Travel – Tour India to know it better (Concluded)

Telangana

Main article: Tourism in Telangana

Telangana,the state with rich historic and cultural heritage is one of the most frequented tourist places in South India.Also known as The City of Pearls,Hyderabad is today one of the most developed cities in the country and a modern hub of information technology, ITES, and biotechnology. Hyderabad is known for its rich history, culture and architecture representing its unique character as a meeting point for North and South India, and also its multilingual culture.

Hyderabad ranked second best place in the world that one should see in 2015 which is published in the annual guide of ‘Traveler’ magazine of National Geographic.[47]

Famous Buddhist centres:

Pilgrim centres and temples:

  • Bhadrakali Temple – In the city of Warangal
  • Ramappa Temple – Near to Warangal City

Attractions:

  • Charminar – Centre of the Hyderabad Old City
  • Golkonda Fort – Largest and 400 years oldest fort
  • Ramoji Film City – Largest Film City in the world situated in Hyderabad City
  • Warangal Fort – Oldest fort built by Kakatiya before 13th century reflects the culture of Telugu people
  • Thousand Pillar Temple – Built by King Rudra Deva in 1163 AD. The Thousand Pillar Temple is a specimen of the Kakatiyan style of architecture of the 12th century.
  • Surendrapuri – A unique Mythological Awareness Centre near Yadagirigutta, 60 km from Hyderabad

Golkonda (Telugu: గోల్కొండ, Urdu: گولکوندا), a ruined city of south-central India and capital of the medieval kingdom of Golkonda (c. 1364 – 1512), is situated 11 km west of Hyderabad.

Tripura

Ujjayanta Palace

Unakoti, a rock sculpture in Tripura
  • Ujjayanta Palace – The gleaming white Ujjayanta Palace located in the capital city of Agartala evokes the age of Tripura Maharajas. It is a unique experience to witness living history and royal splendour within the boundaries of the Palace. Constructed by the king of Tripura Maharja Radha Kishor Manikya during the late 19th century and finished off in 1901. The Indo-Saracenic building is set up in large Mughal-style garden with two man-made lakes on its both sides. The palace is of two-storied mansion and has three domes, each 86 feet high, stunning tile floor, curved wooden ceiling and wonderful crafted door. Floodlights and light and sound fountain has been set up in the palace.
  • Unakoti – means one less than a crore. Located about 186 km fromAgartala, Unokoti is an important site of archaeological wonder. It is a Shaiva pilgrimage attraction and dates back to the 7th to 9th centuries AD. The site consists of several huge vertical rock-cut carvings on a hillside. The site shows strong evidence of Buddhistoccupation but also has a central Shivahead and imposing Ganesha figures having a height of 30 feet. The rocky walls also have a carved images of Hindu pantheon like Durga and Vishnu. The unakoti rock-cut carving have the distinction of being the largest bas-relief sculpture in India.
  • Bhubaneshwari Temple – Another temple of eminence of Tripura is this temple. located 55 km from Agartala on the eastern fringe of Udaipur town by the bank of bank of river Gomati. The temple is now under the control of theArchaeological Survey of India. It was built by Maharaja Govinda Manikya(1660–1676). The temple is immortalised in Rabindranath Tagore‘s famous play known as Bisarjan andRajarshi. Maharaja Govinda also features an important character in Tagore’s play. While approaching Bhubaneshwari Temple one can find the ruins of the palace of the Maharaja. Down below the temple the river Gomati flows.
  • Gunabati Group of Temples – From its name it reveals that it was built in the name of her Highness Maharani Gunabati(wife of Maharaja Govinda Manikya), in 1668 AD. The two other tempel also bears contemporary look but there actual history is still unveiled. Architecture of these temples resembles other contemporary temples of Tripura except the top most parts are without Stupa. Core-Chambers are marked by a presence of pitcher circular core chamber and its vestibule which was large with Stupa like crown is beautifully crafted like lotus[48]
  • Chabimura – A famous panel of rock carving on the steep mountain walls on the banks of Gomati. There are huge images carved of ShivaVishnuKartika,Mahisasurmardini Durga and other Gods and goddesses. These images date back to the 15th or 16th century. Chabimura is 30 km away from Udaipur. It is situated in Amarpur subdivision. Devatamura means God’s peak and it a full range between Udaipur and Amarpur Subdivision. It is famous for a lot of idols of gods and goddess. These beautiful images are carved with a lot of dexterity on the rocky faces of Devtamura which is steep at 90-degree. The hill ranges are covered with thick jungles and one cab reach this adobe of gods only after trekking through these jungles.
  • Boxanagar – Recently after denudation of a nature forest area, ruins of a brick built building emerged in the northwestern part of Sonamura Sub-Division on the edge of the border with Bangalasesh. The local people initially attribute the remains to the ancient temple of Manasa– the goddess of snake. Attention was drawn to the Archaeological Survey of India and they took over the site. There an idol of Lord Buddha was discovered and it was confirmed that once upon a time it was a Buddhist Temple i.e. a Monastery. More than excavation of the site will unearth the hidden story.[49]
  • Pilak – a famous place of attraction for its archaeological remains from the 8th and 9th centuries. Pilak is situated at a distance of 144 km from Agartala. The place is a treasure house of Buddhistand Sculpture in the Hindu Sculptures. There runs a hilly rivulet near the place which is known as Pilak stream. It is attractive with scenic beauty. Few temples with plaques of terracotta and stone images can be found here. Huge sculptures made of stones ofAvalokiteśvara in the 9th century[50] andNarasimha image of the 12th century were found here. Both of there are now preserved in the Museum of Agartala. Even now one can find many sculptures of Goddess in Pilak as Lord Durga, LordGanesha, Lord Suriya, etc.[51] There is image of a God holding a lotus which is of 10 feet high. There are terracotta images of Kinnars. Two bronze statue of Buddhas were discovered in Rishyamukh near Pilak. All these lead to establish that the place was once under the rule of Buddhist kings followed by Hindu rulein subsequent years. Pilak, the treasure-trove of archaeological riches has close association with Mynamoti and Paharpur in Bangladesh. It is believed that the area has more hidden treasures and as such recently further excavation drive has been taken up byArchaeological Survey of India. Tourist may find it delighted to explore the history of this lovely destination.

Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand, the 27th state of the Republic of India, is called “the abode of the Gods” or referred as the “Heaven on Earth”. It contains glaciers, snow-clad mountains, valley of flowers, skiing slopes and dense forests, and many shrines and places of pilgrimage. Char-dhams, the four most sacred and revered Hindu temples: BadrinathKedarnath,Gangotri and Yamunotri are nestled in the Himalayas. Haridwar which meansGateway to God is the only place on the plains.

It holds the watershed for Gangetic River System spanning 300 km from Satluj in the west to Kali river in the east. Nanda Devi (25640 Ft) is the second highest peak in India after Kanchenjunga(28160 Ft). DunagiriNeelkanth,Chaukhamba, Panchachuli, Trisul are other peaks above 23000 Ft. It is considered the abode of Devtas, YakashyasKinners, Fairies and Sages.[52]It has some old hill-stations developed during British era like Mussoorie,AlmoraDwarahatRanikhet andNainital.

Glaciers
Pindari Glacier,Milam Glacier,Gangotri Glacier,Bunder Punch Glacier,Khatling Glacier,Doonagiri Glacier,Dokrani Glacier,Kaphini Glacier,Ralam Glacier

Wildlife Reserves
Corbett National ParkRajaji National ParkAsan Conservation Reserve,Nanda Devi National ParkGovind Wildlife Sanctuary,Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary(Askot),Valley of Flowers

Adventure Sports
Skiing atMundali,Auli,Dayara Bagyal andMunsiyari. Paragliding at Yelagiri. Trekking atMussoorie,Uttarkashi,Joshimath,Munsiyari,Chaukori,Pauri,Almora,Nainital

Uttar Pradesh

Situated in the northern part of India, border with the capital of India New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh is the most popular tourist destination in India. Uttar Pradesh is important with its wealth of historical monuments and religious fervour. Geographically, Uttar Pradesh is very diverse, with Himalayan foothills in the extreme north and the Gangetic Plainin the centre. It is also home of India’s most visited Taj Mahal, and Hinduism’s holiest city, Varanasi. The most populous state of the Indian Union also has a rich cultural heritage. Kathak one of the eight forms of Indian classical dance, originated from Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh is at the heart of India, so popular with another name The Heartland of IndiaCuisine of Uttar Pradesh like Awadhi cuisineMughlai cuisineKumauni cuisine are very famous in entire India and abroad.

Uttar Pradesh has much to offer. Places of interest in include:

  • Varanasi-The origin of Hinduism and world’s one of the oldest cities. Also known as City of temples it is Most popular holy place of lord Shivadevotees. Some of the finest Textiles are produced here.
A view of the Ghat of Varanasi from the River Ganges.
  • Agra – Taj MahalAgra Fort and several others historical monuments and gardens.
  • Allahabad or Prayag –Kumbh Mela-The place where Indian national river Gangesand Yamuna and Saraswati rivers meet. A mass Hindu pilgrimage in whichHindus gather at the Ganges river. Akbarforts. One of the most popular religious centres of ancient and modern India for Hinduism. Uttar Pradesh’s administrative and education capital.
  • Bithoor-This is the historical capital of Uttar Pradesh from where the Hindu god Brahma created the universe. It is situated about 10 km from Kanpur.

Main Ghat of Bithoor

Uttar Pradesh is the historical heart land of India. Where each part of the state is attached with ancient history, civilisation, religions and culture.

Must Sees of Kanpur
Central Museum · Jajmau · Moti Jheel · IIT Kanpur · Phool Bagh ·Bithoor · Kanpur Memorial Church ·Green Park Stadium · Allen Forest Zoo · Nanarao Park · ISKON Temple  ·Gora Cemetery · Kanpur University ·Kanpur Zoo · Christ Church  · J K Temple · Glass Temple  · Z Square Mall · Bhitargaon Temple  · Gandhi Hall  · Civil Lines Central Church  ·Kanpur Central  · Ganga Barrage ·Massacre Ghat.

West Bengal

The famous Durga idol from the Durga Puja

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), is the capital of West Bengal has been nicknamed theCultural Capital of IndiaCity of Palaces,City of Joy, etc. This comes from the numerous palatial mansions built all over the city. Unlike many north Indian cities, whose construction stresses minimalism, the layout of much of the|right| architectural variety in Kolkata owes its origins to European styles and tastes imported by the British as it was the capital of British India from 1772 to 1911 and, to a much lesser extent, the Portuguese and French. The buildings were designed and inspired by the tastes of the English gentleman around and the aspiring Bengali Babu (literally, anouveau riche Bengali who aspired to cultivation of English etiquette, manners and custom, as such practices were favourable to monetary gains from the British). Today, many of these structures are in various stages of decay. Some of the major buildings of this period are well maintained and several buildings have been declared as heritage structures. Long known as the “Cultural Capital of India” for its vibrant culture which has led India from the forefront from the 18th century onwards in all fronts ranging from culture to arts, literature to sciences, sports to politics, theatre to films. Home to the famousBengal Renaissance which boasts of a host of luminaries like Raja Rammohan RoyIshwar Chandra Vidyasagar,RamakrishnaNetaji Subhas Chandra BoseBankim Chandra Chattopadhyay,Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose,Rabindranath TagoreSwami VivekanandaKhudiramChittaranjan DasSri AurobindoSarat Chandra ChattopadhyayBagha JatinBidhan Chandra Roy, and countless others. The city has lost much of its glory now but has never lost its effervescence. West Bengal is also known for the famous The Sunderbans.

From historical point of view, the story of West Bengal begins from Gour andPandua situated close to the present district town of Malda. The twin medieval cities had been sacked at least once by changing powers in the 15th century. However, ruins from the period still remain, and several architectural specimens still retain the glory and shin of those times. The Hindu architecture of Bishnupurin terracotta and laterite sandstone are renowned world over. Towards the British colonial periodcame the architecture of Murshidabadand CoochbeharDarjeeling is a famous Himalayan city in the state of West Bengal. Darjeeling tea is world famous because of its attractive smell. Other than Darjeeling there are notable hill stations like KalimpongLavaLolegaon,Rishop, etc. There are some wonderful trek routes also, like SandakfuFalut etc. Beside hill stations West Bengal has some beautiful sea beaches also, likeDighaShankarpurMandarmoni,Bakkhali etc. West Bengal is home to six national parks[53] — Sundarbans National ParkBuxa Tiger Reserve,Gorumara National ParkNeora Valley National ParkJaldapara National Park, and Singalila National Park. Extant wildlife include Indian rhinoceroses,Indian elephants, deer, bisonleopards,gaur, and crocodiles, as well as many bird species. Migratory birds come to the state during the winter. The high-altitude forests of Singalila National Park shelter barking deerred panda,chinkaratakinserowpangolinminivetand kalij pheasants. Additionally, the Sundarbans are noted for a reserve project conserving the endangered royal Bengal tiger, although the forest hosts many other endangered species, such as the Gangetic dolphin, river terrapinand estuarine crocodile.

Notable sites of West Bengal
Cooch Behar ·Darjeeling ·Jalpaiguri ·Kalimpong ·Kurseong ·Dooars · Digha ·Bishnupur ·Malda · Mayapur ·Mukutmanipur ·Ajodhya Hills ·Murshidabad ·Siliguri.

Places of Worship
Dakshineswar Kali Temple ·Kalighat Temple · Birla Mandir · Belur Math · Tipu Sultan Mosque ·Nakhoda Masjid · St. Paul’s Cathedral · St. John’s Church ·Parsi Fire Temples ·Japanese Buddhist Temple ·Calcutta Jain Temple ·Tarakeswar ·Tarapith ·Furfura Sharif

Must Sees of Kolkata
Victoria Memorial · Howrah Bridge ·Kumartuli · Indian Botanical Garden ·B.B.D. Bagh · Dakshineswar Kali Temple · Belur Math · Eden Gardens ·St. Paul’s Cathedral · Maidan · College Street · Jorasanko Thakur Bari · Netaji Bhawan · Marble Palace ·Missionaries of Charity · National Library of India · Kalighat Temple ·Park Street · South Park Street Cemetery · Birla Planetarium · Science City · Shobhabazar Rajbari · Alipore Zoo · Vidyasagar Setu

Visa policy of India

Main article: Visa policy of India

Visa policy of India

  India
  Visa not required
  e-Tourist Visa
  Visa required

India requires citizens of most countries to have a valid passport and apply for a visa at their local Indian embassy or consulate, before they travel. They can apply directly by mail or in person, or through their local travel services company. India has recently implemented an online method for citizens of 40 countries to apply and receive an e-Tourist Visa.[54]

Nationals of BhutanMaldives and Nepaldo not require a visa.

Citizens of Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, DPR Korea, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal, South Africa and Uruguay are not required to pay a fee when obtaining Indian visa.[55]

Protected Area Permit (PAP) is required to enter the states of Nagalandand Sikkim and some parts of the states of Arunachal PradeshHimachal PradeshJammu and KashmirManipur,MizoramRajasthan and Uttaranchal. ARestricted Area Permit (RAP) is required to enter the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and parts of Sikkim. Special permits are needed to enterLakshadweep Islands.[56]

e-Tourist Visa

In order to boost tourism numbers,[57]Indian Government decided to implement a new visa policy, allowing visitors to obtain a visa on arrival at 9 designated international airports by obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorization online before arrival without the need to visit an Indian consulate or visa centre.[58]

The facility will be made available to citizens of about 180 countries in several phases.[59] On November 27, 2014, India introduced its visa on arrival enabled by ETA facility for tourists and business visitors, to citizens of following countries – Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu and Vietnam.[54]

The visa on arrival requires a tourist to apply online on a secure Government of India website, at least 4 to 30 days before the date of travel. If approved, the passenger must print and carry the approved visa with the travel documents. The visa allows holders of Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) to enter and stay anywhere in India for 30 days. The ETA can be obtained twice in a single calendar year.[54] The visa on arrival facility is expected to be expanded to about 180 countries over time.

In April 2015 the scheme was renamed to e-Tourist Visa in order to avoid confusion.[60]

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