Posted On: 27,Feb 2012 | Bihar , India |
Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in Bihar. It is famous for being the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment.
The main monastery of Bodh Gaya used to be called the Bodhimanda-vihāra (Pali). Now it is called the Mahabodhi Temple. For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. In 2002, Mahabodhi Temple, located in Bodh Gaya, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The surrounding town, by contrast, is dusty and somewhat noisy. A new development plan has been proposed to "ensure a sustainable and prosperous future" for Bodh Gaya, but has become controversial because such a plan may require the relocation of whole neighborhoods. [more]
Posted On: 27,Feb 2012 | Mumbai , India |
Mumbai is the commercial, financial and entertainment capital of India. The mumbai is much different from any other metropolitan city in taste, aura and feel. The 20 million population of Mumbai represent the ethnic and cultural diversity of India. Mumbai has lot to offer for a traveller.
Explore the major attractions like Gateway of India, Marine Drive, many Beaches, Haji Ali Mosque and many more. The nightlife of this city is second to known in the country with some world class bars, clubs, pubs and lounges on the couch. Shopping could be another thing by which you can understand the city better in its raw and tempting charm. [more]
Posted On: 27,Feb 2012 | Maharashtra , India |
Ellora is an archaeological site, 30 km from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty . Well-known for its monumental caves, Ellora is a World Heritage Site. Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture.
Ellora consists of 34 "caves" actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills. Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock-cut temples andviharas and mathas were built between the 5th century and 10th century.
Posted On: 27,Feb 2012 | Maharashtra , India |
Kailasanatha, is the unrivaled centerpiece of Ellora. Ellora is an archaeological site, 30 km from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra . This is designed to recall Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva – looks like a freestanding, multi-storeyed temple complex, but it was carved out of one single rock. Initially the temple was covered with white plaster thus even more increasing the similarity to snow covered Mount Kailash.
All the carvings are done in more than one level. A two-storeyed gateway resembling a South Indian gopuramopens to reveal a U-shaped courtyard. The courtyard is edged by columned galleries three storeys high. The galleries are punctuated by huge sculpted panels, and alcoves containing enormous sculptures of a variety of deities. Originally flying bridges of stone connected these galleries to central temple structures, but these have fallen.
Within the courtyard are three structures. As is traditional in Shiva temples, first is large image of the sacred bull Nandi in the front of the central temple. Central temple - Nandi Mandap - is housing the lingam. Nandi Mandap stands on 16 pillars and is 29.3 m high. The base of the Nandi Mandap has been carved to suggest that life-sized elephants are holding the structure aloft. A living rock bridge connects the Nandi Mandap to the Shiva temple behind it.
The temple itself is tall pyramidal structure reminiscent of a South Indian Dravidian temple. The shrine complete with pillars, windows, inner and outer rooms, gathering halls, and an enormous lingam at its heart carved from living stone, is carved with niches, pilasters, windows as well as images of deities, mithunas (erotic male and female figures) and other figures. Most of the deities at the left of the entrance are Shaivaite (followers of Shiva) while on the right hand side the deities are Vaishnavaites (followers of Vishnu). There are two Dhvajastambhas (pillars with the flagstaff) in the courtyard. The grand sculpture of Ravana attempting to lift Mount Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva, with his full might is a landmark in Indian art. The construction of this cave was a feat of human genius. It entailed removal of 200,000 tonnes of rock, and took 100 years to complete [more]
Posted On: 23,Feb 2012 | Jammu Kashmir , India |
Srinagar is the summer seasonal capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of theIndus. It is one of the largest cities in India not to have a Hindu majority. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits.
Srinagar has a humid subtropical climate, with a climate much cooler than what is found in much of the rest of India, due to its moderately high elevation and northerly position.The valley is surrounded by Himalayas on all sides. Winters are cool, with a January daily mean of 10.0 °C (50.0 °F), and temperature remains below freezing at night; Moderate to heavy snow fall is expected in winters and the only road that connects Srinagar with rest of India is cut off. Summers are warm, with a July daily mean of 30.1 °C (86.2 °F). The average annual rainfall is around 710 millimetres (28 in); spring is the wettest season while autumn is the driest. [more]
Posted On: 23,Feb 2012 | , India |
Bijapur city is well known for its historical monuments of architectural importance built during the rule of Adil Shahi dynasty. Bijapur is located 530 km northwest of Bangalore and about 550 km from Mumbai.and 384 km from Hyderabad.
The city was established in the 10th-11th centuries by the Kalyani Chalukyas and was known as Vijayapura (City of victory). The city came under the influence of the Khilji Sultanate in Delhi by the late 13th century. In 1347, the area was conquered by the Bahmani Sultanate of Gulbarga. By this time, the city was being referred as Vijapur or Bijapur.
Posted On: 23,Feb 2012 | Rajasthan , India |
The Dilwara Jain Temples of India are located about 2˝ kilometers from Mount Abu,Rajasthan's only hill station. These temples built by Chalukya between the 11th and 13th centuries AD are world famous for their stunning use of marble. These are a sacred pilgrimage place of the Jains. Some consider them to be one of the most beautiful Jain pilgrimage sites in the world. The marble temples have an opulent entranceway, the simplicity in architecture reflecting Jain values like honesty and frugality. The temples are in the midst of a range of forested hills. A high wall shrouds the temple complex.
There are 5 temples in all, each with its own unique identity. Each is named after the small village in which it is located. These are:
Posted On: 23,Feb 2012 | Punjab , India |
The Harmandir Sahib, also referred to as the Golden Temple, is a prominent Sikh gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. Harmandir Sahib is considered holy by Sikhs. The most holy text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib, is always present inside the gurdwara. Its construction was mainly intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally.
Construction of the gurdwara was begun by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, and completed by his successor, Guru Arjan Dev. In 1604, Guru Arjan Dev completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, and installed it in the Gurdwara. In 1634, Guru Hargobind left Amritsar for the Shivalik Hills and for the remainder of the seventeenth century the city and gurdwara was in the hands of forces hostile to the Sikh Gurus. During the eighteenth century, the Harmandir Sahib was the site of frequent fighting between the Sikhs on one side and either Mughal or Afghan forces on the other side and the gurdwara occasionally suffered damage. In the early nineteenth century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab region from outside attack and covered the upper floors of the gurdwara with gold, which gives it its distinctive appearance and English name of "Golden Temple".
The present day Golden Temple was rebuilt in 1764 by Maharaja Jassa Singh Ahluwalia(1718–1783) with the help of other Misl Sikh chieftains. Between 1802–1830 Ranjit Singh did the sewa of adding gold plating and marble to the gurdwara, while the interior was decorated with fresco work and gemstones. [more]
Posted On: 21,Feb 2012 | Delhi , India |
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Posted On: 18,Feb 2012 | Gujarat , India |
Dwarka located in the West is in the state of Gujarat, India. The city derives its name from word dvar meaning door or gate in the Sanskrit language. It is located close to where the Gomti River merges into the Gulf of Kutch. The city lies in the westernmost part of India.
The legendary city of Dwarka was the dwelling place of Lord Krishna. It is believed that due to damage and destruction by the sea, Dwarka has submerged six times and modern day Dwarka is the 7th such city to be built in the area.
Dwarka is as old as the history of India. It was the seat of Sri Krishna after He quit Mathura, His maternal home, to come and reign here. Since it has been held as holy for a long time it has gradually accumulated, over the years, a large number of religious monuments and institutions that today make it one of the most revered spots in Hinduism.
The main Dham temple houses Ranchchodji, another name for Lord Krishna who time and often fled from the battlefield under unfavorable circumstances to return again another day and win. "Ran" means "War" while "Chod" means "Running away". There is also a temple to Lord Krishna's wife Rukmini, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lakshmi. [more]
Posted On: 18,Feb 2012 | Orissa , India |
Puri is known to be one of the most popular religious centres in India situated in Orissa. The city is also popularly known as jagannath puri as it is considered to be the land of great lord Jagannath. It is a holy city in which spiritual solace can be experienced in the prayer sessions that are held at various temples. The city contains the old monument’s ruins and is located in the eastern parts of India. The historic city of puri has a rich heritage. Out of the four institutions which sri adi shankracharya established, puri is also one of them.
The white sands and the beautiful beaches provide panoramic views to the tourists. The beaches dazzle with the sun rays falling over them.
Places to visit in Puri:
Jagannath Temple: the meaning of jagannath is the ‘lord of the world’. The jagannath temple is built in dedication to lord Krishna.the tmple was built by Raja Chodaganga Deva during the 12th century. It is located in the nilgiri hills.
Gundicha Temple: gundicha temple is also known as the gundicha ghar. It is believed that the aunt of lord Krishna resided here. It literally means a garden house. Local custom believes that it is the place where lord Krishna as well as his sister subhadra and brother balram stay.
Puri Beach: the beach has dazzling white sands which leave the people enchanted. The beach is best suited for leisurely walks and is located alongside the Bay of Bengal. The sunset and sunrise on the beach is a spectacle.
Swargadwar Beach: Hindu mythology believes that the person who takes his last breath on this beach goes straight to heaven. it is believed that the beach was a bathing place of lord Vishnu’s disciple named saint chatanyadev. [more]
Posted On: 18,Feb 2012 | Punjab , India |
Lohri , is celebrated every year on 13th of January. It is a festival to worship fire. Lohri Festival is celebrated with great pomp in North India. At this time Earth starts moving towards the sun marking the auspicious period of Uttarayan. First Lohri is very important for the newly wed and the new born babies as it marks fertility. At night, people gather around the bonfire and throw til, puffed rice & popcorns into the flames of the bonfire. Prayers are offered to the bonfire seeking abundance & prosperity. People make merry by dancing & singing traditional folk songs.
Lohri celebrations are marked by traditional songs and dances. People dress up nicely on the long-awaited bonfire festival. Lohri calls for family get-togethers and lavish dinners with sarson ka saag & makki ki roti. The day ends with prayers for a good harvest. Exhibition of Exhuberance ,Bonfire Celebration ,Lohri Dances ,Colorful Fairs ,Lohri Songs are all inculded in this festival. [more]
Posted On: 16,Feb 2012 | Jaipur , India |
The Amber fort is set in a picturesque location a little away from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state. The Amber Fort presents a fascinating blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Raja Man Singh built the Amber fort in the sixteenth century (the construction of the Amber Fort was started in 1592). The Amber Fort is built in red sandstone and white marble. The palace complex of the Amber fort has very attractive apartments. This complex was built by Raja Man Singh, Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Sawai Jai Singh, over a period of about two centuries.
The front courtyard of the fort complex is adorned with the splendid, pillared hall of the Diwan-i-Am, and the two-tiered painted gateway, Ganesh Pol. The palace of mirrors (the Sheesh Mahal) is also of special interest. The Sheesh Mahal has walls inlaid with exquisite mirrors. The Jas Mandir, hanging on the upper floor, is a superb blend of Mughal and Rajput style of architecture, as is evident from the elegantly carved Jali screens and fine mirror and stucco work.
The entrance of the Amber fort is through the 'Dil-e-Aaram' Garden, which is laid out in the traditional Mughal style. An impressive flight of stairs leads to the 'Diwan-e-Am' (hall of public audience) which has latticed galleries and double row of columns each having a capital in the shape of elephants on the top. To the right are steps that lead to the small Kali Temple. The Kali temple has massive doors made of silver.
The walls of Amber fort are adorned with paintings of hunting and war along with precious stones and mirrors set into the plaster. The Maota Lake in the forefront of Amber fort gives spectacular and beautiful reflections of the magnificent Amber Fort-Palace. The most fascinating way to reach the Amber fort is on elephant back. This is truly a royal experience. [more]
Posted On: 16,Feb 2012 | Uttaranchal , India |
Kedarnath is the holy seat of lord Shiva. It is one of the twelve "Jyotirlingas" and is situated at an altitude of 3584 meters, near the head of Mandakani River. Located in the Rudrayag district of Uttarakhand, it is one of the most frequented pilgrimage destinations of the Char-dham circuit. Kedarnath is named in honor of King Kedar, who ruled in the Satya Yuga. However, Kedarnath and its temple exist from the Mahabharata era when the Pandavas are supposed to have pleased Lord Shiva by doing penance here.
At Kedarnath there are several Kunds that are known for their religious significance - Shivkund, Retkund, Hanskund, Udakkund, Rudhirkund, etc. and are worshipped by large number of tourist population. Near to Kedarnath is a temple dedicated to Bhaironathji, who is grandly worshipped at the opening & closing of Kedarnath. It's believed that Bhairavnathji protects this land from evil spirits, during the closing period of Kedarnath. Besides its relationship with Shiva, Kedarnath is also believed to be the site of Shankaracharya's, samadhi the famous scholar and saint. The actual temple is an impressive stone structure of unknown date.
The temple opens on Akshaya Tritiya (April end or first week of May) and closes on Bhai Duj (October end or 1st week of November) due to heavy snowfall and extreme cold weather during winter. Gaurikhund is 75 km from Rudraprayag.There are several guest houses in Kedarnath like Birla House, Sanjay Shukla Lodge, Maharastra Mandal, Kali Kamali Dharmasala etc. All of them have nominal charges and provide lodging as well as food. [more]
Posted On: 16,Feb 2012 | Delhi , India |
Tughlaqabad Fort, Delhi In a state of total ruin, the Tughlaqabad fort was once a symbolic of the might of the Tughlaq dynasty. The Tughlaqabad fort was built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty. The fort is spread over an extensive area and a piece of architectural marvel. Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq built the Tughlaqabad fort as part of Tughlaqabad, the third city of Delhi. This was the period of political unrest and there was continuous danger of Mongol attack from the North western borders of the Empire. To save the Empire and his subjects from the marauding Mongols, Ghiyas-ud-din built the Tughlaqabad fort.
Even though the fort is in a state of ruins, it bears testimony to past glory and might of the Delhi Sultanate. The massive ramparts, battlements and the mammoth stonework of Tughlaqabad fort speak highly of the architectural skills and advancement of the craftsmen. The Tughlaqabad fort served twin purpose of a defensive structure as well as the imperial capital of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. There are a number of monuments within the precincts of this massive fort.
The Tughlaqabad fort was completed in a short period of four years (1321-25). The fort's massive ramparts and bastions (as high as 15-30 m, built of enormous blocks of stone and walls 10 m thick in places) speak volumes about the might of the Sultanate. Within fort's high walls, double-storied bastions and massive towers were housed magnificent palaces, grand mosques and audience halls. The city lay on the eastern outskirts of the massive fort. On the southern side of the fort is the tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, which was built by the ruler himself. The tomb is enclosed in a courtyard with fortified walls and a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture. [more]
Posted On: 15,Feb 2012 | Himachal Pradesh , India |
Manali is an important hill station in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, India, near the northern end of the Kullu Valley. It is located about 250 km (160 mi) north of state capital, Shimla.Manali with population of approx. 30,000 is administratively a part of the Kullu district.
Manali and the surrounding area is of great significance to Indian culture and heritage as it is said to be the home of the Saptarshi, or Seven Sages The region provides options for adventure sports like skiing, hiking, mountaineering, paragliding, rafting, trekking, kayaking, mountain biking etc. One of the unique attractions in the place is a sport named Yak skiing, for which Manali also featured as "Best of Asia" for "Extreme Yak Sports" in Time magazine. Also many hot springs, places of pilgrimage, Tibetan Buddhist temples are there to visit. Visitors to Manali contribute to nearly one fourth of the total tourists that visit the State of Himachal Pradesh.
Rohtang Pass Jagatsukh Temple Hidimba Devi Temple Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa Manali Sanctuary [more]
Posted On: 15,Feb 2012 | Uttaranchal , India |
Nainital is a glittering jewel in the Himalyan necklace, blessed with scenic natural spledour and varied natural resources . Dotted with lakes , Nainital has earned the epithet of 'Lake District' of India . The most prominent of the lakes is Naini lake ringed by hills .
Nainital is set in a valley containing a pear-shaped lake, approximately two miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains, of which the highest are Naina on the north, Deopatha on the west, and Ayarpatha on the south. From the tops of the higher peaks, "magnificent views can be obtained of the vast plain to the south, or of the mass of tangled ridges lying north, bounded by the great snowy range which forms the central axis of the Himalayas."Nainital’s unending expense of scenic beauty is nothing short of a romance with awe-inspiring and pristine Mother nature.
Naini Lake Nakuchia Lake Naini Devi Temple Governor's House Snow View Point St. John's Church
Posted On: 15,Feb 2012 | Maharashtra , India |
The Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India near Jalgaon, just outside the village of Ajinṭhā are 29 rock-cut cave monuments. The caves include paintings and sculptures considered to be masterpieces of Buddhist religious art (which depict the Jataka tales) well as frescos which are reminiscent of the Sigiriya paintings in Sri Lanka. The caves were built in two phases starting around 200 BCE, with the second group of caves built around 600 CE. the Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
These caves were discovered by an Army Officer in the Madras Regiment of the British Army in 1819 during one of his hunting expeditions. Instantly the discovery became very famous and Ajanta attained a very important tourist destination in the world. The caves, famous for its murals, are the finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly painting.
These caves are excavated in horse–shoe shaped bend of rock surface nearly 76 m in height overlooking a narrow stream known as Waghora. The location of this valley provided a calm and serene environment for the Buddhist monks who retreated at these secluded places during the rainy seasons. This retreat also provided them with enough time for furthering their religious pursuits through intellectual discourses for a considerably longer period. The caves were excavated in different periods (circa. 2nd century B.C. to 6th century A.D.) according to the necessity. Each cave was connected to the stream by a flight of steps, which are now almost obliterated, albeit traces of some could be noticed at some places.
Open from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Closed on Monday [more]
Posted On: 15,Feb 2012 | Rajasthan , India |
Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest national parks in northern India. It is situated in Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 180 km south east of Jaipur, which is also the nearest airport. The nearest town and railway station is at Sawai Madhopur, about 11 km away and Kota is the another convenient Station as all the train stops at Kota which is 110 kms from Ranthambhore.
Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary is known for its tigers and is one of the best places in India to see these majestic predators in the jungle. Tigers can be easily spotted even during the day time. A good time to visit Ranthambore National Park is in November and May when the nature of the dry deciduous forests makes sightings common. Its deciduous forests were once a part of the magnificent jungles of Central India.
The park lies at the edge of a plateau, and is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River. There are several lakes in the park. It is named for the historic Ranthambhore fortress, which lies within the national park. It is one of India's Project Tiger reserves. Other major wild animals include leopard, nilgai, dhole, wild boar, sambar, hyena, sloth bear and chital. It is also home to wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles.
Ranthambore is considered as one of the famous and former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, today the Ranthambore National Park terrain is major wildlife tourist attraction spot that has pulled the attention of many wildlife photographers and lovers in this destination. [more]
Posted On: 15,Feb 2012 | Uttar Pradesh , India |
The Jhansi fort is situated in the outskirts of Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh. It was Built in the year 1613 by Raja Bir Singh Deo of Orchha. Situated on a rocky summit, it commands the overall view of the city and the plains. It gained prominence in the 19th century where it played a major role during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The fort was a residence of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, who fought the British East India Company during the 1857 War of Independence and attained martyrdom.
There are 10 gates giving access to the fort. Some of these are Khanderao Gate, Datia Darwaza, Unnao Gate, Jharna Gate, Laxmi Gate, Sagar Gate, Orcha Gate, Sainyar Gate and Chand gate. Notable sights in the fort are the Shiva temple, Ganesh temple at the entrance, and the Kadak Bijli cannon used in the uprising of 1857. The memorial board reminds one of the hair-raising feat of the Rani Lakshmibai in jumping on horseback from the fort. Nearby is the Rani Mahal, built in the later half of the 18th century where an archaeological museum has come up today.
The fort extends to a sprawling expansion of 15 acres and this colossal structure measures about 312m in length and 225m in width. On the whole, there are twenty-two supports with a mammoth strengthening wall cosseted by a moat on both sides. The shattered upholder on the eastern side was rebuild by the British, who also supplemented a floor to Panch Mahal. Every year in the month of jan-feb a grand occasion is held known as jhansi mahotsav many eminent personalities and artist perform their play. During battle of 1857 the queen of Jhansi put all the people inside the fort to save their lives. [more]
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