Tag - India

Film on Wildlife Conservation – A good step to spread awareness

Wildlife-credit: - environment.co.za

Wildlife-credit: – environment.co.za

by Anshul Srivastava,

In today’s hectic life, people don’t have the time to think about their near and dear ones, then where can the distant creatures of the wild find themselves in the order of importance? Human beings are going more into their shells and becoming more and more self-centered. Deforestation, poaching and environmental pollution are the evils through which most of the non-human life forms are being pushed towards the verge of extinction.

The animals play a very significant role in the ecosystem. An ecosystem is what sustains life on the Earth. Their survival is linked to the survival of the individuals.  Hence, there is a greater need to make people aware of the fundamental principles of life on this planet.

Wildlife Week in Bhubaneswar

The wildlife wing of the forest department organized a wildlife week from 3 to 6 October 2013 in the city of Bhubaneswar (Orissa). There were plenty of activities that were carried out throughout the four days to celebrate the life in the wild, like felicitations, competitions, cycle rally and animal film shows.

The screening of the films was organized in the Regional Museum of Natural History and the films or documentaries were shown free of cost. The documentaries were about the Gahirmatha turtle sanctuary, Similipal tiger sanctuary, Chilika and Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary and Bhitarkanika national park. These films are certainly an interesting way of creating awareness about the wild creatures and their habitats.

Some Renowned wildlife Films and Filmmakers from across the world

There are many wildlife documentaries, which are renowned world over, like the Sweetgrass, Serengeti Shall Not Die, The Cove, and March of the Penguins, Grizzly Man, The Last Lions and Winged Migration. Most of the wildlife documentary makers are passionate lovers of animals. They have devoted their entire lives towards the task of photographing or filming the animals to create awareness in the world about their lives in the forests, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Dereck and Beverly Joubert popular as one of the best filmmakers in the world are leaving no stone unturned to prevent animals through their wildlife documentaries and films.  For more than 25 years they have been researching and filming in Africa. Their zeal for the wildlife has led to the creation of numerous films, books and articles, all of which reflect their life’s ambition of wildlife conservation. They have also initiated the ‘Big Cats Initiative’, which presently looks after the conservation efforts of the big cats in 17 countries.

Some other revered names in the field are Heinz Sielmann, Hugo van Lawick, Jeff Corwin and Steve Irwin. Thus, there are people who shun their comforts to make the common man aware of the beauty and simplicity of the wild animals.

There are many wildlife sanctuaries and tiger reserves in India, which strive to provide safe havens for the animals. However, the real solution will come when people from different parts of the world will join hands towards the wildlife conservation. Organizing such festivals is a good way to bring these untamed and fascinating beings into the consciousness of the people.

Goa – The Land of Beautiful Beaches and Resorts

Beach in Goa

Beach in Goa

One of the smallest and most beautiful states of India, Goa is famous for its various exotic beaches. It is indeed a paradise for globetrotters who love to experience adventurous water sports, pristine   beaches, natural beauty and a royal accommodation in luxury beach resorts. The place is a perfect holiday place for people of all age groups. Every year, the state witnesses gathering of a large number of fun-loving tourists from around the world who love to make their vacation more exciting and   interesting.

Well described as a beach destination of India, the place is also popular for its history, forts, churches, palaces, temples, monuments, unique cultures and traditions, etc. Amazing natural beauty and beautiful beaches in Goa make it an ideal traveling place for the newly-wedded couples. This tiny green land enveloped with blue sea water and natural scenic beauty offers an unforgettable experience to the visitors. Apart from holding various tourist attractions, the state also hosts many feasts and festivals and welcomes its guests with love and warmth.

If you are planning your next trip with family or friends, then Goa is certainly a great place for a holiday. Right from comfortable accommodation in luxurious beach resorts and hotels in Goa, enjoying various adventure water activities to exploring the remains of the history, this place has a lot to offer to its guests. A trip to this astonishing place will take you on the journey to a home of natural scenic charm and beauty. You can explore many tourist spots dotted with gorgeous beaches and historical monuments, which have kept alive the heritage of the Portuguese.  Further, you can witness various exciting things like lovely lakes, evergreen hills, rivers, cultural heritages, etc.

A tour to this incredible holiday destination offers a wide assortment of accommodation options for the convenience and comfort of the visitors. You just need to choose the best one that can meet your growing demands and expectations. However, it is always suggested to stay in the luxury beach resorts or hotels that are located nearby the beach side to get a fascinating view of the magnificent   sunset and sunrise.

You will definitely love the picturesque charm and beaches in Goa that offers a mesmerizing experience. During your stay at a beach resort or hotel located near the beaches, you can enjoy buying seashell items and exotic handicrafts for your loved ones from the stalls at the beaches.

Top Revitalizing Adventure Sports Activities in Rishikesh

River Rafting, Photo Source: River rafting Rishikesh

River Rafting, Photo Source: River rafting Rishikesh

by zara Jones,

Rishikesh, a famous pilgrimage place, has gained huge popularity among the adventure seekers located across the globe. Apart from being one of the holy places of Hindu, Rishikesh is well acknowledged for offering a variety of adventure sports activities.

Whether it is a river rafting, trekking, beach camping, or bungee jumping, Rishikesh has lots of things to offer to the adventure lovers. It has everything to meet the increasing demands and expectations of the travelers. Huge numbers of tourists travel to this naturally beautiful city throughout the year, but April to July is considered as the best time to visit for the adventure enthusiasts. The soothing climate and easy connectivity to this place from the capital of India i.e. Delhi are the major reasons for the popularity of adventure tourism in Rishikesh.

If you love to enjoy some thrilling and adventurous sports activities, then Rishikesh is the best place for you to visit and have a pleasurable time of your life. Given below is the list of activities that you can experience in this sacred place. .

White Water Rafting:

White water rafting in Rishikesh is one of the most exciting activities that you must do when visiting this amazing place. Undertaking this activity will allow you to connect to the elements of nature in a distinctive manner. You can take a 14 km long rafting tour, which will start from Shivpuri also known as the water capital of India and have wonderful memories.

Cliff Jumping:

You can go for cliff jumping while holidaying in Rishikesh, if you really want to have a breathtaking experience. This adventure sport was originated in 1770 on the Hawaiian Island of Lana and soon managed to extend its wings across the globe. You will be climbing up a rock to reach the jumping point and plunge down into the water of river Ganga. Generally, the jumping point in this activity is around 30-40 ft above the water surface and the free fall is just about 3 seconds. Make sure to try this exhilarating activity under the supervision of experts.

Kayaking:

In the past few years, Rishikesh has become famous for its electrifying kayaking activities. Participating in this activity will allow you to paddle across the waterway using a Kayak. You can pick from a Kayaking trip or extended expedition across the Ganges as per your comfort and preference. This activity will become more adventurous when enjoyed on a white water river.

Trekking:

Trekking in Rishikesh is the best way to explore the charm of this divine beautiful place. Also, it is one of the great ways to witness the diverse flora and fauna along with the wonderful views of snow-capped mountain peaks of the great Himalayas. You will pass through green meadows and dense forests of oak, pine and deodar trees. Undertaking a short or long trekking tour in Rishikesh will surely add on to your adventure experience.

Body Surfing:

Body surfing is another interesting activity that you can take on during your holiday in Rishikesh. In this activity, you will require the skill of riding a wave without using any buoyant device like a bodyboard or surfboard. Make sure to participate in this activity under the guidance of the expert surfers. People of all age groups can experience this adventure activity.

In addition to these above mentioned adventure sports and activities, there are many other thrilling activities that you can enjoy along with beach camping in Rishikesh and cherish the long-lasting memories.

12 Most Unusual Destinations to Visit in India

India is a unique place bestowed with wonderful landscapes and colorful cultures. Everyone acknowledges this nation for its golden history and its impact on the present day lifestyle. The natural splendors and historical legacy of the place are certainly the most powerful crowd pullers, but at the same time visitors are also lured by some really unusual places of India.

Read below to unveil the mystery of India’s top unusual places.

1. Mohammadpur Umri – The Land of Twins

Mohammadpur Umri is a small village located near Allahabad at Bamrauli. The uniqueness of this hamlet is that it has the highest populace of twins. The most astonishing fact is that this twin tale is also witnessed in the cattle of Umri!!!

2. The Visa God

Facing issues in getting visa, visit the Chilkur Balaji Temple, better known as the Visa Balaji Temple or Visa God. This is among the oldest temples located in the Telangana region, near Hyderabad. Usually, people visit a temple for spiritual reasons, but here the non-religious folks turn up the most. The people normally visit this temple because they want the Visa God to wave the magic wand and clear the visa issues.

3. Auroville – The City Dedicated to Human Unity
Image Courtsey : Krishna M (Flickr)

Auroville-Image Courtsey : Krishna M (Flickr)

Image Courtsey : Krishna M (Flickr)

Nestled in the Viluppuram district of Tamil Nadu, Auroville is a place known for turning visitors into citizens. It is a universal town wherein people from different nooks and corners of the world come, live, stay and grow in complete harmony. Irrespective of caste, creed, color, nationality, everyone stays here in utter peace.

4. Mawlynnong – The Cleanest Village in Asia

Nestled in the North Eastern State of India, Mawlynnong is the cleanest village in the entire Asian continent. People here live in complete harmony with nature, and right from the yards to the public toilets, everything here is spotless. Further, the use of polythene and smoking are strictly prohibited here.

5. Loktak – The Floating Lake
Loktak-Courtsey - I.Manoranjan (Flickr)

Loktak-Courtsey – I.Manoranjan (Flickr)

Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake of India. Situated in Manipur, this lake is acknowledged for phumdis (floating islands). This unique floating lake forms the world’s largest and probably the only floating park – The Keibul Lamjao National Park. Further, the Loktak Lake also caters to the hydropower generation plant, irrigation and drinking water supply industry.

6. The Name Game at Bhadrapura

Located in the outskirts of Bangalore in the Bidadi district, Bhadrapura village is a place where everyone is given an out of the box name. Generally people sip in coffee, but at Bhadrapura ‘Coffee’ is the name of a  person. At this village you can find Supreme Court, Glucose, Dollar and even English as names of the  local people. People at this village are Hakki-Pakki, nomads, who get inspired by the commodities of daily life, places and celebrities, and name their natives after them.

7. Lepakshi Temple or Better Known as the Floating Pillar Temple
Lepakshi- Courtsey - Sridhar Vedantham (Flickr)

Lepakshi- Courtsey – Sridhar Vedantham (Flickr)

The Lepakshi Temple located in the Ananthpur district of Andhra Pradesh, is devoted to Lord Veerabhadra (one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva). The surprising fact about this shrine is its architectural phenomenon. The entire temple structure is standing on just one single pillar! Top of all, even that pillar is standing with air as the base.

8. Mathur – The Classical Hamlet

There are various beautiful places to visit in India, and Mathur village is one of them. Known for its religious importance, this is one of those beautiful places wherein ancient language Sanskrit is the regional tongue. In addition to this, the place embraces a unique form of singing and storytelling of Karnataka, called the Gamaka art.

9. Talakad – The Desert Town
The Desert Town-Image Courtsey - Chandanb (Flickr)

The Desert Town-Image Courtsey – Chandanb (Flickr)

Situated at the bank of River Kaveri, Karnataka, Talakad is one such historical site that has an interesting tale associated with it. It is believed that this land is cursed by a widow, who was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Therefore, this once fertile land of Talakad is now an arid region. Further, there was a time when it had around 30 temples, but presently they all are buried under the sand.

10. Feasting with the Dead at New Lucky Restaurant

New Lucky Restaurant at Ahmadabad is one of its kind tea stall that is set outside an ancient Muslim cemetery. The graves are set between tables, moreover are even topped with candles. It is believed that one of these graves belongs to a 16th century Sufi saint, and the owner finds it to be  a lucky charm for the business.

11. The Mysterious Gravity Defying Palace
Gravity Defying Palace-Image Courtsey - Amul Singh (Flickr)

Gravity Defying Palace-Image Courtsey – Amul Singh (Flickr)

Created in 18th-century, the Gravity Defying Palace of Lucknow, is a hard to believe yet a real man-made wonder. Presenting a blend of European and Arabic architecture, the palace was built by Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula. It is around a three stories high palace standing without any pillars or beams!!! In addition to the anti-gravity factor, “Bhulbhulaiya – a dense maze” is another interesting section of the palace.

12. Kila – The City of Rural Olympics

You must have heard of Greece Olympics, Rome Olympics, but have you heard of Rural Olympics? In 1933, Inder Singh Grewal led the way to Rural Olympics at Kila, Raipur. This is the annual sports festival held at Kila  that draws a lot of sport lovers to this place.

Bottom Line

These are the top twelve most unusual places to visit in India. Hope you enjoyed a virtual tour. You can also double this fun by visiting these destinations for real.

Useful info:

http://www.indiantravelpackages.com/popular-tours/index.html

 

Shopping for Nirvana

Sunrise on Ganges and Manikarnika Ghat

Sunrise on Ganges and Manikarnika Ghat

by Anita Rosenberg,

So, you are thinking about going to India? Having been to India twice in the last few years, I’ve found it to be one of the most fascinating and enlightening places (most likely because I work in the world of metaphysics and spirituality. My biggest travel secret is to step outside your comfort zone and see with your own eyes what’s really going on in this amazing place.

Warning! You will catch Ganesh Mania!

India is the Land of Om. It is also the Land of Ganesh, and everyone who visits catches Ganesh Mania! He is the elephant-headed Hindu god of prosperity who removes obstacles and blesses new beginnings. Embraced by everyone no matter their religious or spiritual preferences, Ganesh rules India. Make it a point to pick up an important piece carved in jade or quartz. He will bring good luck home with you.

In Delhi, hire a guide to take you to Old Delhi and Chandi Chowk market, which is an outrageous assault on all your senses but provides the ultimate India experience. You will be led down the winding roads where bridal parties shop for their supplies. There is a tiny turn off (you must ask around) called Naughari Lane, a historic alley with Heritage buildings where Jain families have lived for centuries. Ashish Nahar owns a small jewelry shop on the first floor of his family’s colorfully painted house. He will give you a good price on stone-carved Ganesh – tell him I sent you!

Varanasi, the holy of holy cities 

Nothing can prepare you for the nightly Agni Pooja or worship of the fire ceremony at Dashaswarmedh Ghat that puts the sacred Ganges River to sleep. You will be swept into the jungle of hawkers and beggars and a carnival of characters all rushing to the water’s edge in anticipation. A group of priests prepare the forty-five minute ceremony that is hypnotic, cheesy and creepy all at the same time. Recorded music plays over tin-sounding speakers. It is complete incense overload and I could smell the smoke in my hair for days. Don’t point your camera at the Holy Men covered in burnt body ashes or you will get scolded (it was the best photo my friend took the entire trip).

Morning bathing in the Ganges cleans away sins and souls. The Hindu cremations take place at Manikarnika Ghat. When one dies in Varanasi, his ashes are scattered in the Ganges. It is called Mokchha (salvation) and it means that you break the cycle of reincarnation – birth and rebirth. There are 5,000 years of dead body burnings and garbage in the murky waters so let the water touch your skin at your own risk!

The Karmic Connection

Shopping is like collecting memories, moments and stories. When you walk away from a shop – undecided – only to return later when you realize you can’t live without something, you’ve broken the cosmic karmic connection. It’s never the same and you end up with buyer’s remorse.

Me at Taj Mahal

Me at Taj Mahal

You are going to have your own list of must-see sites in India. There is so much to do and see – here are my top picks for an enlightened trip:

  1. Glam lunch at the Imperial Hotel in Delhi to experience the old colonial days
  2. Chandi Chowk Market in Old Delhi is the ultimate chaotic India experience
  3. Agni Pooja Sunset Ceremony in Varanasi at Dasaswarmedh Ghat
  4. Sunrise Boat Ride waking up the Ganges River
  5. Old Town Varanasi – oils and incense at Shankar Bros
  6. Photograph at least one Holy Man and give him a donation

 

Holy Man in Old Town Varanasi

Holy Man in Old Town Varanasi

Taj Mahal

    at sunrise is magical and crowded, make sure you stand in the famous photo spot with the Taj behind you
  1. Agra Fort after the Taj Mahal will blow-your-mind
  2. Oberoi Agra Hotel is uber chic (the shrimp Kerla was heavenly)
  3. Have your fortune told by a Barbella (fortune teller, astrologer and palm reader all wrapped into one)
  4. Photograph at least one snake charmer even if they freak you out
  5. Ride an elephant to the Jaipur Palace
  6. Buy art from a local artist at The Palace School in Jaipur
  7. See at least one puppet show – puppets are handmade family businesses
  8. Gem Palace (jewelers to the royal family since 1852) is a must in Jaipur, the city of jewels. Say hi to owner Sanjay Kasliwal for me. He has a regular table at Rambagh Palace so you might see him there.

“If these don’t bring you nirvana, I have bigger ones.”

  1. Sanjay, owner of Gem Palace

    Sanjay, owner of Gem Palace

    Rambagh Palace is ultra chic and romantic at any time of the day or night

  2. Niros in Jaipur has been there since 1949, a local place with excellent food
  3. Return home with a red string for your wrist blessed by a priest or Holy Man
  4. Walk along Marine Drive, aka Queen’s Necklace in Mumbai
  5. See the famous traditional laundry – Dobi Ghat

Secret Tips to make the most of your India adventure:

  • When offered a restaurant or a private home for dinner, always pick someone’s home. It is an honor to be invited to an Indian home and you will have the best meal ever.
  • You will not find nirvana and be terribly disappointed if you allow your driver to pick lunch, dinner or shopping spots. Have your own list from sources you trust.
  • Never get sick in India by only drinking bottled water, no ice, no raw vegetables washed in water, no street food, no funky stuff and no strange meat. I eat plenty of yummy garlic naan bread and drink plenty of masala tea.
  • Don’t let the overwhelming poverty and begging bother you by avoiding eye contact with all beggars, and never give them money. Don’t allow them to enter your energy space. Once you meet their gaze it’s all over – they have you emotionally.
  • Namaste is the universal greeting. With your hands together in a prayer mudra at your heart with head slightly bowed, it means “the god inside my soul says hello to the god inside your soul.” Use it often.

ftfty

Anita Rosenberg is the go-to expert for Feng Shui and BaZi Chinese Astrology who travels the globe “Shopping for Nirvana.” Her adventures have taken her to over 50 countries where she lectures and works with clients. Anita created “Shopping for Nirvana in India – 52 spirited adventures” as a travel deck to assist you to having a fabulous time on your journey.

Available only at the Good Karma Shop on her website: http://www.anitarosenberg.com/p_INDIA-CARDS-148.html

Discover Clandestine Ladakh with Mountain Biking

credit  saddleskedaddle  flickr

Mountain biking credit saddleskedaddle flickr

by Zara Jones,

Mountain biking is an overwhelming experience for adventure junkies and sports enthusiast. It gives the feeling of climbing high terrains by enjoying the bike ride to merge the adventure and fun at every level of high altitude mountains. Mountain biking in India is acknowledged for rendering an overwhelming and unique experience to its bikers by the serene environment amidst the rugged mountains and valleys. The Himalayan range of India rejuvenates the mountain bikers with the most beautiful landscapes of the country.

Mountain Biking in Ladakh

 Ladakh, situated in Jammu & Kashmir district performs the perfect location for the bikers to enjoy the high altitude rides India at world’s highest road passes amidst snow-capped mountains. Mountain biking in Ladakh Himalayas bewitches the expert bikers to take a challenge of unapproachable and toughest off-tracks routes in the midst of sky kissing mountains.  The exaggerating journey of biking in the magnificent location of India starts from Manali to Leh which is a 475 km route and one of the challenging and thrilling biking pass of the world. The total distance covered through the four high passes with an accumulated altitude exceeding 29,000 feet is as equal to the cycling route of the summit of Mt. Everest from sea level.

Though, Ladakh is a remote mountain beauty, it is filled with adventure junkies and spiritual people every season.  This place can also be called as the cultural heritage of the Tibetan culture and Buddhist religion. Only mountain bike safari tour can offer opportunity to the bikers to intermingle with real Ladakh and the localities of the place, visit the popular Buddhist Gompas and the ancient temples and villages. While crossing the high-passes of Ladakh, bikers will be going through the various one-lane tarmacs such as:-

Rohtang La- Situated at Leh Manali highway, having an altitude of 3979 meters.

Baralacha La- Elevated at the height of 4890 meters and connecting Lahuala to Ladakh.

Lachung La- The pass is elevated at the heights of 5059 meters and considered as the most smoothing mountain pass of Leh-Manali highway.

Tanglang La- Ladakh High Mountain passes with altitude of 5,328 meters and situated at Leh-Manali highway.

Khardung La- This high pass is considered to be the longest high pass in the world and its elevation is 5602 meters.

Ladakh is situated between the Zanskar Range and the Karakoram Range; hence both the ranges provide challenging biking opportunities to explore the agitations. Leh-Alchi and Leh-Hemis gives the real experience of mountain biking in the hair-pins turns of the Himalayan roads which test the efficiency and capability of bikers in every twist of the path. After crossing the 64 km distance of Leh-Alchi Pass, travelers can visit the oldest monastery of Ladakh, the Alchi Monastery and learn about the heritage of Buddhist. On the other side, Leh-Hemis pass fascinates the bikers to cover the 45 km route to reach the Hemis to view the awe-inspiring beauty of Gompas at Thiksey, Shey and Stok.

Mountain biking in Ladakh is one of the most fascinating and mesmerizing adventure activities. Bikers simply fall for the thrill embraced in the challenging high passes. However, before one heads toward this adventure activity certain points must be kept in mind. Some of the precautions to consider while planning adventure tours in India are mentioned below:-

  • Before moving down on the tough and zigzag roads of Ladakh valley, be proficient in technical knowhow of the biking.
  • Mountain biking in Ladakh, Himalayas needs prior knowledge and experience in biking to pave through the rugged ways of mountains.
  • Mountain bike safari tour India may take 10-15 days and for that one should carry essential luggage to campaign in between.
  • Follow the code of conduct and rules strictly for your own safety at the incredulous mountains and take care of the emotions and sentiments of the localities for their cultural heritage such as monasteries and temples.

To avoid anomalies in your adventurous trip to Ladakh, read and cautiously follow the instructions.

 Best Time to Visit

Mid June to the end of September is the only season when you will get snow-free roads to wander around the astonishing valley of Ladakh. Mountain bike safari tour India is an opportunity to explore the remote Himalayas region of Ladakh and get close with the fascinating culture of Tibet.

 

India to set up a National Database of Camera-captured Tigers

Tigers in India

Tigers in India

by Jessica frei,

The present 21st century is standing on the shafts of technology. In fact the modern day technology is playing a significant role in wildlife conservation efforts. Recently, various news portals are on fire with the news of ‘India to set up a national database of camera-captured Tigers’.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is putting forward an initiative to create a national database of tiger count via camera traps. The official name of this database will be National Repository of Camera Trap Photographs of Tigers, in short NRCTPT. As per this new initiative, the photographs of tigers dwelling at various wildlife sanctuaries in India will be collected as a data for future conservation strategies.

Prime aim of NRCTPT

There are three main objectives behind setting up NRCTPT and they are mentioned below:
• Assigning Unique Tiger Identification Numbers: The camera trap survey will click the images of tigers and then those pictures will be used for assigning Unique Tiger Identification (UTID) number to the royal cats. Earlier the pug-mark tiger census method was used for allotting UTIDs to the tigers. Unfortunately, this method had a pitfall of multiple counting of individual tigers in different areas. The camera traps can overcome this with much ease.
• Avoiding inaccuracy of the database: In the past, cases have been recorded of either purposeful or accidental introduction of false tiger images from some uncertain sources. With the establishment of a National Repository of Camera Trap Photographs of Tigers, this inaccuracy of the database can be avoided and can be eliminated from the roots. This further will make sure that the protocols for assigning a unique ID are followed with utmost precision.
Rigorous analysis of data: Another aim of NRCTPT is to provide an accurate photo capture date and location, so as to help in accurate analysis of the data.

Some anticipations budding around:

Almost every new initiative is incomplete without anticipations. Similarly, there are a few anticipations associated with NRCTPT. One such estimation is that the number of camera trapped tigers by Wildlife Conservation Society in January 2006 will form the core of the database. This 2006 camera trapped census recorded around 1400 individual tigers. Further, images from different sources like police might also form the part of the database.

Is national database of camera-captured tigers actually a worth establishing?
Of course it is! The Wildlife Conservation Society of Karnataka has maintained a database of tiger IDs that has around 4000 images of almost 600 big cats via different sources. These images are used as real time data that is shared with the State Forest Department and National Tiger Conservation Authority. This data is then used for planning future conservation policies for preserving tigers.
This is yet another big initiative taken by the authorities in respect of tiger conservation. The establishment of National Repository of Camera Trap Photographs of Tigers is supposed to bring accuracy in the database; thus, different wildlife sanctuaries and tiger reserves in India will witness further development.

Useful info:

http://www.indiawildliferesorts.com/wildlife-sanctuaries

Top 4 Trekking Routes in Sikkim Himalayas

Sikkim Himalayas

Sikkim Himalayas

by Nupur Malhotra,

Sikkim, the enchanting land of the Himalayas is renowned worldwide as a trekker’s paradise. The snow capped peaks, beautiful alleys, snow-fed lakes and lush green forests provides an unforgettable trekking experience to the people. During your trekking, you get once in a lifetime experience to view the stunning beauty of the Himalayas. As you stroll down exciting trekking trails, the tranquil environment, fragrant orchards and the gorgeous natural scenic sights of Sikkim will certainly mesmerize you. It is guaranteed that once you witness the mind blowing beauty of this awe-inspiring place, you can never amazing memories and the splendor all your life.

Prominent Trekking Routes in Sikkim

Tourists planning to indulge in the great trekking adventure tours in Sikkim can look forward to quench their thirst of exhilarating and exciting adventure. Some of prominent trekking routes in Sikkim Himalayas are as follows:

Dzongri Trek

Dzongri trek is one of the best places in Sikkim that is located at the height of 4200 meters. It is a splendid trek route for all those adventure freaks who want to experience the serene natural world of Sikkim Himalayas. As you pass through the lush-green alleys of the Dzongri trek, you will get a chance to view the diverse varieties of alluring flora and fauna. The sweet chirping of some colorful birds will really provide you a great peace. You can also get to see the abundant diversity of wildlife such as the Musk Deer, Langur, Pangolin, Leopard, Barking Deer and so on. The best time to enjoy trekking in this captivating place is between Mid March to May and from September to mid November.

Green Lake Trek

By walking through the Green Lake trek, you can view the scenic charm and breathtaking attractions of the Sikkim. It is located nearby the base camp of stunning Kanchenjunga Mountain at the altitude of over 5000 meters. You will get to see plenty of awesome waterfalls, holy caves and hot spring sites. The beautiful and challenging peaks will provide you the unlimited fun. If you are lucky, then you can sport the different rare species of wildlife and lock them in your digital camera. The best time to plan trekking to this particular trek is between the period of April to May and October to November.

Dzongri Goecha La Trek

This is unquestionably one of the most renowned staggering trekking routes in Sikkim that provides an opportunity to the trekkers to witness the marvelous view of the amazing Mount Kanchenjunga. The trekking generally commences from a small amazing town Yuksom that allures the tourists with its magical and transcendent beauty. The trail takes the vacationers to plenty of majestic monasteries and also offers a chance to get a fascinating glimpse of Rhododendron forests and meadows. If the time allows you, then you must not miss Goechala Round trek that will help you to rejuvenate your body, and provide you the unmatched experience beyond your expectations.

Kanchenjunga Trek

It is certainly a very amazing trekking route that provides you a golden opportunity to see the unmatched natural beauty of Mount Kanchenjunga, which is popular as the third highest mountain peak in the world. The trekkers from various geographical locations of the world flock in large numbers to this place not only to trek, but also discover the splendid mountain scenery and enjoy the pleasant weather with their family members. During your trekking, you will pass through the dense lush-green forests, rugged terrains, alpine grasslands and the amazing waterfalls.

Therefore, if you are formulating plans for the trekking adventure tours in the Sikkim Himalayas, then consider these famous trekking routes and have a blasting time.

Getting to know about the art of food garnishing

    restaurants in gurgaon

restaurants in gurgaon

To make your food look more tempting and more appetizing food garnishing plays a big role. It is the art of presenting food by decorating it with vegetables, fruits and other items. Today we are living in an era where style has stepped in all fields of our lives and the world of food and eating is not an exception. Therefore, food garnishing is getting greater importance every day. Today various competitions of food garnishing are being held in restaurants and hotels and this is creating more interest and curiosity among people about this art. When it is about garnishing food it is always the imagination and creativity that win over the others.

When the art of food garnishing is concerned the first preference should be given to keeping it beautiful but natural. It is important to see that the materials used in garnishing food are relevant to the kind of food. You can make fun with food items using different kind of cutters available in the market these days. Putting fresh and colourful fruits and vegetables cut in lovely shapes on the cooked dishes you can enhance the look of the dish to a great extent. When carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, onion, pineapple, cherries, etc are cut in beautiful pieces are arranged on the dish in artistic manner the dish undoubtedly gets a huge lift in appearance. These days a variety of items are being used for garnishing of food. Just by selecting the right garnishing the food you serve can become more attractive and more exciting.

While garnishing you need to take care that the flavour and colour of the food should match with the garnish and you should try to choose dishes that come with colours complementing the food. You can find in the fine restaurants that they do not go for a matched dinner service; instead every single dish is served on a bowl or a plate with specifically chosen colour to enhance the food. For example, if you serve vanilla ice-cream on a white dish it will simply disappear; instead it will look quite exciting when served in a red dish.

Whether it is a breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks or supper presentation has always remained a vital part in our culture and just like the taste and flavour of a hearty meal the presentation also matters a lot. A wide range of cookery books and magazines are a great way of getting some valuable tips for food garnishing and making your dish a delicious treat both for your eyes and palate. But the fact is using your power of observing and experimenting, you can enhance the look of any food to a great extent.

Using a crinkle cutter is a good idea for slicing fruits and vegetables. The lemon peel tool can be used to make attractive border designs of lemons, zucchini and cucumbers. Making use of vegetable cutters you can create wonderful shapes for garnishing. The small cookie cutters can be used for creating the shapes of stars, birds, crescents and abstracts. A bit of garnishing in every recipe can be done to make food more appealing and make your family appreciate the food more.

Useful info:

http://justeat.in/delhi-ncr/restaurants/gurgaon

Want to Make the Most of Your Maiden Trip to India? Here’s How…

India, Cr-bgr.com

India, Cr-bgr.com

So you are plenty enamored of India to want to go there. In all likelihood, you have seen enough, heard enough, discussed enough and learn enough about this gigantic nation that’s teeming with things, both animate and inanimate. Numbers are intimidating so let’s not even go there but suffice it to say that you are about to embark on a journey where you’ll probably see more crowds than in Kodak Theater during the Oscars, more stray cows and dogs on the streets than on a lush Kiwi farmland, and more vehicles than at peak time in New York. India can be daunting, no doubt. But here are ways in which you can make your travel to and within India memorable.

Why do you want to go?

The first step in easing your way down to India is to ask yourself this fundamental question. Do you want to go because you want to witness the beauty of this land? Or is it to see, up close, the fabled exotica? Perhaps you want to sense the chaos firsthand? Or take a dip in spiritual salvation? Is it history, geography, archaeology, heritage, architecture, what? Or maybe, just maybe, you are planning to go because, well, India falls somewhere near Thailand and since you are going that far you might just pop in to say hi? Whatever your reason, be clear. Because, you see, India’s size bestows upon it such a diversity that there is something for just about every category of traveller. There’s wildlife (chiefly the northeast, Madhya Pradesh) to bait the nature enthusiast, deserts (Rajasthan) for the gypsy, beaches (Goa) for the amphibious, erotica (Khajuraho) for the sensuous, spirituality (Varanasi, Hardwar, Tamil Nadu) for the seeker, not to mention rugged terrains, beautiful Everydayness, and alluring eccentricity that seems to seep out of India’s very pore.  Only if you know what you want can India deliver it to you. Call it our on-demand service.

How much time do you have?

That’s the piece of information which will decide your itinerary. If time is of no consequence, you can be a wandering soul out to savor every bit of India. But if, like most of us, time is a constraint, you have to do a bit of juggling to see what fits in; leave out what doesn’t. There is no point in trying to squeeze in too much because you will be doing yourself a disservice and India, a disfavor. For instance, New Delhi alone will need at least a week to make anything of it – right from the Red Fort, the Old City, Nizamuddin Dargah, Qutub Minar, Purana Qila, Akshardham. And we haven’t covered even half of Delhi yet. See the point?

What time of the year are you visiting?

India has three dominant seasons: Summer (from March-April until June-July) followed by monsoon (June-July to August-September) after which comes winter (November to March). While the summer season is scorching in most parts, monsoon can play spoilsport to your travel plans and winter in the northern and north-eastern parts can be extreme. So plan your trip and your destinations keeping in mind the time of year.

What are the documents you’ll need?

You will need a valid passport, of course, and a visa. That apart, there are some places in India which are restricted/ protected and require foreigners to get a permit from the Ministry of Home Affairs for visiting. See http://india.gov. in/overseas/travel_advisories.php for details. Below are some more generic pointers. Heed them.

Don’t get over friendly with touts. Red Riding Hood was attacked by the Big Bad Wolf who took on the garb of a friend; avoid over intimacy.

Dress sensibly. While it’s sexist and baseless to suggest that a certain kind of clothes invite sexual attacks, it is always prudent to dress discreetly.

Respect the customs of the place you are in. Follow propriety. For example, in Goa anything goes, but in some places of worship even men wearing shorts are expected to cover up.

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of bottled/treated water as the intense heat can lead to dehydration.

Top 10 Asian Places to See Before You Die

Lhasa, Tibet

The Potala Palace, Credit, Headseast

The Potala Palace, Credit, Headseast

One of the most fascinating cities in Asia, Lhasa has to be top of the list. Home to the iconic Potala Palace, Drepung and Sera Monasteries and Jokhang temple, this has to be one of the most spiritual places on earth. The smell of incense, yak butter and burning rosemary seems to linger in the air. Don’t let he Chinese visa and permit formalities put you off – just go!

Hoi An, Vietnam

Easily the most charming town in the whole of South-East Asia, Hoi An isn’t all about the tailors. There’s also fantastic food, an almost deserted beach and beautiful colonial architecture. Rent a bicycle and soak up the atmosphere.

Bhaktapur, Nepal

Bhaktapur, Nepal

Bhaktapur, Nepal

Not far from the capital, Bhaktapur’s architecture and UNESCO status easily lures travellers down its narrow streets. A great place to pick up pottery and other souvenirs, a walk through its crooked alleys feels like a trip back in time.

Luang Prabang, Laos

Often referred to as a tonic for the soul, Luang Prabang has something for even the most jaded traveller. There’s the fantastic temples and monuments, the incredible food, the tree-lined colonial boulevards and the orange-robed monks collecting alms. The relaxed atmosphere is so infectious it’s easy to get stuck here on your Laos holiday. Don’t fight it, just go with the flow.

Angkor Temples, Cambodia

One of the few places that really does live up to all that hype. There truly is something magical about the incredible temple complexes at Angkor. Perhaps it’s the sheer volume of temples, the size, the intricate detailing, or the age of these incredible structures. Whatever the reason, scrambling through the jungle ruins and clambering up ancient steps, makes you feel like a real explorer when you are travelling through Cambodia

Ko Tao Island, Thailand

Without a doubt Ko Tao has some of the best diving in the country. Brightly colored coral and tropical fish are the perfect bait for those seeking to gain their PADI certificates. But it’s not all about the diving; unlike many other Thai islands, Ko Tao has a real chilled-out feeling and beaches that are often deserted during the day – since everyone else is out diving.

Pushkar, India

Pushkar Lake, credit agratours

Pushkar Lake, credit agratours

Numerous temples, stunning Pushkar lake and a market you could get lost in, this should be an essential stop on your trip to India. Try to stop by in November and catch the Pushkar Camel Fair and see who wins the infamous longest moustache competition.

 

The Great Wall, China

As impressive as it sounds; the Great Wall of China should not be missed. Trekking along the wall will take you a few hours’ minimum and work up quite a sweat, especially in the summer months. But the feeling you’ll get when you reach the end of your journey is unbeatable. Try to opt for the less visited sections of the wall for a more authentic, though unstable,experience.china-travel-smiling-man

Everest Base Camp, Tibet

Better viewed from the Tibetan side, Everest fills those who view it with awe. Stay on the right side of the Everest Guesthouse for views of the mountain from your window. While, there you can also visit the highest monastery in the world at Rombuk.

Plain of Jars, Laos

Plain of Jars, Laos

Plain of Jars, Laos

The enigmatic Plain of Jars make a great day trip from Phonsovan. Rather than visiting all the fields one after another, it’s best to break them up with trips to local villages. There are numerous producing Lao Lao (Laotian Whisky) and some can even offer you lunch. Need some more inspiration or want to build your perfect South East Asia holiday? Check out our South East Asia Itineraries.
‘Like this? Read more travel tips and tales at www.rickshawtravel.co.uk/blog/’

Travelling to India: Drop Cliched Ideas!

India, Cr-euronews.com

India, Cr-euronews.com

It’s the land where literate motorists don’t ‘read’ road signs, they stop to ask for directions. It’s where shopkeepers give you lozenge in lieu of change but do not accept the same currency from you. It is where newcomers quickly learn to dodge a speeding BMW while sidestepping cow dung on the roads. It is where the religious-minded worship rats and simultaneously battle humans. It is the hurly-burly of India, with its quirks and foibles, its chaos and charisma, its grimness and grandeur. But for an overseas traveler it becomes easy to overlook the fact that somewhere between the romance of Rajasthani weddings in erstwhile royal properties (and going by the swell in ostentatious destination weddings in the state, it is plentiful), the supposed tranquility of the mystic in the Himalayas, and the squalor of the Mumbai slums lies an India that goes far beyond the horizon of hackneyed clichés.

Cliché No.1: India Is a Certain ‘Type’

The first point of contention a self-respecting Indian has with a foreign tourist is his belief that we are a certain type, read: exotic, rustic, conventional. Make no mistake. We are unapologetically all that, but so much more. The deal with us is that we are chameleon. We can be primitive and modern, reclusive and sociable, tolerant and impulsive, superstitious and scientific, you name it. We say, shed all pre-conceived notions. Remember, since long we have relegated the snake-charmer to esoteric carnivals and meals. And the elephant is not our chosen mode of transport. So there. We might have all but monopolized the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry but not all our youngsters work in call centers with fake accents. Yes, Mumbai makes singathon blockbusters but it also makes serious meaningful cinema. In other words, look for more than what you have heard about. And don’t expect anything but the time of your life while here.

Cliche No.2: India, the Nirvana Land.

India’s fabled association with nirvana is the top draw for the overseas traveler. Salvation, unfortunately, is not a device that works on auto-pilot. Ask the billion inhabiting the huge mass.

Moral of the story: Abandon that search. Don’t go to Varanasi, Mathura or Haridwar solely on an active lookout for soul-cleansing or mystical musings (savor their beauty and cherish the experience, all right). No ash-smeared, chillum-toting Hindu sadhu will be able to decipher the meaning of life for you in three months if a lifelong quest hasn’t. Instead, experience the inner churning in the quiet of a dark resort deep in the jungles of Jim Corbett National Park. Feel a communion with your soul in the Buddhist monasteries of Himachal Pradesh as you soak in the smell of butter lamps or in the bylanes of Shantiniketan where strains of Rabindrasangeet seemingly linger in the air. Find simplicity in the orange flower-garlands adorning the plaits of girls in Chennai or in the voice of the Baul singers of Bengal. Simply put, find a connect with the Everyday Ordinariness of this ancient land lush with heritage and history. You don’t need a saintly yogi on your mission. Besides, the Maha Kumbh is not our sole claim to fame.

Cliche No.3: Indian Food = Delhi Belly

Oh come on, we have traveled light years away from the days of yore when all that India seemingly offered in food was hot and indescribably spicy. Now, apart from the ubiquitous McDonalds’, Pizza Huts, Costa Coffees, we have eateries that provide Indian food the way it’s served at home – simple, oil-free, delicious. Roadside stalls will customize your food to keep it authentic yet chilly-controlled. And most of us in urban India have water purifiers or buy treated water for consumption; either ways the water is germ-free. That leaves you, the traveler, Delhi Belly-free. By the way, we also serve wine (hallelujah!). Red, white, sparkling, hi-end, lowbrow, take your pick. Indulge. It is said a traveler sees what he sees, a tourist sees what he has come to see. In India, be a traveler, please. And while you are at it, pack two things in your kit to enjoy the guaranteed twists and turns. No. 1: turn on your sensory filters; learn to see and yet not see certain things, hear and yet not, smell but also learn to obliterate it. In short, use your abilities selectively. And No.2: refuse to get intimidated by the gigantic beast. Only then can you do any justice to it.

If you are ready, India welcomes you with open arms.