Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Puri Excursions

Lying on the eastern coast of Orissa, Chilka Lake is one of the most sought after tourist attractions near the holy city of Puri. The source of the lake is the Mahanadi River, which drains into it. Chilika Lake is one of the largest lakes in not only India, but also Asia and stretches over an area of 1,100 sq km. More

Balighai Beach
Lying at a distance of 8 kms from Puri, the beach at Balighai serves as an excellent family picnic spot. Its tranquil waters, scenic locales and Casuarina fringes make it a must-visit destination. For the complete relaxation of mind, body and soul, this is just the perfect place. 

Satyabadi is a small town located at a distance of 20 kms from Puri. The town is known for being the venue of a shrine dedicated to Lord Sakshigopal. Since the shrine holds much religious significance for people, it is said that if you don't visit Satyabadi, your trip to Puri is incomplete.

Brahmagiri lies at a distance of 25 kms from the main city of Puri. The place is famous for the shrine of Alarnath. The temple witnesses a heavy rush of devotees, especially during Anabasara of Lord Jagannath. In its close proximity is situated the shrine of Baliharachandi. 

Raghurajpur, a very famous village of Orissa, is known for its superb Pattachitra and Talapattachitra paintings. It is also the hometown of the renowned Odissi dancer, Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. Even today, one can see young boys practicing the Gotipua dance here. This small village definitely deserves atleast one visit. 

Sakhigopal is a famous pilgrimage located at distance of 10 to 20 km from Puri. One of the major attractions of the place is the Sakhigopal Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Krishna. For those who are interested in getting an insight into the Hindu philosophies, Sakhigopal is the perfect place............

Chilka Lake

Lying on the eastern coast of Orissa, Chilka Lake is one of the most sought after tourist attractions near the holy city of Puri. The source of the lake is the Mahanadi River, which drains into it. Chilika Lake is one of the largest lakes in not only India, but also Asia and stretches over an area of 1,100 sq km. It is a very popular picnic spot and provides ample opportunities for boating, fishing and bird watching. If you just want to relax and soak the sunrays, this is the perfect place for you.

Dolphin at Chilka Lake

The lake is located far away from the hustle bustle of the city and serves as the perfect getaway from the daily tensions. During winters, Chilka Lake serves as a bird sanctuary, providing home to a wide variety of migratory birds that come here from different parts of the world. For people who want to keep away from the maddening rush of city, there can be no better option than to enjoy sitting by the side of the lake or going on a long walk along its extensive stretch or indulging in bird watching 

The dazzling view of the Chilika Lake, the melodious humming of birds and the rejuvenating calmness of the environs are bound to leave an ever-lasting impression in your mind. The scenic beauty of the lake has been a source of inspiration for numerous pets in the past. Going on a cruise is another one of the adventures you can undertake while visiting the Chilka Lake. So, pack your bags right now and get ready to lose yourself in this beautiful world............

How to Reach Puri

Bhubaneswar serves as the most convenient entry point for traveling to Puri by air. The capital city of Orissa is linked with all the major cities of India, such as Kolkata, Delhi and Hyderabad, by direct flights.

Puri has a good railway network also. Regular trains operate from the railway station in the city, connecting it with almost all the major cities of Orissa as well as the rest of the country. 

Puri has a good network of roads, connecting it with the major parts of India. For getting to Puri from some other city of Orissa, it is best to travel by road as it is a very convenient and inexpensive option. Government State Transport and Orissa Road Corporation buses regularly ply between Puri and Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Chilka, Konarak, Chennai, Sambalpur and Visakhapatnam............

Ranikhet Excursions

Kausani is located approximately 60 km away from Ranikhet. This is a picturesque site, offering a 350-km long panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks like Trisul, Nanda Devi and Panchchuli. It lies amidst the dense pine trees, with commanding views of Someshwar valley on one side and Garur and Baijnath Katyuri valleys on the other. This place is called the 'Switzerland of India', due to similarity in landscape with the Swiss Alps. 

Binsar Mahadev

A beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Binsar Mahadev Temple is only 15 km away from the main township of Ranikhet. It has enchanting surroundings, with a beautiful natural spring and lovely cedar forest nearby. Near the temple, there is also an ashram, dedicated to Binsar Mahadev. 

Sun Temple (Katarmal)

One of the ancient temples in Almora, the Sun temple at Katamal is approximately 800 year old. This temple is surrounded by 44 small shrines. The temple is known for its ancient exquisite architectural pattern and wonderful stone carvings, which adorn its wall. 25 km away from Ranikhet, this is a major excursion from the town. 


Approximately 8 km from Ranikhet, on the way to Ramnagar, there is a beautiful, verdant and exotic village called Tarikhet. This village has a mention in history, for its participation in India Freedom Struggle. The famous Gandhi Kutiya, where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during the freedom struggle, is a place worth visiting, to feel and understand the glorious history of India. 


Sitakhet is located approximately 25 km from Ranikhet. It is a scenic spot, with a panoramic view of the mystic Himalayan ranges. There is a dense forest in this area, abounding in wonderful fruit orchards and several medicinal herbs and shrubs. 


This is an ancient historical site located on the Ranikhet - Karnaprayag Road, is about 38 Km from Ranikhet. This place was once the capital of the Katyuri Kingdom. It is basically famous for being the location of ancient temples like Mrityunjaya, Dhwaj, Badnirath, Maniyan, and Kachri Devtas. Every year, in the month of April, a very interesting and famous fair, Syalde-Bikhauti, fair takes place here. 


Khoont, a small village known for being the ancestral village of the great freedom fighter - Govind Vallabh Pant, is approximately 30 km from Ranikhet............

How to Reach Ranikhet

The nearest airport from Ranikhet is Pantnagar Airport. It is situated approximately 120 km away from Ranikhet, making it the perfect strip for traveling to the place by air. From the airport, you can either hire private cabs or board taxis, to reach your destination. 

The nearest rail-head from Ranikhet is Kathgodam Railway station, which falls at a distance of approximately 80 km from the town. Regular bus and cab services are available from Kathgodam to Ranikhet. 

By road from Delhi, one has to take NH 24 to Rampur via Moradabad, from where NH 87 leads to Kathgodam via Rudrapur and Haldwani. From Kathgodam Ranikhet can be reached taking a state highway via Bhimtal, Bhowali and Khairna............

Nainital Excursions

Located 1, 706 m above sea level, Bhowali is approximately 11 kms away from Nainital. This is basically a highway intersection connecting each and every hill stations in close proximity to Nainital. This place is well-known for its picturesque splendor, the hill fruit market and its T.B. sanatorium established in 1912.
Sat Tal is located at around 23 kms from Nainital. It is by all accounts an unforgettable spot with its huge and ancient Oak trees amidst the group of lakes. It is often compared to the Westmoreland area of England.
Bhimtal is located about 22 kms from Nainital and 11 Kms. from Bhowali. One can see the 17th Century Bhimeshwar temple, the 40 ft high dam and the boat in the Bhimtal Lake.
Mukteshwar is beautiful place located at an altitude 2, 286 m and approximately 51 kms away from Nainital. It is surrounded by fruit orchards and thick coniferous forest and an excellent picnic spot.
Ranikhet is a peaceful hill station 60 kms away from Nainital. It is the headquarters of Kumaon Regimental Centre of Indian Army. Ranikhet has many times been mentioned in Hindi literature.
This place is famous for the Anashakti Ashram where Mahatma Gandhi stayed for a fortnight. He was so impressed that he wrote a commentary on Anashakti Yoga. Literary giant Sumitra Nandan Pant was also born here.
Naukuchiya Tal
Naukuchiya Tal is an appealing cavernous spotless lake situated 26 kms from Nainital. The dimensions of the lake are 983 m (length), 693 m (breadth) and 40.3 m (depth) providing sufficient possibilities for rowing, paddling or yachting............

How to Reach Nainital

Nainital city does not have an airport due to its rocky and hilly terrain. The nearest airport from the hill resort is the Pantnagar Airport, about 70 km or roughly 2 hours drive from the main city. You can get direct flights from Delhi to Pantnagar. However, only one airline (Jagson Airlines) flies there, about six times a week. 

The nearest railway station from Nainital is Kathgodam, situated about 33 km away from the main city. It is a ‘finishing point’ station of the North Eastern Railway and is well linked with New Delhi, Kolkata, Agra and Lucknow, through train services. From Delhi, one can take the overnight Ranikhet Express, which arrives at Kathgodam early in the morning or Uttaranchal Sampark Kranti Express, which arrives less conveniently at night. The second nearest station is Lalkuan, just about 60 km from Nainital. Lalkuan has rail links with Bareilly, Agra and Lucknow.

A person going to Nainital by road has abundant choices to choose from. One can take the National or the State Highways connecting various cities to Nainital. The distance between Delhi and Nainital is about 304 km, so it roughly takes around seven hours to reach there.

Kullu Excursions

Located at the altitude of 1463 meters above sea level and around twenty kilometers from the city of Kullu, Katrain is in center of the valley. The place is quite known for its apple orchards and trout hatcheries, which lend charm and prominence to the ambience.


Erstwhile capital of Kullu, Naggar is located on the left bank of the river Beas and commands an extensive view of the surrounding vistas. There are a large number of famous temples here, notably of Lord Vishnu, Tripura Sundari & Lord Krishna. Roerich art gallery, which houses the paintings of Nicholas Roerich as well as his sculptures, is less than a km from the here. Naggar is also a base for undertaking treks to Chanderkhani Pass and to remote valley of Malana.


Located on the bank of river Parvati, at the height of 1640 meters, Kasol is a perfect sojourn. Its location is extremely attractive. With wide and open environs, which slope down to the broad expanse of clear white sand at the Parvati River, the place is an excellent place for a peaceful picnic.


Situated at the altitude of 2652 meters and near the beautiful Chanderkhani Pass, Malana village is famous for the temple of Jamlu, apart from its distinct, social and cultural life. Malana has sustained its democratic setup and it is considered to be the oldest democracy in the world.


Situated at 957 meter above the sea level and in south of Kulu, at the distance of 34 kilometers, Larji is a small hamlet providing excellent spot for trout fishing. The PWD rest house is located in a stunning position between the foaming torrents of the river Sainj & Tirthan, before they join the Beas. Mostly anglers patronize the place.

Basheshwar Mahadev Mandir
Situated 200 meters above the sea level, the temple is a bit away from the village, in a plain between the main road and the Beas River. According to the sources, the local rulers built the temple in 8th century.


Located at the altitude of 1700 meters and at the distance of 45 kilometers from Kullu, Manikaran is famous for its hot springs. Thousands of pilgrims come here each year, to take a dip into the spring and feel heavenly. The water is so hot that dal, rice, etc. can also be cooked in it. Ramchandra and Shivaji temples and a Gurdwara for Sikhs are other major attractions at the place............

How to Reach Kullu

Kullu has an airport of its own, known as Bhunter airport, which is siatuted at a distance of approximately 10 kilometers distance from the main town. Indian Airlines and Jagson Airlines operate flights to places like Delhi and Shimla, round the year. It takes hardly 90 minutes to reach Kullu from Delhi, by air. From the airport, one can easily get taxis fo reaching the main town.

Joginder Nagar is the closest railhead from Kullu, situated at the distance of 125 km. Other than this, Pathankot at 285 km, Simla at 270 km, Chandigarh at 267 km, and Kalka are other major railheads near the place that offer excellent traveling facilities. There are regular buses from these places, making it very easy travelers to reach Kullu.

Kullu is well connected with major cities of the state, along with the nearby ones, like Delhi and Chandigarh. The distance from Delhi is 522 km approximately, with Ambala, Chandigarh, Ropar, Kiratpur, Bilaspur and Mandi as the main stations on the way. Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) provides excellent transportation facility for travelers, along with some private transporters............

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Dharamsala Excursions

Chinmaya Tapovan

Just 10-km from the town is the tranquil ashram complex set up by the great exponent of the Gita--Swami Chinmayananda. Situated on the banks of Bindu Saras, the ashram includes a 9m high image of Hanuman, a Ram temple, a meditation hall, a school and a health & recreation center. 


Dharamkot is the starting point for the short walks to the high plateau at Triund (2,975m), or further over the high passes to the Chamba valley. 


Set amidst a sylvan surrounding is a rest house, located in the cool depths of the pine grove. Surrounded by green open meadows and forests of tall oak & pine at a height of 3250m is situated the picturesque Kareri Lake, which is just 13-km from the rest house and 22- kms from Dharamsala

Tatwani & Machhrial (25Km.) : There are hot springs situated at Tatwani, 25-km from Dharamsala but on the way, at Machhrial, is a waterfall twice as big as the one near the Bhagsunath temple. 

The Shrine of Bhagsunath

Just 11-km from the town center of Dharamsala is the ancient temple of Bhagsunath. There are many fresh water springs close to the temple, which are considered sacred by the Hindus. 


On the way from Pathankot, 41-km from Dharamsala are the unique cave temples with a stalactite and stalagmites dedicated to Lord Shiva. 


Triund is a popular picnic spot at an height of 2827 m. The area is on the foothills of Dhauladhar range and is 17-kms from Dharamsala. The snow line starts at Ilaqua, which is five kms from Triund. The breathtaking views of the mountains and the valleys makes Triund an ideal picnic spot and trekking spot............

How to Reach Dharamsala

Dharamsala can be approached by air from Delhi and the nearest Airport is at Gaggla, just 13-km away from the town. 

Pathankot is 85-km and is the nearest railhead for Dharamsala. Trains from all over the country make a stop over at Pathankot and from here it is a three-hour journey to Dharamsala. 

From Manali too bus services are available to this place. One can drive from Delhi via Chandigarh, Kiratpur, Bilaspur and it's an 8-hours journey. From Delhi and Shimla, luxury buses ply to Dharamsala............

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

How to Reach Kanpur

Kanpur is connected to major Indian cities and tourist spots through air service. The nearest airport is Chakeri that is just off to the town. There are daily domestic flights to and from Kanpur to several cities in India. Apart from the state owned Indian Airlines, there are many private air taxi operators that offer their services from Kanpur to other Indian cities. 

Since Kanpur lies in the heartland of the North Indian plains, it is well connected to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and other parts of India. Kanpur Barrack is the main Railway station in Kanpur that falls on the Grand Chord route. Various Expresses and Super Fast trains connect Kanpur to the rest of India. 

Situated in the flat Ganga plains, Kanpur has a good network of roads. Numerous public and private buses ply to and from nearby and far-flung cities. Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation runs a fleet of well-maintained buses apart from the luxury coaches offered by private operators............

How to Reach Meerut

Meerut is situated very close to New Delhi, the seat of Indian Government. Delhi Airport is 60 odd Kilometers from Meerut. Delhi is in turn well connected to rest of India and world through a range of flights operated by various private and public carriers. From Delhi, one can hire a cab and reach Meerut in an hour and half via National Highways 24 and then NH 58. 

The nearest railway station is Meerut Cantonment Station that falls on the busy Delhi-Dehradun line of North Central Railways. Several Passenger as well as super fast trains connect Meerut to other popular towns and cities in Uttar Pradesh and rest of India. It has direct connectivity to cities like Delhi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Jaipur and Lucknow

Meerut is well connected to the cities like Mathura, Delhi, Chandigarh, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jhansi and Agra etc. Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation plies several buses to these cities. Various privately run luxury buses are also available............

Dalhousie Excursions

Subhash Baoli

Located around two kilometers away from Subhash squire in Dalhousie, the place offers a magnificent view of the snowcapped peaks in nearby surroundings. The place has historical importance, as it is linked with the famous freedom fighter ‘Subhash Chandra Bose’.

Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary is full of versatile flora and fauna. Ghoral, Himalayan black bear and barking deer are some major creatures that can be glimpsed in the sanctuary. Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary also offers good trekking & mountaineering opportunities to travelers, for further exploration of nature as well as adventure. 

Located around 27 kilometers from Dalhousie, Khajjiar is a major tourist attraction. The place is named after the twelfth-century, golden-vaulted temple of Khajinag. The place has picturesque lakes, magnificent meadow, and exotic architecture, which make it truly enchanting.

Gandhi Chowk and Subhash Chowk

Gandhi Chowk

Both these spots are market places, full of attractions for shopping, with historical importance. Shops and restaurant situated near Gandhi Chowk show the lifestyle of Dalhousie. Similarly, Subhash Chowk houses Himachal Handloom Industry showrooms, where travelers shop for indigenous artifacts and products.


The playground of Beas, Ravi and Chenab rivers, Dainkund is beautifully located in sub-Himalayan range of mountains. It forms the largest slope in Dalhousie. The place offers panoramic overview to the travelers. A temple dedicated to some indigenous goddess is also there............

Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh

The grassy meadow of Khajjiar is situated at a distance of approximately 22 km from Dalhousie and 23 from Chamba. 1.5 km long and 1.0 km broad, this tiny town is shaped like a saucer and has seven emerald-turf meadows surrounded by dense pine and deodar and high mountains. It even has a small lake that is fed by streams flowing through the spongy green carpet of Khajjiar. Often known as 'Gulmarg of Himachal Pradesh', it has been aptly described by Hutchinson as - "Khajjiar is a forest glade of great beauty, 6,400 feet above sea level".

In 1992, Mr. Willy T. Blazer, Vice Counselor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India, named Khajjiar 'Mini Switzerland of India' and put a signboard of a yellow Swiss hiking footpath that displays the distance of Khajjiar from the Swiss capital 'Berne' as 6,194 km. With this, Khajjiar became one of the 160 locations in the world that resemble the topography of Switzerland and one of its stones became the part of the stone collage around the Swiss Parliament, which represents Khajjiar as the 'Mini Switzerland of India'.

Khajjiar was a part of the erstwhile state of the Rajput rulers of Chamba. In the 6th century, it served as the capital of the Chamba rulers. Thereafter, it was taken over by the Mughals, from which the rule passed over to various Sikh kingdoms. Finally, British control was established over Khajiar and with the independence, the hill station became a part of the state of Himachal Pradesh. The picturesque beauty of the place, along with its nine-hole golf course, has given a boost of its travel and tourism industry. 

Places to See:

Khajinag Temple (Golden Devi Temple)
The town of Khajjiar has been named after its ancient temple of Khajinag. Situated near the famous Khajjiar Lake, this temple dates back to as far back as the 12th century. The temple stands adorned with a golden dome and spire, which has led to the temple often being called as the 'Golden Devi' temple. It has wooden sanctum with intricate carvings. The 'mandapam' of Khajinag Temple has images of the Pandavas and the defeated Kaurvas, seen on the roof of the circumambulatory path of the temple. The temple attracts many devotees and tourists alike.

Khajjiar Lake is a small lake, surrounded by saucer-shaped lush green meadow and a floating island. The dense growth of weed called 'vacha' has made its earth spongy. Now the banks stand covered by a thick layer of earth, formed by the years of dust settling down on the weeds.

Golf Course
One of the major attractions of Khajjiar is its huge nine-hole golf course. People visiting the valley of Chamba make sure to visit Khajjiar and enjoy the sport for a while............

Khajjiar Lake

Located at an altitude of 1900 meters, in Chamba district, the lake is perfect for indulging in sight seeing. It is situated in the center of large Khajjar glade, arpund 16 km from Dalhousie and 25 km from Chamba. Khajjar Lake gets water from many tiny streams. Apart from being known for its scenic beauty, the lake has religious relevance too. Hindus believe that the lake belongs to the Lord Khajjinag. This is the reason why Hindu devotees come around this area, in large numbers, to worship the Lord.

Tourists from all across the world flock in to see this lake, which remains full of water in all the seasons and does not require rainwater for survival. The lake is like a magical paradise, especially with its lush green mountains, diversity of flora and fauna and more importantly the tranquil surroundings it provides to the tourists. The place is so beautiful and gives such a panoramic view that sometimes back; Swiss Ambassador called Khajjiar a ‘Mini Switzerland.’ 

Thick forest covering the Khajjar Lake adds to its magnificent look. The forest, which has been turned into a sanctuary, houses many wild animals. Migrant birds flock at this place and give it a wonderful diversity in fauna. Many villages, scattered in distances from each other, surround the place. These villages have still preserved their tradition and culture. Travelers can visit these villages for further experience of life and culture of Himachal.

Any sunny day in Khajjar Lake is perfect for horse riding. Moving through the lush green valley on horseback is a fascinating experience. Travelers can also see the famous ‘Panch Pandava Tree’. It is tree that has the same root, but its base divided into five sections. Kailash Mountain, the abode of God Shiva, is falls near Khajjar Lake and on a sunny day, travelers can easily have a glimpse of it from the embankment............

How to Reach Khajjiar

The nearest airport from Khajjar is that of Gaggal in Kangra, situated at a distance of 180 km. Travelers can take a flight till Gaggal airport and from there, board taxis and buses available for reaching Khajjar. After the Gaggal airport, the ones in Jammu and Amritsar are the next best options, especially with their connectivity with the rest of India.

Khajjar is well connected with most of the cities of the state with well-developed and sophisticated roads. This place is easily accessible by road and is hardly about one and a half hours driving from Dalhousie and Chamba. Himachal Road Transport Corporation operates bus services, connecting Khajjar with the major cities in and around the state.

Pathankot is the nearest railhead for traveling to Khajjar. The place is situated at a distance of 80 km from the hill resort. Almost all the main stations of India are connected with this railway station. Buses and taxis could be boarded to reach Khajjar from Pathakot. Chandigarh and Delhi are two big cities near Khajjar, you can start your journey from............

How to Reach Dalhousie

Air journey to Dalhousie is time saving and comfortable, in comparison to other two modes of transportations. As there are no airports in Dalhousie, near by cities offer excellent network of airports, from where tourists can take road transport for reaching Dalhousie. The nearest air terminal from Dalhousie is located in Gaggal, in the Kangra district, at a distance of 135 km from. Amritsar and Jammu and Kashmir are other near by airstrips that can be availed.

Traveling to Dalhousie by train is cost effective and experience enriching, for you meet and interact with diverse people and enhance your horizon by knowing their culture and tradition and language. Pathankot is the nearest railhead from Dalhousie. From Pathankot, a large number of trains are available to different cities of India. Once at Pathankot, tourists can hire taxis or buses, available at regular intervals, from here to Dalhousie.

As Dalhousie neither has an airport nor a railway station, roads are the only available modes of direct transport. The place is well connected with other major cities of the region, with well-maintained roads. Dalhousie is 145 km from Chamba, 190 km from Amritsar and 235 km from Simla. It has excellent bus service, offered by state transport departments and private tour operators, for reaching all the key cities with and outside the state............

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

How to Reach Patiala


Since there is no airport in Patiala. Chandigarh is located at a distance of only 56 km from Patiala. Hence, after reaching Chandigarh, you can hire taxi or bus and travel down to Patiala conveniently. Flights can be taken to Amritsar as well, which is situated at a distance of 206 km from Patiala. A number of domestic flights regularly operate to Chandigarh and Amritsar, from different parts of the country.

Patiala has a railway station of its own, connecting it with all the key destinations in India, such as Delhi, Mumbai, etc. Apart from that, Chandigarh and Ambala present the two nearest rail links from the place.

Patiala lies off the excellent National Highway No.1 (Delhi-Amritsar) and is just 250 km from Delhi. There are number of government and private buses running from Delhi to Patiala. You can also drive to Patiala from Chandigarh, via Zirakpur (on NH22) and Rajpura............
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