Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga

Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga
Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga
Lord Shiv has 12 Jyotirlinga , and Rameshwar Jyotirlinga is one of them. It is believed that , Lord Ram himself installed this Jyotirlinga and was also named after him only .-Rameshwar Jyotirlinga. The establishment of Rameshwar Jyotirlinga , according to a mythology is related to an incident .Lord Ram was on his way to save his wife Sita from Ravana’s confinement, and before climbing towards Lanka and inorder to get Shrivijaya’s Blessing , he established a Shivlinga on this place and worshipped Lord Shiva. Since then , this Jyotirlinga was founded forever on this place. 

Rameshwar is one of the popular pilgrimage spot . It is situated in Ramnathpur in Tamil Nadu. Beside being Lord Shiva’s one of the 12 Jyotirlinga, it is also one of the four sacred place for Hindu’s 

The place where this Jyotirlinga is founded, is near to the coastal area and is surrounded by Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean.It is not only a sacred site a, but is also a very beautiful site to attract travellers and tourists. It is also said that Shri Ram even made a caiseway , which was demolished later on .Even today , Ramsetu’s some of the parts can been seen in that place.

The temple had humble beginnings with an ancient shrine housed in a thatched hut until the 12th century. The first ever masonry structure was built by Parakrama Bahu of Sri Lanka.The Setupathy (architects and stone masons) rulers of Ramanathapuram completed the rest of the temple. Although manly Dravidian in style some of the temple vimaanams resemble the Vimaanams of the Pallava period. The temple has also received royal patronage from several kingdoms such as Travancore, Ramanathapuram, Mysore and Pudukkottai.Much of the additions were carried out between the 12th and the 16th centuries. The long corridor (3rd prakaram) dates back only to the 18th century.Stretched over a vast area of 15 acres, Rameswaram Temple is the typical specimen of Dravidian style of architecture. The skyscraping gopurams (spires) truly dominate the skyline of Rameshwaram. The shrine is acknowledged for having the largest temple hallway in India. This pillared corridor extends to 4000 feet in length, embracing more than 4000 pillars. Erected on a raised plinth, granite pillars are intricately carved with beautiful images. A hard fact about this corridor reveals that the rock doesn't belong to the island and it was imported from somewhere across the sea.

The main entrance of the temple tower has many storeys and stands tall. Its structure carvings, statutes and the peaks make people dumb founded. The grandeur of the Lord is really felt here. The human weakness for being narrow-minded is automatically removed and they feel their horizons broadened. On the tall stone pillars of temple, beautiful carvings can be seen. Elephants with their trunks raised are seen. The four sides of the temple are enclosed by strong stone walls. They are 650 ft. and 12ft. wide and tall respectively. This wonderful temple built on the sand island, is a work of great art and very impressive. Near to a gold plated pillar, a river is carved on a monolithic stone of 13 feet high and a foot wide. This indeed is a typical example of beautiful sculpting. 

Near the main temple of Rameshwar, there is a separate temple for Parvati known as Parvatavardhini temple. Besides this, there are temples of Santana Ganapati, Veerabhadra Hanuman, navagrahas, etc., At a distance of about nearly 2 kilometers from the main temple, there is Gandhamaadhan mountain. In spite of being a sandy area, it is very green with a variety of flora. This is the Nandanavan of Rameshwar.

How to reach Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga :

By Air : The nearest airport is at Madurai, at a distance of 154 km.
By Rail : Rameshwaram is well connected by trains from all the major cities of India.
By Road : State transport buses are available from the railway station to the various places in and around Rameshwaram. For local transportation taxis, auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws and tongas are available. Also city bus service is available in the island.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

khajuraho dance festival

Khajuraho Dance Festival
Where the hand goes, there the eyes should follow
Where the eyes are, the mind should follow
Where the mind is, there the expression should be brought out
Where the expression is, there the rasa or flavour will be experienced by the audience.
 - Lines from the Natyakram
Khajuraho Dance Festival is one of those festivals of India that all dance lovers eagerly wait for. An annual treat for the connoisseurs of Indian Classical Dances comes at Khajuraho for a week during February or March. It is a grand 7-day extravaganza celebrating Khajuraho’s 1000 years old cultural heritage preserved in its stark stone sculptors. The treasured art forms unfold amidst ethereal settings and not one but all eight forms of Indian Classical dances are performed and This festival of International repute is a destination awaited by connoisseurs, travelers and more so by the performers. In words of a performer, “Every dancer worth her mettle dreams of performing at the Khajuraho festival”. For someone looking forward to a heritage tour of India, timing the visit around the Khajuraho dance festival would be a wise touristic strategy.delineate the spiritual, the intellectual and the social heritage of India.

This cultural festival highlights the richness of various Indian classical dance styles such as Kathak, Bharathanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Kathakali. Also, there are performances from some of the best exponents in the field. Apart from the traditional classical dance forms, the modern Indian dance has also made it to the list.

The various forms of dances are performed in an open-air auditorium, which is usually in front of the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Surya (the Sun God) and the Vishwanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Along with the renowned performers, a number of craftsmen display their crafts to the visitors. Also, there is an open market for local articles sale. Khajuraho Dance Festival is conducted in order to celebrate the cultural heritage of Khajuraho temples and to preserve them for the upcoming generation.

 Khajuraho Dance Festival 2013 is from February 20 to February 26

It is believed that classical dance is originated from the Hindu temples and attained its maturity. This cultural festival is celebrated to encourage the Indian arts- dance and music, which is driven from one generation to the other.

There is a free entry to all the temples of eastern and southern parts, whereas minimal fee is charged for the temples located in the western part.

Dates: February/ March every year (The dates are 20 - 26 February for the year 2013)

Venue: Westen Group of temples, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

Timings: Daily 7:00 P.M. onwards

Tickets: Seasonal Ticket - INR 600; Daily - INR 100, INR 50, INR 20; Cameras INR 100 per day

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Ambedkar Nagar is a district in the Faizabad division of Uttar Pradesh. It was formed by the then Chief Minister of the state, Ms Mayawati. The place derives its name from the famous Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar. The district basically comprises of rural population. There are approximately 3995 villages in the district of Ambedkar Nagar. Since the district is very scattered, it is divided into nine blocks for convenience. The blocks are - Akbarpur, Baskhari, Bhiti, Bhiyam, Jahagirgani, Jalalpur, Katehari, Ramnager, and Tanda.

The River Tons divides the city of Akbarpur, which is situated on its bank, into Akbarpur and Shazadpur. Shahzadpur is the main commercial area of the city. The River Saryu flows into the district from the northern side. Its waters are used for irrigational purposes by the Tanda, Jahagirgani, Ramnager and Baskhari blocks. The waters of the lakes Devhat and Hanswar are used by Baskhari block for irrigation purpose. . Lake Darvan provides water in the Katehari block. The Akbarpur, Bhiti, Bhiyam, and Jalapur blocks depend upon smaller rivers and seasonal streams.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Bharatpur Bird sanctuary
Bharatpur Bird sanctuary

Bharatpur- The 'Eastern Gateway to Rajasthan', was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733 AD, it was once an impregnable well fortified city, carved out of the region formerly known as Mewat. The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and Dholpur has played an important part in the history of Rajasthan. The place was named as Bharatpur after the name of Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama, whose other brother Laxman was worshipped as the family deity of the Bharatpur. The legends say the rulers Laxman's name is engraved on the state arms and the seals. Bharatpur is also known as 'LOHAGARH'. It is bound on the north by 'Gurgaon' district of Haryana, on the east by Mathura and Agra districts of Uttar Pradesh, on the south by Dholpur and Karauli, on the southern west by Jaipur and on the west by Alwar, all in Rajasthan. There is a forest called 'GHANA' means dense forest within a distance of about 5 Km. from District Head Quarter which remains green during the rainy season. Bharatpur Ghana's plan was prepared in 1896 by the State Engineer for driving and confining the wild cattle in the dense forest with 250 species of migratory birds during the monsoon season and 'winter' season, which is famous all over India and world for being a great sanctuary of birds.

History of Bharatpur :
Bharatpur along with Deeg and Dholpur holds an important place in the history of Rajasthan. The history of Bharatpur traces the rise and fall of Jat power in eastern Rajasthan. These jats were active during the late 17th century and the rulers like Churaman, Badan Singh and Suraj Mal dominated this region. Bharatpur was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733 AD. Maharaja Suraj Mal took over from Khemkaran, the son of Rustam and established the empire. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city. He also built the Lohagarh Fort or the Iron Fort in the year 1732. This fort took about 60 years to be completed and is still the focal point of the town. This fort shaped the history of Bharatpur

The place was named as Bharatpur after the name of Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama, whose other brother Laxman was worshipped  as the family deity of the Bharatpur.

Bhartapur Sights:

Keoladeo Ghana National Park:
The best time to visit the sanctuary is from October to late February when many migratory birds can be seen, including the highly endangered Siberian crane. According to recent reports, of birds have been identified at the beautiful Keoladeo sanctuary. The sanctuary was formerly a vast semi-arid region, filling with water during the monsoon season only to rapidly dry up afterwards. To prevent this, the maharaja of Bharatpur diverted water from a nearby irrigation canal and, within a few years, birds began to sattle in vast numbers. The maharaja was compelled not by conservationist motives, but by the desire to have a ready supply of waterfowl, affording fine shooting (and dining) possibilities. Indeed, Keoladeo continued to supply the maharajas’ tables until as late. An inscription on a pilllar near the small temple in the park bears testimony to the maharajas’ penchant for hunting. It reveals that on one day alone ducks were shot!

The park is open daily. For Indian/foreigners, which entitles you to enter the park as many times as you wish in one day. A still camera is free but there’s whopping video charge. There’s also an entry fee for bicycles and cycle-rickshaws. A horse- drawn tonga per hour (maximum six people). Motorised vehicles are prohibited beyond the checkpoint, so the only way of the getting around is by foot, bicycle or cycle-rickshaw.

An excellent way to see the park is to hire a bicycle. There are bikes for the hire at the bicycle on the park entrance. Some hotels rent bicycles as well. This allows you to easily avoid the bottlenecks which inevitably occur at the nesting sites of the larger birds. It’s just about the only way you’ll be able to watch the numerous kingfishers at close quarters – noise or human activity frightens then away. A bicycle also enables you to avoid clocking up a large bill with a rickshaw driver. If you plan to visit the sanctuary at dawn (one of the best times to see the birds ), you should hire your bicycle the day before. The southern reaches of the park are virtually devoid the humanus touristcus, and so are much better than the northern part for serious bird-watching. They are a very good way of getting close to the wildlife.

A small display of photos, stuffed birds, nests and aquaticspecies found in the park’s lakes is at the main entrance to the park, next to the Keoladeo temple.

Lohagarh :
Lohagarh, or Iron fort, was built in the early and took its name from supposedly impregnable defences. Maharaja Suraj Mahl, the fort’s constructor and founder of Bharatpur, built two towers within the ramparts, the Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj, to commemorate his victories over the Mughals and the British.

The fort occupies the entire small artificial island in the center of the town, and the three palaces within its pre precincts are in an advanced state of decay. One of the palaces houses a museum exhibiting sculptures, paintings, weapons and dusty animal trophies. The museum is open daily.

How to reach Bharatpur:

By Air : The nearest airport is Agra which is about 55 km.

By Train : Regular rail services connect Bharatpur with several cities on Delhi-Mumbai trunk route. Rail services also connects Bharatpur with Jaipur and Agra.

By Road : A network of bus services links Bharatpur with several cities within and outside Rajasthan.


Barmer is a city that is located in the Barmer district of the state of Rajasthan. The city was first founded in the 13th century. The original name of the village was Bahadmer which means the hill fort of Bahada. The town has many historical sites and it is a popular tourist destination. The Juna Barmer is a popular place that is located near the city of Barmer. For those who are spiritually inclined, the ruins of three Jain temples can be seen towards the South of the city. There are many temples that are located in Juna and one can find inscriptions dating back to the 13th century in the pillars of the main temple. The city is well known for its excellent wood carvings and one can purchase these from many shops that are located around the place. If you are visiting during the summer season it might be worthwhile to visit the cattle fare that takes place in March and April. Another festival that takes place in the town is the Barmer Thar Festival. This was initially started to promote tourism in the city and takes place in the month of March and many tourists can be seen during this period.

The district is surrounded by Jaisalmer district in the north, Jalore district in the south, Pali district and Jodhpur district in the east and Pakistan in the west. Balotra, Guda Malani, Baytoo, Siwana, Jasol and Chohatan are other major towns.

Barmer district is part of the Great Indian Desert or Thar Desert. Like all other districts in the desert region, Barmer is known for its folk music and dance. The Bhopas (priest singers) are found in Barmer, who compose music in honour of the deities of the region and its war heroes. The other folk musicians come from a community called the Muslim Dholis (drummers) for most of whom this is the only means of livelihood.


Kiradu temples : The Kiradu temples are a group of five temples and are grouped as ancient temples, an important site from the archaeological point of view. The largest and the most impressive amongst them is the Someshvara Temple. Built in the 11th century, the Someshvara ancient temple is said to be the best example of its kind today. Constructed in honour of Lord Shiva (the Destroyer in the holy trinity of Hindu gods), it has a rather stumpy multi-turreted tower and beautiful sculptures dedicated to the god. The inner sanctum has a resplendent image of the Lord. At its base, is a large reverse-curve lotus, which has a resemblance with the early Chola Temples of south India. This ancient temple also depicts scenes from the Hindu epic Ramayana. Other notable features are sculptures of apsaras (mythical dancing girls from the abode of the Gods) and vyalas (a griffin-like mythical beast generally associated with the Buddha) which were rarely seen after 1050AD in temple architecture. All in all, although Barmer is a bit out of the way you’ll get your money’s worth when you visit Someshvara.

Rani Bhatiani Temple: Rani Bhatiani Temple is located on the Nakoda-Balotara Road in Jasol. The area around Jasol was once ruled by the Rajput clan - Mallani for a long period of time. Jasol is some 158 km from Barmer. Rani Bhatiani Temple is constructed using the materials that belonged to a Jain temple of Khed. The temple also displays some carved sculptures that were brought from Khed. 

Barmer: Perched on a rocky hill, the town has ruins of an old fort. Of interest are a temple dedicated to Balark (the Sun) and the ancient ruins of Juna Barmer. The three Jain temples, an inscription of 1295 AD and a massive pillar in the hall of the largest temple of Maharaja Kula Sri Samanta Sinha Deva, a ruler of Bahadmera (Barmer) are also worth a visit.

Khed: Rao Siha, the founder of the Rathore clan alongwith his son (Asthanji) conquered Khed from the Guhil Rajputs and planted the standard of the Rathores. An old Vishnu temple of Ranchhrji is surrounded by a crumbling wall and an image of Garuda (the eagle) at the gate guards the complex. Other temples nearby include temples of Brahma, Bhairav, Mahadev and a Jain temple of Lard Mahaveer.

Meva Nagar: Once called Viranipur, this 12th century village lies on the slope of a hill called Nagar-ki-Bhakarian, 9 km away from Balotra. The village has three Jain temples. The biggest of these is one dedicated to Nakoda Parsvanath. A Vishnu temple is also worth visiting.

Balotra & Kanana: Close to Kanana, the venue for the Sheetal Saptmi Mela, lies the small town of Balotra. It is an important centre of printing and dying.

How to reach Barmer :
BY Train : Barmer is on the disused railway line from Jodhpur to Hyderabad in Pakistan. Daily trains travel from Barmer to Jodhpur for Rs 60/120 in 2nd/1st class.

By Air  : Nearest airport is Jodhpur and Jaisalmer

By Road : Distances From BarmerTo Important Cities By Road.

Jodhpur: 224 km 
Jodhpur: 198 km 
Jaiselmer:157 km
Jalore: 204 km
Udaipur: 462 km
Jhunjhunun: 625 km
Jaipur: 588 km

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Nahargarh Fort
Nahargarh Fort
The town of Baran is located in the Indian state of Rajasthan. This town is a very prominent tourist destination that is very popular in the region, and in fact, the whole of Rajasthan is famous for its many havelis, monuments and forts of historical value. Baran is a town whose culture is a mish-mash of the the cultures followed by the various dynasties that once ruled the entire region. For this reason, you can see monuments and temples constructed under highly different architectural styles in the town of Baran. While in the town of Baran, you can visit the Brahmani Mata temple. This temple houses a very prominent fire which has been ablaze for the last 400 years. Tourists flock to Baran in order to see the main deity in this temple, and it is very famous among pilgrims as well. You can also visit the countless Jain temples that are present in the region, as there are many ancient temples that were built during the 8th century present in Baran. The Manihara Mahadev Mandir is the yet famous temple in the region. The rock carvings at Bandh Devra Ramgarh are also very famous among tourists and locals, and these carvings date back to the 10th century.

It is believed that the district was under the reign of Solanki Rajput during 14th and 15th century. There are many beliefs  behind the name of Baran. Some believes that the name is called Baran as it was formed by merging twelve villages, some others believe that as the district is close to twelve villages therefore it is called as Baran. Whereas, some others belief that because the soil is ‘Barani’ thus it is called as Baran. During 1948 with the formation of the Joint Rajasthan, Baran was a separate district.  With the reconstitution of Joint Rajasthan on March 1949, the Baran district headquarter was changed into sub-divisional headquarter of Kota district. It is worth mentioning here that in urdu ‘Baran’ means rains and its pleasure to learn that Baran receives the second highest rainfall in the state after Banswara.

Place to visit in Baran :

Nahargarh Fort:
The Nahargarh Fort is a red sandstone structure near Baran which has been constructed in the traditional Mughal architectural style.
Shergarh Fort:
The Shergarh Fort is situated in the Atru tehsil of Baran District alongside the Parban River. The fort is a little detached from the main town and has ancient Jain and Brahmanical temples. A stone edict dating back to 790 AD, also known as Koshvardhan, can be found at this site.

Sitabari, situated a kilometre from Kelwara on the national highway connecting Kota-Shivpuri, is a famous pilgrimage spot near Baran. This place is believed to be the birthplace of Luv-Kush, sons of Rama and Sita. It is also the site where Sita used to live with her sons.
Kakoni is situated in Chhipabarod Tehsil in the Baran District of Rajasthan. It lies on the banks of the Parvan River and is famous for its ancient temples that date back to the 8th century. There are remains of few Jain, Vaishnava and Shaivite temples in the region.    

Bhand Devra Temple:
Bhand Devra Temple, also known as the Khajuraho of Rajasthan, was constructed between the 11th and 12th centuries. This temple lies on Ramgarh hill and is under the Government for its restoration work. It is a Lord Shiva Temple that was constructed in the traditional Khajuraho
Kapildhara is a major picnic spot near Baran that is famous for the Gaumukh, from which water gushes down continuously.
Brahmani Mataji Temple:
The Brahmani Mataji Temple is situated within the old fort near Sorsan Village. The idol of the main deity, Brahmani Mata is set-up under a huge natural rock inside the cave. This temple is famous for an uninterrupted oil lamp, Akhand Jyoti and a huge fair during which animals
Tapasviyo ki Bagechi:
Tapasviyo ki Bagechi is a popular picnic spot in the Baran District which is located about a kilometre from Shahabad. This place is surrounded by mountains and has huge statues of Nadiya and a Shivalinga. It was also used as a place for betel farming, as the remains are easily
Manihara Mahadev Mandir:
The Manihara Mahadev Mandir is situated around 3 km from the main town of Baran. This 600 year old temple has idols of Mahadevji and Hanumanji. It is surrounded by various ponds and green trees and is famous for an annual Shivaratri celebration.

Remains of Garhgachh:
The remains of Garhgachh are located near Atru in the Baran District. The remains at this site include ancient temples that were built between the 9th and 13th centuries.
Shergarh Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Shergarh Wildlife Sanctuary in Baran District is spread across 98 sq km near the Shergarh town. The sanctuary is a natural habitat of animals, such as tigers, sloth bears, hyenas, wild boars, endemic deer, leopards, sambar, chinkara and chitals.

How to reach

Air: The nearest airport to Baran is Kota (72 kms.).

Rail: Baran Station is one of the important railway stations on Kota-Baran route. The district has 95 kms railway line on Kota-Baran route.
Road: The district is connected to all towns and cities of the State with a well maintained network of roads. The nearest city is Kota (72 kms.).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Banswara anand sagar lake

Banswara is situated in south Rajasthan in India. Banswara princely state was founded by Maharawal Jagmal Singh. Banswara princely state was founded by Maharawal Jagmal Singh. It is named for the "bans" or bamboo forests in the area. It is also known as 'City of Hundred Islands', due to presence of numerous islands in the Mahi River, which flows through Banswara.Banswara (literally " the forest country" ), was a Rajput feudatory state in Rajputana during British India. It borders on Gujarat and is bounded on the north by the native states of Dungarpur and Udaipur or Mewar; on the north-east and east by Partabgarh; on the south by the dominions of Holkar and the state of Jabua; and on the west by the state of Rewa Kantha.

District Banswara is situated in the southern - most part of Rajasthan. It has an area of 5037 square Kilometer and lies between 23.11° N to 23.56° N latitudes and 73.58° E to 74.49° E. longitudes.

It is bounded on the north by Dhariawad Tehsil of Udaipur District and Pratapgarh District, on the east by Ratlam District of Madhya Pradesh, on the west by Sagwara and Aspur Tehsils of Dungarpur District, and on the south by Jhabua District of Madhya Pradesh. It also touches the boundary of Panchmahal District of Gujrat on the south-west.

The region represents a rugged terrain undulated by short ridges west of Banswara. The eastern part of it is occupied by flat-topped hills of the Deccan trap. It has the southern end of the Aravali mountains. 

Famous Tourist Places in Banswara:

Abdullah Pir Dargah 
The Dargah of Abdulla Pir is also called as Dargah of Abdul Rasul. Many Muslim devotees from various parts of the world visit this shrine. Abdullah Pir is located amidst beautiful gardens; it is a shrine with a domed roof and a solid white marbled structure with four entrances.

Brahma Temple 
Brahma Temple located at Cheench. Lord Brahma is the main deity at this popular temple. The main deity statue is of black stone and is of an average height of a man.

Madareshwar Temple 
The temple of Madareshwar is located in a natural cave on a hill on the eastern part of Banswara city.  It offers a breathtaking and native view. A visit to this temple gives a feel of the famous Amarnath Pilgrimage to the devotees due to the identical location in a cave.

Paraheada is a famous Shiva temple and has many inscriptions providing the evidence of Paramar Emperors at this place.

Raj Mandir 
Shri Raj Mandir is also popularly known as the City Palace. It is a perfect example of ancient architectural style of the Rajputs. This place is a beautiful structure and is still owned by the Royal family descendants.

Ram Kund 
Ram Kund is a place amidst hills. Popularly known as Phati Khan this is a deep cave under a hill.  It has a pool of very cold water flowing throughout the year. 

Sai Baba Mandir 
The Sai Baba temple is very famous in Banswara. It is dedicated to Shri Sai Baba believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. This temple is built on the top of a hill situated at a distance. The temple has the marble idol of Shri Sai baba as a main deity and the statues of Nandi, Tortoise and Ganesha made in black stone. 

Tripura Sundari 
Tripura Sundari is located about 19 Km from Banswara and 5 Km from Talwara. The place gets its name from a temple here dedicated to goddess Tripura Sundari also called Turtia Mata in the local dialect. The exact date of its construction is not yet known but it is believed that the temple was constructed approximately before the reign of the Kushana emperor Kanishka who ruled here in the first century AD. Magnificently carved out of black stone, the main idol is shown riding a tiger. The goddess has 18 hands each carrying a symbol. The temple is said to be one of the Shakti Peeths of the Hindus. A Shakti Peeth is a revered place of worship of the Hindus. According to the Hindu mythology, when Lord Shiva lost his wife Sati he was overwhelmed with grief. He carried the dead body of his beloved and went for a tour of Mrityulok (abode of the Dead). The other gods were troubled to see him carrying the body wherever he went. As a result they decided to cut the body into pieces. The body was fragmented into 52 parts with the help of the Lord Vishnu’s sudarshan chakra (discus), and each place where a part fell on earth became a Shakti Peeth.

Anand Sagar Lake 
Anand Sagar is an artificial lake on the eastern side of the town also known as Bai Talaab. The chhatris or cenotaphs of former rulers of the Princely state are located close by. The holy trees known as "Kalpa Vriksha" are located in the vicinity as well. These two trees are considered divine and are believed to fulfill the wishes of the devotees. Peaceful and charming surroundings add to the ambience of the place.

Diablab Lake 
Diablab Lake is close by to the city of Banswara. The numerous lotus flowers occupying a major portion of the lake are the main attraction here. Boat riding and the beautiful gardens around the lake attract tourists to this place.

Mahi Dam 
The Mahi River originates from Sardarpura village in Madhya Pradesh and flows through M.P. Rajasthan, Gujarat and merges into bay of Khambat in Gujarat. In terms of water potential the Mahi river basin is the third largest among the river basins of Rajasthan state. Mahi Dam is a man made dam on Mahi River, and is a part of the massive Mahi Bajaj Sagar Project. The Mahi Dam reservoir is the water storage facility behind the 43 m high dam. The reservoir has huge storage capacity.

Bhim Kund 
Bhim Kund is a beautiful and scenic locale 7 km further down from Bhim Kund.  A tunnel present here is believed to be leading to a very distant place known as Ghotiya Amab.

Kagdi Pick Up Weir 
This is an attractive and beautiful garden on the banks of the Kagdi Lake and it is a part of the Mahi Bajaj Sagar project. This is a tourist attraction located 3 kms away from the main city on the Ratlam Road. Kagdi pick up weir is a beautiful fountain garden overlooking the Kagdi Lake. A visit to this garden is worthy due to the fountains, gardens and water spread across beautifully. This fountain garden mesmerizes the tourists with its ambience. 

It is famous for the ancient temple of the Sun God, Lord Amaliya Ganesh, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Dwarka Dhish temple and Jain temple of Sambharnath. A number of Sompura sculpture artists can be seen carving stones on the roadside in Talwara.

Fairs & Festivals in Banswara:

Bhill Community Is A Rivalry And Very Laborers Community, So They Could Managed To Get The Entertainment On Particular Festival Occasions Only. Bhills Are Commonly Tradition Followers And They Follow Kharo, Moto And Bhalo Dharms.

Holi Is The Main Festival For The Tribals. Tribes Wear Their Traditional Dresses Carrying Swords & Sticks And Performs The "Gair Dance" Which Is A Typical Tribal Dance Of This Region.

Divo Is A Festival And It Is Being Celebrated On The Last Day Of First Fortnight Of Shravanmas. On That Day Special Bath Will Peform To Bullocks And Animals, And Prays Them As They Are God's Different Posture. Special Food Items Will Prepare On That Day And Enjoys With Full Of Joy.

It Is Celebrated On The 11th Day Of The Bright Half Of Phalgun And Unmarried Boys And Girls Observe Fast On This Day. They Go To A Pond In The Afternoon, Wash Themselves And Bring Small Branches Of Tamarind Trees. The Bhils Attend The Fair Armed With Bows, Arrows And Swords. This Festival Is Held At Ghodi Ranchod & Sangmeshwar. 

Baneshwar Fair 
The Biggest Tribal Fair Is Held At Baneshwar At The Confluence Of Mahi, Som And Jhakham, Which Are Believed To Be Holy Rivers Of The Region. A Number Of Tribals From Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat And Rajasthan Gather To Immerse The Mortal Remains Of The Dead. They Worship, Sing And Dance On Magh Purnima, Sometime In The Month Of February, Which Is Considered To Be A Holy Period In This Region.

Ghotia Amba Fair 
This Is A Colourful And Traditional Fair Held Every Year From Chaitra Amavas To Duje. The Bhils Gather To Take A Holy Dip In The Tank Near The Temple With Idols Of Pandavas. They Demonstrate Their Faith In The Holy Mango Trees And Kaila Pani.

This Is An Important Fair Of The Tribals And Is Held On Margshisha Purnima. At This Fair The Tribals O Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh & Gujarat Participate And They Pay Tribute To Govind Guru, Founder Of The Samp Sabha.

How To Reach Banswara:

By Air
Nearest Airport Is Udaipur (160 Kms) And Airport In Indore (212 Kms)

By Bus
No Route In The District Has So Far Been Nationalised. Rajasthan, Gujarat And M.P. Roadways And The Private Travel Agencies Operate Frequent Buses To Major Cities Like Ahmadabad, Baroda, Ujjain, Bhopa, Udaipur, Jaipur , Jodhpur, Mount Abu, Bombay, Delhi Etc.

By Train
Rail Nearest Railway Station Is In Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh) (80 Kms) Connected With All The Major Cities Of The Country. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Shimla Hill Station

Shimla Hill Station

Shimla is located towards the southern parts of the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla, the summer capital of the British India, is situated at a height of 2,196 metres. While the British have left the echoes linger on. Now It is the state capital and is at a distance of 343 km from Delhi, 260 km from Manali, and 119 km from Chandigarh. The temperature range is not very high and the maximum temperature rarely crosses 25°C during summers. Winters are cold due to the chilly winds from the upper Himalayas. today, its well developed facilities, easy accessibility and many attractions make it one of India's most popular resorts. In the Himalyan lower ranges, it is surrounded by pine, cedar, oak and rhododendron forests. Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties, one can think of. Dwelling on a panoramic location, the hilly town is surrounded by green pastures and snow-capped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era create an aura, which is very different from other hill stations. 

Popular Sightseeing spots in Shimla:

Shimla city : The ridge and the adjacent Mall form the heart of the city where vehicular traffic is not allowed a place to take a walk, also the main shopping area with most of the shops still housed in old time buildings. One tier below this shopping area is the Middle Bazaar with smaller shops mixed with residences. A tier below Middle Bazaar is the Lower Bazaar The famous Shimla Summer Festival in May or June every year lasting for 5-8 days, is celebrated on the Ridge.

Gaiety Theater on the Mall, opened on the 30th of May, 1887, Queen Victoria's Jubilee Year. Now the Gaiety is primarily known for its social club.

Viceregal Lodge located on the Observatory Hills is lalso known as Rashtrapati Niwas, it was formerly the summer residence of the British Viceroys. Situated on a very beautiful location. A big ground in front of the lodge makes the place look even better. Tourists and local young couples are often seen here. The lodge is declared as a heritage building.

Kufri,19 km from Shimla,is the highest point in the surrounding region. Kufri has a Himalyan Wild Life Zoo which hosts rare Antelopes, Birds and rare feline species. Monal the state bird of Himachal Pradesh is worth watching. A meandring path trough the potato plantations turns into a popular Ski track in Winters here. The famous heritage hotel The Wildflower Hall is also located on way to kufri at Charabada.

Tatta Pani: The name Tatta Pani, translates to "Hot - Water" in local dialect. This is about half a square kilometer area on the banks of Satluj river with boiling hot Sulpher water springs. Bathing with this water is known to be good for skin. The place is also famous for the rituals of Tula Daan, which is known to be very effective if done at tattapani on a specific day. Many pandas (people who perform the tula daan) can be seen sitting on the banks of river Satluj.

Summer Hill : A picturesque site on Shimla-Kalka Railway line. Offers shady walks in quiet surroundings. Located 7 Kms from the city centre at 1983 m above sea level.

Naldehra about 25 km from shimla is popular for a nine hole golf course, located on a gradual slope on scenic hill top surrounded by fir trees, and a picnic ground on hilltop.

Churdhar Sanctuary: The sanctuary got its name from the Chur Peak, on the top of which sits a majestic status of Lord Shiva. One is sure to come across a large number of multi-coloured and agile Monals in the adjoining forests.

Gurkha Castles:The Gurkha castles in Solan, Sirmour, Bilaspur and Shimla districts remind us of the life and time under the Gurkha regime. While most of the structures built by the Gurkhas have crumbled, the remaining few beckon tourists.

Hatkoti:Some 105-km east of Shimla, in Jubbal Tehsil on the banks of the river Pabbar, lays the mysterious valley of stone temples Hatkoti. Close by stands a small village by the name of Parhaat.

Jakhu Temple:Jakhu temple is an integral part of the list of places to visit in Shimla. No visit to the state capital Shimla is complete without visiting Jakhu Hill. This hill looms over Shimla town and is the geographical nucleus. The Hanuman temple at the top of Jakhu hill is the highest point in town.

Karyali Lake:In district Shimla,Karyali Lake lies on the northern face of the peak of Chhoti Shali.

Kotesvara Temple:The Kotesvara (also spelt as Kotesvar) temple is a magnificient structure dedicated to Shiva who is represented there in the form of 'Shivalinga'.

Padam Palace:Resting in a nest-shaped valley on the left bank of the Satluj River is Rampur's Padam Palace, 125-km from Shimla. The township came up because of its strategic location on the old Hindustan-Tibet trade route, which was accessible and not snowbound.

Shirigul Temple:One of the oldest and the most important temples of Shirigul are situated on the Chur Dhar Peak.

The Cecil:In the last quarter of the 19th century, at the site of the Cecil - towards the western stretch of Shimla's elegant Mall - stood the small 'Tendril Cottage'.

The Holme:
Perhaps a place with greater 'heritage' than many, and a recent addition to the heritage hotel list, is The Holme, at Summerhill in Shimla.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bannerghatta National Park

Bannerghatta National Park Bangalore
Bannerghatta National Park, one of the prime attractions of Bannerghatta, is a 'must visit' for nature lovers. This national park sprawls over 104 sq. km of area and consists mostly of dense forest and scrub land, and is home to wild animals such as tiger,lion, bison, leopard, wild boar as well as being an important corridor for elephants migrating between the eastern and western ghats. Other attractions include a crocodile farm, serpentarium and a newly added butterfly park. In addition, a portion of the park is used as a sanctuary for rescued wild animals,mainly from circuses.

Major Attractions of Bannerghatta National Park:

The Zoo:
The Bannerghatta National Park has a zoo in its periphery. The zoo hosts a museum, a reptile park and a theatre thus enabling the visitors to engage in some other informative activities besides the regular watching of different animals and birds.

The Butterfly Park:
The Bannerghatta National Park has the honor of housing the first ever Butterfly Conservation Park in India. The park dedicated to the Butterflies is located in an area of 7.5 acres and was established in 2006. The Butterfly Park also has an Audio Visual room. The climatic conditions in the conservatory are kept such that they support the living of these butterflies. There are as many as 20 species of butterflies in this park. The humid climate and different flowers appealing to the butterflies are perfect to encourage comfortable stay of these butterflies in the park.

Biological Reserve:
The Bannerghatta National Park and surrounding area have been declared as a biological reserve. The park has a rich conglomeration of wide array of animals. The park is a wildlife corridor where some endangered varieties of animals are kept for the purpose of breeding away from the human population.

How To Reach:

By Air: Bangalore International Airport is the nearest airport to Bannerghatta, catering to both domestic and international tourists. It is situated at a distance of about 60 km from Bannerghatta. Tourists from across the country as well as from European, Asian, American and Middle East countries can easily visit Bannerghatta via Bangalore Airport.

By Train: Bangalore Railway Station is the nearest railway junction to Bannerghatta, situated at a distance of about 27 km. The railway station is the major railhead which is well connected to all the major Indian cities and towns, including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.

By Road: Regular and frequent KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) buses ply between Bangalore and Bannerghatta National Park. Tourists can also hire a cab or taxi from Bangalore Airport and Railway Station to reach Bannerghatta.

Blackbuck National Park

National Park Blackbuck
Blackbuck National Park

The Blackbuck National Park at Velavadar, also known as  Velavadar National Park, is situated in the Bhavnagar District of Gujarat state, India. Established in 1976 in the Bhal region of Saurashtra, it is spread over an area of 34.08 sq km (square kilometer).Blackbuck National Park is one of the few sites in the country where Blackbucks are found in such large numbers. Merely a three hour drive from Gandhinager, this park allows a wildlife enthusiast to observe the Blackbucks in their natural habitat.

Historically, the Bhal flatlands have primarily been the habitat of the Blackbucks.  Reports of the forest department claim that during the pre-independence era when Bhavnagar was a princely state, the population of Blackbucks was close to 8,000 in this region. However, with hunting and habitat loss their population reduced to as low as 200 in 1966.

Velavadar has India’s largest population of Blackbuck, the elegant Indian antelope. One of the fastest mammals in the world, the Blackbuck is capable of achieving high speeds when leaping over the plains of Velavadar. India’s largest antelope, the Nilgai or Blue Bull, is easily seen in this national park. Those who stay for a few days at the Blackbuck Lodge can hope to see the endangered Indian Grey Wolf, the nocturnal Striped Hyena, Indian Fox, Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat and many small mammals like hare, gerbil, field mice, mongoose and hedgehog.

Velavadar National Park and its nearby wetlands comprise an important Bird Area, notified by Birdlife International. The park is a good place to watch grassland birds like larks, bushchats, wheatears, sandgrouse, francolins and quails. The park’s specialties include Saras Crane and Stolikza’s Bushchat. Magnificent eagles, falcons and endangered vultures can be seen at Velavadar. In winter, Velavadar National Park hosts the world’s largest harrier roost – Montagu’s Harrier, Pallid Harrier and Marsh Harrier can be seen in large numbers, while Hen Harrier is occasionally spotted. The lakes and seasonal marshes are important places to watch the Lesser Floricans, pelicans, cranes, storks, ducks, herons and other water birds.

Velavadar National Park is a possible site for birdwatchers who want to see specialty birds of the tropical Indian grassland like the Stolizka's Bushchat (winter), Rufous-tailed Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Ashy-crowned and Black-crowned Sparrow Lark, Indian Bushlark, Singing Bushlark, Syke's Crested Lark, Crested Lark, Painted and Grey Francolin, Desert and Variable Wheatear, Chestnut Bellied Sandgrouse, Spotted Sandgrouse (winter), Painted Sandgrouse, Quails and Saras Crane. Among the many raptors that can be seen are Pallid Harrier (winter), Montagu's Harrier (winter), Marsh Harrier (winter), Laggar Falcon, Eurasian Hobby, Kestrel, Red-necked Falcon, Saker Falcon (winter), Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Shikra, Imperial Eagle ( winter), Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle (winter) and Short-toed Eagle. Amur Falcon, Hen Harrier and Crested Goshawk have been seen at Velavadar National Park. Endangered species of vultures too visit Velavadar. Lesser Florican displays here during the monsoon when the park is closed but you may get a sighting outside the delimited area. In winter, you can see pelicans, cranes, storks and other birds at the water bodies and nearby marshes. While you may not get to see all these birds during your stay at the lodge, Velavadar is never a disappointing experience for a birder.

Best time to visit:
The park remains closed from June till October. It is advised to visit Blackbuck National Park anytime between December and March. The winter season will also give the delight of watching the variety of migratory birds and there will be no stifling heat obstructing your moments of pleasure. 

You can visit Blackbuck National Park anytime of the day. The park also has a tourist information centre from where visitors can get all required information. 

How to Reach Blackbuck National Park:

By Train Travel :
Train journey to Blackbuck National Park ends at Bhavnagar, though many tourist choose Ahmedabad just because of better and advanced tourism infra structural facilities and more connectivity for train train from various cities of India.

By Road Travel  :
On the road journey this is easy to reach Blackbuck National Park.

By Air Travel :
Bhavnagar is the nearest airport for Air travel to Blackbuck National Park. Bhavnagar air port receives daily flights from Mumbai international airport