Travel Jammu and Kashmir


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Photogenic Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

How do you pronounce it Siri-nagar or Sri-nagara well it may not be important but Sri-nagar also translates to Sūrya-nagar or City of the Sun. If you dwell a bit more - in Sanskrit śrī and nagar may also mean 'City of Wealth'.

Though ravaged by multiple political beliefs over painful decades - to me Srinagar exudes an eternal stillness - a promise and pure romance as your Shikara glides through the dal lake towards an ocherous sunset...


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Travel Jammu and Kashmir


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Martand Sun Temple, Near Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

The Martand Sun Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to God Surya located at about 69 km from Srinagar. Martand Sun Temple was built in the 8th century and is often described as testament to the architectural achievements of Kashmir's ancient Karkota Dynasty. Much of the temple was destroyed by Islamic ruler Sikandar Butshikan in the early 15th century, and it has stood in ruins ever since.  How to reach Martand Sun Temple, Jammu and Kashmir, India?


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Travel Jammu and Kashmir


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Krishansar Lake, Near Srinagar or Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Doesn’t matter which angle you capture it from the picture perfect reflections of Krishansar Lake evoke a deep sigh as well as a sense of contentment where reflections of the surrounding dense pine forest and snowcapped mountains just silence all your psychological babble…  As per its wikipedia page Krishansar Lake can be accessed from Srinagar or Srinagar Airport 80 km by road to village Shitkadi, Sonamarg - from which ponies can be hired to cover an alpine trek of 35 km to reach the Krishansar Lake. How to reach Srinagar?


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Travel Italy


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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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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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Travel Italy


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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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Travel Faroe Islands


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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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Travel Faroe Islands


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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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Travel New Zealand


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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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Travel New Zealand


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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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Travel New Zealand


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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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Travel New Zealand


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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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Travel Norway
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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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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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Travel Switzerland


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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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Travel Switzerland


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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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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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Travel Gujarat
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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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Preeti @ Darjeeling


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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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Preeti @ Darjeeling
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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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Best Time to Visit


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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


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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


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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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Travel Tamil Nadu


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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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Travel Tamil Nadu
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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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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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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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Travel Kerala


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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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Travel Madhya Pradesh


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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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Travel Tamil Nadu
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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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Travel Tamil Nadu


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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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Travel Tamil Nadu


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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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Travel Uttar Pradesh


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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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Travel Uttar Pradesh
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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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Travel Assam
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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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Travel Assam
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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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Travel Assam
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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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Travel Assam


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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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Travel Rajasthan
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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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Travel 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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Travel Orissa


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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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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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Travel Rajasthan


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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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Travel Arunachal Pradesh


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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Travel Maharashtra


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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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Travel Maharashtra


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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.

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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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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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Murals at Ajanta, still aglow after centuries, Ajanta Caves recognized by UNESCO as the most valuable heritage site of Ancient India

Cave 1 is natural gallery and one of the most popular of the monastery caves at Ajanta. Every inch of the cave was originally painted, though much has worn away over the centuries. The doorway to the antechamber is flanked by murals of two great bodhisattvas. On the right, holding a thunderbolt, is Avalokitesvara (or Vajrapani), the most important bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism. On the left, holding a lotus flower, is the bodhisattva Padmapani.

The sidewalls of Cave 1's antechamber show two scenes from the Buddha's life: his temptation by Mara just before his enlightenment and the miracle of Sravasti, where the Buddha multiplied himself into thousand images.

Above the left porch of Cave 1 are friezes of the ‘Three Signs’ (a sick man, an old man, and a corpse) that the Buddha saw on his fateful journey outside the palace that led him to become a monk. In the sanctum is a colossal sculpture of the Buddha in the preaching pose. Murals on the walls of the main hall depict numerous Jataka Tales, stories of the previous lives of Gautama Buddha. How to reach Ajanta Caves?


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Painting, Ajanta Caves 2, Maharashtra, India a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The exemplary artistry and finesse found at Ajanta shines through the blackened surfaces as the sculptural or painted narratives flow unrestricted from one cave wall to the next effortlessly – as though waiting for us to discover the many teachings or tales within them. We are specifically talking about Ajanta Caves 1, 2, and 26. How to reach Ajanta Caves?

This painting depicts Birth of Buddha.


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Buddha in Abhaya Mudra, Ajanta Cave 6, Maharashtra, India a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Cave 6 is two-storey vihara - a monastery where both levels have attached cells. The colossal Buddha shrine in Cve 6 is seated on a throne. The walls and sanctum's door frame are intricately carved with themes with mythical creatures, apsaras, elephants.

Art on the lower level walls depict the Miracle of Sravasti and the Temptation of Mara legends. How to reach Ajanta Caves?


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Photogenic Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

How do you pronounce it Siri-nagar or Sri-nagara well it may not be important but Sri-nagar also translates to Sūrya-nagar or City of the Sun. If you dwell a bit more - in Sanskrit śrī and nagar may also mean 'City of Wealth'.

Though ravaged by multiple political beliefs over painful decades - to me Srinagar exudes an eternal stillness - a promise and pure romance as your Shikara glides through the dal lake towards an ocherous sunset...


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One odd shot somewhere in Ladakh, India

Most of us have at least 'one such dramatic shot' - an odd moment that captures the mood of the environment rippling with emotions and passion of its own - captured somewhere in Ladakh...


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Munnar Lake, Kochi, Kerala, India

Meandering around furrowed ancient paths is the best way to enjoy a scintillating evening near Munnar lake... How to reach Munnar, Kerala, India?


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Nubra Valley, Leh Ladakh, India

Can't really think of Nubra Valley as a far flung one - as it is prominently featured in most tours of Ladakh - these kind of pictures make even the most austere space cradled by remote rugged mountains with their glaciated peaks enchanting... Nubra valley is about 162 km away from Leh airport and takes around 5+ hours to reach. How to reach Leh?


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Gandikota, Penna River, Kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh, India

Gandikota is a small village on the right bank of the river Penna, Kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh, India. There's something life affirming to watch the sun going down whilst river Pennar gurgles peacefully through the stony jagged and eroded gorge at the foot of Gandikota hills...  How to reach Gandikota?


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Rock Cut Temples of Masroor, Near Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India

The Rock Cut Temples of Masroor are a unique example of monolithic temples over looking the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas. The Masroor Rock Cut temples still a riddle for historians are dated to be built approximately between 6th to 8th century and are the only rock cut temples in North India. Rock Cut Temples of Masroor are located just about 43 kms from Dharamshala. How to reach Dharamshala?


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Dhankar Lake, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India

Dhankar Lake - is a high altitude lake in Spiti valley - it is believed to bestow eternal bliss - looking at its various pictures I am inclined to actually believe this myth. Dhankar is an ancient village in Spiti Valley (desert mountain valley) between India and Tibet. Whilst there do catch the dramatic Dhankar Fort Monastery or Gompa overlooking the confluence between Spiti and Pin rivers. How to reach Spiti Valley?


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Dharamshala, Prayer Tablets, Himachal Pradesh, India

Picture is of stone tablets with prayers inscribed found in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India. As per Wikipedia Mani stones are stone plates, rocks and pebbles, inscribed with the six syllabled mantra of Avalokiteshvara - Om mani padme hum - as a form of prayer in Tibetan Buddhism. Mani stones are intentionally placed along the roadsides and rivers or placed together to form mounds as an offering to spirits of place. How to reach Dharamshala?


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Rangdum Village, Leh, Ladakh, India

Sighting Buddhist flags en route to Rangdum will indicate you are close by. The spectacularly beautiful Rangdum is located in the Suru valley in Ladakh region of India. Rangdum is often described as a village in the middle of nowhere - is practically uninhabited other than a couple of tiny settlements and is almost entirely Buddhist. How to reach Rangdum village?


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Bedni Kund, Nanda Devi National Park, Uttarakhand, India, A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

With encircling Himalayan conifers you would find Bedini Kund a glacial lake amidst the lush green alpine meadows of Bedini Bugyal in Chamoli, Uttarakhand. A part of Nanda Devi National Park that is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Bedini Kund was known as Vaitarani in ancient times and whilst trekking you may stumble upon lotus near Bedini Kund - also known as Brahm Kamal the one as per Puranas you find in the hands of Brahma or the Creator of the Universe. Did you know that Bhrahm Kamal or Saussurea obvallata is a species native to the Himalayas and the state flower of Uttarakhand?

Bedini Kund is a spring-generated waterbody (not currently) and local legend says that Vyasa composed the four Vedas at this place and you would find a pair of his wooden slippers in the nearby temple along with shrines of Durga and Gauri.

How to reach Bedni Kund via Bedini Bugyal, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India?


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Martand Sun Temple, Near Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

The Martand Sun Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to God Surya located at about 69 km from Srinagar. Martand Sun Temple was built in the 8th century and is often described as testament to the architectural achievements of Kashmir's ancient Karkota Dynasty. Much of the temple was destroyed by Islamic ruler Sikandar Butshikan in the early 15th century, and it has stood in ruins ever since.  How to reach Martand Sun Temple, Jammu and Kashmir, India?


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Devikulam Lake, Munnar, Kochi, Kerala, India

If you were to venture out about 5km from Munnar across manicured tea plantations and mellow green valleys you may stumble upon Devikulum Lake. . How to reach Munnar?


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Kangchenjunga at Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Trekking through the Kanchenjunga National Park one of the 'widest altitudinal ranges' of any protected area worldwide - is a tough dream to fulfill as it remains untouched by any effluence. How to reach Khangchendzonga National Park?

The Khangchendzonga National Park's unique diversity of plains, caves, lakes, steep valleys, glaciers and majestic, snow-capped mountains covered with ancient forests, including its namesake - the world’s third highest peak, Mount Kanchenjunga are just a few reasons why its vastness is a World Heritage site recognized by UNESCO.


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Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India

I am told that I should head to Mukteshwar if I am seeking tranquility as well as enjoy the chirping symphonies of the birds.

And whilst I am there I could also offer my prayers at the 350 year old Mukteshwar temple dedicated to Shiva as it does delivers dazzling views of Himalayas.

Mukteshwar is a scenic village perched high up in the Kumaon hills at a distance of about 51 kms from Nainital, Uttarakhand, India. How to reach Mukteshwar?


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Sri Harmandir Sahib or The Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

As soon as you enter the Golden Temple - it's just not your visual senses that get arrested - you stand still and mesmerized by the mere reflection of Harmandir Sahib. Even the Amrit Samovar has a way of surrounding you with a cloak of intentional calm and your spirituality is further intensified by the continuous chant from the Guru Granth Sahib that you and hundreds of fellow devotees hear - whilst all patiently await their turn to offer prayers and gratitude in person.

The Golden Temple in Amritsar is a renown and a revered gurudwara not only by Sikhs but devotees from all walks of life. It was originally referred to as 'the abode of god' or Sri Harmandir Sahib, it has been rebuilt many times and is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO. How to reach Golden Temple, Amritsar, India?


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Chemrey Gompa, Leh, Ladakh, India

Find your solitude at Chemrey Monastery or Chemrey Gompa a 1664 Buddhist monastery, that is located about 40 km east of Leh, Ladakh, in India. How to reach Leh?


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Mahadev Temple, Tambdi Surla, Goa, India

Mahadev Temple in the small village of Tambdi Surla in Goa India is a 12th century Shaivite active or living temple. How to reach Tambdi Surla?


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Krishansar Lake, Near Srinagar or Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Doesn’t matter which angle you capture it from the picture perfect reflections of Krishansar Lake evoke a deep sigh as well as a sense of contentment where reflections of the surrounding dense pine forest and snowcapped mountains just silence all your psychological babble…  As per its wikipedia page Krishansar Lake can be accessed from Srinagar or Srinagar Airport 80 km by road to village Shitkadi, Sonamarg - from which ponies can be hired to cover an alpine trek of 35 km to reach the Krishansar Lake. How to reach Srinagar?


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Munnar, Kochi, Kerala, India – Thousand shades of green

Just wandering a few miles out and around Munnar and you'll be engulfed in a sea of a thousand shades of green. Munnar is located in Kerala’s Western Ghats, India. How to reach Munnar?


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Exquisite Garbha Griha of Lakshman Temple at Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India is a World Heritage site recognized by UNESCO

Took about 20+ years to build the Lakshmana Temple and is arguably the best preserved of all the Khajuraho temples with a spectacularly carved garbha griha. This still of Lakshman Temple at Khajuraho should most definitely inspire an in person visit.

The Lakshmana Temple, built in 954 CE, is dedicated to Vishnu and the shrine has three faces that of the lion, man and a boar. You would find carvings of dancers, life in those times, orgies as well marching armies on its base. The female figurines in the bracket are simply exquisite.

Lakshman Temple is a part of Khajuraho Group of Monuments found in Madhya Pradesh, India and is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO. How to reach Khajuraho temple complex?


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Kandariya Mahadeva Temple at Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India is a World Heritage site recognized by UNESCO

The Kandariya-Mahadev temple is the most photographed and is considered the high point of Chandela architecture. Temple has intricate and detailed carvings in stone of female beauty with amorous expressions (Apsaras, Surasundaris) and numerous scenes of astounding sexual acrobatics as compared to any other Khajuraho temple.

Its Shikhara is considered to be a symbolic Shiv linga and along with its subsidiary shikaras together - they seem to resemble mount Kailasha peaks - and seem to be rise into infinity. You will find leaping vyalas almost looking as though hoping to escape (vyalas are mythical creatures that are half-dragon, half-horse, );

Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is a part of Khajuraho Group of Monuments found in Madhya Pradesh, India and is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO. How to reach Khajuraho temple complex?


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Vijaya Vittala Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Devaraya II is believed to have built the Vijaya Vittala Temple in the 15th-16th century and his successor Krishnadevaraya made major enhancements and additions. Synonymous with architectural and sculptural brilliance the Vijaya Vittala Temple took decades to build - it is believed that these magnificent set of monuments did not attain the height of grandiose as originally dreamt and planned by Krishnadevaraya. The vast temple is made up of Maha mandapa, Ranga mandapa, Kalyan mandapa, Utsav mandapa and the garbhagriha.

Vijaya Vittala Temple Complex and all its monuments are a part of the Hampi Group of Monuments and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. How to reach Hampi?


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Kallina Ratha at Vittala Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Right opposite the Rangamandapa is the iconic stone chariot or 'Kalina ratha' which resembles a miniature Dravidian temple and is dedicated to Garuda, Vishnu's celestial vehicle. The 'Kalina ratha' has become the de facto symbol of the Group of Monuments at Hampi - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. How to reach Hampi?

Archaeologists compare the stone chariot at Vithala Temple, Hampi with the magnificent stone chariots found in Konark Temple in Orissa and Mahabalipuram near Chennai.

Note 1: The stone ratha is drawn by elephants (these elephants were not a part of the original monument and are a place holder for the actual horses which were destroyed and if you examine the chariot closely you can see part of the tail as well as the hind legs of these horses).

Note 2: 'Kalina ratha' has four wheels and in ancient times one could turn the wheels on their axis. They have been cemented by the Archaeological Survey of India to protect the heritage site form the potential damage due to high volume of visitors.


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Adalaj Step Well near Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India (1)

Adalaj Vav or Adalaj Stepwell was built in 1499 by queen Rudadevi also known as Rani Roopba in memory of her husband Rana Veer Singh.

As per the local legend in the late 15th century, Rana Veer Singh ruled over Dandai Desh and his kingdom always faced water shortage and was totally dependent on rains. Rana ordered the construction of a large and deep well but died in battle with Mohammed Begda the neighbouring Muslim ruler. Mohammed Begda stopped Rudadevi from becoming a sati and told her that he wanted to marry her. Rudadevi agreed to marry him only after he completed the construction of the stepwell. On completion of the step well Rudadevi came to offer her prayers and first circumambulated the stepwell and thereafter jumped into it to be one with her husband. Legend further narrates Rani Roopba had requested religious saints to perform rituals after her death as well as take bath in this stepwell so that the water in the stepwell gets purified reliving her from her sins.

Adalaj Vav or Adalaj Stepwell is just a short drive away from Ahmedabad cit as it is at a distance of about 20 km from Ahmedabad.


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Nagina Masjid in Champaner, Gujarat, India (3) - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Nagina Masjid is a large mosque built on a high platform with large open space in front and artistically carved minarets on either side that had niches filled with floral and geometrical designs. Nagina Mosque is a part of the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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Kevada Masjid in Champaner, Gujarat, India (1) - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Kevada Mosque is part of the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is believed to be built during the time of Mahmud Begada.
The mosque has prayer hall, minarets, narrow stairs, many mihrabs and windows with pillared balcony all exquisitely decorated with intricate carvings.


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Kevada Masjid in Champaner, Gujarat, India (2) - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Kevada Mosque has two minarets on both the sides of the central arched entrance that have eye-catching carved niches that are filled with geometrical and floral and patterns. Originally the mosque had three domes built above the double storeyed main prayer hall but the largest central dome has since collapsed. The complex also comprises of a well, tank for ablutions and a few ruined brick structures.The square cenotaph located in front of the mosque has fluted central dome and four corner domes.

Kevada Mosque is part of the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site


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Cenotaph in front of Kevada Masjid in Champaner, Gujarat, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The distinguishing part of Kevada Masjid is the Cenotaph in front. Cenotaph is a tomb without the actual grave, built in honour of the person whose grave is elsewhere. There was also some excavation work happening on this site. Kevada Masjid is part of the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site


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How to reach Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat, India?

How to reach Champaner by flight?
The nearest domestic airport to Champaner is Vadodara Airport which is at a distance of about 44 km from Champaner.

The nearest international airport to Champaner is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad which is at a distance of about 153 km from Champaner. Ahmedabad airport is well connected with major cities of India and the world.

How to reach Champaner by train?
Champaner Road Junction is connected to Vadodara and Mumbai

Distance between Champaner and other towns and cities
Champaner is at a distance of about 44 km from Baroda.
Champaner is at a distance of about 153 km from Champaner.

Note The Champaner-Pavagadh archaeological site is fairly large about 1329 hectares so it is recommended to rent a car and driver from Baroda.


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The Great Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh, India - recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO

Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi are a group of monuments that include the world renown - The Great Stupa (the oldest Buddhist religious monument), monolithic pillars, ruins of temples, monasteries, assembly halls and shrines helping one time travel when Sanchi was revered as a great centre for spiritual learning. Most monuments date back to the 2nd and 1st centuries BC when Sanchi was a major proponent of Buddhism in India until the 12th century AD.

The Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India are recognized as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. How to reach Sanchi Stupa?

What is a Stupa? A stūpa is a structure containing sacred relics commemorative of Buddha or other saints. The shapes of Stupa’s have evolved over centuries - the Sanchi Stupa is hemispherical with a circular base supporting a massive solid dome (garbha) it has a pradakshina path and four gateways, which are richly decorated with narrative sculptures depicting scenes and panels from Buddha’s life, Ashoka’s life, wars over Buddha’s relics in ancient times and Jataka tales. The relics of the Buddha are not merely considered a commemorative symbol by of Buddha but Buddhists believe it represents the living presence of the Buddha, his protective powers and living energy.


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South Torana, Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh, India - recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO

The South Torana is believed to be the oldest and the first to be built and served as the main entrance to the Great Stupa. Then followed, in chronological order, the North Torana, the East Torana and the West Torana.

The narrative friezes of the South Torana has great emphasis on Buddha's relics and the War over the Relics, and on the role of Ashoka in spreading the Buddhist faith. One also finds carved scenes of seven births of Buddha and the pillar capitals of the South Torana have sculpted Lions similar to the ones found on Ashoka Pillar.

The Great Stupa in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. How to reach Sanchi Stupa?


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North Torana, Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh, India - recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO

The North Torana is one of the four richly carved gateways or toranas surrounding the Great Stupa. It has been best preserved of all the gateways as it still retains most of its ornamental figures. The lintels on the North Torana have seated Lions and Yakshinis.

Torana has many scenes from various events of the life of the Buddha. One panel has vivid sculptures depicting Buddha overcoming the temptation of Mara's daughters and threat of Mara + the demons of Mara fleeing Sanchi Stupa; Another has a sculpted scene of Sujata, bringing the meal which she prepared for Gautama before he began his last meditation prior to his enlightenment;

The pillar capitals of North Torana have elephant looking in all four directions and its panels depict various miracles performed by Buddha - including the great miracle at Sravasti where Buddha walks in the air.

The Great Stupa in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. How to reach Sanchi Stupa?


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East Torana, Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh, India - recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO

The East Torana was the third gateway to be erected. You will find sculptures narrating the historical events during the Buddha's life and several miracles performed by the Buddha. The pillars of the East Torana have elephants placed in all four directions mounted by mahuts.

Take note of the panel on far left - sculpted narrative depicting Prince Siddharta detachment of royal life - his search and his renouncing the world starting from leaving the Palace of Kapilavastu while his wife Yasodhara, his baby Rahula and the dancers are sleeping.

Top panel on East Torana is about the miracle of walking in the air at Savrasti and devotees are looking upwards - note Buddha is not visible and only his path is represented by slab in thin air called Chankrama;

Another panel has a scene depicting the miracle of the Buddha walking on River Nairanjana - once again Buddha is not visible and he is represented by a path on the water, and his empty throne.

A panel also has sculptures depicting Indra and Brahma at the Great Sanchi Stupa;

The Great Stupa in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. How to reach Sanchi Stupa?


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West Torana, Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh, India that is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO

The torana on the west or the last gateway built is richly carved composed of two square pillars and with three architraves and their volute ends.

The column capitals have four Yaksha facing four directions. Whereas carvings on architraves have sculpted panels of King of the Mallas bringing the relics of the Buddha to Kushinagara whose chief is depicted riding on an elephant and bearing the relics on his own head. Another panel has two groups of figures carrying offerings indicate rejoicing of the Mallas over the possession of the relics.

Another panel has the tree in front of the city gate and it believed to be the Shala tree symbolically referring to the fact that Buddha's parinirvana took place in a grove of shala trees.

The West Torana has a brilliant sculpted narrative of the portrayal of siege of Kushinagara and the seven rival claimants who are carrying seven royal umbrellas, advancing with their armies to the city of Kushinagara

Left pillar (front side) has a unique panel showing Indra's swarg as it has the river Mandakini in the foreground.

The Great Stupa in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. How to reach Sanchi Stupa?


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Narrative Panel of Buddha’s life, Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh, India that is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO

An expressive sculpted narrative depicting Buddha’s detachment of royal life - his search and his renouncing the world starting from leaving the Palace of Kapilavastu.

This sculpted panel is on the North Torana or Gateway of The Great Stupa in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. How to reach Sanchi Stupa?


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Javari Temple at Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India is a World Heritage site recognized by UNESCO

The Javari Temple is a hindu temple built between 1075 to 1100 that is dedicated to Vishnu was built in Nirandhar style. It is near to and is visible from Vamana Temple that is at short distance from it.

Javari Temple is a part of Khajuraho Group of Monuments found in Madhya Pradesh, India and is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO. How to reach Khajuraho temple complex?


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How to reach Khajuraho Temple, Madhya Pradesh, India?

What to definitely explore at Khajuraho temples? Notable temples are the Lakshmana, Kandariya Mahadeva, Matangeshwara, Jagadamba, Chitragupta, Varaha and Vishwanatha in the Western Group; the Vamana, Javari and Ghantai Temples of the Eastern Group and the Parsvanatha, Adinatha and Shantinatha Temples of the Southern Group.

How to reach Khajuraho temples by air? Which is the nearest airport to Khajuraho Temples?
Khajuraho has a domestic airport and is well connected with Varanasi and Delhi amongst other cities in India. Khajuraho Airport is at a distance of a bout 4.5 km from Khajuraho temples.

How to reach Khajuraho temples by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Khajuraho Temples?
Khajuraho railway station is well connected to many cities in India including Delhi and Varanasi. Khajuraho train station is at a distance of about 6 km from Khajuraho Temple Complex.

Best time to visit Khajuraho temples is between the cooler months of December to February.

Distances from Khajuraho to various places
Khajuraho > [24 km] > Raneh Falls
Khajuraho > [99 km] > Panna National Park
Khajuraho > [392 km] > Varanasi


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How to reach Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh, India?

The Great Stupa of Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO

How do you reach Sanchi Stupa by air? Which is the nearest airport to Sanchi Stupa?
The nearest airport is Bhopal Airport and it is at a distance of 53 km from Sanchi Stupa.

How do you reach Sanchi Stupa by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Sanchi Stupa?
The nearest railway station is Sanchi Railway Station and it is at a distance of 1.5 km from Sanchi Stupa. You could opt to to reach via Vidisha Railway Station that is at a distance of 11.5 km from Sanchi Stupa. Or prefer to reach via Bhopal Junction and it is at a distance of 47 km from Sanchi Stupa.

Best Time to Visit Sanchi Stupa Complex is in the cooler months of December to February.


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Bhimbetka Caves, Madhya Pradesh, India is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

Almost unknown and well concealed in the rugged and craggy cliffs of Vindhyas amidst dense forests are over 600+ rock shelters of Bhimbetka. About 400 of this shelters preserve proof of habitation that existed in the early Stone Age in the form of cave art. Thousands of rock paintings are dated between the early Stone Age to medieval times.

You would find red and white stick figures as well as many animals painted amongst them would be elephants and tigers, rhinos and bisons including animal fights. Many paintings reflect life during those times and would be about hunting, battles, ceremonies, dancing, drinking and burials.

Bhimbetka Caves are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India and are also recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. How to reach Bhimbetka Caves?


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Pavagadh Hill Jain Temples at Pavagadh Complex in Champaner, Gujarat, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Jain temples of Pavagadh belong to the Digamber sect of Jainism and are divided into three groups. The Bhavanaderi temples found near the Naqqarkhana gate, than the temples dedicated to the Tirthankar Suparsva and Tirthankar Chandraprabha and lastly the the Parsvanath temple located near Dudhiya Talao where Bhagwan Parshvanath is seated in padmasana posture. Temples walls are covered with Jain iconography.

Apart from the well known temples there are many other Jain temples too near Makai Kothar and Navlakha Kothar. The Jain temples dedicated to Tirthankar Suparsavanath, Tirthankar Chandraprabha and Parsavnath Bhagwan have been dated to the 13th-14th Century AD.


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Sahar Ki Masjid at Pavagadh Complex in Champaner, Gujarat, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Sahar Ki Masjid was is right near the ancient royal palace and was built for exclusive use of the Sultan's family. As the other mosques in Pavagadh Champaner complex the main entrance is an arched doorway with a large dome, with smaller domes at the four sides and minarets on either side. The royals had access to 5 mihrabs at Sahar ki Masjid also a part of the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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Panch Mahuda Ki Masjid at Pavagadh Complex in Champaner, Gujarat, India (1) - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Panch Mahuda Ki Masjid at Pavagadh Complex in Champaner, Gujarat, India is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also severely damaged and hopefully will get the required attention from Archaeological Survey of India soon.

Popular sights at the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park are Jami Masjid, Kevda Masjid and Cenotaph, Nagina Masjid and Cenotaph or trek towards a sunset at Navlakha Kothar located near the old Jain Temple on Pavagadh hill.


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Lila Gumbaj Masjid in Champaner, Gujarat, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lila Gumbaj Ki Mosque in Champaner, Gujarat state, western India is part of the Champaner Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lila Gumbaj Ki Masjid is built on a high plinth with an arched central entrance flanked by two lateral arches. Minarets are designed with horizontal cornices and decorated niches. You will find three mihrabs in the prayer hall embellished with floral motifs. It has three domes and the central dome is fluted and was originally colored.


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How to reach Jain Temples at Pavagadh, Gujarat, India?

How to reach Pavagadh by flight?
The nearest domestic airport to Pavagadh is Baroda Airport which is at a distance of about 50 km from Pavagadh.

The nearest international airport to Pavagadh is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad which is at a distance of about 152 km from Pavagadh. Ahmedabad airport is well connected with major cities of India and the world.

How to reach Pavagadh by train?
Pavagadh does not have a train station, and the nearest station is Champaner Road Junction, at a distance of 6.5 km

Distance between Pavagadh Hills and other towns and cities
Pavagadh is at a distance of about 55 km from Baroda.
Pavagadh is at a distance of about 7 km from Champaner.

Note: You have two options to take the pilgrim route and climb about 1800/2000+ steps or take a shuttle van from the Champaner Citadel’s south wall which drops you only mid-way. You could also take a ropeway and glide over the landscape at a price and save yourself half the climb.


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How to reach Adalaj Step Well near Ahmedabad?

How to reach Adalaj Step Well near Ahmedabad by flight?
The nearest airport to Adalaj Step Well is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International airport at Ahmedabad which is at a distance of about 15 km from Adalaj Step Well.

How to reach Adalaj Step Well near Ahmedabad by train
Ahmedabad Junction is at a distance of about 20 km from Adalaj Step Well. Ahmedabad Railway Station or Junction is well connected to many cities in the state of Gujarat as well as India.


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How to reach Rani ni Vav in Patan, Gujarat, India?

Rani ki Vav is situated in Patan a few hours drive from Ahmedabad, Gujarat in India.

How to reach Rani ki Vav by flight?
The nearest airport to Rani ki Vav is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International airport at Ahmedabad which is at a distance of about 125 km from Rani ki Vav.

How to reach Rani ki Vav in Patan by train?
Patan Railway Station is connected to Ahmedabad and other cities of Gujarat. Patan Railway Station is at a distance of about 3 km from Rani ki Vav.


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Mosque of Rani Rupavati at Historic City of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Rani Rupamati's or Rupavati's Mosque was built by Mahmud Begada in the 15th century is a medieval mosque and tomb complex located in Ahmedabad.

With a soaring central arch, three imposing domes supported with rows of twelve pillars each, though cracked at the base in the 1819 Rann of Kutch earthquake, the minarets are still exquisite, add carved galleries and an exquisite mihrab - just a few reasons to visit Rani Rupamati's Mosque in person.


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How to reach Munsar Talav in Viramgam. Near Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India?

Munsar lake is located in Viramgam is a town near Ahmedabad, Gujarat also an ancient princely state.

How to reach Viramgam by flight?
The nearest airport to Viramgam is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad which is at a distance of about 76 km from Viramgam. Ahmedabad airport is well connected with major cities of India and the world.

How to reach Viramgam by train?
Viramgam Junction is well connected to other major cities of India via regular trains.


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Bhadra Fort Entrance in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bhadra Fort is an impressive monument built by Ahmed Shah in red stone located near eastern banks of Sabarmati River and spans over 43 acres. Bhadra Fort was used as a royal court during Ahmed Shah’s rule.

Named Bhadra Fort due to the presence of the revered Bhadrakali temple - and has an interesting local legend attached to the monument. Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi came to the gate of Bhadra Fort to leave the city in the night. And the night kotwal (watchman) Siddique Kotwal stopped her having identified her told her she cannot leave the fort till he gets permission from the king and if she does he will get into trouble. To prevent her from leaving Ahmedabad he beheads himself thus ensuring that Goddess Lakshmi forever stays in the city resulting into its prosperity. There is a tomb near Bhadra Gate dedicated to Siddique Kotwal and a temple to Bhadra Kali, representing Laxmi.

Add the following sights when you visit Bhadra Fort - Rani Rupmati Mosque and Hathee Singh Jain Temple.


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Quaint Ezhattumugham, Kerala, India

Ezhattumugham is a charming and tranquil rural village near Ernakulam in the state of Kerala.

The river Chalakudy punctuated by islets of greenery turns Ezhattumugham into an absolute picture postcard. The picture showcases the rocky Ezhattumugham rapids which check the flow of the mighty Chalakudy River.

The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport at a distance of about 25 km from Ezhattumugham.


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Rolling tea plantations at Kolukkumalai, Near Munnar, Kerala, India

Kolukkumalai a hill top village which is about 35 km from Munnar is also famous as a tea plantation. And the most convenient way to reach the tea plantation is by hiring a jeep from Suryanelli town near Munnar. It's a fairly bumpy ride for 15-20 minutes.


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Travel Karnataka


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Capturing Honnametti kallu, Biligiri Ranga Hills, Karnataka, India

You just need to learn to listen - stones are great storytellers. This still captures Honnametti kallu the highest point around which the BRT Tiger Reserve weaves its lush green magic literally in all directions, spreading far and wide.

Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) Tiger Reserve is located in Karnataka, India. It constitutes a live bridge between the Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats as it is strategically situated almost in the middle of this bridge. How to reach BRT Tiger Reserve?

Apart from tigers and herds of wild elephants you will also find sambhar, chital, barking deer and the rare four-horned antelope at BRT Tiger Reserve. Other carnivores include leopards, wild dogs, and sloth bears.


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How to reach BRT Tiger Reserve in Karnataka?

Picture - Leopard at BRT Tiger Reserve, Karnataka, India

How to reach BRT Tiger Reserve by air and which is the nearest ariport to BRT Tiger Reserve?
The nearest airport is Mysore Airport and it is at distance of about 83 km from Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) Tiger Reserve.

How to reach BRT Tiger Reserve by train?
The nearest railway station is Chamarajanagar Railway Station and it is at distance of about 45 km from Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) Tiger Reserve. You could opt for a train journey via Mysuru Junction Railway Station that is at distance of about 86 km from Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) Tiger Reserve.


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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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Fire Tailed Sunbird at Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim, India - A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

The fire-tailed sunbird belongs to the Nectariniidae family and is found in the northern parts of the India as well as the the mighty Himalayas - as well as in Khangchendzonga National Park. You would usually find fire-tailed sunbird in conifer forests at high altitudes up to 4,000 meters, descending into the valleys during the cold season. They feed on both insects and nectar

Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim, India is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. How to reach Khangchendzonga National Park?


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Valley of Flowers, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India, A World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO

A quest for the famous bursts of color is what may have gotten you to plan a trek to Valley of flowers - but soon you would experience that it is the journey and not the destination that makes it worth your while.

It's a 13+ km trek (varied distance/s depending on where you start) where the first 80% of the trek from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria is labelled as easy as well as moderately difficult. Second part of the trek is supposedly a strenuous one.

When you trek the first hour may be the toughest than you fall in your own hypnotic rhythm and quietude follows and once in a while your thoughts meander with wispy clouds and are just focussed for that one cup of steaming hot chai :)

Since the valley is in full bloom between mid July to mid August be prepared for rain - especially at dawn - valley calls and big fat drops may just start pouring and if you are lucky enough the drumbeats may pause or may taunt you with a patter again.

Valley of Flowers National Park is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. How to reach Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand, India?


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Travel Goa


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Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Goa, India (1) - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The old church of Goa the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary was built in 1543. With towers and cupolas typical of late-Gothic and Manueline Portugese on the outside - the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary does appear as a small fortress.

You will be able to see the Manueline vaults of the chapels inside and just next to the altarpiece which is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, there is a carved alabaster cenotaph with an inscription, ‘Aqui jaz Dona Catarina, mulher de Garcia de Sa, a qual pede a quem isto ler que peça misericórida a Deus para sua alma’ meaning ‘Here lies Dona Catarina, wife of Garcia de Sá, asks those who read this to asks mercy of God for her soul’.

Church of Our Lady of the Rosary is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Churches and convents of Goa, India. How to reach Goa?


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Church of St Cajetan in Goa, India (1) - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Built by Theatines, Church of St. Cajetan is dedicated to St. Cajetan and to Our Lady of Providence and has been modeled on the St. Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican city. Church of St. Cajetan brings alive the majestic Portuguese era with its Corinthian Architecture and Baroque style carvings.

Located in Velha Goa or Old Goa, Church of St. Cajetan is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Churches and convents of Goa, India. How to reach Goa?


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Church of St Francis Assisi in Goa, India (1) - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Church of St. Francis of Assisi owing to its renovation in 1665, the church displays a graceful blend of architectural styles and rich and elaborate carved artworks. Adjoining to the Church of St. Francis of Assisi is the the Museum of Archaeological History which was originally a convent. The blending of Portuguese-Manueline style from the ancient times to the later Tuscan style does produces a set of unique examples of architecture.

Few of the must view list at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi should include Statues of St. Francis of Assisi and Jesus on the altar, Baroque and Corinthian carvings on the altar itself, Wood Paintings depicting the life of St. Francis of Assisi, Frescoes with floral decorations, Paintings on the interior walls depicting scenes from the Bible and the Manueline architecture of the portal. How to reach Goa?


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Votive stupas at Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar India a UNESCO Heritage Site

Meditating is easy at the Mahabodhi temple - with a lively bird chatter symphony, wafts of incense and gentle chanting by the many monks between the cluster of exquisitely carved votive stupas, chaityas (prayer halls) and niches with evocative Buddha sculpture reliefs. How to reach Bodh Gaya?


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Travel Uttarakhand
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Naini Lake, Nainital, Uttarakhand, India

Enchanting crescent shaped Naini or Nainital Lake is a natural freshwater body, located in Nainital, Uttarakhand, India.  How to reach Naini Lake?


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White-bellied Blue Robin in Eravikulam National Park, Western Ghats, Kerala, India an UNESCO World Heritage Site

You can find more than 100 bird species at the Eravikulam National Park apart from White bellied Blue Robin.

The Nilgiri Blue Robin also known as the White-bellied Blue Robin is a passerine bird usually found on the forest floor and undergrowth of dense forest patches sheltered in the valleys of montane grasslands, a restricted and threatened habitat.

Eravikulam National Park, Western Ghat, Kerala is recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site. How to reach Eravikulam National Park?


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Silent Valley National Park, Western Ghats, Kerala, India an UNESCO World Heritage Site

Silent Valley National Park is a core part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve located in Western Ghats and is a World Heritage Site, recognized by UNESCO. Silent Valley is home to the largest population of lion-tailed macaques, an endangered species. How to reach Silent Valley National Park?

The coolest months at the Silent Valley National Park are January and February where the temperature at an average is 18 °C. It's humidity is at a consistent high owing to high amount of rainfall between June and December.

Note: Silent Valley National Park being completely enclosed within a ring of hills receives copious amounts of rainfall during monsoons on season lasting from June to September (south-west monsoon) another from October to November (north-east monsoon).


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Tiger resting at Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal, India - An UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Sundarbans also a Tiger Reserve is home to the Royal Bengal Tigers that have developed a distinctive characteristic of swimming in saline waters and can be seen sunbathing in the cooler months between November and February. 

Apart from the Bengal tiger Sundarbans National Park has fishing cats, leopard cats, macaques, wild boars, Indian grey mongoose, foxes, jungle cats, flying foxes, and chital.

Sundarbans National Park is recognized as World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a tour to Sundarbans is an experience of a lifetime. How to reach Sundarbans National Park?


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Munnar, Kochi, Kerala, India – Emerald green tea plantations

It will be tough to not be mesmerized by the emerald-green tea plantations of Munnar as you cope out magnificent views even at times through veils of mist clinging to the enticingly green valleys and hills. Munnar is located in Kerala’s Western Ghats, India just few hours away from Kochi. How to reach Munnar?


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Devikulam Tea Estate, Kochi, Kerala, India

The rolling green hills of Devikulam tea estates may seem clipped or sculpted but they do exude an intoxicating aroma of exotic tea. Devikulam is about 5 km from Munnar, Kerala India. How to reach Munnar?


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Travel Arunachal Pradesh


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How to reach Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh, India?

How to reach Ziro Valley by air?
The nearest airport is Ziro Valley is Lilabari in North Lakhimpur district of Assam which is 67 km away from Itanagar and Ziro valley is 111 km from Itanagar. Alternatively, you could fly to Guwahati, Assam which is 326 km away from Itanagar and then travel the 111 km to Ziro valley by taxi.

How to reach Ziro Valley by train?
The nearest railway station from Ziro is Naharlagun railway station in Arunachal Pradesh about a distance of 102 km from Ziro.

Best time to visit Ziro Valley 

You could go to Ziro valley in Arunachal Pradesh throughout the year and the best time to travel would be between  March and October as the months of November to February are frigid cold where temperature may drop below minus 10 degrees Celsius. It rains between June to mid October so do check the weather before planning your trip.


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