Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, is a superb piece of architecture. This city was built in perfect Nine Squares and wide roads were designed to intersect each segment. The segments were also linked internally by small roads. The city is a perfect example of how well the architectural concept was developed at that time. The old city, which is sometimes refered to as the Walled City, is uniformly painted in pink color and thus earned its nickname.
The city attracts a lots of tourists as it has many historic monuments that have architectural value, such as Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Matar, City Palace, the Water Palace, and many more.
Jaipur is also famous for its arts and crafts, specially the blue pottery, Bandhej work, and Sanganeri print linen. All in all Jaipur is a must see place. October to March is the best suitable time for visiting this lovely city.
Ever thought of traveling off the beaten path and glimpsing a side of India that few tourists see? From pristine beaches to quirky villages, hidden architectural marvels and more, there is no shortage of such unseen places in India. These pristine surroundings are waiting to be discovered. Check out these 24 offbeat destinations that are just begging for you to visit them!
Approximately 70 km from Bangalore, this unique hillside is heaven for cave explorers. It is scattered with a plethora of caves formed from small volcanic rocks. The caves are both welcoming and intimidating at the same time.
What adds to its charm? There’s a spring that emerges from a small crevice in the rock, a mysterious source. Local people believe the water of the stream to be very holy.
The small town of Umri in Allahabad, believed to be 250 years old, has perplexed researchers all over the world. Out of every 1,000 children born here, 45 are twins. In the last 80 years, the village has had 108 twins, which is amazingy. The reason for this remains unknown. But the villagers believe it to be god’s miracle.
Located about 45 km southeast of Leh is the beautiful town of Hemis. The town is popular for its Hemis monastery and a colorful festival that it celebrates every year.
Like with other haunted places, Bhangarh has no shortage of myths and ghost stories. But unlike other places this one is so haunted the government of India has made it illegal to enter the grounds. Apparently anyone who has been out past sunrise in the ruined town of Bhangarh, also known as Bhangarh Fort, has never returned alive.
About 11 km from Nagarjuna Sagar Dam in Andhra Pradesh lies Ethipothala, which is home to the spellbinding Ethipothala Waterfall. The falls are a union of three streams and are quite a sight to behold.
Sprawling over forty acres, the 300-year-old Bekal Fort is shaped like a giant key hole. It is one of the best preserved forts in Kerala. The observation tower in the fort offers a fascinating view of the Arabian Sea and all the major places in the vicinity.
This architectural marvel was built in the 18th century in Lucknow. It is a fantastic mix of European and Arabic architecture. The most astonishing aspect is the central arched hall, a whopping 50 meters long and about three stories high, hanging without the support of any pillars or beams!
Well known for its spice plantations, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations and the gigantic Idukki arch dam, this district in Kerala truly is the epitome of natural beauty.
What makes this place really quirky? Idukki is known for the most unusual phenomenon called Red Rain. The colored rain of Kerala started falling in 2001. Since then it has become one of the most discussed anomalies of recent years.
This is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and its banks are home to the world’s only floating National Park. The Loktak Lake in Manipur is also called the floating lake because of the floating masses of vegetation on its surface.
About 24 km from Dalhousie, this small picturesque saucer-shaped plateau is a wonderful destination. For a peaceful sojourn in the lap of the Himalayas, this is the ideal place for relaxation.
For all the tea lovers reading this, this is one place you would crave to visit. At 7,900 ft above sea level the hills of Kolkkumalai in Tamil Nadu produce tea which has a special flavor and freshness.
In the northeast of the Kullu Valley lies the solitary village of Malana. The village is considered to be one of the first democracies in the world. It is also home to the notorious Malana cream, arguably the finest quality hash ever produced.
Do you cringe at the sight of litter on streets in India? Well then you will be surprised to know about this village. Located about 100 km from Shillong is Mawlynnog, a small village in the East Khasi Hills. In 2003 it won the award of being the cleanest village -- not just in India but in all of Asia.
One of the five tallest waterfalls in the country, Nohkalikai Falls near Cherrapunji is named after the horrific tale of a woman named Ka Likai. The legend behind this gorgeous fall makes it all the more intriguing and beautiful.
Full of palaces and shrines still retaining their original grandeur, the city of Orchha dates back to 1501 and is a must for all history / culture / architecture buffs. It is located near the banks of Betwa River in Madhya Pradesh.
Situated at an altitude of 5,029 metres in the Himalayas, this lake is popularly known as Skeleton Lake. Skeletons of about 200 people belonging to the 9th century were discovered here. It was later found that a hailstorm had killed the people. To this day, visitors can still see those skeletons.
A village at about 200 km from Pune follows a frightful custom. Each house in this village has a resting place for cobras in the rafters of their ceilings. No cases of snake bites have been reported in this village despite snakes moving about freely in every household.
Tucked away in the Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh, the Spiti Valley is a relatively unknown world! With Tibet in the east and Ladakh in the north, this region is scattered with tiny villages and monasteries rich in traditional culture.
Located 27 km from the district of Tamenglong in Manipur, the Tharon Cave is of great archaeological and historical importance. A visit to this cave is reportedly the experience of a lifetime.
Is the USA your land of dreams? If yes, then you simply cannot miss visiting the Chilkur Balaji Temple, which is about 20 kms from Hyderabad. People believe the 21st century god of this temple has the power to grant you a US visa.
Yes, you read that right. Every week around 75,000 to 100,000 devotees visit this temple!
About 620 km from Bangalore is the ghost town of Dhanushkodi. Not only is it famously known for its mythological importance, but also for the cyclone that hit the town in 1964, which ravaged the entire region.
Located in the Thane district of Maharashtra, Vihigaons Falls is a monsoon fed waterfall. It is the perfect place for rappelling and canoeing.
About 870 meters above the sea level, this hill station is located in the State of Gujarat. The most amazing aspect about it is the rare and beautiful sea view that guests get to see.
Located at about 148 km from Gangtok, the Yumthang valley with its scenic beauty is truly a paradise for nature lovers.
Over the next six months I will be exploring as many of these locations as possible. 1 down, 23 to go! Follow along at blog.theHoliDaze.com
Like what you just read? More Offbeat Travel Guides
Do you find traditional hotels and resorts uninteresting when out on a vacation? Avid adventurists and nature lovers will say ‘yes’ to this question, and this attitude is the reason why the camping culture around the world is on rise. Camps help you to experience nature at close quarters. Be it on mountains, in deserts or be on beaches, camping is an ideal way of exploring the beauty of nature. India and its diverse geography offer a variety of camping sites where you can spend the night under a moonlit sky, sitting with your friends around a bonfire enjoying the beauty of nature. HoliDaze picks from the top camping sites in India include:
Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is a tourist place with deep spiritual connection where tons of adventures await. The place is one of the most sought after camping sites due to its awesome natural beauty and various adventure destinations. Living by the banks of the River Ganga is a great experience for anyone. July to September is the best time for enjoying camping in Rishikesh and perfect for adventure lovers.
Located in the Trans-Himalayan belt of Himachal Pradesh, Spiti Valley is described as “a world within a world” by the famous English poet Rudyard Kipling. Camping here gives you a wonderful opportunity to get close to nature and explore this stunning valley. Spiti Valley is also a well-known adventure destination amongst Indians but has yet to truly catch on with foreign tourists -- all the more reason to visit now, before it does! Camping here in May or June gives you relief from the heat of late summer.
Adventure lovers and campers gather in Mussoorie to enjoy the thrills of camping and return home with memorable experiences. You will feel like you are in a different world soaking in the splendid views of the white capped Himalayan peaks from the comfort of your camps. Mussoorie, also known as the gateway to Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines, is the favorite spot of trekkers due to its rugged terrains and scenic beauty. March to June is the ideal time for enjoying camping in Mussoorie.
Camping near to the Sam Sand Dunes in Jaisalmer gives you the opportunity to enjoy local Rajasthani food, cultural dances and more. The camps are lit by Mashaals and campfire to provide a truly royal feel of the bygone era. If you are yet not satisfied, watching stars at night from the deserts of golden city is an experience of a lifetime. You can also enjoy camel safaris in Jaisalmer. Needless to say, winter is the best season to enjoy camping here.
Camping is truly an exciting experience in the land of high passes. Enfolded by the arid mountains, Ladakh offers a variety of camping sites for campers of all types. The banks of Pangong and Tsomoriri lakes are ideal camping sites where you can explore the beauty of Ladakh. Of course some other travelers prefer camping in Markha Valley, another favorite destination among trekkers. July and August are the best months to enjoy camping in Ladakh.
Also dubbed as ‘the lake of moon’, Chandertal Lake is an ideal camping site. Located at an elevation of 4300m (14,107 ft) in Lahaul and Spiti Valley, Chandertal Lake offers you a great camping experience right in the lap of nature. A stay in the camps here will surely mesmerize you and bewilder your senses. However, altitude sickness may be an issue.
Known for its beautiful beaches, Goa offers campers a variety of camping sites. Spending a night at a camp on one of the Goa’s most popular camping locations allows you to experience the happening culture and nightlife of Goa. Agonda beach, Ashwem beach, and Anjuna beach are a few of the best camping sites here. You will get to experience something new with a beach party while camping in Goa. And be honest, who doesn't love beach parties?
Arguably the best way to enjoy the serenity of nature, camping is one of the best outdoor activities that anyone can enjoy without intense training or practice. It allows you to escape the city and modern life, and provides an opportunity to explore the unexplored countryside. The next time you are in India, be sure to take some time off the beaten tourist trail to enjoy a little camping.
Are you a fan of haunted places? Do you have nerves of steel? Well then, this place may be just for you -- if you also do not mind facing legal action in a foreign country. That's right, like with other haunted places this one has no shortage of myths and ghost stories, but unlike other places this one is so haunted the government of India has made it illegal to enter the grounds. I'm dead-serious. Apparently anyone who has been out past sunrise in the ruined town of Bhangarh, also known as Bhangarh Fort, has never returned alive.
Now there is a sign posted warning people away under threat of legal action. However the sign is not posted in front of Bhangarh as you might suspect but rather posted a safe distance away -- on the sacred grounds of a nearby temple.
The Government of India
The Archeological Survey of India, Bhangarh
1. Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited.
2. Shepherds and woodcutters who enter Bhangarh area will face legal action.
3. The Kewda or Pandanus trees found in Bhangarh area belong to the Archaeology Survey of India. Is it forbidden to subject this tree to any kind of harm.
Note: Anyone flouting of the rules mentioned above will face legal action.
Supervisor, Archaelogical Survey Board
Bhangarh was established in 1573 (Vikram Samvat calendar year 1631) and at its peak had a population of just over 10,000 inhabitants. But starting with the death of the ruler in 1630 (VS 1688), population began to decline and things just continued downhill from there. The last known inhabitants left in 1783 (VS 1840) supposedly vacated overnight.
As far as what exactly makes Bhangarh Fort so haunted, there are two prevailing myths.
The first legend states that the town of Bhangarh was cursed by the Guru Balu Nath, who only sanctioned its establishment under one condition: "The moment the shadows of your palaces touch me, the city shall be no more!" Years down the line, when a descendant raised the palace to a height that cast a shadow on Balu Nath's forbidden retreat, he cursed the town as prophesied. As a matter-of-fact, Balu Nath is said to lie buried there to this day, ensuring that the curse is never lifted.
The second story involves a former princess of Bhangarh, Princess Ratnavati, who was said to be the shining jewel of all Rajasthan. At that time lived a magician well versed in the occult named Singhia, who was in love with the princess but knew that it could never be as she was above his class. Then one day when Singhia saw the princess in the market, he had an idea. Using his black magic skills, he cursed the oil that Princess Ratnavati was purchasing so that upon touching it to her skin she would surrender herself and run to him. The princess, however, seeing that Singhia was enchanting the oil, foiled his plan by pouring it on the ground. As the oil struck the ground it turned into a giant boulder which crushed Singhia. Dying, the magician cursed the palace with the death of all who dwelt in it.
Which do you think it is? Share you comments below!
According to the curse, whichever you may believe, it was also said that if Bhangarh was ever rediscovered, the township itself would not be found, only the temples would show up. True to the story, only the temples of the lost town of Bhangarh dot the landscape and even far up on the mountains only shrines can be seen.
Many locals and visitors alike claim that they have witnessed paranormal activities there, including eery sounds of music and dancing as well weird colored spots in photographs of some of the chambers.
Now I've come across a lot of haunted places, but I have never before seen one that even the government is afraid of. How wild is that! It's that morbid sense of intrigue that earned this place a spot on the ultimate Travel Blogger's Bucket List (TBBL for short).
The Ramoji Film City, in Hyderabad, was built on war grounds of the Nizam sultans. Witnesses report the movie lights suspended up high kept falling down. Light-men who sit with the lights on top have been pushed countless times and many have had grievous injuries. But it doesn't stop there. The food left in cast rooms also gets scattered around the room and strange marks are left on the mirror in an unknown script resembling Urdu, the language spoken by the sultans. Girls are the ghosts' favorite to haunt. They tear at their clothes, knock on the bathroom doors while the outside doors are locked, and in general create mass havoc. Many preventive measures have been taken to prevent hauntings, but none have been of any use.
Sanjay Van, near the Qutab Institutional Area of New Delhi, is a huge forest spread over around 10 kilometers. There is a cremation ground also there, and many people have reported having seen a lady dressed in a white saree appearing and disappearing suddenly.
Vrindavan Society at Thane. It is said a man once committed suicide in one of the Buildings of the Vrindavan Society -- Bldg. No.66 B to be specific. Ever since the security guard's patrolling the area around have come across weird happenings. Once a guard was slapped so hard that he got up from his chair and hit the other guard who was near by him, thinking he was the one who hit him.
Dow-Hill in Kurseong, West Bengal, where the forests are damp and dark, and have an uncanny feeling. People up here tend to be depressed and countless murders have taken place. On the stretch between Dow-Hill road and the Forest Office, woodcutters returning in the evenings have repeatedly sighted a young boy walking head-less for several yards and then walk away from the road into the woods. Other than this, footsteps are heard in the corridors of the Victoria Boys School when the school is closed for long holidays from December to March.
Visited any of these haunted locations? Know of any others? Share your thoughts!
Kumbhalgarh Fort, also known as the Great Wall of India, is a new up-and-coming off the beaten path destination in Rajasthan that is starting to become more well known. However the leap in the numbers of visitors over recent years definitely makes it a worthy destination to visit when in Rajasthan for those who like getting off the tourist trail.
Located near Udaipur, this wonderful fort has a glimpse of history, war and tales of patriotism. If you love to hear history and visualize the fell then this is the must visit for you. The broad and wide walls depict the era of war and conquer, fights and patriotism, and tell the story of how strong the Sisodia dynasty were to safeguard their people.
Khumbhalgarh can be approached via Udaipur through Dabog airport / Udaipur Junction. But to reach you have to take the road Journey via Nathdwara. It is approximately 90km from Udaipur. The road though is not very good but is a state highway and the government is trying to upgrade so as to increase the travel volume of the state. The road journey is also pleasing as you pass by the country side of the Udaipur district. With it you will get a glimse of true rural India and many beautiful lakes and villages around them. Its good to see the nature and humans mingling with each other.
The fort of Kumbhalgarh is built on a hilltop and the walls of the fort has a peripheral of 36kms. It is the second largest wall in Asia after the famous Great Wall of China. The fort is said to be the most difficult to be won and had lost only once when the combined forces of Mughal Emperor Akbar, Raja Man Singh of Amber, Raja Udai Singh of Marwar and the Sultan of Gujarat breached the wall due to a shortage of drinking water. The walls as said early are huge and unbreachable and this can be gauged by the their overwhelming thickness -- 15 feet!
Kumbhalgarh has become a favourite destination among many travelers, both domestic and international. Plenty of resorts down the hill from 5-star luxury to budget resorts, even camping sites. We stayed in Club Mahindra Resort and really enjoyed the hospitality of the group. NOT TO MISS the light and sound show organised in the fort which narrates you the entire history of the place from its built to its conquer.
Kumbhalgarh is a destination less travelled but if you have time while visiting Rajasthan it is highly recommended that you swing by and experience Kumbhalgarh Fort and the majesty of the Great Wall of India with your own eyes.
Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, is the capital of India biggest state, Rajasthan. The first impression of Rajasthan is reflected by desert, camel and mustached men. The famous Thar Desert is the main cause of this perception, although people often forget that it also is home to the tiger reserved forest and a famous bird sanctuary, as well as the City of Lakes.
Facts such as water crisis and the dry Aravali Range strengthen the feel of Rajasthan being dry and desert-like. However as soon as monsoon arrives the brown and dry looks of Arvali altogether changes to lush green mountains throughout the state. Every tree, which earlier looked dried up and withered, comes back to life again making the environment lovely.
Monsoon also brings down the temperature, which drops the summer mercury and makes a pleasing and enjoy environment to go for picnic, outing or travel. Thus monsoon in Rajasthan is a great time to travel! Th20130809_093434e lush greenery and the wonderful atmosphere of clouds touching the low height aravalis sets a feel of being romantic. Jaipur during monsoon season truly nurtures the romance, making a perfect place to trip for young couples.
The best precaution in the rains, as with anywhere rainy in the world, is to carry your umbrellas along with you -- even if it is only cloudy. The rains will not damper your trip or planning, although it may add some short memories to cherish in the form of little kids playing in water or monsoon rivers that come into action those days, and the feel of charm and happiness on everybody's face. You'll find there are more than a thousand reasons that will bring a smile on your face in the rainy season. The rains here definitely gives you a lot of moments to cherish. The locals wait eagerly for rain and its not strange to observe various poojas or offerings to various gods for getting good rains.
Rajasthan's royal forts, palaces, and havelis have marked itself high on the tourist trail. The luxury of the kings and queens, the princely state and the comforts of the royals have now open to the world. Lots of old forts and palaces are opened to the guest for their comfort stay as well as royal treatment and luxury. Some of the royal ones are listed here with a brief description of what makes them unique and worth visiting.
Built by Rana Kymbha, this fortress has only been conquered once in all of history -- due to shortage of water. It was fighting against the joint forces of Akbar, Raja Man Singh of Amber, Raja Udai Singh of Marwar, and the Sultan of Gujarat. The wall of this fort is the second largest continuous wall in the world (after the Great Wall of China) and stretches around 36km. (That's over 20 miles!) Kumbhalgarh Fort Photo Gallery
Also known Amer Fort, this ancient fortress is huge. It was constructed by Raja Man Singh I but the history of this city goes back far past this. Amber was ruled by Meena rulers prior to the Rajputs. The fort is known for its rich culture and art. The best part of it are Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas, Diwan-e-Aam, and Sukh Niwas. More Amber Fort Photos
via Milo & Silvia
Chittorgarh is the epitome of Chattri Rajput (an Indian Warrior caste) pride, romance and spirit, for people of Chittor always chose death before surrendering against anyone. Vijay Stambh and Rani Padmini's sacrifice in the great and extended fort of Chittorh are the best part. Meera bai, a famous follower or lord Krishna also relates to the history of Chittorgarh.
One of the largest forts in the world, Jaisalmer Fortress was built by the Bhati Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, from where both the town and fort derives their names. The fort stands proudly amidst the golden stretches of the great Thar Desert, on a hill overlooking the city around it, and has been the scene of many battles. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are of yellow color during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets. For this reason, it is also known as the "Golden Fort".
Jal Mahal, the Water Palace also located in Jaipur is another popular destination. There is an open promenade (where this photo was taken from) where locals always gather and enjoy the view -- as do the tourists!
Raj Mahal Palace, also known as Jaisalmer Palace for an obvious reason, is another beautiful of ancient architecture that is now a museum. (Jaisalmer may be located far from everything but do not skip it!)
Rajasthan has achieved great importance that has withstood the test of time and now attracts more tourists than invading empries. From a travel point of view its rich and royal forts, palaces, and havelis make Rajasthan a "must visit" destination for most visitors to India. Experience the royal treatment of past kings and queens and walk where they walked, enjoy the same elegant destinations and views. It is truly a step back in time!
Rajasthan as known as a state in India where you can find deserts, lakes, mountains and valleys, as well as amazing arts, crafts, architecture and history. Rajasthani culture is symbolized by camels and desert, traditional costumes and mustaches, royal havelis and palaces, special spicy food with mouth watering desserts, enriched traditions, and great hospitality, especially towards foreign guests. That is why they have said for decades "padharo mare desh" -- "WELCOME TO OUR LAND".
If you want to find a destination that is royal, there are various palace hotels in Rajasthan in the city of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur. The option of choosing your destination goes far beyond these cities too but I have limited them to them because they have various travel interest either in the form of lakes, deserts, forts or palaces associated with them.
After picking the destination, next comes the party menu. Rajasthan is world famous for its food. Some of the best known dishes are dal baati, gatta masala, ker sangri, chakki (for vegans) and lal maas. For sweets you have options like ghevar, mawa mal pua, alwar ka mawa, and much more. The vast variety and rich food can always be added to your delighted dishes as Rajasthan has various cooks that can cook various delicacies / cuisine according to your requirement. They have been doing this through many decades. Kindly note that in Rajasthani culture serving food to guests is considered a great honor and they love to serve you with etiquette.
Rajasthani Thali via Zac Davies
Of course no wedding is complete without shopping and that is where Rajasthan once again proves to be perfect for weddings. Rajasthan is world famous for its jewelery, semi-precious stones, arts and crafts, souvenirs, and costumes. The best shopping destination are within the old walled city sections of Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur. And don't forget to haggle haggle haggle!
You can also add some entertainment to your wedding party by adding some folk dance and local music. They entertain for sure. Thus, Rajasthan becomes a perfect destination for a royal wedding that you will remember throughout your life!
Even in India, a nation that is flooded with cultural symbolism, history and numerous religious practices, Jaipur stands apart from the others. The city not only reflects the above mentioned practices but also incorporate rich heritage of craft and art.
The Nahargarh Fort, which used to guard the Pink City, now overlooks the growth and prosperity of the modern Jaipur. It has seen various chapters of Jaipur history from its existence to India independence and still today, it silently observes the growth of the city.
The city of Jaipur, built by Sawai Jai Singh II, was heavily fortified, since the king took a special interest in the security of the area and due to this he began the construction of Nahargarh Fort in the year 1734. The fort is believed to be named after a Mogul Prince and that’s why in certain parts of Nahargarh, the walls are adorned with beautifully painted frescoes depicting the prowess of the Mogul Empire.
Located above the city, Nahargarh Fort boasts wonderful views of the cityscape and surrounding hills. Evening proves to be the best time to view the city from Nahargarh Fort as you can see the beautiful city in the day, have a wonderful sunset view from the same and then you can have a look over the city at night. The city looks like a treasure chest with lots of necklaces and diamonds scattered all over it. It also gives an amazing view of the Jal Mahal (better known as the Water Palace). Not to be missed when in Jaipur.