INDIA TRAVEL - TRAVELING IN INDIA - SOME USEFUL TIPS

Hello friends! India is a magnificent country and people from inside the country and outside are traveling to our beautiful country. Visiting any new place, whether in your own country or a foreign one brings with it feelings of adventure, excitement and anxiety. Adventure and excitement are always welcome but anxiety is something we would rather not have. So I have tried to put together a few things, which anyone visiting any place in India can use to lessen their anxiety level, if not completely remove it.


Agriculture in Punjab
LUSH GREEN FIELDS OF PUNJAB
The general tips, which we observe while visiting any new place are valid for India too. Like, it is always advisable to make prior arrangements for boarding and lodging.

India is too vast a country to be covered in one visit. So do a little research and make a list of places you would like to visit. There are number of world famous sites which you may want to see. But if you want to explore the real India, then it is in smaller towns and villages, which might not be having the glitz of big cities but will surely leave you mesmerized.


Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh
PICTURESQUE SKI SLOPE IN NARKANDA
Indian food is generally spicy, so tread cautiously. But you would be surprised by the variety of food, which varies from region to region and even within a single region, you can find so many options that you would be spoiled for choices.


Imambara of Lucknow
IMAMBARA OF LUCKNOW
Depending upon which part of the year you are travelling to India, the weather conditions will vary. Western and Southern India have humid summers and very mild winters(you may not require woolens at these places). Eastern India has balanced weather. But it is the North India which has extreme weather conditions. A particularly harsh summer followed by monsoon and then extreme cold. Particularly in the months of December and January, you may need heavy woolens if you happen to be in North Indian states like Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand etc.
Don’t be overawed by the crowd. There are plenty of peaceful places too, if you want to take a break from the noise.

Also read: INDIA TRAVEL - HOW TO SAVE MONEY IN TRAVEL - SOME TIPS


Hussainsagar, Hyderabad
AMAZING HUSSAINSAGAR LAKE IN HYDERABAD
 
WITH BUDDHA IN THE MIDDLE
There are rotten apples everywhere, but overall the country is safe for tourists. But take basic precautions like being careful about your belongings. Having a map. Take as much information as possible from the staff of the place you are lodged at, for they are the ones, most familiar with local conditions and places. But avoid sharing your personal information with them. They can provide you the information about the things you may like to buy from that particular place.


Marvanthe Beach Road, Karnataka
UNIQUE MARVANTHE BEACH ROADWith sea on one side and river on the other
As for local transport, there are pre paid taxi booths available at railway stations and airports at all major cities. Always try to hire from there to avoid overcharging. Or you can hire an Ola or Uber cab, which operate in major cities. However, in small cities or villages, you have to depend on local transport or you can hire a round the clock taxi.


Mashobra, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
BEAUTIFUL VIEW OF HILLS IN MASHOBRA
For places which are not connected by rail or air, like hill stations, generally luxury buses are available and it is again advisable to make a prior booking. These bookings are available online.
India is the most diversified and beautiful country you can ever visit. You will find very friendly people, particularly in small cities and the countryside. But the cultural diversity of the country will surely leave you enchanted.


Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
BREATHTAKING SPITI VALLEY
So, make it a point to visit amazing places in India and explore the cultural and traditional richness of the country without any prejudices. Just experience it.

For some of the most exotic but little explored places of India, visit : Travel Through India - Must see places and Travel guide

HAPPY TRAVELING!!

INDIA TRAVEL - THE UNSEEN KASHMIR OF ODISHA - DARINGBADI

Hi friends! There are plenty of places in India, which are still unknown to the travelers or have not been fully explored. Places, which are as or more beautiful and amazing as our regular travel destinations. An avid traveler is always on the lookout for new, unexplored exciting places. And what if I tell you about a small but extremely beautiful hidden hill station, still away from deep human glare? Well, the name is Daringbadi.

Daringbadi is located in Kandhmal district of Odisha in eastern India. Odisha attracts tourists mainly for the world famous Konark temple and Jagannath Yatra. However, there is much more to Odisha than these two.  Daringbadi is one of these hidden treasures of Odisha.

Located at an altitude of 915 m(3000 ft), the most amazing thing about Daringbadi is that it often attains sub zero temperatures during the winters. It is often referred to as "Kashmir of Odisha", for it's sheer natural beauty. It owes it's beauty to it's magnificent water bodies like lakes, rivers and waterfalls as well as it's prolific vegetation.


Daringbadi, Odisha
DARINGBADI
Image source - patratravels.com
Daringbadi got it's peculiar name from a British officer, who was known as Dering Saheb. Badi means village. He named the village Derinbadi but with time, the name became Daringbadi. The population here majorly comprises of tribal people. Surrounded by thick forests, this place is full of beautiful meadows, picturesque valleys and lush green coffee plantations. And to top it, there are ample opportunities for trekking and camping.

Daringbadi has many points of interest for any traveler. However there are a few, which are must see for everyone.

1. DASINGBADI WATERFALLS - Located at a distance of 20 km(12.5 mi) from Daringbadi, this beautiful hidden waterfall is situated on the way to Bamunigam. It takes around 45 minutes to reach here but the journey itself is amazing. You have to pass through a beautiful Daringbadi ghati through dense forests to reach this place. Once you reach the place, there is a combination of steps and slope to reach waterfall. It may be a little difficult for elderly. But the sound of water falling from a height and echoing from the quiet surroundings, will leave you spellbound. The view of crystal clear water falling on the rocks is a treat to the eyes. And when you get sprinkling of this cool water on your body, you will find yourself thrillingly refreshed. Dasingbadi waterfall is surrounded by small flowering plants as well as big trees.


DASINGBADI WATERFALLS, Kandhmal
DASINGBADI FALLS
Image source - tripoto.com
2. BELGHAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY - Located at an altitude of 2255 ft, Belghar Wildlife Sanctuary is full of picturesque surroundings including mountains and forest. It is spread over a huge area of 1617446 acres. Of this 3900 acres is cultivated and rest of the area is covered by forest and others. The main attraction of this sanctuary is the wild elephant. It boasts of big variety of flora and fauna including some rare plant species. The area is inhabited mainly by tribal people. You will find British era bungalows here, made entirely of wood, which are big attraction. Apart from wild elephants, smaller animals like deer and aves are also found here. The sheer beauty of the place is enough to captivate you.


BELGHAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, Daringbadi
BELGHAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Image source - spectralhues.com

BUNGALOW IN BELGHAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, Daringbadi
BUNGALOW IN BELGHAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Image source - medium.com
3. NATURE PARK - Spread over an area of four hectares, Nature's park is aunique place which integrates various green components. It comprises a butterfly park and a medicinal garden. It also has a 3D film theater with capacity to seat 40 people. It also exhibits the traditions of one of the local tribals Kutia Kandh. A display of life size models of various wild animals adds to it's charm. The butterfly park has at least 15 host plants. The medicinal garden has 50 species of medicinal plants. And the best part of Nature's Park is that it is managed by local people only. Entry to the park is by tickets, prices of which can be confirmed from the state government website.



Nature Park, Daringbadi, Kandhmal
NATURE PARK
Image source - ollywoodlife.com

Butterfly Park, Daringbadi, Odisha
BUTTERFLY PARK
Image source - bhubaneswarbuzz.com
4. LOVER'S POINT - A small stream, surrounded by natural beauty is what Lover's point is all about. It is not that typical spot ideal for lovers. Rather, it showcases the love of living beings with mother nature. The water, flowing through big rocks, making musical sound makes for a thrilling sight. The stream, moving through curvy terrains, has a serene beauty. The lush green surroundings add to it's beauty. The place is generally quiet and very peaceful except for the water falling on and flowing through the rocks.


Lover's point, Kandhmal
LOVER'S POINT
Image source - tripoto.com

View of Lover's point, Daringbadi
ANOTHER VIEW OF LOVER'S POINT
Image source - wikimedia.org
5. SPICE GARDEN - It is one of the highlights of Daringbadi. You can see spice gardens, turmeric gardens and coffee gardens all around. There is a watchtower available to have a grand view of the valley and the gardens all around. Daringbadi is known to produce superior quality turmeric. You will also find black pepper gardens here. Walking through these gardens and talking to locals is a memorable experience.


Spice garden, Daringbadi
BLACK PEPPER GARDEN
Image source - travelerbase.com
Surrounded by awe inspiring valleys, beautiful pine forests, beautiful meadows and coffee plantations, Daringbadi is a retreat for everyone. The exotic locales of Daringbadi are sure to leave you spellbound.

REACHING DARINGBADI

Air - The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar, which is about 245 km(153 mi) away. It is asdvisable to hire a cab from the airport to directly reach Daringbadi. It is about 6 hrs drive.

Rail - Daringbadi doesn't have a railway station. The nearest railway station is Brahmapur, which is approximately 120 km(75 mi) away. Brahmapur is well connected to all the major cities of Odisha by rail. From here, you can hire a cab to reach Daringbadi.

Road - Daringbadi is easily accessible by road. You can either take a bus to Brahmapur or Phulbani and from there hire a cab or you can take a direct cab to reach there.

STAYING IN DARINGBADI

Darinbadi has only a handful of hotels so it is always advisable to go with a prior booking.

There are many other activities that you can indulge in apart from soaking in it's beauty. You can enjoy tribal village visiting, hiking, biking etc. You can also go trekking on the mountains or camp in the peaceful surroundings. For trekking and camping, you can connect with togedr.com. It can be visited throughout the year but as I said earlier, during winters, it attains sub zero temperatures. So be prepared for that.

So the gardens, hills, waterfalls, streams and forests of Daringbadi beckon you. Plan a trip now!!

HAPPY TRAVELING!!



INDIA TRAVEL - A PLACE FOR OUT OF BOX EXPERIENCE - SIBSAGAR

Hello friends! Hope you are enjoying the rains. This is such a beautiful season with natural beauty blooming all around. If you talk about rains, Assam in North East India has aplenty. But apart from rains, Assam has so much more to offer in terms of natural beauty, distinct culture and of course it's rich history. One of the most beautiful historical cities of Assam is Sibsagar(now Sivasagar).

Sibsagar meaning Ocean of Lord Shiva, has been recently renamed Sivasagar but retains the charm of it's old name with locals. This beautiful city dates back to Ahom dynasty, which ruled Assam for six centuries till the year 1819. Sibsagar was capital of Ahom kingdom for about 90 years. This culturally and historically rich city has numerous attractions ranging from forts to temples to underground architecture. The Ahom kingdom monuments and palaces, that exist in the city, are excellent work of architecture. The place is encircled by beautiful hills and has lovely ambiance.


Sibsagar, Assam
SIBSAGAR TOWN
Image source - assaminfo.com
Sibsagar has so many attractions that it is difficult to list all of them in a short space. So I have tried to bring out some of the more prominent ones here.

1. Rang Ghar - Translated to "House of Entertainment" is an Amphitheater which is located just 3 km(1.9 mi) from the city and exists since 1746 A.D. This makes it the oldest surviving amphitheater of Asia. It is also called the "Colosseum of the East" for it's for reflecting the architectural precision and grandeur of that era. The two storied structure was built by the then ruler of Asaam to enable Kings and other dignitaries to watch sports events. It was used as royal pavilion for sports and cultural events. Rang Ghar is oval in shape and it's roof is designed like an inverted boat.

Rang Ghar, Sivasagar
RANG GHAR
Image source - assaminfo.com
2. Talatal Ghar - Also called Rangpur Palace, this place is 6 km(3.8 mi) from Sibsagar, this is a three storey structure including an underground one. The place has magnificent design and architecture and has been  very well kept over the period of time. This place is one of the best testimonials of the Ahom architecture and is among the most impressive monuments of Sibsagar. It is the largest Ahom monument anywhere. Talatal Ghar is built in typical Mughal architecture. The upper ground floor, known as Karenge Ghar, was used as living room by the royalty. The most interesting fact about Talatal Ghar is that it is built entirely of organic material. And what is remarkable is that this building, though centuries old, is still standing strong.


Talatal Ghar, Sibsagar, Assam
TALATAL GHAR
Image source - onlinesivasagar.com
3. Joysagar Tank and Temples - Located at 5 km(3.1 mi) from the city in Rangpur, these are massive structures. Joysagar is said to be the biggest man made lake in India with an area of 320 acres. was built by  It There are a number of temples on the banks of this lake. This water body was built by Swargadeo Rudra Singa in honor of his mother. The main temples situated here are Jeydol, Devi Ghar, Shiv Temple and Nati Gosain Temple.


Joysagar Tank, Sibsagar
JOYSAGAR TANK
Image source - wikipedia.org
4. Pani Dihing Wildlife Sanctuary - Spread over 34 sq. km(13.1 sq. mi), this was a reserve forest prior to 1984. It is considered a paradise for migratory and resident birds. Already over 160 species of birds have been recorded here.This wetland ecosystem surrounds river Brahmaputra and is very diverse. It has several lakes inside the premises. The most common species of birds found here are goose, spot billed duck, mallard, gadwall, shoveller, pochard, stork and many more. Several varieties of fish are also found here. And you will find frogs, snakes and many other forms of amphibians and reptiles.


Pani Dihing Sanctuary, Sivasagar
PANI DIHING WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Image source - tourmyindia.com
5. Sivasagar Sivadol Temple - This is the most revered temple here. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is located on the shores of Sivasagar lake. This is the tallest Shiva temple in India having a height of 32 m(104 ft). It was constructed in 1734. Devotees throng the temple during the festival of Shivratri, which is celebrated with great fervor and devotion here. The city got it's name from here only.


Sivasagar Sivadol, Sibsagar
SIVASAGAR SIVADOL
Image siurce - mouthshut.com
Sibsagar(or Sivasagar) is a naturally beautiful destination of Assam with rich biodiversity.

REACHING SIBSAGAR - 

Air - Nearest airport is Jorhat, which is 64 km(40 mi) away. It is well connected to all the major cities of the country. You can easily get taxis from here to reach Sivasagar.

Rail - Sibsagar Town is the nearest railway station, which is just 2 km away. Trains from all the major cities of Assam are connected to this station. You can walk or hire a taxi from here to reach Sivasagar.

Road - Sivasagar is well connected to other cities by a good road network. Local buses ply from Guwahati and other towns to Sivasagar. Taxis are also available to travel to the city.

STAYING IN SIBSAGAR - 

There are hotels available in Sivasagar to suit all budgets and generally you can easily get a budget or luxury hotel, depending on your choice.

Sibsagar is a city that covers all shades of blue, brown and green. You must visit this place for an out of the box experience.

HAPPY TRAVELING!!