Friday, 24 June 2011

Nainital, Uttarakhand

Nainital is a town in Uttarakhand and headquarters of Nainital district in the Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalayas. Situated at an altitude of 1,938 metres (6,358 ft) above sea level, Nainital is set in a valley containing a pear-shaped lake, approximately two miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains, of which the highest are Naina (2,615 m (8,579 ft)) on the north, Deopatha (2,438 m (7,999 ft)) on the west, and Ayarpatha (2,278 m (7,474 ft)) on the south. From the tops of the higher peaks, "magnificent views can be obtained of the vast plain to the south, or of the mass of tangled ridges lying north, bounded by the great snowy range which forms the central axis of the Himalayas."
Places to see:

Naina Devi Temple– This is a temple that’s crowded with devotees round the year. Situated just above the Naina Lake it is a beautiful and holy place to be. The ambience of the place is so soothing and relaxing, that you feel as if all your tensions and stress have disappeared and feel very light at heart.


Jim Corbett National Park – Nainital has everything for everyone. For wildlife photographers and wilderness freaks, there one famous place, the abode of the tigers. It is the natural habitat. Best region to explore and flora and fauna that is diverse and fascinating.


Astronomical Observatory – This is one unique place where you get to see a wide variety of binoculars and telescopes, the observatory is a must visit for the stargazers.

Naina Peak – For the panoramic view of the mystic peaks and the breathtaking lush green valleys that look like carpets with beds of flowers.

There are loads of areas in the district of Nainital which are worth visiting. These place include Ramgarh, Bhowali, Ranikhet, Kasauli etc.


China Peak



China Peak which is also known as the Naina Peak is at an altitude of about 2611 metres and around 6 kilometres from Nainital.






Cave Garden




The Cave Gardens is the most recent addition to the grand list of the traveller attractions in Nainital.






Raj Bhavan





Raj Bhavan was constructed by the British as the residence of Governor of the North West Province.







Nainital Zoo




The Zoo in Nainital is almost 2 km away from the bus stand of the Tallital and is at an altitude of 2100 mts.






Tiffin Top




Tiffin Top is a terrace hill top at the top of Ayarpatta hill, situate 4 km away from the central town in Nainital.






Top Kilbury


Kilbury situated at a distance of 13 km from Nainital is an enthralling and attractive picnic spot.




The Mall Road




While you think about Nainital, the very first thing which comes to your mind is very famous Mall Road which is always overcrowded and filled with the tourist, local people, shops, the Lake and the eating places.




The Flats


The Flatts is located on the northern side of the Naini Lake and its actually very famous tourism spot.




Snow View


Located at the altitude of around 2270 metres, as the name suggest, snow view offers a chance to see the snow laden ranges of Himalayas.



Ropeway


Ropeway is among the most famous and liked tourist attractions in Nainital.




Pindari Glaciers


A visit to Pindari glacier is very popular in kumaon and anybody can reach here especially those who love to go for trek.



Observatory


Observatory is located on the Manora Peak which is merely 1 kilometre from the Hanuman Garhi.




Kainchi


Kainchi Dham is a very small place located around 17 km away from Nainital.




Binayak


Nainital is definitely a heaven for all the adventure finders.





Milam


Milam is a major Himalayan glacier located in Munsiyari tehsil of the Pithoragarh district which lies in the hill station of Uttarakhand.



Lake

Nainital Lake is one of the major tourist attractions in Nainital

Kunjkharak


The Kunjkharak FRH is located on a ridge and surrounded by the hills of similar height.




Horse Riding


If you visit Nainital, then your trip cannot be complete unless you take the fun of horse riding particularly in Mall are which is always crowded by the tourist and local people.


Hanuman Garhi


Hanuman Garhi which is a very well known Lord Hanuman’s Hindu Temple is positioned to south of the Tallital.



Betalghat


Betalghat a sleepy small village in the kumaon region of Uttaranchal, India, it is actually located on the side of Kosi River that thrives in Mahseer on the border of Jungles where the Jim Corbett noticed tiger.




Excursions...........
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Ranikhet, Uttarakhand



Ranikhet is a hill station in Almora district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is the home for the Military Hospital, Kumaon Regiment (KRC) & Naga Regiment and is maintained by the Indian Army.

Ranikhet is at an altitude of 1869 metres above sea level and within sight of the western peaks of the Himalayas.



Ranikhet, which means Queen's meadow in Hindi, gets its name from a local legend, which states that it was here, that Raja Sudhardev won the heart of his queen, Rani Padmini, who subsequently chose the area for her residence, giving it the name, Ranikhet, though no palace exists in the area.


In 1869 the British established the headquarters of the Kumaon Regiment here and used the station as a retreat from the heat of the Indian summer. At one time during British Raj, it was also proposed as the summer headquarters of Government of India.


Ranikhet is all about famous lush beauty and reserve forest with wide varieties of Flora in the likes of Pine, Oak and Deodar trees. Its wildlife includes leopard, Leopard cat, mountain goat, barking deer, pine mertin, Indian hare and wild bear among others. According to the last Indian census, it has a population of 19,049. The inhabitants are friendly and fun loving by nature.


Places to See:

Jhula Devi Temple and Ram Mandir




Jhula Devi temple is one of the most ancient temples of Uttarakhand, built as far back as 8th century AD. The temple is situated approximately 7 km away from the major township of Ranikhet. The presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Durga, the Hindu Goddess of Power. It is believed that if you tie holy bells to the walls of the temple, while wishing for something, the wish will be granted.

As per mythological accounts, the temple was built to seek Durga's protection from the wild animals residing in the nearby forest. It is said that the Goddess appeared in the dream of a shepherd and asked him to excavate an idol from a particular spot and build a temple over that spot. One of the most famous temples of the Kumaon hill, Ram Mandir is situated atop the Jhoola Devi Temple. It has Lord Rama as its presiding deity.

Nanda Devi Mela




Nanda Devi Mela, held at Nanda Devi Temple, is of great cultural importance to the localities. It is held in the month of September, to honor the Goddesses - Nanda Devi and Sunanda Devi. The fair was started in the 16th century, under the reign of Raja Kalyan Chand. It is considered as the symbol of prosperity and well being for the region.

Upat And Kalika



Upat is situated just 5 km away from Ranikhet. It is famous for the panoramic view of surrounding snow capped Himalayan peaks. Here one can enjoy a game of golf at the Army Golf Course. Kalika that draws its name from the famous Kali Temple that is located within the town is about 1 Km from Upat.

Rani Jheel




Rani Jheel is a huge artificial lake, developed between two natural ridges of Ranikhet - Canossa Convent School and Kendriya Vidyalaya. It was built by the Cantonment board, for rain water harvesting.

Hairakhan Dham






Hairakhan Dham is the ashram of Hairakhan Baba, a saint who lived in Hairakhan between 1970 and 1984. It is approximately 5 km away from the main township of Ranikhet. The ashram is a spiritual place where people from all religion are embraced equally.

Mankameshwar Temple


Mankameshwar Temple was built by Indian Army’s Kumaon Regimental Centre, in 1978. The presiding deities of this temple are Ma Kalika, Lord Shiva and Radha-Krishna. The location of the place is magnificent and enjoys a pleasant weather throughout the year. Near by the temple is a Gurdwara and factories of woolen garments.

Majhkhali



Situated on Ranikhet-Almora road, Majhkhali provides an enthralling, picturesque and celestial view of the surrounding snow-clad mountains. It is a must visit for those who love to appreciate scenic beauty.

Chaubatia Orchard



Situated approximately 10 km away from the main township of Ranikhet; Chaubatia Orchard boasts of more than 200 exotic varieties of fruits and flowers. It is a must visit for those interested in flora and fauna. It also offers picturesque view of the snowclad Himalayan mountain peaks, including NandaDevi, Trishul, Nandaghunti and Nilkanth.

Bhalu Dam



Bhalu Dam is a very beautiful lake, developed in the reserved forest, approximately 3 km below the Chaubattia Orchard. The lake was constructed by the British Government, in 1903.

Cantonment Aashiyana Park



Cantonment Aashiyana Park was the first park to be built in Ranikhet and it offers a perfect environ for people of all age groups. Inside the park, there are various sections, like Children's Park, Herbal Garden, Lawn, Colorful Fountain, View Points for Himalayan Ranges and much more. It is the perfect place to unwind from all the tensions and enjoy in secluded peace.

Sunset Points




Ranikhet offers various viewpoints for its amazingly beautiful sunsets. The most prominent amongst tem are Machkhali (near woodvilla), a site between Transit Camp & Ganiadeoli, and the one located on the road leading from Jhoola Devi Temple to Bhargaon.

Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum and Memorial




Kumaon Regimental Museum and Memorial is a must visit place in Ranikhet. The memorial, towering over the famous Somnath Ground, was built in 1974, as a symbol of bravery and ultimate sacrifice of army soldiers. It is at this place only that young boys, before becoming soldiers, take a pledge of loyalty to their motherland. The colorful parade held here every year is a must-see. The museum was built in the complex in 1978, with the aim of preserving and exhibiting the rich and magnificent legacy and customs of Kumaon Regiment.



Excursions...........
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Puri, Orissa

Puri is a city situated about 60 kms south of state capital Bhubaneswar, on the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal in Orissa. It is also known as Jagannath Puri after the Jagannath Temple (built in the late eleventh century). It is a holy city of the Hindus as a part of the Char Dham pilgrimages. It is considered that a pilgrimage of the temples of India is not complete without making the journey to Puri.

Puri also has one of the best beaches for swimming in India and is also a popular beach resort, positioned in a unique place so that both sunset and sunrise can be viewed from the beach. Puri, the holy land of Lord Jagannath, has many names. It is mentioned in Puranas as Srikshetra, Shankhakshetra, Neelachala, Neeladri, Purusottama Dhama, Purusottama Kshetra, Purusottama Puri and Jagannath Puri. The word "Puri" in Sanskrit means 'town', or 'city' and is cognate with polis in Greek. It is possible that Puri is a shortened name for Jagannath Puri or Purusottama Puri. In some records pertaining to the British rule, the word 'Jagannath' was used for Puri. It is the only shrine in India, where Radha, along with Lakshmi, Durga, Sati, Parvati, and Shakti abodes with Krishna, also known as Jagannath.

Puri is the site of the Govardhana matha, one of the four cardinal institutions established byAdi Shankaracharya, the others being those at Sringeri, Dwaraka and Jyotirmath.

Puri is also famous for its annual Ratha Yatra, when the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra, are brought out of the temple, and placed in a chariot procession. This festival occurs on various dates of the Gregorian calendar, typically in the month of July.

The town is famous for its many Mathas (Monasteries of the various Hindu sects). It also houses the relics of many Hindu figures as traditionally it is seen as a holy place to die in or to be cremated. As a result, it has had a disproportionate number of widows. Like other old Hindu religious towns it has a lot of character that is difficult to be glimpsed or picked up on easily by a casual visitor.

In 1903, Sri Yukteswar established an ashram in the sea-side town of Puri, naming it "Kararashram". From two ashrams, Yukteswar taught students, and began an organization named "Sadhu Sabha." Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, founder of 64 Sri Gaudiya Maths performed the final past-times of his life in Puri.
Places to See:

Jagannath Temple


Gundicha Temple




Shyamakali Temple


Siddha Mahavir Temple


Swetaganga Tank




Lokonath Temple


Jambeswar temple


Sapta Matruka images near Markandeswar tank Puri








Sun Temple, Konark




Barahi Temple


Mangala Temple


Sakhigopal Temple


Amareswar Temple


Puri Beach



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Bhojpur, Bihar

Bhojpur came into existence in 1972. Ara town is the headquarters of the district and also its principal town.
It is said that Ara, the present headquarters of the district in Bihar derives its name from the Sanskrit word Aranya, which means forest. It suggests that the entire area around modern Ara was heavily forested in old days. According to mythology, sage Vishwamitra, the Guru of Rama, had his 'Ashram' somewhere in this region.
Bhojpur district has a close linkage with that of its parent district of Shahabad, which had an old and interesting history. In the pre-historic days also there is evidence of the area being inhabited.
"In the old days, Shahabad formed part of the ancient kingdom of Magadh which also contained portions of the present Patna & Gaya district. Though included in the kingdom of Emperor Ashoka, the general absence of Buddhists' monuments from a greater part of the district suggests that it remained almost immune from the Buddhist influence of the time.”
"The famous Chinese pilgrim, Hieun-Tsang, who journeyed through the country in the seventh century A.D., paid a visit to Mo-Ho-Solo in Shahabad. This place has been identified with the present village Masarh, 10 km west of Ara on Ara-Buxar road. The Chinese pilgrim found that the inhabitants were all Brahmins who did not respect the law of Buddha. He, therefore, felt disappointed and did not proceed to any other place in the district."
"Not much is known about the history of the district after the fall of Guptas. In all probability it relapsed into the hands of the aboriginal tribes and came under control of petty chieftains. The most dominant people during this period were Cheros. They ruled over the greater portion of the district. Then came the Rajputs from Ujjain in the province of Malwa. Raja Bhoj was their king and the term 'Bhojpur' now applicable to the area is derived from him."
The Medieval period history:

Akbar, after his accession, includes the district of Shahabad in his empire, though the control was not very tight. Akbar's General Man Singh, made efforts to organise the revenue administration of the district on a sound footing. But the local chiefs continued to resist. The Rajas of Jagdishpur and Bhojpur defied the Mughals. The Raja of Bhojpur rebelled against Jahangir. His successor Raja Pratap, was done to death by Shahjahan and the Queen was forced to many a muslim courtier. This finally quietened the Bhojpur family but stray troubles continued till the last days of Mughals.
After this the District had a very uneventful history till 1857 when Kunwar Singh revolted against the Britishers in line with the Mutineers.
Places to see:

Veer Kunwar Singh Qila, Jagdishpur: The great warrior of 1857 belonged to Jagdishpur. His fort is still there to reminds us of the great son of the soil who fought for the freedom till his last.

Maharaja College, Ara: The present Maharaja college premises is an important historical site. There is an entry point of a tunnel that is believed to be connected with the Jagdishpur fort of Kunwar Singh.



Aranya Devi Temple: This is famous temple of Aranya Devi (Forest Goddess). She is said to be the deity goddess of Ara town. Here one statue is of ADI SAKTI and the second is established by the Pandavas. The temple is very old and draws many devotees every day. It is situated at the top of stone boulde


Maa Kali Mandir: This temple is situated at Bakhorapur about 15 km from Ara. This is one of the oldest temples in India and so big. A 85 feet (26 m) high statue of maa kali is being made near this temple. Temple is situated at the bank of holly river ganga. The main temple is made of granite and marble stones. Nowadays this palace is famous for different types of films and suiting.
Chaturvuj Narayan Mandir: This very ancient statue of Laxmi -Narayan is situated at Chaturvuj village of Piro block.

Bhavani Mandir Chaturvuj Baraon: 13th-century statue . "GADH KALI MANDIR"-GARHANI This temple is situated at Garhani Taluk.Garhani about 20 km from Ara Railway station.This temple is old and re-constructed in 2009-10.As per the villagers this temple established at Period of CHERO.


Jagdamba Mandir: Here is an ancient statue of Goddess Jagdamba at Mukundpur village of Charpokhari block.

Parswanath Mandir: It is a century old Jain Temple located at Masadh Village.

Mahamaya Mandir: This temple is at Ekwari village of Sahar block. This was made during Mughal period.

Mahathin Mai Mandir: This is located at Bihiya, draws lots of women devotees.

Jain Sidhant Bhawan: It has a such library which contains unique collection of materials related to Jainism.

Paihari Jee Ka Ashram: It is an ashram at Dhrampur village at Sahar block.

Sri Hanuman Mandir: Matiyara,Kayamnagar,near 9 km from ara railway station

Lakar Sah Ki Mazar: It is situated at Sahpur, it a famous mazar of a local Muslim saint.
Kurwa Shiv: There are some ancient statues related to Banasur. It is situated in Shahpur - Billoti Road.
Venkatesh Mandir: This temple situated at Perhap village has a statue of Southern architectural style.



Sun Temple at Dev: The Dev village of Tarari block has statue of the Sun god besides several other deities. These statues are said to be of 14th century or even before............
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