Shimla

Top 10 Places to Visit in India in Winter

Top 10 Places to Visit in India in Winter

Winter is the perfect time to set out on a great adventure and witness the wonders of the beautiful sceneries of snow-capped mountains, picturesque lakes, and vast never-ending valleys draped in white, before resting for the night and watching the sun go down, curled up in a blanket and sipping a cup of hot chocolate on cosy beds, in a setting you’ve never experienced before. Make up for the lost years of the past and travel our great country at its best, with the ease and comfort afforded by Goparyatak. Here are the top 10 winter destinations to set your adventuring flame alight this cold season.

1) Gulmarg

Gulmarg

A scenic and quiet town residing in the heart of Kashmir, Gulmarg remains untouched by the hustle and bustle of city life which makes it the perfect winter wonderland with the temperature dipping down below -4c in January. Its name loosely translated to “Meadow of Flowers” is apt considering the beautiful Bluebells, Daisies, Forget Me Not and Buttercup flowers dotting its expansive valleys. With its proximity to Srinagar and its amazing ski facilities, Gulmarg is considered one of the most popular hill stations and a place to visit in India for both adventurers and families looking to escape to a fairy-tale destination. Other amazing features of Gulmarg include Asia’s longest and highest gondola rides divided into two stages-Gulmarg to Kongdoori and Kongdoori to Apharwat Peak, an 18-hole golf course situated at an altitude of 2,650 meters which makes it the highest green golf course in the world and various religious attractions like the Shiva temple and Imambara Goom inspiring a sense of spirituality, serenity, and connectivity with the divine due to its tranquil locations.

 If you are looking to indulge in various winter activities and sports like skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, etc, if you prefer taking a slow walk down an enchanting landscape with jaw-dropping sights blanketed in fresh snow, or you just want to lazily curl up by the fireplace and have a taste test of true Kashmiri delicacies, Gulmarg is the place to be this winter.

Famous Food 

You can’t leave Gulmarg without trying Kashmiri Wazwan, a multi-course meal comprising of more than 36 authentic traditional dishes. Usually served at weddings and formal banquets, it is a very important part of Kashmiri culture. The majority of the dishes are meat-based with a few vegetarian options. It is served on a beaten copper dish called Tarami covered by a copper lid called Sarposh.

Travel from major cities –

By Air:

Srinagar holds the nearest airport to Gulmarg. From there a cab will take one and a half hours to reach your destination in Gulmarg.

By Train:

Kashmir Valley in its entirety has no rail connectivity. The distance between Jammu (the nearest railhead) and Gulmarg is around 315 km, which makes the train a very unsuitable method to reach this tourist destination.

By Road:

Traveling to Gulmarg by road is the most practical option. You can board a flight to Srinagar, and then take a scenic 51 km drive through Srinagar – Tangmarg Road to reach your destination.

2) Shimla

Shimla

Winter in Shimla lasting from around October to February entrenches its surrounding in frosted flakes with temperatures dropping below -2c, turning the towns into frozen paradise with loads to experience and sightseeing attractions at every turn. Strolling along the cafes on the famous Ridge Road and exploring the most comfortable mufflers, caps, sweaters, and mittens make Shimla a shopaholic’s delight. From experiencing the thrill of ice skating and para-gliding to the joyous toy train rides from Kalka to Shimla, this premier destination is among the top places to visit in India and has a lot to offer for people from all walks of life. Welcoming travelers from around the world Shimla evens holds an inaugural winter festival, organizing a carnival including everything from ice-skating, skiing, snowman making, fashion shows, and performances to truly highlight the fun in the snow. Places like Jakhu Temple, Mashobra, Kufri, Narkanda, Rohru, Summer Hill, Shaily Peak, Chadwick Waterfall, and Annandale, are must-visit attractions on these hills.

Famous Food  

Madra, a delicacy originating from the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, and Thukpa, a noodle soup of Tibetan origin are just a few examples of the vibrant and multicultural cuisine of Shimla.

Travel from major cities –

By Air:

Shimla Airport or Jubbarhatti Airport is the closest domestic airport and is about 20 km from the beautiful hill station. There are regular flights for Shimla from major cities around India.

By Train:

Kalka railway station is the nearest railhead connecting Shimla to neighboring Indian cities. It is situated at a distance of 96 km and cabs and private taxis are required from the station to reach your destination.

By Road:

A journey by road to Shimla is a delightful escapade. Shimla enjoys the ultimate connectivity with cities such as New Delhi (350 km), Dehradun (230 km), and Chandigarh (115 km) through well-maintained national) highways.

3) Manali

Manali

Considered to be a backpacker’s paradise, a happening hub for get-togethers, a honeymoon destination like no other, and one of the best vacation spots to distress and unwind for families across the country and the world, Manali resides as one of the topmost tourist places in India in any list put together.

The imperial mountain ranges, picturesque landscapes, delectable cuisine, and treasured culture, mixed with the lavish lifestyle offered by this resort town sets it apart from all competition when it comes time to pack your bags and book your flights this winter.

Mall Road is one of the busiest and most lively places to shop with its incredible collection of shops, emporiums, restaurants, etc. Places like Solang Valley just 14 km away from the city center offer a myriad of exciting adventures and breathtaking views. Then there are locations like Old Manali that combine the new age architecture found in the modern cafes alongside the temples and other places of worship, amalgamating the old with the new and the traditional with the contemporary.

Famous Food-

The street food of Manali is not to be missed as hot Samosas, Khatta prepared with pumpkin, mango powder and crisp little balls called boondi, Sidu prepared with the dough of the bread, and Babri made out of soaked black gram paste are all simple yet flavourful dishes to rejuvenate you this winter.

Travel from major cities-

By Air:

Flights are available from all major cities and Bhuntar airport located at a distance of 10 km from Manali forms the perfect gateway for this hill station.

By Train:

Jogindernagar railway station connects Manali with several cities across the country, while Chandigarh and Ambala are a few other options to reach the hill station by train.

By Road:

The state of Himachal Pradesh enjoys a wonderful bus service which is why the most cost-effective and efficient way to travel to Manali is by road. Roads connect Manali directly to different places like Delhi (540km), Chandigarh (305km), Dehradun (227km), and Ambala (370km).

4) Auli

Auli

When winter comes around, the spirit of an escapade comes calling, the snow meadows of Auli offer a more intense and adventurous sense of wanderlust than most and is one of the best places to visit in India. With temperatures below -8c this ski destination offers gorgeous views, a pristine environment, and delightful activities to patrons who can get out of their cosy beds and brave the cold for a wonderous winter vacation.

Surrounded by mountains like Nanda Devi, Hathi Parvat, Trishul, Beethartoli, Dunagiri, Ghori Parbat, Kamet, Mana Parvat, Nar Parbat, and Nikanth the journey to Auli itself fills you with a sense of awe and wonder. Known for its serene apple orchards, Auli also boasts of unique man-made creations like the Auli artificial lake which is the face of the hill station’s tourism. Other wonderful innovations include the Auli Gondola rides which take you up to 4000 ft to 9500 ft in a matter of minutes and is the second highest and longest cable car ride in Asia, just a few inches short of Gulmarg.  Chattrakund lake and Gorson Bugyal are easy and well-maintained treks with enlightening views to be enjoyed by the whole family.

Famous Food-

The local delicacies of Auli comprise the dishes of Kachmauli (stuffed goat with oil and spice), Bal Mithai ( a popular local sweet), and Singhori ( a cone-shaped sweet wrapped in Malu Leaf).

Travel from Major cities-

By Air:

Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest location to Auli at a distance of 286 km after which you can afford cabs or motorbikes to your destination.

By Train:

The nearest railway station to Auli is Rishikesh which is connected to all major cities around the world and situated 268 km before the hill station.

By Road;

Auli is well connected by road to major destinations of Uttarakhand. Buses and Taxis are easily available to Auli from locations like Rishikesh, Rudraprayag, Pauri, Srinagar, Chamoli, etc. Auli is located only 14 km away from Joshimath which is on NH58.

5) Dalhousie

Dalhousie

Known as the “Switzerland of India” and among the best places to visit in December, Dalhousie enthralls its visitors with its old-world charms, Victorian and Scottish architecture, and its snow-laden landscape. There is heavy snowfall in Dalhousie in winter which transforms the quaint location into a fantastical wonderland turning it into one of the best vacations for adventure-seeking youths, couples, and families in general.

Khajjar, resplendent with never-ending green pastures, dense growth of cedar trees, and an overall pictorial landscape is known as Mini Swiss and is a must-visit destination for all with the Khajjar lake cutting through the valley making the location seem like heaven on earth. Chamba town offers another old-world location with its places of worship like Sui Mata temple, Chamunda Devi, Hari Rai, and The Chamba Church boasting of some of the Boasting some the greatest architecture seen around the globe. The town is set on the banks of the river Ravi which adds to its serene and tranquil environment.

Famous Food-

Dalhousie attracts visitors from all over the country and contains a multitude of different delicacies and cuisines to keep its patrons entertained and fuelled to enjoy their winter adventure.  One must not forget to try out the major dishes of Dalhousie like Chowmein of Chinese cuisine, Momos of Tibetan cuisine, a fare of Kashmiri, and Idilis of South.

Travel from Major cities-

 By air:

Gaggal Airport in Kangra is the nearest airport location. It is situated 13 km from Dalhousie and taxis and cabs are readily available to reach your destination.

By Train:

Pathankot, situated 80 km from Dalhousie is the nearest railhead to reach your location. This railway station is well-connected to various cities in India, like Pune, Delhi, Mumbai, Jammu, Kanyakumari, Pune, Chennai, and Amritsar.

By Road:

Dalhousie is conveniently connected by road to the nearby cities and towns of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh. State bus services and luxury coaches run seamlessly in and around Dalhousie. Delhi to Dalhousie buses can be afforded easily from the nation’s capital.

6) Goa

Goa

Among the most famous vacation spots in India, to enjoy the most festive winter possible, there is no better location than the party state of Goa. The moderate weather in the state dipping to its lowest of 18c on January nights is perfect for massive raves and the best EDM parties of the calendar year.

Immerse yourself in the house and techno music galore from the best artists in the world at this year’s Sunburn festival on 27th December. For people wanting something more personal and intimate, there is the Mando Festival regaling the resplendent culture of Goa with men and women performing dressed in traditional garbs. In addition to the festival, there are majestic churches an example of Portuguese artistry, and dinner by the bonfires on the numerous scenic beaches tinged by the winter cold.

Famous Food-

Various mouth-watering delicacies of fresh seafood like Fish curry with rice, fried fish, and fish suke, a dried spicy preparation eaten as a side dish are a must-try. Solachi Kadhi a spicy coconut and kokum curry and Arroz doce, a Portuguese dish of kheer as dessert are also high up on the list of dishes that represent Goan culture.

Travel from major cities-

By Air:

Goa’s nearest international airport is located at Dabolim which is at a distance of 29 km from Panaji. This allows visitors from all over the world to travel to Goa with ease.

By Train:

The main railway stations in Goa are known as Madgaon and Vasco-da-Gama. They are well linked with all major parts of the country.

By Road:

The main bus stand in Goa is the Kadamba bus stand of Panaji. It connects to major cities in and out of Goa through established roadways making a traveler’s life very easy and stress-free.

7) Udaipur

Udaipur

With a moderate climate of 23c in the day and slightly chilly 11c weather at the night, the winter season is the perfect opportunity to visit Udaipur and explore its amazing collection of forts and lakes offering once-in-a-lifetime views at sunrise and sunsets alike. The Sajjangarh Fort and Kumbhalgarh Fort are must-visits to indulge in the royal feeling and so are the stunning lakes of the city like Lake Fatehsagar, Lake Dudhtalai, Lake Pichola, etc. Mount Abu, Nathdwara, Rajsamand, Chittorgarh, Ranakpur, Kumbhalgarh, and Haldighati are some other places you absolutely cannot miss on your trip to Udaipur.

Famous Food-

Daal baati is a famous dish known all over Rajasthan. Apart from this, other delicacies are specially made in the winter season out of Mewar which are a must-try.

Travel from major cities-

By Air:

The Maharana Pratap Airport, located 20 kilometers away from the city center of Udaipur, is connected to major cities all over India including Pune, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Jaipur.

By Train:

A vast network of rail connects Udaipur to the major cities around India such as Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata, Indore, Mumbai, and Kota. Trains like Mewar Express, Gwalior-Udaipur Express, Bandra-Udaipur SF Express, Chetak Express, and Annanya Express are easily accessible for travelers.

By Road:

Udaipur is easily accessible from Delhi and Mumbai via National Highway 8 (NH 8). The drive is around 10-11 hours long and is a journey of roughly 700 kilometers from both of the above-mentioned cities. Tourists visiting Udaipur usually prefer to drive on their own. There is also a very well-established bus service network to Udaipur, linking it to several cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Indore, Kota, and Ahmedabad.

8) Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch

With the Thar desert on one side and the Arabian sea on the other, the Rann of Kutch can truly be considered a natural wonder of the world and among the best tourist places in India. Situated in Kutch known for its expansive salt marshes, deserts, historical cities, and heterogenous wildlife the winter season is the perfect time to visit this paradise on earth. Experiencing the Rann Mahotsav held every year between the months of October to February is a must. There are several amazing things like hot air balloon rides, cultural performances, desert safari, landmark temples, and pre-historic caves that coax the senses of travelers from all around the globe. Narayan Sarovar India’s Westernmost Tip, Spot Flamingoes At Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, the historical city of Bhuj, and beautiful migratory birds at Topansar lake are some attractions you definitely must not miss.

Famous Food-

The majority of the population at Kutch is vegetarian and their staple dishes refined over the years right in their homesteads like kadi khichdi and bajra and rotla with curd and buttermilk contain robust flavors that represent the unique identity of the state’s culinary cuisine.

Travel from major cities-

By Air:

The Kutch Airport in Bhuj connects it with the rest of the country through regular, easily available flights.

By Train:

The railway station in Bhuj provides you with the best access point to reach Kutch via train. Once there taxis and buses are readily available to take you to your destination.

By Road:

State transport and private buses are always on the go from most of the major cities in Gujarat and some cities from Rajasthan to get into Kutch. Taxis are a viable option as well. In case you are looking for a long drive, the best road to take would be National highway 8A to reach your destination in Kutch.

9) Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer

Experience the beauty of Jaisalmer in a whole new light from the gorgeous Thar Desert, and the enchanting royal forts and palaces. There isn’t one dull moment in the traveler’s itinerary when you decide to visit Jaisalmer in December. The iconic Golden fort of Jaisalmer an epitome of grand Rajasthani architecture, reflecting the golden shine when the sunlight cascades down its walls on a winter evening, the eerie Khaba fort, Bada Bagh housing the lined Cenotaphs, a gigantic tank, and a huge dam, Patwon ki Haveli a cluster of five magnificent places are all imposing and breathtaking sights on the desert and among the best places to visit in the month of November in India.

Other must-visits include the Khuri dunes on the outskirts of the city offering great sightseeing, camel rides, and local handicrafts, Jaisalmer Fort Palace Museum and Heritage Centre for ancient handicrafts, and the Desert Culture Centre and Museum for interesting puppet shows.

Famous Food-

Enriched by culture and tradition the Golden city has several must-try dishes the most prominent of which is the Pyaz ki Kachori deep fried in oil with spicy onion stuffing. It’s perfect for the winter along with a cup of creamy aromatic tea to watch the sun set into the desert sands.

Travel from major cities-

By Air:

Jaisalmer is not directly accessible by air from any part of India. Jodhpur Airport, located some 300 km away from Jaisalmer, is the closest airport to the desert lands. This airport connects Rajasthan with other major Indian cities.

By Train:

Jaisalmer is served by both broad gauge and meter gauge railway tracks. Direct trains from Delhi, Jaipur, and Jodhpur can be easily booked to travel to Jaisalmer. The luxury train Palace on Wheels can also be availed and adds a unique aspect to your trip to Jaisalmer.

By Road:

Jaisalmer serves the rest of India with a well-maintained network of roadways. Deluxe and ordinary buses of Rajasthan Roadways as well as many private operations connect Jaisalmer with Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Barmer, Mount Abu, Ahemdabad, etc

10) Wayanad

Wayanad

The gem of Kerala is known for its lush green forests and exotic wildlife. Situated at a high altitude, December is the best month to visit this quaint location with exquisite meadows, powerful waterfalls, and delightful homestays. Chembra Peak, home to Cupid Lake, offers breathtaking views of the Banasura Sagar Dam surrounded by majestic tea plantations. It is the highest peak in the Wayanad hill range and the beauty of the greenery of Western Ghat is at full effect in its surroundings. Another gateway presents itself in the form of Kuruva Island located in the middle of the Kabini river where travelers get to spend the day among the exotic flora and fauna, in the lap of nature. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary are other must-visit destinations to go sightseeing among elephants, deer, langurs, panthers, tigers, Indian bison, and the rare Slender Loris in an amazing wildlife safari.

Famous Food-

Fish Moilee is a must-try dish with a bowl of steamed, locally cultivated, Gandhakasala rice to truly soak in its flavors. Prepared with freshly extracted coconut extract along with onions, curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste, mustard seeds, and other spices it is a dish that truly encapsulates the flavors of this beautiful place nestled among the western ghats. Appam and chicken stew, Nandan beef fry, and Payasam for dessert are other choice delicacies.

Distance from major cities-

By Air:

Calicut International Airport, located around 65 km away serves as the nearest airport to Wayanad. Visitors can avail of direct or stopover flights to Calicut from different parts of Kerala as well as the rest of India, depending upon availability.

By Train:

Wayanad district is not connected directly by rail. Visitors can take a train to Kozhikode, the nearest railway station to Wayanad. Quite a number of trains connect Kozhikode with major towns and cities regularly.

By Road:

A wide network of roads provides access to Wayanad from different parts of Kerala as well as Karnataka. Visitors can board KSRTC buses that run up to Kozhikode at frequent intervals from nearby cities like Bangalore, Mysore, Kochi, Chennai, and Trivandrum. Buses to Wayanad are also available.

Turtle Festival

Turtle Festival

Everything you need to know about the Famous Turtle Festival in Maharashtra

Curious to witness the turtle nesting and hatchlings making their way to the sea? And if you wish so, Turtle Festival is the place to be. The Turtle Festival is a popular event that takes place once a year in Maharashtra, at some of the beaches located in the Konkan region.

Sea Turtles form a major part of the ecosystem. Olive Ridley Turtles are one of the endangered species of sea turtle. At this festival, you get to see Turtles in their natural habitat. During February and March, many Olive Ridley turtles come to the western coasts of Maharashtra and lay their eggs. To protect and conserve these turtles, various organizations such as Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, Kasav Mitra Mandal, and Marine Conservation Society with the association of Forest department, Government of Maharashtra organize this turtle festival at the Konkan coastline every year to create awareness and promote eco-tourism.

In India, other than Maharashtra, there are several states, which are actively contributing to the protection and conservation of Sea Turtles. The state of Odisha has the famous mass nesting sites of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Based on these ecological conditions, certain pockets on the Odisha coast have become the sites for breeding and nesting of Olive Ridley Turtles. Another major project in India was carried out in Chennai, where the Chennai wildlife team collected and protected eggs of Olive Ridley Turtles along the Marina coast, and hatchlings were successfully released into the sea in a phased manner.

About Olive Ridley Turtles

Olive-Ridley Turtles are considered endangered because of their few remaining nesting sites in the world. Olive-Ridley Turtles face serious threats across their migratory route, habitat, and nesting beaches, due to various human activities such as turtle unfriendly fishing practices, egg-stealing, development, and exploitation of nesting beaches for ports, and tourist centers. Some of the factors like Global warming, Pollution are significantly responsible for the decreasing survival rate of Olive-Ridley Turtles.

About the Turtle Festival:

Turtle Festival is a conservation and protection event for Olive Ridley Turtles and a celebration of their natural breeding process.

 

There are some of the popular breeding sites for the Olive Ridley Turtle on the Konkan coastline in Maharashtra. While few of them are the nesting beaches, located in Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurga Districts. There are six villages on the Konkan coastline where the Turtle Festival is organized.

When the Olive Ridley Turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs, all of them are relocated to a nest site/ hatchery, where they have a much better chance to survive. Once the eggs hatch, the baby turtles are carried to the beach and released. The interesting fact is that female turtles return to the very same beach of their birth, to lay their eggs.

 If the eggs were left on the beach, they would face many threats such as getting washed away by the tide or getting poached. Previously they were either sold in the markets or were destroyed by dogs, but now, these eggs are guarded and protected by a group of volunteers against predators. The dedicated efforts of protection and conservation by NGOs, Local villagers, and the Forest Department, helped the significant rise of the Olive Ridley Turtles.

Watching these baby turtles take their first steps and at top turtle speed, crawling to find their way towards the sea is a delightful sight at the Turtle Festival.

Locations of Turtle Festival:-

  • Velas: Velas is a beautiful town located in Mandangad Taluka in Ratnagiri. It is famous for beaches, Bankot fort, and the popular Turtle festival. Velas is one of the most popular nesting sites on the Konkan Coast.

            Velas is around 230 km away from Mumbai and a 200 km drive from Pune.

 

  • Anjarle: Anjarle is situated in Dapoli taluka of Ratnagiri district. Anjarle beach is one of the cleanest and most unpolluted beaches in Ratnagiri. It is a serene beach famous for the crystal clear water and a dense cover of coconut trees covering the little tops of the local Konkani hutment. Some of the major attractions in Anjarle are Kadyavarcha Ganpati Temple, Suvarnadurg Fort, Dolphin Safari, and the annual Turtle Festival.

            Anjarle is around 194 km away from Pune and 215 km from Mumbai.

  • Kolthare: Kolthare is a less known town, located in Dapoli Taluka of Ratnagiri District. Kolthare is famous for the spectacular and serene beach, ancient Shiva temple, and the nesting sites of Sea turtles.

            Kolthare is around 215 km away from Pune and 246 km from Mumbai.

  • Guhagar: Guhagar is a spectacular tropical town known for the dense coconut groves, mango trees, betel nuts, and the ancient temples hidden in the dense forest. Guhagar beach is one of the popular nesting sites of Olive Ridley Turtles.

            Guhagar is around 245 km away from Pune and 261 km from Mumbai.

  • Gavkhadi: Sparkling water, dense Suru(Casuarina) forest and soft sandy beach truly exemplify Konkan beauty. Gavkhadi is located in Ratnagiri taluka of Ratnagiri District. Gavkhadi beach is considered ideal for breeding and nesting Sea turtles.

            Gavkhadi is around 325 km away from Pune and 352 km from Mumbai.

 

  • Sindhudurg: Sindhudurg is a beautiful town known for the famous Sindhudurg Fort, Vijaydurg Fort, and mesmerizing beaches. The beaches in Sindhudurg are famous for their marine life and the nesting site of Olive Ridley Turtles.

            Sindhudurg is around 350 km away from Pune and 493 km from Mumbai.

Time and Duration of Turtle Festival:-

The laying of eggs by Olive Ridley Turtles begins in February and continues till April. Most of the hatching happens during March, April, and May. There are no set dates or particular times when you can witness it. It’s a process, you must come here and then wait for the process to begin. The most appropriate time to watch them crawling towards the sea is either from 7 am to7:30am or 6 pm to 6:30 pm.

Where to Stay?

This is a two to three days travel and stays if you want to experience the entire process of hatching and releasing turtles into the sea. All the destinations offer a Homestay facility

where you can stay in the local Konkani homes and can experience the peaceful rural lifestyle. You can cherish delicious Konkani cuisine and can enjoy your time in serene nature.

The Turtle Festival in Maharashtra attracts millions of tourists to these places every year from all over the world. Watching the release of these baby turtles into the ocean is quite an experience. The release of turtles takes place twice every day during the season, once in the morning and again during the sunset. So, do plan a visit to the Turtle festival In Maharashtra and carry a home basketful of memories!

 

The Petroglyphs of Konkan: A window into an ancient world

The Petroglyphs of Konkan: A window into an ancient world

India is home to a plethora of marvellous ancient architecture, art, and craft depicting fascinating artistry, which has withstood the test of time. Many of these wonders are yet to be fully understood. Some of the fascinating ancient ruins are full of thousand-year-old mysteries that offer a riddle to their spectators. Petroglyphs, the magnificent rock carvings, is one of the spectacular ancient art forms. Petroglyphs are one of the significant discoveries of recent times. The discovery of more than 1,000 rock carvings, in the districts of Ratnagiri and Rajapur in Maharashtra opens a window into an ancient world. Archaeologists believe that the Petroglyph could be 10,000 years old.

Local enthusiasts, Mr. Sudhir Risbud, and his two companions were the first to bring Petroglyphs to light. This was the result of almost six years of consistent efforts taken by them. These carvings depict a variety of images of animals, birds, human figures, and geometrical designs. It is expected that these Petroglyphs would provide an insight into the early history of the Konkan region.

Petroglyphs:

Petroglyphs are one of the prehistoric forms of art carved into the flat, open laterite rock surface/ laterite plateau. These Petroglyphs found in the districts of Ratnagiri and Rajapur depict numerous variety of images. They are mainly, animals, birds, aquatic Animals, Human Figures, Geometrical designs, etc.

 

Some of the petroglyphs depict rhinoceroses and hippos, two species that were never thought to be prevalent in this part of India. It raises various questions and doubts among the archaeologists studying petroglyphs. According to archaeologists, these petroglyphs, however, suggest that the Konkan may have once been a lot like the rainforests where these animals are typically found. Some of the rock carvings are life-size, for example, an elephant and tiger petroglyph at Kasheli in Ratnagiri district and some human figures.

Similar petroglyphs have been discovered in the Sindhudurg district, Usgalimal, south Goa, and Kollur, Karnataka. Other prominent petroglyph and rock art sites in India are the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh, rock carvings in Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, and petroglyphs from the Tindivanam and Villupuram districts in Tamil Nadu and Unakoti in Tripura.

The Significance of Petroglyphs:

According to State Archaeological Department, the discovery of Petroglyphs in the districts of Ratnagiri and Rajapur could open up a whole new chapter in the history of the Konkan region. Petroglyphs are very significant from the perspective of reconstruction of the history of Konkan. These Petroglyphs reveal various unknown facts such as how the man was, how he lived here etc. However the sites of Petroglyphs are at huge risk of being lost or damaged from road construction, tree plantation, mining, and erosion (human and natural).

 

Mr. Risbud, along with his companions has started convincing the local villagers about the importance of Petroglyphs, the sites, and the need to protect them. They have built a ring of bricks around the petroglyphs and have requested the land owners to build such boundaries protecting the sites. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporations has shown interest in developing some of the sites and converting them into a tourist circuit that would attract a lot of travellers and history lovers. 

Things to keep in mind while visiting Petroglyphs sites:

  1. The Petroglyphs sites must be well protected and conserved as they are the precious prehistoric forms of art.
  2. Do not visit the sites by yourself, as the Petroglyphs locations are on private lands. It is recommended to have a guide to show you the exact locations of the petroglyphs and help interpret carvings. One can contact the Ratnagiri tourism department or the local enthusiasts.
  3. Do not walk on any of the carvings as any human activity might cause irreversible damage to the carvings.
  4. Do not make any attempt to mark out the carvings of stone pens, chalks, or by some other method. It might cause damage to the carvings.
  5. Be aware of snakes and stick to the paths.

The petroglyphs are the hidden treasure, holding the secrets of the past.  Hence it is our responsibility to protect and preserve the ancient treasure. Do not miss to witness one of the marvellous prehistoric forms of art when in Konkan.

Rangilo Rajasthan

Rangilo Rajasthan

The Land of the Kings, Rajasthan is embellished with Magnificent Royal forts and palaces, rich and unique culture, golden sand dunes, and bustling, colourful bazaars. The mighty forts and spectacular palaces in Rajasthan speak of royalty and a glorious past. Take a tour of Rajasthan and view iconic forts and palaces and be amazed by its grandeur and craftsmanship. With GoParyatak’s Rajasthan Tour packages explore royal palaces, enjoy Rajasthani dances, and folk songs, witness puppet shows (Katputhli shows), and experience cultural treasures. The luxurious resorts in Rajasthan offer unmatched luxury, sheer comfort, and warm hospitality with their premium services. We at GoParyatak can help you experience Rajasthan tourism with our best tour packages that are available at cost-effective prices.

Ideal Duration

8 Nights – 9 Days

Best Season to Visit Rajasthan

October to March

Off-Season

April to September

Nearest Airports

  • Jaipur International Airport
  • Maharana Pratap Airport, Udaipur
  • Jodhpur Airport
  • Jaisalmer Airport
  • Bikaner Airport
  • Kota Airport
  • Kishangarh Airport

Capital of the state

Jaipur

Neighbouring states

The State borders Punjab to the north; Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the northeast; Madhya Pradesh to the southeast; Gujarat to the southwest; Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the northwest and Sindh to the west.

Rajasthan is famous for

  • Historical Royal Forts and Palaces

  • The Thar Desert

  • Wildlife Sanctuaries

  • Fairs and Festivals

  • Village Safaris

  • Sand dunes

What to buy when you are in Rajasthan

  • Jewellery and Gemstones
  • Traditional Paintings
  • Ethnic Carpets
  • Blue Pottery
  • Puppets(Kathputli), Stuffed Dolls, and Toys
  • Rajasthani Fabrics
  • Traditional Metal Craftwork
  • Aromatic Spices
  • Jodhpuri Juttis

Experiences

  • Desert Camping

  • Jungle Safari

  • Hot Air Ballooning

  • Zip Lining

  • Trekking

  • Camel Safari

  • Elephant Safari

  • Kite Festival

What to carry while travelling to Rajasthan

  • Medical kit (Including the Band-Aids, Medicines for a headache, fever, stomach ache, cold and cough syrup, vomiting/dizziness, enough supply of any special medicine that you require.)
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Light cotton clothes for the days
  • Sweaters, hoodies, or jackets for nights
  • Torch with extra cells
  • Insect repellent
  • Caps
  • Umbrellas
  • Shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sanitizer
  • Water Bottle
  • Snacks
  • Phone Charger
  • Adapter
  • Power Bank
  • Spacious bags
  • Enough Cash
  • Tissue papers
  • Mouth Fresheners
  • Flight tickets
  • Detailed Itinerary.

Famous Places to visit when you are in Rajasthan

  • Jaipur: Known as, ‘The Pink City, Jaipur is the Capital city of the state of Rajasthan. The city is famous for its Royal legacy, traditional craftwork, gemstones, fabrics, etc. City Palace, Jantar-Mantar observatory, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Albert Hall Museum, and Birla Mandir are some of the top places to visit in Jaipur.
  • Udaipur: Udaipur is one of the most popular cities in Rajasthan. The city is adorned with a rich legacy, vibrant culture, spectacular palaces, and gleaming lakes. Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Udai Sagar Lake, City Palace, Monsoon Palace, Vintage Car Museum, Jagmandir, and Maharana Pratap Memorial are some of the places you must visit in Udaipur.

 

 

  • Jodhpur: Located at the base of the mighty Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur is one of the most beautiful cities in Rajasthan. Jodhpur bursts with the traditional blue color and charms every traveller with its marvellous architecture. Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jaswant Thada, Mandore Gardens, Royal Cenotaphs, Ghanta Ghar, Sadar Bazar, Balsamand Lake, Masuria Hills, and, Sardar Samand Lake & Palace are some of the best places to visit in Jodhpur and you must include these places in your Jodhpur holiday packages.
  • Jaisalmer: Located in the heart of the golden Thar Desert, Jaisalmer is one of the prominent cities to visit in Rajasthan. Beautiful havelies, golden sand dunes, magnificent forts, and, palaces allow you to witness the majestic charm of Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer Fort, Patwon-Ki-Haveli,  Bada Bagh, Gadisar Lake, Thar Heritage Museum, and Salim Singh Ki Haveli are the places you must visit in Jaisalmer.
  • Sam Sand Dunes in Jaisalmer: Located on the outskirts of Jaisalmer city, it is one of the popular tourist spots in Jaisalmer. Tourists can enjoy Camel safari, jeep safari, traditional folk dance, and music shows. There several options for adventure lovers like Quad biking, Parasailing, Para Motoring, Dune bashing, etc., to explore while enjoying the desert safari.
    • Pushkar: Pushkar is a small town in Rajasthan, popular for the world-famous ‘Pushkar Mela’ and Brahma temple. The heritage of marvellous architecture makes Pushkar a must-visit place on the Rajasthan tour. The Pushkar Mela attracts tourists from all over the world with its fascinating celebrations. Adventure activities, cultural and musical events, camel safaris, and a stay in the traditional yet modern camps are the major attractions of Pushkar Mela. The Pushkar Mela is a treat for those who wish to experience the vibrant culture and traditions of Rajasthan.

Things to keep in mind while travelling to Rajasthan

  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  • Protect yourself from the cold and the sun (Carry a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen lotion).
  • Kindly appoint licensed guides for sightseeing who owns a valid ID card.
  • The tour confirmation voucher in printed format is necessary for check-ins at the hotels.
  • The entry tickets and activity charges at sightseeing places will have to be avail by a guest on his/her arrangement and expenses.
  • The meals included in the package will start from the dinner on Day One which will be served at the restaurants of the hotel of stay. The enroute meals have to be avail by a guest on his/her arrangement and expenses. 
  • There are many hotels along the way, most of which cater well to vegetarian travellers.
  • Once the package is booked & confirmed no refund will be entertained.
  • The guests are advised to maintain the schedule given for the sightseeing/transfer.
  • We reserve the right to make changes or omit any place of a visit, if it becomes necessary due to bad weather, bad road conditions, etc.
  • The guests are advised to inform if the guests are senior citizens or have health-related issues (like arthritis, heart problems, etc.) or any such matter which might need special arrangements. Some itineraries will not be suitable for them.
  • The security concerns, driver’s working hours, etc. will be kept in mind while planning the tour and sightseeing. 
  • We try to ensure that the sightseeing points do not fall on a closing day. In case due to an inevitable situation, if the sightseeing falls on a closing day, it will have to be left out. Conducting that particular tour or sightseeing point the next day will be subject to time availability.

Things to avoid while travelling to Rajasthan

  • Do not carry unwanted baggage.
  • Avoid Smoking and drinking.
  • Do not swim in rivers, lakes, or glaciers.
  • Avoid the use of slang and touching the locals while talking and maintain a healthy distance when in and around the city.
  • Do not point at people.
  • Avoid wandering alone at night.
  • Stay away from drugs

Local languages used in Rajasthan

  • Hindi
  • Rajasthani
  • Marwari
  • Mewari
  • Brajbhasha
  • Bagri
  • English

ID Documents to carry while traveling to Rajasthan

  • Indians: Four passport size photos and Original Photo ID proof with photocopy like passport, voter’s ID card, driving license.
  • Foreigners: Passport, valid visa, Overseas Citizen of India (OCI).

Regional public holidays in Rajasthan

The Sightseeing point remains closed on

  • Central Government and Bank National Holidays
 

Himachal Pradesh –The Land of Snow

Himachal Pradesh –The Land of Snow

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live”.

-Hans Christian Anderson

These lines truly speak a Wanderlust’s heart. Finding an escape from the usual hustle-bustle and monotonous life and experiencing some joyous moments – it’s what holidays are made for.  One of the most scenic states of India, Himachal Pradesh can be the most relaxing getaway for you. Nestled in North India, Himachal is a blend of snow-capped mountains, crystal clear rivers, lush green meadows, dazzling waterfalls, and gigantic Deodars, truly a nature lover’s delight! For the adventurer in you, you can try on various sports and activities like River Rafting, Ice-skating, Paragliding, etc. If you are looking for places to visit in Himachal Pradesh then this is a must-read. Do keep this guide handy to be sure that you don’t miss out on any of the wonderful places and experiences the state offers. We, at, GoParyatak can assist you to plan the perfect vacation in Himachal Pradesh with cost-effective tour packages.

Destination

Himachal Pradesh

 

Ideal Duration

8 Nights – 9 Days

Ideal Season to visit Himachal Pradesh

 February to June 

Off-Season to visit Himachal Pradesh

July to November

Connectivity

By Air

  • Bhuntar Airport – Kullu Manali
  • Gaggal Airport – Kangra
  • Jubbarhatti Airport – Shimla

By Road

Interstate bus /Volvo bus services are available from Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, and other neighboring cities.

Capital of the state

Shimla and Dharamshala

Neighbouring states

The state borders the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to the North, Punjab to the west, Haryana to the southwest, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to the south, and the Tibet Autonomous Region in China to the east.

Famous for

  • Serene lakes
  • Snow-clad mountains
  • Lush Green Forests
  • Crystal clear rivers
  • Colonial-era Architecture
  • Buddhist Monasteries
  • Churches
  • Tibetan Architecture
  • Apple, Pear Orchards

What to buy

  • Shawls, Woollens, and Blankets
  • Himachali caps
  • Traditional Himachali Jewellery
  • Tibetan Jewellery
  • Woodwork sculptures
  • Handicrafts
  • Pottery items
  • Apples, pears, and various other fruits

Experiences

  • River Rafting
  • Still Water Sports
  • Ice-skating
  • Paragliding
  • Skiing
  • Heli-skiing
  • Golfing
  • Jeep/Vehicle safari
  • Day Hikes
  • Mountain-biking
  • Horse riding
  • Camping by lakes and valleys

What to carry while traveling

  • Medical kit (Including the Band-Aids, Medicines for a headache, fever, stomach ache, cold and cough syrup, vomiting/dizziness, enough supply of any special medicine that you require.)
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Torch with extra cells,
  • Insect repellent
  • Warm jackets
  • Thermal wear/Sweaters
  • Woollen socks
  • Scarf/muffler
  • Caps
  • Umbrellas
  • Shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sanitizer
  • Water Bottle
  • Snacks
  • Phone Charger
  • Adapter
  • Power Bank
  • Spacious bags
  • Enough Cash
  • Tissue papers
  • Mouth Fresheners
  • Flight tickets
  • Detailed Itinerary

Famous places to visit in Himachal Pradesh

Snowy mountains, Pristine Rivers, lush green valleys, and Dazzling apple orchards, are all waiting to welcome you to one of the most spectacular places on this Earth. Himachal Pradesh houses some of the mesmerizing places that you must visit at least once in your lifetime. Here is a list of Top places to visit in Himachal Pradesh.

  • Shimla: Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh is known for its picturesque landscapes, marvellous colonial buildings, and Churches, built in a Victorian style. The Viceregal Lodge (Rashtrapati Niwas), Christ Church, Shri Hanuman Jakhoo Temple, Mall road, Neo-Gothic Gorton Castle, and Himachal State Museum are some of the top places to visit in Shimla.

 

  • Kufri: Located 20 km away from Shimla, Kufri is a beautiful town, surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains and lush greenery. It offers various scenic locations and numerous adventurous sports and activities.

 

  • Kalka Shimla Toy Train: The mesmerising route takes you through lush greenery offering incredible scenic views. Embark on a journey and indulge in a spectacular view of the nature around you.

  • Thanedar:  Visit this beautiful, serene town, nestled among apple and cherry orchards to experience the raw beauty of nature. Located 80km away from Shimla, Thanedar is definitely among the Top places to visit in Himachal Pradesh.

 

  • Manali: Located in the Kullu district, Manali is a beautiful hill station with an alluring atmosphere, snow-covered mountains, Pine trees, and lush greenery. It is a popular destination amongst honeymooners and adventure enthusiasts. Places like Solang Valley, Vashisht Hot Water Springs, Hidimba Devi Temple, Bhrigu Lake, Manali Bird Sanctuary, and Naggar Castle are the famous places to visit in Manali among the tourists. Adventure lovers can indulge themselves in adventure sports like skiing, river rafting, paragliding, and trekking.

 

  • Spiti: The picturesque town, Spiti, is situated between India and Tibet. The spectacular landscapes, colorful Monasteries, and pristine lakes make Spiti, one of the top destination

 

  • s in Himachal Pradesh. Known as the ‘Little Tibet’, Spiti is the epitome of natural beauty.

 

  • Dharamshala: One of the star highlights of Himachal Pradesh Tourism, Dharamshala, is the residence of the Dalai Lama. Tall pine trees, dazzling waterfalls, and beautiful Monasteries add extra glitter to the beauty of Dharamshala.

 

  • Mcleodganj: Known as ‘Little Lhasa of India’, Mcleodganj is a beautiful serene town. When in Mcleodganj, one can enjoy shopping from markets famous for Tibetan carpets, handicrafts, Thankas, etc.

 

  • Dalhousie: A fascinating hill station, spread across five hills, Dalhousie is one of the most spectacular places in Himachal Pradesh. It houses snow-capped mountains, crystal clear rivers, lush green valleys, and marvellous Colonial-Era Architecture. Dalhousie offers a resplendent view of the sunrise and sunset.

 

  • Chamba:  Chamba, the vibrant valley of Himachal offers a breath-taking view of sparkling rivers, dense pine forests, snowy mountains, and diverse wildlife. The valley is famous for marvellous temple architecture, astonishing miniature paintings, and beautifully embroidered Chamba Rumal.

 

  • Khajjiar: Situated in a Chamba district, Khajjiar is fondly compared with Swiss mountain meadows. Khajjiar is a quaint settlement surrounded by snow-topped mountains and dense pine forest.

  • Palampur: Located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, Palampur charms you with its pristine natural beauty. Palampur has thousands of Tea gardens and enchanting dense deodar forests. Bajinath temple, Chamunda Devi temple, and Tashi Jong Monastery are some of the famous places to visit in Palampur. It offers various adventurous sports like river rafting, paragliding, skydiving, etc.

 

  • Solang Valley: Situated between Beas Kund and Solang village, Solang valley offers spectacular views of magnificent mountains, groves of green trees, and crystal clear streams, which is a treat to the eyes. Enjoy the pristine beauty over the picturesque valley by taking a cabin ride on a Solang Ropeway.

 

  • Manikaran: Situated deep within the Parvati Valley of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, the Manikaran Sahib is a natural marvel. Manikaran is full of hot boiling water that is rich in Uranium and radioactive substances. The water of the spring is hot enough to boil rice and other food. The water is considered auspicious and said to have healing properties for the human body that can cure skin and other disorders.

 

 

  • Jibhi:  Jibhi is one of the hidden gems in Himachal Pradesh, located on the scenic Chandigarh-Manali highway. This quaint hamlet has some extremely beautiful Victorian pinewood cottages for people to enjoy and relax.

Things to keep in mind while travelling in Himachal Pradesh

  • The tour confirmation voucher in printed format is necessary for check-ins at the hotels.
  • Guests willing to take adventure activities are advised to inform local authorities and seek necessary permissions.
  • The entry tickets and activity charges at sightseeing places will have to be avail by a guest on his/her arrangement and expenses.
  • The meals included in the package will start from the dinner on Day One which will be served at the restaurant at the hotel of stay. The enroute meals have to be avail by a guest on his/her arrangement and expenses.
  • The guests are advised to maintain the schedule given for the sightseeing/ transfers.
  • We reserve the right to make changes or omit any place of a visit, if it becomes necessary due to bad weather, bad road conditions, etc.
  • The guests are advised to inform if the guests are senior citizens or have health-related issues (like arthritis, heart problems, etc.) or any such matter which might need special arrangements. Some itineraries will not be suitable for them.
  • The security concerns, driver’s working hours, etc. will be kept in mind while planning the tour and sightseeing.
  • We try to ensure that the sightseeing points do not fall on a closing day. In case due to an inevitable situation, if the sightseeing falls on a closing day, it will have to be left out. Conducting that particular tour or sightseeing point the next day will be subject to time availability.
  • The mesmerizing Nature and eco-friendly atmosphere are the region’s prime tourist interests. The facilities available here cannot be matched with other developed destinations.

Things to avoid while traveling to Himachal Pradesh

  • Do not carry unwanted baggage.
  • Avoid Smoking and drinking.
  • Do not swim in rivers, lakes, or glaciers.
  • Avoid the use of slang and touching the locals while talking and maintain a healthy distance when in and around the city.
  • Do not point at people.
  • Avoid wandering alone at night.
  • Stay away from drugs.

Local languages

  • Hindi
  • English

ID Documents to carry

  • Indians: Four passport size photos and Original Photo ID proof with photocopy like passport, voter’s ID card, driving license, Inner Line Permit to visit certain parts of Kinnaur district and Spiti District, etc.
  • Foreigners: Passport, valid visa, Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Inner Line Permit to visit certain parts of Kinnaur district and Spiti District etc.

Suitable airlines

NA

Public Holidays (Regional)

The Sightseeing points remain closed on Central Government & Bank National Holidays.

Kashmir: The paradise on Earth

Kashmir: The paradise on Earth

The land of Kashmir, abundantly offers you the ultimate happiness, comfort, and, a rejuvenating experience of being in the lap of alluring nature. This land is a home to mighty Chinar trees, fascinating snow-capped mountains, serene lakes, tempting apple orchards, violet fields of saffron, pretty shikaras and Houseboats, and dazzling Tulips in spring that keeps you intrigued throughout your visit to this mesmerizing land. Behold the captivating snow- the White Mountains turning golden at the dawn while indulging the warm cup of Kashmiri kahwah Tea. For the ones who adore natural beauty, the enchanting land of Kashmir is, truly, a feast for the eyes. Experience and cherish the heavenly beauty of Kashmir with GoParyatak’s tailor-made packages. GoParyatak’s packages have carefully planned itineraries that will let you relax and cherish the surroundings.

Destination

Kashmir

Ideal Duration

8 Nights – 9 Days

Ideal Season

March to August.

If you want to visit the annual Tulip Festival, the ideal duration is from March to early April

Off-Season

August-September

Nearest Airports

Srinagar domestic Airport (Sheikh-ul-Alam Airport) 

Capital of the state

Srinagar and Jammu

Neighbouring states

The state borders the Indian union territory of Ladakh to the east, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south, Pakistan to the southwest, and the Pakistani-administered portion of Kashmir to the northwest.

Famous for

  • Serene lakes
  • Snow-clad mountains
  • Lush Green Forests
  • Apple Orchards
  • Tulip Gardens
  • Saffron fields
  • Shikara rides
  • Houseboats
  • Gondola(cable car) ride

What to buy

  • Pashmina Shawls, Woollens, and Blankets
  • Rugs and Kashmiri Carpets
  • Paper Mache Products
  • Traditional Jewellery
  • Kashmir Willow Bats
  • Spices
  • Dry fruits
  • Saffron

Experiences

  • River-rafting
  • Paragliding
  • Skiing/Snowboardig
  • Hot-Air ballooning
  • Golfing
  • Camping by the lakes and valleys

What to carry while traveling

  • Medical kit (Including the Band-Aids, Medicines for a headache, fever, stomach ache, cold and cough syrup, vomiting/dizziness, enough supply of any special medicine that you require.)
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Torch with extra cells,
  • Insect repellent
  • Warm jackets
  • Thermal wear/Sweaters
  • Woollen socks
  • Scarf/muffler
  • Caps
  • Umbrellas
  • Shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sanitizer
  • Water Bottle
  • Snacks
  • Phone Charger
  • Adapter
  • Power Bank
  • Spacious bags
  • Enough Cash
  • Tissue papers
  • Mouth Fresheners
  • Flight tickets
  • Detailed Itinerary.

Famous Places to visit

  • Kashmir has long been synonymous with vibrant nature, crystal clear lakes, lush green meadows, and gleaming rivers, warm and friendly locals. There is plenty you can see and enjoy that ensures you fly home with a basketful of sweet memories. Here is a list of “Top places to visit in Kashmir”. 
  • Srinagar: Srinagar is the capital city of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and one of the most gorgeous capital cities of India. Take a Shikara ride on the peaceful Dal Lake, stay in the cozy houseboats, and enjoy the enchanting landscapes surrounding it. Explore and shop Pashmina Shawls, Woollens, Rugs, Kashmiri Carpets, and saffron and take back home precious memories of your trip to Kashmir. Visit the Shalimar Gardens and experience the pristine beauty of nature.
  • Sonmarg: Sonmarg, truly known as ‘the meadow of gold is one of the most spectacular places in Kashmir. Taking a pony ride to Sonmarg is a great way to enjoy the real beauty of Kashmir. Nestled between snow-clad mountains, Sonmarg is surrounded by serene lakes and green grasslands. If you love camping and trekking, and adventure sports it’s an ideal destination.
  • Gulmarg: Translated as ‘Meadow of Flowers’, Gulmarg is, undoubtedly, the snow paradise of Kashmir. Gulmarg is a beautiful town located, in a district called Baramulla in Kashmir. Gulmarg is popular for a ski resort, the Gulmarg Gondola -Asia’s second longest cable car ride and the highest golf course in the world. This is the most popular destination for adventure seekers which offers various adventurous activities and sports options such as skiing, snowboarding, horse riding, heli-skiing, snow scooter, etc.
  • Pahalgam: The picturesque town, Pahalgam, is blessed with nature’s finest landscapes, dazzling meadows, and pristine water rivers that make Pahalgam, a must-visit destination in Kashmir. Visit Mini Switzerland to witness the epitome of natural beauty. Visit Aru Valley, Lidder Lake, and Betaab valley, to experience clear water rivers and enchanting deep valleys.

Things to keep in mind while travelling

  • If you’re flying out of Srinagar airport, do reach the airport with plenty of time to spare (at least three hours before departure), as there are time-consuming and multiple security checks before you receive your boarding pass. There aren’t any restrictions on cabin luggage when flying into the airport. However, airlines often won’t allow cabin luggage when departing except for laptops, cameras, and ladies’ handbags.
  • Only post-paid mobile connections work in the area of Kashmir. For temporary use, one can buy a new post-paid sim card from a local market.
  • The entry tickets and activity charges at sightseeing places will have to be avail by a guest on his/her arrangement and expenses.
  • The meals included in the package will start from the dinner on Day One which will be served at the restaurants of the hotel of stay. The enroute meals have to be avail by a guest on his/her arrangement and expenses.
  • Alcohol is not served in restaurants.
  • Most businesses shut for prayer at lunchtime on Friday in Srinagar.
  • There are many hotels along the way, most of which cater well to vegetarian travelers.
  • Due to a shortage of power or power cuts, the guest might have to bear with candlelight.
  • Once the package is booked & confirmed no refund will be entertained.
  • The guests are advised to maintain the schedule given for the sightseeing/ transfers.
  • We reserve the right to make changes or omit any place of a visit, if it becomes necessary due to bad weather, bad road conditions, etc.
  • Kindly inform us if the guests are senior citizens or have health-related issues (like arthritis, heart problems, etc.) or any such matter which might need special arrangements. Some itineraries will not be suitable for them.
  • The security concerns, driver’s working hours, etc. will be kept in mind while planning the tour and sightseeing.
  • We try to ensure that the sightseeing points do not fall on a closing day. In case due to an inevitable situation, if the sightseeing falls on a closing day, it will have to be left out. Conducting that particular tour or sightseeing point the next day will be subject to time availability.
  • The mesmerizing Nature and eco-friendly atmosphere are the region’s prime tourist interests. The facilities available here cannot be matched with other developed destinations.

Things to avoid while traveling to Sikkim

  • Do not carry unwanted baggage.
  • Avoid Smoking and drinking.
  • Do not swim in rivers, lakes, or glaciers.
  • Avoid the use of slang and touching the locals while talking and maintain a healthy distance when in and around the city.
  • Do not point at people.
  • Avoid wandering alone at night.
  • Stay away from drugs.
  • Avoid insisting your cab driver take you to the restricted areas. Follow the safety rules and protocols.
  • Avoid venturing into the old city by yourself. Find a guide who can take you to the places you want to explore.

Local languages

  • Dogri
  • Urdu
  • Hindi
  • English

ID Documents to carry

  • Indians: Four passport size photos and Original Photo ID proof with photocopy like passport, voter’s ID card, driving license, etc.
  • Foreigners: Passport, valid visa, Overseas Citizen of India (OCI).

Suitable airlines

NA

Public Holidays (Regional) Tentative*

The Sightseeing point remains closed on

  • Central Government & Bank National Holidays.
  • Jumat-ul-Vida (7th May)
  • Shab-i-Qadr (9th May)
  • Mela khir Bhawani (18th June)
  • Urs Shah-I-Hamdan sahib (16th July)
  • Eid-ul-Azha (20th and 21st July)
  • Ashoora (19th August)
  • Urs Sheikh Noor-ud-din-Sahib (4th October)
  • Eid-i-Milad-ul- Nabi (19th and 22nd October)
  • Shab-i-Miraj(1st march and 4th march)  

lohgad

One-day Treks Locations near Pune

One-day Treks Locations near Pune

As in many things, Punekars also take pride in the huge and historic forts that are located in the close vicinity around Pune. As each city has its tradition, Pune has the tradition of taking trekking tours to these forts over weekends. Though the number has lessened in some recent years, some of these forts attract huge crowds of youth from Pune. While we are afraid to start traveling again after the Pandemic, here we suggest you some of the extremely adventurous yet joyful treks for the trekker hidden inside you. All these 8 Treks are within 100 km from Pune, they all are amazing one-day destinations, especially in Monsoon. Just take some food and water with you, and let’s go to explore new terrains and experience the adventures we are missing out on for almost 2 years.

Lohagad Fort

Lohagad Fort can be the quintessential one-day destination for those all who seek weekend pleasure in various adventurous activities or treks. This lovable fort lies merely 66 km away from Pune and 11 km away from Lonavala. Easy to climb, readily approachable from Pune and Mumbai, and Ariel view of Pawna lake establishes itself to be very demanding in people of all age groups.

Sinhagad

The fort that has a very special place in heart of every Marathi person for its tragic history, is Sinhagad. Shivaji Maharaj renamed this fort “Sinhagad” after the loss of Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare while fighting for the victory, it was called “Kondana” earlier. Located 30 km from Pune, it offers a quick getaway from the city bustle despite the increasing commercialization.

Shivneri Fort

Another fort that is immensely popular amongst trekkers in Pune is Fort Shivneri for its close relevance to Shivaji Maharaj. Built in the era of Satavahanas, Shivneri Fort is the birthplace of Shivaji Maharaj and he spent his entire childhood here as well. Around 94 km away from Pune, this fort is situated near Junnar in the Pune district.

Tikona Fort

At a distance of 25 km from Lonavala and 53 km from Pune, Tikona Fort is said to be structured in the ‘Maval’ region. As the name suggests, this fort was constructed in a triangle shape and is situated near Pawna lake. Difficulty-wise, this Trek ranks on the easier scale and can be enjoyed with families, however beloved amongst trekkers from all over Maharashtra.

Rajgad Fort

Termed as Murumdev formerly, Rajgad served as the capital of the Maratha Empire for 25 years, before shifting to Raigad. Set at 54 km from Pune, this enormous fort acquires an area of 40 km at the base. Suvela Machi, Padmavati Machi, Balekilla, Pali Darwaza are some of the places on the fort that you would not want to miss at any cost while climbing up here.

Rajmachi Fort

Rajmachi Fort was strategically constructed to control the Borghat. Borghat is located between Khopoli and Khandala; that served as a trade route historically. Located at the distance of 15 km from Lonavala and 82 km from Pune, there are two routes to climb up the Rajmachi Fort, one from Lonavala and another from Karjat. However, it is advisable to take a Lonavala route for beginners. Camping is preferred here at night by many trekkers.

Visapur Fort

Built by the first Peshwa of the Maratha Empire, Balaji Vishwanath, Visapur Fort is 18 km away from Lohagad Fort. Being larger and having higher elevation than Lohagad Fort, Visapur Fort was constructed to guard the Lohagad Fort. Having two trekking routes, trekkers absolutely love this fort as it offers excellent panoramic views.

Tung Fort

Hardly 67 km from Pune and 24 km from Lonavala, Tung Fort was built by the Adil Shahi dynasty. Also known as Kathingad in Marathi, meaning “difficult fort”, it is actually difficult to climb up due to steep climbs and narrow routes. It offers stunning panoramic views of the Maval region, Pawna lake, Mulshi valley, Tikona Fort, Lohagad Fort, and Visapur Fort, this fort also served as a watchtower for many years.

Near Pune

‘Must-Visit’ Places around Pune(within 100 km)

‘Must-Visit’ Places around Pune(within 100 km)

The beautiful city of Pune! Want to look beyond the stunning skyline of the city? Don’t worry, The Oxford of East is gifted with the most amazing gateways and tourist destinations that will make your weekends special. There are a lot of places to visit near Pune under 100 km including spots with forts, alluring hill ranges, natural waterfalls, and various picnic spots which are perfect for your weekend getaways and family get together. While we prepare to welcome the rainfalls, we too are drawing up a list of places for you to visit with your kin.

Sinhagad Fort

Sinhagad Fort is situated atop a cliff on the Bhuleshwar range of the Sahyadris, about 36 kilometers southwest of Pune Sinhagad road. Sinhagad Fort, which means “Fort of the Lion,” has a long and illustrious history. It was originally captured by the Mughals before falling into the hands of the Marathas. Tanaji Malusare, a courageous Maratha warrior who fought alongside Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and helped him win the fort, eventually giving his life in the conflict, is honored here. After the defeat of Malusare, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj famously said, “Gad Ala Pan Sinha Gela,” and the fort was renamed Sinhagad. It has recently become a popular tourist destination, especially among trekkers and adventure seekers.

Lonavala-Khandala

Lonavala, a hill station near Pune and Mumbai which is extremely popular with hikers and trekkers, is undoubtedly one of the most popular places to visit within 64 kilometers of Pune mainland via Mumbai-Pune Highway. It is well-known for its medieval caves, spectacular forts, and splendid lakes. Sir Elphinstone discovered Lonavala in 1871, and it was previously known as Lonali, which means “surrounded by caves.” The Yadava dynasty originally dominated the sparsely populated hill outpost, which is surrounded by deep forest. The Mughals and Peshwas are responsible for the majestic forts’ existence. The territory near Khandala was dominated by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the first Maratha Empire. It was afterward ruled by the Peshwas. When the British vanquished the Peshwas, they took control of the city.

With its scenic valleys, grassy hills, serene lakes, and misty waterfalls, Khandala, perched on the foothills of the Sahyadri, offers an excellent weekend full of tranquility and places to discover.

Matheran

Known as the “forest on the forehead”, Matheran is merely 81 km away from Northwest of Pune. Your wonderful journey begins from Mote Mangal Karyalay Rd connecting to the main Mumbai-Pune Highway. It’s believed that Hugh Poyntz Malet, Thane district collector, discovered Matheran as a wonderful place in 1850. He was camping around the village Chowk when he paused on a hilltop for a drink of water from a spring that carries his name.
Matheran welcomes by stretching its arms of green mountains, scenic waterfalls, and tourist spots around the town for you to enjoy sunsets and sunrises. A place for you to click memories without the honking and flashing of cars. The most eco-friendly place in Maharashtra, Matheran has been free of pollution and vehicles for decades. A mecca for trekkers, your weekend will definitely have a series of fun trekking activities and tranquility from the panoramic scenery.

Pawna Dam

A paradise situated 40 km away from Mainland Pune city via Aundh – Ravet BRTS Road., Pimpri Chinchwad, Kamshet, and Pawannagar.
 An artificial lake built in 1974, Pawna Dam was built primarily to generate hydroelectric power and supplying water and since then, Pawna Dam has been a weekend getaway paradise.  The presence of various tourist attractions including Lohagad Fort, Tikona Fort, Tung Fort, and Visapur Fort adds to the beauty of the Pawna Lake setting. Its soothing ambiance makes it a lovely weekend getaway spot near Lonavala and Khandala.

Panshet

Established in the 1950s, Panshet and Panshet Dam is a charming tourist spot 40 km away from the southwestern region of Pune via Sinhgad Road. Earlier known as Tanajisagar Dam, Panshet is a perfect getaway to relax and soak in lush greenery and clear waterfalls. Panshet makes the list because of the various water sport activities that you can enjoy all year round. From banana boat riding to kayaking, this spot has everything. Surrounded by the alluring verdant hills, Panshet also offers you many hiking and trekking activities! A picnic spot suitable for all ages, Panshet is also a very picturesque place to enjoy camping with your family.

Mulshi dam

A green utopia situated 35 Km away from the Mainland of Pune via Paud Rd and Mulshi Rd/Mulshi-Paud Rd, Mulshi Dam is a hotspot to visit during Monsoons. The Paud Road route is the shortest. To get to Nandivali Road, use Paud Road, Mulshi Road, and Dattawadi Road/Lonavala Road west of Shivaji Road.
This marvelous destination has everything for you to enjoy in your monsoons. Blessed with magnificent mountains, Mulshi Dam is a splendid place to trek and camp overnight. You will always be surrounded by refreshing weather and a panoramic natural view.

Khadakwasla

The peak season of monsoon beautifies Khadakwasla to give you a memorable getaway. Just 20 Kms away from Pune mainland via Narveer Tanaji Malusare Rd/Sinhgad Road. Your monsoons are empty without hanging out by Khadakwasla. The dam was built on the Mutha River, which flows from the junction of the rivers Ambi and Mose, on which the Panshet and Varasgaon Dams are built, and the outflow from Temgarh Lake into Khadakwasla Lake via Temgarh Dam, which is located about 15 kilometres  north of Varasgaon Dam. The Khadakwasla backwaters are almost 22 kilometres  long, with widths ranging from 250 to 1,000 metres .With various destinations just a ride away, Khadakwasla is a picturesque spot to enjoy local eateries and watch the sunset.

With so many places to visit near Pune within 100 kms, weekends in this city will never be monotonous. There are diversified places which not only hold historic value dating back to centuries, but also have a tenacious religious importance as well. So matter what your quirk is, these tourist spots will cater to all.

Passport

Essential checklist for International travel

Your Passport expiry should not be within six months of return to India travel date.

Documentation required for international travel is critical, where you have to take care of many minute things. Your passport is your identity when you are on foreign land. Hence, this document comes in the first place in the Essential checklist for international travel. Your passport must have a validity of at least 6 months from your return travel date after finishing your tour. If you do not meet this criterion, most of the countries will not grant you their visa. For the countries offering Visa on Arrival, you will not be allowed to board the onward flight if you have your passport expiring within 6 months of return travel date.

Confirmed onward and return air tickets

In the current changing global scenario, it is always better to have your return air tickets so that, your immigration will be done swiftly. Most of the countries demand your confirmed onward return air tickets to grant entry to their countries. This is not a mandatory criterion for each and every country. Check with your travel planner while booking an international travel plan. Do not provide fake return air tickets. This act may lead you into legal trouble.

Reconfirm your flight booking status frequently

Once you book your onward and return air tickets, check their status regularly until you fly. The aviation industry is under huge turmoil due to the pandemic and is frequently changing rules and regulations. Your flight may get preponed/postponed/canceled any time after booking, and there are huge chances that the airline doesn’t send you an email or SMS updating you about changes in the itinerary. You may end up missing your flight if you do not check flight status regularly after booking. The best solution to this is to book your air tickets from a reliable travel planner. The expert team will keep you posted in case of any changes in the plan announced by the airline company.

Carefully double check visa rules of the host country

Do not rely on verbally communicated inputs when it comes to visa-related information. Always, try to personally check all the visa-related rules mentioned on the host country’s website. Income proof, residential address, NOC from the employer, Travel Insurance, and so on. Depending on the country, you may need any of the above documents for the visa application. If you forget to submit any of the mandatory documents from the list, your visa application may get rejected. Hence, you should be very careful about documentation while applying for visa.

Also, in the case of the countries offering Visa on Arrival, you have to fulfill some prerequisites (i.e enough foreign exchange, confirmed hotel bookings, confirmed flight bookings, and travel insurance). Check all these details in advance before travel to save a last-minute rush.

Transit visa

If you are transiting through a different country’s airport, check if a transit visa is required. If you flout any rules related to a transit visa, you will not be allowed to board your onward flight. Airlines do not process any refunds in such cases. Ask your travel planner in advance about this. Choose your transit airport carefully.

Booking confirmation numbers of your stays during the trip

Make sure you have the booking confirmation numbers and the payment status details with you when you travel to an international destination. This will help you in avoiding any last-minute dispute at the time of check-in. Carrying booking confirmation numbers may also help you at the time of immigration. In case of failed bookings, your travel planner will be unable to provide you booking confirmation numbers and you can resolve the issue in advance, well before you start your travel.

Recheck your meal plans and room categories at all properties

This is a crucial point in the essential checklist for international travel. This point is the cause of most of the disputes during the tours. Travelers take it for granted. Assume that all meals are included in their tour plan. And for various reasons, travel agents do not all meals. On day one of the tour, you may get disappointed after knowing meals included and end up getting into a dispute with your travel planner. This all can be avoided if you get this confirmed in advance. The same rule is applicable for the booked room category. Briefly check about room description given on the hotel/resort website at the time of booking itself. Check room dimensions & view from the room, amenities being offered. You will not get last-minute surprises if you cross-check your room booking details in advance.

Pre-book your activities and transfers

Most of the travelers think that, if they book transfers and activities locally upon arrival, they can save a lot of money. But this is highly risky. In many cases, you may get cheated by the locals and end up paying an excessive amount. Also, you may waste a lot of time finding a reliable local service provider. Booking activities locally is a cumbersome task that consumes a lot of time. because of the language barrier, you may get frustrated. It is always better to book activities and transfers in advance before you start your journey.

Carefully reconfirm Covid19 protocols in the host country

Before travel, you must check Covid19 pandemic-related protocols in the host country before you board your flight. Traveling around the world has changed a lot after 2020. You should re-confirm the policies related to quarantine, flight operations, local lock-downs on a safer side. You have finished your vaccination, check the policies for the vaccinated travelers carefully. If you ignore these policies, you may have to face many unwanted surprises upon arrival at your destination.

Travel insurance

Mandatory or not, you must have travel insurance with you when you are on foreign land. Travel insurance can help you in many ways, from health issues to baggage loss while traveling, many things are covered in the travel insurance giving you more peace of mind.

International calling SIM card

Buy an international calling SIM card once you land at your destination. Avoid buying it in India, as plans are expensive and taxation is huge. You get more value for your paid money when you buy a sim card locally.

Local expenses

Get an idea from your travel planner about local expenses not included in the travel package. Carry hard cash and soft cash accordingly. You can carry prepaid cards, International credit cards with you.

Local restaurants serving Indian food

In most of the international travel packages, dinner is not included. You have to search for local restaurants serving Indian food. In the first few days, this search may frustrate you. Check with your travel planner in advance about the nearby restaurants serving local Indian food. Also, you can get more ideas from your friends and family who have already traveled to the destination.

Conclusion

If you follow this essential checklist for international travel, your trip will become hassle free and you can enjoy to the core. Happy journey!