Charismatic Delhi – The India Gate

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The India Gate

Kids playing around, friends chilling out, families picnicking, couples rekindling love and patriots becoming more patriotic – when all these are found at one spot, you must be conjuring up images of the India Gate. I see them all as I approach this historic site. Though chaotic in nature as the surroundings are occupied by large number of people, you will find some space for yourself, solitude in nature.

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Rambling lush lawns, long narrow canals, colorful flowers, beautiful fountains, imposing structures, expansive areas and wide streets are some of the main attributes of the India Gate. Sooner I come out of the Central Secretariat Metro Station; the delightful sights of couples, families and youngsters completely inundated in the water activities. A summer evening at the India Gate is pretty much relaxing and unwinding.

Since the distance from Central Secretariat Metro Station to India Gate is less than two kilometers, I prefer taking an evening stroll along the canals in the lawns, seeing the crowd at their best playful acts. Indeed, watching a large number of crowds indulged in outdoor activities is a delightful sight.

Top 10 Activities at the India Gate:

If you ask me to name one destination that can keep you thrilled, keep you occupied the whole day, my answer would be the India Gate. And why not? The iconic structure, which is a war memorial, is India’s one of the most intriguing tourist attractions. For Delhiites, the India Gate is a regular spot for fun. For international travelers, it’s to witness and admire India’s glory.

Universal Picnic Spot for Everyone:

Relaxing Crowd in a Laid-back Environment
Relaxing Crowd in a Laid-back Environment

The expansive greenery, well-manicured lawns on both sides of Rajpath well complemented by canals mostly adorned with boats offer a plenty of space for families and friends to spend some quality time away from home. The vibe it produces is so enthralling. Come once, the captivating sight will entrap you and would not let you go back easily. Pack your picnic basket, filling it with essentials like food and beverages, tableware, cleanup (paper towels and trash bags) and other miscellaneous items that you need.

Boating:

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Want a Ride?

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It is true that Delhiites don’t have access to beaches. So what? They can do other water related activities. One such is boating. India Gate boating is very much famous amongst couples, lovers, kids and families. Do not forget to take a snap of yours keeping the imposing Arch on the backdrop. Anytime throughout the day is an awesome time for boating. Those who are in love, go for a romantic boat ride in the dusk and rekindle the momentum.

Here’s the Youtube link of boating video.

You Don’t Need a Cricket Ground to Play the Game:

Cricket at India Gate
Cricket at India Gate

Are you a diehard cricket fan? Then you don’t need a cricket ground to play your best short. Even I have played cricket with my brother and other guys in the narrow lanes and alleyways. Visitors who are in group should not afford to miss this fun. Oh, your group comprises beautiful girls who consider themselves so delicate and frail? I don’t think that is a problem. Even cricket is very much admired by girls. Ask your friend, I’m sure she won’t turn her back.

Here’s the Youtube link of funny cricket match video at India Gate.

Walking on Rajpath:

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Not the type of visitor who would simply sit back and relax? If so, then why not prefer a romantic walk along with your sweetheart hand-in-hand on Rajpath with India Gate embellishing the background? Feel the aroma of love when it is drizzling on the most celebrated street in New Delhi. No, you cannot afford to miss. What a feeling! Isn’t it?

Have Meetha Pan & Get Your Picture Drawn:

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Take One
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He is a genius.

Look at the panwala! How meticulously he’s performing his job. I take a pause and see him moving his hands so fast, serving his customers diligently – nah, not a single customer returns empty handed. Have a meetha pan, and move forward till you reach the wonderful guy who sees you and draws your picture. He’s a real professional.

Pamper Your Girlfriend’s Moods with a Long, Tiring Photo shoot:

Your girl is likely to tempt you to capture her many moods. That’s not a bad idea I guess because there is no better location that India Gate. Show your creativity and capture shots that are beyond the imagination of your girl. I’m sure your sweetheart will go gaga over your ingenuity. Why would you ask a professional photographer when you can take overwhelming pictures and save a few hundred bucks?

Watch the Sunset, Followed by Carnival-like Evening:

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Swarming with hordes of visitors and hawkers, India Gate creates carnival-like scenery as the Sun moves to the other part of earth. Witness the marvelous sunset like nowhere in Delhi (well, I cannot guarantee a breathtaking sunset like at the Taj Mahal, yet it is no less than that). Budding photographers always wait for this time of the day so that they can have some fantastic pictures to their name.

Watch a Candlelight March:

They say if you sneeze in Delhi, the entire country catches the cold. Do not try and make out its literal meaning. Since Delhi is the heart of this vast subcontinent where media has its home established, no matter how big or small an event or protest happens it reaches to the nook and corner of the country. And when in Delhi, especially at the India Gate, you can spot hordes of people go candlelight vigil on the Rajpath, demanding justice to the victims.

Be a Live Spectator to President’s Speech:

Our President is a great orator. Witnessing his articulation is a real treat. Be fortunate enough to appreciate India’s first citizen delivering public speech at Rastrapati Bhavan, only a few kilometers away from your fun spot. You never know you might get the first news than India’s leading daily.

Admire the Iconic Structure of India Gate:

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Wow, you covered almost all major activities. There is still one left. You got to admire the majestic arch structure and go gaga over the aesthetic artwork of this magnificent war memorial. The majestic monument was designed by the most famous war memorial designer Edin Lutyens, whose feat also lies in building some of the most impressive war memorials in Europe. He has built 66 war memorials in the continent, Cenotaph constructed in 1919, being the most known after World War I. While constructing the India Gate, Edin had the shape of the Arc de Triomphe. The massive structure stands tall up to 42 meters and spans over 30 feet. The flame, which is known as the Flame of the Immortal soldier or Amar Jawan Jyoti, under the shrine of the structure is ceaselessly burning since 1971, commemorating the immortal soldiers who lost their lives during the wars.

Top 10 Odia Sweet Dishes for Every Occasion

Have you come across anyone saying “no” to sweets? Honestly, I haven’t seen any. Okay let’s say you have seen such people. Then let me tell you that he or she must be a diabetic. 🙂 😛

I am going to take you on a culinary trip in Odisha where you will only discover unique, delicious sweet dishes to tantalize your taste buds. Don’t believe me? Okay, then check out the following dishes. Try these out – I’m sure you are going to miss them next time you have them somewhere else.

Poda Pitha:

Photo Credit - Odisha News Insight
Poda Pitha. Credit – Odisha News Insight

I bet your taste buds are deprived of the delicious flavor of Poda Pitha unless you were invited to an Odia house. Why I’m saying so because only Odia families can do this magic. Poda Pitha is a unique sweet dish prepared during Raja Festival.

Ingredients used for Poda Pitha are rice, black gram, baking powder, ghee, cashew nuts, scraped coconut and     sugar or jiggery.

Manda Pitha:

Photo Credit - Youtube
Manda Pitha. Photo Credit – Youtube

Odias celebrate more festivals than there are days in a year. Yes, I’m not joking at all. You visit Odisha and be lucky to get an invitation for a lunch or dinner at an Odia residence. It will not be surprising to find a wide variety of dishes served in your plate. You never know you might get a chance to spoil your taste buds with Manda Pitha. It is prepared at each and everyone’s home during the festive seasons of Durga Puja, Gamha Purnima and Kumar Purnima.

Ingredients used for Manda Pitha are suji, scraped coconut, sugar, ghee, cardamom and salt (if required for better taste).

Chhena Poda:

Photo Credit - Odisha News Insight
Photo Credit – Odisha News Insight

To try this, you don’t have to wait for any festivals. The most popular and most loved Odia sweet dish is Chhena Poda. The cheese desert is widely available in restaurants.

Ingredients used for Chhena Poda are cheese, cardamom powder, semolina, milk, ghee, sugar, cashew nuts and raisins.

Kakara Pitha:

Kakara Pitha
Photo Credit – Odia Kitchen

You know how donuts taste? But you don’t know how scrumptious Kakara is. Don’t trust me? Then have it. Kakara or Kakara Pitha is a sweet deep-fried cake mainly offered to Lord Ganesh. Ladoo is another sweet item our much loved Elephant-faced God love.

Ingredients used for Kakara are semolina, cheese, scraped or shredded coconut, sugar, etc.

Kheer or Kheere:

Kheer
Photo Credit – Very Good Recipes

I guess you have tried it already. However, do try it once when you visit east. Much attention is given to prepare rice kheer. It gives you the real taste when flavored with almonds, raisins, cashew nuts, saffron and cardamom. Kheer is literally for all occasions. It is served after a hearty meal. Besides that there is huge demand of Kheer before some important work. Have Kheer before starting a great work. It certainly falls in right place.

Ingredients used for Kheer are basmati rice, organic milk, green cardamom, golden raisins, kaju, saffron and sugar (according to taste).

Rasagola:

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Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Yes. I have had Rasagolas in places like Delhi and Bengaluru, but I was not very much impressed. Everyone knows Rasagola is a famous Bengali sweet dish. I admit. But I also admit that you get it better in Odisha. There’s been a battle between Odisha and West Bengal over rasagola invention. July 30th is celebrated as Rasagola Day or Rasagola Dibasa in the state. (“Rasagolas made in Odisha are softer and creamish than Bengali rasgullas” – as stated in Wikipedia).

Ingredients used for Rasagolas are milk, sugar, suji, cardamom powder, etc.

Rasabali:

Kendrapara Rasabali
Photo Credit – Travellian

You have not probably heard this name. Famous sweet dish from my native place. Yes, I brag off it. Cheese is the main ingredient of Rasabali, which originated to be served as Bhog to Baladevjew Temple of Kendrapara.

Ingredients used for Rasabali are baking soda, cheese, saffron, maida, sugar and milk.

Malpua:

Malpua
Photo Credit – Orissapds

Mainly prepared during Pausa Sankranti, Malpua is one of the mouthwatering sweet dishes served as snacks at many Odia homes. Malpua is a prominent food for the Almighty, Lord Jagannath, in the morning and evening.

Ingredients for Malpua are semolina, baking powder, maida flour, sugar (to make sugar syrup), fennel and ghee or oil.

Rabdi:

Rabdi
Photo Credit – Veg Recipes of India

Rabdi or rabri is a delicious Indian sweet dish. This is a different thing that Rabri was not derived from Odisha, but you got to taste its flavor. Various spices, sugar, nuts, salt, zeera, etc. are added to give it the best flavor.

Ingredients used for Rabdi are milk, sugar, cardamom, cardamom powder, saffron strands, rose water, pistachios and almonds.

Ghee Pitha or Arisa Pitha:

Ghee Pitha
Photo Credit – Shibani Kitchen

Another Odisha special. As the name suggests, this particular unique sweet item is made up of pure ghee. Have a bite of Ghee Pitha and you are surely going to remember this for a long time. If I remember correct, I’ve mostly eaten this during marriage ceremonies. Ghee Pithas, otherwise known as Arisa Pitha, are prepared and sent to the groom’s house from the bride’s home as gift. Obviously, there are other items too.

Ingredients used for Ghee Pitha are ghee, flour, sugar or jiggery, salt and sugar syrup.

If you want to prepare them at home, you can do that. But I would rather ask you to try them first so that you know what they taste like. Next time you travel to Odisha, try them out at an Odia house.

Top 10 Destinations to Visit in the World Before You Die

What if you die before you explore the world? Our planet has got a plethora of destinations to be explored. The following top ten destinations are a must before you turn to ashes.

1. Vatican City: Vatican City, the holy city located in Italy, is famous for its holy streets that touch the human spirit. The specialty of this city is that it entertains everyone irrespective of their religion (even if they don’t have one). It lets you witness the beauty, the power of human faith and the diving feeling. Make a visit to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Vatican City

2. Venice: Another Italian city to visit is Venice. Venice keeps the visitors busy in exploring vibrant Italian culture, the magnificent history and irrefutable romance. You must experience the charm of Venice if you are in Italy.

Venice

3. Petra: If you believe in exploiting history and other archaeological stuff, this is certainly the place to visit. Petra is famous for its ancient architecture. Its vast red mountains are simply breathtaking.

Red Mountains in Petra
Red Mountains in Petra

4. Paris: You have not enjoyed anything if you have not walked through the streets of Paris. A simple stroll will give you ample experience of life, history and beauty. Apart from that the city is home to some of the most fascinating landmarks in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the prime attraction in the city.

Paris

5. Niagara Falls: Niagara Falls in New York attracts millions of tourists every year. With thrilling attractions, hiking trails, interactive exhibits, delicious dining options and sparking scenery, Niagara Falls State Park keeps travelers coming closer to the falls. If you are on the other side of the falls (the Canadian side), you get to see an amazing rainbow.

Niagara Falls

6. Zion National Park: The outstanding scenery of Zion National Park in Utah will definitely take your breath away. See the exotic wildlife, incredible history and the southwestern desert – all these implausible things will leave you breathless.

Zion National Park

7. Fairy Pools: Are you stressed out? You must visit the Fair Pools located on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

Fairy Pools

8. Chichen Itza: Replete with overwhelming archaeological sites and fascinating mystery, Chichen Itza lures travelers to come and watch the original Mayan city. If you love sandy Mexican beaches, you are only a few minutes away.

Chichen Itza

9. Tuscany: Everybody knows Tuscany is one of the most popular regions in Italy rich with Italian culture and superb sumptuous experience. It is further blessed with magnificent beaches where you will have a wide gamut of water sports ranging from snorkeling to scuba diving.

Tuscany Scuba diving

10. Southern Germany: It’s Southern Germany – your dream place. This part of the world entertains anyone and everyone, giving them a chance to have a perfect and happy ending. The majestic Neuschwanstein Castle and the soaring hills of Bavaria are undoubtedly awe-inspiring.

Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle

Top 10 Romantic Escapes in India

You don’t have to go for a big fat wedding and then have a lavish honeymoon to rekindle romance with your loved one. The urge of romance is enough to make a romantic escape and if it India, you will have a handful of destinations – from tranquil backwaters to the soaring cliff, from stroll along the beach promenade to declining to tribal camps, from enjoying an oceanfront candle light dinner to spending a night in a secluded cottage – that just live up to your expectations.

1. Agra: Agra should be on the top of your bucket-list when you are seeking a romantic escape. The magnificent sunset, stunning white marble, quiet surrounding and love-birds around, this Epitome of Love will unfold the romantic story of the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaj Mahal. Don’t miss the breathtaking sight of this majestic monument in the morning.

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Cozy at Taj!

2. Ooty: One of the iconic destinations, Ooty is recognized for its immaculate and unblemished amorousness setting. You will love to escape scorching heat of summer and soak in a cooler place. This peaceful hill station is nestled in the Nilgiri Hills. Tourism is the main economy of this small town. Take a stroll through the pine and eucalyptus forest along the tea and coffee plantations.

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Beautiful Tea Estate at Ooty

3. Coorg: India’s Scpotland, Coorg is one of the most enchanting romantic hotspots known for its sandalwood and verdant teak forests. If your girlfriend is a lover of tea or coffee, there is no better place to give a treat to her. The picturesque mountainous area can be an amazing destination for hiking and trekking. Grab a villa for two with balcony overlooking at the extended coffee estates. Wake up to the sweet aroma of coffee plantation, and later indulge in a sumptuous lunch, lovers will find a plenty of things to do. Go camping here for a unique experience.

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Found Secluded Place?

4. Manali: What comes to your mind when imaging the gorgeous landscape of Manali – mountains, adventure, greenery and beauty? The intriguing hill station has a plenty of things for couples who would not only spend days in the four corners of hotel rooms, but embark on a wide gamut of outdoor activities, such as skiing, hiking and many more. In free time, go for sightseeing and come across beautiful Hindu temples, Rehalla Falls, Tibetan Monastery, Hadimba Devi Temple and Buddhist monasteries.

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Snow-covered Mountain in the Backdrop

5. Alappuzha: Come here for a unique boathouse experience. This beautiful romantic destination is fondly called by travelers – the Venice of the East. Alappuzha Beach is the center of attraction. It is hugely occupied with locals and travelers from European countries. A boathouse cruises in the restful backwaters is a delight. Visit in August to witness the festival – Nehru Trophy Boat Race (falls on 2nd Saturday of August).

Alleppey

6. Shimla: It’ll be my biggest mistake to not mention this paradise of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla might be the destination where you will find yourself in the arms of your partner cuddling up. It is blissfully wonderful with natural beauties, verdant grasslands and snow-capped mountains creating mesmerizing scenery – a visual retreat. Indulge in a wide range of activities and in the evening take a stroll to admire the architectural marvels.

Shimla
Heavenly!

7. Udaipur: Yet another Venice…Udaipur is referred as the Venice of the East. This beautiful city boasts many stunning lakes, hills and majestic Rajput-era palaces. Would you like to get lost in the eyes of your sweetheart while taking a boat ride on Lake Pichola. Get around top attractions, including Lake Fatehsagar, Monsoon Palace and Doodh Talai. Your romantic evening should get the best ending with a candle light dinner on the Pichola Lake. Great idea?

Udaipur

8. Goa: Who says you can only party till dawn on the Goa beaches? This amazing destination can charm you with its natural splendors and quiet surroundings. Start a day with a morning walk on the beach and end on high note with a candle light dinner on the beach promenade. And talking Goa’s nightlife…perhaps, you are at the right place to live your dream.

Goa
I Know You Want This.

9. Jaipur: Come and enjoy a royal feeling in Jaipur. The Pink City is saturated with lavishness, magnificence and king-like feelings. Included on the tourist circuit of Golden Triangle Tour, Jaipur offers a different kind of romance. Grab a palace to stay like a king and queen or go for an overnight camping at the heart of the never-ending desert, there is something for you in Jaipur.

Jaipur
Private Dinner!

10. Darjeeling: Set in the gorgeous backdrop of the Himalayan ranges, the Queen of Hills, Darjeeling, makes the list to my top 10 romantic destinations in India. A great place, Darjeeling captivates couples as well as individuals and takes them to a beautiful world where towering trees and stunning tea plantations give a warm welcome. Don’t miss the outstanding view of the dramatic landscape turning into milk-like white with snowflakes.

Darjeeling

Top 10 Honeymoon Getaways in India

Sometimes the most enjoyable moments of life can turn into nightmares if not planned properly. Why I’m saying this because the other day I was chatting with one of the school friends who recently made his honeymoon trip. Upon asked he described his plight of how it turned into a nightmare due to lack of planning. So, I thought to shed some light on this and help newly married couples to start their second innings of life by spending some quality time together.

Honeymoon Trip

1. Kerala: I’m always fascinated with Kerala. Serenity, nature, stunning lakes and rivers, beautiful lagoons and, of course, backwaters. Kerala is always a top pick for its outstanding climate and natural beauty. Munnar, Kochi, Kollam, Kumarakom and Vagamon are the popular honeymoon spots in Kerala. October to March is the ideal time for this.

2. Ooty: Located in the Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu, Ooty, otherwise known as Udhagai or Udhagamandalam, is a popular spot among the honeymooners. Showcasing its picturesque hills stations and scenic greenery, Ooty allows couples to enjoy a perfect romantic escape away from the hustle and bustle of the maddening crowd. The best time to visit Ooty is between October and June. To name some of the most striking attractions are the Nilgiri Toy Train Ride, Boating at Pykara Lake, Angling in Ooty, Glen Morgan Tea Estate and Botanical Gardens.

3. Shimla: Ask locals where they would spend their private moments with their spouse; most would say Shimla. Magnificent climate, snowcapped mountains, stunning surroundings, green hills, breathtaking Himalayan views, adventure activities and swaying field embellish capital of Himachal Pradesh. Take an evening walk through the greenery, holding and caressing your wife’s hands or visit the fashion shops or The Mall and give her a beautiful dress. She will just love it. The main attractions that you would like to see in Shimla are the Mall Road, the Ridge Road, Jakhoo Hill, Dorje Drag Monastery, Hip Hip Hurray Amusement Park, Shimla State Museum, Summer Hill, Christ Church, Tara Devi Temple, Chandwick Waterfalls and Daranghati Sanctuary. Both summer (April to July) and winter (October to February) are the best time to plan a honeymoon trip to Shimla.

4. Goa: One of the top international tourist spots, Goa mesmerizes honeymooners with its magnificent lush green gardens, pristine beaches, an assortment of bars, pubs and restaurants and majestic Portuguese buildings. If you are obsessed with luxury, Goa has a wide range of 5 star hotels and resorts located right on the beach. Stay in a luxury hotel, pamper your taste buds with mouthwatering sea foods and give your senses the much needed adrenaline boost by indulging in windsurfing, parasailing and deep sea fishing. Visit these attractions – Agonda Beach, Basilica, Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Betalbatim Beach and Fort Aguada. Enjoya a romantic sunset at Palolem Beach. March to May and October to February are considered as the best time to visit Goa.

5. Andaman & Nicobar Islands: How can I miss the most exotic honeymoon destination of India? Andaman & Nicobar Islands are blessed with stunning natural beauty, superb marine life, an array of adventure sports, luxury hotels and vibrant lifestyle. The sandy beaches are pretty impressive and alluring. You will love spending some quality time with your loved ones exploring its serenity. If you are a great sea food lover, it is just the perfect place. It has further got the best nightlife with bustling clubs and bars. Anthropological museum, zoological survey of India museum, National memorial, fisheries museum, forest museum and navel marine museum are the popular museums to visit. January to May is the right time to hit the islands. You can even come in October and November to go windsurfing, water skiing and the likes.

6. Lakshadweep: Another island. Another honeymoon spot for you. Pristine sandy beaches, thrilling water sports, beautiful gardens, breathtaking views of blue sea, extensive sun-bathing and unmatched natural scenery create a perfect romantic ambiance for all newly married couples. Agatti, Kadmat, Kavaratti, Bangaram and Minicoy. October to April is an ideal time to head to Lakshadweep.

7. Kullu & Manali: It is time to take a break from beaches and islands and hit the snowcapped mountains and do some adventure stuff. Kull & Manali is a more common destination for locals and foreigners alike for its magnificent green grass landscapes, cascading waterfalls, soaring mountains where you will go trekking, paragliding, angling, skiing, hiking and biking. River rafting is another thrilling stuff for you. Grab a villa for two and stay uninterrupted. October to February is the right time to visit Kullu & Manali.

8. Darjeeling: Another hill station is Darjeeling. It fascinates travelers with its pleasant cold climate, striking tea gardens, greenery, natural beauties and pine trees. The traditional local market and the toy train journey play a crucial role inviting more and more visitors to this part of India. Besides that there are several world class attractions to visit, such as Tiger Hills, Rock Garden, Batasia loop, Peace Pagoda, Kanchenjunga Mountains and Singamari Ropeway. The ideal time to come here is September to January.

9. Nainital: Nestled in a valley comprising a pear-shaped lake, Nainital is a popular romantic getaway in the Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalayas of Uttarakhand. It enthralls visitors with fantastic climate, tranquil atmosphere, water sports, beautiful lakes, rock climbing, fishing, boat riding and many more. Beat the heat of summer and plan a trip to Nanitital in the months of March, April, May, June, October and February. Kausani, Aerial ropeway, Jim Corbett National Park, Nanital Lake, Naina Devi Temple and Snow View are to name the topnotch attractions in Nanital.

10. Mahabaleshwar: Mahabaleshwar is the best option if you are obsessed with waterfalls, boat riding, romantic spots, mouthwatering cuisines, temples, lakes, caves, green hills, mountains and adventurous activities. Mahabaleshwar is only several kilometers from Pune and Mumbai. If you have enough time, plan a trip to these places as well. November to June is the right time to plan a honeymoon trip here.

Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in India before You Die

Most people wish to travel the world before they die. If you think in the same way, then why not start from India?

India, the land of wonders, is blessed with spectacular range of attractions that will simply take any travel enthusiast’s breath away. From the snow-capped mountains of the mighty Himalayas to the exotic Goa beaches, from tranquil backwaters to the impressive palaces of Rajasthan, from the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho to the magnificent Sun Temple of Konark, the mystic land preserves an array of interesting attractions that keep visitors flowing to India.

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Colorful India, Beautiful India!

To make it easy and simple for you, I have listed the top places that will certainly give you a deeper look into India’s holiday destinations.

1. Delhi: Delhi, the capital city of India, is the right place to start a tour in India. Known for its impressive historic monuments, Delhi is always the most sought after tourist destination in India. Apart from being a cultural and entertainment hub, the capital city charms its guests with stunning sites and gorgeous buildings. The India Gate, Jama Masjid, Lotus Temple, Qutub Minar, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Garden of Five Senses, Humayun’s Tomb, National Zoological Park, Akshardham, the Red Fort, Old Delhi, Chadni Chowk, Jantar Mantar and Lodi Gardens are to mention the most popular attractions in Delhi.

Delhi
Have I Missed Anything?

2. Agra: Have been hearing about this magnificent white mausoleum since childhood? Time has arrived to marvel at the glorious Mughal creation in Agra. The Taj Mahal is an eternal embodiment of love. Shah Jahan, the mighty Mughal Emperor, built this white domed mausoleum in the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World at the moment. The epic love story of the Mughal Emperor and Empress entices travelers all around the world. Amongst other popular attractions in Agra are Akbar’s Tomb, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and Mehtab Bagh.

Taj Mahal
When It Is about Agra, How Can Taj Mahal be Missed?

3. Goa: I cannot miss India’s smallest state. Goa is the ultimate party destination in India. To visit Goa, you need not seek the best time as anytime seems a great time to explore its golden pristine beaches, which further bestow outstanding sunset view. Swaying coconut palms, golden sand and a plenty of sun constitute an outstanding backdrop. Goa is just perfect for all types of holidaymakers. While lovers find a secluded spot to romance, adventure enthusiasts can go windsurfing, jet skiing, water skiing and parasailing. If you are a foodie, then pamper your taste buds with fresh and tasty seafood. The top attractions in the area include Chapora Fort, Arvalam Waterfalls, Calangute beach, Ancestral Goa Museum and Aloma Fort.

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Calangute Beach with Golden Sand

4. Kashmir: I always conjure up the images cascading waterfalls, spectacular scenic beauty, picturesque lakes, Alpine villages, the aroma of flower gardens, effervescent verdant green valleys and snowcapped mountains when imagining of Kashmir. What strikes your mind when it is all about – the Heaven on Earth – Kashmir? Interesting things that you just can’t take your eyes off are Nagin Lake, Dal Lake, Gulmarg, Pehalgam, Shankracharya Shrine, Sonmarg and Pari Mahal. Dal Lake is an ideal place if you wish to go boat riding.

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Boat Ride in Dal Lake Is A Must!

5. Kanyakumari: Kanyakumari is next. It is often called as Cape Comorin. Kanyakumari is the convergence of three vast water bodies, such as Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. The tranquility of the surrounding, the enchanting sunrise and the mesmerizing sunset lure even the most indiscriminating visitor. An avid traveler won’t lose his eyes from the glooming horizon. It is situated in the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent. The multi-colored sight of the beach is worth viewing.

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Dawn at Kanyakumari Is Captivating

6. Kerala: Let’s visit God’s Own Country and enjoy some unique and enchanting backwater cruise. The striking feature of Kerala is its greenery. Wherever you go, you will be delighted with verdant green forests, spectacular hill stations, stunning waterfalls and tranquil backwaters. Backwaters are the perfect combination of fascinating lakes and lagoons that lie parallel to the infinite Arabian Sea. While in Kerala, seek an ayurvedic massage. It will incorporate energy and rejuvenate your entire body. Stay fit and start exploring attractions, including Varkala Beach, Thekkady, Munnar, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Wayanad and Athirapally Waterfalls.

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Tranquil Kerala!

7. Rajasthan: Once abode to the Rajas and Maharajas, Rajasthan sparkles like a star with magnificent palaces, impressive castles and eye-catching lakes. The “Land of Kings” is the largest state in India. Jaipur is a notable city with attractions, like Palace of Winds or Hawa Mahal. City Palace is another must visit place in Jaipur. Head to Udaipur to marvel at the outstanding Lake Palace, nicely nestled on Lake Pichola.

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Striking Facade of Hawa Mahal!

8. Puri and Konark: The coastal town of Puri in the eastern state of Odisha is known for its pristine beaches and the world famous Jagannath Temple. It is also recognized as one of the four dhams. If you are heading to Konark, then the Sun Temple is a must. 35 kilometers from Puri, Konark is home to some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Situated on the Chandrabhaga Beach, the coastal town offers a unique spectacle of sunrise. If you have time, make your way to Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest freshwater lake.

Konark Temple Full View
The Sun Temple of Konark

9. Darjeeling: The Queen of Hills, Darjeeling is set on the rolling mountains. It is at an elevation of 2134 m and a popular romantic destination. Take a stroll through the tea gardens, traditional market, pine trees and mountains and indulge yourself in the natural beauty. Tiger Hills is one of the key attractions located 8 kilometers from the heart of the city. One can also witness the 3rd largest peak of the world right here. Peace Pagoda, Rock Garden, Darjeeling Toy Train Journey, Batasia Loop and Singamari Ropeway will make your trip a grand success.

Darjeeling
Darjeeling

10. Manali: Manali, a popular hill station in India, is a perfect combination of adventure and romance. I find it very fascinating. Snow-clad mountains, greenery, enchanting rivers and cascading waterfalls allure travelers to spend a whale of quality time with their lovers. Or if you are an adrenaline junkie, you will love adventure sports, such as mountain biking, mountain climbing, mountaineering, trekking, hiking, skiing, river rafting, mountaineering and angling.

Manali-15
And One of My Favorite Places!

Top 10 Monsoon Destinations in India that You Should Not Miss

It was drizzling outside. I was peeping through the window, enjoying the rain and looking at people in haste, probably they were returning to home when one of my friends called me up, breaking the long silence, explaining how terrible experiences he had on his last trip. When I asked him to elaborate things, he was in a ‘no’ mood to share his experience. You know why? The reason is he chose a wrong destination; for him, he will love to erase this memory from his mind. And his advice for me not to visit any places during monsoon was obvious.

Well, I don’t believe so. Traveling in monsoon can be as exciting as in other seasons. Monsoon in India preserves the best of treasures for travelers of all ages. The cost of traveling during this period is pretty low. Below are mentioned the leading destinations that you grab your attention this monsoon. Travel to India and get soaked in the rain, explore the charm of verdant forests and let the cool breeze caress your soft cheeks.

1. Uttarakhand: Foggy clouds, lush green hills, outstanding natural colors and many more – Uttarakhand turns into paradise when monsoon with its all forms touched this beautiful state. Uttaranchal lies in the Himalayan region; thus becoming a major tourist hotspot for both foreigners and locals alike. The Valley of Flowers is the striking attraction in the state. The beautiful national park is majestically nestled in Western Himalaya.

Valley
An Ultimate Visual Treat of the Valley of Flowers

2. Ladakh: Surrounded by two gigantic mountains on either side, amid the massive greenery is the stunning high altitude of Ladakh. The desert is easily accessible by road during monsoon. The melting snow allows travelers throng to this dazzling vacation destination. It is mostly dotted with vibrant Buddhist monasteries.

Ladakh
Picturesque Ladakh

3. Western Ghats: What allures me the most about the Western Ghats is its spectacular, gushing waterfalls. You can’t have another scenic beauty like this. Jog Falls in Karnataka is the most popular waterfall in the Western Ghats. Also, pay a visit to the monsoon beauty of Nilgiri Hills. Spend some nights at one of the verdant hill stations and explore the gorgeous locales, you will surely cherish the experience rest of your life. The surrounding is excellent for honeymooners.

Western Ghat
Cloudy, yet Alluring

4. Munnar: If you are in Kerala for an ayurvedic treatment, extend the trip for a day or two to exploit the pleasant weather and silvery mist surrounding. The dark roads are outstanding if you take a ride through the rain.

Munnar
Through the Dark Road

5. Goa: How can I miss this amazing party destination of India? Goa flaunts numerous pristine beaches surrounded by extensive palm trees, restaurants and bars. Known as the Lisbon of East, Goa draws millions of crowds annually who love to plunge into adventure water sports and electrifying nightlife. Make sure the condition is great for water sports. Stay at luxury hotels at throw away prices and get around the area marveling at the architectural buildings, distinguished churches, cathedrals and many UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Goa
Tranquil Beach Atmopshere

6. Coorg: Take a break from the metro city of Bangalore and head to Coorg to take a nap in the lap of nature. This monsoon destination is at its best with rumbling sounds of waterfalls, colorful valley, verdant green landscapes, cascading rivers and soft mist – Coorg will leave an inerasable impression.

Coorg
I Can Hear the Rumbling Sound,Can You?

7. Udaipur: I should not miss Udaipur from my list as one of the most sought after monsoon destinations in India. Udaipur is very romantic with a plenty of natural scenery that will take your breath away. Like Goa is referred as Lisbon of East, Udaipur is known as the Venice of East. The beautiful city comes to live during monsoon when you come across the outstanding Taj Lake Palace set in Lake Pichola. How about enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with your spouse, while starlit sky is an addition to the romance.

Udaipur
Mesmerizing Sunset

8. Alappuzha: Otherwise recognized as Alleppey, Alappuzha fetches the most tranquil backwater rides this season. This is a must visit place if you enjoy heavy downpour. Take out your camera and capture the soggy surroundings, foggy walkways, wet trees and drenched soil. Feel the mystic aroma of Alappuzha.

Ala
Charming!

9. Lonavala: Touch the floating clouds, steamy atmosphere and cool weather, Lonavala should be your next stop if you are near Pune or Mumbai. Lonavala is famous for being a spectacular hill station where you will have a plethora of adventure activities. Come out of your hotel room and start getting soaked in the lovely scenery and go for nature walks, hiking, bungee jumping and many more. Also, visit the sunrise and sunset points, waterfalls, impressive medieval forts, caves and lakes.

Lona
Don’t Miss this!

10. Shoja: I’m sure that not many of you have heard the name of Shoja. Lies 5 kilometers from Jalori Pass and 69 kilometers from Kullu, Shoja is yet to be discovered. This is the best place to chase the monsoon blues away. Take a walk on the green meadows, densely forested mountainside, emerald greenery and snow-capped Himalayan ranges and stay rejuvenated.

Shoja
Snow, Snow & Snow…Everywhere

Do you find your next monsoon destination in India? If you do, read out the travel tips during monsoon here.