BREATHTAKING DALHOUSIE IN BEAUTIFUL HIMACHAL - A PHOTO ESSAY

Hi friends! I have tried to capture the breathtaking beauty of Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh through my lens and presenting the same to you here. We all know Himachal Pradesh is one of the most naturally beautiful states of India. The glorious Himalayas that surround this amazing place, the sparkling waterfalls coming out of the mountains at all the places, the lakes, the rivers, the forests, the green valleys, and snow-covered peaks, the wildlife, green meadows, you name it and Himachal Pradesh has it. And Dalhousie is one of those places in Himachal Pradesh which have not only retained their green cover over the period of time but provides some enchanting views of natural beauty all around, irrespective of where you are in Dalhousie. Read the story of my Dalhousie trip here.

So have a look at the stunning beauty, that is Dalhousie.

On the way to Dalhousie from Pathankot, I encountered these beautiful scenes, which seemed straight out of a picture postcard.

Beautiful Dalhousie hills
VIEW OF GREEN AND SNOW COVERED HILLS ON WAY TO DALHOUSIE



Picturesque view of Dalhousie
SCENERY ENROUTE TO DALHOUSIE
Subhash Chowk, Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
SUBHASH CHOWK
 This is Subhash Chowk. This is a place where you can get a beautiful view of lush green valley, snow-covered mountains and dense forests, all at one place. Amazing viewpoint.


View from Subhash Chowk, Dalhousie
VIEW FROM SUBHASH CHOWK
Dalhousie Sunset image
SUNSET IN DALHOUSIE
This was the stunning view of the sunset in the hills I got from the hotel where I had stayed.


Panchpula, Dalhousie
PANCHPULA STREAM
 Panchpula is a place which has a steady stream. This stream provides water to whole Dalhousie. There are steps along the stream and you can climb right till the top of the stream to enjoy a majestic view. This place is surrounded by thick forest. It is situated 5 km from Dalhousie.
Panchpula hike
PANCHPULA CLIMB
Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
DALHOUSIE

Dalhousie Picture
SNOW-CAPPED PEAKS AROUND DALHOUSIE

Beautiful Dalhousie
THE SCENIC VIEW OF DALHOUSIE
The above pictures were taken by me from Thandi Sadak. The name Thandi Sadak means cold road. It is called so because it does not receive any sunshine at all. However, the view from this road is truly eye-popping. As I kept walking along this road, the view only got better, as you can see in the pictures above.
Another place in Himachal Pradesh with stunning views is Narkanda.
Chamera Lake, Himachal Pradesh
CHAMERA LAKE
The mesmerizing Chamera Lake is built in Chamera dam, which is built on Ravi river under a hydroelectric power plant project. The lake is surrounded by beautiful mountains and has boating facilities. It is a great place to have a picnic.


Khajjiar Lake, Chamba
KHAJJIAR LAKE

Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh
BREATHTAKING VIEW OF KHAJJIAR

Khajjiar
KHAJJIAR

Khajjiar picture
PRISTINE KHAJJIAR
 Khajjiar, the officially designated "Mini Switzerland of India" is a paradise which you would never want to miss. A green meadow, with a beautiful lake in the middle, it is a treat to the eyes and nourishment to the soul. As you can see in the pictures above, Khajjiar is more beautiful than the most beautiful places on earth. Truly majestic, it is sure to leave you spellbound.


Fields of Dalhousie
LUSH GREEN FIELDS OF DALHOUSIE
And lastly, I encountered these beautiful farms on my way to Khajjiar near Dalhousie. The beauty and calmness of these fields really had a magnetic effect to draw me towards them.

Natural beauty of Dalhousie
BEAUTY OF DALHOUSIE

All in all, Dalhousie has been a truly enriching experience. They should be preserved and admired and not devastated. Let's strive to take good care of these gifts of nature so that not only we but our future generations can also enjoy in the lap of nature.

HAPPY TRAVELING!!



5 AMAZING MONSOON DESTINATIONS IN INDIA TO MAKE YOU DANCE IN THE RAIN

Hello friends! Here I am presenting five of the most beautiful but least explored monsoon destinations of India. These places are in full bloom during the monsoon season. With nature at its best during this period, these places will leave you spellbound with their beauty. I know some of you must already be asking "what is the fun in traveling during the rainy season"? Well, trust me, traveling in the rainy season is a lifetime experience which will leave you with everlasting memories. 


Top monsoon destinations of India
MONSOON DESTINATIONS OF INDIA
Vacations are over but monsoon season has just begun. And this is that one time of the year when each and every place looks lush green. Particularly hills and mountains, valleys and meadows are carpeted with green. And the scene out there is just spectacular, to say the least. Rivers and lakes are flush with water and their flow gives a thrill of its own kind. Waterfalls in the hills multiply and fall with much more force giving a musical sound. The milky white water falling on the rocks gives a mystic and majestic look. Would you want to miss such a wonderful work of nature? I know you won't.

So, let's have a look at five of the most amazing and beautiful monsoon destinations of India, which have yet not been explored fully and are not very widely known.

CHERRAPUNJI

One of the wettest places on earth, although Cherrapunji receives rain throughout the year, monsoon is still a special season here. It is second in the list of places in the world which receive maximum rainfall (it used to be first till recently but now a nearby place Mawsynram has snatched this position from it). Located in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, Cherrapunji is situated at an altitude of roughly 5000 feet in the Khasi hills. And in case you are wondering that if it keeps raining here all the time, how can one explore the place, well, the wonderful news is that it mostly rains during the night and most of the day to day activity remains largely unaffected. 

The mist surrounding the place due to rain will make you feel like you are walking on clouds. With mystical hills and beautiful landscapes all around, Cherrapunji gives a thrilling experience. You will find the unique double-decker tree bridges here which you can enjoy only by walking. And they are in full bloom only during monsoons. Various scenic waterfalls in and around this place add to its charm. And don't forget to buy the special Meghalaya tea from here. Along with Cherrapunji, you can plan a visit to Shillong also.


Cherrapunji, Meghalaya
CHERRAPUNJI
Image - onacheaptrip.com

So pack your umbrellas, raincoats, gumboots and rubber slippers and head straight to Cherrapunji to get a never before experience of Monsoons.

How to reach Cherrapunji - The nearest major airport and railway station are at Guwahati. From there you can hire a taxi to reach Cherrapunji. Road network is good and it is well connected by roads. Traveling by road to Cherrapunji is an exciting experience as you get to see a lot of scenic beauty and lush green landscapes on the way.

AGUMBE

Another monsoon destination in India which has still not caught the fancy of travelers but is full of natural treasure and comes on its own during monsoon. Often called 'Cherrapunji of South India', Agumbe is a small village in Shivamoga district of Karnataka. It came into limelight when the famous TV serial "Malgudi Days" was shot here. But it developed as a travel destination much later. This picturesque village boasts of a lot of biodiversities. 
Situated at an altitude of 2200 ft the sunrise and sunset in Agumbe are simply breathtaking. Monsoon in Agumbe means coming alive of many beautiful waterfalls which are a heartwarming spectacle to watch. This also means there are lots of trekking trails available here. You can go trekking from one waterfall to another or to some of the most beautiful forests around this place. 

Agumbe is one of the very few rainforests left in the country. Being located in the Western Ghats, it becomes a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It not only has a rich variety of flora and fauna but also has some rare species of medicinal plants. The beauty and tranquility of Agumbe are really mesmerizing. Another unbelievable place to visit in Karnataka is Marvanthe Beach Road.


Agumbe, Karnataka
AGUMBE
Image - traveltriangle.com

How to Reach Agumbe - The nearest airport is 100 km away at Mangalore, which is a major airport. You can get a taxi from there to reach Agumbe. The nearest railway station is Shivamoga which is 90 km away. Another station is Udupi at a distance of 55 km. Once again you can hire taxi or buses to reach Agumbe. By road, Agumbe is well connected and is reachable both by bus as well as taxi. It is about 350 km away from state capital Bangalore.

SAPUTARA

Once again a part of the Western Ghats, Saputara is a small but beautiful hill station in Dang district of Gujarat. The rolling hills of Saputara are covered with lush green during the monsoon and present a picture postcard look. The green hues, the colorful flowers, and the raindrops create a magical romantic atmosphere which in turn is bound to bring out that youthful energy in you. 

Located in Sahaydri ranges, it is situated at a height of about 3200 ft. The beautiful landscapes and lush green surroundings of this place are quite captivating. Imposing mountains and sparkling waterfalls gushing out from them are a scene to cherish. An ideal getaway for eco-lovers among you, Saputara holds an equal attraction for adventure seekers too. With so many trekking trails available, you can easily plan an expedition according to your choice. 

Saputara in Gujarati means abode of snakes and local people here worship snakes. The population here consists mainly of tribal people. You can experience tribal life by interacting with them. The best part is that Saputara is still unspoiled and non-commercialized. So prepare yourself for spending this monsoon in the lap of this naturally beautiful, picturesque and quaint place called Saputara. Gujarat has that mythological city of Dwarka also.


Saputara, Gujarat
SAPUTARA
Image - holidayiq.com

How to Reach Saputara - The nearest airport is Surat which is 156 km away. You can get a taxi from here. The nearest railway station is at Nasik Road, which is 65 km away. Buses and taxis are available from here. Saputara is well connected to all the major cities of Gujarat by road and buses and taxis are available to reach here by road.

RANIKHET

Majestic view of Himalayan peaks, dense green forests and deep green valleys is what makes Ranikhet a must visit monsoon destination in India. Located in Uttarakhand in north India at an elevation of about 6200 ft, Ranikhet is an epitome of natural beauty, which becomes all the more mind-blowing when raindrops fall on the green carpet spread all around. 

This quiet hill station is blessed with a pleasant climate all through the year except winters which are harsh. But during monsoon, the beauty of this place increases manifold, what with high altitude lakes coming alive along with a number of waterfalls adorning various hills surrounding it. A large variety of flowers can be found here along with green meadows. 

You may also encounter some rare species of wild animals in Ranikhet such as Asiatic bear and snow leopard. Ranikhet is a haven for nature lovers, adventurers and peace seekers alike. From Ranikhet, there is an option of going for an adventure and spiritual experience in Mukteshwar


Ranikhet, Uttarakhand
RANIKHET
Image - corporate-tours.com

How to Reach Ranikhet - The nearest airport is at Pantnagar which is 115 km away. You can easily get taxis from here for Ranikhet. The nearest railway station is Kathgodam, which is 88 km away. From here you can get both taxis as well as buses to reach Ranikhet. By road, you can drive along a picturesque route from Kathgodam onwards and reach Ranikhet enjoying the scenic beauty.

AMBOLI

Located in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, Amboli is another amazing monsoon destination in India. It is a small hill station situated at an altitude of 2260 ft. But the beauty of the place has to be seen to be believed. 

Nestled in Sahyadri ranges, Amboli is the last hill station before Maharashtra-Goa border. The flora and fauna that you will find here cannot be found anywhere else. Amboli Ghat comes alive during the rains with all its mesmerizing beauty. There are many attractions here to keep you engaged and inspired. 

The Amboli fall, Mahadevgadh points, Hiranykeshi river origin, the sunset points, Nangartas Falls, etc. are places which will leave you awestruck. Bathing under these thick waterfalls is a thrilling experience. And enjoyment of having hot vada pav along with hot tea, sitting in a cool climate at the fall is indescribable. 

If you are a wildlife lover, there is plenty of it the nearby forests. Species of Sambhar, Leopard, Bhekar, Deer, etc. can be found here. For photography enthusiasts, there are ample spots to satiate your hunger for beautiful captures. 

The main waterfall in Amboli is released at the beginning of monsoon season, thus bringing the whole area to life with its musical sound and beautiful sight of it falling from the top. From hills, you can move to a neat and clean beach with a sea fort in the town of Malvan in Sindhudurd district itself.


Amboli, Maharashtra
AMBOLI
Image - tourdefarm.in
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How to Reach Amboli - The nearest airport is Dabolim in Goa which is 115 km away. Taxis and buses are available from there to reach Amboli. The nearest railway station is Sawantwadi which is just 30 km away. You will easily get a taxi from here to get to Amboli. Roads are good and you can also drive to Amboli if you wish to.

So, this monsoon, let yourself loose and get to any of these beautiful and amazing monsoon destinations in India and give yourself a chance to dance in the rain.

HAPPY TRAVELING!!


ORCHHA - BEST PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO

Orchha is a beautiful town in Tikamgarh district of  Madhya Pradesh state of central India, which has amazing places to visit. It is a town full of historical monuments such as forts, palaces, temples and other buildings that showcase the royal lifestyle and will have you travel back in time. The monuments made in different eras will give you an insight into how the art of construction of buildings evolved over a period of time. The different architectural styles of different eras have their own uniqueness. Each historical building has its own tale to tell. So you will come across a different story for each building.

Also known as Urcha, the town was established by Rudra Pratap Singh as the seat of an erstwhile princely state in Bundelkhand region of central India. Though not exactly known it is believed that Orchha was established somewhere around 1501. Situated on the bank of Betwa river it is at a distance of 80 km(50 mi) from Tikamgarh and 15 km(9.3 mi) from Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh. Rudra Pratap Singh, who was the king from 1501 to 1531, also built the Orchha Fort.


PLACES TO SEE IN ORCHHA


1. Orchha Fort - The biggest attraction and one of the best places to visit in Orchha is its largest monument, Orchha Fort which houses many palaces and forts. Situated on a seasonal island on Betwa river in a very scenic location, it is a huge palace-fort which consists of several interconnected buildings. The interesting part is that these buildings, including forts and palaces, were built at different times and under the reign of different kings. The three most prominent and attractive among these are Raja Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, and Rai Parveen Mahal.




Orchha fort, Madhya Pradesh
ORCHHA FORT
Source-google images


Orchha fort , Madhya Pradesh picture
INSIDE ORCHHA FORT
Source-google images


Raja Mahal, built in the 17th century by Madhukar Shah, depicts his deep religious beliefs in its design. It is the oldest monument in the fort. It's bold and colorful murals revolving around religion are quite stunning.




Raja Mahal at Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
RAJA MAHAL
Source-google images

Jahangir Mahal was built by Madhukar Shah's successor Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo in honor of his friend, the Mughal emperor Jahangir. It is considered to be a great example of Mughal architecture and its grandeur.



Jahangir Mahal, Orchha
JAHANGIR MAHAL
Source-google images

Rai Parveen Mahal - Rai Parveen was a dancer and a poetess in the court of king Indramani, who was deeply in love with her and built this beautiful palace for her. The palace was at it's beautiful best with lush green gardens and magnificent balconies, but now it is in ruins but still worth a visit.




Rai Parveen Mahal, Orchha
RAI PARVEEN MAHAL
Source-google images


2. Ram Raja Temple - This is the center of attraction in Orchha. The presiding deity in the temple is Lord Rama. It is believed that the idol of Lord Rama was supposed to be shifted to Chaturbhuj Temple but idol refused to move from here, so a temple was built around the idol. The temple has a plain exterior with projecting windows and delicate domes. It is built on a square base. Ram Raja Temple is a highly respected and revered place for the locals.






Ram Raja Temple, Orchha
RAM RAJA TEMPLE
Source-google images


Picture of Ram Raja Temple, Orchha
BEAUTIFUL VIEW OF RAM RAJA TEMPLE
Source-google images

3. Chaturbhuj Temple - This is another beautiful temple with marvelous architecture and is counted among the top places to visit in Orchaa. Again, it was built in the 17th century by the Bundela king and he is said to have chosen the site of the temple himself to enable him to have a view of Lord Krishna, directly from his palace. The sheer beauty of the architecture is so mesmerizing that it may inspire many architectural minds. You can get a stunning view of the city surroundings from the top of the temple.




Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha
CHATURBHUJ TEMPLE
Source-google images


View of Chaturbhuj Tenple, Orchha
ANOTHER VIEW OF CHATURBHUJ TEMPLE
Source-google images
Also, read: Chanderi - Land of history, nature, and silk
4. Laxminarayan Temple - Constructed in a design which is the blend of temple and fort, this temple has it's own uniqueness. It was built in 1662 and shows innovative minds even at that time. Beautiful and exquisite wall paintings of that time adorn the walls of the temple and their color and grandeur are still intact.




Laxminarayan Temple, Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
LAXMINARAYAN TEMPLE
Source-google images


5. Dinman Hardaul's Palace - This palace was named after prince Hardaul and built in his honor. The story goes that prince Hardaul's elder brother Jhujhar suspected him to be involved with his companion. Prince Hardaul took the decision to end his life to prove his innocence and uphold his value. Dinman Hardaul palace was built to honor his sacrifice. The palace was built in the 17th century but its architecture stands proof of the skill of the artisans of that time.




Dinman Hardaul Palace, Madhya Pradesh
DINMAN HARDAUL PALACE
Source-google images


6. Jhansi Fort - Another gem of a place to visit in Orchaa is the Jhansi Fort. The fort is located right in the center of the city in an area of 49 acres and is said to be one of the best-fortified areas in India. It was built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo on a hill in the 17th century and is also known as 'Rani Jhansi ka Quila'. There is a museum inside the form that has stored sculptures of that time and depicts the history of that area.


7. Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary - Spread over an area of 46 sq. km, it is a prime attraction of Orchha. It was established in the year 1994 and its beauty is enhanced by the river Betwa, which flows through the area. It houses a wide variety of wild animals including tigers, leopards, langurs, jackals and sloth bear. It is a paradise for bird watchers as it has over 200 species of birds and many migratory birds like a woodpecker, jungle bush quail, black swan, and geese visit this sanctuary.




Wildlife sanctuary at Orchha
WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Source-google images

8. Chattris - Chattris meaning cenotaphs are an integral part of Orchha and glorify the cultural heritage of the era goneby. There are 14 chattris built on the sides of Betwa river apart from many other dottings the Orchha landscape. These chattris reflect the mighty Bundelkhand dynasty and are a testament of their contribution in the region. Their amazing architecture has to be seen to be believed.




Chattris of Orchha
CHATTRIS
Source-google images

9. Uth Khana - Or the house/shelter of camels. This is where camels used to rest. It is located next to Orchha Fort. You can go to the roof of uth khana and have a splendid view of the entire Orchha town.

Besides this, if you want to explore further, go behind the Orchha fort and you will find ruins of houses of various ministers and officials of that time apart from a gunpowder factory. Walking through these ruins gives a strong feeling of walking back in time and is quite exhilarating. Orchha has a beautiful landscape.


Apart from monuments, there are so many other things to do in Orchha.

10. RAFTING AND BOATING IN BETWA RIVER

River rafting is one of the adventurous things to do in Orchha. Rafting and boating are allowed in the river Betwa. Rafting starts from the Boat club. It is quite an enjoyable experience. A single raft usually carries up to 6 people and charges around INR1000 for the same. Tickets for rafting can be purchased from MP Tourism offices at hotel Sheesh Mahal or Betwa retreat.

11. AYURVEDIC MASSAGE

If you want to relax your body and mind, go for an ayurvedic massage. It is relaxing as well as soothing. This ayurvedic massage is available in Orchha Resort as well as Amar Mahal. The charges could vary from INR500-2000.

12. NATURE TRAIL

Just 5 km from the city, in Orchha Natural Reserve, is a beautiful river island called nature trail. This is a 12 km long island, surrounded by river Betwa and river Jamni. There is a very nominally priced entry ticket available here itself, which you need to buy. Just walk around and enjoy the peaceful natural beauty. You can also do cycling here as the trail is well marked with signposts and there is no risk of getting lost.

You will also like: Bikaner - What to do and what to see

REACHING ORCHHA 


Air - The nearest airport is Gwalior at about 120 km(75 mi) distance. Gwalior is well connected to other major cities by regular flights. From here you can take a taxi and reach Orchha.


Rail - The nearest railway station is Jhansi, which is about 16 km(10 mi) away. From Jhansi, you have the option of hiring a taxi or getting on to a bus or even an autorickshaw.


Road - Orchha is well connected by road and is easily accessible from major cities like Gwalior and Jhansi. You can hire a taxi from these places to reach Orchha. Many private and government buses are also available from Jhansi. And you can even hire an auto rickshaw from Jhansi to reach there.


WHERE TO STAY IN ORCHHA - There are hotels in Orchha suiting all budgets. You can get budget hotels to luxury hotels as per your requirement and budget.


SO HAPPY TRAVELING!!



7 LESSER KNOWN WORLD HERITAGE SITES SHOWING HERITAGE OF INDIA

Hi friends! Do you know how many UNESCO World Heritage Sites are there in India? Well, as per the latest UNESCO records, there are as many as 37 world heritage sites in India, which is among the highest number of world heritage sites in a single country anywhere. These world heritage sites in India are the flagbearers of the heritage of India and its historical and natural treasure. UNESCO recognizes only those sites which it feels belong to the whole mankind irrespective of their locations. So India's world heritage sites hold tremendous cultural, historical as well as natural value for everyone. But not everyone knows about every UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.

There are a few which are very well known like, Taj Mahal, Khajuraho, Ajanta and Ellora caves, Sun Temple in Konark and Red Fort complex in Delhi which is quite well known. But there are some which do not get as much attention as they should as world heritage sites. So here I bring to you, 7 of these lesser known world heritage sites in India, which, I am sure, you will find beautiful and amazing but will also make you proud of the richness of culture and nature that India possesses.

1. MANAS NATIONAL PARK

Located in the northeastern state of Assam, Manas National Park derives its name from the river Manasa, which flows nearby. Situated on the foothills of the mighty Himalayas near Bhutan, the park was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in December'1985. Even before that Manas national park was declared a tiger reserve since 1973. That is the reason the chief attraction here is the royal Bengal tiger. This park has as many as 55 species of mammals and 380 species of birds, so bird watching becomes a very natural activity here. Apart from this, there are 50 species of reptiles also. Apart from tiger, the other species of animals found here are elephants, rhinoceros, Barasinga, leopards, Asian golden cat, capped langur, barking deer, black panther, etc.


MANAS NATIONAL PARK, Assam
MANAS NATIONAL PARK
Image - nenow.in


How to Reach Manas National Park?

By Air - The nearest airport is Bagdogra in Guwahati, which is about 176 km away. It will take 4-5 hours to reach Manas National Park from Guwahati airport.

BY Train - Guwahati again is the nearest major rail link to all the major cities of India. However, there are quite a few trains which halt at Barpeta Road railway station, which is around 25 km from Manas National park.

By Road - As I said earlier, you have to reach Guwahati first and from there you can travel to Manas National Park by road through national highway no. 31.

2. RANI - KI - VAV

Situated in Patan, Gujarat, Rani Ki Vav is a stepwell which is intricately carved. Rani Ki Vav means Queen's stepwell and is believed to have been built between 1063 and 1068 AD. It was built by queen Undayamati in the memory of her husband Bhima. It was declared a world heritage site in India by UNESCO on 22nd June' 2014. In 2016, it won the title "cleanest iconic place" in India during the Indian Sanitation Conference. Rani Ki Vav is 64 m long, 20 m wide and 27 m deep. There are as many as seven galleries which include more than 800 beautiful sculptures. These sculptures are carved on pillars and the theme is majorly based on Lord Vishnu. The whole stepwell depicts the architecture of a bygone era. There is an entry ticket of INR 5 for Indian nationals and for foreign nationals, this fee is USD 2.



RANI KI VAV, Gujarat
RANI KI VAV
Image - businesstoday.in
Also, read: Champaner-Pavagarh Archaeological Park
How to reach Rani Ki Vav?


By Air - The nearest airport is Ahmedabad, the capital city of Gujarat. From here, it takes around 3.5 hrs to reach Patan.


By Rail - The nearest railway station is Mehsana. From here you have to travel by road and it will take around 1.5 hours to reach Patan from here.


By Road - Patan is well connected by road. You can get a bus or hire a cab to reach there from Ahmedabad or Mahsana. Another alternative is a shared jeep, which is cheaper but less comfortable.


3. KHANGCHENDZONGA NATIONAL PARK


Another national park in northeast India, Khangchendzonga National Park is located in Sikkim. It was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India in July'2016. It is basically a Biosphere reserve. This park was declared a mixed heritage site because of its rich wildlife as well as natural treasures. It got its name from Mt. Kanchenjunga, which is also called Khangchendzonga and is the third highest peak in the world. This park has rich wildlife and you can spot animals like red panda, snow leopard, great Tibetan sheep, wild dog, Himalayan black bear, and bharal, etc. Apart from this, there are bird species like grey peacock pheasant, black neck crane, blood pheasant, Tibetan snow cock, etc. Besides this park has 18 big glaciers which include Zemu glacier known for its huge size. There are 17 beautiful lakes also in Khangchedzonga National park, which has an area of around 850 sq. km.


You need to take permission from the state wildlife department to visit the park, which grants the permission for a fee of INR 350 for seven days to Indian nationals and INR 560 to foreign nationals. For every additional day, the fee is INR 40 for Indians and INR 80 for foreign nationals.



KHANGCHENDZONGA NATIONAL PARK, Sikkim
KHANGCHENDZONGA NATIONAL PARK
Image - netpaltravel.com


How to reach Khangchendzonga National Park?


By Air - The nearest airport is Bagdogra, which is around 170 km away.


By Rail - The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is again around 170 km away.


By Road - It is 46 km away from the capital city of Gangtok and is well connected by road to Gangtok.


4. VICTORIAN GOTHIC AND ART DECO ENSEMBLES OF MUMBAI

This is the latest addition to the list of World Heritage Sites in India by UNESCO. Situated in Fort area of Mumbai, this is a collection of buildings in which some buildings are of Victorian Gothic style and others are of Art Deco style. Located across the Oval Maidan (earlier known as Esplanade). There are a total of 94 buildings in this collection. These are all 19th and 20th-century buildings, which will be protected as heritage sites. The Victorian Gothic buildings include 19th-century landmarks like Bombay High court and the University of Mumbai as well as iconic Rajabai clock tower. The Art Deco buildings primarily include 20th-century residential buildings. This ensemble of buildings was given world heritage tag as recently as July'2018. The reason they have got this tag is that these buildings symbolize the phases of modernization that Mumbai has undergone during the last two centuries.



VICTORIAN GOTHIC and ART DECO ENSEMBLES, Mumbai
VICTORIAN GOTHIC ENSEMBLE
Image - pinterest.com

How to Reach Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai


It is very easy to reach these ensembles as these are located in the heart of the city in South Mumbai.

5. WESTERN GHATS


Running for a stretch of 1600 km along the Western coast of India, Western Ghats is a mountain range which has been termed as one of the top hot spots of biodiversity in the world. This mountain range has an area of 160000 sq. km and stretches to six states including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat. The Western Ghats are not as high as the Himalayas but they are as beautiful and more diversified in flora and fauna. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in India, Western Ghats are also known as Sahyadri range. 


You can imagine the variety of flora and fauna available in this mountain range by the simple fact that it has over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 species of mammals and over 500 bird species. Then there are about 39 other sites including reserved forests and national parks that come under this World Heritage Site. The greenery of Western Ghats is eye-catching and will leave you mesmerized. Overall, Western Ghats is home to some of the most beautiful places, animals, birds, flowers, forests and water bodies. And you can't forget the magnificent mountains. There is ample incentive for you to visit this amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site in India.



Western Ghats, India
WESTERN GHATS
Image - tripoto.com
Must read: Dooars - A paradise of unmatched natural beauty

How to Reach Western Ghats

You travel to any of the above-mentioned states and you will find some part of the Western Ghats.


6. BHIMBETKA ROCK SHELTERS


Located in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh in central India, Bhimbetka Rock Shelters give you an insight into the earliest life in India, right from the stone age. This site is scattered over an area of more than 10 sq. km and has in it more than 750 rock shelters and seven hills. The word Bhimbetka is based on Bhim from Mahabharata and is often interpreted as "Bhim baithka" or the sitting place of Bhim. This amazing site was included in the list of World Heritage Sites in India by UNESCO in the year 2003. Some of the rock shelters were used as long as 100000 years back. The caves here have paintings are more than 30000 years old and will give you a glimpse of the art and thought process of that era. 


These rock shelters and caves are archaeological treasures and are sure to bring a child-like excitement in you. The paintings on the walls of caves are considered to be the oldest Indian art. The most wonderful thing about Bhimbetka Rock Shelters is that the colors of paintings have not worn out even after all these years. Which is miraculous. This place is not about history but about the evolution of mankind in India. The rich flora and fauna around this place are added incentive to visit this place. So if you are interested in seeing the signs of earliest human habitation, head straight to Bhimbetka Rock Shelters.



BHIMBETKA ROCK SHELTERS, Madhya Pradesh
BHIMBETKA ROCK SHELTERS
Image - eziitours.in

How to Reach Bhimbetka Rock Shelters?


Bhimbetka Rock Shelters are situated 45 km away from the state capital Bhopal and it is the nearest airport as well as the railway station to reach this place. From Bhopal, you have to travel by road to reach Bhimbetka Rock Shelters.


7. GROUP OF MONUMENTS AT PATTADAKAL


It is a group of Hindu and Jain temples and monuments located in a complex situated in Pattadakal in Karnataka state in South India. The 7th and 8th-century temples were built by Chalukya dynasty and underscore their love for art and architecture. There are about 10 Hindu temples in Pattadakal and all are dedicated to Lord Shiva. So the whole town reverberates with Shiva vibes. You will be mesmerized by the beauty of the architecture of the temples. Some temples have a Dravidian style of architecture while some others have northern Aryan style architecture and two of the temples have a confluence of southern and northern architectural style.


Pattadakal is situated on the banks of the river Malprabha. The existence of temples and the river will give you a feeling of being at some holy place. Even locals consider it as a sacred place. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1987, these temples fall under the category of the protected monument and are maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). You will be amazed to see the friezes in the temples as they depict stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata as well as concepts from Vedas and Puranas. The whole complex is a testament to the fact that how architecturally advanced Chalukya dynasty was. So whether you are religiously inclined or not, you must visit Pattaadakal group of monuments for its sheer architectural splendor.



PATTADAKAL TEMPLE
PATTADAKAL TEMPLE
Image - noer.gov.in
Also, visit: Kudremukh - A confluence of religion and adventure

How to Reach Pattadakal?


By Air - The nearest airport is Belgaum, which is 180 km away. The nearest international airport is Bangaluru which is 510 km away.


By Train - The nearest railway station is Badami which is about 22 km away.


By Road - Pattadakal is well connected by road to all the major cities of Karnataka and state-run buses are available from all the major cities to reach Pattadakal.


World heritage site of India
VICTORIAN GOTHIC AND ART DECO ENSEMBLES OF MUMBAI

Looking at the above list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, you can easily see how culturally, historically, naturally, architecturally rich India is. So, its time you pack your bags and go out and explore this richness.


HAPPY TRAVELLING!!