Things To Do In Nainital – Travel Guide

Things To Do In Nainital – Travel Guide

Nanital is a wonderful hill station situated at the prisitne Naini lake and surrounded by the majestic Kumaon ranges of Himalayas. As soon as you enter Nanital, you will be welcomed by the beautiful sight of the Naini Lake surrounded amidst the mountains offering a spectacular view. Nainital is named after Goddess Naina Devi and the temple is situated right by the lake side. Nainital is situated at a height of 2000 meters above the sea level. It is one of the most popular hill station in India and attracts large number of tourists throughout the year, dominating the summers. The travel tips for Nainital in this blog will help you to explore the gorgeous hill station in a right way, so that you have the best experience and memories to cherish for life.

How To Reach Nainital

You can easily reach Nainital by Railways & Roadways connected from Delhi.

BY TRAIN: Kathgodam is the nearest Railway Station located 34 kms from Nainital. There are regular trains running from Delhi in this route. You can book a taxi after you get down at Kathgodam station. You will have to pay approximate fare of 10$ – 15$ ( Rs. 750 –  1200) depending on season.

Kathgodam Railway Station

Kathgodam Railway Station

BY Air: If we calculate the distance, Dehradun is the nearest Airport located 173 kms from Nainital. I recommend you fly to Delhi (as it has great connectivity) and book a private cab from there for the entire round trip. The average cost for the car will be approximately $40 per day (INR 3000) but the good thing is that the vehicle will be available with you 24 X 7. You are advised to prebook the cab from a good travel agency. If you need any assistance you can contact me directly.

BY Road: Nainital has good road connectivity and you can travel from the major cities around it. It can be easily reached from Delhi, Agra, or Dehradun. You can club Nainital tour along with Mussoorie & Jim Corbett

*Important Note:

If you are travelling in a group of 8 people and hiring big vehicles (Tempo Traveller/ Buses) , then your vehicle might not be allowed to enter Nainital & you will be stopped 3 to 4 kms before Nainital. So I suggest you speak to your hotel to arrange your pickup for the same or you can book your hotel outside Nanital and later you can book small cabs for sightseeing. You can book Dynasty Resort, a beautiful property amidst the hills and a lake by the side. If you need further discounts you can contact me as the manager became my good friend during my stay.

Top 5 Places To Visit In Nainital

Apart from the famous Naini Lake, following are the top 5 places that you must definitely visit when you are in Nainital.

Dorothy’s Seat Tiffin Top

Tiffin Top is the famous sightseeing point in Nainital which offers spectacular view of the Nainital Town and the dazzling hills of Kumaun region. It is located in Ayarpatta Hill at a height of 2292 meters or 7500 feet. You will never get tired clicking pictures with those lovely background. You can also enjoy adventure activities such as repelling and rock climbing at Tiffin Top

Tiffin Top Dorothy Seat Nainital

Tiffin Top Nainital. PC Amit Sah FB

Tiffin Top View

View from Tiffin Top | PC FB

 

Ropeway Ride To Snow View Point

The ropeway ride of Nainital is strongly recommended as it is one of the best activities to experience in Nainital. The thrilling cable car will take you to the Snow View Point in just 3 minutes which is actually 2 kms by road.  Enjoy the breathtaking view of the majestic snow covered mountains. The chilling atmosphere makes this place amazing. It offers options to shop around some local stuffs and also the dhabas here serves lip smacking Noodles and parathas. The cost for the Ropeway Ride is INR 150 Per Person for roundtrip.

Ropeway Nainital

Cable Car In Nainital

Snow View Nainital

View of Snow Capped Mountains in Nainital

Nainital Zoo

The G.B Pant High altitude Zoo is one of the best attractions in Nainital for the Wildlife lovers. It exhibits number of endangered species like Himalayan Black Bear, Civet, Tibetan Wolf, Goral, Royal Bengal Tiger, Japanese macaque etc. You must definitely visit this place if you are travelling with kids and family. The entry ticket is INR 50 for Adult & INR 20 for child and is closed on Mondays.

Nainital Zoo

Nainital Zoo

Cave Garden

It is one of the most unique places I have ever visited. Imagine crawling in a jungle through the caves and habitats of various wild animals like Tiger, Leopard, Apes, Fox etc. Sounds interesting, isn’t it? The Eco Cave Garden also organises musical fountains with audio and video effect every evening. However this place is not recommended for senior citizens and toddlers. Entry fees in INR 50 for adults & INR 20 for Child.

Eco Cave Park

Eco Cave Park / Cave Garden Entrance

Naina Devi Temple

It is a small and beautiful temple located adjacent to the Naini Lake. It is dedicated to Goddess Naina Devi and is one of the shakti peeths holding great importance for the devotees of Hindu religion. Naina means eyes and the Goddess in the temple is represented by her two eyes. One must definitely visit and seek blessings of this holy temple when in Nainital.

Naina Devi Temple, one of the Shakti Peeth located near Naini Lake

Best Time To Visit Nainital

  • Summers: March to June is the best time to visit Nainital as the weather is Cool, pleasant and clear. Due to the clear weather the visitors can enjoy the uninterrupted views of the snow capped Himalayas. Nainital sees large number of tourists in this season as most of the people visit here to escape the scorching heat in other parts of the country.
  • Winters: November to February is the best time to visit Nainital if you love to enjoy the cold weather. Also there are possibilities of snow falls in winters which converts this place into paradise. Don’t forget to carry heavy jackets and woollen clothes if visiting at this time.
  • Rainy Seasons: It is not recommended to visit Nainital from July to September as it rains heavily here and there are chances of road blocks due to landslides.Also you won’t be able to enjoy the sightseeing points.

 

Shopping & Food

Mall Road, situated just beside the lake is the place for all the shopaholics and foodies. You can visit Bhotia Bazar, Tibetan Market, Bara Bazaar all located to the proximity of the Mall Road purchasing various handicrafts, wooden crafts, decorative items, Shawls, jackets and woollen clothes, jewelleries and accessories etc. Don’t forget to purchase the popular candles of Nainital.

Mall Road Nainital

Shopping at Mall Road, Nainital

Foodies has a lot of options of street food including the local momos, noodles, Thukpa, You will also find wide range of veg & non veg Indian meals. You must try the local food of Nainital which consists of Ras (dal) , Aloo ke Gutke, gulgula, Arsa which is a sweet dish. Don’t forget to try the famous Bal mithai of Nainital which made from roasted Khoa coated with sugar balls.

The Famous Bal Mithaai 

Srisailam In Hyderabad- Best Travel Guide Ever!

Srisailam In Hyderabad- Best Travel Guide Ever!

Hello Readers! Are you planning to visit Srisailam but confused about how to travel, what to do and where to stay around the temple? In this post I will give comprehensive idea about everything related to your visit to Srisailam from Hyderabad

First of all, let me clear one thing. Most of the people think that Srisailam is in Hyderabad. However, it is located 220 kms away from Hyderabad amidst the serene and lush green surroundings of Nallamala Hills.

You will be amazed to know that the temple is dedicated to two dieties. The Mallikarjuna is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Bhramarambha is dedicated to Goddess Parvaty. It is one of the jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and Shakti Peeths of Goddess Parvaty respectively. The temple is located in a beautiful complex and comes under the jurisdiction of Andhra Pradesh.

How to Reach Srisailam from Hyderabad

  • The best way to reach Srisailam is by hiring taxi from Hyderabad.
  • There are no direct Flights or Trains for Srisailam.
  • Nearest railway station is Marakpur located 62 kms from Srisailam.
  • Nearest Airport is Hyderabad located at a distance of 195 Km.
  • There are buses running from the nearby major cities like Hyderabad, Guntur, Kurnool and Vijaywada.

*Note: If you are travelling in a group and have hired a private bus from Hyderabad. Then you will have to pay border tax for entering Andhra Pradesh. It costs around INR 400 Per Seat. (Total around 19600/- for entire BUS).

Where To Stay In Srisailam

I personally found that the best place to stay in Srisailam is inside the Temple Complex. It is a complex providing options of staying in Dharamshalas. They have basic rooms with AC & Non AC options. Options of VIP Cottages, ordinary Cottages are also available. Bookings can be made online by visiting the official website Srisailam Devasthanam.

I stayed in Haritha, a standard hotel with reasonable tariff managed by APTDC. It has options of Standard / Deluxe AC & Non AC Rooms. You can make the booking online by visiting APTDC website.

Hotel in Srisailam

Places To Visit In Srisailam

A visit to Srisailam will fill your heart and mind with peace and divinity. Following are the must visit places of Srisailam.

The Mallikarjuna Temple

Shri Mallikarjuna Temple was build in 14th century and holds a very important rank amongst the most visited temple in India. The temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. It marks as an important religious site for Hindus. The architecture is inspired from the Vijayanagara and Dravidian style. It is believed that Lord Kartikeyan, the youngest son of Shiva & Parvaty once got angry and had come on these hills from Kailash. Thereafter Shiva & Parvaty stayed here with the name Arjun & Mallika. Therefore the name of the temple is Mallikarjun.

Srisailam Temple Photo

Srisailam Temple

Pathalaganga

Pathalaganga is a small temple located on the banks of River Krishna. People come here for holy bath and get purified before visiting the temple. The view of the pristine river water along with the green plateaus on the background leaves you mesmerised by its beauty. You can also take the cable car ropeway ride and enjoy the panoramic view of this magnificent place from the top.

Srisailam Dam

Srisailam Dam is the second largest hydroelectric power station in India. It is build over Krishna River surrounded by Nallamala Hills. The best time to visit here is during rainy season when radial crest gates are opened and the water flows through the dam. The sight looks absolutely amazing with gargling water and drops coming out of the river. It forms rainbows (If Sun is out) right in front of you.

Srisailam Dam Krishna River

Srisailam Dam on River Krishna

Akkamahadevi Caves

It is believed that the famous ascetic lyricist and philosopher Akkamahadevi came here in the 12th century AD from Karnataka. She used to meditate in these caves for few years and worshiped Lord Shiva. The Shivlinga is believed to exist naturally in deep and dark end of the cave. Hence the name of the cave is Akkamahadevi caves. These caves are also believed to be the abode of the Siddhas.

To reach the caves, you will have to take a boat ride through the Krishna River. You will enjoy the beautiful sceneries surrounded by forests and hills all around. Carry a torch or switch on the flashlights of your mobile phone, since these caves are usually dark inside. One will find a sacred Shiva Linga inside the caves.

Akkamahadevi Caves

Srisailam Tiger Reserve. (200 Km from Hyderabad)

Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is the largest reserves for tiger in India. The total area of the jungle is 3568 acres. One can take jeep safari to enjoy the wildlife experience of this vast forest. You will have the opportunity to spot Tigers, Leapords, Deers, Blackbuck, Chinkara etc. This dense Forest is also home to reptiles like King Cobra, Python and peafowl. The cost for the Jeep Safari is about Rs. 1500 to 2000, per jeep.

Jungle Safari In Srisailam

Jungle Safari Entrance

Octopus View Point

The place offers magnificent views of the lush green forests & beautiful valleys offering spectacular view of Krishna River. It’s named as Octopus View Point because of the shape of the Krishna river from the top.  It actually look like an octopus placed between the forests. The location of the point is near the jungle safari which is at a distance of 30 kms from the Srisailam Temple.

Octopus View Point

Octopus View Point is 36 kms from Srisailam Temple

Shikareshwara Temple

Shikareshwara Temple is situated at the highest point (Shikhar) of Srisailam. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shikhareshwara Swamy, a form of Lord Shiva. It holds great importance and one who visits the temple, becomes free from all his sins of the past. He also escapes from the cycle of rebirth. Shikareshwara offers spectacular view of the town along with the majestic mountains and Krishna River.

Food In Srisailam

As Srisailam is a holy place you will find simple, vegetarian yet tasty food in most of the restaurants. Do try the local Andhra Thali served in most of the restaurants inside the temple complex. You can try tiffin for breakfast. You will also find variety of tasty Dosas and Sambhar. Trishul restaurant also serves North Indian cuisines along with chat items and ice cream.

Tiffin Andhra

Andhra Style Tiffin

Conclusion

I hope you like this detailed post about Srisailam. Do share your feedback and suggestion in the comment box. You can contact me for more help in planning your trip to Srisailam. Do follow me on my social media handles. Stay connected, cheers!

 

 

How To Reach Spiti Valley For An Ultimate Travel Experience!

How To Reach Spiti Valley For An Ultimate Travel Experience!

Spiti means “the middle land”. The land which stands between India & Tibet. Spiti valley is a cold desert mountain in the northeastern part of Himachal Pradesh near the China Border. It lies on the Tibetan Plateau at a height of more than 11000 feet and is considered as one of the most peaceful and less visited places in India. In this post I will guide you on how to reach Spiti Valley and experience the best of this amazingly beautiful place.

Spiti valley is accessible only during the summers as the roads are blocked with heavy snowfall throughout the year. Most of the people living here follow Buddhism and lead a very simple and basic life. You won’t find mobile operators, only BSNL & Landline is accessible that too in some of the prime villages. Most of the tourists visiting Spiti are adventure seekers, trekkers, and bikers.

Way To Spiti Valley

Manali to Spiti Valley Route

 

Spiti Valley is a destination with a difference and makes for an ideal getaway for backpackers and travelers. If you are a cultural enthusiast, a history buff, an adventure addict, or simply a hungrily eyed nomad who wants to see some amazing landscape, then Spiti is the place for you. Once you reach Spiti Valley, You should give a minimum of seven days to explore the beauty of this place. However, you will need 1-2 days to get acclimatize to the high altitudes and you may feel the lack of oxygen in air and experience minor headaches. Things become quite normal once your body is properly acclimatized.

How To Reach Spiti Valley

There are two ways to reach Spiti valley, One is from Manali & the other is from Shimla. You can start your journey from either of the places and end on another making a round trip. It is recommended to hire a private car with a local expert driver, self-drive, or even book a bike trip organized by many tour operators.

Chhatru Spiti Valley

Chhatru Village, we took lunch break here.

Manali: If you are starting from Manali, you have to take the route through Rohtang pass on Manali- Leh highway. Turning right from Grumphu, passing through Chhatru and Batal. Then crossing over the Kunzum Pass (4600 meters) driving towards Kaza.

Shimla: From Shimla, you will have to take take NH-22 route passing through Narkanda, Rampur, Wangtoo and Kharchham. Later continue the journey through Kinnaur towards Nako and reaching Kaza.

Spiti Valley

Shimla to Spiti Valley Road

The Best Time to Visit Spiti Valley

The best time to visit Spiti valley is from June to October. One must make a note, it is not advisable to plan a trip to Spiti other than these months. The reason is simply because most parts are not accessible and are blocked with a heavy layer of snow.

Places To Visit Once Reach Spiti Valley

Kaza

Kaza is the main village/ town of entire Spiti. It is also considered as the capital of Spiti Valley. It is situated at an altitude of 3800 meters. You will find most of the hotels, restaurants, and small markets along with a hospital located here in Kaza.

Kaza Town

Mesmerising view of Kaza Town in Spiti

Dhankar

Dhankar (Dhankhar) was the former capital of the Nono Kings of Spiti. It is well known for its 1200-year-old Dhankar Gompa built on a rock with a barren rock slowly drowning in a river. The monastery is influenced by impenetrably motivating ideas.  It is also an endangered site as the river is slowly destroying its base every year. The beautiful site of the confluence of the Pin and Spiti river can be seen from here.

Dhankar Monastery

Dhankar Gompa

Tabo

Tabo Gompa is Dalai Lama’s favorite monastery and a world heritage site which was founded in 996 AD by the great translator – Rinchen Zangpo. The Monastery of Tabo is also known as Ajanta of the Himalayas because of Indo- Tibetan art. Gompa has huge statues of Bodhisattva and elegant wood carvings. It is located at a distance of 48 km from Kaza.

Tabo

Tabo is the favourite Monastary of Dalai Lama

Key Monastery

Key Monastery is also known as Ki Monastery and Kye Monastery. It is the biggest monastery in Spiti Valley and is more than a thousand years old. It is one of the religious training for Lamas and is situated at an altitude of 4100 meters.  The Key monastery holds cultural and religious importance for the people living in Spiti.

Key Monastery View

Chandrataal Lake in Spiti Valley

Chandratal is the most beautiful place you will find in the entire Spiti. The lake is situated at an altitude of 4300 meters surrounded by the mighty Himalayas. The name Chandratal means Lake of the Moon and is inspired by its crescent shape. Few camping sites are also available near the lake.

The beauty of Chandratal Lake in Summers

Pin Valley

The National Park Of Pin Valley is the home of rare snow leopard & the ibex of the Himalayas. You can enjoy trekking here which is an amazing experience in itself. Make sure that you obtain the necessary permits to enter the park. Please note that foreigners are not allowed inside the park.

Pin Valley

Pin River with the view of Pin Valley

Kunzum Pass

Kumzum La pass, located at an elevation of 4500 meters is one of the highest motorable roads in India. The area is safeguarded by a small temple of Goddess Kunzum and almost all the drivers will stop here to offer prayer. It offers 360-degree view of the magnificent mountains covered with snow for almost all round the year.

Kunzum Pass

World’s Highest Post Office

Hikkim Post Office located at an altitude of 4440 meters above the sea level is the highest in the world. You can try posting a letter to yourself and see how many days it takes to reach your home.

Hikim – World’s Highest Post office

Local Food & Beverages

Thukpa, Churpe, Momos, Tsampa, buckwheat chiltas are some of the must-try local dishes of Spiti Valley. You can also try Chhang which is the local beer made from barley. Yak cheese is also very popular amongst the local living in the high altitudes

Shopping In Spiti Valley

Kaza market is a great place to buy souvenirs from this beautiful part of the world. You can buy local potteries, artistic handicrafts, local shawls and winter wear, Buddha statue, prayer flag, local jewellery, and accessories.

Kaza Market

Kaza Market in Spiti

Festivals Of Spiti Valley

Losar is the biggest festival of these regions. Losar is also known as Tibetan New Year celebrated somewhere around January end or starting of February. Cham Dances which depicts the victory of good over evil are organized at different places throughout the year. Dachang is celebrated at the end of winter which organizes dances in traditional clothes and sword dance. Ladarcha is the biggest fair in Kaza held in the month of August.

Losar Festivals Of Spiti

Losar Festival Celebration in Spiti

 

Top 10 Things To Do In Kashmir

Top 10 Things To Do In Kashmir

Kashmir is popularly known as paradise on Earth. Amir Khusrau, a Sufi poet has rightly said “Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast, hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast” which means if there is heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here. Kashmir is a place known for its natural beauty with diverse landscapes including lakes, rivers, snow covered mountains, forests etc. It lies between the Pir Panjal Mountains and the great Himalayas. Kashmir is also famous for its apple orchards and saffron fields. The magnificent valleys along with the warm hospitality of the Kashmiri people and their delicious cuisines will leave you ecstatic.

There are countless beautiful places and activities to experience in entire Kashmir. I will let you know 10 things you must definitely experience  when you are traveling to Kashmir.

Shikara Ride & Houseboat Stay in Dal Lake

Dal lake is located in Srinagar which is the capital of the Union Territory of Kashmir. Dal Lake is the largest lake in Kashmir with length of about 8 kms and width stretching to 4 kms. The lake is surrounded by the picturesque snow covered mountains on the background. Shikara is a traditional boat found in the dal lake of Srinagar. You can take an hour or 2 hours ride of shikara which will take to you the internal parts of the lake. The ride itself is very relaxing and peaceful. You also have the option of staying In the traditional houseboats on the lake.  Some of the houseboats have amazing interiors with designs inspired from Mughal architecture. It is advised you must experience staying in the houseboat for at least 1 night while you are in Kashmir.

Excursion To Sonmarg

Sonmarg which means “meadows of gold” is located 80 kms to the north east of Srinagar. The road to Sonmarg leads you to Kargil which eventually extends upto Leh Ladakh. Sonmarg is situated at an elevation of 9200 feet. The area is fully covered with snow for most of the time year. In summers one can hire pony to go upto the Thajiwas Glacier. Sonmarg is also starting point of many trekking routes including Gangabal, Gadsal & Vishansar lake. The area is very popular amongst the film makers as many Bollywood movies has been shot here,

Sightseeing Of Srinagar

A day sightseeing of Srinagar city includes visit to Shankaracharya Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Shankaracharya hill, Hazratbal Shrine which is the holiest & largest mosque in Srinagar, The gardens of Shalimar Baug, Badamwari & Nishat Bagh, floating vegetable market etc.

Gandola Cable Car in Gulmarg

Gandola Cable Car is the most popular destination visited by almost all the tourists visiting Kashmir. The cable car ride is divided in two phases. The first ride takes you from Gulmarg to Kongdoor and the other one from Kongdoor to Apharwat. I recommend you book both the phases especially as you will get lots of snow on Apharwat even during the summer season. It is located in Gulmarg which is at a distance of about 52 kms and it takes around 90 mins drive to reach this place. Keep your day reserved to enjoy this activity.

Bat Factory Visit in Anantnag

Along witha the natural beauty, Kashmir is also famous for manufacturing of the cricket bats. The bats produced in Kashmir is often termed as Kashmir Willows”. You will find variety of high quality professional cricket bats at very cheap price. There are many bat factories located in Anantnag on your way to Sonmarg. Choose your favourite brand as per the size and weight comfortable to you. This is perfect place to buy gifts for youngsters.

Night stay at Pahalgam

Pahalgam is one of the most wonderful place you will ever visit in your life. The nature has blessed this place with a special kind of beauty which is hard to describe in words.The hill station of Pahalgam looks incredible with background of the glaciers and snow peaked mountain ranges, The pristine waters of Lidder river flowing through the green valleys with plenty of various floras and faunas makes you feel like you are in heaven. The famous Betaab valley which is named after the famous bollywood movie is located just 15 kms from here. You must stay at least for a night at any of the cottages or hotels as per your budget so that enjoy your time at this heavenly place at its best.

Visiting Tulip Garden

Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is named after the former & first women Prime Minister of India. It is located in Srinagar and it spreads over an area of about 75 acres. It is the largest Tulip Garden in entire Asia. The famous Tulip festival is held every year at the start of Spring season in the month March- April when the buds of the tulips are ready to bloom. The tulip festival lasts for 15 to 30 days and the flower is grown in various designs, shapes and designs with different colours which makes it took very attractive.

Shopping In Kashmir

Kashmir offers a lot to get yourself indulge in shopping therapy. You can buy various speciality products of Kashmir which includes Pashmina Shawls, shatoosh Antique copper items, local artistic jewelleries etc. You also get dry fruits and saffrons of best quality. You can also purchase the special Kashmiri spices and flavoured teas.

Local Food Of Kashmir

Kashmir offers variety of delicacies and recipes which are very famous world wide. There are hardly any menu cards in an Indian restaurant without a Kashmiri preparation. Following are some of the famous food which you should definitely try while in Kashmir.

Rogan Josh: It is one of the most famous lamb and mutton preparation. The spicy gravy is made by using Kashmiri spices and cooked in a base of mustard oil. This dish is loved by every non-veg eater.

Yakhni: It is a mutton dish cooked with a base of yogurt. It is flavoured by with cloves, bay leaves and cardamom seeds. It is cooked without turmeric and chilli hence it is a non-spicy dish.

Dum Aloo: Potato preparation cooked in various spices.

Kashmiri Pulav: This yummy dish is prepared from best quality of basmati / pulav rice, seasoned and garnished by dry fruits and has a mild sweet taste.

Kahwah: it is a special green tea preparation of Kashmir with a blend of Saffron, cinnamon, cardamom served with honey with almonds or walnuts crushed in it.

A Perfect Guide For Odisha Tourism

A Perfect Guide For Odisha Tourism

Odisha is a land of traditional tribal cultures and ancient Hindu temples. It is Located in the eastern part of India stretching along the Bay Of Bengal. This article is a perfect guide for you so that you plan your trip to Odisha in a right way. The state of Odisha offers opportunities to explore the various temples and monuments of different religions including Hinduism, Jains and Buddhism. It is blessed with some of the best beaches and lakes, forests including wildlife and cascading waterfalls, Fairs and festivals along with its very own Chaau Dance which is used to enact the episodes from Ramayana & Mahabharata.

In this post I will take on a virtual trip to the major places of Odisha covering Bhubaneshwar, Chilika Lake, Konark & The Diamond Triangle (Ratnagiri, Udaigiri & Lalitgiri). So let’s start this exciting journey.

How To Reach Odisha

Bhubaneshwar is the capital city of Odisha and it can be reached easily by flight, train or road.

Airport: Biju Patnaik Airport, Bhubaneshwar is the biggest Airport in Odisha and has direct flight connectivity from all the major cities of India.

Train: If you are planning to travel by train then reserve your tickets for Bhubaneshwar Railway Station.

Road: Bhubaneshwar has good road connectivity with highways leading to the town from other major cities of India.

Once you arrive Bhubaneshwar you can book a taxi for your hotel. It is advised you book a personal cab for the entire duration of the tour. You can contact me for any assistance for the same.

Day 1 (Bhubaneshwar Arrival & Depart for Puri)

Once you arrive Bhubaneshwar depart directly to Puri which is at a distance of 70 kms. En-route visit Dhauligiri, a Buddhist Peace Pagoda & Lingaraj Temple.

Dhauligiri

Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda) is a buddhist temple build through Indo- Japanese collabaration in the year 1972. It is situated on the opposite of the Dhaula Giri Hill. It has a major rock inspiration of Ashoka, the dome of the stupa has mushroom like structure with stone panels and the front is shaped like an elephant. It is at a distance of 8 kms from Bhubaneshwar City.

Lingaraj Temple

Lingaraj Temple in Odisha is an ancient Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the oldest temple in Bhubaneshwar. The Lingaraj Temple was build in 11th Century by the kings of Somavamsi dynasty. The temple represents the epitome of the Kalinga style of architecture. The temple is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India and attracts lakhs of tourist during the festival of Mahashivratri.

Day 2 ( Puri Sightseeing & Chilka Lake Excursion) 

Rise up early morning and visit Shri Jagnnath Temple, Gundicha Temple. Later depart for Satapada (50 kms) to visit Chilka Lake which is famous for Irrawaddy Dolphins. Enjoy activities like Canoeing, Kayaking and boating on the serene Chilka Lake. Return to Puri before sunset and visit the beautiful Golden Beach of Puri.

Shri Jagannath Temple

Shri Jagannath Temple is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage temple located in Puri. The temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath who is the form of Lord Vishnu. The Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra is held every year from Ashadha Shukla Dwitiya to Ashadha Shukla Dashmi (as per hindu calendar). The temple is a sacred place to Hindus and considered as an important Dham to be visiting at least once in a lifetime. The Gundicha Temple is also located in Puri which is believed to be the birth place of Lord Jagannath and is the destination for the grand Rath Yatra.

Chilka Lake

Chilka lake is the largest lake in India spread on an area of 1100 sq km. The lake attracts several exotic birds hence it is one of the best destination of the world for bird watching. Satapada area is famous for Irrawaddy Dolphins. You also find various other fish and marine life in the corals. It has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage site on a tentative basis recently.

Puri Beach

The Golden beach of Puri is one of the most beautiful and scenic beach you will ever visit. The beach is considered to be safe with respect to swimming as there is high tide only during the full moon. There are many shacks and eateries on the beach serving varieties of seafood including crabs, prawns, fish etc. There is also a lighthouse on the beach which is open from 4pm to 6pm. You can enjoy magnificent view of the Bay of Bengal from the top of the lighthouse.

Day 3 ( Puri – Konark- Bhubaneshwar)

Have breakfast and depart towards Konark to visit the famous Sun Temple, Chandrabhaga Temple & Ramchandi Temple. Then drive toward Bhubaneshwar and visit Tribal Museum & Nandankanan Zoo. Overnight stay at Bhubaneshwar.

Sun Temple

Konark Sun Temple is located 35 kms from Puri towards the coastline of Odisha. The temple is dedicated to Surya dev i.e Sun God in Hindu culture.  Sun Temple is also known as Black Pagoda mainly because of the tower which appears black in colour from outside . It was built in 12th century and is richly decorated with stone carvings. A 100 foot high chariot with huge wheels and horses is one of the most astonishing creation made out of the carvings.

Tribal Museum

Odisha State Tribal Museum is located inside the campus of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Research & Training Institute. The museums depicts the art and culture of the tribals living in Odisha. There are 5 halls in the museum which displays Personal Adorments,  Arts Paintings,Photographs, weapons, household & agricultural products, dance and musical instruments etc.

Nandankanan Zoo

Nandankanan Zoo is the second largest zoological park in India. It is located amidst the natural forest which is adjacent to Chandaka- Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary. There are many special attractions within the Zoo like Tiger Safari, Lion Safari, Deer Park, Bear Safari and butterfly garden. The entry fees is INR 50 for Adults and INR 10 for child. The Zoological park is closed on Monday so plan your visit accordingly.

Day 4 ( Bhubaneshwar- Ratnagiri- Udayagiri- Lalitgiri )

After having breakfast drive towards Ratnagiri to visit the famous Buddhist attraction learning about the History & sculptures at Ratnagiri, Udaygiri and Lalitgiri, also known as Diamond Triangle  of Odisha, then visit Langudi hill which is famous for ancient Buddhist Sculptures. Overnight stay at Bhubaneswar. 

Diamond Triangle Of Odisha

The Diamond Triangle Of Odisha Comprises of three places Ratnagiri, Udaygiri, Lalitgiri. These places are related to buddhism with excavations of ancient monasteries and stone carvings dating back to 5th Century A.D. There are only few tourists exploring this part of Odisha but the place is worth visiting.

 

Day 5 ( Bhubaneshwar Local )

Today is the day to explore the local attractions of Bhubaneshwar visiting Rajarani Temple, Brahmeshwar Temple, Mukteshwar Temple, Parshurameshwaram then Khandagiri & Udaigiri Jain caves. Overnight stay at Bhubaneswar.

Udaygiri & Khandagiri Caves

Formely known as Cuttack caves. The carvings of the caves were made for the accommodation of the Jain Monks during the reigns if King Kharavela, dating back to 1st Century BC. Udaygiri & Khandagiri has 18 & 15 caves respectively

 

Day 6 (Departure)

Today is the day to bid goodbye to this wonderland in India.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Do let me know when are you planning  to visit Odisha. You can leave your feedback in the comment box.

Have a great time.

Cheers

Things To Do And See In Amritsar

Things To Do And See In Amritsar

Amritsar is a historic, holy and most colourful city of India located in the state of Punjab. Amritsar city is just 28 kms from Pakistan border. The city of Amritsar was founded by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, in the year 1577 on a site granted by Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Amritsar holds a significant importance for the Sikh religion because of the holy Harmandir Saheb Gurudwara also known as The Golden Temple. It is one of the main pilgrimage site of the Sikh community and attracts devotees from all around the world. You will find some of the most enthusiastic, friendly and kind hearted people of the world covering their head with colourful turbans.

In this article I will guide about the most popular sightseeing, activities and food you must experience while you are in this intriguing city of Amritsar.

Try Wearing Traditional Sikh Outfit For The Golden Temple Visit

What’s better then wearing a traditional dress belonging to a certain place which we are exploring? It feels amazing deep inside the heart especially when you are around the holy Golden Temple of Amritsar. As per the dress code of gurudwara you need to cover your head while entering the temple. Woman usually cover their head with Scarf or Dupatta and men put handkerchief or yellow coloured cloth which is available at the entrance of the temple. You can buy traditional kurta & turbans available in various colours in the market outside the temple. The shopkeeper will make the turban for you and it costs somewhat about INR 300. Your face will lit by an amazing charm, looking yourself at the mirror wearing a turban glorifying your personality as you are all set to enter the temple.

Visiting The Golden Temple

Golden Temple, also know as Harmandir Saheb means “Abode Of God”. The construction of the temple was completed in the year 1589 and was rebuilt on few occasions especially because of the attacks led by Afghans and Mughal troops. It was recently reconstructed in the year 1984 after the Indian military carried out official action to remove Sikh militant from the temple complex. There is shoe house outside the temple where you can deposit your footwear for free. You will have to wash your hands and legs just before entering the temple. As soon as you enter you get glittering view of the temple and holy pool of Amrit Sarovar. You must take a round tour of the entire temple complex covering Akal Takht, Sikh Museum, Kaulsar Sarovar, Manji Saheb Hall, Guru Ramdas Library and Lunger which caters free food for 24 hours a day throughout the year. The temple sees almost 1 lakh visitors every day.

Jallianwala Baug Visit

Jallianwala Bagh is a 7- acre garden site located near The Golden Temple. It holds immense national importance in the history of India’s fight for Independence. There is a memorial build inside the garden in memory of the innocent people who were killed in Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. The British officer General Dyer ordered the soldiers of his army to shoot open fire rifle on the innocent civilians gathered to celebrate the festival of Vaishakhi on 13 April 1919. Many patriotic civilians choose to sacrifice their life by jumping inside the well rather than dying from the bullets of the Britishers. The bullet marks are still there on the walls along with the well which is preserved for the tourists. The garden has only one narrow lane for entrance as well as exit.

Attari Wagah Border

At a distance of 28 kms from Amritsar lies the Attari- Wagah Border, an International border of India and Pakistan. The border lies on the Grand Trunk Road which is oldest and longest Road in Asia. It starts from Chittagong in Bangladesh & ends in Kabul, Afghanistan covering a total distance of about 2400 kms. The Attari- Wagah border is famous for the military parade and flag lowering ceremony of both the countries. There are vast stands on both side of the border for the audience who cheer their heart out in passion in support of their soldiers while they perform the marching which includes saluting and shaking hands with each other. The raw from the crowd and the enthusiasm of the soldiers electrifies this place with unmatchable energy. This is one kind of unique experience enjoyed even by the foreign tourists. If you are lucky, you will also see the friendship (Dosti) Bus passing though the border which runs between Delhi & Lahore.

Visit Durgiana Temple

Durgiana Temple in Amritsar is also known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Shree Durgiana Tirath and Sitla Mandir. It is dedicated to goddess Durga, Laxmi and Vishnu. The architecture of the Durgiana Temple is similar to the Golden Temple. This place is very peaceful as only few tourists visit the temple. You can spend your time relaxing or meditating inside the complex of the temple.

 

Street Food & Restaurants Of Amritsar

Apart from the famous sightseeing places, the city of Amritsar is also famous for its food. Do visit the following places to enjoy some of the famous delicacies in Amritsar.

Guru Ka Langur: The langur or Kitchen inside the Golden Temple serves simple, basic yet tasty food throughout the year 24 X 7. The food is absolutely free and the best part is that even you can be the part of the kitchen and contribute in preparing the meals.

Kesar Da Dhaba: It is one of the oldest restaurants in Punjab serving vegetarian meals prepared in pure ghee. Do try the Kulcha Nan, Dal Makhni and lassi at Kesar Da Dhaba located near the Golden Temple.

Punjabi Rasoi: It is very popular for serving tasty Indian Meals including masala dosa which is hard to find in North India. It is located near the Golden Temple

Sarhad Restaurant: This beautiful restaurant Is located near Wagah Border which serves authentic Pakistani and Indian food. Do try some of the delicious kebabs, main course & desserts originating from the other side of the border.

Bharawan Da Dhaba: This is the best place to enjoy the taste of authentic Punjabi Thali. The dhaba is operational since 1912. It also serves Chinese & continental now a days.

Ahuja Lassi: As the name suggests it is famous for its authentic Amritsari lassi which is served in a huge steel glass with lots of Malai (milk cream) in it. Ahuja is located near Durgiana Temple.