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An Indian Vacation and a Pilgrimage

A rich cultural heritage, varied wildlife, magnificent mountain ranges, picturesque beaches, exquisite temples and monuments, rejuvenating hill stations, that’s India for you, a premier vacation destination. However, aside from these attractions and the varied destinations, India is also famous for one other thing: pilgrimages. Quite an increasing number of visitors have found out that having an Indian vacation and a pilgrimage is quite an interesting and rewarding experience.

India is a practically a country that is very diverse. Almost all places in India offer its own attractions which draws a yearly influx of tourists and pilgrims from around the globe. Some of the more popular and notable pilgrimage destinations include the Golden Temple of Amritsar, the Dilwara temples of Mount Abu and the Palitana in Gujarat, Meenakshi. The Rock Fort in Tamil Nadu, the Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, Sabarimala and Guruvayur in Kerala and not to mention the Badami Caves in Karnataka are also targets of pilgrimage tourism.

Being the land of Gods and Goddess, India is at the very center of spiritual and religious activities. Pilgrims flock to holy towns and temples to have religious enlightenment or experiences may them be absolute believers or just tourists interested in India’s rich culture, heritage and spiritual beliefs. Nowadays, travel agencies and tours are packaging special pilgrimage packages for tourists who are looking at India as their next vacation destination.

Pilgrimages are as varied as the religions in India themselves. For example Christian, Jainism and Sikh pilgrimages are now commonly packaged as tours for vacationers in India. Places of worships, shrines, churches and locations where these religions began, flourished or even saw their demised in India are the prime destinations of such tours. For example, the cities like Calicut, Trivandrum, Madurai, Goa and Mumbai are famous for Christian churches which stand in testament to the unique and magnificent architectural feats of olden times. Similarly, the serene worship halls and shrines of Jainism believers offer yet another look at Indian architectural splendor.

Other pilgrimage destination sites include the revered Badrinath temple which is dedicated to Shri Badrinathji and was said to have been constructed by Adi Guru Shankaracharya. The Kedarnath in the state of Uttarakhand, one of the holiest pilgrimage destination in the country, houses the 12 holy Jyotirlingams. Another revered temple is the Vaishno Devi Temple in Katra. The place is so revered by Hindus that those residing in Northern India would make it a point to visit the temple once in their lifetime.

Tirupti Balaji temple which is situated on the seventh peak of the Tirupati hill is said to be richest temple in the country and perhaps even in the world. It has a rich history behind which spans for centuries. Another temple which perhaps rival the popularity of other pilgrimage sites is the Haridwar Temple which is considered the gateway to other sites in Uttrakhand region.

It is said that Haridwar Temple was blessed by the trinity of Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. The temple is said to purify the mind, the body and the soul of pilgrims. It has become the center of spirituality in the region and incidentally also of arts, science and culture.

We can go on citing pilgrimage sites in India and we will run out of space before we run out of sites to mention. The richness of India’s spiritual and religious traditions is truly an experience worth trying. An Indian vacation and a pilgrimage is something that should never be set aside.



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A Hot Summer Indian Vacation

Some like it hot, while others like it very hot! Or something like that. But summer in India is not at that bad as some tourists would like to think. The country being as large as it is hosts a number of possibilities even during the summer time. So it is absolutely possible and not totally unheard of that people enjoy a hot summer Indian vacation.

India enjoys four seasons: winter months are in January and February; summer months are from March to May; monsoon or the rainy season are from June to September; and from October to December is post-monsoon period. While a huge number of visitors in India do visit the country during the winter months, there are a growing lot that prefer the hot summer months and even the wet monsoon seasons. Probably the reasons include the fantastic summer festivals celebrated in practically all the corners of the country as well as destinations like the Himalayas which is quite a treat when visited during the summer months. In fact it is usually during summer that the Himalayas can be visited. One can see the snow-clad mountain peaks in Leh and Ledakh.

Well known during summer time are also the hill stations of Kashmir, Kodaikanal, Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Uttaranchal. Mountain rivers also offer a good opportunity for water rafting and kayaking. Moreover, beaches like Anjuna and Baga are very popular for summer goers both international and local tourists. Anjuna beach is a couple of kilometers from Mapusa in Goa and is quite famous for its night time beach parties. Similarly, the Baga which is also quite accessible from Mapusa in Goa offers a picturesque ocean view and a highly active night life.

While others enjoy the natural beauty of India during summer, some take advantage of these months for the often cheaper and discounted rates of tour, travel fares and even hotel accommodations and resorts. For some summer gives them the perfect opportunity to enjoy a whole new country.

Monsoon rains come after the summer months and believe you and me, a number of visitors intentionally come at the end of summer and enjoy the rather wet monsoon season. In India the onset of rain is a symbol of fertility and is serves a vital part of the country’s culture and traditions.

Still others travel to India to enjoy the festivals there, the biggest of which are usually held during summer or towards the end of the season. One such festival is the Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai. The celebration is held for ten days and includes various cultural and social programs and activities all geared towards worshipping the elephant-headed god Ganesh. Visitors will get to enjoy dancing and singing in the streets together with thousands of believers and residents.

Related to religious festivals are the pilgrimages. One of the more familiar one is the Char Dham or the pilgrimage to find the source of the Ganges River or the Ganga Mata as the river is called in India. Being India’s most sacred river and the most important in terms of people’s livelihood as well, the Char Dham can only be held during the summer and monsoon months after the snow melts in the Himalayas and the roads become accessible again.

India is such as huge land of opportunity for travelers. From the winter months, down to the summer days and then towards the monsoon seasons, visitors have always places to go and things to do. A hot summer Indian vacation is definitely not something one should cross out in ones travel calendar.



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A Home In Indian Vacation

Vacations are one of the most anticipated times in a year. This is the moment when you spend more time with family, friends, and well yourself. This is the opportunity that you get the reward you deserve after working a lot of hours in the office or burning the midnight oil for an upcoming examination. Vacations are your primary chance to get away from all the things that has been burning up your whole being.

They are the events that can truly charge you up to face life with even greater vigor and aspiration. But before you get too excited in picking the places you want to visit and the events you want to be part of it’s only fitting that you ensure that you’ve got a place to stay in. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some Indian hotels that is willing and able to serve you with a smile.

The metropolitan Hotel found in the center of Connaught Place in Delhi is a good way to start the list of your prospects. This hotel has five on-site restaurants that will make sure that you are adequately stuffed for your day-to-day activities. Each restaurant has an international background but gives emphasis on the offerings of regional delights.

You can kick things off by enjoying the fun-filled services of Tusker’s which is a lounge bar that is themed with South African styles of live hosting and entertainment. It is known for having the best quality of Indian liquor and cigars. Chutney is a chain named after a native pride which is made using the finest fruits, herbs, and vegetables from the forests of India. The Pastryshop offers eggless cakes and rare pastries that will surely be worth of your spending.

The hotel offers a wide range of amenities such as indoor pools that are available for both children and adults. There are also a couple of spas wherein you can relax after a tiring venture in the city. Spa services involve Adam and Eve elegant massages, yoga, sports activities, Thai and Marma treatments, an unforgettable experience with Floatarium, and refreshing Vichy showers. The Zen Serena Spa is a huge establishment where you can locate a modern-day gym, hair salon, and a bunch of other spa facilities. You can also charge up with healthy fruit and vegetable snacks.

Next on the list is the Taj Palace Delhi which is situated within the busy diplomatic district eight kilometers from the House of Parliament. This hotel is highly regarded as part of the elite which is commonly utilized to house corporate events and meetings. The pride of the hotel is its marvellous and spacious receptions that can attend to about a thousand guests. Wireless internet access is also present within the confines of the place and other services such as car rental, courier, and workstations are also part of the deal.

Golfers and tennis players can play to their heart’s delight via a 9-hole putting area and tennis courts that are found within the vicinity. Outdoor pools are also available as well as fitness centers and health spas, one of which is the famous Aruveydic Spa. Both your tummy and ears can enjoy the dining spots in the hotel which can serve cuisines ranging from Chinese up to Mediterranean and tradition Indian delicacies while tuning up live jazz harmony particularly at night.

There are a lot more Indian hotels that will surely make your vacation to this nation more memorable and enjoying just make sure you pick the one which truly coincides with your taste and personality



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2 in 1: Birding And An Indian Vacation

India is a bird watcher’s paradise. There are lots of birds found in India, actually more than the species of birds in Europe and in North America. There are tours which organizes or combines an Indian vacation with birding or birdwatching.

There are more species of birds found in India than any other country, that is about 1250 species out of the total 8650 species in the whole world. These numbers are credited for the diversity in Indian environment and climate. There are different habitats for birds like mangrove forests, tropical rainforests, sub-alpine forests and grasslands. Aside from that there are also deserts and cultivated areas or areas for agriculture. There are two kinds of climates, hot climate in the South and cold in North.

Birdwatching has become popular over the years, with people rapidly finding ways to combine birding with other activities. It has become a popular activity for families. There are serious birdwatchers who would combine birdwatching with vacations, taking the whole family.

The best time to go to India for birdwatching would be from October to April. There are different kinds of birds that can be seen during this season. If you are apprehensive of booking your own or your family’s birding trip, then there are agencies who are willing to help you with it.

When looking for birding tours, aside from the price, you would also have to consider if the program is comprehensive enough. There are travel agencies that arrange birding tours along with visiting historical and cultural landmarks and sights like Taj Mahal. It would be better if there would be 12 or less than 12 members of the birding tour. This would help you have a better birding experience.

If a travel agency would arrange your birding tour, they would usually include hotel reservations, accommodations, wildlife camps and schedule bird viewing photography. They would also arrange the transportation, you can also look for agencies that would offer financial protection and insurance for their clients.

Some of the top places for birdwatching are the folloing:



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