Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Port Blair: The Jewel in the Crown of Andaman and Nicobar

The only modernized town of the bunch of these Islands is the majestic administrative capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair. Port Blair takes its name from the name of the British Lt. Archibald Blair who was asked to survey the islands way back in 1789. Although native tribes always inhabited the place, the British decided to put up a penal settlement here after the first upsurge of the freedom movement in 1857. Port Blair gave importance to the region when the cellular jail was constructed here to torture the freedom fighters. This was the most infamous part of the town that sent chill down the spine of the Indians as they referred the place as the black water or Kaala Paani.

Today Port Blair stands a mute witness to the historical torture. It has now become a melting pot of many cultures and a mini India in itself. The town was used as a settlement platform by the Indian government for the refugees coming from various places to India. It has also become the prime tourist centre of the islands with many places of historical importance and natural charm around it. The small sleepy town today has an airport bringing flocks of tourists over here to live in the lap of natural luxury which is not found anywhere around.

The luxurious forests and the unexploited beaches lined with historically important monuments are the places of tourist interest in Port Blair. Being near to the sea, seafood is the favourite amongst the people and the rare fruits that are specialty of this region are the main ingredients in the diet of the people living here. Of course the people coming from various cultural background have retained their culinary flavours, most have adapted to the new environment around. The clothes are also modernized today. But the local and the native tribes have maintained their distinction by not mingling with the modern people. Their culture, their food habits and their life is totally different from that of the normal people of the region.

Location: Located in the south of the islands, Port Blair is the capital of these islands and the only entry point to these islands. It is also the only place where foreign nationals can go to.
Languages Spoken Dialects, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi, Telgu and English
Long Distance Code +91-3192
Importance Capital and the only entry point to the Andaman & Ncobar islands.
Best Time To Visit October To March

What to see in Port Blair:

Cellular Jail

Cellular Jail located in Port Blair was built by the British to jail the freedom fighters and other convicts brought to the island to serve their sentence. Construction of the building started in 1890 and took 18 years to complete. Individual cells were built in the jail for solitary confinement of the prisoners and thus it acquired the name 'cellular’. The jail is now a memorial and a national museum. A moving sound and light show, narrating the saga of the freedom struggle is staged every day in the jail.

Sippighat Farm

A Government Research farm where research into spices such as cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut and pepper are conducted. The farm sprawls across 80 acres of land, 15 km from Port Blair, on the way to Wandoor.

Barren Island

Barren, the only active volcano in South Asia, is a small island in eastern location of Andaman group of islands in Indian territory. This island lies 300 m above the sea level and the volcano in this place erupted last in 2006. A deep void land, the face of the volcano, is an attraction to the tourists. This is a barren region uninhabited by the people. This is a natural habitat for wild goats which live here by drinking the salt water and is a unique feature of this island.

Havelock Island

Havelock Island, mostly inhabited by Bengalis, is situated nearby Port Blair. The villages in this imposing picturesque Island are identified with the numbers. The Main bazaar is in Village No 3 and the boat dock is in village No 1. Havelock Island is an ideal location for the enthusiasts tourists to engage in sunbathing, beachcombing, swimming, surfing, beach camping and snorkeling. The stunning beauty of the nature is the prime attraction of this Island.

Marine Museum

The Marine Museum, also called Samudrika, is an exciting site in Port Blair with a huge collection of corals, shells and about 350 species of marine life. It also includes displays of the tribal people of the island and their lifestyle, of marine life and archaeology. The museum is divided into five sections. It is open to public from 9 am to noon and 2 pm to 5.30 pm, except on Sundays and public holidays.


Total Rooms: 18
Star Category: 0
Barefoot at Havelock Jungle Resort is the only resort in the Andaman Islands that is eco-friendly and promotes sustainable tourism development. The resort is spread over 7 acres of land that is free of fertilizers and pesticides. The entire construction of the resort is done with environmental friendly and indigenous raw materials. Infants and children below the age of 5 years will be complimentary on the adult meal plan without any extra bed. If an extra bed is required, then the above child rates apply. Children between 5 – 12 years will be charged as per the child rates. Children above 12 years or third adult will be charged as per extra adult rates.


Total Rooms: 28
Star Category: 4
Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman Islands, consisting of more than 572 islands and islets is spread over 8,249 sq kms of the Indian Ocean. It's that rare phenomenon: an unspool beach resort, whose principal attractions are the clear sapphire waters of the sea, the golden shores, the breathtaking coral formations, the flora and fauna, the endlessly fascinating marine life and the native people.


Total Rooms: 53
Star Category: 2
Hotel Sentinel – named after a local Tribe of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is situated in the heart of the Port Blair city at Phoenix Bay. The hotel is surrounded by the lush green gardens provides the best of the leisure and amenities to the tourists. The royal welcome starts at the reception and through the sojourn. The Hotel presently offering 53 Rooms with many different layouts, luxury, modern amenities. The friendliness and the personalized service experiences you a new feel at the Hotel. Hotel Sentinel have been successfully handling the accommodation, food and beverage, travel requirements and providing other allied services some of the major corporate clients of India and Abroad.


Total Rooms: 50
Star Category: 4
Peerless Resort is only hotel in Port Blair to rise on its only beach - Landing you right in the heart of Andaman's magic. From its lush green surrounding the resort looks onto the blue sea - The perfect setting for the most memorable holiday. Peerless Resort puts together all ingredients for non-stop fun under the sun. Make yourself at home in its air-conditioned rooms with sea facing breezy balconies or any of the cozy cottages. 24 hours hot & cold running water, excellent service and air-conditioned airport transfers (available on request) are some of other highlights. The resort has splendid arrangement for large consortiums too. Those can efficiently accommodate and cater up to a thousand diners.


Total Rooms: 30
Star Category: 3
Megapode Nest is a three star hotel having 20 standard rooms, 4 deluxe rooms, 4 Nicobari cottages and 2 eco-friendly cottages. All the rooms and cottages are air-conditioned and provided with telephone, colour TV etc. Nicobari Cottages are provided with refrigerator, bathtub and balcony overlooking sea.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bodhgaya: The Place of Enlightenment

Nearly 3000 years ago this was the place that transformed Prince Siddhartha to Lord Buddha giving him enlightenment and thus a birth of new religion, Buddhism. After experiencing severe austerities for six years, Prince Siddhartha realized the futility of such penances to find the ultimate truth for salvation of Human kind. He had wandered enough. He chose to sit under a Bodhi tree in meditation until he found out the true path to salvation. Not caring of his physical needs, he meditated for 45 days and it was then that he was enlightened and the realization of the cause of sorrow and path of salvation dawned upon him. Since then Bodhgaya has become the place where the story of Prince Siddhartha ends and saga of the world's greatest teacher begins.

Bodhgaya thus continues to be the site of utmost importance to the Buddhists and apart from being a vital Buddhist centre also happens to be an important archaeological site. People from far and wide come here to pay their homage to the great world teacher. They come here to learn more about Buddhism and its doctrines and also to learn the art of meditation.

The focal point of Bodhgaya is the Mahabodhi Temple. This 50 meter high temple was originally built by Emperor Ashok in the 3rd century B.C. after he became the follower of Buddhism. The temple was destroyed and resurrected many a times. But the present structure is said to be around 10 centuries old. This temple complex has the famous Bodhi tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment. The original tree died long back. A sapling of the original tree was taken to Sri Lanka by the daughter of Ashok, Sanghamitra. She got it planted in Sri Lanka. The present tree at Bodhgaya is the sapling of that tree in Sri Lanka. Emperor Ashoka also erected a diamond throne shrine at this spot with a canopy supported by four pillars over a stone representation of the Vajrasana, the Seat of Enlightenment.

Inside the temple there is a colossal image of the Buddha in the Bhumisparsha Mudra; Lord is shown touching the ground. The temple is surrounded by a small pillars and delicate lattice work.

Apart from this main site the small town today has many monasteries built by various Asian countries in their own architectural styles. All these monasteries are meant for learning Buddhism and are patronized by the people from those particular countries.

Location: Bodhgaya is a small village in the eastern state of Bihar, is situated near the Hindu pilgrimage centre of Gaya. Around 11 kms from Gaya, Bodhgaya is around 105 kms from the capital city of the state, Patna. The sleepy village has grown to prominence today as one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites of the world. The best season to visit Bodhgaya is in the winter months when the air is cool and pleasant.

This dusty village situated on river Falgu, earlier known as the River Niranjana, is one of the most sacred sites in India.

Other Name: Bodh Gaya, Buddha Gaya, Buddhagaya
Languages Spoken: Hindi, English and Maithili
Long Distance Code: +91-631
Importance: Lord Buddha attained enlightenment here
International Access: Gaya international Airport
Best Time To Visit: October To March & During May; for the Budhha Purnima celebrations

Bodhgaya Attractions:


The town of Gaya is very near to Bodhgaya and is one of the important Hindu pilgrimage centers of India. According to a legend, Lord Vishnu gave Gaya the honours of forgiving the sinners of all their sins and purifying them in every way if they give offerings to their ancestors and take a dip in River over here. The temple of Vishnupad, where Lord Vishnu is believed to have ascended and his foot is printed in that place, also attracts huge crowds of devotees.

Barbar Caves

Around 40 kms from Bodhgaya is an unexploited Buddhist site not many are aware of. The hills of Barabar and the Nagarjuni are now important archeological sites. Here one can find seven rock cut caves. Out of the seven caves four are located on the hill of Barabar

Most probably built during the time of Mauryan emperor Ashoka; these caves are carved out of solid rocks which bear details of the life of Buddha. The caves consist of temples and sanctuaries hacked out of huge granite outcrops and are designed to look as if they have been made of wood.

The four caves have names each and are different in their own way.

The Lomas Rishi Cave, which is sculpted to resemble lattice screens, is the first available example of the famous Buddhist Chaitya Arch style in India. The entrance is in Egyptian form and only walls of the outer rooms are polished.

The Sudama Cave, known in ancient times as Nigoha Kubha or Banyan Tree Cave. It is made during the 2nd century B.C. The cave has two chambers and the interiors are having highly polished surfaces.

The Karan Chopar, a single-chamber-structure with a vaulted roof and simple opening also carved out during the same time has an inscription saying the name of the cave to be Supriya cave.

The Vishva Zopari Cave is the last two chambered cave also carved around the same time.

The Nagarjuni hills have the rest of three caves namely;

The Gopi Cave which is the most important and has a number of inscriptions on it. A number of inscriptions have been found here. It is believed that in the middle of 19th century, some Islamic saints used to live in these caves. The other two caves are the Vapuiyaka Kubha and the Vedathika Kubha.

Buddhist Monasteries

Apart from the main temple of Bodhgaya, there are many temples and monasteries built in various architectural styles. These monasteries usually patronized by foreign countries'' Buddhist organizations such as Japan, Korea and China, are the main centers for promotion of Buddhist studies. Today the small town of Bodhgaya is full of many such monasteries which bring people from far and wide to take classes in Buddhism.


Total Rooms: 30
Star Category: 3
Mahamaya Hotel Bodhgaya is in a good and peaceful location, quite suitable for all guests coming to Bodhgaya. Either you come here for business purpose or sightseeing, you can relax in this comfortable hotel.A warm greeting, a welcoming smile and dedicated reception at the hotel lobby offer you an experience of visiting and staying at the hotel.


Total Rooms : 61
Star Category : 3
The Hotel is Centrally located and Nikko at the World Heritage Site of Bodhgaya combines, Hotel Has 32 Rooms Consisting of 30 Double and 2 Suites with Business Centre, meetings and conferences.


Total Rooms : 45
Star Category : 3
The Birth place of Buddhism, Bodhgaya is a place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under the shade of Banyan tree, 2500 years ago, and thereafter spread the virtues of truthfulness, love, peace and nonviolence to the mankind. Revered as one of the must visit destinations of India by the flowers of Buddhism, Bodhgaya today offers a touch of modern living even while experiencing the nature with its distinctive cultural and architectural settings


Total Rooms: 67
Star Category: 3
Royal Residency is a symbolic hotel erected on 3 acres of land in the best environment. The hotel has state of the art facilities and services to cater to the diversified needs of the business and leisure travelers alike. The hotel has all modern facilities including spacious lobby, shopping arcade, airline offices, a bar and a multi cuisine restaurant.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nainital : The Tourist's Paradise

Mr. P. Barron, a European merchant and an enthusiastic hunter from Rosa, near Shahjahanpur, founded "NAINITAL" in the year 1841. Mr. P. Barron was the first European who took great fancy to this land. Moved by the beauty of the sparkling lake he wrote: "It is by far the best site I have witnessed in the course of a 1,500 miles trek in the Himalayas." It is very less is known about the history of Nainital. This region was called Khasdesh in ancient times and Khasis ruled this region before Christ was born. The name "NAINI" is derived from a temple to the goddess 'Naini Devi" built on the upper edge of the lake and was destroyed by the landslip of 1880. It was subsequently replaced by a modern structure. The word "Naini" means 'Eyes' and 'Tal' means 'Lake'.

Nainital is 34 Km from Kathgodam, the gateway of Kumaon and the terminus of North Eastern Railway. It is 304 km from Delhi, capital of India, and 388 km from Lucknow.According to the District Gazetteer Nainital is situated at 29 degree 24' north latitude and 79 degree 28' east longitude, in a valley of the Gagar range running east and west, which is bounded on the north by the peak of China, which rises to a height of 8.568 feet, continued by the Alma peak (presently known as Snow-View) and the Sher-Ka-Danda to the eastern extremity, where the ridge descends almost to the level of the lake.

Long Distance Code +91-5942
Importance Famous for the Naini Lake
Best Time To Visit March To November

Nainital Attractions:

Naini Lake

This attribute lake is said to be one of the emerald green eyes of Shiva's wife, Sati (naina is Sanskrit for eye). When Sati's father failed to invite Shiva to a family sacrifice, she burnt herself to death in protest. Shiva gathered the charred remains in his arms and proceeded to engage in a cosmic dance, which threatened to destroy the world. To terminate the dance, Vishnu chopped up the body into pieces, and the remains were scattered across India. The modern Naina Devi Temple at the northern end of the lake is built over the precise spot where the eye is believed to have failen.

Snow View

At the top, a close up view of Naina Devi (7816m), which was, as the old brass plate here tells you, 'the highest mountain in the British empire'. Naina Devi was India's highest peak until Sikkim (and thus Kanchenjunga) was absorbed into the country. There's a small marble temple dedicated to Dev Mundi housing images of Durga, Shiva, Sita, Rama, Lakshmana and Hanuman. From Snow View you can walk west to another point and then continue on to the main road to Kilbury. From here you could continue up to China Peak or head down the road to Sukhatal, passing great views of the lake in route.

A walk up to Snow View can take in the tiny Gadhan Kunkyop Ling Gompa of the Gelukpa order (of which the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader). Take the road uphill from the hotel city heart, from where a path branches off towards the gompa (the colorful prayers flags are visible from the road). The gompa serves Nainital's small (and mostly itinerant) Tibetan community. Most of the Tibetan families travel to Nainital in the summer season to sell sweaters and shawls, and in winter descends to the plains.

Naina Peak

Naina Peak known as the China peak this peak is the highest point in Nainital. From here Nainital appears as a bowl. You can walk or take ponies to the peak. From this peak you can capture the exciting views of Nainital. Naina peak also gives a good view of the Camelback peak. There are no hotel or restaurant on the top so carry food and water along with you.


Total Rooms : 27
Star Category : 2
In the foothills of the Himalayas, The Old Bungalow- 1830, and The Writers' Bungalow -1860, are located in the fruit basket of the Kumaon region. These heritage structures once housed the British and Indian officers as well as their wives who travelled on horseback and palanquins. Many writers and thinkers have been drawn to the beauty of Ramgarh: Sri Aurobindo and Narain Swami established ashrams, Rabindranath Tagore wrote some of his major work-even contemplating founding Shantiniketan here; Mahadevi Verma made it her home and some of India's leading industrial families continue to have sprawling orchards. From May to September the orchards by the Writers' and Old Bungalows hang with Apricots, Plums, Peaches, Pears and Apples.


Total Rooms : 25
Star Category : 3
Shervani Hilltop at Nainital is the four star boutique Resort retaining the old world charm which has been beautifully designed and makes for a complete holiday at this historical hill station. Situated 6 hours drive north of Delhi.


Total Rooms : 19
Star Category : 3
Palace Belvedere, Nainital (Uttaranchal, India) was the summer palace of the Awagarh Royal Family and now a WelcomHeritage Hotel. The hotel offers a panoramic view of the famous Naini Lake.


Total Rooms : 67
Star Category : 3
The Manu Maharani Nainital is located 62 kms from Pantnagar Airport, 32 kms from Kathgodam Railway Station, and 1 km. from Nainital Bus Stand. The Manu Maharani Nainital is hotel is airconditioning & centrally heated, with a total of 67 rooms.


Total Rooms : 18
Star Category : 0
This is the only place in India, where we do the night safari in open jeeps with searchlights. Betalghat, a sleepy little Village on the banks of Kosi river that abounds in Mahseer on the edge of the jungles where Jim Corbett found his calling. This beautiful Safari Lodge, on the banks of Kosi River has been created like a forest dak bungalow from the bygone era. With lovely cottages having all modern amenities, this is the place for “that- perfect- off- beat” holiday.

Corbett: India's First Tiger Sanctuary

The Jim Corbett national park, pride of India and one of the first protected Tiger Sanctuary of India. Named after the great nature lover and hunter, Jim Corbett, this vast park has about 520 sq kms of core area. Situated in the Kumaon and Nainital districts in the hilly and picturesque state of Uttaranchal, this was the place where the project Tiger was first launched in 1973.

Jim Corbett, a British who was born and brought up in the hills of Kumaon, mingled with the locales of the area unlike other British. Jim Corbett grew up to become an army personnel to support his family and later was summoned of and on by the local villagers to kill the man eating tigers and leopards in the area. Accustomed with the jungles and the animals, Jim Corbett became an expert of the Jungles. He used all his senses in the jungles that helped him understand the movements of the animals of the jungles. But although a perfect hunter, Jim Corbett loved nature and preached the local folks and tribes about the importance of the conservation of forests and the animals. There was no other apt name to this first Project Tiger Wild Life sanctuary other than the Jim Corbett National Park.

Aptly called the land of roar, trumpet and songs it is 120 kms away from Nainital set on the banks of the mighty Ram Ganga River.

Covered by Sal trees and the grasslands and bamboo growth, the habitat is perfect for the a list of species found in this area. There are around 582 species of birds, 26 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians and 50 species of mammals. The floral diversity is also extremely varied. The park has a high density of tiger population which it is most famous for.

The best way to view the animals in the park is to post you on the elephants or to take a jeep Safari to view the magnificent creatures in the most beautiful natural environs. Other than the tiger one can find various species of deer and herds of elephants with many species of monkeys as well. The reptiles such as the crocodile and the alligators with various types of snakes can be spotted here.

Other Name: Corbett National Park
Long Distance Code: +91-5945
Importance: Famous for the Jim Corbett national tiger reserve

Total Rooms: 0
Star Category: 2
One of the finest jungle resort in a Reserve Forest overlooking the Kosi River offers good angling and swimming. The resort offers fully furnished wood-paneled stone cottages in a leafy mango orchard, attached baths, multi-cuisine restaurant, cocktail lounge and beautiful gardens.

Total Rooms: 50
Star Category: 3
Manu Maharani Resorts is a great weekend destination. The resort is 9 Kms away from the main town, Ramnagar, towards the park. The Resort has 50 well appointed cottages with all modern amenities in clusters of two/three rooms and is a perfect blend of luxury and wilderness. The sound of flowing water of river Kosi gives a soothing and tranquil feeling to the in house guests.

Total Rooms : 32
Star Category : 0
Corbett River View is a charming retreat that’s big on style. A resort full of fresh innovative design ideas those are simple, yet truly stylish, which give you freedom to relax and leave the world behind at the front door. The resort spread over an area of 8 acres, is located on the fringes of the Corbett Park and on the banks of the River Kosi, providing an exotic scenic view.

Total Rooms: 24
Star Category: 3
Tiger camp is situated in the lush green Kosi Valley, on the Eastern border of the Corbett National Park. Delhi is 260 KMS via Moradabad, Kashipur and Ramnagar 6 KMS.From Amdanda Gate (Entrance to Corbett Park).Exclusive, independent A/C and Air-Cool cottages with attached toilets and bathrooms. For those looking for the great outdoors feeling there are puffy tents, offer you an authentic Kumaoni experience with the modern day comforts that one has come to expect.

Total Rooms: 18
Star Category: 4
The Solluna Resort is nestled within the protected reserve forest of the Park. The Resort is operational, and in the midst of being refurbished. Post upgradation, the Resort would be rebranded ‘Solluna Sarovar Premier’.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gulmarg : The meadow of flowers

This tiny calm little mountain resort is like a picture where silence is broken only with tinkling of cow bells. Gulmarg boasts of the highest 18 - hole golf course in the world.

Originally called as Gauri Marg, after the wife of Shiva, it was renamed by Sultan Yusuf Shah as Gul Marg, which literally means the meadow of flowers. And actually Gulmarg has vast meadows of flowers. It is said that Jehangir also loved this place and collected 21 various species of each flower. It looks like a huge cup shaped meadow lush and green offering a splendid view of the entire Kashmir valley.

Gulmarg is on the higher elevation than that of Srinagar; hence the roads are often blocked by snow. On the other hand during summers, the roads leading to this place are a delight. At every turn, as if nature raises one more curtain to bring another surprise better than the earlier beauty! Lush green meadows, with grazing cows, and flowers wearing a riot of colours are seen everywhere. The view is so pretty that one often wonders if it were pasted right out from a picture postcard. The highlight of this place is the pony trail to Khilanmarg. The Khilanmarg valley is a blaze of colour and fragrance in the spring with stunning views from the mountain tops.

The recently opened Gondola lift from the mountain top of Gulmarg offers an enthralling experience when it gives a breathtaking view of the usually snow-clad pine slopes and beautiful flowers.

Winters in Gulmarg are equally exciting when the snow fall begins and the landscape changes its colour to pure white. This is the season for winter sports and Gulmarg changes from the flower valley to a wonderful skiing resort. With nice slopes, perfect and enough for skiing, Gulmarg over the years has become a popular destination for winter sports in India.

Location: Around 56 kms from the capital of city of Srinagar, Gulmarg is at an altitude of 2,730 meters above the sea level.

Languages Spoken: Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi and English
Long Distance Code: +91-1953
Importance: Meadow of flowers
Area: 3.5 kmlong;1kmwideAltitude2,650m
Best Time To Visit: March To July & October to February to enjoy the snow


Total Rooms : 28
Star Category : 4
Hotel Zahgeer Continental is Brand New Property Open on First August 2007, this hotel is one of the best hotel of Gulmarg. It have 28 double deluxe room with well furnished, and all modern facilities, all room have view of Gulmarg. This hotel is fully centrally hated, and this is chain of Zahgeer Group of HotelsLocated in idyllic surroundings in the “Meadow of Flowers” – Gulmarg, Zahgeer Continental is a cozy hotel that offers you the best views of Gulmarg. Five minutes drive from where the Gulmarg Gondola begins, enroute to Khilanmarg, Zahgeer Continental, offers scintillating views of the Affarvat range of mountains. At an hours drive from Srinagar Airport , lies the mesmerizing meadow of flowers- Gulmarg. A popular tourist destination for decades, Gulmarg boasts of the world's highest 18 hole Golf Course and is famous for winter sports. According to Sylvain Saudan, world's best known adventure skier and an honorary citizen of Kashmir , Kashmir offers a skiing area as wide as the Northern and Southern Alps brought together


Total Rooms : 31
Star Category : 2
The flagship property The Pine Palace Heritage amidst lush green Gulmarg started its business in the year 1986.The picturesque location, personalized service and comfort sets us apart form the other hotels. The Boutique hotel, with the completion of The Pine Palace Platinum in 2005 ,has redefined its credo to now being a resort. The Pine Palace Resort has been designed keeping in mind the utmost comfort of our discerning guest and the fragile ecosystem of Gulmarg, furthermore ,we adopt Eco-friendly options to ensure a cleaner and greener Gulmarg for our future generations. The Pine Palace Resort is a concern of MCO Group a pioneer in Infrastructure, Hydel Power and Financial Services. We are constantly upgrading our services to live up to our Company’s goal of placing Kashmir on the global tourism map.


Total Rooms : 35
Star Category : 3
A Business And Leisure Hotel, with a City Center location, has in total of 35 rooms available. Rooms types available are Suites Non A/C, Cottage.


Total Rooms : 39
Star Category : 3
Hotel Highland Park is a heritage Hotel located overlooking the Golf Course and the entire Gulmarg (Kashmir, India) and is one of the best hotels in Gulmarg with maximum facilities. Hotel Highland Park is surrounded by spectacular Snow Clad Himalayas and its heritage interiors that makes it a highly recommended option at Gulmarg.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kollam : The Land of Cashews

Quilon or Kollam is fairly important for the State's trade and commerce and is the center of the country's cashew trading and processing industry. It is also an important hub for the State's marine products industry, with the port of Neendakara being the center for travelers and ice plants. For all its natural gifts of wide rivers, dominant hills and forest, lakes and plains, there is the throb of a vibrant industrial activity that combines with equanimity the wonders of the modern age with the traces of a bygone era. Quilon which is a veritable Kerala in miniature is gifted as it is with Kerala's very representative features - sea, lakes, plains, mountains, rivers, streams, backwaters, forest, vast green fields and tropical crop of every variety both food crop and cash crop.

Location: Kollam is situated about 71 km. north of Thiruvananthapuram and is linked by rail, road and backwater transport. The town edges with the famous Astamudi Lake.

Other Name: Quilon
Languages Spoken: Malayalam, English, Hindi, and Tamil
Long Distance Code: +91-474
International Access: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport
Area: 2579
Best Time To Visit: August To March

Kollam Attractions

Temples of Kollam

There are many important temples in and around Kollam. The Kottukal Rock Cut Cave Temple; around 10 kms from Kollam is an ideal example of rock cut cave temple. Mayyanad 10 km south of Kollam, is noted for its Shrines and temples. The most important temple is the one at Unayanalloor, dedicated to Lord Subramaniyam. It is believed to be consecrated by the great saint Shri Shankaracharya of Kaladi. Besides the temples, there are three churches and a mosque. The Oachira temple is the most unsual temple without any shrine or any idol, but the presiding deity of Parabrahmam is worshipped by one and all. The Achencoil Temple is situated amidst dense forests and idol of the local deity Lord Sastha has been here for the past 2000 years and even more. The other important temples near Kollam are The Bhagavathy temple (Anchal), the Aryankavu, the Sasthamkotta, and the Kulathupuzha temples.

Mahatma Gandhi Beach

Mahatma Gandhi beach & park at Kochupilamoodu, Thirumullavaram beach and Ashramam picnic village, are some of the important spots of local sight seeing. Mahatma Gandhi beach lays just 2 km from the town. It is fascinating place for an evening. Thirumullavaram Beach is 5 km. from the town. The sea here is ideal for swimming and bathing. Ashramam picnic village is located in the 48-acre Guest House Complex. This is the centre of various tourism development activities of the district. The setting up of a picnic village here is progressing under the supervision of the District Tourism Promotion Council. The Government Guest House here is 200 years old.

Backwaters of Kollam

Located 71 Km to the north of Thiruvanathapuram, Kollam is another coastal district of Kerala. The district, which is the center of the country's cashew trading and processing industry, also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in traditional ornate architectural style.One of the oldest ports on the Malabar Coast, Kollam was once the port of international spice trade. 30% of this historic town is covered by renowned Ashtamudi Lake, making it the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala.The eight-hour trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest backwater cruise in Kerala.

Picnic Village

This village is located at Ashramam, along the backwater front, is the main centre of recreational activities in Kollam. The 200-year-old Government Guest House, an Adventure Park, the Tourist Boat Club, the Children's Traffic Park and the Yatrinivas are situated in this vast tourist complex.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

Established in 1984, the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary situated on either side of the Shendurney River is the only one in the Kollam district. The sanctuary covers a total area of 250 sq km and is acclaimed the world over for its bio-diversity. The Parappar dam has been built across the Shendurney River and serves the purpose of irrigation in Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts. The lake covers a total area of 13.72 sq km. The mean temperature during summer is 35 degree centigrade and during winters it around 16 degree centigrade, with the annual rainfall is approximately 3200 mm. The terrain here is rugged with gentle to steep slopes ranging 90m to 1550m.


Total Rooms : 30
Star Category : 3
This six acre paradise nestled in the picturesque backwaters of the Asthamudi Lake offers connoisseurs a luxurious recluse away from the frantic city life. Kick back and relax in the privacy of your very own cottages, suites, tents and floating houseboats, experience the holistic advantages of Ayurveda at Orient Spa, savour multi-cuisine delicacies or indulge in the matchless joy of family fun with an array of recreational activities


Total Rooms : 40
Star Category : 4
A new project of the Madathil Group, Regant Lake Palace Hotel, a four star hotel situated in Neendakara, Kollam, Kerala, is a perfect getaway from the hasty city life. The placid air of this place really gets to you, making you forget all your worries. Here, you treat yourself to the joys of leisure, to the delights of nature. Be it our tastefully done reception area or the aesthetically designed rooms, the restaurants serving mouth watering delicacies or the Ayurvedic spas offering relaxing treatments, everything exudes a warmth that instantly puts you at ease. The swimming pool, where you can take a plunge or laze by the side, goes one step ahead at soothing your nerves. The traditionally decorated rooms, equipped with all modern amenities are specially designed to give you the comfort of your home with a generous topping of irresistible luxury. And so it goes without saying, that we offer our guests the best of everything. We look forward to having you with us.


Total Rooms : 28
Star Category : 3
The Aquaserene Resort is a 3 star property with 28 villas, part of the Tulip Star Hotels chain which presently has luxury class hotels in major cities in India. The chain is headed by the Ex-Chairmen of the Taj Group of Hotels Dr. Ajith B Kerkar and other seasoned professional’s from the hospitality industry.


Total Rooms : 95
Star Category : 4
A Luxury hotel with 95 rooms, located on the beach offering panoramic view of the Arabian Sea from every room till its horizon. The hotel is an ideal host to a holiday maker as well as corporates for their meetings, conventions at a destination which is untouched by many.... providing seven wonder views of the sea, beach, park, city, greenery harbour and backwaters.


Total Rooms : 21
Star Category : 3
Nila Palace is a 3-star deluxe hotel, situated at Kollam, near Thenmala. It is the first and the only Hotel in South India to be certified as ISO 9001: 2000 and HACCP IS/15000: 1998 together. We have 21 well-appointed rooms, which include 01 Royal Suite, 02 Club Suites, 02 Honeymoon Suites, 12 Deluxe Rooms and 04 Standard Rooms. We have 4 Banquet halls. Reservation Check In Check Out Rooms No of Persons We have well-equipped residential conference facilities to accommodate 25 to 600 people. Our service includes 12-hour Room Service, Business Center, Laundry, Doctor on Call, Currency Exchange, Safe Deposit Lockers, Direct Dialing, Internet Connectivity in each room, acceptance of all credit cards, check out 24 hours.

Friday, May 14, 2010

t2india Introduces India Tour Package Booking – Your Gateway to India, has come up with Fixed Tour Packages. The site ; a travel portal of Prakriti Inbound, one of the leading tour operators, offers 16 theme based tours and more than 400 tour packages across 400 destinations in India for travelers of all ages, making it a perfect website for travelers to find what they are looking for.

The tour packages provided by cover the whole of India from the cold desert of Leh Ladakh to the warmer backwaters of Kerala, from the rain forests of the North East to the sand dunes of Jaisalmer. Adding to these; are various festival itineraries, Jungle safaris, tribal itineraries and also adventure and spiritual itineraries.

The tour packages are easy to book, just choose one package of your choice, check the hotels as per your budget and choice and the price will come up. You may try different variations like the date, number of people traveling, hotel choices, vehicle selection, and meal choices and so on for various price combinations.

The advantage is to get a complete view of the hotel with its images or facilities and also the complete description of the destination you are looking into, at the same time. Added advantages of multiple currency option are also provided and the itineraries come with no hidden cost. , is a travel portal of Prakriti Inbound Pvt. Ltd., a fully fledged travel agency operating from 1999. t2india is a web portal which not only promotes tourism in India but also provides the customer a chance to explore India to its fullest promising visitors not only luxury but also a great experience at an affordable price. Services and products provided by t2india include travel consultation, pre-arranged tours, custom packages, reservations for lodging, rental cars, rail passage, etc. t2india seeks to differentiate itself as the premier travel agency and travel Services Company in India.

Whether you stay in metropolitan city, near the sandy untouched beaches of Andaman or anywhere in India, not only will the booking be fast and easy but you'll encounter the genuine warmth of Indian hospitality making you feel at home away from home, especially when you book packages with t2india.

If you visit India choose t2india for Prakriti Inbound Pvt. Ltd. makes sure you gain more India per mile.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chail : Honeymooner's Paradise

Chail was built as the summer capital of the erstwhile Maharaja of Patiala in Punjab. It has an interesting story behind it. In 1891, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh incurred the wrath of the British and was banned an entry to the summer capital of Shimla. This enraged the Maharaja and he vowed to build a better summer capital in the vicinity of Shimla for himself. And indeed! Chail, a little village close to Shimla, was a slice of heaven. It was perfect surrounded by magnificent deodar forests and also in close vicinity of Shimla. Moreover the hill of Chail at 2226 meters was somewhat higher than British-controlled Shimla, this definitely satisfied the ego of the King and he started developing Chail according to his needs. Chail is built on three hills. The palace is on Rajgarh Hill, the Residency Snow View, once occupied by the British, is on Pandhewa Hill and the town of Chail is situated on the third hill Sadh Tiba. This small village also boasts of the world's highest Cricket ground built by the Maharaja himself who was great patron of the game.

Nature is at her exuberant best in Chail. The majestic snow capped Shivalik peaks, the beautiful orchards and sylvan pine valleys surrounded by Deodar forests and crisp air… Chail surely casts a spell. The River Sutlej which takes twists and turns and the valley beneath offers a stupendous view form the hills of Chail. Chail is enchanting and the views are mesmerizing.

Chail is a small hamlet where the nature has showered with all its beauties, where time stands still and romance is in air. Truly a paradise for all.

Location: Nearly 45kms from Shimla, this small town is cushioned between the Shivalik hills and is hardly seven to eight hours distance from the national capital of Delhi. The virgin mountainous heaven is truly a honeymooner's paradise.

Languages Spoken: Hindi, Himachali, Garhawali
Long Distance Code: +91-1792
Importance: Honeymooner's paradise
Best Time To Visit: March To November & December to Februay to enjoy the winter sports.

Chail Attractions:

Mostly Chail should be enjoyed for its natural beauty with its beautiful scented forests and the scenic beauty of the valleys of pine forests. Chail receives snowfall in winters and the snow gives way to marvellous flowers those blossom on the trees and the whole valley changes its colour.

One of the few important sites that need special visits is the Palace of the Maharaja. Built in 1891 on the hills of Rajgarh, it was devastated in fire and was rebuilt in 1951. Today it has been converted in to a heritage hotel property, but still holds the charm of the bygone era.

The Sidh Baba Ka Mandir was supposed to be the actual site of the palace that was built in 1891. But the legend goes that after the work of building the palace on the site was initiated, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh dreamt of a saint who said it used to be his place for meditation. Thus the Maharaja stopped the work of palace over here and instead built a temple dedicated to the saint and named it Sidh Baba ka Mandir.

Chail boasts of world's highest cricket ground. The Maharaja was a great admirer and patron of Cricket. Therefore he developed the ground with all the amenities. The highlight of this place is not only the altitude that it is placed on but the magnificent view that it commands. The Maharaja made it a point to have all that Shimla did not have to score over the British.

Total Rooms : 12
Star Category : 0
Jungle Livinn Camps and Retreat is a splendid resort in the picturesque valley of Chail. The resort acts as an ideal gateway to the nature’s best, for the tortured city souls. It offers majestic views of the verdant valley and elevated mountains. Moreover, Jungle Livinn has all the facilities to make any stay absolutely comfortable.

Total Rooms : 22
Star Category : 2
Harmony Hotel was launched in May, 2008. The brand new hotel building has the furniture and furnishings specially selected keeping in view the current taste of the guests, gives it a fresh look. In short span of its operations, the Hotel had started getting recognition as one of the most popular hotels in the area. The Hotel has 22 spacious rooms with three types of rooms starting with the highest being Super Deluxe, followed by Deluxe and Executive. The facilities include almost all the basic amenities that a guest expects. The feedback register has recorded great interest by the guests to return to the Harmony Hotel on all their future visits to Manali. The guests included from all over India as also visiting Indian guests from overseas. Therefore, the guest base is increasing every day making the hotel one of the most sought after hotels in Manali. Harmony Hotel is also now well known among the travel agents all over India who have evinced their keen interest to sign long term agreements with us for stay of their guests. The Reservation of rooms can be done on phone, fax or online from the website of the Hotel. TheHarmony Hotel offers club membership to all its guests on their first visit to avail special discounts on the future visits by them and their relatives and friends.

Total Rooms : 50
Star Category : 3
Toshali Royal View Resort is situated 24 km from Shimla on the Kufri-Chail road, Toshali Royal Resort stands majestically in the center of the Golden Triangle of Shimla, Chail & Kufri. It is complete with all modern amenities which makes this place a favorite among the tourists.

Total Rooms : 13
Star Category : 0
Rashi Resorts nestled in the thick Himalayan pine forests of Chail in Himachal Pradesh, situated at a height 7054 ft. ( equivalent to Shimla`s ) beckons you to a unique experience of God`s beautiful creation of Nature untampered by man.The imposing mountains, the picturesque flower decked valleys, the deep and dark woods, the cool crisp air, the tangy smell of pine, the misty mornings, the golden Sunset and snowfall in the winter is sure to set your heart beating with Joy - the sheer magic of nature is sure to gladden your heart.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dalhousie : The Vale of Milk and Honey

The gateway to the Chamba Valley, this colonial town was established in 1854 by the British Governor General Lord Dalhousie. Located on the five hills namely, Kathlog, Portreyn, Moti Tibba, Bakrota and Balun, Dalhousie has retained much of the British Raj Style. The Dhauldhar mountain ranges in the vicinity with the river Ravi flowing down, the pine covered slopes, with intersecting roads, the houses with colonial architecture, and the serene calmness; all with its own distinctive flavour, Dalhousie is one of the most picture perfect hill stations of India.

Dalhousie offers a panoramic view, from certain places one can come across the stupendous view of the confluence of the three Rivers; Ravi, Chenab and Beas. This is the place that slowly joins in the Kashmir valley. No wonder that Lord Dalhousie chose this place looking for peace and serenity after a war. His love for the place went to the extent that he leased it from the King of Chamba, and although he left soon enough, the place which had acquired his name stayed back for years to come and became one of the most beautiful and famous hill stations of India.

Location: Covering the area of 14 sq kms and situated on five hills, stands the hills station of Dalhousie. It is located on the Dhauldhar range of Himalayas and is around 210 kms from the capital of the state Shimla.

Languages Spoken: Hindi and English
Long Distance Code: +91-1899
Area: 13 sqkm
Best Time To Visit: April To November & December to Februay to enjoy the winter sports.

Dalhousie Attractions

Like any other hill stations of Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie, too, is abundant in natural beauty and that is the prime attraction of this place. The place patronized by the British Governor General Lord Dalhousie, has very less options other than being with nature. There is Jandhri Ghat, an elegant residence of the rulers of the region before Lord Dalhousie leased out the place from them. Nestled amidst the forests, the house is surrounded with mild fragrance of the pine trees and naughty streamlets flowing nearby. A beautiful site, worth a visit, with a display of many trophies and other articles owned by the rulers.

The Subhash Baoli is the landmark of Dalhousie. It is believed that the great freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose spent a lot of time at this place in 1937, meditating and reorganizing his thoughts. Although at an altituded of 2085 meters with breath taking views around it is definitely difficult for a common man to meditate here!

Dalhousie is full of little springs that one comes across at every nook and corner in Dalhousie. But the Satdhara is a different site. At an altitude of 2036 meters there are seven brooks rush down with the treasure of mica and other medicinal ingredients due to which they carry along with therapeutic values. The Bakrota Hills take the cake of the view of the surrounding hills and the snow clad peaks. This place is bit far from the heart of the city but definitely rewarding.

Panjpulla has a monument built in the memory of a great martyr Ajit Singh who was the uncle of the legendary Bhagat Singh. Hardly two kms from the centre of the city this memorial is must a visit. The Diankunt is famous for its crystal view of the three rivers which flow through the state and go down towards Punjab which are the Beas, Ravi and the Chenab.

Total Rooms : 19
Star Category : 2
Far from the maddening crowd, Alps Resort is located amidst peace and serenity.Surrounded by pine trees, the resort has a spectacular view of the valley.Sprawling lawns, splendid views, wooded walks, every evening bon-fire & bar-be-que, indoor & outdoor games and above all gracious hospitality are amongst a few facilities that we offer.

Total Rooms : 31
Star Category : 0
Dalhousie is a quiet town, with a sense of enchantment. This hill station spreads over five low-level hills at the western edge of the Dhauladhar range, just east of the Ravi river. The picturesque town is interspersed with the colonial-era buildings, low roofed stalls and hotels. The pine-covered slopes around it are intersected with paths and treks, which are ideal for short undemanding walks.

The gateway to the Chamba Valley, this colonial town was established in 1854 by the British Governor-General Lord Dalhousie, covering an area of 14 and surrounded by alpine vegetation. Dalhousie has charming architecture and panoramic views of both plains and the white capped views of the mountainous ranges.


Total Rooms : 30
Star Category : 2
Beautifully situated with various type of schemes for the renowned guests athroughout the year.Complimentary access tothe Movie Club with select choice of movies, late check out facility,10 videogames free at the gaming parlor in the Hotel on our package, 2 km level forest walk with hotel guide and light beverages.

Total Rooms : 16
Star Category : 0
Situated in the heart of Dalhousie, Monal offers a clean and hygienic environment. Rooms and suites are designed to cradle you in luxury with an open view of the splendid deodar forest and the virgin pine mountains and the privacy of your very own balcony will give you a feeling that you are in the middle of everything, yet away from it all. Our professional staff revels in matching your interests. You will feel the warmth and excellent services instantaneously.With its private balconies and full valley view, Hotel Monal offers the best scenic view in entire Dalhousie.