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.

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!


Kuala Lumpur City Centre

The Lake Gardens are a manicured expanse near the Malaysian Parliament building, which was once home to a British colonial official. The park includes a Butterfly Park, Deer Park, Orchid Garden, Hibiscus Garden and the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Southeast Asia’s largest bird park…….enough to make children skip and hop around these shining species, playing with them, running after them and trying to catch those colourful butterflies!

Other parks in the city include the ASEAN Sculpture Garden, KLCC Park, Titiwangsa Lake Gardens, Metropolitan Lake Gardens in Kepong, Forest Research Institue, Malaysia Taman Tasik Permaisuri or the Queen’s Lake Gardens, Bukit Kiara Botanical Gardens, Equestrian Park, West Valley Park and Bukit Jalil International Park…….again a special treat for your children……..exploring the vast land with their innocent vision and minds, and a mind-teaser for the teenagers!

Genting Shopping Destinations

The entertainment hub of the city is mainly centred in the Golden Triangle encompassing Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Ampang Road. Trendy nightclubs, bars and lounges, such as the Beach Club, Espanda, the Hakka Republic Wine Bar and Restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe, the Luna Bar, Nuovo, Rum Jungle, the Thai Club, Zouk,and many others are located here.  You could leave your children behind with some care-taker and indulge yourselves with your spouse or other elders, simply to get a taste of the other tempting side of life!  Resistance is yours!!!!

Suria KLCC is one of Malaysia’s premier shopping destinations due to its location beneath the Petronas Twin Towers. Apart from this, the Bukit Bintang district has the highest concentration of shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur. It houses various cafes, alfresco dining outlets and retail malls. The Bangsar district also has a few shopping complexes, including Bangsar Village, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Mid Valley Megamall and The Gardens. The Damansara subdivision north-west of Kuala Lumpur, though not in the city-proper, is the home of the only IKEA outlet in the country, and a cluster of locally operated malls such as Cathay Multi Screen Cinemas, The Curve, Power Centre and One Utama. Apart from shopping complexes, KL has designated numerous zones in the city to market locally manufactured products such as textiles, fabrics and handicrafts and the Chinatown, commonly known as Petaling Street is one of them featuring many pre-independence buildings with Straits Chinese and colonial architectural influences.  KL’s Central Market (Pasar Seni), which was once the city’s wet market, offers an assortment of arts and craft merchandise, varying from antiques and paintings to souvenirs and clothing. Of course, most of the malls and shopping arcades are full of electronic toys, games, i-pods, digital diaries, sound equipment, clothes and accessories for children and teenagers!

Malaysia Shopping Destinations

The cuisine here reflects the versatility in restaurants, malls and street-side hawkers’ stalls; in KL, food is served in buildings which are known for housing cafes, restaurants, fast food outlets and street hawkers, offering a delectable gourmet adventure with a blend of Indian, Continental, Chinese, Malay and Japanese food fare.  The most popular Malay food is such as Char kwey tiaw, asam laksa, rojak and nasi goring, and this is something which the adults and the young would relish together……..exploring their adventurous taste buds!

A short distance away from KL, lies the `Las Vegas’ of Malaysia, called the Genting Highlands,  a magnetic charm for visitors all over the world, especially children and teenagers.  The adults could flavour some pleasure as it is the only legal resort for gambling! The Highlands introduces itself to you with all its proud buildings connected to a continuous chain of linkways, underground tunnels and escalators, with direction signboards to lead you to your required destination in that  huge stretch with strong concrete structures and glitzy theme parks,set in a forested highland…… and definitely eclatic!  It would be enthralling for your children to get mesmerised with The Chin Swee Caves Temple, a Taoist temple, and a picturesque monument set within Genting Highlands, possessing a majestic ornate roof. Within the Temple is seated a black statue of the Reverend Master Chin Swee considered a deity in the Fujian Province for his supernatural abilities to summon rain and drive away evil spirits, as the exterior wall carries many inscriptions that depict his life. A myth that would be wondrous for the children and teenagers! Behind the statue is a natural rock in a stream providing clear cool mineral water, called the `Dragon Mineral Water’. The Genting Skyway located at the Kuala Kubu Bharu, the Selangor side of Genting, is a monocable gondola lift serving the resort, determining its illuminative impact on everyone with a rollicking ride!

Srinagar Holiday Houseboats

The other major monuments of Srinagar are a short and walkable circuit. A good place to start is the Shrine of Dastgir Sahi, wherein the interior ornamentation of painted and carved wood in the mosque is remarkable, after which the couples may visit the Rozabal Shrine which has acquired an unwarranted reputation as the tomb of Jesus. A visit to Srinagar’s central mosque Jama Masjid is another wonder with the gorgeous building having a pagoda-like spire mounted on a cube of timber on the stone plinth of an earlier temple. There is also the Pathar Masjid, built of limestone, with a pleasing garden. A dazzlingly white structure on the far bank of the Dal, the Hazratbal Mosque is a famous shrine because it houses a relic that is believed to be Prophet Mohammed’s hair.

Gulmarg Journey

It would be worthwhile to go fishing in any of the lakes in Srinagar. The resort of “Aharbal” offers excellent fishing opportunities: there’s a great waterfall too. “Daksum” is very famous for its scenic mountain beauty and clear, sparkling streams with bountiful of catch. The Kashmir valley is also known for for its sericulture and cold-water fisheries.

“Badamvaer”in Kashmiri for “The garden of almond blossoms” lies on the foot end of the Hari Parbat Fort. This fort, also called “Koh-i-Maran” or “Faseel-e-Akbari” which has now been restored and although today it is just a part of what used to be “Bagh-e-Wariskhan” earlier, nevertheless is a sight that is unmistakably an enigmatic panorama!

Srinagar is popular for its houseboats, which do not float free around the lake, but are anchored off-shore. It is a great and unique way to enjoy your stay in the city, as they offer all the facilities of a lodge or a guest house, with fully-furnished bedrooms and associated amenities!


Kheer Bhawani is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Kheer Bhawani (originally just Bhawani) constructed over a sacred spring. The worship is universal among the Hindu of Kashmir. The temple is situated at a distance of 14 miles east of Srinagar near the village of Tula Mula. The term kheer refers to rice pudding that is offered in the spring to propitiate the Goddess, which became a part of the name of the temple.

Gulmarg or ‘the meadow of flowers’. is a perennial favourite and a hot destination on the outskirts of Kashmir. The slopes of the Apharwat hills (of the Himalayas) here are one of the highest ski slopes in Asia, as due to its’ unique geographical location, this place gets some of the heaviest snowfall in the Himalayan region. A huge meadow ringed by fir trees and snowy peaks, wide open spaces, mountain-fresh air nature walks, birdwatching, skiing on winter, pony rides The meadow’s cup-like shape means that from any one point you can see the rest of the expanse with its softly undulating slopes. There’s a walk, called the Inner Ring Road, that you can wander along on foot, if not riding on a pony, or another walk called the Outer Ring Road which takes you through stands of pine. The Gondola Cable Car, which boasts as the highest lift -accessible ski terrain in the world, is a big attraction for skiers and non-skiiers because of the great views and goes all the way to the Apharwat peak which is rather popular for a trek as high up in the massif lies a seldom-visited mountain lake, half frozen even in summer. One distinctive rooftop in Gulmarg is the Maharani Temple and closeby is the St. Mary’s Church. For meals, there are hotels and a rash of dhabas in the market, with a choice of delectable cuisine. You can have a game of golf at the highest golf course here, using hired clubs.

Amarnath a Famous Hindu Temple in India

“Pahalgam” or the village of Shepherds is a very popular resort ninety kilometers south of Srinagar. It has some magnificent plains (like Baisaran) where horse-riding can be indulged in. Again, there are some fantastic angler opportunities as well and a lot of trekking routes, including the one that goes to Amarnath, a Hindu pilgrimage shrine deep in the Himalayas The Shaivite Mamleshwar Temple is another historical shrine and the ruins of the Martand Sun Temple, are an interesting archaeological site.

Jammu Kashmir Tourism & Travel Guide

A brief synopsis of Jammu is mentioned here as it would be bewitching to discover many historic monuments including Amar Mahal Palace Museum, the popular Raghunath and Ranbireshwar temples , Dargah of Peer Budhan Ali Shah, Peer Kho Cave temple, Bahu Fort and Bagh-e-Bahu in the winter capital.. Pretty Patnitop en route to Srinagar, is the highest point in the highway and offers camping sites and paragliding. The Raghunath Temple, a large complex has a rich collection of ancient manuscripts. Other important temples are Ranbireshwar, Peer Khoh and Panjbakhtar. The Amar Mahal Palace is a fine castle-like building, overlooking the Tawi River and part of the palace is a Museum with royal memorabilia, Pahari paintings and works of some famous artists like M F Hussain, Ram Kumar and J Swaminathan. The Mubarak Mandir Palace in the old bazaar is now a decrepit complex, but worth a look from the outside! A fort-cum-temple, Bahu Fort, is perhaps the oldest edifice and hosts the temple of Bawey Wali Mata. The Akhnoor Fort stands on a riverside cliff and the excavations within have yielded remains from the time of the Indus Valley Civilisation. Riasi, another town close to Jammu, has the Bhimgarh Fort and a hill top temple of Mahakali!

Jammu Kashmir Tourism

It would be wonderful to undertake a journey to the holy cave of Mata Vaishno Devi, located in the folds of three mountains called Trikuta Hills, which attracts devotees from all over India and abroad, as the belief in the Goddess ascertains that She fulfills all the longings of human life……dharma, artha, kama and moksha. The uphill footpath is well paved and winds through hills of great natural beauty, which may be covered on a horseback, `kandis’ or a trek! The path goes through a narrow cave and at the end of the cave or corridor is the raised marble platform on which the Goddess reveals herself in a natural rock formation. There are no statues, pictures or idols inside!

After a hectic trip from Vaishno Devi, it would be advisable to take a short break at Patni Top en route to Srinagar.Situated on top of a hill, this hill station offers an excellent vantage point to enjoy the superb vistas of the Chenab Gorge and the beauty of its pine trees. The Skating Garden, Chinar Garden and Picnic Spot complete with swings and slides to woo the tourists who may also spend some time on their own with a book and sandwich, to hear the wind sighing through the trees and then returning back to their romantic enigma! Idyllic to spend a day or two here in an absolutely tranquil environment.

Jammu Kashmir Lake

Ladakh, or “Little Tibet”, comprising of Leh and Kargil, also encompasses spectacular scenery. Though there are alpine steppes here, it is enchanting even in its barrenness. The world’s highest cold desert is in Leh, which is about 3,500-m above sea level, with many coloured rocks, but a visit to Ladakh would need acclimatisation to the climate as there is less oxygen here. Buddhism lies at the heart of this region and there are several quaint monasteries with many Tibetan monks dotting the area. Trekking and mountain-climbing in its Karakoram ranges are popular with tourists, though there is river-rafting also in the Zanskar River, but trained rafters should take professional guidance. Jeep safaris are popular. Lake Tsomoriri and Pangong Lake are sought after for their beauty, and so is the Nubra or Ldumra Valley, the valley of flowers at 10,000 ft above the sea.

Srinagar is a resort for the tourist who can experience, at first hand, the peculiar beauty of the valley that has attracted the Chinese, the Mughals and the British to it. Its waterways with their own quaint lifestyle, the unique houseboat, the blossoming gardens, water sports. activities, shopping for lovingly hand-crafted souvenirs and the nearby resorts make it a cherished spot among those looking for a memorable holiday!