Pools available in the village as well as Wildlife Centre. Many choose to kayak at the Lake Mapourika or rent a stand-up paddle-board.


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Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park encompasses 23 peaks that are over 3000 metres high, and the longest glaciers. It is usually described as alpine in its purest form - with soaring peaks almost like snow skyscrapers, glaciers and permanent snow fields, all set under a dramatic star-studded sky.

And it is still very accessible - the Mount Cook Village which is located besides the scenic Lake Pukaki is the perfect base for all types of alpine activities.

What else to expect at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park? Surreal milky lakes as the glacier's ground rock sediment makes the water opaque - Encounters with cheeky kea or the mountain parrots - Stargazing at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is magnificent and is acclaimed to be once in a life tine experience.


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Waterfall - Milford Sound, New Zealand

‘Chasing waterfalls’ in Milford Sound is incredibly easy as there just too many - whilst only a few are of the waterfalls in Milford are permanent. Locals refer to the waterfalls as ‘liquid sunshine’.


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Auckland Skyline, New Zealand

Auckland is a large vibrant city - activities that one should really try would include - sunset kayaking from the shores of Auckland to Rangitoto Island, the largest volcano in the city - or Sunrise at Mt Eden (it is Auckland’s highest natural vantage point) or check the city lights from the Sky Tower up high from its observation decks yup there are 3 three of them - or pick a beautiful spot and look up 'go stargazing' - Auckland has many options to stargaze...


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The Wanaka Willow, Wanaka, New Zealand

A willow tree semi-submerged has been massively popular thanks to social media - the easiest way to reach 'the lone tree of Lake Wanaka' > it is located right at the foothills of Mount Aspiring National Park, a World Heritage Site, which is has even more breathtaking landscapes.


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Shotover River, Otago, Queenstown, New Zealand

The Shotover River is located near Queenstown - it is a 75 km long river that is fast flowing, with numerous rapids.

Thrilling white water rafting trips and high performance jet boat rides - gets adrenaline-fueled riders to explore the Skippers Canyon that is made up of squeezed narrow rock walls that are steeply carved over thousands of years by billions of tonnes of fast flowing river water from the heart of the Southern Alps.


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Ancient Nugget Point Lighthouse, Ahuriri Flat, New Zealand

Nugget Point is an iconic panoramic platform with one of New Zealnd’s oldest lighthouses perched above the famous rocks named by Captain Cook because they looked like pieces of gold. (Source: newzealand.com)

A short stroll away the viewing platform near the old lighthouse delivers sensational views of the big blue thrashing waves. The area is home to some of the rarest penguins plus you could catch seals, sea lions or spoonbills. Many come in hope to catch dolphins in their upward spin. Needless to say the best scenes are created for you either early morning or at sunset.


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Untamed Hamnoy - a fishing village in Norway

When you look at any picture of Hamnoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway most often they would depict an absolute contrast - the warmth of red and yellow fisherman cottages against stark cold and tenuous mountains. Hamnøy or Hamnøya is a small fishing village in Norway located at about 1.5 km distance from the village of Reine, along the Vestfjorden, one of the Lofoten islands.


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Walk through small hamlets right in the middle! @ Geiranger Fjord, Norway

Easy walks to challenging climbs – and everything in between through woods, on rocks and pebbles off the coast line, on farmers roads, or around the magic glaciers. Best was to walk through small hamlets right in the middle! — at Geiranger Fjord.


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Aching feet are fast forgotten when you reach the top - this Preikestolen Forsand Norway

All google will show you if you were to search are results of hiking / trekking Preikestolen or Prekestolen (the Pulpit Rock) in Forsand Norway. Its a The mountain plateau most likely to be shaped by ice not even centuries but thousands of years ago. If you must hike note that the hiking season is between April and October and you will be rewarded with stunning views of Lysefjord. How to reach Preikestolen? 


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How to reach Preikestolen, Norway?

How to reach Preikestolen by air, train or by road?
You can take the bus or train fly to Stavanger from Bergen. Since Stavanger is a small town its a short walk from the bus station to the ferry terminal kinda 15 minutes or alternatively you could take a taxi. If you’re coming from the airport, there’s a shuttle bus to the ferry terminal. You can buy the ferry ticket when on board and the ferry takes you to a place called Tau in the south of Ryfylke. Next you hop on to a bus to reach Preikestolen starting point.


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Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland

Kleine Scheidegg is the starting point for many scenic hikes with stunning views of the ice massifs of the Eiger Glacier and the famous triple peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

Kleine Scheidegg can be reached via Interlaken - and most people start their trip to the Jungfraujoch in Interlaken - but note you can board the train at any station along the way.

If boarding the train from Interlaken - it is smart to opt going via Interlaken >> Lauterbrunnen >> Wengen >> Kleine Scheidegg and for the DESCENT opt for a different route - Kleine Scheidegg >> Grindelwald >> Interlaken - to enjoy both the stunning alpine areas.

Or go the reverse - From Interlaken which is uniquely situated between two lakes, take a train to Grindelwald - and from Grindelwald take a spectacular ride on the cogwheel train to Kleine Scheidegg that is based directly at the foot of Eiger North Face. And for the DESCENT come down via Wengen to Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken.


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Iseltwald, Switzerland

Iseltwald is am ancient fishing village on the southern shore of Lake Brienz - a perfect place to experience the interplay of the reflected mountains enchanted by the turquoise waters of Lake Brienz

The entire village of Iseltwald is designated as part of the Swiss Heritage Sites - only locals are allowed to drive-in to the village or guests in the local guest-houses.

Iseltwald is easy reach by boat as it is a popular stop on Lake Brienz cruise between Interlaken and Brienz.


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Montreux, Switzerland

Montreux is a wealthy Swiss town with an olde-worlde charm. Located on the banks of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) facing the majestic Dents-du-Midi mountains - millions have made most of the scenery by strolling the pedestrian walkway along the lakeside.

How to reach Montreux by train?
Take a train from Lausanne to Montreux - a breathtaking hour as you pass the UNESCO listed Lavaux stretch - or the steeply terraced vineyards as the train races towards the blue waters bound by the mountains of the Chablais Alps.


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Melchsee-Frutt, Kerns, Switzerland

Melchsee-Frutt is a mountain resort village in Switzerland surrounded by mountains and lakes. It is known for alpine skiing, snowboarding, sledding, hiking, rock climbing, fishing...

How to reach Melchsee-Frutt? Check this article for directions.
https://swissfamilyfun.com/melchsee-frutt-mountain-resort/


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St Moritz, Crap da Sass Castle, Switzerland

Before you head to Crap da Sass castle - described as neo-romantic castle on the bank of Lake Silvaplana - do note that the castle is privately owned and is not open to the public.

It was was built in 1906 by the German General Graf von der Lippe and is an important historical monument in Graubünden.

An impressive mountain panorama frames the lake landscape as all be it hikers or skiers or snowboarders enjoy Silvaplana’s local mountain.


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Iseltwald Castle, Switzerland

Iseltwald is easy reach by boat as it is a popular stop on Lake Brienz cruise between Interlaken and Brienz.

The small castle of Iseltwald is located on the tip of its peninsula which has now been turned into a Rehabilitation center.


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Glarus, Switzerland

Austerely beautiful surrounded by Glarus Alps - it is tough to believe that the graceful town of Glarus was almost destroyed by a fire and the one you are visiting has been built in the 19th century.

To wander around Glarus you may opt for trails just west of Glarus - Klöntal an almost untouched valley - or Klöntaler See a glimmering green-blue lake backed by the Glärnisch mountains - or go in search of majestic waterfalls that open up clefts in the Glärnisch massif.

How to reach Glarus by train?
It takes about 80 minutes to travel from Zurich Hb to Glarus by train, and there are many trains available through the day.


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Morcote, Lake Lugano, Switzerland

Morcote village undoubtedly the most photographed is located on the shore of Lake Lugano.

The breath taking views - slices of the village centre unfold as you row towards Morcote... As described by many Morcote does promise winding, cobbled laneways housing monuments that have mediaeval origins.


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Château de Chillon, Montreux, Switzerland

The famous Château de Chillon, a fascinating 13th century castle and fortress located on a island in the Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) is a short bus ride away from Montreux.


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Lake Wildsee, St. Gallen, Switzerland

The Schottensee and the Wildsee lakes are the most eclectic especially with the eminent peaks reflecting in their green-blue shimmering waters. Their colors seem surreal in most pictures - a lot depends when you are traveling and the incidence of light, as the colors dramatically change.

The Wildsee is located in the territory of Mels in the canton of St. Gallen.

To experience the famous 5 lake hike including Wildsee read this blog post - https://swissfamilyfun.com/pizol-5-lake-trail/


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Interlaken Cruise, Switzerland

Whether you opt for a boat trip to Lake Thun or Lake Brienz each is unique to be enjoyed at an unhurried pace.

Cruising on the deep blue Lake Thun offers views of green meadows, forests, nostalgic castles, against the backdrop of the eternal peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and beyond.

Opt for the colourful sunset trips over Lake Then that run daily from May to October from from Interlaken West station at 6:10 p.m. and arrives in Thun two hours later. Do re-check the timings from a local travel booking company

Opt for a passenger ferry on Lake Brienz that will take you past cosy villages, roaring waterfalls and scintillating mountain-scapes.

Once you have arrived in Brienz opt to explore old part of the village, you will discover the picturesque chalet village with its typical wooden houses - surrounded by lush meadows, forests, glades all rounded off by glorious jagged mountainsides.


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Rhine Falls, Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland

Neuhausen am Rheinfall is close to the thunderous Rhine Falls in the canton of Schaffhausen in Switzerland.

Supposedly the natural spectacle is best framed from the Laufen Castle a medieval castle perched on a rocky spur high above the largest waterfall in Europe.

How to reach Rhine Falls?
There are two options take a train to Rhine Falls from either the 'Neuhausen Rheinfall Station' or 'Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall Station' - note they are on either side of the river and both the stations are located right next to the falls. Typically takes about 50+ minutes to get there by train from Zurich.


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Murren, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Switzerland

Located at the base of the Schilthorn mountain, this small cozy and a car-free village is on a must visit list of many who would like to explore quaint villages of Europe.

How to reach Mürren?
Mürren is car-free village and can be reached by train and cableway only.

From Lauterbrunnen, you can take the cableway to Grütschalp and then change to the narrow gauge train to Mürren BLM.

Once you are in Mürren, you can take a cable car up to the Schilthorn. Alternatively take the funicular to Allmendhubel, gawk at the mighty Alps be it Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, or just go explore few hiking trails.

How to reach Lauterbrunnen by train?
You can reach Lauterbrunnen by train from Wengen or Interlaken - or any other town and city of Switzerland from there.


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Mount Pilatus, Alpnachstad, Lucerne, Switzerland

High above Lake Lucerne with stars close enough to touch, and plenty of fresh mountain air – you could experience fairy-tale evenings around mountain Pilatus...

How to reach Mount Pilatus by train?
Mount Pilatus and the valley station in Alpnachstad lie in the heart of Switzerland and are very well connected. Luzern to Alpnachstad is less than 30 minutes train journey. A more slower and scenic way to travel from Lucerne to Alpnachstad is by ferry.


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Morteratsch Glacier, Pontresina, Switzerland

The Morteratsch Glacier is the largest glacier by area in the Bernina Range of the Bundner Alps in Switzerland.

Morteratsch can be reached by train and by car from Pontresina and the Bernina Pass.

The Bernina Express either begins or your scenic train ride ends in Tirano, Italy depending on which way you hop on the express train.

Tirano is just a few kilometers from the Swiss border - the Bernina Express climbs into the Alps, passing mirror-like lakes, quaint villages, snow-covered mountains, and glaciers on its two-hour journey to St. Moritz, Switzerland.

It seems the Bernina line (1910) was conceived to help more tourists explore the Engadine Valley, and that Alpine region includes St. Moritz, Pontresina, the Morteratsch glacier, and the Bernina Pass, the 2,253 meter-passage (7,392 feet) between the towering mountain peaks.


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Oberhofen Castle, Switzerland

Magical Oberhofen castle - having survived more than eight centuries as it was built around 1200 - has a colorful history of ownership. Purchased by the New Prussian family of Counts de Pourtalès in 1844 it was converted into a summer residence and the castle received its current appearance.

The Schlosspark Oberhofen has a museum and offers exhibitions and tours - including the Castle Park tour, Ghost stories in Oberhofen castle, the cold tour in the winter castle...


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Oberhofen Castle, Oberhofen village, Interlaken, Switzerland

How to reach Oberhofen Castle?
Can be easily reached from Thun and Interlaken - once you reach the Oberhofen village you will need to than take a boat to Oberhofen, Ländte next to the Castle.

Do check the official website for details - https://www.schlossoberhofen.ch/de/information/besucherinfos

 


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Rapperswil-Hurden, Wooden Bridge, Switzerland

Holzbrücke Rapperswil-Hurden is a wooden pedestrian bridge between the city of Rapperswil and the village of Hurden crossing the upper Lake Zürich (Obersee) in Switzerland - and if you do reach the same - you would be walking in the footsteps of pilgrims.

In the Middle Ages, the pilgrims of St. James used this wooden footbridge with loosely laid planks to cross lake Zurich - also visiting Rapperswil on their way to Santiago de Compostela.


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Scenic St Moritz, Engadin, Switzerland

Wondering how often will you reach for your camera if you are actually in St Moritz be it the alpine greens, dark forests, moody reflective lakes and streams or brooding peaks...

Saint Moritz is a high Alpine resort town in the Engadine in Switzerland and its popularity is more to do with its scenic location and that it enjoys about 300+ days of sunshine.

Engadin region with its pristine nature is a place to explore to be inspired if you are in search for tranquility. At the same time it spikes up your adrenaline as it is virtual haven for any one seeking adventure sports.


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St Gallen, Switzerland

St. Gallen, traditionally evolved from the hermitage of Saint Gall, founded in the 7th century - now is largely famous across Europe as a university town - home of the University of St. Gallen, one of the best business schools in Europe.


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Steckborn, Lake Constance, Switzerland

Steckborn is located on the south-western arm of Lake Constance known in German as the Untersee.


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The Abbey of Saint John, Mustair, Switzerland

The Abbey of Saint John at Müstair, Switzerland, is UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. It's an early medieval Benedictine monastery dating to the late 8th century CE that became an abbey in 1163 CE which is renowned for its beautiful, intact medieval design and decor of Carolingian figurative murals, Romanesque frescoes, and ancient stuccoes.


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Weisshorn, Randa, Zermatt, Switzerland

There are 38 mountains around Zermatt, which are higher than 4000 m. Many that of these 4000 -metre peaks can be climbed from Randa, including the Dom and Weisshorn.

The Weisshorn in German means white peak or white mountain is part of the Pennine Alps and is located between the valleys of Anniviers and Zermatt in the canton of Valais, Switzerland.


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Hiking from Wengen to the Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland

Take a train from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen - than from Wengen hop on to a gondola ride to Maennlichen -  than walk along the Panaroma Trail - where you walk parallel to Eiger's Nordwand, Moench, Jungfrau ending in Kleine Scheidegg. Its graded as an easy walk that is supposedly simple for both young and seniors alike.

The section between Maennlichen Gondola Station and Kleine Scheidegg has the most stunning views in the region.

From Kleine Scheidegg take a train to either Wengen or Lauterbrunnen or to Grindelwald.

You could opt to walk down from Kleine Schiedegg to Wengen - relatively a descent, with some steeper sections toward the end and that walk - is graded as moderate walk.


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Zermatt, Sunrise from Sunnegga, Switzerland

The Sunnegga area is found on the Rothorn mountain, above the town of Zermatt and it seems it delivers the best views of the Matterhorn especially at sunrise. You get to see how the imposing peak of Matterhorn stretches up to meet the sun set amongst its alpine pastures.


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Lake Arnen, Switzerland

Lake Arnen framed by the wild woods is a blissfully secluded spot and an idyllic option for hikes and picnics. Lake Arnen is within easy reach by car from Gstaad.

Which is the nearest airport to Gstaad?
Geneva is the nearest airport from Gstaad and is at a distance of about 149 km.

How to get to Gstaad by train?
Geneva to Gstaad by train takes about 3 hours. You will need to take a train to Montreux from Geneva and then switch trains for Gstaad.

Zurich to Gstaad by train - you will need to take an international train connections to Spiez - and there change trains for Zweisimmen - and switch a train for Gstaad.


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Lac de Moiry, Grimentz, Switzerland

Lac de Moiry an emerald-tinted lake is the starting point for many hikes exploring the wild and dramatic views of the sparkling Moiry glacier.


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Klontalersee, Klontal, Glarus, Switzerland

Klontalersee is a natural lake surrounded by mountains located in Glarus - it is popular destination for picnics or experiencing forested trails edging the lake.

Takes about 75-80 minutes to reach Klontal, Rhodannenberg from Zurich. There are buses available to take you to Klontalersee - sounds like a 20 minute ride - do review information on the same at https://www.kloental.com/de/gut-zu-wissen/anreise-mit-dem-oeffentlichen-verkehr-oev.html

Good Read - https://swissfamilyfun.com/klontalersee-lake-hike/


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Lavaux Vineyards, Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Lavaux is a UNESCO recognized world heritage site with hectares of terraced vineyards stretching for about 30 km located right on the shores of Lake Léman.

Lavaux can be reached via many train journeys starting from Lausanne, Pully, Vevey, or Montreux.

There are hourly regional train starting from Vevey station to Puidoux-Chexbres - offering an unusual train ride across the terraced vineyards of the Lavaux. From Chexbres-Village station there are many footpaths through the magnificent, steep terraces offering an oppotunity to explore on foot. Other train options are Lavaux Panoramic or Lavaux Express.


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Lake Cadagno, Quinto, Piora valley, Ticino, Switzerland

Lake Cadagno is a meromictic lake in the Piora valley, Switzerland near Lago di Ritom.

Check these articles to explore the region - http://www.familyearthtrek.com/2018/02/19/a-child-friendly-hike-to-the-three-mountain-lakes-ritom-tom-and-cadagno-switzerland/

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-in/experiences/summer-autumn/summervacations/stories/the-mysterious-lago-cadagno/


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Lake Brienz, Interlaken, Switzerland

There is plenty to explore around the many shades of turquoise waters of Lake Brienz - gaze around the imposing mountainscapes or hop off from your boat ride to discover the many picture-book villages surrounding it.

You will find the main boat docks just outside the rail station of Brienz, as well as the rail station of Interlaken Ost.


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Matterhorn, Zermatt, Switzerland

The majestic Matterhorn looms over the breathtaking Alpine panorama straddling the border between Switzerland and Italy. It's north side faces Zermatt valley.

How to reach the the car free Zermatt Valley by train?
You could catch a direct train to Zermatt from either Zurich or Geneva airports - it runs every hour.

You could take a train from Zurich city or Geneva city to 'Visp' - from there you need to change to the mountain train that takes your directly to car-free-Zermatt. Its a scenic, journey as the train passes through lakes, vineyards and mountains.


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Lotschenlucke pass, Switzerland

The Lötschenlücke is a high mountain pass of the Bernese Alps, connecting the Lötschental to the valley of the Aletsch Glacier in the canton of Valais. (Source Wikipedia)

It is surrounded by 3,000 meter high mountains, including the Bietschhorn, the Hockenhorn, the Wilerhorn and the Petersgrat.

The Jungfrau-Aletsch Protected Area is the most glaciated area in the Swiss Alps, and was declared a Natural World Heritage Site by decision of UNESCO, along with southern and eastern parts of the Lötschental.


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Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Switzerland

Want to see 72 spectacular waterfalls than you need to head for Lauterbrunnen - seems the Swiss village has literally jumped out of a story book as it is tucked away in lush green valley that is abound with both wild flowers and jagged snow covered cliffs - a mystical land that you need to see for yourself to experience the word 'breathtaking' has Swiss connotations.

How to reach Lauterbrunnen by train?
Easy answer is reach Interlaken and from there take a short train ride (about 20 minutes) to Lauterbrunnen. You could opt to reach Lauterbrunnen by taking train from Wengen.


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The Great Egret at Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka India

The Great Egret also referred to as Great White Egret or Great White Heron is a large heron with white plumage.

Great Egret can be distinguished from other white egrets by its yellow bill and black legs and feet - do note that the bill gets darker and the lower legs lighter in the breeding season.

The Great Egret feeds in drier habitats or prefer shallow water eating predominantly fish, frogs, small mammals, and at times small reptiles and insects. Their long sharp bill effectively works as a spear and are incredibly still or motionless allowing the prey to come much closer or within striking distance.

How to reach Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka, India?


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How to reach Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka, India?

Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is an island located near the Mandagadde village in Shimoga town Karnataka India.

How to reach Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary by air? Which is the nearest airport to Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary?
The nearest airport to Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is Mangalore Airport that is at a distance of about 160 km from Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary.

How to reach Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary?
The nearest railway station to Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is Shimoga Station that is at a distance of about 32 km from Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary.

Best time to visit Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is the peak season in the month of August as thousands of birds visit the sanctuary.


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Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Sabarmati Ashram is national monumnet - also known as Satyagraha Ashram as this is the base from where Gandhiji led the Dandi march or his Salt Satyagraha on 12 March 1930. Sabarmati Ashram is at distance of about 7.5 km from Ahmedabad Airport.

As per wikipedia - The Sabarmati ashram is located between a prison and a crematorium, and Gandhiji believed that a satyagrahi lands up in either of those places.

Gandhiji enlightening words furhter corroborated his belief, 'This is the right place for our activities to carry on the search for truth and develop fearlessness, for on one side are the iron bolts of the foreigners, and on the other the thunderbolts of Mother Nature.'


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Jina Dharmanatha, Hutheesing Jain Temple, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Hutheesing Temple is a Jain temple with its principal deity being Jina Dharmanatha the fifteenth Tirthankar, Sheth Hutheesing Kesri a wealthy trader from Ahmedabad started building this temple and upon his death it was completed by his wife Harkunvar Shethani in 1847. Hutheesing Jain Temple is at distance of about 7 km km from Ahmedabad Airport.

The temple's craftsman built it in troubled times - there was a famine in gujarat then and about 100+ craftsman earned a living whilst carving the exquisite  jharokhas, chhajas and its jaalis.

Hutheesing Temple also has a six storey tall 'Manastambha'- which should be interpreted as pillar of respect rather than pride - it has enshrined footsteps and idol of Jina Mahavir in commemoration of  two and a half millennium of his birth anniversary.


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Hutheesing Jain Temple, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

The Hutheesing Jain temple's as described by Yatin Pandya, Architect and Historian in an article in DNA - is designed with a spatial sequence and architectural resolution - so devotees could converse one to one with the divine.

The pradikshana path or passage is created by a collonade and has a niche punctuating each inter-columnation that has tirthankara idols and whose presence throughout the journey helps conditioning the mind. The ascending journey after the pradakshina with rising shikhara profiles, religious inscriptions and decreased intensity of light creates an exalting journey into an individual perceptive experience.

The temple is also noteworthy for its traditional practices of rain water harvesting which has been kept alive till date.

Hutheesing Jain Temple is at distance of about 7 km km from Ahmedabad Airport.


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Khan Masjid - Dholka, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Alif Khan's Mosque at Dholka is an ancient monument that has suffered much damage - it has three towers with massive domes with doorways featuring large religious inscriptions.

Masjid’s rear wall has intricate jaalli work and the central room has a raised platform believed to deliver sermons - it is made of marble and remains intact - interesting acoustics as the voice even if soft resonates throughout the entire mosque from here.

Alif Khan's Mosque at Dholka is at distance of about 50 km from Ahmedabad Airport.


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Tomb of Sarkhej Roja Shaikh Ahmed Khattau Ganj Baksh, Sarkhej Roza, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Sarkhej was once a prominent centre of Sufi culture in the country and Sarkhej Roza was once a highly revered mosque and a tomb complex.

It also has the mausoleum of Shaikh Ahmed Khattu Ganj Bakhsh of Patan a saint revered by Ahmed Shah I.

Sarkhej Roza is at distance of about 20 km km from Ahmedabad Airport.


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Queens tomb, Sarkhej Roza, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Sarkhej Roza Complex has many royal tombs and are decorated with a fusion of architectural principles that seem to be both Indian principles of architecture as well as early Islamic style influences from Persia.

Sarkhej Roza is at distance of about 20 km km from Ahmedabad Airport.


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Preeti @ Darjeeling


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on my way... Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, India

kuch hai junoon sa - kuch pagalpan hai - sau baatein karta yeh buddhu sa man hai... it's a miracle to fly off wherever and whenever u want... one more off my bucket list Glenburn Tea Estate... yes dancing away all the way to the airport... treks around ribbons of swirling tea estates yup kinda that swirling a darjeeling cuppa + walking towards a downstream river i have been warned it's treacherous + catching the majestic Kanchenjunga in the front row seat or vanilla reading (ambitious got 7 new books ) next few days it seems it's me and my red shoes traipsing n mulling with those butterflies that Glenburn promises

Picture: Preeti at Kandaghat, Himachal Pradesh, India


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that cuppa! - on my way to Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, India

what stumps me always wherever I travel every cuppa has a story...how cool is it to experience a temperature drop (16) in just a few hours from bombay's 32 in January...  looking over Teesta river with my first Glenburn Darjeeling tea (no milk) and it was awesome (first time knowing how much I like my masala chai this was an hatke experience)... Offcourse the tea estate also sent a herbsncheese sandwich as well as walnut brownie kinda adds to yr moments and all I requested bhupenjee (driver) to do - it was supposedly a stop over for nukkad ka chai... His response: in 40 mins we will stop at a view point for yeah! A high tea - kya bolu... 


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1st glance and you know it's going to be a treat - Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, - Exterior Sitout

The New York times titles its review of Glenburn Tea Estate as 'High Tea, India Style' and I can vouch that its true and more... though it may feel like a crazy ride to reach there and you often ask yourself do you really want this cuppa or the ride... u have to personally assess the aha moment!

Where: Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, Near Bagdogra, West Bengal, India. Travel Date: January 2018


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yup mesmerised... Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, Exterior Sitout

nothing is as welcoming as wide colonial verandahs where you can just sit and ponder whether to trek around two rivers, the Rungeet and the Rung Dung entwining themselves as they run through valleys or just stay put mesmerized by the dominating Kanchenjunga...

Where: Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, Near Bagdogra, West Bengal, India. Travel Date: January 2018


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home for few days... Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, Planters Suite

my very first thought walking into 140 year old Glenburn Planter'Suite (estate is ancient 1859) - is it expansive or what not just the room the four poster bed or the dull wood wardrobes or the huge the fireplace that is actually lit now...and isn't it fantastic that images on their website look almost as thumbnails in comparison... room opens to a rich porch with so many sitouts kinda tailor made for me... doors open up letting in the tea estates wind whip through the suite...

Where: Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, Near Bagdogra, West Bengal, India. Travel Date: January 2018


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early morning trek to catch the elusive kanchenjunga from myriad perspectives, Darjeeling, Glenburn Tea Estate

took the tea pluckers narrow route walk a curvaceous slippery path and surprisingly lush green (as this part of India suffered with almost no rains)... Glenburn is a large estate so meandering across panaromic views is a given formed by rows n rows of tea bushes (almost seem like soldiers) n backdrop u turn around at every curve to check if u can still see the kanchenjunga (I m told I m lucky as it was hidden in the mist for the last few days) is relatively easy n was surprised that the almost 100 mins disappeared too fast... Can u see the faint line of Kanchenjunga behind me? 😎

Where: Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, Near Bagdogra, West Bengal, India. Travel Date: January 2018


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red wine and lunch by rangeet river, Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, India

I certainly can say that I earned the glass of red wine with barbequed veggies, beetroot n pomelo salad in mustard vinaigrette + cauliflower in peanut n sesame sauce...what follows is spicy caramel n caramelized bananas (yummyyyy) n some rose white tea... just rungeet gurgling loudly is a definite plus... and cheers till next time ☘️

Where: Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, Near Bagdogra, West Bengal, India. Travel Date: January 2018


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a sweet something served late at night, Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, India

I can get used to this kinda gudnights... home made chocolate thins with caramelized ginger pistachio and rocksalt... Good morning all set for a trek hopefully u all are working hard or on the way to office ☘️


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traipsing around in acres of Tea Estates of Glenburn, Darjeeling, India

morning dew settles well on spectacular view of the tea estate against pale shadows of hills curtained behind the gray mist... look so appealing u never want to leave... walked away passing many villages threading our way down with temps dropping stoically...wondering what is it that drives me through such wilderness again and again


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capturing the reading corner, Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, India

bk in my reading corner... It's almost 7pm n there's a resounding silence on the estate... (today it's rose white darjeeling tea) day started early and there is no more beautiful a sight than dawn struggling to life...(banned phone till evening) clear blue sky n harmless white puffs of floating clouds can only mean a clear view of kanchenjunga... Can stare at them standing bold and unique for hours... I guess when i start relating to such sights it's kinda my world of superlatives but they do their job of being incredible everyday... accomplished an 8 kms downhill trek to rangeet river took about 170 minutes reward was barbequed veggies with three salads n fast flowing rapids kinda playing their own hypnotic tunes... n we were still on Glenburn Tea estate...


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Preeti @ Darjeeling
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aah some masala chai - Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, India

sheepishly asked for a masala chai (being a tea estate they actually can give u a different blend every five mins) with the quintessential hotttt pakoda n brownies... ( in one of the living rooms at Glenburn) - it's a tough deciding whether to stay indoors or outdoors (n to believe that u will in sometime meet for drinks how much can u eat or drink ... 🙄 will know soon)


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Preeti @ Darjeeling
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hued day needs to end with a few more pages - Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, India

from clean n crisp mountain air to a smoky woody aroma (feel like a princess neva had a roaring fire place in the living room - it's probably 12 degrees outside)... post an absolutely psychedelic active day time to catch me time and a few pages


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River Alaknanda, Panch Prayag, Uttarakhand, India

Alaknanda a Himalayan river that originates from two glaciers - Satopanth glacier and Bhagirathi glacier situated near Vashundhara falls in Uttarakhand.

Alaknanda joins river Saraswati at Mana and then flowing further down joins Dholiganga at Joshimath. From there it deviates to meet river Bhagirathi at Devprayag.

Many rivers merge with the Alaknanda forming the holy confluence of rivers of Panch prayag - Alanknanda merges Dhauliganga at Vishnuprayag; it merges with Nandakini at Nandaprayag; it merges with Pindar at Karnaprayag; next it merges with Mandarin at Rudraprayag; and on merging with Bhagirathi at Devprayag it emerges as the sacred river Ganga.

The sacred town of Badrinath lies on the banks of the Alaknanda river.


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Getaways from Zanskar, Ladakh

Add destinations to your Zanskar itinerary

Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir

The distance between Zanskar and Sonamarg is about 370 km.

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Zanskar and Srinagar is about 447 km.

Leh, Ladakh
The distance between Zanskar and Leh is about 463 km.

Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Zanskar and Gulmarg is about 491 km.

Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Zanskar and Pahalgam is about 534 km.

Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Zanskar and Vaishno Devi is about 699 km.

Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Zanskar and Jammu is about 710 km.

Delhi
The distance between Zanskar and Delhi is about 1253 km

How do I reach Zanskar by air? Which is the nearest airport to Zanskar?
The nearest Airport to Zanskar is Leh Airport.
The distance between Zanskar and Leh is 463 km.
Leh Airport is connected with Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar Airports.

How do I reach Zanskar by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Zanskar?
The nearest railway station to Zanskar is Jammu Railway Station.
The distance from Jammu Railway Station to Jammu Railway Station is about 719 km.
Jammu Railway station is connected to many cities in India.


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Getaways from Naukuchiatal, Uttarakhand

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Nainital, Uttarakhand

The distance between Naukuchiatal and Nainital is about 26 km.

Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand
The distance between Naukuchiatal and Mukteshwar is about 41 km.

Almora, Uttarakhand
The distance between Naukuchiatal and Almora is about 67 km.

Binsar, Uttarakhand
The distance between Naukuchiatal and Binsar is about 90 km.

Delhi, Uttarakhand
The distance between Naukuchiatal and Delhi is about 314 km.

How do I reach Naukuchiatal by air? Which is the nearest airport to Naukuchiatal?
The nearest Airport to Naukuchiatal is Pantnagar Airport.
The distance from Pantnagar Airport to Naukuchiatal is about 60 km.

How do I reach Naukuchiatal by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Naukuchiatal?
The nearest railway station to Naukuchiatal is Kathgodam Railway Station.
The distance from Kathgodam Railway Station to Naukuchiatal is about 25 km.


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Getaways from Ooty, Tamil Nadu

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Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Ooty and Coonoor is about 21 km.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka
The distance between Ooty and Bandipur is about 41 km.

Mudumalai National Park, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Ooty and Mudumalai National Park is about 46 km.

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Ooty and Coimbatore is about 85 km.

Nilambur, Kerala
The distance between Ooty and Nilambur is about 96 km.

Wayanad, Kerala
The distance between Ooty and Wayanad is about 110 km.

Mysore, Karnataka
The distance between Ooty and Mysore is about 125 km.

Kabini, Kerala
The distance between Ooty and Kabini is about 132 km.

Valparai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Ooty and Coorg is about 214 km.

Munnar, Kerala
The distance between Ooty and Munnar is about 243 km.

Coorg, Karnataka
The distance between Ooty and Coorg is about 246 km.

Bangalore, Karnataka
The distance between Ooty and Bangalore is about 274 km.

Mangalore, Karnataka
The distance between Ooty and Mangalore is about 383 km.

Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Ooty and Chennai is about 556 km.

How do I reach Ooty by air? Which is the nearest airport to Ooty?
The nearest Airport to Ooty is Coimbatore Airport.
The distance from Coimbatore Airport to Ooty is about 89 km.

How do I reach Ooty by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Ooty?
The nearest railway station to Ooty is Mettupalayam Railway Station.
The distance from Mettupalayam Railway Station to Ooty is about 52 km.


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Getaways from Pragpur, Himachal Pradesh

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Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh

The distance between Pragpur and Dharamsala is about 62 km.

Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Pragpur and Mcleodganj is about 66 km.

Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Pragpur and Palampur is about 77 km.

Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Pragpur and Nalagarh is about 124 km.

Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Pragpur and Dalhousie is about 134 km.

Amritsar, Punjab
The distance between Pragpur and Amritsar is about 140 km.

Chandigarh
The distance between Pragpur and Chandigarh is about 175 km.

Delhi
The distance between Pragpur and Delhi is about 408 km.

How do I reach Pragpur by air? Which is the nearest airport to Pragpur?
The nearest Airport to Pragpur is Gaggal Airport at Kangra.
The distance from Gaggal Airport to Pragpur is about 90 km.

How do I reach Pragpur by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Pragpur?
The nearest railway station to Pragpur is Una Railway Station.
The distance from Una Railway Station to Pragpur is about 57 km.


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Getaways from Shillong Meghalaya

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East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya

The distance between Shillong and East Khasi Hills is about 39 km.

Ri Bhoi, Meghalaya
The distance between Shillong and Ri Bhoi is about 49 km.

Jainta Hills, Meghalaya
The distance between Shillong and Jainta Hills is about 49 km.

Cherrapunji, Meghalaya
The distance between Shillong and Cherrapunji is about 54 km.

Guwahati, Assam
The distance between Shillong and Guwahati is about 100 km.

Silchar, Assam
The distance between Shillong and Silchar is about 219 km.

Kaziranga National Park, Assam
The distance between Shillong and Kaziranga National Park is about 254 km.

Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
The distance between Shillong and Itanagar is about 388 km.

Kohima, Nagaland
The distance between Shillong and Kohima is about 417 km.

Agartala, Tripura
The distance between Shillong and Agartala is about 448 km.

Imphal, Manipur
The distance between Shillong and Imphal is about 550 km,

How do I reach Shillong by air? Which is the nearest airport to Shillong?
The nearest Airport to Shillong is Guwahati Airport.
The distance from Guwahati Airport to Shillong is about 120 km.
The nearest International Airport to Shillong is Delhi Airport.

How do I reach Shillong by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Shillong?
The nearest railway station to Shillong is Guwahati Railway Station.
The distance from Guwahati Railway Station to Shillong is about 96 km.


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Getaways from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

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Kufri, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Shimla and Kufri is 15 km.

Chail, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Shimla and Chail is about 46 km.

Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Shimla and Kasauli is about 72 km.

Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Shimla and Nalagarh is about 97 km.

Morni Hills, Haryana
The distance between Shimla and Morni Hills is about 122 km

Delhi
The distance between Shimla and Delhi is about 344 km.

How do I reach Shimla by air? Which is the nearest airport to Shimla?
Shimla Jubbarhatti Airport is 24 km away from Shimla city.
Shimla Airport is connected with Delhi city which has an International Airport.

You could also reach Shimla via Chandigarh International Airport.
The distance from Chandigarh International Airport to Shimla is about 124 km.

How do I reach Shimla by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Shimla?
The nearest railway station to Shimla is Shimla Railway Station which is meter guage railway station. The nearest broad gauge railway station to Shimla is Kalka Railway Station.
The distance from Kalka Railway Station to Shimla is about 87 km.
Kalka Railway station is connected to Delhi, Kolkatta, Mumbai and many cities in India.


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Getaways from Srinagar

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Dachigam National Park, Jammu and Kashmir
Distance between Srinagar and Dachigam National Park is about 23 km.

Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir
Distance between Srinagar and Pulwama is about 31 km.

Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir
Distance between Srinagar and Gulmarg is about 50 km.

Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir
Distance between Srinagar and Anantnag is about 59 km.

Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir
Distance between Srinagar and Sonamarg is about 80 km.

Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir
Distance between Srinagar and Pahalgam is about 91 km.

Patnitop, Jammu and Kashmir
Distance between Srinagar and Patnitop is about 187 km.

Kargil, Ladakh
Distance between Srinagar and Kargil is about 203 km.

Doda, Jammu and Kashmir
Distance between Srinagar and Doda is about 230 km.

Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Srinagar and Vaishno Devi is about 257 km.

Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Srinagar and Jammu is about 266 km

Zanskar, Ladakh
The distance between Srinagar and Zanskar is about 447 km.

How do I reach Srinagar by air? Which is the nearest airport to Srinagar?
Srinagar has a domestic airport and is at a distance of about 12 km from Sringar city.
Srinagar Airport is connected Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Shimla Airports by regular flights.
The nearest International Airport to Srinagar is Delhi Airport.
The distance between Delhi Airport and Srinagar is 876 km

How do I reach Srinagar by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Srinagar?
The nearest railway station to Srinagar is Jammu Railway Station.
The distance from Jammu Railway Station to Srinagar is about 272 km.


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Getaways from Mussoorie

Add destinations to your Mussoorie itinerary

Dehradun, Uttarakhand

The distance between Mussoorie and Dehradun is about 34 km.

Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mussoorie and Dhanaulti is about 59 km.

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mussoorie and Rishikesh is about 80 km.

Haridwar, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mussoorie and Haridwar is about 84 km.

Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mussoorie and Rajaji National Park is about 92 km.

Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mussoorie and Uttarkashi is about 117 km.

Devprayag, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mussoorie and Devprayag is about 145 km.

Lansdowne, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mussoorie and Lansdowne is about 189 km.

Harsil, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mussoorie and Harsil is about 193 km.

Chandigarh
The distance between Mussoorie and Chandigarh is about 202 km.

Delhi
The distance between Mussoorie and Delhi is about 292 km.

How do I reach Mussoorie by air? Which is the nearest airport to Mussoorie?
The nearest Airport to Mussoorie is Dehradun Airport.
The distance from Dehradun Airport to Mussoorie is about 60 km.

How do I reach Mussoorie by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Mussoorie?
The nearest railway station to Mussoorie is Dehradun Railway Station.
The distance from Dehradun Railway Station to Mussoorie is about 35 km.


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Getaways from Nainital

Add destinations to your Nainital itinerary

Bhimtal, Uttarakhand

The distance between Nainital and Bhimtal is about 24 km.

Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand
The distance between Nainital and Mukteshwar is about 24 km.

Ramgarh, Uttarakhand
The distance between Nainital and Ramgarh is about 37 km.

Ranikhet, Uttarakhand
The distance between Nainital and Ranikhet is about 58 km.

Almora, Uttarakhand
The distance between Nainital and Almora is about 65 km.

Binsar, Uttarakhand
The distance between Nainital and Binsar is about 88 km.

Jageshwar, Uttarakhand
The distance between Nainital and Jageshwar is about 99 km.

Kasauni, Uttarakhand
The distance between Nainital and Kasauni is about 117 km.

Lansdowne, Uttarakhand
The distance between Nainital and Lansdowne is about 244 km.

Delhi
The distance between Nainital and Delhi is about 299 km.

How do I reach Nainital by air? Which is the nearest airport to Nainital?
The nearest Airport to Nainital is Pantnagar Airport.
The distance from Pantnagar Airport to Nainital is about 70 km.
The nearest International Airport to Nainital is Delhi Airport.
The distance from Delhi Airport to Nainital is about 298 km.

How do I reach Nainital by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Nainital?
The nearest railway station to Nainital is Kathgodam Railway Station.
The distance from Kathgodam Railway Station to Nainital is about 36 km.
Kathgodam Railway station is connected to Lucknow, Agra and Bareilly by regular trains.


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Getaways from Munnar

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Devikulam, Kerala

Distance between Munnar and Devikulam is about 10 km.

Thekaddy, Kerala
Distance between Munnar and Thekaddy is about 85 km.

Vagamon, Kerala
Distance between Munnar and Vagamon is about 95 km.

Athirapally, Kerala
Distance between Munnar and Athirapally is about 125 km.

Kumarakom, Kerala
Distance between Munnar and Kumarakom is about 142 km.

Mararikulam, Kerala
Distance between Munnar and Mararikulam is about 154 km.

Alleppey, Kerala
Distance between Munnar and Alleppey is about 160 km.

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Distance between Munnar and Kodaikanal is about 167 km.

Kollam, Tamil Nadu
Distance between Munnar and Kollam is about 225 km.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Distance between Munnar and Ooty is about 243 km.

Varkala, Kerala
Distance between Munnar and Varkala is about 248 km.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka
Distance between Munnar and Bandipur Tiger Reserve is about 284 km.

Kovalam, Kerala
Distance between Munnar and Kovalam is about 293 km.

Poovar, Kerala
Distance between Munnar and Poovar is about 309 km.

City Getaways from Munnar, Kerala

Kochi, Kerala
Distance between Munnar and Kochi is about 123 km.

Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Distance between Munnar and Madurai is about 154 km.

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Distance between Munnar and Coimbatore is about 157 km.

Kozhikode, Kerala
Distance between Munnar and Kozhikode is about 273 km.

How do I reach Munnar by air? Which is the nearest airport to Munnar?
The nearest Airport to Munnar is Cochin or Kochi Airport.
The distance from Cochin Airport to Munnar is about 104 km.

How do I reach Munnar by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Munnar?
The nearest railway station to Munnar is Aluva Railway Station.
The distance from Aluva Railway Station to Munnar is about 106 km.


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Getaways from Leh

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Alchi, Ladakh
The distance between Leh and Sonamarg is about 66 km.

Nubra Valley, Ladakh
The distance between Leh and Sonamarg is about 160 km.

Pangong Tso, Ladakh
The distance between Leh and Sonamarg is about 223 km.

Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Leh and Sonamarg is about 340 km.

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Leh and Srinagar is about 419 km.

Zanskar, Ladakh
The distance between Leh and Zanskar is about 463 km.

Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Leh and Pahalgam is about 506 km.

Kullu, HImachal Pradesh
The distance between Leh and Kullu is about 513 km.

How do I reach Leh by air? Which is the nearest airport to Leh
Leh has a domestic airport that is connected to Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Jammu, Mumbai airports
The nearest International Airport to Leh is Delhi Airport

How do I reach Leh by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Leh?
The nearest railway station to Leh is Jammu Tawi Railway Station
The distance from Jammu Station to Leh is about 687 km.


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Getaways from Madikeri

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Coorg, Karnataka

The distance between Madikeri and Coorg is about 21 km.

Mysore, Karnataka
The distance between Madikeri and Mysore is about 119 km.

Kabini, Kerala
The distance between Madikeri and Kabini is about 123 km.

Mangalore, Karnataka
The distance between Madikeri and Mangalore is about 139 km.

Chikmagalur, Karnataka
The distance between Madikeri and Chikmagalur is about 162 km.

Kozhikode, Kerala
The distance between Madikeri and Kozhikode is about 179 km.

Bangalore, Karnataka
The distance between Madikeri and Bangalore is about 266 km.

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Madikeri and Coimbatore is about 318 km.

How do I reach Madikeri by air? Which is the nearest airport to Madikeri?
The nearest Airport to Madikeri is Mangalore Airport.
The distance from Mangalore Airport to Madikeri is about 146 km.
The nearest International Airport to Madikeri is Kozhikode Calicut International Airport.
The distance from Kozhikode Airport to Madikeri is about 203 km.

How do I reach Madikeri by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Madikeri?
The nearest railway station to Madikeri are Hassan, Thalassery, Kannur and Kasrgod Railway Station.
The distance from Madikeri to Hassan Railway station is (105 km), Thalassery (116 km), Kannur (117 km) and Kasargod (114 km).


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Getaways from Mukteshwar

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Ramgarh, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Ramgarh is about 30 km.

Bhimtal, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Bhimtal is about 39 km.

Nainital, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Nainital is about 49 km.

Almora, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Almora is about 53 km.

Jageshwar, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Jageshwar is about 87 km.

Kausani, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Kausani is about 104 km.

Champawat, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Champawat is about 122 km.

Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Kedarnath is about 152 km.

Chaukori, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Chaukori is about 160 km.

Dharchula, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Dharchula is about 233 km.

Chopta, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Chopta is about 269 km.

Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Rudraprayag is about 247 km.

Haridwar, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Haridwar is about 280 km.

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Rishikesh is about 300 km.

Devprayag, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Devprayag is about 313 km.

Delhi
The distance between Mukteshwar and Delhi is about 345 km.

Mussourie, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Mussourie is about 363 km.

Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand
The distance between Mukteshwar and Uttarkashi is about 418 km.

How do I reach Mukteshwar by air? Which is the nearest airport to Mukteshwar?
The nearest Airport to Mukteshwar is Pantnagar Airport.
The distance from Pantnagar Airport to Mukteshwar is about 91 km.

How do I reach Mukteshwar by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Mukteshwar?
The nearest railway station to Mukteshwar is Kathgodam Railway Station.
The distance from Kathgodam Railway Station and Mukteshwar is about 56 km.

Another railway station near to Mukteshwar is Pantnagar Railway Station.
The distance from Pantnagar Railway Station and Mukteshwar is about 88 km.


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Getaways from Lansdowne

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Pauri, Uttarakhand
The distance between Lansdowne and Pauri is about 83 km.

Haridwar, Uttarakhand
The distance between Lansdowne and Haridwar is about 106 km.

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
The distance between Lansdowne and Rishikesh is about 126 km.

Dehradun, Uttarakhand
The distance between Lansdowne and Dehradun is about 158 km.

Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
The distance between Lansdowne and Mussoorie is about 189 km.

Ranikhet, Uttarakhand
The distance between Lansdowne and Ranikhet is about 214 km.

Delhi
The distance between Lansdowne and Delhi is about 262 km.

Chandigarh
The distance between Lansdowne and Chandigarh is about 309 km.

How do I reach Lansdowne by air? Which is the nearest airport to Lansdowne?
The nearest Airport to Lansdowne is Dehradun Airport.
The distance between Dehradun Airport and Lansdowne is 143 km.

How do I reach Lansdowne by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Lansdowne?
The nearest railway station to Lansdowne is Kotdwar Railway Station.
The distance from Kotdwar Station to Lansdowne is about 40 km.


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Getaways from Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram city in Tamil Nadu, India is a golden city of a thousand temples and is also considered as one of the Seven Sacred Cities of India.

Best time to visit Kanchipuram would be in the cooler months from November to February.

Add destinations to your Kanchipuram itinerary

Thiruthani, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kanchipuram and Thiruthani is about 47 km.

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

The distance between Kanchipuram and Chennai is about 77 km.

Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram is about 69 km.

Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
The distance between Kanchipuram and Tirupati is about 113 km.

Thiruvannamalai Thiruvannamalai
The distance between Kanchipuram and Thiruvannamalai is about 116 km.

Pondicherry
The distance between Kanchipuram and Pondicherry is 119 km.

Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kanchipuram and Chidambaram is about 182 km

Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kanchipuram and Tiruchirapalli is about 281 km.

Bangalore, Karnataka
The distance between Kanchipuram and Bangalore is about 282 km.

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

The distance between Kanchipuram and Thanjavur is about 295 km.

How do I reach Kanchipuram by air? Which is the nearest airport to Kanchipuram?
The distance from Chennai International Airport to Kanchipuram is about 65 km.

How do I reach Kanchipuram by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Kanchipuram?
Kanchipuram railway station is connected to Chennai, Pondicherry, Nagercoil and Madurai.


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Getaways from Kasauli

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Chandigarh

The distance between Kasauli and Chandigarh is about 58 km.

Shoghi, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kasauli and Shoghi is about 60 km.

Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kasauli and Nalagarh is about 62 km.

Chail, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kasauli and Chail is about 65 km.

Morni Hills, Haryana
The distance between Kasauli and Morni Hills is about 67 km.

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kasauli and Shimla is about 72 km.

Kufri, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kasauli and Kufri is about 86 km.

Nahan, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kasauli and Nahan is about 90 km.

Delhi
The distance between Kasauli and Delhi is about 289 km.

How do I reach Kasauli by air? Which is the nearest airport to Kasauli?
The nearest Airports to Kasauli is Chandigarh Aiport.
The distance between Chandigarh Airport and Kasauli is 69 km.

How do I reach Kasauli by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Kasauli?
The nearest railway station to Kasauli is Kalka Railway Station.
The distance from Kalka Railway Station to Kasauli is about 25 km.


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Getaways from Kullu

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Manali, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kullu and Manali is about 41 km.

Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kullu and Mandi is about 70 km.

Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kullu and Palampur is about 142 km.

Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kullu and Kangra is about 177 km.

Arki, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kullu and Arki is about 178 km.

Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kullu and Dharamsala is about 179 km.

Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kullu and Mcleodganj is about 184 km.

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Kullu and Shimla is about 208 km.

Chandigarh
The distance between Kullu and Chandigarh is about 251 km.

Delhi
The distance between Kullu and Delhi is about 495 km.

How do I reach Kullu by air? Which is the nearest airport to Kullu?
The nearest Airport to Kullu is Bhuntar Airport.
The distance from Bhuntar Airport to Kullu is about 10 km.

How do I reach Kullu by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Kullu?
The nearest railway station to Kullu is Joginder nagar Railway Station.
The distance from Joginder nagar Railway Station to Kullu is about 105 km.

You could opt to reach Kullu via Una Himachal Railway Station - and the distance from Una Himachal Railway Station to Kullu is about 204 km.

You could opt to reach Kullu via Summer Hill Railway Station (suburb of Shimla)
The distance from Summer Hill Railway Stationto Kullu is about 204 km.


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Getaways from Kedarnath, , Uttarakhand

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Gangotri, Uttarakhand

The distance between Kedarnath and Gangotri is about 32 km.

Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
The distance between Kedarnath and Valley of Flowers is about 50* km.
*Interesting read on why you cannot combine traveling to Kedarnath and Valley of flowers in the same trip - do read article at https://valleyofflowers.info/can-i-combine-kedarnath-with-valley-of-flowers-tour/
Note - multiple answers available on credible travel websites - in such a case it is important to check with your local travel agency.

Pauri, Uttarakhand
The distance between Kedarnath and Pauri is about 71 km.

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
The distance between Kedarnath and Rishikesh is about 105 km.

Lansdowne, Uttarakhand
The distance between Kedarnath and Lansdowne is about 106 km.

Dehradun, Uttarakhand
The distance between Kedarnath and Dehradun is about 109 km.

Auli, Uttarakhand
The distance between Kedarnath and Auli is about 128 km.

Chandigarh
The distance between Kedarnath and Chandigarh is about 443 km - do check this with a local travel agency as there are many credible sources stating that the distance is about 219 km.

How do I reach Kedarnath by air? Which is the nearest airport to Kedarnath?
The nearest Airport to Kedarnath is Dehradun Airport.
The distance from Dehradun Airport to Kedarnath is about 103 km.

How do I reach Kedarnath by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Kedarnath?
The nearest railway station to Kedarnath is Rishikesh Railway Station.
The distance from Rishikesh Railway Station to Kedarnath is about 102 km.
Rishikesh Railway station is connected to many cities in India.


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Getaways from Kodaikanal

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Palani, Tamil Nadu

The distance between Kodaikanal and Palani is about 66 km.

Theni, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Theni is about 86 km.

Dindigul, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Dindigul is about 95 km.

Sabrimala, Kerala
The distance between Kodaikanal and Sabrimala is about 100 km.

Madurai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Madurai is 116 km.

Munnar, Kerala
The distance between Kodaikanal and Munnar is about 167 km.

Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Sivakasi is about 179 km.

Valparai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Valparai is about 182 km.

Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Karaikudi is about 192 km.

Srirangam, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Srirangam is about 204 km.

Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Coonoor is about 235 km.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Ooty is about 252 km.

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Thanjavur is about 253 km.

Kumarokom, Kerala
The distance between Kodaikanal and Kumarokom is about 272 km.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Bandipur Tiger Reserve is about 292 km.

Mudumalai National Park, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Mudumalai National Park is about 292 km.

Yeracaud, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Yeracaud is about 292 km.

Ambasamudram, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Ambasamudram is about 298 km.

Kochi, Kerala
The distance between Kodaikanal and Kochi is about 302 km.

Bangalore, Karnataka
The distance between Kodaikanal and Bangalore is 465 km.

Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kodaikanal and Chennai is 526 km.

How do I reach Kodaikanal by air? Which is the nearest airport to Kodaikanal?
The nearest Airport to Kodaikanal is Madurai Airport
The distance from Madurai Airport to Kodaikanal is about 135 km.
Coimbatore Airport is also near Kodaikanal.
The distance from Coimbatore Airport to Kodaikanal is about 174 km.

How do I reach Kodaikanal by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Kodaikanal?
The nearest railway station to Kodaikanal is Kodai Road Railway Station.
The distance from Kodai Road Railway Station to Kodaikanal is about 80 km.


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Best time to visit Machu Picchu, Peru

Its kinda tough to accept that Machu Picchu rising up from a mountain forest to almost 8,000 feet above sea level was actually forgotten almost till 20th century.

Best time to visit Machu Picchu, Peru is from May to October though a dry season its not uncommon to expect heavy mists that can obscure the views.

Nearest International Airport to Machu Picchu is Cusco. You can come in even via Lima as there are buses, trains and flights available.


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Best time to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

I would opt any of these months - April, May, September, October as weather is good and has lesser crowds. Be prepared to have the most stunning and longest day of your life so do reach early morning.

Nearest International Airport to Plitvice Lakes National Park is Franjo Tuđman Airport or Zagreb Airport.


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Best time to visit Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is most definitely Old Japan and is often described by its ancient temples, tea ceremonies, traditional ryokan inns and centuries-old craftsmanship.

Best time to visit Kyoto is either in the fall that is October or November or in spring and that would be in the months of March, April or May.

Nearest International Airport to Kyoto would be Osaka International Airport at a distance of about 47 kms


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Best time to visit Abu Simbel, Egypt

Impressive Abu Simbel’s claims to fame are its two enormous temples that were rescued from Lake Nasser’s rising waters and that was one hell of a technological feat. 

Best time to visit Abu Simbel, Egypt is from October to April though note December and January is peak tourist season.

Abu Simbel Airport is well connected to Cairo Airport.


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Best time to visit Cinque Terre, Italy

With its own intrinsic historical character I can vouch for Cinque Terre being the the most beautiful historical place in the world.

Best time to visit Cinque Terre, Italy depends - if its hikes you are seeking than do so from mid-March to mid-October. Christmas in Cinque Terre is special for its biggest Presepe in the world.

Nearest International Airport to Cinque Terre, Italy is Leonardo da Vinci International (Fiumicino) Airport.


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Best time to visit Hamnoy in Norway

Hamnoy is one of the oldest and picturesque fishing village in Lofoten, Norway.

Best time to visit Hamnoy is up to you as you can vist Hamnoy all year round as there are no extreme changes in temperature exception being the Polar nights in the winter.


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Best time to visit Great Wall of China

The Great Wall is timeless charm to tourists where every season delivers its own individual scene. Opt for either March to June or autumn months of September, October and early November.

Nearest International Airport to Great Wall, China is Beijing Capital International Airport


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Best time to visit Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens, Greece

The best times to visit Athens are between March and May and from September to November. The smart way to visit the Parthenon in Athens is to land just two hours prior to closing time to avoid crowds.

Nearest International Airport to Acropolis is Athens International Airport or Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport.


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Best time to visit Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, Japan

A boat cruise around the inlet during high tide is stunning to enjoy its picturesque floating torii gate.

Best time to view the great Torii is during the high tide as it seems to be floating on the sea. Best time to visit Miyajima is from October and November or the fall season.

Nearest International Airport to Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, Japan is Hiroshima Airport


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Best time to visit Petra, Jordan

National Geographic describes Petra as the 'Lost City' that has secrets to reveal.

Best time to visit Petra would be in spring from March to May or Autumn from September to November.

Nearest International Airport to Petra, Jordan is Queen Alia International Airport at Amman.


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Best time to visit Vatican City

Known as the world’s smallest country Vatican City is a treasure trove for countless pieces of prized art across centuries.

Best time to visit Vatican City, Italy would be non peak season means cold weather and last week of November to early December + mid January to February

Nearest International Airport to Vatican City is Leonardo da Vinci International (Fiumicino) Airport.


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Best time to visit Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Did you know that the ancient engineering feats at Giza were so impressive that even today scientists can't be sure how the pyramids were built.?

Opt for any time from October to April as that is when temperatures are pleasant. December + January is hen iconic sights like the Pyramids of Giza, the Temples of Luxor are definitely crowded.

Nearest international airport to Pyramids of Giza would be Cairo International airport at a distance of about 25 kms.


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Best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef covering 00's of islands stretches so far that one can see it from outer space.

Best time to visit Great Barrier Reef, Australia is from June to October as rainfall is rare thus offering clear waters for diving expeditions.

Nearest International Airport to Great Barrier Reef, Australia is Cairns International. 


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Getaways from Agra

Agra is a must visit destination in India offering historical and architectural sites. Visit the world famous Taj Mahal one of the seven wonders of the world a structural beauty with fascinating historical anecdotes.

You may also visit Fatehpur Sikri, Jama Masjid, Moti Masjid, Maryam-uzzamani Palace or Buland Darwaza.

The best time to visit the city of Agra is when it is cooler, between October to March.

Add destinations to your Agra itinerary

Bharatpur, Rajasthan

The distance between Agra and Bharatpur is about 57 km.

Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Agra and Mathura is about 59 km.

Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Agra and Vrindavan is about 70 km.

Karauli, Rajasthan
The distance between Agra and Karauli is about 160 km.

Sariska, Rajasthan
The distance between Agra and Sariska is about 205 km.

Ranthambhore, Rajasthan
The distance between Agra and Ranthambhore is about 264 km.

Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
The distance between Agra and Corbett National Park is about 305 km.

Nainital, Uttarakhand
The distance between Agra and Nainital is about 341 km.


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Getaways from Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad is a large city with many sites like the soothing Sabarmati Ashram, view vintage cars at the Auto World Vintage Museum, Kankaria lake is the place to go in the evening or check out the Adalaj Step Well or drive down to Sarkhej Roza.

The best time to visit the city of Ahmedabad is between October to March.

Add destinations to your Ahmedabad itinerary

Ambaji, Gujarat
The distance between Ahmedabad and Ambaji is about 189 km.

Palitana, Gujarat
The distance between Ahmedabad and Palitana is about 211 km.

Mount Abu, Rajasthan
The distance between Ahmedabad and Mount Abu is 226 about km.

Udaipur, Rajasthan
The distance between Ahmedabad and Udaipur is about 265 km.

Nathdwara, Rajasthan
The distance between Ahmedabad and Nathdwara is about 312 km.

Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan
The distance between Ahmedabad and Kumbhalgarh is about 314 km.

Daman
The distance between Ahmedabad and Daman is about 365 km.

Chittorgarh, Rajasthan
The distance between Ahmedabad and Chittorgarh is about 382 km.

Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh
The distance between Ahmedabad and Maheshwar is about 398 km.

Saputara, Gujarat
The distance between Ahmedabad and Saputara is about 400 km.

Somnath, Gujarat
The distance between Ahmedabad and Somnath is about 410 km.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan
The distance between Ahmedabad and Jodhpur that is about 445 km.

Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra
The distance between Ahmedabad and Trimbakeshwar is about 510 km.


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Getaways from Amritsar

Amritsar is a glowing synonym of Sikh religion. Amritsar has sacred temples, tasty cuisine and an effervescent cultural aura.

A visit to the Golden Temple at Amritsar also known as Shri Harmandir Sahib is a must. Do visit the Wagah border or the Jallianwala Bagh or Akal Takht.

The best time to visit Amritsar city is between October to March.

Add destinations to your Amritsar itinerary

Pragpur, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Amritsar and Pragpur is about 140 km.

Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Amritsar and Dalhousie is about 199 km.

Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Amritsar and Dharamshala is about 202 km.

Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Amritsar and Kangra is about 202 km.

Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Amritsar and Mcleodganj is about 205 km.

Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Amritsar and Jammu is about 215 km.

Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Amritsar and Palampur is about 229 km.

Chandigarh
The distance between Amritsar and Chandigarh is about 229 km.

Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Amritsar and Kasauli is about 267 km.

Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Amritsar and Vaishno Devi is about 269 km.

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Amritsar and Shimla is about 298 km.

Kufri, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Amritsar and Kufri is about 313 km.

Chail, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Amritsar and Chail is about 328 km.

Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Amritsar and Kullu is about 369 km.

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Amritsar and Srinagar is about 434 km.


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Getaways from Bangalore

Bangalore is a city that is effervescent with energy and representing a potpourri of people and culture. When sightseeing in Bangalore check out Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, Cubbon Park, Bull Temple, 400+ year old Big Banyan Tree, or Lalbagh or Bangalore Palace.

The best time to visit Bangalore is between September to February.

Add destinations to your Bangalore itinerary

Hogenakkal, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Hogenakkal is about 129 km.

Srirangapatna, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Srirangapatna is about 127 km.

Shivanasamundra, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Shivanasamundram is about 131 km.

Mysore, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Mysore is about 144 km.

Sravanabelagola, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Sravanabelagola is about 146 km.

Yercaud, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Bangalore and Yercaud is about 205 km.

Kabini, Kerala
The distance between Bangalore and Kabini is about 207 km.

Halebid, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Halebid is about 211 km.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Bandipur Tiger Reserve is about 213 km.

Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Nagarhole National Park is about 221 km.

BR Hills, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and BR Hills is about 172 km.

Mudumalai National Park, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Bangalore and Mudumalai National Park is about 228 km.

Chikmagalur, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Chikmagalur is about 244 km.

Dubare, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Dubare is about 251 km.

Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
The distance between Bangalore and Tirupati is about 252 km.

Coorg, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Coorg is about 266 km.

Madikeri, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Madikeri is about 266 km.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Bangalore and Ooty is about 267 km.

Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Bangalore and Kanchipuram is about 267 km.

Wayanad, Kerala
The distance between Bangalore and Wayanad is about 272 km.

Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Bangalore and Coonoor is about 285 km.

Srikalahasti, Andhra Pradesh
The distance between Bangalore and Srikalahasti is about 289 km.

Kudremukh, Karnataka
The distance between Bangalore and Kudremukh is about 332 km.

 


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Getaways from Chandigarh

If in Chandigarh do not miss the Rock Garden. You may opt for the Pinjore Gardens (especially in the evening) or Sukhna Lake.

The best time to visit Chandigarh is between September to March.

Add destinations to your Chandigarh itinerary

Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Kasauli is about 58 km.

Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Nalagarh is about 68 km.

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Shimla is about 112 km.

Chail, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Chail is about 127 km.

Kufri, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Kufri is about 127 km.

Dehradun, Uttarakhand
The distance between Chandigarh and Dehradun is about 172 km.

Pragpur, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Pragpur is about 177 km.

Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
The distance between Chandigarh and Mussoorie is about 204 km.

Haridwar, Uttarakhand
The distance between Chandigarh and Haridwar is about 205 km.

Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Kangra is about 222 km.

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
The distance between Chandigarh and Rishikesh is about 225 km.

Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand
The distance between Chandigarh and Rajaji National Park is about 226 km.

Amritsar, Punjab
The distance between Chandigarh and Amritsar is about 229 km.

Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Dharamshala is about 239 km.

Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Mcleodganj is about 244 km.

Delhi
The distance between Chandigarh and Delhi is about 245 km.

Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Kullu is about 249 km.

Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Palampur is about 254 km.

Manali, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Manali is about 289 km.

Lansdowne, Uttarakhand
The distance between Chandigarh and Lansdowne is about 310 km.

Dalhousie, Himachal Pardesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Dalhousie is about 316 km.

Chamba, Himachal Pardesh
The distance between Chandigarh and Chamba HP is about 334 km.

Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Chandigarh and Vaishno Devi is about 399 km.

 


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Getaways from Chennai

A cultural city Chennai boasts a rich heritage and that is eclectically mixed with the vibrant modernism. Places or sites you may visit are Fort St George (the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly), Vivekananda House (Ice House), or the famous Marina Beach or Thirumalai Thirupathi Devasthanam Temple.

The best time to visit Chennai city is between November to February.

Add destinations to your Chennai itinerary

Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

The distance between Chennai and Mahabalipuram is about 57 km.

Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chennai and Kanchipuram is about 75 km.

Srikalahasti, Andhra Pradesh
The distance between Chennai and Srikalahasti is about 116 km.

Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
The distance between Chennai and Tirupati is about 134 km.

Pondicherry
The distance between Chennai and Pondicherry is about 152 km.

Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chennai and Thiruvannamalai is about 194 km.

Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chennai and Chidambaram is about 216 km.

Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chennai and Kumbakonam is about 295 km.

Swamimalai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chennai and Swamimalai is about 298 km.

Hogenakkal, Karnataka
The distance between Chennai and Hogenakkal is about 343 km.

Yercaud, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chennai and Yercaud is about 369 km.

Bangalore, Karnataka
The distance between Chennai and Bangalore is about 347 km.

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chennai and Thanjavur is about 349 km.

Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh
The distance between Chennai and Puttaparthi is about 356 km.


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Getaways from Coimbatore

There are many famous temples in Coimbatore like the Anubhavi Subramaniar Temple or the ancient temple Eachanari Vinayagar Temple or the Add Yogi Shiva Statue. You can visit Kovai Kutralam Falls or Monkey Falls both are popular tourist spots outside Coimbatore. Coimbatore by itself may have many sites but if you venture out of Coimbatore there are many options as mentioned below.

The best time to visit Coimbatore is between September to March.

Add destinations to your Coimbatore itinerary

Anaimalai, Kerala
The distance between Coimbatore and Anaimalai is about 114 km.

Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Coimbatore and Coonoor is about 69 km.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Coimbatore and Ooty is about 85 km.

Mudumalai National Park, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Coimbatore and Mudumalai National Park is about 130 km.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka
The distance between Coimbatore and Bandipur Tiger Reserve is about 126 km.

Munnar, Kerala
The distance between Coimbatore and Munnar is about 158 km.

Kozhikode, Kerala
The distance between Coimbatore and Kozhikode is about 179 km.

Shivanasamudra, Karnataka
The distance between Coimbatore and Shivanasamundra is about 190 km.

Kochi, Kerala
The distance between Coimbatore and Kochi is about 192 km.

Wayanad, Kerala
The distance between Coimbatore and Wayanad is about 195 km.

Mysore, Karnataka
The distance between Coimbatore and Mysore is about 197 km.

Kabini, Kerala
The distance between Coimbatore and Kabini is about 216 km.

Madurai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Coimbatore and Madurai is about 217 km.

Srirangapatna, Karnataka
The distance between Coimbatore and Srirangapatna is about 218 km.

Kumarakom, Kerala
The distance between Coimbatore and Kumarakom is about 233 km.

Alleppey, Kerala
The distance between Coimbatore and Alleppey is about 236 km.

Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Coimbatore and Karaikudi is about 260 km.

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Coimbatore and Thanjavur is about 273 km.

Thekkady, Kerala
The distance between Coimbatore and Thekkady is about 282 km.

Sravanabelagola, Karnataka
The distance between Coimbatore and Sravanabelagola is about 284 km.

Swamimalai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Coimbatore and Swamimalai is about 288 km.

Chettinad, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Coimbatore and Chettinad is about 294 km.

Kumbakonam,Tamil Nadu
The distance between Coimbatore and Kumbakonam is about 295 km.

Madikeri, Karnataka
The distance between Coimbatore and Madikeri is about 318 km.

Coorg, Karnataka
The distance between Coimbatore and Coorg is about 318 km.

Bangalore, Karnataka
The distance between Coimbatore and Bangalore is about 364 km.


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Getaways from Delhi

Delhi is dotted with ancient forts and monuments like the Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb or Kutab Minar. You may opt for a visit to the colorful Chandni Chowk or the Bahia Lotus Temple.



The best time to visit Delhi is between August to March.


Add destinations to your Delhi itinerary

Kurukshetra, Haryana

The distance between Delhi and Kurukshetra is about 155 km.


Alwar, Rajasthan

The distance between Delhi and Alwar is about 167 km.


Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Vrindavan is about 183 km.


Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Mathura is about 184 km.


Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan

The distance between Delhi and Sariska Tiger Reserve is about 204 km.


Haridwar, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Haridwar is about 221 km.

Bharatpur, Rajasthan

The distance between Delhi and Bharatpur is about 222 km.


Agra, Uttar Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Agra is about 234 km.

Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Corbett National Park is about 232 km.

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Rishikesh is about 241 km.


Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Rajaji National Park is about 242 km.

Chandigarh

The distance between Delhi and Chandigarh is about 244 km.

Dehradun, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Dehradun is about 257 km.


Lansdowne, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Lansdowne is about 258 km.


Jaipur, Rajasthan

The distance between Delhi and Jaipur is about 282 km.


Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Kasauli is about 288 km.


Shekhawati, Rajasthan

The distance between Delhi and Shekhawati is about 289 km.


Mussoorie, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Mussoorie is about 289 km.


Nainital, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Nainital is about 297 km.


Naukuchiatal, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Naukuchiatal is about 312 km.


Pauri, Uttarakhand
The distance between Delhi and Pauri is about 325 km.


Shoghi, Himachal Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Shoghi is about 330 km.

Chail, Himachal Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Chail is about 336 km.


Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Shimla is about 343 km.


Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Mukteshwar is about 344 km.


Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Gwalior is about 352 km.


Ranikhet, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Ranikhet is about 355 km.


Kufri, Himachal Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Kufri is about 357 km.


Almora, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Almora is about 362 km.


Naldehra, Himachal Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Naldehra is about 366 km.


Kishangarh, Rajasthan

The distance between Delhi and Kishangarh is about 371 km.


Ajmer, Rajasthan

The distance between Delhi and Ajmer is about 405 km.


Pragpur, Himachal Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Pragpur is about 417 km.


Amritsar, Punjab

The distance between Delhi and Amritsar is about 449 km.


Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Dharamsala is about 469 km.


Kullu, Himachal Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Kullu is about 492 km.


Gangotri, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Gangotri is about 498 km.


Manali, Himachal Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Manali is about 531 km.

Badrinath, Uttarakhand

The distance between Delhi and Badrinath is about 534 km.


Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

The distance between Delhi and Lucknow is about 555 km.





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Getaways from Dehradun

Add destinations to your Dehradun itinerary

Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Mussoorie is about 34 km.

Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Dhanaulti is about 36 km.

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Rishikesh is about 47 km.

Haridwar, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Haridwar is about 53 km.

Paonta Sahib, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dehradun and Paonta Sahib is about 53 km.

Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand
The distance between Dehradun and Rajaji National Park is about 61 km

Kanatal, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Kanatal is about 77 km.

Chamba, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Chamba is about 88 km.

New Tehri, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and New Tehri is about 99 km.

Nag Tibba, Garhwal , Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Nag Tibba is about 109 km.

Devprayag, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Devprayag is about 114 km.

Auli, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Auli is about 152 km.

Lansdowne, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Lansdowne is about 158 km.

Chandigarh
Distance between Dehradun and Chandigarh is about 174 km.

Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dehradun and Kasauli is about 184 km.

Har ki Doon, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Sankri is about 187 km.

Chopta, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Chopta is about 205 km.

Chail, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dehradun and Chail is about 221 km

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dehradun and Shimla is about 228 km

Gangotri, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Gangotri is about 242 km

Kufri, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dehradun and Kufri in Himachal Pradesh is 243 km

Delhi
The distance between Dehradun and Delhi is about 260 km

Badrinath, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Badrinath is about 334 km

Chaukori, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dehradun and Chaukori is about 370 km.

Amritsar, Punjab
Distance between Dehradun and Amritsar is about 430 km.

How do I reach Dehradun by air? Which is the nearest airport to Dehradun?
Dehradun is a domestic airport.
The nearest International Airport to Dehradun is Delhi Airport
The distance between Delhi Airport and Dehradun is 262 km

How do I reach Dehradun by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Dehradun?
Dehradun Station is connected to cities like Delhi, Kolkatta, Varanasi, Ujjain and Indore.


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Getaways from Dharamshala

Add destinations to your Dharamshala itinerary

Triund – Trek Base Camp, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dharamshala and Triund Base Camp is about 6 km.

Mcleod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dharamshala and Mcleod Ganj is about 27 km.

Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dharamshala and Palampur is about 35 km.

Pragpur, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Dharamsala and Pragpur is about 62 km

Bir, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dharamshala and Bir-Billing is about 65 km.

Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dharamshala and Dalhousie is about 119 km.

Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dharamshala and Khajjiar is about 129 km.

Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Dharamsala and Jammu is about 194 km

Amritsar, Punjab
Distance between Dharamshala and Amritsar is about 203 km.

Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dharamshala and Shimla is about 216 km.

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dharamshala and Shimla is about 234 km.

Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Dharamsala and Vaishno Devi is about 248 km

Chail, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dharamshala and Chail is about 308 km.

Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dharamshala and Spiti Valley is about 411 km.

Reach Dharamshala via various airports in North India

Gaggal Airport, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dharamshala and Gaggal Airport at Kangra is about 14 km.

Pathankot Airport, Punjab
Distance between Dharamshala and Pathankot Airport is about 91 km.

Kullu Airport, Himachal Pradesh
Distance between Dharamshala and Kullu Airport is about 166 km.

Ludhiana Airport, Punjab
Distance between Dharamshala and Ludhiana Airport is about 204 km.

Chandigarh International Airport
Distance between Dharamshala and Chandigarh International Airport is about 243 km.

Dehradun Airport, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dharamshala and Dehradun Airport is about 433 km.

Delhi International Airport
Distance between Dharamshala and Delhi International Airport is about 487 km.

Pantnagar Airport, Uttarakhand
Distance between Dharamshala and Pantnagar Airport is about 705 km.

How do I reach Dharamsala by air? Which is the nearest airport to Dharamsala?
The nearest Airport to Dharamsala is Gaggal Airport
The distance from Gaggal Airport to Dharamsala is about 14 km.

The nearest International Airport to Dharamsala is Delhi Airport
The distance from Delhi Airport to Dharamsala is about 487 km.

How do I reach Dharamsala by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Dharamsala?
The nearest railway station to Dharamsala is Kangra Mandir Railway Station
The distance from Kangra Mandir Railway Station to Dharamsala is about 33 km.

Another railway station near to Dharamsala is Pathankot Railway Station which is at a distance of about 87 km.


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Getaways from Gulmarg

Add destinations to your Gulmarg itinerary

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

The distance between Gulmarg and Srinagar is about 50 km.

Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Gulmarg and Sonamarg is about 124 km.

Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Gulmarg and Pahalgam is about 139 km.

Doda, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Gulmarg and Doda is about 277 km.

Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Gulmarg and Jammu is about 314 km.

Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Gulmarg and Vaishno Devi is about 304 km.

Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Gulmarg and Dalhousie is about 430 km.

Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Gulmarg and Dharamsala is about 462 km.

Zanskar
The distance between Gulmarg and Zanskar is about 491 km.

Delhi
The distance between Gulmarg and Delhi is 859 about km.

How do I reach Gulmarg by air? Which is the nearest airport to Gulmarg?
The nearest Airport to Gulmarg is Srinagar Airport.
The distance from Srinagar Airport to Gulmarg is about 58 km.

How do I reach Gulmarg by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Gulmarg?
The nearest railway station to Gulmarg is Jammu Railway Station.
The distance from Jammu Railway Station to Gulmarg is about 320 km.


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Getaways from Goa

Goa is a popular tourist destination and has a diverse mix of beaches, nature history and is known for its parties. Laze around Goan beaches or go browsing in Goan markets; It may be worth your while to visit Old Goa.

The best time to visit Goa is between October to March. Goa does have a pleasant climate and can be visited through the year.

Add destinations to your Goa itinerary

Devbagh, Maharashtra

The distance between Goa and Devbagh is about 75 km.

Sawantwadi, Maharashtra
The distance between Goa and Sawantwadi is about 100 km.

Vengurla, Maharashtra
The distance between Goa and Vengurla is about 111 km.

Nersa, Karnataka
The distance between Goa and Nersa is about 76 km

Dandeli, Karnataka
The distance between Goa and Dandeli is about 99 km.

Amboli, Maharashtra
The distance between Goa and Amboli is about 120 km.

Gokarna, Karnataka
The distance between Goa and Gokarna is about 135 km.

Tarkarli, Maharashtra
The distance between Goa and Tarkarli is about 148 km.

Dajipur, Maharashtra
The distance between Goa and Dajipur is about 190 km.

Murudeshwar, Karnataka
The distance between Goa and Murudeshwar is about 192 km.

Kolhapur, Maharashtra
The distance between Goa and Kolhapur is about 217 km.

Panhala, Maharashtra
The distance between Goa and Panhala is about 237 km.

Badami, Karnataka
The distance between Goa and Badami is about 239 km.

Ratnagiri, Maharashtra
The distance between Goa and Ratnagiri is about 271 km.

Udupi, Karnataka
The distance between Goa and Udupi is about 291 km.

Ganapatipule, Maharashtra
The distance between Goa and Chiplun is about 295 km.

Bijapur, Karnataka
The distance between Goa and Bijapur is about 313 km.

Chiplun, Maharashtra
The distance between Goa and Chiplun is about 300 km.

Sringeri, Karnataka
The distance between Goa and Sringeri is about 361 km.

 


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Getaways from Guwahati

Guwahati gives you options to various religious places, green hills, and tea plantations. Opt for the Temples of Hajo or the Tiger reserve at the Kaziranga National Park (World Heritage Site) or the Bhuvaneswari Temple or the Kamakhya Temple,

The best time to visit Guwahati is between October to March.

Add destinations to your Guwahati itinerary

Nalbari, Assam
The distance between Guwahati and Nalbari is about 73 km.

Shillong, Meghalaya
The distance between Guwahati and Shillong is 99 km.

Orang National Park, Assam
The distance between Guwahati and Orang National Park is about 110 km.

Barpeta, Assam
The distance between Guwahati and Barpeta is about 96 km.

Manas National Park, Assam
The distance between Guwahati and Manas National Park is about 138 km.

Kaziranga National Park
The distance between Guwahati and Kaziranga National Park is about 194 km.

Diphu, Assam
The distance between Guwahati and Diphu is about 249 km.

Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh
The distance between Guwahati and about Bomdila is 270 km.

Jorhat, Assam
The distance between Guwahati and Jorhat is about 305 km.

Silchar, Assam
The distance between Guwahati and Silchar is about 314 km.

Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
The distance between Guwahati and Itanagar is about 328 km.

Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, West Bengal
The distance between Guwahati and Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is about 349 km.

Haflong Hill, Assam
The distance between Guwahati and Haflong Hill is about 330 km.

Kohima, Nagaland
The distance between Guwahati and Kohima is about 357 km.

Dibrugarh, Assam
The distance between Guwahati and Dibrugarh is about 445 km.

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
The distance between Guwahati and Tawang is about 446 km.

Aizawl, Mizoram
The distance between Guwahati and Aizawl is about 470 km.

Siliguri, West Bengal
The distance between Guwahati and Siliguri is about 475 km.

Imphal, Manipur
The distance between Guwahati and Imphal is about 490 km.

Kalimpong, West Bengal
The distance between Guwahati and Kalimpong is about 494 km.

Darjeeling, West Bengal
The distance between Guwahati and Darjeeling is about 511 km.

Gangtok, West Bengal
The distance between Guwahati and Gangtok is about 544 km.


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Getaways from Jaipur

Jaipur is affectionately known as the Pink city has many palaces and forts to visit a resplendent reminder of its royal heritage. You may opt to visit Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort and Palace, or Nahagarh fort.

The best time to visit Jaipur is between October to March.

Add destinations to your Jaipur itinerary

Kalakho, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Kalakho is about 107 km.

Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Sariska Tiger Reserve is about 107 km.

Shekhawati, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Shekhawati is about 115 km.

Ajmer, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Ajmer is about 137 km.

Pushkar, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Pushkar is about 150 km.

Alwar, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Alwar is about 160 km.

Mandawa, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Mandawa is about 169 km.

Karauli, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Karauli is about 178 km.

Bharatpur, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Bharatpur is about 184 km.

Ranthambhore, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Ranthambhore is about 190 km.

Bundi, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Bundi is about 215 km.

Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Jaipur and Mathura is about 221 km.

Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Jaipur and Vrindavan is about 233 km.

Agra, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Jaipur and Agra is about 238 km.

Delhi
The distance between Jaipur and Delhi is about 274 km.

Chittorgarh, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Chittorgarh is about 302 km.

Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh
The distance between Jaipur and Gwalior is about 333 km.

Bikaner, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Bikaner is about 335 km.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Jodhpur is about 354 km.

Udaipur, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Udaipur is about 396 km.

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
The distance between Jaipur and Jaisalmer is about 556 km.


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Getaways from Jammu

Jammu city is located in the foot hills of Himalayas that has ancient temples, imposing palaces and historical monuments. Check out the Bahu Fort, Mubarak Mandi Palace, Mansar and Surinsar Lakes, Patnitop (offers views of green valleys and snow capped mountains), or you may visit the famous Vaishno Devi temple few kilometers from Jammu.

The best time to visit Jammu is between September to April.

Add destinations to your Jammu itinerary

Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir

The distance between Jammu and Vaishno Devi is about 59 km.

Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Jammu and Dalhousie is about 173 km.

Amarnath, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Jammu and Amarnath is about 178 km.

Pragpur, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Jammu and Pragpur is about 179 km.

Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Jammu and Dharamshala is about 191 km.

Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Jammu and Kangra is about 192 km.

Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Jammu and Mcleodganj is about 194 km.

Amritsar, Punjab
The distance between Jammu and Amritsar is about 213 km.

Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Jammu and Palampur is about 218 km.

Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Jammu and Pahalgam is about 254 km.

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Jammu and Srinagar is about 266 km.

Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Jammu and Gulmarg is about 314 km.

Chandigarh
The distance between Jammu and Chandigarh is about 339 km.

Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Jammu and Sonamarg is about 343 km.

Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Jammu and Kullu is about 359 km.

Manali, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Jammu and Manali is about 399 km.

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Jammu and Shimla is about 408 km.

Chail, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Jammu and Chail is about 441 km.

Kargil, Ladakh
The distance between Jammu and Kargil is about 466 km.

Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
The distance between Jammu and Mussoorie is about 569 km.

Delhi
The distance between Jammu and Delhi is about 588 km.

Leh, Ladakh

The distance between Jammu and Leh is about 682 km.

Zanskar, Ladakh
The distance between Jammu and Zanskar is about 710 km.

How do I reach Jammu by air? Which is the nearest airport to Jammu?
Jammu has a domestic airport that is connected to many airports in India especially Delhi Airport.

How do I reach Jammu by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Jammu?
Jammu Tawi Railway Station is connected to many cities in India.


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Getaways from Kochi

The striking port city of Kochi is a popular tourist's destination as has lush mangroves, palm trees lined around the translucent waters of backwaters, ancient churches, cathedrals and fort. Many popular hill stations (Munnar, Wayanad) are well connected to Kochi;

Walk around Fort Kochi or catch the evening views surrounded by Fishing Nets; or visit the Bolgatty Palace or explore the quaint charm of Mattancherry Palace. The Jewish Synagogue in Kochi is one of the oldest synagogue in all the Commonwealth of Nations or offer prayers at the ancient St Francis Xavier's Church.

The best time to visit Kochi is between October to March.

Add destinations to your Kochi itinerary

Kumarakom, Kerala

The distance between Kochi and Kumarakom is about 50 km.

Alleppey, Kerala
The distance between Kochi and Alleppey is about 53 km.

Sabarimala, Kerala
The distance between Kochi and Sabarimala is about 105 km.

Munnar, Kerala
The distance between Kochi and Munnar is about 127 km.

Thekkady, Kerala
The distance between Kochi and Thekkady is about 159 km.

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kochi and Coimbatore is about 190 km.

Kozhikode, Kerala
The distance between Kochi and Kozhikode is about 200 km.

Trivandrum, Kerala
The distance between Kochi and Trivandrum is about 200 km.

Kovalam, Kerala
The distance between Kochi and Kovalam is about 212 km.

Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kochi and Coonoor is about 258 km.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka
The distance between Kochi and Bandipur Tiger Reserve is about 263 km.

Madurai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kochi and Madurai is about 268 km.

Wayanad, Kerala
The distance between Kochi and Wayanad is about 271 km.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kochi and Ooty is about 275 km.

Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kochi and Kanyakumari is about 293 km.

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kochi and Kodaikanal is about 301 km.

Palani Hills, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Kochi and Palani Hills is about 308 km.

Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
The distance between Kochi and Nagarhole National Park is about 316 km.

Mysore, Karnataka
The distance between Kochi and Mysore is about 347 km.

Kabini, Kerala
The distance between Kochi and Kabini is about 347 km.

BR Hills, Karnataka
The distance between Kochi and BR Hills is about 355 km.

Dubare, Karnataka
The distance between Kochi and Dubare is about 362 km.


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Getaways from Kolkata

The city of Kolkata boasts of a graceful culture and rich history has a friendly and laid back attitude.

Consider visiting Fort William or the Birla Planetarium, pass through Howrah Bridge or check out Marble Palace and Belur Math or offer prayers at Dakshineshwar Kali Temple...

The best time to visit Kolkata is between October to March.

Add destinations to your Kolkata itinerary

Tarakeshwar, West Bengal
The distance between Kolkata and Tarakeshwar is about 63 km.

Kamarpukur, West Bengal
The distance between Kolkata and Kamarpukur is about 97 km.

Jairambati, West Bengal
The distance between Kolkata and Jairambati is about 104 km.

Mayapur, West Bengal
The distance between Kolkata and Mayapur is about 124 km.

Navadvipa, West Bengal
The distance between Kolkata and Navadvipa is about 137 km.

Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
The distance between Kolkata International Airport and Sundarbans National Park is about 101 km.

Santiniketan, West Bengal
The distance between Kolkata and Santiniketan is about 162 km.

Deoghar, Jharkhand
The distance between Kolkata and Deoghar is about 325 km.

Simlipal National Park, Odisha
The distance between Kolkata and Simlipal National Park is about 361 km.

Udayagiri, Odisha
The distance between Kolkata and Udayagiri is about 454 km.

Bodh Gaya, Bihar
The distance between Kolkata and Bodh Gaya is about 473 km.

Nalanda, Bihar
The distance between Kolkata and Nalanda is about 483 km.

Puri, Odisha
The distance between Kolkata and Puri is about 505 km.


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Getaways from Lucknow

Charming city of Lucknow has many popular monuments like the Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, Dilkusha Kothi, Firangi Mahal, Kaiserbagh Palace, Sikander Bagh and Sankat Mochan Temple.

The best time to visit Lucknow is between October to March.

Add destinations to your Lucknow itinerary

Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Rae Bareli is about 80 km.

Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Kanpur is about 93 km.

Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Faizabad is about 128 km.

Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Ayodhya is about 136 km.

Sravasti, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Sravasti is about 174 km.

Katra, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Katra is about 203 km.

Basti, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Basti is about 205 km.

Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Allahabad is about 212 km.

Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Chitrakoot is about 231 km.

Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Bareilly is about 248 km.

Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Khajuraho is about 309 km.

Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Sarnath is about 313 km.

Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Jhansi is about 314 km.

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Varanasi is about 321 km.

Agra, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Agra is about 334 km.

Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Gwalior is about 339 km.

Panna National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Panna National Park is about 342 km.

Rewa, Madhya Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Rewa is about 344 km.

Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Mathura is about 396 km.

Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
The distance between Lucknow and Vrindavan is about 398 km.

Nainital, Uttarakhand
The distance between Lucknow and Nainital is about 398 km.

Ranikhet, Uttarakhand
The distance between Lucknow and Ranikhet is about 437 km.

Almora, Uttarakhand
The distance between Lucknow and Almora is about 444 km.

Binsar, Uttarakhand
The distance between Lucknow and Binsar is about 467 km.


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Getaways from Mumbai

When in Mumbai check the sunrise or sunset at the seafront be in on Bandra bandstand or at Nariman Point, you may opt for a ferry ride to Elephanta caves or go pub hoping as Mumbai has many to offer or you may opt for an eclectic evening amongst the creative minds at the Prithvi cafe.

The best time to visit Mumbai is between October to February.

Add destinations to your Mumbai itinerary

Karnala,Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Karnala is about 48 km.

Karjat, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Karjat is about 63 km.

Vajreshwari, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Vajreshwari is about 66 km.

Mahuli Fort, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Mahuli Fort is about 75 km.

Durshet, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Durshet is about 77 km.

Rajmachi, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Rajmachi is about 78 km.

Khandala, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Khandala is about 80 km.

Matheran, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Matheran is about 83 km.

Lonavala, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Lonavala is about 84 km.

Alibaug, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Alibag is about 95 km.

Kamshet, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Kamshet is about 101 km.

Palghar, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Palghar is about 115 km.

Igatpuri, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Igatpuri is about 121 km.

Kashid, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Kashid is about 126 km.

Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Malshej Ghat is about 127 km.

Jawahar, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Jawahar is about 141 km.

Alandi, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Alandi is about 145 km.

Pune, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Pune about 149 km.

Bordi, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Bordi is about 160 km.

Raigad, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Raigad is about 160 km.

Bhandardara, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Bhandardara is about 164 km.

Nashik, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Nashik is about 168 km.

Shrivardhan, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Shrivardhan is about 171 km.

Silvassa, Dadra Nagar Haveli
The distance between Mumbai and Silvassa is about 173 km.

Daman, Daman and Diu
The distance between Mumbai and Daman is about 177 km.

Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Trimbakeshwar is about 178 km.

Harihareshwar, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Harihareshwar is about 185 km.

Udvada, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Udvada is about 187 km.

Bhimashankar, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Bhimashankar is about 196 km.

Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Mahabaleshwar is about 222 km.

Murud Janjira, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Murud Janjira is about 230 km.

Harnai, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Harnai is about 234 km.

Chiplun, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Chiplun is about 238 km.

Shirdi, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Shirdi is about 240 km.

Panchgani, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Panchgani is about 255 km.

Ratnagiri, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Ratnagiri is about 326 km.

Grishneshwar, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Grishneshwar is about 339 km.

Pandharpur, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Pandharpur is about 357 km.

Aurangabad, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Aurangabad is about 369 km.

Kolhapur, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Kolhapur is about 387 km.

Panhala, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Panhala is about 390 km.

Tuljapur, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Tuljapur is about 440 km.

Bijapur, Karnataka
The distance between Mumbai and Bijapur is about 468 km.

Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh
The distance between Mumbai and Maheshwar is about 515 km.

Tarkarli Maheshwar
The distance between Mumbai and Tarkarli is about 545 km.

Vengurla, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Vengurla is about 555 km.

Sawantwadi, Maharashtra
The distance between Mumbai and Sawantwadi is about 531 km.

Ahmedabad, Gujarat
The distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is about 532 km.

Omkareshwar, Madhya Pradesh
The distance between Mumbai and Omkareshwar is about 578 km.

Goa
The distance between Mumbai and Goa is about 598 km.


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Getaways from Pune

Pune is a baffling mix of new India. You may not need more than half a day to sightsee in Pune to visit Aga Khan Palace, Shaniwar Wada, Mulshi Lake and Dam, Osho Ashram, Parvati Hill Temples, St. Mary's Church. Pune is a regular getaway for Indians looking to relax for one or two days with its excellent mix of restaurants.

The best time to visit Pune is between September to March.

Add destinations to your Pune itinerary

Alandi, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Alandi is about 24 km.

Kamshet, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Kamshet is about 47 km.

Lonavala, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Lonavala is about 64 km.

Khandala, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Khandala is about 73 km.

Rajmachi, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Rajmachi is about 74 km.

Matheran, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Matheran is about 81 km.

Mumbai, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Mumbai is about 94 km.

Durshet, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Durshet is about 102 km.

Karjat, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Karjat is about 103 km.

Bhimashankar, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Bhimashankar is about 111 km.

Panchgani, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Panchgani is about 112 km.

Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Malshej Ghat is about 125 km.

Karnala, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Karnala is about 125 km.

Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Mahabaleshwar is about 131 km.

Raigad, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Raigad is about 132 km.

Alibaug, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Alibag is about 143 km.

Murud Janjira, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Murud Janjira is about 157 km.

Shrivardhan, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Shrivardhan is about 157 km.

Harihareshwar, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Harihareshwar is about 171 km.

Bhandardara, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Bhandardara is about 173 km.

Kashid, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Kashid is about 175 km.

Shirdi, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Shirdi is about 185 km.

Vajreshwari, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Vajreshwari is about 194 km.

Chiplun, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Chiplun is about 201 km.

Harnai, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Harnai is about 201 km.

Mahuli Fort, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Mahuli Fort is about 203 km.

Pandharpur, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Pandharpur is about 211 km.

Aurangabad, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Aurangabad is about 238 km.

Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Trimbakeshwar is about 242 km.

Palghar, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Palghar is about 244 km.

Kolhapur, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Kolhapur is about 245 km.

Guhagar, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Guhagar is about 245 km.

Jawahar, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Jawahar is about 249 km.

Ganapatipule, Maharashtra
The distance between Pune and Ganapatipule is about 346 km.


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Getaways from Trivandrum

Trivandrum is blessed with long stretches of palm fringed shorelines, backwaters, beaches and historic monuments. Poovar Island, Kovalam Beach, Shanghumukham beach, Agastya Mala, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Puthenmalika (Kuthiramalika) Palace, The Kanakakunnu Palace, Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, Karikkakom Chamundi Devi Temple, Pazhanchira Temple, Santhigiri Ashram (meditation)...

The best time to visit Trivandrum is between October to February.

Add destinations to your Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum itinerary

Kovalam, Kerala
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Kovalam is about 18 km.

Poovar, Kerala
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Poovar is about 34 km.

Varkala, Kerala
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Varkala is about 44 km.

Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari is about 91 km.

Sabarimala, Kerala
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Sabarimala is about 102 km.

Alleppey, Kerala
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Alleppey is about 148 km.

Kumarakom, Kerala
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Kumarakom is about 158 km.

Kochi, Kerala
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi is about 201 km.

Thekkady, Kerala
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Thekkady is about 206 km.

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is about 225 km.

Madurai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Madurai is about 263 km.

Munnar, Kerala
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Munnar is about 278 km.

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Kodaikanal is about 356 km.

Chettinad, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Chettinad is about 363 km.

Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Rameswaram is about 376 km.


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Getaways from Udaipur

Sitting pretty on the banks of lake Pichola Udaipur City is one the most beautiful cities of Rajasthan, India. Udaipur is well known as the lake city with three interconnected lakes, the Pichola Lake, Swaroop Sagar Lake and Fateh Sagar Lake. Visit the Bada Mahal, the majestic City Palace, Jag Mandir Palace, Laxmi Chowk, Shilp Gram, Vintage Car Museum, Eklingi Temple...

The best time to visit Udaipur is between September to March.

Add destinations to your Udaipur itinerary

Nathdwara, Rajasthan

The distance between Udaipur and Nathdwara is about 50 km.

Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Kumbhalgarh is about 87 km.

Ranakpur, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Ranakpur is about 94 km.

Chittorgarh, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Chittorgarh is about 120 km.

Mount Abu, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Mount Abu is about 164 km.

Ambaji, Gujarat
The distance between Udaipur and Ambaji is about 172 km.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Jodhpur is about 245 km.

Ajmer, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Ajmer is about 265 km.

Ahmedabad, Gujarat
The distance between Udaipur and Ahmedabad is about 264 km.

Bundi, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Bundi is about 271 km.

Pushkar, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Pushkar is about 280 km.

Osian, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Osian is about 312 km.

Pavagadh, Gujarat
The distance between Udaipur and Pavagadh is about 319 km.

Baroda, Gujarat
The distance between Udaipur and Baroda is about 345 km.

Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
The distance between Udaipur and Ujjain is about 350 km.

Jaipur, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Jaipur is about 394 km.

Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Sawai Madhopur is about 400 km.

Ranthambhore, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Ranthambhore is about 414 km.

Shekhawati, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Shekhawati is about 440 km.

Bikaner, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Bikaner is about 485 km.

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Jaisalmer is about 493 km.

Mandawa, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Mandawa is about 496 km.

Alwar, Rajasthan
The distance between Udaipur and Alwar is about 539 km.


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Getaways from Varanasi

The holy city Varanasi is picturesquely placed on the bank of the holy Ganga. Plenty to do at Varanasi and top most on the list should be an experience of evening Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh ghat and offer prays at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

The best time to visit Varanasi is between October to March.


Add destinations to your Varanasi itinerary

Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh


The distance between Varanasi and Sarnath is about 10 km.

Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

The distance between Varanasi and Allahabad is about 121 km.

Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh

The distance between Varanasi and Ayodhya is about 200 km.

Bodh Gaya, Bihar

The distance between Varanasi and Bodh Gaya is about 243 km.

Vaishali, Bihar

The distance between Varanasi and Vaishali is about 276 km.

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

The distance between Varanasi and Lucknow is about 305 km.

Nalanda, Bihar

The distance between Varanasi and Nalanda is about 305 km.

Sravasti, Uttar Pradesh

The distance between Varanasi and Sravasti is about 313 km.

Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

The distance between Varanasi and Khajuraho is about 392 km.

Ranchi, Jharkhand
The distance between Varanasi and Ranchi is about 424 km.


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Getaways from Chidambaram

Add destinations to your Chidambaram itinerary

Sirkazhi, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chidambaram and Sirkazhi is about 24 km

Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chidambaram and Mayiladuthurai is about 44 km

Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chidambaram and Kumbakonam is about 74 km

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chidambaram and Thanjavur is about 111 km

Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chidambaram and Chennai is about 231 km

Bangalore, Karnataka
The distance between Chidambaram and Bangalore is about 387 km

How do I reach Chidambaram by air? Which is the nearest airport to Chidambaram?
The distance from Tiruchirappalli Airport to Chidambaram is about 186 km.
Tiruchirappalli Airport is connected to Chennai airport by regular flights.

How do I reach Chidambaram by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Chidambaram?
Chidambaram Railway Station is connected to all major cities in India through Chennai and Tiruchirapalli.


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Getaways from Darjeeling

Add destinations to your Darjeeling itinerary

Kalimpong, West Bengal
The distance between Darjeeling and Kalimpong is about 52 km

Siliguri, West Bengal
The distance between Darjeeling and Siliguri is about 63 km

Gangtok, Sikkim
The distance between Darjeeling and Gangtok is about 102 km

Pelling, Sikkim
The distance between Darjeeling and Gangtok is about 73 km

How do I reach Darjeeling by air? Which is the nearest airport to Darjeeling?
The nearest Airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra Airport
The distance from Bagdogra Airport to Darjeeling is about 70 km.

How do I reach Darjeeling by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Darjeeling?
The nearest railway station to Darjeeling is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station
The distance from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station to Darjeeling is about 74 km.


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Getaways from Dalhousie

Add destinations to your Dalhousie itinerary

Gaggal Airport, Himachal Pradesh

The distance between Dalhousie and Gaggal Airport is about 107 km

Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Dalhousie and Dharamsala is about 119 km

Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Dalhousie and Mcleodganj is about 121 km

Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Dalhousie and Palampur is about 145 km

Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Dalhousie and Jammu is about 175 km

Amritsar, Punjab
The distance between Dalhousie and Amritsar is about 199 km

Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir
The distance between Dalhousie and Vaishno Devi is about 229 km

Chandigarh
The distance between Dalhousie and Chandigarh is about 302 km

Delhi
The distance between Dalhousie and Delhi is about 589 km

How do I reach Dalhousie by air? Which is the nearest airport to Dalhousie?
The nearest Airport to Dalhousie is Pathankot Airport.
The distance from Pathankot Airport to Dalhousie is about 87 km.
Pathankot Airport is connected with Delhi Airports.
Another airport near to Dalhousie is Jammu Airport
The distance from Jammu Airport to Dalhousie is about 170 km.

How do I reach Dalhousie by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Dalhousie?
The nearest railway station to Dalhousie is Pathankot Railway Station
The distance from Pathankot Railway Station to Dalhousie is about 83 km


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Getaways from Kufri

Add destinations to your Kufri itinerary

Kufri, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chail and Kufri is about 32 km

Shoghi, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chail and Shoghi is about 43 km

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chail and Shimla is about 46 km

Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chail and Kasauli is about 65 km

Morni Hills, Haryana
The distance between Chail and Morni Hills is about 115 km

Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chail and Nalagarh is about 122 km

Nahan, Himachal Pradesh
The distance between Chail and Nahan is about 127 km

Delhi
The distance between Chail and Delhi is about 337 km

How do I reach Chail by air? Which is the nearest airport to Chail?
The nearest Airport to Chail is Jubbar Hati Airport
The distance from Jubbar Hati Airport to Chail is about 63 km.

You could also reach Chail via Chandigarh International Airport.
The distance from Chandigarh International Airport to Chail is about 117 km.

How do I reach Chail by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Chail?
The nearest railway station to Chail is Kalka Railway Station
The distance from Kalka Railway Station to Chail is about 80 km.

 


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Getaways from Chikmagalur

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Halebid, Karnataka

The distance between Chikmagalur and Halebid is about 36 km

Shivgiri, Karnataka
The distance between Chikmagalur and Shivgiri is about 54 km

Dharamsthala, Karnataka
The distance between Chikmagalur and Dharamsthala is about 88 km

Mangalore, Karnataka
The distance between Chikmagalur and Mangalore is about 146 km

Madikeri, Karnataka
The distance between Chikmagalur and Madikeri is about 148 km

Coorg, Karnataka
The distance between Chikmagalur and Coorg is about 148 km

Bangalore, Karnataka
The distance between Chikmagalur and Bangalore is about 151 km

Mysore, Karnataka
The distance between Chikmagalur and Coimbatore is about 172 km

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Chikmagalur and Coimbatore is about 371 km

How do I reach Chikmagalur by air? Which is the nearest airport to Chikmagalur?
The nearest Airport to Chikmagalur is Mangalore Airport
The distance from Mangalore Airport to Chikmagalur is about 157 km.

The nearest International Airport to Chikmagalur is Bangalore Airport
The distance from Bangalore Airport to Chikmagalur is about 265 km.

How do I reach Chikmagalur by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Chikmagalur?
The nearest railway station to Chikmagalur is Kadur Railway Station
The distance from Kadur Railway Station to Chikmagalur is about 40 km.

Another railway station near to Chikmagalur is Hassan Railway Station
The distance from Hassan Railway Station to Chikmagalur is about 63 km.


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Getaways from Coorg

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Madikeri, Karnataka
The distance between Coorg and Madikeri is 23 km

Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
Distance between Coorg and Nagarhole is about 73 km.

Hassan, Karnataka
Distance between Coorg and Hassan is about 104 km.

Mysore, Karnataka
Distance between Coorg and Mysore is about 119 km.

Belur, Karnataka
Distance between Coorg and Belur is about 122 km.

Kabini, Kerala
Distance between Coorg and Kabini is about 123 km.

Srirangapatna, Karnataka
Distance between Coorg and Srirangapatna is about 123 km.

Wayanad, Kerala
Distance between Coorg and Wayanad is about 128 km.

Halebid, Karnataka
Distance between Coorg and Halebid is about 133 km.

Mangalore, Karnataka
Distance between Coorg and Mangalore is about 139 km.

Chikmagalur, Karnataka
Distance between Coorg and Chikmagalur is about 148 km.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka
Distance between Coorg and Bandipur Tiger Reserve is about 183 km.

Kudremukh, Karnataka
Distance between Coorg and Kudremukh is about 196 km.

Sringeri, Karnataka
Distance between Coorg and Sringeri is about 206 km.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Distance between Coorg and Ooty is about 246 km.

Bengaluru, Karnataka
Distance between Coorg and Mangalore is about 266 km.

How do I reach Coorg by air? Which is the nearest airport to Coorg?
The nearest Airport to Coorg is Mangalore Airport.
The distance from Mangalore Airport to Coorg is about 146 km.
The nearest International Airport to Coorg is Bangalore Airport.
The distance from Bangalore Airport to Coorg is about 287 km.

How do I reach Coorg by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Coorg?
The nearest railway stations to Coorg are Mangalore (136 km), Hassan (!05 km), Mysore (118 km) and Thalassery Railway Station (113 km); Mangalore Railway station is a major Railway Station connected to many cities in India.


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Getaways from Badrinath

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Delhi

The distance between Badrinath and Delhi is about 536 km

Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
The distance between Badrinath and Valley of Flowers* is about 20 km
* One needs to reach Govindghat by road which is at a distance of about 20 km and your trek to Valley of flowers starts from Govidghat. For more information reach - https://valleyofflowers.info/

Auli, Uttarakhand
The distance between Badrinath and Auli is about 55 km

Pauri, Uttarakhand
The distance between Badrinath and Pauri is about 218 km

Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
The distance between Badrinath and Kedarnath is about 218 km

Kasauni, Uttarakhand
The distance between Badrinath and Kasauni is about 229 km

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
The distance between Badrinath and Rishikesh is about 295 km

Haridwar, Uttarakhand
The distance between Badrinath and Haridwar is about 314 km

Gangotri, Uttarakhand
The distance between Badrinath and Gangotri is about 422 km

How do I reach Badrinath by air? Which is the nearest airport to Badrinath?
The nearest Airport to Badrinath is Dehradun Airport.
The distance from Dehradun Airport to Badrinath is about 317 km.

How do I reach Badrinath by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Badrinath?
The nearest railway station to Badrinath is Rishikesh Railway Station
The distance from Rishikesh Railway Station and Badrinath is about 300 km.
Rishikesh Railway station is connected to many cities in India

Another railway station near to Badrinath is Haridwar Railway Station
The distance from Haridwar Railway Station to Badrinath is about 310 km.

Another railway station near to Badrinath is Kotdwar Railway Station
The distance from Rishikesh Railway Station to Badrinath is about 330 km.


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Getaways from Coonoor

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Ooty, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Coonoor and Ooty is about 20 km

Mudumalai National Park, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Coonoor and Mudumalai is about 61 km

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
The distance between Coonoor and Coimbatore city is about 69 km

How do I reach Coonoor by air? Which is the nearest airport to Coonoor?
The nearest Airport to Coonoor is Coimbatore Airport.
The distance from Coimbatore Airport to Coonoor is about 73 km.

The nearest International Airport to Coonoor is Bangalore Airport
The distance from Bangalore Airport to Coonoor is about 325 km.

How do I reach Coonoor by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Coonoor
Coonoor Railway Station is a stop on the way to Ooty from Mettupalayam and is connected to Coimbatore Railway Station.


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Getaways from Raigad Fort

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Shrivardhan, Maharashtra

The distance between Raigad Fort and Shrivardhan is about 72 km.

Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra
The distance between Raigad Fort and Mahabaleshwar is about 83 km.

Murud Janjira, Maharashtra
The distance between Raigad Fort and Murud Janjira is about 85 km.

Harihareshwar, Maharashtra
The distance between Raigad Fort and Harihareshwar is about 96 km.

Harnai, Maharashtra
The distance between Raigad Fort and Harnai is about 98 km.

Panchgani, Maharashtra
The distance between Raigad Fort and Panchgani is about 100 km.

Pune, Maharashtra
The distance between Raigad Fort and Pune is about 132 km.

Mumbai, Maharashtra
The distance between Raigad Fort and Mumbai is about 163 km.

How do I reach Raigad Fort by air? Which is the nearest airport to Raigad Fort?
The nearest Airport to Raigad Fort is Mumbai Airport.
The distance from Mumbai Airport to Raigad Fort is about 169 km.

How do I reach Raigad by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Raigad?
The nearest railway station to Raigad Fort is Vir Dasgaon Railway Station and is connected to Mumbai and Pune.
The distance between Raigad Fort is Vir Dasgaon Railway Station is about 40 km.


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Rajarājeśvaram or Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

This is Brihadishvara Temple dedicated to Shiva is located near Cauveri River delta in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. Referred by many names - one of them being Rajarājeśvaram - it was built by the victorious Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD.

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).

Brihadishvara is a Sanskrit composite word > Brihat/d = great or vast and Ishvara = Shiva or the supreme atman-soul - hence the name Brihadishvara Temple. An exemplary example of Dravidian architecture it is also called as Dakshina Meru for its majestic Vimana that symbolically represents Mount Meru. Brihadeshwara Temple in Tamil is called Peruvudaiyār Kōvil temple since located in Thanjavur is also referred to as Thanjai Periya Kovil [ Periya in Tamil means ‘great’]. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Brihadeshvara temple complex has a rectangular plan with five main sections including the Garbha Griha - innermost sanctum, a soaring Vimana, Ardhamandapa, Mukhyamandapa, Mahamandapa and the Nandi Mandapa. You have a large pillared prakara that offers an ornate pradakshina path to devotees.

Originally in the 11th century the Temple was enclosed by a moat - which was later replaced by a double defensive set of walls - What remains of the original 11th century Brihadisvara temple is the Gopuram (gateway) located at the east end (used to be the main entrance in the 11th century), the courtyard, the Nandi Mandapa and the Garbh Griha or the main sanctum with its massive towering Vimana, main deity or the Shivalinga and two major shrines - one for Parvati and another for Kartikeya + inscriptions, frescoes and sculptures. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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Vimana of Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Tanjore Brihadishvara temple is a spectacular achievement of its era and scholars believe that the Cholas had literally and meticulously planned its every detail. Every aspect of the temple not just its architectural design and layout but the exact positions of its main shrine or shivlinga surrounding sculptures, images, inscriptions - secondary shrines and their positions and directions of bronze images, sub-shrines, everything was pre-planned.

There are inscriptions referring to the exact positions where each element ought to have been.

The Cholas managed to even build the sacred concept - that of Mount Meru as its Vimana. The main vimana has forms of Shiva - including Nataraja, Bhiksasana ,Chakradanamurti, Ardhanarisvara, Lingodbhava, Gangadhara depicted on its walls. You will also find Pancha Brahma at Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjai or the sculptures of  Tatpurusa, Aghora, Sadyojata, Vamadeva and Isana that are placed in specific positions in niches. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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Image: Painting by Marianne North Content: gud2travel.com

Ancient Painting of Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Between the Chalukya's, Pallava's and Chola's India saw a spectrum of Hindu temples built in varied architectural styles between the 5th and the 13th century.

Few stellar examples of monuments from Chalukyan era are seen in Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal - Monuments at Mamallapuram spell the Pallava era;

Cholas being a dominant dynasty invariably stamped their monuments with 'chola style of architecture' which can be witnessed at Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple, Airavatesvara Temple and especially at the grandiose Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Painting is by Marianne North (1830–1890) who travelled the globe painting flora, fauna and culture for almost 20 years. Her paintings were presented to Kew and still hang in that gallery. (Source: https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/temple-of-tanjore-southern-india-88309)


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Inscriptions, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The emperor Rajaraja I was not only powerful but was also a visionary with exemplary administrative skills - as he not only recorded how the temple was built - or its regular structural maintenance -but he also recorded laborious details on forms of worship of primary and secondary deities - apart from the regular pooja rituals - nritta-geeta-vadya was an essential part of daily worship. The emperor had made provisions of material and manpower for the regular rituals of worship and its many festivals not just for the temples present requistes but also for its future.

400 dancers were enrolled for nritta worship and inscribed details include their form of expertise and accomplishments - they were paid in land and gold - 240 musicians supported the vadya form (instrumental) of worship - and their qualifications were also duly noted - the emperor also appointed 50 musicians to sing poems of the Shaiva saints who lived between the 6th and 10th centuries - especially from Thevaram of Thirupatigam.

Each department at the temple had supervision that was entrusted to commanders and commander-in-chiefs.

How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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Inscribed Records, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

What makes Raja Raja I unique is the lengths he went to - his concern was to preserve Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur for the present and beyond his lifetime - as a visionary he was aware that it would require hundreds with diverse and myraid capabilities to do so. Raja Raja I ensured that every person in his kingdom who wanted to serve the temple - was involved across hierarchies in the temple activities - or the ones appointed were responsible.

An apt example would be - Raja Raja I ensured that the smallest of detail was described, recorded and rules were adhered to - for example a bronze image would be described, its weight recorded, the cost incurred of its making plus its maintenance. A person was appointed for each and every image who looked after its safety as it had number of gems and ornaments on it as well as its worship.

Another example would be records of every gift be it from the emperors, his mother, his sister or his commanders was recorded including the smallest gold or silver spoon would be registered with its weight and cost. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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Subrahmanya Temple, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The temple is referred as Murugan or Subrahmanya temple and is built on a raised platform that has intricately designed niches and wall carvings. It is a three-storeyed structure with a shikhara that is like its deity six-faced and its corners are adorned with peacocks.

The temple is dedicated to Subrahmanya in his Sanmukha form who is six-faced with twelve arms, seated on a peacock, flanked by his wives Valli and Devasena.

The Murugan temple’s ceiling is held by sculpted pillars - one such sculpture depicts Vishnu dancing like Nataraja. The temple has panels of Durga killing Mahisasura and Kali killing Nishumbha - plus Ganesha and standing four-armed Subrahmanya in its niches. The sculptures in the temple are carved in black granite a contrast to the temple being built of lighteror paler shade of granite. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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Chandeshvara Temple, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site Chandeshvara Nayanar Temple

Chandesa is one of the 63 Shiva Saints who holds a special place in a Shiva temple - and in a temple as large as Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur - he has his own separate shrine which is three-storeyed, located to the north of the main vimana of Brihadisvara temple. The temple has an octagonal shikhara that has four sculptures of a seated Chandikesvara and the corners are adorned by four Nandis.

Inside the Chandikeshwara (Chandesa ) temple - you will see 5 Chandikesvara images, two are seated images in the sanctum and three standing Chandikesvara in the niches, thus forming Pancha-Chandikesvara concept - the central one represents the Dhvani Chandesa, the second one in the sanctum represents Yamini Chandesa of Uma and the other three Chandesa are Tejas Chandesa, Kumbha Chandesa and Mitra Chandesa. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Since the Chandesa is believed to be associated with Dhvani or the primordial sound - whenever a devotee visits Chandesa temple - before leaving a temple - its a tradition to clap hands - to pay your respect to the sound deity.


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Kaltali - Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

How does one conclude that a temple has a shudda type of architecture?

There is an inscription or a declaration by the emperor ‘that he has built the SriVimana at Brihadisvara - Thanjai - out of stone or (Kaltali) or reiterating that it has been built by using only one type of material and that is the granite stone. The architecture style where one uses only a single material for constructing the entire Vimana is called shuddha or pure type of architecture according to shastras of temple building. [Temples from that era used multiple materials like stone mixed with wood or plaster that temple would be termed as mishra type of temple.]

How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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How to reach Brihadiswara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India?

Brihadeswara Temple is located in Thanjavur also known as Tanjore in Tamil Nadu, India. Thanjavur gained importance as the capital of the Chola empire for about 150 years towards the end of the first millennium.

How to reach Brihadeswara Temple, Thanjavur by air? Which is the nearest airport to Brihadeswara Temple, Thanjavur
Tiruchirappalli International Airport is the nearest airport to Thanjavur and it is at a distance of about 61 km.
Distance between Tiruchirappalli International Airport and Brihadeswara Temple is about 60 km.

How to reach Brihadeswara Temple, Thanjavur by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Brihadeswara Temple, Thanjavur?
Brihadeswara Temple is located in the city of Thanjavur - and Thanjavur Junction is well connected to other cities by train.
Distance between Thanjavur Railway Station and Brihadeswara Temple is about 2.5 km.

The best time to visit Brihadeswara Temple is between November to February as the climate is much cooler.


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Lakshmi, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

In any Chola temple you will find steps on the northern and southern sides as seen at Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur and both the sides are guarded by the dvarpalas.

In most temples the the garbha griha is symbolically considered as the goddess - whereas the main vimana is considered as the purusha.

You will find the image of Mahalakshmi on the southern side of the mandapa at the Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, and that of Saraswati on the northern side with steps leading to the central sanctum. The main sanctum is edged by image of Surya on the southern side and image of Chandra on the northern side. 

The Mahalinga Mahadeva in girbhagriha - is so designed that whe any you enter for darshan his third eye falls directly on you the devotee. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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Nataraja, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Frame is of Nataraja at Brihidisvara Temple, Thanjavur.

You will find Shiva’s vivid dance postures and fluid movements on the first floor of the Brihadisvara temple around the sanctum. There are panels of 81 sculpted karanas (dance postures) - should have been actually 108 but the rest are uncarved.

An artistic interpretation is that the main image of the Brihadisvara temple is actually Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer, and the space above the shivlinga is ‘akasha or his rangabhumi where he dances’ and that is why the dance postures or karanas are carved on the upper floor walls of the garbha griha.

Or in other words Bharata’s Natyashastra is found here in sculptural sequence and is the earliest magnificent acknowledgement of Bharata’s Natyashastra in visual form in India.

How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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Saraswati, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Elaborately bejeweled than usually seen, sculpture of four-armed seated Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, music, arts, literature and every aspect of creativity and culture at Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Apart from hindus Saraswati is also reverred by the Buddhists and Jains.


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Chandesa Anugraha Murti, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

In this frame we see Shiva blessing Chandesa who is a Shaivite Saint. You will find Chandesa Anugraha Murti in many temples dedicated to Shiva. [Anugraha = divine blessing]. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Whether you see the Chandesa-Anugraha-Murti at Thanjavur Bridadisvara Temple or at Gangaikonda Cholapuram - you will see three figures - Shiva with jewelry and his locks that seem like a crown - he would have Parvati on his left and both are seated with one leg folded up and the other pendent. Their devotee Chandesa is sitting below in an ‘Anjali mudra’ humbled by Shiva’s grace receiving his blessings in the form of garland.

In this particular frame at Brihadisvara Temple - Sculptor has followed the principle of hierarchical Shilpashatra where the sculpture of Shiva is the largest in size followed by Parvati and the smallest being Chandesa.


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Devi, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The creative arts that one would witness around the Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur is predominantly focussed on Shaivism or Shiva worship but you also see expression of Vaishnavism and Shaktism traditions. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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BhoothGana, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Holy 'Abhisheka' water pouring out via a decorative spout that is being supported by curious 'Boothagana' at Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Abhiṣheka is a daily snaana ritual performed during pūjā. The linga is first worshipped with puṣhpa. Than the Archaka rubs oil and fresh fragrant ghee onto the liṅga and pīṭha - he then offers dhūpa - than the shivalinga is rubbed with a mixture of turmeric powder, rice powder and gram powder before pouring water slowly - the act pouring of water or milk is called Abhiṣheka.

Many perform three Abhiṣheka's which means next Archaka may offer - panchamarit > milk, curd, ghee, honey, sugar than performing Abhiṣheka with tender coconut water - followed by dhūpa and dīpa intermittently + offering of flowers, water mixed with precious stones or gold as the final Abhiṣheka.

Archaka may including gooseberries or sandalwood paste or do Abhiṣheka using warm water fragranced with sandal paste.


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Ornate Pillars, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur has sculpted deities that are worshipped and classical sculptures that are very artistic - add to the mix pure narrative sculptures that express myths from Shiva Purana and other sacred texts and stories leaping out of its array of ornate pillars. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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Murals, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Raja Raja Chola I filled Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur with paintings. These paintings depict Dakshinamurthi, Tripurantaka, Kalyansundara or narrate local legends including life of Saint Sundaramurthi and of the Raja Raja I himself visiting Chidambaram temple.

The paintings are more focussed on bhava or the inner expression of every character. There are paintings with dancers performing nritya also showcasing the importance of worshipping using multiple dance forms under his reign.

The paintings at Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur are not only classical but are finely executed, using predominantly natural colours including brown, black, yellow, red, blue, white and tones of green. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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Nataraja Painting, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

You will find Chola frescoes covering floor to ceiling on the sanctum walls along the pradakshina path pathway at the Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur. The Chola frescoes narrate hindu myths predominantly focussed on Shiva - and were painted using natural pigments which were infused into the wet limestone layer whilst it was setting in. Apart from Shaivite themes - some frescoes depict Vishnu, Durga and scenes of majestic Chola rule and day to day life. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

This dance posture or karana of Nataraja is termed as urdhvatāṇḍava.

As per legend Shiva and Kali had a dance duel which was judged by Vishnu. Both of them being competitive kept on outdoing themselves. Than Shiva performed a difficult dance step where he lifted his left foot towards the sky in the Urdhva Tandava posture, this being a male gesture - and in accordance with the decorum of the natty sabha - Kali being a female couldn't display the same. This legend is also depicted in the Nritya Sabha, of the Chidambaram temple


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Gajalakshmi Painting, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Cholas passionately constructed majestic monuments and stone temples all across their empire and Rajarajesvaram is the grandiose of them all. Administrative reforms and patronage of arts are cornerstones of Raja Raja I’s legacy. 

Ancient Indian texts on paintings emphasize the aesthetic and auspicious values of the murals or as known in ancient times as ‘bhittichitra’ - they are believed to herald virtuous aspects.

So its not really surprisingly to find - even the dark pradakshina-path or the circumambulatory path at the Brihadisvara Temple decorated with ethereal murals. The theme of these murals is predominantly Shaivite as the king was a devout worshipper of Shiva - you would still find other deities - as this particularly frame that is of Gajalakshmi, a significant Ashtalakshmi aspect of goddess Lakshmi. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?


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Narasimha sculpture found on Gopuram at Brihadishvara Temple, Thanjavur

Sculpture narrates the story of Narasimha - the ferocious avatar of God Vishnu - whose incarnation’s sole purpose was to restore dharma - by destroying evil in the form asura king Hiranyakashipu and end his religious persecution. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

King Hiranyakashipu gains a vardaan or a boon from Brahma for his severe penance that he cannot be killed by a man or animal, during day or night, nor inside or outside, not by any weapon. Once he receives the power he believes that he is immortal and hence should be worshipped as god. He specifically persecutes all Vishnu devotees including his own son Prahlada as Vishnu had killed his brother Hiranyaksha.

Prahalad undeterred continues worshipping Vishnu. After numerous unsuccessful attempts by Hiranyakashipu of disciplining Prahlada, in absolute frustration he proclaims - where is your Vishnu!

Prahalad calmly mentions that Vishnu is present everywhere and in everything. In rage Hiranyakashipu hits a pillar in his own palace and says according to you Vishnu should be in this pillar too - Prahalad in absolute belief confirms Vishnu’s presence. And to Hiranyakashipu shock the pillar breaks and a ferocious Narasimha steps out.

Its a fatal moment - its twilight neither day or night - Narasimha is part Lion and part man - he places the asura king on the threshold on his thigh thus is neither inside or outside and lastly he tears open Hiranyakashipu with his claws not using any weapon in absolute accordance with the Brahma's boon.


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Relief, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

You will find array of sculpted forms and panels of Shiva reminding us of various myths from Shiv Puranas all over the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Sanctum walls on the ground floor has sculptures of Lingodbhava, Pashupata-murti on the East wall.

The South wall depicts Nataraja, Dakshinamurti, Kalantaka, Virabhadra, and Bhikshatana.

The west wall has Harihara, Lingodbhava, Chandrashekhara with and without prabhavali.

The North wall showcases Ardhanarishvara, Gangadhara without Parvati, Pashupata-murti, Shiva-alingana-murti.


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Kalpavriksha Sculpture, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Kalpavriksha sculpture found on Gopuram at Brihadishvara Temple, Thanjavur How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Sculpture depicts Kalpavriksha also known as Kalpataru that emerged during the Samudra manthan or the 'churning of the ocean of milk or kshirsagar'. Kalpavriksha is a wish fulfilling tree with a power of giving one any object that is wished for. Its an auspicious symbol and is found carved in many Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples in India.


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Anugrahamurti at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Chandesa Anugraha Murti at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is masterpiece of Chola art.

This theme originally represents Siva bestowing his grace on Chandikesvara his devotee also one of the 63 renown Saivite saints - In this sculpted panel Chandesa is replaced by victorious King Rajendra Chola I who humbly presents himself as a devotee to receive grace of and blessings from Siva in the form of a garland. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?


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Bhikstana at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bhikshatana form of Shiva at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram i- Shiva as a Bhikshu a naked ascetic who is extremely good looking - wearing nothing except some jewelery and his hand holding a shallow begging bowl or kapala.

Bhikshatana Murtis are usually depicted along with a dancing deer standing on its hind legs reach up to Shiva's outstretched arm, followed by demonic beings and rishi patnis in various moods or rasa. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?


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Nataraja at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Nataraja at Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram a well known form of Siva as the cosmic dancer. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Shiva when dancing the Ananda Tandav is expressing - a precarious balance of opposites. So whilst ‘tandav’ means the dance of destruction, ‘ananda’ in Sanskrit means pleasure. Nataraja holds ‘fire’ in one off his hands which destroys and the same ‘fire’ also symbolizes heat necessary for life. Whereas his drum provides the pulse or rhythm for life the same rhythm squashes apasmara who is symbolic of ignorance.


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Lingodbhava at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Liṅgodbhava carved in Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram refers to one of the many forms of Siva - Liṅgodbhava signifies Śiva as formless and incomprehensible - at a basic level the illustration reveals a tale from various ancient texts or Puranas that falsehood is not appreciated by God nor is it tolerated even if the gods or devas get involved in it. Basically if Śiva can help Brahmā, the creator realize his mistake every being can be punished for their evil activities. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Early Shaiva saint Tirugnana Sambandar refers to Liṅgodbhava as a form of Shiva as the nature of light that could not be discerned either by Vishnu or Brahma.


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Gangadhara at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Gangadhara at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is a manifestation of Shiva that helps Ganga descent from the Himalayas to earth. Ganga is usually depicted in his matted locks and Parvati standing next to him. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

In most such sculptures you would have Bhagiratha standing with Anjali mudra in a mood of penance. Both Bhagiratha and Ganga are absent here.


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Kalantaka at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

This image is of Kalantaka a form Shiva who punishes Yama the god of death sculpted in Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

It is one of the forms of enraged Siva also expressed as Kalari (adversary of death), Kalahari (one who takes away death), unusually even Markandeyanugraha (bestowing grace upon Markandeya).


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Saraswati at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

A serene sculpted Saraswati at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram signifies a constant purifying force that enhances fluidity of languages and magnifies the brilliance of all art forms.

Goddess Saraswati at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is expressed seated on a lotus throne holding japmala and amrita kalasa - in a teaching posture with her index finger raised. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?


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Gajalakshmi at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Gajalakṣmī sculpture at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is one of the forms of Ashtalaksmi who represents power apart from bestowing prosperity, good luck and abundance. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Gajalakṣmī depicted at the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, is represented as seated on a lotus throne in padmāsana and on either side of the goddess is an elephant waters the flowers which the goddess holds.


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Vīṇādharamūrti at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Frame is of Vīṇādhara at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

As per vedas Rudra’s successor Siva is said to be fond of Samaveda (Veda of melodies and chants), and in one of his manifestations Siva as Vinadharamurthi teaches using music - playing the classical Indian string instrument Rudra-vina.


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Dakshinmurti at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Dakshinamurti sculpture at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is found in vīrāsana posture (left leg folded and right leg hanging down below the seat) holding a vyākyāna-mudrā that signifies Siva as the teacher of truth, values and scriptures. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Dakshin Amurti has many meanings one of them is >> Dakshin means being skillful in removing ignorance and Amurti means being formless - a formless Shiva as the ultimate Guru. Dakṣiṇāmūrti is invariability found in almost all the Śaiva temples.


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Ardhanarisvar at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Ardhanārīśvara sculpture found at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram - is a manifestation of Śiva where he is part Nara and part Nari holding a tribhanga posture. Śiva is usually represented on the right with jaṭāmakuṭa and Pārvatī on the left. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

As per Śiva Purana initially Brahma created only Prajapatis or male beings and directed them to regenerate, which they were unable to do. Perplexed Brahma reaches to Śiva for advise and to enlighten Brahma Śiva appears before him as Ardhanārīśvara.


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Harihara at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Harihara at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is a composite image of Narayana and Shankar  or Hari and Hara. Mostly one would also see their vahanas in such panels - it would be Nandi next to Śiva and Garuḍa next to Hari. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?


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Bhairava at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

This sculpture is of Bhairava from Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram - a ferocious manifestion of Śiva associated with destruction or annihilation. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

As per Rudrayāmala, Bhairava has 8 main forms that control the eight directions of this universe and they include Asitāṅga, Ruru, Caṇḍa, Krodha, Unmatta, Kāpāla, Bhīṣaṇa, and Saṃhāra. Each of these forms further have has 8 emanations equalling to 64 Bhairavas.


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Mahisasurmardini at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Mahiṣāsuramardinī sculpted in Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is one of Durga's or Shakti's ferocious avatars where she vanquished the unconquerable demon Mahishasura. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

As per Shilpashastra (iconography) she is usually represented with six pairs of hands. The right set of hands hold śūla (trident), khaḍga (sword), śakthāyuḍa (devi’s weapon), chakra (discus), a stringed bow, and gadā (mace) while the left hands hold pāśa, aṅkuśa, śaṅkh (shell), ghanṭ (bell), paraśu (axe) and shield. These pairs of hands are represented in kartarīmukha-hasta. If in a dancing posture that the hands are in kapittha-hasta and one pair of hands is in kartarīmukha-hasta.

Her expression usually is that of extreme rage with her tongue projecting outwards - There are many variations of her depiction when the sculptor focuses on particular sentiments or a story illustrating her characteristics in a different ways.


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Vishnu at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Whilst Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is dedicated to Shiva, it reverentially includes not only deities and legends of Vaishnavism but also Shaktism.

Brihadisvara Temple also has sculpted Hindu concepts such as Harihara (equivalence and essential interdependence of Shiva and Vishnu) and of Ardhnarishvara (equivalence and essential interdependence of the masculine and feminine principles).

In this frame we see Śrīnīvāsa or MahaVisnu holding sudrashan chakra and shankh displaying the abhaya mudra, along with Sridevi or Lakshmi on his right and Bhūdevī on his left. 

How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?


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How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India?

Gangaikondacholesvara temple does proclaim the imperial dignity of Cholas till date and the erstwhile capital of the mighty Rajendra Chola I - was a planned city and a major administrative center till 13th century - all but the temple, has totally disappeared today.

How to reach Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram by air? Which is the nearest airport to Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Tiruchirappalli International Airport is the nearest airport to Gangaikonda Cholapuram and it is at a distance of about 138 km.

How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?
Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram is near the city of Kumbakonam and Chidambaram - and both have railway stations that are connected to other cities by train.
Distance between Kumbakonam Railway Station and Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is about 36 km.
Distance between Chidambaram Railway Station and Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is about 43 km

Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram by road
Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram is located at Jayankondam, Tamil Nadu India
It is at a distance of about 35 km from Kumbakonam
It is at a distance of about 39 km from Airavatesvara Temple
It is at a distance of about 44 km from Chidambaram
It is at a distance of about 73 km from from Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur
It is at a distance of about 253 km from Chennai

The best time to visit Brihadeswara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is between November to February as the climate is much cooler.


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Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram literally means the Great Shiva Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. It was built (11th century) by Rajendra Chola I, the son of the famous Chola emperor Raja Raja Chola I, who built the Brihadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavur.

Rajendra Chola I built the majestic temple after his victories across India and as per Chola era texts the conquests included Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The king demanded that the defeated kingdoms send him water from the sacred Ganga - and the water should be collected into the Brihadisvara temple's well which was originally called CholaGangam.

Thus Rajendra I was referred as Gangaikonda Cholan and he also shifted his capital to Gangaikonda Cholapuram from where Chola dynasty ruled for about 250 years. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?


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Vimana, Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Sri-vimana at Gangaikonda has nine talas as compared to the soaring 13 talas at Thanjavur temple - scholars believe that the height of the temple was so designed as a mark of respect Rajendra Chola's father's masterpiece.

Each tala of the Vimana has moulded horizontal cornices with gavaksha or floral motifs, mythical creatures and carvings that narrate Puranic tales from the Shaiva, Vaishnava and Shakta traditions.

Its griva (neck) is oriented towards the cardinal directions, and 4 Nandi’s posted on its top corners. The Kirtimukhas are above the griva which opens in a lotus. It is further capped with a kalasa with a lotus bud on it. Originally it was inscribed with gold coated which is now gone.

How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?


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Kailasantha South at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

There are two shrines, one on either side of the main shrine at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. The shrine on the northern side is called Vada Kailasam and the one on the southern side is called Ten Kailasam or Dakshin Kailasam . Both of the shrines were originally dedicated to Siva but the Vada Kailasam was later converted into an Amman shrine.

Much of Ten Kailasam has collapsed or is in ruins and there is no deity. The garbhagriha and ardhamandapa walls have few figures in their niches which are same as the ones found in Vada Kailasam.

How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?


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Kailasantha North at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Vada Kailasam consists of an ardhamandapa and a mahamandapa. Its srivimana is dvi-tala with a curvilinear sikhara and stupi. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

In its grabhagriha niches you will find Dakshinamurti in the south, Lingodbhava in the west and Brahma (bearded form) in the north.

Images found in ardhamandapa niches include Ganesha, Subrahmanyar, Bhikshatana Nataraja, Ardhanarisvar and Bhairava.

Images of Sarasvati and Gajalakshmi are found on the west wall of Mahamandapa.


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How to reach Alappuzha, Kerala, India?

Alappuzha formerly known as Alleppey is treasured by travelers as it's every sunset is a treat - and they usually opt to glide across its network of backwaters to catch its hues.

How to reach Alappuzha by air? Which is the nearest airport to Alappuzha?
The nearest airport to Alappuzha is Kochi International Airport that is at a distance of about 83 km from Alappuzha.

And Thiruvananthapuram International Airport or Trivandrum Airport is at a distance of about 150 km from Alappuzha.

How to reach Alappuzha by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Alappuzha?
Alappuzha railway station is well connected to many cities in India.

Best time to visit Alleppey is from September to February.


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How to reach Marari beach , Kerala, India?

Respite at Marari beach in Mararikulam, Kerala is almost like experiencing a live coastal symphony whether you just want to mull over lazy sunsets or indulge your palette with Malabar cuisine or simply soak up the sun...

How to reach Marari beach by air? Which is the nearest airport to Marari beach?
The nearest airport to Marari beach is Kochi International airport that is at a distance of about 74 km from Marari beach.

Best time to visit Marari beach is from October to February.


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Sunset at Varkala, Kerala, India

Watching the sun go down with exploding colors stretching seemingly for miles is the best way to hold on to the magic at Varkala beach... How to reach Varkala beach?


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How to reach Varkala, Kerala, India?

Squatting acutely most on the edge of red laterite cliffs, Varkala is an unassuming often described as a quaint hamlet and popular escape.

How to reach Varkala beach by air? Which is the nearest airport to Varkala beach?
The nearest airport to Varkala beach is Thiruvananthapuram International airport that is at a distance of about 44 km from Varkala beach.

How to reach Varkala by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Varkala?
Varkala railway station is well connected to trains coming from Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.
It is situated at a distance of 3.5 km from the Varkala beach.

Best time to visit Varkala is from November to February.


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How to reach Cherai beach, Kerala, India?

Cherai Beach is located in the Cherai village of the Ernakulam district, having a coastline of about 15 kms. Fort Kochi Beach 41 kms away is nestled amidst coconut tress, green bushes and softly lashing waves is worth a visit too.

How to reach Cherai beach by air? Which is the nearest airport to Cherai beach?
The nearest airport to Cherai is Kochi International Airport which is at a distance of about 27 km from Cherai beach.

And Coimbatore Airport is at a distance of about 175 km from Cherai.

Best time to visit Cherai is from November to February.


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Kovalam, Kerala, India

Kovalam has crescent-shaped beaches which are madeup of 3 parts; Lighthouse beach is the southern most beach, Hawa beach is in the middle and Samudra beach is on the northern side. How to reach Kovalam?


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How to reach Kovalam, Kerala, India?

How to reach Kovalam by air? Which is the nearest airport to Kovalam?
The nearest airport to Kovalam is Trivandrum International airport that is at a distance of about 18 km from Kovalam.

Best time to visit Kovalam is just after the rains or even during the rains - from August to February.


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Ramakkalmedu, Kerala, India

Monument depicts Kuravan and Kurathi at the historic site of Ramakalmedu is inspired by Sangam landscape of Kerala and Tamil Nadu - the statue was sculpted in 2005 C.B Jinan in commemoration of their contribution to the construction of the Idukki Dam. How to reach Ramakkalmedu?

Best to visit is just before sunset as the views are striking as towns and villages of Tamil Nadu light up at disk.


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How to reach Ramakkalmedu, Kerala, India?

How do you reach Ramakkalmedu by air? Which is the nearest airport to Ramakkalmedu?
The nearest Airport to Ramakkalmedu is Kochi Airport
The distance from Kochi Airport to Ramakkalmedu is about 129 km.

How do you reach Ramakkalmedu by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Ramakkalmedu?
Nearest railway station to Ramakkalmedu is Kottayam Railway Station that is at a distance of about 132 km.

Or you could opt to reach Ramakkalmedu via Madurai Junction which is at distance of about 135 km.


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How to reach Nelliampathy, Kerala, India?

Nelliampathy is a hill station in Kerala that is enclosed by tea and coffee plantations. Seetharkundu with its alluring views is only about 6 km away from Nelliampathi and Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is around 90 km from Nelliyampathy.

How do you reach Nelliyampathy by air? Which is the nearest airport to Nelliyampathy?
The nearest Airport to Nelliyampathy is Coimbatore Airport
The distance from Coimbatore Airport to Nelliyampathy is about 117 km.

How do you reach Nelliyampathy by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Nelliyampathy?
The nearest railway station to Nelliyampathy is Palakkad Railway Station. Palakkad Junction is connected to many cities in India
The distance from Palakkad Railway Station to Nelliyampathy is about 62 km.


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Kollam, Kerala, India

It is fairly easy to understand why Kollam was favored by the Dutch, the English and the Portuguese to settle - apart from that nugget it was critical port 2 centuries back for international trade especially of Cashew nuts.

Best time to visit Kollam is in the cooler months from November to February.


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Vettakada beach, Varkala, Kerala, India

About 5 km from Varkala in Edava - Vettakada beach is not exactly hidden but it does have fewer visitors - flanked by coconut trees on one side and by the roaring sea at the other...
How to reach Varkala?


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Revitalizing Wayanad, Kerala, India

Wayanad ensconced in revitalizing greenery has almost all options that one may look for in a green holiday - abounding wildlife, walk around plantations trek crossing rolling valleys, refreshing fragrance of coffee flowers and spell-binding tranquility. It does sound like too many superlatives - well all you need to do is opt to experience the same...

How to reach Wayanad by air? Which is the nearest airport to Wayanad?
The nearest airport to Wayanad is Kozhikode International Airport that is at a distance of about 99 km from Wayanad.

Best time to visit Wayanad is from October to February.


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Oeschinen Lake near Kandersteg, Switzerland

Oeschinen Lake near Kandersteg is a spectacular alpine lake popular for a un-complicated lake side trails.

How to reach Oeschinen Lake?
You could opt to hike from Kandersteg to Oeschinen Lake which takes about 70+ minutes; or enjoy a gondola ride from Kandersteg plus a 30 odd minutes walk across pastures and pine forests takes you to Oeschinen lake. You could swap the 30 minute walk with an electro-taxi ride.

How to reach Kandersteg?
Kandersteg is about 75+ minutes train ride away from Interlaken.


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Lake Oeschinensee above Kandersteg, Switzerland

Lake Oeschinen located above Kandersteg, is a large pristine alpine lake, fed by the glacial brooks of the three-thousand-meter peaks of Blüemlisalp, Oeschinenhorn, Fründenhorn and Doldenhorn.

Its a perfect trip for you if you enjoy hiking, swimming, toboggan run or just vanilla gazing...

A gondola ride from Kandersteg plus a 30 odd minutes walk across pastures and pine forests takes you to Oeschinen lake. You could swap the 30 minute walk with an electro-taxi ride.


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Lake Oeschinensee, Kandersteg, Switzerland

A hike amongst orchids and herds of sheep and cows grazing on the mountain slopes attract most to Oeschinen lake - an imposing mountain lake that is reached by gondola rail from Kandersteg. The cable railway ticket is also used as a pass for hikes via Hohtürli in the Kiental valley.


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Sublime Grindelwald, Switzerland

Picture-perfect and sublime Grindelwald described by most is an ideal base to enjoy Switzerland.


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Autumn in Horgenberg, Horgen, Switzerland

Autumn in most parts of the world is magical that season before the first set of snowflakes - a time when the air is crisp and cool and just before the leaves fall off - the forests turning into a riot of colors - from a tini bit green to gold or fiery orange to deep red. All such frames leave us wanting! - to experience just once again - the scent of chestnuts roasting in the air, the crunch of leaves carpeting the forest floor and fistful of wistfulness to marvel the mystical ways of nature. The weather is just perfect, not too warm or not too cold.

Autumn months in Switzerland are usually from September to December but it will be wise to recheck from a local travel source.

Review this post from myswitzerland.com for notes on autumn locations in Switzerland - https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-in/experiences/summer-autumn/autumn/

Horgen has three railway stations and the biggest one is also the most important one that is located next to Zürichsee lake served by lines S2 and S8 of the Zürich S-Bahn.


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Jungfrau, Interlaken, Switzerland

Interlaken seems to be a stunning backdrop with its mountain vistas and glacier fed lakes for all kind of experiences that one could wish for in Switzerland.

It is easy to reach Interlaken by train via almost all key cities in Switzerland such as Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Bern and Luzern or Lucerne.

Interlaken has two stations – Interlaken OST East and West and both are well-connected to many cities in Switzerland. Note -Interlaken West is closer to the city centre.


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Chateau Mercier, Switzerland

Chateau Mercier is a heritage site - the castle built on a hill, overlooks the town of Sierre located in the Alps, in the Rhone valley.

Built by Merciers in between 1906 and 1908 and designed in the Valdotain style - was donated to Canton of Valais by the Mercier family in 1991 along with its numerous works of art and has been managed by a foundation since then which oversees all its cultural activities.


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Fronalpstock, Switzerland

The Fronalpstock is a mountain in Switzerland, in the Schwyzer Alps and the canton of Schwyz.

Lucerne to Schwyz or Zurich to Schwyz is a short train journey where the duration ranges from 44 - 80 minutes approximately.

From Schwyz take the funicular to Stoos which is a car free mountain village - a technical wonder as it is supposed to be the steepest ride in the world.

Stoos is a breathtaking mountain village above Lake Lucerne with its stunning landscapes - once you reach Stoos you could - use the comfortable chairlifts to reach up or be active and hike up.

Once you reach the panorama terrace of the Fronalpstock the eye will blissfully meander from one alpine summit to the other or across ten lmountain akes.


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Bachalpsee, Grindelwald, Switzerland

To reach Bachalpsee from Grindelwald you will need to take a cable ride and than a brisk walk.

The Gondola cableway station is right in the main street of Grindelwald - post the approximate half hour ride up - to take you to 'First Grindelwald' — which is the starting point for many hiking trails - from there walking towards Bachalpsee is simple - with a few uphill stretches and a bit downhill - it does end in panoramically mesmerizing views of snow-capped mountains and the alpine lake.

How to Grindelwald reach by train?
You can get international train connections to Interlaken-Ost - from there you change trains to the BOB (Berner Oberland Bahn) - train which will take you to Grindelwald.

The best time to visit Grindelwald is in the summer (June to August) or during the autumn months (September to November) especially if you like being active or simply walking.


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Lago di Poschiavo, Bernina Express, Switzerland

Bernina Express passes Lago di Poschiavo which is a natural lake in the Poschiavo valley in its second section from Pontresina to Tirano


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Lago Bianco, Bernina Express, Switzerland

Fed by milk white glacial water - Lago Bianco or the 'White Lake' - where the ice is so clear that you can gaze down into its shimmering depths - be bewitched take the Bernina Express ride...


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Butlasse Bernese Alps, Switzerland

The Butlasse is a mountain of the Bernese Alps, located near towns or villages - Gimmelwald, Lauterbrunnen or Kiental.


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Berggasthaus Aescher, Switzerland

Featured on the cover of National Geographic’s Destinations of a Lifetime - Berggasthaus Aescher is a guesthouse that has existed since 1860 - the oldest mountain guesthouse is also a steep ascent - it sure seems like a good idea to catch breakfast or lunch someday.

How to reach Aescher?
Take the Ebenalp cable car ride from Wasserauen to the mountain station and then it’s a 15 minute walk to the Aescher through the Wildkirch caves.

Directions and reservation details are also available on https://aescher.ch/en/

How to reach Wasserauen in the Appenzell region of Switzerland?
About 5 miles from the city of Appenzell. You could take a train from Zurich to Wasserauen train station. The Ebenalp cable car lift just outside the station.


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Castles of Bellinzona, Castelgrande, Switzerland

The Castles of Bellinzona perched on the Alpine foothills - this group of three castles - one in the frame is Castelgrande and the other two are Montebello and Sasso Corbaro encircled by their defensive walls are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

How to reach Bellinzona by train?
Take a scenic ride to reach Bellinzona - opt for Gotthard Panorama Express, via Locarno, or choose the Bernina Express via Lugano.

Best time to travel to Bellinzona - Autumn (September to November) in Bellinzona is full of color - where as Summer (June to August) can be really hot with temperatures reaching 30°C.


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Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Airavetesvara temple of Darasuram is built with a subtle balance almost like a fusion of intricate designing mingled with sculptural narrative plus exquisite carvings which are either small panels on its columns or depictions in large images in niches or recesses elaborately covering the entire temple.

Originally called Rajarajasvaram or Rajarajeshvara it was built by the Chola king Rajaraja II (1146-1173) who like his ancestors utilized his colossal wealth earned through his extensive conquests in building long-lasting stone temples and exquisite sculptures and you will find many still stand proudly articulating those glorious days. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?


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Rath at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

What does an Indian ratha or chariot signify as a temple? They seem to be symbolic to acts of valor and vanquishing evil by gods and hence metaphorically extending the same qualities to the mighty Kings who build those temples. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Ratha at Airavatesvara Temple has been designed to represent the entire cosmos - a divine ratha used by Tripuratanka who is a manifestation of Shiva. The chariot plays an important role in Tripura dahana, the three cities reduced to ashes by Tripuratanka. 

Or The ratha of Surya in Konark temple - symbolic of Surya, the Sun god traveling the entire earth in 24 hours daily drawn by seven horses traversing emitting light of life.

Or Arjuna's ratha built by Vishvakarma as mentioned in Rigveda a ratha that was capable of conquering all directions - Ved Vyasa has detailed Arjuna’s ratha with its Kapi Dhvaja in Mahabharata during the Khandava vana period of their life - Agni Dev gifted the Ratha to Arjun to help him burn down Khandava vana.


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Nataraja at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Cholas enjoyed and encouraged nritya and sangeet and their monuments especially temples apart from being spiritual beacons were cultural learning centers with their profuse panels and sculptures of dance and musical scenes - gods and ordinary people came alive sculpted in myriad karanas that left their visitors awestruck. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Frame is from Airavateshvara Temple in Darasuram Shiva performing urdhvatāṇḍava also known the ūrdhvatāṇḍavamūrti - Shiva enacted this Urdhava karaṇa to defeat Kali in a dance competition which was designed especially to calm Kali's fury after the ferocious goddess had brutally killed Asura's Sumbha and Nisumbha. Once the competition began witnessed not just by the sages, wild animals and birds in the Thiruvalangadu forest - Vishnu, Brahma and devas joined to witness this divine event. As Nataraja and Kali danced all were lost as the Damaru whirled and each matched the other to its hypnotic beats. The mesmerizing tandav was a fusion of raw power - just than Shiva's energetic movement caused him to drop the tatanka from his ear - in a seamless gesture without missing a beat Natesha picked up the errant tatanka with his toes and inserted it back in the ear - his uplifted leg pointing towards the sky and he continued holding his Urdhava Tandava posture gazing intently at Kali - one look at Shiva's masculine stance and the goddess blushed, gently returning to her graceful feminine form.

Many types of Tandava are found in the Hindu Scriptures - when performed with ecstatic rasa or joy it is Ananda Tandava when performed in a violent rasa it is Raudra Tandava - others include Tripura Tandava, Sandhya Tandava, Samhara Tandava, Kali (Kalika) Tandava, Uma Tandava, Shiva Tandava, Krishna Tandava, Gauri Tandava and Urdhva Tandava.


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Rishaba Kunjaram at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Rishaba Kunjaram at Airavtesvara Temple may be the oldest examples of illusions in art. The sculpture depicts both a bull and an elephant with a single head and different bodies - a sculptural illusion of the Chola era where depending on the direction of your darshan you will see either a bull or elephant. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?


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Expressions in stone at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Though conforming to the traditions of Shilpa Shastra rules that were set centuries ago - the sculptors in Chola period worked with great freedom and this is best portrayed by a transformed narrative - one of Shiva’s form - dance here becomes a visual language to express victory over evil. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?


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Lingodbhava at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lingodbhava at Airavatesvara Temple is a form of Rudra-Siva that erupts as a never-ending pillar of light - in this frame we have Gods Brahma and Vishnu offering their prayers with an Anjali mudra. In a way a flaming pillar of shivlinga that doesn't have a beginning or end personifies the formless divine essence of Siva. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Gods Brahma and Vishnu had a dispute of who was greater - and as per mythology of Lingodbhava as mentioned in Linga Purana, Kurma Purana as well as Shiv Purana is that Siva appeared as a flaming pillar of indeterminate size and asked them to find either the beginning or the end. Vishnu took his boar - varaha and dived deeper to find the end of the flaming pillar whereas Brahma flew on his hamsa to find the beginning. Vishnu admitted to Shiva that he couldn’t find the end and as per the tale Brahma tricked Shiva with the help of Ketaki (a flower) that he did see the beginning of the flaming linga. Furious Siva at Brahma’s devious attempt = Shiva cursed Brahma that he will never be worshipped and the Keyaki flower met the same fate never to be allowed to be part of amy prayer or worship..


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Dark sculptures at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The dark black basalt sculptures against the contrast of tones of brown granite in the Airavatesvara temple niches introduces or teaches visitors not only tenets of Shaivism but also showcases Vaishnavism and Shaktism traditions. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?


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Ardhanarisvara at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The polished black basalt sculpture of Ardhanareeshwara at Airavatesvara temple - in a rare three faced manifestation.

Ardhanārīśwara image personifies 'Creation of Life' as it manifests equally split male and female principles of Hindu deities Siva and Parvati (Uma or Shakti) or blending force and grace that procreates life.

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Naag Dev at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Vasuki, the king of Nagas in an Anjali mudra at Airavatesvara Temple - Anjali means to offer and being an avid devotee of Shiva, Nagaraja is offering his prayers to receive blessings from Shiva. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Nagaraja literally means King of Snakes and is applied to Anantha or Shesha nag, Takshak, and Vasuki and all three are brothers as they are children of Kashyap rishi and Kadru. Whilst Anantha the eldest is a devotee of Vishnu - Vasuki the youngest is an ardent devotee of Shiva - whereas Takshak represents the venomous aspect of why we should fear snakes.


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Ornate Pillars at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Exquisitely embellished pillars at the Airavateswara temple at Darasuram are a classic example of Chola art and architecture. Pillars narrate scenes from Puranas and other epics - and the rectangular portions illustrate stories of Shaivite saints, Parvati performing penance, Burning of Manmatha or Kama, Shiv Parvati’s marriage, birth of Kumara…

Many pillars have purely decorative patterns that include circular medallions and graceful creepers holding within the, figures holding dance postures or playing an array of musical instruments. The ceiling at Airavateswara temple is well decorated with patterns too.

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Nayanars Panel at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Representation of Nayanars at Airavatesvara marks the element of peace and tranquility as a sacred theme at Airavatesvara as compared to the heroic or victorious elements that were a core to the sculptural forms found in Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur and Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

Images of Saiva Nayanmar saints at Airavatesvara temple also provide ample proof of the importance of the saints of the time, and of the fact that their hymns were collected in the Thevaram at the time of Rajaraja Chola I. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?


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Stories of Shaivite Saints at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Many such miniature panels at Airavateswara Temple some with inscriptions narrate stories linked with 63 Nayanmars or the great Shaivite saints displaying the Chola connect with Shaivism over generations. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?


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Painted Storks at Van Vihar National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India

Painted Storks at Van Vihar National Park enjoy feeding in groups or flocks that range from 5 to 50 commonly found in shallow wetlands along lakes or rivers.

Painted Storks are waders - they do so to stir the water with their feet to flush out the hiding out small fish or frogs. They immerse their beaks which are half open and sweep it side to side till they sense their prey and snap it up as soon as they touch it. Once fed they can literally stand still on the bank or shore for long a long time.

The adult Painted Storks have pink legs and typically fly with their neck as well as their head drooped almost at or below their belly level. How to reach Van Vihar National Park?


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Peacocks at Van Vihar National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India

Peacocks at Van Vihar National Park prefer to forage for food early in the mornings and tend to stay in cover during the heat of the day.

Peacocks and Peafowls being omnivorous eat seeds, fruits, insects, small mammals and small reptiles. How to reach Van Vihar National Park?


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Spotted Owlet at Van Vihar National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India

Spotted Owlet at Van Vihar National Park is a greyish-brown stocky bird streaked with white spots - it has distinctive white eyebrows and neckband too.

Spotted Owlets are nocturnal though it may not be uncommon to sight them during the day. Perched in a tree it preys on insects bats, toads, small snakes and eats even scorpions.

Spotted Owlets have a loud and a harsh call that you may hear when it is active at dawn or dusk. How to reach Van Vihar National Park?


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Red Wattled Lapwing at Van Vihar National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India

Red Wattled Lapwing at Van Vihar National Park is a large plover and a wader with a characteristic loud alarm call that indicates human or animal movements.

Red Wattled Lapwings are seen in pairs or small flocks that are not far from water - and being ground birds they are incapable of perching.

Lapwings feed during the day and at times in the night - their diet includes a snails, invertebrates and many insects. How to reach Van Vihar National Park?


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How to reach Van Vihar National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India?

How to reach Van Vihar National Park by air? Which is the nearest airport to Van Vihar National Park?
The nearest airport to Van Vihar National Park is Kochi International Airport that is at a distance of about 17 km.

Best time to visit Van Vihar National Park is from October to February.


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Uma Mahesh at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

This particular frame is that of Uma and Mahesvara at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Siva and Pārvatī have many forms and incarnations and in this graceful sculpture - Shiva is Maheshvara and Pārvatī as an incarnation or Uma, the daughter of Himavan who performed severe penance to marry Shiva. Together, Uma and Maheshvara signify an ideal married couple and are usually found with arms draped around each other.


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Shaivite Saints Panel at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Apart from pillars - even the base of the main Airavatesvara temple is covered with carvings that narrate the legends of the Nayanars. These sixty three saints of Shiva greatly influenced the Bhakti Movement in Tamil Nadu and reflect the deep roots of Saivism. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?


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Vinadhari at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Sculpture is that of Vinadhari form of Shiva and edged by leaping yalis.

As we explore the UNESCO listed Great Chola Temples it almost seems that Shiva has emerged with many forms with multiple personas be it Vinadhari as seen in this frame at Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram or forms that may be terrifying as sculptures of Bhairava or in serene form as Dakshinamurti.

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How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India?

How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram by air? Which is the nearest airport to Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?
Tiruchirappalli International Airport is the nearest airport to Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram and it is at a distance of about 89 km.

How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?
Airavatesvar temple at Darasuram is near the city of Kumbakonam and the distance between Kumbakonam Railway Station and Airavatesvar temple at Darasuram is about 5 km.

Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram by road
Airavatesvara is at a distance of about 38 km from from Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur
Airavatesvara is at a distance of about 39 km from Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Airavatesvara is at a distance of about 83 km from Chidambaram
Airavatesvara is at a distance of about 301 km from Chennai

The best time to visit Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram is between November to February as the climate is much cooler.


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Ingenious Cholas Craftsmen, Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Imperial Cholas were not just mighty warriors they commissioned many magnificent monuments across their kingdom. Shaivism was the preeminent religion of the Chola empire and was definitely reinforced by Rajaraja I and Rajendra I and these excellent Chola centers of religion as well as learning were mostly sculpted around Thanjavur, Gangaikondacholapuram, and Darasuram.

All the three temples Airvatesvara, and both the Brihadisvaras’ are symbols of artistic magnificence and ingenuity of Cholas and their craftsmen. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?


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Raja-gambhiran Tiru-mandapam at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Raja-gambhiran tiru-mandapam named after Rajaraja II was conceptualised as Tripurantaka’s ratha is pulled by animated galloping horses and vivacious elephants. Many elements of the celestial Tripurantaka ratha are carved in stone - explore Prithvi as the Chariot, Brahma as Charioteer, Sun and Moon as the Chariot Wheels, Mount Meru as a Bow, Bow String is Vasuki and Vishnu as the Arrow.

The front base has carved panels illustrating Siva fighting the tripuras from his chariot, Shiva as Kalantaka protecting the son of Mrikandu from Yama, Siva annihilating Kama who dared to shoot a passion arrow from his flowery bow, Virabhadra destroying Daksha’s yagna…

This mandapa has 108 brilliantly and elaborately covered Pillars and you cannot miss the the expressive yali’s (a mythical creature usually sculpted on pillars depicting lion, elephant, horse, serpent - Yali’s are protectors symbolising strength, power, ferociousness…) How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?


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Garbha Griha at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Garbha Griha of Airavatesvara temple with its elaborately embellished pillars and classic sculptures is enshrined with shiva-linga that is illuminated by natural light.

The main deity of Airavatesvara temple of Darasuram is called as Rajarajesvaram-udayar, as the temple was built by Rajaraja II - in a way elevating the ruling king to divinity. Similar to the Chola tradition - Sivalinga at Brihadisvara at Gangaikondachola is referred to as Gangaikondachola Isvara or the God of Gangaikindacola (Chola who conquered the Ganga) How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?


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Temple Inscriptions, Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Rajaraja Chola I titled as Rajakesari Arumolivarman (985-1014 CE) ruled for about three decades with unmatched war victories both with foreign countries and across India was also well known for his administrative skills, proponent of art and literature, and his religious tolerance. His successor Rajendra Chola I (1012-44 CE), was as brilliant and the Chola dynasty reached its zenith during his rule - well known as the most extensive, powerful and influential Hindu kingdom of its time.

Rajaraja I ensured that all transactions pertaining Brihadisvara temple in Thanjavur would be recorded and much of the important notes inscribed on temple walls, columns or steps. His successors continued the good practice thus in a way creating a preserved official record lasting for centuries and these delivered apart from accounting all transactions also a detailed chronological history of each king’s rule.

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Shiv Parvati at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, part of Great Living Chola Temples, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Shiva Parvati carved in stone at the Airavateshvara at Darasuram near Kumbakonam in the Kaveri delta. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

All three temples Brihadisvara at Thanjavur, Brihadisvara at Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Airavateshvara at Darasuram are ‘living’ temples today - basically meaning functional temples - note that they suffered an interrupted patterns of worship over centuries as indicated by its later inscriptions.


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Pallavas Shore Temple Shrines, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

The Pallavas were great patrons of art and there artisans had their own distinct style of temple architecture. Shore temple complex was built by the Pallavas between 7th and 8th century.

The temple complex including the main temple, two smaller ones, many minor shrines, open mandapas and gateways were found buried under the sand. As per inscriptions found the names of these three shore temples during Pallava's time were Kshatriyasimha Pallavesvara-gruham, Rajasimha Pallavesvara-gruham and Pllikondaruliya-devar and the complex itself was termed as Jalashayana (meaning lying in water).

Rising to the first rays of light the main shore temple dedicated to Shiva faces east.

How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?


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Arjuna's Penance or Goddess Ganga's Descent from the Himalayas, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

This spectacular ancient open-air rock relief in Mahablipuram (7th century) has magnificent set of scenes that may be narrating either Arjuna's Penance or Goddess Ganga's descent from the Himalayas.

Both are engaging narratives - Arjuna's Penance is a tale from the Mahabharata - where Arjuna one of the Pandavas, performed severe penance to obtain Shiva's blessings in the form of Pāśupatāstra a supernatural weapon which supposedly can be discharged by the mind, the eyes, mere words, or a bow.

The tale depicting Goddess Ganga's Descent from the Himalayas - has Bhagiratha performing severe tapasya in Vrikshasana to obtain Shiva's blessings - so he can bring Goddess Ganga in the form of a celestial river down to earth from the Himalayas to release trapped souls of thousands of his dead ancestors.

The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram are a fusion of culture, myths, legends and hindu religious traditions. With more than 40+ monuments some which are incomplete they still deliver vivid sculpted expressions on rocks and boulders, on a mammoth scale. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?


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Goddess Ganga's Descent from the Himalayas or Arjuna's Penance, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

Elaborate panoramic scenes carved on two huge boulders with a cleft in between - it is believed that water use to flow down the cleft symbolising sacred river Ganga - and if you were to observe the carving near the cleft you will see it is resplendent with Naagraj Vasuki, Ulupi and other nagas. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

Carvings include a distinct Rishi standing in Vrikshasana, performing tapsya (could be Arjun or Bhagirath) and celestial figures witnessing the event are Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Kimpurusha, Siddhas and Vidyadharas....

Right next to the rishi is four armed Shiva in a standing posture witnessing the event with his ganas and apart from sculpted divinities you can find carved wild animals either imitating  meditating rishis or witnessing the scene.

Sculpted Elephants symbolically add a divine element and also represent the powerful and a mighty patrons or the Pallavas - there is a sculpted elephant family right next to the cleft that seems to be eloquently real.


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Panchapandava mandapam, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

Next to Arjuna's Penance or Descent of Ganga bas-relief is the Panchapandava mandapam - it’s unfinished with six pillars facing east. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?


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How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India?

Many Monuments and Monoliths of Mahabalipuram are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. This painting of Arjuna's Penance at Mahabalipuram is by John Gantz.

Mahabalipuram now known by its ancient name Mammallapuram, is located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu and as per ancient history - Mammallapuram was an important and thriving seaport town during Pallavas rule.

How to reach Mammallapuram by air? Which is the nearest airport to Mahabalipuram?
Chennai International Airport is the nearest airport to Mammallapuram and is at a distance of about 55 km.

How to reach Mammallapuram by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Mahabalipuram?
Chengalpattu Junction is the nearest station to Mammallapuram and is at a distance of about 31 km.

The best time to visit Mammallapuram is during the cooler months from November to February.


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Panch Pandav Rath, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

Pancha Pandav Raths are ancient monolithic raths (chariot) located at Mahabalipuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Tamil Nadu, India.

Hewn out of large rocks these raths were sculpted and carved during King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I's rule (630–668 AD Pallava dynasty) and named after the Pandavas - as Dharmaraj Rath, Bhim Rath, Arjun Rath, Nakul-Sahadev Rath, and Draupadi Rath. Scholars believe the name may be a misrepresentation as there is no artistic or religious significance since they were unfinished and unconsecrated due to the death Narasimhavarman I. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?


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Bhim’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

Bhima Ratha is the largest of all raths and has a longitudinal structure with a barrel roof and columned galleries on both sides.

Each of the panch raths are distinctly designed - each a monolith thus sculpted out of a single rock of granite and its plinth is north-south oriented with a slight slope.

How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?


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Dharmaraj’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

Dharmaraj's Rath is an elegant pyramidal structure built with a square layout and that rises in three levels- and the tallest of all the Pandava raths. You will find images of Ardhanarishvara, Harihara, Skanda, Indra on Airavat, King Narasimhavarman I in its many niches.

These raths were believed to have been inspired by the Buddhist Chaityas or prayer halls and Viharas. Their design may trace back to wooden temple chariots and these may have been built as an experimental-architectural models for larger such temples.

How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?


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Arjun’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

Arjun Rath is ornate with an elaborate façade and is similar in design as the Yudhisthir or Dharmaraj's Rath - but has a two tiered structure and a hexagonal vimana .

Arjun's rath stands on the same plinth as Draupadi's Rath - it's walls are partitioned and have rectangular niches that have carved sculptures of Shiva, Vishnu and other deities.

How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?


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Draupadi’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

The Draupadi Rath is a square elegant structure with a shrine of goddess Durga - the design resembles a village hut with a thatch roof .

How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?


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Nakul Sahdeva’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

Nakul-Sahadev Rath has a south entrance whereas the other 4 raths have a west entrance. Apsidal in shape it is similar in design as Dharmaraj and Arjun's raths. It has a stone monolithic sculpture of an elephant next to it.

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Trimurti Cave, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

The Trimurti Cave Temple dated to the early 8th century is dedicated to the Hindu trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

The Mamallapuram cave temples though incomplete still seem to elaborately impart know-how on how the cave monuments were excavated and built in 7th-century India.

Sections of the caves - pin point that artisans worked with sthalapatis or architects to chalk off the colonnade or pillars - to create rough-hewn jutting protuberances with exact specifications by cutting deep grooves into the rock. Excess of the the hanging rocks was removed and the process repeated. Once excavated other artisans polished the rocks and carved designs, motifs, friezes and Hindu iconography.

The process of creating rock-cut cave temples have greatly influenced the later structural Hindu temples.


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Olakkanesvara temple, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

Perched on the rock above the Mahishasuramardini cave temple overlooking overlooking the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal - the Olakkanesvara temple was built under the patronage of King Rajasimha from the Pallava dynasty in the early 8th century.

The external walls of the temple illustrate sculptures within niches or devkoshtas of - seated Dakshina-murti under a tree a form of Shiva as a teacher; Shiva's Ravananugraha manifestation where we see images of Shiva and Parvati seated on Mount Kailash and Ravana trying to shake the mountain; plus sculpted Nataraja.

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Mahishasuramardini Cave, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

The Mahishasuramardini cave or mandapa though unfinished represents the classic Tamil temple rock art as its interior art is simply spectacular. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

The southern wall has a carving of Anantasayi Visnu and - you will find one of the most exquisitely carved rock relief depicting Mahishasuramardini on the northern wall of the temple hall.


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Varaha Cave, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

Adivaraha cave or the Varaha Mandapa (dated to the 7th century) is just behind Arjuna’s penance and has brilliant sculpted depictions of Gajalakshni, Durga, Vamana-Trivikrama and off course Varaha - Bhu-devi. It's sculptures depict Vaishnavism (Varaha, Vamana, Gajalakshmi), Shaivism (Gangadhara), and Shaktism (Durga). How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

Varaha is illustrated as rescuing Bhu-devi - designed as an underwater carved scene - water is depicted by leaves, lotus flowers as well as ripples - sculpted demon is presented being trampled by Varaha - surrounded by Rishis, Surya and Chandra witnessing the event.


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Trivikrama sculpted panel at Varaha Cave, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

Panel narrates the Vamana avatar tale - illustrating Trivikrama crushing Bali and other demons under his feet - many celestial figures surround the panel including Surya, Chandra, Shiva and Brahma who are witnessing the event. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

Trivikrama literally means 3 steps and is another name for Vamana - a Vishnu Avatar where Trivikrama asks Asura King Bali for three steps of land and just with two steps he takes over all that the mighty Aura King Bali owns - Bali being a noble Asura offers Vamana his own head as the third step thus also achieves moksha.


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Krishna Mandapam, Tamil Nadu, India - Part of Monuments of Mahabalipuram a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site

The Krishna mandapa is an absolute treat for any Krishna devotee or someone who just enjoys slices of Madhav's colorful life. Large panels depict - Krishna lifting Govardhan parvat, under which all the animals and people take shelter, safe from Indra's fury Or Krishna playing the flute animals, birds and people listen intently. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?


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Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Tamil Nadu, India - recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

Indian families with young children still enjoy historic Mountain Railways of India - as it chugs over its multitude bridges (250+), astounded by the landscape of lush forests, mountains, hilly slopes or valleys, tea estates and waterfalls that it passes a rare experience of classic train journeys.

The steam engine enabled toy train of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway covers 46 km and is the smallest route as compared to the toy train ride to reach Darjeeling or Shimla. Working since 1908 it traverses from Mettupalayam to Ooty or Udagamandalam in Tamil Nadu passing 16 tunnels, 250+ bridges and 13 stations. When it started n 1908, Coonor a hill station was the last station - within a few quarters the railway line got extended till Ooty or Udhagamandalam - another popular hill town up in the Nilgiris.

How to reach Mettupalayam? How to reach Coonor? How to reach Ooty or Udhagamandalam?


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Iconic Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Tamil Nadu, India - recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

The reason why the Indian mountain railways seem adventurous is not just because it is 110+ years old or it’s historic significance - more due to their ingenious infrastructure - which is still in use - establishing an effective rail link across a mountainous terrain - an engineering feat of its time as it covered sharp curves and steep elevations

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway has the steepest track in Asia - using a steam engine to climb the hills between Mettupalayam and Coonoor the rest of the journey between Connor and Ooty is completed using a diesel engine. Its vintage coal-fired steam engine has been replaced by an oil-fired steam engines.

How to reach Mettupalayam? How to reach Coonor? How to reach Ooty or Udhagamandalam?


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How to reach Mettupalayam, Tamil Nadu India?

How to reach Mettupalayam by air? Which is the nearest airport to Mettupalayam?
Coimbatore International Airport is the nearest to Mettupalayam and is at a distance of about 37 kms.

How to reach Mettupalayam by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Mettupalayam?
Mettupalayam Railway station is well connected to many cities in India.

The best time to visit Mettupalayam is from November to March as the climate is much cooler.


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Shah Jehan's Taj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The Taj Mahal is an exemplary architectural achievement - a white marble tomb complex - built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jehan (in between 1632 to 1648) - in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Original addressed as Prince Khurram and Arjumand Banu Begum they were soulmates throughout their 19 year marriage where the queen would accompany the emperor even on his military campaigns until her death in 1631. How to reach Taj Mahal?

Marble as material was linked originally with the tombs of saints and over time with was associated with royalty; Marble is known to absorbs light and change color with every change and thus the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal takes on spiritual overtones.

The mausoleum is decorated with carved floral motifs + elaborate designs of detailed parchin kari work or images created by using highly polished colored stones. + the exquisite bands of Quran inscriptions embellishing the exterior and interior of the mausoleum. Visualize this - in the 17th century there would be the melodic chanting that would reverberate throughout the tomb as regular prayers were offered  for the deceased queen’s soul.


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Royal access to the Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Today anyone can visit the Taj Mahal - if you were living in the 17th century you would have to be a member of the royal family before you could access the Taj Complex. It is recorded that Shah Jahan chose to visit the tomb in a boat and would always enter the complex using water gates which are now closed.

Emperor Shah Jahan died in 1666 as a prisoner and he was buried next to his wife in the Taj Mahal - many historians believe that Shah Jahan always intended the Taj Mahal to be his tomb and his final resting place as well. How to reach Taj Mahal?


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Mehtab Bagh, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Mehtab Bagh or the Moon-lit Garden lies north of the Taj Mahal complex perfectly aligned on the opposite side of Yamuna River.

It's the last of 11 gardens built by the Mughals - Mehtab Bagh was built by Shah Jehan's ancestor Babur and is also identified as an ideal location to view the Taj Mahal. Mehtab Bagh was later owned by Raja Man Singh Kacchawa of Amber, who also owned the land around the Taj Mahal.


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How to reach Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India?

Taj Mahal is located in the city of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

How to reach Taj Mahal by air? Which is the nearest airport to Taj Mahal?
The nearest airport to Taj Mahal is Agra Airport - note it has limited connectivity - predominantly flying to or from Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi, Bengaluru++
Distance between Taj Mahal and Agra Airport is about 12.3 km

The nearby Delhi International Airport is well connected with many cities of India. Distance between Taj Mahal and Delhi Airport is about 231 km. 

How to reach Taj Mahal by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Taj Mahal?
Agra Cantonment is the nearest railway station to the Taj Mahal and is well connected to many cities in India. Distance between Taj Mahal and Agra Cantonment railway station is about 6 km

The best time to visit the Taj Mahal in the city of Agra is when it is cooler, between October to March.


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Agra Fort - Amar Singh Gate, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The Agra Fort has a crescent shape, flattened on the east with a long, nearly straight wall parallel to river Yamuna. How to reach Agra Fort?

It is enclosed with soaring double impregnable wall that has massive circular bastions at regular intervals in both inner and outer walls and the outer bastions are concentric with the inner ones.

Delhi Gate is a monumental gate and was known to be Emperor Akbar's majestic formal gate. Akbar fused Islamic geometry plus calligraphy with the Hindu carved expression using birds, animals and flowers to embellish Agra Fort.

Agra Fort is an important complex in terms Mughal architectural history and once had about 500 monuments built within the fort. Some structures were demolished by Shah Jahan to build his white marble palaces. The others were destroyed by the British troops. About 30 odd monuments have survived including the Delhi Gate, Amar Singh Gate Gate or the Akbar Darwaza.

Since the Indian military uses the northern portion of the Agra Fort, the Delhi Gate is not available for use and tourists have to enter the complex using the Amar Singh Gate.

Akbar Darwaza has been renamed as Amar Singh Gate by Shah Jahan and it is similar in design to the Delhi Gate.


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Agra Fort - Diwan-e-Aam, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The Diwan-e-aam with its arched gateways was a public court built by Shah Jahan in the 17th century. It is designed as a large hall divided in to three aisles by nine tall arches - The Mughal emperor and his successors or wazirs met general public to sort out their complaints. Emperor would be seated on a raised platform or baithak - which was ostentatiously ornamented and inlaid with precious stones.

Diwan-e-aam was built in red sandstone that was plastered in white for it to be in sync with the other white marble royal structures and its ceiling and columns in those times were painted with gold. How to reach Agra Fort?


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Agra Fort - Jahangiri Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Built within the Agra fort complex - decorated with geometrical designs and inlaid with white marble on a red sandstone background - Jahangiri Mahal is impressive especially its beautiful jharokhas or overhanging enclosed balcony. This palace was the principal palace for Akbar's Rajput wives. How to reach Agra Fort?

Noor Jahan, Mughal empress and wife of Jahangir or Akbar's heir - used this majestic palace as her residence until her death on 17 December 1645. Noor Jahan was well known for her piercing intelligence and was one of the most powerful and influential woman attending 'court' when the Mughal Empire was at the peak of its power and glory. Noor Jahan is also the only Mughal empress to have coinage in her name.


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Fatehpur Sikri Buland Darwaza, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Fatehpur Sikri founded as the capital of Mughal Empire in 1571 by Emperor Akbar - and was so named as the 'City of Victory', to commemorate Akbar's victory in Gujarat in 1573. How to reach Fatehpur Sikri via Agra?

Buland Darwaza is the mammoth south wall - the main entrance to Jama Masjid in Fatehpur Sikri. Riveting note - Buland Darwaza was not a part of the original design of the Jama Masjid, it was constructed by Akbar to celebrate his conquest of Gujarat in 1573.


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How to reach Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India?

Agra a popular destination in India has much to offer be it historical or architectural sites. Visit the world famous Taj Mahal one of the seven wonders of the world a structural beauty with fascinating historical anecdotes. Other prominent sights located in Agra are Agra Fort, Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid, Moti Masjid, Fatehpur Sikri, or Mariam-uz-Zamani Palace.

How to reach Agra by air? Which is the nearest airport to Agra?
Agra has it own domestic Airport - note has limited connectivity - predominantly flying to or from Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi, Bengaluru++ whereas the nearby Delhi International Airport is well connected with many cities of India.

How to reach Agra by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Agra?
Agra Cantonment railway station is well connected to many cities in India.

The best time to visit the city of Agra is when it is cooler, between October to March.

Distance notes to reach important Monuments in Agra

Reach Taj Mahal
Distance between Taj Mahal and Agra Airport is about 12.3 km
Distance between Taj Mahal and Delhi Airport is about 231 km
Distance between Taj Mahal and Jaipur Airport is about 245 km
Distance between Taj Mahal and Agra Cantonment railway station is about 6 km

Reach Agra Fort
Distance between Agra Fort and Agra Airport is about 11.2 km
Distance between Agra Fort and Agra Cantonment railway station is about 4.7 km

Reach Fatehpur Sikri
Distance between Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Airport is about 38 km
Distance between Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Cantonment railway station is about 37 km


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Minivets at Kaziranga National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

The small Minivet at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India is a small passerine bird found in India and Indonesia. Minivets feeds on insects in trees by flycatching or while perched. You will usually find minivets picturesquely perched in small flocks. Small minuets have a thin and high call - resembling swee swee swee. How to reach Kaziranga National Park?


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Crested Serpent Eagle at Kaziranga National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

The crested serpent eagle at Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India is bird of prey and flies the forest canopy on broad wings in search of reptiles or snakes and lizards. Their tail have wide white and black bars. Found in forested habitats across tropical Asia the crested serpent eagle tend to call with a loud, piercing and familiar three or two-note call. How to reach Kaziranga National Park?


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Oriental Pied Hornbill at Kaziranga National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

The oriental pied hornbill at Kaziranga National Park are important large seed dispersers and generally monogamous (breed between January and June). Hornbills are predominantly frugivores and their diet could include wild fruits or large insects including grasshoppers or small birds like finches. They also eat the smallish lizards and snakes or frogs and fish. How to reach Kaziranga National Park?


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Crimson Sunbird at Kaziranga National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

The tiny Crimson Sunbird found in Kaziranga National park are really tiny about 11 cms long. They feed largely on nectar or insects. They access the nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed most of the time. Their call sounds like chee-cheewee. How to reach Kaziranga National Park?


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Red Whiskered Bulbul at Kaziranga National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

The Red-whiskered Bulbul found in the Kaziranga National Park is a passerine bird with a lifespan of about 11 years. It is a frugivore and feeds on fruits and small insects. Red-whiskered bulbuls are more often heard than seen especially in the mornings when they call out happily perched on the tree-tops. How to reach Kaziranga National Park?


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Blue Throated Barbet at Kaziranga National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

The blue-throated barbet found in Kaziranga National Park is a passerine bird and has bright green, blue and red plumage, native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. The barbets eats fruits and insects and usually frequent evergreen forests, deciduous forests, teak forests etc looking for fruits on trees. How to reach Kaziranga National Park?


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Spot-billed Duck at Kaziranga National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

The Indian spot-billed duck at Kaziranga National Park in Assam is a non-migratory breeding duck that feeds by dabbling for plant food or invertebrates such as snails usually in the evening or at night. How to reach Kaziranga National Park?


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Tiger at Kaziranga National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

Tiger actually seems to look right in the camera whists settling for its meal at Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Doesn't matter which species you have gone to connect with for a few moments - if you are able to catch a tiger or tigress sauntering around you will acknowledge that this large predator is simply and undoubtedly fascinates every eye it meets. How to reach Kaziranga National Park?


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Rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

One horned Rhino at Kaziranga National Park - this species once pushed very close to extinction due to habitat loss or poaching is now slowly steadily increasing in numbers in India as well as all over the world.

Great one-horned Rhino or the Indian Rhino as it is popularly referred to are a solitary species - they prefer grazing in solitude - unless when males near adulthood then one can see them gather at wallows or whilst grazing.

One-horned Rhino prefers eating grasses as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit, and aquatic plants. How to reach Kaziranga National Park?


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Elephants at Kaziranga National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

Kaziranga National Park, Assam and its surrounding landscape arguably holds the most critical population of elephants in Northeast India. Elephants are megaherbivores and they need to eat about 150+ kg of plant matter per day. Interesting to note is whilst they graze on the tall grasses they uproot entire clumps and actually dust them skillfully and consume the fresh leave tops whilst discarding the roots. How to reach Kaziranga National Park?


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Deer at Kaziranga National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

Indian hog deer at Kaziranga National Park are mainly grazers and feed on grasses - are named such as they have a hog-like manner and speed through the forests with its head hung low to duck easily under obstacles instead of leaping over them like most other deer.

They are usually found in herds and when alarmed make a whistling vocalization or a warning bark. How to reach Kaziranga National Park?


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How to reach Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India?

The airport nearest to Kaziranga National Park is Guwahati airport (217 km).

Railway station nearest to Kaziranga National Park is Furkating station (75 km).

The best time to visit Kaziranga National Park is from November to April.


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Leopard at Manas National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

Leopard at Manas National Park - an elusive predator who is solitary, and largely nocturnal.

Leopards have been captured on camera resting on tree branches and seem to be able to climb up with ease not only to rest during the day but also are able to drag their prey high up to keep it safe from other predators. How to reach Manas National Park?


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Elephants at Manas National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

Manas National Park is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Elephant Reserve, a Tiger Reserve as well as a biosphere reserve in Assam, India.

Indian elephants spend up to 18+ hours a day feeding themselves and for such a large animal and seemingly slow animal they can cover up to 100+ square miles. Elephants seem to enjoy eating grasses, large amounts of tree bark, roots, leaves including small stems. For captive elephants food would include bananas, rice and sugarcane.

Elephants are always close to a source of fresh water be it for a thirst quencher or for cooling themselves. How to reach Manas National Park?


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One Horned Rhinoceros at Manas National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

One horned Rhino at Manas National Park - this species once pushed very close to extinction due to habitat loss or poaching is now slowly steadily increasing in numbers in India as well as all over the world.

Great one-horned Rhino or the Indian Rhino as it is popularly referred to are a solitary species - they prefer grazing in solitude - unless when males near adulthood then one can see them gather at wallows or whilst grazing.

One-horned Rhino prefers eating grass as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit, and aquatic plants. How to reach Manas National Park?


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Capped Langur at Manas National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

Capped Langurs in Manas National Park, Assam are more common than the Rhesus macaque in forested areas and are also found in Bhutan, Bangladesh and Tibet. Although the capped langur is the second most abundant primate in Assam, it is declining due to habitat loss and organized encroachment.

Manas National Park is also known for its rare and endangered wildlife such as the golden langur, hispid hare and pygmy hog. How to reach Manas National Park?


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Peafowl at Manas National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

Peafowls at Manas National Park  prefer to forage for food early in the mornings and tend to stay in cover during the heat of the day.

Peafowls being omnivorous eat seeds, fruits, insects, small mammals and small reptiles. How to reach Manas National Park?


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Hodgson Redstart at Manas National Park, Assam India a UNESCO Site

Hodgson Redstart at Manas National Park likes to eat berries and insects and forages in short flights from perch or sallies for flying insects. As per hbw.com their nests mainly is made up of grass stems and twigs, lined with feathers, placed in hole in the tree or in a rotten stump.  [hbw.com Handbook of the Birds of the World] How to reach Manas National Park?


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How to reach Manas National Park in Guwahati, Assam, India?

The airport nearest to Manas National Park is Borjhar airport (5 km) or Guwahati airport (176 km). Railway station nearest to Manas National Park is Barpeta road station.

The best time to visit Manas National Park is from November to April.


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Walensee in Switzerland

Quinten is a hamlet situated on the north shore of the Walensee in Switzerland that is bound at one side and on the other side the lake is bound by steep cliffs of the Churfirsten. One can reach the car free Quinten only by foot from Weesen or Walenstadt and by boat / ship.

Many hiking trails start from Quinten going around Walensee passing through forests, streams, waterfalls and tiny villages.


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UNESCO listed Bern, Switzerland

Bern is a medieval Swiss town - and has earned itself the Unesco World Heritage status - with a laid back and friendly demeanor it is possible to walk around its old town literally within 20-30 minutes.

Note - Do find time to sample sorbets at Gelateria di Berna, a Bernese institution, that creates unusual flavours like hibiscus flower, strawberry and balsamic vinegar, and chocolate sorbets...


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St Moritz @ night, Switzerland

It seems night is as romantic in St. Moritz as the day with surrounding mountains cloaked in darkness, - the night skyline is dotted with the colorful lights of the many lounges, cafe's, restaurants and bars that twinkle like stars throughout the Alpine metropolis.

How to reach St. Moritz by train?
The most scenic journey would be to take either the Glacier Express or the Bernina Express to St. Moritz, which travel along a UNESCO World Heritage railway line.

If arriving via Zürich Airport, you will need to change a couple of trains to reach St. Moritz in about four hours. First change would be at Zürich Hauptbahhof (the central station) and the next at Chur, where you transfer to a narrow-gauge Rhaetian Railway line.


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Sanetsch Pass, Switzerland

The Sanetsch pass is one of those places that you hardly hear of! Picturesque trails that meander around the Rhone valley right through the vineyards - it's located in the Valais region which is Switzerland’s famous wine-producing region.

How to reach Sanetsch pass by train?
Take the train to Sion then a Postbus which would take you directly to Sanetsch pass - takes about 2 hours. Or you could reach Gsteig via Gsaadt and take the cable car (between June and October) that climbs directly to Sanetsch.

No matter what is the forecast carry warm clothes as in the Rhone valley - temperatures can drop more than 15 degrees during the ascent.


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Murren view of Jungfrau, Switzerland

The Jungfrau Region kind of connects three towns - Interlaken, Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. And the Jungfrau is the tallest of the three iconic peaks - Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau that dominating the skyline;

So where should you stay to explore Jungfrau - opt for Lauterbrunnen if you are looking for peace and serenity; choose Grindelwald if you are looking for easy access to the Eiger or Alpine peaks; Interlaken is a thriving town - though beautiful it means you will need extra travel time to reach the peaks. I would opt for the quaint Murren - which is perched on the west side of Lauterbrunnen Valley, almost like a large panoramic full length window full of the Alps - no matter where you go in Murren the views are of dramatic landscapes. Murren is reachable by either a tram then train ride, or tram direct.


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Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Lake Lucerne’s has an unusual shape and the only way to absorb all the drama surrounding it is to take in the scenes from a boat. Sit back and absorb its dramatic backdrop - towering Swiss Alps form a jagged horizon stretching as far as the Eiger and the Jungfrau, with Mount Pilatus and the Stanserhorn in the near distance.

How to reach Lucerne by train?
Lucerne is centrally located or bang in the middle of Switzerland, so you can reach it by rail from hoping in to a direct train from from Zürich airport - it just over an hour from Bern and Basel, and from Lugano in a few hours. Like most train journeys in Switzerland reaching Lucerne by train is amazingly picturesque.


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Lake Lucerne at night, Switzerland

Enjoy the evening light over Lake Lucerne, it’s almost too picture-perfect - frame the the last layer of jagged Alpines intermingled with luminous Chapel Bridge, Water Tower, other monuments from its old town and modern architecture that fill this intriguing city.

How to reach Lucerne by train?
Lucerne is centrally located or bang in the middle of Switzerland, so you can reach it by rail from hoping in to a direct train from from Zürich airport - it just over an hour from Bern and Basel, and from Lugano in a few hours. Like most train journeys in Switzerland reaching Lucerne by train is amazingly picturesque.


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Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Lauterbrunnen Valley has tiny villages on both its rims - and one of them is Wengen - which is photogenically poised with dramatic views that seem like 'animated watercolor paintings'.

Explore the dreamy vistas at dusk from the bench in front of the church peering over to the misty Staubbach Falls, down to the chasm of Lauterbrunnen Valley and up to the glacier-capped Jungfrau massif.

Wengen is the biggest of the three rim villages (Murren, Gimmelwald) of Lauterbrunnen Valley and you can reach Wengen village only by train.


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Lake Lauerz, Switzerland

Nestled between the Rigi, the Grosser and the Kleiner Mythen mountains lies Lake Lauerz and its island of Schwanau which has fascinating tales as well as history.


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Chapel @ Kiental, Switzerland

The Kien Valley chairlift is a spectacular ride, starting from the resort town of Kiental (Kien Valley) going high up to Ramslauenen, delivering striking views of the Bluemlisalp, the Kien Valley and Lake Thun.

In summer Griesalp in the Kien Valley, is the starting point of many mountain hikes and high altitude treks with more than 250 kilometers of hiking trails that take you through colorful flower-decked meadows, shady mountain forests, past rushing mountain streams and thunderous waterfalls.


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Grimsel Pass, Switzerland

The Grimsel Pass is a mountain pass in Switzerland, connecting the Haslital, the upper valley of the river Aare, with the upper valley of the Rhône. In this frame one can see the Räterichsbodensee reservoir after several sweeping hairpin bends.

Haslital, Switzerland has about 300 km of area assigned to walking trails as well as mountain biking routes. It is supported by two cableways that lead visitors high up into the walking and biking region.


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Eiger Monch Jungfrau viewed from Mannlichen, Switzerland

A trip to Männlichen means stunning natural surroundings or views of the mighty three - Eiger - Monch - Jungfrau declared by many traveller reviews as one of the most breathtaking lookout points...

The walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is one of the most popular trails - depending from where you start it is graded as easy to moderate.

Walking uphill from Kleine Scheidegg to Männlichen - to view Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau you will have to keep looking back as you are walking away from the peaks.

How to reach Männlichen?
From either Grindelwald or Wengen take a cableway that drops you to Mannlichen.


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The Trient Valley, Switzerland

The Trient Valley is an un-spoilt natural wonder with its alpine glaciers, wild gorges, streams and caves. It's also well-known for its picturesque hike from the Col de la Forclaz to the mighty Trient Glacier.


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Zurich, Switzerland

...much to do in Zurich - opt to take the train from the centre of the city to the summit of Uetliberg mountain - gaze down Zurich soak in the views - the rivers, the lake, snow capped Alps or hundreds of yachts breezing across the lake in summer. Explore Zürich’s historic centre which is on both banks of the river Limmat. The medieval and early modern streets of the Altstadt are where much of the Zurich's culture, shopping and nightlife is concentrated...


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Zermatt houses, Switzerland

Zermatt has houses dating back more than 500 years. Everything around this traffic free village is accessible within a walk be it cafés or bars or shops – and most paths lead you directly to the peaceful and yet wild mountain world at the foot of the Matterhorn.


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Werd Island, Stein am Rhein, Switzerland

Stein am Rhein is unique gem in the midst of beautiful countryside towards the lower end of Lake Constance, where it becomes the Rhine River again.

What would one do in Stein am Rhein? Explore Old town quarter has thematic painted timber-framed houses, ornate with oriel windows or stop by the medieval Monastery of St. Georgen, check if the Lindwurm Museum may interest you or visit the island group of Werd.


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Chillon Castle, Veytaux, Switzerland

Chillon Castle or Chateau de Chillon is an island castle located on Lake Geneva or Lac Léman, south of Veytaux in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland.


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250+ years old Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Intriguing - Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary was established about 250 years ago known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and is named after Shiva temple and was a hunting ground for the Maharajas of Bharatpur. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Migratory Birds at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Keoladeo National Park used to be a waterfowl hunting ground as thousands of migratory waterfowl visit the park for breeding. The reserve is a mosaic of diverse habitats including - dry grasslands, woodlands, woodland swamps and wetlands.

Keoladeo National Park is equally rich with its mammal population - right from Leopard Cat, Fshing Cats plus Golden Jackals, Stripe Hyena and Bengal fox ++

You also find raptors like osprey, peregrine falcon, short-toed eagle, tawny eagle, spotted eagle and crested serpent eagle. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Rare Feast for Birdwatchers - Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The famous Keoladeo National Park or  Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan, India is a man-made wetland - an avifauna sanctuary that houses thousands of birds, especially during its winter season and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Keoladeo National Park is located on the Gangetic Plain making it an unrivaled breeding site for storks, herons or cormorants - the park is an important wintering ground for vast numbers of migrant ducks.

Common waterfowl found at Keoladeo National Park include common teal, little cormorant, great cormorant, painted stork, white spoonbill, oriental ibis, ++ The sarus crane, with its spectacular courtship dance, also lives here. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Turtles at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Indian roofed turtle at Keoladeo National Park is usually found in quiet streams, canals, ponds or man-made water tanks. It is easy to spot turtles in the morning as they enjoy basking in the early morning sun.

Keoladeo National Park houses seven species of turtles out of the ten species of turtles found in Rajasthan - it is common to find the skipper frog and the bullfrog in the wetlands. You may easily catch a python or two basking in the sun and the park also has venomous snakes such as krait, cobra and russell’s viper. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Siberian Crane at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Siberian Crane at Keoladeo National Park are easy to spot - as also known as Snow Crane - both genders are distinctive - nearly snowy white, except black wing tips which are clearly seen when they are in flight - their fore-crown, face and side of head is brick red, so is their their serrated bill and they have pink legs.

Siberian Cranes are highly territorial found in small flocks and they feed almost through the day. Their heads are entirely underwater when they feed on submerged plants. They are omnivores and feed on a range of plants their roots, seeds plus prefer earthworms, fish, lemmings or voles. Studies have found that Siberian Cranes prefer animal food only when vegetation is covered by snow.

All Siberian Cranes make the long distance migration - unfortunately their numbers are drastically declining primarily due to hunting and habitat degradation - thus are a rare sight at Keoladeo National Park. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Sarue Crane at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Sarus Crane at Keoladeo National Park is a social bird found mostly in pairs or small groups of 3 or 4. The tall Sarus Crane is easily distinguished due to its contrasting red head and upper neck + pale red legs.

Known to be monogamous they mate with a single partner for life. They build enormous nests with reeds and grass in natural wetlands - breed during the rainy season - and their clutch usually has 1-2 eggs, which are incubated by both parents for a period of about 4+ weeks. The young ones follow their parents from the day of birth.

Habitat loss and degradation due to draining of the wetland and conversion of land for agriculture is the main threat to the Sarus Crane in India.

Sarus Cranes forage on marshes and shallow wetlands searching for crustaceans, small vertebrate prey, insects as well as roots and tubers. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Painted Storks at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Painted Storks at Keoladeo National Park enjoy feeding in groups or flocks that range from 5 to 50 commonly found in shallow wetlands along lakes or rivers.

Painted Storks are waders - they do so to stir the water with their feet to flush out the hiding out small fish or frogs. They immerse their beaks which are half open and sweep it side to side till they sense their prey and snap it up as soon as they touch it. Once fed they can literally stand still on the bank or shore for long a long time.

The adult Painted Storks have pink legs and typically fly with their neck as well as their head drooped almost at or below their belly level. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Wood Sandpiper at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Wood Sandpiper at Keoladeo National Park is a thrush-sized, tail-bobbing wader with a short fine bill, white belly, a brown back with pale spotting and pale yellowish legs.

Wood Sandpiper forage by probing wet mud or shallow water predominantly preying on insects. They either builds nests on the ground or may use an abandoned old nest are found to lay four pale green eggs usually between March and May.

Wood Sandpiper young or adults are known to potentially cross distances of 2000–4000+ km in one non-stop flight. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Verditer Flycatcher at Keoladeo National Park a (Eumyias thalassinus) species that is distinctive with a vivid turquoise blue shade - found usually perched upright in hill forests and forest edges predominantly feeding on insects and their larvae, bees and wasps. During the egg laying phase the female Flycatcher hunt for calcium rich prey like snails and woodlice. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Spotted Owlet at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Spotted Owlet at Keoladeo National Park is a greyish-brown stocky bird streaked with white spots - it has distinctive white eyebrows and neckband too.

Spotted Owlets are nocturnal though it may not be uncommon to sight them during the day. Perched in a tree it preys on insects bats, toads, small snakes and eats even scorpions.

Spotted Owlets have a loud and a harsh call that you may hear when it is active at dawn or dusk. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Red Wattled Lapwing at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Red Wattled Lapwing at Keoladeo National Park is a large plover and a wader with a characteristic loud alarm call that indicates human or animal movements.

Red Wattled Lapwings are seen in pairs or small flocks that are not far from water - and being ground birds they are incapable of perching.

Lapwings feed during the day and at times in the night - their diet includes a snails, invertebrates and many insects. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Parrots at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Parrots at Keoladeo National Park - are commonly found nesting in tree hollows or cavities and typically lay white eggs from which hatch altricial young parrots [Altricial species are the ones whose young ones are incapable of moving around on their own soon after hatching or being born.)

Parrots have a curved bill, strong legs and clawed feet. While most Parrots have a primary vivid colore you also find species that have multiple vibrant colors.

Whilst they feed on flower buds, fruits, pollen, nectar, berries - most Parrots actually enjoy seeds - and their powerful bill has evolved enough to crack open hard seeds as well as remove the poisonous seed coat. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Eurasian Golden Oriole at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Eurasian Golden Oriole at Keoladeo National Park known simply as the Golden Oriole - and are found pick insects out of crevices - they also feed on fruits making them omnivores.

The build a deep cup-shaped nest high in the tree - and the nest held tight by plant fibres and lined with fine grass, feathers and wool. Their clutch commonly consists of 3 to 5 eggs. The eggs hatch after about 16+ days and the young birds are fed by both parents. Their clutch is seldom lost to predators as both the parents vigorously defend their nest. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Spot-billed Duck at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Indian Spot-billed Duck at Keoladeo National Park is so named as it has a characteristic red spot at the base of a yellow tipped bill.

Its easy to spot them from a distance due to their distinct white tertials that form a stripe on the side when dabbling in fresh water lakes.

Spot-billed Duck hides its nests within vegetation near water bodies and have chicks that are black with a yellow back. They feed on snails, worms, insect larvae as well as plants - they also prefer rice when walking around cultivated fields. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Greyleg Geese at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Greyleg Geese at Keoladeo National Park - is a large bird with mottled grey white plumage, a short orange beak and pink legs.

Greylag Geese normally mate for life and build nest on the ground amongst vegetation. They are also known to have both homosexual as well as heterosexual partners.

Greylag Geese prefer being herbivorous and are usually eating all the time on young actively growing grasses - plus berries + water plants like duckweed or sweetgrass. They are also known to feed on mollusks, crustaceans, small fish and amphibians. Its not uncommon to find them grazing with sheep or cows and in winter they occupy semi-aquatic habitats. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Ruddy Shelduck at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Ruddy Shelducks at Keoladeo National Park are also known as Brahminy Duck in India. They have a orange-brown body plumage - usually found in pairs or small flocks near water-bodies or reservoirs, lakes and rivers. They commonly build a nest in a crevice or hole in a tree or rocks - and both parents believed to be paired for life, look after their young ones.

Ruddy Shelducks are migratory birds predominantly nocturnal and omnivores - so feed on both young shoots of plants, grain, water plants plus aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. Ruddy Shelduck dabbles in the shallow water and on land it forages on foliage. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Lesser Whistling Duck at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Lesser Whistling Duck at Keoladeo National Park is also known as Indian Whistling Duck or Lesser Whistling Teal.

Usually gregarious by nature Lesser Whistling Ducks are nocturnal feeders and found in flocks during daytime mostly in lakes and fresh water wetlands. They usually feed on water plants, small fish, mollusks, worms and if around paddy fields than they also feed on rice grains.

Known in India also as Sili and Silhahi - Lesser Whistling Ducks sometimes build their nest in the hollow of a tree. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Egyptian Vulture at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Egyptian Vulture at Keoladeo National Park is known by many interesting names - one being Pharaoh's Chicken and the other a White Scavenger Vulture.

The Egyptian Vulture is commonly found solo or in pairs either soaring high with other birds of prey, or perched on the ground or atop a rock.

It has distinctive wedge-shaped tail and being an opportunist it preys on small mammals, birds, reptiles, bird eggs and insects hidden in dung - though commonly feed mainly on carrion or decaying flesh.

A riveting note is that Egyptian vultures roll up wool around twigs for building their nests - and are known to use pebbles as a hammer to break bird eggs.

How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Common Hoopoe Upupa at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Common Hoopoe Upupa at Keoladeo National Park - are notable for their distinctive crown of colorful feathers. Hoopoe's enjoy sun bathing where they seem to almost preen spreading out their wings - they are also known to enjoy dust and sand baths.

Hoopoe predominantly feed on crickets, locusts, beetles, earwigs, cicadas, bugs, ants and at times eat smaller reptiles, frogs, seeds and berries.

Its common foraging style is to stride around on flat ground or in a pile of leaves - pause and probe with its bill that detects and digs out pupa, larvae, crickets and insects from the ground.

How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Common Snipe at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Common Snipe at Keoladeo National Park is a pudgy wader and typically found in marshes and wet meadows.

Common Snipe is a shy bird with short legs and their body is mottled brown with an intricate pattern of usually 3 long Buffy streaks down their back and a striped head - that helps it conceal itself around vegetation.

Mostly inconspicuous, Common Snipes usually forage in soft mud or wood stumps - it starts by probing with its very long bill and picking up food by sight preferring to eat insects, earthworms and plant material. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Common Kingfisher at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Common Kingfisher at Keoladeo National Park - is typically a sparrow-sized bird with short tail and a large head. It has blue upperparts, orange underparts and a long bill. Note their color hues vary depending on their geographic location. The female Kingfisher is almost similar to the male in its appearance except that her lower mandible (jaw) is orange-red with a black tip

Common Kingfisher feeds mainly on fish (minnows, sticklebacks, small roach or trout) - they have special vision that enables them to spot their prey under water - usually perched on a branch it catches its prey by diving in - it plunges swiftly and steeply down to seize its prey. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Indian Roller at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Indian Roller at Keoladeo National Park is best known for their distinctive aerobatic displays of males perched on a branch during the breeding season.

A brilliantly colored stocky bird with a brownish breast - whereas its crown, belly and vent are in various shades of blue. Its tail is sky blue and the central feathers are dull green.

Rollers at times perched really high - have varied tastes - they feed on grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, scorpions, small snakes and amphibians. How to reach Keoladeo National Park?


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Citrine Wagtail at Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Citrine Wagtail at Keoladeo National Park - its a slender songbird who constantly wags its tail and is usually found in wet meadows. [SongBirds include about 5000 or so bird species who have  a well-developed vocal organ that produces an elaborate bird song.]

Breeding male Citrine Wagtail have a spectacular bright yellow head with contrasting body colors - black collar and gray back.

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How to reach Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India?

How to reach Keoladeo National Park by air? Which is the nearest airport to
Keoladeo National Park ?
You could reach Keoladeo National Park by air either by traveling to Delhi or Jaipur. Nearest airport is Agra Airport but it has very limited connectivity.
Distance between Delhi International Airport to Keoladeo National Park is about 211 km.
Distance between Jaipur International Airport to Keoladeo National Park is about 188 km.

How to reach Keoladeo National Park by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Keoladeo National Park ?
Bharatpur railway station is the nearest to Keoladeo National Park and it is at a distance of about 5.5 km.

How to reach Keoladeo National Park by road?
Game driving to Keoladeo National Park - seems like a short drive of less than 1-4 hours…
Distance between Agra and Keoladeo National Park is 56 km
Distance between Mathura and Keoladeo National Park is 44 km
Distance between Jaipur and Keoladeo National Park is 183 km
Distance between Delhi and Keoladeo National Park is 223 km

The best time to visit Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is through the year - if you prefer opting for the cooler months than between November to February is ideal time to travel to Keoladeo National Park.


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Musician at Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

During the times of Narasimhadeva river Chandrabhaga was flowing near Konark Sun Temple and so were the roaring waves of the Bay of Bengal. In the 13th century the towns around these banks both the river and the sea were flourishing as they were important – domestic and international trade centers of the Eastern Ganga dynasty.

Grand and impressive even in its ruin, today the Konark temple represents unparalleled sculptural brilliance of the Kalinga architectural conception. Built as a colossal celestial chariot carrying Surya dev with twelve pairs of lavishly carved wheels, drawn by seven galloping horses. How to reach Konark Sun Temple?

This sculpted frame is that of a musician playing bansuri at Konark Sun Temple in Orissa.


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Surasundaris at Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

What do temples of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh or Rani ki Vav stepwell in Gujarat and Konark Sun Temple have in common - stunning celestial beauties that grace these monuments - you could call them apsaras or surasundaris each distinct from the other with their postures or expressions.

Konark may be famous for its imposing proportions or architectural grandeur - what should stump most of us is its fluid carvings - intricate images of apsaras or surasunadris, male and female musicians, mythological narratives, hindu divinities, nagas as well as panels of flowers and animals. How to reach Konark Sun Temple?

You can find sculpted hindu divinities – Shiva, Parvati Vishnu, Narasimha or Krishna and Gajalakshmi in Jagmohana as well as on the medallions of the chariot wheels. Jagamohana also has sculptures of Indra, Agni, Varuna, and Âdityas known as Vedic deities.


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Intricate carvings at Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Literally every bit of space is carved and sculpted celebrating life - Sculptures at Konarak Sun Temple edged with their exquisite latticework and scroll art - depict mythical celestial beings, birds and animals, decorative floral and geometrical motifs apart from deities and apsaras 


Konark does have explicit scenes of passion that adorn its walls - an uninhibited celebration of sexuality as seen at Khajuraho though much smaller in scale and number and these maithuna images are seen right next to panels celebrating day to day life. How to reach Konark Sun Temple?


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Chariot Wheel at Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The pair of 12 intricately carved wheels at the Sun Temple - many may see them as ruins – each of them is actually a glorious reminder of the the boundless creative energy of artisans and their impressive collective contribution standing majestically over centuries on the sandy coast of the Bay of Bengal.

There are a few symbolic interpretations of wheels as well as their number – 12 pairs of wheels could represent the zodiac signs; or the wheels could represent 12 months – or you could interpret it as 24 hours in a day. Many would simply look at them and see – ‘Wheels of Life!’

Spokes of these wheels served as sundials in ancient time – and its 8 spokes per wheel are referred to as praharas approximately 3 hours long.

The seven pairs of animated horses that drive the stone chariot - stand for the days of the week or the seven colors of the rainbow – or the seven spirited horses of Surya Dev’s Ratha are Gayatri, Brihati, Ushnih, Jagati, Trishtubha, Anushtubha and Pankti. How to reach Konark Sun Temple?


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Sun God Sculpture at Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Kalinga artisans wanted to personify God Surya as a unified manifestation of the Trinity- the morning sun is identified with Brahma, the creator; the midday-sun is identified with Vishnu, the preserver; the evening sun is characterized by Shiva, the destroyer – and thus they sculpted three images of Surya on three sides of the main temple. How to reach Konark Sun Temple?

Prabhat Surya - the sculpted Surya of the south, is showered with rays of morning-sun and is signified with a portayal of youth and energetic dynamism describing Surya Prabhat.
Madhyanna-Surya or midday Surya dev is standing expressing full vigor on the western side.
Astachala-Surya or the setting Sun found on the northern wall - Sun god ending the day by riding on the back of the last horse shown with folded legs - or being tired after a tough day.


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Ashva sculpture at Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Frame of a triumphant stallion at the Konark Sun Temple in Orissa.

The well adorned imperial war-horse though broken - speaks for itself - so magnanimously sculpted - blatantly portraying strength and valor.

The adept Kalinga sculptor/s have shown that they can bestow even a war-horse with human expressions - every muscle in the ‘ashva’s’ body is thrusted towards portraying triumphant action by crushing the enemies under his hooves with the same fire and passion of his warrior master. How to reach Konark Sun Temple?


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Gaja sculpture at Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Sun Temple of Konark represents a striking creation of ancient Kalinga architecture as it depicts grace and the rhythm of life. At one end you would be astonished by endless intricate carvings - almost done with a jeweler's exactitude and in contrast you turn towards these audacious free standing sculptures exceptionally mammoth in size. How to reach Konark Sun Temple?


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Natya Mandapa at Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Entering from the eastern side of the Konark temple you are welcomed by Gajasimha and the first part of the temple you see is Natya Mandapa or NatyaShala - a hall with finely carved pillars. Next you see is the Jagamohan or the mukhashala - where the visitors or worshippers gather and this is merged with the sanctum sanctorum or the garbhagriha of the Sun temple. Over the grabha griha you would have found a curvilinear tower or rekha deul in ancient times - there is very little of it intact today.

It was ingenuity of architectural design of its time – as the Kalinga artisans constructed the Rekha deul, Mukhasala, Natya-Mandir on the eastern gate in such a way that the first ray of the Sun would fall on the masataka - head of the god Surya placed on the throne of the main deul passing through all the doors of all these temples. How to reach Konark Sun Temple?


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Lotus roof at Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

This particular sculpture almost 5 feet in diameter - a stone carved lotus - with its petals bearing images of apsaras or surasundaris in various dancing postures. - is placed in front of the Natya Mandapa - Scholars believe that this may have been the center stone on the top of the roof of the Natya Mandir at Konark Sun Temple.

Some historians believe Natya Mandapa never had any roof.

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Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Konark Sun Temple was built on the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal at a sacred site known as the realm of the Sun or Arka Kshetra – the sea has retreated over centuries and the temple is now a few kilometers far from the sea.

Konark temple’s location is far from mountains or hills and hillocks - many wonder how did the builders or artisans bring material from distant places to construct such a large temple complex – how did they manage to place carved blocks at such height few centuries back. It is believed that to transport stones and material they used rafts along the ancient river routes which are not in existence anymore and have disappeared in course of time. How to reach Konark Sun Temple?


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How to reach Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, India?

How to reach Konark Sun Temple by air? Which is the nearest airport to Konark Sun Temple?
The nearest airport to Konark Sun Temple is Bhubaneswar International Airport which is at a distance of about 63 km

How to reach Konark Sun Temple by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Konark Sun Temple?
The nearest railway station to Konark Sun Temple is Puri Railway Station which is at a distance of about 35 km.

Best time to visit Konark Sun Temple is in between the cooler months of November to February.


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Why visit Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

You don’t have to visit in person to see this temple extraordinaire! An imposing stone chariot of Surya dev with twelve pairs of ornate wheels pulled by seven pairs of animated stone sculpted horses – these kind of pictures and videos help, don’t they - but to really understand the words ‘majestic’ and ‘grandeur’ applied to carved or sculpted distinguished marvels centuries ago you would have to vsiti the Konark Sun Temple. How to reach Konark Sun Temple?


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Surya dev at Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

You should explore the Konark Archaeological Museum as it has many freestanding statuary and panels – it is located within the same compound as the temple. How to reach Konark Sun Temple?

This sculpted frame is of Surya Dev which was found at the Konark Sun Temple and preserved at its Museum.

Note - Legend states that the place where Konark Sun Temple has been built is sacred and even Śiva and Surya have performed severe penance in this Arka Kshetra. According to Puranas this Arka Kshetra has healing attributes and also absolves all sins.


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Batuk Bhairav at Konark Sun Temple, Orissa, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Konark Archaeological Museum houses interesting collection of statues, panels and objects excavated from the Konark site including the structural parts that have fallen from the Sun Temple. It also houses manuscripts and paintings apart from the sculptures.

Konark Archaeological Museum was established in 1968 and is maintained by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).

This sculpted frame is of Batuk Bhairav which was found at the Konark Sun Temple and now preserved in its Museum.


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Amer Fort Rajasthan, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

With a legendary past encompassing more than seven centuries the artistic Amer Fort or Amber Fort is a hill fort which was originally built by the Meenas, and later ruled by Raja Man Singh I.

Popularly also referred to as Amer or Amber Palace this opulent structure built by Raja Man Singh I in the 16th century has a melange of both Hindu and Mughal styles. It is designed at four levels - you have the Diwan-e-Aam, the Diwan-e-Khas, the Sheesh Mahal and the Sukh Niwas. One is usually found spellbound by the magnificence of the palace that is made of red sandstone contrasted against white marble filled with carvings and paintings detailed by precious stones and even mirrors. How to reach Amer Fort or Amber Fort, Rajasthan, India?

The Amer palace is connected with the Jaigarh Fort by a subterranean passage that was meant to be used as an escape route in times of war.


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How to reach Amer Fort or Amber Fort, Rajasthan, India?

With its many gates and cobbled paths, the Amer fort overlooks Maota Lake - and the splendor of the palace is enhanced by its breath-taking vistas especially during sunset.

How to reach Amer Fort or Amber Fort by air? Which is the nearest airport to Amer Fort?
Amer Fort is in Jaipur city - Jaipur International Airport is well connected in India and is at a distance of about 20 km from Amer Fort.

How to reach Amer Fort by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Amer Fort?
Amer Fort is located at a distance of about 14 km from Jaipur Railway Station.

The best time to visit Amer Fort - Jaipur would be in the cooler months of November to March.


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Chittorgarh Fort Rajasthan, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Chittor fort covers an area of 700 acres - with its soaring towers dominating its majestic fortifications + seven massive stone gates + restricted successive, narrower defense passages + a 13 km long perimeter wall with integrated circular enforcements beyond which is a 45° hill slope - successive rulers worked tirelessly to ensure that Chittorgarh fort was inaccessible and a mighty challenge for its enemies. The first Chittor fort structure is believed to have been established in the 5th century and successively fortified for at least 7-8 centuries.

Chittor Fort complex has 65 historic monuments or structures that includes 4 palace complexes, 19 main temples, 4 memorials and about 20 functional water bodies. How to reach Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan, India?


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Kirti Stambha, Chittorgarh Fort Rajasthan, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Kirti Stambh dedicated to Adimath or Rishabhnath the first Jain Tirthankar was built by a wealthy Jain merchant - Jija Bagherwala. The seven storeyed tall stambh has serene sculptures of Sri Adinatha along with many Jain saints which are surrounded by exquisite carvings of the Digambar sect. How to reach Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan, India?


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Exquisite carvings at Chittorgarh Fort Rajasthan, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Chittorgarh Fort - the most glorious symbol of the indomitable Rajput spirit has much to offer - ornate temples elaborately covered with carvings and sculptures of celestial figures, gods, goddesses and saints. How to reach Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan, India?


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Jain Mandir, Chittorgarh Fort Rajasthan, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Located right next to Kirti Stambh at Chittorgarh Fort - this artistic Digambar Jain Mandir is dedicated to Sri Mallinath who was the 19th Tirthankara. The temple also has a murti of Sri Shantinath who was the 16th Tirthankara. How to reach Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan, India?


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Mandirs in Chittorgarh Fort Rajasthan, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

You will find both hindu temples and Jain temples at the Chittorgarh Fort. How to reach Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan, India?

Hindu temples include - Kalikamata Temple (8th century) - the Kshemankari Temple (825–850) - the Kumbha Shyam Temple (1448) - the Adbuthnath Temple (15th–16th century)

Jain temples include - Sattaees Devari - Shringar Chauri (1448) - Sat Bis Devri (mid-15th century)

Plus the two tower memorials, Kirti Stambh (12th century) and Vijay Stambha (1433–1468), are Jain monuments and are visible from most locations of the fort complex.


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How to reach Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan, India?

How to reach Chittorgarh Fort by air? Which is the nearest airport to Chittorgarh Fort?
Udaipur Airport is the nearest airport to Chittorgarh Fort and is at a distance of about 110 km.

How to reach Chittorgarh Fort by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Chittorgarh Fort?
Chittaurgarh Junction - Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Chittorgarh Fort and is at a distance of about 8 km.

The best time to visit Chittorgarh Fort is from October to March.


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Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh, India

The majestic Tawang Monastery was founded based on the wishes of 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso - and the sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, was born in Tawang, thus making it a major holy site for Tibetan Buddhists and hence of historical and spiritual signficance. How to reach Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, India?

Three stories high, the Tawang Monastery complex has 65 buildings and has a library that houses valuable ancient scriptures, mainly Kangyur and Tengyur.


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How to reach Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, India?

Tawang is a thriving town located in Arunachal Pradesh, India and once was historically part of Tibet and houses the Tawang Monastery that is the largest Buddhist monastery in India.

How to reach Tawang by air? Which is the nearest airport to Tawang in Arunchal Pradesh?
The nearest airport to Tawang is Tezpur Airport. The distance between Tawang and Tezpur airport is 325 km.

You could opt to reach Tawang via Guwahati Airport. The distance between Tawang and Guwahati airport is 446 km.

You could opt to take a Helicopter Service from Guwahati Airport - operational only on specific days of the week and takes about an hour to reach.

Best time to visit Tawang is between November and February.


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Sculpted pavilions at Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The Kailash temple is an artistic expression hewn out of the earth itself where hands, heart, minds and intense spiritual devotion worked in unanimity to execute a stupendous interpretation of'Siva's Kailasha'.

Surrounded by its carved and sculpted pavilions full of gods and goddesses, apsaras, dwarfs, demons, battle scenes narrating myths and legends - it might almost feel as though one has stepped into another world.

How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Vertical monuments at Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Kailash has been called the most stupendous single work of art ever executed in India. The chisel impressions of the ancient masons remain, intangible reminders of how these passionate, squabbling, dancing, playing figures were shaped. Faith created Kailash; but even the most die-hard atheist cannot help but be moved by its awesome energy.

The victory pillars or Dhwaja-stambha are placed symmetrically flanking the Nandi mandapa visually enhancing the verticality of the monument. Dhwajastambhas once upon a time were decorated with trishul on their capitals of these pillars which are long since gone. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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August aura of Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Majestic victory pillars or Dhwaja-stambha are found on both the sides of the Nandi shrine at the Kailash Temple, Ellora, along with mammoth sculpted elephants delivering an august aura to the ancient Kailash temple. The dhwajastambhas are 45 feet high seem perfect even today standing tall since centuries lending dignity to the temple. How to reach Ellora Caves?

You will find epics Mahabharata and Ramayana sculpted in horizontal tiers on either side of the main temple on the exterior wall behind the dhwajastambhas.


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Dhwajastambha, Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The famed rock victory pillar is a sight to behold even in an ancient illustration. The victory pillar is known as the Dhwajasthamba and there are two of them on both sides of Nandi mandapa which is a rock-carved pavilion for the vahana of Shiva. Each dhvajastambhas has square shafts carved with horizontal bands both on the upper and lower parts - these shafts are crowned by cushion capitals. Dhvajastambhas have gleaming carved divinities in the middle. How to reach Ellora Caves?

This frame / lithograph is by James Fergusson and Thomas Dibdin, published in 1839. James Fergusson was a Scottish architectural historian (22 January 1808 – 9 January 1886) who was well known for his work on historical architecture and antiquities across the world and especially India.


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Imperial Elephants at Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The Kailash temple sits on a high plinth that is adorned with figures of elephants. It seems that the elephants are carrying the weight of the vimana of Kailash temple.

Elephants at Kailash temple, Ellora re-emphasize the imperial connection to the monument as built during the reign of Rashtrakuta dynasty. Interestingly, most of the Rashtrakuta monuments have monumental elephants carved as seen at the Jain caves at Ellora and at Pattadakkal. How to reach Ellora Caves?

Note: This illustration was sourced from Popular Science Monthly Volume 41 Published in 1892. Drawing by M Albert Tissandier titled The Temples of Kylas, Ellora, India.


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Shikhara of Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

If Ajanta exudes a still, unassailable peace, Kailash temple is a celebration of thunderous power reflecting the fearsome dance of Shiva transforming a free-standing monolith built top-down from living mountain rock.

When you actually explore the effect of Kailasha at Ellora in person it will seem not as a structure laboriously built over centuries, but as a miracle coalesced into being by the power of its own purpose.

The wall and the shikhara of the Kailash temple have been conceived in a manner that increases the verticality of the structure emphasized by the flying figures carved on the wall. The niche decorations leaping out help accentuate exuberance. How to reach Ellora Caves?

Late M. K. Dhavalikar prominent Indian historian and archaeologist’s theory states that Kokasa was the chief architect of the Kailasa temple and he accomplished the impossible feat during medieval period of carving and sculpting a rock cut temple from the top down - so he could finish the shikhara of Kailasha within a week's time.

The local medieval legend mentioned in Katha-Kalpataru by Krishna Yajnavalki (1470-1535 CE) states that the local king was suffering from an unknown disease and his Queen, Manikeshwari prayed to the Shiva in the form of Grishneshwar - and pledged that she would construct a Shiva temple if her husband was cured. Once the king was cured she went on a nirjala fast until she could see the shikhar or the top of the proposed Shivalaya. (Nirjala means without a drop of water)

Most architects declared it to be an impossible task to build a Shikhara first or for it to built in days - Kokasa a talented young architect built the shikhara within 7 days so the queen could break her fast successfully. Kailash temple was then named Manikeshwar after the queen.


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Forms of Shiva at Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The Kailash temple is inundated with sculptures and carvings you would be able to explore Shiva as a great warrior, as an exceptional dancer, kind and charitable who grants boons as well as a guru.

In slightly complex mythological terms the many forms of Shiva that Ellora exhibits flamboyantly include Shiva as SamharaMurti (Gajantaka and Andhakasuravadhamurti) or Shiva as Anugrahamurti (Ravananugraha) or Shiva as Nrittamurti (Nataraja) along with many other Hindu divinities.

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Central Shrine at Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The central shrine at Kailash temple houses an enormous stone lingam and is based on a high pitha (platform) that is ornate with large sculptures of seemingly animated lions and elephants. The shrine is largely covered with rock sculptures and carvings - be it the 16 pillars, windows, the inner and outer chambers even the niches have images of hindu deities and divinities.

The main shrine is inundated by subsidiary shines found at different corners and are arranged in sync with panchayatana tradition. Three subsidiary shrines are dedicated to Ganga, Saraswati and Yamuna - the river goddesses. You will also find sculptures of Ganga on a makara at the centre, Yamuna on a kachhapa (tortoise) and Saraswati on a lotus. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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An Illustration of Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Another celestial myth around Kailash Temple at Ellora is that when devas looked down from the sky and saw the aesthetic truth of Kailasa with its dramatic n sculpted storytelling designed on a mammoth scale they were were convinced that Shiva himself must have created this legendary monument as it is impossible for humans to build such a marvel on their own. How to reach Ellora Caves?

This frame is from the Illustration of the Rock-cut Temples of India by James Fergusson - a Scottish architectural historian (22 January 1808 – 9 January 1886) who was well known for his work on historical architecture and antiquities across the world and especially India.


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Gajalakshmi, Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

There is a huge panel of Gajalakshmi seated on a lotus as soon as you cross the main portico of Kailash temple. There are four elephants in the panel and the larger ones on the top are pouring water from a pot over Gajalakshmi whilst the smaller elephant are depicted filling the pots with water from the carved kshirsagar or the ocean of milk (Lakshmi was born as a result of churning of the Kshirsagar). Symbolically the four elephants represent the four cardinal directions. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Mahabharata panel at Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Ellora caves is full of beautiful mythological stories. Scenes from Mahabharata can be found carved for eternity on the northern face of the staircase that leads to the upper level of gudhamandapa, Kailash temple.

One of the panel shows Arjuna performing tapasya to obtain Pashupatastra from Shiva. And another scene shows Arjuna fighting Shiva, who is disguised as the hunter Kirata. [The Pashupatastra is the most destructive weapon of Shiva and can be discharged by the mind, the eyes, words, or a bow.]

Another panel has a carved Arjuna, in disguise kidnapping Subhadra on an elephant. Another scene shows Balaram - Subhadra’s brother fighting with Arjuna. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Ramayana panel at Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The Gudhamandapa of the Kailash temple has scenes from Ramayana carved in eight horizontal plates. Its easy to recognize scene where Ram and Lakshman encounter demons; another scene depicts their exile to the forest; scene narrating the golden deer; Sita being kidnapped by lankapati Ravana; Hanuman lighting up Lanka; the monkey army building the setu to Lanka, the battle between Rama and Ravana; How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Nandimandapa at Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Nandimandapa is connected with double-storied gopuram of Kailash temple with a rock bridge and its gate also connects it to gudhamandapa.

The upper level of Nandimandapa has a monumental sculpture of Nandi and its exterior is carved with sculptures of devas including Vishnu and Shiva. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Ravana Anugraha. Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The panel is divided into halves and is seen in many places at Ellora. The lower half has Ravana with his many hands trying to lift mount Kailasha and the top half has Shiva in his AnugrahaMurti form.

The top half of this panel which is unseen has Shiva seated in ardhaparyankasana with Parvati - and is shown unperturbed by the tremors caused by Ravana trying to lift Mount Kailash. You will find many divinities observing the scene. Artists seem to be maintaining hierarchy when placing the various divinities on this panel - lowest you would find monkeys than Ganas are found - few are supporting Shiva's platform or seat, few are playing musical instruments and some are holding weapons.

How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Gajasura. Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

This frame is of rock sculpted Shiva as the mighty Gajantaka who destroys the demon Gajasura. How to reach Ellora Caves?

Most sculptures of Gajasurasamhara in ancient India were narrated visually depicting many armed Shiva carrying attributes like the trishula, a damaru, sword, kapala, pasha, deer, ankusha, vajra, arrow, gada, khatavanga, tanka, bow, snake, the elephant's tusk and akshamala.


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Shiva as Mahayogi. Kailash Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Mahayogi Shiva is also known as Yogishwara - this sculpture is found in the lower level of the gudhamandapa at Kailash temple, Ellora.

Yogishwara is holding a padmasana posture seated on a double-petalled lotus pedestal, lifted by lions. He is expressing varada hasta, another hand is holding a snake, one an akshamala of rudraksha and another a lotus. Yogiswara is surrounded by devas, rishis and his ganas + sculptures depict gods with their vahanas - Indra on his Airavata, Agni on a ram, Varuna on a crocodile, Vayu on a deer... How to reach Ellora Caves?

The frame introduces us to one of the most fascinating facets of Shiva not only as a Yogiswara but as a guru and these qualities have been conferred on him by various names such as Jnana Dakshinamurti, Yoga Dakshinamurti, Vyakhyana Dakshinamurti and Vinadhara Dakshinamurti.

Shiva is called Dakshinamurti as he taught facing dakshin or the south - ironically the Dakshinamurti Shiva in Kailash temple faces west or paschim.


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Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Ellora is one of the most researched historical monuments in India - you could with a few keystrokes amass tons of published material especially in English - but its enigma is still intact.

Till date its exact period is not known though there are multiple hypothesis available - made by renown scholars, historians and archaeologists over centuries. Ellora is most definitely an art and historical conundrum as its visual language and aesthetics needs further study. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Varaha Avatar, Hindu Cave 14, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Cave 14 at Ellora caves, also known as ‘Ravan ki Khai’ is a single-storeyed hindu cave that is protected by dvarapalikas or goddesses river Ganga and Yamuna that flank its doorway.

You will find sculptures of Vishnu as Varaha with Bhudevi, GajaLakshmi, Siva and Parvati playing chausar, Nataraja, Ravananugrahamurti, and Andhakasuravadhamurti.

You will find Saptamatrika’s carved on the side of the pradakshina path and sculpture of Durga Mahishasuramardini at the rear of the mandapa.

This frame is from Hindu Cave 15 where Vishnu takes the form of Varaha to kill the demon king Hiranyaksha to free Bhudevi who is held by the demon in the deepest parts of the ocean. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Nandi Mandapa, Hindu Cave 15, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Nandi mandapa in Hindu Cave 15 is a monolithic structure devoted to the divine bull - Nandi - but is not a shrine.

As the the roof of Nandi Mandapa is flat - it is believed that the huge Nandi sculpture that is now placed in the upper pillared hall in sync with the lingam was originally placed on the top of the roof so as to allow it to better serve the lingam within the cave. How to reach Ellora Caves?

Nandi symbolically has many meanings for Hindus - one such is - Nandi waits eternally outside Shiva temples usually looking straight towards the shrine - Nandi just perennially wants to be receptive of the light and experience the wisdom that Shiva emanates. Another meaning could be Nandi is willing to wait forever which in essence is the greatest virtue of being receptive of the divine


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Narasimha Avatar, Hindu Cave 15, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Large sculptural panels are carved on the walls of hindu Cave 15 at Ellora specifically illustrating the ten avatars of Vishnu hence Cave 15 is also known as the Dashavatar Cave.

Dashavatar Cave also has scenes narrating popular Shiva mythological tales - you will find sculptures of Kalyanasundara Murti or the wedding of Shiva and Parvati, Andhakasuravadha, Śiva and Parvati playing chausar, and Ravana shaking Kailasa; How to reach Ellora Caves?

This finest relief of Cave 15 is depicting Vishnu’s Narasimha avatar where Vishnu in a ‘Nara-Simha’ form, emerges from a pillar to tear open and kill Hiranyakashipu.


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Brahma and Shiva, Hindu Cave 15, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Sculpture elucidating the story when gods conspired including Brahma, Indra, Kamdeva… to get Shiva and Parvati married. Why were the gods conspiring? - As per Puranas, Taraka an asura was blessed by Brahma that he can be killed only by an infant who was '6 days old' - and gods realized that such a warrior could only be son of Shiva. Shiva and Parvati as per Puranas were destined to bring an infant warrior to the world who will help devas defeat asuras. There are many versions of this legend the one noted here is Brahma coaxing Shiva to get married to Parvati. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Ganga, Hindu Cave 21, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The architectural layout of Cave 21 symbolizes the Brahman–Prakriti relationship an interdependence of feminine and masculine energies - and this theory may have some merit as the linga (Shiva) representing the Absolute at the apex is equidistant from the sculptures of river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna or they are at the corners of an equilateral triangle - and the centre of the shrine - the linga radiates its energies outwards at the same time draws 'shakti' from nature - a life force instinct. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Nataraja and Shiv Matrikas, Hindu Cave 21, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Its mesmerizing to view this mammoth rock sculpted Natesha -this many armed Nataraja is holding a trishula, a kalasha, a snake, a damaru and agni. Shiva is shown wearing a jatamukuta and is adorned with jewelery.

The panel next to him is of saptamatrikas - goddesses that are always depicted together and play a protective role in mythology boosting Maha Shakti's power in her fight against demons. How to reach Ellora Caves?

Matrikas are the personified powers of 7 Devas - Brahmani (emerged from Brahma), Vaishnavi (Vishnu), Maheshvari (Shiva), Indrani (Indra), Kaumari (Skanda), Varahi (Varaha), Chamunda (from Devi).


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Shiv Parvati Vivah, Hindu Cave 21, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

This scene is found in many ancient temples - Kalyanasundara or Kalyana Sundara Murti or Panigrahana-murti (accepting the hand ritual - where the groom accepts the bride by taking her right hand in his) an iconographical depiction of the wedding of Shiva and Parvati.

Shiva and Parvati are surrounded by many divinities and celestial beings. You may see god Brahma officiating as a priest and god Vishnu and Lakshmi giving away Parvati to Shiva. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Mahishasurmardini Durga, Hindu Cave 21, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

This sculpted panel narrates the story of Durga as Mahishasurmardini where Durga as the dynamic Prakriti or nature destroys the evil.

In the carved scene Durga is trampling Mahishasur who is represented both with the animal head as well as the human form of the demon. It is believed that - at the request of Brahma both Vishnu and Shiva breath out angry flames from their mouth and Durga appears from the fire in a beautiful and aggressive form. How to reach Ellora Caves?

Another carved panel of Mahishasurmardini Durga at Ellora has her seated on the lion is an ardhaparyank-asana in fight with Mahishasur. She is holding a bow in one of her hands with the other hand, she is discharging the arrows. Her other arms carry weapons like Sula-trident, Khadaga-sword and Khetak-shield.


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Nataraja, Hindu Cave 21, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Cave 21 southern antechamber or upavarnakas has a stunningly elegant sculpted Nataraja almost in motion and landscape panel of Sapta Matrika - goddesses of the Shakti tradition of Hinduism, edged by Shiva and Ganesha. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Akshakrida, Hindu Cave 29, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Cave 21 also known as Rameshvara has a tall Nandipitha in its courtyard its exterior boasts pillars with intricately carved bracket figures that echo the svelte poise of the river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna edging the cave on both sides.

The main hall has upavarnakas on its lateral sides and central mandapa has two large sculpted panels - the one on the left narrates the story of Ravana shaking Kailasa and the right has Shiv Parvati Akshakrida - enjoying the game of dice.

In this rock sculpted scene the divine couple Śhiva and Pārvatī are playing Akshakrida in the presence of many celestial beings sitting, face-to-face, totally engaged in the play. Akshakrida or Akṣakrīḍā is a game of dice played since Vedic times continuing till date. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Shiv and Ravana, Hindu Cave 29, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Dhumar Lena or Hindu Cave 29 dedicated to Shiva Parvati is one of the largest excavations that had a natural waterfall or symbolically Ganga integrated into the monument.

This sculpture in Cave 29 narrates the story of egoistical Ravana, king of Lanka trying to lift Mount Kailash with his many hands. How to reach Ellora Caves?

Legend says that Ravana once tried to pass over a beautiful region up high in the Himalayas on his vimana and couldn't do so. He approached Nandi at the entrance and asked him why is he unable to fly over these mountains. Nandi replied no one is allowed to fly over Kailasha as this was the abode of Shiva and Parvati. Enraged Ravana insulted Shiva and Nandi. In retaliation Nandi cursed Ravana that monkeys would destroy him. Furious Ravana put all his 20 arms under Kailash and started lifting it. Omniscient Shiva realized that it is actually Ravana's ahankar / ego that is behind this upheaval - Shiva just presses his toe on Kailasha trapping Ravana beneath it - the sculpture highlights the same as Shiva is sitting in a ardhaparyank-asana - with one of leg dangling. It seems Ravana had to pray to Shiva for over a thousand years before he was forgiven.


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Andhakasuravadha, Hindu Cave 29, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Shiva is well-known as the god of destruction or as SamharaMurti, his form is usually depicted as a terrifying deity. This frame is of Shiva as the aggressive AndhakasuravadhaMurti.

Asura Andhaka kidnaps Parvati and Shiva in the battle with the asura injures him. The injured Andhaka walks around laughing loudly with his dripping blood - as he is so blessed that every drop of blood that falls on the earth produces more forms of the asura. Shiva invokes the saptamatrikas to help stop the blood spill - thus Shiva defeats Andhaka who couldn't resurrect in his million forms. How to reach Ellora Caves?

Another Andhakasuravadhamurti at Kailash temple depicts Andhaka’s head hanging on to a trishula held by a many-armed Shiva while the other end of Shiva’s trishula pierces the elephant head of Gajasura.

Other forms of Shiva as SamharaMurti seen at Ellora especially at Kailasha include Tripurantaka, Gajantaka, Kalarimurti and Bhairava.


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Nataraja, Hindu Cave 29, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Natesha or Nataraja is the NrittaMurti form of Shiva found in many places Hindu Caves at Ellora. Shiva is in a multi-armed dance stance and may or may not have a Apasmara-purusha below his right foot. According to Hindu mythology, Apasmāra is an immortal dwarf (also known as Muyalaka) who represents spiritual ignorance and Naṭaraja is symbolically suppressing or trampling Apasmara for all eternity. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Brahma, Shiva Parvati, Hindu Cave 15, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Sculpted scene in Cave 15 is narrating why Brahma is persuading Shiva to marry Parvati. You need to know the Tarakasura myth before you can appreciate this scene. How to reach Ellora Caves?

At mount Kailasha - Shiva has withdrawn and is in deep meditation after the tragic death of his first wife Sati.

At Swarg-lok - King Taraka an asura has received a boon for his severe penances from Brahma that he can be killed only by a 6 day old child-warrior. Tarakasura believing himself to be almost immortal terrorizes all including the devas in the Swarg-lok.

Palace of Himavant - Sati is reborn as Parvati daughter of Himavant, the king of the Himalayas and his wife Mena. Parvati is devoted to Shiva since her childhood and once of age goes to Himalayas and prays to Shiva with only one wish that he marries her.

At mount Kailasha - The gods had reach Brahma for a solution and they all conspired to disturb Shiva's meditation. They send the scared Kamdeva (god of love) who awakens Shiva supposedly with his arrow of love and is burned to instant ash by the furious Shiva.

Gods implore Shiva to marry Parvati but Shiva decides to test Parvati's's devotion first. He sends the Saptarishi who describe Shiva's lifestyle trying to dissuade Parvati - though Parvati listens intently as they are the great seven sages - she holds on to her beliefs and continues doing her puja and penance steadfastly. Then Shiva appears before her as an old ascetic and maligns himself - annoyed Parvati is about to leave the ascetic reveals his true form - Shiva appears pleased with her devotion agrees to marry her. They give life to Kartikeya, who as a six day old warrior slays Tarakasura. There are innumerable tales of Kartikeya's birth too :)


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Bodhisattva, Buddhist Cave 2, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Ellora has 12 Buddhist Caves that are multi-storied structures literally sculpted into the mountain face - and 11 of which are viharas or monasteries with prayer halls, living and sleeping units including kitchens. The viharas have large, small and intricate sculptures and carvings of many buddhist deities including bodhisattvas and Gautama Buddha.

Frame is from Buddhist Cave 2 at Ellora - you will find Padmapani holding a japmala and a lotus stalk. His robe is fastened round the waist by a string and he has a tiny image of Buddha carved in his head dress. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Buddha, Buddhist Cave 2, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The shrine in Buddhist Cave 2 at Ellora contains a colossal sculpture of Buddha seated on a lion throne holding the teaching posture. Buddha’s feet are shown resting on an almost circular plinth. The entrance of the main shrine is edged by Avalokitesvara and Manjusri. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Buddha and Deities, Buddhist Cave 3, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

This sculpted panel is from Cave 3 at Ellora which is an unfinished vihara - buddhist cave.

Why were Viharas built? Monks approached Buddha to request creating a special vihara for temporary stay during the rainy season - originally they were expected to cross flooded rivers roaming from village to village - Buddha agreed and viharas were built for monks - it was them termed as ‘varsha-vasa’- over period of time they were used foremost for year around stay for senior or old monks and centuries later they became the temporary abode or a place for residential learning for buddhist monks. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Exquisite Relief, Buddhist Cave 5, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Ellora Buddhist Cave 5 or Mahawara Cave (used by mahar tribes) is distinct amongst the other buddhist caves at Ellora caves as it has a pair of parallel refectory benches in the centre and a Buddha statue in the rear. You will find similar design at another buddhist cave in Maharashtra (near Mumbai) called Kanheri Caves.

The main shrine of Buddha in Ellora Cave 5 is attended by Avalokitesvara with Tara, Bhrikuti on another side as well as Maitreya with goddesses on another side. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Bodhisattva, Buddhist Cave 6, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The Ellora Buddhist cave architecture seems simpler than that found at Ajanta caves but appears larger and striking in scale. Ellora Caves 6, 11, 12, and 15 are believed to be fashioned to manage large number of monks and one theory suggests that Cave 6 was designed as a teaching or as a reading room. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Buddha Stupa, Vishwakarma Cave 10, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Cave 10 at Ellora is also known as the Vishwakarma Cave. The chaitya-griha of the Viswakarma cave is apsidal and is divided into a central nave plus side aisles by octagonal columns that have plain bracket capitals. Right at the apsidal end of the chaitya griha is a stupa with a mammoth statue of seated Buddha expressing a vyakhyana mudra which means he is holding a teaching posture. Buddha is seated under the Bodhi tree - the griha with its vaulted roof has rock carved into gleaming beams that seem like wooden ones.

The Vīśvakarmā Cave or Cave 10 is the only Chaitya griha or a prayer hall at Ellora - as the rest of the Buddhist Caves at Ellora are Viharas. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Buddha Stupa, Buddhist Cave 10, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

With a multi-storied entrance - Vishwakarma’s stupa hall has a majestic 15-foot Buddha statue seated in a preaching posture. You will also find carved statues of female buddhist deities -Tara, Manjushri, Bhrikuti, Mahamayuri and male deities - Maitreya, Avalokitesvara at various levels of Cave 10.

The Vīśvakarmā cave seems to have the same architectural design as seen in chaitya-griha's of Ajanta Caves no 19 and 26. It features a chandrashala or an arched window enabling natural light or sun rays to fall on to the stupa.

Architecturally the cave's rock beams seem as though they have been given a wooden beam like finish and hence this cave is also referred to as the 'Carpenter's Cave’. Thus frequented by carpenters who worship Buddha as Vishwakarma - the chief patron of their craft. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Bodhisattva, Buddhist Cave 12, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Ellora is one of the Buddhist sites in India where we get to see the Ashta Bodhisattva mandala - (Buddha is encircled by bodhisattvas like Avalokitesvara, Vajrapani, Maitreyi, Manjushri, amongst others). Worship of mandalas in Buddhism, where the Buddha and Bodhisattvas are worshipped through specific designs is important.

The presence of forms Shakti in Cave 12 where you see sculptures of Tara, Bhrikuti, Janguli, Chunda amongst others - suggesting that by 7th century female goddesses had occupied a significant place in Buddhism and were worshipped alongside Bodhisattvas.

In this partial frame we find Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and Bodhishakti Tara at Buddhist Cave 12 of Ellora. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Bodhisattvas, Buddhist Cave 12, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Avalokitesvara is the most prominent Bodhisattva worshipped after Buddha and you can literally find more than 100 sculptures at Ellora. You would also find forms of Avalokitesvara at the Buddhist caves of Ellora - such as Rakta-Lokeshvara, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, Ashtamahabhaya Avalokiteshvara, …

Tara is one of the most vital Bodhishakti and is worshipped as a female counterpart of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and is seen in many buddhist caves at Ellora. Tara is worshipped as a goddess of mercy or karuna and her devotees include merchants, traders, monks, apart from common people.

In this partial frame we find Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and Bodhishakti Tara at Buddhist Cave 12 of Ellora. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Buddha, Buddhist Cave 12, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Cave 12 at Ellora is an amazing cave to explore both for its architectural plan and the sheer number of sculptures at all the levels. The Buddha shrines, seem to be almost outnumbered by the divine Bodhisattavas and Bodhishaktis.

The ground floor of Cave 12 is shaped like an inverted letter T supported by pillars and the antechamber and a large Buddha shrine is placed right at the end on a high lion-throne, holding a dhyani-mudra. You will find sculptures of Maitreya and Manjusri carved on either side of the door of the shrine. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Buddhas n Bodhisattva, Buddhist Cave 12, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Cave 12 is known for its classic Dhyani Buddha panels - they represent the qualities of the Buddha called ‘thatagatas’ and these figures are important in understanding mandalas in Vajrayana Buddhism. The Dhyani Buddhas are aspects of wisdom that help embody the principle of enlightenment in Buddhism. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Buddhas, Buddhist Cave 12, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

At both the ends of each aisle at Cave 12 you will find identical seated images of the meditative seated buddhas flanked by Avalokitesvara and Vajrapani on either side under the Bodhi Tree. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Painted Bodhisattva, Buddhist Cave 12, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

When you take the staircase to reach the next level of Cave 12 you will find that the walls of the staircase are covered with carvings of Mandala plus Avalokitesvara, Vajrapani, Tara, Kunda and Bhrikuti - each of them sculpted with halos.

Vajrayana - Vajra represents thunderbolt which cannot be broken, burned or destroyed and hence depicts indestructibility of Buddhism. Vajrapani is prominently carved in the Buddhist caves at Ellora where he is seen around the Buddha either in triads or in Ashta-maha-bodhisattva mandalas, and is seen individually too.

Cave 12 is a monastery that has three levels sculpted out of a rock communicating Vajrayana buddhism characteristics. Ellora is full of sculptures of Bodhisattvas and Bodhishaktis surrounding Buddha. Avalokitesvara, Maitreya, Vajrapani and Manjushri are important Bodhisattvas depicted in these buddhist caves. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Evocative sculpture, Jain Cave 32, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Whilst Ajanta Caves wins hands down as an exponent of it’s luminescent art - Ellora stands out for its sculptures - 'even an unfinished statue found in Ellora Jain Cave 32 - seem to rise evocatively, exuding calm and serenity - reinforcing the basic Indian values that any and every point has a potential of divine. The Ellora Caves complex is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Ancient Painting, Jain Cave 32, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Ellora caves has 5 Jain Caves of Digambara sect dated in the 9th and 10th centuries AD.

Reflecting the essence of Jain philosophy and a strict sense of asceticism Jain caves at Ellora can be described as a natural art galleries of exceptional ancient Jain art - do specifically explore Cave 30 or Chhota Kailash, Cave 32 or the Indra Sabha and the Jagannath Sabha or Cave 33. How to reach Ellora Caves?

The above painting is credited to Thomas Daniell and James Wales; Thomas Daniell - (1749 – 1840) an English landscape painter who spent seven years in India, accompanied by his nephew William, also an artist, and published series of aquatints of the country.


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Jain Cave 32, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Not only is the Ellora Caves Complex a unique artistic blend but extravagantly illustrates the spirit of tolerance that existed in ancient India with its rock cut temples and monasteries or one can say sanctuaries devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. How to reach Ellora Caves?

Tīrthaṅkar sculptures in Ellora Jain temples are mostly depicted - holding a Padmāsana expressing a dhyāna mudrā, the gesture of meditation and in a Kayotsarga a yogic posture - expressing standing meditation.


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Ambika in Ellora Cave 32, Maharashtra, India a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

This sculpture found in the upper level of Jain Cave 32 at Ellora - depicts Goddess Ambika seated on her lion under a mango tree that is laden with fruits; Ambika is known to be the protector goddess of the Tirthankara Neminatha. (Many refer to this sculpture also as that of Yakshini Siddhayika - or the goddess of fertility - sitting below a mango tree.)

You will find Yakshi Ambika and Yaksha Sarvanubhuti featured in many Jain Caves of Ellora be it as flanking shrines or in a fairly large size at the edges of the veranda. There are many other divine beings carved in Jain Caves of Ellora including Padmavati and goddess Chakreshvari. How to reach Ellora Caves?

Note - As per Jain ancient texts - Yakshas and Yakshinis were appointed by Indra to look after the well-being of Tirthankaras. Jain art depicts them around Jinas in Jain temples and are found in pair of a male (yaksha - found on the right) and a female (yakshini found on the left). In the earlier period of Jainism, they were mainly depicted as devotees of Jina but as the time passed by people started to worship them too. Also not all Yaksha or Yakshinis are benevolent as some can have malicious intent. (The term Jina describes a human being who has achieved omniscience and then teaches and guides other people wanting to walk the path to liberation or mokṣha-mārga. Jina as a 'term' used interchangeably with Tīrthankara.)


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Indra Sabha or Jain Cave 32, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Frame is of the Shikhara of Indra Sabha or Jain Cave 32 at Ellora.

When you visit in person one cannot miss the crowned manastambha or the monolithic elephant enclosed by a prakara wall in Jain Cave 32 or as popularly known since centuries Indra Sabha. Both the manastambha and the monolithic elephant seem similar in design to the ones found in the court of Kailasa or Hindu Cave 16. How to reach Ellora Caves?

You will find many shrines dedicated to Mahavira and other Jain divinities along with exquisitely carved pillars, large divine panels aesthetically sculpted in the upper level of Cave 32.


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Indra in Ellora Cave 32, Maharashtra, India a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Historians had confused the Jain Yakshas for being a form of Indra, (Yakshas are divine beings also found in Hindu and Buddhist artworks) - as such the name of the temple 'Indra Sabha' is believed to be a misnomer. How to reach Ellora Caves?

Indra is a well-known deity to Hindu, Buddhist as well as Jain devotees. As per Jain holy text - Indra is the king of the first Jain heaven, Saudharmakalpa and and there are 64 Indras, each ruling over different heavenly realms where souls who have not yet gained Kaivalya or Moksha are reborn. 

This frame can be of Indra - king of the first Jain heaven as noted above or its a sculpture of Matanga Yaksha known as God of prosperity - sitting on an elephant under the banyan tree.


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Tirthankaras at Ellora Cave 32, Maharashtra, India a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Cave 32 or Indra Sabha is a double storied cave belonging to the Jain Digambara sect which was excavated in the 9th century. It has a 'sarvatobhadra mandapa', with four Tirthankaras of Jainism – Rshibha (1st), Neminatha (22nd), Parsvanatha (23rd) and Mahavira (24th) aligned to four cardinal directions.

Historically the Indra Sabha or Jain Cave 32 is very significant as it contains proof of active worship by the Jain community in ancient times - layered deposits and textual records including details on rituals were found held in the upper level. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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Tirthankaras, Jain Cave 34, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Jain Cave 34 at Ellora, compared to other caves is a small one - covered with rich rock cut sculptures. This frame is of Tirthankaras at ELlora Cave 34. How to reach Ellora Caves?


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How to reach Ellora Caves, Near Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India?

The sculpted panel is from Hindu Cave 29 depicting Shiv Parvati Vivah, part of the Ellora Caves complex which is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Historians believe it took more than 500 years - right from the 5th to 11th century to sculpt rock cut temples - and Ellora is the only cave complex where rock cut temples of three major religions in India co-exist - Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.

Unlike Ajanta, Ellora has not been totally ignored and has had living temples and monasteries for centuries.

Ellora has more than 100 caves - but - only 12 Buddhist Caves, 17 Hindu Caves, and 5 Jain caves are open to visitors.

How to reach Ellora Caves by air? Which is the nearest airport to Ellora Caves?
Aurangabad airport is the nearest airport to Ellora Caves and is at a distance of about 36 km.

How to reach Ellora Caves by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Ellora Caves?
Aurangabad railway station is the nearest to Ellora Caves and it is at a distance of about 29 km. Aurangabad is well connected by train to many cities in India.

The best time to visit Ellora Caves is from November to February as the climate is much cooler.


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Kumbhalgarh Fort Rajasthan, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Built on the highest point of Kumbhalgarh Fort - literally an uphill steep climb - and is definitely worth your time - is Badal Mahal or Palace in the Clouds. Built by the Rana of Mewar, Rana Fateh Singh in typical Rajput style - the palace is divided in two distinct parts namely the Zenana Mahal (for royal women) and Mardana Mahal (for royal men). The palace walls are ornate with beautiful paintings and delicately carved friezes - the Zenana mahal has exquisite lattice work or stone jalis that would enable the queens to watch important events. How to reach Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan, India?

You can catch scenic views of Aravalli Range or the sand dunes of the Thar dessert from the top of the palace.


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Yagya Mandir or Vedic Temple at Kumbhalgarh Fort Rajasthan, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Vedi temple was built by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century for performing yagya's and rituals after the completion of the Kumbhalgarh fort. It is located near Hanuman Pol at Kumbhalgarh fort. How to reach Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan, India?

Must see 'sights' when you visit the Kumbhalgarh fort would be Kumbha palace, Badal mahal, birthplace of Maharana Pratap, and elaborately carved Hindu and Jain temples.

Special mention - do ask the local guide about the heroic story of the unwavering patriot Panna dai - her extreme sacrifice saved the crown prince Udai Singh (Maharana Prtap's father) - Panna dai did so by replacing her own son Chandan in place of the crowned prince - Chandan was brutally murdered by the prince - Udai Singhs's distant uncle Bhanbir Singh.


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Temples at Kumbhalgarh Fort Rajasthan, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Did you know there are about 350+ temples within the Kumbhalgarh Fort and most are ancient Jain temples with a few Hindu temples.

You will find NeelKanth Mahadeva temple on the eastern side of the fort built during the 15th century. It is believed that Maharana Kumbha would start his day by offering prayers to the monolithic soaring shivling made out of black kasoti stone - and local folklore says that Rana was so tall that when he sat to pray his eyes were at the same level as that of the shivling. How to reach Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan, India?

The Parsvanatha Jain Temple was built in the early 16 century and is found on the eastern side.


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How to reach Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan, India?

Kumbhalgarh Fort is a Mewar fortress built on a hilltop near Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site included in Hill Forts of Rajasthan.

Built by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century Kumbhalgarh Fort - known to be impregnable as built on a tough landscape - has a 36 km long perimeter wall and seven fortified gateways.

According to local legend Maharana would burn massive lamps to provide light for the farmers who worked during the nights in the valley.

How to reach Kumbhalgarh Fort by air? Which is the nearest airport to Kumbhalgarh Fort?
Udaipur Airport is the nearest airport to Kumbhalgarh Fort and is at a distance of about 97 km.

How to reach Kumbhalgarh Fort by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Kumbhalgarh Fort?
Falna Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Kumbhalgarh Fort and is at a distance of about 68 km.

You could also opt to reach by train via Rani Railway Station which is at a distance of about 68 km from Kumbhalgarh Fort.

The best time to visit Kumbhalgarh Fort is from October to March.

Summer in Kumbhalgarh from March to June is hot with temperature rising to around 43°C.

Winter in Kumbhalgarh from November to February is cold and temperature goes down as low as 12°C.

Many prefer to travel to Kumbhalgarh during monsoon season that is from July to September - offers moderate rainfalls.


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Ranthambore Fort Rajasthan, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Located atop a hill near Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore Fort is a formidable monument found within Ranthambore National Park and has withstood many sieges. Ranthambore Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan. How to reach Ranthambore Fort, Rajasthan, India?

The fortress was captured by many kings of Mewar and Ranthambore was under the direct rule of Rana Hamir Singh (1326–1364), Rana Kumbha (1433–1468) and Rana Sanga (1508–1528).

Ranthambore fort has three Hindu temples dedicated to Shiva, Ganesh and Ram built in the 12th and 13th centuries. There is also a Jain temple of Tirthankars Sumatinath and Sambhavanath.