Kashmir reminds of apples, Himalayas, boat houses and beautiful people | Dal Lake in Kashmir is like a town on water with houses, markets and lotus gardens

Kashmir reminds of apples, Himalayas, boat houses and beautiful people | Dal Lake in Kashmir is like a town on water with houses, markets and lotus gardens

Kashmir looks like a beautiful painting created by God.  Kashmir flourishes with Himalaya mountains, green hills and flat stretch of land.  There are many apple, pine, chinar and Deodar trees.  Jhelum, Tawi and Chenab rivers flow in Kashmir.

Vaishnodevi temple is situated in Himalaya Mountains.  Tourists have to obtain a permission letter from security forces to visit the temple.  Leather and electronic goods are not allowed.  Travelling on horse backs on the steep hills is a scary experience.  Devotees even walk on foot shouting ‘Jai matadi’.  Dry fruits are sold everywhere. Journey to the temple will be a pleasant journey.

Security checking is conducted all through the journey.  Pilgrimage to Vaishnodevi is not complete without Visiting Bhairavanath temple.  Devotees can reach Bhairavanath temple travelling on the horse back.  There are deep valleys beside the roads and tourists who are new to this journey will get scared when the horses run on the hill steps.

Journey to Kashmir can begin from Katra.  Patny Top is situated at a distance from Katra.  River Tawi flows in the valleys near Patny Top.  Baglihar dam is built on River Chenab at Badaat.  Nehru tunnel is also situated on this route which is 2,577 mtrs.  Crossing Nehru tunnel means entering Kashmir.  Two and half hours journey in the tunnel is a memorable experience.

Roads of Kashmir are full of Military vehicles.  Military camps can be seen on the hills around.  Soldiers guard Kashmir with alertness.  Vehicles of tourists are also checked.

Pilgrimage to Amarnath starts from Shiva Temple at Pahalgaon.  This is said to be the place where Lord Shiva left his Nandi while going to Amarnath caves.    This place was called Bhairavagaon earlier and became Pahalgaon now.  Beauty of nature cannot be described in words.

Dal lake

Pampore is famous for saffron flowers.  Tourists can reach Srinagar via Pampore.  Dal Lake can be seen while travelling to Srinagar.  There will be many boat houses in Dal lake ready to welcome the tourists.  Nishanth and Shalimar gardens are other interesting places.

Jahangir hotel is a famous hotel at Srinagar.  This hotel is built in wood.  Curtains, blankets used in the hotel are an example of the hand work of Kashmiris.  Chinar leaves designs can be seen on almost everything.  Chinar trees are the providers of oxygen to these people.  So they do not spare the persons who pluck even a single leaf of Chinar.

Nishanth gardens are another interesting tourist place in Srinagar.  It has Himalayan Mountains in the back ground and is located in the middle of Dal Lake.  Shalimar gardens were built by Jahangir for his wife Noorjahan.  This garden is built in   storey and has rock fountains from this end to that end.  Small rest rooms are built here and there.  A palace is also built at the end of the garden.  This palace was used as a summer retreat.

Boats used on Dal Lake are made with Pine wood.  The wood is soaked in water for 7 – 8 years and boats are made with that wood.  Each boat cost above Rs.3 crores. Therefore the rents of these boats are also high.  These boats have hall, bed room, kitchen and garden.  Foreign tourists mostly stay in these boat houses.  This lake looks like a town on water.  Markets, houses, hospitals and lotus gardens can be seen in the lake.  Every boat house will have small boats tied in the front of them.  A fort is seen on a hill from Dal Lake.  That fort belongs to King Harisingh, last ruler of Kashmir.  Presently this fort is called Akbar Fort.

Sankaracharya temple is built on a hill near the lake at a height of 1000 feet.  This temple was believed to be built by Pandavas and was renovated by Sankaracharya.  There is a 3 to 4 feet shivalingam in the temple.

Gulmarg is situated in Baramullah district and is at a height of 9,000kms from sea level.  Apple gardens, mountains and streams can be seen all through the journey.  After travelling for three hours, a vast grass land can be seen having Himalayas as its back ground.  This ground changes into scating ground in winter and in other seasons it is used as a polo ground.

Small yellow colour flowers can be seen in large numbers.  Fruit bushes bearing yellow colour fruits are available here and it is said that bears eat the dry fruits of these flowers and go into hibernations during winter.  Twenty years back Kashmir was different with cinema shooting and national and international tourists.  Local people say that Pakisthan wants the pine trees grown in this area and pakisthan’s fight is not for Kashmiris but for the Pine tree because they are very expensive.  Terrorists used to come to the people of this area at mid night asking for dinner.  Security forces used to punish those who provide food to terrorists.  Presently situation in Kashmir is under control as the Indian government could able to control terrorism and tourists are visiting Kashmir though in small numbers.  People of Kashmir depend mostly on tourists for their livelihood.

There are also some people in Kashmir who support Pakisthan.  Kashmir is like a rose flower surrounded by thorns called terrorism.

Tourists can visit Punjab after Kashmir.  As every Indian is aware, Jallianwala bagh in Amritsar is a painful incident in Indian history.  Marks of cartridges on the walls remind one of the cruelty of General Dyer.  Golden temple, Wagha border are a must visit places in Punjab.

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Places of interests near LEH are Kargil, Pugtal, Rangdum etc | Route map and driving directions to LEH fronm Srinagar, J&K, India

Places of interests near LEH are Kargil, Pugtal, Rangdum etc | Route map and driving directions to LEH from Srinagar, J&K, India

leh valley

Highest mountain ranges, covered with white blanket of snow, vast green Nature, beautiful blue rivers, lakes and deep valleys. Leh is in between them.  This beautiful town is a heavenly abode for the foreign tourists.  It is a great destination for home tourists also.  This village attracts the customers with its beauty.

Leh is at an altitude of 11,500 kms , and is located in Jammu & Kashmir near the Indian border. This is a district head quarter.  Not only that, this is the largest district in India.  Half of the area of Jammu & Kashmir is in this district.  When British ruled India, they were very much interested in visiting Leh.  Nearly 18,000 national and international tourists visit Leh annually.  Tourists are also attracted to the Buddhist culture.

The Buddhist memorials in Leh are a treat to the eyes.  Many tourists visit the Shanti Stupa which is outside the town.  In the middle of the town there is a Kali mandir which is 800 years old, on a hill which mesmerizes the tourists.  Tourists can also visit Leh palace belonging to 17th century and is built in the Tibetan architecture tradition.  Most valuable and most ancient of all the places, is the Hemis gompa monastery.

Mountaineering

Many foreign tourists come to Leh to climb the mountain Nanukun, which is in the Himalayan mountain range.  Availability of transport facility is one of the main reasons for the tourists to visit this place.  Para Gliding facility is also arranged for the adventurous tourists. July and August months are suitable for swimming and rafting in the rivers Indus, Zanskar and Shyok (in Nubra valley).  Camel riding is available at Nubra region.   This place is suitable for trekking as the surroundings are pleasant.

River Indus

It is not an exaggeration to say that there are no words to describe the beauty of river Indus.  This river originates in Tibet and flows through Kashmir, Pakistan and discharges into the Arabian ocean.  A festival with the name ‘Sindu Darshan’ is organized by the government of India every year in May and June months.  The journey of this river starts from the holy Manasarovar in Tibet.  So devotees consider this river a sacred one.  Many devotees throng to this place during the festival.  Devotees from various parts of India bring water from their nearest rivers and mix the water in Indus during the festival .

Nearby places

Drass is another place of interest which is at a distance of 60kms from Leh.  This is the second most coldest place on earth. Winter snow fall can be enjoyed here.  In winter – 40o temperature is also recorded here.  Kargil,  Phugtal,  Rangdum, Sani and Suru valley are the other interesting places.

Route map and driving directions to LEH fronm Srinagar, J&K, India:
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Tourist attractions in Madhya Pradesh | Route (road) maps to Khajuraho, Bhimbetka, Bandhavgarh National Park and Kanha National Parks, Gwalior Fort, Amarkantak

Tourist attractions in Madhya Pradesh | Route (road) maps to Khajuraho, Bhimbetka, Bandhavgarh National Park and Kanha National Parks, Gwalior Fort, Amarkantak

Khajuraho, Bhimbetka, Bandhavgarh National Park and Kanha National Parks, Gwalior Fort, AmarkantakMadhya Pradesh is between five states which surround it like flower petals.  It is flourishing with dense forests and looks like a birth place of Mother Nature.  Innocent tribals are another ornament for this state. Highest forest land in India is located in this state.  Naturally, this beautiful state is attracting many tourists.

Madhya Pradesh is often called the heart of India. Many beautiful, historic places, animal reserve forests, rivers, lakes and mountains captivate the tourists.  Each of these are unique by themselves.

Khajuraho

Bhimbetka

Bandhavgarh National Park and Kanha National Parks

Gwalior Fort

Amarkantak

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Khandala near Lonavalaa is one f the best summer tourist place in Maharashtra | Driving Directions and Route map from PUNE to KHANDALA

Khandala near Lonavalaa is one f the best summer tourist place in Maharashtra | Driving Directions and Route map from PUNE to KHANDALA

Khandala

 

Many people go to Mother Nature’s lap to escape from the heat of the Sun in summer.  They return after enjoying the beauty and love of mother earth.  Such tours should be a memorable experience.  They should introduce new beauty to the mind.  One such place is Khandala.

Khandala is situated at a distance of 101kms from Mumbai. Khandala is full of natural beauty with lush greenery and high mountains.  This is in the Sahyadri mountain range in Maharashtra towards the west direction.  This is at an altitude of 625mtrs.  Tourists want to visit this place again and again because of its captivating landscapes.  Khandala is being recognized as a wonderful and beautiful hill station even though it is small.  One cannot see anything else but greenery from this place.  Adventurous people love to go for trekking here.

Just 5kms from Khandala, there is another tourist spot Lonavala.  This is bigger than Khandala.  Tourist should compulsorily visit this place.  Khandala and Lonavala compete with each other in beauty.  There are many lakes around Khandala.  These also attract the tourists.  Deep valleys on one side, high mountains on other side give a special feeling to the tourists. Atmosphere here is cool till May.  There are many historical forts, waterfalls and lakes on the route of Mumbai – Khandala.

Rajmachipark: While going to Lonavala from Mumbai, one can see a beautiful garden and Rajmachi fort.  There is a big valley also here.  A restaurant and a temple are also situated here.  A park is also situated for children.

Kune waterfalls: Water falls from a height of 100 feet.  These waterfalls are situated in the middle of Khandala and Lonavala.  Tourists take bath under these waterfalls.  Karla, Bhaja caves which belong to 2 B.C are also located nearby.  Many interesting places like Tiger’s Leap, Monkey hill, Lohagad, Shivaji Park and Duke’s nose can be visited.  Khandala is well connected with rail and roadways.

Driving Directions and Route map from PUNE to KHANDALA

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Ooty is one of the best hill stations with tea plantations in India| Road map and Driving directions to Ooty from Coimbatore

Ooty is one of the best hill stations with tea plantations in India| Road map and Driving directions to Ooty from Coimbatore

ooty

Ooty is a famous summer retreat down in South India.  Ooty is full of forests and hills.  So the temperature is less in summers when compared to other places.  The name of the hills there is Nilgiri hills. Ooty is located in the southwest direction. Earlier there used to be rains for more than six months.  So the hills were covered with dense forest.  And so the temperature was also less.  But now, not only in Ooty but on all the hills around, trees are chopped off, and only T-plantations are seen everywhere.  The natural beauty of the Ooty is nowhere to see.  Only the name remains.

But the atmosphere on any hill station is pleasant.  There are no snow mountains in Ooty.  So the temperatures do not fall to minus degrees.  Anybody who can withstand moderate cold can visit Ooty in the winter season.  Because, the natural scenic beauty of Ooty can be enjoyed in winter season only.  So December, January and February are the most suitable months to visit Ooty.  In summer we can only see dried up trees and hills.  In addition to that there is a lot of dust and the rush is also heavy in summer.

Road map and Driving directions to Ooty from Coimbatore:

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Coorg has many interest places to offer for the tourists | Kodava community is an interesting community to know about in Coorg

Coorg has many interest places to offer for the tourists | Kodava community is an interesting community to know about in Coorg

Coorg

Highest mountains, dense forests, deep valleys and the fragrance of coffee are some of the special features of Coorg hills.  Coorg hills look like a green rose in the head of Western Ghats with rare traditions and culture.

Coorg is a hill area situated in the western direction of Mysore in Western Ghats.  This is on the borders of Karnataka and Kerala. Situated at a distance of 120 kms from Mysore this wonderful place is a must visit which transforms the visitors into another worlds.

Visitors can first visit Mysore which has interesting places like Maharaja Palace, Chamundeshwari Temple, and Lalith Mahal Palace.  Coorg is actually a place district.  Head quarter of Coorg village is Madikeri.  Road to Madikeri is not good as the single road is being converted in to a double road.  A distance of 40 kms of road journey is horrible with diversions and ups and downs.  Roads are almost uninhibited and look scary at night.  Very less traffic is seen in that route after 08.00pm.  Resorts in the middle of coffee plantations can be seen for every two kilometers.  These are generally situated at a distance of 1 or 2 kilometers away from main road in valley like areas.

Rain fall is very high in Coorg.  Land is always damp.  Coorg fascinates the visitors with its nature beauty.  Nature looks like as if it is wearing a green blanket, beautiful houses look like a picture post card.

There are many places of interest in Madikeri Talakaveri the birth place of River Kaveri is situated at a distance of 4kms from Madikeri.  Tourists can see many silver trees of which plywood is made.  Spice plants like cardamom, pepper and pineapple and bamboo… there is so much beauty around which has to be seen but cannot be described.  Coffee beans can be seen during the early months of the year.  They are red in colour.  Estates in Madikeri are generally spread over an area of 5 to 2000 acres.  Many of the owners construct their houses in the middle of the estates.  Many famous actors, politicians and business men from Andhra Pradesh also have estates in Madikeri.

Coorg is famous for honey and coffee.  Spices are available at fewer prices.  People of Coorg watch Hindi and Telugu movies.  People of Coorg have taken up a movement in the name ‘Kodagu Rajya Mukti Morcha’ and are fighting for a separate state status.  The movement has no place for violence and only cultural and traditional programs are taken up to involve people in this.  Strikes are very rare.  Coorg is not only a very rich place in Karnataka but is the highest tax payer to the government.  But 53% of villages here still have no power supply.  People here want a separate status for reasons like this.

People of Coorg have special history.  Kodava community people are very beautiful and are fair.  Their language and traditions are all different.  They migrated from Kurdistan, Kashmir and Rajasthan.  But nobody has any information why they came here and when.  Some say they are the heirs of Roman soldiers who came here after the fall of Pandya kingdom who ruled this place in 8th century.  Some other says that these are heirs to the soldiers of Alexander.  Whatever be their birth, they are a special community.  Their language has much influence of Tamil than Kannada.  Kodava community worship nature and women.  Women have the right over ancestral property.  They can remarry in the instance of death of their husbands.

The houses of ancestors are regarded as temples by Kodava people.  These houses are called ‘Ine Mane’ and are spacious and beautiful.  These are located in dense forests and so are not seen near the roads.

The next thing to be mentioned about Kodava community is their dress.  Men wear coat called Kupiya which is knee length and tie a clothe belt in red or gold colour around the waist.  They also carry a knife with ivory handle.  Women wear silk sarees in strange style.  They have folds of the saree at their backs and wear the loose end of the saree over their shoulder to the front.  They also wear scarves over their heads like Kashmiri women.

Kushalnagar near Madikeri has an elephant’s park.  Tourists have to cross a river on boat to reach this place.  There is also a Tibetan Bouddharam at Bailekuppu.  This is also called the Golden Temple.  A few kgs of gold is used in the construction of this temple.  Indian Government has given this place to Buddhist monks who came to India escaping from China.  The statue of Lord Buddha is very pleasant.  There are many schools and colleges running in the premises of temple.

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