All Other Destinations and Attractions in India
West Bengal is a state in eastern India with the Bay of Bengal to the south and the Himalayas to the north. The highest peak in West Bengal is Sandakfu and the foothills offer excellent trekking possibilities.The climate in West Bengal is tropical savanna in the south and humid subtropical in the north. The monsoon season occurs from mid-June to late September. This phenomenon during the summer months wreaks havoc with the ensuing flooding. From October to March there is some respite from the heat in the plains region.West Bengal is considered a cultural hub of India and is famous for its distinctive writers, poets, artists, social reformers and revolutionaries. It is the birthplace of India's only Nobel laureate in literature, Rabindranath Tagore.The capital of the state is Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) with the Sundarbans delta - the world's largest mangrove forest located just south of the city.West Bengal has many cultural treasures such as Digha Beach with the largest marine aquarium in Asia; Sundarbans Tiger Reserve; Murshidabad with its many palaces and mosques; the town of Bishnupur and its terracotta temples; and the Jaldhapara Wildlife Sanctuary, inhabited by rhinos.
Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, was the capital during British times. Consequently the city has some wonderful colonial architecture in a state of decay that reflects the faded glory. Kolkata is today a mix of new fashionable suburbs and development as well as slums and poverty.Travelers looking to visit the city and this area of India should be aware that monsoon season rolls in during the summer months and may not be the best time to plan a trip.
The Indian Museum in Kolkata has been in existence in some form for almost two hundred years. The museum has been in its present building, a beautiful colonial structure, since 1878. The museum displays an impressive art collection of paintings, sculptures and textiles.
Kalighat Kali Temple
The Kalighat Kali Temple is over 200 years old and is an important Hindu pilgrimage site. The temple also draws large crowds of tourists who come here simply to see this temple. To understand the significance of the temple visitors are encouraged to learn about the legend that accompanies it.
Uttaranchal was formerly part of Uttar Pradesh, until its creation in 2000 as the 27th state of the Indian Union. Uttaranchal is a land of great beauty, with snow-topped peaks, rivers, waterfalls, forested hills, lakes and glaciers.The majority of the population of Uttaranchal is Hindu but there are many ethnic minorities found in the hills and valleys that maintain their own distinctive language and customs.The state is often referred to as the Land of the Gods because of the various holy places and shrines. The ashrams of Haridwar attract many visitors searching for a spiritual quest.Uttaranchal is also a favorite destination for adventure lovers who can enjoy skiing, water rafting, mountaineering and rock climbing. Wildlife enthusiasts will have a memorable holiday viewing the tigers, elephants and other endangered animals in the Corbett Tiger reserve or Rajaji National Park.
Tamil Nadu, "Land of the Tamils", is located at the southern tip of India. Tamil Nadi is the second most industrialized state in India and the sixth most populace.The Tamil civilization is one of the oldest in the world and unique cultural features such as Tanjore paintings; Bharatanatyam and Tamil architecture distinguish it. Tamil is also noted for its imaginative music, complex dance and literature, which continue to thrive. Tamil Nadu is also home to the large Tamil film industry, often referred to as Kollywood, a combination of Hollywood and Kodambakkam.The state of Tamil Nadu is famous for its numerous Hindu temples based on the Dravidian architecture. The Brahadeeswara temple in Thanjavur is the most famous at about 1000 years old and is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The mountains or Western Ghats are a big tourist attraction for the easy hill stations and treks, wildlife and cool climate.
Sikkim is a geographically diverse state due to its location on the Himalayas. This remote state has terrain that ranges from tropical in the south to tundra in the north and is dominated by Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest peak.Sikkim is bordered by Nepal to the west, the Tibet People's Republic of China to the north and east, and the state of West Bengal to the south.The state of Sikkim is a popular destination for its scenic beauty, peaceful atmosphere and political stability. Sikkim enjoys five seasons: winter, summer, spring, and autumn, and a monsoon season between June and September. Overall Sikkim enjoys a temperate climate.The flora and fauna of the state are abundant and diverse. The flora of Sikkim includes the rhododendron, the state tree, as well as rchids, figs, laurel, bananas, sal trees and bamboo, oaks, chestnuts, maples, birchs, alders, and magnolias. The fauna includes the snow leopard, the musk deer, the Bhoral, the Himalayan Tahr, the red panda, the Himalayan marmot, the serow, the goral, the barking deer, the wild dog, the Tibetan wolf, the hog badger, the jungle cat and the civet cat. Yaks are commonly found in the alpine areas and they are reared for their milk and meat.
The city of Bundi in Rajasthan is a cultural center and is well known for its beautiful paintings, many of which are on display at the Chitrashala or Hall of Paintings. Travelers can spend many pleasant hours wandering through interesting shops and dining at the many restaurants.Bundi is also known by its nick name "City of Wells". Scattered throughout the city are over 50 step wells, the most dramatic of these is the Sabirna dha ka Kund. One of the main attractions in Bundi is the Taragarth Fort. This massive structure is strategically situated on a hillside and is a photographers dream.A good time to visit Bundi is during the 8 day Teej Festival when the city comes alive with sound and sight.
Mizoram is situated between Myanmar and Bangladesh in the southeast of India. The rural scenery is an endless variety of landscapes including hilly terrain, rambling streams, deep gorges, and a profusion of flora and fauna.The Mizo tribes are mainly Christian however a few tribal traditions have been maintained such as colorful dances that are used to celebrate events on the agricultural calendar.The highest mountain peak in Mizoram is the Blue Mountain or Phawngpui, as the locals know it. Situated close to the Burma border, Phawngpui is famous for orchids and rhododendrons.There are several memorial stones, Sibuta Lung, near Tachhip village and the Memorial of Chhingpui dedicated to a beautiful young woman.
Aizawl is an important trade center surrounded by green hills. Aizawl is the largest city in the state, but very remote.As a religious and cultural center of the Mizos, the city has the Bara Bazaar market that attracts tribal people from the hills. The market is the main shopping center, there are many handicraft and handloom items available.
Mizoram State Museum
Mizoram State Museum is a small but interesting museum that provides a glimpse into Mizo traditions, culture and history. Exhibits include traditional Mizo costumes and implements, historic relics and other similar items.Along with the Bora Bazaar, the Mizoram State Museum in Aizawl is another popular place of interest.
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is a culturally diverse area with three contrasting regions - Muslim Kashmir, Buddhist Ladakh and Hindu Jammu.Jammu is a land of ancient temples and beautiful palaces. Known as the city of temples, the temple of Maha Kali also known as Bahu or Bawey Wali Mata is considered second only to Mata Vaishnodevi in terms of mystical power. The Ragunath Temple Complex is another major tourist attraction. Jammu region is home to several ethnic cultures that follow traditional lifestyles. Elaborate architecture is also very visible in the castles and hilltop fortifications.Kashmir is home to magnificent gardens - Nishat, noted for the magnificent view; Shalimar has four terraces and large varieties of flowers that bloom in spring and fall. Chashmashahi is famous for the spring of mineral water. Kasmir also offers skiing and tobogganing when snow carpets the mountains in winter or water-skiing or fishing in summer on the lakes.Ladakh is often called "Little Tibet" due to the similar culture and topography, and is only accessible by land from May to October. Snow closes off the passes from November to April. Ladakh is a popular tourist destination with extreme temperatures and sun shining for about 300 days of the year.
Himachal Pradesh is home to several National Parks and numerous Sanctuaries. The state of Himachal lies amid the Himalaya and other mountains making it a mountain wonderland. All of this provides for dramatic scenery with deep valleys, rushing streams, green orchards and mountain deserts.Highlights of Himachal Pradesh include Shimla, the summer capital of Raj; the remote Spiti Valley with Buddhist culture; McLeod Ganj, home to the Dalai Lama and the adventure playground of Manali. The temples at Bhima Kali, Sarahan, Hatkoti, Jwalajee, Chamunda Devi, Chintpurni, Renuka and Rewalsarare major attractions for pilgrims while the slopes of Solang Nallah are popular for winter sports.The important monasteries in Himachal are Tabo, a complex that holds 9 temples, 23 chortens and a monk's chamber; Kee, the largest monastery in Spiti; Kardong, the most popular monastery and Lha-Kun with 5 panels of exquisite art work showing Buddha and other scenes.
Mysore is a sprawling city located in the state of Karnataka. Visitors will find fine colonial architecture, regal palaces, and well manicured gardens. For those inclined towards shopping, the city is well known for its silk and sandalwood products.The main sight in town is the Mysore Palace. Rebuilt in1897 after a disastrous fire, the palace is well worth a visit. For those more into nature, one of the world's oldest zoos's the Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens (generally shortened to Mysore Zoo) boasts of a fine selection of animals and is a fun place to spend part of day.
The Golden Throne is one of the highlights in Mysore. This extremely ornate throne is the "royal seat of the rulers of the Kingdom of Mysore". It is said to be carved from fig wood although it is gold covered. Stairs lead to the seat which is covered by an umbrella.The Golden Throne is not always on display but assembled when it will be in use, during festivals and events.
Karnataka is situated in the Deccan Plateau and is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west. Several national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and nature preserves are found within the state of Karnataka. With the highest elephant and Gaur bison population in India, tourists flock to the sanctuaries to view these creatures as well as the endangered tigers and leopards.Mysore is the home of magnificent palaces, silk and sandalwood bazaars as well as Bandipur National Park. Karnataka is famous for its waterfalls. The Jog waterfall is the fifth highest waterfall in Asia and the Shivanasamudram waterfall is famous for the two cascades that flow into the same pool.
Jharkand is a state in eastern India bordered by Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to the west, Orissa to the south, and West Bengal to the east.The rich flora and fauna can be seen in the National Parks and Zoological Gardens located in Jharkhand. Betla National Park has an abundant variety of wildlife such as tigers, elephants, bison, wild boar, spotted deer, rabbits and foxes.Jharkand has a tropical climate with hot summers and cold winters. Ranchi, Netarhat, and Parasnath have more pleasant weather even during the summer.As a main Jain pilgrimage site, Jharkand was thought to be the location where 23 teachers reached salvation at the top of Parasnath Hill.
Leh is located within sight of the mighty Himalayas and is favorite destination for travelers from around the world. Sights in and around Leh include the Leh Palace and the Namgyal Tsemo Gompa. The Namgyal Tsemo Gompa is particularly spectacular, with a very large Buddha image and unique frescoes.Long noted as a center for Buddhists, many of the gompas around the city are revered and visited by the faithful. Leh is also an important recreational center as the city is surrounded by some of the best hiking trails in India.
Where the green trees of the valley meet the rock face of the mountain is the hillside Hemis Monastery. Located not far from Leh the monastery is part of the Drugpa Order and it is the largest and most prosperous of its kind in the region. The history of the monastery dates back to 1630.
Located just a short drive from Leh is the Royal Palace. Inside is the Palace Museum that is open to the public, display a variety of historical items. The palace dates to the 1840s.
Outside of Leh is the impressive Thiksey Monastery, a huge complex of white buildings spilling down the mountain side. The monastery is still in active use with monks living on site. Within the complex are various shrines and other sacred sights.
Chandigarh is the capital of two states and a union territory. The city is named after the goddess of power, Chandi. Chandigarh is a modern, prosperous city that was designed by the French architect Le Corbusier. As India's only planned city, it is divided into 47 numbered sectors and the roads are lined with rows of trees and concrete buildings.Chandigarh experiences extreme climate changes so the best time to visit is October to March.Chandigarh has several monuments and renowned architecture that should be seen while visiting. The Capital Complex is a modern set of buildings, the Open Hand is a giant metal hand that rotates freely in the wind and the Rock Garden has open-air sculptures. The galleries and museums are also of particular note.
Nek Chand Fantasy Rock Garden
Nek Chand Fantasy Rock Garden is a world-class rock garden designed by the former road inspector, Nek Chand. Nek has no formal training but has created an oasis filled with art objects.The artwork is made from recycled materials such as broken pottery, pebbles, boulders, coal and other broken glass. All of these items have been used to create a world of palaces, soldiers, monkeys, village life, women and temples in Nek Chand Fantasy Rock Garden.The garden also features a waterfall, pools and an open-air theater.
Pinjore (Yadavindra) Gardens
Pinjore Gardens, also known as Yadavindra Gardens, is a Mughal garden with seven levels. The gardens are a popular picnic spot with green lawns, a Japanese garden, mini zoo and an historic palace.The fountains are lighted in the evening, on weekends primarily, and a variety of trees are found throughout Pinjore Gardens including palm, cypress and fruit.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a union territory of India. Located in the Indian Ocean, it is comprised of two island groups - the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been inhabited for several thousand years with the earliest archeological evidence dating back 2,200 years ago.Beautiful beaches, coral reefs and marine life are just a few of the attractions that lure travelers to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Tourists can enjoy snorkeling or cruising the mangrove swamps on Havelock Island; scuba diving around the islands of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park or relaxing on the beach near Radha Nagar.The isolation of the islands has led to many endemic species of flora and fauna including the Andaman wild pig, and several species of tree shrews and bats. Of the 250 bird species recorded, almost half are endemic.The colonial period brought about much hardship and the Cellular Jail, located at Port Blair, stands as a witness to the tortures that freedom fighters endured. It has been declared a national memorial. Ross Island stands as guard to Port Blair harbor with the ruins of old buildings from the British regime.