Splendid India Holiday Package

Experience the Taj Mahal at sunrise, capture colourful Rajasthan in your viewfinder, relax on quiet beaches in Goa, connect with the locals in a homestay, and sample delicious Indian cuisine.

From the hectic pace of northern Delhi to the beaches of Goa and the fishing nets of relaxed Kochi, this epic journey packages the subcontinent’s highlights into a well-placed flexible vacation, with the duration at your discretion. Watch the sunrise at Savitri temple in Pushkar and explore the canals of Alleppey on your way to a homestay with a local family. Pack your trip with everything you want and nothing that you don’t desire. What are you waiting for? Lush hills, bustling cities and mouth-watering curries are calling you on this Splendid India Holiday Pacakge!

If you arrive early, wander through the heart of India’s capital city and explore Old and New Delhi. Travel by the new metro or auto rickshaws and visit the famous Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) where you could climb the minaret for a bird’s eye view of the old city. Explore Chandni Chowk, one of India’s oldest and busiest markets or head to the colourful spice market, a great photo opportunity. From Old Delhi it is easy to get to Connaught Place, more commonly known as CP, one of the most prominent architectural remnants of British rule, by the metro (station at CP is called Rajiv Chowk). In CP wander the markets and shops or visit the Gandhi museum, built on the site of his assassination. If people watching is your interest, head down to India Gate and relax on the lawns, or enjoy a stroll through the peaceful Lodi Gardens in the nearby upmarket South Delhi. Other options include the ruins of Qutab Minar, the fabulous architecture of Humayun’s Tomb, the beautifully lotus- shaped Bahai Temple (closed Monday), or the stunning Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple carved out of pink sandstone and white marble. The amazing Craft Museum or the huge and rambling National Museum is also worth a visit. (Note many museums are closed on Monday). There are so many options for dining, from age-old eateries in the by lanes of the Old Walled City to glitzy, specialty restaurants in five-star hotels, as Delhi is a movable feast. Restaurants and bars cater to all tastes and budgets. A delightful outlet offering a range of Indian cuisines are the food stalls at Dilli Haat, where the cuisine of different states is made available. Set in the midst of a spacious crafts bazaar, these cafes are a very pleasant place to enjoy food and indulge in great shopping!

Travel by the early morning train to the Muslim city of Agra, as no visit is complete without at least one train trip. This city is best known as the site of India’s most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal. Enjoy a guided visit to this icon of Mughal architecture either in the morning or late afternoon for the best light, and be sure to bring lots of camera film! Ride one of the ubiquitous cycle rickshaws to visit the Lal Qila or Red Fort, the Taj’s less famous, but no less impressive, sister monument. The Taj Mahal was built by the Muslim Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favourite wife, Arjumand Bano Begum, better known as Mumtaz Mahal., It is the romantic origin of the Taj as much as its architectural splendour that has led to its fame worldwide. Actually an integrated complex of many structures, the Taj Mahal is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, itself a combination of Islamic, Hindu, Persian and Turkish elements. The walled palatial city of Lal Qila, or the Red Fort, was first taken over by the Moghuls, at that time led by Akbar the Great. Akbar liked to build from red sandstone, often inlaid with white marble and intricate decorations, and it was during his reign that the fort began changing into more of a royal estate. However, it was only during the rule of Akbar’s grandson, Shah Jahan (who eventually built the Taj Mahal) that the site finally took on its current state. Unlike his grandfather, Shah Jahan preferred buildings made from white marble, often inlaid with gold or semi-precious gems and at the end of his life the Emperor was imprisoned in the fort by his son, Aurangzeb. It is said that Shah Jahan died in Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with an excellent view of the Taj Mahal.

Guilin Yu Hill Park & Guilin Tourist Attractions

The Yu Hill Park is the cradle of the city’s history.  Legend has it that one of the ancestors of Chinese nationality, Shun or Yu visited here and the Qin people set up a temple to memorize him. …..thus has a strong influence of Confucianism.A solid fantasy…..the Yuzi Paradise is the largest sculpture park in China.  One hundred and fourteen artists from no less than forty-seven different countries have contributed to this magnificent symphony of nature and humanity…..making it  a harmonious blend of life and art.  Visitors are given the opportunity to make clay wares under instruction.  Also you can enjoy the delights of the art salon, cafe, barbeque and buffet.In addition to the above-mentioned parks, Nanxi Park in the south of the city and Chuanshan Park in the southern suburbs….. each has their own beauty and attractions. The Guilin Ocean World is on the south of Nanxi Park. Here can be seen many aquaria containing some thousand or so divided varieties of fish. The centre has an observation area, performance area, tropical forest and waterfall area, a touching area, underwater tunnel, sea area and so on. Marine treasures like giant hundreds-year old salamander, lungfish, clownfish, sea flowers, nautilus, living coral and sharks from around the world can all be seen here.

The Bear and Tiger Park is the largest wild animal centre.  Four breeds of tigers facing extinction can be seen here….  over three hundred tigers, four hundred bears and a hundred lions will give you a fresh idea of the survival needs of such wild animals.  Also there are animal performances to   excite and charm both kids and adults.

Another grand site…..the Guihu Lake Scenic Area has a large number of precious arbors and flowers  planted along the lake, such as banyan tree garden, gingko garden, white pines garden, redwood garden, magnolia garden and palm garden.  It is also a world of bridges such as Xiqing Bridge, Baoxian Bridge, Lize Bridge, Yingbin Bridge and Guanyin Bridge where visitors can enjoy the beautiful landscape and find them a good setting to take photos.  It is not exaggerating to call it an Expo combining famous gardens, flowers, trees and bridges……all compact into  one stupendous zone.  Walk in it, and you will feel fresh and comfortable as if attaining the perfection of the synchronisation between man and nature. The Ronghu-Shanhu Lake Scenic Area  is where the rich and the famous all built their houses on the lakeside one after another………dwell in the opulent and luxurious view……perhaps some day your dream might also come true. Many poets and intellectuals have written a lot of poems and literary pieces to describe the charming beauty of the lake.

Top-selling products are Guilin sanhua alcohol, fermented bean curd and chilli sauce, besides tea, sugar and wine made of osmanthus. Gingko is believed to improve blood circulation and snacks and drinks made of it are a healthy buy. The bright, solid Guilin stones have unique forms, and sell as curios.  Embroidered balls from Guilin are a speciality …… in ancient times, a Chinese maiden would throw her embroidered balls at her Prince Charming…… whoever caught the ball, would marry her!  Handcrafted items such as plates, pails and wall decorations, are popular, as are  marble and jade curios, bamboo and wood-carvings, and paper umbrellas.  Delicately-designed earrings, necklaces, rings, pendants, bracelets and broaches made of gold, silver, pearls and jade tempt tourists, besides an endless variety of curios, paintings and hand-painted screens.  The traditional Chinese paintings depicting mountains and water are also popular with tourists.  The Huang Changdian brush pen is available in over seventy sizes, made of wool, wolf and rabbit hair.

Guilin has Chinese, Indonesian, German, Italian, other Western food and Indian cuisine, with several traditional favourites, innumerable non-vegetarian preparations, rice and noodles apart. There are discotheques, karaoke, modern nightclubs and romantic cruises down the Li.  Ling Nan in Guilin’s centre is influenced by several types of Chinese cuisine.  Local snacks such as mifen….. Guilin rice noodles, banli zong…….. chestnut rice dumplings, nun noodles, and stewed duck cooked with gingko or ginger are highly popular.  Lipu taro pork, Lo Han boiled chicken, fried chicken with chestnut, steamed pork or stewed duck wrapped in a lotus leaf are delicious and favourite dishes. Sour fried, dried fish and fried pork are other hot favourites.  Rice noodles are the most popular of all snacks for which Youyi Xuan, Qin Ji, Rong Gui, Liu Bo Niang, Shi Ji, Shengli and Weixiang Guan are popular eateries.  Nun noodles, said to have been introduced by a nun, are also widely popular.  Many dishes are made with glutinous rice while zhutongfan or bamboo-cooked rice and youcha or oil tree are two ancient delicacies.  Hao Da Ma Cate Square offers a buffet and numerous snacks.  For those desiring to have Western food, Guilin Ren Western Restaurant and Weixiao serve good cuisine, besides Sharon Coffee which serves German and Western cuisine including soups, salads, baguette, burgers, steaks, pizzas and schnitzels.  Binjiang Road, Jiefang West Street, Meishi Cheng, Zhishan Road and Putuo Road are the places where most of the restaurants are located.  Some of the other popular foods are Guilin chufas, Luohan Kuo, Shaddock or fruit, Cumquat or citrus-like fruit, Lipu taro, chestnut, persimmon and green tea, all worth trying.

Guilin experiences a humid sub-tropical climate.March to mid-April is spring-time and can bring light rain, but Guilin’s nature and beauty are blooming. End April to mid-August is the summer, with very heavy rain from May to June. End August to end- October is autumn, which is the best season for touring this city!  November to February is winter-time when it is cold, though snowfall is rare………….yet……… it is enchanting  and abundantly mystical…….to get you here in all seasons!!!!!

China’s Top Tourist Destinations

One of China’s top tourist destinations, the Li River is honoured to the most beautiful gallery of the world. The picturesque river is a major component of Guilin scenery.  As it sparkles in the sunlight the river meanders through lush mountains like a liquid jade belt. To really appreciate the scenery a cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo is a must and your voyage of discovery can be divided roughly into three sections… the first of these is from downtown Guilin where you board the cruiser to Huangniu Xia valley. As soon as you leave the landing stage you will begin to enjoy the natural wonder and local customs. Upon reaching this Valley, the cruise enters upon the second section. This part is the very essence of Li River. The gorgeous mountains and the crystal water together with the romantic and mystical legends are certain to impress you. Shuiluo Village marks the beginning of the third and final section that ends at Yangshuo. Along this stretch of the river you pass through pastoral scenes unchanged for generations as the banks are lined with quaint fishing villages, farmland and bamboo groves. Peasants reap rice paddies, water buffaloes patrol the fields, and school kids and fisherman float by on bamboo rafts.  The Li River cruise is the centre-piece of any trip to north-eastern Guangxi Province. Gorgeous Karst peaks give you surprises at each bend of the divine river under the blue sky. With its breath-taking scenery and a taste of  life far removed from the maddening rush of the metropolis, the scenery along the Li River becomes one of China’s  most admired tourist destinations, as the eye-feasting landscape and country scenery will never disappoint you.

Perching on the northern bank of the Li River, the ancient Daxu  town keeps in its antique style from the Ming Dynasty….. a flagging street, lined with old residences, shops and stalls…. runs two kilometers along the river bank through the town.  Some well-preserved residences hidden behind the street door may give you surprises when you occasionally explore further into a shop. These are quarters for businessmen in the past times.  Have a try on various dumping snacks on the stalls or peddle cars along the street.  Some will surprise you with both its taste and reasonable price.  People in the town are very kind to tourists.  Further to  the south, there is a single-arched bridge in the town named Longevity Bridge. The town is really a sight off-the-beaten track.  Opposite the town on the other side of the river, a millstone-like rock with the running waters creates the scene of Grinding Grain.

Another glorious site…….the Folded Brocade Hill or Diecai Hill is one of the most popular attractions….. a place known for it’s amazing scenery and stone carvings. It gained it’s name because of the resemblance of the rock formations, piled up layer upon layer on each other, to folded brocade. Many other special names have been given to this picturesque spot…. the name Laurel Hill or Gui Hill, derived from the laurels that have spread across the slopes since ancient times, and the name of Wind Cave Hill, due to the remarkable wind cave on the hill. Four small hills, Yuyue Hill, All-Direction-Looking Hill or Siwang Hill, Crane Peak and Bright Moon Peak surround  the Folded Brocade Hill.

A visual feast of magnificent scenes such as Folded Brocade Pavilion, Wind Cave and Cloud-Catching Pavilion, along with countless stones with inscriptions created by famous Chinese scribes, awaits your eyes. The distinctive Folded Brocade Pavilion a single storey high is well designed and elaborately built with red poles, green tiles, and four unique angles. Your fantastic journey will start from here. The Wind Cave, which the wind blows through in all seasons, waits for you a little further along. This cave penetrates Bright Moon Peak, with a wide mouth protruding from either side of the slope and a narrow part in the middle. What makes it famous is the changing temperature of its winds. Whatever the weather  outside, a cool breeze is always blowing in the Wind Cave. For this reason it is known as  ‘Cool World’ by many people. The cave is worth a visit not only for its winds but for its rock-stone carvings, both inside and outside…. this is a journey through  marvellous landscapes and you can congratulate yourselves as you reach the top of Bright Moon Peak.  This is where the Cloud-Catching Pavilion, a building with a round shape, single eave and a pinnacle, is located. No other place offers you a better vantage position to admire the sparkling Li River, as well as the magnificent city of Guilin in its entirety. A journey to the summit will also offer you the opportunity to admire the Solitary Beauty Peak and Wave-Subduing Hill or Fubo Hill, the other two notable hills in Guilin.

Move to….. the Mulong Lake Scenic Area and thence….. it features the integration of historical culture into nature. To the north of Mulong Lake, visitors can find a group of manmade sights such as Dongzhen Gate and the site of the City Wall in Song Dynasty. A very large building complex is scattered around. The construction includes Song Street, Half-side Street, Mulong Pagoda, Mulong at Night, and Ancient Song City……..deserving kudos…..for their artistic expressions! Besides, there is an ecological landscape zone between the southern Mulong Lake and Diecai Hill where visitors can admire forest, grass, falls and streams.

The Merry-land Resort is a comprehensive resort with a five-star hotel, a golf club, a forest village with a cottage area and a campsite area, a theme park featured by exotic flavors. The Solitary Beauty Peak is known as the Sky-Supporting Pillar in the South. This is the oldest place of interest in the city.Go on and explore……the Tombs of Prince Jingjiang…… a state cultural relic where these tombs are well preserved  dating from the Ming Dynasty, located in the eastern suburbs of the city. The Xishan Park is the second largest park which is comprised of Xi Hill and Yin Hill. This used to be a shrine of Buddhism and one of the five Buddha Temples in the south. The Guilin Museum is also located in the park.

Guilin and A Yangshuo Cruise

‘East or west, Guilin landscape is the best!’  Located in the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in South China, this city is considered to be the pearl of China’s thriving tourist industry on account of the natural beauty and historic treasures. The strangely shaped hills or karsts, with the verdant vegetation ranging from bamboos to conifers together with crystal clear waters and wonderful caves make this such an appealing destination……….tempting and inciting enough for a bewildering vacation…….as you read on about it’s attractions!!!!!

The Reed Flute Cave is a landmark and tourist attraction with a natural limestone cave and multicolored lighting. It is over a hundred and eighty million years old.  The cave got its name from the type of reed growing outside, which can be made into melodious flutes.  The Reed Flute Cave is filled with a large number of stalactites, stalagmites and rock formations in weird and wonderful shapes.

When you visit the Seven-Star Cave……. an extensive limestone cave complex in the Seven-Star Park…….you would find it hard to believe your eye!  The park and cave’s name derive from the fact that the main karst limestone peaks roughly resemble the stars of the Big Dipper constellation.  Artificial lighting for walkways and displays is staged throughout, including colored accents, and various formations have names such as “A Natural Fresco” and “The Chessboard”. The cave has scheduled tours about once an hour, conducted in Mandarin Chinese, usually with a megaphone, irrespective of group size, explaining in detail the origins of various formation names, such as a dragon eating a bear, or a bear catching a tiger.

The Elephant Trunk Hill is the proud symbol of the city of Guilin.  It got its name because it looks like an elephant drinking water. The round opening that would be under the elephant’s trunk is known as Water-Moon Cave because at night the reflection of the moon can be seen through the arch and it looks like as if it is under the water and floating on the surface of the water at the same time.  A few minutes down from the Elephant Hill on the west bank is a small hill topped with a pagoda. The hexagonal pagoda is called Longevity Buddha Pagoda or Shoufo Ta dating from the Ming Dynasty.  It is said that the second floor has stone Buddha figurines on display and the hill is compassed in Chuanshan Park.  In autumn, illuminated with red maples, the site is very charming.

The Moon Hill  has a natural arch through it  and is located a few kilometers outside Yangshuo. It is so named for a wide, semicircular hole through the hill……all that remains of what was once a limestone cave formed in the phreatic zone.  Like most formations in the region, it is a karst and also a popular tourist attraction. Souvenirs and refreshment vendors often follow climbers up and down the path and this Hill has several rock climbing routes but is  also  used for abseils in several adventure races. It offers some broad, panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, which is characterized by the knobby karst hills found throughout the region.

Do not miss the Longji  or Dragon’s Backbone Terraced Rice Fields…… which received their name because the rice terraces resemble a dragon’s scales, while the summit of the mountain range looks like the backbone of the dragon.  Visitors standing on the top of the mountain can see the dragon’s backbone twisting off into the distance.  In the early morning, when the weather is fine, the sunrise on the summit of Longji Rice Terraces is magnificent. They are often considered most beautiful in early June.  At this time, water is pumped over the rice paddies and young plants are transferred to the main terraces.

Another fantastic destination is the Crown Cave or Guanyan….  a crown-like crag that earns the hill it’s name. What makes the hill a worthy stop for both river cruise tourists and those arriving by bus tour is it’s twelve kilometer long water-eroded cave. It is a wonderland of various stalactite, stone pillars and rock formations in the cave. Illuminating lights, sound control tour guide system and escalators are equipped in the scenic area and sightseeing cars and boats enable visitors to tour inside the cave. It is estimated to become an important excursion site along the Li River including cave visiting, country sightseeing and ethnic minority exploration. You can stay in the hotels and villas in the scenic area.

Not very far from the Crown Cave on the western bank, a huge rock descends into the river and cuts off a footpath by the water edge. The villagers have to take a ferry to reach the other side and continue the way. So, this spot gets its name Half-Side Ferry or Ban Bian Du……worth a visit!!!!

Downstream from Yangdi to Xingping, take a cruise and discover that the river passes an endless procession of distinct peaks and bamboo groves and the stunning landscape. This part is the highlight of the ride. Pinnacled peaks pop up and surprise you at each bend of the river. Water buffalos patrol on the fields…. ducks paddle in the waters… peasants reap paddies in front of village houses….. fishermen use the cormorants to catch the fish and return them to the boat and kids go home singing songs. All these create an idyllic and beautiful scene of the life removed far away from concrete cities……..inviting isn’t it??

A reputed attraction is Mural Hill, a hundred-meter-high cliff face, which has been weathered and has stratified rock surface in various shades of colours. It is rumoured that the colours present nine horses and a person who can identify them out is considered smart. Legendary stories are given to hill rocks and peaks and it is a delightful experience to appreciate the stunning landscape while listening to your tour guide’s interpretation of the stories behind it.

As a centre for tourism, Guilin boasts of magnificent natural beauty and many precious cultural relics. The colorful ethnic background lends a touch of mystery that enhances it’s fame. Why delay …..come and enjoy this huge natural theme park.

Exotic Hill Station in North East India

High above the hazy valleys and foaming rivers, hidden in the rolling clouds and perched on an headland, lies Cherrapunji, in the north eastern state of Meghalaya,  a spectacular location with the year-round rain. Long ago, it  had earned the coveted place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the wettest place on the earth. This is one place all over the world, where the rainfall can be recorded in feet rather than in millimeters.  This pristine land with ever-lasting beauty, is perhaps the only place in India, which has just one season,- the monsoon. The rainfall varies from heavy to medium to light, but there is no month without rain. Another surprising fact about Cherrapunji Meghalaya is that, it rains mostly at night, and day-to-day activity does not really get disrupted by the downpour!  The alluring, spectacular and cascading Mawsmai Falls,  the fourth highest in India, lie just a few kilometers beyond Cherrapunji on the Beautiful Hilly Vacation Package!
Close by is located a beautiful labyrinth of underground passages beneath age-old caves and this is a must visit place for amateur and experienced explorers where Khasi monoliths stones in memory of their ancestors lie scattered around.There are a series of memorable views, and one can see as far as Bangladesh. Orchids blooming a few feet away form a belt lacking of vegetation, as the  place exhibits  dense woods interspersed by rocky, cliffs broken by erosion. An amazing variety of rare orchids, ferns, and moss convert each sector into a botanist’s paradise as this place also produces the best quality of oranges as well as pineapples. In fact, Cherrapunji oranges are the forefathers of the famous Nagpuri oranges in the Central India.Hill Station in North East India

The trekking opportunity in Meghalaya is outstanding for the fact that the terrain is very challenging in the Himalayan areas but with the advantage of not being snow-wrapped. An added attraction is the possibility of intimating with many rare species of flora and fauna, impossible to find elsewhere. You can hire guides to walk through the most alluring and confusing terrains of the Meghalaya, which is characterised by flowing rivers, rolling hills and towering waterfalls.

Climate:
Being a desert region with hot days and cool nights, the summer is unbearingly hot but a `Eureka’ enough, though in winter the pleasant days are definitely tempting and even the nights, though cold, are enjoyable, for an escapade!  Mount Abu is the only hill station in Rajasthan with a lake, a mammoth Wildlife Sanctuary,  a centuries’ old Achalgarh Fort, a temple carved out of solid rock, and many Jain temples including the charming complex of Dilwara Temples, a symphony in white marble, but resting at a phenomenal height  above sea level, and having a salubrious climate.

The southern regions of Karnataka and Kerala is recommended for a visit all year round as there is enough recreation for indoor and outdoor areas. The winters are pleasantly cool and summers may get a little humid or warm.  Showers are unpredictable and may drizzle or pour throughout the year!

North East India Trip

Sikkim is recommended for a visit throughout the year, as even during heavy snowfall in winters or a thundering downpour during the rains, there is a plethora of opportunities to keep the tourists involved in this wondrous  land, gulping hot tea or coffee with piping hot snacks or meals in the blaring cold or sipping some cool beverage during pleasant weather!

Shillong is recommended for a visit throughout the year, though it can get very cold from December to February, and June to August can be very wet. The climate  in Meghalaya is highly hot and humid at the lower altitudes and in the valleys wrapped by marshy thick forest particularly in the eastern region, while it becomes too cold in the higher altitudes. The rainfall  is amongst the heaviest in the country. The Meghalayan Sky seldom remains free of clouds and it is neither too warm in summer nor too cold in winter.

Bakhim Cave Sikkim

Another wild, wild experience is the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in the state of Kerala where in the course of a day’s drive, you can expect to see elephants, gaur, herds of deer and wild pigs, may be a leopard or, if you are lucky, even a tiger. This Sanctuary is a paradise of birdwatching and you can look for the crested hawk eagle, the king vulture, the crested serpent eagle and the Malabar grey hornbill. Ofcourse, you could avail of a jeep safari!

Yet another rolling direction and a new destination!Bakhim Cave Sikkim

Drive to the border of southern Sikkim and the delightful drive through the foothills to the former capital of Yuksom! From Yuksom, you engage either porters or yak herder’s to carry your loads on the trail. Before doing so, you may spend some time at leisure doing some sight-seeing in this capital, as there are some important locations such as the Dub-di monastery or the hermit’s cell, the coronation throne of Norbugang, and the tiny Katok Lake nearby. The Khecheopalri Lake is a `wishing lake’ and is situated in a bowl-like declivity. The chief attraction of the Tashiding Monastery is its holy chorten, a monolith shaped like a sarcophagus and the most common religious symbol in the region, called Thong-Wa-Rang-Dol, the very view of which is supposed to wash away of sins. You may take a diversion to Gangtok just for a short visit to the Tibetan Buddhism’s most important centres, the magnificent Rumtek Monastery, a repository of countless invaluable artefacts , precious metal statues, gem-studded cenotaphs, exotic ritualistic paraphernalia, stacked within its cavernous portals. The official, though currently vacant, seat of the revered Karmapa Lama, the monastery is especially attractive during the Mahakala Dance in February, when giant figurines of protector deities raise hell in the courtyard and fight off evil demons. Revel in this epitome of adventure on the Beautiful Hilly Vacation Package!

The trek to Bakhim can take several hours so for the first day a packed lunch may be the order of the day. You may follow a well marked forest trail that winds high above the Rathong river. The trail winds through forests of conifer and oaks, mosses and ferns and past frequent side streams that tumble down the hillside. En route there are plenty of opportunities for bathing and some rest as the trail crosses a substantial bridge just upstream of the confluence of the Rathong River and the Prek River. From the bridge, it is a further one hour ascent to the small settlement of Bakhim, where a single Lepcha family lives, these being the original inhabitants of Sikkim who moved to the remote regions when large numbers of Tibetans migrated to Sikkim in the century. The Lepcha Heritage Museum has an offbeat collection of Lepcha treasures and is best likened to rummaging through the attic of a grandfather’s house, if he were their tribal elder. A guide will explain Lepcha creation myths, while pointing out the religious texts, sacred porcupine quill hat and several old pangolin skins. Although there is a Rest House in Bakhim, you normally camp in the forest immediately below the village.

Sikkim Sightseeing

From Bakhim, you ascend the meadows above before reaching the village of Tsoska. Tibetans who were granted this tract of land by the Sikkim government founded the village about a generation ago. From Tsoska the trail ascends steeply through magnificent rhododendron forests to the grazing meadow at Pethang, and enjoy the cold and calm weather enwrapping yourselves in the bliss of nature’s sparkling environs! A short stage, but necessary for acclimatisation before continuing to Dzongri. After some rest, an early start is imperative, the trail ascends steeply for an hour before you gain your first uninterrupted views of the peak of Kangchenjunga and Pandim . From the vantage point it is a further two to three kilometers, across the open meadows to the camp at Dzongri. Here you gain views of the main peaks of Khangchendzonga for sunrise views along the Singali Ridge, the impressive divide between Nepal and Sikkim. The panorama includes Kokthang , Rathong and Kabru. A more strenuous option is to descend on down to the Rathong Valley and from there complete a circular trek!

Beautiful Lakes in North East India

A trip to Sikim would be incomplete without a trip to Gangtok, a town which on a fresh morning meets you all bathed and combed, ready to go to school, its eyes sparkling and a hint of dimples on its hill-child cheeks. Impeccably dressed women go off to work, monks hurry down to the bazaar, young men in shiny jackets amble along and tourists try out momos! In autumn, the tall mountain goddess peak of Kangchendzonga can be seen from hotel windows, restaurants and roads! The town spreads down the hillside with its prettily painted roofs and up on a hill, at Enchey Monastery, young monks cross paths with the crowds as they rush on a path ablaze with coloured flags! On the ridge, people would be meeting, orchids being nurtured and an archery competition may be held somewhere. Down in the market, sit on the sunny terrace of a restaurant munching cakes and coffee and plan your trip to Nathu La!

The Ridge is a walk up the bazaar with a delightful stretch of flat road lined with trees where everyone comes for a stroll, enclosing the White Hall and a beautifully designed palace gate. Near the White Hall, there is a Flower Exhibition Centre where you can see a beautiful display of a stunning variety of orchids. The Enchey Monastery, meaning the `high strong place’  speaks of enchanting mornings here listening to the hypnotic chants of the monks during morning prayers!  The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology would have the heritage lovers overwhelmed by ancient statues and artefacts while the more contemporary-minded would be charmed by the beauty, grace and silence of the building. It has a museum that exhibits a rare collection of ancient manuscripts, statues, ritual objects and thangkas.  The exhibition is dominated by a majestic silver image of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of knowledge, that was brought from Tibet! The Himalayan Zoological Park  or   the Gangtok Zoo has a lavish hillside haven of wild flowers and misty views. Near the Ganesh Tok Viewpoint, this open zoo sprawls across the mountainous terrain and is a place for long walks and spotting some rare animals. The enclosures are large spaces harbouring a snow leopard, Tibetan wolves, some adorable red pandas, Himalayan palm civets, leopard cats and different kinds of colourful Himalayan pheasants, which are the main attractions on the Beautiful Hilly Vacation Package 

Around Gangtok, the large Rumtek Monastery is located on a picturesque road across the Rangeet river and houses a school, an aviary and a special section for monks to meditate. You could also stop by at the orchid centre at Wayside Gardens and Nurseries. A pleasant drive to the mature beauty of a wet temperate forest with slopes laden with oaks, pines and ash is the pathway leading to the serene Tsomgo Lake, though midway you could stop at Kyongnosla for tea, which is a picture postcard alpine village beside the Rongchu stream, where unprepared travellers can buy gloves and woollen socks, due to the presence of the mountains nearby which give way to the glacial frozen streams defining the solid shining white trajectories down these slopes. Once you reach the Lake, it looks like pure glass, capable of reflecting the divine, depicting the gap between this world and another. There are yaks wearing knitted decorations on their horns.  As you return from this frozen sight, you could thaw out, gobbling steaming masala Maggi and black tea or hot masala tea!

Meghalaya is a treasure trove of nature, with its rich variation of dense endemic and cultivated flora, where charm in its plenteous abundance, had blessed  this place with a unique array of plantation, and turned it into a  happy hunting ground for the zoologists to keep them interested in the rare and diverse fauna wealth.  It is also abound with a rich wealth of  mammal genera, which is enough to captivate the tourists!
Contemporary Shillong is a small town, inhabited by a church-going, guitar-and-piano-playing population, glorifying  its restaurants and tourist infrastructure, Indian heritage manors, waterfalls, golfing, and Shillong peaks and museums. The Umiam Khwan or Barapani, near Shillong,  offers water sports facilities including sailing, water skiing, water scooter.  The Orchid Lake Resort and the adjacent Lum Nehru Park is an ideal quiet holiday spot.  The Botanical Garden is a secluded but captivating area with a plethora of indigenous and exotic plants and is located just below another notable site, the Ward’s Lake.

Places to Visit in North East India

Close by is located a beautiful labyrinth of underground passages beneath age-old caves and this is a must visit place for amateur and experienced explorers where Khasi monoliths (stones in memory of their ancestors) lie scattered around.
There are a series of memorable views, and one can see as far as Bangladesh. Orchids blooming a few feet away from a belt lacking of vegetation, as the  place exhibits  dense woods interspersed by rocky, cliffs broken by erosion. An amazing variety of rare orchids, ferns, and moss convert each sector into a botanist’s paradise as this place also produces the best quality of oranges as well as pineapples. In fact, Cherrapunji oranges are the forefathers of the famous Nagpuri oranges in the Central India.

The trekking opportunity in Meghalaya is outstanding for the fact that the terrain is very challenging in the Himalayan areas but with the advantage of not being snow-wrapped. An added attraction is the possibility of intimating with many rare species of flora and fauna, impossible to find elsewhere. You can hire guides to walk through the most alluring and confusing terrains of the Meghalaya, which is characterised by flowing rivers, rolling hills and towering waterfalls.

Meghalaya is a treasure trove of nature, with its rich variation of dense endemic and cultivated flora, where charm in its plenteous abundance, had blessed  this place with a unique array of plantation, and turned it into a  happy hunting ground for the zoologists to keep them interested in the rare and diverse fauna wealth.  It is also abound with a rich wealth of mammal genera, which is enough to captivate the tourists!

Agartala, as the capital of Tripura, has a bit of India tucked into Bangladeshi territory, with the Bengali population living in the plains and the Mizos living in the hills. The city is green and bamboo-rich; embracing magnificent tiled floors, carved wooden ceilings and striking doors. The Kamalasagar pond is a pilgrimage and a tourist spot. En route to Aizawl, in Mizoram, the road winds through gentle, pine-laden slopes and then along a spectacular ridge that falls away into the Bangladeshi plains. A jewel of a destination, this tourist spot has unexceptional modern churches in every neighbourhood. Chanmari, in this area celebrates the spirit of the young who are seen toting guitars, ready to jam!

Mizoram in India has abundant deep valleys veiled with rich and luxuriant surroundings filled with a vast variety of flora and fauna. Relish the landscape of the plenty with wild flowers, splendid scenery, local people, dancing people, while you trek through them. There are routes, which ascend steeply, and go around local villages, passing through forests of rhododendron and orchids. It is this very charisma that attracts the spiritual joy that trekkers have found in this land. Mizoram offers excellent and exciting scope for mountaineering and the peaks offer much scope to visitors who are fond of adventure sports like climbing and mountaineering.

Kohima, the busy capital of Nagaland, is hugged by hills and is an enigmatic city. It has a fantastic red-roofed Catholic Cathedral and an everbusy Super Market, as well as the State Museum. The Dzuko Valley is full of lilies and rhododendrons in season and acclaims an enduring trek range. Tuophema is an eco-tourist village whereas Mokokchung is a pretty town with the villages of Ungma and Longkhum offering interesting excursions.

Go to Summer Holidays in Ajmer With Family

Ajmer, is famed for being a significant religious site, as faith and history, both have proclaimed it as the final resting place of, the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, with his preachings, `Be generous like a river, affectionate like the Sun, and hospitable like the Earth’, whose disciples included the Mughal Emperors. Hence secular tourists from around the globe, visit the Dargah Sharif, to seek blessings in the name of `Maula’ and to pray for the fulfilment of their desires. The air around the area is thick with roses, incense and the fervour of prayer. Also known as Garib Nawaz, or the helper of the poor, this Saint was a giant figure on the Sufi map of the sub-continent. The Ajmer Dargah, is a complex full of many structures and encloses the Akbari Masjid and the Buland Darwaza. You may walk down a congested alley to the left of the dargah entrance to have a look at the exquisitely carved Adhai-Din-ka-Jhonpra. There are some charming picnic spots and artificial lakes in Ajmer such as Ana Sagar, Ajaipal, Foy Sagar. Around Ajmer, tourists could visit Kishangarh , the centre of fine artistic tradition creating the most endeared miniatures, the popular paintings being called `Bani Thani Radha’. Another area closeby is the Badnor which has a Jai Mahal, a lakeside retreat that offers bewildering views of the surrounding hills. The Rathore Thakurs of this area, have their venetian glass collection on display here, and the Badnor Fort makes for a historical trip, on the Beautiful Hilly Vacation Package!

It’s time to swing into a different direction! Coorg, specifically is known for its aromatic spices and captivating waters that make it as refreshing as the coffee it grows. Also known as Kodagu, in the south-western Karnataka, the hill station has its undulated topography carpeted in green, often covered with thin white fog. Bamboo, rosewood forests, sandalwood, streams, rivulets line up the entire area along with children of the river Cauvery wending their way through land. Waterfalls, deep ravines, paddy fields, grassy downs, coffee bushes with red berries, pepper, cardamom, oranges, nutmeg, turmeric, lemon grass together spell it as a land fecund beyond belief! The highlanders comprise of a martial race of men and women who compel a second glance with their chiselled profiles, stately bearing dress, and ofcourse, the crisp air-conditioned weather! A definition beyond countless definitions …….. sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

Madkeri or Mekara is the main town of Coorg famous for viewing sunrises and sunsets and encloses the Abbi Falls and the remarkable Omkareshwara Temple in a mosque like style! The town is a trekker`s paradise up and down the hills, through coffee and pepper plantations. Bhagamandala is another temple town at the confluence of the Cauvery with the Kannike and the invisible Sujyothi rivers. The Wildlife Society here is based in Madikeri and promotes wildlife and environmental conservation and also organizes treks to Pushpagiri and Brahmagiri Sanctuary. The Dubare Reserve Forest is famous for the Elephant Training Camp where the tourists can watch the elephants in various states of eating, bathing, and being themselves and to go on wildlife safaris. Kakkabe lies at the base of the Western Ghats in the southern side and the heavy rainforest cover means a rich bounty of rare orchids, plants and birds. Scenic treks take you to Mallamma Betta, Soma Male and Kabbe Pass form where you can espy clouds caressing Kerala’s hills. The prize catch is Thadiyendamol, the highest peak in Coorg! The Nilakandi Waterfalls, the Igguthappa Temple, and the Nalnad Palace, are places of interest and historical significance in this area. The Siddapur’s lush forests have been transformed into sprawling coffee estates, as earlier this place was considered `the place of the divine’, which perhaps has lent its hand to bless Siddapur with optimal rainfall and a gently undulating terrain, inculcating the correct balance! You could take a stroll through Ammathi twisting and turning past coffee estates, Pollibetta which is home to a beautiful ninehole golf course, the thickly forested Titimati, and to the trading town of Gonikoppal, on this Beautiful Hilly Vacation Package!

Beautiful Hill Station India Vacation Package

It may be a most challenging task for any tourist to choose a perfect hill station in India for touring.   Choose a sparkling hill resort in India for touring, outing, honeymoon or enjoying adventure activities. However, there are numbers of top famous cool destinations across India for an escapade during any season, either summer or winter, recognized and standing tall with their honour and charm, in the Beautiful Hilly Vacation Package!

From the desert  area of Rajasthan, you could take a short break to Mount Abu, a cool paradise which does justice to the mystique of a mesmerising landscape, and it takes something to be special to be a lush hill station in a desert state, as there is a long history of Hindu mythology attached to the lakes, caves, temples and ashrams tucked away in these hills. Further there are dense forests and trekking trails vanishing into them,  and the Delwara Jain temples  where marble becomes rain, dew, fire, silk……..leaving all but tourist guides speechless! You could visit the Achalgarh Fort and the Guru Shikhar Peak. The Nakki Lake is the centre for most activities in Abu, and  there is pleasurable boating on the lake, as there are motorboats and rowboats as well, some of them shaped like swans. Apt for  a holiday amongst your family, children and the crowds, the area is closely interspersed with forests, lakes and a rocky terrain. If  you go for paddle boating at sunrise and sunset with a sound oarsman, who after the mandatory rounds and view of Toad’s rock, can  then point out to you different birds by the shoreline. The Sunset Point has fabulous panoramic views, and also has an amusement park for children, a perfect family outing! You could visit other temples such as Vimal Vasahi Temple, Luna Vasahi Temple, the Pittahara Temple, the Chaumukha Temple and the Mahavira Temple. Mount Abu also has a wildlife sanctuary lined with champas, jasmine, mango and khajur trees that  give the animals shade and cover and are weighed down with blooms and fruit. It is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with many species of birds. The leopard, chinkara, sloth bear, wild boar and hundreds of langurs are also seen here. The Achalgarh Fort , comprises of  ruins  which preside over two temples, the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple which lays claim to a toe impression of Lord Shiva, and the Kantinath Jain temple, which emulate Delwara in the quantity of marble and sculpting.

Take a short break at Udaipur, located in Southern Rajasthan, hugging Lake Pichola is atmospherically picturesque, as the town boasts of lakes, lake palaces, mansions and gardens. The old city spreads in a maze of lanes, called the backyard , since it sits to the back of the City Palace, and is the centre of imagination of Udaipur as palaces and hills embrace its contours, havelis, houses and hotels, finding sustenance in its waters. You can spend some time in the City Palace, by the lakeside, laze in a rooftop restaurant and watch palaces afloat on the lake, wander in the lanes and alleys and  look at caparisoned elephants painted on houses. The City Palace is a huge conglomeration of palaces and the whole structure has maintained a graceful uniformity and  is full of paintings of the Krishna deities of Mewa, and has the series of mahals and chowks displayed prominently as directions marked when you proceed to a world of luxury and indulgence within the entire complex. A Sound and Light Show is absolutely astounding!

The Crystal Gallery is really an extravagant and profligate display of wealth, possessing even crystal chairs, beds, sofas, glasses, dinner sets and also a bejewelled carpet.  A launch ride on the Lake Pichola  would take you to the Jagmandir Palace Island, , where you get a crisp view of the valley  and the surrounding hills making the boat trip more than worthwhile. After that splendid view and a unique experience on Lake Pichola, leave for Ajmer on the Beautiful Hilly Vacation Package!